Nothing had changed in the immaculate palace-like mansion upon the hill, nor in the large and expansive circular drive of the president’s home. As the vehicle pulled to a stop, Tovar smirked. “Your mother awaits you inside, Little Eden,” he said. “You’ll forgive me for not accompanying you. I have business elsewhere.”
Eden nodded, bending forward to open the door of the vehicle when a hand on his shoulder stilled him.
“You will make yourself at home, won’t you? This is your home, after all. Isn’t it?”
Eden’s heart skipped a beat as again, he was enveloped by the intensity of those eyes. He bowed his head, swallowing hard, pulling out of his stepfather’s grasp. As he stepped out of the vehicle, he was again overwhelmed by a crashing wave of confusion and nostalgia. His stepfather’s car pulled away, and he approached the imposing front doors that loomed over a huge stone porch.
He stepped over the threshold separating him from his past, entering the house that was filled with memories of abject misery and despair. Each surface of this home glittered and sparkled with color and vibrancy. The walls, covered with priceless portraits and oddities, showed the splendor and decadence of a past long forgotten. A wave of reminiscence enveloped him as he mounted the intricately carved steps leading to his childhood bedroom. In absolute terror, he paused at the doorway, his hand trembling on the doorknob.
“It’s exactly as you left it.” His mother’s voice.
Eden turned to meet her gaze. Annaliese Tovar looked thinner than Eden remembered, perhaps a bit paler, frailer. But the happiness reflected in her eyes made her look beautiful despite the changes she had undergone. She watched him as he fiddled with the doorknob as if unsure how to make it work.
“I wouldn’t allow him to change anything.”
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