The following story is fictional and is intended for an adult audience with an open mind.
It is not meant to suggest anything about the sexuality of the celebrities included in this story.
This story is fiction, meaning not real.
It's all for fun and enjoyment.
If you are under age, or it is illegal in your country, or you don't like stories about gay sex, please stop reading this immediately.
Finn stared at Lucas in shock, the young man turning and looking at his friends.
"You've got to be freaking kidding me! He's Gideon's father?!" the Welshman said, staring at the other man standing at the railing behind Lucas.
Lucas' eyes met Gideon's, the man staring at him.
"How. . .how did you know he was here?" he softly said, Josh staring at Lucas, the young man sighing a soft sigh, walking up to the other man.
"I've felt Joshua in the shadows, Gideon. From the first moment I walked into this town."
Everyone's eyes widened with surprise, Josh looking at Lucas.
"How can this be, Lucas? How can Joshua Belmont, your great-grandfather--who died a hundred years ago--be Gideon's father?" Josh said looking at his lover with surprise.
Lucas sighed, looking at Gideon again.
The man's eyes raised again, staring at Lucas.
"What was your father's name, Gideon?" Lucas said, the man in front of him sighing.
"Joshua Carlisle, Lucas. That was his name as our mother told Maya and me."
Lucas nodded, looking around at everyone, seeing awed confusion on all their faces.
"Please sit down, everyone. I'll try to allay your confusion." Lucas said, the young man walking over to the inn's front door again, looking into the quiet inn.
"I just wanted to make sure Albert was sleeping. He is." Lucas said, everyone staring at him.
"Colton doesn't need to hear this truth just yet either." Lucas said, the young man looking around at everyone.
Everyone slowly sat down again in their seats, Gideon sighing and returning to his chair beside the sofa where Josh and Lucas had been sitting.
Josh stared at Lucas for a moment, the man moving to the sofa, sitting down again, Lucas joining him, the young man seated near Gideon's chair.
Their eyes met again, Lucas' hand going to his knee again.
"Why did you leave Westonshire so many years ago, Gideon? I know it wasn't for your career. That was only a means of escape."
The man's blue pools stared into Lucas' violet, the man seeing so much calming love there.
"I ran away from the evil, Lucas. The evil that had threatened to destroy me." he said, Lucas nodding.
"And your father gave you a warning of that present evil?"
The man nodded, Lucas softly smiling at him.
"When did your father leave you, Gideon?"
Everyone stared at the two men, sensing a story about to unfold.
"I never knew my father, Lucas. He left my mother when I was born. Two days after my own birth, when Maya was only three, he deserted all of us. My mother raised her and me alone. I never saw him until. . ."
"Until his appearance days before you yourself left your family after your sister's death."
Gideon sobbed, the man's head lowering, falling into his hands between his knees, Lucas' hand going to his shoulder.
"I abandoned them, Lucas! I ran with fear in my heart! I was just as cowardly as my own father! That's why I never came back!" he sobbed, Lucas rubbing his shoulder.
"You were a young man on the edge of fear, shown
something horrific. No one could fault you for that. No more than they could
fault your father for what he did for you."
Gideon raised his head, staring into Lucas' violet pools.
"What he did for me? He showed me evil, Lucas! He. . .he showed me the monster!"
"Yes, Joshua showed you the monster, Gideon. Just as he was going to show Colton. My love stayed his love on that second path."
"His love, Luke?" Justin said, he and Lance sitting on another sofa.
Lucas smiled at his friend.
"Yes, Jus. The essence of my great-grandfather's soul is his love, everyone. A love at times misguided--and perhaps lost--but no less his greatest beauty. I mirror his own soul."
Josh smiled at Lucas, his smile for him alone.
"I've felt all of your love, Lucky. Joshua's love must be unbelievable."
Lucas softly laughed, Josh blushing at him, his man kissing his cheek.
"Thanks for the glowing review, my love." he said, Josh smiling softly, Lucas' eyes going back to Gideon, everyone staring at the two.
Lucas sighed again, focusing on the handsome man seated beside him.
