They reached the train station with very little time to spare. Hildreth bought his ticket, said a quick good-bye to Master Shinowa, and raced out onto the platform.
The train was out there waiting for him.
He boarded it and took his seat.
And the train left the station.
And Hildreth found himself stuck in the middle of a gaggle of teenaged girls. They were all giggling and gossiping and preening and posturing as if their social standing depended on it.
I wonder if Elsie was ever anything like that. Hildreth tried to imagine a teenaged Elsie hanging out with her girl squad and he failed. She’s a hunter like me. We don’t exactly collect friends.
Our lives would be so different if we weren’t hunters.
A hand dropped on his knee, startling him. It slid upwards.
He scowled at the perpetrator – a teenaged blonde who was probably named Tiffany. “I am old enough to be your father. Please keep your hands to yourself.”
“Well! I never!” She flipped her ponytail at him and flounced to the furthest vacant seat.
He chuckled softly. I wonder what Elsie would have done if she were here. Probably would have broken Tiffany’s wrist. At the very least, she would have threatened to do so.
My Elsie. Fierce, beautiful Elsie.
Am I right? Am I wrong? Should I tell her Mark Caten’s message and let her handle it?
No. Just thinking that makes me feel sick. I can’t do it. I just can’t. And it’s not her. It isn’t because of her. I trust her.
I don’t trust him. I’d be a fool to trust something like that. Especially with Elsie.
I’m sorry, Elsie.
But I will wait. For as long as I can, I will wait. I want to be her husband and not just in name. I want to be with her. I want to know the pleasure of waking beside her every morning. I want—
Someone tapped his shoulder.
Tiffany had returned with one of her squad members.
“Gabby here told me that you tried to pull some moves on her.”
“Sorry, but I’m not interested in teenagers.”
“What a horrible ageist thing to say!”
He sighed. “Could you two go please harass someone else?” He scowled at Tiffany/Gabby. “I am not interested.”
Tiffany/Gabby put her hands on her skinny hips. “Oh! You’re gonna be like that, huh? I’ll have you know just who I am.”
“Miss, I’m a hunter. I am really not interested in hyper hormonal teenagers. Please. Give me my space.”
“You…you…you old fogey!” She flounced off again with her BFF in tow.
He slunk down in his seat. It’s going to be a long, long ride.