Juliana Salazar had always been unpredictable for as long as Mariana had known her, so it made a certain amount of sense that the woman would just show up unannounced like this. She was loud, obnoxious, and way too easy-going.
She was also a general of the Vanguard’s ground forces, as well as Mariana’s previous commanding officer.
As Mariana recalled, the first thing that anyone noticed when they looked at Salazar was her hair, and fifteen years later, she saw that had not changed as Salazar strode into the welcoming chamber with a rainbow falling around her face. On anyone else, Mariana imagined it would have looked ridiculous, but on Salazar, somehow, it seemed all too fitting.
Salazar’s reaper followed in behind her. Armengél was this one’s name, and even through the filter of perception that was every reaper’s appearance, he still managed to look dour. His flaming eyes rounded down, as if sullen about something, but Mariana knew that was just the way he usually was.
The rainbow woman smiled that giant smile of hers as she saw Mariana. “There you are! Oh, and Zeff! How are you?!” She didn’t wait for any responses and just moved in for a big hug.
Mariana still had her gun but was able to endure the hug without using it. “We are very well. What brings you here?”
“Why, you, of course,” said Salazar. “No offense, but Aguarey isn’t exactly my ideal vacation spot. We wanted to talk to you.”
‘About what?’ said Shenado.
“Oh, lots of things. Got any snacks? I could go for some snacks.”
Mariana exchanged glances with her husband before waving to the butler by the door. The man scurried off, and they moved their conversation into the next room where they could all sit down on the cushioned furniture with silver embroidery.
‘Nice house,’ said Armengél. ‘You steal it?’
“No,” said Mariana. “It’s been in Zeff’s family for generations.”
Salazar clicked her tongue. “Oh, that’s right. We never did visit you after the wedding. Always meant to.”
“I imagine you were very busy,” said Mariana.
“Aren’t we all?” said Salazar.