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| Eight | Bonding

| Tyler R. Lemmings |

Inserting the key into the keyhole, I turned it and stepped back as it creaked open. I turned back to the corpse and tossed it into the room with the head.

“Tyler?” I froze and turned to see who called my name. Closing the door quickly, I stepped out and saw Margret standing there in the doorway.

“Yes, Margret?” I said and placed the key back onto the box. She gasped and I saw her staring at the rooms décor.

“How—what—I thought..” she mumbled and stuttered.

“It is beautiful, isn’t it?” I said and then walked over to her. She nodded and I held her by her elbow, leading her outside to the hallway.

“Is there something you had to ask Margret?” I asked and flashed her a smile. She smiled back.

“Since when did the way you talk change? And since when were you so close to Zoe?” She looked right at me, her smile fading.

I raised an eyebrow. “Does the way I speak offend you? I thought George told you that I studied in Oxford. We speak proper English. As for Zoe, we have decided that since we are living under the same roof, we should be close to each other.”

I stopped and then looked straight into Margret’s eyes. She nodded and then looked away.

“Oh. Ok. Well, I guess that makes sense. Yes. It does. I’m sorry, Tyler. Just wanted to make sure that everything was right between you two.”

I nodded and she smiled at me. Margret turned around to walk towards Zoe’s room when she stopped. She turned towards me and then opened her mouth as if she wanted to say something.

“Uh...Tyler?” She said and then looked me in the eyes. I placed a smile on my face although I really did not want to talk about anything with Margret at this particular moment.

“Yes, Margret?“I said, in the most controlled voice I could muster. She looked down and then looked back up. Then she turned all the way around to face me. A smile came on her lips and I raised an eyebrow at her.

“Uhmm..” She said and came closer to me. Her voice dropped to a whisper. “Zoe would kill me if I told you this, but I still think I should tell you.”

I nodded and folded my arms. I gestured for her to continue and smiled.

“I think, well I know, that Zoe has a crush on you. I have seen the way that she looks at you, and between me and you, I went in to check on her last night and she was murmuring something about you. She kept on calling your name and asking you not to leave her. She said that she loved you.”

I smiled again and tried not to break out into a huge smile. Margret smiled at me and then took a step back.

“Well,” I said and stuck my hands into my pocket. “If you can keep a secret I will tell you.” I looked at her and she smiled at me.

“Of course I can keep a secret, Tyler. I won’t tell anyone. Not even George.” I flashed a smile layered with compulsion. She smiled right back and touched me on the arm.

“I think that I have feelings for Zoe as well. I always have. Yet I did not want to say anything to her. But then you and George began to date and got married, but Zoe was always there. She looked so beautiful at the wedding. That is why I danced with her over and over and over again.”

She put her hand to her heart and murmured out an, “Ohh.”

“So why didn’t you tell her?” Margret asked and I saw curiosity burning in her eyes.

“I was going to tell her the night of the wedding. That is why I asked her to come with me down to the beach. But just when I was going to tell her, George came and said that it was time for the toast.”

I looked down at the ground and smiled to myself. I remember that day just as if it was yesterday. Zoe looked so beautiful. Her dress was white and strapless and her shoulders looked strong and upright. She looked like a queen and I knew from there onward that she was the one for me.

I looked up at Margret who was smiling at me from ear to ear. I smiled and acted as if I was embarrassed and looked away, making myself blush.

“Aww Tyler! That is adorable... I don’t--how--you and Zoe can’t be together. I mean even though you are step brother and step sister.”

My eyes shot up and I looked at her. I raised an eyebrow and then folded my arms.

“Are you positive? Are you sure I should not record you so that you cannot take back your words?” I asked and then laughed as she laughed as well.

“I am positive Tyler.” She said and the chuckled. I nodded and smiled at her. Reaching out, I embraced her. “Thank you, Margret,” I said and she smiled at me. Margret walked away and waved to me as she neared Zoe’s door.

“Alright, Tyler.” She said and then winked. “Remember what I said!” She placed a finger to her lips and smiled at me.

I smiled back, playing along. “Yes, Margret. I will.” She chuckled and then knocked on Zoe’s door. I turned and pulled off my v-neck. I looked around for the turtleneck that I had worn earlier that day at school. Picking it up I pulled it over my head, over smooth my skin and muscles.

I turned in the direction of the secret door and opened it. Picking up the body, I also bent down and picked up the head.

“Time to burn the garbage,” I said and stepped into the secret room. I had made the secret room to have an underground tunnel to the woods. I had not known why I had done it when I did, but it had proven to make this mission easier.

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