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Emerson and Tristan rose from their seats, staring at Dr. Hampton as he walked into the room, everyone else rising as well.
"He's resting, everyone. I've medicated him." Horace said, looking at his old friends, Justin and Lance walking into the room behind the doctor.
"Is he alright, Horace?" Grayson said, Horace staring at his old friend, then looking around at all the concerned faces.
"He's had a hard time, everyone. The facial bruising wasn't the only bruising. His chest and legs were covered in them. To myself it looked like he'd been squeezed through a vice. Five ribs were broken as well, and a lot of his muscles were strained, swelling showing on his back and shoulders. The boy's been injured greatly." the man said, everyone's faces showing deeper concern, Lucas' mother and aunt showing tearful faces.
"Is my son going to be alright, Horace?" Tristan said, Jacques and Lewis standing beside him.
"He'll mend, Tristan. But he came close to being seriously injured. Any more pressure on his body and even more bones would have broken, and other internal injuries could have been sustained. The bruising will lessen, thankfully. But he'll be in some muscle pain for a few weeks."
"I can aid him, Horace." Savannah said, her mother nodding as well.
"Lucas has even more healing abilities than you, Savannah." Vivian said, Savannah looking at her sister, Vivian's arm going around her.
"He is the essence of both our families, my sister." Vivian said, her blue eyes looking around at everyone.
"You only have to remember the days after the shootings in Wales and New York. Lucas' magic is powerful." she said, Lewis' eyes meeting hers.
"You only have to look at myself to find the answer to that." he said, Vivian smiling at her old friend, Tristan and Savannah looking at him as well, the minister softly smiling at both of them.
"You son's magic reenergized my injured soul, my friends." Lewis said, Jacques looking at him.
"It was more than that, Reverend. It was miraculous!" Finn said, Justin and Lance looking at Lucas' friend.
"Miraculous?" Savannah said, looking at her mother, Grayson nodding his head.
"Lewis was attacked by the assassin that followed you. His eyes were destroyed, his body broken." Grayson said, Jacques and Tristan looking at their old friend with concerned surprise, Lewis smiling at both.
"You have missed much, dear friends." he said, Jacques staring at him with concerned love.
"Life and God surround you, mon ami." Jacques said, Lewis' hand going to his shoulder.
"Lucas' love and magic surrounds all of us." the minister said, smiling at everyone.
"And I don't want that costing him his life."
All eyes turned to the door, Josh standing in its frame.
Justin walked up to his friend, Josh looking around at everyone.
"He's sleeping, finally." the man said, walking towards Lucas' family, Emerson staring at him with compassion and concern.
"That he needs the most, Josh. He will reenergize himself." the man said, his green eyes meeting Josh's blue.
"What he needs most is safety, Emerson. I feel in my soul he won't find that here." Josh said, Tristan's green eyes meeting his blue as well, Josh staring at him.
"Who was that man we saw, Emerson?" Josh said, focusing on the older man, Emerson staring at his son and then his wife, then returning to Josh's focused blue.
"I do not know, Josh. I have never laid eyes upon him before. Nor the small child we saw before that." Emerson said, Josh looking at Lucas' parents.
"We know neither of them as well." Tristan said, Josh's blue pools staring at both.
"Before my Lucas painfully fell asleep he said that all was now safe. That the Shades were safe as well. 'The water is falling again' he said before exhaustion took him." Josh said, Justin's arm going around his friend, Josh's eyes staring into Tristan's green pools.
"Why have you come back?" Josh said, Tristan staring at him.
"We do not know, Joshua. But I sense my son's love surrounds the answer." Savannah said, Josh's blue pools meeting her violet, violet pools that matched his love's beauty.
"I love him, Savannah. I will not let any of you hurt him." Josh said, tears now showing in his blue pools.
The woman moved, stopping in front of him, her hand going to his cheek.
"I feel your love Joshua. And I feel that Lucas owns it. And we would never hurt him."
"He's. . .he's in pain. . .how do I stop that?" Josh sobbed, the woman pulling Josh into her arms, holding him against her, her violet pools meeting Justin's blue pools behind him, his hand rubbing Josh's back.
"Your love does that." she said, Josh breaking from her embrace, his wet pools meeting her violet ones.
"I'm sorry, I'm just. . .he's in pain."
She softly smiled at him, rubbing his shoulder.
"I know, Josh. I saw his pain and I see your love. That can aid him most."
Josh softly smiled, nodding.
Tristan walked up to the two, Josh's eyes meeting his green again.
"This is all new to us, Josh. Your love for our son. We see it before us, but it concerns our souls. I know you don't know me or my wife, but you must believe that we want what's only best for Lucas. Even if he doesn't know us, we are still his parents. We gave him life, but I truly believe that he, in some way, is the center of all this." Tristan said, Josh staring at him.
