Returning new Hope
By Yuki Wildstar
10 months later…..
Nova Wildstar sat in her office at Forrest Building International Inc. She returned back to her father company months after her assault. She was buried deep into her work. The next project came into her hands as soon as she sat down in her office. It was a 25 story condominium that would house over 100 families. It was a grand building that would have full consigners service, a huge gym and a roof top pool for all to use and two Penthouses that sat on each end of the buildings with their own spectacular view. Each apartment would be 1500 square foot and for those that could afford it can buy two to convert to one. She could picture the whole building in mind. It would be a grand site to see. Her only problem would be, where? There were 100 of sites that were submitted to her in hopes that they would be the ones to have the building built there. The submission reached as far as the states. Since her father’s company was worldwide she dealt with many countries. She studied the sites thinking of further possibilities to the buildings. It wasn’t a major building like her previous one but it would be just as grand. After returning back to Great Island with her husband he tried to get her back to EDF, but kindly declined. She didn’t want to be the brunt of gossip about their past not to mention EDF sending her out on another mission leaving her family behind. Anyway it suited her husband more than her. Not that he was being ship anywhere anytime soon. After his last mission he was grounded until further notice, something that he didn’t mind now that he was back with her. He enjoyed being home with her and the kids. Her days were always the same. Work than leave for home early to be there for her kids. She would make late night calls to other countries for prices and stats on areas. Derek would sit in the office with her after the kids were asleep and watched as she made deals that would make anyone stand on their seat. He admired her that she chose another path and was proud at all she did. She wished now that he was there to give her a massage after dealing with contractor that wanted to hold out for more money. It was a tough choice but she back away and decide to go with someone that her accountant suggested.
“Yes Mrs. Wildstar?”
“Nathan, what’s my next appointment like?”
“You have a 3 p.m. meeting with the designers for the penthouse suits.”
“Is that all?”
“Can you cancel it and reschedule for another time? I really need to get out of here before I snap.” She grinned.
“Of course, would you like me to call the captain and set up lunch?”
“Mm that would be great. See if he can make it.” She smiled and sat back. Now I have to make the call. She thought. She picked up her phone and dialed her father’s number. It was a direct line to him and she heard it ring twice before he answered. “Hello daddy.”
“Nova, sweetheart, how are those sites coming?”
She huffed and tried to smile into the phone. “Too many to choose from, though there are one or two that look promising. I just wanted to let you know that I’m taking off early. I’ll deal with those sites tonight. I want to see Derek. It’s like we haven’t seen each other in weeks, looks like he is always heading to one meeting or another with the council. I’ll see you tomorrow to go over the best possible site for the building. I love you daddy. Say hello to mother.”
“Love you too sweetheart, my best to the captain.” He told her. After she remarried Derek her father still maintained a cordial relationship with him for his daughter’s sake. Though he like Derek and respected him he was always weary of him breaking his daughter’s heart. “Give my love to the kids.”
“I will,” she said and then hung up. She looked on her desk one more time and began to pick up all the papers to put into her briefcase. Her assistant walked in and smiled. “Can he?” she asked shortly.
“He will meet you at the usual place. His aid will make the reservation.”
She smiled wide and thanked him. She finished putting all the plans into her briefcase and head out the door. She drove towards the hotel and spoke into the phone telling the babysitter that she and the captain will be home late. She turned on the radio and hummed along as she made her way there. Pulling up to the hotel she jumped out and handed the keys over to the valet. She checked her image in the door window and walked into the building. She walked straight to the front desk and said. “Captain Wildstar room please.” The girl at the desk smiled to see her again and gave her the room number. Nova made her way to the elevators and punched the floor number. She knocked on the door and waited for him to answer. Slowly the door opened and he stood there with a smile on his face. “I thought you never get here.” She walked in and he hugged her tight. “Gosh I missed you. Come here.” He said as he led her to the bed. They undress each other quickly and made love through the afternoon.
“I’m starve!” Nova announced as she stretched.
“I’ll order something for us.” He picked up the phone and dial for room services.
Nova stretched out on the coach and picked up a magazine. Fumbling through the pages she waited until he finished. “They’ll have it up in 30 minutes. You think you can hold out till then?” he said then sat down next to her. “So how was work? Did you make a big deal today?” he liked teasing her about her job.
“As a matter of fact I have one. But I can’t decide on one thing.”
“Oh? And that would be?”
“A place to put the new building,” she said.
“What are your choices?”
She sat there silent and thought about what he asked. “You’re not going to like any of them.”
“Why is that?”
“Because, none of them are on Great Island.” She said softly.
He looked at her with concern, “which means you’ll be traveling a lot if not be gone for long periods of time.” His heart sank.
“That is a big possibility.”
He stood up and snapped. “Don’t give me that bull shit Nov, it will happen. What about us? What about the kids? I don’t think now is a good time for you to take off on us. We are just starting to get back to what we had. I won’t allow it!”
Nova looked up at him, her eyes turning into slits. “I don’t need your permission. I am not a child Derek. It’s my job. Just like all the times you left earth it’s no different.”
The bell boy knocked on the door and Nova raced to get it. She opened the door and he rushed their food in. Derek stood aside as he quickly set up their food and raced out the door. The young bellhop could sense the tension in the room and didn’t bother to see about a tip. Nova looked at the food and tried to change the subject. “It looks good. Let’s eat.” She said.
“I’m not hungry,” he said and walked out of the room into the bathroom. He emerged 10 minutes later dressed.
Nova sat at the table staring at him. “Are you going?”
“Yes. I’ll see you at the house.”
“Wait! Now you’re acting like a child. This is something we need to talk about. I don’t want to argue with you. I haven’t decided on anything yet.”
