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Lucas stared at the open book before him, his violet eyes showing a look of stunned surprise.
"It. . .it's there I swear it!" he said, his eyes glued to the book's front page, the book open in Finn's hands.
"We believe you, Lucky." Josh said, seated beside him, Lucas surrounded by his other friends.
Trish, Andrew, Skyler and Finn sat around the two men, Finn's fingers going through the pages of the book he held, everyone staring at it.
Lucas had made coffee in the kitchen after his shower with Josh, their friends joining them just as the coffee pot brewed its last drops.
Lucas had sat down with all of them, telling them of his latest dream, the four staring at the book and key laying in the table's center.
Josh had picked the book up, opening it, the man's eyes widening in surprise as he looked towards Lucas, the man quietly sipping his coffee as the other four stared at him and Josh.
"There's nothing here, Lucky." Josh had said, Lucas' eyes widening in confusion, taking the book from Josh, opening it and seeing all the writing showing.
"It's there, Josh." Lucas said, reading off the written prose beneath the hand-drawn portrait.
Josh had taken the book back from Lucas, the book passed from hand to hand, lastly settling in Finn's hand.
"We don't see any writing, Lukey. The pages are totally blank."
Lucas stared at the book in stunned confusion, Josh's soft word of acceptance of Lucas' truth calming him.
"If you see the writing then it's there, Lukey." Trish said, the others nodding their heads as well, Lucas seeing their wondrous looks, their eyes zoned in on the book.
"A book of seemingly magical worth." Finn said, Lucas' eyes meeting his, his friend softly smiling at him.
"I believe this book is meant for only you, Lucas. You alone can see its truths." he said, Lucas softly nodding, taking the book from Finn, his friend still smiling at him.
Finn's fingers picked up the silver key, staring at its ancient silvery design.
"This is a key for a padlock or an old keyhole doorway. Kurucu's Haven could mean a locked room or a treasure chest. The name itself--Kurucu--could be a person or a place. This is turning into some kind of swashbuckling adventure. What's next? Pirates?"
Lucas' violet eyes met Finn's, the young man bursting into laughter, Finn joining him, everyone around them smiling more.
"Thanks, Finny. You just showed the absurdity of my
Finn smiled, patting his friend's shoulder, Josh smiling at his love for his Lucky.
"It's surprising and wondrous, as are your vivid dreams of surprising reality. But then again, there's always been a surprising wondrousness to you as well, my friend. This in no way changes our love for you. It only adds to the mystery of all of this." Skyler said, Lucas smiling at his friend, his sister and Finn showing their love in their eyes.
"Thanks, guys." Lucas said, Josh's arm going around his lover.
"So what have you learned from the book so far?" Finn said, Lucas smiling at his friend.
He told them of the portrait showing on the first page, the young man reading the written prose under it again, everyone listening again.
"A poem of intrigue. They name you in the first line. 'He our violet-eyed youth.'" Andrew said, Lucas nodding.
"So I ascertained, Drew. And Joshua is obviously my guide."
"And the other two men, Luke? The older and younger
men in the portrait?"
"I'm not sure, Trishy. It could be my father and grandfather." Lucas said, staring at the portrait drawn in his hands, the young man describing both men.
"The young shows features of your own beauty, Lucky. He could indeed be your father." Josh said, kissing his Lucky's cheek.
The young man set the book down on the table, closing it, his fingers lightly tapping on its leathery surface.
"If that's true, then my father and my grandfather
have both met Joshua. Which means both are well aware of the man's identity."
Everyone nodded, their eyes on Lucas' concerned face.
"So you're saying that whatever this means, your father and grandfather are well aware of everything?" Andrew said, Lucas looking at him again.
"Yes, Drew. And if that's true then my grandfather
could shed a lot of light on everything."
"Are you going to go see him?" Finn said, looking at his friend.
"I've always felt in my heart that I would have to make that trip, Finny." Lucas said, his fingers rubbing the book, his eyes staring down at it.
"But first I sense I need to focus on my own path, on my own life, as I said before. And I have to read the secrets of this old book. Whatever lays within I sense will be of great help. I truly sense that this is Joshua's story laying before me. And whatever that story is, it in some way may be the heart of all of this. Or perhaps the beginning."
Lucas picked the book up again, staring at it, everyone looking at him.
Lucas opened the book again, reading the handwritten introduction on the next page after the portrait, everyone staring at him with silent wonder, believing the words were indeed written upon the blank pages.
