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.
Author's Note: I do not seek to change history, I only seek to walk through it.
Forgive me if I tweak the past to configure it within my own story.
A nation's soul is relived in its past.
Joshua's green pools stared at his great-grandson. Grayson's eyes on him as well.
"How. . .how could you have reasoned that out, Lucas?" the lawyer said, Lucas staring at him.
"You only have to delve into the history of my families, Gray. A history you are part of." Lucas said, Joshua staring at him with now guarded concern, his face showing no emotion.
"You do not know all of it, Lucas." he said, Josh staring between the three men, seeing his man's eyes filled with calm determination.
The young man raised his hand, the other two men staring at the golden ring he now wore.
"This ring, as I stated, holds a great magic. It holds something else also." Lucas said, Josh's arm going around him again.
"What is that, my love? All you've said here seems so surreal. Grayson is a Carlisle? He's Joshua's son? It's all so unbelievable, so confusing." Josh said, looking at the two men.
Lucas saw everyone else nodding their heads, agreeing with Josh's words.
"My family is unbelievable, my love. For it is a conglomeration of magic, love, life and destiny. All paths go towards a nexus. All paths lead to me." Lucas said, Joshua staring at him.
"I walked my own path, Lucas. As did my father, as have my sons and grandson. No one ever guided us." Joshua said, Lucas staring at him.
"True, Grandfather Joshua. We all walked our own paths. But that doesn't mean that someone else hasn't manipulated those paths to venture them to a certain reality."
Joshua's eyes darkened, Lucas sighing.
"I am not here to fight you, Joshua. I am and forever will be your loving great-grandson. I am a Belmont and a Carlisle. I am two sides of a coin of destiny. And that coin will pay the bill."
"Pay the bill, Lucas? What do you mean?" Emerson said, Lucas' eyes softening.
"Truths for another time, Grandfather. Right now we need to focus on what lays before us. A joining of two families. The Belmonts and the Carlisles." Lucas said, looking at his own father, Tristan staring at his son.
"You and my loving mother were not the first of that uniting love, Father. That honor lays at the feet of your grandfather and Almira Carlisle." Lucas said, Joshua lowering his eyes.
"Do not speak to me of uniting love, Lucas." Joshua said, the man backing up, his sons staring at him.
"I must return to the darkness." he said, Lucas staring at him.
"I love you, Grandfather. You cannot run from your past. No more than she can." Lucas said, Joshua staring at him.
"She had no past, Lucas. She only had her love for her family."
Lucas sighed again, looking around, Grayson staring at him.
"She had more, Grandfather. You never questioned that. Your love for her was in the moment. Her love was as great as my Josh's is for myself, as Grandmother Isadora Francesca's is for my grandfather. As Grayson's is for his Gabriel. As just as great as the love my parents have." he said, Joshua's green pools looking around at his family, seeing their love for each other.
His eyes met Lucas' again, their softness a vibrant green again.
"As great as the love you had for your first wife Carlotta." Lucas said, Joshua's eyes tearing up.
"She was the love of my life, Lucas." Joshua trembled, Lucas walking up to him, his hand going to his shoulder.
Emerson was showing tears, thinking of his own mother, Joshua's first wife.
"I know, Grandfather Joshua. You were blessed to have two visions of love to feed your heart's need."
"Carlotta was an angel. Her smile could melt the frost from winter's coldness. She was as warm as a summer's day." Joshua said, Lucas smiling, Emerson looking at his father again, their eyes meeting.
"I loved your mother, Emerson. She was my life." he said, Emerson's arm going around him.
"I know, Father. I was there in that love's center." he said, Joshua smiling at him, his eyes looking around the room, Lucas rubbing his shoulder.
"Tell us the story, Grandfather. Tell us of the two paths of love you walked. I will never judge you for any of it." Lucas said, Joshua's eyes meeting his.
"You do know all of it, don't you?" he said, Lucas nodding.
The soldier's body went erect, looking around at everyone.
"Sit down everyone. I will enlighten your souls with a tale of courage. The courage of my second love's soul." he said, Lucas nodding at everyone, everyone returning to their seats at the tables.
Lucas kissed his man's cheek, Josh sitting down beside Justin and Lance, all their eyes on him, Lucas remaining on his feet, he and Joshua staring at each other.
The older man walked around the table, up to the fireplace, his hand going to the mantle, staring into the fire burning in its center.
His green eyes turned, staring at Lucas, then around at everyone.
"I loved Emerson's mother with all my heart. Carlotta was the daughter of a senator in President Washington's cabinet. We met at President Washington's first inaugural ball."
Everyone looked surprised, staring at the soldier.
"I was a young soldier in the Revolutionary Army. I fought for the republic and its ideals. Truth, honor, justice and liberty." he said, his uniform giving away that fact.
"The night of that ball I saw an angel dancing before my
eyes. And our love was one of first sight. We fell totally in love with each
other that first evening. We married a short year later, our love total.
President Washington himself attended our wedding. I met the great man
himself." Joshua said, everyone looking at him with soft wonder.
Emerson smiled at his father, his eyes showing tears of love.
"Our son Emerson was created thirty-five years later, after our love grew for that long a loving time. Our deep love created the newest creation of the Trinity. Twenty-five years later my loving Carlotta passed into the light, dying from a bout of scarlet fever." he said, Emerson staring at his father with love.
"A few days after my son's fiftieth birthday I received another commission. I was summoned once again into the army. I was given the rank of Second Lieutenant, in charge of a Calvary troop. I left my son here in this house with my father. And I walked away from my family to seek liberty and freedom again for my country." he said, his eyes staring at the fire again.
