Waiting In Darkness, Part 3

Connor breathed a sigh of relief when he pulled into the garage underneath the Agency tower. He parked his car in its usual space and got out. He locked the vehicle up, all while chewing on his lip nervously. What was going on? Some sort of spell, Chris had said, and he’d mentioned attacks.

Suppressing a shiver, Connor head towards the elevator that would bring him up to the floor where he worked. Hopefully, Chris could explain it to him when he got there. He walked briskly, with his head down, focusing on the task of getting to the elevator.

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At the Local Café

“I’m hungry.”

Ezra looked over at Harmony and frowned. Was she totally incapable of focusing on something for more than a few moments at a time? “What would you like to eat?” he asked, setting aside his paints and palette.

She looked thoughtful for a moment. Her brows furrowed and then she smiled. “Cookies, maybe?” she said, tilting her head to one side. Her eyes squeezed shut behind the lenses of her glasses and she said, “Or maybe a muffin?”

Ezra nodded. He glanced over at the clock on the far wall. It was nearly time for him to take a break anyway. “Let’s go over to the café,” he said.

“Small town like this has a café?” Harmony said, standing and setting aside her yarn. “Cool! Maybe I can get a cup of coffee too!”

Ezra sighed and tugged off his smock. After hanging it by the door, he grabbed his jacket and pulled it on. He settled his hat on his head and turned to Harmony. “Come on, then,” he said. He stepped outside and made his way down the street towards the village’s only café.

The bell on the door chimed merrily as he stepped inside, Harmony hard on his heels. “Good day, Master Thomas,” he called.

The proprietor of the café appeared from the kitchen and smiled. “Good day, Master Ezra. Good day!” He bowed politely and said, “What can I get for you?”

“Just a cup of coffee for me,” Ezra said. He glanced at Harmony, who was looking at the glass case where Master Thomas had already spread out his baked goods for the morning. “She’s paying,” he added.

Master Thomas nodded. He bowed at Harmony. “Take your time, miss,” he said, his voice soft. He turned away and began making a cup of coffee for Ezra. He knew how Ezra liked his coffee by now, without having to be told.

When he finished, he handed the cup to Ezra. Harmony was still looking into the glass bakery case, cooing over how good everything looked. Master Thomas frowned slightly and tucked his hands into his sleeves, watching and waiting.

Finally, Harmony pointed at the chocolate chip scones. “Three of those,” she said. Then she grinned and said, “And a cup of coffee, with milk and extra sugar.”

“Yes, miss,” Master Thomas said, nodding. He made her coffee first. Then, as he handed her the cup, he said, “Are the scones for here or would you like them in a bag?”

“In a bag,” Harmony said, nodding.

Master Thomas gave her a faint smile. Then, he bagged her purchases and rang up the total on his old cash register. As he handed her the bagged scones, he said, “That’s five-forty-three.”

Harmony fished in her pockets and drew out two three-piece bills. Handing them to Master Thomas, she said, “Keep the change, honey.” Then, she whirled away and headed out into the street, sipping her coffee.

Ezra gave Master Thomas a polite bow, which the man returned immediately. “Good day, Master Thomas,” he said. Then, he followed Harmony out onto the street.

Distractions

“Is this all you do all day?” Harmony asked, from where she was lounging on a couch in Ezra’s workshop.

He looked up from his painting and arched an eyebrow at her. “When I am not teaching, I am here,” he said. “If there are no customers in the gallery, then I either paint or sculpt. So, barring interruptions from customers: Yes, this is what I intend to do all day.”

He turned away from her and lifted the paintbrush. He could hear her rummaging around in her bags. He suppressed a sigh and sent her a glare. “I’m trying to work,” he said.

Harmony looked at him like he’d just said something supremely foolish. “I’m not stopping you,” she said. “Just ignore me. I’m only here to keep you safe after all.”

For a moment, she was quiet, then she was fussing with her bags again. Ezra took a calming breath and looked over at her. She was digging a ball of yarn and a half-completed… something out of her bag. He watched her a moment longer. Then, when she began to crochet, he nodded.

He was just turning back to his work when Harmony asked what he thought of the weather. Apparently, she was perfectly well able to talk and crochet at the same time. Pity he couldn’t carry on conversations while he painted.