"His lineage, history and truths. It indeed sounds like a journal detailing a man's life, Luke." Trish said, Lucas nodding at his sister, the young man closing the book again.
"Words of truth, and a key to a hidden place or artifact. The intrigue continues." Lucas softly said, Josh staring at him, their eyes meeting.
"I sense my unknown family is a family shrouded in mystery. My own father and mother's disappearance a certainty of that truth. Others are involved as well. For they were hunted for whatever the reasoning behind all this. Joshua himself told me that he led them into the abyss, into the realm of Shades as he called it. But not as himself."
"That's strange isn't it, Luke?" Finn said, staring at his friend.
"Yes, Finn. Very strange. Why would he not show himself to my father? My father obviously knew him if this is he in the portrait with him. Why would he hide from my father?" Lucas said, staring at the book.
"It's a puzzle indeed, Lucky." Josh said, Lucas nodding at his boyfriend.
"Yes, Josh. A puzzle I sense won't be solved until I have all the truths within my own soul." Lucas said, the young man leaning forward and taking the key from Finn's hand, the silver key immediately glowing softly in Lucas' hand, the necklace around his neck softly glowing as well, the book on the table opening by itself, its pages moving, his friends' and boyfriend's eyes widening with surprise.
"They are connected, everyone. The stone, the key and I believe the book as well. For some reason I've been given all three. Three artifacts of magical wonder." Lucas said, the key and stone returning to their usual lustre.
The book stopped moving, its cover closing.
"Amazing! It's so. . .it's so amazing!" Andrew softly said, Trish's eyes going to her brother's.
"Only as amazing as my brother. Magic springs from
your heart, Lucas. You shall find the truth in everything."
Lucas smiled at his sister, the man placing the key on top of the book.
"I'm only as magical as the love I have around me."
Everyone smiled, Lucas staring at the book and key, his eyes going around to everyone.
"Enough of magic and destiny. I've got food to prepare. The moms are coming." he said, Josh smiling at him, Lucas standing up.
"Finish your coffee guys. I'll get started, and I'll
need a trip to the grocery store."
"I volunteer, Luke." Finn smiled, the young man heading towards the refrigerator.
Everyone's eyes turned to Josh, the man staring at the book on the table.
Justin walked into the kitchen, his eyes drawn to Lance, the man at the kitchen table, his green eyes meeting Justin's blue.
Lance's green eyes took in Justin's robed form.
"Morning, Jus. Did you sleep well?" he smiled, rising from the table, Justin watching as his friend pulled a pitcher of orange juice out of the fridge, setting it down on the table, smiling at his friend.
"Morning, Lance. Yes, I. . .I slept well." Justin said, standing a few feet away from Lance, the two staring at each other.
Lance smiled, moving forward, his arms going around his friend, the man gently hugging him, kissing Justin on the cheek.
"The morning sunlight gives way to our unchanged friendship, Justin. A friendship that now holds a greater truth. For our love shines above all else."
Justin smiled, the man pulling Lance against him again, Lance smiling at the friendship he felt coming from his friend.
"Thank you, Lance. For that friendship's courageous stand."
"We're friends, Justin. Always will be."
Justin smiled, releasing Lance, the man guiding Justin to the table, pouring him a glass of juice as the two men sat down across from each other.
"I didn't bother with any breakfast, I'm sure Lucas' brunch will be heavenly."
Justin smiled, his thoughts on his young friend.
"If it's as giving as his friendship--and yours--I'll be stuffed."
Lance laughed, Justin smiling at him.
"Again thanks, Lancy. For forgiving me for last night and for giving so much love after. The loneliness couldn't stand a chance against your giving love and friendship."
Lance smiled, patting Justin's hand.
"Both are here for you always. But I can't be your permanent teddy bear."
Justin laughed, Lance smiling at him.
"I know, Lance. I have to face the reality of my own loneliness. I have to start on the path to whomever awaits me."
Lance nodded, the other man smiling at him.
"Any idea where he is?"
Lance smiled, their eyes meeting.
"I'm sure he's out there, Jus. You just have to have
faith in destiny, and life."
"I do now, Lance. Thanks to you."
Lance smiled, both men sipping at their juices.
"So the video debuts tonight! Lucas invited me to the condo for the unveiling. So what's your plan for Orion, Jus?"
Justin smiled, staring at his friend.