"The center of what? What's going on here, sir? Where have you been and where have you come from? And what has happened to my Lucas?" Josh said, staring at Lucas' father.
Tristan's eyes went to his wife's violet pools, Savannah releasing Josh from her embrace, her hand going into her husband's.
"We were lost, Joshua. Lost in time and reality." she said, looking at her husband, Tristan sighing, looking around at everyone.
"I do not remember much of that time, only the heaviness of sleep, a sense of being lost." Tristan said, his wife's violet pools meeting his with love.
"But we sensed each other beside us. Our love we felt always in our souls. There were moments of clarity, when we saw each other before us. One is never lost when one is touched with love." Savannah said, Tristan smiling at her, his green eyes meeting his father's, then Josh's.
"We also felt a greater love surrounding us. A love we both reasoned out in our souls was our Lucas'. Lucas' love surrounded us. We truly believe that."
"His love, Tristan? But you were unknown to him. He was only a small infant when you vanished." Lewis said, Vivian looking at her sister and brother-in-law.
"I don't think that's entirely true, Lewd." Tristan said, his green eyes meeting his old friend's blue pools.
"What do you mean, Tricky?" Lewis said, Savannah smiling at her old friend.
"Old names of youthful love. It has been too long, Lewd." she said, Tristan smiling at her.
"I think we should all sit down everyone. We need to catch up on both sides of our confused minds." Tristan said, Josh looking at him, the older man smiling at him with calmness.
Horace's blue eyes looked towards Josh, the doctor speaking.
"Lucas will sleep for a few hours if not more, Josh. You need to relax for a bit yourself." Horace said, seeing the look of concern on his face.
Josh nodded, moving towards a couch, Justin and
Lance both following him.
Everyone sat down in their seats, all eyes on Tristan and Savannah, the handsome man looking towards Lucas' parents.
"I think we'd like to know what's happened around
here first, since we left, Father." Tristan said, Emerson nodding his head.
"Yes, Tristan. You need to know everything." Emerson said, his son and daughter-in-law sitting down on a couch beside each other, Emerson looking towards Grayson.
"Begin with the corporation, Grayson. Then I shall
take up the path of my grandson's love." Emerson said, Grayson nodding at his
Grayson's voice filled the quiet room, everyone's eyes on Josh and Lucas' parents, all three quietly staring at each other.
Tristan's green eyes stared up at his own portrait, the man standing at the fireplace, his father standing beside him.
The younger man and his wife had heard all of the story of their family's life, Emerson's family business and Francesca's ordeal from that night long ago.
And then everyone surrounding them had voiced stories of their son's life, of the difficult path he'd walked through his abusive relationship, his uniting with Josh and the most recent ordeals he'd traversed.
"So. . .so much courage." Tristan softly said, staring down into the embers of the dying fire before him.
He felt a hand go to his shoulder, his head moving, staring into the violet pools of his wife's beautiful face.
"He is love, Tristan. A personification of all life." she said, Tristan staring at her with deep love.
"He has had a life he should never have been given, Savannah. A life. . .I should never have given him." he said, his eyes showing a soft glistening compassion.
Savannah's arms wrapped around her husband, everyone quietly staring at the two, their eyes locked on each other.
"He's had a life of love, and yes pain as well. But the greater of the two was love, my Tristan. We left him wrapped in the love of my sister, that family love moulding him into the man he now is. A man who now has a greater happiness." she said, her eyes going to her sister, Vivian's blue pools filled with love, her husband's smiling face beside her.
Savannah's eyes then went to Josh's blue pools, a deeper love showing there.
"I don't think Lucas holds any regret for his life, or what he now has. I believe our son's soul is filled with a greater love, a love that surrounds him." Savannah said, Josh smiling at her, Justin and Lance smiling as well.
"My soul is over-filled, Mother."
Everyone's eyes moved, Josh on his feet immediately, the man crossing the room, walking up to the room's open doorway.
Standing in the doorframe was Lucas, the young man's hand raised, leaning against the wooden doorframe, as if he was steadying himself against it.
"You should be in bed, my love. You're not well." Josh said, the man at his side, his arm gently going around him, Lucas seeing the worry and concern on his handsome face.
"The love drew me, my love." Lucas said, his violet eyes looking towards the fireplace, his parents standing in front of it, both sets of eyes drawn to his youthful face, a face showing a soft look of hidden pain.
The bruising was surprisingly gone, his face as beautiful as ever, but his eyes betrayed more.
"You're still in pain, Lucas. I can see it in your eyes. You need rest." Vivian said, the woman walking up to her nephew, Lucas softly smiling at her.
"I'm healing, Mom." he said, his eyes looking
towards Savannah, the woman staring at him with quietness.
