An overdue return

Nova ran a loving hand over the slick, shiny surface of her firebird, feeling for flaws in the paint, nicks in the hood. She crouched down, looking from eye level, then stood, satisfied that it was a job well done. The dent was gone, and in its place was a vision of fire and feathers, a massive phoenix that spread her wings across the hood of the car. A custom job that cost more than she cared to think about, the painting was powerful and feminine, just what Nova had dreamed of.

More and more, she was listening to her own dreams.

Knowing there was nothing else for her here, in the desert, it was easy to get behind the wheel and drive. She was alone now; her companions had returned safely once the situation with her family was resolved, but she had insisted on staying in the Mesas for a time. She needed to find herself, she'd said, and maybe that was a bunch of new aged bullshit but she'd found something out west. If she had to nail it down, she might say it was self-discipline. Her anger came slower now, and she had discovered the joy of stillness.

She drove in silence, with only her thoughts for company. The second day on the road, she pulled into a truck stop to hunt. It was easy to draw attention with her flashy car, to get a young rough thing alone. She drank when she was hungry now, not playing with medications to extend the time between feedings. It was good to be hungry, better to be satisfied. And she liked the story of the mysterious woman in a machine that looked almost alive, the witch or the fairy or the vampire that one young man would never forget even as he could never quite remember. It was the natural order of things, and that was also good.

Her usual parking spot was taken when she arrived at the domicile. Nova chuckled at herself - why had she expected that it would be held, when it had been so long? She drove around until she found another, further from the elevators but not terribly inconvenient. She palmed her way through doors and hallways until she stood in front of her room, where she paused, apprehensive, needing to know what to expect when she opened the door. She had forgotten the color of her carpet. Then she realized that this was because she hardly ever saw the carpet - her room would be a mess of tee shirts and paperwork and cereal boxes. At that she smiled, palmed open her door, and went inside.