"Well, after the release, it hits MTV and all the video shows. That's a build up to the first concert in two weeks. Luke's heading to Los Angeles with Josh for a few days this week. We're doing studio acoustics and band prep, so they should be ready for the first rehearsals the week after. I think that first show's going to be amazing! Then it's three weeks of touring, promoting and television spots, and after that if all goes well, they should be riding the crest of stardom. Then a world tour could materialize. It all depends on their acceptance in the public's heart."
"Like old times, Jus. I think you're reliving our past glory through them."
Justin smiled, nodding.
"Something like that, Lancy. When I see them on
stage, it brings back all those old memories."
Lance smiled, nodding, patting Justin's hand again.
"Ever think of regaining that past glory yourself,
Jus? You know you could go back to music."
Justin smiled, their eyes meeting, Lance seeing Justin's love for music embedded in his blue eyes.
"Who'd get excited for an old fossil like me?"
Lance laughed, his smile one of deep friendship.
"You're not that old, Jus. The buffed vision I saw last night
would make any young heart flutter."
Justin smiled, their eyes meeting.
"You stood against the revealing need, Lance." Justin softly said, his eyes lowering.
"One of the hardest things I've ever had to do."
Justin's eyes raised, staring into Lance's green pools.
"You're a beautiful, sensual man, Justin. Anyone could easily fall for you."
"But I don't hold the spark that you need, Lance."
Lance smiled, Justin smiling back at him.
"We all follow our hearts, Jus. It leads us to
Justin smiled, staring at his friend.
"You're beginning to sound like our wise friend Lucas."
Lance laughed, smiling.
"I'll take that as a compliment."
Justin smiled, his hand going on top of Lance's.
"I want you to find that love as well, Lance. You deserve to be happy, as happy as I want to be."
Lance smiled, nodding his head, Justin staring at his friend, seeing the pain showing behind Lance's green eyes of love.
"Everyone needs and wants love, Lance. We all just have to find our soulmate."
Justin smiled, Lance pulling his hand from Justin's hand.
"You finish your juice. I'm going to pop into the shower, then head back to my place and change."
"Take your shower, Lance. I'll drive you over and we can head from there to Lucas'. We'll need your vehicle as well, Lancy. Lucas wanted me to pick up his surprise."
Lance smiled, standing up.
"I hope you left some hot water?" Lance said, having heard Justin in the shower earlier.
"We could have saved water and showered together,
Lance laughed, gently slapping Justin's shoulder, the man laughing as he walked out of the room, Justin's blue eyes following his friend.
Justin's eyes lowered, staring at his juice glass, his thoughts his own.
That would have been wonderful, Lance.
The wetness of your love would have been so beautiful.
Your love last night was so beautiful.
You didn't give into my needful advances.
That showed me there's something more behind your love, Lance.
You love me for me, Lance.
How can I ever thank you for giving me hope last night?
How can I thank you?
Justin's eyes went to the doorway, thinking of his friend.
I sense pain behind those giving eyes of love, my friend.
What have you done that gnaws at your soul?
I felt it all night against me in moments of awakening.
You trembled in your sleep with uncertainty, with emotion.
And I felt the love held beneath that pain.
You want to be loved, Lance.
I feel that deeply.
I'm going to help you, Lance.
I'm going to help you find that man you need to make that pain go away.
Yes, you need my help.
But first I need to find my own happiness.
Then I'm going to destroy the pain in your heart.
We both need love, Lance.
Justin smiled, sipping at his juice, his thoughts on his friend.
Lucas hugged his parents, then Josh's, the four smiling at the warm welcome Lucas and Josh both gave them at the condo's front door, the foursome then enveloped in Trish's and her friends' warm welcoming arms.
Roy smiled at Lucas, the young man grinning.
"You followed the aroma, Dad."
Karen laughed, smiling at her husband.
"He's like a bloodhound, Lucas. He'd sniff a thousand miles to find an Oreo."
Everyone laughed, Roy smirking, no blushing timidness in his eyes.
"I love good food. This old nose can siphon out the bad. Right now I smell the great!"
Lucas laughed, his arms going around the older man and Henderson, leading his Dads to the living room couches.
Vivian's arm went around Josh, kissing his cheek again.
"My son seems beyond happy."
"He's been cooking all morning. His happiness always shows in his cooking for family. He loves it so much."
Vivian laughed, remembering so many Sunday brunches her son had cooked at home.
"His food is his love, Josh."
