ow with desperate eyes, he had never broken a promise before and Erna will be arriving at the meeting spot right now.
“I need some where that might have a station wagon that can get me to Schuber.
Or maybe I can rent a horse.”





The result was always the same, the Grand duke took the pot and Leonard and Peter were left feeling a lot lighter.
If you’re going to play against Bjorn Dniester, you’re going to lose.
It has become a very solid saying in the social club.

   “Oh, you’re going already?” Peter said as Bjorn rose from the chair.
“I was feeling lucky, I have not lost nearly as much as I normally do.”

   “Why not stay longer?” Leonard added.

   “You boys really want me to run you into the ground?” Bjorn pointed at Peter and Leonards significantly reduced pile of chips.

   They exchanged profane jokes and laughter as Bjorn collected up his winnings and tidied up his jacket.
Once he left the smoke filled room, his mind cleared up a little and he found himself thinking of Erna again.
What ever happened would have happened by now and a part of him felt loss thinking she might be on her way back to Buford.

   “Take me by the station.” Bjorn ordered the coachman as he stepped into his carriage.
He knew it was a dangerous curiosity, but he felt the desire to see it through.

   “You’re not planning on taking the train, your highness? I hear there’s been trouble down the line.” The coachman said, adjusting his coat to defend against the rain.

   “No, just drive me past it.”

   Bjorn felt something niggle at the back of his mind at hearing the news and he stared out at the passing lights.
He looked bored of the gloomy city, but inside he was trying to work things out.
He only knew that Erna was running away tonight, he didn’t know for sure she was going to take the train, not to mention which train they were going to catch.


   Bjorn whispered the name to the rain streaked window, seeing her face reflected in each droplet.
It had been a week since he had last seen Erna Hardy.
Her eyes were as big and bright as a lost little child.
Missing in action.
A sad little girl who’s forgotten how to cry.

   He didn’t feel any longing, his eyes were blank as he looked out into the world.
Recently he had been feeling that something was off, like he’d brushed off a helpless child wanting comfort.
Not quite like guilt, but like he was being sloppy.
He kept asking himself where this feelings comes from, but he can never find an appropriate answer.

   The carriage came to a stop outside the train station and the sudden jerking brings Bjorn out of his thoughts.

   As expected, the train station was bleak and empty.
No doubt the news of the trains not running because of a land slip forced everyone to find alternative means of travel.
There were a few people milling about, but Bjorn doubted Erna would have hung around like a tramp at this hour.
She might have found some where else to stay for tonight.
She’s sane enough not to return back to the Hardy Mansion.

   Bjorn laughed it off.
He was being immature, trying to chase down a woman he had no interest in.
Just as he opened the carriage door to tell the driver to take him home, he noticed a figure struggling with a trunk at the far end of the plaza.

   The small, slender woman waddled her away across the plaza to the old clock tower.
She stumbled along, dragging the trunk behind her and Bjorn felt for sure she was going to fall a couple times.

   Just as Bjorn was getting annoyed at the rain falling on him, the woman looked up at the rain, knocking back the hood of her cloak.
She still wore a wide brimmed bonnet, but he was sure he could make out the face and the tumbling brown hair.

   “No way.” Bjorn muttered.

   He looked at his watch, it was some time after 11 and Bjorn couldn’t believe his premonition.
This was not the time for the pair of them to be roaming around in the rain together and as quiet as the streets were, there was always a witness.


He whispered the name.

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