15 - veracity

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The door to the backroom shut slowly as William was the last one to leave. Esmé stood nervously on her spot, watching Everett pull out a chair for her. Charlotte had brewed some tea for the both of them.

Everyone else had left the room, giving them some time to talk about what was going and why Everett was who he was. Thinking of Dean as Everett Walker felt wrong in so many ways, but that was the harsh truth Esmé had to face now. Her eyes darted around nervously. Her hands fidgeted on her lap as she sat down, looking anywhere but him.

Everett placed her cup on the table, whereas his eyes were fixed on her, sitting down across her. He remained quiet, studying her face, her attire, just everything about her, noticing how she shifted agitatedly under his gaze.

Biting the inside of her cheek, Esmé's right foot tapped on the floor impatiently. Her senses were all over the place, never having thought that one was capable of feeling this many different emotions simultaneously.

Fear. Confusion. Relief. Numbness. She didn't know what to think of Everett - the man that managed to put her through all kinds of sentiments - who also continued to stubbornly stare at her at this very moment. Esmé inhaled sharply, wanting to put an end to this awkward silence but Everett preempted her.

"I'm sorry." His voice was barely a whisper, causing her to finally meet his eyes. "For earlier. I-" He stopped, waiting for her reaction, but she didn't give him any. Not because she didn't want to, it was her mind fogging up.

Her thoughts were frantic, making it difficult for her to behave appropriately. Everett had frightened her like nobody else. All those nightmares could have turned into reality minutes ago. She couldn't cast it off yet.

"I shouldn't have done that. For a moment, it struck me - what if she is with Alder Benson? What if she is only fooling me? That was what I thought. You can't blame me for that but what I did was imprudent. I'm sorry."

All Esmé did was to nod, grasping the cup on the table to take a sip. She relaxed slowly as the hot cup warmed her cold fingers. Licking her lips, she still felt unsettled. Her gaze lingered on him silently. His blonde hair fell messily to his forehead, his glasses hung on the top of his beige shirt, blue eyes observing her over the rim of his cup.

"Your father. Do you know what my problem with him is?" A wave of cold air swept over them.

Everett's words stung her somehow, her shoulders slumping, a heavy breath pushed past her lips. She knew nothing. She had some ideas on why her father was bad.

Still, this stuck with her. Esmé had gotten a little family in this world, and the man that was supposed to be her father was detested by everyone. A forced chuckle escaped her, "As crazy as it might sound, I don't know. Just as I have no clue why your brother claimed that I derided you in the past."

His perplexity wafted his features, but he buried it behind hooded eyes as quickly as it had come. An unbearable silence followed, seeming to part her from Everett miles away the longer it lasted.

Esmé began again, "Your brother, Ellis Walker," She remembered his words from earlier cristal-clearly. "He said that I mocked you in the past. What was that about? When did I-" His intensifying stare caused her to swallow down her following thoughts, shifting in her seat.

"You don't remember?" Everett quirked an eyebrow.

So, the old Esmé and Everett had met in the past. But how come he still had acted as Dean in front of her?

"I could tell that you forgot how I looked like since you didn't recognise me when you walked inside the pub for the very first time. But why don't you remember now that you know who I am?"

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