Vanda and Wilom stood overlooking the construction site. Vicdra, true to his word, had managed to get people in to help him. He’d said they were mostly those they’d already found homes for but were unhappy for one reason and another. A few of them were under investigation or the threat of investigation. Some of them had been running from place to place to avoid being caught. Just enough ID to keep them on the move.
Wilom shook his head. He didn’t want to know that. He couldn’t fix those things, so all he was doing was peeping into places he shouldn’t.
Vanda punched him lightly in the shoulder. “Penny for your thoughts? They’ve got to be interesting if you’re thinking that hard.”
Wilom chuckled. “Not really. Just thinking. I haven’t gotten another letter yet.”
“Neither have I.”
Wilom nodded slowly. “It’s a little odd. I keep expecting to get another, but …”
“Maybe someone got to them?” Vanda suggested. “Stopped them? I asked the Heads about the letters, if they got one as well. They didn’t say yes, but they didn’t say no, either.”
“You think one of the Heads got one, then?”
“No. I don’t know. I really don’t.”
“It might be uncharitable to say, but … if the Heads had gotten a letter, we’d know for sure.”
Vanda snorted. “You might be right.”
“You don’t think the letter might be our one warning, do you? Should we expect action now?”
Vanda shrugged. “Can’t be sure,” she said. “But they can’t touch us, right? That’s the whole point of you reading all those ledgers.”
“I wish I believed that.”
There was a pause.
“Wilom?” Vanda asked carefully.
Wilom ran a hand through his hair. “I don’t know. I just don’t think a ledger full of words means a lot right now, laws or no.”
Vanda suddenly slapped Wilom on the back and grinned. “Well, I have a good feeling, even if you don’t.”
“You think laws matter that much right now?”
Vanda shook her head. “No. But I think they’ll have to come after us first. And you know? I don’t think they have the people or the time for it.”
Wilom shrugged. “Maybe. Still. Nothing lasts, you know?”
“I’m not going to talk to you anymore if you keep being like that.” Vanda sighed, and then said, “You’re right. Nothing lasts. One day this will all be gone.”
Vanda turned to him, her face breaking into her familiar, mischievous grin. “But you know? Before it does, I think it’s going to do a lot of good.”
Wilom grinned, and put his hand on Vanda’s shoulder. “You’re right. Again. Worrying done. I’m enjoying the moment. Promise.”
Vanda put her hand on Wilom’s shoulder in answer, and gave it a quick, friendly shake. “I’ll hold you to that. And you should go see the ferryman again soon.”
“I just went,” Wilom protested. “It didn’t …” he hesitated. No, it hadn’t really ended well. But it was obvious Vanda was trying to be cheerful just for him, and she was right. He needed to try and sort out whatever was going on between him and the ferryman. It would be good for him, and the least he could do so that she didn’t have to watch out for him quite so much. “Alright,” he said quietly. “I’ll go.”
Vanda beamed, and Wilom realised there was a bit of relief in it.
“Sorry,” Wilom said. “I know you always have to bully me into going.”
“Yeah,” Vanda said. “I do.”
“Thank you,” Wilom said.
Vanda put a hand on his arm. “Well, you keep me here, seeing through the things I start. Let’s just call it even, OK?”
“Even,” Wilom agreed.
“Good. Now, back to enjoying the moment.”
Surprisingly, he did.