Chesku walked determinedly across the entrance hall, his footsteps sounding loudly on the expanse of polished wooden flooring. He loved this old-fashioned style of understated wealth and elegance: it gave such a sense of timelessness. Sula hated it, of course: she would have preferred the latest in modern practicality, totally functional and soulless. Sometimes he wondered if she really did detest their house as much as she claimed, or if she merely chose to disagree with him on principle.
He followed the floating, melodic sound of the piano towards the music room, relieved to have found his wife at home. Given her professed dislike of his taste in furnishings, he found it impossible to comprehend her obsession with such a ridiculously antiquated (and expensive) instrument. If she must devote so much time to music, there were far more reasonable options.
Beautiful as a work of art, the piano was hardly practical. Yet despite his rapid disillusionment with her, he tended to acquiesce to most of Sula's material demands - it made her a marginally more bearable companion to live with.
Reaching out towards the door control, he hesitated, certain that his interruption would only worsen his reception. Still, the news that he carried would have a great deal of effect on both of their lives, so she would have to accept his intrusion. The door, covered in fake wooden panelling, slid back with a faint hum as he depressed the button, revealing the slight figure of his wife, seated at the piano in a light, spacious and otherwise empty room.
She did not look up as the door drew back, nor did she cease playing. Chesku waited a few moments, then sighed as he realised that she would ignore him unless he forced her to acknowledge him. He kept a strong grasp on his earlier enthusiasm, resolutely refusing to let her dampen his mood.
"I have some important news for you, Sula."
There was no reply, but at least she had stopped that irritating music.
"President Servalan has confirmed that I am to have a position on her High Council."
She turned to look at him now, the bitterness triggered by his joy reflected in her whole bearing. "If Servalan wants you as a High Councillor, it proves only that you are too weak ever to oppose her. Madam President has a habit of surrounding herself with gutless sycophants."
The open hatred in her tone startled him, even though he had expected an unenthusiastic response. "But Sula, don't you see what this will mean to us, in terms of..."
"It means that you will be truly thrilled sitting in meetings with a lot of other boring old men, agreeing the merits of Servalan's policies, and that I will have more time without you. Now, since you have delivered your message, perhaps you will leave me in peace."
He stared at her for a few more seconds, biting back his retort. He had no intention of getting into another argument with this derisive vixen that he had so mistakenly married. He turned on his heel and left.
Continued in Star Two
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