“Oh really?” said Aubrey, looking at him from her chair. She gave him a look and he laughed.
“You don’t scare me.” he said, smiling at her teasingly.
“We’ll see.” she said and stood up. She walked over to him and stopped in front of him. Vincent then started shaking with mock fear and Aubrey couldn’t keep a straight face. She and everyone else laughed too, except Mathias, Ivan, and Connelly.
“How serious is this?” asked Connelly, not being able to hold it in any longer.
“I don’t know, but we need to consult a higher authority.” Mathias said, looking at Connelly and he knew who Mathias meant.
“We need Moran.” said Connelly. Everyone stopped playing around at the sound of his name and once more became serious.
“Do you think he’ll come to us?” asked Alister.
“I don’t know. Ivan, do you think you can reach him from here?” Mathias turned to Ivan.
“I’ll try, but it might not work. He’s pretty far off.” he said, standing and leaving the room. They watched him leave, and then turned back to Connelly.
“Now Connelly, you like this girl don’t you?” asked Mathias, looking at him seriously.
“For a reason unknown to me.” Connelly said, looking slightly down. “I don’t know why, but I can’t work around her like I want. It’s weird. I can only make it work sometimes, but other times, it’s like she overcomes it. I don’t understand.”
“Well, hopefully Moran will.” said Amelia, worry in her voice.
“Okay, he says he can’t come right away. There’s problems going on over there and he can’t spare any time being gone.” said Ivan, walking back in and sitting beside Connelly.
“What kind of problems?” Mathias asked anxiously.
“Another hunt.” Ivan said sadly.
“Did you tell him why we needed him over here? Did he give any advice?” Connelly asked, looking almost desperately at Ivan.
“Yeah, he said that it would be okay as long as you were very careful. He said he’s handled these things before and he said for both of us to relax. He could feel my tension I guess when I was talking to him.” Ivan said, leaning back into the couch.
“So he said it’s like, no big deal?” asked Aubrey, confused and surprised.
“I guess so. He didn’t seem all that surprised when I told him. He just said to relax and be careful.” Ivan shrugged his shoulders.
“If he can’t come right away, then did he say when he was coming?” asked Amelia.
“He wasn’t sure about the exact time, but in the range of about a few weeks to a month. He said he’d come as soon as the hunt had ended.” Ivan said.
Mathias looked at both Ivan and Connelly then and said, “So then, we relax and be very careful. You can still be around these girls, but don’t get too close. And let’s all keep a watchful eye on this new threat.” He looked at them all in turn, everyone nodding.
Then Amelia stood and said, “Now that’s settled, let’s try to put this all out of our minds. It’s best for the relaxation.” She then walked back out of the room, followed by Mathias, Vincent, and Aubrey. Alister and Mira headed up the stairs and left Ivan and Connelly in the sitting room alone.
“This is more serious than I thought.” Connelly said after they had gone.
“Yeah.” Ivan agreed.
“What do we do?” Connelly looked at Ivan.
“We do what Moran said. Relax and be careful. And you above anything else need to relax or you’re going to mess it up with Kota. You know, she’s thinking of going with Louis.” said Ivan, standing and looking back at Connelly.
“Yeah?” asked Connelly.
“Yeah. Are you going to let that happen?” Ivan asked, a smile creeping up on his face.
“Never.” Connelly said, smiling and standing up. He went and hugged his brother.
“Sorry about earlier. I guess I got kind of carried away.” said Ivan as Connelly released him from the hug.
“You guess? You almost crushed my throat.” Connelly said, a smile still on his face as he reached a hand up to rub his neck.
“Well, what was I supposed to do? I knew you were spaced out and that got your attention, didn’t it?” said Ivan, smiling back as they walked out of the room. Connelly laughed then, more relaxed than he knew he could be about the situation.
In the following days, Connelly still stayed out of school. He had planned to confront Kota, but no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn’t make himself relax enough to go see her. He was so ashamed of himself, not being strong enough to make himself go see a girl. He was even more ashamed because it was a girl making him go through this, that a girl had this much power over him.
But Ivan consulted Moran again and Moran advised for Connelly to stay out of school for one week, just to see what happened. If Kota just blew it off and went back to normal, not really caring that Connelly was gone, then Moran said just to forget her. It was too dangerous to go after someone who didn’t really care. But, he said, if Kota did, through the week, still want Connelly back, then he could confront her.
When Connelly heard this, he was relieved. This would give him the chance to calm down at a slower, more comfortable pace. Though there was a nagging worry that Kota would forget about him and continue to go after Louis. This thought ravaged his mind and kept him from sleeping most nights, except when he was so tired that he didn’t have the time, or the strength, to think.