The Hidden Truth (Book 1 of The Hidden Truth Series)

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Questions

I wake up to the sound of the shower going. Sitting up I finally get to see what the hotel looks like. The room is beautiful like one of those high-end rooms. It has a gorgeous view and only one bed. Wait a minute it? There is only one bed but the side opposite from me doesn’t look like it’s been slept in. Looking across from me however I see on the couch a blanket and a pillow that has been taken off of the bed. He slept on the couch? Why didn’t he just sleep in the bed with me? Sitting there in my thoughts I didn’t even realize Shayne coming out of the bathroom in just a towel until he says something. Even though he is saying something I can’t hear anything. All I can hear is the sound of my heart beating as my eyes travel over his nicely sculpted body. Shayne could be a model if he really wanted to. As my thoughts start to flow around Shayne being a model any type of model I hear him clear his throat making my eyes find his face. They stop at his lips showing the obvious smirk on his face and then move up to his eyes, which have a playful look in them. He then begins to speak.

“Now if you are done drooling over me I can continue what I was saying.”

“I wasn’t drooling over you! Anyway what were you saying?”

“I was asking if you wanted to get something to eat before we get going to the store.”

“Oh yeah that sounds good. Um Shayne why did you sleep on the couch and not the bed?”

“Oh because I didn’t know how you felt with us sleeping in the same bed, so I wasn’t going to take any chances of making you uncomfortable.”

“That was really sweet of you, but I don’t mind. I actually feel kind of bad the bed was really comfy.”

“The couch wasn’t too bad, but don’t worry I sleep with you tonight.”

“Okay well I’m going to shower”

I tell him and he nods while going over to his suitcase and picking out something to wear. Grabbing a towel I make my way over to the bathroom and start the shower making sure it’s on steaming hot. Once I can see the steam starting to fog up the mirror I slowly strip out of my clothes from yesterday and get in letting the steam fog up my mind also. After what I think to be a ten-minute shower I get out and wrap the towel around my body. Opening the door to see Shayne brushing his teeth. His eyes glance over to me before going back to the mirror then coming back to me. His eyes are now locked onto me and I smirk. Instead of getting nervous I decided to get even.

“Who’s drooling over who now?”

I say and see a hint of pink go to his cheeks before it disappears and is replaced by a smirk.

“I thought you said you weren’t drooling over me?”

“I …I Oh shut up!”

I yell at him and go into the room leaving him and his laughter in the bathroom. Going in my suitcase I grab out my medium length sleeve shirt that says 15 on it and a pair of ripped jeans. I decided to just leave my hair down and throw a beanie on it. My makeup is something simple and natural looking and my shoes are just some gray high tops. After finishing up I see Shayne putting on his shoes.

“You ready?”

“Yup let’s go.”

Shayne gets up and grabs his jacket before going over to the door and holding it open for me. Grabbing my backpack, which has everything in it, our money, the stuff, I took from the orphanage and some extra clothes just in case. We make our way out of the hotel where our cab is waiting for us. Once we get in the taxi I give him the address of the store and we drove in silence that is until Shayne speaks up. Before he does though he takes my hand making me look at our hands and then him.

“Are you okay? You ready for this?”

“Yea I’m just a little scared.”

“Don't be, I won't let anything happen to you. I promise.”

“I believe you and I trust you, but I have this feeling inside that after today something is going to change.”

“Well let’s hope it's for the better”

He says and I nod. We finally arrive and I go into my backpack to get the money out when Shayne stops me. He tells me to go ahead and start looking in the store for anything and he will pay. I told him that I would wait for him to pay since I didn't want to look alone. He nods and goes into his pocket to take out his wallet while I got out of the car. Saying goodbye to our taxi driver I hear him call Shayne back and say something. I don't know what he said, but Shayne nodded and came back redder than a tomato. Now I’m curious to what he said I will have to set a mental reminder to ask him. He slowly approaches my side and we look up at the store.

The store is pretty big for a witchcraft store and it definitely has that creepy factor. The front has a black gate with sharp points at the top and the name is something in Latin and I don't know what it says. Looking at Shayne I see him admiring the store and something specifically in the window. I follow his eyes when I see a girl who looks around our age wiping down the window. She is gorgeous her brown hair flowing like waves over her shoulder. She is in a dress as if she was living in the 18th century. She looks up from the window and smiles pointing up to the open sign as if telling us she is open.

When she looks up I get this feeling as if I know her, but that can't be since I never met her in my life. She waves for us to come in, I look over at Shayne who looks back at me and nods. Taking his hand I look back at the window to the girl but it's like she disappeared. We slowly walk forward and enter the store. The little bell with the door goes off, but instead of your usual bell it's like a magical spell taking bell and I just feel like I’ve heard it before. This whole store is giving me this vibe that seems so comfortable so familiar.

