Charlie listened to Crowne's answers, silent and thoughtful. His answers combined with his very vague answers from their last conversation were helping her piece together a faint picture of the King siblings.
For one, they were not siblings, but rather very close friends. Crowne told her that last time. And the entire reason they started running was because someone or someones took issue with their friendship. He said before that there was a problem with the King family's "safety" due to this friendship. Was Royce was the presumed bad guy here, or Rosemary? And since neither Royce nor Rosemary seem inclined to dole punishment on anyone, certainly not because of their own friendship, who was responsible for compromising his family's safety?
Now, based on what she just learned, a significant amount of time has passed, and they are being summoned back. Voluntarily, if Crowne was to be believed, and she did believe him. Presumably, the danger they had feared has passed and they were free to return home should they want. Secretly, she hoped they would prefer to stay here rather than leave. But then she thought about their life here, pretty much in borderline poverty, and wondered if their life back in the place where they came from was better? Significantly better?
What had they been running away from? The danger? Or their home?
The thought of Royce and Rosemary leaving squeezed her heart so hard she could barely breathe. She cared for them both, truly and deeply. They had become almost like a substitute family. She had the wild and immediate desire to yell and scream at Alexander Crowne, to demand that he leave New Hope and never return. That Royce and Rosemary were actually happy here, and they deserve to have their happiness left undisturbed.
But then the chill returned. And the dark thoughts clouded her mind. And she thought of her father, selfish and spoiled, thinking only of his own love and his own loss and ignoring the little family he still had left. Her. She started to tremble very lightly, and dropped her head forward so that her hair would cover her face blinking back hot tears.
I can't let Royce go. But I can't make him stay.
She suddenly wished that she was back in the shed, writing prescriptions. She shivered a little harder and realized that the sun was setting and the shadows behind the clinic were sucking the warmth out of her just as quickly as her brooding thoughts were. All she had on was a long sleeved shirt- her coat was back in the shed- so she mentally attributed the temperature to her sudden need for wrapping this up.
Charlie sighed once, rolled her neck around a few times until she heard a soft pop! and finally lifted her head to meet Alexander Crowne's golden eyes, her own completely clear of tears or emotion.
There was one last thing, one thing only that she felt she needed to know. And since she was performing this favor for him, that left her in the unprecedented position of manipulator, rather than manipulatee. Bribing wasn't one of her better talents, but she had learned from the best.