After Love. Approx. year 30 of the Addergoole School.
Shira had turned down the first four people Mike had brought to her.
Two of them had been older students, the other two late late entries into Regine’s breeding project – with the war making a mess of their lives, Regine had started bringing in whatever new blood she could find, and Mike was happily helping her repopulate the world. One of the students had been male, the other female; one of the Project ones had been female, the other hermaphroditic.
And Shira had said – later and in private – “No. Good try, but no.”
And Luke was still obnoxiously in love, and even more obnoxiously entirely oblivious to that fact.
Mike glanced up at the voice. There was unsurprisingly, a student standing there. Skylla. Mike taught her, of course, in a Literature class – American Lit, this semester – where she was quiet unless prompted but eloquent and off-beat when questioned. She was also, so far, a scruffy tomboy who hadn’t yet decided what she would be as an adult. No the sort Mike normally pursued. He’d assumed she’d end up Laurel’s or Doug’s, or possibly Sang Ki’s.
But she was standing in his doorway, radiating concern and need so badly that Mike didn’t need to focus on his empathy to understand it.
“Come on, Skylla. How can I help you?”
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