Juniper Smythe looked across the main room of Murphy’s.
The lunch crowd wasn’t quite in, but it was starting. The couple dozen already seated around the room represented all corners of the continent.
And not a local among them, aside from the rest of the staff.
Even so, she found a familiar face coming in the door.
Two familiar faces.
Juniper met the couple halfway across the room. She was instantly enfolded in a three-way hug.
“I thought you weren’t coming until tomorrow.”
Irina shrugged her shapely shoulders.
“That was the plan, but Stan’s schedule opened up.”
“Let me get you guys a table,” Juniper glanced around. “Over there, best we have available, right by the bar.”
As she led them over, Stan looked at the tables.
“How’ve things been? Looks like the place is working out.”
“Sort of a niche market, but a big one. And a loyal one. The reputation and word of mouth from shoppers and tourists has been great. How about you two? It’s been a while.”
Irina smiled as she sat.
“Hunting hasn’t been great, lately. But, Greywood headhunted Stan, and may have a field position for me in a couple months, so not too bad.”
“Greywood Institute? Are you sure?”
Stan shrugged, “Well, the non-disclosure agreement is a bit . . . strict, but the pay and resources are . . .”
“. . . something we can’t discuss,” Irina finished.
Juniper waved over a waiter.
“”Sorry, guys. The lunch rust is starting. Maybe this evening?” Then, to the waiter, “Take good care of them, they’re old friends.”