She stopped, her hand frozen on the door of her shuttle. The adjutant, the black haired one from the spaceport terminal, ran toward her, a yellow ribbon fluttering from his hand.
“You dropped this, Miss Atkiss.” He was taller than she remembered, taller than her though she stood on a step.
“It was meant for Lieutenant Drayfus, Adjutant.” A farewell gift that he hadn’t bother to keep.
A considering look darkened the Adjutant’s grey eyes. “He’s gone for another two years, isn’t he?”
“Why should it matter to me?”
He smiled and lifted the ribbon. “Plutons don’t understand the power of yellow like we Astrans. Please, call me Ricu.”
“You’re Astran? Ricu?”
His smile grew. “Why else would I run after you with a dropped yellow ribbon?” He took her hand and placed the ribbon in it. “Save it for me, will you, Miss Atkiss?
Her lips twitched. “Call me Mara.”
He kept her hand and pulled her off the step. “You won’t need to anytime soon, Mara.”