Warning: One gory screenshot, pg-13
My fist collided painfully with the side of his face, almost sending him sprawling to the ground. But my hit wasn’t that strong, and he recovered his balance easily.
What followed the sound was silence. Scary silence, a drastic change from the words Edmund had been saying with a smile on his face.
What I’d just done without a second thought came crashing onto me, and I really couldn’t believe I’d done that. I apparently couldn’t use my words anymore.
I felt the need to say sorry, to apologize, but at the same time I refused to. As brash of an action as it had been, there was a reason supporting it. I couldn’t and wouldn’t take it back. Didn’t mean I didn’t feel bad about it.
When I finally looked up at him to see his reaction, I wasn’t surprised to see he wasn’t looking back. His relaxed shoulders had tensed and his eyes had drifted to the ground, far away from me.
“You’re right. I’m sorry.” But not about what I want you to be. “I stepped out of line. I forgot my place.”
The words were spilling out of his mouth, and I wanted to stuff them back in. I wanted to say something, anything, to stop him from doing this yet again. But I stayed as still as a statue, my throbbing hand at my side and a spot of red appearing on his cheek, as he continued talking in an emotionless tone.
“Sorry for bothering you. It won’t happen again. Have a good day.” He’d said, still not looking in my eyes. He gave me a small nod, the polite ones you give to strangers. Then he took a step back, before turning around and leaving.
My arm reached out on its own and the word wait lingered at the tip of my tongue, but nothing happened. I swallowed the word and my hand made its way back to my side as Edmund walked away.
After two years, he’s still the same Edmund who keeps running away.
But I’m not the same, I’m not that love struck boy anymore.
Even though a huge part of me wants to run up to him and to tell him to tell me what I want to hear…to let him know I just need to hear that he’s sorry, that he had a reason for leaving us behind, for leaving me behind.
But I won’t. I refuse to be the one to chase after him again. He’s always run off, always, and I’ve always had to catch up to him and pull him back. But this time, it’s up to him. I’m just going to stand here until he turns around on his own, or else he’ll always run away, and run further each time. And if he never turns around?
Then so be it.
A few days later…
I felt the magic seep out of my fingers a little uncontrollably, but the spell still managed to take effect. Not that I can’t clean a stove with a good old rag and some water, but considering I’d felt the need to release some magic, I thought I’d kill two birds with a stone. And on top of that, there was that one spot I couldn’t seem to scrub off from the burned macaroni.
Once the spell had been cast and my stove was now spotless, I leaned on the counter behind me as a wave of fatigue passed through me. I could blame it on the spell I’d just cast, but I knew better. These waves of drowsiness were becoming more and more frequent, and were starting to often be accompanied with mild headaches.
I know what’s causing this, I’ve been having nightmares for almost a year now. I’m not getting the sleep I need in a week. What was surprising me was the fact that I wasn’t getting these effects until a whole year after the nightmares started. But I guess some people react differently?
I need to do something about these nightmares though. At first, I shrugged it off. It made sleeping a dreaded event, but I didn’t feel the repercussions during the day. But now that I’m getting more tired during the day and not always in complete control of myself (punching Edmund…) and my magic, I was starting to think I may need to find some help. Especially since I’d finally gotten a job. I didn’t want to lose it in the first week because of bad performance or something of the like.
I don’t want to go to a therapist however. I went when I was a child, when my claustrophobia was a problem, and as helpful as it had been, it still hadn’t been an experience I wanted to relive. If I could solve the nightmares on my own, that’d be great.
Of course, I spent one year either shrugging them off and trying to get rid of them and I still had them. Maybe I did need outside help.
Before I could start doing any kind of research, someone knocked on my door.
I pushed myself off the counter, and went to open my door, feeling a little happy that I was actually going to answer my door. I don’t get a lot of visitors…
The door swung open and I was surprised to see my father accompanied by a green-winged fairy. My first thought was : How does James know where I live?, only seconds later did the question Who’s the fairy? Come to mind. At first glance the two seemed to contrast each other: her smiling face, and his stone cold one. But after a few seconds I could notice a sort of warmth in James’ gaze when he glances at her, and small sly and calculated movements on her part.
Agh, I’m getting a headache again.
The fairy gave me a loving gaze the moment I opened the door, which made me feel a little uncomfortable.
“Aw, you’ve grown so much. You weren’t kidding James, and look I can see you in him.” She exclaimed, and I took a small step back. I had a feeling she wanted to reach out and pinch my cheeks.
“Sorry, who are-”
“Ah right, my bad,” She said catching herself. For all I knew, all James had done was glance at her, but she lightly punched his arm. “Don’t give me that look!” She turned back to me. “My name’s Kyxa and I helped your father take care of you when you were just a teeny baby. Before he put you up for adoption that is.” She explained.
She’d told me something I didn’t know. I wasn’t given up at birth…James actually kept me and willingly decided to give me up. I wasn’t too sure how I felt about that.
“Oh uh…nice to meet you.” I hesitantly replied.