Lucas moved, walking around the table, stopping beside his great-grandfather.
"You left your family to fight for honor and liberty. You heart was one of courage, Grandfather."
"We had to fight, Lucas. We had to save this great nation." Joshua said, Lucas nodding.
"And some of us took on a greater fight. Even your courage couldn't stop the paths of time, or of history. But you found something more on that trek of courage." Lucas said, Joshua's green eyes meeting his violet.
"I found another loving heart, Lucas."
Lucas' hand went to the man's shoulder, Joshua feeling his love in that touch.
"Yes, Grandfather. Destiny walks a path as it must. All paths walk to its realization."
Lucas' eyes went around the room, their violet love meeting Joshua's green again.
"Tell us the story of the lady and the assassin, Grandfather."
Joshua looked stunned, staring at Lucas.
"It's alright, Grandfather. Your father's words created a second-hand account of it. I'd like to hear the trueness of it."
Joshua's eyes went around the room, meeting Grayson's blue and Emerson's green.
"Alright, Lucas. I will tell you the tale of my cowardly soul." Joshua said, Emerson staring at his father.
"Time gives us pause to think on things we've done, Grandfather. Truth gives us hope for a truer soul." Lucas said, the man folding his hands before him, leaning against the fireplace's stone fašade, staring at his great-grandfather.
The man's green eyes went around the room, looking at everyone.
"I walked into history many years ago, I walked into my own mistakes." he said, his voice filling the room, the man opening his past to everyone.
April 13, 1865
Joshua Belmont pulled his cloak around his shoulders, the dampness of the early spring air cool.
He wandered the streets of the nation's capital, feeling the enlightened atmosphere after a brutal winter, and five years of war.
The war was winding down, the country still on its feet.
He himself had fought in many battles, rising from the rank of Second Lieutenant to Colonel.
The men who fought with him--and then under him--saw the greatness of his courage and fearlessness.
He had been wounded several times, those wounds not stopping him from his duties.
Here now the war was nearly at its end, the young Colonel awaiting his decommission orders.
He'd been summoned from Tennessee to Washington to receive a military award, the president issuing several in the last few weeks.
He'd attended a ceremony earlier that afternoon, the president bestowing on him the Medal of Honor.
Joshua had risked his life to save twelve of his men who were surrounded by a Tennessee squadron.
He'd rushed through them, regardless of his own safety, fighting until he'd united with them, the twelve men then following him through the fighting, all twelve surviving by their commander's wits and courage.
Lincoln himself had bestowed the medal upon his own breast, the man staring into his brown eyes.
He's seen a great tiredness in the older man's physique, face and eyes.
It was as if he wore the tiredness of the nation on his face.
The man had smiled, shaking his hand, asking him of his family, Joshua surprised that the man cared.
They'd talked for a few minutes, Joshua feeling the man's calming dignity.
He'd then moved on to other soldiers, his duties continuing.
Joshua had dined at the reception after, keeping mostly to himself.
His thoughts were on his own life, on the future ahead of him.
He'd been talking to two other honorees, the three telling their tales to each other, each hearing of the other's own courage.
He found his punch glass empty, the thirty-year-old-looking soldier walked up to the punch bowl, filling it again.
He turned to rejoin his companions, the man walking right into another man.
Their eyes met, the man staring at him with soft loathing.
"Watch where you're going, soldier of death." he said, his voice sounding nervous.
"I'm sorry, sir." Joshua said, staring at the man.
"You wear a medal made of blood, soldier. How many died to feed Lincoln's ego?" the man said, Joshua staring at him.
"We fought for honour, sir. For this nation's freedom." Joshua said, not liking this man's attitude.
"Freedom comes soon enough." the man said, showing a look of disgust, the man moving away, Joshua watching him walking towards the room's exit.
His two companions walked up to him, their eyes on their new friend.
"Everything okay, Joshua?" the Connecticut Colonel said, the New Jersey Lieutenant Colonel looking at Joshua as well.
"Yes, everything's fine. Do either of you know that man leaving?" he said, the older Lieutenant Colonel looking after him, the man walking out of the room.
"I've seen his picture in a local paper. He's some actor or something." he said, Joshua nodding.
"I don't think his callousness is an act." he said, his eyes staring at the open door.
Here now Joshua was walking the streets of Washington, the evening's darkness giving him some solace.
His thoughts all evening had been on his family, his son and father.
The last letter he'd received in Tennessee had been three months ago.
His son's words were of love and happiness, of his love for him and need for his return.
Emerson had been born in late eighteen hundred and thirteen, the youth now showing the beauty of his youthful adult years, he and his grandfather living together.
Emmanuel Belmont still resided at Kurucu's Haven, Emerson feeling his grandfather's protective love.
His heart stirred with love for his son, the two only having been together three times in the last two and a half years.
Furloughs of short respite, his love entering his heart and soul each time.
Joshua's green eyes scanned the streets, the candlelit streetlamps casting long shadows across the semi-lit dirt street.
He found himself alone, the man aimlessly walking by himself.
All the buildings were shuttered, the hour just after twelve.
The only lights visible were from saloons and hotels.
He found himself in the more affluent part of the lower city, Joshua staying at a modest hotel just on its fringe.
His thoughts were broken by a soft sound.
Joshua stopped, his keen hearing focusing.
He heard it again, this time it sounded more like a muffled scream.
It was coming from his right, down a darkened alley.
He heard another noise, this sounding like a hard slap.
He moved off the street, slowly venturing into the darkness.
His eyes grew accustomed to the darkness, his keen vision almost ultraviolet.
