Prologue: Press Conference

Sam Flynn has been CEO for thirty seven days. In the tiny portable drive that hangs around his neck, it has been almost eight years.

The woman who stands just behind him during the press conferences has dark hair cut at an angle that, while not inappropriate for her age, will have the fashion critics screaming no later than tomorrow morning when the tabloids hit the shelves. The blogs and MSN highlights and E! news sidebars will be plastering her wide eyed expression, the way she watches him when he speaks, across every available space on their web-pages within a few hours. The headlines will read:

"Sam Flynn's Mystery Woman Raises Suspicions in ENCOM power Transfer"

They will not be able to report on her name.

They will get no comment from anyone about the look she is giving him, at once admiring and coaching, stern and naïve, or about her choice in clothing. The elastic-tight black dress with the turtleneck and bare shoulders will ruffle the critics feathers. They will not like that she paired it with leggings. They will say that it is too short. But they will at least approve of her shoes.

The reporters will ask where they met, if they are sleeping together, how long they have been sleeping together. When they are given no answer, they will invent one.

Lora and Alan Bradley will be cornered as they try and leave the parking lot. Alan will "accidentally" step on a reporters foot on his way into his car, sparking a small controversy of his own that will die down after a week or so. The mystery woman will leave with them.

Sam Flynn will disappear on a motorcycle, as usual. He does so after every press conference. They have yet to follow him to his front stoop with their cameras, thanks to his preference for back roads and alleyways, and it could be awhile longer before they mange to do so. The rumor is that he has just moved, his long dormant savings pouring into some poor, never lived in penthouse with a water-view, though that has yet to be confirmed.

He will arrive home and find Quorra waiting, the dress abandoned for a spaghetti-strap top, the shoes piled in the corner of her new closet, with their things –hers being few— strewn everywhere in boxes. It is their first day in their new home, and they will not finish unpacking tonight. He will fall asleep in an arm chair that in size alone would suit her better. She will sleep on the couch. They will sleep in their clothes.

Under his shirt, he will not see the drive's single blue light begin its frantic blinking.

It has been 37 days.