“Probably wondering what we’re doing here huh? Well, I have quite a long list and first on the list is something I didn’t think I’d actually have to take care of. But from what I hear, the meetings you and this stubborn man behind me have had, haven’t really gone all that well. The circumstances weren’t really perfect for some father-son bonding. Which is completely understandable.” Kyxa said, and I glanced at James whose expression still didn’t seem to have changed. “This is why I feel the need to intervene and create an ideal environment for you and James. Both of you have a lot of catching up to do, and I think all you both need is to sit down and talk. Clear out any misunderstandings.”
“I’m actually kind of-” I was interrupted, by Kyxa dragging James in front of her.
“Nonsense, you don’t have anything planned for the next few hours.” Kyxa said, creepily shocking me that she actually knew for certain that I didn’t have anything. “I’ll be back in a few.” Kyxa held onto the back of James coat, setting her chin on his shoulder. “You two have fun.”
I was extremely reluctant, but I saw the expression on James’ face change to one that was…open, for lack of better word. So I shrugged and stepped back, allowing James to walk in. With a quick wave, Kyxa turned on her heels and headed for the elevators.
Saying our last meetings hadn’t gone well was an understatement…James had killed someone the last time we met, and basically let me know I’d only been a tool to help Catarina. So I wasn’t too sure what was going to come out of this.
All I knew right now was that James was doing weird things with his hands which was probably sign language – something I couldn’t understand.
“Communication is going to be a little hard.” I said.
An amused smile spread on his lips and he redid the movement, and I realized he was mimicking typing on a laptop.
I felt a little dumb then.
“Oh right uh…good idea. Better that than paper and pen probably. I have a laptop, let me just go get it.” I said.
I gave James my laptop and he sat down on the couch, opening up a word document. I sat down beside him, staring intently at the screen as he started to type.
Ask me anything you want.
He wrote, then looking at me to make sure I’d read it.
Anything I want? Well there were a lot of questions I wasn’t going to ask him, half of them because I didn’t actually want to know the answer, and the other half because I didn’t actually have the courage to.
But thinking about it, there was something that I had wondered once. Almost two years ago now.
“I…I was wondering if you could tell me about my mother, Jamie.” The one who died.
James inhaled his fingers hesitating over the keyboard. For a moment there, I thought I’d asked the worst question I could’ve. She did die after all. But, when he seemed to decide on a way to start, James’ fingers soon started to dance over the keyboard, revealing my biological mother’s story.
Jamie and I were best friends throughout our school years.
We met in elementary school. I was one of the new kids and she was part of the student council and had been tasked to welcome me in the school.
However, she had about as much knowledge as you do about sign language.
She was also a little quick to come to conclusions. The fact that I didn’t answer her questions made her assume I was just a really rude person.
But that misunderstanding cleared up and we became friends.
Your mother was easy to anger and easy to confuse, but at the same time she was a strong and proud woman.
She was also caring and truthful. Truthful to herself and to others. She was as aware of her weaknesses as she was her strengths.
Yes she was prideful, but never to the point of lying about how she truly felt.
I glanced at my father’s face from time to time, noticing a distinct smile making him seem more human than all the other times I’d met him.
My mom seems like a nice woman…is it because she died that he…? My eyes drifted back to the screen.
Jamie was someone who knew what she wanted and did what she could to get it. It’s because of that, that we got together during our last year of high school.
Things got a little rocky near the end of the year though. She got pregnant with you before we finished high school, and that caused a lot of problems.
She never got to hold you. By my fault, she died before the school year ended. I was searching for a witch at the time with only a book that had a strong connection to her. Jamie was a witch, weaker than you, but still strong enough to cast the spell I needed. I asked her to see if she could find the witch using the book, and she did.
I ended up bringing the witch’s attention to her. The witch killed Jamie.
James stopped typing, the smile now gone from his face.
I had another question I wasn’t sure how to ask considering what he’d just told me. But when he looked at me, expecting a reaction, I managed to ask it.
“I’m not trying to be rude, but…how was I born then? From the sounds of it, she hadn’t been pregnant long enough for even the doctors to safely cut me out.”
James nodded, seeming a little impressed for some reason.
You were barely the size of a shrimp then. It was the witch’s doing.
Using some powerful spell, she imprisoned you in a book. It became a cocoon for you and allowed you to develop as if you were still in Jamie’s womb. Assaria, the witch, took you as a hostage.
I was imprisoned in a book? Damn…
But I eventually managed to take you back from her and made her free you.
“But then you gave me up.” The words spilled out of my mouth on their own. James’ eyes grew sad.
I didn’t want to at first.
“You were forced to?” I asked, a little too hopeful. James shook his head.
It was a voluntary choice. But it was the best one for you at the time.
You were in too much danger by my side. A lot of people had it in for me and weren’t afraid to use the people I loved as leverage against me.
I almost lost you once because of my negligence.
“Well that’s stupid. Aren’t you supposed to be able to control everyone? By giving me up, you were just allowing everyone easier access!” I said, a little pissed.
I made sure they wouldn’t be able to.
I erased everyone’s memories of you. Only Kyxa and I remember you’re my son. I also came to check up on you often. I made sure you lived a normal life, away from the people who keep wanting to kill me.
