Camp NaNoWriMo part 21
“We went to our house next to the Beauris main house right after the mission. The Sharoon family must have followed us there and assumed we were part of your family,” Esther finished.
The Sharoon heirloom laid innocently on the table. To think such a small item would strike such discord between their families.
“What now?” Uncle Tobiras voiced the question on everyone’s mind.
“Is it safe to return the heirloom?” her father asked.
Darius’ mother hummed as she considered the question. “Little Missy Minnie is the new head now. It doesn’t look like she was involved with her predecessor’s deal. Maybe we can negotiate something. What do you think, dear?”
“I agree. Regardless of Minerva’s stance on the situation, leaving things as they are is not an option. Normal workers are being brainwashed to keep things secret. I’m surprised no one has called the police yet, but it’s just a matter of time,” Darius’ father said.
“If we’re going to make contact, make the meeting place one of our houses. Any of them would at least dampen her abilities. We will also keep the heirloom somewhere else,” Darius said.
Lilibeth sat back and watched the discussion unfold. The Darius who actively participated in the discussion was worlds apart from the Darius who meekly watched from the sidelines. Everything about the new Darius (or should she say old Darius?) was different, from the confidence in his movements, the weight of his words, even his stance when standing still. Seeing him now, it was obvious that the quiet man she met before was just a shadow of the real thing.
That was what her cousin had done to him.
That was what her cousin could do to her brother.
Lilibeth curled her fingers against her thighs.
She should have been the one to stay behind as a decoy. Her brother was the Beauris heir. He was more important and so much more powerful than her. If their positions were reversed, he would have already saved her and ended the family crisis by now.
By the end of the day, they decided that Darius and her father would negotiate with Minnie in one of the Turnery houses. The Sharoon heirloom would be guarded by another team in one of the Turnery family’s other houses, which would be kept secret from Darius and Baldemar, just in case. At her father’s insistence, Lilibeth was left out of the team.
“I have a different mission for you,” her father said later when they were alone. He took off the Beauris heirloom and looped the necklace around her neck, just like her brother did the last time they were together. “Keep this with you at all times. If anything happens to me and your brother, this pendant is yours, so don’t lose it.”
The memory of her brother’s words that day and the dark implications behind the heirloom’s change in ownership made her eyes water. Just like last time, she could only nod as she held back tears. The jumbled words she wanted to say sat unspoken in a pile behind her lips.
Her father drew her into a hug and pressed a kiss into her hair.
She pressed her face into his chest.
Please come back.