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Lucas' violet pools stirred, the warmth of the sun shining down on his smooth face.
He felt a vitality in his body, a renewed strength.
His eyes adjusted to the brightness, a sound clueing his mind into where he was.
He opened his eyes wider, staring at the sparkling blue water laid out before him, the sound he heard was the falling water at its right side, the waterfall as vibrant and loud as he always remembered.
"Nothing changes in moments of safety." a voice said to his left, Lucas' head moving, two green pools staring back at him from a handsome face.
"Hello, Joshua." Lucas said, the older man smiling at him.
"Hello, Lucas. Welcome back to the core of your happiness."
Lucas nodded, his eyes moving around the pool and far shore, Joshua's smiling face watching him.
"Nothing has changed, Lucas. It cannot. Not unless you wish it."
"It truly is then my sanctuary. A sanctuary for perhaps all."
Joshua nodded, staring at his great-grandson.
Lucas' violet eyes saw a soft compassion in those green pools, the older man's eyes lowering.
"Why can I not see them here?" Lucas said, the man's eyes meeting his again.
"It is the duality of your magic, Lucas. You protect all but you never invade their privacy. They are wrapped in this place's happiness, but not in the reality of your real true love. Only a select few know of that real love."
Lucas smiled, staring out at the water.
"Is she here?"
Joshua smiled, nodding his head.
"She isn't at the moment, but she comes here often. She loves to make sandcastles down on the soft sandy beach in the north corner. Her sanctuary within your own."
Lucas nodded, looking towards the sandy beach on the left side of the waterfalls, remembering on the island that that was the same spot where he and the guys along with Alain and Harry had swum and relaxed.
"I remember on the island I felt a gathering warmness in that corner. I now understand it was her youthful love."
His great-grandfather smiled.
Lucas' eyes met his green, Joshua staring at him.
"How did I direct her here, Grandfather? And who exactly is she?"
"She is a child lost to life but awaiting something. That is all I know. I have tried to speak to her but she shuns my interference. My associate knew her in life and she sometimes comes to him. She is evasive and mysterious, but she is loving. That is the reason she perhaps can breach the barrier to this place. Either that or you allow her access through your love." Joshua said, Lucas nodding, staring towards the waterfall.
"I have never met her, Joshua. But I now have met the beast, and I've seen the evil manifestation." Lucas said, Joshua nodding his head.
"I am sorry that you were trapped so easily, Lucas. The strength of your magic and your resolve saved you from the beast and from the evil."
"You knew that would happen, didn't you? Why. . .why didn't you warn me?" Lucas said, Joshua's hand going to Lucas' shoulder.
"I did not know, Lucas. Or I would have stood
at your side in the battle. I only heard through the pathway. . .of. . .of your
trial of fire."
"Trial of fire? It was a battle for my soul, Grandfather. I felt them smothering me. They were all consuming!" Lucas said, Joshua nodding.
"So say the legends and the myths."
"Myths? Legends? They are real, Joshua. I felt them." Lucas said, the older man nodding.
"Yes, I know, Lucas. I see it in your eyes and I am sure your body shows their touch." Joshua said, his green eyes scanning Lucas' form, the young man wearing a polo shirt and pants, the attire he'd worn into the Receiving Room.
"They know of this place's existence, Joshua. I felt it in their magic."
The older man nodded, looking out at the water.
"Evil invades every corner of existence, Lucas. You
must always guard your soul against that. I truly believe that they cannot
traverse across into this sanctuary, Lucas. For it is the essence of your love,
of your truth, and that is the guide for those who choose protection here. That is why so many are drawn here."
Lucas nodded, staring at Joshua.
"I have met my father, Joshua. I have drawn him and my mother back from here."
Joshua looked totally surprised, the man rising to his feet, scanning the whole area.
"How. . .how did you. . .?"
Lucas rose to his feet, the young man feeling his returned strength, his body feeling its returning normal energy and physicality.
"They were here, weren't they? You told me before that they were not."
Joshua stared at Lucas, the young man staring at him with calm love.
"I. . .I was asked not to. . ."
Lucas' hand went to the man's shoulder, their eyes meeting.
"I'm beginning to understand, Joshua. I believe the Belmont clan is beginning to solidify against the Trinity."
Joshua's eyes stared at Lucas, the young man smiling.
"The end is coming, Joshua. And I believe it hinges on my finding what you've been seeking."
Joshua stared at Lucas, the young man smiling, squeezing his shoulder blade.
"My. . .my soul?" the older man said, Lucas staring at him.
"No, Joshua. That is still within you. You've just been deceived into believing it isn't." Lucas said, the man staring at him with surprise.
"That. . .that cannot be, Lucas! I feel the emptiness
of my existence."
Lucas smiled at him, rubbing his shoulder with calmness.
"You feel what you are meant to feel. Just answer me one question?"
The older man nodded, staring at the young man standing beside him.
"What do you feel when you are here?" Lucas said, the man's green eyes staring at him for a moment, then turning and scanning the whole sanctuary before him.
"I feel the warmth of your love, Lucas. I feel the
protective beauty of your giving magic."
Lucas smiled, leaning forward and kissing the man's cheek.
"A man without a soul could never feel love, Grandfather." Lucas smiled, Joshua staring at him.
"You mean. . ."
"I mean that your soul is intact. It isn't your soul that your mind is searching for."
"Then what. . .what am I looking for?"
Lucas sighed, staring around the pool.
"That I have to reason out, Grandfather."
Joshua stared at the young man, watching the calm beauty of his giving smile.