“It doesn’t matter Nova, where ever you decide it will take you away from us.” He said and walked out the door.
Fuming as to him leaving her at the hotel, Nova walked into the house and went straight to her room. She swung the door to see it empty. She walked to the kitchen to find the sitter sitting at the table drinking a soft drink. “Did Mr. Wildstar come home?” she asked her.
“No ma’am. He hasn’t come home yet.” Nova huffed then told her that she could go home. She waited till way past midnight but he never came home. Morning was chaotic. She was on the phone with her job from the time she got up until her boys went off to school. She dressed her daughter quickly and headed to the city to drop her off to daycare and then off to the office. Her day started with files piled up on her desk to look over for new sites. By midday she narrowed it all down to two sites. She grabbed the two site files and walked down to her father’s office. Gently she knocked on his door and poked her head in.
“Are you free?”
He smiled at his daughter and waved her in. “I’m always free for you. I take it that you found a site?”
She smiled wide and handed him the two files, “Down to these two.”
James Forrester looked over the files and looked at the financing. He studied it closer and then looked up. “Good choice of places. I’m leaning to this one. It’s a better investment for the company. I’ll have our accounting department work on the numbers. Well I guess you’ll be traveling a lot in the next year. Are you ready for it?”
Nova looked away and out the window. “I don’t know if Derek is ready for this, Daddy. He wanted more time with me at home. And I don’t know if I can be away from the kids long.”
“I understand. Well you need to go home and discuss it with the captain. Let me know by the end of the week if you can handle the job.”
She hugged her father and went to her office. Opening her door she stood surprised as Derek sat in one of her chairs across from her desk with a dozen roses in his hand. She frowned at him and walked over to her desk and sat down. “What do you want?” she asked with sarcasm.
“I’m sorry, Nova.” He tried to give her the flowers and she tossed them aside on the desk. “Nova, please let’s talk.”
“I’m busy right now. I have to work on this project. My father has picked a site.”
Derek sat back took a breath and asked. “So where are you going?”
She leaned back on her chair and crossed her legs. “Hawaii. Honolulu Hawaii. I have to decide whether I will be head of it or give it to someone else.”
“Hawaii, huh?” He rubbed his chin and thought. “Listen I know that you want to do it and you have never stopped me from going out to space. I think you should take it and do the best job you can do. I know it will be just as awesome as your last project.” He stood up and walked over to her. He pulled at the chair arms and lean down to kiss her. “I am really sorry baby.”
“Where did you stay last night?” she asked curious as to his whereabouts.
“I stayed at Sandor’s and you can call and ask him if you don’t believe me.”
“Why didn’t you come home?” she said disappointed.
“I’m not going to lie, baby, I was really pissed that you are leaving for a year on and off. I just got you back and you’re leaving me. I love you and want to make this work. So are we okay?”
She stared past him and huffed. “Derek, I need you to be supportive. There will be times when I have to go at the last minute. There will probably be times when I will have to negotiate with the construction crew until late into the night. Will you be able to deal with it?”
“How late?” he asked.
“Get out.” She snapped then turned to some papers on her desk.
“Wait a minute, I’m kidding. I’m kidding.” He laughed. “Of course I will stand by you. I promise I’ll step up and take over with the kids. I love you, gorgeous.” Nova smirked and he knew he had her. “Do I see a smile coming on?” he winked and then gave her a big smile. “Can I have a kiss?” Nova giggled and leaned up to him and gave him a quick kiss. “Oh I think you can do better than that.” He bent down and pressed his lips on her kissing her longer. When he pulled away she still had her eyes closed. “Well am I forgiven?”
He smiled wide and said. “Why don’t you get your assistant to cancel all your appointments for the rest of the day?”
“Derek, I have,” He kissed her once more and then walked over to her door and locked it. “What do you think you’re doing?” he grinned and walked back to her.
“What do you think? I really wouldn’t want anyone to walk in on us in an uncompromising position.”
“You really are a wicked man.” She gave him a giggle. “But seriously Derek, I really do have work to do.”
“You’re no fun, Ms. Forrester.” He looked at her with disappointment.
She grabbed his shirt and pulled him closer to her. “Tell you what, why don’t you let me finish these two phone calls and then I’m all yours. Deal?”
He grinned and took off his jacket. “I’m a patient man. Make your calls.”
Her life was consumed with work. She began preparations for her newest project. She was on the phone constantly with her father and contractors in Hawaii. There were days when he woke up and found her on the phone with someone. He would help the children get ready for school and brought her coffee into their office. He would sit with her and waited until she was done. “Looks like a long day for you.” he would tell her.
“It’s a piece of cake. Nothing I can’t handle.”
“Will you be home for dinner?” he asked.
Nova smiled at him and said, “I promise.” She took a sip of coffee from the cup and got up. “I will see you tonight.”
Wildstar walked into the office of Stephen Sandor and sat in front of him. “So, anything?”
“Yes, here it is.” He handed him an envelope and asked. “When is she leaving?”
“In 3 weeks. So I better get on the ball. Thanks Stephen, I really appreciate this.”
“If there’s anything you need call me.” They shook hands and Wildstar raced home to his family. He picked up his children and helped with their homework. Dinner was takeout from their favorite restaurant and he waited until she came home. It was almost 30 minutes and she wasn’t home yet, what was taking her? He called her office and heard her answer. He was angry to know that she was still at work.
“I thought you would be home for dinner?” he sarcastically said into the phone.
“We’ve been waiting 30 minutes. Are you even going to be home to put the kids to bed?”
Nova looked at her watched and gasped. “Oh my god I completely lost track of time. I’m so sorry, I’m leaving now. Just give me a few minutes to get there.”
