“I look forward to hearing from you,” said Ivan. “You have my number. Oh, and if you don’t call me at least once a week, I may decide to renegotiate the terms of our deal.”
Hector’s expression stiffened. “What do you mean?”
“Oh, it’s nothing. Just make sure you keep me apprised of your progress. A weekly update is all I ask. That’s not so unreasonable, is it?”
Hector turned his head slightly, reevaluating Ivan from the corner of his eyes. “Are you... I mean... do you not have many people to talk to?”
“What?! No! I have tons of people!”
A suddenly awkward silence intervened.
“It’s just--” Ivan tried. “They’re all--they’re very same-y, you know what I mean? And this was an unexpectedly pleasant conversation, so I--look, shut up. Don’t make this weird. I’m cutting you a lot of slack here. The least you could do is call me once in a while.”
After that, the Salesman just stood there, looking like he wasn’t entirely sure what to do next. “Alright, well. Good, then. I’ll talk to you later.”
“Uh. You didn’t clarify. Are you going to pretend that I forced you to retreat from here? I mean, ah... I only ask because i-it would help me help you.”
Ivan seemed to regain his composure all at once. “Mm. Right. Yes. I suppose I could oblige. Doesn’t matter to me how much--” He cut himself off.
Hector waited, but Ivan just stared blankly past him. Then Hector saw that mad smile again.
“Ha. Well, well. Who is that?”
Hector didn’t know what he meant. But he did hear a noise. A distant hum in the direction of Dunehall. An airplane? Probably not, his gut told him.