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Lucas' violet eyes opened, staring into two blue pools of showing concern, their aqua blue irises showing wetness.
"You fainted, my love. Stay still." Josh said, his arm across Lucas' chest, the young man realizing he was laying down.
Lucas began to move, Josh's loving strength holding him down.
"You've taxed yourself, Lucky. You look exhausted! This ends now!" Josh said, Lucas hearing the love and emotional worry in his manly voice.
"Alright, my love. I'll rest. I just need to see. . .where is. . .she?" he softly said, Josh staring at him.
"I'm right here, my child." a feminine voice said above Lucas, two violet eyes coming into his field of vision, Lucas seeing his mother's arms around the woman, the two looking down at him.
"Welcome. . .welcome back, Grandmother." Lucas softly said, his eyes slowly closing.
The woman teared up, her daughter staring down at the young man.
"What. . .what has he done?" the older woman said, Josh's blue eyes looking up at her and Vivian.
"He's exhausted himself to the edge of danger." Josh said, Horace looking at the man.
"We should move him upstairs. I'll go fetch my bag." the doctor said, everyone watching him walk into the house.
"I'll help you move him, Josh. Let me carry him." Finn said, Justin and Lance at his side, the three standing at the end of the couch Lucas was laying on.
The veranda's couch was surrounded by everyone, all their eyes on the young, now comatose man.
"Thanks, Finny." Josh said, the young man moving around the couch, Justin moving with him, Justin helping Finn lift the young man up, Lucas' head going against Finn's chest, the young man not awakening, Justin's arms around him as well, the young man in the center of their strong arms.
Josh followed them as they walked towards the doorway into the house, his blue eyes looking at everyone, meeting Emerson's green last.
"He will be alright, Josh. His magic is so strong. It will heal him." the man softly said, his green eyes going to his sleeping grandson.
Josh stared at him.
"He is my soul, Emerson. And his love at times is all giving. He's exhausted himself."
Emerson nodded, his green eyes going towards two violet pools, his lost wife staring at the young man as well.
"He is love." she softly said, Vivian's arms still around her, she watching the three men carry Lucas into the house.
Lewis turned from the young man's disappearing form, his blue eyes staring at the older woman standing with Vivian.
"Hello again, dear lady. It has been long since I have looked upon your visionary beauty. You have not changed an iota!" the minister said, the woman softly smiling at him.
"But you have, Lewd of my children's youth. Your faith now shows in your showing form." she said, her violet eyes taking in his clerical clothing.
"I am given to God's duty and given unto faith. And you are blessed with God's protection. As well as that giving young man's." the man said, Francesca's eyes moving around the room, meeting everyone's gaze.
"The place seems filled with new faces, my friend. Although I see dear Grayson's has aged, but love shows there nonetheless."
Grayson smiled, staring at his old friend.
"We weathered time, Franny. You weathered love."
She smiled, her eyes turning to the last of those staring at her.
"The first I see, the last face the most beautiful. Hello, Emerson." she said, her voice laced with emotion.
Everyone stood around the veranda, all eyes on the two staring at each other.
Francesca slowly moved, walking up to the man, staring into his green eyes.
"I. . .I thought I'd lost you, Franny! I thought our gamble had ripped you from my soul." he said, his voice choking with emotion.
"I always told you my soul was yours, Emmanuel. It was always awaiting you there in the darkness. As was my love."
Emerson sobbed, the woman moving, the two connecting in an embrace of intense emotion and love.
Their lips met, a kiss of forgotten love igniting their separated souls.
Everyone lowered their eyes, the emotion of the moment echoing across the silent veranda.
The moment was broken by the chirping of a bird in the garden in front of the veranda, Emerson and Francesca broke their kiss, the two staring into each other's eyes.
"Our sparrow of love sings again." he said, Francesca staring into his eyes, her face taking on a look of total smiling love.
"I love you, Emerson. In that realm and in this."
"I love you, Franny."
The two smiled, Vivian moving across the veranda, walking up to both, staring at both.
"Where did you go, Mom? Where have you been all these years? You disappeared into that bright light. Moments ago it brought you back again. Where were you?" she said, everyone surrounding them thinking on the same question.
"I was safe within the love, my child."
Everyone stared at her, Emerson's green eyes filled with love.
"The love, Franny?"
The woman looked at him again.
"How. . .how long have I been gone, Em?"
Grayson looked at his old friends, walking up to them as well.
"Twenty-two years, Franny. Twenty-two years ago tomorrow night you disappeared."
"It felt like only a moment. But I see the truth in your, Lewis' and my daughter's aged looks that you speak of truth, Gray."
Gray nodded, staring at her.
"What happened that night, Franny? What did you do?" Grayson said, her violet eyes meeting Emerson's green.