“Never mind about dinner just be home for the kids,” he said into the phone and then hung up. He was angry and frustrated that she wasn’t there. He looked to the children and tried to give them all a smile. “Mommy’s going to be late and she wants us to have dinner. She’ll be home in time to tuck you all in. Come, let’s eat.” He told his children. They all sat and talked about their day. Wildstar tried to keep them from seeing his anger towards their mother. ‘I hope that it’s not going to be like this for the next year.’ He thought. They finished dinner and he sat with his children to watch a movie before getting them ready for bed. He kept looking at the clock on the wall wondering why it’s taking her long to get home. She walked through the door in time to tuck all her children into bed. Derek stood over her as she gave their daughter a kiss on the head and tuck her into bed. He walked back to their room quickly and Nova could see his anger. He walked straight to his closet without saying anything. He changed as did she and sat outside on the patio.
“Derek, I’m really sorry.”
“Look I know when you’re away from us you won’t be able to come home for dinner. But for the sake of the kids can you at least try to be home.”
“Derek, we talked about this. You knew that I would,”
“I’m not talking about me, I’m talking about our kids!” he raised his voice at her.
She took a deep breath and sighed. “You’re right. I am sorry. I promise that I would try to make it home on time for the kids. If I can’t I’ll call, so are we alright now?” she tried to give him a kiss and he pushed her away. “What’s wrong now?”
“It’s not only that. I wanted you home today because I had a surprise for all of us.” He whined.
He looked so much like their son with the pouty face. She touched his face and smiled. “I’m sorry I spoiled it for you.” she gave him a gentle kiss and said. “What’s the surprise?”
“No I don’t want to tell you now.”
“Derek, really are we two years old now.” She giggled.
“Fine!” he walked over to his dresser and tossed her the envelope. “Read it.”
Nova opened it up and began to read the contents of the envelope. She looked at him and then read again. “Am I reading this right?”
“Yes, I managed to get orders to Hawaii. It’s a two year tour I think that’s enough time for you to finish your building. Or do I need more time?”
“But we agreed on me traveling.”
“I know we did. But I was thinking.” A quick beat of pause. “Of all the times you would be away dealing with contractors and workmen. I thought it would be better if we all go that way you don’t have to worry about leaving the kids thousands of miles away.”
“But where would we stay?”
He grinned and gave her a hug. “Sandor offered us his place to use until we come back here to Great Island. I knew how much you loved it. And it’s isolated and we can have privacy.”
“Oh Derek, now I really feel like crap. You had this to surprise me with and I ruined it.”
“Well I know how you can make it up to me.” He raised his left eye brow and grinned.
Nova stood on the phone all the way to the Hawaiian island. Derek did his best to wrangle the kids on the flight there and now in the house they rented from Sandor the kids finally settle in to their everyday life. Wildstar would help in dropping the kids off to school and then head over to the Honolulu headquarters. Nova headed to office and then to the work site. Every day she made sure that she was home to be with her children. For weeks they settled into a normal regular life. Ten months after they moved Nova began to feel the stress of workers not showing up on time or not at all. She addressed the site manager and contractor that Monday. “Malua, please tell me that we are not shorthanded again?”
“I’m sorry Misses. But a lot of the workers seem to think that they need to be paid more than some others.”
Nova eyes narrowed and spoke with a flat tone. “They want more money?”
“I see, and the group of men that think they deserve more?”
He turned and waved. “All of them.”
Nova stood quiet for a long time then finally spoke, “Malua, their pay has nothing to do with me. Your boss is the one that has to address that. I gave your company a large sum for overhead with workers.”
“Well see that is where the confusion lies. Our company seems to think that your company should pay the raise of the crew.”
Nova shifted her eyes to the men that stood standing around. Her anger boiling to what the company thinks they can get away with something like this. She dealt with it back on Great Island and she wasn’t going to stand for it again. She pivot and stomped to her car. She drove back to her office and into her office slamming the door hard enough to startle the assistants in the office. Throwing herself on the chair she threw her head back and tried to think. “If they think that I’m going to cave to their demands they have another thing coming!” she said out loud. She buzzed her assistant and snapped into the phone. “Get me Jonathan Fienstein! Now!” seconds later he was on the phone. “Get down here now!” she fumed into the receiver.
Jonathan Fienstein stood before her in her office sweat dripping down his forehead. He was in his mid 40’s, lanky and tall. You could see the pulse on his forehead as he dab it with a handkerchief. Balding since his mid 20’s he finally began to shave it to avoid the falling hair. He had emerald eyes that he hid by bowing his head when meeting women. His reputation as a corporate lawyer was impeccable. Her father agreed with her adding him to the team would be a big plus. Looking at his boss made him sweat even more than usual. She was smart and beautiful and it made him nervous. “Yes Ma’am.”
She huffed and leaned forward. “I need to know every aspect of our contract with Bakula Construction.”
“Yes ma’am. Is there something wrong?”
“Yeah, first of all I asked you not to call me Ma’am and second their crews are asking for more money. I want this resolved quickly do I make myself clear? I will not have them put me behind schedule.”
“Yes Ma, I mean Ms. Forrester.”
Nova rolled her eyes and said. “Nova please, I want that by the end of the day.” She added and waved him to go. Quickly he walked out her office and began his work. Nova still felt the sting of anger and needed to release the frustration of her day. She picked up the phone and dialed his number. ‘Captain Wildstar’ she heard him say. “Hey are you free?”
“Not really, but for you I will make the time. What’s up?”
“Work, I need to vent.”
“Hmm, what kind of venting are we talking about?”
“Let’s start with talking then we can work our way to other things.” She giggled.
“Well, I can accommodate that. Sounds like a plan. Say 30 minutes the usual place and then go home?”
“Sounds great, see you in 30,”she smiled into the phone.
