Legal Theft Project: Growing Pains

He stepped into the room quietly, and wavered by the doorway as if he wasn’t sure she had heard him. Which was ridiculous because she had ears like a cat and he was about as quiet as a horde of elephants. He just didn’t want to startle her. She had to admit he was making some progress. From full sized elephants to pygmy elephants. Tatter closed her book and blinked up at him. “It’s you. I wanted to talk to you.”

Finn looked confused. “You wanted to talk to me?”

She nodded decisively and waved him in. Finn hunched his shoulders as he came through the narrow door. His arm hit the doorframe anyway and he winced. Tatter could not help but pity him. It wasn’t his fault there was suddenly so much more of him.

“I wondered if you were sick or if someone was causing you trouble. I haven’t noticed anyone, but you’ve been,” she paused and bit her lip. “…odd recently.”

Finn folded into a sitting position on the floor and sighed. “I know. I think it’s the growing. Making me irritable and things.”

“I wasn’t that irritable,” she said.

“No, but we’re different people. Maybe I get moodier because there is so much more of me.” He looked ruefully at toes. “I’m not trying to make an excuse. I just don’t know anything I can do about it.”

“So it’s not that you’re mad at Elias or I? Or thinking of going elsewhere for awhile?” Tatter shrugged her shoulders sideways and looked away. Which in anyone else would have been a defensive nonchalance, in Tatter, it was something softer because she never hid her hurt. Finn wasn’t sure she knew how and he hoped she never learned. It would sadden him.

“No, I’m not going anywhere and I’m not mad. I get grumpy at Elias because he likes to know the whys of things, and I don’t have answers. That and if I do find answers, I might not tell him just because he’s been so annoying.” He said it with a smile and tried to lean back, but he ran into more things.

Tatter giggled. “I’m sorry.”

“S’okay. Humor is better than swearing.”

“And you are very good at that.”

Finn gave up and curled back into his previous lotus like position. “I could teach you if you’d like.”

That won a grin from her. “I don’t think I would ever use them.”

“But you could know.”

She shook her head. “I’m not Elias.”

“I’m glad, one Elias is more than enough.”

“I think he’d get grumpy if there were many of him.”

“I think you’re right.” He stood up. “So we’re good?”

“Yes.” She nodded. “Was there anything else you wanted to talk about?”

“Oh, I just, wanted to let you know I’m around. Even though I’m I don’t know, large.” Finn scuffed his feet.

Tatter looked at him seriously. “I always know when you’re around. It makes me glad.”

Finn held out his arms, and Tatter obliged him with a hug.

“I’m glad.” He stepped back. “And hungry again.”

“Then you should go find something.”

“I shall, assuming I don’t get stuck in the door.”

“I think you would win if you got in a fight with the door. You know its weaknesses.”

Finn laughed, tossed a wave over his shoulder and descended the stairs. Tatter listened the clatter of his feet on the stairs. Maybe in a couple months he would be in charge of his elephants. It would probably make them all feel better.


I stole this first line from Gwen at ApprenticeNeverMaster. The ring of thievery goes ever round.


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