"Joshua Belmont showed you that evil to make you
leave here, Gideon. To save you from being consumed by the evil that awaited you in that
"You mean he. . .he saved me?" Gideon said, Lucas nodding.
"Yes, Gideon. He was too late to save your sister, her life ended by disease. Otherwise he would have done the same for her, and her children. Children he hadn't sensed within the magic."
"Sensed within the magic, Luke?" Justin said, Lucas' eyes going to his handsome friend.
"Yes, Justin. Joshua Belmont kept a close watch on this particular branch of the family Carlisle. On those radiating with the magic. He unfortunately was uninformed on magic's true path."
"Uninformed, Luke? Meaning what?" Harry said, Lucas' violet pools looking at his cousin.
"There's a greater presence surrounding the families Carlisle and Belmont. A presence none of my own ancestors have felt, Joshua Belmont included."
"That mysterious Watcher, Luke?" Finn said, Lucas nodding.
"He's part of it, of the total magic."
"You're still not making sense, my love." Josh said, Lucas smiling at him.
"I'll elaborate, my love." Lucas said, Gideon's hand going to Lucas' knee now, their eyes meeting.
"I don't have magic, Lucas." the man said, Lucas sighing again.
"I'm afraid you do, Gideon. A magic hidden within yourself, but totally detectable by others of magic."
"The whole family is magical, Luke?" Andrew said, Lucas shaking his head no.
"Not all of them, Drew. Just certain special children of the Carlisle lineage--Gideon's sister, Gideon himself, and Colton. And that young man's the most surprising of all three of you, Gideon."
"Colton, Luke?" Gideon said, the young man nodding.
"Yes, Gideon. Through the lineage of the Carlisle families certain children were instilled with magic. None of them gained any great fame or notoriety with it, only using their magic for their own families."
Gideon nodded, Lucas' violet pools meeting Harry's blue pools.
"You yourself are one of those magical beings, Harry." Lucas said, Harry nodding his head, Alain's arm going around him.
Everyone saw Alain's total love for Harry, the magic possibility not changing their love.
"I still don't believe that, Luke." Harry said, Lucas smiling at him.
"Believe it, Harry. Gideon believes it. That's why he and Harry both joined the Seguaci Delluncio."
Gideon's and Harry's blue eyes widened in surprise, everyone else staring between the two with confusion.
Lucas smiled at both men, his violet pools moving between both.
"You could not hide your surprise, Gideon. And to be truthful I verified my suspicions last night."
Josh's arm went around Lucas, his blue eyes looking at Harry.
"What are you saying, Lucky? Harry and Gideon know each other? Harry didn't seem to know Sarah?"
Lucas nodded, looking around at everyone, his eyes meeting Harry's lowering blue.
"Harry never met Sarah, Josh. But he and Gideon have met before. When he walked out of the restaurant yesterday with you and our friends, Gideon's words of questioning surprise weren't directed at the three stars surrounding Harry, they were directed at Harry. He was surprised to see Harry, not you famous singers." Lucas said, Gideon's eyes lowering a bit as well.
Justin and Lance both shook their heads in amazement, astounded by Lucas' high intellect.
"I never expected to see him here, Luke." Gideon softly said, his eyes meeting Harry's, the younger man lowering his again.
"No, I am sure that was indeed a surprise. And to be honest I wasn't totally sure that was what I saw. But last night's ending moments destroyed my doubts." Lucas said, Harry and Gideon both looking at him again.
"I wasn't eavesdropping, my friends. I just heard you talking after I left you on the porch, Gideon. I saw you and Harry on the porch embracing. Your voices echoed on the night's moist air."
The two men nodded, looking at each other.
"He's very intelligent, Harry." Gideon said, Harry nodding his head.
Lucas' eyes met Harry's, the younger man sighing.
"I never meant to keep it from you, Lucas." he said, Lucas rising from his seat, walking over to his cousin, he and Alain looking up at him.
"I know, Harry. My mom's planting you within my inner circle worked well with your own plans." Lucas said, the young man standing up, everyone looking at the young man.
"His own plans, Lucky? Has he deceived you?" Josh said, the man rising from his seat, staring at his love with protective concern, Lucas' violet pools meeting his blue pools.