"I trusted my husband, Gray. That night I trusted his love and his magic." she said, staring at her husband, Vivian's eyes meeting his as well.
"I'm. . .I'm sorry, Franny. I didn't think it would. . .that you would. . ." Emerson said, Francesca smiling at him.
"We risked it for love, Emerson. For their safety and their lives. I regret nothing that happened. We both accepted that."
Vivian's blue pools went between the two, her eyes widening.
"You. . .it. . .it's true! You both risked everything to save all of us!" she softly said, Francesca's eyes meeting Emerson's.
"Yes, Vivian. It was my idea. Using the magic of its own devising against it. Only it wasn't quite what I expected. The end result was beyond imaginable." Francesca said.
"What do you mean, my love?" Emerson said, his arm going around her again.
She looked around at everyone, her eyes going to the doorway into the house.
Her eyes turned, staring at her husband again.
"We had it wrong, Emmanuel."
"Had what wrong, Franny?" Emerson said, the woman sighing.
"The stone isn't of the evil's magic. It didn't create it."
Emerson looked confused, staring at his wife.
"What do you mean, Franny? It possessed it."
Franny nodded, her eyes looking towards the house again.
"It was love's creation, Emerson. And that young man pulled me from love's center."
Josh moved, two arms wrapping around him closer.
"He's going to be okay, Joshy." Justin said, the man holding his friend, the two sitting on the edge of Lucas' bed, Lance seated on the other side of them, Lucas' sleeping form between them.
The young man was breathing softly, his breathing relaxed.
Finn had carried his friend to his bedroom, Josh covering him with a blanket, the young man oblivious to his surroundings, sleeping soundly.
Finn had hugged all three of them, the young man quietly leaving, returning to his own love downstairs.
Horace had arrived a few minutes after.
He'd quietly examined Lucas after Finn had taken him to his room, the doctor's verdict one of total exhaustion.
His words had soothed Josh's soul, the man grateful for that truth.
Lucas just needed rest and he'd return to his old self.
The man had left about half an hour ago.
"He'll sleep for a few hours, Josh. He's just exhausted. Whatever he did to draw his grandmother from wherever she was has taken its toll on him. He just needs rest. Our loving Lucas will be himself soon enough." Lance said, Justin smiling at his soulmate.
"He's my everything, Lancy." Josh said, Justin kissing his cheek.
"We know, Joshy. We see your love and we see his. And Lance is right. Our Lucky used a great magic I believe to bring her out of the past. I saw it in his eyes just before he did it. He knew of the risk to himself. But he did it anyway." Justin said, his blue eyes staring down at the young man who lived in his soul, along with the other two seated around him.
"Because he loves her. Even though he'd never met her he drew her love to him." Josh softly said, Lance staring at him.
"His love draws all, Josh." Lance said, the man staring at him, Lance smiling at him and Justin.
"Look what he's done for all three of us. Our hearts are filled with a joined love." Justin said, his two friends staring at him.
"I love you both, and I love him." Lance said, Josh and Justin smiling at him, Josh's eyes returning to his sleeping lover.
"His love is so real, guys. It flows into our souls."
Justin smiled, staring at the sleeping young man.
"Everything about him is love, Joshy."
Josh smiled, leaning over and kissing his friend's lips.
"As are you, Jus. And you Lancy. I've been so blessed."
The other two smiled, a soft knock coming to the door.
Lance rose up, quietly going to the door, opening it.
Trish stood in the hallway, smiling at Lance.
"How is he?"
"He's sound asleep, Trishy."
She smiled, walking into the room quietly, smiling at all three.
"The Mavises have a large supper prepared. I was sent up to get you three. You all need energy." she said, Josh rising and putting his arms around her, hugging her close.
"With all the drama downstairs we haven't had much time to talk to you, Trishy. This started with a revealing truth about yourself. How are you doing?" Justin said, the man having risen as well, staring at the young woman in Josh's arms.
Trish smiled at her friends, staring into Justin's blue eyes, seeing the concern and loving friendship there.
"I'm doing okay, Justin. My brother's love has opened my heart to the truth. We mirror our lives in so many ways. Both of us were hidden behind the love of our not-so-real parents, but the love was genuine. Mom and Dad have my love, as does he. He drew out the truth he knew I needed to know. His love was foremost in that need. As it was in what he's now done for his grandfather and grandmother. My new grandparents as well."
"How is she doing?" Lance said, the young woman smiling at him.
"Surprisingly she's fine. A bit mysterious, but
fine. She seems hesitant to speak more of what happened to her. She said she
needed to talk to her grandson when he was well again. His love, she said, would
cleanse the mystery. Emerson's beside himself with happiness. It's as if a cloud
has lifted off him and his heart's healed. He's showing all the signs of a
youthful child. You can see the hidden love showing now."
The three men smiled, all their eyes going to the bed.
