When Beth woke, she opened her eyes slowly. There was a glass of water on the side table and the covers were pulled over her. She didn’t know who had been in, but it seemed like they’d been in fairly recently.
She pulled herself up into a sitting position and looked around the room. She reached over and turned on the lamp. She jumped when the light illuminated Daniel on the other side of the room.
“You scared me,” she said to him.
“Sorry,” he said apologetically.
Beth sat up a bit more, looking at him. She realised, in the brightening light, that Daniel was wearing a t-shirt.
“Where are your wings?” she asked him.
“I turned the filters on,” he replied with a shrug. “They aren’t technically real in this world.”
“Oh. What’s up, anyway?”
“I came to talk to you.”
“Last night.” Beth didn’t say anything, waiting for him to continue. “You... You’re of my line, one of my descendants. Now that I look at you, in fact, I can see it. You’re so much like your father.”
“If I’m the daughter of two Paraa, why did I grow up in a family of hunters and witches?”
“To protect you. Fa’lea must have known of your exemption from Fate and Destiny. She must have known about your possibilities. She had to place you somewhere where it wouldn’t look odd if you developed abilities. The first daughter of a witch and a Shadow hunter.”
“Where are my real parents then?” Beth asked, unsure.
“They died many years ago. I don’t know how.”
Beth nodded slowly, thinking she should probably be upset by this news. She stayed silent for a long time.
“Daniel... Why are you here, on Earth? Why aren’t you in the Dimension?” she asked eventually.
He thought for a long time. “My mate, E’lla, was the daughter of a noble. Our first daughter, your grandmother, was four years old. One morning, E’lla’s maid found her in her bed, dead. Murdered. Stabbed to death in her own bedroom. I was accused of killing her, by my only brother, and her family. I was exiled to Earth immediately and Nacra, my daughter, was taken away to be cared for by my brother. I knew though, that it was my younger brother who killed E’lla. He wanted to rule, and I was in his way. He needed me gone, but not dead. That’s why I’m on Earth.”
Beth stared at him, shocked to silence. She didn’t know what to say.
“No one here knows that. Ezekiel doesn’t even know, he doesn’t know that I’m his eldest brother. He was born after I was exiled.”
“And you’ve never told anyone before?” Beth asked finally, hearing the incredulity in her own voice. “You’ve never tried to tell anyone that you didn’t kill E’lla?”
“What would be the point? No one would believe me over Frae. It would only cause disruption where there is peace.”
She stared at him. He simply shrugged.
“I’ll leave you now,” he said, standing up and leaving.
As the door was pulled shut behind him, Beth fell back onto the pillows. She thought about sleeping again, but knew it would most likely require a fresh bout of tears.