Devon just wanted a midnight snack.
That was all. Just an innocent fucking midnight snack. Like he’d told Astral when she’d first arrived – and he didn’t even want to know how exactly she’d accomplished that, given that Fairyland or whatever the hell it was called was apparently located in another universe – he was a sleep eater. Once he got a hoagie in him, he was good and his freakishly fast metabolism was appeased.
Unfortunately, tonight was simply not Devon’s night.
Oh, sure, he got his snack.
But he as he was heading upstairs, he overheard a very interesting phone conversation of his father’s.
“Look, after my hearing with the city council, the board of directors claimed four teenagers had been in the building, but I have no memory of any of this. No, they don’t know the names. Three girls and a boy. Two of them sounded a lot like the British exchange students I’m hosting, who strangely seemed to have no accent. Astral Green and Brendoni Smith. One of the other girls reminds me of my son’s friend Morgan, nothing suspicious about her – she’s just weird. The third girl, I’ve never met.”
“Dad?” Devon cut in, timidly.
Peter Quince spun to face him, startled. “Oh…Dev, it’s just you. Almost gave me a heart attack, kiddo.” He spoke into the phone again. “No, I was talking to my son. No, I don’t think so. Look, I’ll have to call you back. Yes. Yes. Goodbye.” Peter hung up the phone and smiled, affectionate but exhausted, at Devon. “Hey, son. Why don’t you get back to bed, huh?”
Devon raised an eyebrow, confused. “What was that about? You mentioned something about Brendoni and Astral?” Peter’s smile grew strained. “You should stay out of things that don’t concern you, son.”
“Whoa, I just wanted to know what was going on.”
“Just get to bed, Devon.” Devon knew that tone of voice. It was best not to argue, so he didn’t.
Within a few minutes, he was fast asleep again and the whole incident was out of his mind. But before he laid down, he couldn’t help but peek into Astral’s room, look over at Brendoni. Both were fast asleep, though Brendoni stirred briefly into groggy semi-wakefulness when he heard Devon’s footsteps.
Devon may not have taken the whole revelation well, but that didn’t mean he didn’t care about them at all. After all, he’d kept Astral’s secret after her mom showed up and explained that telling anyone would put Astral and Brendoni in danger. No matter how mad he was at them for lying to him and stopping his dad from getting the permit for his research center, he’d never wish harm on either of them. And he had a weird, foreboding sense that harm would be coming.
But that wasn’t even rational. And until something actually happened, what he’d overheard was probably better kept quiet for now.