They sat across from one another as the waiter served their lunch. Nova order a platter of sushi while Derek ordered Yakisoba, fried Chinese style noodles mixed with pieces of meat, cabbage, carrots, or other vegetables, and garnished with red ginger. He watched her as she picked at her food and looked at her concern. “What’s up?”
She took a long sighed and looked across the restaurant. “I have problems.”
“Tell me about it.”
She gave him a frown and looked at him “Not those problems.”
“Sorry, what happened?”
“Looks like the construction company will be going for a strike. They want more money.”
“That’s not good. Didn’t your company already pay out the overhead?”
“Yes, but it never fails that some men want more than others. It’s the contractors who pay them and when they get pushed about money they tend to hit us for the money.”
Derek knew it would take more of her time, “How long do you think this will go on?”
“I don’t know it could take a few days to months. Which means?”
“Which means that you will be working later.” He finished her sentence.
She frowned again and said, “Derek, you knew that these things happened. All I can do is hope that this doesn’t drag out long. I want to finish this building on time.”
It would mean late nights of negotiations and he wasn’t sure if he was ready for it. “When will this all start?”
“Hard to say, they can keep asking but it looks like it will start right away. I’ve already see a lot of the men not show up to work and there are a few that have been calling in sick. I have my best lawyer on it now and hope that we resolve this right away. But Union bosses are always pushing the limits. They will take this to a strike.” She could see the frown on his face and reached over and touch his hand. “I warned you that this could happen. Will you be alright with it?”
“I promised you that I will stand by you no matter what. I’m just glad that we all moved here. Had we stayed over in Great Island we may never see you at all.”
“But are you going to be okay with me working late in negotiations?”
He forced a smile and said, “I will be okay with it. I’m with you one hundred percent.” But secretly he had no idea what was in store for him.
Within days the strike was called and men walked off the site. Only a few stayed that were not union members. Derek could see the stress in his wife face and he tried his best to help with the kids and house hold work. It was weeks later that she began coming home later and later from talks with the union leader. Each night she came home exhausted and bitter from the night of hitting a brick wall with them. On the nights he stayed up waiting he would rub her shoulders and try to get her to relax. The phone calls would come late into the night when she was home and early in the morning. He soon felt neglected when she didn’t come home at all on some days. He sat at his desk looking over some papers when she walked into his office. She was 5’ 4” tall with striking grey eyes that shined through her glasses and shoulder length brown hair. She stood before him at attention and waited for his return salute. “At ease Commander, please have a seat,” He jester to a chair across his desk. He picked up her file and began to look it over. “I see you served under Captain Mark Venture for a year.”
“Yes sir,” Commander Mariko Kapule said.
“Tell me,” a beat. “How was it working with Captain Venture.”
“He was an excellent officer to work with; he spoke highly of you and your wife.” She said. “He said that he learn a lot from you and the late Captain Avatar. He spoke especially highly of Captain Forrester. Say’s that everyone respected her as an officer. I hope to one day gain the same respect.”
Wildstar grinned, “She was one of the best officers I had. Shame she chose another route. I’m sure that you will achieve a lot of respect. Well Commander, welcome aboard. Just speak to my assistant and he will direct you to your office. If there is anything I can help you with don’t hesitate to call.” He stood up and stuck his hand out for her to shake.
“Thank you captain Wildstar, I’m glad to be here.” She gave him a small grin and pivot to the door. “By the way I believe we work together once before.”
Wildstar looked up, “oh, when was this?”
“Well we didn’t work together but I have met you on one of your missions. You were escorting the Ambassador’s daughter, Mei. I worked under Captain Eager on the Satsumatakusei.”
“Oh yes I do remember. Well I hope that you like working here. Dismiss Commander.”
She waved a quick salute and closed the door behind her. Wildstar went back to work and didn’t look up until it was time to go home.
Nova tip toed into the house and made her way to their room. The house was dark and she could see a low light come through the bottom of their door. Slowly she turned the knob and opened the door. Derek lay upright on their bed with a book on his chest fast asleep. She walked to him quietly and took the book from his hands and placed it on the night stand. She smiled at her sleeping husband and leaned in and gave him a kiss on the lips. His eyes slowly opened and she smiled. “Hello there sailor, sorry I’m late. Looked like they never wanted to wrap anything up.”
“I miss you tonight.” He smiled back then pulled her closer to him and gave her a warm lingering passionate kiss. Slowly he began to help her with her clothes and moved her to the center of the bed. “I waited all night for you.”
“Mmm, I couldn’t stop thinking of you too. I couldn’t wait to get the heck out of there. I thought they would never call it quits.”
“It’s been days since we made love.”
“I know, I’m sorry but it looks like it’s going to take longer than I thought.”
“Oh how much longer?”
“I don’t know.”
“But in the meantime while I have you here,” he smirked. She grinned back and let the moment consume them.
Weeks went by and Nova’s nights seem to never end. She sat across from the Union leaders and their lawyers while her lawyer’s argued back and forth over money. Her mind would slip away and thought about her husband sleeping in bed naked. She would grin at the thought but knew since that one night weeks ago they haven’t had that moment. She missed him so much. It seem now they barely saw each other. She was home late and left early to look over the structure of the building before heading to the office and then rushing to negotiations. Her only freedom was when she spent time with their children. She would take in everything that was happening in their lives.
Derek Wildstar called her office once again and spoke to her assistant. “Are you sure she can’t make it?”
“I’m sorry Captain, but looks like she will be there all day. If you want I can tell her that it’s an emergency.”
“No, no, I don’t want her to get upset and worry. I’ll catch her when she comes home. Thank you anyway.” He hung up the phone and took a deep breath. If only he could talk to her. He can tell her that he missed her so much. His aid buzzed in and announced that Commander Kapule was there to see him. “Let her in,” he said.
