Jolan's Path - Chapter 76
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.
Author's Note of Caution
This chapter may seem a lot darker than the previous installments.
I hope its underlying revelations won't put you off on what I'm trying to show.
Just remember that the key theme is, and always will be, Love.
Everyone in the courtroom had their eyes fixed upon the small, demure, little woman sitting in the left corner of the jury box.
Sidney's accusation had sank into all of their souls.
The judge stared at the small woman, his face carrying a look of judging concern.
Sidney's face was covered in a mask of frightened concern, Jolan's eyes focused on the woman.
"It was her. She was the one standing above little Amy. And she was the one who set that large bear after me. That beast attacked me, having been hidden within the thickets, ready to pounce on her command. Clara Whitaker and that other man took Amy." Sidney said, his face covered in tears, emotion etched in every feature.
Jolan's hand went to Sidney's shoulder, trying to calm him, Jolan's eyes fixed upon the woman staring back at them.
"Under visions of kindness evil hides its black heart."
The frail-looking little woman smiled a smile of gentle kindness.
"Why child, you're totally confused. Land sakes,
you've got an imagination." the elderly woman smiled, her face a vision of
calmness, her blue eyes staring at Sidney.
Jolan moved, walking to the juror box, standing in front of her.
The other jurors were staring at Clara, their bodies having edged away from her, looks of stunned shock on all their faces.
"You are the evil that haunts this gentle town. You are the monster lurking in the shadows, feasting on the innocent and untainted. You are the evil that's hunted this town since you walked into it, taking so many young teenagers and that small child. You are a child of Fangoros."
Jolan's family and friends looked on in shock at that pronouncement.
The woman's eyes widened a bit, staring at Jolan.
"Fangoros, my word. What in dear sweetness is that?" she said, smiling at him.
"That is a clan of evil that's stalked this earth for generations. And you, vilest of the true blood, are one of its monstrous leaders." Jolan said, the woman softly smiling at him.
"Me, a monster? Why child, I'm nothing more than a retired circus performer. Retired into my golden years. Living those final years in the beauty of this small town."
She looked around at the other jurors, all local residents.
Their eyes were still widened with shock, staring at her, a physical distance now growing between those closest to her.
"That is the essence of your evil. Total deception and hidden cowardice, Madame Conrad." Jolan said, the woman looking at him, her eyes widening a bit more.
Everyone stared in shock, that last name registering in their minds.
"That is your maiden name, isn't it Clara? Clara Conrad?"
"My you're certainly on a path of misconstrued information, child. Keep that up and I won't give you any more treats." she said, her face once again showing kindness and calmness.
Jolan turned, looking up at the judge, seeing the empty plate where the doughnuts had lain, the judges eyes glued to the little old lady.
His eyes turned back, two orbs laced with anger staring back at him, he alone seeing the depth of that anger, a facade of kindness masking it from everyone else.
"Your maiden name was Clara Conrad. You are the mother of Samuel, that monstrous individual who murdered that innocent child Amy Benjamin. Sidney saw that attack that night, he pointing you out as the man's accomplice. And that man's killed so many others, all done with your approval. The two of you took so many young innocent people from this town, feeding off their innocence and youth, and then finally off their flesh."
The elderly woman laughed, smiling towards the judge, meeting his staring gaze.
"My! The boy's got some imagination. And I believe he's confused. I think he needs a rest, Barry." she said, the judge staring at her, hearing her use of his shortened personal name.
"I shall not rest until your evil is called to justice." Jolan said, the woman's eyes staring into his soul.
"Yes, dear lady. You shall feel the truth of my Dragosan soul."
Her face changed, a sudden flash of anger crossing it.
Everyone stared at her, seeing the transformation.
The quietness of the gazing multitude was broken by the opening of the back courtroom door.
Sheriff Walker walked into the room, walking down the aisle, his face a mask of serious concern.
Bill and Steve rose from their seats, walking forward, Jolan staring into the approaching sheriff's eyes.
Jolan saw the truth in the older man's eyes.
The truth that Jolan knew the man would find.
Jolan's eyes moved, meeting the four staring gray eyes of his uncles.
Both older men nodded, Jolan's eyes flashing a soft glow.
Jolan turned back towards Clara Whitaker as the sheriff and his deputies drew their guns.
Henderson Sutcliffe was on his feet, glaring at the officers.
