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Josh and Horace walked back into the games room, all eyes meeting theirs, Justin and Finn following them.
"He's asleep." Josh said, Justin's arm going around him.
"He'll sleep all night. He's that exhausted." Horace said, his eyes staring towards Lewis Saunders, the man seated on a couch between Emerson and Vivian, her hand in his.
"And how about yourself, Reverend? How do you feel? You've totally surprised all of us." the doctor said, crossing the room and staring down at him.
"I'm just as surprised, Horace. And I'm surprisingly calm. I still feel his calming, loving touch." the minister said, Vivian rising from her seat to allow the doctor to sit down beside Lewis.
"His touch, Lewis?" she said, looking down at her old friend, Horace's hand going forward, placing it on Lewis' forehead, the doctor only finding normal warmth, his other hand taking his pulse, finding it normal as well.
The man smiled up at Vivian, everyone quietly staring at him.
"Yes, Vivacious. I felt his touch against my forehead, and his words were filled with quiet, calming love." the man said, Vivian staring at him as Horace's hands gave the man a once over, the minister remaining still and smiling.
"You seem very normal, Lewis. Your pulse is normal as is your eye color, breathing and heartbeat. Simply remarkable! Amazing!" the doctor said, sitting back.
"I do feel I'm my myself again, Horace. And I
feel so alive! His words echoed into my soul."
"Whose words, Lewis?" Emerson said, the minister looking into the older man's green eyes.
"Lucas' words, Emerson." the man said, looking around at everyone. "Didn't you hear them?"
"He said a lot this evening, Reverend." Finn said, the man sitting down beside Skyler, his arm going around her.
"I heard in the darkness of my existence the confrontation that happened here in this room tonight. The monster showed itself again, am I correct?" the minister said, his eyes meeting Vivian's, her blue eyes staring down at Emerson seated beside the minister.
"Yes, Lewd. I saw the monster again. As did everyone else. Only this time it wasn't the monster I thought it was." she softly said, her eyes staring at Emerson as the older man's eyes lowered, Lewis looking between the two.
"He has drawn out the truth. He truly is remarkable! And I honestly didn't believe him!" the man said, his eyes showing soft tears, his fingers going to the silver cross that hung from his neck, the man wearing his cleric clothes.
"Didn't believe him about what?" Vivian said, Lewis' eyes meeting hers.
"Lucas called me at your home about two weeks ago, Vivian. It was the evening you and Henderson went out for your night of relaxation. Mavis answered the phone, she staying with me that night. I was totally surprised that he called specifically to speak with me."
"He wanted to talk to you alone?" Vivian said, Lewis nodding his head.
"Yes, Vivacious. He wanted to know all about me. About my relationship with you, his grandfather and his father, my friend Tristan. And his words and voice were so calm and giving. Even across the miles I felt the goodness and love shining in his voice. I felt myself giving in to his questions, the young man's soul drawing out the past from my own soul. He didn't ask of that night long ago, only of my relationship with you and your sister, and his father. His voice was so soothing, I felt its giving love flow into myself. He calmed my soul, Vivacious. And he asked of me only one thing. That I would journey here this weekend. He said that I had to face the past to right the future. That from this day would come the easing of our pain. Yours, mine and his grandfather's. I see now his words were truthful. I feel my own pain gone in the most miraculous of ways. I am healed! And I see before me the beginnings of the easing of your own pain, Vivacious. I see the longing within your eyes. The longing for the returning of the past. Of the past of your mother's and stepfather's love. Lucas said that it was still there, still entrapped within your souls. That he would draw if out of both of you. I see now he has begun." the minister said, everyone staring at Emerson and Vivian, their eyes drawn to each other.
Emerson stood up, the woman staring at him, her eyes filling with tears.
"I am sorry, Vivian. I thought it was the only way. I let all of you think that I was the monster you saw that night, that I was the one who'd wronged all of you." he said, the woman staring at him.
"Why, Emerson? Why would you do that?" she said, Emerson's green eyes staring at her with emotion.
"Because he loves you, Mom."
Everyone's eyes turned, focusing on a young man who stood in the open doorway of the room.
Josh was on his feet, at his lover's side, Lucas softly smiling at him.
Everyone else had stood up as well, their eyes drawn to the young man's softly smiling face, their eyes filled with love and concern.
"You should be in bed, my love." Josh said, his arms going around his man.
"I'm feeling better, Josh. And I wanted to return to the love."