She poked her head in and smiled. “Are you busy?”
He waved her in, “no come in. What can I do for you?”
“Well I have these requisitions to go through but I’ve never done them before. And well you said if I needed help,”
He gave her a smile and motion for her to sit, “sure I think I can help you with that. Let’s give a look see.”
She gave him the papers and he looked them over.
They worked closely together every day since. They would work on files and departing ships records. She would accompany him to the docks and watch as he took command of the any situation. She looked on dreamy at him when he gave orders to the other officers. They’d have lunch at the office and sometime he would take her to his and Nova’s favorite restaurant and go over work. He enjoyed her company and he would tell her about his tales on ship to Iscandar. When he spoke of Nova she could see his eyes dance and then by the end of his sentence he looked sad. She wondered what could make him look so sad. “Tell me about her now?” she would ask.
He gave her a small smile, “you see that building that they are resurrecting,” she nodded. “She’s building that.”
“Wow, really. That is awesome. You must be proud.”
“Yeah she is an amazing woman. And yes I am proud of her very much.” He said and she saw his face cloud over with sadness.
“Is there something wrong?”
“No, let’s get back to the office.” He said quickly changing the subject and waving for the waiter to bring the check. She was curious as to why he didn’t talk about her now and her job. She could tell he wasn’t happy and very lonely. At home Wildstar helped his children with their homework and got them ready for bed. Each night he would hear them ask would their mother be home to tuck them in. And each night he would try his best to tell them she was working hard and would try to be there. When Nova was home she relished her time with her children. He would stand back and smile as she played dress up with their daughter and listen as their sons would tell her about their days in school. At night he would watch her walk to the den and take calls from her lawyers and contractors. He waited long for her to come to bed and he would rub her back. Slowly he would begin to kiss her neck and caress her shoulders. She would push him away midway and tell him she was tired and needed to get up early. After a few weeks he just stopped trying to make love to her. He would pull her to the side before she headed into the den and told her, “We need to talk baby.”
“About what,” she asked annoyed.
“About us. We haven’t been together in weeks and I miss you baby.” He would beg. “I need you.”
“Gosh Derek I’m sorry, seems like this strike is never going to end. Let me finish this phone call and we can talk.” She kissed him on the cheek and walked into the den. Derek waited in their room for an hour and realized she wasn’t coming to bed. Was she still on the phone? He made his way to the den and knock gently on the door. He waited a few before he opened the door. Nova lay on the couch fast asleep with a file on her lap, the cordless phone on the floor. So much for talking, he thought. He draped a blanket over her and kissed her on the forehead then went to bed. Morning was busy with sending the kids off to school. Nova walked into the kitchen bathed and dressed ready for work. Derek kept his distance and hurried the kids off to school. Nova poured some tea into a cup and took small sips. She watched as he sent them off to school and waited until he sat down. He sat across from her as she tried to avoid his stare. “I’m sorry about last night. I was just looking at a file and then the next thing I knew I woke up this morning. You have my full attention what was it that you wanted to talk about?”
He stared at her still angry, “forget it. It wasn’t important. I have to get to work.” He said and headed to the room to dress.
Nova stood in the door way watching him dress, “Are you sure you don’t want to talk?” she felt horrible that he needed her and she fell asleep.
“No Nova, I’m running late.” He finished dressing and hurry past her. “I hope that you’ll be home early to see the kids,” and closed the door behind him.
Wildstar buried his anger into his work. He ordered his assistant to keep everyone away and no calls what so ever. Mariko tried calling several times and decided to walked down to his office and see him. With luck his assistant wasn’t at his desk and she knock on his office door. No response and she knock again. ENTER! She heard him yell out. “Daniels! I said I didn’t want to be disturbed!” he said annoyed.
“I’m sorry Sir, Daniels wasn’t at his desk so I thought that I’d drop in.” she smiled.
Wildstar looked up and place his work down, “Sorry I thought,”
“It’s quite alright. Just want to drop in and say hello. I haven’t seen you all day. IS everything alright? Are you okay?”
He got up and walked over to her. “Yea, everything is fine just a long day.”
“Derek, its only 11 in the morning, the day just started. Now I know it couldn’t be work so what is it?” she asked.
Wildstar bowed his head and rub his chin, “it’s nothing Mariko, just a lot of stress at home. Nothing to concern yourself with,” He said. “So what is it I can do for you?”
“I just wanted to know what you wanted to do with the Sukamurra files, now that it’s on dry dock?” she said then handed the file for him to look at.
“I’ll take over from here. She’ll be in dry dock for a while. She needs to be refitted and upgraded. Thanks for bringing it here. Anything else I can help you with?” He was anxious to get her out of there. He didn’t want to explain his mood to her about his wife.
“No that’s it.” She said. She looked closer at him and saw how sad he looked. She was ready to ask but decided against it. “I’ll see you around, sir.” She felt sorry for him. Whatever was bothering him it was obvious that he didn’t want to let anyone prying into it. She saluted him and left him to his thoughts.
Wildstar sat behind his desk and tried to concentrate on his work. Each time he looked up to the clock it felt like no time had passed. By lunch he decided to head out to the mess hall and take some air on the way. Walking towards the hall the female officers turn to watch him walk by. Some stared in his direction to see how handsome he was. Others saluted in hopes that he would stop and talk with them. Wildstar walked into the officer’s mess hall and made his way to get something to eat. He looked on and thought there wasn’t much to choose from. He placed a sandwich and salad on his tray and grabbed a soft drink to go. He paid and made his way out.
“Captain Wildstar?” Wildstar turned to see Mariko standing behind him. “I thought it was you. I never see you here. Are you staying or just grabbing something to eat?”
