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   Chapter 16 Brownie Oxford and the Idlewild Incident

Brownie Oxford and the Idlewild Incident: Brownie Bk 2 By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 13780

Updated: 2018-03-07 14:40


Swift didn't show up before I forced myself to go to bed.

He didn't break in during the night.

He didn't arrive with the dawn.

I expected him though and didn't sleep well. When my alarm went off, I popped out of bed like an over eager jack-in-the-box, knowing I had to make certain my disguise was in place in case Swift arrived during breakfast. Luckily, the dress I chose was a longer style with a handkerchief hem so the scar on my leg was hidden from casual view.

Swift didn't arrive while I was making or eating breakfast. He didn't arrive when I brushed my teeth and as I left the apartment to head to campus for my first class, he did not pounce from the shadows and scream, 'AH HA, found you, ' as though we were playing some demented version of hide and seek.

I relaxed a little as I drove to campus, parked in my designated lot and walked to my first class. I doubted that he would actually be in any of the classrooms as he was trying to maintain his guise as Agent Johnson. It would look quite peculiar for him to be there. It was just between classes when I was on the campus in general that I figured I'd be watched.

"Of course he could actually be Agent Johnson, " I thought trying to decide if Swift had actually been born Mike Johnson. My brain could only think of him as Swift. I pushed the thoughts of him and the NCS aside as I entered the building where my first class was located, deciding Swift's real name was relatively unimportant.

"As long as I remember to call him Agent Johnson, " I reminded myself.

I had three classes today, two were general requirements and one was fashion based. The first class was a required math and when I settled into my seat, I was nervous about what I would remember since it had been a while since my last math class. In gratitude for providing enough energy for socialization, one long dead math teacher offered a great deal of assistance to my much younger self. He helped me with addition and subtraction, multiplication and division in my earlier years, drilling me in my tables until I could recite them backwards and forwards if need be. Later he used the same approach with formulas. As my first college level class began, I was pleased to see his lessons were still burned into my brain cells.

From math, I went into an English literature class and sent a mental thanks to various residents who liked to sit around discussing literature with me as though we were some sort of intellectual salon. Many of the items we were covering were ones I had discussed at length with others. In fact most of my required reading lists from my earlier education I read out loud in cemeteries as entertainment for them as well as homework for me. Re-reading those books would bring fond memories as well as, I hoped, decent grades. And I doubted the professor would be disappointed when we read Homer's works in English rather than in either Latin or Greek. Several older residents had been appalled by Riverdale's lack of classicism. The fact that Latin was an elective and Greek wasn't even offered was considered a tragedy.

My third and final class of the day was History of Fashion. I also felt I had a leg up on this one as well, so to speak. It was nice to sit with a book in a classroom learning about fashion through the ages though instead of tying the outfit to the gravestone in order to assign a time period to a spirit. Of course, all of the early attire was entirely new. Neither on my own, nor with Swift, had I ever dealt with anyone from the Elizabethan Era, let alone Medieval Japan. I was looking forward to something new.

Or old, technically speaking, but new to me.

There were several other fashion majors in the class with me and after class, introductions were made. I went off to have coffee with them in the student union and we had our own sort of meet and greet, the second and third year students welcoming me and the other newcomers. Two of the other freshmen, Toby and Denise, were both in my Tuesday/Thursday classes as well, namely Intro to Garment Construction and Drawing for Fashion Majors.

Even t

can't tell it's a cemetery, or at least I couldn't. I don't think you can see if from the other widows, but you can check if you'd like, " I told him giving him to opportunity to move around the apartment, knowing nothing in here would point to me being Brownie and not Bonnie.

"You wouldn't mind?" Swift asked.

"Nope, provided you don't mind the mess. I wouldn't want you to think I was hiding a vantage point." I set my bag on the couch and moved to the dining table. A few days earlier I was clipping coupons from circulars and never got around to tidying up the scraps. While Swift prowled around the apartment, his eyes no doubt taking in more than the view, Nicole and I chatted about the Thai restaurant and how I liked my classes. I was relieved when a knock on my door brought a reprieve from small talk. With Swift listening I was too aware of my own speech and mannerisms. I opened the door and Ricky practically fell in thrusting an arm full of baby blue taffeta at me. His boyfriend Jacob was behind him.

"Bon-bon, you are a life saver, " he gushed as the two of them entered and I shut the door. "Please tell me you can fix it." He noticed Nicole by the couch and Swift returning from the back, an amused look on his face. "Oh, I didn't realize you had company."

"We were just leaving, " Swift assured him. He and Nicole walked towards the door. At the door, he paused and took out a business card and a pen. He scrawled something on the back of the card and held it out to me. "If you see anything, " he told me as I took it from him. "Please call. This is my direct line while I am in town."

"Of course, " I said barely glancing at the card. I closed the door and set the card on the coffee table. I wondered if the scrawled number was his way of telling me I could talk to him without a report going back to the NCS. I half smiled at myself as I walked towards the back. Every action I took where Swift was involved was reported to the NCS. I saw the files, there were no secrets that were between just me and him. What he knew the NCS knew.

With Swift and Nicole gone, Ricky pulled me into his fashion emergency. As we moved towards the sewing room, I wondered if Swift bugged my apartment. I began working on the damaged garment, Jacob keeping Ricky from hysterics over his favorite gown, and I decided it didn't matter. If he did bug my apartment chances were I would never find the bugs. With the exception of Ricky who preferred calling me Bon-bon, everyone who came here called me Bonnie. And I certainly didn't discuss raising the dead with them. Even if every room were bugged, there would be nothing for him to hear. As long as I didn't talk to myself about zombies, his bugs would do him no good.

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