Chapter 35: Ethan
A loud explosion noise woke us all up, except Zoey, still crashed out on the other couch. I would've fallen off the couch, but turns out I was sleeping on the floor anyway, which, by the way, is not as bad as the movies make it out to be. "Wha- What was that?" I yelled, not noticing Ava, who was apparently yelling the exact same thing.
We didn't hear any reply to our question, so we both got up and walked around the inn - I remembered what had happened to the Rogers, and how Zoey had killed them by throwing a knife at each one of them, so I wasn't expecting to see them at all. But I didn't see Mark, I only saw Zoey, sleeping on the couch. When we walked around we saw in a bedroom, twin beds with Elidi on one and Ravi on the other, both curled up, sleeping. Ava and I continued to look for Mark, when he popped up behind us.
"Sorry about that, we had the bomb go off, I didn't realize it'd be that loud. I just checked down there, half the stairs to the basement are completely destroyed, so there's no going down there anymore. How was sleeping?"
I yawned. "Alright. Wait, you mean you didn't get any?"
Mark shook his head, "I figured I should probably just pull an all nighter to make sure the Gaurdians were alright. They should be fine, waking in a few hours. They should be just fine." He wiped his hands on his shirt like it was nothing, like a cool guy would, and I watched Ava to see how she was reacting, only she was clearly trying not to notice.
"Shouldn't you be at work?" She asked, still not looking at Mark, her foot tapping. Ava's foot tapping was never a good sign - it meant she was frustrated with something, usually a perosn, and sometimes frustrated with herself.
"I went there this morning, explained what happened, and Christopher -" Mark choked on that name "- said that I could ahve as many days off as I needed, in order to help you guys. So long story short, I'm going to help you guys, no matter what it takes."
"Awesome!" I exclaimed.
"NO!" Ava almost yelled, only to remember that Elidi, Ravi, and Zoey were still sleeping. "I mean, that won't be necessary. At all."
Mark looked startled. "What do you mean? I'd be more than happy to let you guys stay here, now that I'm in charge of the inn, no cost, at all, I could go with you guys to help get the rest of the Gaurdians..."
Ava suddenly seemed to have an epiphany. "Wait." She said, her eyes widening. "You said you went to the bakery in the morning. What time is it now?"
Mark looked at the clock behind us. "Three in the afternoon, why, you guys gotta be somewhere?"
Ava's eyes widened even more, if that was even possible. She turned to me. "Ethan," She muttered, worry written all over her face, "the information. We need it."
I realized what the heck she was talking about. "Oh my gosh, you're right." We needed the secret ingredient. But... The Rogers were gone. No one.... "Mark." I said, turning to the last possible person I would have wanted help from, "you're the only one alive that might know the recipe to those cake pops that the Rogers used to make. We need it. That's what we came back here for yesterday... Do you know the ingredient?"
Mark thought a long time, too long for comfort. Maybe, just maybe, this guy would know the ingredient so that we wouldn't have nothing to work with. "Why do you guys need it?" He asked, still with a thinking face. It seemed as though he asked us that literally just to buy himself time.
I sighed, trying to remember. "Because.. because... We need information from the baker Kenny across town, but he'll only give the information to us if we can get him a pay raise. But Benny will ony give him a pay raise if we could get the brownie recipe from the bakery you work at, but Christophere - sorry - would only give us the recipe if we have the secret ingredient. Please remember."
Mark thought a while longer. Then he snapped his fingers. "Oh I've got it. It was lemon zest. Simple, I know, but they told me that everything was better with lemon zest, that was their reply when I asked them why they were adding the zest to the cake pops we were making."
I smiled. "Oh, thanks so much, take care of Elidi, Ravi, and Zoey for us would you? Ava and I will be right back okay?" Mark nodded, and I'm sure he was about to say something else, but by that time Ava and I were already out the door.