Byron Forbes: Cold shoulders.

Byron watched the reactions of both Melissa and Madison with outward cool and reserve. Inside he was disappointed more than anything. He had hoped to display to Madison the folly of picking on him. But as he suspected, she reacted with ire. Even more perplexing was the reaction of Melissa. Oh, she said nothing to indicate she was upset but Byron was master of noting body language. She was angry, probably because he made her take part in his little backfired jest. He supposed he could understand. She felt embarrassed but did not want disappoint her employer. She had a point. He would have to make it up to her.

Now Madison. She was truly an enigma. The woman sure could dish it out but could not take it. That is what drove them apart last time. She had no qualms about picking on others, himself included as she did upon entering his abode, but heaven help you if she was on the receiving end. He should have recalled that most annoying trait of hers. He supposed they could work on that over the next few days, as she would be his guest, captive whatever you wished to call it. Based on the strengthening of the snowfall, they would be completely shut in within the next hour or so.

Byron heard Melissa setting the table. That was a bad sign. When you heard her, she was annoyed. Any other time she was like a spectre floating around the place. Unseen, undetected. He privately mused that if he tried to photograph her she would not show up on the film. She seemed to have powers like sasquatch and ogopogo. Things that supposedly lived, but were capable of cloaking themselves and remaining unknown to science.

From Madison’s room, not a sound was heard. That was equally bad. Unlike Melissa, you knew when Madison was around. She hummed, her footfalls were always well defined and she was talkative. Overly so sometimes. But she had opinions to express and comments to make. She was a more self-assured of a person than Melissa, if an oversensitive one.

“Madison.” He called through the door hoping to get past this incident. “Melissa has set out fine breakfast. I can smell it from here. It’s going to be yummy, yummy. Please, come. We need to talk I think. And what better way than over a fine meal?

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