Swamped Chapter 62 Page 8

You think back on the day and realize that you have just the excuse you need.

“I’ll spare you the bureaucratic details, but I’ve been doing odd jobs since I got back. And I just got into a fight with another Tom, which naturally means I haven’t been able to get around to…” You pause. “What’s some sort of simple job that could be done near the auditorium?”

“Looking in weird nooks and crannies for greatrat holes?” Mark shrugs.

“Perfect. And since I’m not formally on a squad and I’ve bounced around a bit between officers, I can be vague about who exactly ordered it. And since I’m still recovering from my injuries, you graciously offered to take care of it for me. In exchange for me doing some work for you tomorrow. What do you say?”

“Maybe,” Mark muses. “Still sounds like it could fall apart.”

“Well, you had no particular reason not to believe me when I told you. So you should be able to get out of it without too much trouble if we’re found out. I’ll be taking on all the risk.”

“Unless you tell them it was my idea,” Mark says. “And if I run into Bernard, I don’t think he’s going to bother hearing me out. Wait, no… he got shoved on one of the extra repair squads, he won’t be doing patrols.”

Hmm. Another intriguing piece of information you’ll have to follow up later.

“All right, I guess that’s not a problem,” Mark continues. “But there is the matter of why I’m supposed to trust you not to pin this on me if things go wrong.”

“I’m already risking my neck dealing with Squib,” you say calmly. “That’s the whole point of this. A little dressing-down by the officers is nothing in comparison.”

He seems to be giving it some serious thought. Maybe you can sweeten the deal for him somehow.

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Pillow talk.