Jolan's Path - Chapter 142
The following story is fictional and is intended for an adult audience. It is not meant to suggest anything about the sexuality of Justin Timberlake or any other celebrities included in this story. This story is fiction, meaning not real. It's all for fun. If you are under age, it is illegal in your country, or you don't like stories about gay sex, please stop reading this now.
Justin's blue eyes took in the people surrounding him.
He smiled at his mother, Hayden in her lap, the small boy laying across her knees, Lynn rubbing his stomach.
"Overfed and over loved." Randall said, smiling at his grandson, Lisa at his side, the two seated beside Lynn and Paul.
The boy giggled, Lynn smiling down at him.
The group were all relaxing in the Room of Family, just having finished dinner, arriving back at Bloodstone Manor in the darkening hours of early Monday evening.
The evening was cloudy, the skies opening up an hour after dinner, heavy rain pouring down.
Martha had had dinner prepared when they'd arrived, their bags left at the door, Morgan ushering them into the Queen's Room.
They'd all sat down to a delicious meal, laughter flowing, happiness surrounding them.
Here now they sat digesting the large meal, Justin seated between Josh and Chace on a couch, Logan in Chace's lap, in the same position as Hayden.
"Our boys have outdone themselves, I believe. We should never have let them sleep on the plane. The ate too much also!" Chace said, rubbing his son's stomach, the boy smiling up at him.
"Me wuvs food, Papa. So goods."
Josh smiled, leaning down and kissing the boy's cheek.
Justin smiled at his two friends, seeing their deep love for the boy, their fatherly love showing.
Chris and Britney walked over to the couch, smiling at Justin.
"Where'd your magical boy toy disappear to, Curly?" Chris grinned, sitting down in a wing chair beside their couch, Britney rolling her eyes, sitting on the armrest of his chair, smiling at Justin.
"He and the Dragosans walked down to the library to discuss some family business, or so Jolan said when he walked out of the dining room." Justin said, his eyes going to the open doorway into the room.
"He seems totally calmed by what's happened the last few days, Juju." Britney said, Justin nodding at her.
"He's totally accepted what's happened and what's to come, Bitzy."
The two smiled, their old names showing their
"And what is to come, Jus?" Chris said, looking at his friend, his smiling face taking on a serious look.
"Only Jolan and destiny know that, Chris." Josh said, Chris meeting his friend's blue eyes.
"Britney's right, Justin. Jolan's taken on a look of determined acceptance. We've all noticed it. He seems so alert, determined and zoned in on what's happening, and what's to happen. It's as if. . ."
"As if I'm a new man, Chris?"
Everyone's eyes went to the doorway, Jolan standing there, his three uncles and his father standing behind him, all five staring at everyone.
Chris stood, Britney smiling at Jolan.
"Not a new man, Jolan. Just different I was
thinking of saying."
The young man smiled, walking up to his friend, smiling at Justin as well.
"I haven't changed, Chris. I'm still myself, loving and giving. What's changed is the destiny surrounding me. I'm on the final path, my friend. The path of my making, and the one you guided me onto."
"Me? I. . .I didn't help you at all."
Jolan smiled, his hand going to the man's shoulder.
"Yes you did, Chris. Remember that vision you had, the vision of myself lost on that road?"
Chris nodded, staring into Jolan's grey eyes.
"You always wondered why you were given that vision, when you'd never met myself or my mother. Why you were chosen."
"I. . .I was chosen?"
Jolan smiled, looking into Britney's blue eyes.
"Yes, my friend. Destiny has a way of aligning all the paths, all the points of beginning truth moving forward. Your soul of love, friendship and mirthful happiness was such a beginning point. Destiny knew that further down the path you and I would meet, you would tell me of that vision you had, and I would deduce from it where my parents were. That story you told to me of your meeting my mother was a beginning point for my finding my parents. I never thanked you for that, Chris. Thank you for having a heart of friendship, that heart guiding me to my family again."
Chris smiled softly, a soft blush on his face, looking towards Melina, the woman smiling at him and her son.
"I was just guided to you by destiny as you said. I still don't get the gist of why I was picked."
Jolan smiled, squeezing his friend's shoulder.
"You were picked because you are the Ying to my Yang. I needed a furry walrus to fill my heart with laughter and love. I love you, our walrus!"
Chris smiled, Britney smiling at his side.
"Um...Jo. I'm not...I don't have those feelings for you. You'll just have to love me from afar. I'm sorry, this fine form is too fine for even you."
Jolan's laughter filled the room, everyone smiling at his radiating smile, Justin's smile widening seeing his man's happy soul.
"Damn! And here I was shining up my harpoon! I was all set for a walrus hunt!"
Joey burst into laughter, almost knocking Lance out of his lap, the two seated in a wing chair by the fireplace.
Chris' eyes met his friend's, Joey trying to control his laughter.
Chris folded his arms, glaring at his best friend.
"You converted Joey, you aren't converting me." Chris said, his arm going around his lady.
Jolan laughed, kissing Britney's cheek, she smiling at him.
