First off here’s an overdue pic of Mariella, Raphaele’s daughter 😀
And now to the story!
I looked up to the sky as a snowflake fell on my nose. It was snowing! This was turning out to be a pretty good day! First, I woke up with the surprise that it had snowed a lot last night (much to my dad’s, Charlie’s, sadness because he was stuck shoveling all the snow) and now it snows even more!
With luck we might even get a snowstorm tomorrow and everybody knows what that means…no school!
“Erin it’s snowing!” I exclaimed as I ran over to my friend, nearly tripping in the snow as I did. She laughed and nodded vigorously.
“Yes I know! Isn’t it awesome?? We have to build a snowman now, the snow is perfect for it!” Erin chipped in happily.
I frowned a little as I noticed she had what looked like a bruise near her eye.
“Erin you have a-” I started to say as I pointed at the bruise. She swatted my hand away.
“It’s nothing Xavier, Beebee just woke up on the wrong side of the hive this morning. Now come on, I wanna build a snowman!” She said as she ran off to get some snow. I put the matter aside and happily followed.
“Oh god this thing is huge, we’re not going to be able to move it!” Erin said already giving up.
“No come on, we just gotta move it a little over here, it’s nothing big!” I encouraged her.
“But it’s going to break if we move it!” Erin complained.
We managed to move it nonetheless, even though Erin was convinced we couldn’t. She really needs to trust my judgement more.
I picked up the middle part.
“Go get the head over there.” I ordered as I did my best to put the body in the middle so it didn’t fall off.
“Why didn’t we just build the snowman over there?” Erin complained as she marched over to the head.
Erin came back with the head and handed it over to me.
“What? You put it on!” I complained.
“No it’s too high up for me! It’s a guys job to put up the head anyway.” Erin teased sticking her tongue out at me.
“That’s not true.” I grumbled, but I was already lifting the head up.
“Don’t drop it or it’ll all fall on me so DON’T DROP IT!” Erin warned.
“Okay, okay I get it!”
Finally, after an hour of snow patting and digging around for anything to put on our snowman, we created…the hockey snowman.
“This is a masterpiece.” I declared, taking in the view of our creation. Then I turned to Erin with a naughty look. “Let’s destroy it!”
But Erin didn’t respond. She looked lost in thought, staring blankly at the snowman. That effectively killed the mood.
“Erin what’s wrong?”
“Nothing, I’m fine.” She sighed as she climbed onto the picnic table.
“Well you don’t look okay.” I said.
I loved playing with Erin, she was my best friend, but it was annoying how quickly she could make a happy time become a boring and depressing time.
I had a duty to cheer her up again, both to her and to me.
Erin sighed again. “Do you ever wonder who your real parents are Xavier?”
I sat down on the bench. I’ll have to indulge in her personal questions before we can get to playing again.
“Obviously I do Erin. I know I have other parents out there…my real mom might actually be a rock star or a librarian – I don’t know.”
“Who do you think they are?” Erin asked.
“I don’t and I don’t wanna guess. I’ll probably guess wrong so there’s no point in me trying. And after all they gave me up and I’m more than happy with Tina and Charlie.”
“What if they’re actually dead?” Erin asked. “Would you be sad?”
I glanced at Erin in surprise. “What kind of question is that?”
“Just answer it.”
I sighed. “Well, I don’t know. I’ve never met them, so I can’t really be sad when a stranger dies. I guess.” Suddenly the idea of them being dead made them seem a little less like people I could hate. “What’s up with these questions anyway?”
“Noooottthhhhiiinnnng.” Erin said as she flopped on the table, her mood already lightening up. “Hey look it stopped snowing.”
“You’re so weird Erin.” I said.
She kicked me lightly with her foot. “I’m not weird! Not as weird as you anyway.”
She didn’t know what she was saying. She’s way weirder than I am.
But I smiled anyway.
I pulled out my awesome camera aunt Nix bought me for my birthday and got ready to take a picture. RayRay took this as her cue to jump off the science table where she’d been playing around with my science stuff.
“So I’m guessing this means you’re done?” My big sister asked with a hopeful tone. She’d been waiting patiently for me to finish my painting so we could play before grandma and grandpa arrived.
“Nah, just means I don’t want to work on it anymore.”
I pressed the button and a flash erupted from the camera.
