Cold and rainy today and I've had my lecture for heading out with Sam without technical permission. John had his lecture and kindly told Lochlan to go fuck himself, though he means it as a friend, because in order for this to work Lochlan needs to let go a little bit, especially and most importantly when it comes to people who know Bridget's head and how to keep it on straight better than the magic man himself. Besides, John was there. Problem solved. Bodyguard in place.
I'm not going to let anything happen to her, Brother. Never have, never will.
Lochlan thought long and hard about continuing to push against this logic but ultimately decided John was right and he shook his hand and apologized. He came to apologize to me and I stared at him with my best steely-eyed child's disappointment, picked up my colander and went out to the garden to get beans for dinner.
He didn't come after me. Ben came out eventually because I was taking too long and said supposedly now we're surround by not only men and bears but also those coyotes now too. Many of them. And it's getting late so maybe I should come in.
They're like dogs. They sing because they're afraid of the dark.
They sing because they're hungry, Bridget.
The fence is live, I'm not worried.
Loch is worried. You daydream. I've heard the stories.
I don't do that anymore. Yeesh. Next he'll be wiping my ass for me.
That's what I said.
But you don't say anything to him.
How do you know I haven't? It's taken you close to two and a half hours to pick a pound of beans.
Why you only come when there's trouble.
Danger, he corrects me.
Whatever. I'm tired and soaked to the skin. I'm cold. I don't even fucking care anymore. This isn't Utopia today. Today it's prison and I got yard duty.
Let's go inside and get a fire going. You're shivering. Give me the bowl.
He reaches for it and I take whatever strength I still have and fling it about ten feet away. All of the beans spray out in an arc across rows of tomato cages and the colander comes to rest against a pumpkin plant beside the fence.
I don't want to! I tell him. Maybe it's not even his fault, maybe a lot of it is but I stand there staring at him and he stares back and finally he turns and goes to the fence, picks up the bowl and heads back toward the house without another word. I would feel bad about seeing him go alone but he's left me on my own for months now.
I pick up a bean and eat it.
When I turn to see if he's gone he is standing at the gate waiting. He looks at his watch.
I've got all day, Brat. he calls. He's smiling.
Asshole. I call back.
A real hungry one too. Better pick up those beans. Dinner's in an hour.
You took my bowl.
Fill your pockets.
I don't have any pockets.
Fill that gaping hole in your face that all those stupid lies come out of. Like me only being here when there's trouble. Is there trouble right now? Nope. Only rain. Only beans. Seems pretty low key for a Monday actually. Could you hurry up, Bee? I'm fucking freezing.
No! Fucking do it yourself.
I'll pay someone to do it.
No one TOUCHES my garden except me.
Then get to work. He frisbees the bowl at my head and I scream and duck down into a ball, losing my balance. I sit down in the mud hard.
Then pick faster so you can go in and change.
Can you help me? Please?
Are you asking for me to help you?
Are you fucking deaf too?
No, I've just been waiting for this for EIGHT FUCKING YEARS, BRIDGET but you're too goddamned stubborn. Just wait right here. He takes off his hoodie and slides it around me and heads into the garden, scooping beans into the colander as he goes. He goes up three different rows and somehow comes back in seconds with the full bowl that I threw and kisses me hard, almost knocking me off my feet, shoving the bowl into my arms, smiling at me gently, waiting until I hesitantly smile back.
There's dinner. All's well that end's well. I feel like I have to get you to some sort of incredible level of rage to reset you, almost and then you're you again. Except your lips are grey and the rest of you is...very dirty. Let's get inside.