Josh's blue eyes stared into Lucas' violet pools, seeing a tiredness still laying within their glowing shine.
"I'll be calm, my love. I won't tax myself again or draw forth any magic." he said, Josh nodding, quietly guiding the young man to the couch before the fireplace, Emerson and Vivian standing in front of it, Lewis at its end.
Lucas smiled at the minister, the man's eyes shining with awed happiness.
"Hello again, Reverend Saunders. You seem well." Lucas smiled, Josh guiding him down to the couch, the minister staring at Lucas.
"Well, Lucas? I am beyond well! I. . .I am healed of the greatest pain of my soul!" the man said, his eyes showing deep emotion.
"God gives us all our greatest dreams with our devotion and his love." Lucas said, the man's hand going to his cross.
"That he does, my son. And he gives us angels to guide his miracles." the man of faith said, the man beginning to bend his knees before Lucas, the young man showing soft surprise, stopping him with a hand gesture, others staring at the two with awed wonder.
"Please don't kneel, Reverend. I only guide my magic to those that need it most. As I do my love."
"You healed me, Lucas! Your words. . .they were.. . their deep faith and miraculous wonder!" he said, the young man smiling at him, the minister's eyes going around the room.
"When the commotion began and I felt the evil's magic flowing through the room, I felt a lightness of my vision, as if a bright light was shining before me." the man said, Finn looking at him.
"There was indeed a bright light, Reverend. When the second apparition came bursting into the room and attacked the monster the two were consumed in a bright flash of light. Its brightness and its intensity was what sent Lucas flying. We all thought you were seriously injured, Lucas. It didn't have that effect on any of us." Finn said, staring at his young friend with concern.
"That light would never hurt me, Finny. It was just a surprise to me, I never thought it would be that strong." Lucas said, Josh looking at him.
"What was that light, Lucky? It destroyed the monster and drove him from the room." Josh said, Lucas looking at his lover.
"It was his love, Josh."
"God's love, Lucas?" Lewis said, the young man looking at him.
"No, Reverend. Whose love it was, I'm not quite sure. But I felt it coming. That's why I wasn't totally afraid of the monster's advance. I felt the love coming. I was just surprised at its image." the young man said, settling back into the couch's thick pillows, Josh moving against him.
"He looked like you, Lucas. I was certain. . ." Emerson said, staring at his grandson.
"It wasn't father, Grandfather. You easily saw that." the young man said, Emerson nodding.
"Yes, Lucas. I saw a similarity to my Tristan, and yourself. But his image wasn't exactly correct in that regard."
"No it wasn't, Grandfather. I believe he chose that image to surprise us a little, and perhaps to give me hope." Lucas said, Josh's arm going around him.
"Hope for what, my love?"
"Hope that my father is safe, Josh. And that the monster doesn't control him."
Everyone looked at Lucas, Vivian sitting down on his other side.
"I thought it was Tristan also, Lucas. He just came into the room so fast, so charged with determination. I thought I saw your father's familiar gaze in that handsome face. Those green eyes were so intense."
Lucas smiled at his aunt, kissing her cheek.
"His eyes still shine with love, Mom. I've seen that shining love in the pool's vision."
Everyone sat down again, all eyes on Lucas, the minister still standing in front of his couch, Emerson standing beside him.
"I'm glad you're well, good Reverend. I need not your adulation. I only need your friendship. The same friendship you gave to my aunt here and my mother and father."
The man smiled, staring down at the young man.
"You have your father's grace of love and friendship, Lucas. And I now know what an angel looks like. My faith is restored and my devotion is given. To God and to yourself." the man said, Lucas softly blushing, smiling up at the older man.
"I'm just myself, Reverend. I have an open heart and a giving one."
The man smiled, looking at Emerson standing beside him.
"The next generation shines brighter than the last. Tristan's love flows again." he said, his hand going to the older man's shoulder.
"I think we have been blessed with an opening truth, Emerson. Your grandson's going to amaze us all. He's already given myself my faith back. I shall never falter from the path again." the jovial man said, staring again at Lucas.
Lucas blushed again, the minister staring at him.
"I remember every word, Lucas. Every word I heard in my mind and soul. It was you, wasn't it?" the man said, Lucas looking around the room.
"What did the voice say, Reverend?" Trish said, staring at her brother.
The man sat down beside Trish and Andrew, his blue eyes staring at Lucas.