Vivian's arm gently went around Lucas as well, she and Josh supporting him, Lucas smiling towards his real mother.
"I've been deeply blessed. I've had an array of giving, loving mothers. Mom, Momma Mavis, Aunt Lori and now my own returned mother." Lucas said, his violet eyes meeting two identical violet eyes.
Finn, Trish and Skyler were all tearfully smiling at Lucas, his showing love for their mothers identical.
Savannah moved from the fireplace, slowly walking across the room, stopping in front of her son, her eyes not breaking from Lucas' violet pools.
"My love. . .my love is unknown to you, Lucas." she softly said, Lucas' eyes lowering for a moment, Josh and Vivian both watching him.
"Love isn't unknown when it's been in your soul always." Lucas said, his eyes meeting his mother's again, Savannah's violet pools shimmering with tears.
Lucas' eyes moved, meeting two pools of greenness, Tristan's eyes staring at his son, the man having walked up to his wife's side.
"Hello, Father." Lucas said, Tristan's green eyes lowering for a moment, then meeting his son's intense violet pools again, the older man seeing deep love and hidden pain showing there.
"Hello, Lucas. I. . .I am surprised that you would call me that name. We are. . .we are unknown to each other as your mother. . .as Savannah stated." Tristan said, Lucas' violet eyes staring at him.
"You are not unknown to me, sir. I have felt you both in my soul for a long time. And I sense you've been in my dreams as well." Lucas said, Josh feeling a soft tremble in his man's body against him, Vivian feeling it too.
"You need to go back upstairs, Lucky. I feel your tiredness and hurting body." Josh said, Lucas softly smiling at him, their eyes meeting with love.
"I need to go back to many things, my love. But I also need to go forward with life. And I need to sleep with a cleared mind." Lucas said, everyone staring at the young man, Lucas sighing softly.
"Lead me to a couch, my love. I need to hear and see what needs to be seen and heard. And I need to open my own heart." Lucas said, his eyes meeting his mother's.
"Alright, Lucas. I see a familiar tenacity in those violet eyes." Tristan said, Lucas nodding his head, Savannah's violet pools meeting her husband's.
"I voice Josh's concern, Trist. This can wait until Lucas is well." Savannah said, her eyes meeting Josh's blue pools of concerned love.
"I will be fine. I will not tax myself. I am at a point of calmed well-being." Lucas said, Josh staring at him.
He saw the calmness in Lucas' violet pools, the pain hidden there as well, sensing it was controlled by Lucas' magic.
"Alright, Lucky. I see the familiar love and
calmness in your eyes. But any sign of any more pain and I'm nixing all of
Lucas smiled his Josh smile, Josh softly smiling back with protective love, Lucas' parents staring at the two of showing love.
Josh and Vivian gently led the young man towards the nearest couch, Andrew and Trish rising from it, Lucas' violet pools meeting his sister's concerned blue pools of love.
"I love you, brother." she said, Lucas smiling as she kissed his cheek.
"I love you, Trashy."
Trish smiled, Andrew's arm going around her, the two walking over to another couch, sitting down beside Finn and Skyler, Finn's parents sitting in chairs on both sides of their couch.
Lucas sat down on the couch, Josh at his side, Lucas smiling at only him, Vivian sitting down on his other side.
Everyone was staring at the three and Lucas' parents, they returning to the fireplace, standing before it again.
Lucas' violet pools met both sets of eyes, his face showing a soft look of quiet reflection.
"I'm. . .I'm sorry that I walked out of this room last night, Father. Your appearance brought the truth into my soul." Lucas said, his eyes lowering for a moment, Josh's arm going around him again, Vivian looking at her nephew beside her.
"The truth, Lucas?" Emerson said, Lucas' eyes raising again, meeting his grandfather's green pools of love.
"Yes, Grandfather. The truth of what I possess. Of what I've become and what I had to do." Lucas said, everyone's eyes on him with showing confusion.
"You've only become yourself, Lucas. A man of giving love and courageous life." Lewis said, Lucas smiling towards him.
"We all get second chances at living our lives on a better path, Reverend."
"What do you mean, Lucky?" Josh said, their eyes meeting again, Lucas' eyes moving towards Justin and Lance, both staring at him with giving, protective love.
"I'm talking about destiny. . .about destiny and life, Joshua." Lucas said, Josh staring at him.
Lucas sighed again, leaning back into the couch, his eyes moving around the room, meeting Jacques' quiet staring brown eyes, then Tristan's green and Savannah's violet.
"They need to know what happened to you after that night long ago, Father. And then perhaps you all need to know my truth." Lucas said, all eyes upon him.
Lucas' violet pools were staring into two green pools of staring concern, Lucas' face showing a softening continence, he and his father locked in a look of knowing truth.
"Lucas. . .I. . .I had taken the only path open to me." Tristan said, the young man staring at him.