"Then I'm going to be so fat!" Josh grinned, Karen laughing at her son, Josh leaning forward and kissing her cheek.
"Happy Mother's Day, Moms." he said, Lucas smiling at his lover as Josh walked the two mothers into the living room, Lucas kissing both of their cheeks.
"Yes, happy Mother's Day to our two giving mothers." he said, everyone smiling at the two women, their faces showing their love for their children in their eyes, Trish rising up and kissing her mother's cheek as well, her arm going around her mother.
"Being with our children on these special days are all the thanks we need." Vivian said, Karen smiling her agreement.
Lucas smiled, leaning down and kissing Skyler's cheek, the young woman smiling up from Finn's lap.
"And happy Mother's Day to our mother-to-be. Let's think of this as your first Mother's Day with your new treasure, Sky. Little Finn Jr. will feel his mother's love always."
"You mean little Lucas, Luke." Finn smiled, Skyler tearfully smiling up at Lucas.
"Oh. . .that's. . .really?" Lucas softly said, tears showing in his violet eyes.
"Our future son needs a name of beginning love." Skyler said, Lucas smiling at her.
"His favourite uncle's going to spoil him!"
Finn and Skyler laughed, Lucas walking over to the end table beside Andrew, the man smiling at him, Lucas picking up a box off of it.
He smiled, pulling out three corsages from the box, handing two to Josh, the man pinning both to the lapels of the dresses of the two mothers standing in the living room.
Lucas smiled, pinning the third to Skyler's dress.
"There! The flowers of our hearts are now showing their flowery love." Lucas said, smiling as he set the box down on the dining room table, its contents not yet empty.
The phone rang, Andrew answering it, Josh offering everyone a drink, everyone sitting down.
"Justin's on his way up, Luke." Andrew said, smiling at him, Lucas winking at him.
"Excellent! The continuing love." he said, smiling at everyone, their eyes showing confusion.
"Finn, Sky? Could you come here for a moment please? You as well, Karen." Lucas smiled, standing beside the dining room table.
The three looked at each other, Roy staring at his wife.
The three walked up to Lucas, the young man smiling at all three.
They smiled at Lucas, the three not seeing Andrew move behind him, the young man walking to the condo's front door.
Lucas opened the box on the dining room table again, pulling out two more corsages, smiling at Finn and Skyler, handing each one.
"What are these for, Lucas?" Finn said, smiling at his friend.
"For happiness and love, my old friend. If all three of you will turn around, I'll let you all take in just that."
The three looked confused, noting the silence now filling the room.
The three turned around, all their eyes widening with surprise.
"Mom, Dad!!" Finn and Skyler screamed, the two running across the room, enveloped in their parents' arms.
Sean and Mavis Delaney and Lorraine and Ian Templeton both had their children in their arms, Lucas' face covered in a watchful smile.
Behind them Justin and Lance stood, both men wearing wide smiles of guiding happiness.
Karen Chasez's own eyes were filled with tears, two people enveloping her in their arms, Josh's brother Steve and his sister Heather surrounding their mother with love.
"Oh, my babies!" Karen said in tears, Josh's arm now around her as well.
"Happy Mother's Day, Mom." he said, his brother and sister smiling at him.
"My babies all together! How. . .how did this come about?" Karen said, Josh kissing her cheek, smiling towards Lucas.
"Lucas' love stretches far, Mom. He knew I wanted all four of
you here today, so he made it happen."
Karen's eyes went to the young man standing by the dining room table.
"I'll check on dinner, everyone." Lucas softly said, walking quietly into the kitchen, Josh's blue eyes following him.
Josh's eyes moved, staring at Finn and Skyler, their arms around their own mothers, Mavis in tears, Lorraine not far behind her.
"Lucas' love draws all to their wishes of love. He knew you both needed your moms here today as well."
Finn smiled, breaking his hold on his mother, pinning the corsage in his hand to his mother's breast, Skyler doing the same to her mother's, both kissing their moms.
"Happy Mother's Day, Mom." they both said, their hands joining together.
"Mom, Dad. We have some wonderful news." Skyler said, Josh smiling at the families surrounding him, the man walking quietly into the kitchen.
Lucas' head raised, hearing the screams of joy coming from the living room, the young man smiling.
He felt two arms wrap around his waist, a pair of soft lips kissing his neck.
"Later, Justin. I'm knee deep in devilled eggs."
He felt a hand slap his ass, Lucas smirking.
