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Don't cast aspersions on my asparagus.
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Most people would have respected that.

Well, Bradley respected it. He respected how Aiden did not lose his cool, how he confessed with a "mea culpa" his own folly in broaching that conversation, how he was blunt and direct in laying out the lines that should not be crossed. Bradley always gave people points for honesty, for directness, for abandoning hints and nuanced social cues and instead frankly articulating their desires for the conversation. He respected that.

But most people would have fortified that respect, and followed it with acquiescence.

Not Bradley though. To earn Bradley's respect (a goal that, to anyone other than Bradley, would seem more a mark of shame than an accomplishment), one had to also sustain a relentless barrage of button-pressing. Taboos would be broken, boundaries violated, the prohibited topics made real. Bradley respected people who stated their lines. Allowed him to more efficiently test them.

He impaled a piece of meat (mystery meat, as Bradley liked to think of the cafeteria food) on his fork, and held it up. "Okay. I'll respect your limits."

He took a bite from the fork. Tore the meat off. Pulled it back to look it over.

"Think this animal's family was proud of 'im?"
V7 peeps:
Nick Ogilvie
Ashlynn Martinek
Bill Winlock
Camille Bellegarde

V6 peeps:
Kiziah Saraki
Bradley Floyd
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Sing A Song Of Sixpence · Memories from the Past