Dad leaned back in his chair, and I could feel his eyes on me even though I was looking at my plate.
“Well?” he prompted. “Would you like to tell me what happened? I hear he had something urgent to tell you.”
I wasn’t eager to tell Dad about what happened. But I also wasn’t eager to get killed, so not telling Dad about it probably was a bad idea. I took a gulp of water to help wash the chicken down, then composed myself as best I could.
“On the night that Ethan and Kimber rescued me from Aunt Grace, we were attacked by Spriggans.” Fae reserve or not, Dad gasped softly. “Kimber thought they were after Ethan because he’s so powerful. But Ethan thinks they were after me.”
I had left so much out you could drive a truck through all the holes in my story. Don’t ask me why I didn’t spill the beans about Ethan’s role in the attack. I was hurt enough to want to hurt him back, but some instinct made me hold back.
From the look on Dad’s face, I could tell he knew I wasn’t telling him the whole story. I tensed for the ensuing interrogation, but he surprised me by letting it slide.
He sighed hugely and pushed his plate aside. “I suppose I’ve put this off as long as I could,” he said. “It’s time to talk about your status as a Faeriewalker.”
“You say that as if you know I am one.” I hadn’t said a word about it to him, figuring I’d avoid the whole topic until he brought it up.
He smiled wryly. “It became fairly obvious once I brought you home. You haven’t even glanced out that front window yet. Most people immediately comment on the view, and it was a sunny day today.”
“Maybe I’m afraid of heights.”
His eyes narrowed. “Don’t be coy.” He didn’t quite snap at me, but there was definitely annoyance in his voice. “You can see into Faerie.”
I shrugged. Being coy, I guess. It was almost like if I didn’t admit it out loud, it wasn’t actually true.
“And Ethan and his Underground have explained to you what this means?” he prodded.
Another shrug. “To tell you the truth, it doesn’t seem like that big a deal to me. Not big enough for all this drama.”
“Then you haven’t thought about it enough.” He was still pissed at me, though I wasn’t sure exactly why. “How well do you know history?”
The question startled me. I had no idea what it had to do with the conversation. “Let’s just say it’s not my favorite subject at school,” I answered, because let’s face it, history classes are boring, boring, boring.
“Typical American,” Dad muttered under his breath. “Have you heard of Richard III?”
I gave him an exasperated look. “I said it wasn’t my favorite subject, not that I’m completely ignorant.”
“Richard III took the throne when his brother, Edward IV, died. But what he is most famous for is his possible murder of the Princes in the Tower, his brother’s sons.”
“Like I said, not completely ignorant.” I couldn’t say I knew much more about it than what Dad had said so far, but I was finding his tone somewhat condescending.
His eyes were like blue spears impaling me, and I gathered he wasn’t used to being talked back to. He was going to have to get used to it if I stuck around. Still, that stare was intimidating enough that I felt myself sinking down into my chair.
“Whether Richard killed those boys or not has been a subject of great debate among historians.”
He paused, waiting for me to make a smart comment, ready to jump down my throat if I did. I kept my mouth shut, still wondering what this had to do with Faeriewalkers.
“At that time, Avalon was under mortal control, ruled by the kings of England. It was a time of great strife for the Crown, as the houses of York and Lancaster fought over the throne. It was known as the Wars of the Roses, and it went on for more than thirty years. The Fae took sides in the conflict, the Seelie favoring York and the Unseelie favoring Lancaster.” He flashed me a smile I might have called bitter. “Remember what I told you about how the Fae don’t change. The Seelie to this day wear the white rose of York, and the Unseelie still wear the red rose of Lancaster.
“The Unseelie single-handedly destroyed the house of York by kidnapping the Princes in the Tower and leaving Richard holding the bag, as it were. Because he was suspected of killing those children, he was never able to fully secure the throne, and when he was killed in battle, the crown passed to the house of Lancaster.”
Okay, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to realize where Dad was going with this. Obviously, a Faeriewalker had been involved in there somehow, but I didn’t understand how. I frowned in concentration.
“So there’s some kind of spell that can make people just disappear? And a Faeriewalker carried it to the Tower of London and made the kids go poof?”
“No. The Unseelie Fae sent a Faeriewalker and an Unseelie Knight into the mortal world. The Knight cast a series of confusion spells that allowed them to infiltrate the Tower and gain access to the Princes.”
“Wait a minute!” I said, sitting up straighter. “I thought Faeriewalkers could just carry magic into the mortal world. They can actually bring people?”
Dad nodded. “There is an aura of Fae magic that clings to Faeriewalkers. If the Fae is careful to stay within the Faeriewalker’s aura, then he—or she—can enter the mortal world, with all his magic intact. Just as the Faeriewalker can bring mortals into Faerie with working technology.”