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Lucas' violet eyes opened slowly, the man feeling a soft wetness on his cheek.
His vision was met by two closed eyes, Lucas staring into Justin's handsome sleeping face.
The man was laying against him, his head settled in the crook of Lucas' neck, the two sleeping face to face.
Lucas smiled, feeling the man's warm breath on his face, the scent of milk on his breath.
Lucas moved a little, feeling the man's arms wrapped around him, Justin pulling him closer, his grip tightening.
Wrapped in the jaws of life, captured by your need.
Lucas smiled, gently stirring, trying to break free of the man's clingy arms.
He raised his head, looking over Justin's naked shoulder, seeing Lance laying beside him, Josh's naked chest against his own smoothness.
Four of love and wrapped beauty.
I'm in Justin's grip of love and my Beamy's holding onto Lance's love.
"Morning, Luke." a soft voice said, Lucas' violet pools meeting Lance's now opened emerald irises.
"Good morning, Lancy." he smiled, Lance's smile returned.
"He's trapped you, I'm sorry. He's always so clingy first thing in the morning. I think it's the waking reality of life entering his soul. He tries to hold onto the love. Sometimes his insecurities show in loving ways." Lance smiled, his fingers going to his lover's smooth shoulder.
"He loves love, Lancy. And you are so lucky to have his clinging need. We all are."
Lance smiled, nodding his head, his green eyes moving to his left, staring at Josh's beautiful sleeping face.
"You're not so bad off yourself. His warmth and closeness is totally filled with love."
Lucas smiled, their eyes meeting again, the two surrounded by the other's sleeping soulmate.
"I think we're all lucky. Soulmates of love and beauty."
Lance smiled, Lucas' eyes trailing over Lance's exposed chest, seeing the beauty of his smooth slim torso.
"You're beautiful, Lance. As is your Justin."
Lance smiled, nodding his head.
"I wanted that table fun as well, Lukey."
Lucas chuckled, Lance joining him, their eyes staring at each other.
"You're lighter, Lancy. It definitely would have held both of us."
Lance lightly laughed, Lucas smiling, Josh stirring against Lance, his arms wrapping around him more, pulling the man against him.
Lucas smiled, Lance smiling down at Josh.
"Don't tell Justin that, Lukey. He's so vain about his appearance."
Lucas chuckled, Lance smiling at him.
"We should talk over a coffee, Lancy. It's early and we should have some time to ourselves."
Lance nodded, his fingers rising and laying against Justin's cheek.
"I'll show you the secret to opening those vice grips. I'm sure it will work on Joshy as well. But you have to be quick!" Lance smiled, his other hand going to Josh's cheek beside him.
Lucas smiled, Lance flicking his fingers against Justin's cheek and Josh's.
"Open your arms, babe. I want to lay on top of you and give you my love." he said, whispering in Justin's ear, and then in Josh's.
Both men stirred, their bodies moving back, their arms opening slowly.
Lucas moved back, slipping out of Justin's arms, Justin moving again, meaning to pull him back on top of him, Lucas quickly sidestepping the closing arms.
Lance leapt out of Josh's arms, flipping over Justin, standing beside Lucas at the edge of the bed, both men laying in the bed wrapping their arms around each other.
Justin and Josh both murmured, neither waking, Justin pulling Josh against him, Josh's head going against his smooth chest.
Both standing men smiled, Lucas' hand going to Lance's smooth naked shoulder.
"Quick thinking, Lancy. And deviously sweet. Josh fell under your spell of love. And now he's trapped. I'll use that move. Thanks."
Lance smiled, feeling his friend's warm hand on his shoulder, his green eyes scanning over the young man's naked form standing beside him, Lucas wearing only a pair of boxer briefs, Lance's eyes taking in their tented center, his eyes raising, meeting two smiling pools of violet love.
"You show the same sign of morning love, Lancy. But
yours is bigger. It means more love."
Lance felt his own center's morning need in his briefs, the man softly blushing, Lucas kissing his cheek.
"I love you, Lance. As I love our other two clinging beauties. But Justin's closeness made that part of you come alive."
Lance smiled, nodding his head.
"Let's have that coffee, Lucas. I really need to talk to you."
Lucas smiled, Lance moving forward and kissing him tenderly on the lips.
"I know, Lance. And I've got an opening soul. I want to hear all about it."
Lance smiled, Lucas handing him his shirt that lay folded on the chair beside him, the two smiling at each other while they dressed, their eyes going often to their sleeping soulmates' wrapped love.
Lance filled the cup again that lay in front of Lucas, the two sitting at the table in the center of the kitchen.
Lance had been talking, Lucas quietly listening to the man opening his soul.
"Well, what do you think, Lucas? Please say something, Luke." Lance softly said, Lucas' violet pools staring at him.
"I think you have a soul of total love, Lancy."
Lance softly blushed, Lucas' hand going on top of his.
"He loves you, Lance. I see it in his eyes every moment he stares at you. And that he does often."
