The following story is fictional and is intended for an adult audience with an open mind.
It is not meant to suggest anything about the sexuality of the celebrities included in this story.
This story is fiction, meaning not real.
It's all for fun and enjoyment.
If you are under age, or it is illegal in your country, or you don't like stories about gay sex, please stop reading this immediately.
Josh smiled, his blue eyes meeting two violet pools, Lucas' handsome face smiling back at him.
Lucas' arms were over his head, the young man storing his carryon bag in the overhead compartment.
The young man closed the compartment, sitting down beside his Joshua in the roomy velour seat of the small compact aircraft.
It was late Friday evening, the group surrounding them.
The week had been a restful week of relaxation, everyone enjoying Orlando's giving hospitality.
They'd swum in the hotel's pool, walked the city's streets shopping, and dined and partied all week in its thriving nightlife.
The four couples and Harry had enjoyed every moment of its warmth and hospitality.
They'd dined with Justin's family again midweek in a posh Orlando restaurant, the family welcomed by all.
The Timberlakes loved all of them as well.
Lucas' violet pools moved around the cabin, smiling at all the relaxed faces.
He met Harry's blue eyes, the young man smiling at him, Lucas' smile widening.
He saw the love and happiness in the young man's face largely, due to the surprise gift he'd given him last evening.
Harry had sat down at their evening meal last night in the hotel restaurant, smiling at everyone, their eyes smiling at him, the young man having been with them all day as they shopped, the man taking his job seriously all day.
His eyes scanned around the restaurant, Lucas quietly staring at the young man.
All week he'd sensed Harry's seriousness, his devotion to Lucas' safety front in his mind.
Lucas had tried to get him to relax, his cousin's love for him showing in his protective stance around them.
Lucas smiled at Harry, the young man smiling back.
"Shall we order drinks, guys?" Justin had said, Finn smiling at him.
"What do you think, Timberlake? I've been hauling my babe's shopping treasures around all day. I need to unwind after all that lugging." he grinned, Skyler lightly slapping his shoulder.
"Most of those were for you, babe. I like my man stylish and urbane."
"I prefer relaxed and comfortable." Finn said, Lance laughing.
The Welshman had smiled, Justin summoning the waiter over, ordering two bottles of wine for their meal.
Lucas had smiled at Harry, their eyes meeting again.
"Thank you for guarding us all day and all week, Harry. But enough of the seriousness. I welcome you as my cousin more than my bodyguard." Lucas said, the young man nodding.
"I am still your bodyguard, Lucas. After the other
day I take my job even more seriously. I have to protect you any way I can. I
take it as a devotion to your love."
Everyone smiled at the young man, seeing his total devotion to Lucas' wellbeing.
"You do protect me, Har. Your giving love is a
greater protection than your strength."
Harry smiled softly, Lucas patting his arm.
"We all see your showing love, Har. For that I'll give you your dreams." Lucas said, his eyes meeting two brown pools, the waiter having walked up to the table.
Justin smiled, the waiter uncorking a bottle of white wine, the man standing behind Harry and Finn.
He leaned over the two men, pouring the crisp white wine into their glasses.
Harry's blue eyes watched the man's hand, seeing its rich black skin, the fingers smooth and long.
His eyes moved to a small ring the man wore on his finger, Harry's eyes widening, their blueness rising upwards, staring into two familiar brown pools of shining love.
"My love flows as the wine does. It fills your loving soul."
Harry leapt up, his arms going around the man who'd poured the wine, everyone around the table beaming with happiness, their eyes going to Lucas' violet pools.
Lucas smiled, watching the two kiss, everyone smiling at their showing love.
Harry parted from Alain, the handsome black man's arms around him, his white smile gleaming with happiness.
"How. . .you were. . .?"
"I came on the wings of love, Harry. Your cousin's love carries far."
Harry's blue pools went to Lucas' violet, the young man rising from his seat, his hand going to his cousin's shoulder.
"Your love's brooded long enough, Harold. You needed
his love forever, simple as that."
Harry smiled widely, his eyes meeting Alain's brown pools.
"I've left the islands for good, my love. I'm at your and Lucas' side forever now."
Harry's eyes widened in surprise, Lucas smiling at the young black man, his cousin's blue pools meeting his violet.
"I've offered Alain a new career, Harry. He's going
to be my official assistant, slash chauffeur and perhaps pilot. And any other torturous
task I can line up for him."
Alain laughed, Harry staring at Lucas with shock.
The young man smiled, his hand squeezing his cousin's shoulder.
"You need his love with you, Harry. As much as I need my Joshua's."
