Who: Zacharias Smith, Tristan Montgomery, Daphne Greengrass
Where: Mayor’s Office
When: 1 April 2001, around lunchtime
Zacharias did not notice any changes as he made the short stroll from his home to the mayor’s office, but nothing much ever changed in Helga’s Hill.
Except some big changes were afoot. He really needed more information about this new building project.
He walked into the building and poked his head into the first office. “Oh. Hi. Tristan. Seen Daphne?”
Tristan looked up and shot Zacharias a slightly frazzled smile. Even though Issy couldn’t stand the Mayor’s son, Tristan had never minded him nearly so much and always did her best to be civil or even kind (the latter usually only when Issy wasn’t nearby). “Hello, Zacharias.”
Wait. She did a double take. Zacharias? What was he doing in Helga’s Hill? She hadn’t even known he was in Britain! She shook her head to settle her thoughts before she gaped like an idiot for too long.
“Her office is the next one on the left. Are you home for a visit?”
“If it still counts as a visit if there’s no end date, yeah,” drawled Zacharias. He went to poke his head into the next office on the left. “She offered to bring me some food but she’s not back yet. Care to join us for lunch?”
Tristan paused. She did not want to have lunch with Daphne Greengrass. Lunch was one of the few times that she got to escape from her co-worker. It didn’t surprise her at all that Daphne had done a bunk and gone to get food--it wasn’t as if she ever did any of her work anyway, (and when she did, she did it wrong and left it for Tristan to fix). However, she knew her twin sister would positively murder her if she didn’t get the details on why Zacharias was back (and how they could get him to leave again).
“Sure,” she said, scratching the back of her neck. “How long have you been back in town?”
“Long enough to know there’s going to be a dirty great skyscraper in town and they want to knock over my house for the land,” said Zacharias. He shook his head. “Madness. It’ll never happen.”
“It is a bit… unorthodox, I think,” said Tristan with a frown. She rubbed her forehead. She felt bad for having plunged her sisters into business with Orpington, especially since it had gone so sour. Sure, it had been Issy who had really spearheaded the idea, but Tristan had purchased the land so it had, ultimately, been her choice.
Twisting a bit of hair around her finger, she looked pensive. “Your father seems willing to work with him, though?”
Zacharias shrugged. “He has to work with public opinion. There are some people who’d like more locals. As would I, but you have to start smaller. I’ve got better plans.”
Daphne returned to the office, take-away bag in hand, to find her cousin chatting with Tristan. Charming. Still, it seemed like she was being polite enough (as if Tristan Montgomery were ever anything but polite), and maybe that would help stop with all this “covert dashes” madness. Not that Daphne was making it any better by picking up lunch for him.
She waltzed up to the pair and interrupted their conversation by announcing, “Lunch is here!”
“Finally!” said Zacharias. “We were just discussing what a terrible idea Orpington’s plan is,” he informed Daphne.
“I didn’t say I thought it was a bad idea,” Tristan pointed out neutrally. She did think so, but that wasn’t something she felt the need to advertise, especially not around the office. She had enough problems around here to deal with.
Most of them caused by the girl standing in her office with takeaway for two.
“It’s not a bad idea,” Daphne agreed. “He just needs to do it somewhere else.” And that, as far as Daphne was concerned, was that.
“So let’s go eat!” she added, shaking the bag of Indian food at Zacharias.