Lance smiled, looking towards the kitchen doorway.
"I love him as well, Lucas. He's my life."
Lucas smiled, their eyes meeting again.
"The pain is gone, Lance. I feel your healed soul. The past is gone, you're now on the right path. The path of Justin's love." Lucas said, Lance smiling at him.
"I have you to thank for that, Lucas. Your love made me voice my love for Justin. You brought the two of us together."
"No, Lance. Your own soul of giving love made you take that first step forward. At that first moment of your stating your love for him, the past washed itself away from you. And when he said it back you cleansed your soul of the pain. Your life is your own now, Lance. The past is the past. And the future begins with Justin's love."
Lance teared up, Lucas smiling at him.
Lance lowered his eyes, Lucas quietly staring at him.
"I've told him everything, Luke. All the past I walked. All the men who. . .who used me. All that I let them do to me in the name of need, in the name of want. I was so alone. I was so wanting true love. I looked for it in so many faces, in so many needs. It never was there." he said, his tears showing more, his eyes lowering again, the man lost in his past.
"It wasn't there because it wasn't love, Lance. You were drawn into a world of need and lust, not love and warmth. You're free of that past, Lance. Let it go and focus on what's real. On the feeling you now feel glowing in your soul. That soul now has Justin's love."
Lance's eyes raised, staring into his friend's violet centers.
"I love him so much, Lucas. He's my everything."
"We all see that, Lance. Justin most of all." Lucas said, patting his hand, the man smiling at him.
"He'll love it, Lance. For it will be wrapped in your love."
"Thank you for the suggestions, Lucas. I think he will as well." he said, Lucas staring at him with focused love.
"Okay, you're right, Luke. He'll totally love it."
Lucas smiled, patting his friend's hand again.
"And what about us, Lucas? What of our joining love?" Lance said, Lucas staring at him.
"What's going on between us, Luke? Justin and I both
feel your giving love. Are we four joining because of you?" he said, Lucas
sighing a soft sigh.
"I need love, Lance. I've sensed in my soul that love is the core of my life. Josh and Justin once gave their love to each other totally. I feel that love always in my Beamy's soul. And I feel your love echoing in Justin's soul, that joined love seeping into my Josh's soul and my own. I believe the four of us are destined to create a singular love, a singular beautiful love."
Lance stared at Lucas, the young man's face filled with calm love.
"Are you. . .is Josh. . .do you both want. . .?" Lance softly said, Lucas' hand squeezing his, folding over it.
"We love you and Justin, Lance. The two of you are
our dearest friends. And your love matches ours in its intensity and deep
beauty. And both of you are beyond beautiful, in my Josh's and my own eyes. I
see even greater beauty standing behind you."
Lance's eyes raised, his head turning, two visions of beauty standing in the kitchen doorway.
Josh was leaning against the door's frame, Justin's arms wrapped around his friend, the two dressed in t-shirts and shorts.
"Come in guys. We need to voice our love."
The two men smiled, walking into the kitchen, Justin's blue eyes meeting Lance's green, the man sitting down beside his lover's seated form, their lips meeting.
"Good morning, my beautiful. I awoke without you in my arms." he said, Lance smiling at him.
"How much of that did you hear?" he smiled softly, Josh smiling at him, the man sitting down in his Lucky's lap, their lips meeting in love.
"Enough, my Lance. Right from when you asked Luke about what was going on." Justin said, his blue eyes meeting Lucas' violet.
Josh's eyes were on him as well, the young man's violet pools meeting all three sets of questioning love.
"Sit beside me, my Beamy. We need to show our love." he said, Josh smiling and moving off his lap, sitting down beside him, his arm going around him.
Lucas smiled at his close love, his violet pools meeting Justin's blue and Lance's green, Lance's arm now around his Justin.
"We four love each other, guys. For various reasons and for past remembered love." Lucas said, the four staring at each other, Josh and Justin's eyes meeting.
"I love you as my soulmate, Lucky. As Justin loves Lance." Josh said, now staring at his fiancé, Lucas nodding.
"I know that in my soul, as does Lance." he said, Lance's green eyes meeting Justin's blue, their truth showing.
"That to each of us is the glue that binds our souls. Our soulmate's love cements that truth in each of our hearts. And with that cemented love comes trust, respect, beauty and desire. We are the candles that light our soulmate's love. Their flame is the breath of life we each only need. It warms our souls and our hearts."
All four smiled, Justin smiling the most.
"Great words, Luke. That has all the makings of a
Lucas smiled, seeing the sparkling happiness in Justin's blue eyes.
"As I said, we only need our soulmate to fulfill our
greatest need. But our hearts are large and filled with a greater need. Total
love. The love we find in all four of us. I love all three of you. My Beamy is
my love's center, my Justin and Lance are the greater love in all of this. For
their friendship, trust, beauty and respect I need every day of my life. I need
love, total love. I've found that in all three of you."
"We've all found that, Lucas. I accept the love I feel around me. I love you and Josh, Lucas. And Justin is the center of my life." Lance said, Justin smiling at him, their lips meeting again.
