Third in a series of character-building vignettes following a bunch of characters through their time at Addergoole & beyond.
I haven’t written about Rohanna before, but Dyfri shows up here, as well as here/.
Late December, Year 10 of the Addergoole School.
“Seriously?” Rohanna flopped back down in her chair, making as much noise as she could with the sitting.
“Seriously. Ro, I want to talk about the way you’ve been acting.” Dyfri looked at her with big, green eyes, somehow managing to make it seem like he was looking up at her, despite the fact that he was standing and she was sitting.
“What about it?” She kicked her feet out, taking up as much space as possible. He might have said sit, but he hadn’t said sit nicely. Yet. Dyfri was weird with orders, really. He’d dance around giving her any orders at all, and then suddenly pop out with a whole bunch of ridiculous orders out of nowhere. “I’ve been acting like me.”
“Really?” He pulled up the second chair and sat down, backwards, like he was trying to be casual. Like he was trying to be her friend. “It looks to me like you’re trying to cause as much trouble for me as you possibly can.”
Rohanna felt a surge of guilt. Bad girl. Troublesome Kept. She pushed it down ruthlessly. “Maybe you should let me go, then. Since, you know, I’m so much trouble.”
“We both know I’m not going to do that. If I let you go, someone else will just grab you. And you’ve been doing pretty well at making yourself all the enemies, Ro. You don’t want one of them to grab you, believe me.”
She didn’t need the order. She knew that. “I know what I’m getting into now. They won’t be able to sneak up on me and grab me like you did. Trick me into it.”
“They won’t need to. The guys – and girls – you’ve pissed off, they’ll just go straight for the Control Mind and you’ll find yourself saying the words anyway.”
“Like being Kept.”
“And then you will be Kept. By someone not as nice as me. So, tell me, what do I need to do to get you to stop acting out so much?”
The order – whether he’d meant it or not – forced the truth out of her, when she hadn’t decided yet what she was going to tell him. “Order me not to.”
“Seriously?” It was his turn to look incredulous.
She yanked on the necklace he’d given her – seashells! – in lieu of a collar. “I’m yours. You won’t let me go. I Belong to you. Act like it.”
“Ro…” He looked like a sad kicked-puppy, and Ro felt even worse. “I don’t want to be that guy.”
“You’re responsible for me.” She fought through the rising guilt to be as firm as she could. “Be responsible.”
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They are having a fun year, aren’t they? (Being a fly on the wall feels safer from inside this fez.)
Something like that!