A few days later…
My burn marks were healing nicely and Mason was adapting to Avery’s house.
I thought I’d made a mistake with Connor, I thought he wouldn’t understand how I felt, I thought I shouldn’t have kissed him. But he came to my room after we arrived at Avery’s, he bandaged my burn wound and he after confessing to him that it was a mistake, that he didn’t have to fake liking me if he didn’t…he kissed me.
He questioned me if it was really a mistake. I was surprised. I didn’t know if it worked the same way for actual monsters, vampires and werewolves were human at one point and understood but Connor was a changeling, a fairy, I guess they still fell in love, it was just normally with their own kind or unconsciously with a human when they were unaware they were a changeling.
I hadn’t told anyone and me and Connor hadn’t really discussed it since then. He’d probably thought he’d done something wrong at this point. He hadn’t. I was just nervous and we had to deal with my parents trading him for Mason.
I got up and limped to the bedroom doorway over to Connor’s room. I quietly opened the door, he was still sleeping, I hesitated at the door contemplating everything again.
I finally stepped in and quietly closed the door behind me. I sat down on his bed beside him. I reach over and smoothed his hair down. He was the person who loved me, it shouldn’t have mattered what he was. But it did a little after seeing what the Ashcrofts had done to Avery and Mason.
I pulled away and clasped my hands together starring at his door.
What was wrong with them? Was Jocelyn even involved? Did she know?
“Matt?” I heard Connor mumble and then yawn.
I didn’t turn around.
I felt him shift behind me.
“Are you okay?” he asks.
My parents had just traded my brother for a changeling… I cut myself off, it wasn’t his fault.
“Matt, I’m sorry,” he apologized. That was what he had been doing since we met, he apologized for replacing Mason, for hugging me and now.
“It’s not your fault Connor,” I reply quietly. “Don’t apologize.”
Connor was just being used to please people, it wasn’t his fault he had been traded for Mason.
He had been showing his feelings when he hugged me, there was nothing wrong with that.
“You didn’t do anything wrong, Connor,” I add reassuring him.
I felt him tap my shoulder so I finally turned around to look at him.
His hand stayed suspended close to my shoulder, he was nervous. Our eyes meet briefly before he looked away. I reach over with my hand and gently directed his chin back up so he was looking at me again. I leaned forward and kissed him.
I released his chin and pulled away. He leaned forward expecting me to kiss him again, surprised when I didn’t. I leaned in again to kiss him, he pressed his lips to mine. His hands were on my shoulder and neck.
I had had hundreds of crushes throughout school on both boys and girls but none of them had even been interested in me romantically. Connor had been the first person who liked me back. It was exciting but it was also clouded by what my parents had done.
I stopped and avoided eye-contact with Connor.
What was the Ashcrofts’ real reason behind adopting me?
I should’ve watched Mason more carefully. If I had known I could’ve stopped them from trading Mason but then I wouldn’t have met Connor…
What was right?
“Matt,” Connor whispers trying to get my attention.
I look up at him.
“The important thing is that Mason is okay, you couldn’t have known they were going to trade him for me. Even if you’ve known them for eleven years and your social worker trusted them,” Connor reasons. “It’s not your fault, either.”
We heard excited footsteps on the stairs, Mason. We heard him burst through the door to my room, stop briefly and then come back to Connor’s door which he opened more cautiously.
“Matt,” he squeaked at me smiling. “Avery wants to know if you’re okay to go now.”
Go back to the Ashcrofts’ house and confront them about trading Mason for Connor.
“Sure,” I answer. My ankle was still sore and I was limping but they were probably wondering what had happened to us and I wanted to know who’s plan this was. Did Jethro do this or was Jocelyn in on it? Mason ran off to tell Avery.
Connor got up and helped me up. He let me go first up the stairs in case my leg gave out and I needed help. I made it up the stairs without incident. We made it to the living room where Avery, Rave, and Mason were sitting.
“What’s the plan?” I question.
“Rave will stay in the car with Mason well me, you and Connor go inside,” Avery replies.
“What are we going to do to them, exactly?” Connor asks.
We had tried reason with Avery, it hadn’t worked. But were we really willing to kill them?