While Delphine fiddled with the stove, Cosima let her eyes drift around the kitchen. It was the first room they redid when they started renovations on the originally dilapidated house, and it still felt the most like home to Cosima. It was warm, for one thing, while the still-under-renovation living room was drafty, and the small touches that they had unpacked as soon as it was ready reminded Cosima of the travels she had shared with Delphine as they worked to vaccinate clones all over the world: a spice rack from Brazil; a hanging vase from Japan, now offering a single chrysanthemum; the cloth placemats Delphine had brought from her home in Paris. On the wall by the table hung Cosima’s favorite picture from their wedding. They were both laughing—it had been taken during Felix’s toast—but Cosima was slightly out of focus, drawing the attention to Delphine, sharp and glowing in her beauty.
The picture tickled an alert in Cosima’s mind, one that only got louder as her eyes dropped to the table, a big wood trestle they’d picked up in Quebec, currently adorned with . . . wildflowers in a vase and . . . candles?
“Delphine! It’s our anniversary!”
“It is,” Delphine agreed, looking back over her shoulder with a smile as she took off her apron.
That over-the-shoulder look always killed Cosima.
“And I was late and now I’ve got all this shit going on . . .” Delphine was still smiling and Cosima trailed off.
“It’s all right, chérie. Dinner will wait. Come and tell me what happened.”
That backward glance again. Cosima followed her wife through the side door to the glass-enclosed porch that had so far been their biggest project in the remodeling of the house. At this time of year it was chilly but not yet unbearable, and the greenish light of the streetlights filtering through the glass was soothing. She hit the switch for the purpose-built air filter and exchanged her glass for the bong sitting on the wicker table. It was already loaded with Wookie, her favorite strain from their latest batch of new lines coaxed from cross-breeding and genetic manipulation. She lit up and took a deep hit while Delphine settled into the semi-reclined hammock.
“So tell me,” Delphine started. “What did he say that upset you so much?”
Cosima let the smoke out slowly. She didn’t want to be upset, she didn’t want to be the one freaking out all the time and forgetting their damn anniversary while Delphine was calm and in control and cooking. “He knew I had worked for DYAD.” It came out, she thought approvingly, very casual, almost as if she herself didn’t think it was a big deal.
Delphine was frowning. “How could he know that?” She paused, thinking. “We’ve been so careful.”
They had been. Part of the reason Cosima was stuck in this dead-end job she hated was because she had tried to wipe out anything that could connect her, in any way, to DYAD, Neolution, Brightborn, or clones. She couldn’t tell anyone about the vaccine she’d engineered or all the other crazy science she and Delphine had done together in case it led them back to clones. To the fact she was a clone.
“Tell me exactly what he said,” Delphine said, swaying gently in the hammock.
“First he asked me why DYAD wasn’t on my CV—How did he find out about it?—and then he said something about ‘the technology DYAD was working with, but a decade later.’ Delphine, it’s not just the name DYAD! He knows something about what they were working on!” The weed was not working, and Cosima was close to panic again.
“DYAD was working on lots of different genetic technologies, technologies they were very public about,” Delphine said soothingly. She shivered suddenly, and Cosima realized her wife was only wearing a light dress.
“You must be freezing!” Cosima took off her coat and snuggled into the hammock next to Delphine, pulling the coat over both of them. “Mmm, that’s better.” They swung quietly for a moment.
“I just keep thinking,” Cosima said finally. “What if they have someone who worked at DYAD? Maybe someone who’s exchanging their secrets for immunity . . .”
“But if something like that happened,” Delphine said, gently turning Cosima’s face back to hers, “we would have found out long before now.”
“Maybe.” Cosima shook her head. “Or maybe they’ve been waiting for the right moment to act, or . . .”
Delphine wrapped her arms around her wife. “Cosima. It’s going to be all right.”
Cosima nestled into Delphine’s arms,...