"It said 'Life goes on, son of faith. Reach into your soul and feel the greatness of your faith. I give you that gift of acceptance. And through that you shall rinse the pain from your soul and your path shall open with truth and love. Walk forward and see what life is, walk forward and go on with your true life.'"
Everyone stared at Lucas, the young man sighing.
"Words of faith and renewal, Reverend. I am glad you took them to heart. I see your faith and pain are healed. God does work in mysterious ways." Lucas said, the man staring at him with awe.
"Humbleness is a sign of divinity, son. Please tell me the truth? I only want to thank you for the life you've returned to me." the man said, staring at Lucas with deep devotion.
"I am only a man, Reverend. As you yourself are. There are greater things in this world than humanity. I think we all saw that tonight. In the showing of evil and the hidden truth of giving love."
"Hidden truth, Lucas?" Sean said, he and his wife seated with his son and Skyler.
"Yes, Uncle Seany. There was another soul here tonight. I believe it surrounded us and protected us."
"So it wasn't you, Lucas?" the minister said, a look of soft sadness showing on his face, the man so wanting to thank Lucas for his returned soul.
"The only part I played in your recovery, sir, was the drawing of the magic. I drew it here to protect all of us. And someone else came with it."
"Who, Lucas? Your father? The real Joshua? Someone else?" Finn said, the young man leaning forward, his eyes staring at Lucas with soft wonder.
"That I haven't totally figured out yet, Finny. It
wasn't my father, of that I'm sure."
"How can you be, Lucas? He is a part of the void now." Emerson said, Vivian staring at the older man.
"Yes, Grandfather. He is in the void, as is my
mother. And the magic they once possessed is there as well. Trapped as they are.
That's why I have faith in it not being him."
"Why did that monster take on the shape of a younger Joshua or a replica of yourself?" Lance asked, Lucas looking at him.
"The monster plays with me, Lance. He wanted to throw me off." Lucas said, Vivian staring at him, then at Emerson.
"Games played with evil intent. We've all been deceived." she said, Lucas' hand going into hers.
"Yes, we have, Mom. Us tonight, and you and your friends so long ago." he said, his eyes meeting his grandfather's green pools, Emerson moving back and returning to his chair in front of the fireplace.
Vivian's blue eyes went to him for a moment, then returned to her son's staring violet pools.
"You said that Emerson deceived me because of his love for me." she said, Lucas smiling at her.
"He loved you then, Mom. And he still loves you. The greatness of a parent's love is that that love is protective. They want to protect their children from danger, and yes, even their own inadequacies." Lucas said, the young man rising from his seat, Josh standing as well, the man a second skin to Lucas' moving form.
Lucas smiled at his lover, taking his hand in his, the young man walking up to Emerson's chair, the older man staring up at him, his green eyes soft with confusion and worry.
"My Joshua protects me with his caring love, his beauty beside me to protect me against my invading tiredness. Such is the strength we gain from their protective love." he said, smiling down at his grandfather.
Their eyes met, Lucas seeing the emotion in his grandfather's green eyes.
"There is much hidden behind your eyes, Grandfather. But the magic within my soul can see into any hidden love. I see the depth of yours, and what you protect."
The man lowered his eyes, Lucas looking at Josh at his side.
"Pull me up a chair, my love. I want to talk to my grandfather."
"You're tired, Lucky. I can sense it in you."
"Yes, I am, Joshua. But I need to sleep with a contented soul. I need to right the rest of it."
Josh stared into his violet eyes, seeing the tired determination staring back at him.
Josh sighed, moving the wing chair Lucas had sat in earlier closer to Emerson's chair, Lucas sitting down beside his grandfather, his hands going into his, the two facing each other.
"You were not the monster my parents and Aunt Vivian saw that night so long ago, were you?" Lucas said, the older man's green eyes going to Vivian's blue.
"No, Lucas. I wasn't that monster. We all saw that
monster again tonight. I've spent my life trying to stop that monster's
interference, to stop that evilness from seeping into my family's life."
"I know you have, Grandfather. As have all of our ancestors, from the first courageous soul named Alsarius."
Everyone looked surprised, Josh staring down at Lucas.
"That monster has been in all of your past, Lucas?" Josh said, Lucas' eyes rising and meeting his.
"Yes, Josh. For it is a representation of the evil that has flooded my family's past, and their souls. I am the only one of the lineage that hasn't been tainted by it. And I believe I have the answer to that question." he said, Emerson's green eyes staring at his grandson.
