Chapter 9 - Orange Blood

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The man who had spoken to her was large. At first that was all Anah could think to describe him. He had messy, black hair framing his kind eyes. However when Anah turned her face toward him fully, it hardened into an anger that scared Anah. "Who did that to you?" 

"Excuse me?" She put her hand over the side of her face. "It's none of your business. Who are you?" 

"Don't scare her." The woman he was with wrapped an arm around his waist. She was very curvy. Not fat in any way, but she had a curvaceous figure that Anah envied. Her hair was a golden brown, waving gently around her face. Altogether she reminded Anah of an early twentieth century pinup girl. "Sorry, my husband can forget how scary he looks. My name's Kendelyn. This is my husband Kellen." 

"Kellen?" Anah stood, her hand falling from her bruised skin. Her Kellen? Her pulse quickened. Could the man before her really be her dead brother?

The anger fell from his face. "You remember my name?" 

"No," She admitted. "I don't remember anything from then. I only just found out about you yesterday." 

"Oh...So not quite the happy reunion." He stared at her, but his expression was hard to read. 

"I thought you all were dead." She shook her head. "How did you survive? Why did you never tell me?" 

Kellen shook his head. He looked near tears which was odd from a man his size. "I'm sorry, it's been years since I've seen you, Anah." He stepped forward, wrapping her up in his large arms.  

"Oh!" She squeaked as her feet left the ground. "Hi..." She mumbled, not really sure what to do with that kind of affection. She never received a hug from a family member that she knew of, and she wasn't quite sure how to respond.  

Kellen laughed as he set her down, his face splitting into that big grin that she'd memorized from the photo. "Hi. We have a lot of catching up to do." 

"I think so," she agreed. Her brother was alive. Maybe then her mother and father...she blocked those thoughts from her mind before she got her hopes up. "How did you survive?" 

"Mother had just enough time to save Jakoban and me." 

Despite Anah's precautions, her heart fell. "They didn't make it." 

Kellen shook his head 'no', his eyes sad. "I brought Jakoban to his grandfather, lived on the streets for a long time before getting a job as a busboy, and eventually a scholarship to college...where I met Ken. Sorry, you probably don't remember Jakoban either, do you?" 

"No, but he moved back here a week ago after his grandfather died. He goes by Jack now. He had found some old journals of his parents and I sort of followed him...there." She still wasn't sure what to call the place they'd been visiting.  

He smiled. "I knew you'd find your way back one day. You were so happy there when you were little, always running off and scaring the hell out of Mother when you'd disappear." 

Someone put their hand on my shoulder. "That sounds like Anah." 

She pulled away from Rendel's touch. "What are you doing here?" 

"Looking for you." 

The anger was back on Kellen's face. "Are you the one who did that to her face?" 

"I'd be the last person to hurt Anah," Rendel promised. 

"Then who are you? Her boyfriend?" 

"God, no," Anah mumbled. She couldn't even imagine Rendel as her boyfriend. He had the most irritating personality, and he was really creepy.  

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