"Please, it's Joshua. I feel not much older than you, Lucas."
Lucas laughed, the older man smiling at him.
"Your soul is of youthful love, Joshua. I believe it always has been." Lucas said, Joshua smiling at him.
"And you yourself are surrounded by youthful love and beauty, Lucas. I remember the visions upon the island's pool." Joshua said, Lucas smiling.
"I must return to them, Joshua. Their love is my existence."
Joshua nodded, staring at the younger man.
"They are concerned about you, Lucas. They gather
around you with protective love."
Lucas nodded, staring at the man, taking in the crisp clean uniform he wore, the epaulets and buttons shining like new.
"You loved horses, Joshua. I see the insignia of the U.S. Calvary upon your cloak and coat."
Joshua smiled, nodding his head.
"Give me a horse under me and I feel whole."
Lucas smiled, his face then showing a look of soft thoughtfulness.
"Something from your past, from your era, is what
you seek, Joshua. My dreams and visions throughout my life were of your time."
"Yes, Lucas. My son and grandson dreamed of that time as well. I lived it, they dreamed it."
"Perhaps for a reason, Joshua." Lucas said, Joshua staring at his great-grandson.
"I feel the magic heightening, Joshua. And I sense the truth in all things may show itself. As for your quest--and now mine--I believe I should start at that shrouded graveyard."
"I and a Shade have searched it Lucas. Whatever I seek is not there."
"Perhaps, Joshua. But I'd still like to take a look."
Joshua nodded, staring into Lucas' violet pools.
"You are highly intellectual, Lucas. And your soul is even more giving." Joshua said, the younger man smiling at him.
"I must draw the rest of the truth from them, and voice my own." Lucas said, the older man nodding.
"Yes, Lucas. Perhaps you must. And I'm beginning to believe that there's more truth there than even I know. For my mind is clouded at times."
"The necessity of invention, Joshua. The pact of the Trinity."
"We never understood it, Lucas. The meaning of it. One can't comprehend something not of one's making." Joshua said, Lucas nodding.
"Yes, especially when you're denied the truth." Lucas said, Joshua staring at him.
"Lucas, I. . ."
Lucas smiled at the older man, his eyes scanning the falls.
"Should I take a dip to rejuvenate my soul on the other side, again? I was feeling quite exhausted in the real world." Lucas said, the older man's hand going to his shoulder.
"Your love and magic heals you, Lucas. As does their love."
Lucas smiled, nodding his head.
"I'm unsure of what to say to my father, Joshua. Of the feelings within myself." Lucas said, his face showing a soft confusion.
Joshua leaned forward, kissing the younger man's cheek.
"Say from the heart, Lucas. One can always accept one's own inadequacies when one is faced with love and truth." Joshua said, Lucas staring at him.
"You may have to do that yourself one day, Great-Grandfather." Lucas said, the older man's face showing a softer beauty when he smiled.
"We all do, Lucas." the man said, his hands going to Lucas' polo shirt, pulling it out of his pants, Lucas smiling at him.
"Bathe, Lucas. Let your hidden magic soothe the tiredness of the real world." Joshua said, Lucas allowing the man to pull off his shirt, Lucas' chest coming into view, bruising still showing in some places, the blackness now a softer blue.
Joshua stared at his chest, his eyes showing a glistening wetness.
"They crush the greatest soul, Lucas. It is their evilness." Joshua said, Lucas nodding, staring at the man.
"Someone else walks around us, Joshua. Everyone said that after the battle they found me in the foyer in the arms of another man, a man of striking beauty." Lucas said, Joshua's green eyes showing confusion.
"Another man? I am the only one that walks this place, Lucas. Other than those you've drawn here of your own love. The child resides here at times, as your parents did as well. I know of no other."
"I didn't say he was here, Joshua. I was only told that he told them that he pulled me from the battle. Where did that battle take place? I have no real recollection of it, only of the smothering pain and crushing evilness surrounding me."
Joshua stared at the younger man.
"The battle was in your mind, Lucas. On the edge of this place, on the edge of the void."
"In my mind? What do you mean?" Lucas said, Joshua's fingers going to Lucas' forehead, rubbing it gently.
"You must guard your mind as you guard your heart. That is what drew them to you. The emotions of the moments leading up to your disappearing from everyone. You show your emotions easily, Lucas. That could work against you."
"I show my soul as the soul I am, Joshua. I will not
hide what I feel. From anyone."
Joshua nodded, softly smiling at him.
"You have the traits of my own son. And of my own father. Emotion perhaps skips a generation. I and your own father show more reasoning. Perhaps that works against us as well, in other ways."
"We all show love, Joshua. That is the core of all of us. That is what the evilness fears."
Joshua smiled, kissing Lucas' cheek again, Lucas smiling at him.
"Perhaps Lucas. All I know is that the evil must fear what you yourself represent, hence its attack upon you." Joshua said, his green eyes moving to the stone hanging in the center of Lucas' bare chest, his fingers gently touching it, Lucas seeing a soft blueness flash around them, Joshua moving back from the stone.
"What. . .what was that?" Joshua softly said, Lucas staring at him.
"You saw it too?" he said, the older man's eyes looking around.
"Your magic holds this world together, Lucas. They seek to destroy it, to leave you bare of protection, of sanctuary. I just felt a greater courage within you, a greater magic. Perhaps it is indeed the combination of the magic and your unbelievable love. Only time may show that truth."
Lucas stared at his great-grandfather, the man's eyes still glancing around.
"Time will perhaps show all truths."
Joshua nodded, his eyes again on Lucas.
