Cya looked at Manus over her water. The waitress was hovering nearby; she gestured the woman over and placed her order, let Manus place his. She ordered wine from the local vineyard because she was proud of it (and because there wasn’t that much other wine to be had, although she’d recently opened up trade with a place a couple days’ travel away). He ordered whisky.
“You get why I built it?”
“I thought I knew back then. I mean, it pisses Regine right off. The school, especially. Kids that go from your school to her school – oh, it makes her mad.” He grinned in that way that shared in the schadenfreude of Regine’s anger.
She smiled back, because she had been trying to piss Regine off, although it had been a tertiary goal.
“But I mean, that’s the school. You could’ve built a shell around it and called it good, but you have like a whole nation here.” He sipped his water. “I get it now. I didn’t, then.”
“Yeah.” She looked out the window. There was a park behind the restaurant, and through a decorative screen of ivy, she could see kids playing. “I wanted to build safety.”
“That’s pretty cool, you know.” He cleared his throat. “So. Warwick, he said you were looking for someone to date. I don’t remember… well, you didn’t date before, did you? I guess I might have missed it…
“I didn’t,” she confirmed. “This is, well. It’s a new thing.”
“And… you probably weren’t looking for old Kept.” He looked down at the table.
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