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Conner hefted the millitary duffle and his backpack over his shoulder and made his way to the door. Cassie stood ther barring his path. "where are you going Conner?"

He looked to her, indignation in his eyes. "I'm going to New York, not that you really care."

Cassie spat back at him harshly. "You're going up there to be with Her aren't you?" The "her" didn't need to be elaborated they both knew.

Conner speared her with his own baleful gaze. "I'm going up there because this place doesn't really feel like home right now."

"Fine tell yourself whatever lies make you happy. That's what you always worried about anyway. You do what matters to you, no thoughts for me or anyone else." He was losing his temper but kept it down. "just don't forget your promise to me."

His voice was cold, devoid of emotion, like the machines he turned into. "Don't worry Cassie, I settle all of my debts. I won't forget." She moved aside and he walked out the door. Once outside he took off into the skies His form becoming metal and then elongating and stretching to become a T-8 Talon trainer fighter. He cut in the enhanced speed the form gave him and took off in a straight line to New York City. His bags were safely tucked in the "cockpit" and he would make good time. He knew he was nowhere as fast as an F-25, but he was much faster than normal. He'd make it by five am and get checked in and take a shower then go meet Alessa.

Back on the ground in a lonely house stood a distressed young woman who only now realized just how angry she'd made the young man who'd saved her life, and that she'd just pretty much sent him running to a woman she had no hope of competing with. She closed the door went inside and wept.

In the air Conner went over all the romantic nights, the long conversations, the walks on the beach. Everything was based on his sense of responsibility to Cassie based on not being able to saver her family. She'd always told him she didn't blame him for it. Now after nearly a year, the truth comes out. She did blame him, she was using him, preying on his sense of guilt. It burned him and cut him to his soul. Still it was a long flight to New York.

After four hours he stopped. There was an all-night diner around Nashville. He took a seat and ate a late dinner and paid the waitress. After an hour and a half hours of rest he took off again. He made it to the hotel around 5 am and checked in and then went to his room for a cold shower and an hour and a half or so of sleep. He woke up slightly refreshed and cleaned himself up. A quick check on his computer gave him a map of the Astoria's lay out. He folded the map and Flew to the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. He . He was dressed nicely, in a Black buttondown and slacks, but still somewhat under-dressed for the Astoria.

"Do you have a reservation sir?" The receptionist asked politely.

"No Ma'am, I'm just here to meet someone staying here."

"Are you expected sir?"

"Yes, though i don't know if she had me added to a formal list or anything."

She looks at him patiently. "Who sir and What's the name of the person I should be checking under sir?."

Conner nods. "Conner "Mech" Fontenot to see Alessa Neri."

The attendant looks down and then looks up and smiles. "She's on the fifteenth floor, but she left explicit orders to not tell you the room number. Looks like you get to have a little fun this morning Mr. Fontenot."

Conner smiled. "Yeah it seems like it. I guess she took what I said to heart. Ah Well, C'es la vie." By now it was 7:20, and Conner made his way to the elevator and rode it up to the fifteenth floor. At the same time, The receptionist followed her other request and rang room 1515, where Alessa was staying. "Hello Miss Neri, Mr. Fontenot has arrived, and is on his way up to see you."

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mech is arriving now, and we will spend the weekend together Alessa put down the receiver phone as she started dressing up from her shower.

Picking a cute outfit for today, a warm brown color, with a matching top, putting over a deep red color jacket, to cover herself from the cold of NY, she started working on her hair. She had spent a lot of money in the surprise for the last concert of the tour, and Mech was going to be the first 'fan' to see the results.

"Now I just wonder how fast he will find the room?" Alessa absently wondered as she combed her hair.

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Mech made his way down the hallway from the elevator, waliking past Rooms 1501-1514 and he took a left, which immediately led him down a corridor past rooms 1546-1560. He knocked on a few, uttered two very convincing apologies and then went back to the intersection. He took the righ this time and slowly he reached out to see if he could feel Alessa's prsence. It was very faint, but it grew stronger as he went further downt he hallway. He stopped in front of room 1515 and straightened his collar. It had taken im another twenty minutes to home in on her room, but he was sure he had it now.

He reached out and rapped on the door with his knuckles three times. He then drew back his hand and waited for Alessa to come to the door. The game was over, for the moment.

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Alessa could hear the rapping on her door, and wondered. Could that be Mech? That was really fast!

Alessa moved as fast as possible towards the door, peeking through the spyhole to see Mech patiently waiting for her to open up. In a slight hurry she opened up the door, but just enough to show her head besides it.

