Later that night, Sonora stood in her room after changing into more comfortable clothes then the dressy ones she had worn all day. Her rose-colored dress hung on a hanger over her white closet door, she stared at it as she sniffed her bouquet. She would never forget tonight. Never.
She looked over her double bed. She had turned down the ocean-blue covers and removed half of the pillows she had piled on it. Sonora flopped down on it but hardly bounced. She had the plushest bed she could find.
Sonora wasn't tired, she couldn't begin to think about sleeping. If anything, she was more amped up than she had been this morning. She sighed wondering what to do. Then her stomach growled, and she laughed. With everything that happened at the wedding, she hadn't ate more than a few bites here and there all evening.
Sonora made her way down the stairs and into the good-sized kitchen and opened the one of the two large refrigorator doors. She hadn't turned on an overhead light so the square little fridge dome had to do all the work.
The light was bright after the darkness, and Sonora squinted. But she easily found a large pan of leftover salad. She pulled that out and laid it on the butcher block, then stood at the counter as she picked at it.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw her grandfather's bright kitchen light come on. She watched as he walked to the door. And as a shadowy figure stood by the door waiting for it to open.
Sonora replaced the salad and shut the fridge door. Then, making sure not to disturb her parents, she crept out of the house and across the small yard. Within a few seconds, she too knocked at her grandfather's paneled door.
Her grandfather opened the door, a frown on his weathered face, "You shouldn't be here."
She slipped past him. "I think we are past that, Grandpa. Besides, I have questions."
Ian's deep chuckle echoed through the kitchen before he said, "Here we go."
"You." Sonora said staring at Ian, "Are you okay?"
"Yes, I am fine."
"Should you be here? Up here, I mean?"
Ian gave a casual shrug as he walked closer to her. But Sonora leaned against the counter and crossed her arms, more to control herself from heading in Ian's direction and wrapping them around him. These feelings made her mind swirl, not always in a good way. When he was around, her emotions were too out of control for her taste.
Ian accepted it and leaned against the marble counter himself, his fingers wrapped around its edge.
Instead, she gave him a once over to make sure he was injury-free. Sonora giggled and rolled her eyes at his reaction. He straighted and ran a hand through his dark hair. Men, she thought, they are the same no matter if they are from the air or from the sea. Give them a little attention, and they preen. But she had to admit it had been a pretty nice view.
Sonora cleared her throat and frowned. She needed to get serious. "There is something going on here. More than I've figured out, so explain. I don't care who starts or where you start, just start."
Blake's gaze immediately went to the cream-tiled floor. The last thing he ever wanted was his granddaughter, his family to know was what he had done. He couldn't bare to think about it, couldn't forgive himself, and he couldn't imagine their feelings for him if they ever found out.
He shot a look at Ian silently asking for his help, but he received none. Ian ignored him as he paced back and forth across the kitchen floor.
Blake stuttered. "Honey, I wasn't... who I am now. What I did..." He couldn't continue.
Ian's pacing ended when Blake trailed off. His old friend was guilty of many things, and Blake would have to face them, but Ian still felt enough for him that he can to his aid.
As Ian's started speaking, he pulled out a chair for Sonora and waved her to it. She gave a little ghost of a smile, which he returned, it was so similar to their dinners at his home.
Ian was careful in what he said. Too little and she would suspect he had remitted information. Too much and he would be telling Blake's tale. "A long time ago an artifact, a very important one to our people was taken. It is the only piece of our original city before it disappeared forever. We have been searching for it for decades. Your grandfather knows where it is, and he is going to help me retrieve it."
Sonora frowned. Doubt that this was all there was to it was written all over her face. "Okay then, where is it?"
Blake shot a look that said thank you to Ian before he said, "It's at the Museum of Natural History, in some back room somewhere. I donated it to them, so I am going to undonate it."
"Actually," Ian said, "we hadn't got around to me telling you that it is here in this town, at the Marine Center."
Blake's face brightened. "Even better! My daughter, Claire, and her husband, Devon, work there. This will be a piece of cake."
Sonora's gaze bounced between the two men. "Please don't tell me it is a carved wooden box about this big," she showed the size with her hands, "with tiny jewels embedded in it."
Ian leaned a hand on the table, his grey eyes intense. "That is it. You have seen it?"
"Uh, yeah. I was at the Center a couple days ago and it was all Aunt Claire and Uncle Devon could talk about. They're very excited about the exhibit. Everyone there is. I don't think you are going to be getting it away from them anytime soon."
Ian turned, crossed his arms and leaned against the kitchen table as he stared at Blake.
"Well," Blake said, "we have to."
"Grandpa, you don't understand. There are, like, days and days of special events going on and—"
Blake shook his head. "We have to, Sonora, it's a matter of life and death, and I have a lot to make up for."
"What are you talking about? Who's life?"
Blake held back for a moment, his heart thundering in his chest. He always knew this day would come, all Atlantians did. But he hadn't known what it would mean for him. He crossed the room to his granddaughter and ran a light thumb down the side of her face.
"Who's life?" he sadly repeated. "Everyone's."
Wide-eyed, Sonora once again looked from one man to the other as they exchanged a long look.
"Well," Blake added, "if what we have in mind for the artifact doesn't work, we're going to have to steal it."
A/N: Sorry this isn't well edited. Wattpad is acting up today. But I still wanted to get the chapter out. I hope you enjoyed it. Please click the little star if you did.
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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...