Blake walked across the dance floor, his anger building with every step he took. Interrupting Ian and Sonora's dance, he said, "Ian, we have to talk."
Sonora's eyebrows creased as she tore her gaze from Ian. "Grandpa?"
Ian continued to stare at Sonora, refusing to acknowledge Blake. But Blake wasn't giving up. "Ian!" he whispered harshly.
Eyes still on Sonora, Ian said, "Go away. I have until midnight."
"Until midnight? What kind of—" Blake said shaking his head. "This isn't a fairy tale! I need to speak to you now before it is too late." Maybe if he could get Ian away from Sonora the worst couldn't happen.
Ian shook his head. "It's already too late. She's my Intended. She's been my Intended."
"When she was missing."
Blake swung his gaze to his granddaughter in disbelief, then back to Ian. How? How exactly did she get down there? How could this have happened?
"Ian. Now!" Blake barked at Ian. Everyone on the dance floor turned to him, but he was beyond controlling his emotions.
Ian ran his hand down Sonora's arm. As the men turned to go, Sonora grabbed an arm of each of them. She spoke slowly, her confusion deepening by the minute. "You two know each other?"
Neither of the men answered her question, instead, they turned back in unison and said, "Stay here." Then they made their way to the kitchen, leaving Sonora alone on the dance floor, her hands on her hips and a question on her face.
Dinner was over and most of the servers and kitchen staff had gone home for the evening. As Blake and Ian burst through the kitchen doors, the last two servers were gathering their belongings to leave by the back door. One of them was the young woman that Ian had talked to earlier. For a moment, her face lit up at the sight of Ian's big frame striding through the swinging doors. But seeing the thunderous looks on both the men's faces, she hurriedly pushed her friend toward the outer door. She'd been here once before when there'd been a fight, she didn't intend to stick around to see another one. The paperwork she'd had to do for the police alone made her shudder.
As soon as the door swung shut behind Blake, he said, "You went after my granddaughter? What is wrong with you?"
Ian looked at Blake's dark red face. "You better settle, old man. You are going to have one of those heart issues they have up here."
Blake stepped toe to toe with Ian. "My granddaughter!"
"I did not know she was your granddaughter, Argos! You know the choice is not mine to make. It just happens."
Blake ran a hand through his hair as he deeply sighed. He knew what Ian said was true. Still, he didn't like it, not one bit.
"If it makes you feel any better, the woman has led me a merry chase, and she continues to do so."
Ian threw Blake an irritated look. "This could be considered your fault, having a family up here. Do you know what you did to me? I thought I fell for a human. A human! I thought I was going crazy." Ian quickly turned from Blake and slammed his hand on the steel table causing the sound to reverberate around the kitchen. "I still could be. After all, she's only one-quarter Atlantian, she might as well be human."
Blake's eyes narrowed. "What did you call my granddaughter?"
"I call her what she is, it doesn't mean I don't love her."
"Do not call her human!" Blake, still reeling over the sight of Sonora and Ian, knew he was being unreasonable. His granddaughter was exactly what Ian had said she was, but it was something that had always eaten at him.
Blake ripped off his jacket and slugged Ian in the face as hard as he could.
Ian had seen it coming, and if it made the old man feel better then he would let him hit him. He rubbed his jaw, impressed that Argos could still defend his family as well as he could. But Argos' next words made his blood run as cold as a deep water fish.
"I hope you got your fill tonight," Blake growled at him, "because you will never see her again. You do not have my permission to be with her. And without it, my being a criminal or no, you will never have her!"
"You have no say."
"You know that is not true."
Ian dropped his hands to his side. His fists clenched as his vision blazed red. If Sonora was ready to come to him, he wasn't going to let anyone stop her. He yanked Blake up by the front of his shirt, tearing it and pushing him toward the wall.
Blake's hand reached for a weapon, any weapon. They passed the prep table on his way backward. His hand clattered through the utensils finding nothing suitable. Then Ian slammed Blake up against the wall.
Ian closed his eyes when a small feminine gasp sounded behind him. Blake's gaze shot to her. Sonora had followed them into the kitchen.
Sonora's eyes flicked over the guilty faces of the men, her hands nervously clasped in front of her. Unsure of what she had heard, she knew what she saw. "Ian, please," she said softly. "please, let my grandfather go."
Ian instantly let Blake drop.
Sonora took a tiny step back as a hand flew to cover her mouth. Peeking through a large rip in her grandfather's shirt was a shimmering tattoo. Aghast and trembling, she said, "Grandpa?" The word seemed to echo around the room.
Sonora had once watched a professional pinball tournament. One player, after a Lazarus ball and a couple of amazing thumpers, carefully nudged, tilted and stacked the machine. When the backbox blazed and strobed with the final score, the machine seemed to quiver and chime without end.
Her mind felt like that pinball machine. It was like everything aligned just right. All the lights and bells were firing. It all made sense now.
Her gaze darted to her grandfather's sickened face. So many little things now made sense. Grandpa's lack of relatives, his need to be near the ocean, and so many other small things she had noticed through the years.
Surely her mother knew. And dad, he hadn't told her the entire truth.
Sonora's gaze shifted to Ian's face. Is this why I felt closer to him than I should have almost from the beginning? Why I can't let go of him even after all this time?
Is this why I love the sea so much? Why the thought of living there doesn't frighten me, but rather excites me? Grandpa always said I was the most like him. Is that what he meant?
A/N: Did you like this reveal? Please leave a comment or a vote to let me know. :)
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Sea Bound (A Sanctuary's Aggression Novel)Science Fiction
#159 on Scifi Hot List. A Golden Pen, Pen and Ink, and Rose Award Winner. In this sci-fi fantasy, Sonora yearns for more than life has given her until the day a shadow becomes a guide to a world she could never have imagined. A new world that offers...