He smiled and said, “I was just grabbing something to eat.”
She looked at his tray and notice what little he had. “You don’t eat much do you?”
“I’m not really hungry. But I have to eat so I just grabbed something lite. Do you eat here all the time?”
She made a funny face and said, “Unfortunately, yes. Sometimes they have something good to eat. I prefer to order in from one of the restaurants off base.”
“Yeah, me too.” A thought came to his head and he asked, “Are you eating alone, because I was just heading back to my office and getting back to work.”
She looked past him to the table of friends that sat waiting for her. “Yes I was.”
“Why don’t we dump this crap and go off base and grab something a whole lot better to eat?”
“Well sir, that sounds like a really good plan. I have a few things I wanted to go over with you anyways, where should we go?”
“Why don’t you choose?”
“Hmm, I think I have the right spot, should we take my car or yours?”
“We can take mine,” he smiled glad that there was someone to distract him from his wife. Lunch lasted over an hour. They talked about work and ships that were due to go back. She told him about her life growing up on the big island of Hawaii and her family. “So you’ve never left Hawaii?” he asked.
“Only for training and space. I don’t think I could ever leave here. I love this place, it’s where I was born and raised.” She spoke with reminiscing in her eyes.
He smiled, “I know what you mean. Great Island is my home. And once Nova is finished with this project I am hoping to get back there as soon as possible. I miss it.”
“Tell me about Great Island, the only time I was there was for training and I really never strayed far from the base.” She played with her straw and then sipped some soda, “it looks like a lovely place.”
He grinned and could remember his child hood and now his children growing up there, “It’s a beautiful place. Hawaii reminds me very much of my home land. I never want to leave there. We still have a house that sits over the mountains and on the beach. I bought it for her after we had DJ. And thank god that it had extra rooms, because then Miku came. She looks just like her mom but with dark brown hair. Nova says that she has my eyes. I think she is all her, so I better prepare for her when she starts to date.”
“I guess the next time I’m over there I should check out the sites.” She hoped that he would get the suggestion to see him more. “I’m sure it’s beautiful.”
“You should come when the cherry trees blossom in the spring. It’s the most beautiful site.” She could see the beam in his face. “Nova and I always pick some of the flowers from the trees and bring them in the house. We have a few trees on the property. It almost looks like winter when they all bloom at the same time.”
“I would love to see that” she suggested again. Their time continued on at the office and with work. She worked closely with him on a file that he was stumped with. The amount of work didn’t match up with the cost and since it was one of her ships he went over the budget. They work through the day until it was time for him to head home and be with his kids before Nova arrived from work. He raced home in time to see them finish their homework while their baby sister played on the floor with her dolls. He dismissed the nanny and began to put something together for the kids to eat. Since their last separation Derek learned to cook simple things for the kids. Pasta, fried chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, and how to open a can of vegetables. Tonight would be fried chicken for the kids and steak for himself and Nova. As the chicken fried he helped his two sons with their homework and then played with Miku as she helped him poured the vegetables into a bowl from the can. He looked up at the clock and realized that she was going to be late once again. Sitting at the table Alex asked about his mother. “She has to work late again. You know it’s not easy building things. It’s like homework, it just never ends. Now think about having it all day and the teacher is never happy with the outcome.” Alex gave him a nod and then thought about the fact of never ending homework, then made a face. Wildstar giggled with DJ and Miku at the face he had. “Alright guys, you get a few hours before bed. I’ll clean up here and then Alex hit the shower first.” He announced. He was putting Miku to bed when she walked through the door. She stood in the living area placing her things down when he came out. “You finally made it,” he said sarcastically.
She was exhausted from the day of fighting with union workers and she wasn’t in the mood for his sarcasm. She narrowed her eyes and her dark brown eyes turned black. “I do work Derek. You do know that don’t you?” she snapped. “I’ve had a long day and I am not in the mood for your shit.”
Wildstar mouth jarred opened to hear her snap at him like that. “Sorry, geeze Nov, your becoming a bitter old bag.”
She stared back at him with fire in her eyes. “You out of all people should be a little more sympathetic to what I am dealing with. It’s bad enough I’m dealing with men calling me names I don’t need to come home to it also. The last thing I need is someone calling me an old bag. GOSH! I’m so tired of men calling me names!”
“I’m sorry.” He said in a low voice. He hasn’t seen her this mad in while and when she got in the mood she let loose on everything that stood in her way. “Really Nova I am sorry, I didn’t think,”
“That’s the whole point you didn’t think like all other men.” She raged. She picked up her briefcase and stumped to the den, slamming the door hard behind her. Sitting down at the desk she shared with him she rolled her eyes and lean her head back on the leather chair. All day she had to endure insults from middle age prick and the last thing she needed was to be called an old bag by her own husband. She dealt with many name calling when she was on EDF but never to her face. At least they had the respect that she had rank and never said it to her face. His knock was soft and she looked up to see him peek in. “WHAT?” she retort.
Holding his hands up he said, “I’ve come in peace, I swear.” She watched him enter prepare for another fight. No way was she going to let him think that he can call her an old bag again. He took her by the arm and motioned her to sit on the couch that was there. “Sit down, take a load off and tell daddy what hurts.” He smiled wide for her. He told her to lean back and he took her foot in his hand and began to message it. “Now tell me who has been calling you names in school yard today.” She huffed and tried to relax, “You know sweetheart just because they call you names doesn’t mean you are them. Remember what daddy said to tell them. I’m rubber your glue,”
She started to laugh and cried in laughter, “SHUT UP. Really, I’m not 7 years old. Although I wished it worked that way.”
He kissed her ankle and asked, “What happened at work?”
