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Good afternoon, snippetteers! I hope everyone had a good week. My back is decidedly unhappy with something I’ve done, and today even a long tandem right didn’t make it any better. So I’m giving myself a break from reshelving books and cleaning, and instead sit in the garden, hoping to get some words down.
One thing the tandem ride was good for, though… I had space to think about Patrick’s story arc, which is giving me grief at the moment, and realised that one of the big arguments I’d been struggling with isn’t really needed. Which is fabulous news, since I hate writing arguments, and Sound Judgement already has plenty of them. Today’s snip, though, is about the aftermath of an argument. Ian is realising how unsatisfactory his life has become, and Patrick – who’s had the desk beside Ian’s for eighteen months and never once let on that he has a crush on the famous Ace – is listening, and asking questions.
From Sound Judgement
“Trouble in paradise?”
Ian shrugged. “It’s not been that in a long time.” It was true, though he’d never admitted it before. There was something about the soft Irish voice and the concerned look in Patrick’s hazel eyes that made Ian confront what was wrong in his life.
“Is it fixable?” Patrick settled in the chair beside Ian’s desk as he asked and Ian’s neck grew tight. He didn’t invite scrutiny, but some of it was inevitable when working with a partner. After eighteen months sharing an office he knew how Patrick took his coffee, that he rarely argued, and that he pulled his hair back in a tail only to unravel it moments later when something baffled him. And after spending three days with McGowan in the field he knew that Patrick was devastatingly effective, but had never been taught how to look after himself while on mission. No doubt Patrick had compiled a similar list of mundane observations about him. The question he’d just asked went further, though, touched on the personal they hadn’t explored at all, and Ian had no idea why he didn’t shoot him down.
“Doubt it,” he said instead of telling Patrick McGowan to mind his own business. “I’m not sure I want to fix it. It’s been going wrong for too long.”