The ward of castoria, p.9
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       The Ward of Castoria, p.9

           Robin Silverglate
 

  Chapter 4

  Confrontations

  The next morning, when the Thorners left for school, Dane forced himself to stay well behind them as they walked to the Metro. Beckwyn wanted to squeeze in next to them on the subway car, but Dane shook his head and indicated they should stay in the back. When they arrived at school, Dane waited outside of Bryn’s first period class until the warning bell rang. She nodded to him when he entered the room and Dane nodded back, but he continued to walk by her desk without talking to her. Instead, his eyes scanned the classroom as he looked for potential threats. Even though he did not sense any creatures, he remained vigilant all throughout first period.

  The beginning of second period found Dane in the same mindset. He was here to perform his duty and he would not allow himself to get distracted. This task was now made more difficult due to the fact that his desk was right next to Bryn’s. It was easier for him to hear the rude comment that the self-obsessed blonde girl said to Bryn as she walked by on the way to her desk.

  “Who did your hair? A blind guy who hates you?” she asked in a snarling whisper.

  Dane turned in surprise to see what Bryn would do. She did absolutely nothing. The calm look on her face told him she was not surprised by the rude comment. In fact, she looked like she was used to it. He watched the blonde girl sit at her desk and begin a loud conversation with another student. Only then did Bryn let out a soft exhale of breath. She did not look anywhere but toward the front of the class where she appeared to be intently reading the assignment on the board.

  Dane wondered what was going on between Bryn and this girl. From what he could tell, there was no reason to say such an offensive comment. Bryn’s hair looked beautiful. He liked how long it was and how it rested on her shoulders just before spilling over onto her back. He even loved the rich brown color of her hair. The teacher eventually started the class and Bryn shifted in her seat so she could take notes. Dane suddenly realized he was blatantly staring at her, so he turned his head to face the teacher instead. He really needed to stop getting caught up in looking at her hair. It was too distracting. He didn’t know why this was the case, but he knew it was probably not a good thing. There were too many reasons to count.

  Dane went back to focusing only on protecting Bryn. She was his Ward and it was his duty to keep her safe. He kept his senses open and tried to detect any dangers nearby. When Beckwyn sent a message to him reporting that nothing of interest was happening with the father, Dane did not choose to acknowledge him. When Beckwyn persisted in wondering what was happening with Bryn, Dane gave a short concise answer in response. Beckwyn seemed to get the hint that he was not in the mood to talk so he gave up.

  The rest of the school day passed by achingly slow for Dane. Periodically, he would catch himself staring at Bryn without even remembering what caught his attention in the first place. It was as if his eyes were automatically drawn to her every movement. The hardest part was trying to distance himself from her when they were required to work together on a chemistry lab. She put on the thick, plastic safety glasses and asked in a joking manner, “How do I look?”

  He thought that she looked adorable, but he averted his eyes and mumbled, “Fine.” Dane forced himself to look toward the front of the class when she leaned close to him in order to read the directions off of the worksheet and he moved his hand back the instant he felt hers when they both reached for the test tube at the same time. Dane kept his comments to things that only dealt with the lab experiment and Bryn did the same. When they finished with five minutes left in the class, he sat back in his chair and didn’t attempt to talk to her. Dane, however, was a little disappointed Bryn did not seem to feel the need to talk to him either.
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