When Sonora returned home, her mom and Aunt Claire sat at the kitchen table. Azurine's special china teapot sat proudly on the flat wood surface along with three matching cups. One for Azurine, one for Claire and Sonora didn't have to think too hard about the other one.
The women wanted to talk and given the events of last night that they knew about, there was only one topic that came to Sonora's mind. Ian. Sonora bit her lip as she quickly decided how much to say.
"Is there something you would like to tell us, Sunny?" her mother said, "About your special visitor at the wedding last night?"
Special visitor. Oh brother.
Sonora sank into the tall-backed chair. She knew these women, this was going to be unavoidable. She could run now, but they wouldn't let this go. Deliberately seeming absentminded, Sonora said, "Oh yeah, that was Ian. His family is the one that helped me after I, you know, had the water incident."
"You didn't tell me he was so attractive."
"Yeah, he is real attractive, mom."
"And he seems to like you. He couldn't take his eyes off my daughter."
"Yeah, he seems to like me."
Aunt Claire smiled and said, "Will we be seeing him again anytime soon?"
"He was just visiting, and it's—well, it's just a weird situation."
Aunt Claire downed her tea, then made her way to the kitchen counter and picked up the French press that sat there. "Hurry and drink your tea, then we can have something a bit stronger. I made it just the way you like it.
Azurine wrinkled her nose. "You two and your coffee. A nice cup of tea is so much better."
"Yes, well, dear sister, I would have to drink twenty of those for the serious caffeine in one of my cups."
"That I believe," Azurine said and laughed.
Claire sat in the chair next to Sonora and poured her a cup. She had taught Sonora the art of coffee drinking. They were both coffee snobs. Only the best beans would do, freshly ground, and pressed to perfection.
Claire and Sonora exchanged a look and a giggle as they sipped at the hot, flavorful brew. Then they closed their eyes and savored the ribbon of steaming liquid as it ran over their tongue. When they opened their eyes, they raised their eyebrows at each other. A perfect cup.
"Wanna come to the aquarium tomorrow?" Claire asked Sonora.
Sonora's shoulders sagged. "I wish I could, but I have to work."
Claire had seen Sonora's interest in all things aquatic from the time she was small. And while she supported the girl's parents in keeping them away from any deep sea exploration, Claire had access to an untold number of specimens, which she often allowed her niece to observe. The two had spent hundreds of hours studying them together.
"Maybe the day after?" Sunny offered.
Sunny studied her coffee for a moment. She realized that she hadn't asked her grandfather who in the family knew that he—that they were Atlantian. Atlantian. It still feels weird to think that. But of course, I'm only a quarter. Mom and Aunt Claire are half.
She shot them both a look, trying to see what their resemblance to her grandfather, and wondering if there was any way to tell for sure out of the water. Sonora thought back to their many conversations about family genealogy. They'd always talked about their mother's side. Did they know?
Sonora had to find out. Her hand gripped the handle of her teacup as she said, "You know, I've been wondering Mom. Well, some of my friends are really getting into the DNA thing. I know I asked you where everyone came from when I was younger, but I was thinking about getting more serious about it."
Azurine's eye widened before she looked down at the table. She cleared her throat.
She knows, Sonora thought.
Before Azurine could respond, Claire said, "Who are you wondering about?"
"Well, we don't know any of grandma and grandpa Blake's extended family. So I guess I would start there."
Sonora watched her mom and aunt exchanged a look. They both know. I might as well just ask.
"So it grandpa... different?"
Worry covered Azurine's face as she rose and put her arms around her daughter. They had all known this day may come, but they had hoped that with each generation there would be fewer questions. Azurine's mind swirled with the correct way to break this news to Sonora.
Before Azurine could open her mouth, Sonora continued with a nervous laugh. "Because if he is, do I have a fish story for you!"
Azurine and Claire looked at each other, eyes wide and mouth open. Claire recovered first. "You know?"
"How?" Azurine asked.
"It's a long story," Sonora said, then turned her shining eyes to her mom, her voice an awed whisper. "Mom, I was there!" It still felt like some sort of dream.
"You were?" her mother whispered back. "I've always wanted to go."
"Tell us," Claire said, "Tell us all about it."
Sonora started from the moment she dipped her toes into those warm beach waters and continued to the day she came home. She had kept this story from the people she loved, and it had ate away at her, she was relieved to finally be telling it. The only thing she held back was the feelings Ian had for her.
What she felt for him, she wasn't sure yet. She was drawing closer to Ian, of that she was sure. Did she love him? After last night, I think I'm falling for him. I felt that flash last night as he jumped the balcony. A closeness that I've never felt with anyone else. As if his emotions laid beside mine for just a minute. Then it was gone. I didn't feel it this morning. But I like him, I really, really like him.
Azurine saw the soft warm glow came to Sonora's face when she talked about Ian. Her daughter might not know it yet, but she was falling in love. Azurine's brow creased. What would that mean for Sonora? What would that mean for the rest of the family? There was something about Atlantis that troubled her father. Azurine didn't want Sonora mixed up in any of that.
So when Sonora insisted that while she found Ian intensely good-looking, she really didn't know him very well, her mother breathed a sigh of relief. When Azurine shot a glance at her sister, she could tell that she was pleased as well.
"But I do wish your grandfather could take us there," said Azurine, "even just once."
"Yes, please tell us more about it," Claire said, "How has Atlantis kept so hidden all these years?"
A/N: Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed the chapter, please press the little star below. :)
YOU ARE READING
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...