"Lose that look, my love. Harry's love is real, and he could never deceive me. He just didn't divulge all of his love." Lucas said, his eyes meeting Harry's again.
The young man moved, walking past Lucas, stopping at the railing, looking out into the dark night, lowering his head.
Lucas moved, walking up to him, his hand going to his shoulder.
"I never meant to lie to you, Lucas."
"I know, Harry. And I know why you were so secretive about it."
The young man's head turned, staring into Lucas' violet pools.
"How did you know, Lucas?"
"That you are the leader of that ancient sect of secretive courage?"
The young man nodded, Lucas smiling at him, his hand rubbing his shoulder.
Everyone looked surprised, staring at the young bodyguard.
"Because on the first day we met I told you that I
sensed you were family. I also sensed the greatness of your courage and the
greater truth of your destiny."
"From. . .from that first day?"
Lucas nodded, leaning against the railing, his eyes going to Gideon's blue.
"Yes, Harry. You could never deceive me with your
hidden truths. My magic is all-powerful."
"I'm sorry, Lucas. We thought it best you didn't know right away."
Lucas smiled, leaning forward and kissing Harry's cheek, his violet pools looking towards Alain, the black man smiling at him.
"And you as leader thought it best that you yourself stay close to me. To walk the path with me. I'm so glad I've so many courageous hidden souls around me."
Josh walked up to Lucas, his eyes meeting his.
"There are others here?" he said, looking around.
"Of the sect, no. Just Harry, Gideon and Alain."
Alain rose from his seat, his eyes glancing at Gideon, Harry's eyes meeting his.
Alain's eyes met Lucas', the young man smiling at him.
"Three courageous souls, two of deeper love." he said, Alain smiling, walking up to Lucas and Harry, his arm going around Harry.
"I love Harry, Lucas. I joined with his love and his destiny. I give that love and my life to his happiness, and his destiny. And to you as well." Alain said, Lucas smiling and kissing his cheek.
"Warriors of strength, beauty and love. I am
surrounded by all."
Harry's eyes met Lucas', Josh staring at the young man.
"So exactly what is the purpose of this sect, Harry? Why do they follow you, Lucky?"
Lucas sighed, his lips kissing Josh's, the man calmed by Lucas' love.
"They, like myself, are on a quest of destiny, my love. A destiny long ago instilled in their first leaders. From the start of the lineage up until now." Lucas said, Josh's eyes going to Harry's.
"You're pretty young to be their leader, Harry." he said, Lucas smiling at his lover.
"It wasn't age or wisdom that led him to his position, Josh. It was the magic he holds."
Harry lowered his eyes again, Lucas' fingers going out, raising his chin.
"I cannot hide anything from you." he softly said, a small tear showing on his cheek.
"I will always feel magic, even beneath the denial of it."
"You have magic, Harry?" Josh said, looking at the young man in a different light.
Lucas smiled at Harry, his violet eyes showing his calm love.
"Yes, Josh. I learned at an early age that I have a soul of magic. My parents loved me enough to seek out our family's past. I was guided at an early age into the brotherhood. And they saw a greater destiny in myself. I was proclaimed leader two years ago." Harry said, Alain's arm tightening around him.
"What. . .what kind of magic do you have?" Finn said, staring at the young man.
"Not as great a magic as you, Lucas. But I can do things." Harry said, Lucas nodding.
"I sense the depth of your magic, Harold. But the greater magic you possess is your love. Alain feels its totality."
Alain smiled, kissing his lover's cheek.
"That I do, Luke." he smiled, Harry smiling at him, his blue eyes meeting Lucas' violet, then Gideon's blue.
"I'm sorry that I didn't tell you the greater
existence of who I am, Lucas."
Lucas' hand went to Harry's shoulder.
"I am not hurt by that, Harry. I know you protect me with your love, and now your magic. I will always accept your love and magic, and your friendship."
Harry teared up, Lucas patting his shoulder, his violet pools going to Gideon's again.
"Just as I will accept yours, Gideon."
The man nodded, staring at Lucas.