"I feel the same, Lucas. I have always loved Justin. And I've always had Lance's friendship as well. And now I feel his love even more. They both are in my heart, and will be welcomed there always. I love all three of you. And you are the center of my life, Lucky. I love you totally."
Lucas smiled, Josh kissing him with love and need, their friends smiling at both of them.
The two parted from their love, Lucas' violet pools meeting Justin's blue.
"And you, Justin?"
Justin's blue eyes met Josh's blue, then Lucas' violet, then finally focused on his Lance's green.
They all stared at him, the man's beauty taken in with giving love.
"I've gained the most of all four of us."
Lance's eyes met his, the man seeing the tears showing in those blue pools.
Justin's blue eyes met Josh's blue, the two friends staring into each other's soul.
"I loved you for so long, Josh. From first love until a few months ago. I thought you were my destiny. And in a sense you were. But you were only a part of it." he said, Josh staring at his friend with soft surprise.
Lance stared into Justin's blue pools, seeing the deep love shining there.
"You were a part of that destiny as well, Lucas. For
I've been in love with you since I gazed into your violet pools on that doorstep
of your home in England. I felt your love enter my soul that day, and I've longed
for it ever since. And I now feel it in my soul. I thought that both of your
loves would enter my soul. And they have. But something greater has. It's a love
I never knew existed. It's your love, Lance. Your love takes my breath away."
Lance was in tears, Lucas smiling at the two.
"I love you, Lance. I've never loved anyone like I love you. Not even Josh, or Lucas. You are the center of my life."
Lance moved, their lips joining, Josh and Lucas smiling at each other.
The two lovers broke their tenderness, their eyes meeting their friends', both seeing their open true love.
"So what happens with all four of us now, Luke?" Justin
said, Lucas smiling at him.
"Speak from your heart, my Jus." he said, Justin smiling at him, the man taking in the younger man's beautiful gaze.
"I love Lance, Luke and Joshy. But I love you two as well. I love Lance's beauty, but my heart feels a soft desire for both of you as well. Josh's remembered beauty and Lucas' beauty of soft desire I've always longed for. I want to be truthful to both of you. and to you as well, my Lance. Soft lust is in my soul. You're all so beautiful, you all excite me, in your love, your touches and your kisses. I love all of you." he said, lowering his eyes, Josh and Lucas' eyes meeting, then meeting Lance's.
"I love you, Justin. And I trust you."
Justin teared up, looking into Lance's green pools,
the man having spoken.
"I love you, Lance. And I want that trust. It's just so hard!" he said, tears showing, Lance pulling him against him, his green eyes staring at Lucas and Josh.
"I know, Jus. I feel that same need. Our friends are beyond beautiful. I could easily give in to their needs as well. I am here if all three of you want that. I love all three of you." he said, tears showing in his eyes.
Lucas' hands went forward, the young man taking one of each of their hands, the three connected with love.
Josh's arm was around his soulmate, his blue eyes staring at his two loving friends.
"You both are so beautiful. So giving of your love.
As giving as my Beamy's. The four of us have a lot of trust in our souls. Trust
in our commitment to our soulmate's love. I trust both of you, and I trust my
Josh most of all. Justin and my Josh have both shared a triad of love. Justin
has all of your and Josh's love, Lance. He's experienced all of both of you. My
Josh has experienced mine and Justin's. You and I have only experienced our own
soulmate's love, Lance. For it's the truest love we've ever experienced. Our
pasts can't hold a candle to what we now have."
Lance teared up, nodding, his arm tightening around Justin.
"But in a sense, all four of have experienced all of our love. Through Josh I feel Justin's love, in his touches and his desires. For Justin gave Josh the tenderness of his youthful love, and I feel that energy when Josh and I make love. And Josh has given Justin his tenderness of love. And you must sense that love behind Justin's loving touches, Lance."
"I do, Luke. When Justin makes love to me I feel the
experience he gained from Josh's tender guidance." Lance said, his eyes
"As I feel from my Beamy. I feel Justin's youthful energy burned into my Josh's soul."
Josh and Justin both smiled, Lucas smiling at Lance.
"I guess you and I are the only two who haven't
experienced each other's desires, Lance."
Lance stared at Lucas.
"Let's clean this table off and get at it then." he said, Lucas bursting into laughter.
Lance joined him, Justin and Josh smiling at each other, then joining in, the four laughing together.
Lucas smiled, calming down, three sets of eyes meeting his.
"What just happened, Lucky?" Josh said, Lucas kissing his cheek.
"Love, Josh. Love and friendship."
The other three smiled, Lucas looking at all three.
"The four of us love each other. And maybe from that
love and trust something greater will grow. But I don't think desire will be at
The four stared at their soulmate, their love and trust showing in their eyes.