"Our Lucky's been stirring the love." she said, the young woman moving to the bed, gently sitting down, leaning forward and kissing her brother's forehead.
"Thank you, Lucky. For giving me my life and its truthful soul. I can now walk forward as myself."
Everyone behind her smiled, Lance's arm going around his Justin, the two kissing lightly.
Josh smiled as Trish rose again.
"Come you three. Supper awaits." she smiled, the three nodding, Josh moving to the bed, quietly covering his man more with the blanket, leaning down and softly kissing his man's soft warm lips.
"I'll be right back my love. Sleep with my love in your soul." he said, the other three smiling, Josh standing up again, Trish's arm going around him.
"Come on, Josh. Energy first, and then you can
surround him with your love."
Josh smiled, the four quietly walking out of the room, Josh closing the door quietly behind him.
Two violet eyes opened the moment the door closed.
Josh's blue eyes moved around the large dining room table, taking in the gathered love, smiling at its new center.
At the end of the table two chairs away from him sat a man of regained happiness and smiling love.
Emerson was indeed a changed man.
His looks seemed more vibrant, more youthful, his happy smiling face belaying the hidden age behind those mesmerizing green eyes.
To his right sat a woman of regal beauty, her smile as intoxicating and as warm and loving.
To Emerson's left sat his daughter, Vivian's face showing a glowing happiness as well.
Josh sat beside her, the man feeling her total happiness at having her loving parents back.
Emerson had insisted that Josh sit beside her, the young man welcomed into the family unit as the love of their missing grandson.
The first words out of Emerson's mouth had been of his grandson's condition, Josh seeing his showing concern and love.
"He sleeps in my love, Emerson. And you now walk in
The man had smiled widely, his arm around his wife, the group walking into the dining room.
Grayson's blue eyes shone from the end of the table, staring at his old friends.
"It is good to have you back in this room, and in this house, Franny. You can feel the change throughout it. It is the radiating, returned love." he said, Horace nodding his head as well, the doctor smiling at her.
Here now they sat at dinner, eating the rich food the two Mavises had quickly prepared, the group joining under their love.
"It is wonderful to see your smiling face again, Francesca." Mavis the cook had said, the two women gently hugging, their friendship returned.
"And yours as well, Mavis. I smelled the love in the darkness."
The woman had beamed, Horace smiling beside his wife.
"Your food is as rich as I remember, Mavis. Long have I missed it." she said, sampling the food on her plate, Mavis smiling at her from her seat.
"It's part of the love of this old house, Francesca. As is your returned self."
The woman smiled, her eyes scanning those surrounding her.
"I see that love flowing around us. So many new faces. Our grandson's love draws many." she said, smiling around at everyone, her eyes drawn back to Emerson's green pools, his hand going in hers.
"My love draws all."
Everyone's eyes moved towards the new voice, Josh rising out of his chair.
Lucas stood in the room's doorway, his smiling young face drawing all their looks.
Josh walked up to him, his violet eyes meeting his concerned blue.
Josh saw that the young man had changed his clothing, the man now wearing a black suit jacket and black shirt and jeans, the shirt open at the throat.
"You need to rest, my love!" he said with emotion, his blue eyes scanning Lucas' tall erect, muscular body.
"I'm fine, Beamy. My magic heals my exhaustion. I just needed to recharge the battery of my existence." Lucas said, his arms pulling the man against him, their lips meeting.
Josh became lost in the depth of the kiss of love.
The two broke, everyone rising from the table, staring at the look of soft emotion on Josh's face, two violet eyes meeting each set of staring eyes.
"I am well, everyone. Still a bit tired but well. I just need the surrounding love to heal the last of myself. But I take in what I must." he quietly said, the young man walking forward, walking up to his grandfather.
Josh's blue eyes were staring at Lucas with quiet concern.
Emerson's green eyes were staring at him, his face a mask of sudden emotion.
"Happiness, Grandfather. I see the happiness on your face. That was worth the risk. The returned love was worth the risk." Lucas said, his violet eyes now staring at two other violet pools of showing emotion.
Emerson's hand went to his grandson's shoulder, their eyes meeting again.
"You have. . .you have returned to me my soul, Lucas! I feel. . .I feel more alive than I have long felt!"
Lucas smiled, kissing his grandfather's cheek.
"Her love revitalizes you, Grandfather. I see before me the true heart of the Belmont soul."
Emerson teared up, Francesca moving around the table, standing at her husband's side, staring into her new grandson's violet pools.
"You have. . .you have your mother's eyes, Lucas. And I see her love within them."
Lucas smiled, staring into her identical violet pools.
"We both have your love and eyes, Grandmother."
"Oh. . .oh, Lucas! I felt. . .I felt your love in the darkness!" she suddenly sobbed, the young man pulling her into his arms, gently holding her against him, Emerson's eyes filled with emotional love, his hand on her back, gently rubbing it.