Everyone smiled, seeing the tears forming in the young man's blue eyes, Harry hugging his cousin tightly, his own violet pools shedding tears.
"Oh thank you, Lucas! Thank you for giving me my happiness!" he cried, Lucas smiling and patting his back, his violet pools smiling at Alain, his hand on his lover's shoulder now.
Lucas smiled, breaking the embrace, guiding Harry into Alain's arms.
Everyone stood up, Josh extending his hand to Alain.
"Welcome to the gang, Alain. But watch Lucas, he can be a slave driver!"
Everyone laughed, the black man grinning as he shook Josh's hand, the man pulling him into a welcoming hug.
"I love wearing loincloths." Alain grinned.
Finn lost it, his laughter filling the restaurant, Harry and Alain both hugged by everyone.
Lucas' eyes moved around the plane meeting two brown eyes of contented happiness.
The man those eyes were attached to had his arms around Harry, the young man snuggled against him.
"I think those two never slept last night. I can smell the testosterone from here." Finn said, Lucas smiling at his friend seated across from him, Skyler's arms around her man.
"Missed love thrives on its renewing moments." Lucas said, Josh smiling at him, his eyes going to the young bodyguard, the man's happiness dancing in his blue eyes.
"That was a beautiful thing you did for him, my love. For both of them." he said, kissing Lucas' cheek.
"Love needs to grow, Joshua. And it grows best when the hearts are together."
Finn smiled, Lucas smiling at him.
"So Alain will be along for the ride! Excellent! I love his humour." Finn smiled, Lucas smiling at him.
"I think you just like all the eye candy, perv."
Josh laughed, as did Skyler, Finn blushing.
Lucas' hand patted his friend's knee, Finn smiling at him.
Everyone sat down, locking in their seatbelts, Justin smiling at them all.
They were all seated in a Cessna Citation jet, taxiing down a runway at Orlando's main airport.
The private jet left the ground, everyone leaning back in their seats, Justin's blue eyes meeting Lucas' violet, he and Lance seated across the aisle from Lucas and Josh and Finn and Skyler.
"Wow, this is top of the line, Justin!" Finn said, the Welshman's fingertips digging into the armrests of the chair he sat in, Lucas smiling at his friend's obvious nervousness.
"The only way to fly, Finny." Justin said, Lance's hand in his, the two snuggled together as the plane levelled out at thirty thousand feet.
Everyone relaxed, a stewardess coming into their cabin, smiling at Justin.
"You may take your seatbelts off. We've levelled out and are cruising at a comfortable speed. It's a two and a half hour flight to Boston." she said, Justin smiling at her as he released his seatbelt.
"Thanks, Debbie." he said, the young woman smiling at him, then Lance.
"Would you like a drink, Lance or Justin?" she said, Justin's arm going around his man.
"No thanks, Debbie. Have all I need." Justin said, Lance smiling, the stewardess smiling at both of them then walking around to everyone else, taking drink orders.
Finn's eyes followed her, looking at Justin beside him.
"Shouldn't you be a little more discreet, Justin?"
Justin smiled at the Welshman.
"Debbie's worked for me for years, Finny. I informed her when I boarded of all that she'd see this flight. She's discreet and trustworthy." Justin said, Lance kissing his man's lips, Finn smiling at both men.
"Hence my doing that, babe." Lance said, Justin beaming.
Finn laughed, looking at Lucas.
"So who's joining the Mile High Club first?"
Everyone laughed, Skyler shaking her head, Finn kissing her cheek.
Trish and Andrew rose from their seats, walking around the plane, Finn and Skyler joining them, all four taking in the luxurious surroundings.
Justin smiled, Lance looking towards Josh.
"You and Joshy should relax and talk, babe. You said you wanted to go over the album concepts with him."
Justin smiled, kissing his man's cheek.
"I'll talk with Lukey." he said, Justin nodding, rising from his seat.
He moved, sitting down in Skyler's vacated seat across from Josh.
The man smiling at him, Lance rising and tapping Lucas' shoulder.
"Let's leave them to their future happiness, Luke. We can have a chat." Lance said, Lucas looking up into his green pools of love, a soft smile crossing his face.
"Sweet! Bass time to myself!"
Justin laughed, Lucas smiling and kissing Josh on the lips.
"Back soon, babe. I'm being carried off by a green-eyed cutie."
Josh smiled, Lance smiling at him.
"Don't go far, babe."
"The plane is ninety feet long, sweetie. You could spit and still hit me."
Josh laughed, Justin joining him, Lucas smiling at them as he rose from his seat, walking down the plane's center, sitting down on a soft leather couch at the back of the plane with Lance.
