10 - mirrors

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Meet Benedict White.

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Esmé perceived the birds' melodic chirping as she stood in the flowered garden behind the Bensons' house. Her eyes tightly shut, her breathing steady. Every day she felt more and more how this new life engulfed her.

She had cried herself to sleep last night. Tightly wrapped in her blankets, it had taken her hours until her worrying thoughts had let her rest. But now, she was blank-faced again. During the day, she managed to hold her pieces together but later when everyone left and the sun set everything scattered again.

She felt lonely. Would she ever find happiness here, if she was meant to stay?

Esmé slowly whirled around to meet the eyes that had been watching her from afar for a while now. She had sensed that Jack had arrived. He stood behind her but seemed as if he didn't find the right words to say.

No wonder. He had left the engagement party without a single word. He had left her behind.

Sure, Esmé didn't love him. Nor did she trust him fully yet. But if he was her fiance, he shouldn't leave her when turmoil happened on the streets. Well, that was what she planned on using as an excuse to interrogate him today - unsure whether it was the right thing to do.

Jack smiled at her but it faltered quickly when she didn't return it.

"How are you, Esmé?" He sounded worried, "Don't you feel well today?"

"I think, we have some things to sort out."

A surprised expression reflected on his face but he was fast to hide it with a stoic look. "What is it that you want to talk about?"

"Where did go you with Thomas Lester that night?" Esmé cut straight to the point, knowing he'd let the conversation roam if she didn't use this one opportunity.

"I-"

"When everything went down the drain and I needed you by my side." Jack watched her, flummoxed by her choice of words. His lips parted as if wanting to say something, but his wide eyes told her that he was lost.

"Clearly something went down. Everyone left - including you, Jack. Nobody told me what the hell was going on. My father was outraged. I couldn't find you anywhere and three bloody days have passed and now, you show up." Esmé frowned, taking a deep breath after chattering everything on her mind - surprised by how she managed to gather her courage to confront him.

Jack sighed, rubbing the skin between his eyebrows before he ruffled his black hair. After seemingly clearing his thoughts, he met her gaze, "I'm sorry." He stepped forward, reaching out to touch her arm but Esmé stepped back, still glaring.

"Be honest with me." She demanded. He huffed, pressing his lips together.

"What do you want me to be honest about?" The look in his eyes - he was urging for her to not push it but she knew he hid something. She didn't intend on letting him go today without receiving a little bit of information.

"Tell me about what you do with Thomas Lester. Who is he? And you have decided to join him already, right? With whatever he works on?"

Jack's eyebrows shot up as he listened to Esmé, completely taken aback.

"Did you-" He was being careful, "hear of something?"

"Does Thomas work for an organisation?" She was bluffing. It was only a guess. But it was worth a try. She had never been this jittery inside as she continuously fomented him - she was scared of the outcome.

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