Lucas smiled into his green eyes, Emerson seeing the total love shining there.
"I felt your love as well, Grandmother. That's what my magic latched on to. It was strong enough to pull you back into our love." Lucas said, the woman moving back from his embrace, staring into his violet pools.
Her eyes moved downward, staring at the pendant hanging around his muscled throat, her fingers going against the red stone, its center softly glowing at her touch.
Her irises raised again, meeting his violet centers.
"I have the magic and love, Grandmother. And that's enough." he said, Francesca nodding.
"Come, my grandson. Mavis' food awaits." Emerson said, Vivian smiling at her parents, her eyes meeting Lucas'.
"You are my nephew, my adoptive son, Lucas. What you've done here. . ." she said with soft emotion, Lucas smiling at her.
"You are my mother of love, and my Mom. I only did what had to be done." he said, Vivian tearing up, Francesca smiling at her daughter.
"Lucas, I. . .."
"You have them back, Mom. We have their love now with us." he said, Vivian smiling at him.
She guided the young man to the table, Josh following them, Vivian giving Lucas her seat beside Emerson, Henderson pulling a chair up beside his seat for his wife, right beside Francesca's seat.
Everyone returned to their seats, Lucas joining them at the table.
Lucas sighed, setting down his empty coffee cup, the young man sinking back into the comfortable couch, the man feeling the surrounding warmth of the man's arms wrapped around him.
He also felt the warmth of the two men seated beside them, Justin's closeness intoxicating, his hand on Lucas' knee.
Lucas' jacket lay on the armrest of the couch, the evening still a tad warm, his black silk shirt clinging to his muscled chest, Justin admiring the vision of beauty seated beside him.
Lucas smiled around the veranda, taking in all the surrounding happiness.
His eyes met his grandfather's, the man's green pools showing deep happiness.
Dinner had been happy, everyone asking the woman beside Emerson questions, Francesca smiling back with guarded quiet answers, no real truth coming out.
Lucas had talked with everyone, his love showing, but his soul seemed just as guarded, but still loving.
Josh sensed that the two were weighing their thoughts, a moment of revealing truth perhaps coming soon.
Here now they'd all adjourned again to the veranda to take in the cooling breeze of the late evening's end.
"Feeling alright, my love?" Josh said, holding the young man against him, Lucas smiling.
"Let's see. I'm stuffed with delicious goodness, I'm in my family's ancestral home, and I'm in the arms of the man I love. I'd say I'm doing okay."
"Just okay, Lukey?" Finn smiled from the seat beside his Skyler across from them.
"Okay, Finny. Let's just say I'm damn near bursting with happiness." he said, Josh smiling, Finn chuckling.
"Better get some Kleenex, Joshy. Luke may have an accident."
Everyone laughed, Lucas smiling, the young man sitting up, smiling at his Welsh friend.
"Something for you to blow your nose with later, perv."
Finn laughed, Skyler rolling her eyes, smiling at Lucas.
"You're indeed back, Lukey."
Lucas smiled, looking around at everyone.
"I never left, Sky. The love keeps me here always." Lucas said, his violet pools meeting two other violet pools.
Another set of blue pools had quietly watched him all evening, their centers deep within their own thoughts.
That soul's voice was about to take a leap of faith.
Lucas beat him to it.
"Ask your question, Reverend." Lucas said, their eyes meeting.
Lewis looked surprised, Lucas smiling at him.
"I've felt your brooding faithful thoughts through dinner, Lewis. A man of faith seeing faith unfold before him."
"You. . .you drew into God's universe, Lucas. You returned a lost soul unto life." the minister said, staring at the young man with awed wonder.
"You were given sight to see what surrounds you, Reverend. I was given love to love those that surround me. Whether hidden or in front of me." Lucas said, Josh staring quietly at him.
Lucas moved, Josh releasing him, the young man rising from his seat, walking up to the veranda's railing, staring out into the mansion's beautiful gardens.
Everyone stared quietly at him, Josh's eyes glued to him.
The minister rose from his seat, walking up to the young man.
"I thank God for that returned vision, Lucas. As I thank God for the things I have seen. Whether they are of magic or his divine interference. For I see the love behind them as well."
Lucas smiled, his violet eyes meeting his blue.
"Ask away, servant of His love."
The minister looked around at everyone, staring towards Francesca.
"What was that light, Lucas?"
Lucas sighed, staring out into the gardens again, seeing the sun was now sinking behind the hills on the far side of the bridge.
Jefferson had walked onto the veranda a few moments earlier, lighting all the lamps and adjusting their brightness for the coming evening.
"It was the light of his love, Reverend Saunders."
The man seemed surprised by Lucas' answer, as did everyone surrounding them.