"That was fast stud, how did you find me?" Alessa smiled to Mech, and wathever image of her that Mech had was shattered as Alessa proved to be even more beutiful than before, her skin clearer, her hair silkier, and any detail that could give away her age was erased from her face as she looked at Mech from the side of the door.

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Connor was taken aback. Alessa was beautiul before, now she'd gone beyond anything he'd ever seen. Se lookked younger than the last time, Young enough to be his contemporary. After staring at her beauty for a few moments his mind actually registered her question.

"Um yeah... You see..." He struggled as his mind reeled from the changes in Alessa. He recovers and taps his forhead. "I read where it's said that novas can sense other novas by trying to focus on other significant sources of quantum energy. I tried a few times and I got warmer as I came closer to your door."

He loks down, almost feeling ashamed that he hadn't brought her flowers or anything. She was so good-looking and her voices was a joy to hear as always. "You look stunning Ms. Neri... I swear you're more beautiful every time I see you."

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"Wow! I never knew other Novas could do that! I might try it sometime, might help me know when you are lingering close by!" Alessa jumps at Mech, hugging him by the neck. "You know, I missed you, you big lug. The usual bodyguards are not half as entretaining as you, or as cute." Alessa dropped from Mech's larger body and went back inside.

"Come on in, I was just finishing getting ready, we are going to have fun today! I need the relaxation before the concert!" Alessa started her brushing once again, and turned to look at Mech's reflection in the mirror. "So, where are you taking me today big boy?" She had a devilish smile on her lips.

"Or you rather have it be a surprise too?" The beamused smile on her face showed just how young she was looking now.

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Connor returns the embrace and smiles at her compliemnts. "I aim to please. I missed you too. Regular music just doesn't quite cut it any more." He follows her inside and waits as she brushes her hair.

"Well I know what I had planned for tonight. I have reservations for 5pm for us at a restaraunt I ate at once a while back and after that I know where two movie theaters are and they've got features at 7 and 7:30 for most of their movies for tonight. As to the restaraunt you'll have to wait and see, I think you'll really like it. The movie we'll see I'll leave that up to you."

He gives her his own devilish smile. "In the meantime I figured we could see the Statue of Liberty, maybe a museum. Of course there's a ton of places to do some shopping too, y'know get souveniers for everyone back home."

His smile widens and he nods. "To be honest what we do till this afternoon is up to you. I'm just happy to be getting the chance to spend some more time with you. What would you like to do today?"

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Connor chuckles as he offers her his arm. "So long as you stay with me, we can always just fly away from them."

He escorts her downstairs and then takes to the sky holding her tightly. on the way he asks a question. "So in order to avoid being mobbed everywhere we go, how would you like me to address you? If I say Miss Neri, people are gonna mob us and the media will watch our every move once they get wind of it."

Together they made their way to Liberty Island and the great lady there. They actually managed to join a tour group and roughly half the group focused on them instead of the tour itself. They stood in the observation windows in the crown looking back at the city. "I know we can look at it from the sky, but there's just something to be said from standing in one of the Nations great treasures looking at the city she heralds."

Connor's eyes seem to be gazing far away. The tour group had been unable to go inside due to rennovations. This was something he'd always wanted to do. He looked to Alessa. "This must be so boring to you, walking around with a tour group, inside a national monument. I'm sorry, where would you like to go next?"

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"Alessa is all right, I doubt there are many here but I can't be the only one, right?" Alessa loved to fly with Mech, the air all around them and the speed were exhilierating.

During the day, Mech took her to Liberty Island, and showed her places from above, a birds eye view, while not the best offerable, made for a very quick way of travel.

Once on the Statue Liberty, they joined a gruop tour and walked with them all the way to the crown, leaving the group to stay at the crown, after asking where she would want to go.

"How about that dinner and the movie you promised earlier? It's almost time for those reservations of yours." Alessa smiled, but unlike the pleasant smiles for cameras, this was a wide grin, the kind of smile you only get around people you know won't sell you out. "I'm getting kinda hungry, and I could go for another one of those rides of yours stud."

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"Alessa it is then." They exited the monument and then Mech took hold of Alessa's hand. "Ready to fly again?" She nodded and they took to the skies and made their way to Central Park. Connor set them down and gave Alessa a mischievous smile. "I don't know if you've ever heard of the Tavern on the Green, but this place is one of the best restaraunts I know of. In this one location it sees half a million patrons in the course of a year, and considering the fare, it's very reasonably priced."