Both smiled at each other, seeing Justin moving and sitting beside Josh now, the two chatting.
Lucas smiled, meeting Lance's green pools.
"They'll be a while. Justin's eyes are gleaming with musical love. Josh will be drawn into his happiness."
Lance smiled, snuggling against Lucas, the young man smiling, his arm going around Lance.
"So what would you like to talk about, Lancy? Our surprises for our men?"
Lance smiled, looking towards Justin.
"We'll have lots of time later to discuss that." he said, his green eyes meeting Lucas' violet pools of happiness.
"I wanted to talk to you about your hidden fear, Lucas. The fear I see hiding in your violet pools. The fear you don't want Josh to see."
Lucas moved, his arm pulling away from Lance, his hands going between his knees, Lance staring at him.
Lucas' eyes looked towards Josh, he and Justin lost in their discussion.
Their violet pools lowered, Lance's arm now going around Lucas, pulling him close.
Lucas raised his head, staring into Lance's green pools.
"Your love draws deep into my soul, Lancy. I thought I'd hidden it well enough."
"From Josh, yes. From Justin and me, no. We both see it. What's bothering you, Lucky?"
Lucas sighed, looking at Lance.
"Have you ever felt that life isn't what it seems, Lance? That you're on a path not of your choosing?"
"I've always prided myself on following my own path, Lucas. And I know you have as well. And I've seen you on your own path. Why now do you think you're not on your own path? The Watcher even said you were."
Lucas' violet eyes moved, looking towards Josh again.
"Yes, the elusive ever-watching Watcher. So he stated."
"You don't believe him?"
"It's not that I don't believe him, Lance. It's just that to me it sounds like he's trying himself to guide me onto a certain path. He's involved Josh in this. Directly into this. And that to me spells trouble. Trouble I never wanted for him." Lucas said, Lance seeing and hearing the love and worry in Lucas' words and violet pools.
"Have you discussed that with Josh?"
"Yes, he's told me that he loves me and that he goes where I go, danger or not." Lucas said, Lance staring at him.
"But you don't want him anywhere near that danger?"
"No, Lance. I don't. I'll never forgive myself if he gets hurt because of this." Lucas said, Lance pulling him closer.
"You love him, Lucas. That love shows in your protective worry. But you've forgotten one thing."
Lucas looked at Lance, the man smiling at him.
"What have I forgotten?"
Lance smiled, kissing Lucas on the lips.
"You've forgotten that Josh will be in the safest place possible. He'll be with you and your magic. It will be the greatest protection he could have."
Lucas nodded, thinking on Lance's words.
"I'll do everything to keep him safe."
"We all know that. As you'll do everything to keep
all of us safe. That's why we're here with you on this plane. We're all safe
wrapped in your love and magic. And our love is here for you as well."
Lucas smiled, nodding.
Lance smiled, looking towards Justin and Josh.
"What are you fearing you'll find out there, Lucas?"
The young man sighed, looking into Lance's green pools.
"I'm afraid that I may find the truth, Lance. The truth of my family's past. And what that past may be scares me. What if. . .what if it's something dangerous, or evil? Will I have to destroy my own family to right the injustices of the past? Will I have to face some evil truth to right my own family's path or the future's path?"
Lance pulled Lucas close, the young man's head going against his chest, Lance's protective arms around him.
"It's a truth unknown, Lucas. All you can do is walk
the path you're on. I commend you on your courage and your love through all of
this, my friend. You're the strongest, most courageous man I know. If anyone can
find the answers to whatever's going on here, you can. I have full faith in you
doing that. And I truly believe in some way Josh is here to help you as well. I
think this Watcher is guiding you, yes. But I think he's also just
watching. He told Josh that he couldn't interfere with your path. That the path
must unfold as you follow it."
Lucas raised his head, nodding.
"Yes, Lance. But is this the true path I'm supposed to walk? Have I walked onto the right path?"
Lance smiled, now understanding what Lucas was fearing.
"You're afraid you may be walking the wrong path?"
Lucas lowered his head, nodding.
Lance smiled, kissing his forehead.
"Maybe that's the correct path, Lucas."
Lucas raised his head, staring at Lance.
"Maybe the fears and doubts you have are the beacons
you need to follow. Perhaps the Watcher talked to Josh just to clue you
in to that realization."
"You mean he's making me think upon what I'm going to do so that I'll be cautious on the real path?"