"God's love, Lucas?" Lewis said, Lucas lowering his head for a moment, staring down into the garden.
"What is love, Reverend?" Lucas said, the minister again surprised by Lucas' sudden question.
The young man's head raised, staring at the minister.
"Yes, Lewis. What is your definition of love?"
The man looked around at everyone, thinking on Lucas' question.
"Well, Lucas. I'm sure everyone has their own consensus on what it means. For me it means emotion. Love is an emotion. A feeling within one's soul. Love is an emotion of life."
The young man nodded, smiling at the minister.
"Well said and defined, Lewis. And spoken from more than your faithful soul. We all hold love in our hearts, in many forms. As there are degrees of love as well. Some intense, some calm and radiating."
The minister nodded, looking at Lucas.
"Was that the light of total love? Of God's total intervention and giving soul?" he said, Lucas' violet eyes meeting his blue.
"I feel your faith, kind sir. And I see the hope within your eyes." Lucas said, smiling at the faithful man.
"We witnessed magic and touching love, Lucas. You can't say that God hadn't a hand in that." Lewis said, Lucas turning and leaning back against the railing, staring around at everyone.
"God has his hand in everything, Reverend. But today's magic had another hand in its creation. A hand that's delved into perhaps something it never should have sought out. The reason behind it was love, of that I'm certain. But the end result perhaps was more that he'd bargained for." Lucas said, Josh rising from his seat, walking up beside Lucas, their eyes meeting.
"You're talking in riddles again, my love." he smiled, Lucas softly smiling at him.
"Life is a riddle, my love. And my own life is an enigma within a riddle."
"You're you as I've always told you, my love. You're real and your love is ours." Josh said, Lucas smiling and leaning forward and kissing him on his lips.
"I know I'm real, Joshua. I see the realness all too well." Lucas said, his eyes scanning around, meeting Francesca's violet pools, her eyes locked on his.
Lucas' violet pools moved, meeting Lewis' blue.
"To answer your question, Lewis, that light as I said was love. But it isn't God's love. At least not totally. But I believe He knows all too well of it."
The minister's eyes lowered, Lucas' hand going out and resting on his shoulder.
"There is God in the love's soul, Lewis. And faith
"I. . .I thought it was a revelation of God's trueness, Lucas. The shining light of His love." the minister said, Lucas smiling at him.
"God's love is all around us, Lewis. In everything you now can see again. In everything we all do and show." Lucas said, the minister smiling at him now.
"I see life through giving eyes, Lucas. I can see the love in everything."
His eyes met Francesca's again, looking at Lewis again.
"Grandmother wasn't in the void of the next life, Reverend. She was alive and living in a state of perpetual denial. The denial of this world. Of this existence."
"You mean she was hidden from this life? Living in a state of unknown self?" the minister said, looking towards the woman with surprise.
"Not a true state of unknown life. I know there were moments when she walked back into this world. Guided here by the one who watches us."
Everyone looked confused, Lucas staring at his grandfather.
"You've seen your wife since that day she disappeared so long ago, Grandfather. Haven't you, Grandfather?"
Emerson looked around, his head slowly nodding.
Vivian looked shocked, staring at her parents
"Yes, Lucas. On several--albeit infrequent--occasions I had seen a vision of her down in the catacombs, in the sacred hidden room."
Everyone looked surprised, Francesca showing a look of surprise as well.
"I. . .I thought them only dreams, of seeing you in the room, of guiding you to. . ." She said, her voice ending in mid-sentence.
"Of guiding Grandfather towards giving me the artifacts?" Lucas said, finishing her sentence.
The woman slowly nodded, showing surprise on her face.
"I remember feeling that you needed to have them, Lucas. That somehow I needed to guide Emerson towards you."
"Yes, you did feel that. For he made you feel it." Lucas said, Josh staring at him.
"Who made her feel it, Lucky?"
"The one of the love, Joshua. The one whose love is beyond blinding."
Lewis nodded, Josh's arm going around his man.
"So whose love shines so brightly, Lucas? Whose love was Francesca guided out of?" Josh said, the man feeling Lucas tremble a bit, a soft gasp coming out of him.
Lucas' eyes met his grandparents', the older woman rising from her seat beside Emerson's, the man rising as well.
Lucas' eyes lowered for a moment, Josh staring at him, Francesca and Emerson walking up to the young man.
"I felt its warmth and giving light, Lucas. It was like being wrapped in life, in emotion and in need." she said, Lucas' head raising, staring into her violet eyes, everyone seeing a soft moisture in his violet pools.
"The stone is the conduit, dear lady. The stone of life and love. But it is also the prison into which he locked himself away."
Everyone looked confused, Josh staring at his man.
"Who locked himself away?"