"I'm not saying there won't be moments of revealing love. I trust and love all three of you. I will offer my love in all ways and forms. But the deepness of my Beamy's desires and the beauty of his giving love are all I need. You and Justin are beyond beautiful, Lance. And your beauty I will feast upon in its vision and its touches. I'd like to think of it as love's fringe benefit. My beauty, I hope, will give you all great happiness as well. But the greatest happiness each of us will find will be in the center of our lives."
All four smiled, Justin smiling at Lucas.
"And here I thought I was starting a harem."
Everyone laughed, Lucas blowing him a kiss.
"I ain't wearing lace panties."
Everyone burst into laughter again, Lucas smiling widely.
His violet eyes met Lance's green pools, their morning's discussion locked in their eyes.
"Onward to love, onward to happiness. Risqué or damn right sexy." Lance said, the other three smiling at him.
"Mavis will be down soon to start breakfast, it's after seven." Lucas said, the other three smiling.
"Let's beat her to it, Luke." Justin said, standing up.
"I've had your scrambled eggs, Jus. You better make the toast." Lucas smiled, standing as well.
Lance and Josh both laughed, Justin's arms going around Lucas.
"For that smart ass remark you are going on this table." he said, the man suddenly pushing Lucas backwards, the man landing on top of the table, Josh and Lance pulling cups away from the man.
Justin's fingers went to Lucas' armpits, the young man screaming with laughter.
Justin was laughing, torturing Lucas with his strong fingers, Lance and Josh smiling at each other.
"Not as lustful as we imagined, but fun nonetheless." Lance smiled, Josh laughing.
Josh's arms went around Justin's waist, pulling him back from his lover, Lucas gasping for air, smiling up at both.
"My hero and my attacker. One deserves a kiss, one deserves revenge." he smiled, both men smiling.
"Okay, Lukey!" Justin said, moving fast, his lips meeting Lucas', Josh laughing.
Lance smiled, Josh's arm going around him, Lance kissing his cheek as they watched Justin kissing Lucas.
"Life is good, Joshy. Life is damn good." he said, Josh smiling as Justin and Lucas broke their kiss.
"Yes it is, Lancy." Lucas smiled, Justin smiling at his young friend.
"On that note, let's make it good for everyone. I make a mean omelette." Lance smiled, Lucas smiling as Justin helped him off the table, their eyes meeting.
"Hence Justin's widening hips." the young man laughed, Justin blushing.
The four laughed together, heading for the counter and the appliances.
Finn walked into the kitchen, the aroma filling his nostrils, his fiancée's arm around him.
The two were followed by others, four men looking towards them.
"Something smells damn near heaven!" Finn said, Lucas smiling at him, the young singer kissing his cheek, Skyler kissing it as well.
"Mavis, you are a treasure!" Finn said, smiling at the older woman who sat at the kitchen table.
"That's not my cooking you smell, Mr. Delaney. These four young chefs beat me to it. They've made me sit and watch." the older cook said, smiling at the four at the counter and stove, platters of food on the go and warming around them.
Lucas smiled back at the woman, the young man at the stove flipping pancakes in a large frying pan.
"You needed a morning of rest, dear lady. Our way of thanking you for yesterday's feast. Let us tempt your palette." he said, the woman smiling more.
Horace walked into the room, smiling at his wife, surprised at seeing her sitting down.
"Thirty years I've cooked here and he hasn't shown me such kindness. He's lucky he's a looker!" she said, everyone laughing, Horace blushing, Grayson smiling behind him, the lawyer just walking into the room.
"How easily you forget your birthdays, my angel." Horace said, leaning down and kissing her on the forehead, everyone smiling at the older couple.
"Never forgotten, my sweet. My cheeks aren't rosy because it's warm in here." she said, Grayson chuckling, Lucas smiling at him.
"We have breakfast in hand, everyone. Relax in the dining room, the table's set." he smiled, everyone nodding, Finn grabbing a slice of bacon off the platter Justin just picked up off the counter, the man slapping his hand.
"Wearing a shirt, Finny? Where's the fun in that, stud?" Justin grinned, staring at Finn's unusual morning attire change.
"New place, Timberlake. Don't want to shock the new eyes with my revealing beauty." he grinned, wrapping his arm around his Skyler, the two walking towards the dining room, Lucas smiling after him.
"Great! Our plates will be hair free this morning." he said, not looking back, Lance laughing, Josh joining him.
Everyone began to laugh, Finn's blue eyes looking at his best friend.
"I don't shed, Carver!" he smirked, his cheeks blushing a bit.
"No, not you, dear." Skyler said, holding in her laughter, guiding her man out of the room, the laughter following them.
Vivian and Henderson walked into the kitchen, Lucas' eyes meeting his mother's, the woman kissing his cheek.
"Good morning, Lucas."
"Good morning, Mom. Feeling better?" he said, the two looking at each other, her arm going around him.
"As well as I can be, Lucas. Life--and your love--surrounds me." she said, Lucas nodding.
"And it will only get better." he said, Vivian quietly looking at him.
Lucas smiled at his mother, she taking in his warming love.