"This is a court of law! You cannot draw weapons here! Your Honor! What is the meaning of this violent intrusion?"
Others were murmuring, the courtroom becoming noisy.
Judge Wentworth banged his gavel a few times, staring towards the lawyer.
"Sit down, Mr. Sutcliffe. Has the warrant validated Mr. Dragos' claims, Sheriff Walker?"
Everyone--including Henderson and Clara--looked on in confusion at Judge Wentworth's words.
Jolan walked to the front of the judge's bench, looking at Judge Wentworth, then back at Stu.
"I look into your tortured red eyes and see the truth, Sheriff Walker. You have found Amy Benjamin."
Judge Wentworth's gasp was heard throughout the courtroom.
Sheriff Walker's eyes stared up at the judge, the judge seeing the redness now clouding his blue eyes.
"The Whitaker place. . .that house. . .the remains we found. . .the depth of disgusting horror laying within its basement. Little Amy, she was. . .she was laying in a trunk. . .her body only bones. . .little gnawed bones." the Sheriff said, the emotion heard in his staggered words.
His head turned towards Clara Whitaker, his gun raising.
"You are under arrest for murder, Clara Conrad Whitaker." the sheriff said, everyone in the courtroom gasping, the judge banging his gavel again.
Jolan stared at the woman, her face now a mask of softly brooding anger.
"Your secret has been revealed, Clara. The cannibalistic truth of what you and that monstrous son of yours have done to all those lost townsfolk. It ends here."
The woman remained calm, smiling at him, her face again showing an evil calmness.
"Jolan, Jolan. You foolish little boy! Do you really think that I didn't know you were on my trail??"
Jolan stared at her, the woman chuckling.
"I never leave loose ends. You were the first who escaped, unfortunately. I regret that now. I still don't understand how you and this little pissant eavesdropper survived that night. Jingles usually does what I tell him to. That bear's getting senile in his old age."
Jolan stared at the woman, walking over to his table, opening the briefcase again, his eyes meeting Justin's.
Jolan saw the love and concern embedded in those blue pools, his gray eyes sparkling at him.
Justin felt Jolan's love and determined courage.
Jolan picked up something out of the case, walking back over to Clara, the sheriff and his deputies had their guns still aimed at the woman.
Jolan held the item behind his back, staring at her.
"Jingles was beaten off Sidney that night by my protective love. The love I had for my friend. I felt the evil surrounding my friend and rushed to his aid. I stopped that bear from killing my friend at your instigation. We reached an understanding that night, that bruin and I. I was too late to save Amy from your monstrous clutches but I saved Sidney and Jingles."
"How could you make that bear go against the magic?" she said, glaring at the young man standing before her.
"With the one weapon he already possessed. A loving, trapped soul. A soul that is now free."
Jolan raised his hand, Clara's eyes widening in total disbelief.
"You took it off!!!! Are you mad?? You've taken my control over him!!!" the little woman said, a look of fear crossing her face, then it changed back to a menacing angry look.
In Jolan's raised hand hung a large leather collar.
One small bell hung from its center, lightly tingling in the silent courtroom.
Jolan had removed it from the bear the night of their confrontational encounter.
"Your servant has rebelled, Clara. He's rebelled against the evilness of your black soul. For years he saw the truth of what you'd forced him to do. An imprisoned slave of your evil magic. And so he guarded he that you wanted to silence. They both have their freedom now, and they have my love."
Sidney sat on the witness stand, his eyes filled with tears.
The woman laughed, a menacing laugh of pure evil.
Her eyes scanned the courtroom, everyone looking in shock at her menacing gaze.
"I guess I've been called to task, Jolan. My master said you were a most devious foe. I underestimated his words. As he underestimated your living soul that final night. I believe I should be moving on now. The buffet in this town has run its course. I've lost the taste for you all."
Clara Whitaker's eyes moved around the room, a smile of pure evil crossing her face.
Jolan's gaze narrowed, staring at the hateful woman.
"Even at the end you seek to destroy others. Your plan has not worked."
Clara's eyes widened, Jolan looking towards his uncles.
Calen stood up, Simus rising at his side.
In Calen's hand was an empty glass bottle.
"You should have died that night, chosen one. I so wanted to rip your throat out with my own teeth. Your heart, I believe, would have been most delicious then. There was so much fight in it that night." she said, glaring at him.
"Destiny will mirror your own words, monster."
The woman noticed the two men walking up to Jolan, seeing their gray eyes.
