Monday, June 6, 2011

SteamPink: epilogue

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by Robert C. Roman
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Micah frowned. He was on a working vacation, and so far it wasn't a good one.

He walked along the close cropped lawn, his eyes scanning the crowd. Micah knew ought to be looking for the displays set up by the firms selling security devices, but he couldn't bring himself to take his gaze from the milling throng. He'd spent too long guarding the artwork under his protection. Habits long practiced kept him looking at hands, waists, shoulders, and thighs, checking to see who carried concealed weapons. More than a few did, and he noted which individuals were armed with what.

Shaking his head, Micah forced his eyes closed, forced himself to take a deep breath. He wasn't responsible for security here at the Panama Pacific Exposition. He was on vacation, for the first time in… for the first time ever, actually. All because of Ophilia.

Thoughts of her brought a smile to his face. As if thinking of Ophilia had summoned her up, the scent of her perfume wafted through the air. A moment later, graceful fingers slid around his face from behind, and he felt her press against him, pulling her lips up to his ear.

"Guess who?"

"If you're not Ophilia Morgan, I suspect one of us is in big trouble."

She laughed; a clear bell-like sound that turned heads through the crowd. Many of the looks were disapproving, though it was unclear which impropriety they disapproved of. It could be Ophilia's outlandish costume; a relatively sedate Sears Catalog dress, but one which had been cut away to show Ophilia's more sedate tattoos. It could be the tattoos themselves, art worked into her skin, pierced at the corners by gleaming silvered steel. It might be her behavior, as she spun around Micah, her hands fluttering about his face. Eventually she stopped in front of him, pulled him down for a quick kiss, and stepped back, one hand waving with a flourish to a young man in a lab coat.

She didn't care one whit for the disapproval of the crowd, and as long as Ophilia was happy, the crowd could go hang. Micah adjusted his tie, smoothed his suit jacket, and extended a hand to the nervous looking young man.

" Who is this you've brought along, Ophilia?"

The young man had a firm grip, but his hands were graceful, a pianist's hands. "Good Afternoon, sir. My name is Abraham Franklin. I’m a scientist. An inventor, of sorts."

"Good to meet you, Mr. Franklin. I am Micah Slate, Director of Security at the Leo de Milan museum in Philadelphia."

Ophilia's smile sparkled white in the summer sun, "He knows! He's actually in from Philadelphia, Micah. I knew you were concerned about the new equipment. Shipping, and installation, and maintenance and whatnot, so when I saw that Abraham was out of Philadelphia, I knew he was the one for us."

Micah relaxed, the stressors of the day melting away. Assuming young Mr. Franklin had viable designs for his devices, Micah's work in San Francisco was, essentially, done. He turned to see Ophilia's wicked grin directed at him, and couldn't help teasing her.

"It has been excellent meeting you, Mr. Franklin. I should like to see your designs. In the meantime, however, take my card. Please contact me when you return to Philadelphia." He turned to Ophilia, hiding his smile. "Well, since we're all done, I suppose we'll be catching a train back home then?"

Her frown was as pretty as her smile. "If you think we're cutting our vacation short after I've gone and done your work for you, you've got another think coming, Mister Slate."

Micah smiled. It was going to be a lovely vacation.


Guest post created for SteamPink event by Robert C. Roman author of Fae Eye for the Golem Guy
© 2011. All rights reserved.

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by Robert C. Roman
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