"Good morning, Grandfather." Lucas said, Vivian's eyes turning towards the kitchen doorway, Emerson standing in its center.
"Good morning, Lucas. Good morning everyone." he said, everyone but Vivian smiling at him.
"You look well, Grandfather. A good night's sleep?" Lucas said, walking up to the man, gently hugging him, Emerson smiling at the young man's giving welcome.
"One of the best nights in eons, Lucas. Your words and love last night calmed my soul." the man said, his green eyes staring into Lucas' violet.
"My love calms everyone, Grandfather." Lucas said, smiling towards his mother, Henderson's arm around her, the man smiling at his son.
Lucas' eyes met Vivian's, the woman softly smiling at him.
"You do indeed look healthier, Emerson. My son's love might even register in your soul." she said, Lucas smiling at her, knowing how hard it was for her to be civil to his grandfather after last night's confrontation.
"I am feeling revived, Vivian. This old house revives as well. Your nephew's love radiates through even its old moldy bones."
Lucas lightly laughed, smiling at his grandfather.
"Breakfast is at the ready, Grandfather. Let me walk you into the morning's sunshine in the dining room."
Emerson smiled, Lucas' arm going around him, the young man smiling at Josh, Lance and Justin.
"Bring in the platters, guys. We have a brood to feed."
The three men smiled, picking up platters, Henderson giving them a hand, Vivian quietly walking behind Lucas and Emerson, her eyes on the older man.
Emerson sighed, removing his napkin from his lips.
"Delicious, my young friends. I am filled with happiness." the man said, Lance, Justin and Josh smiling at him, those around them smiling as well.
"It was spiced with love, Grandfather. That always makes a meal richer." Lucas said, sipping at a glass of orange juice, smiling at his soulmates.
"That it was indeed, Lucas. And Mavis will want your recipes, Lance." Emerson said, Mavis smiling at the singer.
"I tasted oregano in your omelettes, Lance. And another soft spice." she smiled at him, Lance smiling back.
"A dash of cayenne, Mavis. Gives it a zing."
The woman smiled, nodding her head.
"You're welcome to tomorrow as well. I could get used to retirement." she said, everyone chuckling, Horace shaking his head.
"The thought's been planted, Emerson. You may have to look for a new cook." he smiled, Mavis slapping her husband's shoulder, she seated beside him, earlier surprised at Lucas' insistence that she join the group.
"We are all friends and family, dear lady." Lucas had said, the woman smiling as Horace had bowed to the young man, leading his wife to her chair.
"Now you stop that, Horace. Cooking for Emerson is my passion, and my happiness. I'll stay as long as he needs me." she said, Emerson smiling at her.
"Then your cuisine and your smile will grace my table forever." he smiled again, the woman smiling at him.
"What's on the agenda for today, Luke?" Finn said, leaning back in his chair, Skyler rubbing his stomach.
"After we resuscitate you, perhaps a tour. I'd love
to explore all of this home, Grandfather."
The older man smiled, Finn smiling as well.
"A few laps in the pool will energize me." the Welshman said, Harry laughing.
"Wait an hour, Finny. You're dead weight." he said, Lucas laughing, Finn joining him.
"It would be my honour to show you the place, Lucas.
A lot of it is closed off, seldom used. Belmont Hall is the main living area."
"I am sure there are a lot of beautiful rooms showing quiet love." Lucas smiled, Emerson smiling at him.
"Let us start with the cavadeum in the west wing." Emerson smiled, Vivian looking at him.
"A beautiful room, Emerson. Ancient Roman accents and carved visions of heritage." she said, Emerson smiling at her softly.
"My grandson should see his lineage." he said, Vivian nodding at him, Lucas' violet eyes looking between the two.
"We'll clean up your kitchen, Mavis. And then we'll go for a walk, Grandfather." he smiled, Mavis smiling at him.
"You young ones run along. My kitchen is mine. Let me restore its shine. And I'll ready lunch for when you return." she smiled, Lucas smiling at her.
"Very well, my dear lady. I'd love to see the circle of my past, Grandfather." Lucas said, Emerson and Grayson exchanging looks.
"I didn't say anything of a circle, Lucas." Emerson said, Lucas smiling at him.
"My family is old of legend, ancient of heart. And the circle comes full." Lucas smiled, wiping his lips on his napkin, taking Josh's hand in his.
Emerson nodded, Grayson looking at Lucas.
"Does the book tell you everything, Lucas?" he said, Lucas smiling towards him.
"No, Grayson. I've only learned of Alsarius and his son. The rest dwells in my magic." he said, smiling at his grandfather.
Emerson stared at him, Lucas standing up at the table, Josh rising as well.
"We'll change and meet in the foyer, Grandfather.
And then we'll roam through my home." he said, smiling and walking out of the
room, Josh walking beside him.
Emerson's eyes met Vivian's, the woman rising as well.
"Your nephew intrigues my soul, Vivian. I've felt so
much coming from him."
