Again feeling sympathy for Akantha, Jasper briefly looked down at the floor. He certainly wasn’t the last good man alive, but for Akantha to make that statement it meant that she’d been burned pretty badly by men before. He knew about her husband, but it seemed that she’d known many other lowlifes, a fact that didn’t surprise Jasper in the least since he knew she’d spent so much time on a pirate ship.
There was a slight pause between them and then Akantha looked up and asked, "Where do you think he got off to?"
Jasper looked over to where Rufus had exited. “I don’t know. Sticking his neck out for us like that, maybe he’s making sure that any loose ends are tied before he proceeds?” It was harder to analyze a situation like this than it was to diagnose patients with even the most obscure illnesses, and Jasper found that it made him more anxious as well. But appearing nervous in front of Akantha wouldn’t help things at all, so he tried his best to maintain a calm fašade. “Of course, I do think everything’s okay out there—after all, we’d have heard a struggle by now, I think, even amidst the crowd.”