Gazing at the clock on the wall of her lavish living room, Emmelia Spenser, Chairman of the Mining Guild, watched the hands creep toward midnight. Drinking a silent toast to absent friends, she tried not to cry.
“Oh, Ben,” she whispered to the air, “Where are you tonight and what are you doing? Are you thinking of me as I think of you?”
She rose, walking to the window of her penthouse apartment, high on top of the Mining Guild Tower. The tropical setting seemed incongruous to the occasion. Instead of snowy slopes, she gazed into the crystal clear ocean. Lost in its depths, she sighed.
Tonight she’d been obligated by her position, to host an expensive party for all the somebodies in the Mining Guild. Emmelia had been the perfect hostess, paying extravagant and insincere compliments to the hideous wife of the head of the Miner’s Consortium. All the while harboring unkind thoughts that the woman looked more like a troll than a lady of wealth and substance.
All the board members were present, their trophy wives in tow. She couldn’t keep track of them any more. They all looked alike: blonde from a bottle, boobs by design, pouty lips, long legs and tiny little brains. They dripped furs, jewels, gold, platinum and other choice tidbits given them by their filthy rich husbands. Usually, there was a new one every other year and they all had names like Buffy or Tippy or Missy.
Emmelia hadn’t been alone at her party, of course. There were any number of eligible men willing to escort the most powerful woman in the Mining Guild to a posh soirée. The one tonight, Brett, had was smarter, handsomer, better put together than most—but he wasn’t Ben. But few men could measure up to Benjamin Drexel, the former Marine Captain. He’d stolen her heart nearly four years ago when Wil sent him on assignment to protect her from Riley.
Brett had made the expected advances. Emmelia had repulsed them until she had too much champagne to drown her sorrows, then she gave in. He was several cuts above the average hanger-on, but he had to compete with the memory of Ben.
She had hoped that Ben would be back from his mission by now, or at the very least she would hear from him. But there were no messages and she was still alone.
“Tomorrow,” she whispered hopefully, “I’ll hear from Ben.”
A final sip of champagne and she made her way to bed, where Brett slept, looking for all the world like a child. She wondered how old he really was, twenty-five, twenty-six? Did it matter? He kept the bed warm, didn’t drool and didn’t snore. Slipping quietly back into bed, she curled up next to him, facing the door, crying gently.
Brett must have sensed her presence, perhaps even heard her crying. He rolled over, putting his arm protectively around her, cuddling up behind her, breath warm on her neck. Tears fell anew, as she remembered how Ben did the same thing.
“Tomorrow,” she thought as she fell asleep, “Tomorrow—”
© 2014 Dellani Oakes