"You've felt his love and truth, Emerson. Be prepared for his courage as well." she said, walking out of the room, Henderson following her.
Emerson smiled at everyone, the table emptying of everyone, all heading for their rooms.
Emerson's green eyes met Grayson's blue, the lawyer
staring at him, Horace meeting his eyes as well.
"The boy's remarkable, Emerson! It's as if he's aware of all that surrounds him." the doctor said, Mavis nodding.
"I think he's more aware than any of us imagine." Grayson said, Emerson rising from the table.
"He has his father's calmness, Gray. And I feel his love." the man said, quietly walking out of the room, Grayson's eyes following him.
Fifteen minutes later everyone met in the front foyer, Lucas and Josh the last to join them, the two wearing polo shirts and shorts, the early July day warm and sunny.
Emerson smiled up at the two as they descended the staircase, the man talking with Trish and Andrew, Lucas smiling at his grandfather.
"Lead the way, Grandfather. Let the past enrich our souls." he smiled, taking his grandfather's arm in his, Vivian quietly looking at him.
Emerson smiled, guiding the group down the right side of the staircase, towards the west wing.
The group smiled and chatted as they walked, following their host, Emerson showing them paintings along a long hallway, one side of the hall a mass of large open windows, a large garden showing before them, the other wall lined with the portraits.
Lucas took them all in, Emerson talking to all of them, explaining their history.
The hallway ended at the entrance to a large open area, the room drenched in beauty and open warmth.
Everyone's eyes looked upwards, the roof gone from the room's ceiling, the sun beaming down on them.
The room was of marble accents, a Roman pantheon of marble columns, statues and flowing water.
A large fountain stood in the middle of the immense room, stone benches surrounding it, and a circle of marble statues standing around the fountain.
Emerson smiled, walking to the fountain, everyone following, taking in the room's Roman accents and historic beauty, staring around at all the statues.
Each statue was of a man, his form full sized, his physique erect and noble.
There were ten in the circle, each standing about five feet off the ground on marble bases, their forms of real images, each man about six feet tall.
Lucas stared around at them, then at the fountain in the center of them, a large pool of blue water surrounding the central image of the fountain.
An angel stood in its center, the woman's arms reaching upwards, her wings spread behind her, a vase in her hand, water cascading out of it, pouring downwards into the pool.
"It's so beautiful. A circle of masculine worth and an angel at its core." Trish said, Andrew smiling at her, his arms around her.
Everyone stared around, Emerson smiling at all of them.
"The Cavadeum Centro D'Amore." Emerson smiled, Lucas' violet eyes staring at him.
"The Cavadeum of Love's Center." he said, Emerson nodding his head.
"Yes, Lucas. My dear wife named it herself." Emerson said, Grayson smiling at him.
"What exactly is a cavadeum?" Finn said, his arms around Skyler.
"A cavadeum was the central welcoming room of an ancient Roman home, Finny. This wing was perhaps the first grand part of this mansion?" Lucas said, looking at his grandfather.
"Yes, Lucas. This was the original building, built by Emmanuel Belmont himself. Belmont Hall was added later by your ancestor Joshua." he said, Lucas nodding at his grandfather.
"Named after Joshua Belmont. A fitting honour,
"He chose the name, Lucas. For all of his ancestors." Emerson said, Lucas smiling at him, the young man walking around, taking in the statues surrounding them.
"The circle of family, the circle of heart." he said, his violet eyes staring up at the ten faces.
Finn's eyes were staring at his friend, his blue pools taking in the marble statues surrounding them.
"Who are these ten, Lucas?" he said, Emerson looking at the young man.
"Ancestors of our lineage, Finn." the older man said, Lucas smiling at him.
"Ten of outstanding worth and courage. I feel their
souls echoing throughout this room, Grandfather."
Emerson smiled, nodding his head.
"As I have felt for many years, my grandson. That is why I feel this is the heart of this home." the man said, smiling.
Lucas smiled at him, the young man walking up to the statue that stood in front of the angel staring out of the fountain.
Josh stared at Lucas, seeing the young man staring up at the statue.
He walked up to him, Lucas' hand going in his.
"Alsarius Belgras. The faith and soul of our lineage." he said, Josh's and everyone else's eyes staring up at his handsome face, the statue attired in a cloaked uniform.
"Really, Lucas? These ten are from that far back?" Justin said, Lance's arm around him.
"Yes, Justin. The forefathers of the circle of life." Lucas said, looking at the next statue on Alsarius' left.
Lucas spoke, pointing at each of the statues in turn, turning around the circle, everyone listening with fascination, Emerson's eyes and ears the widest.
"His son Togarus Belgras, next. Then Ramius Belmonius, who lived in the Roman times. Then Thameus Belmonius, a soldier of strength and courage within the Holy Crusades. Then Levarius Belmonius, a poet and warrior prince under another crusade of faith. The last of the name variation. Then Archer Belmont, a nobleman through the Renaissance of the European era. Then Emmanuel, creator of all this beauty. And then Joshua, walker of my dreams. And you, my grandfather, present bastion of the namesake. And lastly, my father Tristan." Lucas said, the young man standing before the last statue on Alsarius' right side.
