Ember Rains (Book 1)

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Chapter 23: Explanations

The next morning I woke up to the door creaking open.

“Mommy?” Tyler whispered as he poked his head in.

“Hey bud. Are you hungry?” I asked after verifying that Myra was still sleeping peacefully.

Tyler nodded with a smile.

I climbed out of bed. I wore only a pair of baggy sweats but I didn’t want to chance waking her up. So I led Tyler into the kitchen.

It was small but homey. Two walls had light cherry top and bottom cupboards as well as concrete countertops. The tile floor was white, not my top choice. The appliances were all white as well.

Tyler walked to the small table in the middle of the room and sat down.

“Okay how about some toaster waffles?” I offered.

“Yes please.” Tyler nodded vedinantly.

I chuckle before tossing a couple of waffles in the toaster.

“Richard?” Tyler asked quietly.

“Yes?” I asked, trying to ignore the pang of pain from his nervousness.

“Do you love my mommy?” He asked as I set his plate and a glass of water on the table.

“I love you both.” I responded carefully.

I remembered our first conversation and how he thought anyone who cared about his mom would hate him. The last thing I wanted was for him to think I hated him.

“Does that mean you are my new daddy?” He asked, confused.

With everything he had gone through Tyler seemed so mature that I often forgot he was still just a child. At only five years old, this must be a really confusing situation for him.

I sighed quietly, trying to decide what to say.

“Do you want me to be, Ty?” I asked after a long pause.

Tyler nodded shyly.

I couldn’t help but smile brightly at him, but before I could speak Trystan’s voice boomed happily through the room.

“Tyler! Goodness, you’re getting so big.” Trystan walked closer to Ty, too excited about meeting the child to realize the boy’s fear.

Tyler, clearly not comfortable with being addressed so directly by a complete stranger, slid off his chair and moved to hide behind me.

I felt bad for Trystan who frowned unhappily, but I couldn’t help the joy that Tyler trusted me to protect him.

“He doesn’t know you yet Trystan, give the kid a break.” Alison said calmly as she walked in. She wore pink yoga pants and a black tank top.“I warned you you were going to scare him. You owe me twenty.”

“I don’t know why you would ever bet against her.” Myra said, walking in behind them. She still wore the sweats and my T-shirt.

Trystan rolled her eyes, “One of these days I will win.”

“So you must be a pretty powerful psychic if you’re mates to a tracker, right? From what I have read, mates normally have close to the same amount of power.” I commented as Myra walked over and started making more waffles.

“You know most psychics can only see whatever path you have chosen right?” Alison asked happily.

“Ali…” Trystan said nervously.

He clearly still didn’t trust me enough with details, especially of his mate. I could understand his protectiveness.

“Trystan, I already told you, this is the best way to form the relationship we will have.” She glared at him.

Trystan sighed unhappily. I could only imagine the discomfort and turmoil he had to be feeling right now. He placed his arm gently around her waist and looked at me concerned.

I nodded slowly answering her question.

“I can see every possibility and eventuality just by meeting someone once. That’s why I sent Myra to you, I knew it was the best option for her.” Alison smiled.

“Wow, and I guess I owe you my thanks then.” I smiled down at Myra, who moved to stand beside me.

“Why didn’t you tell me why you sent me, or that I could trust him though?” She asked Alison, crossing her arms clearly frustrated.

Alison frowned for a second then took a deep breath. “It was something you had to learn on your own for it to be as strong enough to survive the trials of the future.”

There was a long heavy silence that fell over the kitchen.

“Woah, that was as foreboding as the Oracle of Delphi.” Trystan finally said with a forced laugh.

Everyone stared at him for a moment before we started chuckling. I suddenly remembered Myra saying that Trystan never took anything seriously.

However I now saw that wasn’t true. While he eased the tension with a joke I could clearly see a deep concern etched in his expression. Trystan took everything seriously, but he tried to help everyone else relax. I could definitely see the benefit of that.

“Oh and by the way, you are going to want a shirt to answer that.” Alison told me with an amused grin.

“Answer what?” Just as I said it there was a knock on the door.

Myra chuckled and I rolled my eyes.

Believing Alison all too well I quickly grab a tank top on my way to the door.

“Richard!” Susan beamed at me.

I had known Susan since I had been adopted. We had been friends until she had become obsessed with the idea of us being some kind of power couple. There were several things wrong with the idea, the main one was we were simply not compatible. That made it impossible for us to be mates. Suffice to say, I was glad I had grabbed a shirt.

“I accidentally sent the wrong laundry soap when I ordered the place stocked for you. I figured I just had to fix it myself.” She said calmly.

“Thanks.” I said taking the soap.

I had learned not to say too much; she tended to take everything as confirmation of a love that didn’t exist.

“Anyway I guess I should get back. I have a date. Did you hear I found my mate? I heard you did too.” She said awkwardly.

“That’s great. I wish you all the best. Thanks again.” I said calmly.

She nodded and walked away.

I stopped on the way back to the kitchen to put the soap next to a full bottle of the same soap in the small laundry closet.

When I got back to the kitchen I found it empty. Following the sounds of voice I ended up in the living room. Trystan and Alison sat on the floor setting up a train set. Tyler sat across from them silently working on the same task. He regularly glanced up at Myra who was sitting on the sofa with her elbow propped on her knees.

I came up behind her and laid a hand on her shoulder. She stiffened for half a second before relaxing into the touch.

‘Why does she still flinch? She should trust us by now.’ Brooke said irritably.

‘She does. It’s instinctive, a learned response to physical contact. Don’t take it so personally.’ I responded calmly.

“Hey can I borrow you for a second?” I leaned down whispering in Myra’s ear.

I felt her shudder and heard her heart start racing. Her obvious reaction to me sent a thrill of excitement to every part of my body. I was glad that my sweats were baggy, overwise I would have been extremely uncomfortable.

She nodded to me before facing Tyler again.

“I’ll be right back baby.” She said with an encouraging smile.

Tryler nodded nervously.

“What’s up?” Myra asked as we reached the hall.

“Tyler asked me a question this morning and…” I paused, unsure how to express my concerns. “I wasn’t sure what you wanted to tell him.”

I reached out twirling a strand of strawberry blonde hair around my finger.

“What about?” Her voice was hitched and I was suddenly aware that if Tyler wasn’t in the next room waiting I would have my way with her all day.

Instead I step closer pushing her up against the wall and slip my fingers across her cheek.

“Us.” My voice was lower than usual as I willed myself to take a step back.

It would have been simple enough to move away if she wanted that, but she made it clear she did not. She slid her fingers under my tank top trailing the waistband of my sweats. I groaned and closed my eyes, enjoying the sensation.

“Well,” she whispered seductively into my ear. “That depends on what you want.”

I sighed then grabbed her hand in mine and held it to my chest. “We need to talk about Ty.”

She blushed, “I know, but the question remains. What do you want from this?”

I chuckled, “Not much, just a family and lifelong partnership.”

She started to smile then stopped, “Are you sure. If we tell him that and you change your mind…”

She didn’t have to finish. I could only imagine what that betrayal would do to the child’s already frayed trust.

“What exactly did he ask?” She said before I could respond.

“If I was his new dad. I asked if that was what he wanted and he said yes.” I relayed. Running my fingers across her cheek.

She smiled widely. “I never thought he would trust anyone as much as he does you.”

“I think he knows that I already love him.” I shrugged, embarrassed. “And I don’t know how many times I have to tell you this before you believe me, but yes I’m serious. I’m not going anywhere.”

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