Derek was there and there wasn’t anyone around. He leaned against the desk prying at it with his fingernails. I got off Star and he followed me over to the desk, curious. I bit my lip. “Hey Stranger.”
He jerked and looked up, then grinned. I put Misty’s mail on the desk with my hand on top of it and he put his hand on top of mine. He’d heard us and seen us coming and going and didn’t think he’d see me today. I flushed. Today had been horrible, really and it was all my fault, but I couldn’t tell him that. He was worried he wasn’t important anymore. Which is a silly thing to say, of course he was important. I told him so. He grinned again at me. I slid my hand off of Misty’s mail and out from under his. Star snorted and poked his nose forward. He wanted to be friends.
That or Derek was hiding horse treats behind that bar. Derek laughed at the pony and I introduced him, scratching under Star’s chin. Derek looked through the mail addresses and I quickly reassured him that it was all Misty’s mail. I didn’t even know where my parents were. I swallowed a lump of resentment. I wouldn’t know what to write to them if I did, but it’d be nice to have the option. Derek slid the mail away and put out a lump of sugar for Star. Star whickered and took it with his teeth, crunching in my ear.
Derek asked me about my day. And, it sort of just tumbled out. Josh’s rude treatment of Misty, despite the day before they’d been all sorts of gooey eyed at each other. My personal opinion of the Baroness, which wasn’t high at the moment. Then Sabine and Justin leaving and the letter that started it all. And how it could have been prevented if we’d just read the note first! I didn’t tell Derek about the darkness I’d seen around Justin. What if I’d only imagined it?
Derek tilted his head to the side. “He is twenty years old, Cherie.” He said. “Adult enough to make his own decisions.”
I stomped both feet then, because, I hadn’t thought of that. “So, if this grandfather is so bad, shouldn’t have someone told him already? So he could be on guard for it! Oh. What is it about Justin anyways?”
Derek shrugged. “He’s the old homeboy. You know, the popular in school, makes the whole county proud type of thing. Makes it awfully hard on us poor foreign blokes.”
I narrowed my eyes at him. Was he British or French? He should make up his mind. “Well, he’s too old for me anyways.” I said. That and he wasn’t handsome. I had a weakness for handsome. “Not all of us were raised here and susceptible to his so called charm.”
Derek stilled a second and then relaxed. “He’s a nice enough guy.” He hedged.
“I don’t want any harm to come to him!” I protested. I just, it was, oh, it was all sorts of muddled. I sighed and slumped against the counter. “All this fuss and bother and it could’ve been prevented if the entire family just talked to each other.” I grumbled. “Something bad is going to happen around here.” I could just feel it.
He put his hand on top of mine again and I turned my hand over to rub at his fingers. I took my sunglasses off so I could look into his eyes better. Besides, it was getting too late for them anyways. He leaned forward and I don’t know what he was about to do, I was too caught up in his blue eyes and then Star shoved me in the back.
I grabbed the desk and turned. “Starspider!” I yelped. The pony whickered and pranced backwards. I swear, that pony. I don’t know what got into him. Derek chuckled and said he thought Star wanted more sugar. “Wanted to be part of the group, more like,” I grumbled. But whatever the moment had been, was lost. The day had gone from orange to a dark pink and I winced. It was late, really late, as in, if I didn’t head back now it was going to be dark by the time I hit the manor. I slumped. “I should go.”
“Just be careful out there,” Derek told me and touched my hand again.
“What?” I managed a smile. “Not going to tell me to stop?”
“I doubt you’d listen.”
I tucked my sunglasses into the neckline of my shirt and smirked at him. I got back on Star, waved at him and headed back to the Manor. I lost sight of him pretty quickly once I went around the corner of the post office building. I didn’t know what to make of the entire exchange. But, I did feel better. Derek had a good point. Justin was an adult, old enough to make his own decisions even if they were rash and stupid. And I wasn’t anyone to judge about rash and stupid. Someone should have told him for goodness sake! He was the grandson of the Baroness and if Uncle Aaron didn’t have any children, then he was probably in line to inherit the whole shebang! But no, he’d run off after a grandfather who’d married his grandmother under an assumed name. A person so bad that while Aaron still was a Silverglade, Thomas had changed his last name and moved off the family estate.
But my mind quickly drifted from that, Derek had sort of held my hand and I have no idea what he was going to do when we got close to each other before Star had interrupted. I muttered at the pony. He turned his head at me and snorted. Maybe he knew better Derek’s intentions than I did!
Misty was hiding under the covers with her teddy bear when I got back. I felt a huge strike of guilt. I’d been mad all day and then she’d been nice enough to have me deliver her mail. I should apologize. I resolved to do it in the morning. She was a better friend than I deserved. I went and quietly washed my makeup off before taking a shower and getting ready for bed, composing this entry in my head as I did. I managed to scribble it all down before yawns overtook me and I’m going to tuck Roarzor under my chin diary and hopefully fall right asleep for once instead of my brain chewing over everything for hours before I do. I think writing in you is helping with that. I just hope I don’t run out of pages!
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Have a question you want to ask Savvy about her experiences in Moorland or before? Ask at Ask Mountain Song on tumblr.