Romi

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Of all the things she could have said, she seemed to have chosen the most unexpected, and the surprise showed on Frederick's face, his eyebrows shooting up as he made no attempt to hide the look of confusion.

Not only was Godfrey off island, but Zora--his girlfriend--didn't even know where he was?

"Is he..." He faltered for a moment, trying to figure out how he wanted to phrase his question. He supposed it was actually a lot of questions, because he certainly had a lot, but after a moment he settled on the most pressing one.

"Is he alright?"
 

Zora

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"Yes, I assume he's fine," Zoraida said quietly, rather surprised herself to see and hear Frederick's concern at the fact that Broen had disappeared. For some reason, she had assumed he'd gloat that his assumptions about his son might be true, or worse, not care that Broen had left. His unexpected, but genuinely concerned reaction made Zora realize then that despite everything, he did actually care for his son.

"Broen has just kinda been out of sorts for a while now, quieter, less motivated or interested in things," she confessed, sort of relieved she could talk to someone about it. Jude was a good sounding board, but in a way, he was still a teenager in many ways, and she felt she couldn't be as forthright with him with some things.

"I genuinely thought it might be stress with school or a combination of that and what had happened before," she told him, politely referring to his altercation with his son.

"But now, I honestly don't know," Zora told him as she brushed a piece of hair out of her eyes, "He just left everyone a text or a note saying he hadn't been feeling like himself for a while now and needed time to figure things out."
 

Romi

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The look of focus--of obvious thought--didn't leave Frederick's face as he listened to Zora explain the situation. He'd run away, then. Frederick couldn't say he was terribly surprised by the turn of events, although he was surprised that Godfrey had done so while he was still with Zora. Zora was the kind of woman that he'd have sought out when he'd still been interested in relationships, and he wasn't terribly surprised that Godfrey shared his taste in women.

Didn't Godfrey realize what he was giving up, running away and leaving Zora behind? He wasn't likely to get a chance with a woman like her any time soon.

"He's never had a life like this," Frederick said, his tone of voice making it obvious it was more speculation then certainty. "A calm, quiet life. I had a difficult time adjusting after I left hero work for politics, and I imagine he's going through the same thing, although even more so. It isn't surprising to me that he would buckle under the pressure, although it's regretful he chose to do so while you're going through your own difficulties."
 

Zora

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Zora listened quietly, giving Frederick her full and undivided attention as he spoke, absorbing and just comparing and sort of analyzing what he said. Trying to put together pieces of a puzzle she had mentally been trying to solve as to why Broen had left as he had.

"I can understand that," she admitted after a fashion, "If I had to sell or give up my businesses, I'd go stir crazy with suddenly not having anything to do."

Looking at Frederick again, she just shook her head in a resigned sort of way.

"It is rather unfortunate. I mean, I'm sort of used to going at it alone. Business sort of tends to be that way, you know..." she sighed as she uncrossed her legs and repositioned herself, "I just sort of wished he had told me or confided a bit more in me," she told Frederick.

"It is not like I wouldn't have understood, or even kept him from going. Just the way he left, not telling anyone, not even his friends, concerns me a bit," she said, openly admitting the fact she was worried.

"Sorry, I really shouldn't be burdening you with all this," Zora told Frederick politely apologetic, feeling a bit bad dumping everything like she had on him. It had not been her intention when she came that afternoon. She had just wanted to see how he was, not burden him with her personal problems.
 

Romi

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Frederick let out a small laugh as she mentioned giving up her businesses.

"I think I went double stir crazy when I got here. Every bit of planning I had went out the window. When the world is ending, all you think about is who you can save. It's not until you've settled in that you think about things like retirement funds and investments. I suppose it put things a bit in perspective of me. All the savings in the world isn't going to help if it's gone in a moment. Better to invest that money in experiences. In things you enjoy."

He shook his head at the mention of going it alone.

"Business doesn't need to be a solitary thing. Having a good team around you makes all the difference. I was lucky to have a good team when I was in office, and they made things significantly less agonizing then they might have otherwise been. It's important to surround yourself with people you can trust, with those who will have your back."

He gave her a small smile when she apologized to him, waving off her concern.

"It's not as if I have something better to do with my time. I'm happy to help."
 

Zora

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"True on both accounts," she agreed with a grin, having forgotten that Frederick like his son, Jude and many others had come to the island from a world that no longer existed which was a crazy idea in itself.

And yes, he was right, money in the bank was nice, but if she rarely got to enjoy it as much as she probably should, what was the use in having it?. The only treat she had allowed herself was her car and a trip to Fiji with Broen. And as she chatted with Frederick she became painfully aware of just how much she could travel and experiences things, but didn't because of some absurd notion that her company needed her.

"A good team? What a novel idea," she joked. Then, still smiling, "No, you are right, of course. I probably should have formed one months ago," she admitted. "Unfortunately, before my brother passed on, we were sort of always pitted against one another, encouraged to outdo the other all the time, by ourselves without any help... and I'm afraid it has become somewhat of a habit." she admitted sheepishly, "a bad habit probably."
 

Romi

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It was nice to make small talk. So many of the people he was incarcerated with were... less than stellar conversation partners. He was not among good company by any possible metric, and he found himself smiling at the conversation.

Had he really been so desperate to speak to someone? Apparently yes.

"A competitive nature can be a good thing, but it can become a hindrance just as quickly," he agreed. "But you're aware of it, and that's what counts above all else. Being aware of your own limitations is the most important thing when it comes to business... and I suppose to life as well."

He eyed the package for a moment, and then decided he could go through it later. No need to be pointedly rude and inspect the gift horse, after all.
 

Zora

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Just as Zora was going to reply, one of the prison guards approached her and informed her that her time was almost up. Nodding her head at this, she informed him that she'd be leaving in a moment, after she said her goodbye to Mr. Crawford.

Once the guard was gone, Zora smiled somewhat apologetically at Frederick.

"That is my cue to leave, I probably also should get back to work," she confessed as she got to her feet and then pushed her chair in a bit.
 

Romi

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So it was over. Or almost over. It wasn't as if a timer had buzzed and she was going to be dragged away. She had her time to say her goodbyes, and he stood up as she did, collecting her package under his arm.

"Thank you for visiting," Frederick said. "If you have the time in the future, I certainly wouldn't begrudge you any future visits. It was nice to speak to you again."

He paused for a long moment, and then gave a small nod of his head.

"Hopefully your issues with your brother's estate resolves soon."
 

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