Lucas's fingers went to his pants, removing them from his body, Joshua smiling at Lucas, the young man standing in only his boxer briefs, the bruising still showing on his legs.
"I need to feel the healing warmth of these pools, Joshua. The pain around me cannot stand against the love." Lucas said, Joshua nodding.
"Bathe in life, Lucas. I shall watch you always." the man said, Lucas seeing his physicality slowly going opaque.
"And I will welcome the gaze, Joshua." Lucas said, the image smiling, fading from before Lucas' eyes.
"Go with love, Grandfather." Lucas said, the young man turning, moving towards the pool, diving into the blue water before him, his bruised body sinking beneath the calm surface of the pool.
Lucas felt the instant warmth, his body lost in the heat of a greater love flowing through him.
Three people sat around Lucas' bed, their eyes going often to his sleeping form.
"It's been hours, Joshy. You need to eat." Lance said, the man walking into the room through the open door, Justin beside him, their hands locked together.
"I'm not hungry, Lancy." Josh said, seated on the edge of the bed on its left side, his hand on Lucas' forehead.
On the right side of the bed Lucas' parents sat in two chairs, both quietly staring at Lucas.
"Emerson sent us up here for all of you. You've been sitting here in total silence for hours. Luke is still sleeping deeply. Dinner is prepared." Justin said, his hand going to Josh's shoulder, his friend's blue eyes meeting his blue.
"I want to be here when he wakes up, Jus." Josh said, his blue eyes returning to Lucas' handsome face.
"He knows you're here, Joshy." Lance said, his green eyes looking towards two other green pools staring at him and Justin.
"You care deeply for my son. Both of you." Tristan said, the two men smiling, staring at him and Savannah.
"Lucas holds a deep place in our hearts, sir. His love united our love." Justin said, his arm going around Lance, Josh smiling at both of them.
"Your love we easily see, Justin." Savannah said, smiling at both men, Tristan softly smiling at both as well.
"We both had paths of pain like your Lucas. He used his pain and love to show us what we needed to see in each other. We'll both always love him for that. And for his own self." Justin said, Josh smiling at him.
Savannah and Tristan looked at each other, Savannah smiling at her husband.
"Our son is surrounded by love. I am glad of that." she said, all three men smiling at her.
Her hand went out, touching Lucas' hand which lay outside the sheet covering him.
Josh had removed Lucas' clothing, the young man sleeping in only his boxer briefs.
The day was still warm, the evening hours bringing soft coolness, but the night clinging to a muggy deepness.
Josh's hand went to Lucas' bare shoulder, the sheet covering most of his body.
"That's odd." he softly said, Justin looking at his friend, then Lucas' sleeping face.
"What's odd, Josh?"
"I. . .I thought. . .?" Josh softly said, looking down at Lucas' shoulder blade.
"There were bruises here a moment ago." Josh said, his fingers tracing down Lucas' shoulder blade to his back.
Savannah's violet eyes met her husband's, the two rising from their chairs, staring down at their son's covered physique.
"You mean they've disappeared?" Lance said, his green eyes scanning Lucas' shoulders, Josh nodding.
Josh's hand moved, gently pulling the sheet down off Lucas' torso, his smooth chest on full display, the red stone laying across the center of his pecs.
"His chest is smooth as well! I know there were deep bruises there when I covered him! I saw all of them!" Josh said, his eyes going lower.
His eyes widened as did everyone else's when they saw the sheet covering Lucas' center beginning to darken with wetness.
"He's. . .he's starting to bleed. . .get Horace!"
Tristan said, his voice silenced by a sudden sound of rushing water.
All five stood in awed silence as they saw water suddenly cover Lucas' body, the sheets darkened with wetness.
Lucas gasped, his violet pools opening wide, his body moving upwards with speed into a sitting position, Lucas' breathing deep and powerful.
Water flew off his torso and body, splashing onto everyone, all five stepping back in surprise.
Lucas' violet eyes moved around, staring into two blue pools of showing love.
Lucas' hair was drenched, its black curls hanging over his eyes.
"I'm. . .I'm back." he said, two arms wrapping around his wet body, two blue pools staring into his violet pools of deep love.
"Lucas. . .you're. . .your body. . ."
"The wet magic of the pool's healing love, my Beamy. I'm. . .I'm okay." Lucas said, his violet pools going around the room, four sets of eyes staring at him with silent awe.
Justin's eyes scanned down Lucas' wet body, seeing no trace of bruising or pain, his breathing strong and normal.
"I'm alright, everyone. I have healed myself." Lucas said, his violet pools meeting his mother's violet wide irises.
"You. . .you are deep with magic, Lucas." she said, Lucas smiling at her.
"I am my mother's and my father's son." Lucas said, Tristan staring at him.
"We are not. . .not like. . ." Tristan said, his green pools meeting his son's violet.
"We are all our own self, Father." Lucas said, his violet eyes returning to Josh's blue.
"I'm starving, Beamy. I'd like to eat." Lucas said, Josh tearfully smiling at him.
"I'll bring you up a tray, Lucas." Lance said, his green eyes scanning Lucas' smooth body, then meeting Lucas' violet.
Lucas smiled at Lance, the man softly smiling back, his cheeks blushing softly.
"Thanks, Lance. But I need to dine surrounded by love. It's to the dining room I wish to go. I'm sure the Mavises have the larder at full stock." Lucas said, Justin smiling at him, their eyes meeting.
Lucas saw the soft wetness in his blue and Lance's green eyes, the younger man smiling at both.