His smile broadens. "And don't worry, just because it has Tavern in its name doesn't mean I brought you to a bar." It's a devilish grin that all the men in his family have, one they're unaware of their usung. Despite having been deeply hurt, around Alessa his guard is down, he can trust her. He'd come to enjoy her company while on tour with her, and since the start of the day he'd realized just how much he'd missed being around her.

He leads her inside and announces himself to the attendant. "Fontenot, party of two, we have a reservation."

"Yes sir, if you and the lovely young lady would accomoapny me I will see you to your seats." It was obvious that he was enthralled by Alessa's beauty and lead them to a table overlooking the garden and the magnificent fountain situated with in it. Connor in true southern fashion held out Alessa's chair and seated her before sitting himself. Fresh bread and water was placed before them and menus were brrought. The attendant left them to decide and Connor looked to Alessa. "So what looks good to you?"

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Alessa really loved flying with Mech, it felt exhilarating and made her feel giddy.

"Central Park is so...big!" The Italian singer had never before seen a park so big in the middle of such a big city as New York. Feeling slightly disappointed at having to stop flying.

Letting Mech lead for now, Alessa follows him into the restaurant, expecting a nice evening with a nice young man. Once inside of the restaurant Alessa can be seen why the tavern is so famous, well lit, well groomed and with a very friendly and inviting atmosphere, he looked forward to dining here.

Sitting down, she literally doesn't look at the Menu, looking Mech in the eye. "Well stud, What do you think we should eat? I will let you order."

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"I think you enjoy having me decide what we're going to do y'know." His tone said he was joking, but his eyes said something else.

When the attendant returned he smiled. We are ready. The lady will have The Cherrywood smoked Salmon, followed by the Cajun Blackened Maya Prawns. I will have The Salmon as well, but I'll follow it with the Sauteed White Sea Bass."

"Excellent selections, and for the drink would you care to try any of our selections of wine?"

Connor looks to Alessa, knowing he couldn't buy anything alcoholic. "no thank you, justt a couple of soft drinks and perhaps some water for now. If we decide to try some wine what would you suggest?"

"Our Vintage Remy Martin has been quite popular for those among higher society. I will have a bottle held in reserve should you two decide you wish to try it."

Connor waits till he leaves and looks to Alessa. "With how young the two of us look, I' suprised he even asked if we wanted it." He chuckles as he smiles at her.

"So, what do you think of America after your time here?"

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"America is fun, it's very big compared to most places in Europe. Getting from California to New York, took me about double the time than getting from Italy to England would have taken me." Alessa takes a piece of bread and starts nibbling on it. "But tell me, why did you decide to come and see me all of a sudden? Isin't your japanese deal coming just a couple days from now? I would have tought you would want to spend the time with your girlfriend, since you won't be around much after that."

Alessa sips her glass of water when she finishes, looking at Mech's eyes, trying to figure him out sligthly.

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Connor's face darkens slightly. "I don't have a girlfrend anymore Alessa." His tone shows more anger than anything else.

"She lied to me about one of the most crucial things. Since September she's lied to me. She could have been better by now, she could have made a full recovery from her injuries. But instead she lied, she used me. She knows I feel guilty about what happened, even though there's nothing more I could have done."

His voice is only loud enough to be heard by Alessa at this point. "She quit trying because she felt I owed her for allthe benefits I reaped from my erruption while she lost her family. She actually admitted it."

It's easy to see he's fighting back the tears on this, It's a fresh pain, and a deep hurt. "I came to see you because I really nneded to be around someone I can trust. My friends and family back in Louisiana remind me of her, all the lies..." he trails off, then manages a smile. "...You don't remind me of anyone. You are truly unique young lady. It is my pleasure to call you a friend. You're someone I can count on."

He looks down. "As for the show in Japan, yeah, The first of May I have to be in Tokyo. Lina from the Opnet will be coming along. It seems Mr. Tomino is eager to add more novas to the cast." He looks at her, a bit of his previous smile returning. "I know if you felt the urge to participate he'd say yes, but I know you're returning home after your concert here. Still part of me wonders if you'd be interested in recording the show's Intro and closing themes."

He shrugs. "y'know if it's something you'd like to do." He gave her a chance to assimilate everything he'd just told her. Yeah I pretty much got dumped and you said i could come visit you. So I just packed up a few bags and ran like hell. I'm such a coward. He looked at Alessa looking at him. In so many ways.

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