This week, one of the prompts we could use was a "storm" so that's exactly what I've done. As a quick reminder on what happened last week (You can read it here): Bethany was waiting for a man to appear, she's nervous but tries not to show it. Finally, the man arrived and her final line before today's flash was:
“General Hodgins, I presume?”
“General Hodgins, I presume?”
Light of Time 2
He came to stand a few feet away from her. Bethany’s breath caught and her stays seemed to dig into her ribs but she managed to remain still as a statue and not gasp for air like she wished to do.
The man did not confirm his identity. Not that he needed to. She’d heard the stories and there was no confusing him. He was tall as the northern folk and his hair was gold like wheat bathed by the sun, but it was the scar on his skull what gave him away. He wore his long hair tied back in a ponytail and the sides of his head shaved, a long pink scar coming from the back of his left year to the back of his right. That scar was a reminder of the vulnerability of her position. Women talked of how handsome General Hodgins was, but men, men talked about the war, the blood, the deaths. They talked about Hummingbird 121 and all the men that went down with that Zeppelin. All except one: General A. Hodgins. No one knew how he survived, but he had. Unwillingly, Bethany shivered.
As if sensing her discomfort, Hodgins finally bowed his head in silent answer to her question. Bethany’s pulse jumped. It was him. There were so many questions that needed answering, so many things that she didn’t understand but he did. Or so he claimed. He had been the one to seek her out and contrary to what everyone had advised, she had accepted seeing him.
“B. G. Deléger,” he said, straightening his back. His voice was deep, with a husky quality to it that made it seem like he was whispering or about to. Bethany stiffened. Though his face was an unreadable mask and his eyes were hidden behind dark golden rimmed glasses she had a feeling that he was observing her and measuring her. Was she up to his standards?
“Perhaps we shall go inside, General Hodgins?” Bethany smiled. Her hands were shaking inside her pockets but her voice had remained steady and she was proud of the feat.
“Do you fear the storm, B.G.?”
Her smile disappeared as readily as it had come. Her heart climbed to her throat and a memory she had long thought buried reappeared in her mind.
“Do not call me that,” she ground out the words, and absentmindedly clutched the watch at her neck.
“My apologies.” Hodgins bowed his head, his long hair swaying from side to side. “but you have not answered my question.” Bethany swallowed, nerves fluttering in her belly as Hodgins grasped the right leg of his glasses and pulled them off. Her tiny gasp was swallowed by the loud crack of thunder that shook the world around them. “Do you fear the storm, Beth?”
Bethany hurried to look away. She glanced at the Church’s dimly lit garden and pathway. Gone was the comfort of the lamp lighter. Gone was the warmth of the bright lamps. Now, their metal structures quivered and the fires captured within their glass domes trembled with them, drawing eerie shadows in the pavement. The trees that once offered shade to the Nuold’s believers now shook with the onslaught of a wind that grew bolder with every passing second. Her gaze went to the sky. The stars were gone and in its stead a grey mass illuminated by bolts of lightning took control of the skies.
Hodgins moved to her side to watch the oncoming storm. He wasn’t touching her, but he had moved closer and her body felt his heat as if his long fingers were resting on her body.
Was she afraid of the storm? No. She had seen countless storms since the day of her birth in this sad planet. Every day at eight o’clock the world would tremble and become pelted with heavy drops of water. No, she didn’t fear nature.
What she feared were the eyes she felt gazing down at her and the man that possessed them.
To be continued...