"I know, Father. As had I." Lucas said, Josh staring between the two.
"As had you, Lucas? You weren't even alive then." Josh said, Lucas' violet pools meeting his blue.
"I am alive now, my love. And I am where I am supposed to be."
Tristan and Savannah traded looks, the man's arms going around his wife.
"Very well, Lucas. The past must be known, the truth must unfold. Forgive. . .forgive me all of you for walking a path of uncertainty. I walked forward for love. I just never realized how much love was ahead of me." Tristan said, his eyes meeting his father's green pools.
"You were both loved by all of us, my son." Emerson said, Tristan smiling at his father.
"I know, Father. But it wasn't enough. Not when evil was opening its plans before all of us. I had to leave for only one reason." Tristan said, Emerson's green pools staring at him with loving concern.
"For what, Tristan?" he said, his son's eyes going towards Lucas' staring violet, then returning to Emerson's green.
"For you, Father. To save your life."
"My life?" Emerson said in shocked surprise, Tristan sighing, his wife's embrace tightening around him.
"Yes, Father. For I saw the truth unfolding. And I did what I had to do."
Everyone stared in quiet silence, Tristan's voice filling the room, their minds flowing backwards in time, to a night of showing truth.
Kurucu's Haven, twenty-two years earlier
Tristan stood at the fireplace, his eyes staring up at the new portrait hanging above it.
"The truth of your beauty and your lineage, Tristan." Jacques said, standing behind his friend, staring up at the newly hung portrait of a young Tristan on his horse in the gardens.
Tristan's eyes lowered, staring into the burning fire below it.
"A truth not of my making." Tristan said, his friend's hand going to his shoulder, Tristan feeling his showing love.
"What will you do, Tristan? I did what I must have to save him." the man standing behind him said, Tristan's eyes turning, meeting his staring brown.
Jacques stared into those eyes, seeing the anger and protective love shining there.
"Thank you. . .thank you, my friend. For exposing the plot and for acting upon it." Tristan said, Jacques staring at him.
"Haven has shown his true colors. He is dangerous, Tristan. You cannot allow him another moment in this house. Your father is in danger, and there's something else residing here. You know the truth of that."
"Yes, Jacques. I know that truth." Tristan said, his friend staring at him.
"I love you, Tristan. And I love Savannah. I would give my life for both of you. Regardless of our past or of our future. I will not stand by and let that monster destroy your family." Jacques said, Tristan smiling at him.
"You love is in my soul, Jacques. Our past is ironclad in its truth and its love." Tristan said, Jacques nodding at him.
"What will you do about Haven, Tristan?"
"You've removed the immediate danger, Jacques. But you haven't removed the hidden." Tristan said, Jacques nodding.
"Yes, mon cheri. Haven's plot has been tainted, the poison disposed of. But what can we do to expose him and his deeds to your father?" Jacques said, Tristan sighing, moving to a couch in front of the fireplace, sitting down on it, Jacques staring at him.
The Frenchman moved, sitting down beside his friend, their eyes meeting.
"It will destroy his soul, Jacques. My father has given that man everything. And all he's done is returned nothing but evil. It will tear at my father's soul."
"And what of your own soul, Tristan? You loved the man as a brother."
The other man's head lowered, Jacques arm going around him.
"Your father must know of his deceit, and the danger he was in."
"I know, Frenchie. I know what I must do about Haven. But I know the greater evil that lives here. And that is something I have no power to control." Tristan said, the Frenchman nodding.
"That is true, Tristan. But you have your wisdom, your intellect and your courageous heart. That is what I have always loved about you."
Their eyes met, their love showing for each other.
"Was there nothing else, Jacques?"
The Frenchman softly blushed, the two smiling at each other.
"I see the love in your eyes for Savannah, Tristan. I could not hold anything against that. You both have my love and my protective soul."
The other man smiled, looking towards the fireplace.
"Haven is lost, Frenchie. He's lost to the evil that
resides here. I must protect my father from both of them."
The Frenchman nodded, looking up at the portrait of his friend.
"Yes, mon cheri. You must protect him. What do you devise to do?" the man said, staring at his friend again.
"We must allow Haven to believe that his plan has worked. I don't know how he'll set it into motion, but I shall drink of that draught, not my father." Tristan said, the other man nodding.
"You wish him to believe that he's murdering not your father, but you?"
"Yes, Jacques. I want him to believe that I am leaving one way or the other. Then perhaps his anger at my father shall abate. I would risk my life to see my father safe."
"And what of the other evil? Will it be so easily fooled? You know your importance to its plans." Jacques said, their eyes meeting again.
"I should never have told you the truth, Jacques, my old friend of youth and love." Tristan said, Jacques smiling at him.
"None of it has changed my love for you, Trist. I love you in all existences."
