The Legend of the Blue Eyes(5)

By: B. Kristin McMichael

“I wonder what her explanation will be when you arrive at the Randolph manor tonight?” he replied, noticing Arianna glancing around the room. He expected her to be more afraid when she realized the situation, but she was calmly assessing her possibilities.

“Such would be expected of your father’s child,” he added to himself, as he stood and walked to the desk near the TV. Arianna caught his comment, and stopped searching the room. He was the answer to all her questions. He opened a drawer and removed a book. “You asked where we are.” Arianna nodded. “You really don’t remember anything?” Arianna shook her head no. The man handed her the book before returning to his seat on the opposite side of the couch.

Arianna carefully opened the old book. In the front cover there was an old paper that had yellowed over the years. Arianna skimmed the document, and realized it was a deed to a property that she had never heard of. At the bottom was a signature, signing the house over to Arianna Grace by a Travis Grace.

“Is this here?” she asked in disbelief.

“Yes,” the man replied. “Your father gave this home to you after your mother died. This is your home.”

“Why didn’t anyone ever tell me about this?” Arianna continued to stare at the document.

“Probably the same reason they never answered your questions,” he replied honestly. “They didn’t want you to know they have all been lying to you. Lilly and Dean are not related to you. In fact, they are not even husband and wife, but brother and sister. Lilly was your mother’s best childhood friend. When your mother and father died, your grandfather tried to raise you, but it was best to have Lilly and Dean take you instead. Lilly had a daughter a few months younger than you. She died around the same time as your father, which made it easy for Lilly and Dean to take you in without anyone knowing.” Arianna felt her heart begin to race. This man had answered every question she had asked, and somehow she knew he was telling the truth. How could Aunt Lilly and Uncle Dean lie to her? Were they really not family? How could this man tell her these things? Was he lying to her also? Who was telling her the truth?

The man waited for Arianna to understand what he had said. “Would you like something to drink or eat?” he asked kindly. Arianna stared at the older man. Could she trust someone who kidnapped her? “Patrick, go get some sodas,” he said, and a man behind them moved. Arianna jumped as she realized they were not alone. The younger man had sat so quietly in the window that she didn’t notice him the first time she looked around the room. “Patrick is my son,” the man explained. “He’s your father’s cousin.”

Arianna turned back to the older man. “But, that would make you my great uncle,” she responded in disbelief. “But I don’t have any living family,” she repeated.

“I’m sure they meant it figuratively about this side of the family,” the man replied with a chuckle. Arianna couldn’t understand his amusement with their lie. “Let me introduce myself. I’m Gabriel, your paternal grandfather’s younger brother. Go ahead and open the book. I think the answers you have been looking for are there.”

It was hard to shift her gaze from the man sitting next to her. Arianna carefully opened to the first page. She had no memories of her father, and tried to look for some sort of resemblance to herself in the photos. As she gazed down at the pictures, she gasped. Staring back at her were two faces she had seen so many times in her dreams. Arianna felt tears begin to trickle down her face, but she didn’t move to wipe them away. She was both sad and happy at the same time. Her father and mother stood arm in arm, smiling happily for the picture.

“It’s really them,” she said in shock, as she gently touched the pictures. She had spent so many years trying to see their faces clearly in her dreams.

“They were around your age when that photo was taken,” Gabriel explained. “They met as teenagers, and, against the wishes of my brother and your maternal grandfather, they married as soon as your mother finished high school. Your maternal grandfather, Lord Randolph, disowned your mother the day she married your father.” Arianna turned the page and continued to look at the pictures of her parents. “He has never been too fond of our side of your family. You have no family on your mother’s side besides him. As a matter of fact, he is your only living relative on your mother’s side of the family, but there are plenty of us alive on this side.”

“Here,” Patrick said quietly, handing Arianna a soda can. “We don’t use this house too much, so there weren’t many choices.” Arianna took the drink without looking up from the pictures on the next page. Her parents had only been a dream before. She had no real memories of either her mother or father, only faint pictures in her head of what they would have looked like. The pictures in front of her were so much more real than anything she had ever imagined.

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