Anger just kept bubbling up inside of me. I felt hurt. I couldn’t believe I felt this hurt by him but why should I be surprised that he had lied to me? He probably dreaded all those times we spent together, all those times we talked on the phone, I thought, pressing my hand against my chest. Though he had always seemed eager and really had called me more than I had called him. But that could just as easily mean he was doing it for her. Making me believe he was happy talking to me.
Tears welled up in my eyes again and I wiped them away, peering out to where Redding was walking away. I wondered what had happened and expected Kellen to walk off but he just pressed his fingertips against his eyelids, his shoulders drooping a bit.
I started walking forward, not even realizing what I was doing.
“Kellen,” I said once I was a few feet away from him. His body stiffened and then he spun around, his eyes wide.
“L-Luna?” he whispered. “What the heck are you doing here? You–you need to leave!”
I grit my teeth, his voice like knives in me. My feet were moving on their own accord and the words were spilling out. “You lying piece of crap!” I yelled. “How could you do this to me! How could you treat me like this?!”
My hands went flying out and his arms went flying up. I felt very grateful for Orion teaching me how to hit someone because otherwise I probably would have just barely poked him. But I managed to whack the side of his mouth and then land a punch square in his nose before he could push me away.
“Luna what are you doing?” he hissed out as he staggered back, touching his nose. His eyes flashed with as much anger as I felt. “What was that for?”
“You know what it’s for!” I shrieked hysterically. “I found out the truth about you!”
“What truth?” he demanded, grabbing my wrist as it went forward to hit him again. “Luna! You’re acting like a nutcase, calm down and tell me why you are attacking me. Because my patience is rapidly dropping.”
“I trusted you!” I cried out. “And all this time you were lying to me!”
“Luna, I have never lied to you,” he said in a strangely calm voice. “If someone told you something, they’re the ones lying.”
I clenched my teeth even more. “I saw the truth, just now,” I said. “Nobody told me anything! I saw you with–with her!”
He raised his eyebrows and wiped off a bit of the blood from his lip but the blood just dripped down some more. “Oh my gosh. Luna, seriously? That was my boss! How on earth could you possibly think I’m seeing someone else, let alone my boss!”
“I know she’s your boss!” I growled. “And what do you mean ‘else’? I don’t recall you ever asked me to be your girlfriend, and I must say I am quite glad for it.”
There was a few seconds of silence from him. The only sound was a rustle of leaves from the wind. But finally he spoke. “Is that how you really feel?” he asked, his voice hardly more than a whisper.
“You lied to me,” I said, though my voice was faltering as well. He looked so injured by what I had said… No, I thought, shaking my head. He’s just acting. Like he has all this time. Why else would someone like him want to talk to someone like me other than to spy on me for Redding?
“When did I lie to you?!” he demanded. “I never lied to you, Luna! I never would lie to you, I love you!” As soon as the last syllable came out, his eyes went even bigger than they already were and then he slowly closed them.
It was like a bucket of ice water hitting me and for a second I couldn’t breathe. But before I could react to–to that insanity he just said, someone else spoke. “What do we have here?”
I knew who it was. Of all the times… I didn’t want to hear her or anyone else right now, I wanted to turn around and yell at her to just go away and give me five more minutes alone with Kellen because had I really heard him say what I thought he had said?
“Dr. Dearg!” Kellen exclaimed and I turned around, meeting her gaze.
“Who is she?” Redding demanded, glaring at Kellen.
Oh… oh no… I gulped, knowing I couldn’t make an excuse for the tone in her voice. She had no idea who I was. Which meant she hadn’t sent Kellen to spy on me. Which meant I… and he… Oh no. What have I done?
I turned slightly and stared wide-eyed at Kellen. He stared back at me, frowning slightly. “Who are you?” Redding demanded, this time a lot more furiously.
“I–I’m no one,” I whispered, biting my bottom lip.
She stared at me and looked as though she would just make a knife appear out of no where and stab me right there and then. Forget arrested, I thought miserably. Violators will be killed!
“Her name is Juliet,” Kellen said firmly. I stared at him again but he wasn’t looking at me. “Juliet Moon.”
Redding folded her arms and began tapping her foot. “And what exactly is she doing on Acinert property, Mr. Wright?”
He looked guiltily up at her. “It’s my fault. See, she’s my… fiancee,” he said quickly, reaching over and grabbing my arm. “And I asked her to bring me something from home, but I lost track of the time and didn’t meet her down by the entrance so she came up here looking for me. I take full responsibility.”
