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One Shade the More, One Shade the Less

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India Stoker is a smart girl. She knows that the attraction that she feels for him is very wrong. Yet she justifies it because it's not as if she knew that she had an uncle nor did she know him until the day of her father's funeral. To her, Uncle Charlie is a stranger. It's how she can be jealous of his attention to her mother.

When she finds the letters that Charlie wrote her, she can't help but feel betrayed by her father. How dare he keep Charlie from her? How dare he keep them apart when it's clear that they are two halves of one whole. The letters make her question her father's accident. Was it an accident? Or is that just another lie her mother tells her.

She lies in her bed surrounded by the shoes that have been given to her for each birthday. Was it her father or her uncle who gave them to her? Does it even matter anymore as she looks at each letter, stroking the postmark before re-reading each word? Does her life before Charlie matter?

Afterwards, she thinks about Whip and how connected she had felt to Charlie as Whip's body thrashed between them as Charlie choked the life out of him. The only other person she'd ever felt this connected to was her father. Is it that wrong to take what Charlie is seemingly offering her? Is the price too dear for her to entertain the thought? She is surrounded by the shoes of her childhood and the letters that hold a key to her future.

She rises from her bed and carefully picks up the letters before tying a yellow ribbon around them. Without thought she dumps a pair of shoes that might be from her thirteenth or fourteenth year on the floor and sets the letters in the box. They just barely fit. And for now it seems appropriate to keep the letters in the box.

On bare feet, she searches out Charlie and decides to tell him that she has agreed to accept his offer. Their familial connection doesn't matter. Before her father's funeral, Charlie was a stranger to her. Now he is more than a mere uncle.