Cya studied Manus thoughtfully. “You like Montana?”
“Let’s just say… I like what you’ve done with the place. I’m not old enough to remember Montana,” he admitted, “but I like the Cloverleaf region. You’re still here, though. When I was here, I thought maybe you’d move on.”
“I hope you’re not disappointed.” She struggled to keep anything out of her voice. Life had been easier, in a manner of speaking, when she just wasn’t feeling things.
“Oh, not at all.” He looked at her. “Something’s changed in you.” He flopped a hand. “Thirty years, a lot has changed, I’m sure. I’ve grown up, changed, I imagine you have too. But you’re a lot more animated.”
“I’ve been, ah. Learning a lot about myself.” She shrugged. “So you stuck around?”
“I worked for a caravan for a while. I’m pretty good as a guard, and there were trade caravans that were having trouble with bandits and Nedetakaei, wyverns and wolves. And that worked out fine, but when I talked a bandit out of attacking, he decided that I should be working for him for a while… so that was about four years.” He grinned, lopsided and not at all abashed. “Turns out I like working for people. I probably should’ve figured that bit out a while ago. But I didn’t like…” the smile slipped. “Well, I didn’t like what he was doing. So I moved on, which took some work, let me tell you. Did a few other things before I ended up with this judge-like gig. I like it.” He leaned back in his chair and looked at her. “I get why you built a city, now.”
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