|Posted by Christie V Powell on|
This is a flashback from young Reid's point of view, which appears in https://www.amazon.com/Spectra-Undaunted-Keitas-Wings-Book-ebook/dp/B08B2Y1D3P" target="_blank">The Spectra Undaunted:
As soon as the nurses left his room, Reid hobbled to his feet. Putting any weight on his leg hurt, but the gaps in the brick wall gave him a place to grip. He reached the door and peered out. Nothing but paintings. Luckily, the rooms were in age order, so Teague’s was closest. He intended to slip inside the room, but his half-walk, half-fall was anything but smooth.
Teague sat upright in bed, a heavy book in his lap. His arm was wrapped in bandages, and his face was white and empty. Reid meant to change that.
“What happened to you?” Teague asked dully.
“I was trying to balance on a ball. And balance another on my head. And I fell off. My leg’s hurt, but it’s not that bad. Nurse says I’ll be fine.”
“Was this a bet, by chance?”
“Yep! And I won, too. I didn’t fall off until after Griffin counted to ten. So he has to take me across the lake in a boat, and you’re going to come.”
Teague snatched his book against his chest. “I certainly am not!”
“Come on!” Reid said. “You can’t stay in bed forever. The accident was months ago!”
“It has been exactly thirty-two days,” Teague said. “The nurse said I don’t have to get up until I’m ready.”
“Brian says it’d be good for you to get out. He even agreed to come with us. And Tide has to come to manage the boat. See? We’d all be together! Mom wouldn’t want you to live your whole life in bed.”
Teague sighed, and then hopped out of bed. Reid noticed that he had no trouble despite his so-called injury. Good thing too, because Reid needed to lean on his shoulder to walk out to the lake.
Griffin had the boat in the water by the time Teague and Reid joined them. The older three brothers seemed to be arguing. “My escort doesn’t know where I am,” Brian was saying. “I try to keep them happy. Being the heir, you know...”
“You’re just as mortal as the rest of us,” Griffin interrupted.
Brian talked over him. “It’ll have to be a quick trip.”
Reid peered across Starbound Lake. The water stretched to forever. “We have to go all the way across,” he said. “Tide wants to be near his girlfriend.”
Tide showed no emotion. “Marsha lives two hundred miles from here.”
Teague’s eyes finally showed some sign of life as he elbowed Brian. “We might see Sprites on the Merlandia side.”
“Brian has a Sprite girlfriend?” Reid asked, delighted. Tide was becoming desensitized to teasing. Brian was fresh meat.
“He wishes he did,” Teague said.
Reid turned to Griffin, hoping for back-up, but his older brother was examining the boats. “I brought two boats, but the second is all rotted. It looks like it’s been burned.”
Reid tried to look innocent. “We can all cram in one, can’t we?”
Brian and Teague were staring at him. Of course, they could sense guilt no matter how innocent he looked.
Somehow they reached the other side. The brothers began climbing trees. Reid waited until all four were busy. Then he returned to the boat and shoved it back into the lake. Once it was far enough, Reid pointed again. He couldn’t see the resulting fire at the bottom, but he knew he’d gotten through the wood when the boat tipped. Soon it disappeared beneath the waves.
“Hey!” Brian called from the top of his tree. “The boat!”
The four brothers joined Reid on the bank. “Now what?” Tide demanded.
“Easy,” Griffin said. “We find a Sprite and ask her to turn into a whale and carry us across.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” Tide said. “This is fresh water. Whales need salt.”
Reid didn’t bother to hide his guilt. “I guess we’ll have to walk.”
Four pairs of eyes turned toward him. “What did you do?” Brian demanded.
“I lost the boat. We’ll have to walk. It’s a two-day trip, I think.”
“You conniving nutcase!” Griffin yelled.
“What if the people who attacked Mom find us?” Brian added.
Reid ignored them. They were going to be together for at least two days, just like his mother had wanted. He didn’t know how he was going to keep them together after this, but he’d find a way. Reid kept his promises.
Read more about Reid and his family in https://www.amazon.com/Spectra-Undaunted-Keitas-Wings-Book-ebook/dp/B08B2Y1D3P" target="_blank">The Spectra Undaunted.