Andrew fixed his eyes on the marble soldier without really seeing it. He was deep in thought. He did not hear the approaching footsteps. Nor did he notice a sudden hush in the room.
“Andrew,” said a voice suddenly, coming from somewhere behind him.
The cowboy jumped.
He turned to growl at the intruder, only to find that it was Mark, who was rocking on his heels and looking positively awkward. The cowboy didn’t want to admit it, but he was really more relieved than irritated. Still he knitted his brows to give Mark an impression that he hadn’t much time to chat. And, yes, he didn’t want Mark to think he was a coward, either.
Andrew was very much determined to walk away without a backward glance. Looking at Mark, though, he decided to go easy on his former friend. He waited.
“Uh,” said Mark slowly, avoiding Andrew’s eyes. But he was stopped by a fit of coughing.
The cowboy remained taciturn, his nostrils flaring slightly.