It had saved him on many occasions in the darkened fields of battle.
He scanned the dark alley, seeing three forms at its end.
One form was laying on the ground, the other two kneeling beside it, one of the forms actually on top of the other.
Joshua remained still, listening to the three.
"That wasn't nice, Missy. Your knee almost rendered me incapacitated. I need those parts for the fun." Joshua heard the man on top of the other person say, the voice gravelly and mean.
"Hurry up, Georgie. I want a go!" the other kneeling man said, his voice etched with a nervous tone.
"Half a minute, Lars. I'll season her for ya! She'll be loose for your monster." the man said, the woman underneath him struggling.
"Move again and I'll slit your throat now. We're both going to seed you slut. And then I'm going to slit that delicate throat."
The woman continued to struggle, the man on top of her pulling out a large knife from his waistband, the woman's eyes widening.
"I'd drop it if I were you, cad."
The two men turned, seeing Joshua on the move.
The man on top of the woman was hit in the face by Joshua's hard leather boot, the man propelled off the woman.
The kneeling man began to rise, pulling out a pistol from his pocket, Joshua's fist connecting with the man's chin, the man falling backwards.
Joshua moved with catlike speed, the man on the ground feeling his fists connect with his face now, the man dropping the knife in his hand, losing consciousness.
The man with the gun struggled to his feet, Joshua's muscled physique hitting him broad chest.
They were upended, Joshua's fists flying again.
Within moments the man was knocked out, Joshua rising to his feet, looking down at both men.
His eyes moved, staring towards the woman lying on the ground, Joshua kneeling beside her.
"Are you alright, Madame?" he said, the woman's eyes closed.
He stared at her beautiful face, her long black curly hair cascading behind her.
Her eyes slowly opened, Joshua staring into two vibrant violet pools.
She stared up into his green pools, the woman softly gasping, Joshua seeing tears on her smooth cheeks.
"I. . .I think my ribs are cracked. And my head is reeling." she softly said, Joshua nodding his head.
"Stay still, I'll run and get some aid." he said, beginning to rise.
"No, please. I just need to rest. I don't want anyone to know of this." she softly said, Joshua staring at her.
"Where is your family? I will bring them." he said, the woman looking at him.
"I am alone. I need to rest, then leave this place." she softly said, Joshua staring at her.
Her eyes were so captivating, so intense.
"I am staying at the hotel just down the street. I can carry you to my rooms. I'll fetch you a doctor then." he said, the woman staring up at him.
"Thank you, I shall take your offered help, kind sir. But no doctor. I am alright." she said, beginning to slowly rise, Joshua's arm going around her.
She staggered a bit when she gained her feet, Joshua's other arm going around her, picking her up.
"Rest, I shall carry you."
She sighed, snuggling against his broad muscular chest, closing her eyes.
Joshua looked down at her beautiful face, the man staring at her.
He moved, carrying her out of the dark alley.
He failed to notice the two motionless men behind him being devoured by the darkness.
Joshua sat on the bed, staring at the woman lying in its center.
She was asleep, Joshua having set her down there a few hours earlier, covering her with blankets.
He'd washed her face and hands, she allowing him to gently--and respectfully--examine her body for injuries, the two staring at each other throughout the examination.
"Your ribs are only bruised I believe, I didn't feel any breaks. How does your head feel?" he softly said, she staring at him, a soft smile coming to her beautiful face.
"My head feels fine. And the ribs are healing. I'm just tired. I have travelled far. I. . .I was trying to stop him."
Joshua looked at her, placing a warm compress on her forehead.
"Rest, dear lady. I shall watch over you. Those men don't know where you've gone. We'll see how you feel in the morning." he said, the woman looking at him.
"Thank you, kind sir. What is your name?" she softly said, her eyes now drooping, Joshua sensing her fatigue.
"My name is Joshua. Joshua Belmont." he said, the woman's violet pools opening wide, staring at his handsome face.
"A. . .a Belmont!" she said, Joshua staring at her, seeing a look of wondrous surprise cross her face.
"My name is Almira. Almira Carlisle." she said, still staring at him.
"Hello, Madame Carlisle. Close your eyes." Joshua said, his voice tender and gentle.
"I am not a Madame, Joshua. I am not married."
"Then rest, Miss Carlisle. Goodnight." Josh said, the woman staring into his green eyes one last time, closing her eyes.
"Fate, and life." she softly said, Joshua staring at her.
Here now it was hours later, Joshua seeing dawn's light beginning to peek under the windows' coverings.
He rose from his seat in an armchair in the corner of the room, walking over to them and opening the curtains, the sun showing just below the horizon.
"The morning comes."
He turned, staring into two violet pools, the young woman sitting up on the bed, her feet just off the floor.
"Return to sleep, Miss. The hour's early and you need more rest." he said, walking over to her, the woman's violet pools meeting his green.
"I have lost him. He sent those men after me."
"Lost who, dear lady?" Joshua said, sitting down on the bed beside her, looking at her.
"I do not know his name. He changed it often. I know only his face." she said, Joshua looking at her.
"I need to stop an injustice. The path will change if I do not." she said, beginning to rise, the woman staggering, Joshua's strong arms going around her, gently guiding her back down onto the bed, pulling her legs up and laying her across the bed again.
"You're not moving, Miss." he said, she feeling the authority in his voice.
"It's Almira, sir. I'm too old to be a Miss." she said, Joshua smiling at her.
"I'm Joshua, Almira." Joshua smiled, the woman smiling at him.
"I know, Joshua. I know all about you." she said, Joshua staring at her.
They broke their gaze, Joshua rising from his edge of the bed.