“I tried, but I can’t make it any better.” I said, still seeing my latest painting with a lot of criticism.
“Are you kidding? It looks awesome! Just like always! You’re so good at painting JayJay, I wish I had your talents.” RayRay praised like I predicted she would. Everyone always says my paintings are awesome. Mom does, dad does, grandma does, grandpa does, my friends do, everybody does!
Thing is I don’t actually like painting, I haven’t told anyone this, but I hate painting because I hate the paintings I draw. They’re just so…I don’t know…dark? I never seem to draw happy stuff.
Why do I draw then? Because I can’t stop myself! Sometimes I just have to let go of some creativity you know? And sometimes playing around with my science kits, playing sports, or playing music really just isn’t enough.
“You know something else that’s awesome?” RayRay said with barely restrained excitement.
Now to decide…either I use this painting as a backup present for Christmas or I throw it out. Either way I don’t want to look at it more than necessary!
“We might still have time, I can show you my epic find!”
“Huh? What? Didn’t hear a thing you said.” I said snapping out of my thoughts. RayRay gave me an unhappy look that disappeared seconds later.
“You know how I take the keys from dad’s bag right?” She started.
“Yeah, and how really dumb it is of you to do that. Dad is going to catch you someday.” I warned once again. Yeah see, my sister is really curious and as it so happens not really smart. She goes down in the basement where WE ARE NOT ALLOWED. Dad even built a trap door because I apparently went down when I was younger. There are four really dangerous people down there that RayRay goes to visit regularly! Well at least when she’s visiting them she doesn’t want to play her game with me anymore. Good thing cause I do NOT like her game.
“Shut up I’m not dumb JayJay. And if I am dumb that makes you even dumber since I’m the big sister!” Her logic could use some work too.
“Anyway I was ruffling through his bag because the keys were harder to find than last time and boom I fall on this really interesting object.” RayRay tells, adding some hand gestures to go with the story. “It’s not like I want to purposefully steal from dad, but it’s not like he’ll use it anyways so-”
“And you took it! You actually took it! Damn you’re in for it now!” I exclaimed.
“Don’t sound so happy! And no because dad will never know.” My sister said, casting me a warning glance.
“But RayRay, dad is like us but only better. He’s got the whole see everything with his mind thing going on. It’s like he has eyes behind his head! You said it yourself so…”
“Yeah I know I said that…but you know maybe dad isn’t as awesome as we think he is.” RayRay said with a less enthusiastic tone.
“Oh come on RayRay? Just because dad let you get off with doing a few illegal things?”
“Eh? Since when does he let me-” She started to retort, but I interrupted her.
“You’ve seen dad in action just like me! Remember when there was that group of vampires that came over and dad asked us to stay inside? They were huge! There must’ve been twenty of them all angry looking! And what did he do? He controlled them all in a second and made them go away! You told me you felt it just like I did!”
Our dad was amazingly powerful and he could control people to do whatever he wanted. He never controlled us though, obviously, and he said we both inherited his powers. He told us not to tell our friends though because some people might actually be scared of us. Just like me my big sister can pretty much just sense people (not that I’ve tried to control people, somehow that seems really rude) and when dad really uses his powers we can actually sense it! It’s a pretty awesome experience.
“You’re right.” My sister agreed with a smile. “Dad is pretty awesome.”
“Yeah! Don’t doubt it again!” I ordered. Mom was pretty cool too, but in my opinion dad was so much cooler, even if he can’t talk.
Speaking of mom. “Benjamin! Catarina! Your grandparents are here!”
I didn’t need to be told twice, I quickly ran out of the room to greet grandma and grandpa.
“Hi grandma, hi grandpa!” I said as grandma greeted me with a hug.
“Hi Benjamin, how’s school?”
“Really great grandma, I’m the top of my class you see.” I replied with a grin.
She smiled and patted my head, which annoyed me, but I let it be. “You’re a really smart boy.”
I smiled in response. Grandma looked around the room as if she was looking for someone and that’s when I realized my sister hadn’t followed me out.
“Where’s your big brother? It feels like I haven’t seen him in a very long while.” Grandma said with a rather distant look. I was about to say RayRay was still in our room, but I froze. Brother?
I wasn’t the only one who froze. The room seemed to grow still with the arrival of a sudden tension.
