I'm back with my latest installment of Teaser Tuesday for Daughters of Earth, this time with chapter 6. Here are the previous teasers: chapter 1, chapter 2, chapter 3, chapter 4, and chapter 5. In this chapter we are "back" in 2067. Naomi is attending the big Monday Night Football match between Yasmin's Tel Aviv United and their archrivals, Persepolis Tehran in Tehran.
With the start of the second half, Naomi returned to her seat cheering as usual. There was something different now, however. To her far right, she saw in the splash of red a stern-faced, dark-skinned woman wearing a red sweater staring right at her. When their eyes met, the woman looked away. Naomi scanned to her far left, and there was a blonde woman wearing the same red sweater and she was also staring at her. Like the other, she looked away once their eyes met. This occurred a couple of more times, which unnerved her. Even the baby showed her displeasure with a few kicks. She—or he—will definitely be a footballer.
If she hadn’t been pregnant, she would have gotten up and confronted the two women. Their ogling would have also not bothered her as much but for her pregnancy-induced mercurial temperament. With the baby squirming and her stomach churning, Naomi felt nauseous and dizzy. The taste of bile in her mouth made her want to vomit. There was only a half hour left in the match with United clinging to a one-goal lead, but she didn’t think she could make it to the end. Besides, she was also exhausted.
Naomi leaned over to the FSA special agent. “I’m not feeling well, Kaila. I want to go.”
“Will you be okay, Ms. Abravanel?” the agent asked.
Naomi nodded. “I just need to get back to the hotel. I’ll be fine.”
“Whatever you wish.”
Naomi left a message for Yasmin with another spouse. She spied at the two women in the red sweaters as she left. Now, they made no effort to conceal their attention, fixing their eyes on her as she disappeared into the tunnel.
She looked over her shoulder a few times as she and the agent made their way to the valet parking lot outside the stadium. Thankfully, she didn’t see the two women.
The car was already at the valet stand. The car was the FSA’s standard black Mercedes-Benz EL550 electric sedan on loan from the local field office. Naomi missed the Bentley, but the Mercedes served its purpose.
“Is everything okay?” the agent asked her.
“Yes,” she replied tersely and got into the backseat of the sedan. The stadium was only about eleven kilometers west of the hotel, and Naomi stared out the window the whole way, admiring the vacillating colors of bright lights and flashing billboards in downtown Tehran.
They shortly arrived at the Grand Hotel Tehran. Agent Rajoub held Naomi’s arm as she trudged through the plush lobby to the elevator. Getting inside was a great relief to her and she sat down on a bench as they rode it up to the penthouse suite. The hotel had two such suites with an adjacent guest bedroom flanking a single corridor facing the elevator. Only the penthouse guests have access to the floor by use of the thumbprint scanner on the elevator and their suite or room doors.
The nausea and dizziness were gone by the time they reached the penthouse floor.
“Do you want me to walk you to your door, Ms. Abravanel?” asked Agent Rajoub.
“No, I’m fine, thank you,” Naomi said, smiling thinly. Her voice was hoarse from the match. “It’s right next door.”
“Just call if you need anything,” the agent said and went into her room.
Naomi’s eyelids were heavy and she let out a wide-mouthed yawn. She waddled to the penthouse suite down the hall. Her feet had swelled up from all the walking and standing she did today and her back was killing her. She checked her watch and it said 10:45. There was still ten minutes left in the match, which meant she could catch the rest of it on the holomitter. She opened the door and it slammed behind her.
The suite was dark, which was odd. The lights usually turned on once the front door was opened. She passed through the foyer, flung her purse onto the settee once she entered the living room, and called for the lights to come on but they didn’t. The city lights glinted off the furniture’s gold inlay through the large double-paned windows and glass door overlooking the terrace. She peered out to the luminescent skyline dominated by the Milad Tower on this clear night.
She called for the holomitter to turn on, but that didn’t respond either. She huffed and waited for her eyes to adjust to the darkness. She squinted and felt her way to the settee to get her purse. She pulled out the PAD, unfolded it, and tapped the screen to turn it on, but it didn’t work.
“Shit, what the hell’s—”
The hairs on her nape bristled and she slid her eyes to the right.
There was someone in the room with her. She couldn’t see her, but she knew she wasn’t alone. She opened her mouth to scream, but the sound caught in her parched throat. Her heart thumped against her chest, and she grimaced from a violent baby kick. She swallowed hard and her teeth chattered.