Two arms twirled him around, Josh's soft lips meeting his, Lucas feeling the love flowing through his soul.
"You missed the moments of revealing joy, my love. Sky and Finn are wrapped in four arms of grandparental love."
Lucas smiled, knowing the joy their parents would find in their news.
"The beauty of their opening love and happiness was a little overwhelming, Josh. I couldn't take in their loving gazes too much."
"They were only wanting to show their thanks."
"I don't do it for thanks, Beamy. I do it for the love, the
love I see in their eyes. They don't need to show that love towards me."
Josh shook his head in loving wonder, his lips meeting Lucas' again.
"I love your giving love, my pet."
"Wait till you taste my devilled eggs."
Josh laughed, Lucas smiling at him.
"I think the love's simmered down. Let's walk into its
Lucas sighed, nodding, Josh wrapping his arms around him.
"I'm glad you sister and brother accepted my love so easily yesterday, Josh."
Josh smiled, kissing Lucas lightly on the lips again.
The two siblings had arrived yesterday hours before Karen and Roy, Josh wanting them to be totally surprised.
They'd met Lucas, Josh telling both of his total love for the young man.
Both had hugged and welcomed Lucas easily into their close-knit bond of sibling togetherness.
Steve was around Lucas' age, the two hitting it off easily, Heather a bit older, but no less loving.
"What's not to love? My sibs see your beauty and love." Josh said, his hand going into Lucas' back pocket, Lucas smirking.
"And their brother keeps it tender with all that kneading."
Josh laughed, Lucas smiling at him.
"For that look of happiness in your blue eyes, I did this,
Joshua. Your family will be my family."
Josh teared up, Lucas kissing his lips again.
"And Finn and Sky are family as well. Everyone needs family."
Josh smiled, the two walking back out into the living room.
The meal in itself was filled with Lucas' giving love.
A large buffet had been set up, tables laid out in front of the windowed New York sunny May skyline, the food plentiful and delicious.
Lucas had been hugged by all the new visitors, Mavis the most emotional, Finn seeing his mother's love for the young man always showing.
"An angel, our angel of love. You open your heart to everyone!" she said, Lucas softly blushing, her lips kissing his cheeks often.
"I love you, Mama Mavis. What's Mother's Day without all my mothers?"
Everyone had smiled, Lucas guiding them to his opening feast.
They all sat around the condo's living room, Lucas' meal filling their souls with satisfying love.
The food was great, the conversation open and happy.
Justin walked up to Lucas, the young man sitting at the dining room table with Josh.
Justin smiled down at both, sitting down beside Lucas.
"Thanks for the angel of love last night, Lucas."
Josh looked confused, Lucas smiling at Justin.
"I sensed your mood yesterday, Justin. I was only trying to stave off the loneliness."
Justin smiled, leaning over and kissing Lucas' cheek.
"You've got a hell of a man there, Joshy. He's so in tune with everyone."
Josh smiled, looking at Lucas.
"And so mysterious in his giving love." Josh said, Lucas smiling at him.
"Justin was feeling lonely, Josh. His new lifestyle hit home for him yesterday. I just felt he needed Lance's giving love."
Josh looked surprised, staring at his friend, Lucas smiling.
"Not that giving love, Beamy. The love of friendship."
Justin smiled, nodding his head.
"He made my first night of being alone less lonely. Thanks, Luke."
"You're welcome, Jus. And the path begins."
Justin stared at Lucas, the young man smiling.
"You seem indeed mysterious. What do you know?" Justin said, Lucas smiling at him.
"I know I need some more Caesar salad. Excuse me guys." Lucas said, rising up from the table, walking up to the buffet table, smiling at Josh's father who was helping himself to more mushroom casserole.
"Your man's one of a kind, Joshy." Justin said, Josh smiling at his friend.
"Yes he is. I'm sorry I didn't pick up on your loneliness,
Jus. You should have stayed here last night."
"I have my life to lead, Joshy. I know you and Lucas are here for me, as I know Lance is too. I'm surrounded by friends. I now just have to find the right path as Lucas just said. I think he knows where and who that path will lead me to." Justin said staring at the young man, Josh's brother now talking to him in front of the punch bowl.
"My Lucky knows a lot, Justin. It wouldn't surprise me in the
Justin smiled, the two talking as friends.
Lucas smiled, feeling an arm going around his waist, his violet eyes meeting Lance's green.
