Hethurin Fairsong left the note in the bedroom, on the table near the fireplace. Terellion would be able to find it easily if he needed to, and if he didn’t need to, then Hethurin would be back in time to dispose of it and tell him where he went for lunch in person. He wasn’t really hungry again, but no doubt the person whom he planned to see today would try to feed him. He hadn’t ate breakfast either, so maybe he’d be able to force something down.
He cast his teleport and appeared outside the house he wished to visit today along one of the fancier avenues of the city. There was a gate in front. Hethurin frowned. He didn’t remember there being a front gate before when his mother dragged him along for visits with her sister. He could teleport to the other side, but now he saw someone approaching. It was a private guard, hired by the family to watch the gate. Hethurin recalled seeing him before.
“Sanimir Lightmist!” the guard smiled as he began to unlock the gate. “It’s been ages since you’ve come to visit. Come in. Come in!”
Hethurin twitched an ear at the use of his old name, but stepped up the walkway as he was let in. He heard the man locking the gate behind him. “I’ve come to visit my mother. Is she available to see me?”
“I’m sure she’ll be thrilled to know that you’re here. Come this way, please.”
The guard led him inside and to a sitting room. Hethurin knew there was more than one, and that this one was more of a visitor’s waiting room more than anything else. He sat and waited.
After a few minutes he heard someone approaching quickly. He looked up just as his mother appeared in the doorway. “Sanimir! You’re really here!” She ran to him, her arms open and outstretched, and embraced him.
Hethurin had little choice but to allow himself to be hugged. He decided he did have a choice of whether or not to hug her back. He didn’t. He twitched his ear again at use of his old name, and looked towards the hallway she had come from. There was someone else there now.
“Oh, have you met Bailas Morningray yet? Of course you haven’t. You’ve only just arrived, and it’s been months since I last saw you. You really should visit more often, dear. Anyway, this is Bailas. He was here to clean the pool one day. I convinced him to stay. Bailas, this is my son, Sanimir.”
Hethurin twitched an ear, “Hi. You can call me Hethurin.” He looked at the man a bit unsure of what else to say. He was young, handsome, and muscular. There was no doubt in Hethurin’s mind that he was only seeing his mother for her money.
The man nodded in greeting. Before he could say anything, Verisna asked, “Are you still using that name?”
“Yes, mother. I don’t intend to stop.”
His mother smiled, a reaction that Hethurin wasn’t expecting. “Your poor father. Not only does he know his name ends with you, but the Lightmists will be known as poor farmers when they’re all gone. Rather amusing, don’t you think?” A satisfied smile stayed on her face for a moment before she spoke again, changing the subject. “We were about to have lunch on the patio. Come, there’s enough for you too.”
Hethurin followed his mother and her friend to the patio behind the house. His mother poured an extra glass of wine and set it in front of him.
“You know you could teach here. Some of the Silvermoon schools are looking for more teachers. You could even stay here with us if you wanted. You don’t have to stay out in the Ghostlands to teach.”
“I like the Ghostlands.”
“But it must get so boring having to do all the administrative work as well. If you taught here in Silvermoon, someone else would take care of that for you.”
“I like doing my own work.”
His mother frowned and sipped her wine. “Certainly, it’s easier to live here in the city. You have all that you need close by.”
“I can teleport.” Hethurin reached for some bread. “Actually, I came here to talk to you about some things Sanimir did.”
His mother looked at him. He looked at his mother’s friend.
“Bailas, love, perhaps you could go check with the cook to make sure the meal is done on time.”
“Of course.” He stood and leaned to kiss Verisna before going.
Hethurin sat in his chair and cringed while trying not to look. After he left, Hethurin asked, “How old is he? He can’t be over 100.”
His mother shrugged and sipped her wine. “You really should stay here. Maybe then you’d learn how mature he is. What was it you came to talk about?”
Hethurin decided to go ahead with why he was here, and forget about Bailas. “Okay, I have confessions.”
His mother raised a brow.
“A lot of times, when I was little, I would drop dishes and break them, by mistake, but I’d blame my sisters, and that wasn’t by mistake. I did that because I could get away with it.”
“I’m not worried about some old dishes, Sanimir.”
“That’s not all. Once I was running around the table in the dining room, and Aranae was with me, and we were just playing. I pulled the table cloth by accident, and broke a vase on the table. That vase had flowers that Nessna had just gathered for you from the woods, and you were mad, and I felt really bad, but I blamed Aranae and you believed me.”
“That vase used to be your grandmother’s. I remember that. You broke it?”
“It always was an ugly vase.”
Hethurin frowned, “Once I saved a mouse from a cat outside, and I brought the mouse inside and I was going to keep it, but it got away. I don’t know where it went.”
His mother paled and stared at him for a moment before taking another sip of her wine. She put the wine glass down. “Thankfully, I’ve moved.”
“I don’t think mice live that long, mother.”
“Another time I climbed a cabinet and it tipped over and fell on me. Esladra saved me, but the cabinet was broken and a bunch of the things that fell out of the cabinet broke. You came to see what the noise was, and I told you that Esladra did it. I had a couple of scrapes from it and she pointed those out, but then I said that she did that just to make it look like me, and you believed me.”
“What is your point with all of this?”
“Another time, you left Vallindra to watch me, and she was supposed to give me supper while you and father went out. She did, but she didn’t let me do other things I wanted to do, like walk on furniture and jump on my bed, so I told you that she didn’t feed me, and you believed me.”
“My name is Hethurin. However, someone named Sanimir showed up at the school a few weeks ago and dropped off a kid named Vaildor. He was my alternate self from another timeline. He kidnapped Vaildor from our timeline and left a dead baby in his place. He was raising him in another timeline and now he’s a teenager and staying with Lani.”
“I know some people you could talk to. You need help. You need to stay. I’ll take care of everything.”
“No. That was the last one. I have to go.” Hethurin cast his teleport back to the school.