Aiden finally can't stand it any longer. He goes back to Tallulah's in search of answers about Meridian. They both leave for Salem, not knowing the evil that has landed at Esmra's doorstep.
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Aiden and Chris were a couple of days into spring break and as they discussed, the pair had left out for a much-needed fishing trip together. Chris was all smiles as he ran down the bank of the fishing hole they always used. “Man, this is just like old times, isn’t it?” Chris shouted up to Aiden who was grabbing his gear out of his truck.
“Yeah, in some ways it seems like yesterday we were here. Time moves too fast.” Aiden made his way down the bank and sat as he fumbled through his lures for the perfect bait. After a few moments he cast his line and reeled in. “I texted Meridian last night, and I haven’t heard back. I can’t shake this feeling that there is something wrong.”
Chris let out a snicker. “Yeah man, she dumped you, that is what is wrong.”
Aiden pulled his line in to re-cast and he paused. “No smart ass, I really feel like something is wrong. I can’t shake it.” Aiden cast his line and went silent with his thoughts.
Chris feeling awkward for his statement sat silent for a while before he spoke up again, “Hey, I am sorry. I get it. Maybe we could go up to Salem and try to find her? Maybe find closure for you?”
Aiden raised an eyebrow but offered no response. He continued to stay silent during their fishing expedition. After a couple of hours, they loaded up and left to go back to Aiden’s. As they were pulling down the old dirt driveway, Aiden ran through his memories of his first date with Meridian and the night that the pair met each other at Stephanie’s bar. Aiden finally broke his silence, “You mean that? Go to Salem?”
Chris turned and smiled at Aiden. “Of course, I am here for you.”
Aiden put his truck in park and the two jumped out. “I think we need to go by Tallulah’s. I have questions before we do something like that.”
The best friends cleaned up and drove over, turning down Hieber Lane, where Tallulah’s house and Stephanie’s bar were. As they got out of the truck, they were noticed first by Talon and the guides who had arrived at Tallulah’s looking for her moments before.
“Look! It’s Aiden. Maybe something has happened?” Pramlee said to Talon.
Talon put his hand up to Pramlee as he watched his son walk to the front door to knock. “I don’t think so. I think my son took my hint. Maybe he will go after Meridian.”
Aiden knocked but there was no answer, however, Stephanie’s bar was heating up for the night. Aiden quickly nudged Chris and he pointed to Stephanie’s. “Over there, I bet she is there. Her car is still here. Let’s go.” The pair walked across the street and encountered B.F.D., who was the main bouncer for her bar. When Aiden was spotted, B.F.D. gave them a nod as Chris and Aiden passed by. They headed toward the back where Stephanie’s office was and they were greeted by Stephanie and Tallulah.
“Aiden! Oh my! It is so good to see you.” Tallulah reached up to hug Aiden as she was overjoyed with excitement to see him. “Oh, young man, you and I need to talk.” Tallulah tugged on Aiden’s arm through the bar leaving Stephanie behind.
Aiden willfully followed Tallulah despite her death grip on his hand as she trotted through the crowd of people in Stephanie’s establishment. All three made it inside to Tallulah’s where the guys took a seat at her old kitchen table.
Talon despite all his own rules to keep far from his son decided that he could no longer do so to ensure that Tallulah understood the danger she was in. Talon moved swiftly before the guides even noticed and was one of the rare times Talon would stand this close to Aiden.
“Tallulah, I know we are amidst spring but a person could hang meat in here.” Aiden said as he crossed his arms over his chest and rubbed his arms up and down with his hands to warm himself.
Tallulah paused as she was putting her purse on the table and reached for the pot to make warm water for tea. “You are cold? That is odd, I have not even turned the air conditioner on yet,” Tallulah said. “Oh my, that is a draft. We have company. The guides are here, and I am sure that is Talon.”
Aiden frowned and pulled his head back with confusion. “Talon? My father?”
Tallulah stood silent for a moment, “Aiden, we need to talk, and this is not something I am sure that Chris will need to hear just yet. Chris, can you give us a few moments?”
Chris stood up and smiled. “Sure Mrs. T, no problem.” Aiden handed Chris his keys to his truck and Chris left the pair alone to visit.
Tallulah parked herself at the table and before she could begin, Aiden’s active mind propelled him to start.
“When I came you explained who Meridian was before she took off. We never got into anything else. I barely got the story of her parents in Etheria and, of course, my father. Quite honestly, I could not wrap my head around who Meridian truly is. The only thing that gives credence to what you said, is her behavior and the small things that most people do or talk about. Meridian always seemed tense during those exchanges, like she was holding back,” Aiden said.
Tallulah sipped her tea and made sure that Aiden had a cup for himself. “Listen, there is an entire world you do not know a lot about. There is so much that you need to know, but I am not sure if it is the right time.” Tallulah stopped and looked around the room, distracted.
Aiden watched Tallulah stare at the space in front of her. “Tallulah? Are you, all right? What is it?”
“The guides, they are here. You don’t know full well, but they are communicating with me right now. It is Meridian, they are telling me she is in danger. With Raina. They are telling me that Esmra is in danger and that Luna has been kidnapped.” Tallulah paused from her explanations from Aiden.
Aiden’s confusion was rising, “Who is Luna?” Aiden asked shaking his head.
Tallulah gasped to herself, “Oh my. Oh my. We have to leave at once.” Tallulah grabbed Aiden’s hand that was rested on the table. “I can’t explain this right now, you need to trust me, we are leaving for Salem. You cannot bring Chris with you. He is not ready for what you will learn.” Tallulah jumped up from the table and headed toward the stairs.
“What? Where are you going?” Aiden chased after Tallulah.
She paused as she had one foot on the step. “Aiden, go back and pack a bag and meet me in an hour. Go now.” Tallulah continued upstairs and Aiden to text Chris so he could come back and pick him up.
Once they arrived, Aiden spent little time with explanations to anyone, even Chris who was puzzled, although supportive of Aiden.
Relic and Talon followed Aiden back, while Pramlee, Kieren and Ridge remained behind with Tallulah.
Talon was full of tension as he spoke. “Aiden senses I am around. He is gifted, more than I anticipated. I don’t understand why he does not sense you all.”
Pramlee shook her head, “Maybe because you are his father, did you ever think of that?” She smirked at the fallen one, who himself was amused with her observations.
As Aiden went inside to pack, the pair stood outside in the driveway could see him going back and forth in front of the window. He frantically packed and could be seen explaining what he could to Chris.
“Who is to say that he doesn’t sense us? He sensed Meridian up the road by the oak tree,” Relic said as he nodded toward the famous tree where many things had transpired between Earth and Etheria.
Talon examined the old tree that was at quite a distance from where they stood. “Yes, I remember. I felt as though it was more to do with Meridian and Aiden’s connection than anything else. Maybe you are right. I never notice him respond much to any of the other guides.”
Talon looked back up to Aiden’s window where his light shut off and he ran downstairs. “Chris, I am sorry, man. Just run me over to Tallulah’s. You can keep my truck and use it. Feel free to stay here.” Chris and Aiden jumped in his truck and left once more.
Once Aiden arrived back at Tallulah’s, he found her already standing outside her car having just thrown a bag in