I woke up to the sound of James walking up. I opened my eyes slowly and simply watched him as he sat down on the side of the bed.
He’d been doing that every morning now. He’d sit there for a few minutes, trying his best not to look at the empty crib. He’d end up staring at his hand, almost as if it held answers he was looking for. Then he’d get up and take a shower.
After he’d get out he’d be his normal self again, almost as if he’d washed his sadness away and it had tumbled down into the drain.
He’s been doing that ever since he gave Xavier away at the adoption agency. I wish he hadn’t, and it was obvious he didn’t really want to. I tried arguing with him, but he seemed determined in his decision. And I didn’t dare push too hard. Xavier isn’t my kid.
But sometimes I wish he was. I never even thought about having kids before but seeing James with Xavier had made me want his kids. But it seems I’m going to have to wait till he’s ready.
Probably also after we’ve gotten Velor. We’ve got him cornered. That man’s obviously realized he can’t win a one on one fight with James. The last ambush was an attempt to test out the artifact and to see just how strong we really were.
We’ve proved to him we’re not easy to beat. It took him one year to decide to ambush us, I wouldn’t be surprised if it took him another to come at us again. I’m not saying we should let our guards down, but I think we can relax a bit now.
When I got downstairs James was already cooking pancakes. It was always fun to watch him cook. He used to suck at it. He’d burn eggs or boil water so much it would overflow and cover the stove.
But he eventually learned how to be a decent cook, just like I slowly started learning sign language, and now he treats it almost like it’s an art.
James must’ve heard the door open because he suddenly casually flipped the pancake in the air, catching it expertly as if it was no big deal.
“Wow, looks like we’ve got a talented man over here.” I grinned.
I walked over and kissed his cheek. “Good morning.” I said.
Sometimes I think James and I might have gone a little fast. I mean, only a few weeks after meeting each other we were already living together in a home I had left to rot. But I always remind myself our circumstances were a bit special. Plus, I don’t regret one moment. Sure there were a few times I was afraid our relationship was going to go rocky but…I love James, and I know he loves me too. So until this love fades, I want to make the most of my man.
Apparently he wasn’t okay with just a peck, because just as I was pulling away he spun around and pulled me in for a deeper kiss. I let out a small chuckle as I returned it, feeling all giddy again. Even after a year, James can still make feel this way. Which is why I think we’ll last for a long time.
James was the one who ended up stopping the kiss before the pancakes started to burn.
The door slammed opened as Rocky came running in. James flinched and threw a quick glare in Rocky’s direction.
“Over here boy.” I said bending down and calling Rocky over. I hadn’t really needed to since I’d apparently been his original destination.
I tried to pet him, but he pulled back and went to run out back to where he’d come from. When he saw I wasn’t following, he walked back to me barking to get my attention.
“What’s wrong Rocky?”
He glanced back the way he’d come, barked one more time, and then sped back towards the living room. I didn’t need to be told twice.
I followed Rocky and checked out the window to see if someone was on the lot.
And indeed a head of blue hair was.
“James! Your uncle William is at our doorstep!” I called out. I heard the stove click shut and I headed for the front door.
But just as the visitors knocked on the door, James came rushing past me gripping a kitchen knife in his hand. Rocky followed him eagerly, but I was halted a bit in shock.
James’ back looked stone cold and I could practically feel the murderous aura coming off him.
It’s a good thing I rushed forwards to stop James as he swung the door open.
I can’t blame James for killing people, since I’ve killed a whole lot more, but there’s a difference.
There’s a difference between killing people you know, and people you don’t. And the ease with which James goes to kill sometimes…scares me. I’m scared for him.
James swung the door open and brought the knife up without hesitation, aiming straight for his uncle’s chest. I got there just in time to hold back his arm.
“James!” I said harshly as a warning. I felt his body tense as he fought between listening to me and stabbing his uncle anyways.
And then his uncle had the stupid of idea of laughing.
“What kind of greeting is that?” He asked chuckling.
That simply sent James right back on the thought of killing him. I tightened my hold on his arm as he went to stab his uncle again.
“James.” I hissed.
Finally, with a scowl, he brought his arm down.
Just to be on the safe side I took the knife from James and forced him to go inside.
It is understandable why he’d want to kill his uncle though, apart from the fact that he seems like a natural jerk. Carla had revealed that Velor had stolen the artifact from William, which in the end led to Xavier’s life being threatened. And when it comes to Xavier…
“James? What the hell?” His sister, Aliska protested. She went to get in, but I stopped her.
“Woah now. You guys aren’t coming in. What do you want?”
“What do you mean not coming in? I don’t care if you look strong, I’m going to see my brother. James get your ass out here.” Aliska demanded. I could almost see James rolling his eyes, and him not moving from his spot was more than enough to convince me I was doing the right thing right now.
“We’ve come to discuss the Weapon.” William said over Aliska’s complaints.
I scoffed. Is this guy for real?
“You just got your discussion. That’s about as far as this conversation goes. You really are dumb for coming here. What did you expect after giving that artifact over to Velor?” I said, practically spitting at his feet.
