A Free Online Science Fiction Novel- “Liberty”- Chapter 14
*Note-a short prologue on chapter one provides details of the world in which this story takes place. Each chapter links to the next to make reading easier.
This is chapter fourteen of a novel I am sharing online, Liberty, A Daughter Universe Novel.
Comments and criticisms are welcome and encouraged.
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Lucas had taken her hand, given her a kiss on the cheek then walked her inside. “I’m so glad you came,” he had told her with a warm, pleasing smile. “Let me show you the view, while the coffee beans are being ground. It’s my own blend,” he’d told her with a smile.
“Lucas, I had no idea you have a home like this. It’s beautiful.”
“Thank you,” he’d replied, a bit of pride in his voice. “I like it.”
He walked her to the glass wall on the far side of the expansive room. There was an enclosed balcony beyond it and the view was everything he’d promised. The view was over city lights that disappeared into the distant fog over the ocean, and for that alone, she was glad she had accepted his invitation. She’d never seen such a stunning view of the city. She knew then that Lucas either made far more money from his novels than one might expect, or, judging by her surroundings, it was more likely that he was independently wealthy.
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Lucas had shown her a world, a lifestyle she’d never expected to experience. Dinners at fine restaurants, a mention of his home in an exclusive downtown tower, the top-of-the-line Lincoln that drove him… All things that implied wealth, but nothing truly out of the ordinary for a host of celebrities and business-owners.
But the penthouse in an exclusive downtown tower put him in a whole new league of wealth, one she had never imagined she would experience. Yet, here she was, still finding it hard to believe.
“Coffee is ready,” he announced and caried two china cups to a cozy seating area that faced the glass wall. “We can sit here. I never tire of the view.”
“Neither could I,” she had replied then took a seat on the small settee beside him.” And the coffee smells wonderful.” She then took a sip. “And tastes as good as it smells.”
“Thank you,” he had replied. “As I said, it’s my own blend.”
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“Sarah, there’s something we need to talk about,” Lucas had said as they sat on the balcony of his penthouse, gazing over the ocean.
“Oh? And what is that?”
“My real name.”
“So, it isn’t ‘Lucas’, either?”
“No, Lucas is my name. I meant, my last name.”
“I knew you’d tell me when you were ready.”
“I would’ve told you sooner. It’s just that I’ve had bad experiences in the past when people knew who I really am. And I assumed you might recognize me from celebrity Ezines.”
“I never read those things, it’s a waste of time as far as I’m concerned. Is it some big secret, or something?”
“No, it isn’t a secret.” He’d replied. “I do try not to make it public knowledge any more than necessary.” He paused for a moment, eyes locked on sea, then turned to Sarah. “My last name is O’Connell. I’m Lucas O’Connell.”
“And?” Sarah said, then, “O’Connell? As in the QCore O’Connell’s!”
Lucas nodded. “I hope you’re not angry with me for not being one hundred percent honest with you when we first met. I really do like you, Sarah, more than you can imagine.”
She had stared at Lucas and didn’t speak for several minutes.
“I’m not angry, Lucas, I understand why you feel you have to keep some things secret.” Lucas sighed in relief. “But I am disappointed that you didn’t trust me! Do you really think I’d care about something like that? I wanted to get to know you, Lucas, not your name! I don’t care who you are or what you might or might not have.” She’d looked up at Lucas and kissed him. “It’s you I’m interested in.”
“Good,” he’d said, relieved. “Oh, and--this isn’t my home, either. It’s just where I entertain clients.”
“And dates who you don’t want to know where you live.”
Lucas shrugged. “Well, that, too,” he’d replied and laughed. “But I want you to see my real home.”
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Sarah already knew that rich people owned free standing homes and could afford real food at every meal, instead of only the occasional purchase of eggs and milk to break up the monotonous diet of hydroponically grown, almost flavorless vegetables and vat-grown meat the middle class could afford. But she’d had no idea just how plush a life the ultra-rich lived; Lucas’ house was managed by a Class X AI with a host of automatons that kept it clean, laundered and pressed his clothing, a QCore-built Kitchen Kali that cooked, washed the dishes, and even kept the pantry stocked. His amazing home AI, which, for some reason, used the moniker “House”, had seemed to take an instant liking to her. And Sarah had fallen in love with taking long, hot showers whenever she stayed overnight at his house; the wealthy weren’t burdened with limits on water usage …
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This story was originally posted on Simily.co.
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About the author
Born at the end of the Boomer generation, I enjoy a quiet retirement with my long-time partner and three dogs.
When I write, it's on a variety of subjects or short stories. I'm a student of life and go with the flow of the Tao.