"Your love flows as always, Luke. Everyone's showing contented faces and filled stomachs."
Lucas smiled, kissing Lance's cheek.
"Justin seems back to his old self. I'm glad you were there
as a friend for him."
"Thanks to you. I'm glad I went over, Luke. Our friendship feels even stronger."
"Once you got past the need."
Lance looked surprised, Lucas kissing his cheek again.
"I felt Justin's feelings yesterday, Lance. I sensed
his loneliness might get the best of him, and his libido wouldn't be far behind.
I hope he wasn't too adamant."
"No, he wasn't Lucas. I stopped it immediately."
Lucas nodded, quietly staring at Lance.
"Our friendship was stronger, Lucas."
Lucas smiled, nodding.
"We talked and we were there for each other. It was enough to wipe the loneliness out of his soul."
"I envy him your friendship, Lance. Your love intertwines
Lance smiled, kissing Lucas' cheek.
"You need not feel envy, Luke. You're gaining that friendship
Lucas smiled, nodding.
"I know, Lance. And I'm welcoming it just as easily."
Both men smiled at each other, Josh walking up to the two men, his arm going around Lucas as Lance released him.
"Everyone's full, Lucas. You're going to have to clean up around the carcasses." Josh smiled, Lucas laughing.
"A full stomach slows down the most hyper individual. My Beamy will be so easy to catch!" Lucas said, his arms wrapping around his Josh, Lance laughing, Josh smiling as Lucas' lips met his.
"I'll leave you two to clean up after the hunt." Lance laughed, heading over towards Finn and Justin, both men looking lethargic on one of the couches.
Josh's lips broke from Lucas' their eyes meeting, their love showing.
Josh's eyes went towards the leaving Lance, seeing him sit down beside Justin and Finn.
"So what's went on last night, my love? Lance and Justin together?" Josh said, Lucas smiling at him.
"Before you play the images in your mind, nothing happened,
my pervy Beamy."
Josh blushed, Lucas laughing, kissing his cheek.
"Justin felt real lonely last night, Josh. Lance's friendship was there for him, end of story. That friendship we see today as ever more sound."
Josh smiled, nodding his head, staring towards his friends.
"Lance will be a good influence on Justin, Josh. He'll guide him forward onto the path of his new lifestyle. A friend helping a friend, both perhaps gaining something more from each other. I think Lance needs Justin as greatly as Justin needs him."
"Really, Luke? How so?"
Lucas' eyes went towards Lance, seeing the man looking towards him.
"Lance, in ways, is just as lost as Justin is. I think they'll both learn from each other."
Lucas smiled, looking towards their families.
"Time for the gifts, my giving angel. The mothers need to see our love."
Josh smiled, heading for the bedroom, Lucas smiling after him, his violet eyes looking towards Lance.
"Oh, Luke! It's beautiful!" Vivian said, pulling out the long cardigan sweater from the gift box, Lucas smiling at his mother.
"I know how cold you always are in the winter months, and
spring climate, Mom. You need to be warm."
Vivian smiled at her son, the woman standing up and pulling the sweater around her body, wrapping its belt around her.
"Toasty warm, and a beautiful color!" she said, the navy blue sweater accentuating her blue shining, tearful eyes.
"I know how cold it still is in the northern hills, Mom." Lucas said, Vivian staring at him.
Lucas smiled at her, smiling towards Trish.
Trish smiled, handing her mother a smaller gift box, Vivian smiling at her daughter.
"Happy Mother's Day, Mom." she said, the young woman sitting down on Andrew's lap.
"It's from Andrew and myself, Mom. We found them last weekend while we were shopping. It was Lucas' idea actually. I agreed with him that it was perfect for you."
Vivian smiled, sitting down again, looking towards her son, Henderson sitting at her side, smiling at his children.
Vivian opened the box, staring with awe at the box's contents.
Out of the box she pulled a beautiful pearl necklace and matching earrings.
"Oh, Patricia! They're beautiful." she softly said, Trish smiling at her.
"Luke remembered the pearls you used to wear to the faculty dinners back home, when we were kids. When you lost them you seemed so sad. He always said that some day we'd get you another set."
Vivian's eyes went to her son's beautiful face.
"Trish picked out the set, she sensing it was close to the
set you once had."
Vivian's eyes were full of tears, looking at the expensive set she held in her hands.
"They are, Patricia. But so much more expensive!"
Trish smiled, tears in her own eyes, Lucas smiling at her.
