Hello, hello and happy hump day! I didn't think I was going to make it this week, but I finally managed to write some more on Bethany's and Hodgin's steampunk adventure. If you don't recall what happened last week, you can read the (short) brief HERE. Enjoy! And of course, don't forget to visit the rest of the awesome bunch of Wednesday Briefers!
*If you'd like to read all the previous chapters click HERE and scroll down to where it says "Light of Time"
Light of Time 7
They stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity. Neither of them said a word. Her dark eyes had widened at his accusation and a brief instant of panic seemed to have crossed her countenance, but just like it appeared, it disappeared.
Bethany gazed at him with surprising calmness. Her features were set in stone, betraying none of her thoughts. The absurd idea came to him that if she wasn’t a woman she’d be a fine spy. She would need some training in arms and a little more practice to fully conceal her thoughts, but Bethany was not easy to read. It surprised him but it also made things much more difficult. Ever since he had contacted her, he had been hoping for a quick tête- à -tête. He would extract some information from her and send her back on her way.
Now, he knew that it would not be an easy task. Bethany would tell him some things, he didn’t doubt that, after all, he was the only other person that believed in her suspicions, but she would not tell him what he really needed to know. Things would progress slowly but perhaps it would be for the best. Sometimes slow was better than fast.
“I apologize again, my lady. I am pushing you for information and confessions when surely you still grieve your family’s death.”
Bethany remained silent as he moved back toward the window, his back to her. He watched her reflection in the glass. She barely moved, except to cock her head to one side, absently staring into space.
“Where did you get that particular painting, General?” Her soft voice had him turning to look to where she had her gaze pinned.
Bethany walked closer to the old painting that hung on the far wall of the drawing room. “A bat, you say?” She inspected it closely, clearly looking for something. “It looks like spilled ink to me.”
Hodgings shrugged. “The person that gave it to me said that was the beauty of it. It was perceived differently by each individual.”
“Who gave it to you?”
In three steps he was at her side, glaring down at her as suspicion gnawed in his gut.
“Why do you wish to know?”
Bethany didn’t bother to face him as she replied in a soft voice. “Because I would like to know if it was the same person that gifted a similar blot to my grandfather.”
Hodgins’ brow furrowed. “Your grandfather has one? He never mentioned it and he visited with me frequently.”
“When was it given to you?”
“What does it matter?” She made to move away, but he reached for her wrist, violently veering her around. “What does it matter?” He ground out the words, demanding an answer from her.
Anger flared in her eyes as she pulled away from his grasp. “What difference does it make for you to tell me General Hodgins? You lie to me, you kidnap me, you tell me not to trust you and you throw accusations at me which you expect me to answer to without blinking an eye?”
Hodgins eyes widened with surprise at her outburst. Bethany backed away from him, gesticulating wildly.
“Yet, when I ask you a simple question you refuse to answer and immediately go in the defensive. I don’t care if you’ve been secluded here for the past 10, 20 or 30 years, I don’t care that your human contact has been scarce. You, sir, have no manners. I believe you thought you could lure me here and extract any information you needed from me. You are wrong.” She wagged a finger at him, coming close again.
“You think I’m one of those dim witted women brought up under the Nuold influence. You think you can manipulate me and extract information from me in a cinch.” Hodgins almost dropped his jaw when she poked him in the chest. “You are wrong about me, very, very, wrong.” She punctuated each word with a hard poke. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to change back into my clothes and find a way out of this hell hole.“
She had almost made it to the door when he recovered from his shock.
"May 31st. The day before the Hummingbird 121 incident. It was a parting gift."
To be continued...
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Now go read some more awesome stories!