Her shorts were a mix of navy blue and yellow. They fit loosely, and a thin white drawstring allowed her to tighten them at the waistband. Little yellow bows were spread across the fabric. They formed an interlocking pattern that from a distance almost looked like a strange grid or polka dot design.“Oh, did you make those yourself?” William asked. Corinne narrowed her eyes at the scientist, not certain if he was joking or not. He cleared his throat. “I’ll, uh, take that as a no.” “Why are you here?” she asked. “I…I thought we were friends now.” She noticed how startled and hurt he sounded and realized that she had never snapped at him before. Stammered and fled, certainly, but those were reactions rooted in nervousness, not in anger. Still uncertain of how to act around him when they were alone, she reached out and put her hand on his arm. “I’m sorry. I’ve just been stressed about what happened.” “So have I.” He let out a long breath. “Did I insult you when I asked about your shorts? I really didn’t mean to.” His typical sarcasm was replaced with a worried earnestness, and she smiled in spite of everything.