The Legend of the Blue Eyes(6)

By: B. Kristin McMichael

“We will leave you alone for a little bit,” Gabriel suggested, as he stood and followed his son out of the room.

“Is it safe to leave her alone?” Patrick asked quietly just outside the doorway. “She looked like she was going to run away only moments ago. She would be fine in this neighborhood, but out of it …”

“We are not holding her here as a hostage,” Gabriel responded, knowing she was listening. “She is free to leave any time she likes.”

Arianna relaxed, knowing she hadn’t really been kidnapped. She turned the page and continued to watch her parent’s life unfold in pictures before her eyes. Her father and mother as teenagers, then their wedding, next her mother pregnant, and finally a picture of their family: her mother, her father, and Arianna, all grouped tightly together, smiling. Engrossed in the photo book, Arianna hadn’t noticed the time that had passed, or her uncle, who had returned to sitting beside her.

“I took that picture the day you were born,” he said quietly, trying not to startle her.

“But my aunt said my mother died during childbirth,” Arianna replied, as she realized the truth of the photo in front of her.

Gabriel chuckled again. “I knew your father said he was going to lie to your grandfather, but I thought he must have told him the truth about your mom, Tiffany, for Randolph to so openly accept you.” Arianna stared at Gabriel. She didn’t understand what he was talking about. “We lied to everyone about your birthday,” he explained. “Both sides of your family have been feuding for hundreds of years. We knew something could happen to either your father or mother at any time because they were crossing the divide. That’s why only I was called to help when you were born. Your father and mother trusted no one. I was reassured when nothing happened the day you were born, but the next day your mother was murdered. It was an attempt to end both her life and yours. We still have not been able to find who did it. Nor have we found who killed your father.” Arianna stared at the older man. His melancholy sigh indicated to her that he was telling the truth.

“Why would they go against their families if it meant they could get killed?” she asked.

“Because they loved each other,” he replied. “A true life Romeo and Juliet romance. In reality, you can’t help who you fall in love with.”

“If my grandfather is alive, and so are you, why was I raised by Aunt Lilly and Uncle Dean? Because no one wanted me?” Arianna asked, questioningly.

“No, dear, don’t ever think that,” Gabriel replied, taking her hands in his. “You have been loved and wanted since the day your parents married. It’s true your grandfather would have probably never accepted your father into his family, but he couldn’t deny you.”

“Then why was I given away? Did you not want me?” Arianna could not help but ask.

“I would’ve taken you in a heartbeat,” Gabriel replied. “It was you father’s choice to send you to your grandfather’s. After several attacks on his life, he didn’t feel it was safe for you to remain here with me. I tried to convince him that I’d protect you with every hair on my body, but I knew I couldn’t change his mind. I now see that he didn’t trust your grandfather completely either, since he lied about your birthday.”

“Then does that mean Sunday isn’t my birthday, or that my mother didn’t die on that day?” Arianna asked, confused.

“Your birthday is tomorrow, or, rather, in less than an hour,” Gabriel replied. Arianna glanced around the room for a clock.

“What time is it?” she asked.

“Almost time for you to leave,” Gabriel replied.

“Randolph’s dog is here,” Patrick said from the window. “He’s just down the street.”

“The order to not touch him was sent out?” Gabriel asked, as he and Arianna joined Patrick in looking out into the dark street. Arianna could see a person in the distance, leisurely walking down the street. “Take the letter in the back of the book, Arianna. Your father wrote it the day you were born. It’s for your eyes only,” he instructed, as the mysterious person neared the house. Arianna quickly grabbed the letter and placed it in her coat pocket. Hesitantly, she followed Gabriel and Patrick down the staircase. Arianna stopped in the doorway and stared at the person standing just outside the gate of the picket fence. The rain began to fall again, and he opened the umbrella he was carrying.

“Here,” Gabriel said handing Arianna a sealed envelope. “Give this to your grandfather for me, would you?”