I stepped into our bedroom that night holding my breath. I knew Ruby wouldn’t be happy that David had been in the house without our knowledge or permission today. I really didn’t want a rerun of our last fight. We just fixed things between us in Windenburg. I sat on the bed next to her, pulled her into my arms and kissed her head. “Hey. You’re not angry with me about David being here today, are you?” I asked her.
“No. You had no knowledge of his presence, either. I am angry, but not at you,” she told me.
“I’ll talk to Rayne about it and… I won’t have David over anymore,” I told her. Ruby looked up at me.
“I don’t want you to lose your friend, Sebastian.”
“I know. I’m not ending the friendship. I just think we should meet up elsewhere instead of here. You’re right, Ruby. It’s too risky having David at the house with Hope here. He’s almost discovered her before and while I want to believe he’d be on our side if he found out about her… it’s not a risk I want to take with an innocent little girl’s life and if Hope decides she wants this procedure done, she isn’t going to stay small enough to hide.” We hadn’t told Hope about my discovery yet. I wasn’t sure it would work yet.
“Agreed. That sounds like a reasonable and fair compromise,” Ruby nodded. She closed her eyes and lowered her head. “I never intended to ruin your friendship with my insistence, Sebastian. I admit I was jealous and I’m sorry for being so easily manipulated by my emotions but I was not lying about my concern for Hope, either.” She looked up at me with tears in her eyes. “The truth is I can’t cope with the thought of losing her. I love her,” she whispered. I held her close.
“I know. I do, too,” I said. “Come on, it’s late and we had a long flight and then Rayne’s pregnancy surprised us both. We should get some sleep.”
* * *
Yeesh, why does Seb keep redesigning his house every other week? How does he find his way around his own house? I can’t even find a bathroom, David wondered to himself as he scratched his beard, trying door after door after door. Leander’s room. Nope. Rayne’s room. Nope. An office. Nope. Guest bedroom. Nope.
Getting desperate, he wandered downstairs to the basement. There’d have to be a bathroom down here in a place this big, right? David found himself in a home gym attached to a small spa but there were doors along one wall. One of them had to be the bathroom! He walked over and opened the first door. It wasn’t a bathroom.
It was a little girl’s bedroom.
But… Seb doesn’t have a daughter. What’s this room for? David wondered. It was a bright, cheerful but windowless room with drawings all over the walls and all the toys any little kid could want. The only thing missing was the child who slept here. The mysterious child David didn’t know existed.
Bewildered, he walked in and sat on the bed, wracking his brain but he couldn’t come up with any reason why this bedroom would exist in his best friend’s house. Sebastian had two sons, a little boy and a teenager. Ruby’s only child was Nereus. That family friend of theirs who lived with them, Calista, was an adult. She wouldn’t have a bedroom like this. Neither would Seb’s step-mom or Rayne. This room didn’t fit and yet it obviously belonged to someone.
“What’s going on, Seb?” David muttered to himself.
He stood up to leave before someone came looking for him (he definitely didn’t want Seb’s wife to catch him snooping around in the basement. She was scary, man!) but just as he closed the door behind him, he could have sworn he saw a pair of wide, blood-red eyes peering out at him from inside the closet…