As he and Annie exited the school building through the two rows of double-glass doors, Rune could not escape the feeling that he was being led, almost pulled into the frigid afternoon air. He wasn’t comfortable with the feeling, but when she flicked her head away from him and he felt her long pony-tail flapping against the back of his jacket, and his nose caught that scent that was so distinctively hers, the prospect of going along for the ride seemed suddenly pleasing.
“How’s the election going?” It seemed as much a spontaneous eruption as a question. Annie’s head snapped back, and for a moment Rune saw consternation in her face.
But only a moment. “It just started. Only been a few weeks since my dad’s announcement. He’s on the phone a lot, talking to reporters all over the state.” She laughed. “My father’s never been this popular!”
“My dad still feels bad about what he said to him at the Christmas party.”
“Really.” Her voice was suddenly as cold and brittle as the icy snow that crunched under their boots. “What do you think about what he said?”
She knows, he realized. Some politicians are corrupt, others are idiots, but the worst are corrupt idiots — I just hope you’re not an idiot. His father hadn’t said a word about what he’d said. “I think he was drunk.”
“I think you’re right.” He felt her squeeze his arm, as they walked into a patch of sunshine which temporarily blinded them. “And I don’t think we should talk about the election any more.”
“Fine by me.” They had walked into a shaded area again, their eyes adjusting to the residual spots in their vision. “How’d you know where to find me?”
Annie laughed. “Oh that’s easy. You’re a creature of habit, Rune — you leave at the same time, through the same door, every day. Except Tuesday.” Fencing practice.