But…she had also enjoyed working with him. Even that was an odd feeling—to work with somebody. She wasn’t used to that, but it had been unexpectedly painless. He did not mess with her. He did not try to tell her how to live her life. She was the one who had seduced him, not vice versa. He waited her out while they drank coffee. After ten minutes she said, reluctantly, “I like your company.” Those were words that had never before passed her lips.
“It was…interesting to work with you on this case.”
“I enjoyed working with you too,” he said.
“The fact is, I’ve never worked with such a brilliant researcher. OK, I know you’re a hacker and hang out in suspect circles in which you can set up an illegal wiretap in London in twenty-four hours, but you get results.”
She looked at him for the first time since she had sat at the table. He knew so many of her secrets.
“That’s just how it is. I know computers. I’ve never had a problem with reading a text and absorbing what it said.”
“Your photographic memory,” he said softly.
“I admit it. I just have no idea how it works. It’s not only computers and telephone networks, but the motor in my bike and TV sets and vacuum cleaners and chemical processes and formulae in astrophysics. I’m a nut case, I admit it: a freak.”
Blomkvist frowned. He sat quietly for a long time.
Asperger’s syndrome, he thought. Or something like that. A talent for seeing patterns and understanding abstract reasoning where other people perceive only white noise.
Salander was staring down at the table.
“Most people would give an eye tooth to have such a gift.”
“I don’t want to talk about it.”