There was nothing particularly interesting going on in the barren field just outside Teague's window at Puxley, yet Delilah Chase sat staring out it, her eyes fixated on the tree in the distance that was dancing in the wind. Absently, chewed at the hangnail on her left ring finger, which by this point had been chewed well beyond the point of comfort. The habit had been nixed years ago, Delilah too busy focusing on survival to have time to sit idly and dwell on anxieties.
It had been three days since Teague had left her that bloody awful letter that had told her everything and nothing she didn't know all at once, yet Trevor Williams had not yet contacted her. This meant one of two things: the man was dead or the man had bloody well gone off his rocker despite her singular effort to prevent it. Granted, he had derailed all her plans with his own vanishing act and the responsibilities he had practically thrown into her lap. Perhaps he had done it on purpose to keep her from being able to meddle, and if so? Well, job well done, sir! Job well done to ensure your damned demise! And MacTail? Job well done nailing the coffin shut. She sure as hell had very few hours in which to dedicate any time to the task she'd been assigned before coming back here.
Delilah stood abruptly and walked over to the window and slammed the shutters closed. She rested her forearm against the cool, rough wood and her head next to it. Her forehead rested on the wood a few moments before she leaned her head against her forearm and looked over toward the fireplace on the far end of Teague's office. The fire crackled and popped, its light casting dancing shadows on the brick walls.
Delilah's eyes closed tightly, fighting against the tears that stung her eyes and she pushed herself away from the wood, hitting it hard enough her hand stung both with pain at the impact and the splinters which found their way in. She barely registered the scream of frustration as she hit the wooden shutter. She stared at her throbbing hand, its redness obscured by the darkness of the section of the room in which she stood.
"Why!" she screamed, not caring that anyone passing by outside the office might hear her outburst. Puxley was mostly empty these days. The servants minded their own at her request for them to leave her be at her post, and the secretary downstairs and the Guards posted here did well to detour any visitors for Lord MacTail.
Delilah stormed to Teague's desk and threw herself down into the chair, pouting as she crossed her arms. It might be petty and childish, but she felt about as powerful as one so why not act it? Both men had tied her hands, leaving her void of the power she had fought so hard to gain in her life, power she had vowed no man would ever take from her again. "Damn them both," she muttered.
Delilah had spent the past four days here in this office, ensuring Hunt couldn't simply venture in without her being unaware. She had spent the first day searching Teague's office to see what he might have hidden that was sensitive, and even if she had found nothing, it was the principal itself that kept her here. She couldn't right well abandon her post now, could she? No. Even if these damned men thought they could willy nilly abandon their own all for the sake of two very little, unimportant children, she very well had to be the responsible one. Just as she always had had to be until that one damned little boy and her wayward, infatuated heart went and ruined her life with all that sweet talk and promises that she should have known were too good to be true.
Delilah tilted her head back and screwed her eyes shut again against the emotion that swelled in her heart. It killed her what she was going to have to do. Trevor had never showed at Teague's house near the first ward the past few nights nor had he shown here. And she couldn't very well abandon her own post. No, she was going to have to put all her faith in the hands of the Winslow man-boy. She was going to have to go see Julian in the safe house tonight. And she was going to have to take him to Teague's house and hope his love for Williams would be enough to bring them to success despite all these unexpected kinks in her straightforward plan. Not to mention that all his powers were tied to Runes. Runes! Winslow wasn't even a proper wizard, and that did nothing for her nerves.
Delilah's eyes returned to the fire then flicked to the window just feet away from the edge of the fireplace. She stood, taking time to slam shut every window on her way to that one taking away from the fire that burned in the hearth of the old fireplace. Delilah stopped then and walked across the large room to the table she knew held the alcohol. She didn't even remember what Teague kept here in the decanter, but it hardly mattered. She just needed something to take the edge off. She didn't want to be drunk, just buzzed, just relaxed. She needed to think, and that could hardly happen when her brain itself felt so tense inside her skull.