"I'm alright, guys. Your love will put be back in fine form." Lucas said, smiling around at everyone, his eyes going down to the wet bed he sat in.
"First off, I should change. I'm drenched! I'll meet everyone downstairs."
Four faces showed widening smiles, Lucas' parents walking around the bed, joining Lance and Justin.
"They're not going to believe this." Lance said,
Lucas smiling at him.
"Always believe in my love, Lance. My magic's a part of that."
The four smiled, Tristan's eyes meeting Lucas', the man guiding his wife out of the room, Lucas staring after them, Justin and Lance smiling at both men.
"Need help drying off, Luke?" Justin said, Lucas' smile widening.
"I'd sooner have you lick it all off, Timberlake." he said, Justin smiling widely, his eyes glistening more.
"I'm alright, guys. See you shortly. I just need a
moment with my Beamy."
The two men smiled, both moving forward, Lucas met with two kisses on the lips, Justin the last to kiss him, his tongue licking Lucas' wet cheek after his lips pulled off his.
"Wet and beautiful. I want you like this later."
Lucas laughed, Lance laughing as well, Josh smiling at both, his eyes not leaving Lucas' handsome face.
The two men walked out of the bedroom, Justin smiling and closing the door behind them.
Lucas' violet pools met Josh's blue irises, Lucas seeing the love there, and the truth.
He'd sensed it when he'd first stared into Josh's blue pools of love.
Lucas opened his arms, Josh moving, the man wrapped in Lucas' wet arms, Josh sobbing against his chest.
"I thought I'd lost you, Lucas! You were gone! We didn't. . .I didn't know where you were!" He sobbed, Lucas holding him close.
"I'm. . .I'm sorry, my Josh. I was taken. . .I couldn't stop it. I was surprised!" Lucas said, his own eyes tearing with truth, the truth he felt coming from Josh's soul.
"I'm so glad you're okay! Promise me that you'll never leave me!" Josh sobbed, Lucas holding him close, his hands rubbing Josh's back, the man calming as the love surrounded him.
"I promise, Joshua. I've been given the answer to that truth." Lucas said, Josh moving back staring into his violet pools.
"The answer, Lucky?" he said, wiping his eyes, Lucas' fingers wiping his cheeks.
"Yes, Josh. Joshua was at the pool. He told me to guard against my emotions. I think he has that wrong. I believe my emotions are the concrete that I can use to build the walls of protective love. No one will ever ambush me like that again."
Josh nodded, unsure of what Lucas meant, but hearing a deep resolve in his words.
"Alright, Lucas. I believe you. I love you so much! I just want you to be with me, always!" Josh said, the tears showing again.
Lucas smiled, seeing the total love in the man's eyes.
"I always will be, Beamy. Forever."
Josh smiled, pulling the young man against him again.
"We need to get me dry, babe. You're halfway soaked
yourself." Lucas said, Josh smiling, gazing down Lucas' wet body.
"I feel the love in the wetness, Lucas." he said, Lucas smiling.
"And I have another surprise for you, my love."
Josh stared into Lucas' violet pools, the young man smiling at him with total love.
"I. . .I don't know if I can handle any more surprises." he said, Lucas lightly laughing, his fingers going to Josh's cheek again.
"This one you'll love. And later I'll show you." he said, Josh nodding.
"Are you sure you're alright, Lucas? You seem. . ."
Josh nodded, Lucas smiling.
"I am different, my love. But only in my resolve and
my courage. My love never changes."
Josh smiled, nodding.
"It changes every moment, my love. It keeps
Lucas grinned, the young man moving out of the bed, his wet body showing itself before Josh.
"Your love enlarges all of me, babe." Lucas said, Josh's eyes going to Lucas' showing wet center.
"Later, babe. That grows with your love. And
Josh smiled, the man climbing out of the bed, Lucas smiling at him, taking his hand in his.
"To the washroom, my love. A towel and two strong hands await me." Lucas said, Josh smiling at him, the two walking towards their bathroom door, Lucas's eyes looking back towards the bed, both violet pools softly glowing.
The two walked into the bathroom, closing the door behind them.
In the bedroom their bed lay in silence, its sheets bone dry.
Everyone rose from around the table, two smiling faces meeting their awed faces.
Lucas and Josh walked into the dining room, the two wearing clean polo shirts and casual shorts.
"Lucas. . .you are. . .you're so unbelievable!" Finn said, Lucas smiling towards his friend.
"Josh said those exact words not ten minutes ago. Eavesdropping again, pervert?" Lucas laughed, Josh blushing, Finn blushing as well.
Everyone chuckled and laughed, the two friends smiling at each other, Lucas' eyes looking around at everyone.
"I'm alright, everyone. The waters of love have rejuvenated me." Lucas said, the young man walking up to his grandfather, Emerson tearfully hugging his grandson, Lucas smiling at his grandmother standing beside them.
"You are well again, my grandson! Bless all of us!" Emerson said, wiping his eyes as they broke their embrace.
Everyone surrounded the young man, Josh smiling beside him as they all gently hugged and kissed the young man.
Finn hugged him tightly, his love overflowing, his hands rustling Lucas' dried curls.
"Never change, Lukey!" he smiled, Lucas smiling with love.
Lucas' parents were the last to greet him, Lucas pulling his father into a warm embrace, Tristan's arms slowly going around him.
"Good to be in the warmth of my family's love, Father. All of it." Lucas said, breaking the embrace, his violet eyes meeting his green pools.
"Yes, Lucas. The love around here has increased greatly." Tristan said, Lucas smiling at him.
