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Like a drowning man, he said to her, "Look again, maybe you missed something." Gesturing toward his brother, he added a joke that sounded as desperate as it was: "It's probably dark in there."

Lyta said, "There's no reason..."

But Leo quickly thought of another angle. "What if he thinks it's true? What if he's so guilty over what he did to me that he's convinced himself it didn't happen?"

She shook her head firmly. "I'm trained to separate false memories from real ones. Look, I'm sorry, I really have to go now, I'm not feeling well..."

Clearly Alex was happy to hear this, because while Leo was obsessing about his own concerns and considerations, Alex had grown increasingly worried over what he perceived as Lyta's rapidly deteriorating appearance. "That's a good idea. Have a nice lie-down, some tea, you'll feel better. Thank you for your time, Ms. Alexander." He winked at her with a lasciviousness that was so guileless it was impossible for her to take offense. "You're a lovely young woman. If I were thirty years younger and you were a little blind in one eye ... we could have a wonderful life together."

She smiled, which was something of an accomplishment considering what she really wanted to do was grimace. He nodded his head to her once more, did not even bother to glance in his brother's direction, rose from the table, and walked away.

Leo slumped back in his chair, staring into space. He looked like a deflated balloon. For a moment-a brief moment-Lyta considered saying something to console him. She was all too aware that, thanks to her talent, this man's entire worldview had just come crashing down around his ears. But her head was throbbing too much for her to feel particularly sympathetic at that moment. So she got to her feet, steadying herself
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