Chapter 9.9Mature

He walked over to her and knelt down, holding out his hand with his fingers spread in a fan. He waited patiently for her to react. After a few moments, she touched her palm to his but pulled her hand back quickly.

“Just come and say hello. She’s not going to hurt you.” When Lilac didn’t move, he said, “Or touch you.”

Lilac looked up at Beth, not meeting her eyes, before walking over slowly. She clambered up into a seat a couple down from Beth and Caelan, watching them curiously.

“Hey, Lilac,” Caelan smiled.

“Hello,” the young girl whispered back without looking up.

Zeke passed her a plate with a sandwich on it that had the crusts cut off and was cut into four identical squares. Lilac straightened them so they were the same distance from each other.

Every so often as she ate, Lilac would glance over at Beth but look away quickly.

“I’m Beth,” Beth said after a minute or so.

“I know,” Lilac said simply.

“And you’re Lilac?”

“Yes.”

Beth had no clue what to say next. Zeke seemed to see this and saved her.

“What have you been doing all day, Lilac?” he asked her.

“I woke up, and then I had breakfast with Daddy, then he went downstairs and I was alone because you were already down there so I went to my room and read my book on maths. Then the phone rang so I answered it because there was no one else around.”

“Who was it?”

“Who was what?” she asked.

“Who was ringing on the phone?” Zeke specified.

“I don’t know. It was a man and he was asking for you.”

“Did he say his name?”

“He said his name was Nalael.”

Zeke’s face fell and the colour drained from it completely.

“Did he say what he wanted?” Zeke asked quietly.

“Just to talk to you.”

“Okay. Thank you.” His voice was faint and the look in his eyes was far away.

“Can I go back to my room?” Lilac asked, noticing nothing.

“Hm? Yes, of course.”

Lilac hopped down and left, her empty plate on the island.

“Zeke? You okay?” Beth asked.

He didn’t reply, turning around so his back was to them and leaning his head against one of the cupboards.

“Zeke?” Caelan asked, his voice full of concern.

“Just... give me a minute,” he murmured.

Beth looked at Caelan, worried. After a little while, Zeke turned back around, looking more his normal self.

“What is it? Who is he?” Caelan asked.

“He... There are secrets to my mother that not even my dad knows, can we leave it at that?” he asked.

It was obvious that he didn’t want to talk about it. As in, he really didn’t want to talk about it.

“Yeah, of course,” Beth said before Caelan could demand to know more.

The End

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