Part 4

by Kestrel Akira (K_Akira at juno.com)

(Even more clues here. Tell me what you think, privately, on who she is, as to not give anything away.)

"Well, here we are," Miss Harris announced. "Once we get inside, I want you to take a nice long, hot bath. Youíre filthy and who knows how long youíve been out in the rain."

Tory was about to protest, but the look on the older womanís face spoke of no arguments. She was helped into the flat, which was luckily on the ground floor and was shown to the extra bedroom. It had a small bureau against one wall and a bed against the other. One door led to a small bathroom while another led to a closet.

"Now leave your clothes outside of the door and Iíll get them washed along with what we got this afternoon. After you are dressed, I will wrap that ankle of yours."

Tory nodded. "Thank you Miss Harris for your kindness and generosity."

She smiled. "Think nothing of it, Tory, but please call me Madeline."

Tory smiled in return and limped into the bathroom, closing the door behind her. She turned to look at herself in the mirror that hung just above the sink and her eyes widened. "I look horrible!!" Her long honey-blonde hair was all over the place, falling out of the ponytail that it was placed in before the adventure began, and plastered to her head and face due to the rain. Her face was covered in dirt and mud. "I must have looked great in that store," she laughed sardonically. "No wonder Madeline insisted on the bath."

She hopped over to the tub and turned on the water, setting the temperature to her comfort level and began to remove her clothes. Once she had them removed and a towel wrapped around her, she folded them into a neat pile and placed them outside of the door before closing it. She carefully stepped into the shower and proceeded to wash up. When she was finished, she turned off the shower, and proceeded to fill up the tub for a bath, adding the soap bubbles. Once the tub was full, she sat down in the hot water and relaxed, letting her mind wander.

After an hour of soaking, the water got to be too cold and Tory reluctantly got out, wincing when she had placed her weight on her injured ankle, having forgotten about it. Clad in only a towel, with another one wrapped around her hair, she hobbled out of the bathroom and smiled. There laying on the bed were all of her clothes, clean and folded into nice, neat piles. She limped to the bed and proceeded to dress. She chose a dark blue skirt with a matching vest and a white button-up shirt. She took her hair down from the towel and brushed it out. Once done, she tied the sides of it back behind her head with a single blue ribbon.

"Iím feeling feminine right now," She smiled at herself in the mirror that sat right above the bureau. "Dad would probably have a coronary if he saw me in a dress voluntarily." An evil grin made its way across her fair features and her dark blue eyes twinkled dangerously. "Why not?" She picked up a pair of black flats in her hand and hobbled out of the door into the living room of the flat, where Miss Harris and Deidre were waiting, the former with a first aid kit.

Tory sat down and elevated her ankle so that it was in reach for Ms. Harris to bind it. It was wrapped in an elastic bandage, then for extra support, was placed in a brace. "Well, that looks decent," Ms. Harris said, admiring her work. "How does it feel, Tory?"

Tory stood up from the chair and tentatively placed her weight on her foot, but quickly removed it. "Itís still too painful to put any weight on it. I wonít be able to walk on it, even with the brace."

"We still have those crutches from when you Ďurt your ankle, mum," Deidre pointed out. "I could go get them."

Madeline thought for a moment. "Yes dear, please do. I have a feeling that Tory isnít one to be laid up." She laughed and Tory joined her.

"You are correct. I refuse to sit still for any length of time, an inherent trait that I get from my mother that my father never fails to point out to me, or her."

"Tell me about your family. They seem to be an interesting bunch of people."

Deidre had returned with the crutches and sat down in a nearby chair to listen. Tory started, "My father, Arthur, is a wonderful man. Heís an actor, though only small time, and dabbles in chemistry. He is a very patient man; of course, with myself and my mother, one has to be. He is also very intelligent; nothing gets by him, which is unfortunate to a very mischievous child." Her eyes twinkled in merriment, and Deidre could have sworn that she saw the very same look before, only on someone else. She just couldnít remember where. She once again set her attention to what Tory was saying.

"My mother, Elizabeth, on the other hand, is a local police officer, a lieutenant for Edinburgh, my hometown. She is beautiful, but brash. She absolutely loves her job, but can be a bit overzealous. Her marriage to my father calmed her down a bit. That and having two children."

"I have an Uncle John, more of a family friend than an actual relative. Heís a computer wiz. He mostly keeps to himself, but is a fun fellow when prompted."

"My brother John, yes, named after our uncle, is studying to be a doctor. Heís very protective of me and acts like another dad. Heís almost an exact look a like to my father, and itís scary. Especially when I got myself in trouble, Iíd have both of them lecturing me and I wouldnít know who was who. But really, heís always there when I need him."


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