"The book sheds light, Grandfather. A few misconceptions and questions have piqued my mind since I have read the first few chapters. It started with Alsarius and what he found deep within that Egyptian tomb so many years ago."
Emerson's eyes lowered, Lucas' hands squeezing his with tenderness.
"He found the monster, didn't he Grandfather? The monster that has enslaved my family since then."
"Enslaved, Lucas?" Henderson said, staring at his wife.
"Yes Dad. A monster of total evil that laid a trap
so long ago for an Arabian king, my ancestor Alsarius Belgras."
Emerson's eyes raised, staring into Lucas' tired determined irises.
"He and all that followed have tried to shield their
children from that evil, Lucas. But in the end it has always taken what it has
Lucas nodded, a look of knowledge showing now on his face.
"I understand now, Grandfather. I see now what you've done. You are perhaps the only one who's actually succeeded."
"I didn't succeed, Lucas! In the end I lost my son! Not to the evil but to my own cowardice!" the man said, lowering his eyes again.
"You are not a coward, Grandfather. And my father isn't lost. He's right where the being wants him."
Emerson's head raised in shock, staring at his grandson.
"No, Lucas! It. . .it can't be!"
"I'm sorry, Grandfather. He has him."
Emerson sobbed, Lucas moving, pulling the man against his chest, holding his grandfather against him, the man crying into his chest.
Everyone stared at the two, Lucas' violet eyes staring around at all of them.
"What's going on, Lucas?" Justin said, he and Lance seated across from him and Emerson, Josh still standing beside Lucas' chair.
"Deception, destiny and life, Justin. The three are a trinity of purpose. And an evil lays at its center. And evil I'm going to destroy." the young man said, Emerson backing away from his grandson. Lucas staring into his green wet pools.
"You have to leave, Lucas! I shall not lose you as well!" he said, Lucas staring at him.
"I'm not going anywhere, Grandfather. My love and magic are here to protect you."
"I am a coward, Lucas. I have given all and have gained nothing." he said, his eyes lowering again.
"You are not a coward, Grandfather. You are a man of the Belmont soul. A man with courage, strength and intellect. As were all my ancestors. I am honoured to call you my grandfather."
Emerson's eyes met his again, their green pools filled with tears.
"You are unlike any of us, Lucas. Your soul shines with freedom."
Lucas' hand went to his grandfather's shoulder.
"We all are prisoners of our souls, Grandfather. Mine just isn't attached to evil."
Vivian rose from her seat, walking over to the two men, Lucas' violet eyes meeting her blue.
The woman leaned down onto one knee, her hand going to the older man's shoulder, his eyes meeting hers.
"What's going on, Emerson? Why do I feel like I've been deceived by you? Why do I feel that you forced me away from your love?" she said, soft tears showing in her blue eyes.
"I loved you, Vivian. As the daughter I'd never had, your sister as the same. And your mother was the light of my life. For all three of you we had to deceive you."
"We? Who are you talking of?" Vivian said, her eyes meeting Lucas', the young man's hand going to her shoulder.
"He's referring to myself."
Vivian's eyes turned, meeting Grayson's blue pools, the lawyer staring at her and his old friend.
"And he's referring to me."
Vivian's eyes turned from the lawyer, two blue pools meeting hers.
"Lewis? You. . .you were in on this charade? You both were?!" she said, shock showing on her face.
The minister rose from his seat, walking up to her as she rose to her own feet, the two old friends staring at each other.
"I am sorry, Vivian. The cost was greater than the sacrifice. Or at least that's how Emerson laid it before us." the minister said, the man staring at the older man staring up at him.
"Have you all lied to me? Have you all deceived me?!" she said, tears flowing from her eyes, Henderson having seen enough.
The man rose from his seat, his arms going around his wife, pulling her against him.
Trish joined her father, her arms going around her mother, their blue eyes all staring at the three men surrounding Lucas and his grandfather, Grayson having walked up to them as well.
"What's going on here, everyone? What have you done to my Mom?" Trish said, her blue eyes meeting Lucas' face, the young man's head lowered, Emerson answering the young woman's words.
"I've protected her, Patricia. I had to to save her." the man said, Vivian's eyes meeting his green pools, she seeing the returned love shining there.