Shaking off this feeling I let go of Shayne’s hand and tell him I’m going to look for the envelope that was with my mom’s letter. He just shakes his head and tells me this place is kind of creeping him out so he is staying near me. Giving out a small giggle at his scared-ness, I nod and that’s when she appeared. Like literally appeared out of thin air. It's a lady with long black hair and piercing gray-blue eyes. Her pearly white straight teeth are all lined up in a creepy smile. Her dress is both black and white with a long red cape and honestly she reminds me of red riding hood. I feel Shayne quickly grab my hand and pull me closer to him. I honestly don't know if it's because he is scared or is trying to protect me, but either way it sends a blush to my cheek.

The lady in front of us hasn't said one word at all but she is eyeing me like something she had just found after it being lost. It's making me quite uncomfortable, but I can't bring myself to say anything. I was hoping Shayne would have said something by now, but he hasn't moved since grabbing my hand. Finally bringing up enough courage I get ready to say something, but the lady beats me to it. What she says however keeps me even more locked into my place silently feeling all my nerves drop to my stomach and slowly moving its way back up.

“Estrella?”

She knows my name. How on earth does she know my name? I can feel Shayne tense behind me and I know this is something that can't be good. I decided we aren't going to get anywhere if I don't say anything so I decided to speak up. Shaking my head I finally speak.

“I go by Alice. How did you know?”

“Oh, um lucky guess.”

“Oh-Okay”

“Were you looking for something specific?”

She asks with a hopeful look on her face, which makes me think she was lying about the lucky guess part. She knew my name somehow, and I’m going to find out the real reason. I have to do it sneaky though, so right now I will let it slide. Instead I just move the backpack to face me and get out the letter with the envelope. Once I find it I hand it over to her and she inspects it and smiles.

“Yes, I was looking to see if you sold these here? And if you do, do you remember who bought them in the past 18 years.”

“It's been so long, I was looking forward to this day, but I thought it would never come.”

She starts saying to herself probably thinking we can't hear her, but we can perfectly. I feel Shayne lean down to my ear and whisper.

“She does know we can still hear her right?”

I shrug my shoulders making his head go with them since it was resting there to whisper in my ear. I just smile at him and turn back to the lady who has yet to introduce herself I realized and see her staring intently at us.

“Um no, we don't sell these here sorry.”

“Oh okay we will be leaving then thank you.”

I say and turn with Shayne to start leaving. I then hear her yell wait so we stop in our tracks and turn back towards her. Giving her a questioning looking she hands me back the letter and I give her a thankful smile getting ready to take it and leave. Her grip however doesn't loosen and I can't take it out of her hands.

“We don't sell it here, but I do know who wrote this letter.”

“You do? How?”

“Because it was my sister, Estrella.”

“Alice…. your sister?”

“Oh right sorry Alice, yes my sister wrote this letter 18 years ago and left it with the thing she loved most hoping that thing wouldn't listen to what the letter said and would come to find the writer anyway.”

She finishes and I just look at her bewildered and completely confused. Not knowing how to take all of this in. Her sister wrote this letter that is now burning a hole in my hand. Her sister? That means my mother is her sister. Meaning she is my aunt. That’s how she knew my name when I walked in she probably knew my face or I just look like my mom. Who knows, but all I know is this is so much to handle.

“So then you’re my aunt?”

“Yes I am.”

“Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why did my mom give me away? You should know.”

“I do, but that’s something your mother should tell you.”

“Well then where is she? Is she here? In the back or something? Bring me to her please.”

She lets out a small sigh and shakes her head. Giving her once again another look of confusion I ask her what's wrong. She just sighs again and walks away. What is going on? How is she going to tell me she is my aunt and she knows why my mother gave me up yet she isn't going to tell me because she wants my mom to tell me, but she isn't going to bring me to my mother? Why is she being, so difficult? I feel my anger slowly start to build up and I think Shayne realizes that too.

“Hey! Don't walk away I’m talking to you.”

“Alice calm down maybe she is going to go get her.”

Shayne tells me while rubbing my arms. I’m really glad he is here. He really knows how to calm me down when I’m upset or cheer me up when I’m down. I turn around and give him a small smile and silently thanking him for keeping me in control. Maybe he is right maybe she is getting her. I slowly begin to follow her and see that she is on the phone behind the counter. Really? So much for going to get her. I feel Shayne once again take my hand and give me a smile. Gosh he is so cute when he smiles it just makes me want to smile.

Wait? What? I mean uh…never mind.

