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• Pleasant •
The smell of gardenias wafted towards where I sat in the corner of the library. The servants were making clattering sounds that distantly reached my ears. Someone is going to get a tongue-lashing, I thought idly.
I spread my arms to try to encompass the spread out mess of notebooks, textbooks, and loose paper on the table. Then, I gave my mother a sidelong glance. She was standing by the window, a storm gathering on her brows and a piece of her eyeglasses between gritted teeth. I think the steamy, foggy, and metallic atmosphere of our small Industrial town matched her mood perfectly.
Vera Lea blinked away the storm temporarily. She could be stern and authoritative one minute, and the very next, switch emotions into softer, happier ones. She kept the Board Council in line that way. I was never able to accomplish that ability to switch for the sake of the moment. She smiled at me, possibly guessing at my thoughts.
“I’m getting a headache,” I sighed, pushing away the mess. “Could we have tea and just talk a bit? It’s been awhile since we’ve just done that.”
“Of course!” She rang the bell, then held her slender hand out to me. I got up, took it, and we walked together to a couple of loungers that sat side by side. It was our favorite spot. “Did you ever notice that young boy often comes around asking after you?”
I blushed and settled in next to her. “Of course I noticed. Glint and I have been studying the history of the Harvester Civil War. He is going to the Academy, too.”
She nodded. The servant knocked on the door to announce her presence, then whisked in with a tray. The tray was settled on the table, then she brushed her hands and looked directly at Mother. She spoke in a strange accent I always delighted in hearing, “Madam Lea, there’re sirs awaiting in yer lobby. Hybrid’s Council.”
Mother bristled, then leaned back calmly. “Send for them. Pleasant, we’ll talk some other time. Take your tea.”
I picked up my glass of tea, casually taking a sip while I studied Mother’s face a while longer, before following the servant out into the hall. Blessed came sprinting to me, almost colliding with me. I grabbed her hand, “Calm down!”
My younger sister entwined her fingers with mine, breathless as she leaned against me while we strolled down the hall. “Strange men coming!” We straightened and let go of each other’s hands when a group of men trailed after our butler towards us.
One of them paused, met my eyes in a queer way, then continued after his colleagues. I felt a cold chill spread across my back, gripped Blessed’s hand again, and, trying not to spill the tea, hurried away.
Word count in Prologue 2: 481
Word count so far: 829
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