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Katzberg stared hard at her high Slavic cheekbones. "Maybe it is. I only just opened it."

"Well, I read it a few years ago," Svetlana informed him with a step forward that was parried with a step backward. "Bacon is my favorite poet. Have you read the 'Eleventh of September'?"

Katzberg snapped his copy of the book shut. "I told you I only just started--"

"It's a very famous poem. You strike me as the sort of man who would know of such things." She took another step forward.

Katzberg slid his copy of the book back into its long-filled slot. "I've got to be going."

Svetlana's slender fingers were tight on his wrist. "Go where?"

Katzberg jerked away with an effort. "Anywhere. 'Scuse me."

Svetlana made a smooth grab for the sleeve of his shirt and pulled herself close. "I have a confession to make, Matthew."

"How did--"

"I know your name because I know you're one of the Colonists." She pulled herself even closer to the stone-still man, to whisper in his ear, "I have a thing for men going into space. Let's find a nice hotel room. My treat."

Katzberg spun around and pulled her hand off his shirt. "I have to be going now." He reversed his spin and disappeared into the Easter weekend shopping crowds passing to and fro outside the shopping mall bookstore, in his haste to get away forcing a pair of Segways to stop in their tracks.

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