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A Life Again

Chapter 2 Taylan Present World: Airus

I gather mom, Ashlea, and Saydira to the table in the kitchen of the main house. Little Sid is out riding one of the horses and it's probably a good thing because young ears often hear things that aren't intended for them. Jodis is given a welcome but confused greeting from my sisters and Mom and I decide that it is best that I take a back seat and let my older sister Saydira and Mom lead the discussion.

My mom, Nafeeza starts, "Jodis don't take this the wrong way, but I don't think any of us understand your cause for being here and why you are alarmed?"

Jodis swallows slowly. I see her slender neck complete the motion. She explains, "I get it. You know that I served your imposter King Wolfrim, and I knew he had his own agenda, but I never thought so much death would happen that day. I didn't think it would happen like that." Jodis pauses to gather her thoughts as though she is pondering how to form her next sentences. She gages our reactions with her large brown eyes and continues, "You know that I took no sides, I have a great love and friendship with Rosaleen, and I also had an obligation to serve my king. He wasn't evil like you all said he was." She runs a slender hand nervously through her wavy long hair.

My mother replies, "My family never knew him like you did, but Jodis none of us understand. You traveled all this way after he is dead for what?"

Jodis already looks defeated before she even answers and knowing how she is, a very mysterious woman, I am not sure if she is acting to convince us that she is feeling this way or if she really is this way? "I, I, I used to be sure of myself, confident and proud of where I lived and who I served. I played hard and loved passionately and now I have no king and a friend who is blinded by lies." Jodis turns to leave, walking to the door. Saydira follows her down the hall, catching up to her and touches her shoulder. Jodis turns around.

Saydira says, "Please, it's not that we are against you or don't want to hear what you have to say we are just trying to understand." Saydira reaches for her hand and continues, "Please, we want to know and don't take our questioning and lack of understanding as an insult."

Jodis's sun kissed skin flushes. She seems angered, by what I am not sure. She speaks quickly, saying, "Newlyn has everyone fooled even her daughter." She exits, slamming the door. Saydira is left in the doorway not knowing what to do.

Mom calls out, "Let her cool off." Saydira is a little uneasy and returns to the kitchen. Mom continues, "There was nothing more any of us could have done. She's upset."

Ashlea pipes in, "Sid has been out for a while Saydira. Let's go see where that little rascal ended up?" Ashlea leads the way, Saydira follows and then it's just Mom and me in the house.

"Mom, everyone lies, and they all seem to know it. I don't understand why Jodis is emotional. The imposter had dark secrets and so did Rosaleen, and I am not surprised if Newlyn was also keeping some dark lie." Mom leans over the kitchen counter deep in thought saying nothing and I take the opportunity and continue, "Izavelle even warned me once that things are not always what it seems." My blue eyes meet her green eyes.

Mom explains, "We are not in any danger as long as we continue our duties. There is no reason why we need to tickle Jodis' ideas. Maybe once a little time has passed and she has a moment to cool off we can approach and talk some reason into her. Whatever is eating her up it's too late to reconcile. Her lover is dead."

"Yes, I get that; I'll go with the other two, to look for Sid." I leave my mom in the kitchen and exit the front of the house knowing that I should go help the others and look for Sid. Jodis is nowhere to be seen. I decide to walk to the barn, that's likely where Sid would be after a ride. The barn is empty when I arrive. The other horses are still out to pasture. There is only the light warm breeze coming from the fields that occupy the barn. Sid should be back by now. Saydira and Ashlea must be on their way to collect the horses. That's where I'll go next.

I walk down the path that leads to the pasture. My sisters are walking towards me, each leading a horse.

Ashlea hollers, "Did you find him?"


As we meet Saydira explains, "We are going to saddle up and keep looking. You want to come?"

"Yes, I'll get another two horses and maybe Mom will join us." By the time I walk back to the barn Ashlea and Saydira's horses are already equipped and they are just about to lead them out. I tell them, "Go on ahead, you're taking the regular trail route, right?"

Saydira answers, "Yes"

"Okay, then I will start on the other end of the trail and meet you in the middle."

Saydira nods and replies, "Okay Taylan see you soon." The two of them mount their horses and walk towards the open gate leading to the fields. I lead a pair of horses out front to the house after saddling them, one of them is Sitrus's black horse. Mom is waiting on the porch.

"Would you like to join me to help look?" I ask.

