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"May I have this dance?"
"Of course, daddy." Lisa Goodall turned to Matthew Katzberg, pardoned herself from the presence of the fellow Colonist who had just asked her for a dance, and accepted her father's lead to the center of the dance floor.
"Sorry to cut in on one of your suitors like that."
Lisa beamed up at her father as he put one hand around her waist and another on her white satin glove, prompting the Marine Band to strike up a waltz for the First Family. "Don't worry about it, daddy." She lowered her voice a notch. "I hardly think he qualifies as a 'suitor.'" A moment of filial silence was filled with only the music and the distant chatter of the madding crowd. "Just think: I was a freshman in college last time you and I danced for your inauguration."
President Goodall took a moment to reply, preoccupied as he was by his desire to not step on his daughter's shoes. "Those four years just flew by, didn't they, pumpkin?"
"Obviously, since you're still calling me 'pumpkin.'"
Goodall's smile widened as it focused downward. "You'll always be my pumpkin, pumpkin. Evdt if you're all grown up now, and headed into Outer Space." At his last two words, both smiles faded somewhat.
"I'd like to come up from Houston more often, if that's possible," the younger Goodall declared as she drew closer to her dance partner. "It won't be too long now before I won't have the chance again."
"It's always possible--"
"You've been traveling a lot lately--"