Chapter 31 - "I said it was fine."

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Carter leaned back in her chair, her crossed ankles resting on the library table. She flung a pencil into the air and watched as it twirled before catching it again. Donovan sat beside her, writing out long, complicated equations. The library was partially empty, students finding other ways to spend their free period. Across from Carter, Link and Maddy's notebooks and textbooks were open and strewn about, but the couple was nowhere in sight. She had no doubt they were in one of the second story rows, exchanging apologies. She flipped the pencil again, then caught it.

"I have a question for you," she said.

Donovan didn't bother looking over at her, and continued writing. "Is there a reason you feel the need to announce it?" he asked.

Carter shrugged and gave the pencil another toss. "No."

"What's your question?" His pencil moved across the paper adding a scratching sound to the few other's that filled the library.

"What is your opinion on Mr. Philips?" she asked.

"Who says I have one?"

"Because you're human, everyone has an opinion on everyone and everything. What is your opinion?"

"Not on everything."

"Try telling the internet and social media that. So tell me."

Donovan glanced at her. "Do you want my opinion or impression?"

"Impression."

"Why say opinion if you meant impression."

Carter held up the pencil. "Just tell me or I will find somewhere to stick this pencil that will be very uncomfortable for you."

Donovan reached and snapped the pencil in two.

"Make a more realistic threat next time."

He turned back to his work and started writing again. She found a new pencil and went back to throwing it.

"Is there a reason why you don't want to tell me your impression?" she asked.

He stilled and stayed motionless for a second. He then turned to her.

"He is a teacher with a vast knowledge on the inner workings of the political system. Teaching was not his first choice of occupation. He was probably black balled from politics and for that, he has a bitterness towards anyone in office. What he did, I don't know and this is merely an educated guess on what I've seen and heard him talk about."

Carter stared at him for a moment and then nodded, resuming her pencil toss.

"That's what I came up with as well."

Donovan shifted back to the desk and continued working. The library settled back into silence, the occasional cough or whispered words breaking it for a moment. Patty moved through the rows pushing a cart stacked with books. Every so often she stopped and replaced a few. Carter's mind spun like the pencil, never seeming to land on a solid point.

"Did Mr. Philips's mood strike you as odd today?" she asked.

"Not in the least. He was in the same mood that he is always in."

"Fine, his mood wasn't odd, but what about his whole speech of Presidents and the weight they hold and their secrets will be found out crap." The pencil spun upward. "That didn't hit you as unusually hostile, even for him?"

She caught the pencil and then let it fly. Donovan straightened and snatched the pencil from the air before she could. She met his gaze and raised an eyebrow.

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