She sat down on a couch, and I sat down.
“Would you like some hot chocolate?” she asked.
I nodded. “Sure.”
Everything seemed different in this room. It was cozy, warm, and friendly. So… not my mom. At least not her dark side.
“You think I’m completely evil, don’t you?” Lilianna asked.
“I don’t know,” I said.
She sighed. “You need to know what happened. Your friends aren’t here, are they?”
“Good. Your father, my husband, died before you were born. He was the leader of this country beforehand. It wasn’t safe for you with all of the rebels, so I took you into one of the portals. The portals were our greatest secret, so I figured you were safe.”
I looked at the ground. “I wasn’t, really.”
“I figured that out. When I went back for you at the orphanage, you weren’t there, so I was afraid. I spent all these years looking for you- and when you finally showed up, I refused to believe it.”
That was… incredible. I never knew someone actually cared about me that much. She went up the stairs.
“Can I call you Mom?” I asked.
“Sure,” she said, coming back with two hot chocolate and a large box.
I grabbed the mug and drank it. It warmed me up. “Extra chocolate?”
“Of course.” She grabbed the box and handed it to me. “This is something I’ve had for a while. It used to be mine. It should protect you from the cold. Consider it your extra late birthday present.”
I opened it, and inside was a fuzzy blue dress, and a fur lined white jacket. There were also boots. “Yes!” Compared to all the clothes I’d had before, it was the best- even if it was a bit girly. “Can I try it on?”
“Of course.” I ran over to the other room and put it on.
“You look lovely,” Mom told me. “Now, you’d better go. Your friends may worry.”
The sun was rising by the time I had reached the “small” house. I opened the door to find everyone staring at me. Why were they staring at me? Oh, right. I had hot chocolate, and warm clothes. “Hey guys. Got a plan yet?”
“Where did you get that?” Bella asked.
“Mom,” I told them. “For birthdays 1-15. Did you know she makes really good hot cocoa?”
Ryan, though, was fuming. “We told you not to go! What if you died?”
I rolled my eyes. “Yes, the person who spent all her life trying to find me once it was safe in this world would randomly kill me.”
“She tried to before.”
“She didn’t believe it was me!”
Olive rushed over to me and felt my jacket.
“It’s so soft! Do you think your mom will give me one?”
“Olive!” Asher yelled.
“I think you should go,” Bella said, pulling me to the other side of the room.
“Where?” I asked.
“To your mom. Can I let you in on a secret?”
“You know how Ryan’s from another world and all? He might be hiding more than that. I get this strange feeling he’s… Oh, they’re coming. I’ll tell you more later. Tonight, sneak out. I’ll cover for you,” Bella said.
I plastered on a smile, trying to hide my shock.
“We need to come up with a battle plan,” Ryan said.
“Yeah,” I said. We did need one, but not his.
I agreed with Bella. Something just wasn’t right about this…
For those of you who are newer readers of my blog, last year for CWWC I started this story but never posted the finale. I think my writing has changed a lot since then, but if you haven’t read this before or need a refresher, I recommend using the links above to read the other parts if you want to read this one.