"I wasn't sure you remembered from last night, Almira. You were pretty disoriented." Joshua said, the woman nodding.
"I was at the edge of exhaustion. A day of rest will see me well." she said, Joshua smiling.
"Rest you'll have. I'm just going to go downstairs and get you some food." he said, she nodding.
Her eyes took in his strong, muscled physique, the man a vision of masculine greatness.
He wore only a light shirt over his muscular chest, she softly smiling at him.
"Rest I need. Thank you for your help, Joshua." she said, Joshua smiling.
"I shall return." he smiled, picking up his uniform jacket, walking out of the room, closing the door quietly behind him.
The woman stared at the door, her violet pools softly glowing.
"I sought a monster and have found a warrior. Such is my destiny. He is. . .the one." she said, closing her now glowing violet pools.
The day continued, the young woman remaining in bed, resting comfortably, dozing often, Joshua at her side all day.
He brought her breakfast and lunch, the young woman eating heartily.
He'd quietly talked to her, the woman not really going into her past or present situation.
She asked him of all his life, Joshua volunteering that information easily.
She smiled, seeing the handsome man opening his heart to her.
He told her of his family, of his wife and son, and the love that was in his heart.
She saw before her a man of giving love, a man with a courageous heart as well.
She smiled, staring at him often, he softly blushing at times, sensing she was staring into his soul.
After lunch he gently guided her around the room, her movement more normal, and her dizziness gone.
He'd guided her to the bathroom at the end of the hall, leaving her to freshen up.
She returned to the room, Joshua staring into her beautiful face, her hair combed and flowing over her shoulders.
"What a change! You look so refreshed. So beautiful." he said, she smiling at him, Joshua softly blushing.
"Thank you, Joshua. Your own beauty makes mine smile." she said, Joshua smiling more, still blushing.
"I'd like to go down to the restaurant and dine this evening, Joshua. I need a breath of fresh air after. Perhaps a walk?" she said, Joshua smiling.
"Certainly, Almira. I'd be honored to escort you."
She smiled, staring into his green pools.
"The honor is mine, Joshua." she said, the woman smiling, sitting down in a wing chair in front of the room's fireplace, Joshua joining her in a chair across from her, after he'd stoked the fire.
She smiled at him, the two talking as friends.
A few hours later Joshua escorted her downstairs, the young woman smiling as he dined with her in the opulent dining room.
After dinner the two went for a casual walk along the city streets, Joshua's arm in hers, she feeling his protective friendship.
She'd met his eyes often, seeing something more in his green pools, he seeing even more in hers.
A few other people were walking the streets, the hour just after seven.
They'd walked past the central theater, the place lit with lights, some performance well under way.
They could hear the soft music coming from its walls, the two sitting down on a wooden bench on the sidewalk, listening to its jovial tune.
"That's light and airy. So melodic." Almira said, Josh smiling at her.
"I think the theater poster said `Our American Cousin'. It's a play, I believe."
An older couple walked past them, both smiling at the young couple.
The older man winked at Joshua, Joshua blushing, Almira smiling at him, the man and his wife walking away.
"They think we're a couple." she said, her eyes meeting Joshua's.
She saw him blushing again, his eyes looking downward.
"But a couple of what?" she said, his eyes meeting hers again, she smiling.
Joshua smiled, then lightly laughed, she joining him.
"A couple of friends we are." he said, she staring at him.
She began to move forward, Joshua rising from his seat.
"The music is beautiful. Let's listen to it as we walk back to the hotel." he said, suddenly nervous, extending his hand, she taking it.
The two stared at each other when she'd regained her feet, both lost in the beauty of the other's soft eyes.
Their stare was interrupted by a sudden loud bang.
Joshua looked towards the theater, the man hearing screaming.
The back door of the theater beside them flew open, a man rushing out of it.
Joshua and Almira stared at him as the man rushed through both of them, almost knocking Joshua on his ass.
Almira stared at the man, his head turning back and glaring at her.
Her eyes widened, Joshua seeing his face as well.
His eyes widened as the man jumped onto a horse that lay tied a few feet from them.
The man galloped down the street, disappearing into the darkness.
They turned back to the theater, people flooding out of it.
The screaming words out of their mouths chilled both of them to their souls.
"The president's been shot! Mr. Lincoln's been shot!!" they screamed, Joshua's arm going around her waist.
He looked into her eyes, seeing the emotion flooding them.
"I was too late!" she stammered, collapsing into Joshua's arms.
Joshua's green pools looked out into the darkness, a remembered face etched in his soul.
The face of a man he'd met only yesterday.
Joshua sat on the bed's edge, staring at the sleeping woman lying in it.
He'd walked Almira back to the hotel, the crowds beginning to gather around the theater and in the streets.
He'd put her to bed, the young woman falling asleep almost immediately, her emotions showing as she fought sleep.
Her face was covered in tears, Joshua having wiped them off as she slept.
He'd left the room, going in search of any news.
Hours later, he'd returned to the room just a few moments ago, the young woman still asleep.
It was well after midnight now, the city still alive with remorseful emotion.
Abraham Lincoln had been shot in Ford's Theater, an assassin shooting him in the head from behind.
The president lay at a home across the street from the theater, the man fighting for his life.
Joshua felt the man's fight was almost over.
A crowd had gathered in front of the house, the silence filled with mournful emotion.
Joshua's mind thought on the man he'd only met once.
A visionary of greatness, a leader of true resolve.
Your fight ends, great one.
Why weren't you protected?
Why weren't you allowed to go on?
"His soul nears its end. And I have failed."
Joshua's eyes met two violet pools, their centers sparkling.
