“Morgan?” Katha’s soft voice whispers in my ear. I look up slightly from where I’ve buried my head in my knees. Tears still trickle from my eyes. I cannot help feeling guilty for being the cause of the war, as illogical as it is.
Katha looks from her mom to my Dad then back at me. “Let’s go upstairs.” She takes my hand and leads me away.
As I pass my Dad I touch his shoulder, braving a smile as his eyes flick to me. I have seen that pain before; in Ash’s eyes. I choke on another sob as Katha pulls me up the stairs. My thoughts roll about in my head and I am oblivious of all else.
The guilt in my stomach ties it in knots. I feel as though I’ve condemned ten thousand to die for the love of one. But it’s not just Ash they have now, Sarah Morgan is there too. But for what purpose? She is the more important of the two, if I take my own emotions out of the picture. She is a princess, daughter of the Elven Prince and my human friend Gloria.
As for Ash, how significant is he? He is part of the family war has just been declared upon. And I? I am but a Faerie who knows nothing of being a Faerie, a failure and a rule breaker. I have caused nothing but trouble since I got here.
“Morgan?” Katha’s voice breaks into my thoughts.
She sits, beside me an arm drapped around my shoulder. I hadn’t even noticed sitting on the bed, let alone her joining me. I swallow my tears.
Breathe. Be strong.
“Katha,” my voice trembles slightly. I swallow again. “Katha,” my voice is slightly steadier. “I wish,” I look at my hands, unable to meet her gaze. “I wish you hadn’t made friends with me.”
“What!” She moves back and I can feel her stairing at me. “Why?” She is utterly confused by my statement.
“Because,” I take a deep breath before looking up at her, making sure I meet her eyes so she can see how I feel. “Then I would never have gotten you involved in any of this.”
My hands spread out as if they could show her. The cheering outside has died down but it is obvious the town has been woken up. Katha puzzles her hands in her lap. When she looks up to me her eyes are wide in wonder.
“You mean you were the informant?”
“Dad and I,” I nod.
Jumping up Katha begins to pace excitedly, her voice in quiet whispers I don’t bother to understand.
“Katha,” my voice breaks her chatter and she stops to face me.” “Dad and I are leaving in the morning tomorrow. We have to let the Elves know the Faeries will be joining them.”
“I’m coming!” Katha turns back and immediately starts to pull clothing from her drawers.
“No,” my voice commands startling both of us.
Katha frowns at me, “If you think,” she begins and I suddenly know what conversation my Dad is having with her mother.
“Katha,” I plead standing, “I’ve already gotten my best friend’s daughter kidnapped. The Van Helsings will grab me, and anyone with me, the first chance they get. And…”
“Why do they want you?” Katha interrupts, “Were you their captive before and escaped?”
“No,” I shake my head. “I’ve never met them before.”
“Then,” she’s confused again, her excitement deflated by lack of understanding.
“They want me, so they can use me to make Ash become one of them,” I sigh and look at the floor. There I have said what I have known all along. What Ash would not say, and why he did not want me near him despite the pain it caused.
“Who’s Ash?” Katha asks curious.
“Their son,” I whisper as my gaze returns to her eyes, “and my love.”
Tears flood my eyes and run freely down my cheeks. Katha hugs me. At some point, Dad comes in and Katha leaves. I am such an emotional wreck right now.
Breathe. Be strong. I chide myself.
“Morgan?” Dad strokes my hair. His emotions feel as raw as mine, but he’s being strong, for me. “Are you alright?”
I sniffle and hiccup a few last sobs. “Yeah,” we must be strong together, “I guess.”
Dad’s arm around me is comforting and I lean into his shoulder. We sit there in silence, calming each other. At last I lift my head to look at him. His face is worn and tired and I wonder how I look. “It’s been a long day hasn’t it?”
He looks at me puzzled for a moment before the hint of a smile plays in his eyes. “Yeah,” he says standing and ruffling my hair. “I think it has been.” He watches me for a little longer. “I’ll be sleeping on the couch downstairs if you need me, but you should get what rest you can. Tomorrow morning we’ll want to leave early for Peace Island.”
“Right,” I cover a yawn.
Dad smiles and kissed my forehead. “Good night kiddo.”
“Good night Dad.”
I am asleep before Katha returns.