"You couldn't protect me from my heritage, Emerson. No more than you could my mother or my sister. It has to do with that, doesn't it?" she said, Trish looking at her mother with confusion.
"I thought it a foolproof plan, Vivacious! I thought it would work!" Lewis said, her blue eyes meeting his tearing blue.
"You, Lewis? You are behind this deceit?" she said, her eyes filled with tears.
Vivian's eyes moved to Lucas' seated form, the young man's head raised again, his violet pools staring at all of them.
Emerson was staring at the young man, seeing the tears showing in his tired violet eyes.
"No, Lucas. It. . .it was myself! She needs to know that I am to blame for all of this." he said, his own eyes filled with emotion.
"Don't walk away from her love, Grandfather. It's love in its purest form." Lucas said, the young man rising from his seat, walking up to his family, Vivian staring at her son.
"Her love I still feel here, Mom. It is the greatest I've ever felt. I see now what she's done."
"No, Lucas. . .it can't be!" she said, Lucas stumbling forward, his father catching him, Josh at his side in a flash, his arm going around him.
"You're exhausted, Lucas! This ends now!" Josh said, Lucas' violet eyes meeting his aunt's.
"Evil may rule this house. . .but your mother's love is its heart!" Lucas gasped, the young man collapsing into Josh's arms.
Josh sat beside the bed, his hand in Lucas', the young man sound asleep, Horace's hand on his temple.
"He's warm but not fevered. Exhaustion has finally claimed him. He's of strong vigour, his second foray into voicing truths finally took its toll. He'll definitely not move again, the sedative I gave him has done its work." the doctor said, Josh nodding his head.
Justin and Lance stood against the wall, the doctor smiling at them.
"I think tomorrow will be soon enough for any further talk of truths, Horace." Lewis said, the man standing at the end of Lucas' bed, Emerson standing beside him, Grayson on his other side.
Vivian and Henderson stood on the other side of the bed, Henderson's arm around his wife.
Everyone else was waiting outside in the hallway, Lucas' fainting spell concerning all of them.
Vivian's eyes met Emerson's, the man quietly staring at her, his green eyes going back to Lucas' sleeping form.
"His soul draws out our own inadequacies. He is so courageous." the older man said, Lewis' hand going to his shoulder.
"He is love and he is courage, Emerson. I think we should leave him to sleep. Goodnight, Josh." the minister said, Josh nodding, everyone quietly filing out of the room, all of their eyes going to Lucas' sleeping face.
Lance and Justin remained, Josh sitting on the edge of the bed now, his hand going to Lucas' face.
Justin's arm went around his friend, Lance walking around the bed and sitting down on the other side.
"He's going to be okay, Joshy. He's just tired. A night of courageous strength had indeed taxed him." Justin said, Josh nodding.
"He's risking everything, Jus. I felt the tiredness in him." Josh said, Lance's hand going to his shoulder.
"It's his family, Josh. You know he'd risk everything for those he loves." Lance said, Josh tearing up.
"I love him so much, Lance! He's my everything." Josh said, Lance and Justin smiling at each other.
"We know, Josh. We know. How about you get your clothes off and climb in beside him? He needs your protective love to clear his dreams." Lance said, Josh nodding.
Justin gently pulled Josh up to his feet, the man sensing Josh's tiredness as well, and the worry in his friend's soul.
"Stay still, Joshy. Let me undress you." Justin said, Josh smiling at him.
Justin began to open the buttons on Josh's shirt, Josh feeling two arms go around him from behind, Lance pulling the shirt off Josh's shoulders when Justin's hand undid all the buttons, Justin's fingers going to Josh's belt, the man sighing as he felt Lance's hands on his naked shoulder blades, massaging them.
"Thanks, Lancy. That feels amazing." Josh said, as Justin pulled his pants down his legs, Josh stepping out of them after Justin had removed his shoes.
Josh stood before his friends in only his boxer briefs, the two men smiling at him.
Lance gently pulled back the blankets covering Lucas' smooth body, the young man in only his boxer briefs as well, Josh having removed his clothing while Horace looked him over.
"Climb in, Joshy." he said, smiling at him.
Josh smiled, leaning forward and kissing Justin on the lips.
"Thanks, Jus. Your tender touch soothes my soul." he said, Justin smiling at him, guiding him gently to the bed, Josh kissing Lance's lips.
"Thanks, Lance. I love both of you. We both do."
"And we love both of you." Lance said, Justin's arms going around him as Josh climbed into the bed, pulling the covers up over Lucas and him.