Joshua stared into Almira's eyes, seeing so much emotion there.
He moved, backing away from her, walking over to the windows, staring out into the dark night.
"We both failed. That man. . .that fleeing assassin. . .I met him yesterday. I felt the evil in his soul. I should have followed him. . ." Joshua said, the man feeling a hand go to his shoulder, the man turning and staring into Almira's violet pools, the young woman having risen from the bed.
"I have followed his evil, Joshua. I knew what his heart's evil was. And I failed in my attempt to stop him. My own weakness almost got me killed. And he eluded me again." she cried, Joshua taking her into his arms, her head going against his chest.
"What are you talking of, Almira?" he said, her head rising, Joshua staring into two violet pools of soft glowing love.
"I am of magic, Joshua. As I know you are. I was following evil, attempting to stop its plans. I have failed." she said, Joshua staring at her with shocked awe.
"You. . .you are of magic, like myself?"
She nodded, staring at him.
"I have been branded many things. Witch, sorceress, demon and monster. I am only love. I am only myself." she said, lowering her eyes, Joshua's arms going around her tighter.
"You are no such thing, Almira. Your confession just now shows your loving heart. You fought to end the evil. We have both failed in that endeavour. And history shall show that."
"I know of your family, Joshua. Of the path of destiny you walk." she said, Joshua looking surprised.
"How can that be?" he said, she staring at him.
"Destiny, my friend. Destiny and my own heart." she said, her head going against his chest again.
The two remained silent, Joshua seeing the sun's gleam on the distant horizon through the window.
"Your heart is loving, Almira. I feel its beauty." he said, Almira raising her head, staring into green pools.
He stared into her violet, seeing the sparkling of a thousand stars.
Both move together, their lips meeting.
And both felt the love flowing through them, their souls joining as one.
And in the darkness of a night of tragedy, both joined in a bonding of total love.
And both felt the other's needs, giving into their own desires.
Joshua awoke the next morning in his large bed, finding himself alone.
He looked around the room, seeing Almira gone.
He felt the nakedness of himself under the covers, and he remembered the beauty of the love that still flowed through him.
"Were you ever real, my love? Or am I lost in my dreams?" he softly said, the man suddenly hearing shouting outside on the streets.
He rose from his bed naked, rushing to the windows.
He opened the two windows, looking out into the street.
He saw so many people wandering about, some screaming.
"Lincoln is dead! Murder! Murder!" he heard some screaming, his own heart breaking.
For the truth of last night's monstrous act, and the truth of the love he felt within him.
His eyes moved, catching a face almost out of his vision at the far end of the street.
A hand raised, Lucas staring into a beautiful, black curly-haired vision of love.
And then that vision was gone.
Kurucu's Haven, present day
Everyone stared at Joshua, the man again staring into the slowly dying fire in front of him.
He felt Lucas' hand on his shoulder.
"You walk with much in your heart, Grandfather. And it is all surrounded by love."
Joshua's head turned, Lucas staring into his green pools of tearing love.
"I loved her, Lucas. That night I loved all of her. We joined as one, as one of one love."
"I know, Grandfather. I only have to look at Grayson to see the beauty of that giving joined love."
"My heart was filled with her love. A heart that was already filled with my Carlotta's love. I cheated on my wife, Lucas! I dishonored my love for her by loving that woman. A woman I didn't know at that time was even real. My mind thought that perhaps she was a witch, that I'd been taken under some spell, some enchantment." Joshua said, Lucas kissing his cheek.
"And what did your heart tell you?" he said, Joshua staring into his violet pools.
"Your eyes are like hers, Lucas. And my heart felt her love. I loved her, Lucas. She was real."
Lucas nodded, smiling at him.
"You wife loved you, Joshua. You had a lifetime of love. But you went on. She would have wanted you to have love in your heart. It was never a competition against her love. Both women felt the beauty of your love."
Joshua nodded, feeling his great-grandson's love.
His eyes went around the room, seeing everyone's awed wonder.
"You. . .you were at Lincoln's assassination?" Finn said, his eyes showing shocked wonder.
"Yes, Finn. I was there the night the heart of this country was stabbed. The night a great man left us." Joshua said, his eyes lowering, Lucas' hand rubbing his shoulder.
"The man you met at that reception the day before was
John Wilkes Booth. The man Almira searched for was him as well. A man of
centered evil, a man with a possessed mind."
Joshua raised his eyes, staring at Lucas.
Lucas saw the emotion in his green pools.
"You or she had no say in destiny's path. You only walked it as you were guided. Lincoln was on his path that night as well. History's path continued."
"If I only had. . ." Joshua said, Lucas smiling at him.
"Life, Grandfather. We live life as it is meted out to us. We walk on the path of life. Destiny that previous night drew you and her together. And destiny that night drew the path on its course."
Joshua nodded, looking around at everyone.
"I volunteered that day for the troop assembled to chase down the assassins. We found all of them, Wilkes included. He died in a battle of insane defiance. The others were tried and hung." Joshua said, Lucas nodding.
"And Almira?" Nick said, Joshua looking at the singer seated with Gideon and Gio.
"I searched for her in vain. She had vanished." he said, Lucas looking at Grayson and Emerson.
"Continue your story, Grandfather Joshua. Let's learn of the deeper love within your heart." Lucas said, Joshua staring at him.
The soldier looked around the room, his voice filling it again.
Kurucu's Haven, 1875
Joshua Belmont stood at the grave, staring at the tombstone at its end, fresh flowers laying upon it.