"And you, my friend, must accept a greater truth." Lucas said, walking up to the man, staring at him.
"What truth, Lucas?" he said, Lucas' hand going to his shoulder.
"Sit down everyone." Lucas said, his voice calm and loving.
Everyone returned to their seats, Lucas sitting down as well, Gideon slowly sitting down in his chair again.
Lucas' hand went to the man's knee, Gideon staring at him.
"As I told you, Colton has magic. A concise, great magic. He's very gifted."
Gideon looked surprised, as did others, Lucas sighing again.
"And with that magic he sensed something. Something that I have to tell you, Gideon."
"Alright, Luke. Please tell me."
Everyone saw a soft reluctance in Lucas' violet pools, the man staring at Gideon.
"Your mother didn't have a heart attack, Gideon. Evil attacked her."
The man's eyes widened in disbelief, some people gasping.
Lucas' hand went to Gideon's shoulder, seeing the tears forming in the man's eyes.
"I'm sorry, Gideon. My magic sensed it too, at the same moment Colton did. But we both sensed a greater truth."
"What truth? That my mother was devoured by evil?" Gideon said, his voice laced with emotion.
"No, Gideon. Evil never devoured her soul. She left this earth surrounded by love. Her daughter's and granddaughter's love. We both felt that truth."
"You mean. . .you mean they were with her?" Gideon said, staring at Lucas with surprise.
"Their love was, Gideon. She never felt the evil. She was protected by the love of her daughter's soul. The two are now together forever in the greater love."
"Why would. . .why would that evil seek her out? She was not of magic, Luke." Gideon softly said, Lucas nodding.
"No she wasn't, Gideon. It wasn't after her magic, it was after something else. Something that Colton possesses."
"His magic, Luke?" Gideon said, Lucas staring at him.
"Magic, yes. What Colton possesses is a great magic. A magic that never was supposed to come to light."
"You mean he was never supposed to possess that magic?" Josh said, looking at Gideon with soft compassion.
"That young man and myself are a lot alike, Josh. We're both anomalies on destiny's path. I was never supposed to exist and he was never destined for the magic he possesses."
"I can't believe that you were never meant to exist, my love. Your love is real."
Lucas smiled, kissing Josh's lips.
"As is Colton's magic, my love. We're both, I believe, right where we're supposed to be."
Everyone nodded, staring at Lucas with silent awe.
Lucas' eyes returned to Gideon's blue.
"I'm sorry your mother was placed in peril because of these paths, Gideon. But I believe she never suffered. She's at peace now, her lost family's love surrounding her. All of her family, save you, Gideon."
Gideon's eyes stared at Lucas.
"And my father, Luke." he said, Lucas sighing again, staring at him.
Josh sensed a deeper compassion flood his lover's soul, his hand going to Lucas' back.
"Your father passed away a long time ago, Gideon. The evil consumed him shortly after your birth."
Gideon's eyes stared in disbelief, Lucas' hand going to his knee again.
"Joshua Belmont isn't your father, Gideon. Your real father passed into the light over thirty years ago. I believe your mother is now in his arms of love again, their daughter at their side."
"My father. . .my father's dead?" Gideon said, Lucas rubbing his knee.
"Yes, Gideon. He died over thirty years ago, just
after your own birth. He never deserted you, he only ever loved your mother,
you and your sister. Evil took him from all three of you."
Gideon's eyes lowered, everyone quietly staring at him with compassion.
"Then why did. . .?"
"Why did Joshua Belmont confront you and say that he was your father?"
Gideon nodded, Lucas staring at him with genuine sympathy and love.
"Because Joshua Belmont has surrounded you all of your life. All of your family. He took it upon himself to guard you three. And after your sister passed away he sensed that the evil would return here again, in search of its need. And that it would focus on you, because you are a true Carlisle, gifted and courageous."
"Why would your great-grandfather care about my
family? What's. . .what's the connection between us?"
Lucas' violet pools met Gideon's blue, the younger man sighing.
"That truth lays in the past, and in my knowledge.
Soon that will be shown. For now it has to remain hidden from the evil
that still lingers here."
