Bryony King

Awkward encounters of a third kind

3 posts in this topic

Set over Christmas break of Bryony's Seventh Year.

 

It had turned out that this week, had been the longest in her life. Or it so it seemed. Bryony had been simultaneously dreading coming home for the holidays, and not been able to wait for this moment. Or rather the butterflies in her stomach couldn’t while they thought of a certain mop of curly hair they adored so much. Damn those butterflies. 


She had spent the journey down hiding in a corner of the Prefect Compartment staring out the window, in quiet contemplation. She had been avoiding Lenny. Lenny thought this whole idea was terrible and kept chastising her, but then Bryony hadn’t been able to tell her the whole story. While she hadn’t exactly been sworn to secrecy by Spencer. However given it had taken so long to pull the information out of him, she assumed it was something he didn’t really want other people knowing. While trying to decide how to proceed she had asked Lenny for advice, but that hadn’t gone very well, and now she was stuck back at square one. It had already been awkward enough having to write a very vague letter to Jare saying she had a friend staying and not to be alarmed if he came across them in the house, just in case he caught Spencer and thought he had been trying to steal something. Spencer could look a little...haggard at the best of times, and now he had no work to go to she guessed he would probably just take it easy for now AKA not dress or shave. Although in her letter Bryony hadn’t mentioned it was a guy. Or that the guy was her ex boyfriend, now in a sort of limbo. Those facts were strictly on a need to know basis and if she didn’t know where they were at right now, Jare didn’t need to know either. 
 

As she thought it over, she wished maybe she could have spoken to Spencer a little bit more since she had basically forced him to leave behind the toxic situation at his family home, and move into one of the spare rooms at the King Townhouse while Bryony had been at school. But then, she hadn’t actually been able to talk to him at all. She had written a brief letter for Spencer and given it to Dunkle to leave for Spencer. It was blunt. Not very romantic. It just outlined that if his ‘fathers people’ were watching him like he said they shouldn’t communicate. They’d look in her house and if all of a sudden Owls were coming and going it wouldn’t bode well. She tried to keep it strictly business, but what he had said, had really worried her. And she couldn’t help but let that show in her letter for him in her phrasing “Don’t leave the house, it’s best for you” “Don’t do anything stupid, just look out for yourself please”. She did care, more than she let on anyway. She had even signed it with her signature “.Xo B” like she had done in all the letters in the early days of their relationship. It showed a flash of hope. 


This letter and his well being had been on her mind so much so that on exiting the train, she had gone into autopilot. And all of a sudden Henry was announcing that they were here, as the car pulled up to the house. She floated inside and Henry took her trunk in. But then he was gone. The heavy front door closed behind her. Now she was left standing in the hall, looking up at the grand staircase. As she ran her fingers though some of her dark hair she pouted, not liking how quiet it was. It was 4pm. Spencer couldn’t possibly still be in bed could he? She thought he;d be all happy to see her, ready to meet her at the door.

 

Obviously not. 
 

She swayed slightly in her heeled boots. She had put these on pretty early and now they were starting to hurt. Along with the heavy earrings pulling on her earlobes. And the very heavy but pretty looking false eyelashes sitting on top of her own. She wanted to take off all of this and get into her Pajamas and sit in bed, eating and watching Netflix. But this look had been carefully constructed to impress. Obviously. And she be damned if it would be wasted. She needed all this to be seen. 
 


Edited by Bryony King

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The first few days there, he’d slept, or tried to. Being in a foreign house without the comfort of familiar smells and pillows that didn’t need fluffing had resulted in entirely too much tossing and turning for his sanity, because being awake meant thinking about the move he’d just made, and how furious his dad was going to be if and when Spencer finally decided to show back up. It certainly didn’t help that he was also anticipating the return of his girlfriend? Ex-girlfriend? Hell, Spencer didn’t even know, and couldn’t have told anyone with any degree of confidence if he cared enough to actually confirm it either way.  


All he knew was that he was safe from the clutches of one monster, but inching towards an entirely different one by doing things like forgoing basic hygiene rituals, and wallowing in the guilt and shame that came with admitting to others, and himself that he had little to no control over his own life. Of course, doing things like not shaving and refusing to talk to people didn’t really help his mental state. As a matter of fact, his stoic silence and obsessive need to constantly go over the issue in his head only served to push him further into misery, resulting in Spencer only leaving his borrowed room when he could confirm with 100% certainty that there’d be no audience to his pathetic sipping at of tepid tea, and eating of burnt toast over the sink. 


The arrival of a letter from Bryony served to nip his pity party in the bud for the most part, as there was no room for it in the face of things like being greeted with kisses and a reaffirming of their commitment to each other, or a complete shattering of his esteem in the form of her telling him in no certain terms to get out and stay out of her life. Where that would leave him was not a place he wanted to think about, and so Spencer took steps. Steps that sent him wondering around the house in the hopes of conversation. At the very least it’d get back to Bry that he was making an effort, and at the very worst, he’d just be seen as a weirdo visitor. 


Turned out, it didn’t matter if he talked with her brother or helped Dunkle out with the laundry,, because they avoided direct contact with him, like he was some sort of oddity they needed to observe at a distance, that was fine by Spencer since it allowed him free reign of the house for the most part, and spared him the side ways looks he was sure to get for knowing how to cook for himself but not actually bothering until now. 


Incidentally, it was what he’d been up to at the very back of the house when Bryony arrived; slathering butter on perfectly browned toast while he piled his egg sandwich high with bacon and other things that were sure to make his tummy sing. And it did, because bacon, however, his enjoyment of the first proper meal he’d had in a week was summarily interrupted by him choking on it. 


The reason?


Bryony King was stood at the end of the corridor looking by turns fed up and like the best thing he’d ever seen. Not that he could tell her any of this because, you know, the choking….
 

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Bryony had been starting to give up on Spencer. Maybe he had actually left all together. Maybe his dad had caught him and dragged him back to Bristol. That was somewhat worrying and made her stomach stir. That was unpleasant she unpleasant thought was unnerving her and as she stood she bit her lip, trying to work out whether she should go looking for him or not. 


But then on the other hand, she had received a rather….robust letter from Jare. Not entirely happy his baby sister had her boyfriend...ex boyfriend? Now living in her house unsupervised without telling him hadn’t really made him happy. But after she had promised to explain everything in person he had started to lay off her. Just about. She would still probably have a heated dinner with him or something to that effect, but she could deal with that later. 

 

She was pulled out of her quandary of whether to go searching for him or not by the apparition that had just appeared at the end of the corridor leading down to the basement kitchen. And with that those damn butterflies messed her up again. Staring at him, a shy sort of smile crossed her face. It was not far from the sort of smile she shot him when they met each other once upon a time in the kitchen. As he lay on the floor staring up at her butt. Such romance.  She wanted to keep a colder sort of demeanour. She needed to distance herself as much as possible. More for protection, but those damn butterflies were making her goo-goo eyed. 

 

“Hi?” Her head tilted to the side as she took in the image of him. He was unkempt. He probably needed a shower. He was rocking more than a little stubble and definitely could have shaved, but then, she mused; that was sort of hot. 

 

She didn’t get to dwell on his chin rug for very long before she realised while she had been staring and daydreaming, he was beginning to choke. “Oh….” Once she had realised what was actually happening, the smile had wiped off her face, being replaced with a much more serious, concerned look. “OH!” Her eyes widened and she darted forward. Her tiny frame beginning to thump him on the back, rather than was probably necessary, the other hand tenderly placed on his chest. 

 

What a nice welcome back. 
 


Edited by Bryony King

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