Ro slammed the front door shut and leaned against the cool cherry wood, trying to catch her breath.
“Ro, is that you? Go upstairs and start getting ready, we have a dinner guest tonight.”
Ro nodded. “Okay, mom.” Ro started walking towards the kitchen. “Who is it?”
Her mom stepped aside, revealing the man that had followed Ro earlier. “Ro, this is your grandfather.”
Ro was frozen. “He’s my what?”
“Hello, Rosalia. It’s nice to see you again. I hope you’re not here to run into me again.”
Ro’s cheeks turned flaming red.
“Oh, that was Ro?” Her mom turned and faced her. “Ro, you should watch where you’re going.”
Ro shook her head. “You’re right, mom. Just have a lot on my mind.” Ro turned and quickly walked back to the stairs.
“Ro, you want to talk about it?”
“No, mom. Don’t worry about it.”
Ro’s mom shook her head and looked at her father. “Dad, I worry about that girl sometimes.”
He watched the stairs. “It’s fine, Dmitri. She used magic for the first time today and she’s starting her coming of age.”
Dmitri looked at her dad. “Oh. Well that explains a lot. Think I should to talk to her about it?”
Her dad shook his head. “No. Your mom and I didn’t tell you about it and it turned out better. We just need to wait for the right time to tell her.”
Dmitri sighed as she opened the oven. “Well, when is the right time? When should I tell her about her heritage? About what she really is?”
“Wait. You’ll know when.”
Dmitri pulled out a covered dish. “I hope for the sake of Ro’s sanity you’re right.”
Her dad nodded. “I am. Now let’s greet the rest of your lovely family and eat.”
Dmitri smiled and pulled her checked apron off. “Dylan, Lanie, Ro, and Eric, come on! Dinner time!”
Dylan walked out of the living room after turning off the TV, Lanie skipped in from making mud pies, and Dmitri’s husband, Eric, walked in from his home office. Ro was the last to come, slowly walking down the stairs and into the kitchen. With one last suspicious glance at her grandfather, Ro sat down on the opposite side of the table.
“So Dmitri, how is your catering business going?”
Dmitri smiled as she took a sip of water. “It’s going great now that I catered that wedding. Things really took off after that.”
Her dad nodded. “Good!” He took a bite of rainbow trout stuffed with almonds, watercress, and sage.”With cooking like this, you could cook for the Queen of England and live the rest of your days in luxury.”
Dmitri smiled. “Dad, my luxury is here, with my family. At our home.”
She said the last sentence a bit forcefully. Ro grabbed her cup and watched her grandfather over the crystal rim.
“Ro, are you okay? You haven’t touched your food.”
Ro put her glass down and looked at her dad. “I’m fine, dad. Just not too hungry tonight.”
Eric looked at her like he knew she was lying. “Okay, Ro. If you don’t feel all that great, go upstairs. And I will be up there to check on you soon, so no sneaking out.”
Ro stood up and nodded. “Don’t worry, Dad. I’m not sneaking out. Everyone knows you don’t sneak out of the house unless it’s Friday.”
Eric raised an eyebrow.
Ro laughed. “Kidding, dad. Don’t worry about, I don’t sneak out anymore, that’s what fifteen year olds do.”
Her dad smiled. “Okay then. Go on up.”
Ro hugged her dad and walked up the stairs, feeling her grandfather’s eyes boring into the back of her head the whole way up.