Writer Notes: This is a pretty short chapter because it’s one of those in-betweens that’s all set up. Nonetheless enjoy!
Warnings: all dialog, pessimism, disagreements, inner feelings, regrets, and questions
“Welcome to High Tower.”
“Why does it look different from the last time we were here?” Elan asked.
“Magic.” Lacarra snickered.
“Dear sister, would you please show our guests to their rooms?”
“Of course, Latimere.”
“I hope everything will suit you well.” Lacarra said.
“Wow! This place is amazing! Are these real artifacts?” Delania inquired.
“Why yes, at least to my knowledge everything is original from the days of the Elves.”
“Lacarra, why is there a tree growing in my bedroom?”
“Oh, that vine’s possessed. We’ve tried everything to get rid of it, but it just keeps coming back.” she replied. “Don’t worry, it’s harmless.”
“Now if you’ll excuse me, I have many other things to attend.”
“I can’t believe this place…it’s amazing!” Delania shrieked.
Dahlila scowled. “This running water is so going to make me pee the bed.”
“Stop being so negative!”
“Isn’t that the same painting?” Dahlila asked.
“I wonder who she is.”
“Probably someone else Latimere took advantage over.”
“We kept these secrets from you because we didn’t want you to feel conflicted.” Vaiden said. “You’re a man of law after all. Even Tatiana didn’t think you could take it.”
“She should have known better. I’m her best friend!” Caden shook his head. “But it doesn’t matter. The past is the past. I’m more concerned about now.”
“Now…you should really step to the side and let me do my work.” Vaiden huffed.
“You don’t understand. I can help. I know all the loops and I can still get you help: information, back-up, anything. You just have to let me do my part.”
“See you still don’t understand.” Gabriel said. “This isn’t your shinny fairy tale land. This is the underground. There is no law and order. They don’t play by your rules and if you do play by the law you end up losing everything.”
“You sound like someone from experience.” Josie said.
“I lost my wife the last time these alternate universes collided. I played by the rules and got burned. I won’t let that happen again.”
“Your wife? I’m so sorry.”
“What Gabriel is trying to explain to you is that we know what we’re doing because we’ve been through it dozens of times.” Vaiden intervened. “I’m trained for this professionally and a little unprofessionally.”
“Part of me doesn’t want to let this go, Vaiden, but I know it’s because of what you said earlier. I’m a man of law.” Caden sighed. “Fine, but if this gets out of hand and spills into our ‘fairy tale’ land, you have to let me do what I’m trained for. Agreed?”
“Jay,” Lewej sighed. “I’m sorry for these last two years. I screwed up everything. I know that now and I just…thought I was over it…over us.”
“But then I saw you and all these feelings came back. I should have said yes when you asked me to marry you, but I was…scared and stupid.”
“But I promise that everything’s going to be all right. We’re going to make it through this and we’ll start over.”
“What’s on your mind Zarah?” Latimere asked.
“And what makes you think something’s on my mind?”
“Don’t play coy with me. I’m old enough to know when someone wants to say something, but are wary of what the consequences may be.”
“I seek answers, not consequences.”
“Answers can be consequences, especially if it something of great importance, a terrible secret, or something of impeccable value. Ask and perhaps you will find out which it is.”
“How do you know about my involvement in not stopping the royal assassination?” she then asked.
“Oh, is that what’s been bother you.” he chuckled. “Such a small thing, don’t you think?”
“No, because if this source has told anyone else…”
“You know there is no one else alive that knows about it.”
“And that’s what bothers me.” Zarah said. “Vaiden sore to me that he told no one. So the only ones who could have known were us.”
“Are you sure?”
“Well yes, if his mother knew…she couldn’t. They were estranged at the time.”
“So true. Coastal knows nothing from what I know, but she does know Vaiden did the deed. How could she not? You can’t hide anything from your mother.”
“Stop making me guess!” Zarah exclaimed. “Who told you! The only ones who would know that I didn’t stop Vaiden from killing the royals would have been us so there’s no way you could know!”
“Are you sure? Was no one else involved?”
“Well, yes many were involved. The royal council wanted me to kill Vaiden and if I failed they would come after me, but Vaiden killed them first. They only other that would have known Vaiden was the one hired to kill the royals was…”
“…the one that hired him.”