This week’s WIP snippet is from Comes a Horseman.
What if Holm was right about Ken? And if he was, did it really matter?
Liang didn’t know what to think anymore. He’d told himself that Ken was a good man, that he couldn’t and shouldn’t be judged because of—
A discreet cough from the doorway pulled him back to reality. Kristopher Lehrer stood there, running his hand through sleep-mussed hair. The dye he’d used months ago to darken it had grown out, the colour returning to its natural blond. “I smelt tea. Is there enough for two?” he asked.
“You couldn’t sleep either.” Liang didn’t phrase it as a question. This wasn’t the first time he and Kristopher had shared a late-night pot of tea. Despite their different backgrounds, Kristopher and Liang had quickly discovered they had more in common than their love for science. Kristopher had admitted on his thirtieth birthday a couple of months ago that there were times he felt much older after everything they’d been through in the past six months. Liang figured the rest of their team—who were of a similar age—probably felt the same way. However, they rarely discussed their personal lives, only letting information slip unintentionally on occasion. Kristopher, on the other hand, seemed to have a need to talk about such things. Liang sometimes wondered if it was because he’d left it all behind while the rest of them had lives to return to once the mission was over.
“No.” Although Kristopher didn’t elaborate, he didn’t need to. Liang had suspected for a while that Kristopher had nightmares too. It surprised him that they hadn’t woken Michel, but it would only be a matter of time before he joined them. He always did.
Liang poured tea for both of them, and then set the cups down on the table. They both drank silently for a few moments.
“The more I think about this situation, the more complicated it becomes,” Kristopher said finally.
“I can understand that.” Liang sipped his tea and waited for Kristopher to elaborate.
“I still can’t believe how naive I was.” Kristopher’s fingers tightened around his cup. His English was impeccable. “I tell myself I’m not like that anymore, but perhaps I’ve just swapped one naivety for another?”