"Dragosan fools, the lot of you."
Jolan took the bottle from Calen, setting it down on the railing in front of the woman.
She looked down at it, gasping.
One word was written across it.
Jolan's head turned, looking out at everyone in the surrounding courtroom.
"I would advise all of you to stop eating those doughnuts. They have been laced with death."
Everyone gasped, dropping the remaining treats from their hands, Henderson Sutcliffe clutching his stomach.
"It is alright, everyone. Their effects have been neutralized. Am I correct,
Calen nodded, as did Simus.
"We poured the Wolfbane into the coffee pot and water cooler the moment we entered the courtroom as you asked, Nephew. Ten minutes before she handed out the doughnuts. We offered coffee to everyone making sure they all drank it or from the water cooler." Simus said, Jolan nodded, his eyes returning to the woman.
He picked up the bottle, looking up at the judge.
"I quietly added some to your coffee in your chambers before you came in, your Honor."
Judge Wentworth nodded, his eyes showing his thanks.
Jolan looked back, Clara's eyes glaring at the bottle he held in his hand.
"The cure for the murderous brew you wanted to use for your last monstrous endeavor." he said, her eyes widening in pure hatred.
"I would not let you hurt another soul, monster."
The next few moments were frozen in time.
She moved with lightning speed, her small frame leaping out of the jury box, her hands on Jolan's shoulders, her mouth moving forward towards his throat.
She didn't reach her destination.
Jolan moved just as fast, his Badenwolf strength taking over, throwing the woman across the room.
She sailed through the air, right through Stu and Bill, both men knocked backwards.
She hit the wall, falling to the floor, her small frame immediately back on its feet.
"The wolf runs through you, Jolan. Too bad you didn't reveal that secret that night. My master would have loved to claim you like the other Badenwolves." she said, glaring at him.
Stu rose to his feet, his gun still in his hand.
"Get down on the floor, Clara! Now!" he said, Steve and Bill targeted again at her as well.
"Ha! Do you think that shall stop me?? I am a Fangoros! My body a temple of majestic strength!"
She picked up two chairs, hurling them at the officers, one hitting Stu squarely in the chest, the sheriff going down again.
Bill and Steve moved out of the way of the second one, both officers temporarily disheveled.
Before Bill or Steve could zero in on her, Clara moved with lightning speed, picking up a pen off the table in front of Henderson, wrapping her arms around the lawyer who still was seated.
The pen she pushed into his throat, staring at the officers.
"One move and I'll take his life."
Everyone was on their feet staring at her, the sheriff on his feet again.
"Don't be foolish, Clara! Calm down and let that man go!" Sheriff Walker said, the woman looking around the room, Jolan seeing her seeking out an escape route.
Henderson, in her arms was white as a sheet, a look of total fear on his face.
Clara's eyes zeroed in on Jolan, seeing the gray glowing orbs staring at her.
"You cannot escape destiny, Clara. Face it like
a true Fangoros. Come and get me."
The woman smiled, throwing the trembling man down onto the floor, the woman charging right at Sheriff Walker, a look of menacing death in her now black eyes.
The two younger officers moved to block her, Clara slugging Steve in the face, her foot hitting Bill in the chest, both men falling to the ground.
She didn't stop, heading for Stu, the man firing his gun at her, the sound of the weapon going off thunderously in the courtroom.
The bullet hit her shoulder, Clara still charging ahead, her fist flying into his face.
The Sheriff fell backwards, Clara reaching for his gun, taking it out of his falling hand.
Jolan was on her in a flash, flipping her over his shoulder, the gun and both of them falling to the floor.
Clara fought him, Jolan feeling the strength within
her, the woman rising to her feet, moving to flee.
She meant to flee towards the back doors, Jolan back on his feet in a flash, his arms wrapping around her, the two struggling together.
Suddenly the room was filled with a thunderous roar, the back doors of the courtroom flying open as a massive bulk raced forward down the aisle.
Everyone shrunk back in shock and amazement seeing before them a large charging bear.
It charged down the aisle, Justin pulling Jennie and Lynn back against himself.
The bear was gigantic, its brown hair tattered and patchy in spots, showing his age.
A ring of flattened hair was visible around his neck, a collar having been there for years.
The bear collided with the two standing in the aisle, Jolan feeling a paw's thunderous impact with his chest, like a wall of stone hitting him.
