Fortunately, the rest of Mayin, Edan and Ley’s dinner was much less fraught. Mayin minded the table several times while her brother and sister-in-law danced. Rigo came past and topped up their wine and water several times, a courtesy he extended to the table of the lady in apricot. The Oberxiao’s party seemed to be celebrating someone’s birthday and they were still in their seats when Mayin’s threesome left. He had not approached any of them again and Mayin wasn’t sure whether that was a good thing or not.
That uncertainty contributed to her decision to decline her brother’s offer of a lift home in the taxi he and Ley has hailed in favour of a stroll through the roof top park below the restaurant to the public transit station at the far end. The park was thirty storeys below the restaurant but still twenty storeys above the street, and being on a roof limited what it could contain. The trees were focal points, even though barely one and half times Mayin’s height, and the two pools that mirrored each other in the park’s design were too shallow to accommodate fish. In Mayin’s current mood, the lighting made up for those possible deficits because while the main path through the park was brightly lit, off the path there was barely any lighting at all, leaving only the ambient city light and, tonight, the moon for illumination.
She was admiring the moon’s reflection in one of the pools when she heard someone coming up behind her and just as she was tensing for action, the Oberxiao said, “You left before I could ask for a second dance.”
Mayin turned around to face him. “Staying longer would have been stretching the evening out too far for us, and my brother and his wife are paying their baby sitter by the hour. How did you find me?”
“I might, theoretically, have hacked the security cameras,” he said in a noncommittal fashion. “We could have children too, you know. Daughters like your niece and sons…well, I used to have nephews.”
“I’m sorry about your family.”
“Thank you. I continue to hope that I can persuade you to help me start again.”
Mayin gave a wry smile. “That wasn’t what you said when you first came to my apartment.”
“I wasn’t in full possession of the relevant facts at that time,” he replied smoothly.
“And you upset all my plans too, you know,” answered Mayin. “I just wanted to fit in and be home again, and then you turned up. You are offering things I want,” she admitted, “but I would have to leave here and my family, and then there’s our personal history.”
“You were doing your job and I was doing mine,” he said flatly and then added, with what Mayin could only describe as a seductive note, “I could be open to negotiation on the subject of our home base.”