I finally caught up with him in the corridor at the end of the day. I was feeling apprehensive anyway just because of Lizzy's reaction to him, but my nerves hit yellow alert when I saw him.
Steven Firth is a tall, gangly man with sallow, drawn features. His grey skin and dark shadows under his eyes tell of someone who doesn't spend much time outdoors and far too much time in the laboratory. As it was, he had his head buried in a datapad as he walked.
A thin curtain of silvery hair flopped over his face and a wispy ponytail hung down the back of his neck that would have looked awful on the youngest of men. As it was, it added a decade to his forty-odd years and made him look shabby and neglected.
"Excuse me," I said, almost throwing myself into his path.
He tried to dodge me, ignoring to my presence, but I manoeuvred myself back into his path.
"Excuse me, Mr Firth—"
He stopped abruptly and looked up at me with eyes so lifeless, I quite gasped.
"Yes," his voice completely devoid of expression.
I faltered and had to force a cough to find my voice.
"I'm looking for Lizzy," I explained.
"Lizzy? Lizzy who?" he scowled.
His scowl didn't shift.
"Elizabeth Buffalo," I explained further. How many wards did he have, for goodness sake?
"Oh, her. She's gone."
He was positively icy in his response.
"Yes, I know, but where to please?"
I was trying to be polite.
"But where is that please?"
He wasn't what you'd call helpful.
"Because she's my friend …"
His gaze completely lacked expression.
"And I miss her …"
"And she left her hairbrush behind." I was clutching.
He head jerked, quite taken aback at the mention of her hairbrush.
"Her hairbrush?" he demanded.
"Yes. She left it behind. I know it's—"
"Well, leave it out and I'll have someone pick it up and send it on."
"No, that's okay. I expect she's got a new one by now anyway, but what about getting in touch with her?"
"I'll tell her you're asking after her."
"Oh, thank you," and began to step aside but suddenly realised that he probably had no idea who I was.
"Do you need to know my name?" I asked.
He looked up at me, but said nothing.
"Terran," I said. "My name is Jenny Terran."
"Yes, I'll tell her!" he snapped.
If he was half as charming as this with Lizzy, I could understand why she didn't like him.