"The evil's still here, Luke?" Justin said, Lucas staring at his friend.
"The center of it has left, but the monster I sent back into the abyss of the void will find its way out again. I hope we're all gone from here before that happens. And when it returns it will find a surprise waiting for it."
Everyone stared at Lucas, seeing a look of knowledgeable determination in his violet pools.
"Why is my family involved in this, Lucas? I sense a lot of knowledge in you. Please tell me." Gideon said, Lucas sighing again.
"I shall, Gideon. But now is not the time. Secrets need to remain hidden for the path to walk its true course. Trust in me to keep all of you protected, Colton the most. He is the center of your family's truth, Gideon. And I'll do all in my power and magic to keep him safe. Tomorrow after the funeral we'll discuss that part of this. Right now I just wanted you to know the truth of what you've gone through and what you may go through ahead."
Gideon nodded, staring at Lucas.
"Why did he lie to me? Why did that ancient soul lie to me about being my father?" Gideon said, Lucas looking around at everyone.
"If he'd come to you as himself at that time you wouldn't have reacted as you did. Showing himself as your father made your heart walk a different course. For in that deception he guided you away from the evil. And his love remained to protect Sarah and her grandchildren. Unfortunately that love and magic wasn't enough to keep Rosa Sharon with us."
"She was taken by evil as well?" Gideon said, Lucas nodding his head slowly.
"To start with, yes. But I believe a greater magic in essence saved her. Yes, she passed into the light, but she hasn't gone on the final path. For some reason she still lingers between both realms. And I think the mystery behind all this is part of that."
"You think she's here because of someone or something else, Luke? " Lance said, Lucas nodding.
"Perhaps, Lance." Lucas said, Lance staring at his friend.
"Why is Joshua slinking around in all this, Lucas? Why all the deception?" Justin said, Lucas looking around at everyone.
"For redemption in some ways, and perhaps to right his own soul."
"All of this is in some way his doing, isn't it Lucky?" Josh said, Lucas smiling at his lover.
"He's a large part of it. His past I mean. And whatever happened then he's trying to right, or redeem himself for. He's ever elusive, and mysterious. But loving nonetheless. But all souls have to follow their path, to whatever end the true path deems necessary."
Lucas rose again, the young man walking to the veranda's railing again, staring out into the darkness.
"Do you have to venture into that graveyard again, Luke? To that tomb? If so we'll all be with you." Harry said, Lucas looking back at his cousin.
"No, Harry. I've found what was hidden there." Lucas said, everyone looking confused.
"Joshua never found it for he knew not what it was. Neither did Arlo Hammond, the lost caretaker of that hallowed ground."
Gideon looked surprised.
"Albert's deceased brother? Old Arlo?" he said, Lucas nodding.
"Joshua has kept him here to search as well. I just informed him that the answer has been found. They need not search any more."
Josh rose from his seat, the man walking up to Lucas' side.
"We didn't have time to find anything there, Lucky. We were stopped by the monster?" Josh said, Lucas looking into his blue eyes.
"The monster's attack at myself revealed the truth, Beamy. As did its attack on Colton."
Gideon looked at Lucas, their eyes meeting.
The man rose from his seat as well, walking up to Josh and Lucas.
"Who is Almira Carlisle, Lucas? I do not know that name from my past. My mother never spoke of her, neither did your mysterious Joshua."
Lucas' violet pools met his.
"She is an ancestor of all of you, Gideon. Joshua Belmont himself entombed her there, a long time ago. I believe in a way he had it correct."
"Had what correct, Luke?" Trish said, Lucas looking towards his sister.
"He said that he was searching here for his soul. That it had been taken from him."
Josh stared at Lucas.
"Almira Carlisle was Joshua Belmont's wife?"
"No, Josh. Josh already named his wife to me already. Her name wasn't Almira."
"Then who is she?" Justin said, Lucas looked around at everyone.
"She is a matter of fate. Another anomaly on the crowded path of destiny."
Josh's arm went around his man, staring at him and Gideon.
"You know who she is, don't you?"
Lucas nodded, everyone looking at him.
