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Chapter 26

William and Emma didn’t get home until late in the night, or would it be early in the morning since they didn’t pull up to the house until 2am. I only know that because when they drove up to the house their lights were shining in my room because I forgot to close my curtains. Deciding it would be a good idea to talk with them I get out of bed and go towards the stairs, before I even get to the first step I hear them talking about me. Normally I wouldn’t snoop, but after everything that has happened I decide it might be a good idea especially once I hear my name.

“But Will, Riley had nothing to do with what happened. How was she supposed to know that drying the flowers was a bad thing? Don’t you remember the first time you gave me flowers?” Her tone with him is one I’ve never heard her use. She sounds irritated, but loving at the same time almost like it is hard for her to be angry with him, but she wants to get her point across.

“Yes, I remember, you dried them.” He sounds exasperated and really tired.

“That’s right I did. Do you remember why?” She sounds snarky. I think I like this side of her.

“Yes dear, because you always wanted to remember the first time you got flowers.”

“So then how can they blame her?”

“Evan thought she would put them in water, and try to keep them alive a while. He didn’t think she was going to dry them.”

“Does he not see how she looks at him?” Oh great, I think to myself, everyone can see something that I don’t even notice. “Plus that is just what girls do when they get flowers for the first time. Even Jamie kept the first flowers Liam gave her.”

“How do you know that? Also Evan does noti...” I sneeze, oh great dead giveaway. He stops talking once he hears me. “Riley no point in hiding we know you are there now.” He calls down at me.

Panicked and no chance to think of a good excuse for ease dropping, “Sorry, I was just worried since you guys didn’t come home for a long time. I just wanted to make sure everything was okay.”

Giving me a harsh look William says, “So then why didn’t you just come upstairs and talk then? Why hide at the bottom of the stairs like a mouse?”

I look at Emma to see if she will give me any help on this, but she doesn’t. She just stands there waiting for an explanation. “Would you like me to change into a mouse?” I try to laugh, but when I see their faces, looking so stern I sigh. “I’m sorry. I just thought that since I know nothing about anything that has been pushed upon me; I thought that maybe I’d find out more I guess. Then you said my name, I wasn’t going to listen long, I swear I was going to come up and make my presence known. I just want to know more, about me, about right now, about my past, and what could happen for my future. Now I know what I am, I want to know how to fit in.” My head falls in the shame of confessing everything.

Only Emma makes a move. She comes to give me a hug and says, “In good time dear. Maybe the two of you should talk, even though you have school in the morning.” Then kisses my right cheek and heads to their bedroom.

William gestures to the living room, “I’m thirsty and kind of hungry.” I say.

“Fine,” is all he says. Oh great he is mad, I wonder what I did now. After grabbing a few cheese slices and a glass of ice water, more ice than water, I sit at the island.

“I’m sorry I was ease dropping.” I say without looking directly at him, because I can tell he already has a pissed off dad look on his face. I don’t know if I can handle that look.

“Riley, if you wanted to know something you could just ask us.”

“Do they all blame me? For what happened to Jamie?” I ask worried for what the answer will be.

He lets out a tired sigh, cracks his neck, and looks at me when he says “That is a difficult question to answer Riley...”

“You just said I could ask.”

“Well if you would not interrupt and let me talk then I could explain.” I give a weak nod, he continues “I don’t know how much you heard or what exactly you heard. No one blames you for what happened, but Evan does blame himself though. I know how hard it is to come by Dragons Labyrinth flowers, so I don’t blame him for being hard on himself. It was a pain in the butt to get them from a warlock that lived in town years ago when I gave them to Emma.”

“Did that warlock like to be called a witch perhaps?” I ask, wondering if it is who I think it was.

“Yes, but how did you know?” He raises a brow at my knowing of this.

Finally I feel a bit better about myself and knowing something I probably shouldn’t. “Paul wanted to sit down and have a talk with me, about Oliver. He told me about Carla and how she was a warlock but didn’t like how it sounded or something like that so she just kept calling herself a witch.”

“Oh I see. So he told you then, but does Oliver or anyone else know?”

“No. Paul didn’t want him to find out. He totally freaked when I told him about me being a shape shifter, but I think he got over that. I think he was just more worried that Oliver would get hurt, or worse, like Carla. He told me how it happened, those people taking her.”