Lucas' eyes met Josh's, the young man raising up the stone hanging around his neck
"Alsarius, Josh. The founder of my family is imprisoned within this stone."
The veranda was blanketed in stunned silence, Finn breaking the silence.
"That's unbelievable, Lukey!" he said, his voice resonating with surprise across the quietness.
"Do you think I don't know that, Finny?" Lucas said, his voice laced with soft emotion, Finn's blue eyes meeting his.
The young man stood up, walking to his friend.
"Are you alright, Luke?" he said with concern, Lucas' eyes still soft with wet emotion.
"No, Finny. I'm not alright. I'm. . .I'm lost in the truth. . .I'm lost in the reality of all of it. Of what I. . .of what I saw and felt." he said, Finn's arms going around his friend, Lucas softly gasping against his friend's chest, Finn's eyes meeting Josh's blue concerned pools.
"You're hurt, Lucas!" Finn said, his young friend softly crying against his chest.
"I felt its strength, and its resolve. And. . .and I felt the. . .claws."
Finn backed up, the man's hands going to Lucas' black silk shirt, Lucas remaining still, his eyes filled with tears.
Finn quickly but gently removed his friend's shirt, Josh's eyes widening in tearful concern, others gasping when Finn gently turned the young man around.
Across Lucas' bare back were several claw marks, slashes going vertically down his back.
"Sit down, Luke." Finn said, taking charge of his friend's care, guiding him back to his couch, Justin and Lance's eyes widening with tearful concern.
"I'm. . .I'm alright, everyone. Its pain has lessened." the young man said, Horace at his side, the doctor taking in the lacerations across his back.
"This is impossible, Lucas! These lacerations look very deep but greatly healed. It would take months for these to heal as much as they have!" the doctor said, staring with awed fascination, gently running his fingers across the scarred tissue.
"My magic strengthens me, Horace. But I must bear what I must." Lucas said, softly gasping, Josh at his side now.
"This is enough, Lucas. You've been hurt." he said, Lucas' violet eyes meeting his blue, Josh seeing the determination and love shining there.
"Yes, I'm hurt, but I'm here, Beamy. That is the realness I feel." the young man said, looking towards Finn.
"Can I have my shirt back, Finny. Cheap thrills and all." Lucas said with a soft smile, his friend staring at him with concern.
Harry walked over to the railing, picking up the shirt where Finn had dropped it, walking over to Lucas, slowly handing him the shirt, Lucas smiling up at him.
"Thank you, Seguaci Delluncio." Lucas said, Harry showing a soft surprised look, then softly smiling at him.
Behind the young man Francesca's eyes widened, her daughter's arm going around her.
"Harry is Valeria's son, Mom. I guided him to Lucas' side as a protector." Vivian said, Lucas and Harry smiling at the two women.
"Hello, Aunt Francesca."
"Hello. . .hello Harold." Francesca said, her eyes meeting Lucas'.
"What. . .what attacked you, Lucas? Was it. . .was it. . .?" she said, Lucas softly smiling at her.
"It wasn't your protector, Grandmother."
Everyone looked confused, Josh looking at Lucas, then at Francesca.
"Her protector, Lucas?"
Lucas sighed, leaning against Josh, the man putting his arm around him gently, careful of his back.
"I'm okay, my love. It's a bearable pain." Lucas said, the young man looking around at everyone.
"Please sit down everyone. I'll try and explain what I believe happened." Lucas said, everyone quietly returning to their seats.
Lucas looked towards his grandparents, the two returned to their seats together, Emerson's arm around his wife.
Lucas sighed again, everyone focusing on a revealing moment laying before them.
"As it's been shown throughout today's discussions,
Grandfather and Grandmother had come up with a plan that evening long ago. Well
actually months earlier. The two had sensed the impending evil coming for them
and their family."
Emerson and Francesca looked at each other, Lucas smiling at both.
"The two loved their children, of blood or not. A family joined in every way." he said, Vivian staring at her parents, Emerson smiling softly at her.
"Grandfather knew the evil would try to possess them, as it had the generations before. A sleeping malice awakening through the years, capturing the souls of the Belmont dynasty. I believe it began with the first of the lineage."
"With Alsarius, Luke? That far back?" Andrew said, seated with Trish and her parents.
"Yes, Drew. With that Arabian sultan so long ago. I believe he was the first being the evil captured."
"Down in that Egyptian tomb, so long ago." Harry said, Lucas nodding, everyone aware of the saga that Lucas had told them all of.
"My ancestor was possessed by pure evil. By a
concentrated evil. An evil that began to play a demented game with him. That has
played a game with all that man's lineage through the generations."
"A game, Luke? What kind of demented monster plays with a family's love and children?" Justin said, Lucas looking at his friend.
"As I said a being of pure evil. For it, it has always been a game, a game of pleasure and divinity."