"No worries, Chris. We've voted and the gay league's banned you for life!"
All the coupled men burst into laughter, Chris blushing softly, Jolan smiling at him.
Jolan leaned forward, kissing his cheek, the man softly smiling.
"Don't ever change, Christopher."
Chris smiled, Jolan smiling back, walking to the couch and squeezing in between Josh and Justin, Justin kissing his cheek.
Jolan's uncles and father sat down with their mates, Jolan's face showing a watchful gaze, Justin kissing his cheek.
"I see our son's in his usual position, my love."
Justin smiled, as did Jolan, both looking at the boy laying in his grandfather Randall's lap now.
"Stuffed and contented." Justin said, Jolan smiling at him.
Josh's blue eyes met Jolan's, Jolan seeing the intellect shining in his friend's eyes.
"Ask away, my friend. I feel your need to know."
Josh smiled, Justin looking between the two.
"So what's going on, Jolan? I've sensed your brooding thoughts. Your mind's been dwelling on something since this morning." Josh said, Jolan smiling at him.
"Your shrewd mind filters into all aspects of my conscience, Joshua. I am indeed lost in thought on something. I sense a path of enlightenment lies before me. I just have to find the starting point."
"Path of enlightenment, Jo?" Lance said, Jolan nodding.
"Another path of destiny, Jo?" Joey said, Joey's arms around his man.
Jolan's grey eyes looked towards his sister, Jennie snuggled in Jonathan's arms, the two laying on the floor in front of Lynn's couch.
"No, Joey. Let's just call it another treasure path."
Jennie's eyes met Jolan's, the young woman sitting up, Jonathan rising with her as well.
"Another hidden treasure in need of finding, Jolly?" she said, Jolan smiling at her.
"Perhaps, my sister of love. But this one, I believe, was always meant to remain hidden. It was never meant to be shown. I sense it's close to our grandfather's soul."
Jolan stood up, walking up to his grandfather's portrait, staring at the depiction of him in the middle of the Sumsarian army.
"'In the middle of war a flower can bloom. It is in the hearts of men of goodness.'" Jolan softly said, staring at the picture.
"Queen Alveena's own words on the eve of battle. She wrote them in the Tome." Calen said, Jolan nodding, his uncle walking up to him, his hand going to his nephew's shoulder.
"I believe in my heart she was talking of our father. The
flower she had spoken of was her own love that she gave him. He carried that
love upon the battlefield, as did all her loyal soldiers. And Father carried her dead body off the battlefield
in his loving arms,
our future mother at his side."
Jolan nodded, looking at his grandfather's face, seeing the deep beauty and giving love captured in the painting.
His eyes scanned the painting, one small detail capturing his gaze.
He stared at it for a moment, then laughed.
Calen's grey eyes looked at him, wondering what was making Jolan laugh.
"Of course, dearest queen of our hearts. Your words speak truth. Literally!" Jolan said, more to himself, Calen hearing him as well as Jolan's soulmates seated on the couch behind them.
"What truth was literally spoken?" Chace asked.
Jolan smiled, turning and looking into his uncle's grey eyes.
"I can't imagine why it clicked together so easily.
I now sense the urgency in my finding the path."
Jolan's eyes went around the room, everyone staring at him in confusion.
He smiled at his Justin, then at his son, Hayden smiling back, snuggled in his grandfather's lap.
Jolan asked Calen to return to his seat, his uncle nodding, returning to the couch, sitting down beside Isaiah and Sidney.
Jolan smiled around at everyone.
"I've been puzzled all day by a few instances of
wondrous confusion. I'd like to tell you what's been bothering me."
Jolan moved to a wing chair by the fireplace, sitting down, everyone in the room giving him their total devotion and attention.
"Go on, son. Perhaps we can help." Joel said, Jolan smiling at his father.
"You all help in your love and giving hearts I feel
Everyone smiled, Jolan sighing.
"There's a part of all this destiny that I feel remains a hidden mystery. It concerns two individuals. Both men are beacons of mystery, mysticism and meddling intrusion."
Justin's eyes were on his Jolan, the man sitting up a bit, Josh's arm going around his back, Chace seated beside him as well.
"Erasmus has to be one of them." Justin said, Jolan nodding.
"Very good, Justin. You are correct in that regard."
"And the other, Jolan?" Lance asked, Jolan's eyes meeting his green emeralds, then looking at four staring sets of grey eyes, his father and uncles staring at him.
"The other is a man of even more mystery. The elusive leader of the triad of judging guidance. The true one of the One Council. The center of truth and life, the elusive, mysterious Tolmar Sumsare."
Everyone stared at Jolan, unsure of what Jolan meant.
"I speak of Tolmar, the central councillor of the One Council. We have already learned the identity of the other two councillors.
Belos, my grandfather Dominoso's ancient relation, and Degas, the painter of this portrait of my grandfather Vilos and Queen Alveena's portrait in the Queen's Room. Tolmar, however, remains unknown, even to my own Dragosan family."