Jolan went flying, crashing into the judge's bench, falling to the floor.
Clara let out one horrific scream as the bear enveloped her.
Her little frame seemed to disappear into him, then a second scream was cut off, the bear rising upwards on its back haunches.
As Jolan struggled to raise his head from the floor he saw the bear's teeth sink into her small throat, her body wrapped in its powerful arms.
A snapping sound was heard, people screaming.
The bear flung the woman's lifeless body against the wall, lowering its own body down again.
Jolan stared at the bear, the bear staring right back at him.
The bear roared a loud ear-splitting roar.
Then its eyes looked towards Sidney, the young man standing in the witness box, Jolan seeing the wetness in the young man's eyes.
The bear's large brown eyes stared back at Jolan, they filled with tears as well.
"Noosa belinos livanga. Peathos tere mincha, Frango."
The bear bowed its head, then turned with a bulky speed, rushing back down the aisle and out of the courtroom, people fleeing from its path.
Distant sounds of people screaming and shots rang out in the silence.
Jolan lay back on the courtroom floor, Justin, Jennie and Bill immediately at his side.
Sheriff Walker rushed down the aisle, Steve rushing to the lifeless body laying in the corner.
Justin took Jolan in his arms, lightly rubbing his cheeks.
"Jolan, are you alright?" he said, Jolan's eyes opening, looking up into his concerned eyes.
"He's found his peace."
Jolan closed his eyes, the last sound he heard was Jennie's voice in his mind.
Jolan had opened his eyes in the courtroom moments later, Justin and Bill gently helping him up and guiding him out of the room, into Judge Wentworth's chambers.
A paramedic had arrived minutes later, treating Jolan's minor injuries.
He had sustained bruised ribs and a couple of lacerations, Jolan repeatedly saying he was okay to allay the concerns of everyone surrounding him.
His momentary blackout had been the result of a mild concussion.
The paramedic said he was fine, that a day's rest would see him back to normal.
Jolan had been surrounded by his family and friends, as well as Judge Wentworth.
"That was so unbelievable, son." Judge Wentworth said, his face covered in a look of confusion.
"I'm sorry for what's happened, your Honor. I never intended for it to get so out of hand. I only wanted to reveal who she really was and what she'd done."
The judge nodded, patting Jolan's shoulder as the paramedic wrapped his ribcage in bandages, Justin standing on Jolan's other side.
"That you have done, son. I just can't believe how truly evil that woman was. She deceived so many. And she hurt so many others as well." he said, Jolan's hand going to his shoulder.
"This town's deception shall be its salvation. From
this, you'll learn what you really have. Your innocence is lost, but your love,
truth and determination will heal this town's damaged soul. I have faith in all
of you joining together and becoming a community again."
The judge's eyes were actually tearing up, the man looking around at everyone.
"It's just so unbelievable. She and that bear.
And that bear suddenly appearing and attacking her. Why did it do that?" Judge
Wentworth said, Jolan's head lowering.
Justin's arm went around Jolan when the paramedic stood up, smiling at Jolan.
"You're all fixed up, sir. Just take it easy for the next few days."
Jolan nodded, Justin thanking the man.
Lonnie escorted the man to the door, closing it and walking back beside Ally.
Jolan's head raised, looking into the judge's eyes.
"I cannot condone its actions, but I can understand the state of its mind."
The judge looked confused, Justin looking at Jolan.
"Those words you said to him, just before the bear rushed out, what did they mean, Jo?"
Jolan's eyes were clouded with tears, Jennie's hand going in his.
"Your life was pain. Walk now with love, Frango." Jolan said, lowering his head again.
"Frango?" Chace said, looking at his friend.
Jolan's head raised, looking at everyone.
"Frango was Jingles' real name. The birth name given to him by his bruin mother. Jingles was the name given to him by his evil masters. Clara and her husband had abused that bear for over twenty years. And after her husband's death, Clara had used him as an instrument of capture. She used him to capture those lost teenagers, and that poor little girl. The collar that Jingles wore was the weapon she used to control him. That bear was forced to drag those victims to her, so that she could extract from them what she desired. That monster took everything."
Sheriff Walker walked into the room, followed by Steve.
"Clara's dead and the bear's gone. He's fled into the north woods, and has a substantial lead on us."