"Divinity, Lucas?" Emerson said, Lucas looking at his grandfather.
"You all saw the revealed monster that night, we saw it here last evening. That monster isn't the pure evil."
Everyone looked confused, Lucas staring at his grandfather.
"You called it 'Kurucu's minion', Grandfather. That to me means that it wasn't the master, only a servant. The unknown Kurucu is the pure evil."
Everyone stared with surprise at Emerson, realizing Lucas' deductive reasoning.
"Yes, Lucas. That monster who appeared here that
night and last night isn't the evil center of my family's destiny. It is only an
apparition of the evil's need."
"An apparition that can change form, can enter any room as someone else. As it did that night in the Receiving Room as you."
Emerson nodded, looking at his daughter, Vivian staring at him with tearful eyes.
"You never stopped loving me, Father."
"No, Vivacious. We both loved you with all of our hearts." Francesca said, Emerson nodding his head in truth as well.
"You loved then with your complete, protective hearts. So protective that you risked death or even worse to save all of them." Lucas said, his grandparents both nodding.
"They are our children, Lucas. A parent's love knows no end." Emerson said, Lucas smiling at the older couple.
"Yes, I know Grandfather. My own parents gave the same sacrifice." Lucas said, his eyes lowering for a moment, his grandparents staring at him with showing love.
"Where. . .where are they, Lucas? I did not sense them in the bright light." Francesca said, Lucas' eyes raising again.
"No, you wouldn't, Grandmother. For they are somewhere else. I just have to deduce where that is." Lucas said, Justin looking at his friend seated beside him.
"What or where was Francesca trapped in, Lucas?"
Lucas' violet eyes stared at his grandmother, the young man sighing again, Josh watching him with protective love.
"She was trapped within the stone, Justin."
"The stone, Luke?" the singer said, staring at the stone laying on Lucas' chest, the young man's hand going around it.
"Yes, Jus. The Blood Teardrop. A stone of singular significance." Lucas said, the young man sitting up more, Josh at his side.
Lucas smiled at him, kissing his cheek.
"I shall not overdo it, my love. I'm just going to voice my reasoning."
Josh nodded, smiling at his man.
Lucas looked around the room, his eyes meeting his grandfather's green.
"What of the history of this stone do you know, Grandfather?"
"I know that it has been in our family for eons, Lucas. Past legend has suggested that Alsarius himself carved it out of a single gem as a gift for his partner of love."
"The heroic, loving Kavinus." Lucas said, Emerson nodding.
"Yes, my grandson. It has been worn by all the male prodigies of the Belmont family as a symbol of our destiny. I sealed it away in the hidden room the day after my Francesca used it against the monster. I could not allow it to come looking for it."
"There was no worry of that, Grandfather. For the Beast fears it."
"The Beast, Lucas?" Henderson said, Lucas nodding his head.
"Yes, Dad. For the monster and the Beast are one and the same."
Emerson stood up, staring at his grandson with surprise.
"That is not possible, Lucas! You stated before that the Beast came out of the void recently! That monster has been the scourge of my family for eons!"
Lucas slowly stood up, Josh rising as well, the man a second skin to Lucas.
"Please sit down, my grandson. I didn't want you excited. You're still healing." Emerson said with compassionate love.
"Your love heals me, Grandfather. The love within
this house heals me. For it radiates from all the Belmont souls."
Emerson teared up, his grandson walking up to him, Josh following him.
"The Beast has traversed the pathway between existence and eternity for eons. For it follows its master."
"Someone controls the Beast, Lucas?" Finn said, Lucas nodding at his friend.
"Yes, Finn. The evil that lays within this destiny." Lucas said, Emerson staring at his grandson.
Lucas' hand went to the stone again, smiling at his grandparents.
"As grandmother said, she devised this plan, this final gamble to rid the house of the evil, or at least to stop it from its conquest."
"From our family?" Emerson said, Lucas staring at him.
"From the truth you realized, Grandfather."
Emerson stared at his grandson, Lucas' hand going to his grandfather's shoulder.
"You knew that the evil was about to begin the Trinity again. That the time had run out for all three of you."
Emerson lowered his eyes, Lucas kissing his cheek.
"The time of your Guardianship was imminent, as was my father's Being, as was the Creation."
Josh's hand went to Lucas' shoulder.
"What does that mean, Lucky?"
Lucas sighed again, looking around at everyone, his eyes meeting his grandmother's staring violet pools.
His hand went to the stone again, wrapping his hand around it.
"This stone wasn't carved by Alsarius as a gift to his lover, to his faith and love for Kavinus. I believe it was the opposite."
Emerson looked confused, Lucas smiling at him.
"This stone was made from a pure, clear crystal
diamond. A stone found by Kavinus on his excursions through the Valley of the
Kings in his youth. The journal told me of his being well acquainted with the
tombs when he was younger."