Lucas moved, embracing his mother, Savannah surprised by the intensity of her lost son's embrace.
"Welcome to my love again, Mom." he said, Vivian smiling at her nephew and her sister, seeing the look of emotional love crossing her older sister's face.
"Lucas. . .I. . .I. . .oh Lucas!" she said, tears flowing from her eyes, Lucas smiled, breaking the embrace, kissing her cheek.
"Let's eat, everyone. I'm famished! I could smell Momma Mavis' stew from the bathroom." he smiled, Mavis Delaney laughing.
"That you always could, Lucas! You were always showing up as I ladled it into the bowl. Your nose is as magical as your love."
Lucas laughed loudly, Josh smiling at him.
He saw the happiness returned to his lover's handsome face.
He still felt the man's body against his fingers, remembering their soft kisses in the bathroom, his lover's returned love filling into his own soul.
His Lucas was back, a newer more beautiful version of him.
Josh smiled, sensing a greater love coming from him.
He led his man to the dining room table, the two sitting down on Emerson's left side, his son and daughter-in-law on his right, Tristan and Savannah seated across from Josh and Lucas.
Francesca sat at her daughter's left, Vivian across from her at Josh's right.
The table was full, everyone smiling around it, Lucas' smiling healed face calming all their souls.
They felt the energy of his love, the young man's beauty indeed more showing.
"I'd like to say Grace, if I may, Grandfather." Lucas said, Emerson nodding, seated at the head of his family's table.
"Your returned love will voice it in every way, Lucas. Lead us into God's love." Emerson said, Lucas smiling, standing up at his seat, everyone smiling towards him, Lucas bowing his head, everyone following.
"Dear Lord, bless us this day for all the love shining in our hearts. New love, family love and reunited love. We are as one, one of faith and one of life. We are joined in love and family. I am blessed this day for a greater family. I have love returned. It is unfamiliar but welcomed nonetheless. The path leads on, the love slowly grows. We all open our hearts to a greater happiness. Bless all of us for the love we share, and the new love we begin to welcome into our hearts. Bless us for this meal given with guiding love, with the promise of sustenance of happiness prepared with love. We stand together as one family. We are blessed to love each other, and have your love in our hearts, dear Lord. Heaven is in our hearts, love is in yours. Amen."
"Amen." everyone said, tearful eyes looking towards Lucas, the young man smiling at his parents seated across from him.
"You have your father's voice, Lucas." Francesca said, Lucas smiling at his grandmother and then his father.
"I am my father's son. I have the Belmont creativity
and zest for life."
Emerson smiled, Tristan staring at his son with a soft smile, Lucas smiling at him.
"Pass your mom's stew, Finny. Don't hold onto it like your Sky's cheeks." Lucas said, Finn laughed, Skyler smiling.
"He's back, everyone! Yahoo!!" Finn said, Lucas laughing, his friend sending a large tureen of stew towards their end of the table.
Everyone enjoyed the lavish meal, the talk flowing, the group seated in comfortable familiarity, the new additions drawn into their happiness.
Lucas smiled at everyone, Josh watching him eat, smiling at him often, seeing his man's returned appetite, Lucas relishing all the good food.
A short hour later they all sat around the table, relaxing with contented happiness.
Lucas smiled, Josh's arm wrapped around his shoulders, the two seated close together sipping Irish coffees, the two Mavises having cleared the table, the younger guests helping them.
They'd returned with rich desserts, Lucas forgoing the sweetness, the young man stuffed with happiness.
They all smiled at him, seeing his returned happiness and youthful beauty.
"You amaze all of us, son." Lewis said, he seated beside Jacques and Grayson, Lucas smiling towards them.
"I amaze myself, Reverend Lewis." he said, smiling widely, Josh smiling at him.
"Lewd is right, Lucas. You amaze all of us. You are unlike anything I ever imaged, when I could." Savannah said, Lucas smiling at his mother.
"The clouds of life and love feed the memories within our souls." Lucas said, looking down at his half-filled coffee cup, Josh staring at him.
"I've heard those words before, Lucas." Emerson said, Lucas' violet pools raising, smiling at his grandfather.
"Where, Grandfather?" Lucas said, staring at him, then glancing at his own father.
"My father said them once to me. At the moment of. . ." Emerson said, his voice trailing off, his face showing a soft gathering emotion.
Lucas' hand went out, resting on top of the older man's hands, Emerson's green eyes meeting his.
"His last words of this life, Grandfather." Lucas said, Emerson softly nodding his head, his eyes showing a soft wetness.
"He spoke those words to you as well, Lucas? " Tristan said, seated across from him and beside his father.
"No, Father. I read them someplace." Lucas said, his violet eyes lowering for a moment, Josh staring at him.
"That book, Lucky?" he said, Lucas' eyes raising again, nodding, the young man looking around the room.
"I was reading the journal when I was attacked, Josh." Lucas said, Josh looking surprised.
"That book was in the bedroom, Lucas. I saw it there just before you left that room this morning." he said, Lucas nodding.
"I saw it there as well, my love." Lucas said, Harry staring at his friend from the end of the table, seated beside Alain.
"Where did you go to this morning, Lucas?" the young man said, Lucas's violet pools meeting his blue.
"I was intending to walk the gardens for some fresh air, but I was guided somewhere else." Lucas said, his eyes looking around the room.
"The little girl, Lucas?" Vivian said, Lucas smiling at his aunt.
"Yes, Mom. I was walking down the main staircase of the foyer when I heard laughter behind me. I turned expecting to see one of you behind me, but instead I saw the small child on the left landing. She smiled down at me then turned and disappeared down the corridor leading to my grandfather's rooms. I walked back up, following her. She disappeared at its end, going through the doorway into your library, Grandfather."