"Yes, my Joshua. I know who she is. The book divulged that truth yesterday."
"So tell us, Luke. You have us all on the edge of our seats." Finn said, Lucas looking at his friend.
"I'm sorry, everyone. To divulge that truth now would send the path into oblivion. I must keep that close to my heart until the allotted time."
"Why don't you make Joshua reveal that truth then?" Justin said, Lucas sighing.
"Joshua doesn't know that truth, Justin."
Everyone looked surprised, Gideon looking at Lucas.
"He doesn't know who he buried?"
"He knew the person, but he didn't know that person's truth. And that truth he'll have to face soon."
Everyone stared at Lucas, the young man sighing again.
"I'm not trying to worry all of you, or confuse you. I just wanted you all to know what surrounds us. Magic, love and mystery. I hope you can all trust me enough to keep you all protected and for me to reveal that truth when it's necessary."
Harry rose from his seat, walking up to his cousin.
"I trust you with my life, Lucas. As I hope you can trust me with yours."
Lucas smiled, Gideon's hand going to his shoulder.
"I offer the same trust, Lucas. I will protect you and Colton. For my nephew I'll now give everything. It is the solemn oath of our brotherhood."
Lucas stared at the man, the young man nodding.
"Thank you for telling me the truth, Lucas. Of my mother's death and my nephew's surprising magic and perhaps destiny. And the confusion that surrounds us. I trust you to let me know what that truth is when necessary." Gideon said, Lucas nodding softly at him.
"Joshua never meant to hurt you with his deception, Gideon. He only wanted to keep you safe from the evil."
"What is that evil, Lucas?" Skyler asked, Lucas looking around at everyone.
"I don't know its real truth, but I believe I'm destined to find that answer. All I can do is have faith in what's ahead. All I know is that I'll face it with love and magic. And I'll protect all of you."
Gideon's hand rubbed Lucas's shoulder, their eyes meeting.
"The Belmont clan holds a lot of mystery, Luke. From the deceptive being I met right up to you, Lucas. I sense your mysteries are the heart of everything. And I sense the love and friendship in that heart."
"I'll always be your friend, Gideon. I welcome you and Harry both to this heart of love. I've found two brothers."
Both men smiled, Gideon hugging Lucas, Harry smiling at Josh.
"Welcome to the clan, Gideon. Lucas' love shines on all of us." Finn said, the man smiling around at everyone, his eyes meeting Lucas' again.
"He is the center of all things."
Lucas smiled, nodding his head at Gideon, his violet pools looking around at everyone.
"It's late, everyone. Let's leave the night at that. Tomorrow's going to be a long day for everyone, Colton the most. But from the shadow of sorrow a new light will shine. And its center will be love."
Gideon nodded, Lucas' arm going around him.
"We're all here for you and Colton, Gideon." he said, Gideon nodding his head, his eyes showing soft tears.
"I finally have a family again."
Lucas smiled, guiding the man back into the inn, everyone rising from their seats.
"He never stops amazing us." Finn said, Skyler's arm going around her man.
"He's love, Finny. We all know that."
Everyone smiled, heading back into the inn.
Joshua Belmont stood before the tomb, staring at its faded marble facade.
He stared at the name now revealed above its closed doorway.
"You know the name?" a voice said beside him, his green eyes meeting two blue.
"Yes, I know the name, Arlo. A phantom from my past.
A soul given over to death long ago. She lays within, her body ashes by now."
"Hopefully her soul reigns in heaven's love." Arlo said, Joshua sighing beside him.
"I had hidden her so well. Not even he could. . ." he softly said, Arlo's eyes staring at him.
"What's going on here, Joshua? Why is this tomb so central to the evil around here? It was before this tomb I saw that monster devour Caleb and the priest." the caretaker said, Joshua's green eyes meeting his.
"I don't know, Arlo. She is long dead. Her magic spent. Why now does evil linger around here?" Joshua said, Arlo shaking his head in confusion.
"That young ancestor of yours may know, Joshua. I see the gleam of life and magic in his eyes. Sarah's eyes shined with it before. . ."
Joshua's arm went around the old man, Arlo feeling his friendship.
