“Yes, tis how that night happened,” Wraith says as he leans against the wall.
“So you knew that Kendra killed your father?”
He nods. “And I knew the connection between our families, but thy father wished me not to tell you. He wished for thee to figure it out on thy own.”
“That’s why our houses are so close. Because my parents wanted to keep an eye on you and your mom.”
Wraith nods again.
“Is that why he picked you to watch over me?”
Wraith shrugged. “I know not his motives for selecting me. If I knew, I would tell thee.”
I sit down on the couch again, pushing aside the blankets. “Do you think that there’s a specific reason why he chose you?”
Wraith looked away.
“You’re not telling me something, Wraith. I can tell. What is it?”
“Tis not for me to say.”
“Yes, it is, Wraith! You’ve kept so much from me, and regardless of what my dad ordered you to do and not to do, I am now overruling all of that. I am the Shadow Princess, and I am your sovereign leader while my dad is gone, is that understood?”
“Now what else are you hiding from me?”
“Thy father wished for us to rule the Supernatural side together. Even though thou were still with Ryan, he wished for us to rule the kingdom together to prevent Kendra from doing anything again, or prevent someone else from doing the same thing.”
“He picked you because he wants you to be the next Shadow Lord?”
Wraith nods again.
“And he never told me this? Why? It directly concerns my future, and he never told me!”
“Calm thyself, Nikki. He was probably trying to keep thou safe.”
“By not telling me that I’d be ruling the Supernatural side with someone else? How is that trying to keep me safe?” I ask angrily.
“Twould be better if thou would direct thy questions to him. He can answer them better than I.”
“Well, I would ask him if he were here,” I say between clenched teeth. “But that’s not the case now, is it? You’ve been hiding so much from me, and I want, no I demand to know what it is! I refuse to be ‘protected’ by someone who’s keeping secrets from me, especially ones that directly concern me, my past, and my future. Am I really that bound by strings I can’t see?”
Wraith looks down sullenly and doesn’t say anything for a moment. “Remember earlier today when thou asked how old thou truly were?”
I nod, my heart slowly dropping down to my feet.
Wraith sighs, and acts like it’s almost physically painful to speak. “Thou art sixteen, but thou has also been frozen in time for three hundred years.”
“What? That’s not possible,” I say quickly, trying to deny something that oddly, makes perfect sense. “I’m sixteen, and I’ve never been frozen in time. There’s no possible way I could have been.”
“Think back upon thy early childhood, Shadow Princess. Think back on the dream that thou had earlier tonight. Thou know how much older I am than thee. Tis not possible for us to have been young children together and you still sixteen now. Thou knowest the truth in what I say, Shadow Princess,” he says softly. “Do not deny what you already know.”
I shake my head. “It’s not possible! There’s some other explanation for that dream and how close we were in age then. I have not been frozen in time for three hundred years. There was no reason for me to, and I haven’t! First you hide things from me, then you lie to me. Don’t play these games with me, Wraith. I can’t take it right now,” I say, tears of disbelief and anger starting to fall from my eyes. I angrily reach up and wipe them away roughly.
Wraith stands and faces me. “Kendra. She is the root of all thy troubles. Her greed and hatred is what has caused thou to undergo all of this pain and sorrow. She is the reason that thou were frozen in time for three hundred years. But thou have something to thank her for. If it were not for her, then thou would never have known Ryan or his love.”
I turn away from him and take a few steps away. “I almost wish she hadn’t. Whoever said it’s better to have loved and lost then never loved at all was wrong. It’s better to have never felt at all.”
Wraith gently puts his hands on my shoulders. “Look deep inside thyself, Shadow Princess. Thee and I both know that is not what thou really means.”
I straighten my shoulders and wipe my eyes roughly again with the heel of my palm. “Wraith, I want you to tell me everything that I can’t remember about my childhood, and us, and everything that I can’t remember period. That is not a request, but an order from your ruler.”
Wraith steps back. “Twould be easier to show than to tell thee, Shadow Queen.”