Dangerous Enticement Intro!
He didn’t understand them.
Droon stared at the couple, wondering what they were saying. He’d picked up a bit of English over the past two weeks as he’d traveled through the country, but he wasn’t fluent and he had no idea what they were saying to him.
The white liquid in the glass seemed innocuous enough. He was starving, exhausted, disillusioned and ready to fight, but these people…they didn’t seem…mean.
He didn’t want to fight them.
Droon looked at the liquid again. In the end, his hunger overruled his need for cation. He hadn’t eaten anything for two days. Picking up the glass, he drank it down quickly, embarrassed by his manners but too hunger at this point to care.
When the glass was empty, he carefully placed it back on the table, waiting for the poison to kick in. When nothing happened…when the glass was filled again…he stared. Drinking the white liquid again, he started to feel better. Not poison. Milk. It was just milk.
Were these people working for the people trying to assassinate him? Or were they…friendly?
He didn’t believe in kindness. Not any longer. He’d been traveling for what seemed like forever, but his aides had told him to go far, to lose himself in the countryside of the Unites States. He wasn’t to come back until he was eighteen years old and able to defend his country.
So what did he do now?
The boy brought him a sandwich. A huge sandwich.
The boy was about his own age. Dark hair, blue eyes. Lighter skin. But still tanned. Whereas Droon’s skin was naturally tan, he suspected that the other boy was tanned from the sunshine.
The plate with the enormous sandwich was placed on the table next to the empty glass.
Looking up at the couple, then at the other boy, he wasn’t sure what to do.
Then another boy, still the same age but with lighter hair, came into the kitchen. His only response was to nod his head in greeting, then reach down and pet the two dogs by his side. Droon liked animals, had always wanted a dog.
When one of the animals came over, sniffed, then nudged his hand, Droon felt compelled to pet the animal. His hair wasn’t soft, but more ruff, scruffy. Almost as if the dog was a runaway. Just like him.
The dog sniffed the air and Droon almost laughed at how the hound was trying to find the source of the food.
“Not this time,” he said in his own language. Droon knew that he was confusing the people around him, but they didn’t seem too concerned. They moved about the kitchen, almost as if he were now part of the household.
Very odd. Strangers were never allowed close to him. Never! His guards wouldn’t allow it under any circumstances.
But since his guards hadn’t been able to find out the identity of the assassin…
Yes, he was safer here.
Two more weeks. It took Droon two weeks to learn the language. The only reason it took that long was because he hadn’t realized that they weren’t aware that he didn’t understand them. After that, everyone, not just the people that treated him as if they were part of his family, but the whole town, seemed intent on teaching him to speak English.
School! He was used to private tutors, but this…school was fun! So much less lonely. But he’d never thought of himself as lonely until…well, until he wasn’t!
The two boys, Joe and Vince, both started to treat him as if he were one of them. Very odd, Droon thought. Brothers. Brothers who…weren’t trying to kill him! Extraordinary!
He liked this place. Montana, he thought. Strange, but wonderful.
“She had an important meeting,” Lina explained to the teacher.
“That’s too bad,” the principal commented, but patted Lina’s shoulder.
Lina smiled for the camera, the local reporter asking questions as others stopped by to congratulate Lina.
“Thanks,” she said, over and over again, she repeated the words. It wasn’t so bad, she told herself. Actually, it was better that her mother wasn’t here. Ralph had left last night. That meant that her mother would be in phase two of her post-departure process.
Phase one was when her mother knew that the current man in her life had split. Clothes gone, most likely cash stolen, food eaten as the man her mother had fawned over for the past week or month or…if she was lucky, maybe a bit longer…had gotten sick of her mother’s smothering and had left.
Never, Lina vowed.
“So what are you going to study, now that you’ve been awarded a full scholarship to the University of Virginia?” the reporter was asking.
Lina smiled once again. Not too many of the students in this small town actually went to college so it was a huge deal that Lina had not only been accepted into the best school in Virginia, but had been awarded a full scholarship!
Lina forced a smile and recited the words she’d memorized. “I’m going to see Monticello!” she gushed, referring to Thomas Jefferson’s home perched on top of the mountain that overlooked Charlottesville, Virginia.
Everyone laughed, the reporter dutifully wrote down the special interest answer and…meanwhile, Lina’s heart broke. Her mother had been so consumed by her own sadness, she hadn’t even bothered to show up at this party, thrown especially to celebrate Lina’s success.
Some days, it was too much to deal with. Just a few more months, Lina told herself. By August, she would figure out how to get to Charlottesville. She’d be away from the continuous cycle her mother went through. Meet a man, fall in “love”, gush with happiness, smother the man, man gets tired of it all, man leaves, mother cries for days.