Lucas murmured, the young man moving to his right, his body going against Josh's, Josh's arm going around him.
"See? He needs you and loves you. Goodnight, our friends." Justin said, leaning down and kissing Josh on the lips, then kissing Lucas' forehead.
Lance did the same, Josh smiling at his friends.
Lance hit the lamp switch on the nightstand, the room going into darkness.
The two men quietly walked to the door, their hands together.
They quietly walked out of the room, Justin closing the door behind his smiling face.
Josh sighed, feeling their love surrounding him, his Lucky moving more against him, Josh holding him close, kissing his forehead.
Lucas softly snored, Josh sensing the deepness of his sleep.
I love you, Lucas.
You are my life.
As are they.
I don't care what's going on here.
All I need is your love and theirs.
And I'll do everything I can to make sure I don't lose any of you.
I need you, Lucky.
I need your love.
Josh teared up, closing his eyes, feeling the warmth of the sleeping man against him.
His dreams were filled with love.
Everyone sat around the breakfast table, their thoughts and words their own.
They'd all come down for breakfast, Mavis smiling at
all of them, the woman laying a bevy of food on the sideboards, Horace helping
his wife carry it out from the kitchen, Sean and Henderson helping as well.
The woman smiled at the new Mavis in the household, their smiles matched.
"Two Mavises to ply them with our love. I'm sure a master chef as well." Mavis said, Mavis Delaney laughing, patting her arm.
"Yes, dear lady. Why do you think my son feasts for days when he's home?" she said, Finny smiling at her.
"When he thinks to come home." she continued, Finn blushing, Mavis kissing her son's cheek.
"He's in love, that and his career consumes him. I'm just happy he's happy." Mavis said, Finn beaming, kissing her cheek back.
"I am, Mom. I've get home cooking everywhere." he said, the two Mavises laughing, everyone smiling as they sat down to breakfast.
Emerson walked into the room, followed by Grayson, Vivian's eyes meeting his, the older man softly smiling at everyone.
"Good morning, everyone. How finds my grandson, Horace?" he said, looking towards the doctor as he sat in his chair at the head of the table.
"He is awake and calm, Emerson. His old self is shining again, as if that's surprising." the man said, everyone smiling at him.
"It warms my heart that he's well." the older man said, Vivian quietly staring at him.
Reverend Saunders walked into the room, smiling at everyone.
"Good morning, everyone. I just met Josh in the hallway upstairs. Lucas is showering and they'll both join us in a short moment. Josh says he's well and his old self." the minister smiled, his blue eyes meeting Vivian's blue pools.
"Lucas was always an energetic, resourceful child. Illness never stayed with him long. I believe his magic always heals him." she said, Henderson smiling at his wife, the man seated beside her.
Lewis nodded, the man sitting down on the left side of the table, the man seated across from Vivian.
The chair to his right was empty, as was the one beside Vivian, their emptiness separating the two from Emerson's head chair.
"His father was the same. I believe it is a Belmont trait. My father and grandfather were robust as well. As was I when younger. Life's path seeps the energy out of you. But I survive, and have my own recovering strength." the man said, Vivian softly smiling at him.
"I don't want Lucas upset this morning, Emerson. I know that he will try and draw out the truth of our past." Vivian said, the man nodding at her.
"I want the same, Vivian. I love him as well." Emerson said, Vivian's smile showing a bit more.
"It's wonderful to be so loved."
All eyes moved to the dining room doorway, Lucas standing there, Josh beside him, their hands joined.
Emerson stood up, Lucas smiling at him as he walked up to the table.
The young man kissed his grandfather's cheek, the older man smiling at him.
"It is good to see you well, my grandson. I was so worried last night." he said, Lucas nodding his head.
"Nothing here can hurt me, Grandfather. My soul has energized. Life continues." he smiled, the young man sitting down in the empty chair on Emerson's left side, Josh smiling at his lover, the man walking around the table and sitting down beside Vivian on Emerson's right.
Lucas' violet eyes went around the table, everyone smiling at him.
"Good morning, everyone. You didn't have to wait for me. I'm sure Finny's dying of hunger." he smiled, Finn smiling at his friend.
"Two Mavises, Lukey! They're both cooking masters!"
Lucas laughed, everyone smiling at his calmness and smiling face.
"It's good to see you better, brother." Trish said, Lucas smiling at her.
