The ward of castoria, p.8
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       The Ward of Castoria, p.8

           Robin Silverglate


  Dane stood staring at the door through which she had left. He could not tell which emotion was the most dominant in him right now: frustration or disappointment. His brows furrowed, but there a definite sense of loss in the abrupt end to their conversation. He would have happily continued their verbal sparring. Dane enjoyed the challenge she presented. He could easily see she was frustrated with him. He wasn’t even sure if she thought kindly of him. But if truth be told, he enjoyed watching the brightness in Bryn’s eyes as she fought for her beliefs.

  “Dane! It’s time to go. Thank the father so we can leave.” Dane jumped at the sound of Beckwyn’s voice in his head. He was so caught up in his own thoughts, that he had been unaware of Beckwyn and James staring of him in an expectant way.

  Beckwyn had an amused look on his face as he said out loud, “Dane, we appreciate the dinner, right?” Dane reluctantly cleared his thoughts and thanked James for the dinner. Then, he walked straight to the front door and let himself out.

  Beckwyn soon followed, but only after giving a more grateful thanks to their host. “What was that all about?” he asked as they moved away from the house.

  Dane sighed and said, “I don’t know. I guess I was in the mood for an argument. I’m just frustrated with all that’s going on right now. The increased attacks puzzle me and I don’t how much longer Yara will take no for an answer.”

  They walked over to a tree that was across the street from the Thorner house. Beckwyn leaped up and effortlessly pulled himself on top of a tree branch in order to sit comfortably. He looked down at Dane and said, “We can handle the attacks just fine. I’m not worried about that at all. As for the matter of Yara, you’re on your own, my friend.”

  Dane grunted and then leaned against the tree. He had a perfect view of the house. He saw two lights on in the top story and wondered which room was Bryn’s and which room was her father’s. His curiosity was such that he thought about running over and taking a quick peek into both so he could know for sure and then he chastised himself for needing to know such inconsequential details. They were there to protect both of them. It did not matter whose window was whose.

  The thought of Bryn being just a few hundred feet away nagged at him. He did not like that she was constantly sneaking into his thoughts. Usually, he stayed as far away as possible from the Wards. But spending all this extra time with the father and daughter was becoming a distraction. He looked up at Beckwyn and said, “Why did you make us eat dinner with them tonight? We could have watched them perfectly fine from out here.”

  Beckwyn shrugged and said, “I was hungry.”

  Dane shook his head and said, “You know full well that you and I can go for days without eating. What was up with all that nonsense about ‘death by pizza?’”

  Beckwyn smiled and said, “I was just helping our cover story about why we were available for dinner. What would you rather me say? ‘Hi. Thanks for inviting us over so we can protect you against the inevitable monster that’s going to try to kill you or your daughter?’”

  Dane laughed and said, “No, but you were laying it on a little thick if you asked me. Have you ever even eaten pizza?”

  “No. Have you?”

  “No,” replied Dane. “But it smells delicious.” After a few more minutes of silence between them, Dane asked “What was the real reason why you made us eat dinner with them?”

  Beckwyn thought for a moment and said, “I was curious about the girl.”

  Dane felt a tense sensation in his stomach. “About Bryn?”

  “Yes. When you were giving me an update this morning, you described her a little. You said she was smart and beautiful. I’ve never heard you compliment any other girl like that before and I just got curious about her.”

  “Oh,” said Dane. He had not remembered saying that to Beckwyn, but he must have, because he certainly was thinking it.

  Beckwyn continued, “So I planted the idea of the dinner in the father’s head. I didn’t think you would mind.”

  “Well, I do mind. I’d much rather do our job from out here.” He lied.

  Beckwyn looked down at him and nodded. “As you wish. We’ll just spend the minimum amount of time possible with them.” Dane felt that was the right thing to do, but at the same time, he didn’t like the thought of seeing less of Bryn Thorner.

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