“I had known her for so long. We grew up together, and I knew how talented she was. Even as kids she would turn broccoli into something sweet. She hated broccoli, so it was funny when she was pregnant with Oliver all she wanted was broccoli. Anything and everything needed to have some broccoli.”

“How do you know that?”

“Paul would come and pick up some broccoli from the farm all the time. I swear there was one time where he was out in the field at 3 a.m. picking her some fresh.” He laughs at this memory and says, “We didn’t mind though.”

“Wow. I had no idea. Does Oliver know how close your two families were?”

“No. After Carla passed away Paul didn’t trust us anymore. He was worried that all we caused was pain and trouble. He wanted to keep Oliver away from anything different.”

“So Paul blamed you guys for what happened to Carla?”

“I think so. It is hard to not have him around, but Oliver helped his pain fade away over time.”

I start to wonder about something, so I ask, “Why did you need Dragons Labyrinth from her?”

“I was giving flowers to Emma. I had asked her out on a date, and then Emma said yes she would love to go on a date. I was so nervous. I wanted to make a good impression, and I wanted to give her something special, something that I didn’t just buy at the supermarket. So I went to Carla knowing she could do it for me, since she was the most powerful in our class. She made me do a few things I’d rather not get into. Plus, they can only be made if the emotion behind giving them as a gift is true.” He looks at me, with a soft expression on his face.

“So what happened when you gave the flowers to Emma? Why couldn’t you just grow them? You said you are a nature Faerie. Why couldn’t you just grow them yourself?”

“You need magic to be able to grow these special flowers. They are beautiful flowers, and as we’ve told you already they possess healing powers in them. The only reason there are healing powers in them is because they need to be filled with emotion from the person that wants them grown. I also grew Emma a few other flowers myself, I had liked her for so long. I was just terrified to ask her out. She was and still is so beautiful. I had been growing different flowers for her leading up to me asking her out, so then if she did say yes then I could give them to her. If she said no, then I would have just left them.”

“But she said yes, and you lived happily ever after, and all that crud.”

He scoffs, “Yes and all that crud as you put it. So back to the story. After I gave Emma the flowers on our first date, she dried them. She wanted to be able to keep the flowers I first gave her. She understands why you did what you did Riley. Just boys are stupid, and you should probably stay away from them.”

I roll my eyes at that last remark, and then ask, “So what am I supposed to tell Alex and Evan?”

“There isn’t really anything you can tell them to help. I’m sorry Riley but that is just how it is. I know you’ve never lost anyone close to you, so it might be harder for you to understand. All you need to know is that no one blames you personally for what happened to Jamie, you did what you could do to help. I mean you could have thrown out the flowers, and then I think everyone would have put some blame on you, but you didn’t. Are you going to tell me what was going on in your room? Or is that something you’d rather not talk about?”

“Nothing happened. He said I looked uncomfortable or something falling asleep upstairs, so he carried me to my room. Then when I was there I started saying something in my sleep. He said he stayed to make sure I was okay, and then I guess he fell asleep.” He gives me a questioning look, “Not in my bed. He fell asleep on the floor. I still hardly know him.”

“But you like him, don’t you? Or else you would have thrown away the flowers he gave you.”

“I don’t know really. The flowers were beautiful, and no one has ever given me anything that beautiful before, but he is dating a girl at school, a pixie. I don’t know why he gave the flowers to me. As much as I don’t like this girl he is dating, I’ll never forget watching her change. It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Anyways, he likes her, and I’m not really his type.”

“Are you sure about all of that?”

“Why wouldn’t I be sure? They were supposed to go on a date until Jamie got sick. It must have gotten postponed. It doesn’t really bother me.” I lie on that last bit then say ,“Plus there is this guy. I mean I just met him, but there is something about him.”

“Is it the boy you helped from F.O.T.N.H?”

“Yeah, I mean I don’t know anything about him, but there was something there. I hope anyways.”

“Well only time will tell. Is there anything else you want answered Riley? You should be getting to bed, you do have school tomorrow.”

“None for now,” I say with a yawn. “I’m going to get some sleep. Thank you for this talk. You promise I can come to you or Emma if there is something I ever need to talk about?”

“Yes Riley, we promise. Anything. Anytime. Good night.” He says then gives me a kiss on the top of my head before he rubs my hair around making it stick up at weird angles. Then he heads to bed. I chew on a few more ice cubes before I clean up my mess and head back to bed.

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