Everyone's eyes went to the four Dragosan brothers, Joel staring at his son.
"That is correct, Jolan. We have never known his true heritage until now. Something tells me that you've reasoned out who he is."
"No, Father. I haven't reasoned out all of him. For
my grandfather left us no inclination of who he is or was. Neither has Queen
Alveena. There is no mention of him in the Tome you've read, or in the hidden writings of
her own hand that I alone see. The man remains a mystery."
"But you called him Tolmar Sumsare, Jo. You've identified him as a Sumsarian." Chris said, Jolan looking towards his friend.
"Yes, Chris. I have indeed done that."
Calen looked at his nephew, Jolan's calm grey eyes meeting his.
"How do you know him to be Sumsarian, Jolan? Even
Father didn't talk of him or his identity. He heeded the man's reasoning and
guiding knowledge as did we four. He has always been the head councillor.
His life before that is unknown."
Jolan folded his hands together, looking at the Dragosans.
"To heed knowledge without knowing its truth is to walk blind into a battle. I have fully reasoned that my grandfather knew the man long before the One Council came into being. And that intrigues me greatly. For it is obvious that he didn't tell his four sons the man's true identity."
The four brothers looked at each other, Morgan standing up.
"Our father charged us with taking the One
Council's advice, Jolan. We dutifully followed our father's wisdom. We never
inquired as to their identity, not of any of the three."
"I know, Uncle. Your love for your father was total and loyal. And the One Council did as it was chosen to do."
"Chosen to do, Jo?" Josh asked, Jolan nodding at him.
"Yes, Josh. The One Council was created to
oversee the future. To guide the Dragosan clan forward, to aid it in its task."
"The Sumsarian reunification, the joining of the clan further down the road?" Josh said, Jolan nodding again.
"Yes, Josh. I sense Tolmar's more than what he
appears to be. Queen Alveena entrusted him with the greatness of the governing
wisdom. She chose him to be their leader. Belos was a man of military reasoning, Degas
of artistic beauty. Tolmar was the more knowledgeable, the more reasoning mind. Am I
"Yes, Jolan. The man's intellect and reasoning served to unite us on many occasions." Morgan said, looking at his nephew.
Jolan smiled at his uncles, the three smiling back.
His eyes met his father's, Joel smiling at him.
"And he met an equal of intellectual greatness in
you, Father. The two of you never saw eye to eye on many things. But I feel in
my heart you have great respect for him."
"I do, Jolan. Yes, we never agreed on many things, my wife's accusations part of it."
Jolan nodded, looking at his mother.
"Love entered the Dragosan circle. A love my father
needed and would walk away from his family to have. I and my sister are the shining light of
that resulting love. We thank you for your courage in standing up for what and who you
Joel's eyes met his wife's, the two sharing their love in their eyes.
"I loved her then, I love her now. No path of destiny would stay me from that course. I need her love to live."
Jolan smiled, his eyes looking at his three uncles staring at Joel and Melina.
"Water under the bridges of the past, Uncles. Love flows through all of you now." he said, the three smiling at their youngest brother, Joel smiling at all three with love.
"You vanished from the One Council's protective guidance. You walked your own path of destiny, Father. And from that path came myself."
Joel smiled at his son, their bond of love cemented in their souls.
"I was destined to have a son I would love with all my heart. And a daughter of equal love."
Jennie smiled at her father, Melina smiling at both of her children.
Jolan smiled at his father's words, his grey eyes staring at all three.
"Yes, Father. Your equal resolve to Tolmar's convictions brought about my life. I walk because of both of you."
Joel looked confused, Jolan smiling at his father.
"Destiny, Father. The two of you confronted each other, you walking away to your wife's love, a new path of destiny that led to my creation. You walked away from your family, love being the center of your convictions. I now sense what Tolmar's convictions were. I sense they mirrored your own."
Joel looked surprised, staring at his son, his brothers staring as well.
"Love, Jo? Tolmar, the sacred leader of wisdom. . .he. . .he feels love?" Simus said, a surprised look on his face.
Jolan looked at all four.
"He was a man once, Uncle Simus. Every human feels love in their heart at least one in their lives. Destiny and life decide what those feelings evolve into."
"By your reasoning, then, Jolan, Fagin once felt love as well." Joel said, Jolan nodding his head.
"I stand by that reasoning, Father. Even a monster like him at one moment in his life must have felt love."
Everyone quietly stared at Jolan, the young man looking towards his grandfather's portrait.
"My grandfather, I believe, once knew Tolmar Sumsare. Knew him as the man he once was, before his summoning to the leadership of the council at Queen Alveena's request. I just have to reason out why she named him as such. What was the deepness of her belief that he was the one to guide you forward?"
"Perhaps the man was a military might, a force of courage in that last battle?" Josh said, Jolan shaking his head no.
"I and all Dragosans have read of the battle, in
Queen Alveena's own words. There was no mention of him in the battle at all.
Perhaps an oversight of hidden design."
Simus stared at his nephew.
"Are you saying he was there, but not mentioned?
