Chapter 18

Stef aimed her fork at the last piece of steak – for once, she’d managed to eat an entire meal, with only minimal spills on her uniform.

Ryan dabbed at his mouth with a cloth napkin – something that was strangely formal, strangely high-class, considering the low-key dinner they were having in his office.

‘Stef.’

There was something in the tone of his voice. ‘Russia, right?’ she asked, after wiping her own face, and quickly requiring a new tie to get rid of the gravy spot.

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17 – Background Noise

November 2nd

After his fourth training program, Taylor stopped to breathe for a moment.

Fading sim opponents littered the floor of his gym, a testament to the rate at which he’d completed all four routines.

Each sim of a different kind, a different type of monster to test his skills, to concentrate his thoughts on anything other than the blonde woman.

For a moment, he considered a shower, but that was a wasteful habit and he had no need of it. He had vague flashes of such wasteful habits, but nothing more. Memories without meaning.

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