Sixteen

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A soft rain pounds on the windows of my room, and as I close my eyes I know that I’m safe.

Two weeks have gone by since I got the necklace, and so far I haven’t taken it off. The minute Cael put it on me that day, an overwhelming feeling of safety instantly flooded me. He’d smiled at me and asked how I felt, and I just couldn’t help but reply honestly. Cael smiled at me then, and told me again that he’d explain everything when the time came, and I’ve just had to trust that what he’s said is the truth.

He’s my boss, my boyfriend, and a possible supernatural being. I can deal with that, I suppose. For the most part, it’s been really great between us. We’ve been together for about a month, and though there is an obvious elephant in the room – the secrets he carries – I can’t deny that I’m really falling for him. I’ve always hated it when I read books where the main character falls I love right away, but this is something more than a shallow attraction.

There is something between us that I can’t ignore, and I won’t ignore. This is much bigger than young love; I’m certain.

As I drift off to sleep, a shadow of light plays behind my eyelids, but I know that it’s nothing to worry about. Nothing can hurt me. I am safe.

~*~

Semi-formal is in soon and I still don’t have any accessories to go with my dress. I don’t really want to go because I won’t have a date – unfortunately Cael is busy that night until pretty late – and going stag to a dance is something I don’t look forward to doing.

“Dad,” I say as my father buttons up his fall jacket, “did you ever go to school dances back in France?”

He stops unbuttoning his jacket and walks over to where I’m sitting down on the couch. “Yes,” he says, “I went to dances. They were not as fancy as the ones you have here in America, but yes.”

“We’re not too fancy, Dad. This is the State of lumberjacks and farmers.” I lay my head on his shoulder and he puts his arm around me.

“Ma Cher, is there something troubling you?” He asks

I nod my head. “I’m worried about going without a date to the dance.”

Mom walks into the room and smiles at the pair of us, “I see you’re nice and comfy.”

Dad chuckles, “We are having a nice talk about the upcoming dance. Khiara is worried about going without her boyfriend.”

She sits down on my other side and puts her feet up on the coffee table. “Oh? I went to lots of dances without a date in my day. I had lots of fun; I’m sure you will too. How come Cael can’t come?”

“He still works part time at the bookstore. His boss won’t give him time off that day.”

“Well I’m sure he wishes he could be there with you.” Mom says, patting my leg.

I nod my head, “Yeah, he feels bad he can’t come.”

“Well I hope you find something today when you and Cara go out shopping.” Just as mom says that the doorbell rings twice in fast succession, and Cara walks in, Tristan in tow.

“Hello simple peasants, the queen has arrived!” She crows.

“Come, darlings, sit with us a second,” says Dad. He nods at Tristan who smiles and nods back at him, and he scoots over for Cara to sit next to me.

“So, what is today’s plan, Petit Reine,” he says to Cara, who beams at his use of her nick name. It’s something he’s called her since we were kids; it means little queen in French.

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