What would be the purpose of that?"
Jolan's grey eyes stared at his uncle.
"Because knowledge can change the path of destiny, Uncle Simus. His true identity could change my course of determination. Only I now know that I was always destined to learn the truth of who he was."
"You're talking in riddles again, my love. " Justin said, Jolan lightly chuckling, smiling at him.
"I believe my destiny is one long riddle, my Jus. A riddle that's beginning to unravel. And I believe it starts with our elusive Tolmar."
"Why not just summon the One Council? Make the man face your questions." Lonnie said, he and Ally seated with Auntie Gee and Kelly, Leo and Briahna seated on the floor before them.
Jolan smiled at the large black man, looking around at everyone.
"Because the One Council appears only for
guidance and truth. They would not stand for questions addressed to their own truth.
They would vanish in an instant, as they've always done in confrontational
moments. Tolmar's control on the other two is total. A vanishing phantom cannot
stand to hear the truth of his own destiny."
"The truth of his destiny, Jo?" Lance said, Jolan's grey eyes meeting his green.
"Yes, Lance. I sense within my heart that Tolmar's
part in all this is central, a divining core of the path's existence. And
somewhere within this house lies the truth of all that. I believe my grandfather
knew all of it, given over to secrecy perhaps at his Queen's request. But
Grandfather's soul was a soul fed on love. Whatever happened long ago weighed
heavy on his mind. I feel he's left the truth of all this to pacify his own soul. I just have to
find its hiding place."
"The treasure you spoke of, Jolly?" Jennie said, Jolan smiling at his sister.
"Yes, Jennica. The treasure of our grandfather's
soul. It lays hidden wrapped in his love."
"So, any ideas of what it is or where it is?" Joey said, smiling at him.
"I have found the starting point, everyone."
Everyone looked surprised, looking around the room.
"But you said when you started this discussion you didn't know where to start, Jolan." Simus said, standing up and walking up to his nephew, his three brothers following, the four encircling the younger man.
"I didn't, Uncle. I just found it moments ago."
Everyone looked confused, Justin standing up, going to his husband's side.
"You found it here in this room, Jo?"
Jolan smiled, kissing his cheek.
"Yes, Justin. I found it buried in the love."
"You're not making sense, my love." Justin said, his arm going around him.
"I have found the starting point, I only have to follow the path, each connecting point leading me to the truth."
"Then let's go, Jo. You've got us all intrigued." Chris said, standing up rubbing his hands together, Lance and Joey standing as well.
Everyone else began to rise, Jolan smiling around at all of them.
"Thank you, my family and friends. But this is a
path I must follow alone. For even my grandfather didn't want me to find this
truth. It perhaps was the only mistake he ever made. Leaving behind the truth."
"What is the truth, Jolan? And why did Father fear it so much that he hid it from everyone?" Morgan said, Jolan's hand going to his uncle's shoulder.
"He didn't fear it, Uncle. He just felt in his heart
that the past should remain in the past. That events couldn't be changed. That
destiny was ahead, the destiny he was obligated to ensure bore reality. He just
forgot one thing."
"What was that, Jo?" Cory said, at his Simus' side now.
Jolan smiled, looking around at everyone.
"That destiny follows its own path. That the things
he did so long ago in fact created the one true path. Hiding the past only
causes it to be revealed farther down the path. Destiny guided him as it now
tries to guide me."
Justin's hold tightened on his man.
"Is there danger, Jo? I won't let you get hurt again."
Jolan smiled, leaning forward and kissing Justin's warm lips.
"There is no danger, Justin. There is only truth and reality. And I am the one who must bear it until its end."
Josh stood up, walking up to the two, Chace following with Logan in his arms.
Hayden got down off his grandfather's lap, running over to his fathers, Jolan smiling and leaning down and picking up his son.
"You finds treasure, Daddy?"
"Yes, my son. I go in search of love."
The little boy kissed his father's cheek, everyone staring at the two.
"Me knows you find it, Daddy. Me feels it, too. Me waits for the real you."
Everyone stared at the boy, his words lined with
Jolan smiled, handing his son to Justin, Hayden snuggling against his chest.
"I won't be long, my love."
Justin nodded, Joel's hand going to his son's arm.
"What do you think you will find, my son?"
"I will find the truth. And I believe I will find love."
"Is there magic surrounding this treasure?" Melina said, a concerned look on her face.
"I'm not sure, Mom. Please everyone, relax and stay here. I shall return shortly." Jolan said, smiling at Justin and Hayden, the young man walking to the open doorway.
He stopped there, his hand on the open door.
He turned, looking at all of them.
"Whatever you hear, whatever happens, do not leave
this room. I must go and face the future alone. And the past."
Josh walked up to Jolan, their eyes meeting.
"Does the past represent the future for you, Jolan?"
"No, Joshua. The past represents the truth of life.
My future exists because of love. I follow love's path of hearts."
Josh stared at Jolan, the young man walking out of the room, closing the door behind him.
Josh stared at the closed door for a moment, then walking up to it, turning the handle.