"It's going to be very difficult to track him, Sheriff. He is cunning and very resourceful. He knows how to stay hidden. For the last few years he's led a double life. He's walked this town in darkness, watching and protecting. None of you knew he was there. And also he was the tormented soul forced into service by that monstrous woman." Jolan said, his and Sidney's eyes meeting.
The sheriff walked up to Judge Wentworth and Jolan, his and Jolan's eyes meeting.
"All those ramblings down to the honeycombs were his reward
for living that double life. He never got loose, Sheriff. He let himself out to
savor life's beauty. All he ever longed for was the sweetness of life, and the
removal of that collar so his soul could be free. I felt the life he was forced
to lead. The life of pain, hurt and sorrow. I fault him not for taking out his revenge on her. To him she was the instrument of his torturous
life. Freedom's light can be followed by redemption."
Sheriff Walker nodded, his tired eyes looking at Jolan.
"You are a courageous man, Jolan Dragos. To free
that tortured soul, to face that evil woman. I saw firsthand the evil that she
has done. There are over twenty bodies in that basement. It's so horrific. She's devoured the
soul of this gentle town."
Judge Wentworth's head lowered, as did many others.
Thelma's head lay on Carl's chest, Jolan looking at Cory.
"That soul will live again, Sheriff. I feel the
goodness now returning to this town."
Sheriff Walker nodded, Jolan sighing.
"How did you know about the doughnuts, Jolan?" Joey said, holding his stomach, having devoured three of them.
"I knew that her soul was consumed with evil. And I knew she'd take one final stab at this town's heart. You were her next victims. Frango told me of her making the volatile treats. It was a device she had used on several occasions to lure her victims into her clutches. Today, she was going to poison as many of you as she could. She thrived off fear and horrific death. I found the cure for such poison in the Tome. Uncle Simus supplied the Wolfbane."
Simus nodded, his eyes filled with love for his nephew.
"The bear told you?" the judge said, staring at Jolan in disbelief.
"I have the gift of being able to communicate with animals, sir." Jolan softly said, the judge falling down in his chair, staring in shock at Jolan.
"You are also gifted with a giving soul, young man." Sheriff Walker said, Jolan looking at him.
Sheriff Walker looked towards Judge Wentworth.
"I'm holding a press conference. The world needs to
know of the monstrous doings of that woman and her son. And what you've done
Judge Wentworth nodded, the sheriff looking at Jolan.
"What I've done is only reveal the evil laying in this town. There is no hero in that."
Judge Wentworth nodded again, looking into Justin's eyes.
"I suddenly feel so tired." Jolan said, Justin's arm tightening around him.
"We'll take you back to Bill's, Jo."
"Yes son, get some rest. I've adjourned the trial until tomorrow. Unless you need more time?"
Jolan's eyes met his, the judge looking at him with sympathy.
"Samuel's testimony is invalidated. But you still
have Theresa's damaging words. I'm sorry but the trial must continue."
Jolan nodded, sighing again.
"Tomorrow will be soon enough, your Honor. It will bring the end to all of this."
The judge looked at Sheriff Walker, then at Justin.
"I'm sure it will, son. You seem determined to show the truth in all of this. Today shows that."
Jolan stood up slowly, Justin and Jennie's arms around him.
"See you in the morning, Judge Wentworth." Jolan said, the group quietly walking out of the room.
"Tim Baxter, standing outside the courtroom in Cutter's Bluff, everyone. This quaint town was thrown into pandemonium this morning, here at the trial of Jolan Dragos. The young man took up his own defense this morning.
Unfortunately removing all press from the proceedings was his first objective.
I had no firsthand view of what transpired after that, having to rely on eyewitness accounts.
According to one source the first witness called by Dragos was Samuel Conrad, Theresa Brannigan's lover.
After Dragos relentlessly questioned him, the man attacked him, Conrad taken away in handcuffs.
After that, we understand, Dragos created a moment of what we've learned was unimaginable horror.
From what we've pieced together from eyewitnesses, an altercation erupted inside the courtroom resulting in the death of an elderly woman juror.
The details of that altercation are sketchy, and unsubstantiated, but it looks as if Jolan Dragos himself attacked the woman.
Moments later--and you're not going to believe this--a large grizzly bear attacked the two inside the courtroom, the woman tragically killed by the bear.
That's right, you heard me correctly! A real live grizzly bear!
The bear fled the courtroom, myself seeing its bloody face as its horrific monstrous shape rushed past me.
Police officers shot at the bear, the bear disappearing into the park across the street.