Carlotta Chambers Belmont
Mother of Love
Heart of Eternity
"I love you, Carlotta. You love is still in my heart." Joshua said, the man laying his own bouquet of white roses on top of the tombstone.
"We both loved her, Father."
Joshua's blue pools looked at his son standing beside him, the young man's beauty shining brightly.
"She loved you, Emerson." Joshua said, his son's green pools looking up at him.
Emerson had been only twenty-five when she'd died, his love for her unconditional.
"I know, Father. Her smile still lays in my heart." he said, Joshua smiling at him.
The two stood in the family cemetery at Kurucu's Haven, the two having walked up here every year on Carlotta's birthday, laying flowers and remembering her love.
It was a secluded area behind the mansion, a tranquil vista of dignity and repose.
They both turned, walking back along the path to the main mansion, both quietly reflecting on their love for her.
They walked into the dining room, Emmanuel Belmont's face showing a loving smile.
"I held lunch, everyone." he smiled, the two hugging him, both sitting down at the table with him, Emmanuel smiling at both.
Joshua smiled at his father, his face a mirror of his own and his son's ruggedly handsome faces.
The cook brought in lunch, carrying platters, the three men quietly eating.
A servant entered the room, carrying a small silver tray.
On it was the day's mail, several letters together.
The servant set the silver tray down beside Emerson, bowing and walking out of the room.
The three ate their lunch, Emerson browsing through the letters.
"A letter for you, Father. Postmarked from Massachusetts." he said handing the envelope to Joshua, Joshua sipping at his coffee, opening it.
He stared at one single sheet of white paper, delicate words written upon it.
It has been ten years since we last talked.
I am sorry for walking out on you that emotional morning, the moment was too intense for me.
Here now years later, each moment of your love still lays within my soul.
And within my heart.
I loved you Joshua.
I loved the beauty of your soul, your body and your love.
We all walk our paths, each guided by a greater destiny.
You returned to your family, finding solace in their love.
I hope it still surrounds you.
Myself, I had something greater to hold within my heart.
Your remembered love.
I've had it with me every day.
I write to you now with a worrisome soul.
The evil moves again.
I have sensed it here, where I now am.
It is surrounding me, Joshua.
For your love I shall risk all.
Come to me and ask my forgiveness.
It was always in my soul.
As your love is.
Joshua folded the letter, looking at the envelope, seeing the postmark.
"I have to go on a journey, Father." Joshua said, his eyes meeting his father's green pools.
Emerson's identical pools looked at his father, the man's eyes meeting his.
"Another war, Father?" he said, Joshua looking at him.
"No, son. Just a friend in need." he said, Emmanuel looking at him.
"Alright, Joshua. Your heart was always on the move." he said, Joshua smiling, leaning over and kissing his father's cheek.
"Thank you, Father. I shall not be that long. A month at most. And I shall return with more love in my heart." the man smiled, rising from his seat.
"I'll go pack." he said, walking around the table, his son moving into his arms, the two embracing.
"Hurry home, Father. I miss your love already." he said, Joshua smiling at him.
"I shall, Em. And the love will return twofold."
The man walked out of the room, Emmanuel's eyes meeting his grandson's.
"He never could sit still, Emerson. He follows his own path."
Emerson nodded, quietly walking out of the room, going to find his father.
Emmanuel stared at the empty table before him, his hand going to the leather book lying beside it, gently caressing it.
"I feel the drawing path. Love does indeed come. And it may be laced with truth."
Westonshire, Massachusetts, 1875
Joshua walked into the Hammond Inn, a man greeting him at the door.
"Good evening, sire." the man said, bowing his head.
"Good evening, sir. I am Joshua Belmont. I wish a room." he said, the man nodding.
"Yes, sir. You've come to the best inn in town." the man smiled, taking his cloak and hat, the two walking over to the front desk.
"I am also searching for someone. A lady by the name of Almira Carlisle." Joshua said, the man looking at him.
"She is upstairs, sire. She has a room here as well." the man said, Joshua's green eyes going to the staircase.
"Which one, good sir?" he said, the man giving Joshua a key.
"The one beside yours, sire. You are in room twelve, she is in room ten." the clerk said, Joshua nodding, pulling out a few banknotes from his pocket.
"For the room and yourself, Mr. . .?"
"Benjamin Hammond, sire. This is my inn."
Josh nodded, thanking the man, picking up his valise and walking up the stairs.
He deposited his bag in his room, walking out of it and standing at the door of the room he'd passed on the voyage to his.
He took a deep breath, knocking sharply on the door.
He heard no response, his ears perking up.
Suddenly he felt a soft gurgling sound, then a soft moan.
He tried the door, finding it unlocked.
He turned the knob, walking into the room.
His eyes met a scene of emotion.
He moved, going to his knees, his arms going around Almira, the woman lying on the floor, her body white with shivering emotion.
"Almira! What's wrong?" Joshua said, her violet pools opening, staring into his green.
"You. . .you came." she softly said, Joshua picking her up gently, guiding her to the bed, setting her down gently.
Her hand went in his, staring at him.
"I tricked him, Joshua. The evil is so powerful. . .but I
"Don't move, Almira. I'll get a doctor." he said, beginning to move, her hand latching onto his, stopping him.
"Grayson. . .our Gray. Is he okay?" she said, Joshua staring at her.
"Who's Grayson?" he said, the man hearing a soft gurgle again, his eyes moving to a small basket on the chair beside the bed.
He moved, Almira's eyes following him.
Joshua looked into the basket, two soft blue pools stared back at him.
"You. . .you have a child?" he said with soft wonder, the man feeling Almira's hand go to a shoulder.