Tristan smiled, looking around the room.
"I believe Haven will try tonight after the ball. My father will walk into it unknowing of his son's deceit. And I will do what I must do to draw out the other."
"It is a dangerous path you walk my friend. Yes, the plot has been subdued, and your father is safe from the poison, as you will be too. But if that ruse comes to light your fate will be forfeit. Neither will stand for your interference. And Haven means to end your existence." Jacques said, the man's green eyes meeting his brown.
"Therein lies the truth, Jacques. If the deceit is shown as deception, both will believe I have died from the poison and my father will continue on the path of his heritage. If they sense the truth of what we've done then my life will be in danger for true again. That is why I shall flee after the ruse. My hidden denial of their plans will keep my father alive. They will not destroy him if they cannot control me."
Jacques nodded, seeing the plan formulated in his young friend's mind.
"Ever shrewd and intelligent, Tristan. You in either situation will be in danger. And yes, your father shall be safe. But I worry for you and for dear Savannah. I know she will leave with you. It may be only a moment's reprieve, mon ami. If the ruse is discovered those monsters shall follow you both on a path of need and possession. I do not put it past Haven to seek you out with murder in his heart. You have rebuked his advances courageously."
Tristan nodded, staring at his friend.
"I give my love and my body to those I love, Jacques." he said, the Frenchman smiling at him.
"I know, Tristan. I have felt that love."
Tristan rose from his seat, walking up to the fireplace again.
"I love my father, Jacques. He gave me life and he gave me love. I am a creation of his giving love, of the past of his soul and the truth of my destiny." he said, Jacques nodding, staring at his young friend.
"And what of your own soul, Tristan? Will you find peace in what you must do?" Jacques said, his friend turning and looking at him.
"My soul is given over to no peace, Jacques. There is but only one last resort I can choose if the ruse is revealed. My life and my wife's may be forfeited. If that truth closes in there may be only one way to keep destiny alive."
Jacques rose from his seat, walking up to his friend.
"You do not know what that truth could unleash, mon ami! It could be unbelievable!" the Frenchman said, Tristan nodding.
"I know, Jacques. I know all too well the truth of that. And of its uncertainty."
"No one has ever tried that path, Tristan. It could well mean anything or everything!" Jacques said, his friend's green eyes staring into his brown.
"Life is a risk, Frenchie. My father and I never believed that truthfully. I believe that truth is entering my soul. And perhaps there is one way for us all to be free. We must have faith in the unknown. My forefathers failed to grasp onto that." Tristan said, his friend nodding his head.
"Your mind is the greatest I have ever known, mon ami. And your heart is the largest."
Tristan nodded, staring at his friend.
"Find Savannah, Frenchie. I need to tell her what's happened."
Jacques nodding, his hand going to his friend's shoulder.
"Her love would follow you forever." he said, Tristan nodding, his friend smiling at him, removing his hand from his shoulder, the Frenchman walking out of the Receiving Room, closing the door behind him.
Tristan's green eyes went back towards the fire, staring at the burning logs below him.
In a far corner of the room a shadowed figure disappeared, Tristan's eyes unknown to its presence.
But his heart and soul prayed for its watchful gaze.
Kurucu's Haven, present day
Tristan's green eyes met his father's, Emerson staring at him with deep shock.
"You. . .you both stopped Haven from poisoning me?" Emerson said, Tristan's green eyes staring at his father with love.
"Yes, Father. We thought we'd formulated the ruse. I'm certain Haven was clueless to the deception. I'm just not certain the evil was. For it devised its own plan that night. I knew it wasn't you that walked into this room that evening. I knew when I saw the bottle in your hand. You knew nothing of the brandy's murderous contents. And you never drank that much." Tristan said, Lucas' violet eyes quietly staring at both.
Francesca walked up to her husband and stepson, staring into Tristan's green eyes.
"You led the danger away from your own father, taking on the deception of their evil." she said, Tristan's eyes lowering.
"I love my father, Mother. I would risk anything and everything for him." Tristan said, his eyes raising again, meeting Emerson's green tearing pools.
"My. . .my Tristan. It. . .it wasn't me that night. . .I would never have attacked you like that." Emerson said, looking around at everyone.
"I knew that, Father. As I now realize my mother did." Tristan said, Francesca staring at him.
"I learned of the evil from your father, Tristan. It was his plan that night for me to wear the stone. For he felt the coming deception as well."
Tristan's eyes went to his father, the man's green eyes locked with his.
"Time was ending for me, Tristan. The evil had decided on the ending of my part of the Trinity. It told me that itself."
Tristan looked shocked, staring at his father.
"But. . .but you had over twenty years left, Father! No one stops the path early." Tristan said, Emerson's eyes lowering.
"No one but. . ." Emerson softly said, another voice entering the conversation.