"Love strengthens me, Trishy. My Josh's tenderness warmed my soul, as did the warm shower he gave me."
Josh smiled, his eyes meeting his Lucky's.
"Saving on water guys?" Finn smirked, Harry smirking as well, seated beside him.
Joshy blushed a little, Lucas smiling.
"Yes we did, Finny. And we used your shower." Lucas said, Josh laughing.
"We're getting the place disinfected, babe!" Finn grinned, Skyler laughing.
"Yeah, I'd get the drain pumped as well. There was an awful lot of hair on the shower floor. You shedding again, Finny?"
Everyone laughed, Mavis smiling at their laughter as she walked out of the kitchen.
The woman walked up to Emerson, leaning down and whispering in his ear, the man's green eyes going towards Finn.
The older man burst out into laughter, his loud laugh filling the room, everyone smiling and showing surprise.
Lucas smiled at his grandfather, seeing the joyful happiness on his face.
The older man winked at him, patting his arm which lay on the table beside him, the man looking at Finn.
"Did you come down for a late night snack last night, Finn?" Emerson said, the young man looking confused.
Emerson laughed again, smiling at Mavis still standing beside him with a confused look on the cook's face as well.
"Tell everyone what you informed me of, Mavis." he smiled, the woman looking around at everyone.
"I said that we need to set traps again, Emerson. I found a hair ball in the pantry."
Lucas lost it, Justin joining him, Finn turning red with blushing hue.
Everyone laughed, the room filled with ironic laughter, Finn the center of the fun.
"Only you, Finny! And you're a card, Grandfather!" Lucas laughed, the young man smiling at his grandfather.
Emerson smiled widely, patting his arm again.
"I'm famished, Mavis! Let's hit that buffet! Come,
Lucas! You have to taste her honey flapjacks!" he said, rising from his seat,
Lucas joining him.
Everyone rose from their seats, following the two to Mavis' laid-out spread.
Everyone sat with contented hearts around the table, Mavis filling coffee cups again for the third time.
"A feast fit for the Queen of England, Mavis!" Finn said, the woman smiling at him, his cheeks again their normal hue.
"Thank you, son. I'm sure it doesn't match your mother's, but then it's laced with more love." she smiled, Mavis smiling at her son.
"That it is, Mavis." Finn said, his mother smiling at him.
"I volunteer for tomorrow morning, Mavis. I love feeding a large brood as well." Mavis said, the other Mavis smiling at her.
"Another morning off. I could get used to this." she smiled, everyone smiling at her.
"There is no competition when the meal is filled with love. Mamma Mavis and Mavis are two of giving love." Lucas said, the two women smiling at him.
Lucas set his cup down, the young man smiling at his aunt, Vivian's blue eyes staring at him.
"I'm sure last night's moments have troubled everyone. I didn't want to fill your hearts with concern." Lucas said, everyone looking at him, his violet eyes meeting his grandfather's green.
"The past should remain that, Lucas. We should accept the present and what it now shows. I will understand if you decide to leave, my grandson. I fear for you myself. I don't like what resides here, and I don't want you hurt again." the man said, Lucas seeing the love shining in his grandfather's green eyes.
"I am not afraid, Grandfather. And I would never leave you when you need my love the most. I am not my father's son."
The older man teared up, Lucas' hand going on top of his.
"I love you, Grandfather. And I accept your past, as well as my family's. For I see the love shining through all of it."
"It can't be stopped, Lucas. We have all tried to achieve that dream. The trinities have gone on, the pacts given over to the future."
The young man nodded, his violet eyes meeting Emerson's green again.
"And I am the enigma that stands outside the mystery."
The older man sighed, everyone staring at the two.
"The darkness has given way to a new day, Grandfather. I think we should go outside and enjoy it."
Emerson nodded, looking at his grandson.
"I'll fill the coffee pot and the juice pitchers, Lucas. The south veranda is shaded in the morning." Mavis said, Lucas smiling and nodding.
"A wonderful idea, Mavis. The sunshine will warm all of our souls." Lucas said, standing up.
"I'll help you, Mavis. And I'm a whiz in the kitchen as well. We'll get this all cleaned up fast." Mavis Delaney said, the woman smiling and accepting her help.
Lucas' arm went in his grandfather's, the man smiling at him.
"Come, everyone. Let's adjourn into the sunshine." Lucas said, the young man guiding his grandfather out of the dining room, the others exchanging looks and following.
