• Ryder winced as she turned around, coming face to face with a man who looked to be in his early to mid twenties. His hair was short and wild, almost spiked, and its golden color seemed to sparkle against the bright lighting. The big smile he wore as he approached made her recoil back. But, it was a futile attempt.

    Before she knew it, she was crushed in a breath robbing embrace, being picked up and spun around by the adolescent man. When she could breathe and see clearly, Ryder looked at the man. He was still smiling, and then in one swift movement, grabbed her face and kissed her on both cheeks.

    "My Wisteria! How I've longed to see you! You never call, and it worries me when you don't....Oh, all the agony I've been through! They kept telling me, 'She's gone, forget about her.' But, here you are! And, still so beautiful!"

    Ryder smiled uncomfortably as the all too familiar Phalen looked her over, lifting her arms and messing with her hair. Finally, she couldn't take it any more.

    "Stop touching me, old man!" She yelled as she pushed him away. Her escort, who had been surprisingly quiet the whole time, gasped at her rudeness. Ryder didn't care. She could talk however she wanted with Phalen. Though, now she regretted her actions as his eyes welled with tears.

    "But....but.....My Wisteria...." He murmured, his face becoming filled with exaggerated pain. She sighed, shaking her head. Yes, he was a pest....had been all her life, but she supposed that it wasn't right to be so blatantly mean when he obviously missed her.

    Sighing some more, she stepped closer to Phalen and hugged him softly, patting his back awkwardly.

    "I'm sorry. It's just....been so long. That's all. All right? Quit crying." She told him, pulling away. He rubbed his eyes, smiling at her.

    "So, you still love me?" He asked quietly.

    Ryder nodded. "Yes, I still love you."

    His face lit up once more, and he looked as if he was about to embrace her again, when shouts rang out behind them. Both of them turning to see what all the commotion was, she heard Phalen groan.

    "Oh no! They found me..." He pouted, crossing his arms. The men who had shouted ran towards them, and Ryder watched as Phalen began to back up, looking guilty. He was about to bust out into a sprint, when he seemed to remember something. Reaching into his jacket pocket, he handed her a white envelope, with a red wax seal on the back.

    "Here, I was told to give this to you, deary. Well, I have to go!" With that, he ran off, and Ryder was left with her chatty escort, staring blankly at the letter. Oh yes, she could already sense that it wouldn't be good news written down on the creamy parchment. She turned to smile at the escort, motioning for the young woman to lead the way.

    "If I may ask, who was that?" The escort inquired as they walked.

    That's right...most probably didn't see Phalen in person, or meet him. Most knew him as the President. Of Eventide.

    Ryder sighed, holding up the letter as they continued on.

    "He's my father."