"Yes, Lucas. Who's to say that the path you are following isn't the true path? I think the only one who can really understand it all is yourself. You have an intelligent mind, Lucas. I--and all of us--have full faith in your reasoning all of it out. You've already shown us some amazing things. The path you walk is laden with them. And I believe there will be so much more to come. But surrounding all of it is your love and magic. We all have faith in that protecting all of us. You should have faith in yourself, too. The only thing you have to fear is fear itself."
Lucas smiled, looking into Lance's loving green pools.
"Thank you, Franklin."
Lance laughed, knowing Franklin Roosevelt had said that famous line.
Lucas smiled, leaning in and kissing Lance on the lips.
"Thanks, Lance. You have your own inspiring intelligence. And you've given me much to think upon. As has the Watcher."
"We're all here for you, Lucas. Josh the most."
Lucas smiled, looking towards his soulmate.
"I know, Lance. And I welcome all of your love."
Lance smiled, staring into Lucas' violet pools.
"Your beauty and your love entice my soul, Lucas. I think I need to join that club with my soulmate."
Lucas smiled, Lance releasing his friend, the man moving towards Justin and Josh, Justin looking up at his soulmate as he leaned down and whispered into his ear.
Justin's face lit up, the man excusing himself from Josh's staring blue eyes.
Justin rose from his seat, following his Lance towards the back of the plane, their hands together, the two smiling as they passed Lucas returning to his seat with Josh.
Josh smiled at his man, Lucas sitting down beside him, Josh kissing his cheek.
"They left in a hurry. Justin looked lovelorn." Josh smiled, Lucas leaning in and kissing Josh's warm lips.
"Know the feeling." he said, Josh smiling at him, his arm wrapping around his soulmate, Lucas' head going to his strong chest.
Lucas smiled, his violet eyes softly glowing, the surrounding love and truth calming his fears.
Thank you, Lance.
You've given me the answer to my worries.
I only have to believe in my own magic and self.
And my love and all yours will be enough.
Lucas smiled, raising his head and kissing Josh deeply on the lips, Josh lost in his soulmate's giving love.
The two parted, Lucas staring into Josh's blue pools of love.
"That was amazing, my love. I felt your love all through me."
Lucas smiled, snuggling against him again.
"Yours is all through me as well, Joshua. I'm alive and I'm ready."
Lucas smiled, closing his violet pools of glowing love, Josh staring down at him, holding him close.
A soft breeze blew in from the north, its coolness a sign of the waning days of late August.
Lucas felt it on his arm sitting on the vehicle's door, driving through the small village.
Their plane had landed in Boston, Justin commandeering two vehicles at the private air hangar, Lucas driving one, Harry driving the other.
It was a two hour drive from Boston to this sleepy hamlet on the Massachusetts coast.
The hour was late when Lucas drove through the small village, driving down its one main street, everyone taking in its quiet demeanour, Josh seated beside Lucas, Lance and Justin behind in the backseat.
The four were in a black Cadillac SUV, Harry driving an identical one behind them.
"It's so peaceful and quaint." Lance said, looking out at the old buildings they drove by.
"America at its historic best." Josh said, Lucas smiling at him.
Josh's hand was in his, Lucas' eyes looking ahead, taking in the small village's quietness.
"Where's the hotel, Jus?" Lucas said, Justin looking down at his cellphone, looking at the GPS he had on the screen.
"Make a turn just ahead at the central square, and it's on the last street. O'Malley Commons."
Lucas slowed down, turning at the next green light, a large open square in front of them, a large statue standing in its center, a small park surrounding it.
Lance's green eyes focused on the statue, unable to read its inscribed plaque.
"Looks like a military hero, as the uniform shows." Josh said, Lucas nodding, turning on the last street past the square, seeing the sign.
At the street's end a large colonial-looking house stood, all painted white, large rose bushes showing on its manicured lawn.
"Hammond House. The Jewel of the Massachusetts Coast." Lance read off the white sign on the lawn, Lucas smiling and pulling into the hotel's parking area, Harry pulling up beside their vehicle.
Everyone climbed out of the two vehicles, closing their doors behind them.
Harry opened the hatch on the back of his SUV; he, Andrew and Finn pulling out bags.
Lucas' violet pools scanned the street and surrounding buildings, the place bathed in relative silence.
"This place is unnerving in its quietness." Trish said, Andrew's arm going around her.
"The quietness of the past and the tranquility of small town America, Trishy." Lucas said, the young man walking towards the hotel's main porch, walking up its steps, Josh and the others following.
They all walked into the large building, walking into a large spacious lobby, a long old oak counter standing against one wall, colonial furniture spread around the large room.
"This place is like the Stratford Inn on Newhart." Lance said, Harry smiling at him.
