A bell chimed faintly six times. It was from the Dutch Reformed Church in town. Cian stopped typing at the first bell and waited motionless for the following five. His gaze drifted from the page in front of him to the garden outside his window. The wild roses were wrestling with the Hawthorn bushes again. He idlely considered doing some work outside tomorrow if he got the chance, knowing full well that he wouldn't spare a moment away from his work for at least a week or two.
His schedule would be strict; rising at six A.M., out for a run, then a shower and breakfast, at the typewrite by seven, writing straight through until lunch at one, back to the typewriter by one-thirty, and staying there until six in the evening. He would then make a simple dinner and read as he ate, usually some kind of research for whatever he was working on. Later as dusk approached he would take a walk. He would finish up the evening by either reading more or working on plotting or characterization. The only time he would break this schedule was when he would have to go shopping,and he always resented those interruptions. Cian liked to have the structure of working on a book guide his life. He liked his work.
He didn't mind the solitude. He had, in fact, chosen it. He had never felt particularly comfortable with other people. Peter was the only person that he had any kind of prolonged contact with. Peter was Cian's only friend. He attributed that to Peter's personality. Peter liked people. People liked Peter. It wasn't hard to see why. Peter was witty, handsome, and used his considerable wealth to pursue his varied interests. He had an easy assurance that Cian envied. He was fluent in the cryptical ways of the world, the ones that seemed to trip Cian up every chance they got. He knew how to order the correct wine at a restaurant, bid at a silent auction, outfit an expedition, buy tailor made clothing, ask recently met women to dinner, shoot skeet, build a log cabin with just hand tools, play squash, appraise vintage jewelery, comport himself with dignity in the company of royalty, and so many other things. Cian didn't know anything that Peter couldn't do well. He seemed to truly be a renaissance man in these days of specialization and generalization.