My mother's weakly spoken words seemed to fall on deaf ears. Just tones and vowels mushed together; creating sounds. They weren't really words; I refused to let them become words. I knew that if I did, I wouldn't be able to stop the tears from pooling under my eye lids. My hands felt clammy and the spoon slipped from my sweaty fingers; clanking against the glass bowl. My mother frowned at my reaction. I guess she was expecting more emotion than the hollow stare I was producing at the moment. She opened her mouth to say something else, but all I could do was stare at her, as her statement was lost to me.
As my eyes skirted over her face, it slowly began to make sense. We had nothing in common, looks wise, that is. My mother's wispy blond hair to my pencil straight black hair. Her murky brown eyes to my inhuman orange ones. Her short figure to my tall one. It all made sense. But, if the woman who had always been my mother proved not to be, then who was? And why did she give me away? Was I not good enough? Could she not afford my everyday living expenses? A thousand questions rolled through me, my head spinning. There were so many thoughts swirling behind my eyes that all I could do was stare at my mother, my lips slightly parted.
"Mercy honey," My mother said reaching across the table and grasping my wrist and running her thumb over my stiff fingers that were still holding onto my bowl. "Are you okay? Do you need a minute?" She continually asked when I failed to produce any sound.
I blinked and then shook my head, releasing the bowl. I dragged a hand roughly through my hair and stared at the table cloth. A minute? I didn't need a minute, I needed answers. Answers that everybody at this table had except me. I felt completely in the dark, like the one person in the group that was left out of an inside joke. It really was a sucky feeling.
"I...I...how...what," I breathed, blinking.
She smiled grimly and sat back. "I would tell you myself but," she paused angling her head to my grandmother. "She knows the story better than I."
I said nothing and turned my gaze to my grandmother; if she even is that anymore. Nodding her head, she splayed her fingers across the table, a heavy sigh spilling from her lips. The air in the room changed, tension seeped through and it became a struggle to breathe correctly. Stark gently grasped my cold hands in his warm ones, squeezing slightly. The brief contact calmed me and I sighed, wilting against him. As much as I didn't want to admit it, he did make me feel better.
"I guess the best way to explain this is through a story," My grandmother said, taking a sip of her coffee.
I frowned but made no move to protest. By the tension that filled air, and the grave looks in everyone's eyes, I knew it would be a big one. Excitement seeped into my system and I sat forward in anticipation. This story was about my life, a life that I apparently had zero knowledge of. To say I wasn't excited would be a lie. But, mirroring my excitement, was also fear. What would this story mean for me?
Before I could explore the question further, Luck sat forward, bouncing around like a four year old. "Ooh a story! I love stories!" He exclaimed, rubbing his hands together.
Everyone stared at him, similar looks plastered all around on our faces. He stopped bouncing and frowned at us, his lips pursed. "What?"
My grandmother blinked and shook her head, her focus returning to me. Her ice blue eyes bore into mine and I shifted uncomfortably. Stark's hands were tightening on mine. Her white hair fell forward and she brushed it back with her fingers.
"A long time ago, there were three brothers. And-," She started quietly but was cut off by Luck.
"Wait, wait, wait. Everyone knows that a great story starts out with a 'Once Upon A Time'," he quipped, rolling his eyes and flipping his hand in the air.
My grandmother shot him a dark look and then cleared her throat, turning back to me. Pushing away her now cold coffee, she sat back, smoothing out her clothes. "Once," she started, glaring at Luck who smiled happily. "Upon a Time, there were three brothers. The three brothers were vampires. The eldest of the three brothers, was named Elliot. He was selfish and conceded, and his mind was focused on power and control," my grandmother continued.
At the mention of Elliot, Stark's hold on my hands increased to a point where it was almost painful. I winced and twisted my hands to escape his steel like grip. "Stark," I murmured, still twisting. "Stark, you're hurting me," I continued, when he failed to respond.