As of this moment the bear still remains at large, and the trial of Jolan Dragos has been suspended for the day.
It's been a day of unbelievable events here in this small Massachusetts town, one I'm sure none of us will soon forget.
The sheriff--who was present in the courtroom--is scheduled to hold a press conference shortly, the details of what happened here today hopefully to be revealed.
I'll try to piece this all together for our viewers.
All this reporter knows at the moment is that Jolan Dragos is still not off the hook for what he's been accused of.
And now the young man has a woman's death upon his hands.
The trial is scheduled to resume tomorrow.
And I'll be here, hopefully inside that courtroom.
I'll stay the path of truth and justice, and let all of you know its final outcome.
Back to you in the studios, Jan."
Jolan smiled, sitting in the lounger on the front porch of the Carson home in the late afternoon sunshine.
Justin had wanted him to lay down upstairs, Jolan wanting to bask in the warming sun.
Justin had given in to Jolan's request, his love flowing.
Jolan had also sensed the need in all his family and friends wanting to know the unbelievable facts surrounding the day's events.
He'd quietly sat there, answering their questions, all of them seeing his quiet calmness.
He'd told them all about his meeting Jingles, Sidney's guardian bear, in the square two nights before.
How that night so long ago he'd stopped the bear in its reluctant mission.
How the bear had not wanted to hurt Sidney that night, but had been forced to by his controlling master.
Jolan and the bear had faced each other for the first time that night while Sidney lay wounded.
After the bear had disappeared, Jolan had then sent the injured Sidney into a state of protective love that night.
The bear had visited Sidney through the coming years, quietly watching and thinking on what he'd been forced to do to the young catatonic man.
And how he'd made a pact within himself to protect the young man from the evil that had tried to kill him.
The bear and Jolan had met again in the square two nights ago, a confrontation set up by Clara Whitaker.
But Jolan's loving, giving soul and forgiving heart had, in the end, won over the animal.
And Jolan's Badenwolf self had conquered the magic of Clara Whitaker's black evil.
Jolan had then released the animal from its nightmare, removing the collar he'd warn for years.
In that moment the bear's heart had healed, filled with the giving love of the young man's soul.
The bear had communicated to Jolan the monster's plans in regards to the laced treats, and what lay within her horrific home.
Jolan had then convinced Sheriff Walker to seek out a warrant from Judge Wentworth to search that home, the horrific findings then revealed.
The sheriff had found the bear after that gruesome find, watching it in its pen, seeing the collar gone.
Jolan's words had sunken into the sheriff's soul, the truth of what he'd told him in the Hamilton home that morning.
Jolan's truth about the bear's help in destroying the evil.
Sheriff Walker had unlocked the pen, the bear following him to his truck, the animal climbing into the back as he'd done after every honeycomb raid.
Then Sheriff Walker had driven to the courthouse, bringing with him the evil's now-changed servant.
That was how the bear had come to be at the courthouse, following the sheriff through its private back entrance.
Everyone stared at Jolan, his eyes scanning all of theirs.
"Sheriff Walker sensed that the animal wanted to face its nemesis one last time. That evil must be called to justice. I'm not saying it was right, I'm not saying it was wrong. All I know is that the path was walked. I hope Frango can now find peace in the wilderness and that life he'd been denied. I fault him for nothing. He goes with my love. "
Everyone looked out from the porch, towards the north, forested trees seen in the distance.
Jennie walked over to Jolan, sitting down beside him, curling up against his side, Jolan's arm going around her.
"I hope he finds peace also, Jolly. I saw the love
in his brown eyes."
Jolan smiled, everyone quietly watching the two siblings.
"That was remarkable how you remembered how to stop the poison, Jolan. I don't remember that passage from the Tome at all." Calen said, Jolan smiling at his uncle.
"That passage was on one of the blank pages, Uncles. It was there for me alone to remember. I'm just glad Uncle Simus was able to find some Wolfbane."
Calen and Simus looked at each other, remaining silent.
"Our queen guides me forward on the path. Thank you for doing what I asked without question, Uncles."
"You are our nephew, Jolan. And you are loved."
Both men smiled, Jolan smiling back.
Justin's hand went in his, Justin sitting beside him in a chair.
Thelma and Carl both looked at Jolan, Jolan seeing their sad faces.
"What went on behind our backs, all those people. Little Amy. It just seems so unbelievable." Carl said, Thelma kissing his cheek.
