Emma went to Raven's room at 9:50, so they could sneak out. "Ready?" Emma whispered to her sister.
"Yeah." Raven opened her window and sighed. "I hope we don't get caught." Raven said to herself.
They climbed out the window and made it to Granny's, they had to figure out how to get past the window to make it to the back door of Granny's that led to the Inn. Emma peeked her head in. "Crap."
"What?" Raven whispered to her sister.
Emma looked over to sister. "Mary is in there with Ruby." Emma took a deep breath. "Okay, when I say 'go' we run as fast as we can across the window." Raven nodded. As soon as Mary Margaret looked away Emma whispered, "Go." They ran across the window, but not before Mary Margaret caught a glimpse of their back sides.
They made their way to room 12. Raven knocked. "August. It's us. Open the door before someone sees us."
August opened the door. "What are you guys doing here?" He looked over at the clock on the bedside table. "It's late."
The girls pushed their way through and went in the room. "You told us to come. Remember?" Emma snapped.
"I thought you'd come when it's- I don't know- daylight?"
Raven shook her head. "We can't… we're grounded." She could see that He was about to make a smart remark. "Don't ask. What do you know about the curse."
He was about to answer and come clean with them, when he was interrupted by a knock at the door. "Did someone follow you? No one knows I'm staying here, other than Granny and Red."
Both girls shrugged, but his in case it was someone that knew their father.
August went over and answered the door. "Can I help you?" He said.
"No. You can't. But Emma and Raven can." A familiar voice said. "Come on out from your hiding spots girls."
The twins sheepishly stood up from behind the bed. "Hi Mary." Emma said innocently. "What's up?"
"Didn't you both just get grounded for pulling a stunt like this- what?- 2 weeks ago?" Mary Margaret asked, a little annoyed by their behavior. "I already called your father. He's on his way." She turned over to August. "And who are you?" She asked the young adult. "And why do you have two eleven year old girls in your room?"
"Woah, woah! Dude! That's… no!" He raise his voice, grossed out. Mary's eyes widened at the rising of his voice. "I mean… No ma'am, I've know them since they were toddlers. That's… gross."
The girls watched the conversation. "What? I don't get it." Emma said.
"Good!" Mary Margaret and August replied at the same time. Mary looked over at the girls. "What are you guys even doing here?"
"August needed to answer some questions for us." Raven said, thought for a moment. "We want to know why he left us. Still do." She said, it wasn't a lie, they do want to know, but it wasn't why they snuck out.
"Maybe you guys should talk for a few minutes. I'll wait in the hall." Mary Margaret said.
He winced, not wanting to talk about it. "You weren't there Raven." He said quietly. "It wasn't a good home. You left right before it got bad."
"I was there." Emma whispered. "When you left… I was all alone. You said that you'd always protect us, if you could. You didn't."
Emma shook her head. "Don't!" She yelled. "He hurt me." She whimpered. "He put me in the closet." She bawled. "He put me in the closet! No one was there to stop him! Because you ran! You left me! You're a coward!" She screamed. "I hate you! You promised Auggie! You promised to protect me from him! Do you remember?"
"Emma, I didn't know. I thought that if I ran-" He started, his own tears falling from his eyes.
"What'd you think Aug? Did you think that it'd stop? Well it didn't! It only got worse after you left! When you left, it meant he got less money! That made him mad." She started hitting him. Over and over, until she felt someone pull her off of him. "Let me go! It's his fault! It's all his fault!" She screamed, she wasn't sure who it was, but she just kept screaming. "Let me go! Just let me go! He left me! He abandoned me! I hate him!" She only realized it was her father when he pulled her into a hug. "Let me go." She mumbled into his shoulder. After about 20 minutes or crying, she fell asleep on David.
Raven was on the floor covering her ears and crying. Mary Margaret placed a hand on Raven's shoulder to calm her down. "Sweetie, no one's yelling anymore." She removed Raven's hands from her ears. "It's okay. No more yelling." Mary Margaret assured her. Raven flung herself into Mary Margaret's arms and eventually cried herself to sleep as well.
