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       Moonbeam, p.34

           Adrienne Woods
 

  “So unfair,” he whined.

  “That’s my girl,” my mother said.

  That night I lay in bed. I spoke to Blake. I fretted about those pictures. Where were the fifteenth and sixteenth birthday ones? I knew we’d grown up together, my mother and Tanya had told me today. The stories.

  Apparently, I had been a naughty little shit. Burned down my treehouse. Hid stuff in the maze and watched staff struggle to find their way out. I’d been a menace and at my side the entire time, filling my head with the hows was Blake.

  “You don’t remember anything?” I asked.

  “Something tells me when you do, I will. It will come soon, Elena. Just be patient.”

  “Okay. Love you, babe.”

  “Love you more.”

  “I doubt that.”

  We said goodbye as a knock came from my door.

  It was my mother with two cups of cocoa. She handed me one. She came to sit on my bed and we just stared at one another.

  I accepted the cup and let it warm my fingers through the ceramic. “So tell me what you did, Mom.”

  She pulled her face. “You actually know. You hated me for what I did.”

  “Not possible.” I lay it on thick.

  She laughed. “Okay, you and Blake that night, it scared me Elena. The way you were so connected to one another. I mean you could hear his thoughts. It was so intense.” She sounded worried.

  “Okay, so what did you do?”

  She sucked in her lips.

  “I’m going to remember soon, and if you tell me now it won’t be so bad.”

  “Okay,” she sighed. “I never told you that you were Cooper and Merica but you knew about them. You knew what they could do and although you were sure it would not be you and Blake, I knew someday it would be.

  “You always said that he was like your brother. He was always here. That boy could do no wrong in your eyes. I didn’t know at this stage who was the influencer and who was the victim. It was an equal dash of naughty.”

  We both took a sip of cocoa.

  “Over time he stopped being your brother figure.”

  I could see where she was going with this.

  “Before your fourteenth birthday you got a crow.”

  “A crow?”

  “Yes, I didn’t want to get you a Cammy so you guys sent each other posts by crow.”

  So romantic.

  “He told you about a girl he’d met.”

  I frowned. No, it couldn’t be. “Was her name…Tabitha?”

  “You know her?”

  “Of course I do,” I said. “He ended up with her in my timeline, too.”

  She squinted.

  “Okay go on.”

  “He wanted to bring her to your fourteenth birthday party and that was when you didn’t see him as a brother figure anymore.”

  “I see. Was I disappointed?”

  “You were heartbroken,” she said kindly. “But I gave you some motherly advice. We took the bull by the horns and wrote him back, saying that you had to meet her.”

  “We did?”

  “Of course. I hated Blake so much then. He was a little shit for the way he’d treated you.”

  I laughed. She was on my side. Maybe a little too much so.

  “The night went smoothly. You handled it well, and then Tabitha got drunk and you helped him put her into the SUV. He started to ask you about the cake.”

  My mother filled me in about my birthday cakes. Apparently by the end of the night, I misread the signs and kissed him. He didn’t feel the same way.

  I cringed.

  “You never cried as much as you did that day,” she said.

  “It was when I fell for him,” I said softly.

  “Yes.” She sighed. “You slept like a rock and that night I was woken up by the tapping of the crow on your window. He’d sent a crow. I read the letter. I know that I shouldn’t have but I couldn’t help it.”

  I took another sip. “What did it say?”

  “It’s in the box. I gave it to you when you found out.”

  “How did I find out?”

  She told me about my sixteenth birthday and a boy named Lee and the whole birthday party incident and ensuing fiasco.

  “What happened?”

  “I caught you guys the night after your birthday in your treehouse.”

  My eyes rose. “Doing what?”

  Her expression was disapproving. “Doing…it. You want me to explain further?”

  I caught her meaning and felt heat rise in my cheeks. “How embarrassing.”

  “I blamed him. He was such a bad influence, Elena.”

  I laughed again. It wasn’t like our lives. Nothing had worked out the same. It was amazing.

  “It was the day you found out about the letters. You two worked out that your crows hadn’t reached one another. He suspected that I had used meta-compulsion because he sometimes compelled animals for party tricks.”

  “You compelled the crow?”

  “Just one, but whichever he came into contact with, well, it spread like a disease.”

  “I have persuasion, too, Mom. I know how it works. I just didn’t think it worked on animals.”

  “Oh, it does, and really well.”

  She sighed. And finished catching me up on the letters. “I know it was wrong. I didn’t think at first. Then after a while I was so deep in it, I didn’t know how to get out of it. But Blake made me so angry.”

  I touched her hand. It didn’t seem malicious, the way she described it at all.

  “I felt so bad. Especially when the darkness got too much. He was so angry at you for not being there like you’d promised.”

  “What do you mean not being there?”

  “Oh, you and Blake had this thing. He could really get dark at times, but when he was with you, it was like it just disappeared.”

  “Seriously?” I was in awe, then I remember how I had tamed the beast during that time I became a dragon myself. In this timeline it was just stronger.

  She smiled. “Now you know why I was so worried, Elena.”

  “I totally get that. And it’s quite funny if you think about it.”

  “Really, you are not mad?”

  “Oh, I think the other Elena would still be livid with you. It’s the Rubicon we are talking about here, Mom.”

  She laughed.

  “But I’m here now, too, so I would just remind her how it was without you, and whisper some wisdom in her ear when we meet.”

  My mother laughed.

  “So tell me everything please. Don’t leave anything out. I’ve been wondering about this for such a long time. What was your life like without me?”

  “You really want to know?”

  “Oh it’s not about want anymore, sweetheart. I need to know.”

  I laughed and sighed.

  “Where do I even begin?”

  “Easy. Start with what your life was like on the other side.”

  Adrienne Woods has been writing the past seven years.

  Her debut novel, Firebolt, became an international bestselling novel. Followed by Thunderlight, Frostbite, Moonbreeze, and Starlight. Moonbeam is the first in the Beam Series, a spin-off series from The Dragonian Series.

  She has another series called Dream Casters.

  She dabbles in many other genres under different pen names. To find out more about Adrienne Woods, visit her at www.authoradriennewoods.com

  Want to know what Elena’s life was like with out her mother then read the Dragonian series.

 


 

  Adrienne Woods, Moonbeam

 


 

 
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