4.1 See You Often


“I think your brother is looking for you.”

I lifted my gaze from my carefully aligned marbles. My friend was right- I could hear Gem running up the hill, yelling my name.

“It’s time for you to go now. Hippidy hop back to Winterstead.”

“You are the only person who calls it that,” I tried to tell him, but I ended up telling it to empty air instead. Typical.

Rolling my eyes I turned to Gem, who was huffing from his run. “What is it, Gem?”

“We’re getting a new butler!” Gem announced victoriously, as though this was news I should be celebrating.

“What happened to our old one?”

“Mother fired him. She said he was stealing the jewelry, or something.”

Typical again. The employees in our house went by so quickly I had stopped bothering to learn their names.

“We don’t need a butler anyway,” I said. “We can do everything on our own, no problem.”

“Sure we do,” said Gem. “Mother said it shows our status and class, because if you’re rich you don’t have to do your own housework. You can pay others to do it for you.”

“It seems an awful hassle if she can’t trust any of them.”

“I think this new butler used to work for mother’s parents. He might have raised mother as a child. He’s actually not new, he’s old. Not too old though.”

“So what are you so happy about?”

“He brought his grandson, or something. He’ll be living with us. He’s our age.”

“Are you actually sure of any of this stuff?”

“I am! Look, there he is.”

Some way below us, a blonde head was bobbing up and down between the freshly planted hydrangea beds. I wasn’t impressed. He was around our age, sure. But he was short and skinny and was such a boy. Soon he would steal Gem away and go off doing boy stuff, like the summer the Lewis’ nephew had come to visit. I could feel my face crumpling in distaste.

He must have felt me trying to light him on fire with my gaze. He looked around, saw us, and came running. I quickly gathered up my marbles, and shoved them in a pocket. No way I was going to share them with him.

“Alistair Fontaine,” he said when he reached us, holding his hand out to shake.

“Didn’t ask,” I muttered under my breath.

Gem took Alistair’s hand with perfect courtesy. “Gemini Winter,” he said, shaking it. “Also my sister, Deneb Winter. Heard you were coming.”

“I guess I’ll see you often?” said Alistair. “I’ve heard my room is almost directly above yours.”

“It’s above Deneb’s, I think,” said Gem. “Mine’s across the hall from her.”

Great, thumping from above. Just what I needed.

“I gotta move in now. Maybe we can talk after lights out?”

Gem nodded, looking impressed. Already he was looking forward to a new partner in crime; I shrank a bit, unwanted, next to him.

“I’ll knock on your window?” Alistair looked at me, asking for my permission I was reluctant to give.

“Sure,” said Gem, sealing the deal in my place.

I moved my glare to my brother as Alistair left. Not that he noticed. His head was already crowded with the things he’d do and stunts he’d pull. Any more substantial and I’d see it emerging from his ears in cotton candy-like fluff. “’Cmon,” he said. “Let’s go see if we can climb anything from your room to his.”

Then he was off again, without looking behind him to see if I followed. Like always, with a sigh, I did.


I’m back! Kicking off gen 4, hoping to post once a week. Hope you enjoy, and thanks for reading! 🙂


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