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“This is the best opportunity I've ever had,” Charlie explained. “The pay is twice as much as I've ever gotten, and I'll finally be able to get us out of the hole we're in.”

“But Charlie, you didn't even tell me you were looking off-world.” Susan was a little exasperated. “Shouldn't we have talked about this before you applied?”

“But that's just it,” Charlie answered. “I didn't apply. They just came to me and offered me the job. They said that the Head of Service asked specifically for me. They want us both to come up to the station and take the grand tour. It's the chance of a lifetime. Shouldn't we at least check it out?”

Susan couldn't think of a logical reason why they shouldn't at least investigate, so she reluctantly answered, “Yes, I suppose we should, but I want you to promise me that you won't give them an answer until after we've had the tour and had a chance to talk about it first.”

Charlie recognized the concern in her voice. He took both of her hands in his and looked directly into her eyes. “Susan, they said that they wanted to interview both of us after the tour. They offered me the job, but they want to make sure that you agree, too. Apparently, they investigated us before offering me the job and understand that we come as a package deal.”

Susan looked back into his eyes while thoughts of their past ran through her head. They'd been in love since high school. The three years he was away at tech academy had been the hardest time of their lives. The fourth year, when Charlie was allowed to live off campus and Susan could be with him, he got the highest grades in the class, and if it hadn't been for his mediocre grades up until that point he would have been valedictorian. When they got married he promised that they would never be separated again, and for the seven years that they'd been married, they hadn't been. But that came at a price. Charlie had turned down many jobs and was dismissed many times for refusing assignments that would have meant being separated from her. He had always been able to find work, but it meant that they had to move many times over the years. Susan never complained, knowing that Charlie still hadn't found the right position, but it had been hard not being able to put down roots.

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