Part 7

Buck had decided that he needed to talk to Ezra more than JD, but he wasn't having much luck finding him.  He'd gone back to the stables, but Ezra wasn't there anymore.  His horses were still there, so he hadn't gone riding at least. 

Buck then checked the gardens.  He knew Ezra liked to take a walk through them sometimes.  No luck.  He hadn't found him anywhere else, either.  He'd been through most of the castle.  Where was that slippery devil?

Buck sat down on a chair by the armory.  He really wanted to apologize to Ezra.  How was he going to do that if he couldn't find him?  One good thing, though.  He'd had a lot of time to think while he was looking.  He didn't like what he'd come up with, though.  The way Ezra acted around them sometimes was starting to make sense--and it didn't make them look good at all.  They hadn't been treating Ezra right at all.  Well, maybe Vin... 

He couldn't believe some of the things they'd said to him!  No wonder Ezra was avoiding them a lot lately.

"Hey, Buck!  What are you doing here?"

Buck looked up to see JD standing there.  The boy didn't look upset at all.  "Are you okay, Kid?"

"I'm fine.  Why?"

"I saw you earlier today and you looked like someone whipped your horse."

"Oh.  That.  I guess I was pretty mad, but I'm okay now."

"So...  You're not still angry with Ezra?"

JD looked down at his feet.  "Uh, well.  No.  I took everything he said all wrong.  I can't believe I was so stupid!  He was just trying to explain something to me and I just...  I thought he was making fun of me.  You haven't seen him have you?"

"No.  Been looking for him myself.  I did something stupid, too, Kid.  I think he's hiding from us."

JD leaned against the wall, sagging with frustration.  "We'll never find him if he doesn't want to be found.  He's too tricky."

"You're right about that, JD.  Maybe a little too tricky for his own good."

"What do you mean?"

"I think maybe sometimes he confuses us because he's pretty confused himself.  I think there's lots of stuff that kid doesn't have a clue about."

"But he's one of the smartest people I know!"

"Me, too.  But I've been thinking on this all day.  He has a lot of knowledge, JD.  His mother made sure of that or else he wouldn't be any good to her for her plans.  But he doesn't have the experience.  All of this...  All of us are new to him.  He's trying to figure things out.  All the times I saw him stiffen up when we talked to him or asked him questions..  I thought he was just being prissy or defensive.  Maybe he was scared." 

"Why didn't he say anything?  Let us know he was having trouble?"

Buck sighed.  "I don't think he knows how to ask, JD.  Maybe when he was a kid, he never got anything he asked for and stopped asking after a while."

"Or...or maybe he's not sure about us.  Maybe he thinks we would've laughed at him or turned him away or..."  JD grabbed Buck's arm.  "We've got to find him!  He's got to know we aren't like that!"

"Your right, Kid.  What are we sitting around here for?  Let's find him before he gets himself into trouble or something.

Part 8