“You watched over me?” I said the words slowly, not quite believing them. I’d never seen him around. Why hadn’t he said hi once in a while? Had he? And erased my memories? “I don’t remember ever seeing you. Did you decide to mess with my memories as well?”
James seemed surprised by my question.
No never. I couldn’t if I wanted to, I made sure of that.
Just before I put you up for adoption, I gave you something to protect you against mind control. You’ve had it in you since you were a toddler. You’ve always been, and will always be, completely immune to not only me, but every vampire that has the ability to control.
“You’re not the only one?” I asked, and he shook his head.
I’m far from the only one. My mother and my brother both have the same power.
There was also my grandfather and a witch who also had the ability. Last time I saw them they couldn’t control people anymore, but I’m sure they found a way to regain that power.
“A witch again? Is it the same one that killed my mother?” James nodded.
Assaria and Velor. Those were the two I’ve been chasing for a very long while now. It’s one of the main reasons why I couldn’t come see you more often when you were at university.
Velor…that name struck a bell.
“That day on the beach…I overhead a woman telling you that a Velor would be coming to Ridgevalley in…” My eyes suddenly widened as I’d realized what I’d just said. “Wait! This Ridgevalley? Is here in this town? With the woman who murdered my mom?”
Everything I’d heard on that beach was starting to click into place.
“…And they end up killing you…what are you even doing here right now? That woman with the vision said they were never false, you’re going to die if you stay here.”
James pinched the bridge of his nose, before typing his answer.
Catarina is here.
“Catarina! What happened to her? All I know is what Annaliese told me. That you went to Twinbrook and followed them inside, only to have Catarina come out on her own and the fairy to be half dead. You know that was Annaliese’s brother? Were you trying to kill him? Why is Catarina here?” I asked, not letting James any time to reply. Eventually I caught on and shut up, and with a small sigh he started typing.
Catarina is still being controlled. We don’t know why she’s here, but Kyxa suspects the Time Keeper controlling her wants to team up with Velor and Assaria.
“Let me help this time.” I said with as much determination I could muster.
“Hmmm…” We both looked up at the sound to see Kyxa had opened the door and stuck her head inside. Who knows how long she’d been right there eavesdropping.
Seeing as she’d been found out, she let herself in.
“That’s my cue. My turn to be alone with Xavier now.” She said. Both James and I raised our eyebrows, which I only realized after Kyxa had chuckled. “Yes you two! I’m not kidding, there’s some things I want to talk about with Xavier. Alone.”
James got the message, setting my laptop down and leaving my apartment.
“You want to talk to me?” I asked, still unsure what I thought of Kyxa. She certainly had a lot of tattoos.
“Yes. Sorry, I understand this may seem a little sudden to you, but there weren’t many ways to approach you. Though, I was really sad when James decided he couldn’t protect you, I don’t think I’d want him to go back on his decision. Your parents seem to have done a good job raising you.” She said with a smile. I smiled back hesitantly. I wouldn’t either, I loved Tina and Charlie. “What I really want to do is give you the opportunity to ask me anything you want about your father. I can understand he’s a little intimidating sometimes and there are some things you can’t really ask him directly…if you know what I mean.”
Yeah, I sure did. Stuff like: how did he become a murderer?
“I’ll answer anything you have as truthfully as I can. And if you don’t want to know anything that’s fine. I’ll call James back in here and we can answer your other question, about whether you can help us or not.” Kyxa said.
I did end up asking my questions though. Because as cold as James seemed, the more I got to know him the more I was finding a little hard to see him as a cold-blooded murderer.
Kyxa happily told me everything I wanted to know, and even more so.
She ended up telling me his whole life in a ten-minute summary.
All about his hunt for Assaria, Velor and the Weapon (yeah the one they talked about on the news). All about how he gave into his power, abusing it a lot. All about how he eventually reined himself in, how they kept Assaria, Velor, the Weapon, and William in their basement. All about how much threat Assaria and Velor actually represented. Even telling me that the being possessing Catarina had ingested a magical bead, identical to the one I had, which was making her immune to James’ power. And about the fact that James was dying. Not to inform me, but to tell me even though James’ sister, Aliska, had gotten that premonition, Kyxa was certain she’d find a way to counter it. Even though it might not do anything, Kyxa wanted to get James out of the city once they’d found Catarina: whether he liked it or not.
Eventually Kyxa called James back in, and the two told me about my brother: Benjamin. Once they’d found Catarina, they’d be more than happy to have us meet, and if I wanted, I could meet my grandparents as well.
It was all a little overwhelming, so I brought the conversation back to my request: Let me help you this time.
Kyxa had smiled saying that in an ideal world they would keep me out of their problems, but I was an adult and if I did want to help I was free to do so.
Though help really just involved calling them if I spotted anyone of the four people mentioned.
Then they’d left, and I hadn’t wasted any time calling Erin.
Father son bonding ~ (didn’t think it would ever happen, geez these two…what would they do without Kyxa?)
a LITTLE rocky my ass James…