It didn't budge, Josh pulling hard on it.
"He's sealed us in with magic. I don't like this." Melina said, staring at the sealed doors, her husband's arm going around her.
"He protects us, my love. But from what I haven't a clue." Joel said, his face covered in worry.
Joel's eyes met Justin's, the younger man sitting down again, Hayden snuggled in his lap.
"Friend comes, Poppa. Daddy's self comes."
Everyone stared at the boy, returning to their seats in silence.
Jolan stood in front of the closed Room of Family's door, staring around the foyer, taking in the grandeur of the marble staircase and the large room.
His eyes searched for the next connecting point, his mind on what he'd found behind him.
He'd said those words of Alveena's writing staring at his grandfather's portrait, focusing on the words.
'In the middle of war a flower can bloom. It is in the hearts of men of goodness.'
His eyes had focused on his grandfather's face, his eyes going down the man's body.
His grandfather wore a sword scarab on his belt, Jolan's eyes drawn to the painted leather-sheathed scarab.
There, etched on its, surface was a heart.
A heart displayed on his grandfather's person.
'It is in the hearts of men of goodness.'
Jolan's mind had clued in on the meaning of what the heart represented.
He'd laughed at the absurdity of the easiness of finding the starting point of the path.
His eye would now only have to search out images of hearts to follow the path to the truth, the truth hidden by Vilos Dragos.
Jolan had sensed in his heart that Vilos had not designed this path of treasure, that someone else had.
His grandfather had hidden a truth of the past, for his own reasons.
Someone else was guiding Jolan to find that truth, for it was important to the real path of destiny.
Jolan's eyes scanned the hallway, a marking on the far wall widening his eyes.
Etched in the white marble column by the eastern wing's entrance was a small white heart.
Jolan smiled, walking towards that entrance, walking past the white heart, heading down the eastern wing's hallway.
Justin sat with Josh and Chace, the room filled with reflective silence.
"Your man seems on a mission, Justin. He left with great determination in his eyes." Usher said, Nick seated beside him, the two seated with Tyrone and Mathias.
"His heart is given over to finding the truth, Ush. I'll be glad when it's all finished, when the mysteries end."
Josh put his arm around Justin, Justin feeling his love.
"His love guides us forward, Jus. Jolan's love for
you keeps him centered."
"I love him, Josh. He's my world, and here we now sit in his world. A world not of his making. I'll just be glad when it's all over. I want him safe and free, free of his destiny. Free to live with my love in his heart always."
"He already has that, Justin." Melina said, Lynn smiling at Jolan's mother.
"Yes, Justin. And you have his." Lynn said, Melina smiling back.
Justin smiled at both, seeing their love for both of them.
"I'm still trying to figure out what Jolan's following." Chris said, getting up and walking over to the portrait of the battlefield.
"I see nothing of significance in this portrait. Vilos Dragos standing on the snowy battlefield before the battle. We've learned the significance of Queen Alveena's missing vision, that a designed path to Jennie's treasure." he said, looking behind him at Jennie, the young girl smiling and standing up, walking over to him.
"Yes, Chris. That path led me to the answer to my parents' disappearance and Jolan's bringing them back from where he'd sent them, from the center of his love."
Joel and Melina smiled, staring at their daughter.
Chris' eyes returned to the painting.
He stared at the proud warrior standing in its center, his eyes going over the muscular frame covered in ancient clothing, a sword at his side.
"Yes, that was your answer to that puzzle and his truth. I just wonder what he's found in this room to guide him onto his own treasure path. It's just so strange. . . so. . ." Chris said, his words dying in his throat, his eyes glued on one part of the painting.
He was frozen staring in awed silence.
"So. . .what, Chris?" Joey said, focusing on his friend.
Jennie stared at him, her hand going to his shoulder.
"Hello, Chris? Earth to Chris?" she said, her words breaking the man's concentration.
"I thought. . .I thought I saw a heart. . .now it's. . .it's gone." he softly said, the room's quietness suddenly shattered by a loud anguishing scream of sob-filled hurt.
Everyone was on their feet, Justin flying to the door, closely followed by Josh and Chace, both holding a child in their arms, Hayden in Josh's.
Justin pulled on the doors, neither yielding an inch.
"We need to get to him! My Jo's in pain!" he screamed, Joel's arms going around the man.
"We can't get out, Justin. Jolan's magic bars our way." he said, his own voice edged with concern.
"It okay, Poppa. Daddy just found it. He's going to be okay now. Me feels the love makes it better."
Justin stared at his son, seeing a soft smile on the boy's face, as well as a tear in his eye.
"Me loves Daddy so much, Poppa. He makes me safe and loves me. He comes."
Everyone stared at the boy, Joey moving behind them.
Joey picked up a wooden chair, hurling it towards one of the large windows, the chair hitting it, and bouncing backwards almost hitting Joey, the man surprised that the window didn't shatter.
"I thought it would shatter. It did the last time. Remember?"
Everyone nodded, staring in surprise as well.
