“All right, you’ve made your point. I needed his help with something, and I called in an old favor. He wasn’t happy about it, but that’s all this was. He did grumble about keeping his schedule, I didn’t realize that had been a problem for anyone else.”
“There! Was that so hard?” she says, frustrated. Maybe you switched gears too late.
“Sorry. It’s just that you rubbed me the wrong way when you started asking.”
As soon as you say it, you realize she’ll throw it right back in your face.
“And of course, you were unfailingly polite in return.”
“I didn’t say that. It’s just… well, look. At first I was a little snippy, then the next thing you did was comment on your theories on my romantic life. And then it got worse from there. I think we both kind of let ourselves get carried away a bit.”
She pauses a moment to think about this.
“I suppose we did,” she agrees. “For my part, I’m sorry. It’s no excuse, but my day hasn’t been going too well up to now, so I was a bit less patient than I ought to be. And come to think of it, you’ve been hanging around with Tom for much of the day. That’s probably made you more irritable.”
She’s got a point there. Eighth has been helpful, but he’s also still his usual sour self. Still… you might have an opening here.
“You know what? Let’s see if we can’t do better tomorrow, when our moods aren’t so poor. Just have a nice friendly lunch together, as a mutual apology.”
She’s mulling it over.
“It’s a nice idea, but unfortunately I don’t expect tomorrow to go any better than today. My workload’s not showing any signs of easing up.”
“I know what that’s like,” you chuckle. “There’s always more repairs to be done.”
“At least repairs must be interesting sometimes. All I’m doing is running around taking messages from one person to another. And I’m doing a lot more of it lately. Ash has been in such a…”
“Never mind. It’s just been busy. Resettling after all that’s happened means there’s a lot of messages that need to go around. Gods, it was so tedious, I’m almost glad I got chewed out when one went missing. At least it was a change of pace.”
She glances at you for just a moment when she mentions the missing message. There’s no emotion behind it, just… curiosity. She suspects you, but she’s not eager to pursue it now. Maybe it’s Ash’s priority more than hers.
She’s opening up quite a bit. It’s probably best to keep her talking. But how should you go about that?
Ash really trusts you huh?