"We. . .we have a child, Joshua. Say hello. . .to your. . .to our son." she said, her hand falling, hanging over the bed.
Joshua went to her, his eyes showing soft wonder, patting her face.
"Almira? Wake up!" he said, the man getting no response.
He took one quick look at the baby, then moved with lightning speed out of the room.
Two hours later Joshua rose from the chair he sat in in the lobby, a man and a woman walking down the stairs, the woman carrying a small bundle in her arms.
"She's resting. The woman's gravely ill, sir. She has all the symptoms of typhoid." the doctor said, Joshua looking at him.
"Will she live? What of the child?" he said, the woman beside the doctor smiling at him.
"Your son's fine. I think she protected him from herself." the woman said, gently offering the small bundle to Joshua.
Joshua took the child into his arms, staring into its small sleeping face.
"Is he alright?"
"He's fine. As Myra said, he's no worse for wear. Your wife, on the other hand, is gravely ill. She's asking for you." the doctor said, Joshua nodding.
"Please look after him. After. . .my son." Joshua said, the woman nodding, taking the child in her arms.
Joshua walked up the stairs, the two looking after him.
"So young to lose a wife." the woman said, the doctor's arm going around his wife.
"At least he'll have the child for comfort." he said.
Joshua walked into the bedroom, two violet pools meeting his green.
"Hello, Joshua." she said, raising a hand.
Joshua moved across the room, sitting down on the bed, taking her hand in his.
"Hello, Almira. You look as beautiful as the day we last looked upon each other." he said, she softly smiling at him.
"Your eyes look with love, Joshua. Real life ebbs out of me. I look awful." she said, Joshua tearing up.
"What's happened, Almira?"
She stared at him.
"I have lost the fight, Joshua. For now it ends. I must go to the greater reward. I agreed to it long ago." she softly said, staring into his green pools.
"I love you, Almira." Joshua suddenly said, her smile growing.
"I love you, Joshua. You are one with my soul. You and
"He's only an infant. . .how can. . .how can he be my son?" Joshua said, Almira staring at him.
"What of your own son, Joshua? He must be a teenager now in his fiftieth year." she said, softly gasping.
"I need to see Grayson." she softly said, Joshua moving.
He returned a few moments later, the child in his arms, holding it gently.
He pulled back the blanket, Almira staring at his beautiful face.
"There's my boy. My beautiful boy." she softly said, Joshua staring at her, then at the baby.
"Our boy, Almira." he said, she smiling at him.
"Love him, Joshua. Raise him in your love. I only experienced it for only a moment, it now fills my heart. He needs that gift as well." she said, Joshua leaning forward and kissing her lips, the young woman softy sighing, Joshua backing up and staring into her beautiful face.
"Love is but a moment in time. Life is but a path of choice. I choose you, Joshua." she said, her hand going slack, her eyes closing.
"Almira?" Joshua said, his hand going to her face.
His eyes filled with tears, the man feeling the bundle in his arms moving.
He looked down, staring into two now violet pools, a small face of love smiling up at him.
Kurucu's Haven, present day
Everyone stared at the soldier standing in front of the fireplace, Lucas at his side.
"I buried her in that tomb upon the hillside in Westonshire. She was of my soul and of my heart."
Lucas' hand went to his shoulder again.
"You loved her, Joshua. As you came to love your son. The creation of that love. The real creation of love." Lucas said, his eyes meeting Grayson's, Joshua's meeting his as well.
"I brought Grayson home to Kurucu's Haven. My father and my son welcomed him as one of their own. I told both of them the story, the truth of my mistakes."
Emerson moved out of his chair, walking up to his father, Grayson following him.
"No, Father. You showed us the love of your soul. The love you had for her and for my mother. You are a being of love. I most of all have felt that love for many years. I have been so blessed." Emerson said, Joshua staring at his son.
"And so have I." Grayson said, Joshua staring into his blue pools.
"You have your mother's love in your soul, Gray. And you have yours, Emerson. Forgive me for the weakness of my own." he said, both men pulling the man into their arms.
"Nothing needs forgiveness, Father. You are love and we are your love." Emerson said, Lucas smiling at his grandfather, his eyes on Lucas'.
"They are both your sons, Grandfather Joshua. They were both raised in love and life. You are a family of love." Lucas said, Joshua's eyes meeting his.
"I loved her, Lucas. I loved Carlotta as well." he said, Lucas nodding, his eyes going to Justin, Lance and his own Joshua.
"I love three of love, Grandfather. That makes me no less loving than you."
"Got that right, Luke." Justin said, Lance smiling at his man, nodding.
Joshua smiled, looking around at everyone.
"I carried that shame within my soul for many years, Lucas. The shame of defiling one love for another." he said, Lucas smiling at him.
"You didn't defile either, Grandfather Joshua. Both ladies had your heart and soul."
Joshua nodded, looking at his two sons.
"Emerson accepted Grayson into his life. He and I raised him in our love. I thought it essential that he remained apart from the Belmonts, the evil that ended my Almira's life still unknown of. We decided on another surname for him, but him and Emerson grew together. They have been secret brothers all their lives." Joshua said, Lucas smiling at both men.
"It was a brotherhood I could easily see, Grandfathers and Great Uncle." he smiled, Grayson looking at him.
"You said something about an eagle?" Grayson said, Lucas smiling at him.
"Yes, I did indeed. What time is it, Uncle Gray?" Lucas said, Grayson's hand going into his pocket, pulling out his pocket watch, flipping it open.
"It's ten-thirty, Lucas." he said, raising his eyes, meeting three faces of love, his father's showing soft surprise.
