“Move your smelly feet away, gross!”
“There isn’t exactly a lot of room in the car, Sera!”
“I still don’t understand why we couldn’t get two cars from the airport… Aunt Peyton and uncle Grady are in a separate one…”
“Yeah but theirs was a convertible, duh!”
“Stop pretending you know stuff about cars just because you’re a guy, Vito!”
“Well I know that you couldn’t fit more than two people in that car…”
“Aren’t you the smartest…”
“Now then, stop the bickering,” Pauline interrupted. “We’re on holiday, why start it with an argument?”
“Start? She’s been in a right mood since that talk in the new lounge,” Vito protested, glaring at Seraphina angrily.
Carly let out a loud sigh. What a nightmare was this holiday going to be… The family packed for Windenburg before any of the siblings had a chance to fully take in the implications of Pauline’s decision to pass the legacy on to all of them.
She understood the reasoning. Her parents probably thought that getting away from Newcrest would change everyone’s focus and make Seraphina forget about her disappointment. But Carly knew her sister better than that. Nothing would make Seraphina forget that she was not the chosen one.
Still, as the car approached the beautiful old mansion they would be staying in for the next week, Carly couldn’t help but feel a twinge of excitement. They would all be starting high school after this summer and the trip to Windenburg seemed like a perfect way to make a clean slate.
Then of course, the last time the family visited Windenburg for Peyton’s wedding, they all got in trouble for following that angelic looking boy, Louis, into the maze. And Hallie hadn’t been a part of the family then… oh how things change.
Carly set off exploring as soon as they parked. Ten minutes in the car with Seraphina was more than enough. Time to get away properly!
Leaving the house and her family behind, she couldn’t shake those memories of their last time in Windenburg. She didn’t want to think about Hallie’s parents… gosh, this trip must be hard for Hallie… Stop!
Luckily, the stunning water fall she came across took her mind off Hallie’s tragic story. Windenburg was so beautiful. That little blonde boy didn’t know how lucky he was.
She wondered what the boy looked like now. He really did seem like an angel back then, with those long locks…
Carly turned bright red. Good job she was alone.
Composing herself, she turned her attention to her surroundings. With an old place like Windenburg, who knew what was below the surface?
“Looking for a treasure?”
She jumped up. No need to panic. The newcomer was just a boy her age. Actually, he seemed rather familiar. But it couldn’t be…
“Hang on, I know you,” the boy exclaimed.
“And I know you! From aunt Peyton’s wedding! Your name is Louis, isn’t it?”
If only he knew she was just thinking about him… The angelic boy… Carly half contemplated the urge to dig herself into the ground. But the other half felt like singing and dancing. Was this destiny?
“Yep, I’m Louis,” he nodded. “And you’re the scaredy cat.” He continued with a laugh.
“I can’t believe you remember that,” Carly giggled. She never giggled. What was going on with her?
“Ah well, I got in tons of trouble for making you gullible lot go into the maze,” Louis shrugged. “My mom was super peeved off. And she’s usually really chill. So it’s something I can’t forget all that easily.”
The pair of them were so excited about the unexpected reunion they didn’t even notice Vito joining them. Vito knew arguments made Carly uncomfortable, and he felt guilty about confronting Sera in the car earlier. She was too easy of a target. But Carly never approved of taunting her on purpose.
“Just wanted to check if you were ok, sis?” He stopped in his track. “Oh. Hey.”
“You won’t believe who I found!” Carly turned to her brother, excited. “Remember the long-haired boy from aunt Peyt’s wedding?”
“Oh yeah! Where’s your hair?”
“Well, it was my parents who wanted me to have long hair. Now I do what I want,” Louis grinned conspicuously.
“I didn’t get the impression you couldn’t do whatever you wanted in the first place,” Vito laughed.
“Probably, compared to you lot! The only one of you that had guts was your other sister,” Louis teased.
“You’re welcome to Sera if you want her,” Vito replied with a nudge.
“Nah I’m good,” Louis chuckled.
You can count on your brother to kill a romantic reunion, that’s for sure, Carly thought.
“So what are you guys doing in Windenburg anyway? And how long are you around for?”
“Vacationing as a happy family unit, of course,” Vito rolled his eyes.
“I can imagine!”
“I’ve gotta dash now, but we should hang while you’re here. Make the family holiday less boring, you know,” Louis grinned.
“That would be cool,” Vito agreed. “Wouldn’t it, Carly?”
“Yeah! I mean… I guess so,” Carly dropped her gaze to her toes awkwardly.
“Sweet!” Louis smiled graciously.
“We’ll bring Hallie along too,” Vito added. “She lives with us now, you know.”
“Oh yeah, I’ve heard.” Louis paused with a brief frown. “Well… Feel free to bring the feisty one along to spice things up too.”
“Careful what you wish for,” Vito said with a smirk. “But sure.”
“See you soon!” Carly’s voice flew up.
“Can you believe it?” Carly enthused after Louis had left. “I thought we’d never see him again!”
“Small world,” Vito smiled. “Though I think his parents know our mom, so we probably would have come across him again.”
“I’m kind of sad he cut off all his hair,” Carly trailed off. “The long hair suited him. I mean, he looked nice with it. I mean…” Oh boolprop, she cursed herself.
“Yeah, you’re right.” Vito nodded. To Carly’s surprise, he didn’t seem to make a big deal out of her remark. That was close…
*The holiday home is the amazing Moonsight Manor built by Simproved and Vihisha and can be downloaded here.