Walking over to the counter I look at my so called Aunt and give her a small, one could obviously tell it was forced and as fake as a Barbie doll, but it's still a smile. She says a few more things into the phone before turning back to look at me.

“Your mom isn't here nor can she come here at the moment, but she said you are welcome to come over and she will tell you everything. She is both happy and scared that you are back and believes you deserve answer no matter what the consequence is.”

“What are you talking about scared? Consequences? The letter also said I’m in danger. What am I in danger from? Or who am I in danger from.”

“I can't answer those at the moment, but how about we go to dinner tomorrow and I’ll try and answer as many questions as I can. Your boyfriend can come too.”

Once she said boyfriend I could feel it the heat rising to my cheeks once again. I slightly look behind me hiding my blush with my hair to see Shayne equally blushing and also looking down. I look back at my Aunt and shake my head.

“He is just a friend.”

“Oh? It sure doesn't look that way, but I’ll believe that you are friends…for now anyway. What's your name boy?”

“It's Shayne ma’am”

“Shayne huh…nice”

“Thanks.”

Shayne says and that’s when I realize that we don't even know her name and she knows both of our names. I was about ready to ask her, but she beat me to it.

“Oh how rude of me I haven't even introduced myself yet. I’m Charity Falls.”

“Well thank you Charity is there any way we can contact you for information about this dinner?”
“Oh yes here is my card. Just text that number and I’ll text you the address and time”

“Okay thank you”

I tell her and she nods. I turn around to Shayne getting ready to leave when I see his eyes wide open. Turning back around to see what he is looking at I see absolutely nothing. Confused I turn back to him.

“Are you okay?”

“She just disappeared in thin air.”

“She runs a witch-craft store I’m sure it's was just a random fog machine somewhere. She knows how to manipulate people into buying her stuff.”

“No Alice there wasn't any fog she just snapped her fingers and poof she was gone.”

“Okay Shayne I’m sure you are just crept out by this store and are seeing things, but all I know is my head hurts really bad and I’m tired. I just want to go back to the hotel room.”

“Okay maybe I did just imagine it I’ll call the cab and we can leave.”

He tells me and I nod at him. The cab came in about 10 minutes and we were already on our way back. I can't help but think about everything that just happened. I found my Aunt and she remembered me. I’m also going to have dinner with her tomorrow night sometime to find out anything I want to know that she can answer. All of this is just too much to take in and my head is starting to pound. Leaning my head up against the cool glass windowpane I feel my eyes slowly start to droop until they are completely closed.

I wake up to something smooth and warm. Slowly lifting my head I see that we are back in the hotel room and I'm in the bed. The smooth and warm thing I was just laying on was Shayne’s bare chest. I wonder when we got back. Did he carry me all the way up here and put me in bed. Lifting up the blankets I see that I am still in my clothes from today. Why didn't he just wake me up?

Getting out of bed I go over to my suitcase and take out my pjs, making my way to the bathroom to change. Once I was finished I come back into the room to put my clothes from today back into the suitcase when I see Shayne sitting up in bed. He looks at me and I give him a small smile and go back into the bed next to him.

“When did you wake up?”

“A couple of minutes ago. Why didn't you wake me up when we got here?”

“You just looked so peaceful and I remember you told me your head hurt so I didn't want to wake you before it went away. Also when we got up here I didn't want to change you because well that’s awkward, so I just put you in the bed and saw if you woke up or not. Since you didn't I let you sleep.”

“Did you go to sleep too then?”

“No I went out got food and texted your Aunt for you since I didn't know when you would wake up. Then after a while I got tired and laid down. I must have fell asleep because I don't remember anything since then.”

“Oh well thank you, for everything.”

He just waves his arm and tells me to not worry about. I shake my head and pull him in for a hug feeling his warm chest through my thin tank top. I feel his arms snake around me and pull me a little closer. Giving him a nice long tight hug I shake my head and emphasize what I meant.

“Not just for carrying me in and not undressing me when I was unconscious.”

I say and I feel him chuckle.

“No about everything. Coming on this trip with me and being there for me. Also not freaking out by any of this yet.”

“You’re welcome Alice and besides it's going to take a lot more than finding your Aunt in a creepy witch-craft store to scare me off.”

“Thanks I'm glad. You’re the best friend I could ever ask for.”

I tell him and let him go, slowly lying back down to go back to sleep. I feel him do the same next to me, but once he lies down he lets out a deep sigh. I wonder what that was about. Deciding that he was way more comfortable than this bed I slightly move closer to him. Feeling him not move I get closer until I put my head on his chest. He doesn't move out from under, so I assume this is okay and my assumption was correct when I feel his hand rest on the small of my back. I thought this would be more awkward, but right now.

This couldn't feel more right.


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