Emerson slowly nodded, staring at his grandson with awed reverence.
"Why would a ghost. . .sorry, Shade. . .lead you there?" Alain said, Lucas looking towards him.
"I don't quite know, Alain. I walked into the room--where I've been before--and it was empty. The child was gone." Lucas said, sipping his coffee cup again, his violet eyes looking around at everyone.
"I looked around the room and saw nothing of
consequence, the room as I remembered it. Only one thing seemed out of place."
"What was that, son?" Tristan said, his eyes looking towards his father, Emerson shaking his head from side to side once.
"It's alright, Father. Grandfather removed the portrait."
Tristan and Emerson's green eyes looked at the young man with surprise.
"I noticed the truth that first night you found me there when I walked these halls alone, Grandfather." Lucas said, his eyes going around the room again.
"There hangs a portrait of you above the fireplace, Grandmother. But it isn't quite as large as the original portrait that hung there for years. A soft vibrancy surrounds the edges of the painting, the lightness of wallpaper that never saw the light of day, hidden behind a larger object that had hung there." Lucas said, Emerson shaking his head softly again, staring at his grandson.
"You are. . .you are very intelligent, indeed." he softly said, his eyes showing admiration at his grandson's intellect.
"What portrait hung there, Lucky?" Josh said, his blue eyes meeting all the eyes of Lucas' family surrounding them.
"A portrait of truth, Josh. And at this moment perhaps it isn't important. I am sure it is safe further down in the recesses of this old place."
Tristan stared at his son, his eyes then meeting his own father's.
"I didn't want to overwhelm you, my grandson." Emerson said, Lucas' hand going to his grandfather's hand again, squeezing it.
"Your love or my family's could never overwhelm me, Grandfather." Lucas said, his eyes going around the room again.
"I need to stretch my legs again. The food settles with idleness. Its deliciousness is the only thing that overwhelms me." Lucas smiled, the two Mavises smiling at the young man.
The young man smiled again, standing up from his seat, those around the table rising as well.
"The evening wanes, everyone. Let's rest out on the veranda and relax in the cooling breezes, what there are of them." Lucas said, Josh's hand going in his.
Justin and Lance both smiled at their friends, the two following the couple out of the room.
Tristan and Emerson traded looks, their wives staring at both of them.
Everyone moved from the table, following the four who'd left the room.
Lucas smiled, feeling the warmth surrounding him.
He sat on a wicker sofa, his Josh seated beside him, Lance on Lucas' other side, Justin seated beside Lance.
Lucas and Lance were both encircled by strong muscular arms, their soulmates close and loving.
Everyone else sat around them, or leaned against the stone railings looking out into the twilight evening gardens below the veranda.
"The coolness hasn't quite found its grip, everyone. The night still feels humid." Francesca said, seated with her husband on another sofa, Tristan and Savannah seated in chairs surrounding their couch.
"I love warmth and sun." Alain said, the young man standing against the railing, his black arms wrapped around Harry's muscular body, both men wearing casual shirts and shorts.
Lucas smiled at the two, seeing their obvious love for each other.
"You just like the warmth of your Harry's love, Alain. And the heat makes his bronzed beauty reveal itself."
Alain smiled widely, Harry blushing a bit, a smile on his face nonetheless.
"The tropics make people shed their inhibitions, my friend. My Harry's a bronzed god." Alain smiled, Lucas smiling at both men.
"We all see our own deity's beauty. I'm surrounded by three." Lucas said, Finn chuckling, their eyes meeting.
"You wanted to voice something, Finny?" Lucas said, Finn grinning.
"No, Luke. Just taking in the happiness." the Welshman said, his blue eyes taking in the four seated together before him.
Lucas smiled at his old friend, his eyes meeting two staring blue.
"You look deep in thought, good Reverend." Lucas said, his violet eyes staring at Reverend Saunders, the man standing against the railing; he, Jacques and Grayson smoking cigarettes together, the minister flicking his out onto the sandy earth below the veranda, folding his arms together.
"You left the conversation rather unfinished, Lucas." the man said, Lucas nodding.
"Yes, I did, didn't I?"
"What did you find amiss in the library, Lucas?" the minister said, Lucas looking around at everyone.
He sat up a bit, Josh releasing his hold on him, his eyes staring at his lover.
"You may be back to yourself, my love, but I'm not letting you get emotional again." Josh said, Lucas smiling at him, their lips meeting, everyone watching the two show their love.
Lucas broke the kiss, Josh showing a soft look of contented love on his handsome face.
"I've been emotional since the day I first told you I love you, Joshua." Lucas said, Josh smiling at him.
"I wear my emotions on my face, and in my eyes. I will not hide any truth from those I love." Lucas said, looking into Josh's blue eyes, the man nodding at him, his arm going around Lucas' back again.
"I went back to the pool of my dreams again, everyone. And there I saw my great-grandfather Joshua again. I sensed he drew me there for he knew I needed its healing waters." Lucas said, his father and grandfather staring at him with quiet reverence.
"We talked about destiny, life and what had happened
to me, the battle I was drawn into."
"Drawn into, Lucas?" Andrew asked, Trish and he seated with Finn and Skyler.
"Yes, Drew. I was deceived and trapped by evil."
"How did that happen, mon ami?" Jacques said, Lewis standing beside his friend, Lucas smiling at both.
"By the trap that was set for me in the library." Lucas said, his eyes going to his grandfather's green pools.