"Nothing's too good for you, Mom." Trish said, moving forward, her mother standing again, her arms around her daughter, Lucas smiling at both, Henderson smiling towards him.
"My angel's got her pearls back. I'll be the envy of all the professors." he smiled, Vivian laughing at him, her blue eyes on her two kids.
"These gifts are beautiful. Thank you, my beautiful
Lucas smiled, kissing his mother's cheek.
"Always your little man, Mom."
Vivian nodded, her blue eyes staring into his violet pools.
"They're beautiful, Vivian." Karen said, seated on another couch with her three children, the woman surrounded by opened boxes of gifts.
"Our kids spoil us, Karen."
"We spoiled them, they now spoil us!" Mavis said with a large smile, gifts in her lap as well as in Lorraine's, Finn and Skyler having them but not wrapped, their parents' arrivals surprising.
Lucas had told them earlier in the week that they should buy gifts to ship out to their parents next week.
They hadn't clued into his sneaky plans.
Finn's eyes went to Lucas' violet pools, the young man winking at him.
"Ever giving and devious. Thanks, Luke."
Lucas smiled, nodding at his friend.
"So there's lots of food, good music, some games in the games room, everyone please relax and enjoy the place. We're having another buffet at six, then tonight's the big unveiling of Orion's first video. I do hope you'll all stay." Lucas said, everyone clapping and voicing their agreement.
The young man was surrounded by the mothers, the four mothers showing off their gifts to each other.
Lucas looked around the living room, walking in with a tray of wine glasses, each filled with white wine, giving them out to the older adults relaxing in the living room, the younger ones in the games room, others at the dining room table a game of cards well in its lateness.
Lucas smiled towards Josh, he sitting at the table with Justin, the two playing cards with Roy and Henderson.
Lucas set the tray down, walking up to the window, staring out into the late afternoon sunshine, the day sunny and bright.
He stood in front of the windows, his mother rising from her seat beside Karen, the woman smiling at her, Vivian walking up to her son, wearing her cardigan and pearls.
Lucas smiled at her, Vivian kissing his cheek, her arm going around him.
"A wonderful Mother's Day, son. Thank you for still viewing
me as such."
Lucas smiled, kissing her cheek, everyone in the room taking in the touching sight.
"You're my Mom, Mom. Always and forever. You made me the
person I am, with your love and strength."
Vivian teared up, Lucas smiling at her.
"I love you, Lucas. Since the first day I held you in my
"I know, Mom. I gravitated to that love from my own mother's arms. She knew I'd love you as greatly as I would have loved her."
"She would be so proud of you, Lucas. I know in my heart her love would have been just as giving, if not more."
Lucas smiled, looking out into the sunshine.
"Ask your question, Mom."
Vivian looked around the room, her eyes going to her son's calm, loving face as it turned back to her, his violet eyes filled with tranquil love.
The other people came walking into the living room, their games finished, all of them laughing, Finn high-fiving Lance, the two having beaten Steve and Skyler at darts.
Josh's finger went to his lips, the group going silent, staring towards the large windows, Lucas and his mother standing there.
Josh's eyes were on both of them, Justin staring as well, all having heard their words.
"What question, son?" Vivian said, Lucas staring at her, the woman's eyes lowering.
"You know, don't you?"
"I don't know the depth of your voyages, I only know I feel their returning love."
Vivian's eyes raised, staring at her son.
"When I put this beautiful cardigan on you said you knew it was still cold in the northern hills. How did you know I've been going north?"
Everyone stared at Lucas, the young man ignoring all of them, his violet eyes on his mother's troubled blue pools.
"I know of the voyages you have made in search of them. I sense in my heart you found something that surprised you. Or someone?"
Vivian visibly trembled, Lucas' arms going around her.
"It's okay, Mom. I know you found him, or an image of him."
Henderson looked shocked, staring towards his wife, Trish looking at both of them as well.
"You. . .you found Lucas' father, Mom?" she said, Vivian's eyes moving to Lucas.
"I know, Mom. I felt him on the edge of the realm, or his trying to breach that edge."
"Yes, Mom. I know you went to northern Wales in search of him. To find him in the last place you saw him and my mother. On Holy Island."
Vivian trembled, visibly shaking, Lucas guiding her towards her husband, Henderson's arms going around her, the man guiding his wife to the couch, Karen and Roy rising up to give her room.
Josh walked up beside Lucas, his arm going around him.
