Evelyn, her best friend and landlord, shifted beside her before waving a manicured hand at the clear night above them and asking, "Ever wonder what's out there?"
The dinner party Evelyn threw to celebrate Kiera's first commissioned piece of art had been a success, as was expected.
People don't know what they want, Evelyn, or life wouldn't suck.
"It doesn't really suck," Evelyn sang in such a happy voice that Kiera rolled her eyes.
Evelyn corrected with another giggle.
Evelyn didn't stop for a full minute.
"It's nicer than your nickname for him," Evelyn pointed out.
Evelyn tossed a hand toward the dark night sky again.
Evelyn sounded unusually pensive.
"Probably not," Evelyn replied.
Evelyn giggled, then said, "No."
"I don't know," Evelyn admitted.
"They don't have spiders," Evelyn said firmly.
"And the cat," Evelyn added.
Evelyn only cooked when he spent the night, which would also explain how she ended up in her bed.
She recalled falling asleep on the roof and knew Evelyn to be too tipsy to carry or drag her down to her room.
Evelyn sang, her voice muffled through the door.
Romas had no qualms about invading her bedroom to drag her out of bed if Evelyn directed him to.
The fact that he worshiped the ground Evelyn walked on and took care of her made Kiera jealous.
When she walked into the kitchen, Evelyn was gazing with adoration up at the huge man, leaning against him in a purely anti-feministic way.
Evelyn was six feet tall and Romas a full head taller than her.
Evelyn gave a brilliant smile, and Romas eyed her.
Evelyn brought the last of three trays to the table.
"Tell her what kind," Evelyn urged, squirming in her chair.
Evelyn had been so happy the past few months, and having Romas around was not that bad.
After all, he could fix things around the house that she and Evelyn ignored.
Evelyn looked ready to burst.
She'd known Evelyn since they were in elementary school, and she'd been renting a room from her for the past two years since graduating high school.
Rather than return home right away, she explored several small jewelry stores, looking for the perfect gift for Evelyn before she took her daily trip to the gym.
She walked into the living room, puzzled to see Evelyn boxing up her bookshelf.
You might have the house to yourself, Evelyn said.
Evelyn watched her digest the information.
"You can come," Evelyn offered.
"Yeah. Pretty far," Evelyn replied.
Evelyn grinned and tossed a paperback at Kiera.
"As Romas pointed out, you have no real life and nothing really to tie you down," Evelyn said.
"He's got seven brothers," Evelyn said.
"I know it's far, Kiera," Evelyn said, frowning in disappointment.
"Pretty much," Evelyn said vaguely.
"It's actually a wealthy, highly advanced society," Evelyn said with a chuckle.
Kiera had suspected Romas to be independently wealthy by his complete lack of concern for being anywhere but with Evelyn for the last three months.
He'd never mentioned working or making or missing appointments, and Evelyn had never mentioned his employment either.
Confirmation of the fact was comforting; Evelyn would never have to worry about money again.
And, hopefully, Evelyn never raised her rent, either.
Evelyn bolted for the stairwell, unwilling to allow anyone but Kiera to see her without make-up, while Kiera went to the door.
"Where are you taking Evelyn?" she demanded as the large man folded himself to sit on the couch.
It was expected from Evelyn but not from the man himself.
She couldn't help wondering if Evelyn really understood that going to his home country would mean she'd hear this kind of nonsense all the time.
Evelyn made it sound permanent, as though Kiera would just pick up and leave for another country.
She relaxed into the comfortable black desk chair in front of her computer, wondering if Romas had told Evelyn of the half a dozen kids he expected.
The next two days passed quickly as Kiera helped Evelyn set up her sudden wedding.
Evelyn handled it all with cheerfulness while Kiera stressed over the shade of flowers clashing with the décor, and the cake containing nuts, which Romas was allergic to.
Most of the guests were Evelyn's friends and family; Romas's small party consisted of only a handful of men-- cousins, according to Evelyn-- looking like an NFL team dressed uncomfortably in their tuxes.
The new necklace she wore that matched the one she bought for Evelyn glimmered in the mirror.
She left the bathroom, pulling on an oversized, soft T-shirt Evelyn had shanghaied from Romas and Kiera had shanghaied from Evelyn.
She briefly considered calling Evelyn to ask about her moving arrangements.
Evelyn might love her but would probably not welcome a call on her wedding night.
Evelyn had a way of ensuring things were done even if she didn't seem to have time to do them.
In the morning, she'd clean up the house and then start working on another painting, the portrait of Evelyn and Romas she wanted to give the two of them as their joint wedding present.
She sat at her desk and started to sketch the visage of Evelyn in her long wedding dress and Romas in his dark tux on a piece of paper, glancing up occasionally at the blank canvas as she thought of proportions.
Evelyn stood in the dark grey room of the spaceship with its cozy, dim lighting and the soft purr of hidden machines.
Evelyn knew-- and Romas assured her-- Kiera would be fine.
She could paint anywhere, and her life was otherwise so unfulfilling, Evelyn didn't know how she could stand it.
It didn't spin webs and looked more to Evelyn like a mutated cat, but the moment she recalled Kiera's fear, she also realized that the cat-like creature would easily pass as a large spider.
Therein lies the rub, Evelyn contemplated.
Evelyn followed leisurely, unconcerned with being lost on the massive ship.
According to Evelyn, "the wise Solomon prescribed ordinances for the very distances of trees; and the Roman prÃ¦tors have decided how often you may go into your neighbor's land to gather the acorns which fall on it without trespass, and what share belongs to that neighbor."
Though I gave them no manure, and did not hoe them all once, I hoed them unusually well as far as I went, and was paid for it in the end, "there being in truth," as Evelyn says, "no compost or laetation whatsoever comparable to this continual motion, repastination, and turning of the mould with the spade."