Vančura shoved his chair back from the table and raised a quizzical eyebrow.
“So, what’s your story? You’ve got a plan, which is encouraging, even if it’s not particularly good one. You seem to be following that plan, too, which is actually even more encouraging.”
Armelle considered that, then squinted at him suspiciously.
“Hold on. What do you mean what’s “my” story?”
He grinned at her out of the corner of his eye as he watched Eddie leave his seat and start wandering idly around the diner. After a moment or two, he turned a slightly more serious expression on her.
“I’m not expecting you to tell me the truth. Or rather, I’m not expecting you to tell me all of it. If I were you, I’d tell me just enough of it to make the lies and evasions seem real. It’s pretty standard in this sort of situation. Of course, you have to assume I’ll assume nothing you say is true unless I can cross reference it with something I know for sure. Which means you’re going to sit there and lie as convincingly as possible and I’m going to sit here and look inscrutable.”
He shrugged and smiled.
“Anyway, inscrutability is fun. I practice it in the mirror, so I’m pretty good at it.”
Armelle blinked, then rolled her eyes.
“Liar. You’re just trying to wind me up so I make another mistake.”
The grin spread further.
“As far as you know. You’re just assuming that because that’s what I’ve been doing so far. I wind you up and you slip. It’s like a game.”
Suddenly, the good humor vanished and his jaw tightened perceptibly. She almost flinched, but caught herself before he noticed it.
“It’s not funny, is it? See, something changed when we came in here. Before, you could admit or deny anything and I wouldn’t be able to tell, because you could be faking it all. But we come into the diner and you’ve got compatriots. At least one, probably two. It’s not much, but with even that tiny amount of information, I can sift through anything else you say and make a good guess at whether it’s true or not. On the other hand, you don’t know enough about me to know just how accurate that guess will be. Worse, you don’t know how I’ll react to being lied to. Ugly situation, isn’t it?”
She spread her hands dismissively.
“Not if I tell you the truth.”
Vančura looked skeptical.
“You’d do that?”
“What, you don’t trust me?”
He stared at her, then his booming laugh echoed around the diner. Eddie glanced up from examining the photos on the wall, wondering how the scary woman had gotten more than a chuckle out of the big man.
End Chapter 10 – part 2
Go to Chapter 10 – Part 3
Good afternoon! This installment got released a little later than usual, but you’ll have to forgive me for that. I got behind on my novella in the last week and have been scrambling to catch up with it. Fortunately, you still get your ‘Twicebound’. Something that will interest you (if you haven’t noticed already) is that Armelle isn’t doing quite what I expected her to. As a matter of fact, she doing pretty much the opposite. If any of you are on good terms with her, please ask her to cooperate?
Would you like to read the previous installments of ‘Twicebound’? They’re right here!
Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three,
Chapter Four, Chapter Five, Chapter Six,
Chapter Seven, Chapter Eight, Chapter Nine