"Yes, I remember you stating that when you told us of the book." Trish said, Lucas smiling at his sister, the young woman marvelling at his picking up on that one minute point.
"Yes, Trish. Kavinus found the stone when he was very young, keeping it with him through his rise in the Egyptian army, through his blossoming adulthood. And then he met a man he gave his soul to. He had only one gift he could give to the second part of his soul." Lucas said, his hand squeezing the stone.
"But the stone is red, Luke. And it doesn't look like any diamond I've seen." Lance said, Lucas meeting his green eyes.
"True, Lance. But when they first met it was a clear crystal diamond. And when Alsarius laid it upon his breast, it change to a vibrant red. For the blood of his man's love seeped into the diamond. The glow you've seen from its center is the blood of Kavinus, the soulmate of Alsarius."
Josh stared at his soulmate.
"That. . .that's beyond romantic, my love. A stone taking on the life of the man who gave it to him."
"I know, Joshua. Alsarius wore it always. A symbol of Kavinus' love forever a part of him. He wore it down into the tomb on that night of his last existence."
"But it wasn't his last, Luke. He freed Kavinus a year later, the two fleeing Egypt, living long lives together until Kavinus' death. They had a son together." Andrew said, Lucas sighing again.
"No, Drew. It took me forever to figure that part out." Lucas said, his violet eyes staring at his grandfather.
Emerson looked confused, his green eyes showing searching need.
Lucas' eyes went to his grandmother.
"What did you feel when you touched the stone
against the monster's face, Grandmother? When the light first ignited?"
She stared at Lucas.
"I felt love, Lucas. A transcendental love. It was as if the universe was filled with love."
Lucas smiled, looking again at his grandfather.
"It was, Grandmother. It was filled with Alsarius' love. And that love did battle with the Beast when the monster clasped onto you. Alsarius pulled you away from its evil, surrounding you with a greater love. A love he still searches for."
"Kavinus' love?" Josh said, Lucas nodding.
"Yes, Josh. Kavinus' love still remains hidden within the stone. And that love Alsarius tried to escape to. Only Alsarius risked all to have nothing."
"What do you mean, Lucas?" Emerson said, Lucas staring at him.
"I mean that Alsarius--when trapped deep within that evil's lair--risked only a moment to decide what he must do."
"He went to the love?" Finn said, Lucas smiling at him.
"Yes, Finny. That brave heroic warrior at the moment of his death at evil's hand--before it could devour him and claim him--gave his soul to his love."
"And he was drawn into the stone! Where Kavinus' love is!" Trish said, Lucas smiling at her.
"Correct, Trishy. But it became his prison."
"Because Kavinus was safe, alive and living free."
Lucas nodded, staring around at everyone.
"But why couldn't Alsarius find Kavinus' love, if they were both trapped within the stone?" Vivian said, Lucas looking at her.
"Because before he crossed the void into his prison the evil latched onto him. And the evil in its demented pleasure denied Alsarius what he tried to escape to. The evil let him go into the stone, but it imprisoned him against the love. The two are joined but separate. And that they've been since that day long ago when they parted their total love."
"But that doesn't make sense, Lucas? Alsarius freed Kavinus from his own prison, and they lived in happiness for decades." Justin said.
Lucas stared at him, the young man sighing again.
"No, Justin. The man Kavinus met, the man who saved him from his own execution wasn't entirely Alsarius."
"What do you mean, Lucas?"
"I mean that Alsarius tried to escape that prison, and the evil awaited him. And Alsarius in the end didn't escape the evil's planned control. He in the end bargained with it."
"Bargained with it, Luke?" Finn said, Lucas nodding.
"Yes, Finn. Alsarius and the evil entity came to a
Lucas' eyes met his grandfather's green pools, the young man seeing the soft tears hidden in his eyes.
"Alsarius the man didn't escape the evil. His soul escaped, but at a cost."
"At what cost, Lucas?" Vivian said, Lucas' eyes meeting his grandfather's lowering ones.
"The Trinity, Mom. The three of servitude and acceptance. The thirst of the evil would only be sated in one way."
Lucas' hand went to his grandfather's shoulder, their eyes meeting again.
"Alsarius allowed his love to be used. To sate the evil's merriment."
Lucas' eyes went around to everyone's face.
"I've reasoned out the truth of what I am, everyone."
Josh's arm went around Lucas' waist, their eyes meeting.
"What are you, Lucas?"
"I'm a Belmont, Joshua. And I'm the only true one."
End of Chapter 72
And what the hell does that mean?
Prisons in stone, and evil games?
What's going on within Lucas' reasoning mind?
What attacked him in the white light?
Where are his parents?
What happened to the clear crystal diamond?
Enough with the questions!
Sorry, couldn't resist.
Read on, the darkness may lighten.