A very familiar chill ran down my spine and I looked back at my father. He was wearing a neutral but guarded expression. That coupled with the fact that the chill I was feeling could only be explained by the fact that my dad was using his power, actually made me a little scared. Somehow it felt like something really wrong was happening here.
A single question kept repeating itself in my mind, Who was dad controlling?
Were there mean vampires outside or…?
I did my best to push the thoughts out of my mind.
“But grandma, RayRay is a girl not a boy!” I said in hope of breaking the tension.
It worked! The atmosphere went back to normal when grandma let out a chuckle.
“You’re right! It seems I had a little slip, don’t tell your sister about this okay?” Grandma said with a grin. I nodded. It really would be bad if RayRay thought someone called her a boy.
I’m happy there’s no more scary tension, but, I’m curious, what was that about?
…I’m not as crazy curious as my big sister though, so I won’t ask a million questions like she would.
“Catarina should be here by now though. Could you go get your sister Benjamin?” Mom asked. I nodded and went back to my room.
When I got there my big sister was placing some stuff on her bed.
“RayRay! Grandpa and grandma are here. What are you doing?”
“You finally came back JayJay! Come sit here, we need to continue our earlier conversation.” She said, patting her bed enthusiastically.
I let out a groan. Of course! She decided we weren’t finished talking and that obviously took priority over listening to mom.
Nonetheless I made my way over to RayRay’s bed and climbed on it. There’s no point in arguing with my big sister. She’s just so stubborn!
And, worst case scenario mom gets angry at us, I can just plead innocence what with being the youngest. Seeing as RayRay had a track of record of getting in trouble for dumb things, luck was on my side.
“Alright what’s up?” I asked.
“Well we were talking about what I found in dad’s bag remember?” RayRay said.
“Okay, what is it then?”
My big sister picked up a golden amulet she had set down on her bed. It was really beautiful and expensive looking, with what looked like a dragon carved in it.
“It’s an amulet that can let you teleport.” She stated with a serious face.
I nearly burst out laughing. “Suuuurrrreeeee”
“Well prove it then.” I countered.
“But…I can’t. It doesn’t like me enough.” RayRay said.
I rolled my eyes. “You’re lying.”
“I am not! I’m telling you its magical! If you were smart enough you’d be able to sense it.” RayRay mocked. I scoffed and took the amulet from her hands.
Almost immediately I realized she was right. It was like the amulet was alive and radiating magic.
My big sister smirked as she saw my surprised face.
“See?” RayRay said as she snatched the amulet back.
“Okay fine, it’s magical. Nothing proves it can make people teleport though.” I tried to argue.
“Well I figured that one out by playing the game with it.” She proudly stated. I raised my eyebrows.
“You played the game with an object? How did that work out? Did it look human?”
“Um…it’s really kind of complicated…it’s like some sort of spirit. But it basically told me it could make people teleport wherever they wanted. And since you’re my baby brother and I love you and I forgot to give you a birthday present on your last birthday, I thought this could be my gift to you!” RayRay said with a grin.
“Really? How does it work?” I asked, starting to get eager at the idea. I mean, teleporting, come on.
“Well first the spirit has to actually like you, so we’ll have to play the game so it can meet you.”
I groaned but nodded nonetheless. RayRay extended her hand and I took it, holding my breath as I waited for the game to start.
“We need to talk to Catarina about this sleeping thing.”
Xavier grew up at the end of this chapter! You know when kids grow up they don’t usually do much of anything interesting in the first few minutes of being a teen. Xavier is a surprising and amusing exception. This was the face he made.
He knows what I’m up to and he’s probably not against it at all! 😉
Thought I’d add this little pic…Oh how I wish these five (yeah there’s a fifth, but he’s hiding behind Erin) could’ve actually been friends instead of enemies as kids. And it’s all because of Edmund’s dad they couldn’t really (mostly cause Edmund’s dad despises gays and did his best to force that value into Edmund as well).
And boy have you guys seen little JayJay?
He grew up so nicely! He looks so adorable! Doesn’t look like his dad at all! (really isn’t like his dad too. Pretty sure James sucks at painting)
Benjamin: Me? Adorable?
Catarina: Hey now let’s not just focus on my brother, you’ll make his ego too big.
Akfaoeinvlkadalighoev *hugs both*
I luvs you both equally, and where’s the third one? Xaaaavviiieerr?
Xavier: Heh…no group hug for me thanks…