The ward of castoria, p.11
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       The Ward of Castoria, p.11

           Robin Silverglate


  Dane sent a thought to Beckwyn as soon as he opened the door. “Don’t let her leave just yet. I’ll be back in a minute.” He ran quickly back to where he assumed Kayla and her pack of friends would be. He was furious with them. It took all his power to keep himself under control as he had escorted Bryn to her father’s office. Bryn was such a strong person and it made him mad that those infantile girls were affecting her that way.

  It did not take long to find them standing by Kayla’s locker. “Can I talk to you for a moment?” Dane asked with controlled politeness.

  Kayla turned and her eyes looked hopeful as she put on her dazzling smile and said, “Of course. Do you need something?”

  Dane felt disgust at her obvious attempt to flirt again, but he put that out of his mind because what he was about to do required a special type of concentration. Planting a thought inside someone’s mind was one thing, but to actually influence the way they behaved took more concentration. Dane swore to himself that he would do whatever he could in order for Bryn to never get in that situation again.

  “Do not ever talk to Bryn in the hallway again. If you see her in the hallway, then turn around and walk away. Nod if you understand me.” He looked at all three girls and smiled when he saw them nod. The blank looks in their eyes verified that his message had taken effect. He was just about to end the thought transfer when an impulse came over him that he couldn’t resist. “One more thing. I want you to spend the rest of the week worrying that you have bad breath and frizzy hair. And when you see Bryn, I want you to blush with embarrassment because you think that you have a large, festering pimple on your nose.”

  Dane could not contain his smile of contentment as he made his way back to James’ office. He opened the door and found Bryn’s hand already holding the doorknob. Dane saw Beckwyn’s look of relief. He knew Bryn’s strong-willed nature by now and could only imagine how hard it was to try to convince Bryn to stay while she was late for work. Dane nodded to Beckwyn in order to signal that he was back in charge of her.

  He held the door open for Bryn. As she left, she said, “Bye Dad. I’m late for work. You can pick me up around seven-thirty.” Then she turned to Dane, put her hand on his arm and said, “Thank you.” Dane could not tell if she was thanking her for holding open the door or for helping her earlier.

  On the outside, Dane looked calm as he made a slight bow of his head. But on the inside, his stomach felt like it was doing cartwheels. He could still feel the pressure of her hand on his arm long after she had left.

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