Chapter 290: Breakfast With Dad
The next morning, I finally met with my father for the first time. Not in a state
of dire stress or danger, but instead…
Enzo and I walked into the large dining room together to see a long chestnut
table, at one end of which was a stunning array of fragrant breakfast foods,
brightly colored fruits, and steaming cups of coffee.
My father was sitting at
the chair at the end of the table, and stood when we entered. Without a word,
he simply held his arms out for me and walked up to me, pulling me in for a
tight hug before I could even say anything. I felt a bit tense being hugged by
this man who I hardly knew, despite the fact that he was my biological father,
and when we pulled away I stammered to come up with something to say.
“I know it’s a lot to process,” my dad said. “Let’s eat instead of trying to figure
it all out.” He stepped out of the way and gestured for Enzo and I to sit at the
table, and we did. Enzo sat beside me, his hand resting firmly on my thigh
underneath the tablecloth.
We ate in silence for a couple of minutes. The food was delicious and warm,
and as I ate I realized how starving I was after sleeping for two days. There
was an array of warm pancakes and fresh fruit, juicy sausages and crispy
bacon, steaming hot potatoes and bitter coffee; I ate all of those things and
more, and my stomach still didn’t feel full. I thought to myself that if I could eat
like this forever, I would. And I had lost so much weight lately with everything
going on that no one batted an eye at my voracious appetite.
But at the same time, it almost felt wrong to be eating at the moment. My twin
sister had just died brutally, and although I hardly knew her and most of our
interactions were filled with her evil nature that was caused by the Luna’s
manipulation, I still felt oddly empty. She was my twin, after all, and we had a
strong magical bond.
“Um…” I set my fork down and swallowed, feeling my face go red. “Selena…”
My father did the same. I could see his hands gripping the edge of the table
so tightly that his knuckles were white, and he stared numbly down at his
plate. “There will be a funeral,” he said, his voice low and strained. “Tomorrow.
I hope you’ll come.”
I nodded. “Of course,” I replied.
My father seemed pleased by this, and offered me a weak smile. He looked
over at Enzo then, who sat stolidly beside me. “I know that Selena was a lot
of trouble,” my father said quietly as he leaned back in his chair. “I hope you
can understand that the Luna… My wife… Was a practitioner of old magic.
She came from a lineage of witches mixed with werewolves, and her powers
were unparalleled. I never wanted to marry her. She ruined my family… She
was the one who hired the Crescents that killed your mother and stole you,
Nina.” He looked at me then, and his eyes were full of sadness. “After that,
she sank her claws in. For twenty years, your sister and I have been puppets
because of her powerful magic.”
It all made sense now; the Luna was behind everything. From the beginning,
she had a card in the game. I was certain that there was so much more to
learn, but right now, I had more pressing questions for my father.
“My mother,” I said, “what was she like?”
As I spoke of my mother, my father’s eyes lit up. A soft smile spread across
his lips, and he tilted his head back slightly to look up at the ceiling. “Her name
was Ophelia,” he said, his voice sounding almost dreamy. “She looked just like
you. You and Selena could have been photocopies of her. Except for you…
You got my brown eyes.”
My father’s words made me smile. Selena’s blue eyes belonged to our
mother. I was glad to have had the chance to experience those eyes before
Selena sacrificed her life.
“Was Selena like her in any other ways?” I asked, to which my father nodded
“Oh, yes,” he said with a grin. “The Luna’s magic was strong, but Selena’s
true nature came out sometimes. She was sweet and innocent. A little naive at
times, but bravely intelligent nonetheless. I wish that you could have had the
chance to see more of that side of her…”
I shook my head. “I saw it,” I said. “A few times. I could tell that it was in there
somewhere.” As I spoke, I felt Enzo’s hand tighten slightly around my thigh.
When I looked over at him, his eyes were soft and understanding. When
Selena was alive, after we turned her into a human, he never really believed
me when I said that Selena had some good inside of her, and I still didn’t
blame him for that. But now, I could tell that he saw the truth: that she was just
a little girl who was manipulated by an evil stepmother.
After that, it turned out that my father had a lot of questions. I explained
everything to him, everything that he had missed over the past twenty years
while he was under the Luna’s spell: the rise of the Crescents, the Luna’s
negative effect on the werewolf realm, Selena’s plan to take Enzo from me,
and everything else about my life. I told him about my adoptive mother, my
brother and his curse, and I told him about my friends and my career. By the
end of it all, it had somehow gotten well into the afternoon. I didn’t realize it at
the time, but we had been talking for hours upon hours at that table.
Finally, my father stood. His face was grim, but happy nonetheless.
“I’ll let you rest until tomorrow,” he said. “After the funeral, I have some more
questions for you; but let’s wait until then to talk more. Unfortunately, I’ve got
quite a lot of work to do. Things really pile up when you’re in a daze for twenty
years. And, judging from what you told me, it seems as though I’ve got two
realms that need to be cleaned up thanks to my second late wife’s
For the first time during that entire conversation, Enzo suddenly spoke.
“If you need any help, I’d be happy to be of service, sir,” Enzo said.
My father’s eyes widened slightly. He nodded, clapping Enzo on the shoulder.
He held Enzo’s shoulder firmly as he looked at him. “All I ask of you, son, is to
take good care of my remaining daughter,” my father said, his voice firm.
“Devote yourself to her, and make sure that nothing ever happens to her.”
Enzo looked at my father for a moment before nodding affirmatively. They
didn’t speak again after that, but it seemed as though they had said all that
they needed to; and something about it made me smile.
Before my father left, he suddenly pulled me in for another tight hug. And that
time, I hugged him back.