Richard did not see Lucy as the beautiful sixteen-year-old girl that parents would see, with dark, tousled hair, strongly built and a face that could have belonged to Naomi Campbell if seen in the right light. Richard would sit in the small, server-ridden safehouse apartment in the middle of Chernogorsk, looking at the small, strong woman he had brought up, wondering how a man like him could have raised such a brilliant, intelligent woman. Sitting across from her for such a long time without leaving was a luxury these days.
Richard suddenly leaned forward, putting his arms on the table, as though to get things between them ironed out, explain why he had been gone for so long, but Lucy spoke up before he did. ‘I’m lousy today,’ she said. ‘I’m just way off today', looking at Richard with her cold, blue eyes. She found herself looking at Richard as if he were a stranger, or a poster advertising a brand of linoleum, across the aisle of a subway car.