"My watch?" he said, Emerson's hand going around his father.
"I gave it to Gray on his last birthday. He always loved it. And I am closing in on the Trinity's final stage."
"Behold the eagle." Lucas said, the three men looking at him, everyone else looking at the watch in Grayson's hand.
They'd all seen the eagle engraved on its top.
Lucas smiled, walking up to Grayson.
"That watch was Grandfather Emmanuel's, Gray. "
"Yes, Lucas. I saw him wear it often." Grayson said, Lucas nodding.
His violet pools met Joshua's green, then Emerson's green.
"A watch given over from father to son for generations. Given in love and tradition. The eagle has flown throughout my family's history. It even marks the entrance to this home." he said, looking into Grayson's blue pools.
"May I, Uncle Gray?" he said, extending his hand, Grayson placing it in his hand, Lucas looking at it.
He stared at the eagle, then opened the watch, seeing its golden edging, a white ebony face with black numbers.
He flipped the case over, finding nothing.
His fingers went to the case, gently pulling out the mechanism, his relatives staring at him with concern.
"I will be gentle. It is a family heirloom." he smiled, removing the mechanism, staring at the inner wall of the golden case that held the clock.
He smiled, then placed the clock back in the case, closing its lid.
He handed it back to Grayson, the man staring at him.
"What were you searching for, Lucas?" he said, Joshua staring at his great grandson as well.
"Truth, Great Uncle Gray. And I've found it." he said, looking at his great-grandfather.
"Your father was a soul of love, Joshua. That soul he gave to you, as you gave to my grandfather, as he gave to my father."
"My father was love, Lucas." Joshua said, Lucas smiling at him.
"Yes, Joshua. And so I have seen." he said, Joshua looking confused.
"You've. . .you've seen my father? He. . .he's gone, vanished from life and the afterlife." the man said, Lucas staring at him.
"No, Grandfather Joshua. He has not vanished. He came to
me within a dream, another vision of love."
Joshua walked up to his great grandson, staring at him.
"My father still exists?"
"Yes, Grandfather. He told me that truth. As he told me that all before him still exist. That they are held within another dimension. They are trapped within the Trinity's truth. And I am the one charged with revealing that truth."
Joshua's eyes were flowing with tears, staring at Lucas.
"I thought the end was the end! That nothing remained after! That there was no existence. I have not seen him since he passed into the void at the end of the Trinity!" he sobbed, Lucas' arms going around him.
"Love existed everywhere, Grandfather. Nothing could never end that."
Joshua wiped his eyes staring into Lucas' violet pools.
"You love for Almira was just such a love. With her dying breath she told you that she chose you."
"Yes, Lucas. She said that. I still do not fully understand its meaning." Joshua said, Lucas smiling at him.
"She had magic, Grandfather. An ancient magic." Lucas said, Joshua's eyes moving to Arlo, the caretaker seated behind the table by the door.
"Arlo said her tomb was empty. Where is she, Lucas?" Joshua said, Lucas seeing the resolve now in his great-grandfather's eyes.
The resolve to find his love.
"She is around, Grandfather. Where, I know not. But I feel her in the magic. As many have felt." Lucas said, the young man walking up to the fire, turning and looking at everyone.
He stared at his family, all their eyes on him.
"The Carlisle family is one of magic and mystery. Several branches of its lineage have been hidden from itself. Colton and Rosa Sharon, Mavis and her son, Gideon and his leadership of the Carlisle Brotherhood. And all that was for a good reason. Protection and love. From the first of the Brotherhood until the last of my now shown family. And someone created it all. And that someone still roams this earth guarding everyone and fighting old battles." Lucas said, the young man staring at the watch still held in Grayson's hand.
"That watch laying in your hand was Archer Belmont's. Emmanuel Belmont's own father. It was given in love to him by someone who loved him body and soul. His wife and so much more."
Joshua walked up to Lucas, staring at him.
"My grandmother died five years after my father's birth, Lucas." Joshua said, Lucas nodding.
"Yes, Grandfather. As your own wife died as well. As all the wives or partners of your ancestors did. A Trinity within a Trinity. Love's unending cycle. Until she of the unending love chose to go her own path."
Joshua backed up, staring at Lucas.
"What do you mean, Lucas?"
Lucas sighed, staring at the watch again.
"Inscribed within that watch's inner layer are words of love, Grandfather. Read them, Grayson. Remove the clock and see their love." Lucas said, Grayson opening the watch and pulling out the clock.
He raised the watch, his voice filling the room.
Archer, my angel of love.
The arrow of your love claims me
Grayson's eyes raised, Joshua looking at Lucas.
"She has walked through all my families' lives. From the beginnings of her creation of your Brotherhood." Lucas said, staring at Joshua now.
"Almira Carlisle and Carlotta Cummings and Pricilla Carlisle are one and the same person. A person of magic and unending life. And she's something more. She is the magic of love."
Lucas' violet pools looked into Gideon's blue pools, Lucas seeing the Carlisle women rising from their chairs.
"They are all the same being. A woman by the true name of Priscilla Carlisle. The founder of the Carlisle Brotherhood almost two thousand years ago."
End of Chapter 159
Did any of you see that coming?
The ancient creator of the Carlisle Brotherhood appears to be a continuing figure in Lucas' past.
Are all his women ancestors the same person?
How can that be?
I hope everyone was okay with my version of history's path.
Two presidents of importance walking across Joshua's path.
I wanted to show the length of his life, the man living over two hundred years, dying at the start of the twentieth century.
Lucas seems to be aware of all his family's past.
A certain book seems to have revealed much.
Let's let Lucas weave his magic and love.