“Well there was lot of yelling and a bunch of middle age dick heads calling me C U next Tuesday word. I can deal with bitch and many other names, but that one gets me raved up! If they choose to call their wives that, fine. But I’ll be damn if they call me that. How would they like if someone called their mother that word!? Self-righteous asshole’s!” she went on for 20 minutes and he sat with her listening to her vent. “It’s always the same, they want more money. My father’s company is the only one in the world that pays more than top wages and they want more! What thieving pricks!”
“I’m sorry I snapped at you and I’m sorry that you had a bad day. When do you think this will end?”
“Who knows with this bunch of dick heads.” She said making him laugh. It wasn’t often that he heard her use that language and it turn him on. “Derek, I’m sorry. It’s just that this is so intense with the opening so close and the building is not ready. There is so much to do and it seems like everything is at a standstill. I’m afraid that it may be the beginning of a long haul.”
“Well, since there is a long haul in front of us maybe you should take a day off.”
“I don’t know Derek, with negotiation still going on they may think of me weak.”
“Nov, we haven’t made love in weeks and I miss you so much. What is one day without you there going to do? You need to relax and get some stress out.” His voice became huskier and he moved closer to her. “I know a sure way to release that stress,” Making her grin. “com’n whadda you say. One night and a day, I’m not asking for much.”
“Fine, you get your night and day.” She ran her hand down his clean shaved face and pulled him closer to her. Gently she kissed him and he began to undress her. He wasn’t going to take the chance of her falling asleep again. “I love you Derek,” she whispered in his ear.
“I love you too baby.”
Derek Wildstar reached across the bed to find his wife already up. He sat up and ran his hands through his hair and smiled. It was a magical night; they made love for hours and drifted off to sleep as the moon drifted down for the sun to makes its way up for a new day. He slipped out of bed and dressed. Scratching his head he made his way into the kitchen and found the sitter finishing the morning dishes. Their son’s off to school while Miku sat at the table waiting to be taken to her day care. “Daddy!” she screamed and ran into his arms.
“Good morning sweet heart how are you doing this beautiful morning.”
“Are you staying home daddy?”
“Well maybe mommy and I are both staying home.” He smiled at his little girl, so bright and pretty with her flowing dark brown hair and big brown eyes.
“Mommy went bye bye.” She said playing with his shirt.
“What?” he felt his anger rise. He turned to the sitter and asked, “Where is Mrs. Wildstar?”
“She left early this morning for the office. She got a call and race out of here.” Melissa the sitter said. She was in her mid twenty with short curly red hair. Her green eyes were like bright green emeralds next to her pale soft skin. “She said she didn’t want to wake you and said she would call you later.”
Derek stood there holding his daughter dumbfound, his anger hitting its peak. Melissa tried to take Miku and get her ready for school. “It’s alright Melissa, I can get her ready and bring her to school. You just finish up here. I’m going to head in to work after I drop her off. I’ll see you tonight.”
“Will you be home on time sir?”
“Yes, come on Miku let’s get you ready.”
Wildstar drove to work fuming that she broke her promise to him. He was looking forward to walking on the beach and talking. He walked into his office and tried to bury his anger into his work. His aid buzzed him and told him his wife was on the line, “Tell her I’m busy, I’ll try to call her later,” and slammed the phone down. Mariko knocked on the door and walked in. Wildstar looked up annoyed that his aid let her in then realized that he sent him to get something from the file room for him. “What can I do for you?”
“Sorry for barging in. But you’re aid wasn’t at his desk.”
“Sent him to the file room. What’s going on?” he tried to give her a smile.
She tossed a file on his desk and said. “We have a problem.”
Frowning he looked over the file and said, “and what is the problem?”
“There was a major fire on the Antares. It took out the electrical system.”
He studied the files more and realized this would set them back for weeks. “I see, have they found out who was responsible?”
“It wasn’t a who. It was more of one of those things. They are working on fixing the problem as we speak. Unfortunately we will be set back a week or two.”
He rolled his eyes and felt the day was going to end with a bad taste in his mouth. He got up and grabbed his cover, “alright let’s go take a look see as to what happen.”
“Are you serious?”
He looked at her with an angry frown. “Commander Kapule, just because we sit in an air condition building doesn’t mean we can’t go over and see things in person. One step to being a good officer you have to show your men and women that you care enough to see them at work. Make sure that everyone is working and to show them that you are concern about them and their work. Your subordinates will respect you. And it doesn’t hurt if you get into the trenches with them.” She soaked in what he said and when showing up to the docks she found that all the men were happy to see them there. She watched as he talked to all his crew and listen intensely to what they said. He took off his jacket and cover and helped some of the men with removing burnt panels from the ships haul. Her eyes focused to his chest and found he was in excellent shape. She couldn’t keep her eyes off of him as he worked with them. As they walked back to his car she felt herself blush. “Of course I wouldn’t expect you to do manual labor like that but you get my meaning.” She nodded her head and got into the car. Back in his office he excused himself and entered his private bath to change his clothes. Mariko causally walked to the window and glance as he changed to another uniform. She couldn’t stop from staring long after he walked out. “Commander are you alright?”
“Huh, um yes sir. Just lost in thought. What was it that you were saying?” She turned her stare to a picture of his kids on the desk.
“I was saying that when you show your crew that you can get dirty like them they will work just as fast and harder. We may be behind but not for long.” He looked at his watch and realized it was almost time to leave. “If there isn’t anything else I have to get going. I have to be home for the kids.”
“How about your wife?”
His face frown and shook his head. “I don’t think she will be home on time.”
“I’ve read about the trouble with the Unions. I hope it works out for her.”