"Jolan's magic seals us against whatever's out there." Calen said, his face showing his love and concern for his nephew.
Josh's ear was to the door, his blue eyes meeting Justin's.
"I don't think he's protecting us from anything sinister or evil. I think he's sealed the whole house off so that none of us could follow him. Wherever he's gone, he's reached his destination. Whatever he's found has gone straight to his soul. That was a scream of heartbreaking anguish." he said, his arm going around Justin.
"What's he found, Josh? I heard so much hurt in that scream. He's all alone and he's hurting."
Josh hugged Justin to him, the man staring at Lynn and Randall.
"He's going to be okay, Jus. Whatever it is he'll
have your love to strengthen him when he returns."
As Josh finished his words a soft rumble could be heard in the distance, gradually increasing in volume.
"What is that sound? It sounds like. . .like a freight train heading towards us." Lonnie said, his head moving everywhere.
"Backup everyone. Now!" Josh said, everyone moving away from the door, backing up towards the fireplace, the sound still increasing in loudness, the whole room seemingly starting to tremble with the loudness of the sound, its intensity vibrating throughout the room, the sound advancing towards the doors.
Just as it seemed like its force was about to burst through the doors it instantly stopped.
Everyone stood in silence, one of the two double doors slowly opening.
Their eyes widened in surprise at what stood in the open doorway.
Standing in the doorway was a small child.
The child stood in silence, his grey eyes staring at everyone staring back at him.
Shelly--standing beside Henry and Cindy--moved slowly forward, staring in shocked surprise at the child.
On the other side of the group two others stared in disbelief.
Shelly went to her knees, staring at the child a few feet in front of her.
Her mind and her memories stared at a child lost to her from her past.
"Jolan. . .is that really you?"
The child stared at her, his grey eyes filled with deep love and magic.
"I found the love, Shelly. I found the answer to my question."
Melina and Joel moved forward, standing behind Shelly, staring down at the child staring up at them.
"Jolan. . .our little Jolan. What does this mean. . .?" Melina said, staring at her once small child.
"I'm not scared anymore, Mommy. His love. . .his love is the answer."
"The answer to what, Jolan?" his mother softly said, the boy smiling at her.
"We are the Sun Children. We are the ones." he softly said, his grey eyes staring at two other grey orbs of love.
Jennica Dragos walked up beside her parents, the young woman smiling at the child, seeing the boy shimmering now, as if he were a holographic illusion.
The boy smiled at his sister, Jennie smiling back.
"I remember you from the mountain, little one. I saw you on the beach watching me one day, the last day I saw Spartacus. But before I could talk to you you disappeared. You left with such a smile of love on your face. I remember you." she said.
The boy smiled, everyone staring at his shimmering image.
"See you there again, Jennica." he said, his face taking on a vision of angelic beauty.
Then he instantly faded before all of them.
Melina went to her knees, staring at the spot where her once seven-year-old son had just vanished from.
Jennie's arms went around her mother, Joel helping her help Melina to the nearest couch.
The silent moment of wonder and disbelief was shattered by another heart-wrenching sob, this one flowing through the whole house.
Justin was on the move, rushing through the now open doorway, others following him.
Justin stopped in the hallway, a glow from the other side of the room catching his eyes.
On the far side of the room on a marble column was a soft glowing heart, its whiteness fading then disappearing.
Justin rushed across the room, Josh at his side, Lonnie and Calen following.
Justin didn't stop, his eyes catching another white glowing heart ahead of him, the man and the others following the beacon of the magic path before them.
A few moments later they stopped at a set of double doors, Calen moving forward, pulling them open.
They all stared out into the darkness, the night filled with dampness, the heavy downpour given over now to light rain.
Justin looked out into the darkness, a soft glow shining ahead.
"Where does this stone path lead, Calen?" Justin asked, the man looking at him.
"It's the path to the Northern Gardens. What in God's name would Jolan be doing out there in this wet weather?" he said, Josh looking at the Dragosan.
"Who created the Northern Gardens?"
The Dragosan stared at Josh.
"Our father. His love of nature created it as a testament to. . ." Calen said, his eyes widening, his voice trailing off.
"To what, Calen?" Justin said, his voice edged with worry, the man ready to rush out into the rain-filled night.
"He said it was a testament to his love. We thought he meant his own." the Dragosan said, Josh and Justin moving out into the night, Usher and Nick right behind them, the rest following.
Justin followed the path, following a white glowing heart further ahead.
Ahead of the heart, they now saw another glow, this they realized was man-made.
Justin moved faster, walking between two stone lions guarding a stone gateway, seeing ahead of him the beam of a flashlight breaking the darkness.
He rushed forward, the others at his heels.
Justin stopped, as did the others, taking in the vision before them.
The flashlight was laying on the ground, its ray beaming forward.
Their eyes followed the beam, seeing before it a large hole in the ground.
And on the other side of the hole--where earth had been piled up--sat Jolan, the young man drenched, his head lowered.
In the young man's dirt-covered hands he held a book, an old weatherworn leather-bound book, Justin thinking it looked like a journal.
