Part Twenty-FiveMature

And then it's back to hazy days.

Daniel and Seb don't speak about each other again, and I focus on getting to know the mechanics of the group. 

I find that Tobias doesn't really talk much, and that when he does, he's normally told to shut up because he's too young to know. He has most of his conversations with Seamus.

Evan and Daniel usually talk quietly between themselves, but Evan also participates in other conversations, too.

Trish participates here and there, but is always bloody watching me. She's also quite protective of Tobias, and sticks up for him a lot.

Judo is quite often the one who starts a conversation, but he'll leave it and start another one. He has a lot of questions, which makes him a good listener because he's interested in what people are saying.

Daniel surveys the group the way a father would survey his children. 

All the guys are protective of Trish, Daniel and Evan especially.

Daniel gets annoyed every time she had an injury, which is quite often. Evan doesn't, and he'll take control of the situation by calming Daniel's overreaction.

There is one time I get to see Evan's more aggressive side, and it's not something I want to see again. 

Trish sits down, later than usual, and joins in talking. She winces every time she turns her head, and I shoot Daniel and Evan a concerned expression. They acknowledge it, but Evan mutters that it shouldn't be pointed out.

Then, in a naturally automatic reaction to her pain, Trish touches the back of her head ever so lightly. Her expression sets the older boys on edge, and when she brings her hand around, her fingers are smudged with red.

Daniel and Evan explode.

Daniel manages to contain himself, but Evan has to leave the gazebo. Seamus tells me he normally leaves the room in order to calm down, and then goes after him to make sure he doesn't do anything rash.

Daniel then drags Trish off to get her head cleaned up, and as Tobias isn't her today, I find myself alone with Judo.

"What do you think that was about?" he asks.

"I can take a guess," I say.

"Oh, of course. It's gotta be this infamous 'him'." He rolls his eyes. "You know, not one of us has ever heard his name. Only Trish and Dan know who the hell he is."

I mirror his action. "And here's me thinking I'm the only one in the dark."

"God, no. Dan's really one for secrets."

"So I've heard."

"I don't want to get involved, but I get the impression this 'him' isn't very friendly," Judo says.

"I only have blood and a black eye to go by," I remark. "Biased." 

"Well, I haven't got anything better. Apparently he's the one who got her to burn herself."

"You what?"

"Oh, yeah! You don't know," he realises. "Her count - it's not a cut. It's a burn."

I can feel my eyes widening. "You're kidding."

"No, seriously. She said she did it with her mum's curlers. Just pressed 'em onto herself like this," he hesitates before taking my hand, then lays two fingers across the top of my wrist.

The End

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