" It's one thing to have a personal grudge against me, but you shouldn't let it bleed into your policy decisions," William said.

" I can do whatever I want," Stheno replied. " It's not like I'm intentionally trying to antagonize you out of spite."

" Ah, isn't that exactly what you've been doing, though?" William said.

" I'm just starting to question what exactly you're doing, running around with the Starka's Lyena. It doesn't seem like something you'd do without some sort of ulterior motive."

" My relationship with Lyena-Nova is purely professional," William answered with a smile.

" Yes, that's why you went out drinking together and he took you back to the ship after you passed out," Stheno replied. " I know exactly what sort of person you are, and I know you wouldn't leave yourself open unless you were with someone you trusted."

" Stheno, it's been so long. How can you claim to know what kind of person I am? I've changed since then, and learned many things about the world."

Mutual evaluation.

" William, you're up to something."

" Well, it's not anything that concerns you."

" So it is something."

" You shouldn't worry so much about it. It's not like you're relevant to my life in any way at all."