Eden wanted to bite back, to lash out, to defend. But in Tovar’s presence, he felt himself rendered useless, speechless, weak.
Tovar smiled gently. “There’s a good boy. My Little Eden. Tonight, at the banquet, you will act with respect and decorum. You will bow your head and act in accordance with my wishes. Do you understand?”
“Good boy,” Tovar purred, his delicate hand slipping to cup Eden’s cheek once more. He gazed at Eden with a soft smirk before moving to the door of Green’s office. “Now come,” he said, extending his arm as he held the door open. “Time to go home, Little Eden.”
A slim black vehicle awaited them in front of the compound, glittering ominously in the sunlight. Vehicles like these were the preferred transport option for the Elysian Police. Rebuilt, remodeled, and refurbished after the Great Nuclear Fallout, they were so loved due to the foreboding image they presented.
As Eden settled in beside his stepfather, silence consumed him. The drive home through the city, though not long, felt an eternity. Tovar’s eyes wandered his form, assessing, calculating. And try as he might, Eden could get no read on the other man. It had been so long, many years since they had seen each other. But though his cold and aloof demeanor was ever-present, Tovar seemed intrigued by Eden in a way he never had been before. Eden attempted to focus on anything else, anything other than those coldly calculating eyes.
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