She shakes her head saying, "No go ahead, I will wait here and keep an eye open in case he makes his way back on his own."

I am about to lead the extra horse to the barn when a voice murmurs, "I would like to join you if you don't mind?" It is Jodis and I feel some relief in the fact that she seems to have cooled off from earlier.

I answer, "I could use the company and would be happy if you came." She mounts the horse, getting into the saddle and we walk along the parameter of the property around the water and after around tree line. The discussion is all search related between the two of us but eventually fades into something else by Jodis' doing.

"I know you don't take my information seriously but know that there will be things to come from this."

My soft angled brows furrow as I reply, "Jodis why would you say something like that? You know that we care for you, but you must also understand the situation my family is in. We are the keepers of this property and work for Rosaleen and Newlyn." I glance at her heart shaped face for a reaction, a response, anything.

Jodis shifts her weight in the saddle before answering, "You know that I love Queen Rosaleen, but she is in bad company."

I remember what she said earlier and confirm, "The imposter was truly Rosaleen's father?"

"Precisely" She assures.

"Jodis I am not trying to upset you, but why do we need to know this, and what is it that you want us to do?"

She looks at me, "Taylan, go back to that day when the imposture was murdered and when Sitrus died." She stops and there is a moment of silence. I feel the need to fill the void. Jodis says things and sometimes the silence she creates feels uncomfortable.

"Yes, Jodis I am there and remember what happened."

She says, "Others know the truth." I don't answer. What the hell, how could anyone else know the truth? My family would not have said anything, none of us would have. She is waiting for me to ask and I give into this game or whatever you want to call it.

"How do others know Jodis?"

"I am not sure. I know that they know and that is why I came. You are in danger."

I shake my head in disbelief, "I think you are overreacting."

She shakes her head, uttering, "You will see, others know."

I am not sure how to get anything more from her. Jodis holds mystery and I can't tell, but the only thing I can think of is she may be holding back to some sort of fear that she wishes for it not to be known that she was the one who tipped my family off? I have no clue. All I know is this conversation is going in circles, it has been ever since she first arrived at the house and maybe in time I will understand. We ride along the dirt trails. There are no signs of Sid and we eventually meet up with Saydira and Ashlea on the path that heads into town.

Saydira hollers, "No luck, how about you?" She is referring to finding Sid.

I answer, "Nothing, not even a trace."

The group comes together, and everyone brings their horse to a halt. The next option is to look in town. It's a possibility that he journeyed there but it's not characteristic of him to go without giving the heads up since it is a bit of a journey.

Saydira says what everyone else is thinking, "We should take a look in town." We give our horses a bit of a break and have them go at a walking pace to our destination. We are passed the forest at this point on a path and in the open fields with the ocean at our left and the town up ahead. The large cats and the dire wolves have retreated up into the mountains because the schools of migratory fish have moved on and they are no longer washing up on the rocks. It makes the trip a little duller and the field seems to be a little less lively, quieter with its reliable light breeze blowing in off the ocean. The town grows larger as we approach. I can't put my finger on it, but it feels different, maybe it's that there is less activity in the fields or the fact that Sid has not turned up in our search. Yes, that's it, it is not like Sid to be gone for so long and not to say if his plans were outside of his regular routine. We approach the first buildings of the town, coming up to that solar bike shop that not so long ago Rosaleen and I had visited.

We walk by, on horseback. I glance over at that blue canopy, but I don't see the shopkeeper or any activity inside. We continue passing other shops. I say, "This isn't right." I look over to Jodis and ask, "What is going on?"

Jodis has a solemn expression to her, "I was afraid of this."

"Jodis enough with the games, what has happened here?"

Jodis snaps back at me, "You think I am playing games? You will see that I am not, I don't know what has happened here."

I don't believe her, Ashlea and Saydira are clearly confused and concerned; the town has never been this quiet. We continue to walk down the road which has since changed to cobblestone and the echoes of our horses' hooves clip-clopping on the stones as we continue. The horses know better than us; they all stop, sensing something ahead, ears perked forward and a few nervous snorts from their large round nostrils.

Ashlea speaks abruptly, "We need to turn around!"No one objects to her plea that echoes from building to building and the horsesseem happy and more than willing to make haste for home. The horses want to runbut we hold them back with the reins at a brisk walk. Back down the street wego in the direction that we had come in. We are met with soldiers.