"She is awake," Mother said and I let out a sigh of relief.
I was sitting in the parlor, doing everything I could to keep myself from running upstairs and checking on her myself. Father said I couldn't do anything so I stayed behind with our guest. Richard was eating the chocolate with gusto.
"I told yeh she'd be okay," he said and I sighed.
"I know," I said. "I just- She's my sister."
He nodded. Mother sat down beside me and put her arm around me. Then she looked at Richard.
"I have many questions for you," she said and he nodded.
"I'll do my best to answer 'em."
"First: How did you know to contact us after Colin was born?"
"When young Solomon tried to murder yer father, I felt the change. By killing him, Solomon activated the final part of becoming a fairy."
"You have to die?" I asked.
"Not necessarily," he said. "It's just one of the ways. Abbott knew he was bein' hunted and would die soon. He chose that option. Anyway, when that happened, he came to me. He told me his plan, not realizin' I was the one that helped yeh the first time."
"Why did he go to you?"
"Because I'm the oldest," he said with a shrug.
"So that is how you know all these things," Mother said and he nodded.
"I've been alive for a very long time. I sent a letter to Ilya first. I warned 'im about that Mathias Lance but told 'im not to tell Kendra."
"Why not?" I demanded, balling my hands into fists. "Do you know how much pain she went through!?"
He smiled sadly. "Of course I did. If Ilya had told 'er, though, she wouldn't've tried to be with 'im. If that happened, she wouldn't've met Solomon."
"Oh," I mumbled. "I still don't like how she had to go through all that."
"I don't, either," he admitted. "So, once Ilya knew, I sent a letter to yeh. I was droppin' hints over the years, long before the mess with Mathias. I was hopin' yeh'd pick up on 'em but I should've known better what with Kendra slowly slippin'." His face was sad. "I wish it hadn't taken so long. It's like somethin' was holdin' her back."
"Erik," Mother said. She shook her head. "Their fights shook the walls."
He laughed. "Yeah, I'm not surprised. They're both hard-headed." We all laughed. "Everything should get better now, though. I don't know what made Erik change his mind, but it's a good thing yeh came when ya did."
"Kendra changed his mind," Mother said. "After their fight once we found out Mathias Lance was stalking her, she told him how lonely she was."
Richard nodded. "Well, let's all just be thankful she's found 'er star."
"What about Solomon?" Mother asked. "Why was he looking for you?"
"He was tryin' to figure out how yeh were connected to Duke Abbott," he answered. "Abbott murdered his master. He was gettin' visions of what happened in yer house in a sense. He'd have dreams but wouldn't remember 'em."
Mother frowned. "Why did he not know she was his star?"
"Because he was hell bent on revenge and obsessed," Richard answered. "Havin' a mate was the last thing on 'is mind. It wasn't 'til he lost that blood and Erik tried to tell 'im about findin' his mate that he started to see things differently."
"How did he lose blood?" I asked. "I though vampires could regenerate their blood."
"They can. When he helped poor Kendra outta that nightmare on yer way to me, he lost consciousness before he could heal and regenerate. It wasn't 'til he marked with Kendra that he got the blood back."
"And my father?" Mother whispered.
"Is gone forever," he said. "That was Kendra's task."
"So what does she do now?"
He smiled. "Live 'appily ever after with her mate, o' course."
"What about us?" Mother asked. "Can we live here permanently?"
Richard sighed. "I can't tell yeh that." He looked at me. "Yeh've got a destiny to yeh, too, Colin."
"What do you mean?"
"There's a young lady yer wantin' to court," he said and I nodded. "Keep it up. There may come a day where yeh'll both realize there's more to each other than yeh know."
"What do you mean there may come a day?" I asked. "Don't you know for usre?"
"Some futures can be altered," he said. "It all depends on the choices yeh make. I'll be contact over the years, o' course. I won't leave yeh in it on yer own."
"How was I able to get pregnant?" Mother asked. "You still will not tell me."
He grinned. "Because the stars made it so."
She narrowed her eyes. "Liar."
He chuckled. "Because yer son needs to be in the world," he said. "That's all I really know, I swear it."
"It does not have to do with Erik's old master, does it?" she asked quietly. "He mentioned a prophecy that said Colin was going to kill him."
Richard snorted. "Sir Benjamin is long gone, Camille. Don't yeh worry about 'im. That prophecy was bull. He just wanted an excuse to keep you there long enough to harm poor Kendra."
"So he would not have killed Colin?"
"No, he would've," he said and I shuddered.
Mother kissed the side of my head.
"Well, I guess that is all we need to know for now."
He stood up. "In that case, I'll be gettin' back. I've been away for too long."
"Why is that barn so important?" I asked. "You're in the middle of nowhere!"
He just gave me a cryptic smile as he got a marble much like Kendra's out of his pocket.
"Thank you for all your help," Mother said and he kissed her cheeks.
"Anythin' for yer family. Colin, we'll be in touch soon."
I stood and shook his hand. "Take the chocolates with you," I said. "If not, Kendra will devour them and get mad at me again."
He laughed. "Well, thank ya."
He muttered something and a portal opened. I could see the barn on the other side. He looked at me curiously, putting a foot through the portal.
"Catch," he said and tossed me the marble.
He stepped all the way through the portal before I could ask him about it.