"Where's Dick Loudon?" Justin laughed, Josh chuckling as well.
Lucas smiled at his friends, the young man hitting a bell that sat on top of the long, old, oak front desk.
The small ring sounded loud in the quiet room, a door behind the counter opening, a small older man walking out of the room, his half-bald head shining in the lighted room.
Justin burst out into laughter, Lance and Josh joining him, everyone else looking at them with confusion, the older man staring at them with confusion as well.
"May I help you?" he said, looking then at Lucas, the young man smiling at him.
The man had a soft resemblance to Bob Newhart, Lucas reasoning out why his friends were laughing.
"Forgive my friends, sir. It's been a long drive.
We're the Carver party."
The man smiled, nodding at Lucas.
"Ah, yes. You're a little early, you are. But here nonetheless." he said, Lucas smiling at him, taking in his New England accent.
"Yes, the traffic was light. Are our rooms ready?" Lucas said, signing the register, handing the innkeeper his credit card.
"Yes, everything's tip top, sir." he said, processing Lucas' credit card and logging in all their information.
"The west wing upstairs is reserved for you: five rooms, room seven to eleven." the older man said, Lucas nodding, taking the keys the man gave him, Lucas handing them out to the four other couples, Josh smiling at him.
"Is the restaurant still open?" he said, smiling at the innkeeper.
"Unfortunately no, sir. We closed at eight. It's after nine now. But Sarah's Diner on the corner by the Major's Square is open till eleven." the man said, Lucas nodding.
"Thank you, sir." he said, the innkeeper smiling at him.
"Enjoy your stay in Westonshire, everyone. Business or pleasure brings ya?"
"A little investigating and nostalgic retracing on my past." Lucas said, the innkeeper looking at him with surprise.
"Ah, history buffs is it? This old town's seen its share of that, it has. A part of this country's heritage. Anything in particular be ya seeking?"
"Just visiting some old family haunts, sir. Do you know where the Sacred Hearts Cemetery lays?" Lucas said, leaning down to pick up his suitcase, staring at the older man's now shocked-looking face.
"I'd advise you to stay clear of that place, everyone. The history there is tainted with the present's uncertainties." the man said, Lucas staring at him.
"Meaning what, sir?"
The man's eyes looked around, seeing only the new people standing before him.
"I don't want to give the ladies cause for worry,
young sir. But there was a murder there a few weeks back."
Everyone looked towards Lucas, the young man staring at the innkeeper.
"A murder? How horrible."
"Yes, horrible indeed it was, Master Carver. A local priest was murdered in the foulest of ways. And the caretaker has disappeared. The local police believing that he was perhaps the culprit. But I can't in my heart believe that. Caleb was a fool but no murderer. My brother thought little of Caleb, but he never thought of him but a fool."
"Your brother, sir?" Lucas said, the man nodding.
"My older brother Arlo was caretaker there for over fifty years. He passed on a few weeks back, dying there as well. A heart attack while digging a grave for a young child. Caleb Elderson took over for him, and now he's gone. That place is filled with bad luck, young sir. I'd keep clear of it if I was you."
"I have ancestry there, sir. We'd like to visit my past."
"Then do it in the daylight, young sir. And keep your wits about ya." the older man said, Lucas nodding.
"I'm sorry for you loss, Mister. . .?"
"Albert Hammond, Master Carver. My family's run this inn for over seventeen generations."
Lucas smiled at the older man, the man smiling back at his handsome kind face.
"Thank you for the kind words, young sir. My brother was my friend. He lived life as he loved it. And the dead now honour him."
Lucas picked up his bag, the others following him up the stairs, everyone silent and quiet.
Josh's blue eyes looked into Lucas' violet pools, the young man leaning back in his chair, seated beside the window of the small diner they all now sat in.
The waitress had moved two tables together, everyone seated together, she bringing them large platters of homemade food.
"Awesome!" Finn had said, devouring his with relish, the day's travel heavy on his hunger.
Everyone else had dined in quiet reflection, soft talk going on around them.
Lucas picked up on their moods, as had the waitress, the woman smiling at all of them as she refilled their coffee cups at the end of the meal.
"Ya all look a little somber there, young ones." she said, Lucas smiling up at her.
"Just a long day, Ma'am." Lucas said, the older waitress smiling at him.
"Name's Sarah, son. Remember?" she said, Lucas smiling at her.
"Yes sorry, Sarah."
She'd introduced herself to all of them, they all finding her happy and vivacious, the long supposed day of working not shown in her welcoming face.
