"You have the blueprint" Garith said. His eyes darted quickly to Sandra's navel and then back to her eyes where they held steady. The subtle gesture of the eye hinted abtrusely to Sandra. He hadn't intended to tell her of what he was refering to yet, but she was apt at interpreting the body language of this man. It must be impossibly hard, Sandra thought, for him not to look there again right now. She feigned an itch, raised her hand to satisfy it, guiding it to brush her abdomen in an obvious manner on the way. She knew how he worked and she knew how to work him; his eyes once again stole a furtive glance of her clothed belly. She was sure of it now.
Either there was another implant with different functionality or the original implant had been left there and she had been tricked into thinking it was removed. The sinuous nature of the latter seemed more in tune with Garith's modus operandi of the past. It would mean the implant had another reason for existing aside from its augmentive characteristics.
"Garith, how could you?" she said, moving her hand to the scar at her navel.
She couldn't see the scar, but she now felt intensely aware of it. In the past she had ran her finger over it, feeling its gentle bumps and grooves on countless quiet nights. The scar had become something familiar to her, a part of her being. It served as a mark to prove the past as the past; something to remind her of what she once was and more importantly, what she is today. Garith had effeciently shattered that illusion.
He still hadn't responded to her question, nor did she expect him to. She glared at him with her most wicked look, and momentarily she saw something unexpected in his eyes. It was compassion, or at least it looked to be that. It was impossible to know for sure. This last deception only proved to her that no deception will ever be his last.
"You know, Garith. I almost believed you this time. I really almost believed you"
Her body was one of the only things of which no one could take, the only thing of which she had total control. It was treachery for him to have done this. A radical betrayal. She wanted to tell him everything she felt. She wanted him to have changed. She wanted him to understand. But every person that existed in all of time has wanted something they could not have.
"It wasn't only for my benefit, Sandra. Try to understand, you were the only one I trusted" Garith said softly.
"The only one I trust" he added, speaking each word slowly and deliberately.
The emotion in his eyes swayed her to forgiveness, but the wall had been raised and he was on the wrong side of it. Sandra stole another glance of a Garith she never thought she would see; weak from need, vulnerable to her actions. When she turned to walk away, Garith impeded her progress with a firm grip on her shoulder. She turned quickly, swinging, landing her palm on his rugged cheek in a gesture loud of both sound and emotion.
"Please" he insisted, shrugging off the blow. Sandra pulled away again, succeeding only in throwing herself off balance for a moment. Garith loosened his grip; there would be no point to forcing her to stay here right now. She has changed so much since their days of cooperation; forcing her to stay now would only infuriate her. Eventually, he thought, she will come to understand he is sincere.
Pulling away again, even more firmly than the last time, she broke free of his relaxed grip and once again lost her balance. It would have been a rough fall for her but Garith, for being a large man, could move with an uncanny swiftness; he stepped forward and cradled her back in his arms before she made it half way to the ground. She regained her balance and then turned and walked toward her car.
Of course, there was no way he could let her go on her own right now. Many important things depended on her safety, for one thing. That was what Garith's career mind was saying. More importantly, he loved her. Thoughts of drinking cocktails on a large oceanside deck on a secluded piece of land with Sandra at his side almost persuaded a smile from him, but there were more worrisome things to think about. She had to be protected.