uncovered

"That was interesting." I muttered to myself once our laughter died down.

"What was interesting?" Patrick asked.

"Oh, nothing. Just. . . .well, nothing really." I shrugged. "They have to thaw a track, but as soon as you got back, the train moved again."

"Must have been pretty quick." he murmured.

"Probably." i found myself agreeing.

I went back to my book, and Patrick reopened his laptop once he thought I wasn't looking. There was something. . .odd, in his tone which I didn't understand. He said too easily how quick they must have been.

It was, ironically as it sounds, hard to focus on my book, and the letter that Elizabeth's father received from his brother-in-law about Lydia. My eyes kept wandering to his laptop, but I couldn't see what  he was doing. It wasn't Facebook anymore, I was certain. It was something totally different. But what?

Finally, after about half an hour of me pretending to read, and him typing out things, he shut his laptop with a surprisingly ungentle bang! that caught me completely off-guard.

He looked completely angry, like he had just gotten on a fight and lost. What was wrong with the man, that he got so angry like that all of a sudden?

He must have noticed me staring at him, because he turned to my and tried to look apologetic.

"Ah, sorry." he managed. "I just. . ." he ran a hand through his hair.

"Are you alright?" I asked.

"I'll live, I think." he muttered.

"I hope so." I told him. He looked at me in surprise.

"Excuse me?"

"You were just fine ten minutes ago, and, well. . ." What was the best way to put it? "You look terrible."

Patrick glanced away, and his face completely changed.

"Is everything alright-"

"Patrick!" a voice boomed from nowhere. We both jumped, and our stuff tumbled to the floor.

"Oh, my." Patrick whispered. I found myself holding his laptop, and he fumbled for my book. "I'm sorry. Pretend to ignore me." he whispered.

"Why? Is everything okay? Who was yelling at you?"

"Patrick, my boy, why is it that you're not riding first class with me?"

Patrick straightened, and we both looked up to see a man twice his size looking down at him with disapproval. I couldn't do anything but stare.

"Well?" he demanded.

"Ah, Lily, I believe he has your book." Patrick murmured to me. "I happened to pay for this train ride myself-"

"You have an allowance!"

"Because I don't want to feel like a freeloader." he finished.

Well, that answers some questions.

"Wow, um, I hate to interrput this. . .lovely little family reunion." I jumped in. "Sir, can I please have that book? I dropped it, and-"

Patrick's father tossed the book at me like it had visible germs, and glared at me.

"Who are you." he murmured. "Why are you there?"

"My name is Lily." I told him. "I'm here because I purchased a ticket to Edinburgh by train."

"And you're-"

"Visiting family for Christmas." Patrick and I cut him off.

I found myself glancing at him in surprise. Who was his father, anyhow? A semi-famous lawyer with too much time and money, I guessed.

"What's your full name, child, and why are you traveling with my son?"

"My family name is MacGregor, and I don't happen to be traveling with your son. It's likely we were close in a lineup, but I haven't seen him before today." I found myself standing up.

"And for the record, I can legally vote and I find the term 'child' to be demeaning." 

"Lily, I think you should sit down." Patrick interrupted.

"Please refrain from insulting me by leaping to conclusions, sir, or I shall have to call the conductor to remove you." I ignored Patrick, and found myself glaring at his father.

To my surprise, the man barked out a laugh. "Don't know very much, do you?" he asked.

I felt my face redden. "Actually, I'm studying at Reading on a scholarship-"

"Sweetheart, the conductor works for me. I own this train."

"-which was very hard to obtain." I finished. "Wait. . .what?"

Patrick groaned, and his father laughed.

The End

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