Welcome to the whatever day of me phoning it in. Sorry, I’m trying to enjoy my vacation. This is the second part of a two-part post. Part One is located at http://wp.me/pZDWT-4w. If you haven’t been around the blog very long you might wanna check out the first chapter of the book http://www.amandanicoletrisdale.com/sweetsixteen.html and the family tree (for those curious about the Zeidrich Family Tree and the Houston Family Tree) is located at http://www.amandanicoletrisdale.com/zeidrichfamilytree.html. Comments are always welcome!
Guest post on Friday by Judith Marshall, a published author! I expect we will all learn a lot. Oh, and I return on Monday! I know. Y’all are so thrilled. Not
“Sweet Sixteen: Chapter Two, Part Two”
Kissing her forehead, Hans smiled proudly. That smile almost made Alexandria feel like a child again. That smile was what Alexandria had often received as a child. For a moment she almost wondered if she could truly come home. The wish showed in her eyes, and it gave Hans hope that someday Alexandria would truly be home. “If you change your mind I want you to let me know.”
“Yes, Herr Zeidrich,” Alexandria caught herself before she called him ‘Pops’.
Hearing the convoy pull up, Hans looked towards the parking lot. Peter got out, and it was evident he wasn’t happy. The young general stormed over to the entrance. “Pops,” he snapped the greeting.
“Son,” Hans tried to keep his own temper under control. “Is there a problem?”
Looking at Alexandria, standing in a place of honor beside the Leader, Peter almost said it was the teen. Instead, he sighed deeply. “Not here,” Peter stated in a whisper.
Knowing it was her, Alexandria stepped closer to Hans. “Could I go back to my room?”
The fact that he’d hurt the girl was obvious to Peter. “It’s not you, kiddo.” Peter said as he gave his father a look.
“Does it need to be dealt with now?” Hans inquired, instinctively knowing it was business related. The look had said most of the message. Then there was the look Peter had sort of sent the teen that said she would not know about the business.
“I’m not staying for the food.” Peter answered cryptically. Sixteen, that was how old Alexandria was turning, and Peter couldn’t help but compare the teens on some level. If it was Alexandria there was a small possibility Peter would have said it was business related. It was a very small possibility, though. Peter was protective of the teen he considered his sister.
“You do what you think is best, son.” Hans said softly.
“Might be all night. And there’s a possibility I won’t be in the office until late tomorrow morning.” Peter sighed. “Gotta go off site.”
“Be careful,” Hans ordered. The older man did not want to deal with Alexandria if Peter was hurt or worse yet if he was killed. The two had always been close. There was no doubt Alexandria would break if Peter was killed. “This has nothing to do with you, Margaret. Peter needs to work tonight.”
“You should be careful, general.” Alexandria said softly.
“I intend to be.” Peter responded as he almost smiled. ‘Those eyes remind me of someone. I just can’t remember who.’ The young general thought to himself. “They’re distinctive enough I should recall who I know with eyes that color.’
For a moment Hans wondered if his son had noticed who it was standing there. The look in Alexandria’s eyes said she was not worried. Yet, as soon as Peter turned to speak to one of the men, the fear shone through Alexandria’s blue-green eyes. Even a stranger could have read the emotion the teen was feeling. Without thinking, Hans put a hand on Alexandria’s shoulder. He gently squeezed for a brief second. “Peter will be careful, sweetheart.”
“I don’t know what we’d do without him.” Alexandria whispered as she forgot her cover completely for a few seconds.
“Nor do I,” Hans whispered back. “But we must remember that Peter is a man. We cannot try to interfere with how he runs the organization.”
A few seconds passed before Alexandria regained her composure. “Yes, sir, you are correct.”
“Good girl,” Hans said proudly as he patted her shoulder. Hearing a pickup pulling up, Hans smiled slightly. He loved all of his children, but his baby was special to him. Chris smiled tiredly as he got out of the truck. “Long day, son?”
“Horribly long, Pa.” Chris smiled towards Alexandria. “Howdy.”
“I mentioned to your brother that Miss Margaret is only sixteen. In fact, today is Miss Margaret’s sixteenth birthday. I expect you two to treat Miss Margaret like your sister.” Hans gave a mini-lecture to his youngest.
Chris sighed softly. “Well, hate ta do this ta ya, but I can’t stay for long tonight. We’ll hafta make some time ta get ta know each other.”
“Son,” Hans growled under his breath.
Chris looked at his father. “This place is still a workin’ ranch, unless ya changed that while I was gone. Gotta problem with the stock.”
The look on Hans’ face said those were words he didn’t like hearing. “What?”
Sighing, Chris looked at Alexandria for a moment again. Something about the teen seemed familiar. “Lady Gray is fouling.”
“I’m shocked you’re here.” Hans said truthfully. His sons tended to put the stock above almost everything in their lives. Lady Gray was especially important to Chris. She was the last foul that Lars had ever delivered. Chris would keep the horse around until the horse died.
“Ya asked me ta come.” Chris admitted the only reason he was around. “Sorry, kiddo, but she ain’t carryin’ the foul right. Ya can help if ya wanna.”
“No, thank you,” Alexandria said shyly.
“You leave when you feel you need to.” Hans told his youngest. Chris was right about the place being a working ranch. Hans was about to say something else when he noticed cars coming up the road. The people began to arrive. Alexandria stood right beside Hans, graciously accepting the introductions. It didn’t escape Hans notice that when Peter left, Alexandria’s eyes followed him. Unless one knew the teen they wouldn’t have noticed the pain and fear. Hans was shocked that Peter hadn’t noticed the devotion.
Alexandria politely answered questions she was asked, but she carefully worded her responses to not give away too much of whom she was. Hans wanted to chuckle. Alexandria had always been like that. She was very careful who saw the real her. Hans tried to keep a barrier between Alexandria and the people at the picnic. He knew she wasn’t ready for this type of attention, at least not on her own.
When the picnic was over, Hans escorted Alexandria back to her suite. She was polite as the evening ended. Not wanting to push her, Hans said his goodnights and walked in to his own suite.