"What's going on, Lucas?"
Vivian's eyes met Lucas', the young man sighing, going over to his mother, sitting down on the coffee table in front of her, his hands going into hers, the woman staring at the young man.
"He fought the edge of the realm, Mom. He went to the edge to tell you something. What did he tell you?"
Vivian stared at the young man, seeing the calm love in his beautiful violet eyes.
"I went to an old abandoned monastery on that island, long forgotten and your parents' last hiding place. It was there that the Shade had taken them across the realm as he indeed called it. The Realm of the Shades. The abyss into the void."
Lucas nodded, staring at his mother.
"The place was empty, I sat down for a while, then I felt a
coldness. I turned to see a cloaked man walking down the aisle, the visage of a
frocked monk, a silver cross hanging from his neck."
Lucas' had went to the stone hanging around his own neck, the young man wrapping his hand around it, closing it off to the world.
"The monk walked past me going to his knees before the altar, raising his hands. He said 'Penitence in pestilence, faith in endurance. I kneel to thee, my Lord.'"
Lucas nodded, thinking on those words.
"He turned standing before me, lowering his cloaked shawl. There standing before me was your father, Lucas. Unchanged from the day I last saw him." Vivian said, lowering her eyes, Lucas squeezing her hands in his.
"Go on, Mom."
"I asked him if your mother was still alright. He said that he and she were still within the void, that he was wrapped in her love and she wrapped in his. And that the outer shield of that protection was your love."
Lucas nodded, staring into her blue eyes.
"I asked him if they could come back."
"What was his answer, Mom?"
Vivian sighed, her blue pools meeting Lucas' violet.
"'I am here as a shade of what once was. Only he can return us with love. With his need and want. We are powerless without his understanding, without his acceptance. You must tell him that. Only then can we pass through the void's barrier. And then I must face my truth, and so must my father. We all had it wrong. So wrong. Only now am I sensing that truth.'"
Lucas thought on the words, looking again at his mother.
"Anything else, Mom?"
"He said, 'I heard his doubt at the waterfall. He has gotten it wrong. He doubts his realness, of that he is wrong. He is more real than all of us. The Trinity shall voice that truth.'"
Lucas looked surprised, staring at his mother.
"His final words before he vanished were, 'Find his soul, Lucas! And then give judgment on all of ours!'" Vivian said, lowering her head, Lucas rising up, walking past Josh and Justin, walking up to the windows again, staring out into the sunshine.
"I'm sorry, Lucas. I should have told you then. I shouldn't
have lied to you these last few weeks."
"You didn't lie to me, Mom. You just walked around with the truth in your soul until now. As that soul also contains the past and the beginnings of all of this. I know you love me and want to protect me. One day I'll have to ask you to reveal that other truth. Today's not that day."
Josh walked up to Lucas, watching the young man staring out into the sunshine.
"What's the meaning of your father's words, Lucas?"
"I don't know, Josh. I've never heard my father speak. And my mother didn't hear him at that monastery." Lucas said, turning around, staring at his mother, her face wearing a shocked look.
"That wasn't my father, Mom. I believe with all my heart it
"But. . .but Lucas! It was him! I saw his face, his beautiful unchanged face!"
"You saw what you were supposed to see. A Shade gave you the vision he felt within your heart. Just as he gave you words to force me onto his path."
"His path, Lucky?"
Lucas nodded, looking at his lover.
"Yes, Josh. I'm being guided onto a path of another's making.
And it's time that man realized that I walk where I want to walk, not to where
he wants to lead me."
Lucas walked over to his mother, staring down at her with compassion and love.
He knelt down in front of her, staring into her confused blue eyes.
"Who or what is Kurucu, Mother?"
Vivian gasped, the woman going white with fear, falling forward into her son's kneeling arms, Lucas catching her as she fainted.
End of Chapter 27
Some revealing drama at the end of the chapter.
Seems something has terrified Vivian into collapse.
Is it the mysterious Kurucu?
Or is it what it represents?
The mothers joined with love and their children, a day of happiness ending with mystery.
Seems Lance and Justin's friendship has locked itself in ironclad loyalty.
Is there more there than that?
It seems the quiet Lucas sees more between the two friends, and knew of their previous night's revelations.
The path continues, mystery, romance and intrigue flowing through all of it.
P.S. Seems the feedback is drying up, I hope I'm still keeping your interest.
I still have my loyal fans, I thank all of you for your devotion.