Hello A-Z Challenge world!! School papers have been pushed aside to bring you this overdue post in the ongoing saga that has become my challenge theme :D Enjoy! And, as always, thank you for stopping by and reading. I PROMISE I'll return the favor. ~Jen
"So tell me about this key."
Imogene was sitting in a parlor, across from Greyson who was reading the paper and ignoring her.
"You and Val both have mentioned a key."
Imogene walked over and pulled the paper down. He looked up at her, over his glasses. She was serious. He could see that much.
Greyson folded the paper, placed it in his lap. He took off his glasses, polished them with the handkerchief he continually produced from thin air, put the glasses back on and said:
"The key your father gave you before he left."
Imogene blinked, stumbled back to her chair. "My father didn't leave me anything except debt, hunger, and a mother who is more than a little nutty."
Greyson, Imogene was learning, had the annoying habit of raising one dark eyebrow in an attempt to make whomever he was disagreeing with feel like a complete ass.
"Don't look at me like that! You weren't there! You were locked up in this palatial Eden while people like me were starving and watching their mother sell herself every weekend so you could have food on the table for another meal!" Ima's fists were curled, digging into her palms. Tears had annoyingly sprung to her eyes, out of the pain her fingernails were inflicting she told herself.
"That's right," Greyson said, "I've never known hunger or pain. No-" he looked around at the impeccably decorated room, drowned in warm afternoon light from a sun Imogene had not seen in three days. "I don't know what it's like to lose the people I love ,to watch them fall apart, to watch them die, literally, because of choices I've made." He leaned forward and Imogene was shocked at the look of sorrow she saw on his usually impassive face. "I don't know what it's like to kill the only person I've ever truly loved."
Ima sat very still. Greyson rang a bell and from the shadows a butler appeared. He lit three gas lamps and drew the curtains, then disappeared. Greyson strode across the room and picked up a picture. It was the picture Imogene had brought with her. "Your father was a broken man when he found me. Broken from what he'd been required to do." He walked to her, gave her the photograph. "He's never fully recovered."
"You know my father?"
Greyson gave her what passed for a laugh. "You might say that. Your father is the reason I'm here, locked up in this palatial Eden away from all sin and sorrow."
Ima looked away, slightly ashamed of what she'd said. "Is he here?" She whispered, afraid of the answer.
"No. Not any more." Greyson sighed and returned to his chair. "No, to find your father, you have to talk to Marcus."
Ima was tired of all these added rabbit trails. "Who the hell is Marcus?"
"My brother. And the man responsible for the Reanimated who stormed your home and attempted to murder you."
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