"What are all you young spirits doing out here in this old tomb?" she smiled, setting the coffee pot down on a burner behind them, smiling at them again.
"Just walking my past, Sarah." Lucas said, the woman looking at him.
"Are you from this area, son?"
"No, Sarah. I'm from Wales actually."
The woman looked surprised, wiping her hands on her apron, smiling at Lucas.
"A long way from home, son."
"Yes, indeed. Mr. Hammond was telling us of the tragedy that's happened around here lately." Lucas said, the woman nodding her head.
"Yes, quite sad. Father Phillip was a godsend to a lot of people. His death was tragic indeed." she said, Trish looking at her.
"How did he die?" she said, Andrew's arm going around her.
"I won't talk of the gory details, young lady. But he was decapitated." she said, Trish lowering her eyes.
"How tragic." Skyler said, Finn's arm already around his love.
"Sad indeed. As was Caleb's disappearance. And the tragic deaths before that."
"Mr. Hammond's brother Arlo?" Lucas said.
The woman nodded, her eyes going to a small table in
"Yes, dear sweet, old Arlo. The heart and giving grace of this old town. Every town has one. An elderly statesman of giving wisdom and loving grace. He was indeed that. He showed more love to the dead than to the living at times, but I suppose that was his greater giving heart at work. He never saw anyone off on their final voyage if not with grace and dignity. That was his kind heart at its best. He sat at that table every evening after working all day. His was the last smile I saw every evening. I miss his happiness." she said, the woman pulling out a handkerchief from her apron, dabbing her eyes.
"He sounded like he was a giving kind soul, Sarah." Lucas said, the woman nodding.
"That he was, young sir."
"It's Lucas, Sarah."
The woman smiled, picking up the coffee pot again and filling his cup again.
"I'm glad that that loving child experienced some of his giving love at the end of her short life, if not all of it." she said, Lucas staring at the woman.
"'That child'? Who was that?" Lucas said, the woman looking at him, a soft look of sadness showing again on her face.
"She was a small child that passed just a few days before Arlo. He was digging her grave at the cemetery when he passed himself on into the light. At least they went together." Sarah said, Lucas looking at her with thoughtful surprise.
"How old was she?"
"The child was only eight, Lucas. Just at the cusp of her life." Sarah said, dabbing her eyes again.
"How did she pass?" Andrew said, his arm still around Trish.
"That's another strangeness to the tale as well, my friends. No one really knows how." Sarah said, everyone looking confused.
"One moment she was laughing at school, jumping rope with her friends, next moment she was dead on the grass. Autopsy showed nothing but a silenced heart. A child taken too shortly in life. The greater mysteries of God's divine plans." Sarah said, looking around at all the soft, saddened faces.
"I'm sorry for giving you sadness, my young friends. I'll clean this up and bring you desserts." Sarah smiled, turning to walk back into the kitchen.
"Your happiness fills our hearts, kind lady. Sarah's Diner is Sarah's heart." Lucas said, the woman smiling and walking into the kitchen.
Finn's eyes met Lucas', the young man seeing his friend's surprised look.
"You don't think. . .that child. . .is the girl at Kurucu's Haven we saw?"
"It seems too remarkable not to be, Finny. Too much of a coincidence." Lucas said, the young man looking deep in thought.
Josh's hand went on top of Lucas', the young man looking at him.
"A man's been murdered, Lucas. Another's disappeared. And two others died rather suddenly. There's danger showing here and we haven't even walked into the place yet." Josh said, Lucas hearing the worry in his voice.
"I know, Josh. But that's not going to stop what I have to do. I'll protect all of you as I must. And we're indeed going there in broad daylight. Once I've reasoned everything out." he said, his violet pools looking out the window.
"Reasoned what out, Luke?" Justin said, he and Lance seated across from Lucas and Josh.
"Something else is going on in this town, Justin. I've felt it ever since I walked into this village. Like a hidden softness on the edge of my magic." Lucas said, his violet pools looking out the window again with a glance, then into Justin's blue pools.
"Is it danger, Lucas?" he said, Lucas smiling at his friend.
"No, Jus. This I sense is friendship." Lucas said, everyone looking at him with confusion.
"You sense friendship here, Lucas? This place give me the creeps." Finn said, looking out the windows as well.
"It's just the aura of uncertainty and fear you sense, Finny. The whole town's shrouded in it. The past few weeks have entered its heart with fear. I think we just have to look past that. Whatever happened here then is done. The scent of their hurt is gone." Lucas said, his eyes looking out the window again.
"But it may still linger in the auras of their shades. That we'll just have to wait and see." Lucas said, the young man sipping his coffee again, everyone looking at him.
