Hey Guys! Tell me if I got something wrong...Bon Apetite!

Howl's POV

I open the door to the castle and I'm greeted with a warm hug from Sophie and a dozen questions from Markl and Calcifer. I smile down at Sophie and she smiles back at me. I lean down and kiss her forehead and lead her back up to the living room to our couch. We sit down and I let the questions begin.

"Go ahead," I say.

Calcifer asks the question on everyone's mind, "How did the mission go?"

"Well," I let out a sigh, "we are still having a hard time locating them, but we have several leads to where they might be."

Sophie looks worried. "Nothing?" I grimly shake my head. Tears start to form in her warm-chocolate brown eyes. I pull my arms around her and embrace her in a hug. I hear a few sobs and within moments my shirt is drenched in her tears. I tip her head up so she can see me. Her eyes are rimmed with red and tear streaks stain her face.

"We're looking everywhere. We haven't given up searching yet, and we won't until they have been found."

"Promise?" she chokes out.

"Promise." I wrap my arms around her small frame and hold her close as she resumes crying. We stay there like that for a while. After a few more sobs, Sophie sits up.

"I'll be in the bath," she announces and leaves for the bathroom. After we hear the bathroom door click shut and the bath water turn on, Calcifer and Markl look at me and begin asking me questions.

"So you didn't find them yet?" Calcifer asks.

"No. I really wish I could, but everytime I get a lead it turns out to be a deadend or a trap."

"A...a trap?" Markle stutters.

"Yes, a trap, a trick, a lie." Calcifer looks at me searching for some sign that it wasn't true.

"Who would do something like that?" Markl asks.

"Possibly one of the wizards that couldn't turn back into a human after the war."

"But its their fault for turning themselves into those beasts!"

"Markl, you have to understand that these wizards didn't know that that would happen. They come to me and ask if I can turn them human again. I refuse, and they think its because I think of it as revenge-"

Markl interrupts, "But Master Howl, you don't like revenge!"

"Yes, but these wizards have to have some reasin, so they use that as their excuse."

Calcifer pipes up after a while. "You said all your leads either dead-ended or turned out to be traps, right?"

"Yes, why?"

"How many traps have you hit?"

"Only a few."

"And were they well planned or could you sensse something was off?"

"I sensed something was wrong, and all the traps were only meant to capture me, not to alert the wizards of my location. Where are you going with this?"

"Well, since very few of your missions have ended in traps, I think it's safe to assume that it's not a wizard."

Markl glanced between the demon and I. "What does that mean?"

I kept silent for a few moments before answering Markl.

"It means that either Sophie's family is one of two things," I say before looking up at the stair case. I stay silent for a moment and listen for the bath water running. Good, Sophie's still in the bathroom.

Calcifer looks at me worriedly. Markl catches it. "What two things would that be?"

I zone out thinking about Sophie and how broken she would feel if she heard any of this. I really don't like hiding secrets from her, but this is one secret I have to keep.

"Howl? HOWL!" I hear Calcifer screeching.

"Shhhh! I don't want Sophie to hear." I glance back at the stairs, and listen for the water. Still running.

Markl again asks me, "What two things are Sophie's family?"

"One possiblity is that they're on their way back here as we speak."

"And the other?"

Calcifer casts a worried glance at me. "Dead."

Markl spins around to look at the fire demon. "Dead?"

"They could be, probably not, but the possiblity still exists." Calcifer explains.

"Wow..." Markl whispers.

I hear the water shut off, the door open, and soft footsteps on the staircase. I get up, and walk over to Sophie.

"Are you okay?" I ask.

So? What did you guys think? Please Read & Review!