“Yeah me too.” He could feel the loneness come and he dreaded going home to be alone. The kids would keep him busy for a while but once they go to bed it was just him. He told her good bye and went home. After letting the sitter go he played with his kids and then put them to bed. He worked in their den for a few hours then head off to bed.
Nova pulled up to their house and looked at her watch; it was 2:30 in the morning. She was still fuming over being taken away from her day with Derek. She quietly tiptoed into the house and into their room. She glanced over to the bed and saw his body sleeping. Relief swept over her that she didn’t have to face him about leaving him in the morning. She undressed and slipped into the bed with him. “What time is it?” she heard him say.
“You’re still up?”
“No, I was awakened by someone trying to sneak into the bed.” He said as he sat up in bed and turned on the light. “What happened?”
“I’m sorry I swear I was going to stay and spend the day with you. But they called early and said that they were ready to settle.”
“And did they?” he asked with annoyance.
“No, they backed out.”
“I see, good night Nova.”
“Derek, are you mad at me?”
Turning his back to her, “what do you think?”
“That you’re mad at me but why?” she reach to touch his shoulder and he shrugged her off.
“You have no idea how it’s been here for me do you? Every night I go to bed alone. No one to touch or reach over and hold. I don’t get to talk with you, you’re so busy on the god damn phone that is about the only time I hear your voice.”
“Derek, I told you from the beginning that these things happened. It’s unfortunate for my company to go through this so long.”
“Unfortunate for your company! What about me and the kids!” he snapped and jumped out of bed. “We are in this too! The kids need you just not me.”
“Are you Telling me to quit.”
“I’m telling you that you need to decide what you want.” He yelled.
“LOWER your voice!” she said through grit teeth. “Are you telling to decide between my job and my family?”
“You damn right I am.”
Her thoughts turned to anger but she knew that it was best to stay calm. It was too late into the night to argue with him and she was exhausted from the day. “I see, well I guess quitting is what I’ll do. You and the kids are the only thing that matter to me.” She sighed. “I can’t fight with you now. It’s late and I am exhausted. I’ll call my father in the morning and have him send in a replacement. It will take a few days to get them an update then after that I’m all yours and the kids. I’ll play the simple little wife you want. I’ll be the mother to your children.” She said sarcastically. “We can finish this in the morning. I’m beat.”
“I want to finish this now, in the morning you’ll sneak out of here like a thief. I want to settle this now,” his anger growing.
“I said in the morning! I need to get some rest, if we talk now we are going to say things to each other that we don’t mean. So please go to bed and we’ll talk in the morning.” She rolled over and pulled the blanket to her shoulders and tried to go to sleep.
Infuriated Derek pulled the covers from her and bitterly said, “we are going to talk about this NoW!”
Nova sat up in bed and tried to remain calm. “Derek, I’m going to forget what you just did. It’s 3 in morning I’m exhausted and you’re upset. I said we can talk in the morning,” she got up from the bed and grabbed her pillow and began to walk out.
“Where do you think you’re going!”
“To sleep in the guest room. Please do not follow me.” She said with a firm voice. “Good night!” and slammed the door behind her.
By morning Derek barely slept. He got up to meet the sitter and help her with the kids. Nova walked into the kitchen and the kids ran to her. She hugged them one by and one and felt guilty that she worked such long hours. Derek barely glanced her way and continued with his morning ritual. The sitter felt the tension between the two and hurried the children to school leaving them to stare at each other. He finished his coffee and headed into the room to dress, Nova follow behind him. “You wanted to talk.” She announced.
“I can’t now, I have to head to work.” He said over his shoulder.
“Oh, so it’s alright to talk in the middle of the night but now it’s not feasible. I didn’t go into work so we can talk and now you want to leave.”
“Not now Nova, I said what I had to say last night.”
“No you didn’t! Last night you were in full swing. Let’s talk now or not at all. I have to get things done in order to please you and leave my job. So please at least give me the courtesy of giving me your time.” She chastised him. Derek stopped dressing and sat down on the bed to listen. “I Heard you loud and clear last night. You want me home. So I called my father early this morning and informed him that I will be stepping down. He is looking for a replacement as we speak. It shouldn’t be long before I am home.” He watched as tears formed in her eyes, defeat written all over her face. If anything he always encouraged her to finish what she started. Now he asked, no, demanded that she leave a job that she was proud of. Guilt wash all over him and he felt like crap. She turned and went to dress leaving him to his thoughts. He was asking a lot from her. Leaving her job and not finishing her project. So many times she stood by him when he went to space. Even when she asked him to quit and he was willing she turned around and told him no. EDF and the Argo was a part of him and she wouldn’t change it for anything. He walked towards her and placed his hand on her shoulder.
“Nova, I’m sorry. I over reacted. I shouldn’t stop you from your dream. I was a real ass last night.” He turned her slowly to him and saw that she was crying. God he hated to make her cry. He wrapped his arms around her and held her tight. “Please don’t cry. When you cry I don’t know what to do. Shh, I’m so sorry. You don’t have to quit. I don’t want you to quit I just wanted you to come home and spend time with us.”
“Don’t you think I’ve been trying to come home early? Every day I bend over backwards to be here. But I have hundreds of families depending on me and this building being put up. I wasn’t expecting for this long of a strike. The worst part is my children are growing up and I am missing everything with them. I have to quit.”
“No Nova, if you quit you’ll hate me and yourself for not finishing.”
“Are you sure?”
“No I’m not sure but if it makes you happy.”
She pulled him closer and squeezed him tight. “I’ll try to be home at more of a decent hour.”
He forced a smile and kissed her knowing that things will not change until the building was finished.
To Be Continue . . . . . .
Will their marriage survived the ongoing strike. Will Derek stay strong in his marriage? His loneliness grows weary and temptation is lingering in the shadows. Read on to see what happens next.