The Starview was the most expensive restaurant and lounge on the Rock, no doubt the most expensive Eversyn had ever been in, as his humble upbringing on Garitus Minor Three had seldom provided more than access to the occasional tavern. Even after leaving GarThree as an excited recruit, and his continual rise through the Connie ranks with its concomitant visits to a multitude of planetary systems, he'd not often had the time—or the credits—to visit such places.
But his host certainly had the credits. Sometimes it seemed like half of this damned putrid Rock belonged to Rudof Dyll…or at least, to the Dyll family. And the Dylls didn't mind shelling out some of their vast amounts of credits—more than he could imagine, Eversyn suspected—to keep Rudof in luxurious, extravagant, elegant, ostentatious, sumptuous …imprisonment here on Omega Station.
Captain Eversyn straightened in his lushly cushioned chair, glad that he'd been wearing a clean uniform. He'd have felt even more wildly out of place if he'd had to attend in his usual rumpled drab grey coverup.
He was almost sure he'd lost control of the situation, and it was important that he regain it. After all, he was in charge of Omega Station, since he was the local commander of the Consolidated Guard. And this man lounging before him was completely under his command.
Then why was Eversyn so nervous?
He twisted uncomfortably in his seat. "Uh, this is certainly a very pleasant place, Master—"
"Oh, please, no ceremony. Do call me Rudof. Everyone does." Dyll smiled, his thin lips stretching but not opening. With their suspiciously sumptuous red color, the smile gave the appearance of a dagger slash across his pale, narrow face.
Rudof Dyll was dressed in tight yellow breeches tucked into soft, low boots, a frilled, full sleeved shirt of a darker yellow, almost gold, and a vest heavy with embroidery and sparkling with jewels. The yellow-gold tones set off his hair, a deep coppery red, which was scraped back from his long face and imprisoned in a gold clasp, also sprinkled with jewels. His eyes, set behind long, long lashes with tiny jewels on the tips, were a bright green. Rings on his fingers; rings in his ears; one in his right nostril.
Eversyn, without realizing it, sniffed in disapproval. "Very well, then…Rudof. This is a pleasant place to, uh, relax. But I'm at a bit of a loss. Why did you ask me to dine with you? We Connies are seldom asked to social events—especially when we've just searched the place, looking for a known fugitive."
Rudof Dyll's companion said, "Throob," in a deep, reverberating growl that shook the glasses on the table.
"Indeed, I couldn't have put it better myself, dear old thing." Rudof nodded at the Vamir, who sat on his left side and Eversyn's right at the table for four. "In case you don't understand Vamiri, Captain, Algensio just pointed out that I asked you to dine with us for no other reason than the pleasure of your company."