Straight lines. His life must run in straight lines. Fidget, touch, arrange, neaten. Maintain control. If Randall sees straight lines, he is safe. His secret remains where it is, under his suit jacket.
The drink had helped, once, until it had done the opposite of helping. He’d discovered then that drink was a crutch that caused its own trouble. Lix, he noted, had not yet given it up.
He did not judge. He never could judge, with her, only pine for her from afar. Only flee when he discovered he might have caused another monster to become.
Lix said, “Do they know?”
“Your superiors at the BBC. Anyone here.”
He sighted through the viewfinder, focused on the cork board on the far wall. He said, “You are the only living being who knows.”
Lix’s hand tightened on whatever it was she was holding, then relaxed.
He made a clucking sound. “Dust on the lens,” he said to her, and set her neglected camera down on her desk, aligned with the edges. Their child, if it lived, might also have his curse.
Or his blessing. Lix had always argued for this interpretation. A blessing, his wings. White wings, magnificent angelic wings, so pure they glowed in moonlight. She’d loved them as she’d loved him, had coaxed them out of his skin just as she coaxed him out of his clothes and into her bed. Her hands on them, stroking. The feeling of sweeping them around her, holding her safe in his arms, sheltered.
Until she’d told him of the child on the way.
Would she ever forgive him? He had to know. He had to find the child, if she would let him, and find out if she could forgive him. Randall straightened up and looked at Lix. She wasn’t looking at him.
Not yet. He couldn’t ask yet.