"Jolan's right, my love. We'll get through this,
with determination and love. Our town is ours. I won't live anywhere else. Its
heart has been hurt but we shall heal it."
Jolan smiled at her, Lance looking at Jolan.
"What lays ahead, Jolan? You've stopped their evil, but I sense this isn't over."
"No, Lance. It's not." Jolan said, staring into his green eyes, seeing so much love there.
"Tomorrow brings the second passage of evil. The evil that tried to destroy me. The evil that robbed me of my life." Jolan said, Justin's hand squeezing his.
"The monster who. . ." Josh said, not able to finish his sentence.
"Yes, Joshua. The monster who tortured and raped
Everyone remained silent, Jolan's face showing his tiredness.
"I now know the truth. The truth of evil and of fate. Tomorrow, I will walk that path again, and face what needs to be faced. And doing so will heal and will bring truth. A monster will be unleashed and a soul will be set free. Today's events guarantee the latter, I shall guarantee the former." Jolan's eyes meeting Justin's.
"I think I will lie down now, Jus. Suddenly I feel exhausted."
Justin nodded, helping Jolan out of the lounger, Jennie rising as well.
The three walked into the house, everyone's eyes following them.
Joey's arm went around Lance, Lance smiling softly at him.
"Our Jolan surprises us always. I don't think any of
us saw any of that coming."
"Let's watch the news highlights. I'm sure it's spreading as we speak." Ally said, Lonnie smiling at her.
The group as one walked into the house, heading for the living room.
Justin lay beside Jolan, his gray eyes opening in the darkness.
Justin's arm was across his chest, his naked body against him.
Jolan smiled, feeling the warmth of the man wrapped around him.
Jolan moved a bit, the tenderness of his ribs and back making a soft gasp come out of him.
Justin stirred, his arm tightening around him.
Jolan looked at the clock on the night stand, seeing two o'clock registering in its glowing face.
He gently moved, feeling the pain of his ribs as he pulled away from Justin's protective grasp.
Justin murmured, Jolan remaining silent as his lover settled down.
They'd come downstairs again, Lynn and Thelma having supper ready around six.
Jolan dined with his family and friends, Bill and Sidney so happy at having so many friends in their home.
After supper Jolan and everyone had watched Sheriff Walker's news conference replayed again, and the shouting questions the reporters had asked.
The truth was now known to the world.
A monster had killed twenty-three people, hidden in the center of a unsuspecting town.
The sheriff hadn't talked of Jolan's part in that revelation, a lot of questions asked after but gently rebuffed.
The bear's part in the story was revealed, its revenge the center of the story.
An animal beaten in life attacking its tormenting master.
The sheriff failed to mention that it was he that had driven that bear to its revenge.
Jolan feeling the man's giving soul in doing that.
After that, Justin and Jolan had just sat quietly on the living room couch listening to all of their friends and family talk.
At ten, Justin had sensed Jolan's still tired soul, gently guiding his lover upstairs, everyone saying goodnight to both of them.
Here now, he sat, hours later, listening to the silent house.
In his soul he felt a sudden feeling, the young man rising quietly up, pulling on his clothes off of the chair.
He silently left their bedroom, standing in the hallway.
He heard a soft sigh, quietly moving down the hall.
He saw a light on under Sid's bedroom door, softly tapping on the door.
"Come in." a soft voice said, Jolan opening the door.
Sidney sat at the window in a t-shirt and boxers, looking at Jolan.
Jolan smiled, walking into the room, over to the window, sitting down in a chair beside his old friend.
"Can't sleep, Sid?" he said softly, the young man looking at him.
"Did you see the love in his eyes, Jolan? The love
in Frango's eyes."
Jolan nodded, his arm going around his friend.
"Yes, Sidney. I saw the love."
"Why did he do that, Jolan? Why did he protect me for so many years?"
"He did it because I asked him to, Sid. That night he hurt you, he felt the wrongness in what he'd done."
Sidney looked at Jolan with surprise.
"Sidney, that night after he'd attacked you, after he'd run away, I tracked him down."
Sidney looked totally shocked.
"After he took off, I went back to the square, finding Clara and Samuel gone, the child vanished with them.
I knew in my heart that she was now dead. That Clara had instantly killed her to protect herself. I then returned to you, placing my magic within you. That's when Bill found me that night. Later, after all the police, and my own family's concern for me, I snuck back out of the house. I went in search of that bear again. I knew that I had to find proof of what they'd done to that little angel. I never got the chance. He confronted me."