"But he who created it."
Emerson and Tristan's eyes turned, staring into two violet pools, Lucas staring at both of them, everyone now staring at Lucas.
"He who created it, Lucky?" Josh said, looking at him.
"Yes, Josh. The evil that created that cycle of fate and life." Lucas said, Tristan and Emerson exchanging glances.
"You seem well learned in the family history, Lucas." Tristan said, staring at his son, then at his father.
"My grandson is well learned in all aspects of life and history, Tristan. He has the book and can read it."
Tristan's face went white, Savannah's arm going around her husband.
"That. . .that is impossible!" Tristan said, Lucas staring at him.
"No, it is not, Father. For I am the one it has waited for."
Tristan stared at his son, Lucas rising from his
seat, Josh on his feet right behind him, looking at his lover with protective
"I am alright, my love. I just need to finish what I started." Lucas said, Emerson staring at his grandson.
"What you started, Lucas?" he said, his young grandson nodding.
"Yes, Grandfather. I need to show the truth of the past, the reality of the present and the destiny of the future. For I am the center of all of it. Or perhaps what I possess is."
Everyone looked confused, Josh's arm going around his man.
"You're confusing everyone, my love. I think you need rest." he said, Lucas softly smiling at him.
"There is no rest for truth, Joshua. As there is no rest for fate or love." Lucas said, Josh staring at him again.
"I feel a slight chill, my love. Pull me a chair up in front of the fireplace. I need to voice some truths." Lucas said, Lewis moving from his seat, moving his own chair in front of the fireplace.
"Sit in warmth, dear friend." he said, Lucas smiling at him.
"Thank you, Reverend." he said, walking towards the chair, his parents and grandfather following his movements, the young man sitting down in the offered chair, Josh standing beside it, his blue eyes on his Lucas.
"Sit, my love. I am safe in the warmth of all your love. And I'm just going to talk."
Josh nodded, the quieted room suddenly filled with a soft laugh, its soft feminine texture resonating off the old walls.
Lucas smiled, looking at his father and mother.
"The little imp still watches. And she's slipped out of the watery love. Such resilience." Lucas said, his smile widening, everyone staring at him, Finn's eyes widening.
"The little girl!" he said, staring at his friend with surprise, Lucas nodding his head.
Josh stared at Lucas, Justin pulling up a chair for his friend, Josh sitting down beside Lucas, Justin returning to Lance's love beside them.
"Yes, Finn. A little girl. How did you know that?" he said, Emerson staring at his grandson.
"She walked into the dining room just before we found you, Lucas. She guided us out into the foyer where we found you with the other gentleman." Emerson said, Lucas staring at him with soft surprise.
"Yes, my love. He was carrying you down the staircase. No one knows of him." Josh said, Lucas staring at his parents.
"Did he. . .did he have blue eyes?"
"Yes, Lucas." Savannah said, the young man's eyes lowering, sitting in silence in his chair.
"Are you alright, Lucas?" Josh said, his hand going on top of Lucas' resting on the chair's armrest.
"He. . .he pulled me from their grip, Joshua." Lucas said, his head raising, his violet eyes showing glistening love.
"From whose grip, Lucas?" Tristan said, Lucas' eyes meeting his father's.
"From evil's grip, Father. For I was attacked by the beast, and surrounded by the evil. They were trying to enter. . ."
"To enter what, Luke?" Justin said, Lucas' eyes meeting his blue.
"That isn't important at the moment." he softly said, his violet eyes meeting his father's green.
"Sit down Father and Mother. You as well, Grandfather. I need to reveal the truth of what happened that night long ago. Or should I say the beginnings of my path."
"Your path, Lucas? You were not in existence then, young man. You were but a shadow of God's coming love." Lewis said, Lucas smiling at him.
"A warranted phrase, good Reverend." he said, Lewis looking at him with confusion.
"I have taken your chair with many thanks, Reverend. Please join your friends Jacques and Grayson on the other couch."
Lewis nodded, his eyes meeting Jacques', the Frenchman sitting down beside Grayson, the man patting the other empty spot beside him.
Reverend Saunders looked at Lucas, the young man smiling at him, the minister still seeing the hidden pain in the young man's violet pools.
"You carry the weight of truth within your violet pools of giving love, son. I think you're about to amaze us all."
The young man smiled, the minister joining his friends.
Everyone's eyes were on Lucas, the young man's violet pools going around the room, his hand raising and going to the necklace hanging around his neck.
Tristan's green eyes widened with surprise when he saw the stone hanging there, Lucas' hand wrapping around it.
The effect was instantaneous, soft laughter rose again in the room.
"They are drawn to the magic and the love. And I
have wrapped them all in both."
"Who, Lucas? Who was that small child and that handsome man?" Savannah said, Lucas' violet eyes meeting hers.