Sarah walked out of the kitchen again, carrying a tray laden with several homemade pies.
Lucas smiled, the woman smiling back.
The group finished their meal, Lucas taking the bill when Sarah handed it to him, everyone offering to take it from him, the young man smiling at all of them.
"You've all freeloaded off my love for months now. What's one more treat?" he said, Sarah laughing, everyone smiling.
They all walked out of the restaurant, Lucas the last to leave, Josh waiting for him at the door outside, pulling his jacket up a bit, the late evening breeze cooler.
Lucas paid the bill, Sarah smiling at him when he handed her a large tip, the woman beaming.
"Thank you, Lucas. That's too kind of ya."
"Kindness given is kindness returned." he said, the woman smiling at him.
"You have a kind soul, Lucas. It shines in those
beautiful eyes. I see why your friend loves you so much."
Lucas laughed, smiling towards Josh, he looking at him through the door.
"His love shows in his face, Sarah. He can't ever hide it."
She laughed, leaning forward and kissing Lucas' cheek, Lucas smiling at her.
"Love is love, Lucas. Hold onto it always."
Lucas smiled, Sarah smiling back.
"See you for breakfast, Sarah."
The woman beamed, Lucas smiling and turning towards the door, Sarah turning towards the cash register.
"Oh, one last thing, Sarah. It's not that important, but I'd like to know just the same." Lucas said, the woman closing the register drawer, smiling up at him.
"The child who passed away. What was her full name?"
The older woman looked surprised by Lucas' question, staring into his violet pools of calm intensity.
"Rosa Sharon, Lucas. Rosa Sharon Carlisle."
Lucas nodded with soft thoughtfulness, quietly walking out of the restaurant.
The small group walked along the stone sidewalk, walking back to their hotel, couples hand-in-hand.
Josh smiled, taking Lucas' hand, the young man smiling at him in the streetlamp-lit darkness.
"A hamlet of surprising mystery, my love." Josh said, Lucas smiling at him.
"But not as mysterious as your love for me, my love. Sarah saw it plain as day." Lucas smiled, Josh blushing, Finn laughing behind him, his arm in Skyler's.
"Busted! You and that puppy-dog face, Joshy!"
Everyone chuckled, Lucas kissing his man's cheek.
"You love shines, my love. I am warmed by its glow always." Lucas said, Josh beaming.
Everyone smiled, Lucas looking ahead, seeing Harry and Alain walking ahead of them, Alain's arm around his Harry.
Lucas softly sighed, Josh picking up on his soft thoughtfulness.
"You okay, my love?" Josh said, Lucas smiling at him, squeezing his hand.
"I'm fine, Beamy. Just a little tired. A good night's sleep in all this fresh air will do me wonders. And then tomorrow we'll take life by the horns. On both paths." Lucas said, his eyes going to the hotel in front of them, everyone stopping at the hotel's front porch.
"Both paths, Lucas?" Finn said, Lucas nodding his head.
"Yes, Finny. Both paths. Two paths of my family's heritage. I think they're about to collide." Lucas said, Harry staring at him.
"Is there something you're not telling us, Lucas? You've seemed focused all night on something. I saw you looking out the diner's window quite often." Harry said, Lucas smiling at his cousin's perception and protective watchfulness.
"Even Alain's returned love hasn't dulled your protective love or senses, my cousin of love." Lucas smiled, Harry smiling at him.
"I'm always on duty, Luke. And Alain's love only heartens my soul." Harry said, Alain smiling at him with love.
Lucas smiled, the young man looking over his shoulder, then back at his friends.
"We're being watched, everyone."
Everyone looked concerned, Lucas smiling at them all, Harry's blue eyes scanning everywhere.
"It's alright, everyone. Nothing to really worry about. This is the watchfulness of a concerned love."
"The Watcher is here?" Josh said, Lucas kissing his cheek again.
"No, Joshua. It isn't he that watches. I think this is the watchfulness of loneliness. And a lost heart seeking answers." Lucas said, the young man smiling a soft loving smile.
Everyone saw the calmness and love in Lucas' smiling
"I think we may stay for a couple of days, everyone. There are two paths I shall have to deal with. Tomorrow the first shows itself, then the second comes within the cemetery walls on Sunday."
Josh nodded, his hand squeezing his.
"Alright, my love. My thoughtful, mysterious love.
But we're all here for you, you know that."
Lucas smiled, winking at his soulmate.
"Let's head for bed everyone. The night holds no
danger, only peaceful sleep and showing love. But try and keep it down. Small
town America isn't ready for our youthful passions. Your passion will sound like
screaming wolves to our Bob Newhart look-a-like, Finn and Skyler. He may
well neuter your man!"