“It’s not like we wanted to give it to him. He stole it from us. But it’s just two out of five. It’s no big deal.” William said, his voice wavering almost as if he was changing personalities as he talked. This guy is a nut job.
Wait a second. Five of those artifacts!?
“Can you let me pass through now? James are you actually hiding in there?” Aliska tried again.
“Five?” I inquired.
“Yes. He was probably just pissed I stole them from him in the first place. But don’t worry, he’d have to be really desperate to take one for himself. Now about the Weapon…”
True, if Velor was something it certainly never was desperate, but I had feeling we couldn’t go ruling out the possibility he’d take one for himself just yet. And if he did then we’d really have to be on our guards. James wouldn’t be able to sense him coming, just like he couldn’t with Carla and he can’t with me.
James decided to jump back into the conversation. He leaned in the doorway, barely even giving his uncle a look.
“Oh, look who’s come out of the shadows. Very nice, very nice.” His uncle said. I couldn’t tell if he was complimenting himself or James. Either way, it was creepy.
James casually gave him the middle finger, before controlling his sister Aliska. Something I was surprised to realize.
“Let’s go.” Aliska said as she tugged on William’s arm.
“But weren’t you the one that…Oh I see. Couldn’t control me so you decided to control your sister?” William teased. Did he take one of the artifacts for himself?
I noticed James hand tightened and I realized if I’d left the knife with him, he would’ve stabbed William right here. And that time I probably wouldn’t have stopped him.
“Don’t tempt me. I will take the bait.” Aliska threatened at William. “After all, your fellow Timekeepers told me I was supposed to either imprison you or kill you. Maybe I should make that become reality right now.”
William chuckled to himself. “Alright, alright I get the message. We’ll leave you alone.”
I was a little surprised. It all seemed a touch easy, and almost as if William was mocking James. He didn’t come here just to ask about the Weapon right? Had he come to test out the artifact…?
True to his word, William left along with Aliska.
“James, why?” Mom pleaded to know. Her and dad had decided to drop by for a surprise visit…to see Xavier. I hadn’t yet told, well really anyone that I’d given Xavier to an adoption agency. In retro respect, I probably should’ve to avoid this situation.
‘It’s none of your business.’ I signed at her. I was already annoyed that I was forced into thinking about Xavier.
“You didn’t even consult us before giving him away. Why did you do that James? Did something happen?”
I sighed avoided looking at mom. I didn’t want to talk about it, and I think I’m old enough that I don’t need to consult her for every little thing no? My chest constricted again as Xavier’s absent-minded face came to mind.
“If you didn’t want the kid, you could’ve given him to people he knew already.” Dad harshly intervened.
“Simon…” Mom warned in a quiet tone. But dad wasn’t going to shut up about this.
“No, no, I want to know just how goddamn idiotic our son is.” Dad said, giving me a harsh stare.
I narrowed my eyes at him. I didn’t want to get into a fight with them right now, hell all I wanted was for my parents to take the plane back home. But if dad wanted a fight, that’s what he was going to get.
Seeing my challenging face, dad responded in anger.
“Did you only think of yourself in all of this!? If you really didn’t want to keep him, you could’ve sent him with us, people who know him instead of dropping him off to get assigned to strangers!” Dad said.
I was getting pissed at him for assuming things.
‘I do want to keep him.’ I signed angrily. I wasn’t going to let my dad start saying I didn’t love Xavier or miss him.
“Then why? Why the hell did you give him up!?”
‘None of your business.’ I signed again, clenching my teeth.
“Unbelievable!” Dad exclaimed. “Our son the idiot can’t even provide a real excuse.”
At that mom slapped him on the arm. “Simon stop it!” She then turned to me, an innocent look on her face. Almost as if she was playing good cop and dad was playing bad cop. “James, you have to understand, he’s our grandchild you can’t-”
Oh no, I was not going to listen to them list out what I could and couldn’t do. I dove into their minds and took control of them, successfully shutting them up. A look of betrayal passed through mom’s eyes, but I didn’t need to worry about it, she’d forget any of this ever happened soon enough.
I found the memories I wanted and I crushed the idea that Xavier ever existed from their minds. I took every single image, email, touch from and obliterated it. It was a surprisingly long process, but from now on, they’d never met Xavier and never would. For good measure I made them forget that I’d controlled them as well. That would just give them another reason to nip at my heels.
When I was done I forced my want for them to leave onto them. They gave their goodbyes, with a few confused looks on their faces, and then they left. Finally leaving me alone.
Once the door had closed shut, I went to the sofa with Kyxa where she invited me to lay down on her lap.
I happily obliged letting out a content sigh as she gently scratched my stubble.
“Was that really okay?” She asked.
‘No, but I did it anyways.’ I signed.
Even though I’d just controlled my parents, something I never dared even think about doing before, I couldn’t keep the smile off my face. It’s probably the satisfaction of standing up to my parents…
Or it’s maybe just the fact that I’m lying in Kyxa’s lap. Something I never cease to enjoy.
Nix and Alec grew up! I’m so happy!
Yes I needed to do a few before and afters so that I can laugh repeatedly at the results. More on these two in the future…