Okay, so life at Acinert did seem unusual but I soon got into the swing of things. As the days went by, I did a lot of research that felt a bit random to me (but I did it anyway). Occasionally I talked to Ancora residents in that little room, and occasionally I was in a medical room feeding in information as two people–usually Dr. Raleigh and Kay–did things to a rainbow like X-rays and brain scans and other things like that.
I stopped seeing Jay. In fact, as the weeks went by, the only time I saw her was very briefly as she left her brother’s office. She passed by me without a word, without so much as a glance my way. When I talked to Kay later he was devastated over something but didn’t tell me what happened which helped me figure out that despite her insistence I was working ‘with’ her, I was just like any other employee.
Except the employees were so strange! I hardly ever saw them, since I had lunch in my office or in Kay’s office, and when I did see them they’d just give me rather blank looks. I tried introducing myself to a few but they’d mumble their names so incoherently I had no clue what they said.
After working there for about three weeks, I finally saw Kellen. He was coming out of a room I had never been in and when he looked up, our eyes met. A smile went across his face and he walked over so he could hug me tightly.
“You’re a sight for sore eyes,” he said, nuzzling my neck a bit. “I’ve missed you.”
“You saw me last night!” I said with a slight giggle. “I don’t think we should canoodle in the office. That could cause trouble.”
He pulled back, eyes twinkling. “Okay, okay,” he said, feigning exasperation. “We’ll canoodle tonight. Promise?”
I grinned at him and squeezed his hand gently. “That sounds great.” I reached up and rubbed my neck, trying to think of how exactly I should ask him what I wanted to say. “It’s kinda weird seeing each other here, y’know?” I asked.
“Yeah I know what you mean,” he agreed. “Maybe we could start having lunch together or something? I’m not in this building all the time, only a couple times a week, but if you don’t mind…”
I bit my bottom lip and nodded. “Maybe sometimes.” I decided it probably wouldn’t be a good thing to say I usually had my lunch with one of the Big Bosses, ‘Thomas Dearg’.
Kellen gave me a very quick kiss then stepped back. “I better get going. I’ll see you tonight, Luna.” He gave me a warm look before walking off. I just stood there, staring at him and feeling like the luckiest girl in the world.
“Ohhhh, honey, no, that’s not lucky!” Milla complained one weekend as we walked through town trying to figure out where we wanted to eat. “Office romances can turn out pretty bad. I know you two didn’t meet there but still… you better be on your toes and careful.”
I nodded, only half-listening. I knew what she was saying was true but with Kellen it was different, right? I mean for one I… um… never even saw his office! And it wasn’t as if the bosses didn’t know we were an item. Jay knew and Kay sort of knew from both what his sister said and when he had come into my office two days ago and found us eating lunch together.
He apologized for interrupting, kinda gave Kellen a strange look, then left. Kellen had asked what that was about and I muttered that Professor Dearg was the one who gave me most my work. I was a bit worried of what would happen if Kellen knew how close I was to ‘Thomas Dearg’. If he found out that, actually, ‘Thomas Dearg’ was my grandfather. When I thought that, it made me wonder about that look on Kay’s face…
“We hardly even see each other,” I said, wrapping my arms around myself. “At work, I mean. We usually see each other every night and if we don’t, then we talk on the phone.”
“Every night?” Milla inquired teasingly.
I blushed and nodded. “Pretty much, unless one of us has to work late. He sometimes does. I only did once. Other than that…” I looked up at the sky and smiled. Every night for three months now. The phone was more common than us meeting but still, it was really nice. Plus I still missed him when we were apart. It really felt like love to me. And who knew what might happen down the line!
The biggest problem, however, was my family. They still didn’t know where I was working. Or rather, who I was working for. And, well… Orion was the only one who knew there was someone special in my life. He was the only one I really had time to talk to. Mom, Dad, and Kyle were always so tired from taking care of Jacob. And Tempest–I didn’t feel it necessary to tell her. Rion promised to keep it a secret but asked if sometime he could come down and meet my “Mr. No-Need-In-Calling-Him-Right”.
I made Orion promise not to just randomly show up and said that maybe one weekend he could come down. When we made plans, I went to Kellen and told him he should clock in extra work that weekend.
“I want to meet your brother!” he protested immediately.
I chewed at my thumbnail nervously. “Kellen, he’s a bit protective. Overprotective.”
“So? A lot of brothers are,” he whispered, kissing my neck.
I shivered and pulled away. “And he’s a cop. As in, he has a gun.”
Kellen laughed and shook his head. “So… what? You think he’d shoot me?” He grinned at me and then when I just stared blankly back, he began frowning. “Oh come on, Luna, that’s insane. He wouldn’t… he wouldn’t shoot me…”
“Not… fatally…” I said carefully. “Um, so he might not shoot you but… he could find some reason to arrest you and… oh I don’t know! He’s always saying he’ll hurt people who hurt me.”
Kellen’s hands rested on my shoulders. “Have I hurt you?” he asked gently. I shook my head and he kissed me. “Okay then. I want to meet Orion. I’ve heard so much about most your family! I want to meet them. And you can meet mine soon.”
I nodded rather wearily, giving in. It was a rather harrowing thought to meet families. I didn’t know much about it personally, since literally the only in-laws I had were the Bees. But from everything I had read, things could be troublesome. And Rion was pretty protective…
A couple weeks later, and he was there. Friday night I heard my doorbell ring and I nervously opened the door. Rion beamed at me and then swept me up in his arms, giving me a bear hug.
“LUNE!” he shrieked, tightening his grip even more. “Oh man, it is so good to see you!”
“Rion!” I grinned back, hugging him back. “It feels like it’s been… ages.”
He set me down, looking past me at my house. “It has been. You should see Jake, he’s getting so big! Kyle and Ken are already talking about when they should give Jake a little sibling.” Rion laughed a bit and shook his head. “It’s so weird sometimes. Y’know? Course, he keeps harping on about me finding some nice girl.”
“Is there anyone?” I inquired. Rion’s dating life had never been particularly good. Two girlfriends in high school, and three since. None of them had lasted more than a couple months and there hadn’t been anyone in years.
“Free as a bird,” he laughed, though it seemed more of a forced laugh. “All the girls I meet are either turned off by the fact I’m a cop, or else they like the idea way too much. And I don’t want to someone to date me just ‘cuz of my job. Speaking of dating…” He trailed off and his eyes sparkled. “Where’s What’s-His-Face?”
I felt redness creeping up into my face and I smacked Rion’s arm. “What? He doesn’t live here. He’s at work right now. He’s working late tonight but we’ll see him tomorrow for lunch. Just…” Now it was my turn to trail off.
“Just what?” he asked with a smirk.
“Don’t scare him,” I mumbled.
“He won’t have anything to be afraid of,” Orion said. “As long as he’s not hiding anything.”
“Oh no!” I wailed. “You’re not going to interrogate him, are you?”
Rion beamed at me. “No… well, not exactly. But I’m trained in finding things out from people and I want to make sure that this guy is okay enough to be around you. If he is, then great. But if he’s not…” Orion rubbed his chin in thought. “We’ll figure that one out if it comes to it. Right?”
I put my head in my hands and groaned out loud, wishing already that I hadn’t agreed for him to come down to meet Kellen because I wasn’t entirely sure he was just kidding me about interrogating Kellen.