January 29

“It’s a custom where I’m from,” he says, “and besides, I don’t want to track snow and ice everywhere. Thank you for letting me in.”
“It’s fine,” I say, “as long as you start with the answers and work your way back.”
“As direct as I expected from you, Miss Minervudottir.”
“Call me Fran,” I say.
“Then you can call me Lucas,” he replies smoothly. He seats himself on the couch, where I’d been sitting a moment before, wrapping his coat around him. “You probably have already guessed that I’m not from… around here.”
“The thought had occurred to me.” Something still feels odd about this guy, but I can’t quite place it yet. “Do you want to take your coat off?”
“It’s still a little cold in here,” he says, shivering. Could you be any more fake?
“Kyle does like it chilly,” I say, moving to the thermostat. I nudge it up a bit higher than I like it. Reynolds is hiding something under that coat that he doesn’t want me to see, I figure. Gotta make like the sun and shine it off him. “So, where are you from?”
“Let’s just say it’s a bit far to walk.” He grins. You must have practiced that line a thousand times. If you’re trying to get me to trust you, it ain’t working.

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