Daos IV ~ Ch9: Dilemmas, Choices...Morals

Previously ~ Gotta Deal at Some Point

Antonello Gomez
"He's a young man, Bibiana."

"I know, Antonello."

"With his whole life and career ahead of him."

"I'm well aware of that, thank you."

"Come, come now," Carmen cut in, banging her spoon against her wine glass.  "It's not like Bibiana and I are dried up old prunes, and it's not like they're carrying on some tawdry affair.  Daos likes her - that's all."

"If people outside the department begin to talk, it could reflect poorly upon your judgment, Bibiana," the Mayor warned.  "We may even have to install a new Chief before then."

Carmen's mouth fell open as Bibiana's heart stopped.  The newspaper editor had to gather her wits before she could speak.  "Fire...Bibiana?"

It was as though she had to hear the words aloud, and she wasn't alone.

"Antonello," Bibiana began slowly, trying not to let her voice shake.  "You would terminate me over Daos?"

"Daos runs a clean city," Gomez replied, brutally honest.  Clearly he'd sobered up.  "The town needs him and before you get upset, remember that it was you who brought him and insisted he was valuable.  Well, you were right.  He's a smart, powerful young man with his whole life and career ahead of him, and I can't let you jeopardize that."

***



***

Bibiana SolĂ­s
Carmen Arellano shifted her chair away from Gomez's so could she stare at him appalled. "Well, there's something to be said for loyalty. This is Bibiana. We grew up together. She earned her place as Chief of Police, Antonello!"

Gomez remained unmoved.  He responded to Carmen with his eyes glued to Bibiana.  "Politics was never your strongest suit, Carmen; that's why I'm Mayor while you're stuck running a newspaper no one was even reading until Daos came along."

Bibiana inwardly winced for Carmen, whose eyes were shooting daggers as she slowly began to hiss, "Pendejo --"

"Don't," Bibiana stopped her.  "This is Antonello, Carmen.  We grew up together, remember?  We knew who he was when he was hobnobbing with the rich kids, getting in good with their parents, volunteering for all those community service projects.  He's a politician, always has been, always will be.  His kind only care about two things: election, and re-election."

Carmen Arellano
But Gomez was no pushover.  "And here I thought we all wanted what was best for the town, mis amigas.  Creating jobs, making a good impression...maintaining order," he added pointedly, looking at Bibiana.  "Yet leave it to the women to embarrass themselves over the attentions of men."

Carmen visibly bristled.  Bibiana raised an eyebrow.  Guess that crush is finally over.  To think it only took thirty plus years.

Antonello suddenly rose to his feet, tossing several bills down onto the table.  "The choice is yours, hermana.  You either shut this thing down with Daos, or you let it keep going, and lose your job."

***

Four days later

Dani Reyes
Dani Reyes liked her new job; she really did.  Hyun-jun's office was the classiest place she'd ever worked.  She loved the smell of the expensive wooden desks in the morning, and the way the super-plush carpet melted beneath her feet as she padded to her sleek glass desk every morning.  She had a giant flat-screen monitor with lightning speed internet.  Few people actually called Hyun-jun's office and when they did, they never took the wrong tone with her.

It was the kind of cushy gig people dreamed about; she made sure to arrive early before anyone else so she could enjoy her gourmet coffee in peace (she could afford that sort of thing now; her expense account allowed it).

But in the couple of days she'd come to work for him, she could tell something was seriously bothering him.  It was the way he'd brood for hours in his office, staring into space as though he trying to solve some complex problem.  He looked deeply perplexed, vulnerable.

It was amazing to see the great and powerful businessman like this.  He was almost like a nervous kid wondering how to explain why he wrecked his parents' car.

Typically, he left the office before her, but tonight he lingered, staring out his window as the moon rose over Soleado Valle.

"Mr. Im?" she asked tentatively.

Hyun-jun Im
"I've told you to call me Hyun-jun," he corrected her softly, still looking out the window.  "When we're alone anyway."

"Something on your mind?" she probed, undeterred.

He turned to her finally, flashing a weak smile.  "Just remembered you used to be some sort of counselor.  I'm okay; this is nothing you can help me with."

He turned back towards the window, and Dani suddenly realized just how beautiful Hyun-jun was.  There was something ethereal about that face, that skin, those eyes, something ghostly and mysterious.  There was such pain in his eyes, as though something was eating him from the inside.

Without thinking, Dani rounded his desk, coming to stand in front him.  Confused, he looked up at her, but before he could ask what she was doing, she leaned in and kissed him.

She pulled back, checking to see if it took.

"Miss Reyes --"

She took that as a sign to kiss him again; if he was addressing her formally it couldn't be good.  She kept her touch soft and sweet, pulling back to check his reaction after several seconds.

He was speechless, which she figured was a good sign.  Tenderly, she bent over once more for a deeper, longer, slower kiss, until he was pliant and obedient.  Didn't take long for them to fall into each other's arms.

Next ~ No Fury

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