Vivian's eyes met Lewis', the minister smiling at her, the two walking in silence behind their friends.
Lucas sighed, the young man seated in a comfortable wicker armchair, its back high and cushioned.
"Comfy, my love?" Josh said, seated beside him on a couch with Lance and Justin, the young man smiling at all three.
"I'm fine, Beamy. The sun warms my soul." he said, smiling around at everyone, everyone relaxing on the large veranda in chairs and on couches.
Emerson sat in another wicker chair beside Lucas, Vivian and Henderson seated on a couch across from them, Lewis seated on another couch with Trish and Andrew.
Everyone else sat around, relaxing on the shaded veranda, the view before them on the large pond that stretched across the front of the stately mansion.
"How deep is the lake, Emerson?" Harry said, his eyes looking out at the view, the young man leaning against the railing of the veranda.
"Over one hundred feet in some spots, Harry. Stocked well with fish, exotic and American varieties."
"A beautiful view. Like a northern visage of natural beauty." Lucas smiled, Grayson smiling at him when their eyes met.
"That it is, Lucas. And the fishing is spectacular. I have fished it often." the lawyer said, Emerson smiling at his old friend.
"You just like the solitude out on the lake, Gray. It helps unwind your corporate mind." the man said, Grayson smiling at him and then towards Lucas.
"Your grandfather and I have often sat out there for hours without speaking a word. Tranquility and beauty eases a mind." he said, smiling out towards the lake.
"Some minds can never be eased. But perhaps they only need the right touch. The right giving, easing love." Lucas said, Emerson's green eyes meeting Lucas' violet.
The older man looked out at the lake, his green eyes lowering for a moment.
"Why haven't you spoken of it, Lucas?"
"I wanted you to voice it yourself, Grandfather. The book spoke of it for only a moment. I sensed its true meaning. And what's come to pass. And what will pass again."
Everyone quieted down, their eyes staring at the two, sensing the quiet resolve showing in both.
The older man's eyes raised, staring into his grandson's violet pools, seeing so much giving love shining back.
"Your intellect is unlike any I've experienced, Lucas. You are so unlike any of us."
"You know the truth of why that is, Grandfather. And
perhaps why that may be my greatest advantage against the evil. It has no claim
The older man nodded, Lucas staring at him.
"When do you complete the Trinity, Grandfather? When do you ascend to the role of Guardian?"
Emerson's eyes teared up, Lucas' hand going into his.
"Next October, Lucas. On the thirteenth of that month."
"On the two hundredth anniversary of Belmont Industries." Lucas said, everyone looking surprised by that answer.
Lucas released his grandfather's hand, the young man going to the railing, Harry staring at him.
The young man looked out on the lake, a soft sigh coming from him.
"It's also another anniversary dear to your heart, and to your existence." Lucas said, the older man's green eyes staring at him.
"I sense you know, Lucas."
"Yes, Grandfather. Alsarius' own life story gained that answer in my heart. The Trinity of the Belmont dynasty--the Creation, the Being and then the Guardian."
Lucas turned around, staring at his grandfather, his violet eyes showing deep understanding and love.
"It is alright, Grandfather. I love you as you are, regardless of your life's path, or the paths of my ancestors."
The older man stood up, walking up to Lucas, staring into his violet pools.
"The greatest joy in all of it was my finding you, my grandson. For you are the reality of the truth of what your father's done. Of what none of us could do."
Lucas nodded, his hands going into his grandfather's, the young man feeling the strength and energy flowing from the older man.
"That day will also be your birthday, Grandfather. A special significant milestone of your giving, loving life."
Emerson nodded, Lucas smiling at him.
The older man looked around at everyone, Grayson's and Horace's eyes staring at him with giving love and compassion.
Emerson sighed, staring into his grandson's violet eyes of calm accepting love.
"Yes, Lucas. For that day next year will be my two hundredth birthday."
End of Chapter 68
Emerson is a lot older that you imagined!
I at least hope, lol.
The old man's steeped in mystery and now shown longevity.
What is the Trinity?
And the three stages that Lucas spoke of?
It seems Lucas' whole family is filled with magic and wonder.
And perhaps Lucas is the nexus of its existence.
Or the enigma of the mystery as he stated.
Up next: A grand ball fills the old mansion with dancing happiness.
And the past returns.
And evil's hand shows again.
Read on my friends, the answers will slowly show themselves.