Don’t do this, I thought, feeling my heart tearing into a million pieces. First I accuse him of something he didn’t do, then I punch him, and what does he do? He tells me loves me and then lies for me, risking his job. I was… oh, I was lower than dirt.
“I see,” Redding said, not sounding interested. “I suggest you return to your work immediately, Mr. Wright. And I expect you to stay until you finish that report tonight. I also expect to see you tomorrow. Do you understand?”
Kellen bowed his head. “Yes, Dr. Dearg. Let me just take Juliet to–“
“I will escort Miss Moon off the property,” Redding said coldly and I gulped again, feeling dread creeping up my body. “You return to work now.” Kellen stared and then nodded, giving my arm a gentle squeeze before walking off. “Oh, and Mr. Wright?” she asked and he paused, looking at her. “Clean yourself up, you are a disgusting mess.”
“Yes, Dr. Dearg,” he muttered and then started walking again. I watched him leave, feeling scared. As if sensing it, Kellen paused and turned, giving me a careful look.
“Please send me a text when you get home safe, Jules,” he said quietly and I opened my mouth. However, I couldn’t speak so I just closed my mouth again and nodded. He gave me one last, rather sweet, smile and it felt as though my heart were being torn again. Though I had the feeling he had said that more for the sake of Redding. Almost as if he were worried I wouldn’t get home safe.
And looking at Redding, I was beginning to wonder the same thing. But she was watching Kellen so he began walking a little quicker and as soon as he was out of sight, she turned and gave me the iciest glare I had ever seen in my life.
“So, uh, I better head home,” I said, my voice squeaking.
“I did not realize Mr. Wright was engaged,” she said, folding her arms once more and lifting up one eyebrow.
“I, uh, suppose he didn’t want to talk about it,” I whispered. “We have a very private life together. I, um, haven’t even introduced him to my family yet.”
“That would be Calcifer Danevbie, correct?” she asked and my eyes went huge, my mouth dropping. “Don’t look so shocked,” she sneered. “You think I wouldn’t figure out why you look so familiar?”
“Please don’t fire Kellen,” I said. “It wasn’t his fault at all. He was just… covering up for me. I came here looking for him since I was–I was mad at him and…” I trailed off, realizing my excuses were feeble and probably not helping anything.
“Is Juliet your real name?” she inquired, looking me up and down. “I didn’t think he had a child name Juliet.”
“N-no,” I stammered. “I’m… I’m Luna. Luna Danevbie.”
Redding put her hand against her chin, still looking me up and down. “Did your idiotic father send you here to harass me?”
“No!” I exclaimed. “No! He has no idea you’re even around Riverview! If he had any idea, he probably would have tied me down rather than come here to work at the facility.”
She smirked at that and seemed more amused than annoyed. “I see,” she said. “I imagine he’s told you things about me, otherwise you would not have had that look in your eye when you saw me.”
“He’s told me,” I said, straightening my shoulders slightly. “How you treated his father, things you said to him. How you have some sort of crazy plan of making the universe bow down to you.”
She put her fingers against her lips, smirking even more. “Luna, did you believe all the things he told you about me or did you ever stop to think he was biased against me for the accidental–and might I say, unfortunate–death of his father?”
I was very confused by this. The thought had never really occurred to me before that my father had exaggerated things. “He told us all the truth,” I mumbled, looking down at my shoes. “I mean… why… why would he lie? He had no reason to lie to us about you and what you did.”
“Except his anger,” she pointed out. “He’s the one who sought us out and yelled at us. And I have kept my promise, leaving him and his family alone. Of course now, I suppose, that promise has been…” She turned away slightly. “Forcibly broken. I suppose he’ll come tearing into town any day now to yell at us again.”
“I sh-should get going,” I said, taking a few steps away from her. “I really should go.”
She chuckled and continued smirking. “Luna, why did you come to Riverview?”
I blinked and wrapped my arms around myself, sniffling a bit. “I took a job at Soil and Water.” I looked up and saw her eyes glinting. “But I already said that,” I realized. “I mentioned the facility.” I felt so stupid, giving away information like that. I should be on my guard around her because… Why? I wondered. Because my dad hates her? What if… he was exaggerating…?
“You did,” Redding said. “I have an idea. Consider it a proposition.”
“Wh-what’s that?” I asked nervously.
“I show you around this place,” she said, waving her hands. “You can see what’s going on. It’s nothing bad, I promise you. You can ask me questions. And you can meet your grandfather,” she added and I took in a sharp breath at that. “And if everything seems good to you then… perhaps you could come work with us. Not for us, Luna. With us. With me, with my brother. With your family.”