Everyone had stared at each statue, Lucas' words sinking into their souls, their eyes staring up at Lucas' father's image on the last marble base.
"You are your father's son, Lucas." Henderson said, Vivian nodding.
"The circle surrounds me, Dad. I feel each one's love and courage. And I feel all their worth." Lucas said, his violet eyes focusing on his grandfather, the older man walking up to his side, Josh standing on Lucas' other side.
Emerson's eyes looked up at his son's marble face, a soft tear showing on his cheek.
"A circle of life and faith, Lucas. And your father was the newest of the courage. And his soul the most giving."
Lucas smiled, looking around at everyone.
"A fitting tribute to all those of my courageous lineage, Grandfather." he said, Finn looking at his friend.
"What of the others, Lucas? The other ancestors of your past? Surely they were just as courageous?" he said, Lucas smiling at his friend.
"My family stood of courageous stock, Finn. These were the most heroic. And I sense all of their courage. Of truth, heart and soul." the young man said, his eyes meeting his grandfather's, Emerson staring at his with quiet calmness.
"You walk with history in your heart, Lucas. I sense
you feel all of their heroics."
"Yes, Grandfather. I feel all of it. Tonight after dinner we will discuss the path they have walked, and your own."
"Lucas, I have walked. . .not all paths are true." the man said, Lucas smiling at him.
"Some are covered in shadows, Grandfather. And others just need the light shone on them."
Lucas' eyes went up to his father's statue, the young man sighing.
"Let's continue, Grandfather. I'd like to see all of
this old house."
Emerson nodded, Grayson staring at his old friend.
"This way, Lucas. I'll show you the upper rooms."
Grayson said, Lucas smiling at him, Josh and he following the older man, the
others scanning the statues, walking behind them.
Emerson was the last to leave the open room, staring around at the encircled statues just before he left.
Your truth shines in the sun, mine lays in shadows.
I think you know the answer to my doubts, Lucas.
And I pray my hopes are answered.
The man sighed, walking towards the others now ascending the staircase on the far side of the cavadeum.
Lucas smiled around at everyone, the young man standing on the large pool's far diving board.
His friends and family were in the pool or relaxing around it.
It was after lunch, the group relaxing in the warmth of the early July's warm rays.
Emerson and Grayson had walked them through the west wing, and all around the central hall, showing them all the history and antiques of Lucas' family estate.
Mavis had created a large delicious lunch, the group dining together again.
Grayson had explained to them all that the east wing wasn't worthy of adventure, most of it closed off due to its deterioration, that section the oldest of the mansion, and in need of lengthy repairs.
Emerson and he didn't want anyone risking injury walking that part of the mansion.
Most were bedrooms and offices on the upper floors, the only used section being the large ballroom on the bottom floor.
"The Room of Shining Dreams, Emerson?" Vivian had said, Emerson smiling at her.
"Yes, Vivacious. I have restored it to its once grandeur. I am throwing a reception there on Independence Day. I have invited all of the neighbouring acquaintances. As lord of the Hall I throw a yearly ball to celebrate our country's independence. The room hasn't been used since last year, and then only half of it. It will be good to have it all restored and shining with happiness." the man smiled, Grayson smiling at everyone as well.
"Emerson's heart is giving and honourable." he said, Vivian quietly looking at both of them.
"I remember the last ball I attended there, Emerson. Even then the place was sparkling with beauty. You can't have restored to that grandeur? That was so long ago." she said, her eyes lowering when his met hers.
"Yes, I have had it fully restored. Swept, painted, and aired out. I wanted my grandson to feel the history of that magical room."
"I'm sure it will open up all of our dreams, Grandfather." Lucas smiled, the older man smiling at him.
"That is my dream, my grandson."
"Dreams sometimes don't come true, Emerson. You most of all know that." Vivian said, Lucas quietly looking at her.
"Mom, the past will right itself. I'm going to see to that." Lucas said, Emerson's eyes meeting his.
"Pasts can't be changed, Lucas. It's the present we must focus on. And perhaps the future." Emerson said, his green eyes glancing towards Vivian.
"Pasts aren't forgotten, Emerson. No matter how much you try to deny their truths." she said, Emerson's eyes lowering.
"Or their falsehoods." Lucas said, his mother looking towards him.
She remained silent, quietly eating her lunch, Lucas' eyes looking around at everyone.
"Ready for the pool, Finny?" he said, Finn smiling towards him.
"Definitely, Lukey!" he said, Lucas smiling at him.
"We'll hit it right after lunch. I want to feel the warmth of its waters." Lucas smiled, his grandfather smiling at him, everyone continuing to eat, the atmosphere quiet and thoughtful.
Here now it was after lunch, Josh's blue eyes going to his man's rugged physique, Lucas diving off the diving board, his muscled body disappearing under the blue water, Justin smiling beside Josh.
