Welcome to another installment of Wednesday Briefs! Please forgive me if there are any funny errors in the story because I wrote them in a different computer than my usual one.
The prompt I used for this story was:
Light of Time 3“Then we shall remain here.”
Bethany turned away, silent. She wrapped her arms around herself and stared out into the gloom. The raging storm gained in power as the seconds ticked by. The wind howled like a dozen pennant souls begging for mercy. The trees shook, their branches contorting in all directions. Lightening and thunder took turns in performing their macabre dance. While one illuminated the sky the other crashed with a deafening sound. As the force of the rain increased, droplets of water splashed onto her gown. Her hair whipped around her face, the lace that had held it in place gone into the madness of the storm.
Shivering slightly, Bethany sneaked a peak at her companion. General Hodgins was like a beacon, for whereas Bethany could have slipped into the shadows and hidden, he could not. He was too tall, too blonde, too powerful, too obvious. Under the raging storm he stood out. Quiet, serious, arms at his back, eyes fixed in the distance, seeing God knew what.
The wind picked up and the rain became icy. Goosebumps rose on her flesh and she ground her teeth, intent on keeping the chattering at bay. She wanted answers. She needed answers. She wet her lips, opened her mouth and was about to demand them when Hodgins moved, cocking his head to one side.
“You know why we're here.”
Snapping her mouth shut, she glared at him.
“I'm not so certain.”
Hodgins became silent again, his eyes on the madness beyond the church's portico. She didn't know if he was gathering his thoughts or out right ignoring her.
“This was a mistake.” Frustrated, she gathered her dress and turned, ready to leave the General behind. She'd find her own answers.
“Your grandfather's work. Your suspicions. My suspicions.”
She veered to face him, “How?”
“I worked closely with your grandfather. We were,” he hesitated, as if the words were difficult to say, “friends.”
“Grandpa never mentioned you,” she said dryly. She returned to her spot at his side, watching the passing storm.
“He wouldn't. I asked him not to.”
“Why?” She whispered, gazing at the mysterious man.
Finally, Hodgins turned toward her. His clear eyes pierced through her and a batch of nerves danced deep in her belly. The thought of cowering, running away from those eyes that seemed to know everything, passed through her mind for a fraction of a second, but she hadn't been raised that way. With as much dignity as she could muster she straightened her back and met the General's stare head on.
They stood like that for what seemed to her like eons, but was probably little more than a few seconds.
“He raised you well.” She could barely hide her surprise when the corner of Hodgins' lips lifted slightly. “Come on. Let's go.” Bethany hesitated as he offered her his right hand. He had large hands with long thin fingers that reminded her of the young piano professor she'd had as a child. Unfortunately, she knew enough about Hodgins to know that those hands did not belong to a man that played the piano like an angel. No, those strong fingers had probably never touched an instrument with a loving caress, but they had reached out and brought death to more than one.
Without comment, Hodgins lowered his hand and stepped into the rain, quickly walking away. Alarmed, Bethany hurried after him. The rain was still coming strong, the storm not nearly over. As water loggged her dress, her steps became slower, the weight of the garment cumbersome. Her hair became plastered to her face, the locks mingling with the water that insisted in getting into her eyes.
“Hodgins,” she cried out, furious. The man walked faster and soon she lost sight of him. Cursing, Bethany turned around. Stupid, stupid, stupid. If she didn't die of a pneumonia her nana would kill her for trusting a man who's first name she did not know. How many times had the old nurse told her? It's all Mr. this and Mr. that in this day and age, but if a man doesn't share his first name with you, then he's hiding something and it's not good.
Glancing about, Bethany caught her bearings. She'd return to the church and wait out the storm. Afterward, she'd hire a cab back home. Miserable, she trudged her way back. A loud whinny was the only warning she received as rough hands picked her from the floor.
To be continued...
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