Nathan waited. And waited. And waited. Still no answer. “Alice?” He called, not sure whether to barge in or be the angel his mother had wanted him to be all his life. He decided the second one. “Alice, it’s past nine and you’ve got to come out.” He tried another technique. “I know you’re in there…”
He barged in, frowning when he saw everything empty. Ava barked and Nathan jumped as she bolted out of the room. “Come back, girl!” He called.
“Any luck?” A tired Red asked hopefully, swishing down the stairs in her normal warrior-worthy shirt-pant combo. Nathan shook his head as Jack bolted behind her.
“I’ve checked everywhere. I think she was so mad about her wings that…” He gasped and look to Red. “You think she…”
“No. No, no, no. She is not that crazy.”
“NO!” Red screamed, dropping to her knees. “We cannot lose her.”
“What is happening?” Nathan shrieked, and Jack and Red took him in their arms.
“She may have ran away,” Red whispered, tears rolling down her cheeks.
“WHY ARE YOU SAD THEN, YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW HER!” Nathan yelled, tears forming rivers on his cheeks. He sobbed so hard he started to cough. Not his sister. No, not his sister.
“I might as well tell you the truth.” Red sighed, tears forming in her eyes again. Jack gasped and tried to tell her to stop, but she refused and ignored him. “Alice is… our… daughter!” Red gasped and went back to sobbing into Jack’s shoulder.
Everything seemed to stop in Nathan’s brain. Everything was a lie. Everything was fake. Red and Jack had said they weren’t married. They were lying. His parents were lying. Alice was lied to.
Questions swarmed in his brain but he managed to scream, “WHAT?!”
“Oh honey, it’s… tragic,” Red explained. Jack took over.
“When you were barely a few months old, Red had put Alice on adoption. Somehow, it ended up being in your world. And we sent a note to your mom to never tell either of you. Alice was in trouble. The Evil Queen was after her.” Jack started to cry. “I am so, so, so sorry Nathan… but he’s still your sister, of all we know of.”
Nathan sobbed into Jack’s shoulder, and he held him tight. Red squeezed Nathan’s shoulder. But Nathan was not sad to hear this. Of course he wasn’t! If he didn’t love his sister, he would be crying because of this. But since he did, he knew that his sister was actually his sister, since his parents had adopted her as an official mark. So Nathan wasn’t sad about that.
Nathan was going to be left sobbing and failing grades in school if he couldn’t find Alice in time. He loved her more than anybody else in the world.
“We have to go,” Nathan demanded, the same time Red whispered, “Yes, Nathan.”
And that was that.
With those six words, they were heading out of the house, fully unprepared with gear, but prepared with their hearts.