Chapter Eight (excerpt)
The sunlight blasted through the windows making the hardwood floors gleam like mirrors. I mostly tossed and turned last night listening to the clock tick and chime the hours away. It was seven, and I thought it would be a good time to get out of here. I tried to block the intense light out as I went down the hallway towards the stairs.
“Good morning,” said a voice from all the blinding brightness that hurt my sleep deprived eyes. “Is there a bathroom up here?”
“What?” I snapped as I forced my eyes to focus in the annoying heavenly light.
Smiling back at me, and looking very healthy, was the injured boy from last night. I could feel my mouth drop open in surprise as light from the stained glass window above casted him in jewel-like colors.
“The bathroom,” he asked again with raised eyebrows. “Portal demons smell nasty and I want to get the stench off that I’m sure you can smell.”
“But…but you were bleeding to death last night and looked like you were going to die,” I said looking at him quickly from head to toe. If fact, he probably looked better than me right now as I pushed back my tangled hair.
His lips curled upward into an amused snicker.
“You’re Fae that’s why,” I said and through my exhausted state, was speaking my thoughts aloud.
His golden locks sparkled in the light and his pale green eyes pulled me in like an ignorant and oblivious child that is drawn into an enchanted forest all green and glistening and dangerous.
“My name is Eric Attwood, and yes, I’m a Fae who as you can guess, is training to be a guardian.” He stood smiling down at me as I gazed back at him.
“And your name is…” he prompted after a few seconds.
“Oh, Sage, Sage Greene. My dad is your mentor, I mean, I guess, he is your mentor.” I smiled awkwardly feeling embarrassed at my uncontrollable gawking. “How’s your leg?” I asked shifting the focus back to him.
“Faes heal quickly when given the right medicine and guardian Hartdale is exceptional with treating all kinds of different races. And yes, your father is my mentor.”
I nodded my head as I continued to smile at him like an unaware idiot.
“The bathroom, which door,” he said nodding his head.
“Oh, that door,” I said pointing towards it.
“Thank you.” He smiled and then slightly limped brushing past me as I scrambled downstairs.
Stupid, stupid, stupid, I said to myself with each step I took down the staircase. I was Sage Greene, librarian-in-training, knife-throwing, fear nothing, self-defending independent girl with her own ideas and visions for her future. It seems those fortresses have been broken by a boy and not any boy, but a Fae.
Faes I knew were of the enchanted community, but were considered equal by guardian standards. They lived in a different realm called Avalon and most that did join the guardianship or librarianship, were of higher status in Fae society. Not many joined and those that did used the experience to go back to Avalon and serve in their sentry units.
I wondered what Eric Attwood’s story was. He had to be either well off or of a high family position to be here. I then shook my head trying to push my wonderment of him away. I had other things more important right now.
I could smell the sweet scent of rolls curling through the house and the voices of Alec and my dad talking. Their tone almost sounded like they were debating without yelling and I followed their voices along with the enticing smell rolls to what I guessed would be the kitchen.
Being careful not to make the floor creak, I slid up to the door and pressed beside it trying to make out what they were saying. Here I go again, eavesdropping. But the last thing I wanted was to walk in on them if they were having a heated discussion.
“You know how dangerous it is to have it come here especially since there is no reason,” my dad said in an even tone. “I mean at the Ball and all. Our daughters will be there, family and friends… you know how much attention things like this draw.” His voice had a stern edge to it.
“Yes, Carl I do know how dangerous it is, but,” Alec said and then paused with the clanking sound of dishes, “I also know the strength of the guardianship and this will prove to those skeptics that we can secure such a strong implement while dancing around it ourselves.” I could hear a chair slide out. “That will shut them up for good,” he said spatting his words out with a small chortle.
The room grew silent, they were talking about the Fan, and I know they had probably been talking about it for some time. I decided that I would make my entrance now, not only to save my dad, but so we could go home.
“Ah, good morning Sage,” Alec said in a pleasant tone.
“Good morning,” I replied.
He offered the rolls to me and I declined with a shake of my head and a smile.
“Are you ready to go home?” I asked my dad as he finished his coffee.
“Your mom is on her way here to pick us up.”
“Oh, Sage,” Alec said finishing his roll. “I’m excusing you today for classes, but I want you back here at three so I can question you more on last night’s events.”
I glanced over to my dad who had a distant look in his eyes then nodded at Alec who smiled like a gracious host.
“Alright,” I said as my dad’s phone vibrated.
“Let’s go,” my dad said stepping towards the door. “Tell Eric that I’ll meet with him this afternoon as well when I bring sage over.”
“I’ll be here all day making sure his wound is healing properly.” Alec leaned back in his chair with a passive look on his face. “Don’t worry Carl. You know you do that too much, everything will be fine.”
My dad and I slipped out the door and into my mom’s SUV.
“Sage Clarisse Greene!” My mom yelled so loud, I thought she might break the windows of the vehicle.
“Wendy!” My dad barked glaring over at my mom who sat with a shocked expression on her face. I’ve never seen him yell at my mom before and by the look on my mom’s face, neither had she. He then sat back in the seat expelling his breath as he closed his eyes. “Not now, please, not now.” His voice pleaded in a soft tone.
We drove home in silence.