Carl, Van Helsing's closest friend, was a genius. But this year on All Fools' Day, Van Helsing was going to outsmart him.
Van Helsing smiled as he thought about his “friend” Carl,
and how he couldn't think that without putting an emphasis on the word “friend” in a way that meant Carl wasn't really just a friend after all.
He wasn't even sure what other word was appropriate for Carl besides “friend.” They were lovers, but somehow lover didn't seem a big enough word.
They were partners in the Order, even moreso than any other knight could be with any other inventor.
None had as close a relationship as he and Carl—a thought that made him smile again and chuckle .Of course none did, but even as far as true friendship, none came close.
They were partners in the field, even though Carl still insisted he was not a field man and even though he complained loudly and relentlessly about weather conditions,
rough patches of ground and the food they often had to eat while traveling.
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