Lessons were aborted for the rest of the week to give time to Fiona and Calvin to catch up. It turned out that he had been homeless for only a few months until a kind childless couple adopted him. They had treated him as their own and even sent him to school. Up until only a month ago, Clavin had heard nothing of his sister. Uncle Glover had sent the couple a letter asking if they would give up the boy to come live with his newly found sister.
And here he was.
Words couldn't describe the joy radiated from the mansion. Everyone was happy. Even the usually depressed Glover seemed in high spirits. Fiona thought all of these things over as she sat at her desk, painting a rose blue as Edith had taught her.
A knock at the door startled her out of her thoughts. \"Come in.\" She called.
Uncle Glover popped his head in. \"My dear, a word?\"
She nodded, smiling pleasantly. The man slipped in and plopped down on the stool in front of the window. \"You really pleased me yesterday.\" He began, a wide grin on his face. \"I didn't have much faith that you would come around, but you proved me wrong. Why now?\"
Fiona knew he was talking about her finally coming out of her shell. She pursed her lips, gathering the correct words. Nobody had ever heard her story before. She paused, then began slowly. \"When my mum died, I suppose I felt like I had no one to love. My father did away with me, and my brother was left to fend for himself on the streets after nanny Annabeth died. But anyways, I felt so worthless. I felt like nobody cared enough, so I started caring little for people.... I heard it once said that you should only give your time and thought to those worth giving it to... I felt like nobody at the orphanage was worth it, so I never spoke to them. The girls were horrid, the headmaster worse. But then I came here.... To you and Edith. I suppose now I feel... I feel like I have a purpose. I'm loved. I myself haven't loved in years, Uncle. Not until yesterday. I realize that you do want to help me. Us. Calvin and I. You are worth my time and thought. I know this all sounds extremely selfish, but it IS difficult to put into words...\"
He nodded. Mr. Conners sat in silence, staring out the window into the distant woods. \"I understand what you mean. I've felt that pain before.\"
Fiona cocked her head, curious.
He caught the look in her eye and began his story. \"When I was a lad, I had a childhood friend name Valentia. A beautiful girl: long blonde hair, piercing blue eyes. A tomgirl- we played together out in the fields for hours, rode horses, had races. We loved each other as brother and sister until we got older. We fell deeply in love. Her parents and mine had been best friends for years, But our fathers got into an argument that caused our families to go separate ways.... Me and Valentia were 16 when her family moved away 10 miles down the coast. I would ride down there at least once a week to see her. We planned to elope. Your father, my brother, found out about it, and being older, didn't see fit that our plan should go through. They were going to stop us no matter what. We were riding back into town-\"
Glover cut off shaking his head furiously. Fiona swallowed the lump in her throat and allowed the story to seep in. He took a deep breath and went on, \"we were coming back in when we were ambushed... My father thought that it was Velentia's brothers coming to get me. They shot at us - hit us both.\" He rolled up his left shirt sleeve to reveal a massive scar going up his forearm. \"Pa got me here.\"
Fiona gazed at her uncle, whose eyes were full of misery.
\"They killed her, didn't they?\" She whispered.
He nodded, as if in trance. \"I held her until her heart stopped beating. She would have died, even if I could have gotten her to a doctor. Right through the lungs. I watched as my love suffocated from her own blood.\" His grip tighten on the window sill. Fiona's eyes glistened with tears. \"She was only 18. So much life to be lived...\"
There was a deathly silence as the two watched the last of the sunlight fading away. An hour passed before another question came up.
\"What did you do?\"
Glover sighed. \"I left. I hated them both, my brother and father. I thought I could never forgive them. I made my way out to London, worked in a factory. I eventually found out that Pa had died, and left me money. A big chunk too. I guess he felt bad for what he had done. So I bought this place and moved in. I haven't left in over 5 years now. I used to pay Edith to come in from town and clean, but eventually I just gave her a room and she stuck around. She didn't have any family either. All dead in an earthquake back in '35.\"
Fiona took thought to her next question. She wasn't sure whether the answer would be pleasant or not. \"Is that why you couldn't take me in? You were still upset with my papa?\"
Glover looked at her and took her hand in his own. \"I was still too angry to, yes. And I was dealing with some... other things. I thought that any offspring of my brother must have been the devil himself.\" He smiled. \"I wish I knew then how wrong I was. I've taken you in as a recompense, so to say. To make up for those years wasted in hated. Im glad of that choice now. We both have fresh starts. New adventures awaiting us. And what with your brother here now... We're one big family.\"
With that, He bid her a goodnight's rest and left her to ponder the stories just told. After readying herself for bed, Fiona peeked out the window. The full moon was rising up. Everything was illuminated, Including the figure of a boy with a funny hat, not 100 yards off down below. This was the third time this week she had seen him out in the yard or woods. He was watching them. Why, she didn't know. But she intended on finding out.
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