Happy Monday, adventurers!! I hope the weekend treated you well - new Downton Abbey for some; new Sherlock for others! I went to a craft store and Lush and hit up the accessories area of Forever 21 this weekend, so I'm basically broke. But! I'm currently making sticky toffee pudding cupcakes in my kitchen as I write this! Won't you come over and have a sticky toffee pudding cupcake? Otherwise I'll have to eat them, which is really not in my weekend plans.
It being Monday, it's time for choosing some of our own Adventures. Last week, y'all chose to:
C. Stay where you are. Your dad will be home soon and you can talk to him. And in the meanwhile, you and Eli can get reacquainted.
which I think is code for "have lots of sex while your parents aren't around." Except, I'm writing this chapter, so it's really just code for "get drunk and play Apples to Apples." Sorry. That's just how I acquaint myself to things!
"So we've met before? Or, like, not yet?" Eli asks, looking confused and battered, pulling tight your father's sweater for warmth. He looks so lost, sitting there admidst the fourteen throw pillows on your bed, picking at a loose thread on your duvet, that you want to go to him and make promises you aren't entirely sure you can keep. Better to stick to the facts.
"In about a year, the Council is going to move to desegregate the schools. Wizards, Witches and Necromancers, all in a happy group."
Eli snorts in disbelief. "I'm sure that will go over well. The Wizarding parents are just going to love the idea of their precious children mixing with the likes of Necromancers. Hell, they'll probably be lining the streets in protest."
"2! 4! 6! 8! We don't want to Integrate!" Eli looks at you askance and you shrug your shoulders. "They keep it up for months - those who don't just yank their kids out and send them to posh private schools."
"They couldn't come up with a more clever chant than that? It sounds like something eight year olds would say," Eli laughs. "Eight year olds who don't know much about chanting."
"Yeah, well," you sigh, staring at your feet as you pace your room, "They aren't known for their poetic skills." You go on to explain to Eli some of the events of the past - or future- few weeks: having class together; your dad's curse; learning of Dace and his father's involvement; meeting Eli's mother.
"Whoa. You met my mother? We must have been pretty close." Eli sort of squints up at you, as if he can't believe everything he's hearing.
"Um, not exactly. Or not at the time. It's funny; I've only known you a few weeks, really. But then we were here; I gave a party and you came. You had - or will have, rather - a distracting habit of walking around half-naked, by the way."
You blush as you say it, and hope Eli doesn't notice. But a sly grin steals across his face, and all of a sudden, he looks less like a lost boy and more like a man who knows exactly what he wants. Eli stands up and crosses the room, closing in on your personal space. His eyes drop down to your mouth before he cocks his head to one side. Lightly skimming your arm with his fingers, he asks, "exactly how much of me did you see?"
You can feel your pulse pounding as you rack your brain for a clever answer. "I didn't . .. I don't," you stammer, unconsciously lifting onto your tip toes to line your mouth with his. You exhale shakily while Eli slowly, tortuously dips his mouth towards yours and . . .
"What the dragon's egg is going on here?" Your dad is standing inside your open door, his jaw slack, righteous fury blazing in his eyes. Your first thought is that you've never seen him so angry in your life. Following on the heels of that thought, you wonder if this is actually your father or if he's been cursed by Uncle Gus already.
"Dad!" you shriek, taking a step away from Eli. "I can explain. This is Eli, and we're just, uh, he's just-"
"I know who he is," your father snaps at you, looking for all the world as if he's walked in on his nemesis. "What I'd like to know is why he is here - of all places - and in cahoots with my daughter!"
Cahoots? Yeah, this is definitely still your dad.
"Dad," you begin, placatingly. "Just calm down. Eli is just - "
"Eli?!" your dad scoffs. "Is that what he told you to call him? I suppose he didn't mention that you once knew him by a different name. That you once were as close as siblings could be! Until he arranged for your murder, that is!"
Wait, murder? you think, feeling confused and wondering if your father is completely sane. WAIT. SIBLINGS?
"SIBLINGS!" you screech, staring at Eli as horror chokes your throat. "That's not . . . that can't be . . . no. No no no no no no no."
"Aw, Dad," Eli says, sounding falsely chummy as he grins maliciously. "I know she was always your favorite - the life sentence at Gainschwitz proved that - but, really. Can't you welcome me home after all this time?"
"I will never forgive you," your father huffs. "You stole EVERYTHING from me! You killed my daughter; my wife died to bring her back . . . be grateful that I took pity on you, still such a young child."
"You deserved worse," Eli seethes. "My mother died for wanting you! But oh, you just threw her over! Threw us both over for your perfect half-witch wife and your precious little mongrel!"
Hold the phone. Eli is your brother. Your dad dumped Eli's mom? Eli killed you? ELI IS YOUR BROTHER??? You need to figure out what's going on.
Next installment: The Truth Will Set You Free