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Wynne Layuman doesn’t hate Hector Primuman IV, but she can’t bring herself to like him much, either, even if he does understand her when she recites the periodic table. Eventually, her mother uses the outdated Earth adage, “The third time’s the charm,” even though the third attempt to set Wynne up with Hector happened before they hit Dyad (age sixteen).
Hector Primuman IV, great-great grandson of the man who founded the original colony, has long known he’s odd. With the genegineering that advanced his mind at the expense of his body (genegineering specifically designed to enable him to keep the colony’s secrets hidden), the clos-est thing he has to a friend is the one girl who can (usually, sort of) keep up with him: Wynne Layuman. But Wynne’s highly competitive, leaving him aware that while she’s the closest thing he has to a friend, the feeling isn’t mutual. And she’s smart enough that she’ll eventually figure out what he can’t tell her, and he can’t be sure she won’t hate him for it.
Because there’s more behind the Arzon colony than genegineering and assigned Partnerings (as-signed if you don’t find your own before you hit Triad, that is). Hector’s grown up knowing the truth (and hating it); Wynne’s never suspected (but finds herself unsurprised when he starts help-ing her notice it). Between the lies he’s had to tell her—and the truths he’s tried to help her find—will Wynne and Hector get past the rivalry and secrets to develop something more, or will others’ meddling and the lies of their lives drive them apart?