"She was a small child who passed into the light not long ago, Mother. A child of giving love and resourceful innocence. Perhaps that is why she was chosen."
"Chosen? For what, Lucas?" Grayson said, the young man's eyes meeting the lawyer's blue.
"That I haven't entirely reasoned out, Gray. All I know is that she hasn't gone on onto the path to God's love. She remains a Shade."
"She. . .she follows you?" Savannah said, staring at her son, Lucas smiling at her.
"Yes, Mother. She follows my love. As do others. As do all." Lucas said, everyone staring at him.
"Your magic draws the lost and dead?" Finn said, Lucas staring at his friend.
"The lost, yes. The dead, no. Well, they are dead, but they are not ghosts. For all purposes let's say they are shells of their true selves. An image of their beauty, their giving hearts and their courageous love. They live within the void between life and death, between earth and heaven." Lucas said, Lewis nodding his head at him.
"A self-imposed purgatory?" the minister said, Lucas smiling at him.
"Not self-imposed, Reverend. I'd say it was more a subconscious materialization of their unfinished truths."
"Unfinished truths, Lucas?" Sean said, Lucas looking towards Finn's father.
"Yes, Uncle Sean. They remain in the void to right the wrongs they feel they've left unfinished. Like a soul remaining because it has unfinished business with its past."
Everyone nodded, beginning to understand.
"Lost souls left to finish their hearts' losses." Reverend Saunders said, Lucas nodding.
"Yes, in a way."
"But what would a child of such innocence have left unfinished? She looked only ten at the most." Trish said, Lucas looking at his sister.
"She remains for a different reason, Trish. I think she is my guide."
Everyone looked surprised, staring at the young man, Josh's hand rubbing his.
"Your guide, Lucky? I thought Joshua Belmont was your guide?" Josh said, Tristan staring at his son with surprise, Lucas' violet pools meeting his green.
"I have seen your grandfather in the dreams of the pool, Father." Lucas said, Tristan's eyes meeting Emerson's green calm pools.
"It is true, Tristan. My father's love shines for Lucas. He has transcended the Trinity. He walks outside it, I believe." Emerson said, Tristan staring at his son with surprise.
"Great-Grandfather Joshua doesn't walk outside the Trinity, Grandfather. He is trapped within it as you all are. He only walks on its edges seeking that which he has lost, that which perhaps you've all lost." Lucas said, Emerson and Tristan both staring at him now.
"What has he lost, Lucas?" Momma Mavis said, Sean looking at his wife.
"He told me it was his soul. But I believe it is something more. That is why they haven't found it yet. And I believe it is my destiny to find it." Lucas said, everyone staring at him.
Tristan stared at his son, Lucas sighing again.
"I am the one who walks outside the Trinity, Father." he said, Tristan staring at him.
"And you know the truth of that, Father. Just as I myself know."
Tristan stood up, staring at his son.
"You. . .you cannot have reasoned that out, Lucas!" he said, Lucas staring at him.
"I have reasoned much out, Father. As I believe the magic has as well. The magic I was born with." Lucas said, Savannah staring at her son.
"What. . .what have we done?" she softly said, her voice soft.
"You have done what was destined of you, both of you. For I am the combination of fate, life, destiny and perhaps atonement."
Josh stared at Lucas, seeing a single tear falling down his cheek.
"What do you mean, Lucas?"
Lucas' eyes turned, staring into Josh's blue.
Josh saw a deeper hidden pain there, this one hidden from everyone except perhaps their joined love.
"What's wrong, my love?" Josh said, his arm now moving around him, Lucas leaning into his body seated beside him.
"Life is wrong, Josh. My life is wrong. Or perhaps it's exactly what it's supposed to be." Lucas said, burying his face into Josh's chest, Josh's blue eyes going to Lucas' parents and grandparents, all four staring at him with faces of deep concern and compassion.
"This is enough, my love. You're physically, emotionally exhausted." Josh said, Lucas' head raising, the young man wiping his eyes.
"Truth waits for no one, Josh. Least of all myself." Lucas said, his eyes meeting four sets of staring love.
"I need to voice this, so let me say it." he said, the four nodding, everyone around them silent with staring wonder.
"That night so long ago was perhaps the start of it. The start of the evil's plans and the start of my existence." Lucas said, his violet eyes staring at his father.
"It was not my grandfather whom the evil was intent on destroying that night, Father." Lucas said, Tristan staring at him with surprise.
"Yes, it was, Lucas." he said, Lucas staring at him.
"No, Father. It was you."
Tristan stood up again, staring at his seated son, Emerson rising from his seat as well.
"That's impossible, Lucas! The monster told me the truth itself that night before he took over my soul!" Emerson said, Lucas staring at his grandfather.