"Your man's stunning, Joshy. His beauty is so enthralling." he said, Josh smiling at him, two arms going around Justin's waist.
"Yours is more stirring, my love." Lance said, his lips kissing Justin's wet neck, the man smiling as his man surrounded him.
Lucas crested the water a few feet in front of the three, all three smiling as he swam up to them.
"This water's so warm and invigorating." he said, swimming into his man's arms, Josh's wet body melding into his under the water, Lucas smiling into his blue pools.
"As is your beauty, my love. Justin's popping wood." Josh said, Lucas laughing, smiling at his friends.
"I think that's Lance's problem. He's probably the cause of it. Look where his hands are."
Josh laughed, Lance smiling, his hands on Justin's abs, one rubbing them under the water.
Justin beamed, Lance kissing his neck again.
"I love my man wet." Lance smiled, Lucas winking at him.
His violet eyes looked around the pool, all their friends relaxing in the afternoon sun.
"Is something going on, babe? You seemed very calm through the tour, and very informative. You seem to know more of your past, Lucky." Josh said, Lucas smiling at him, his violet eyes filled with love and calmness.
"As I said earlier, the magic within me is shedding more into my soul. I'm beginning to see the hidden shadows surrounding us." he said, Josh's arms going around him.
"Is there danger, Lucas?" he said, Lucas feeling his giving, protective love, seeing the same look in Justin and Lance's eyes.
"Life always holds danger, my love. Once the past
shows itself I'll have to take more into my hands."
"What do you mean, Luke?" Lance said, Lucas staring at him.
"There are things going on here that even my grandfather can't see, Lance. I'm beginning to understand that. And to make them show themselves I'm going to have to visit their past. And then perhaps I can heal some troubled souls." Lucas said, his eyes going towards the house.
"You know what's going on here, don't you? What the problem is between Emerson and your Mom?" Justin said, Lucas looking at him.
"Yes, Jus. I sense the past in this place. And the reason for their animosity towards each other. That falsehood I'll make shown. And then they'll go forward with a greater understanding of what's going on here. And then I'll have to walk my own path." Lucas said, smiling at his three soulmates.
"But that's for later. Right now I want to swim with the three of my heart. And Finny looks like he needs some fun." Lucas said, smiling towards his friend, Finn diving off the diving board not far from them.
All three smiled, Josh's blue eyes locking with his
soulmate's, Lucas violet pools filled with love.
"I'm fine, my love. And everyone's going to be amazed." he said, the young man pulling out of Josh's arms, swimming over towards Finn, the man smiling at his coming friend.
Josh stared at Lucas' moving form, Justin's arm going around him.
"We'll keep him safe, Joshy. And I feel in Lucas' soul that he's fully prepared for whatever's going to happen."
"I know, Jus. I feel his preparedness as well. But I still worry about him."
Justin smiled, kissing Josh's cheek, his friend's blue eyes meeting his and Lance's.
"We all worry about him, Josh. We both love him." Lance said, Josh smiling at his friends.
Emerson stood at his library's window, staring across the west lawn, looking towards the large marble pool, seeing Lucas and his friends swimming and having fun.
His green eyes looked towards his grandson, the man sighing softly.
What lays within your soul, my grandson?
What truths do you possess?
Do you know the secret that that cavadeum shows?
Or are you just plying my calmness for revealing truths?
I sense the latter, my young friend.
I believe Grayson in his reasoning.
I think you know more than you show.
And that worries me.
How can I tell you the truth?
The truth of my and your father's destiny?
It could destroy your soul.
If it indeed truly exists.
The man sighed again, turning away from the window and walking up to the fireplace, staring up at his wife's portrait.
"I wish you were here to guide me, Francesca. You always saw the truth in life. I've lived too long in shadows." he said to himself, his voice rather loud in the quiet room.
His hand went to the bison head at the fireplace's end, the man rubbing its horns.
Perhaps you'll need to walk the staircase down into the truth, Lucas.
But I don't know how prepared your soul is for that.
And I don't know how prepared I am for seeing that look of disgust in your eyes.
The same look my son's green pools shone that day.
Forgive me both of you.
Forgive me for making your lives forfeit.
The man teared up, staring up at his wife's image.
"For both of them I'll sacrifice all for the truth, and for the path to their salvation." he said, his hand pressing on the buffalo's head, the bookcase beside the fireplace swinging outward.
The man sighed, walking into the hidden passage, closing the bookcase behind him.
In the far corner of the library two green eyes stared at the closing passage, both eyes filled with tears.
End of Chapter 66
And so the mystery deepens.
What lays hidden in the cavadeum that Lucas senses?
Is it dangerous?
Who was hidden in Emerson's library, watching the man disappear behind the fireplace?
Our foursome of love has united under love, not sex.
I think that's better for now.
A joining of souls, rather that an orgy of love.
Perhaps some desires will unfold, but our two pair of soulmates' inner love will remain rock solid.
On to the next chapter.
I'm hoping to surprise some.