In this scene, originally from Chapter 9, Luc brings Addy to his house after school in order to tell her more about the Annorasi world. This Chapter was originally entitled “Risk” because Luc used the board game of the same name as a visual aid to explain to Addy how the Others were battling the Council for domination of the human world. I ended up changing my mind a little bit about the inner-workings of the Annorasi world on that point, so I won’t reprint that part here. But several snippets of Luc’s “lecture” on the subject did end up surviving the editing process and migrated to other sections of the book. This is just a small section of the original chapter, but I thought it might be interesting to include here because I do remember putting a lot of thought into what Luc’s house should look like . . .
“Where are we going?” I asked, as Luc continued down Grant, past the turn to my house, past Sully’s, and over to the other side of Novato.
“My house,” he said. “Do you mind?”
“No, I’d like to see your house,” I said honestly.
“You’ve got to admit, it would be pretty embarrassing if someone asked you where I lived and you couldn’t tell them,” he said with a smile. “Seeing as you’re my girlfriend and all.”
“Yeah,” I mustered up a very small smile.
Luc’s house was in a hilly neighborhood where the houses were fairly nice, with well-kept up yards, but nothing too fancy or ostentatious. He pulled into the driveway of a simple, two-story, A-frame house that was painted white with blue trim.
“Will your parents be home?” I asked, as he let us in the front door. My heart took a sudden, frantic leap at the thought of meeting Luc’s parents.
“Uh, not exactly,” he said evasively, setting his school bag down in the front hall and leading me into the living room. It was nice room, with wood floors and cream-colored couches with cushy, matching chairs. I sat down on one of the two love seats and set my messenger bag down beside me.
“What does that mean?” I asked him finally, when it seemed unlikely he was going to clear it up on his own.
“I don’t actually live here with my parents,” he said, disappearing into the kitchen. “Do you want anything to drink? Water? Soda?”
I used the time while Luc was in the kitchen to quickly lift the veil and look around the room with Annorasi eyes – I was shocked that I did not see anything different. There was not a single flash of the silver and gold that marked the Annorasi world as I had seen it so far. This house must exist only in the human world.
As I let the veil drop back down, I was a bit disappointed. I don’t know exactly what I had been expecting – I had no idea what the home of an Annorasi was supposed to look like – but the only thing the least bit out of the ordinary about Luc’s house was the greater-than-average number of candles that were sitting around and the absence of overhead light fixtures.
There was a lamp on each of the side tables that flanked the sofa. Curious, I leaned over and poked my head under the lampshade of the closest one.
No light bulb.
Luc emerged from the kitchen, and I quickly pulled away from the lamp.
“So, you really don’t live with your parents?” I asked, as he handed me a bottle of water.
“No,” he said, sitting in an armchair that was facing my loveseat. “But I needed a Marin address to enroll in your school. I told them that my parents are separated, and that my dad lives in San Francisco while I live here with my mom.”
“Oh. Are your parents really separated?”
“No. Not in the emotional sense, anyway. My dad really does live in San Francisco and my mom lives there with him, when she’s home. This house is mine.”
I kept forgetting that Luc is twenty. I guess that’s old enough to own a house.
“Is your mom away a lot?”