Henryk sighed as Leonas entered the third shop. Before he’d headed off this morning with his spouse, hed had no idea how complicated finding a single book could be. Leonas insisted that he need a specific book to complete his research on the history of Seska. It would be the hardest to find book imaginable.

Leonas wasted no time wandering the shop and browsing the shelves. He’d already bought four books at previous stores doing just that. Instead he went to the shopkeeper. “Excuse me?” he said softly.

The man looked up with the air of one who hated being bothered. “Yes,” he said, his tone bored.

Leonas blinked anxiously and looked over at Henryk. “Let me, kocha,” Henryk said. “We’re looking for a book. It’s an illustrated historical tome regarding Seska. The writer went by the name Vladimir.”

The man paused and nodded. He left the pair and went into a back room. Moments later, he emerged with a worn book. “Is this it?” he asked. He handed the book over to Leonas, who was already putting on special gloves.

Leonas scanned the book and nodded. “It’s quite worn but no pages are missing and it’s still readable. How much are you asking?”

Henryk smiled faintly as he watched his lover dicker for the prized volume. His mild-mannered habits may have made it hard for him to approach the man but once he had, it was easy for him to make the man think he couldn’t possibly by looking for a bargain while looking for a book.