Jolan's body was trembling, everyone hearing a deep sob coming from inside him.
"Jolan. . .my Jo, are you alright?" Justin said, his voice trembling, his man's head raising.
Jolan's face was covered in tears, the man's face a state of emotional pain.
Justin moved, that look sending him to his man's need.
He jumped across the hole, taking Jolan in his arms, feeling the deep wetness of his clothed body.
"Come inside, my love. You're drenched."
"Oh, Jus. . .I never imagined why. . .I never imagined why." he sobbed, Justin holding him tightly, everyone staring at the sobbing man and the book still held in his hand.
Josh moved, walking around the hole, going to his friend's side, kneeling beside him.
"What's happened, Jolan? What's wrong?"
"Everything, Joshy. Everything's happened. I never realized. . ." he sobbed, Josh meeting Justin's blue eyes.
Lonnie moved now, the large man stepping across the hole.
"I'll carry you, Jo. You look exhausted." he said with love, his eyes taking in Jolan's dirt-covered hands.
He and the others sensed that Jolan had dug that hole with his bare hands, the book covered in dirt as well, that item perhaps the treasure he'd been seeking.
Calen's eyes were focused on the book, his face covered in shocked surprise.
"Father's. . .that's Father's journal!" he said, pointing at the book.
Josh took the book from Jolan's hand, placing it in his jacket pocket, Lonnie bending down and picking up the soaking wet young man, Justin standing as the man stood, Jolan clinging to Lonnie's chest.
Lonnie moved, the others following him back to Bloodstone Manor.
Calen's eyes took in the wet scene in the middle of his father's favorite garden.
He turned, his mind filled with confusion, following his carried nephew.
Everyone sat in the Room of Family, awaiting Jolan's reappearance.
Lonnie had carried the young man upstairs, Justin and Josh following, the others returning to those who stayed behind.
They'd told them of their findings, of Jolan's appearance and condition.
When Lonnie had carried him into his bedroom and set him down in a chair, Jolan had said that he'd meet them again downstairs.
The young man had calmed down somewhat, his emotional state gradually lessening.
Justin had tried to nix Jolan's words, wanting his Jolan to rest, Justin sensing all this had emotionally exhausted him.
Jolan's eyes had met his, Justin seeing his determined, exhausted love.
"I just need to get out of these wet clothes, Jus. And then I need to calm all of your souls." he'd said, his voice still traced with emotion.
Justin had given in to Jolan's request, his love for him showing.
Jolan had asked Josh to stay, Lonnie leaving with concern, the three left alone.
"The book, Joshua. You have it?" Jolan had softly said, Josh pulling the journal from his jacket pocket.
Jolan took it from him, holding it in his hand, that hand trembling.
"You're trembling with cold, Jo. Let's get those clothes off you." Justin said, Josh moving beside him as well.
Jolan stood up, both men gently removing the wet clothes, Justin walking across the hall to the bathroom, returning with towels, Josh pulling off Jolan's damp briefs, the last of his clothing.
Both men wrapped the towels around him, drying his skin, the young man standing still, staring at the book still in his hand.
His other hand went to it, brushing off the dirt, staring at it.
"I never imagined why. I just never thought the love was that forgotten." he softly said, his eyes filling with tears again.
Josh and Justin traded looks, both showing their concern.
"You need rest, my love. Let's put you to bed."
"No, Jus. I have one thing to do. I must do it for my soul, and for theirs."
Justin nodded, moving towards the closet, pulling out a pair of silk pyjamas, and Jolan's robe.
Jolan stood in silence, the two dressing him in the pyjamas, Josh putting plush slippers on his feet, Justin wrapping the robe around him.
"Feel warmer, my love?" he said, his hand going to Jolan's forehead, feeling a heat there.
"Yes, Jus. The clothes and their warmth flood my body. My soul is flooded with a different heat."
Josh and Justin traded looks again, Jolan's grey eyes meeting both.
"I'm alright, my angels. I now know the truth of all of it. Come, let's go downstairs."
Jolan moved, walking to the door, the other two following him.
Everyone stood as Jolan walked into the room, the young man staring at everyone.
His hands were in his robe pockets, the velvet thickness warming his body.
One pocket showed a bulge, the book in there.
"I'm sorry I worried all of you. I am alright, just deeply tired." he softly said, walking over to the fireplace, feeling its instant warmth.
"Jolan. . .this night. . .what we saw. You were a. . ." Chris said, staring at his friend in awe.
Jolan's grey eyes met his.
"What you saw? What are you talking about, Chris?"
Chris' eyes met Justin's, the man walking up to his husband.
"Jo. . .we saw you. . .here in this room. . .just before we found you." Justin said, Jolan staring at him in confusion.
"I never left the garden, Jus. I've been there since I found it."
Joel moved forward, standing beside Jolan.
"It was a vision of unbelievable surprise, Jolan. It was you. . .but you were a child of seven. My once little boy." Joel said, he and Melina standing beside Jolan, the young man turning and looking at them, his face showing uncertainty.