"Jingles attacked you?"
"No, Sid. He confronted me, down on Hillard's Road, a couple of blocks from Clara's. He walked right out in front of me. I thought at that moment that I was going to be the next victim in Clara's clutches. But that's not what happened. Frango confronted me and forced me to walk back, away from my determination. Away from my revealing the monster hiding down there. We talked alone in the darkness, his soul hidden beneath the pain. A loving soul intent of protecting me and you. If I'd only known that night the power I possessed I would have freed him then. Instead he forced me to retreat, to return to my sanctuary. Only he didn't realize that two nights later they'd come for me. I believe in my heart that if he had known that, he would have told me. Instead, I myself became lost, and I lost my family that night. Two nights ago, he lowered himself in front of me, asking my forgiveness for his not aiding me that night. There was no forgiveness needed, he aided me today, and you every night that I was lost."
Sidney was in tears, Jolan tightening his hold on him.
"I owe him so much. I forgive him for what he was
forced to do, and I only wish I could have helped him."
Jolan smiled, kissing Sidney's cheek.
"You did help him. You kept him sane all those
years. His need to protect you kept him sane."
"Will he be able to survive out there, in the wilderness, I mean? He's been imprisoned for so many years."
Jolan gently raised Sidney up, guiding him to his bed, the man climbing under the covers.
"Frango will now enjoy the life he's always yearned
for. I think it will be the happiest time of his long life."
Sidney smiled, Jolan smiling as he shut off the light.
"Get some sleep, Sid. I'm sure he's sleeping under
the stars tonight."
Sidney closed his eyes in the darkness, Jolan silently walking out of the room.
Jolan walked downstairs, quietly opening the front door, and walking out onto the porch.
He stopped in surprise, seeing his sister Jennica sitting on a settee, looking out into the darkness.
Her head turned, her soft smiling face looking at him.
"Jennie, it's so late. What are you doing out here
in the chilling night?"
She smiled at him, patting the spot beside her, Jolan sitting down, his arm going around her.
Jennie was fully dressed, wearing a jacket, her body snuggling against him.
"I was waiting for you to come downstairs."
Jolan looked into her gray eyes, seeing her undying love shining through.
She smiled again, pulling him close.
"I feel your feelings, brother. I know where you were thinking of going."
Jolan sighed, Jennie sitting up and taking his hands in hers.
"Right now, the only thing you need is waiting for you upstairs, brother. Your Justin. You don't need to go walking in the night and thinking thoughts of self-destruction. Thinking on what might have been and of what you could have changed won't do you any good, Jolly. The past is just that. The past. It cannot be changed, it cannot be altered. What you have to now focus on is the present, and the future."
Jolan's eyes were filling with tears, Jennica now
pulling him against her.
"I should have saved her that night! That innocent little child!"
Jennie held him, Jolan softly crying into her chest.
"My brother of the giving heart, my brother of the
unending love. Let the guilt and sorrow go. Life is beautiful, life is love."
She held him as he cried, the door of the house opening.
Justin's form came into view, Jennie's gray eyes meeting his.
"He needs you, Jus. He needs your love."
Justin moved, Jolan rising up and falling into his arms.
Justin held him as Jolan sobbed, his emotions finally letting go.
The emotions that had been hidden away all day.
The emotional grief of not being able to rectify the past.
"Come to bed, my love. Let my loving soul and
protective arms lull you into sleep. I'm here for you to love."
Jennie smiled, watching Justin gently guide Jolan back into the house, Justin looking at her just before he disappeared.
In those blue eyes she saw all that Jolan needed.
Love and life.
Jennie stood up, looking towards the open door.
She moved to the end of the porch, looking back out into the darkness.
There, in the darkened shadows, two large brown eyes stared at her, Jennie staring into their loving centers.
"Your heart is free, bear of life. Thank you for granting my wish."
The shape disappeared into the darkness, its footsteps softly fading on the asphalt street.
Jennie quietly walked back into the house.
End of Chapter 76
Well, what do you think?
Was that a total shock, or a moment of foreseen intrigue?
I hope I surprised you with Jingles-Frango.
I think I surprised myself.
I'll leave you all to think upon what this chapter revealed.
I hope the darkness of the moment wasn't too overpowering.
Hence my preceding warning.