Chapter 7

Darius was jolted awake by someone hammering on his door whilst simultaneously leaning on his doortone. He gathered his senses and peered at the wall clock. Four thirty in the morning! His panic peaked at hysteria level when he answered the door to Sergeant Bowles who looked very agitated and very exhausted. The big soldier pushed past Darius and sat down wearily on the sofa.

“You may want to get Dressed, Master Hawk.”

“What? Oh! Yes, of course. Is this call regarding me?” Darius sobbed.

“No. I received orders to deport Alexandria back to the Minor Sector.” Bowles said bluntly.

“D ... deport her?” Darius stammered.

“Orders from the Military Board and the Border Bodies. She's to be sent back, Darius.” The big man looked very upset and very angry.

“Why? Did they say why?” Darius asked, forgetting protocol and dressing infront of Bowles.

“She's classed as an illegal citizen.” Bowles replied.

“She's a student! Dean Figgis will verify it. Good grief, what a mess. This is all my bloody fault!” Darius ranted.

“Darius, er ... well it Dean Figgis who pushed for the deportation. Rather assertively too.” Bowles said awkwardly. Darius had to sit down. “He has reason to believe that she's no longer a student and therefore a ... free-loader.”

“Free-loader? Free-loader? Sergeant he knows she's a student. In fact, he's the only senoir board member who knows of her circumstances. I have to go and talk to him.”

“Darius! Darius wait.” Bowles stood up. “That wouldn't be a wise move on your part. According to the Dean, her status as student was removed when she became ... became you lover.”

“Wh ... what did you say?” Darius felt the blackness edging in that threatened to cause a full blown faint. “Bowles! Sergeant Bowles she is not my lover!” He blurted. “Where in black buggery did that come from? You were there when I chose her! Did I say that I was looking for a prospective girlfriend?”

“No of course not.” Bowles steered Darius into a chair. “You chose a pupil, I know that. I helped you, remember? The Dean's pointing out that she isn't your pupil now, and hasn't been for some time.”

“This is bullshit!” Darius yelled. “Do they know she's not here?”

“They do now. I told them in no uncertain terms that your relationship with Alexandria was in no way, shape, or form, improper. I also pointed out that their comments made no sense. If she was your lover then she's be here, wouldn't she?”

“I don't believe this! So if they know she's not here at all, let alone as my ... partner ... then they've no grounds for their original assumptions. Yes?” Darius nodded.

“Exactly what I said. I was counteracted with ... Yes she is your partner. It moved from the platonic to the romantic and Alexandria moved out to avoid any scandal and to protect your job as a respected professor. Total tripe, I agree.” Bowles said wearily. He'd obviously been trying to stand their corner against the Dean and the Board and Darius knew from experience what that was like.

“I could rip holes a mile wide in that, let alone a trained legal representative.” Darius snarled. “She's at the Samson's for shit's sake! Do they honestly think that the Samsons would be a party to such a scandalous deception? Dr Samson? Lady Hexa Call?”

“They're assuming they don't know a thing about it, which isn't far wrong. The Dean pointed out that the Samsons won't know she's from the Minor Sector. They presume her to be a free agent and an independent scholar. They'd have no reason at all to disapprove of any contact with you, either in a romantic, or academic, capacity. As far as they know, she, and you, can do as you please, just like any other citizen. Darius, if she's lifted my the Military right infront of the Samsons, they'll know everything.” Bowles rubbed his aching temples.

“Oh shit.” Darius said desperately. “They can't do that to her.” He ran his fingers through his hair. “Axel! Bowles no, that won't fit. The Samsons won't just sit there and accept an Alexandria and Darius relationship because she's already in one with their son!”

“Well that makes it no better really.” Bowles said in surprise. “We don't want it to seem she's using that to earn her her stay here. Alexandria and Axel Samson?”

“All above board too.” Darius said miserably. “The Board will drag it through the mud, Bowles. So many other people will be insulted and humiliated. Alexandria's studies are now being taught by Axel. The Board's rules and bending thereof don't apply to him because he's a student himself, and not an official teacher, like me. So in order for the Board to pursue this ... shite ... they'll badmouth and ruin Alexandria because she's the 'weaker' party, politically speaking. Manipulative riff-raff seducing tutors type of rot. Does that sound about right?”

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