Beyond the Foggy Path

Chapter 63: Lies

After two days of being away from her flat, Erela thought it was about time to go check in with Markus. Not only that, but she had to apologize to him for disappearing like that when she had hurt him with her ability. She had constructed her apology and explanation since she started to stay in the tree house, but it always came off as jumbled words.

She let out a sigh as she laid on the bed. Markus probably had forgiven her by then. Whatever trauma she had gone through yet hadn't shared it with him, it was her business. At least she safely assumed that was what he had been thinking since she disappeared for the time being. She turned toward the living room, seeing how clean everything was. The bonfire place right in the middle, a U shaped couch around it, the kitchen just opposite from the guest bed she laid on, and the stairs that led to the other lone part of the tree house she never ventured toward. The guest bed still in its own corner of the tree house with its carved in ladder and a mattress floor so big it could fit six people huddled up together.

Music blasted through the living space while Erela was in the kitchen cooking herself something to eat. God bless the Wisenburg family for making a livable home for their oldest son to stay in for his amount of alone time.

Erela let out a sigh and hopped off the mattress floor onto the main floor of the wooden house toward the kitchen to check on her soup. It had snowed the day before and she could feel the cold seeping through. Her opinion of wintertime remained the same, too cold for her but the perfect weather for cuddling and hot chocolate. Erela pointed her wand to the fireplace and it roared to life and warmed up the room within seconds as she made way to the kitchen.

When her meal was good and ready, Erela ate it in peace and then Disapparated into her flat. "Ela?"

"Hi, honey," she answered and unwrapped her scarf from her neck.

"You're not done with your hunt, are you?" Markus asked.

Erela sighed and ran her hands through her hair. "No . . . not yet. Just thought I could check up on you and look into work," she half-lied.

Markus chuckled as he came up the stairs to find her in their room. "I know how to take care of myself," he rolled his eyes at her. "Welcome back."

"For the time being," she lightly smirked and hugged her loving fiancé. "I'm sorry I ran off like that," she apologized.

"Yeah, what was that about?" the man asked.

"It's . . . a little difficult to explain," Erela answered. "Emotionally, that is."

"Bottling it up won't make it any easier on you. You'll feel better if you say it out loud."

"And pushing me to share it won't make me want to tell you, it's doing the exact opposite," she argued calmly. "Please Markus," she began and took his hands. "Respect the fact that I'm not ready to talk about it."

"It was some kind of trauma, wasn't it?" Markus asked.

She swallowed a swelling lump caught in her throat and ran her hand through her hair. "Something like that . . ." was all she could say. "Will you wait a little longer before I tell you?"

There was obviously a lot she hadn't told him. She was more of a mystery to him that he was to her.

Markus let out a calm sigh and nodded. "Yes. I have forever anyway," he reminded her.

Yes. Forever. "I promise I'll tell you when my assignment is over."

He lightly kissed her lips and traveled up to her forehead. "Deal."

"Thank you," she muttered happily under her breath and let go of his hands. "I'm only here for a moment. I just need to collect a few more things here and at the office and I'm off again," Erela told Markus.

"Don't be a stranger, okay?" Markus muttered and brushed her hair away from her face.

"Hardly," she rolled her eyes at him, stood on her toes and gave him a quick kiss. "I'll be back before you know it."

"Not soon enough," he chuckled lightly under his breath and kissed her back.

Erela pulled away after her fiancé sweetly kissed him and turned to gather more clothes, her lavatory needs, and boots. Once she was done, she would have to check in on work so no one would suspect anything. Whether it would be for a couple minutes or an hour, she had to behave like she was following her work schedule. Erela dropped her toothbrush into her bag and walked over to Markus to give him another kiss.

"I love you," she reminded him.

"Love you too," he smiled.

Erela gave his hand a light squeeze and let go before she Disapparated from the room and Apparated in her cubicle. Okay, go through her findings in her cubicle for a little while then disappear again when she's made progress. After going through some sighting messages that were left on her desk while she was away Erela stared at the wall of her cubicle to appear as if she were trying to think like a criminal and predict where the wanted would go next.

She let out an exhausted and frustrated sigh, pinched her eyes shut, and angrily glared at her work in front of her. She didn't care, she could really care less about this wanted. Erela wanted Stacee's killer. He was out there somewhere walking among the muggles to hide from authorities and pretend to be dead to the magical world.

Erela made sure that everyone at work saw, said hi to them and make some small conversation with them before deciding to call it quits for the day. She let out an exhausted sigh and Disapparated away from her cubicle into the living space of the tree house. She threw her bag to the bed, kicked her shoes off, and went toward the kitchen to make her something to eat.

As she approached the counter, the flowers placed neatly in the middle of the counter changed from striped mix of yellow and pink to full pink. Erela vaguely remembered seeing those kinds of flowers the first time she came to the tree house but never took notice that they changed colors. She came closer to the flowers and studied them carefully.

A part of her imagined it would change colors in a couple seconds, but it never changed. Not even a light tint of another color. She let out a quiet sigh and shrugged the anticipation away. It was probably one of those bewitched flowers that changed colors every so often for a little change in the room. Erela moved away from the vase of carnations and convinced herself it wasn't important.

No need to look any deeper for any meaning.

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