Walking into the house, I step out of my shoes, shut the door behind myself and start toward the stairs to my room.
“Kayla, is that you? Can you come in to the lounge room please?” my mother calls out to me.
“Sure, Mum,” I say, walking into the lounge room, bags still in hand. “Am I in trouble?”
I see my mum sitting in her favourite spot in the lounge. Dad was sitting on the lounger beside her. Looking at them I can see why they fell in love with each other. My mother has long blonde hair, jade green eyes, has a creamy complexion with a couple of freckles on the tip of her nose and is five feet six tall with a slender curvy build. My father has short black hair, topaz blue eyes, a medium athlete’s build and a slightly olive complexion and is six feet two tall. The lounger sits on the left hand side of the room across from the entertainment system, across from the doorway is an open fireplace with a marble mantelpiece on top. On the mantelpiece are my and Steven’s most recent school photos, a photo of Michael and me at our year ten formal, a family photo and a photo from my graduation. I can also smell the vanilla candles that are placed around the room on the mantel and the coffee table.
“No, you aren’t in trouble, we have to tell you some stuff that will be difficult for you to hear,” my father tells me. “I think you should sit down.”
“Okay,” I say sitting down in the recliner near the lounger. “What’s up?”
“First, where is Steven?” Mum asks me.
“He’s with Zoey. They decided to catch up for a bit, organize some formal stuff,” I tell them. “Why?”
“Well, sweetie, because what we’re about to tell you he can’t know about yet,” Dad says. “I think your mum should tell you, I’m no good at this stuff.”
“Okay, tell me what?” I ask, suddenly worried.
“Well as you know, we adopted you when you were only a couple of months old…” Mum says.
“Yes, I know. You told me when I was twelve. What has this got to do with anything?” I ask, slightly confused.
“Well, we told you we couldn’t tell you anything about your biological parents because we didn’t know anything and we said they were long lost friends, well in truth we couldn’t tell you because we were sworn secrecy by spells in place by the royal Council,” my mum says.
“Okay, now I’m really confused. What spells? What are you talking about?” I asked, feeling extremely confused.
“The spells of secrecy that some of our people can do, Kayla, you know you are a succubus but you aren’t just a normal succubus. You’re a princess. You are the last of your bloodline. You’re special,” my mother says.
“Wait. Wait, wait I’m a princess. Why didn’t you tell me before?” I ask in complete shock.
“I’m sorry, I really am, but the royal Succubi and Incubi Council forbid us to tell you until now but you must know that it was for your own safety, we were originally supposed to tell you two weeks before your eighteenth,” Mum says.
“Wait a minute you said that you originally were supposed to tell me two weeks before my eighteenth, so what’s changed for the Council to let you tell me early?” I ask, trying to stay calm. Not that many people can stay calm after they just found out that they’re a princess.
“What changed is we asked for permission to tell you earlier than planned. We told them that was not long enough to get a dress and the crown made or for you to learn multiple dances, it took some convincing, but they agreed to let us tell you earlier than planned,” Dad tells me.
“Can you tell me anything about my parents?” I ask desperate to find out what I can.
“I have a photo hidden in my room. I’ll go get it for you,” My mother says, getting up and heading down the hall.
“So are you and Mum royalty?” I ask, curiosity getting the better of me.
“No, but there is a reason you ended up being with us after your parents passed, you didn’t end up with us by chance,” my father tells me.
I’m about to ask what he means when mum walks back in the room with a couple of photos and an envelope.
“Your mother also wrote a letter to you in case anything should happen to her I could give it to you and hopefully help you understand,” Mum says.
Grabbing the photos and envelope off my mother I suddenly feel drained and need time to myself. “Can I please be excused to my room?” I ask. “I need some time to process this and I would like sometime alone.”
“Well there was some more stuff to tell you but it can wait. We know how hard it is to understand your life just got changed. Just let us know when you want to talk,” Dad tells me.
“Okay, thank you, I’ll let you know when I feel up to talking,” I tell them. I stand up and go to grab my bags to go to my room upstairs. Just as I reach the door I turn around, remembering something that my father told me.
“Dad, what did you mean when you said that there is a reason I ended up with you that it wasn’t by chance?” I ask him.
“That’s part of what we have to tell you. We’ll discuss it tonight. You just go and try to understand what we told you as best as you can, we’ll answer any questions you have then,” my mother tells me. “However you can’t tell anyone about this, okay?”
“Okay, I won’t tell anyone,” I promise my parents. I grab my bags and head upstairs to my room. Once I’m in my room I hang up my dress and flop down on my bed and try not to think about what I was just told. But no matter what I do I can’t stop myself. Questions run through my head a million miles a minute and I know I’m not going to be able to answer any of them myself. The only people who are going to be able to answer are my adoptive parents. I can’t think about this now I need to have a nap maybe than I’ll be able to think more clearly. I think to myself. I move up the bed and snuggle up to my favourite teddy bear, Niall, that Michael gave me for our first anniversary and close my eyes.
