“Nothing,” Fane clammed up. They walked past a sign directing their party to the top floor. An arrow at the bottom of the large placard pointed towards the row of lifts. Fane drew in a steadying breath. He was not overly fond of the tiny boxes. He also was not about to say that to Orlov.
They rang the lift and crowded into it when the door slid open. It was small, not more than four people could fit into the cramped compartment comfortably. It was older. The type that Fane hated the most. His palms started to sweat.
“I’m sorry, I’m not much of a conversationalist,” Fane apologized as the door slowly slid closed. Orlov glanced over at him, his brow furrowing. Fane licked his dry lips. Whatever happened, he was going to try to act normal. Orlov waited. “I’m not sure what I can, and cannot talk to you about,” Fane supplied, trying to defend his earlier statement.
“I don’t need to be made privy to any military secrets,” Orlov responded almost mechanically.
“I didn’t…I didn’t mean that,” Fane mumbled.
“What exactly did you mean?” Orlov held his ground on the other side of the elevator.
“I don’t want to offend you. You seem like a decent guy, and I’d rather just keep things civil, so…I don’t really know what I can talk to you about,” he stated, straightening. All he wanted to do was cower into himself, but sometimes, reversing that desire was necessary.
“First impressions aren’t everything, are they?” Orlov asked, finally leaning over to press the button to the top floor. Fane’s barely audible gasp of incredulity startled Orlov. He flicked a glance to Fane. His hands were balled up. Had he hit a nerve?
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