When Andi was alone, she said, "Okay, that was weird." When did Mom ever care if she did her homework? She sealed the bacon up with the zip top packaging, placed it back in the fridge, and headed out to find her parents. If she was quiet enough, they'd have no idea she was listening. She'd done it before.
A quick glance around showed them out in the backyard. If the window upstairs in the extra bedroom, which was right above the patio, was open, she'd have no problem hearing the conversation. And luck was on her side. Though Mom didn't look to have worked in here, the window was up. She snuck over as quiet as she could and listened.
"She's too young," her father said. "She's barely over 750 years old. The earliest her mate should come is at 900, and I'd much prefer 1000."
"I know, I know," Mom said. "And it's not just about her. The boy is far too young at 15. He looked like a deer in headlights this morning. But we're not in charge of choosing, no matter how much you believe it to be true. It's fate's decision, and there's nothing we can do to change that."
Dad grunted. "It doesn't matter anyway. She's a teenaged girl. She has a crush. I don't like that, either, but it's not a big deal."
With the tone of her voice, Andi guessed Mom had rolled her eyes. "She's the equivalent of a fifteen year old girl. I'm assuming she's had crushes before, but has she ever brought one up? No. And you can't deny you sensed something in that boy. I felt it, too. Don't be stubborn, admit it."
Her father didn't say anything for a minute, and when he spoke again, it was in a low voice, almost a whisper. "Being bound, married, at 15 might have been fine in the past, but it's not appropriate for this day and age."
"Fair enough, but you know as well as I that dragon laws can't always fit into human society. Do you really think it coincidence that the boy shows up at our doorstep this morning? We haven't been troubled by anything supernatural since Andi was born. His being here means something big is on the horizon, and whatever powers he possesses are there to keep her safe. If you refuse to acknowledge that, you do nothing but needlessly endanger both of their lives."
Andi could almost hear her father's teeth grind. She might have done the same if she wasn't being ultra-careful to stay silent. All of this sounded big, too big. She'd just met Ben. He couldn't be her mate, her husband, or whatever it was they were talking about. Dad was right; they were too young. If danger was coming, what could Ben possibly do about it? But having said all that, why in the world couldn't she get him out of her mind?
"Fine," her father said. "Since you're so big on fate, we'll let it make the next move. If it points to the boy again, we'll give them a minor binding. That will give him enough power to get through this. Whatever is coming will be directed at us, not them."
Her mother let out a frustrated sigh. "I can't argue with you when you're being pigheaded for the sake of it. There's too much to do inside." The sliding glass door opened and closed with exaggerated gentleness.
Andi snuck back to her room so her mom wouldn't catch her eavesdropping. As she went, she heard her father mutter, "Why can't fate ever make any of this easy?"