Two hours later I’m awoken as someone gently shakes me and whispers my name.
“Kayla, Kayla,” Steven says. I recognize his voice instantly.
“Yeah, Steven,” I say, sounding groggy, sitting up and rubbing sleep from my eyes. “What’s up?”
“Mum sent me to tell you that dinner is nearly ready, and that you need to come downstairs and set the table,” Steven tells me.
“Okay, I’ll be down in a minute,” I tell him.
Steven starts walking to the door then turns around like he forgot something. “Mum also told me to tell you to dress nicely because we have an important guest coming over to meet you tonight. She said you have half an hour to get ready before you come downstairs,” he tells me.
“Okay, tell them I’ll be down soon,” I tell him.
Walking over to my closet, I open it and grab out my favourite turquoise maxi dress. Heading out of the room I grab my makeup case and go to the bathroom I share with Steven. I knock and when I don’t get an answer, I enter. After locking the door I get in the shower and wash myself quickly, making sure to wash my hair with my favourite shampoo. Once done I quickly dry myself and get dressed. Checking the time on the clock we keep in the bathroom, I realize that I have enough time to blow-dry and curl my hair and do some basic makeup. Taking extra care to not make any mistakes, I quickly blow-dry my hair and start to curl it with quick practiced moves. Once I’m finished with my hair, I open my makeup case and looking at the organized items I grab out a couple of carefully selected items and start applying them with the skill of someone who does it a lot. Looking at myself in the mirror once I’m done, I think how much better I’ve got at doing hair and makeup lately.
Walking back to my room, I find Steven sitting on my bed waiting for me. “Mum sent me up to see what was taking you so long,” he tells me. “She says you have to be downstairs to welcome the guest. And she told to emphasize the 'have' strongly.”
“Okay I’ll be down in a minute, I just have to get my shoes and put my makeup back. And she did say I have to look nice and beauty takes time,” I tell him. “Hey, wait, she said I had to welcome them?” I ask, suddenly feeling nervous after what I found out about myself earlier. It could be anyone.
“Yeah, she said that whoever it is has to talk to you about important stuff. She also said that I can’t ask any questions and to only talk when talked too. Can you tell me what’s going on 'cause when I asked, I got told that it’s not important for me to know just yet?” He asks me.
“Steven, I don’t even know what’s going on myself, I didn’t even know that we had a guest coming until you told me. So I’m sorry but I can’t tell you what’s going on because I don’t even know what’s going on,” I tell him as I put away my makeup case and put on my favourite vanilla perfume.
“How could you not know if they’re here to talk to you?” he asks.
“I don’t know, Steven, I’m serious. I only found out when you told me and before you ask, I have no idea what it is they want to talk to me about,” I say walking over to my closet to grab my shoes and put them on. “Come on, I have to go set the table.”
Walking into the kitchen, I go to the cupboard that has the plates. “No, darling, not those we’ll be using the good china tonight. Steven, help your sister get them down,” Mum says to us.
“Okay, Mum,” I say heading to the china cabinet in the dining room. Steven opens the cabinet and starts passing out the good china plates to me while I start setting the table the way I was taught to set it from a young age.
Just as I’m about to start placing the cutlery, Mum calls out to me. “Kayla, could you come here for a minute I need your help?”
“Sure, Mum, be there in a second,” I say sticking the forks in my hand on the table. “Steven, can you finish for me please?”
“Sure, Sis,” he says as I walk to the kitchen.
“Yeah mum?” I ask as I walk in to the kitchen. “What did you need my help with?”
“I don’t need your help I need to talk to you quickly. Tonight the person who is our guest is here to talk to you about your royal status. It’s important that when she walks in the door you be the one to greet her,” she starts to tell me. “When you greet her she will curtsy to you and call you Princess. However if you don’t wish for her to call you that, tell her that and she won’t call you that. Have you got any questions?” she asks.
“I have two. Why do I have to greet her?” I ask curiously.
“You must greet her because of your status and because she is a succubus like you from the royal Council, but she isn’t royal,” she tells me. “Now what is your second question?”
“Who is coming? I mean what is her name?” I ask, wanting to have my bearings for when she arrives.
“Her name is Kate, now that I’ve told you that, can you help me put this on the serving trays please,” she says, indicating the roasting tray full of vegetables.
Grabbing the serving tray and tongs I start putting the roast vegetables on the tray. Once they are loaded up I carry the tray out to the table and walk back to kitchen to see Mum putting the gravy in the gravy boat. I see the chicken on its serving tray and go to grab it just as the doorbell rings.
“Go and answer the door quickly, it’s rude to make a guest wait,” Mum says, seeing me standing near the kitchen bench. “And don’t forget what I told you.”
Walking down the hall feels like I’m walking a mile. I’m nervous about what this lady has to tell me. Reaching the door I grab the handle, take a deep breath and open the door.