"No, Grandfather. If that were true then he would have destroyed you that night when you lay unconscious before it. Instead it only used your image to confront the greater prize it was after. Your death, Father." Lucas said, Tristan staring at him in disbelief.
"That can't be, Lucas! It was my father who was in danger!" He said, Lucas rising from his seat, Josh on his feet, immediately at his side.
"No, Father. It was you it sought to destroy. As it did when it used Haven to poison the Napoleon Brandy. When it saw you drink the supposed laced-with-death liquid and you didn't die before it, it attacked you with murder in its heart." Lucas said, his violet eyes staring at his grandmother.
"But my grandfather's love for his family created the next
moment of truth. He gave this stone to his wife, to wear in that room, hidden
from the monster's sight. And she in her love for her family as well, walked into the path of the monster to save the son she loved as her own."
Tristan's eyes turned, staring at Francesca, the woman nodding her head.
"Emerson gave me the stone, to wear as a last resort, Tristan. As a weapon against the monster's touch. I just don't quite understand what happened after that." she said, her eyes going to the stone hanging around Lucas' neck, then meeting his violet pools.
"I do, Grandmother." Lucas said, his family staring at him with surprise.
"You. . .you know where my Franny went, Lucas? You know what happened that night against the monster?"
Lucas nodded his head, Josh staring at him with concern.
"Yes, Grandfather. It was not magic or destiny. It was but only one thing. One thing I've always carried. One thing I now wear." Lucas said, his hand going around the stone again, his eyes softly glowing violet.
"Magic surrounds you, Lucas! It is greater than. . .!" Savannah said, Lucas staring at his mother.
"Greater than your own?" Lucas said, Savannah staring at him with confusion.
"Greater than the Carlisle family's?" Lucas said, Savannah nodding her head slowly.
Josh stared at Savannah, his eyes going to Vivian and then to Harry.
"The Carlisle's. . .you mother's family has magic?" Josh said, Lucas slowly nodding his head.
"Yes, Josh. I am steeped in life and magic--and yes, love--on both sides of my existence."
Lewis walked up to Lucas, staring at him.
"How. . .how can that be, Lucas? To have such traits on both sides of yourself would make you a. . .a conduit for all of it!" Lewis said, his eyes widening in surprise at his own words.
"Exactly, good Reverend. I am a conduit to all the magic. To a greater magic than history or destiny ever imagined." Lucas said, Josh staring at him, his arm going around him.
"This ends, Lucas! Now! You're trembling!" Josh said, Lucas' violet pools meeting his blue.
"How can I end what should never have started, Josh? How can I end what must be done? How can I stand against destiny?" he said, the young man staggering a bit, Josh's arms both going around him.
Justin and Lance both rose from their seats, at Josh's sides in moments, their love surrounding Lucas.
Lucas' violet eyes met two violet pools of wet emotion, and two green pools of even wetter truth.
"Lucas. . .I. . .I never wanted. . ." Tristan said, his own body trembling, Lucas moving forward, the young man stopping in front of his father, staring into his green eyes.
"You are my father, Father. And you are love personified. As I now am. You could have told me the truth. I. . .I would have believed you."
Tristan's eyes lowered, Lucas' hand going to his shoulder, staring into his father's green eyes as he raised his head again.
"I went against logic, Lucas! I went against magic and destiny. . .against truth and fate."
"Something greater came of it, Father." Lucas said, his body trembling more, now visible to everyone, everyone now rising from their seats.
"What. . .what, Lucas?! What could be greater than my arrogance?!" Tristan sobbed, Lucas smiling at him.
"Love, Father. His love. It shines all around me." Lucas said, the young man turning, looking into Josh's blue pools.
"I am real, Joshua. I am the only real Belmont." Lucas said, turning again and staring at his father and his grandfather.
Lucas staggered forward, collapsing into Tristan's arms, the man holding his son in his strong arms, Lucas' violet pools meeting his.
"No greater Shades love as those trapped in a greater destiny, image of the Shade of his love." Lucas said, his eyes turning, staring into his grandfather's green pools of tearful love.
"I have the gift to free your soul, Alsarius. This ends with my real soul."
Lucas collapsed against his father, Tristan's eyes staring into Josh's tearful blue.
"He is life, he is real. And we are not." Tristan Belmont said, his arms going around his unconscious son, Emerson's eyes lowering beside him.
And everyone else stood in stunned silence.
End of Chapter 79
Okay, what the hell does that mean?!
Who's real and who's not?
Are Lucas' parents and grandparents real?
Lucas' mother has magic as well?
Does his aunt Vivian and Harry as well?
Who is the greater monster that holds such evil against the Belmonts?
What has enslaved this family, real or imaginary?
And is Lucas really the only real Belmont?
Wow, lots of questions.
How shall I unravel this mess?
Let me think on it.