Howard walked out from behind his desk and sat down in the chair next to Lena. My father was the foremost among researchers, scholars, and historians who specialized in the portal, but he was also married to a human woman with two sons, and one of them was human. He passed her a box of tissues. He found a way to make it work, and so can you. It might not happen quickly, but you can make them trust you.
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Howard took a deep breath and looked out the window. A moment later he looked back. But you know what? It was good to know that someone had faith in her. Maybe she would figure it out. June 30th was as bright and cheerful as anyone could have asked. The lawn was a deep, sultry green and Pete had been keeping up well with the gardens. Marie had been helping him since she wanted to stay as far away from Master Daray as possible. Reds, yellows, oranges, whites, and pinks danced in the slight summer breeze as butterflies, the first ones Lena had ever seen at Waldgrave, flittered about between them.
A grey sedan pulled up the drive and parked at the side of the house. Howard and Lena helped the guests move the luggage into the house where it was cooler, and then they settled into the living room. Hesper lifted the blanket cover from the car seat carrier, revealing a pink, wrinkled little body clothed in a bright white creeper with a glitter heart on it. Maren yawned and stretched her tiny arms, then settled back into her nap.
Eric took her up to a room on the second floor to let her nap and to unpack their bags, and Hesper and Lena sat in the living room a while longer. Ava had wandered off when Maren left, and Howard excused himself to give the two friends some privacy. This, in fact, was an understatement.
Hesper smiled and stretched out on the couch. How are you? Lena sighed. Hesper cracked a wry smile. What happened? Lena sank down on the couch.
She had only heard what Howard had been told by Griffin, who had slated it to sound like an unfounded mutiny. Well, you know your mom was a little high strung to begin with, right? She thinks the staff are trying to kill her and Darius Jr. Hesper remained quiet for a moment, a pensive look on her face, then sat forward.
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I guess it was bound to happen someday. My dad was the only one keeping order there. Lena stood up and started walking to the kitchen; she needed something to rip apart with her teeth. She threw the refrigerator door open and pulled out some leftover meatloaf. He wants the baby to stay here? Hesper asked in a surprised, slightly twanging tone. Lena shut the refrigerator door and glared at Hesper, raising her eyebrows sarcastically. Do you want some? Hesper accepted the offer, having briefly forgone her vegetarian diet during her pregnancy and breastfeeding, and Lena pulled down two plates and started hacking away.
Hesper took her meatloaf and they sat down at the table. Lena sighed as she fell into a chair. She stared at the meat crumbs on her plate. They ate silently for a while. I really am. Come on. Dinner that evening was a quiet affair. Everyone sat at the table staring at each other uncomfortably, except for Maren, who was cooing contentedly in a carrier in the chair next to Eric.
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She was definitely taking after Hesper. The next day Lena hid upstairs with her guests as Griffin settled his mother and brother into a room, and then they found themselves at yet another awkward dinner. She said, serenely lifting her fork. Lena flinched and gazed into her broccoli trying to think of something to say.
When she looked up, she saw Griffin staring at her.
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He smirked and confidently looked back at Hesper. Uh huh. So why are you being a jerk lately? It was evident that Hesper was trying to help, but Lena wished she would just stop. Fighting with Griffin never worked out well for either of them, because the stalemate enforced by the Council often resulted in drawn-out conflicts where they both tried to subtly sabotage the other without getting caught.
Griffin kept cutting up his steak. When he had a bite ready on his fork, he looked back at Lena.
She looked back at Griffin. Ava gasped and Howard almost choked on a mouthful of greens. Hesper tried not to laugh, Eric looked uncomfortable, and Master Daray had chosen not to honor her quip with a response of any kind. She wanted to wipe the smug look off his face by saying something low, but he beat her to the punch.
After that, if Master Daray can spare me for a week, I might take some time off in Greece. He looked back over at Lena.
Lena took a deep breath. Just stop. She looked back into her broccoli.
Arrival of the Traveler (Waldgrave Book 1) by A.L. Tyler » eReaderLove
I really will send you a postcard. I mean it. Lena tried to hold back her tears with some success. Ralston could send them back to get the next size up.