"Evil centers around that library, Grandfather. For it is the gateway to the truth."
Tristan stared between his father and his own son, Lucas' violet pools meeting his green.
"The. . .the room, Lucas? It. . .it isn't evil!" Emerson said.
Lucas nodded his head, everyone looking at the three men seated around each other.
"I never said that the truth was evil, Grandfather." Lucas said, the young man rising from his seat; Josh, Justin and Lance all following his motions, the young man walking up to the railing beside Tristan's old friends, the young man staring out into the darkening evening sky.
The young man turned around, staring around at everyone, his eyes lastly centering on his father and grandfather.
"What was amiss in the library was what lay upon your desk, Grandfather." Lucas said, his grandfather looking at him.
"On my desk, Lucas? There is only the necessary office instruments there. A phone, blotter and necessities." Emerson said, Lucas nodding.
"Yes, Grandfather. You keep a neat, clean working environment. You are meticulous in all aspects of your life."
The older man nodded his head, a smile of pride on his face.
"I hate clutter, Lucas."
"The only clutter that lays here is what is in our souls." Lucas said, the young man sighing, leaning back against the stone railing, looking at his family.
"What lay upon that neat desk was the journal."
Josh stared at Lucas.
"But. . .but you'd left that in the bedroom. It still lays there." Josh said, Lucas nodding.
"Yes, my love. But this wasn't the real journal. This was a device laid in entrapment. For the evil knew I would pick it up. That I would be drawn to search out its hidden truths, to temper the emotions of my clouded mind this morning. Only this wasn't the journal of truth. This was in essence a magic door. A door that pulled me into hell."
Josh rose from his seat, walking up to his Lucas, his arms going around the young man's waist, Lucas feeling his love.
"You were pulled into that battle by magic?"
"Yes, my love. Whatever magic it was, it was powerful. And it drew me to a surprising spot."
"To the pool, Lucas?" Grayson said, Lucas' violet pools meeting his blue.
"No, Gray. Evil cannot penetrate that domain, for it is the soul of my magic, of my love. But it knows of its existence. And it has focused on destroying my sanctuary."
"It drew you into a battle to perhaps claim the magic you have? To see how strong you were?" Jacques said, Lucas nodding at the Frenchman.
"Yes, monsieur. It was testing my resolve, my strength. And it almost overcame both." Lucas said, Josh's arms tightening around him.
"Where did it pull you to, Lucas?" Henderson said, Lucas looking at his adoptive father.
"My great-great-grandfather's journal creates a panoramic view of history, of moments of truth. The writing's visions were indeed truly descriptive. I saw every gleaming golden artifact, every stone upon its walls. Only this time I stood in the vision of its reality." Lucas said, his eyes meeting his grandfather's.
"What place do you talk of, Lucas? I know not of any golden room." Emerson said, Lucas staring at him.
"No you don't, Grandfather. For only a few men knew
of its existence. And only two of them survived to talk of it."
Emerson and Tristan looked confused.
"I stood in the middle of an Egyptian tomb, Grandfather. The same tomb that sealed Alsarius' fate."
Josh turned Lucas in his arms, staring into his violet pools, seeing the calmness and steeled courage now showing there.
"You. . .you were drawn back into time?! Into that tomb of death and magic?!" Josh said in soft, stunned tones.
"The evil's magic pulled me into its world. Into its domain. To the tomb of magic that ensnared my ancestor. I believe it wanted to do the same to me. Only. . ." Lucas trailed off, his eyes lowering.
"Only what, my love?" Josh said, Lucas' eyes raising to his blue.
"Only it couldn't." Lucas finished, his eyes moving to his father and grandfather.
"It couldn't, Lucas? How is that possible? Was it your magic?" Harry said, the young man's eyes meeting his cousin's blue pools.
"Magic, yes. But not mine."
"You're not making sense, my love." Josh said, Lucas looking at him again.
"Life doesn't make sense, Joshua. At least mine doesn't." Lucas said, the young man turning and looking back into the darkening gardens.
Josh's hand went to Lucas' shoulder, the man feeling him softly tremble.
"I have something inside me, Josh. Something I can't seem to totally understand." he said, Josh's arm going around him again.
"You have your love and yes, a great magic. But you're your own self, Lucas. The man that I love." Josh said, Lucas turning and staring into his blue eyes.
Lucas smiled, seeing the love in Josh's sparkling blue eyes.
"Yes, I am my own self, my Joshua. You love the real me."
Josh smiled, Lucas kissing him on the lips, everyone quietly staring at the two lovers.
The two broke their kiss, Lucas smiling at Josh.
"Thank you for making me see the real me. That can get me through any truth." Lucas said, Josh smiling at him, their hands joined again.
Lucas turned back to his parents and grandparents, the young man leaning back against the railing again, his Joshua at his side.
"Yes, the evil drew me back into that dark tomb. I saw everything that Alsarius had once seen. And I saw the truth of what that evil is."
"What is it, Lucas?" Emerson said, staring at his grandson.
"That I cannot truly understand at this moment, Grandfather. For I have to reason out all of it. But in its attack on me, I felt its truth, its need and its want. And what it wants I cannot give it. Only another can. I have my own destined part in all of this. And I sense there's another involved as well, for that person's own selfless reasons. And that person, I believe, has involved myself."
"You mean you've been drawn into this by someone else? Other than the evil? Is it your ancient ancestor?" Finn said, Lucas' violet pools meeting his father's and grandfather's green pools of confusion.
