Chapter Twenty One

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Disobeying Mother

Victoria's mother was clearly not a woman anyone would want to cross. She took seriousness to a completely new level. Lillian shifted uncomfortably in her seat. Recalling the lovely lunch, prepared by Gail, she smiled to herself. Pleasant chatter had filled the room. It had felt like ages since Lillian was able to relax and enjoy someone's company.

They laughed as they told stories from their childhood, though no one could top Alex's story that had involved an octopus, a box of banana's and a very nervous Merrow prince. The five of them even practiced a little of their magic together. Though short lived, it came to them easy. Lillian had created two small rocks, rounded on one side and flat on the other.

Evangeline used her powers to raise them in the air so that the flat sides of the stones faced each other. Ryhan made a small flame on the round side of one stone, and Alex pooled water on the round side of the other. Victoria created a whorl wind around the stones. They all watched in amazement as the fire and water created an intricate swirly pattern around the stones.

The sound of the front door opening startled them and the two stones dropped down onto the table. Nothing but silence had filled the air from the moment that Stallia entered the room. Gail had cleaned up swiftly and left just as quickly. Victoria had risen and given up her seat to her mother.

The tension was inescapable, though Lillian was not sure what had created it, she had an inkling that it had to do with their presence in Volcaringuard.

"Mother...I kn-" Victoria had started, before her mother held her hand up to stop her.

Lillian was surprised at how obedient Victoria was. Around her mother, she seemed more like a timid girl than the vibrant and energetic person Lillian had first met. Stallia's presence filled the room. She looked like the type of person who demanded attention. Lillian compared her to her daughter. There were several similarities.

They had the same dirty blonde hair, cut short, no fuss. Their eyes shared the same shape, though Stallia had dull brown eyes. The same petite yet muscular bodies. Yet that was where the similarities ended. Though they both commanded attention, Stallia's personality was nothing like her daughters. She was calculating, brutally honest, and a bit too harsh for Lillian's liking.

"Victoria is not leaving Volcaringuard." Stallia said forcefully.

"Mother, please-" Victoria's mother raised her hand to stop her.

Taking her time to look at each of the girls Stallia proceeded, "When I went to that place, in Bastriean, to meet with the council...I agreed to come here, so that Victoria would be safe. I gave up my husband and my life, to protect hers. Now you sit here, barely even grown, and you want to take her to go fight some predestined war that you know nothing about. It is ludicrous. I won't allow it."

Stallia stood and headed for the door when Victoria shouted, "This isn't even up for discussion?"

"What is to discuss? A group of little girls who think playing with magic is a frivolous thing? People DIE in war Victoria. Open your eyes and grow up." Stallia finished with a slam of the door.

Lillian watched helplessly as Victoria ran out the back door. Alex followed her. It was clear they all wanted to do the same, but Evangeline had said they should give the two of them some time alone. Gail entered the room again. Lillian wasn't sure where she had been hiding, but it was clear from her face that she had been eavesdropping.

She watched as Gail busied herself and went on with small talk, even though no one was really paying her any attention. Absent-mindedly Lillian picked up one of the stones of the table and began fiddling with it. It felt different in her hands. It was no longer smooth. The surface of the rounded side had little ridges.

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