August- who still had tears streaming down his own face- stepped forward. "I think you guys should leave. I need to pack my things. It was a mistake finding them. I never should have. I only brought them more pain."
David carried both girls out to the truck one at a time- obviously- then decided to talk to his girlfriend. "Do you have any idea what happened?"
She sighed. "I saw them running past the big window at the diner, so I followed them inside the Inn." Mary Margaret explained how she thought that they should talk about it, so she stepped out. "I honestly didn't think it would've resulted in this. I thought it would've resolved some inner feelings, not-"
"Hey, it's not your fault Mare." She nodded, but David could tell that she didn't believe him. "I actually think that it might have resolved some of their inner feelings." Mary Margaret raised an eyebrow. "Emma's obviously been holding in that anger for a long time. This helped her let it out." Mary Margaret smiled, which showed him that she wasn't blaming herself so much anymore. "But they're still in a world of trouble." They both chuckled at that.
After breakfast, David sent the girls to couch and he sounded mad. He came over to them and they both looked up at him nervously. "I want an explanation. And I want it now." He said very sternly. "What is going on with you two?" No one said anything. "Okay fine. You guys can sit right there until you decide to come clean." He told them.
"What? You can't just make us sit-" Emma started, but David cut her off.
"Yes. I can. I don't want to hear anything out of either of you unless it's the truth." He told them in a no-nonsense tone.
Emma stood up. "But that's not fair! We're just trying to break the curse-" She started, but cut herself off after realizing what she was saying and her eyes went wide. "Uh… I mean..." She trailed off thinking of a lie.
"What curse?" David asked.
Emma sent a panicked glance over at her sister. "Um..." After her failure to come up with a lie, she ran into her room and locked the door.
David looked over at Raven. "What is she talking about?" Raven just shook her head. David sighed. "I'm gonna go check on your sister." David went up the stairs and tried to open the door, but he found that it was locked. "Em. Open the door. You know the rules about locking the doors." No response. "Please Em. I just want to talk." He heard the unlocking of the door, so he walked in. He was her reading the storybook on her bed. "Hey princess."
"Hi." She looked up and saw that he was worried. "I'm not crazy." She said. "I know I sound like a nutcase, but I'm really not."
He lifted her chin so they would make eye contact. "I don't think you're a nutcase." He told her. "I just want you to talk to me. What curse Em?"
She sighed and pushed the storybook towards him. "Everything in this book, it actually happened. I know it sounds crazy but look," She flipped to the page of her and Ravens birth and pointed to the two babies in Snow White's arms. "That's me and Raven." The she pointed to Prince Charming and Snow. "That's you and Mary."
David wasn't sure how to respond, so he just nodded. "Okay princess." He'd just have to talk to Archie about it tomorrow.
"You don't believe do you?" She asked, then sighed after getting no response. "That's okay. I didn't believe it at first either." She admitted. "But we're gonna break the curse and bring back all the happy endings. Just you watch." She told him. "Are we still in trouble? For sneaking out… both times."
"Definitely." He told her. "Let's get back downstairs." Emma nodded.
"A month?" Raven asked after being told how long they were grounded.
David nodded. "But… that's a long time." Emma said. "Like a super long time."
"Should've thought about that before sneaking out… twice." He told them. "We need to talk about one more thing. What happened last night?"
Emma shrugged. "Nothing really."
"Em. What happened with August?"
Raven looked from David to Emma, then decided to speak up. "She said that the closet was his fault Dad."
"Shut up Rav! It doesn't matter."
"Em." He warned. She sighed. "How was the closet his fault Em. It's alright, you can tell me."
2 Years Ago…
"Auggie, I miss Raven." Emma told a 16 year old August. "Mr. Stanley is getting meaner."
"I know little Ems." He said ruffling her hair. "Don't worry though. I'll protect you. I'll always protect you. No matter what. Plus, tomorrow we all meet at the secret spot."