"Perhaps, Finny. As to who's done that, I'm not totally sure. But I've been created as the joining force. The cog in the wheel of truth. For through me the truth will unfold and destiny shall lay its hand."
"What do you have to do, Lucas?" Skyler said, Lucas staring towards his friends, his eyes then going to Justin and Lance, then turning to his Josh.
"What I've done all my life, Sky. What I was always destined to do." Lucas said, Josh staring at him.
"And what's that, my love?"
Lucas smiled, staring into his lover's blue eyes again.
The young man sighed again, looking around at everyone.
"You just voiced that truth. I am loved. That is my destiny. I am being loved and I am sending that love around me. That is the path I walk." he said, his eyes going to his parents.
"It was I, Father. It was I who saved you and Mother from the monsters hunting you. Because I loved you."
Tristan and Savannah traded looks, both rising from their seats.
"That. . .that is impossible, Lucas! You were only an infant of a few weeks' life, my son!" Savannah said, Lucas staring at her.
"Yes, I was that. But the magic within me is even older. The love within me was my own and that magic joined with it. For it was the love of innocence, of rebirth and life. The magic felt my instant love for both of you, my new parents. That joined magic and love was what sent you to the pool."
Both looked shocked, as did everyone surrounding them.
"To the pool? Your. . .your imagined pool?" Savannah said.
"That's unbelievable, Lucas!" Lewis said, Lucas' violet eyes locked on his parents.
"Yes, Mother. That pool that is my soul's sanctuary. It was to there I drew you. As I drew the little girl. My love and magic draws in all." Lucas said, his parents walking up to him, staring at him in disbelief.
"Lucas. . .for you to do that. . .to pull us away. . .it would mean. . .?" Savannah softy said, Lucas looking at both of his parents.
"It would mean that I possess a great magic. A magic I believe I was always destined to carry. For the two of you were destined to fall in love and to create the vessel of that magic's coming. I am the creation of destiny." Lucas said, Josh's arm going around him again.
"You are you, Lucky. A man of his own self, of his own mind."
Lucas nodded, staring at his father.
"Your risk worked, Father."
Tristan stared at Lucas, his green eyes showing soft tears.
"I never knew. . .I never knew how unbelievable you would be, Lucas! How. . .how you are so. . ."
"Real, Father? Love grows, Father. It began with your love and Mother's. And then I created my own. The love I have for my adoptive family, for my friends. And the greater love I have for my Joshua."
Josh teared up, his arm tightening around his man.
"You chose the correct path, Father. Your creation stands before you."
Lucas' eyes went around the veranda, ending on his mother's violet pools.
"The risk outweighed the concern. I am love and I am magic. And I am something more." Lucas said, the young man walking up to his mother, staring into her violet eyes.
"I am indeed the only real Belmont. For I am created not from magic, but from love. I am real, and I am your son." Lucas said, pulling his mother into his arms, Tristan staring at his son, his hand going to his shoulder.
"Lucas. . .you must believe. . ."
"I see your love, Father. And I know the truth. I know that I am a creation of necessity. That I was your final gamble."
Tristan's eyes lowered, the man feeling a hand go to his shoulder, Tristan turning and staring into his father's green eyes.
"None of us. . .we never dreamed. . .to go that path is to go. . ." Emerson said, Tristan lowering his eyes.
"I chose the path of creation, Father. Of creating a life of unimagined truth, of unimagined power and destiny." the man said, turning and staring into his son's violet pools, as deeply violet as his own wife's.
"You are real, Lucas. For you are the realest of all of us. But you are not my son. For I am not in any way true."
Lucas walked up to his father, his hand going to the man's shoulder, staring into his green eyes.
"You are part of a greater soul, Father. As is Grandfather. As were all that came before you. For the Trinity's truth lays in its soul, in its love. In what it itself created. Three of life, three of destiny. You are real to my heart, Father. And I am your son. As I am my Mother's."
Josh walked up to Lucas, staring at him.
"What do you mean, Lucas?" he said, Lucas smiling at his grandfather, then his father.
"It didn't take me long to figure it out, Josh. I saw it in
all their eyes, and in the journal's beginning truths. In the first and in the
"Figured out what, Lucas?" Finn said, Lucas staring at his father again.
"I know what the portrait shows, Grandfather." Lucas said, his grandfather staring at him.
"The Trinity is a reoccurring spell, a triad of magic and
life. A continuation of one life, of one soul. A rebirth of three to one life. A
generational accent to divinity, and to truth."
Emerson and Tristan's eyes lowered, Lucas softly smiling at both.
"Let us now talk with the third of this triad. Please come out, Grandfather."
Everyone looked confused, Lucas' body turning as another voice filled the night's humid air.
"You call me forth under duress, Lucas. I cannot face this life."
Everyone's eyes turned to the steps leading off the veranda, the sun setting in that direction, a man standing in the sunlight, his form muscular and tall, darkened by the sun behind him.
The sun slowly dimmed behind him, everyone staring into the handsome face of Joshua Belmont.
End of Chapter 80
And the mystery seems to deepen.
Three generations of one soul?
Lucas' father, grandfather and great-grandfather are the three of the Trinity.
But what of Lucas?
Is he real, are they?
A ponderous gathering of mysterious individuals.
Shades perhaps, or real souls?
Next up: Lucas draws his family together in a surprising way.
And they go forward with his love surrounding them.
Our time at Kurucu's Haven ends soon, our hero drawn back into his world of music.
And his world of Josh's love.
Two others stand beside them.
Let me show you where their love leads them.
The mysteries may give way to the romance again.
Or maybe even more drama.