"He left me, I felt him go, the moment I learned the
"Felt who, Jo?" Justin said, the young man staring into his blue pools of love.
"The child lost. The inner hidden me. I felt his going, Justin. I felt the sunshine's warmth of his love leave. I felt my heart grow cold."
Everyone traded looks, Chris walking up to Jolan.
"The true Sun Child. The child within you."
Everyone stared at Chris in surprise, then at Jolan and Jennica.
Jennie's hand was on her brother's shoulder, the young woman having walked up to him, Hayden in her arms.
"You are a Sun Child as well, Jolan. Your younger self called us the Sun Children. You always were the Sun Child, only now there's two of us. There always were two of us."
Jolan's grey eyes met hers, the two siblings staring into each other's souls.
"And you knew, didn't you?"
Jolan's eyes moved, staring into Hayden's blue pools of love, his son stretching out his arms, Jolan taking the child into his arms.
"It okay, Daddy. Me knows too. Three of Sun, Poppa." the boy said, staring at Justin.
Justin's eyes were locked with Jolan's, the young man nodding.
"Hayden too, Jolan?"
"A triad of love, Justin. We are the Sun Children."
Everyone stared in shocked silence, Jolan's grey eyes looking around at everyone.
"Jennica, Hayden and myself are the three of the Sun's magic. The Suns of Life, as my grandfather called us."
Calen and his brothers walked forward, Calen's eyes going to the bulge in Jolan's pocket.
"My Father's journal, Jolan. It disappeared after our father's death. Why do you now have it, Jolan? Why did our father bury it out there in his garden?"
Jolan's grey eyes met his father's, then his three uncles'.
Jolan's hand moved, pulling out of his robe's pocket the old journal, the four brothers staring at the once familiar book.
A book their father carried with him everywhere, a book they saw him constantly writing in in quiet times.
They sensed that their father's life and love were written in its pages.
"Grandfather wrote his innermost feelings and thoughts in this book, a book I spent the last few hours reading in wet silence. I felt his love, his sorrow and his hope in every word. And I learned the truth of all things. All things save one. That is that last piece of the puzzle to unravel. I shall learn its truth on that final day."
Jolan stared at the book, then raised his head, staring into four sets of grey loving eyes, all four sets drawn to the remembered book in Jolan's hand.
"I honor his love and his life with his final written request."
Jolan's hand moved, the young man tossing the book into the blazing fireplace.
Calen screamed, the man moving forward, Jolan seizing his arm, holding him back, everyone watching the old book ignite into flames, its truths and secrets swallowed up in fire.
"That was Father's, Jolan! You had no right! You had no right to destroy his words!" Calen sobbed, Jolan's arms going around him, holding his uncle's trembling body in his arms.
"Illuminator of our souls, historian of our hearts. Weep not
for his long forgotten words. Hold onto his love written in your soul."
Calen's wet eyes met Jolan's, the older man seeing a depth of love shining back at him.
A depth he'd always seen in his father's eyes.
"I loved him so much, Jolan. His words would have been as
beautiful as his love."
Jolan smiled, his eyes looking at the ashes falling among the flames in the fireplace.
"I did what he should have done that day long ago. I
destroyed the truth. But destiny guided me to its uncovering. And now I can walk
the final path. For I know the truth of the path and why it was created. And
what lies at its end."
"What did you learn in his words, Jolan?" Josh said, Jolan's grey eyes meeting his.
"I learned the truth of who laid this path, of why it was
"Why was it designed, Jolan? Who designed it?" Josh said, his mind needing an answer.
Jolan smiled, his face showing a deep beauty, tiredness showing as well.
"It was designed to recapture love, Joshua. Love waits at its end."
"Love for who, Jolan? Who designed this path?" Calen said, the Illuminator's mind needing an answer, albeit not the one Jolan now gave.
"I did, Uncle Calen. I designed it to capture both of them. The two of destiny shall become one. And I shall sacrifice all to see it done."
Jolan began to tremble, Josh moving forward, taking Hayden out of his arms, Justin's arms going around him.
"I. . .I need rest, my love. I feel his returning sunlight."
Jolan's grey eyes seemed to intensify, their centers glowing yellow, the young man collapsing in Justin's arms, a soft laugh filling the room.
Everyone looked around, sparks suddenly igniting in the fireplace, the last ashes of the destroyed book falling into the glowing embers.
End of Chapter 142
What was written in the now burned book of Vilos' thoughts?
What truth did Jolan learn among the pages of his grandfather's love?
Why did Jolan appear as his childhood self, a boy of seven?
There seems to be now three children of the Sun, or the Sun Children as they've been revealed.
Who are they and what do they mean?
Is Jolan really the designer of the path of destiny and who are the two that shall become one?
A lot of questions shrouded in mystery, a now burned mystery that only Jolan knows.
Up next: A return to the Carpathians, and the next meeting of mystical beings.
Let's sink our teeth into the wolf's throat.
The blood that flows may be red with love.