Jacob skidded to a halt, the gravel crunching beneath his feet. "Nora! Nora?" he called, unsure exactly which car she was in. After a very long, long pause Nora's head peaked out from two cars down, "Jacob, what's wrong?" she asked, her brows furrowed.
He took a breath of relief. He jogged down to her car and looked up at her, "Are you okay?" he asked, looking her over.
She quickly turned around, "Yeah, yeah I'm fine. Why?" she asked. He hopped up onto the car and followed her in. "Nora…" he started. He pulled out the older brother voice. She sighed. He saw her shoulders drop and she finally turned back around. "It's nothing, okay?" she held out her arm that had the fabric bandage tied around it.
Jacob reached out and took her arm. He saw the red stain and tried to see exactly how long it was. "How did this happen?" he gritted his teeth. He was not exactly the president of August Rosenbluth fan club at the present time.
"It was an accident," Nora continued. "He picked up the shears and some fabric when he was talking…and well…" she shrugged. "It's alright…I bandaged it up…I'm a fast healer."
"An accident…" Jacob breathed in disbelief. He released her arm and looked down at her. She nodded, "Yes…"
"If anything like this ever happens again, come find me, alright?" he asked.
"I will, thanks Jake…" she whispered. She stepped forward and wrapped her arms around his middle. They embraced for a moment. Besides today's mishaps- they were fitting in quite well in their new environment…but the bond between them would always be greater.
After their embrace ended he looked around, "Is this where you're staying?" he asked. Costumes and pieces of that nature hung around them, crowded next to each other hook by hook, shelf by shelf. "Sorta," she smiled. She led him down to the other end where there was a make-shift wall and wooden door. (It wouldn't stand in a storm but it held its purpose). She pulled the door open and revealed a cot plus a small changing space. "It's kinda like home," She said softly, a smile spreading across her lips.
Jacob smiled a little too, "Yeah…I remember finding you asleep around mom's sewing kit…more than one time…"
Nora smiled at the thought. But suddenly they heard the train roar to life. Roustabouts were bustling around, yelling, running, throwing and all-manner of crazy shenanigans out of nowhere.
"What's going on?" the siblings headed to the door to look out. Things were getting torn down faster than they'd been put up. "We haven't even run the set yet…." Nora muttered.
Marlena came walking by, her arms crossed over her chest. "Marlena…" Jacob reached out to stop her. He hopped down to her level. "What's going on?" he asked.
"August caught wind of a show that's gone down a state over. He wants to get there before all the good performers are taken. Since we lost Silver Star, we need something new- fast and cheap," she sighed.
"And we're leaving right this minute?" Jacob asked incredulously. It seemed like such a waste.
Marlena nodded. "Once everything is loaded…and maybe even before that…"
She and Jacob spent another moment just looking at each other. Jacob wanted to reach out and touch her arm to show her compassion, but he could not. He was startled when August suddenly appeared in the mix, "C'mon dear, we're leaving now…" he ushered her forward with barely a look at either of the Jankowskis. They disappeared into their state room.
Jacob looked back up at Nora. She motioned her head towards the costume car, "Ride with me," she half-suggested, half asked. Jacob didn't see the harm. And if he really needed to, he could climb his way back to his horse blanket later.
But he was pretty sure it didn't miss him (because he sure didn't miss it).
He climbed aboard. They left the door open for a bit longer, watching the scene literally unfold before their eyes. Jacob wanted to make sure that no man was left behind. But this lightning round- everyone made it on.
Finally, Jacob shut the door as the train began to chug forward. He turned around, looking at the costumes. He touched the fabric, the different textures. Some of the pieces were absolutely magnificent.
Nora looked around, as if to reaffirm that they were alone. "Jacob…" she started. She set aside the piece she'd recently picked up to start attempting to mend.
"Mhm?" he looked back at her, sauntering down to her seat on the floor and taking a seat next to her.
"You…you and Marlena….Jacob…I've never seen you look at a woman like that before…not even Catherine…"
Jacob opened his mouth to fight it, to deny it, but no words came out. "I know…"
And it scared him.