Justin and Lance laughed, Finn blushing, giving Lucas a one-finger salute, Skyler laughing at his side, kissing Lucas' cheek.
"I'll keep him muzzled, Lukey!"
Everyone laughed, Lucas smiling, the couples moving up the stairs onto the porch, walking into the hotel.
Lucas and Josh were the last to walk into the hotel, Lucas closing the door slowly behind everyone.
His violet eyes looked out across the darkened street, Lucas seeing a soft shadow move against the darkness, its slim form disappearing into the deeper shadows.
Lucas softly smiled, closing the door behind him.
A shadow moved silently down the streets, moving from one dark spot to another.
Porch lights and street lamps gave it no showing reality.
But it was alive nonetheless.
But a stealth and watchfulness was borne into its life from an early age.
The shadow moved, reaching the outskirts of the small village, walking past the shadow-filled graveyard at its southern boundary, passing the silent place of the dead with watchful reverence and bowed humility.
The shadow moved down the paved road passing the cemetery, following a well traversed path off its paved blackness.
It didn't show itself into the moonlit openness, keeping to the shadowed trees lining the road.
Soon it came to a small house set back off the road on a well-gravelled--but seldom used--laneway.
The shadow didn't even traverse that path, staying instead on its hidden path.
It stopped near the house, its eyes scanning the silent darkness, hearing no sound except the usual night creatures.
Those sounds by themselves meant the darkness held no evil.
The shadow moved forward, walking around the house, leaving the front door closed and locked, moving around the back of the house, entering through the back door, after retrieving a hidden key from a hidden spot.
The house was laden with darkness, the shadow hitting no light switch.
The power within the house was dead anyway.
The shadow removed its black cloak, its slim form throwing the cloak onto a hook by the kitchen door, walking to the kitchen sink, filling a glass from its tap, sipping the cool water.
Two eyes of intense thoughtfulness stared out into the darkness surrounding the house, its eyes like beacons of infrared keenness.
Nothing moved outside, the shadow calming its senses, its thoughts its own.
I felt you out there, watchful one.
I was drawn to your beauty.
And I saw your watchful gaze.
What do you seek?
Is it my treasure?
The treasure she gave me?
I will not part with it for anyone save her.
The shadow's hand went to its pocket, pulling out something wrapped in an old cloth.
It placed the ball of cloth on the counter by the sink, unfolding its folds, a gleaming goldenness shining under the layers.
A ring lay in the center of the cloth, its beauty staring up at the shadow's soft face.
Long blond hair hung straggly from its forehead, its soft youthful face wet with tears.
For anyone but her.
A sudden sound came to the shadow's ears, its hands grasping onto the small bundle again, its slim form moving with lightning speed, slipping into a small space under the sink, closing an old wooden door behind it.
The house was silent for a few moments, the shadow then hearing soft movement from its upper rooms.
The noise increased as if a great weight was descending wooden steps, crossing the rooms one by one.
The shadow held its breath, the footsteps close now.
A noise moved into the room, the shadow silent and unmoving.
The noise stopped on the other side of the wooden hidden door, the shadow motionless.
Long moments lingered through time, another sound coming for the upper floor.
The silence was broken by the sudden movement of the noise within the kitchen, it moving through the house again, echoing away from the kitchen.
The shadow lay in silence, the only sound its own beating heart.
For hours it lay there in motionless silence, a soft light filtering through the small doorway.
A small hand moved forward, pushing open the wooden door, a small form climbing out of the crawlspace.
It stood on its feet, stretching its legs, its arms going over its head, yawning in the morning sunshine filtering into the bright kitchen.
Two eyes moved around the room, remembering the love and happiness that once shone in this home.
A single tear rolled down its cheek.
You come as you must, violet-eyed monster.
And I will destroy you.
Two blue pools of tearful sorrow stared out into the sunshine.
The young man moved, walking quietly out of his former home.
End of Chapter 94
More mysteries abound in the small hamlet our friends now reside in.
A shadow now revealed of sorrowful loneliness.
Who is this young man?
And what is his gripe with Lucas?
Is Lucas in danger from this new arrival of mystery?
And is the ring he has the same one the priest died for?
How did this young man obtain it?
What of the elusive Rosa Sharon?
What is her part in this mystery?
And what does that cemetery of mystery hold?
I do believe I've created a real mystery!
Aren't I a devil?!
Chapter 95 will not be posted for two weeks, as next week I will be taking a small vacation.
The story will continue in two weeks.