Emma wrapped her arms around August. "I love you Auggie."
"Hey! Get out here brats!" A very drunk Mr. Stanley said. "Now!" He yelled.
Emma and August rushed out to Mr. Stanley. "Yes Mr. Stanley. Do you need something?" August asked him.
"Was that attitude?" The drunk man asked angrily. "Answer me!"
August shook his head. "No sir." He said. Emma gripped his arm tightly. "I was simply asking you if you needed something sir."
Mr. Stanley got up off the couch and stumbled towards the two. "Let go of him." He told Emma. She shook her head vigorously. He yanked Emma away from August and walked towards her threateningly. "When I tell you to do something. You do it!"
August jumped in front of him. "Stay away from her!"
Mr. Stanley grabbed August's arm. "Come with me boy!" He dragged August into another room, then pushed Emma into the closet and locked the door.
Emma was let out of the closet 2 hours later and was sent to her room, before she could see August.
Emma was in her room, when she heard noises, she knew Mr. Stanley had to be asleep by now, so it must've been August.
She came out of her room and saw August getting into Mr. Stanley's safe. "Auggie?" She whispered.
August jumped and turned around, wincing at the pain that the sudden movement caused him "Hey Ems."
"What are you doing up?"
She shrugged. "I'm not tired. What are you doing?"
"I'm sorry little Em, I have to go."
Emma was confused. "Go? Go where? When will you be back? Will you be back in time to go to the secret spot? We have to go tomorrow night." She informed him.
"Emma. I'm not going to the secret spot with you. I have to get out of here. I can't be here anymore."
She was on the verge of tears. "You can't." She whispered. "You promised to protect me. You promised. I don't want you to go. August please." She began silently crying.
"Okay Em. Okay. I'll be back in time." He told her. "I'll be back tomorrow at 10 pm." He lied. "If I'm late, just go to the secret spot by yourself and I'll meet you there." He lied again.
He nodded. "Promise."
The next morning, she woke up to a note next to her. She opened it, it was from August.
Dear Little Emma,
I'm sorry. I know I said that I'd be back, but I lied to you. I'm so very sorry Little Ems. I can't stay there any longer. You need to leave when Mr. Stanley goes to sleep. Meet Raven at your secret spot. Stick together. I'm sorry. You won't be alone with him for long. I know I shouldn't have lied, but I did. I'm sorry for breaking my promise. I love you little Ems.
It was about 9:30, she was sure Mr. Stanley was asleep by now. She got up and opened her window, she was halfway out when she heard his voice.
"What do you think you're doing?!" He asked angrily. She didn't respond, she just froze and he yanked her back inside. "You're a bad girl!" He yelled. "Bad girls go to the closet!" He told her and put her in the closet.
After Emma told them the whole story, she refused to make eye contact with anybody.
Raven squeezed her hand, but Emma still wouldn't look at her. "I love you Emmy." She whispered, after a few seconds, Emma looked at her and they hugged each other.
David then pulled his girls into a hug. "I love you both." He broke the hug and his daughters followed suit. "I have something for you guys." He told them. "I was going to wait until you were ungrounded to show you, but I think you need a bit of cheering up." He said and went in his room, then came out with some papers.
"What's that?" Raven asked. Emma looked up and saw the papers. David handed it to them.
Dear David Nolan.
You have been approved for the adoption of Emma Ruth Swan and Raven Marie Swan. For the first few months, their social worker Lucy Miller will check on them, but after 3 months the visits will be less frequent.
Parent signature here: David Nolan
Children Signatures here: _,_
I grant you full guardianship over Emma Ruth Nolan and Raven Marie Nolan. Congratulations to the Nolan family.
When this form is signed, send into the Maine office of Adoption and Fostering.
Emma and Raven looked at David with smiles on their faces. "Really?" Emma asked with a smile on her face.
David nodded. "Would you girls like a pen to sign your names?" Both girls nodded vigorously and David handed them a pen.
Children signatures here: Emma Ruth Swan, Raven Marie Swan