"I am sorry for her part in this, Arlo. She was a woman of strong character and greater courage."
"You knew her as well?"
Joshua nodded his head, Arlo staring at him.
"Her and her husband, Arlo."
"Joshua Carlisle? That abandoning cad?"
Joshua's eyes met Arlo's.
"He was no such thing, Arlo. He was a strong courageous man. Who gave all for his family." Joshua said, Arlo shaking his head again.
"He abandoned them, Joshua. He left Sarah alone with her two children."
"He did no such thing, Arlo. He gave his life here for a greater cause."
Arlo looked shocked, looking around the moonlit cemetery.
"He. . .he died here?"
"Yes, Arlo. A greater sacrifice no father could ever give. And that made the trek I now walk upon. I just need to reason on what I cannot see here."
His green eyes stared at Arlo again, his body turning and facing him.
"You found nothing?"
"Nothing, Joshua. Even this tomb inside only holds that lady's remains, nothing else."
Joshua nodded, looking at the old caretaker.
His eyes went back to the tomb, his mind flooded with long lost memories.
"She was beautiful, Arlo. She was a vision of giving love. To hear her voice was to hear the angels of heaven ring."
Arlo stared at the tomb, his eyes scanning the pathway, his eyes widening.
"Ring? A ring?"
Joshua looked at the man, confusion showing on his face.
"What are you on about, Arlo?"
"I just remembered that day with the priest."
"What of it?"
"There was a ring. A golden ring."
Joshua looked confused, Arlo's eyes meeting his.
"Caleb found a ring on the pathway in front of the
tomb. He'd just picked it up in his hand when that vision of evil appeared."
"Why would a ring be laying out here?" Joshua said, Arlo shrugging his shoulders.
"Don't know. It wasn't there the morning before when I'd searched this tomb. And the monster seemed interested in it. Come to think of it, it actually demanded it from Caleb. That might be why he attacked Caleb. The stupid fool wouldn't part with it. I'd forgotten that."
Joshua stared at the tomb, his mind going over his earlier meeting with Lucas and Joshua Carlisle's son.
'The next path has been found. I have found the clue. Colton is the answer, Joshua.' He said, Joshua thought.
"The answer to what?" Joshua said aloud, Arlo looking at him.
"You okay, Joshua?"
"I don't remember any ring." he said, looking at Arlo. "What did it look like?"
"I didn't see it up close. It was a yellowish gold, practically gleamed, looked new."
Joshua furrowed his brow in confusion.
Almira had no rings, no jewelry.
What in shades does that mean?
"What have you found, Lucas?" he said, Arlo staring at him.
"He's found something?" the caretaker said.
The man's eyes turned to Arlo, his hand going to the old man's shoulder.
"Our quest here is over, I believe, Arlo. I think our
young friend is on the path to truth."
"You mean he's found a clue here?" Arlo said, looking around.
"Yes, I believe so. And whatever it is I haven't the foggiest." the man said, sighing.
"I sense his intellect is greater than mine, Arlo. Perhaps even greater than my father's." Joshua said, the man looking at Arlo again.
"Your task is now done, Arlo. I thank you for your devotion. I can summon you to judgment if you so wish. It is time for you to walk the final path."
The man's blue eyes stared into the young handsome soldier's green pools.
"Your task isn't done, Joshua. And you've made me a part of it. I'll stand by you till the end."
The soldier smiled, rubbing the older man's shoulder.
"For your friendship and your devotion, heaven will resonate with your joy. Thank you for staying, my friend."
The older man smiled, the two disappearing into the moonlit mist.
Everyone stood around the open grave, Sarah's mahogany casket laying above it.
A large swatch of white roses lay on the casket's lid, Colton quietly staring at its floral beauty.
The young man was surrounded by all his new friends, Gideon and Lucas standing on both sides of the young man's suited beauty.
"Into life she did pass, her love echoing into all of our souls. Into God's eternal love she now passes. Go into love sister and mother of love. We commit our dear friend's body to her eternal slumber. From ashes she did form, to dust she shall go. And her soul shall shine in heaven's glory. Amen." the priest said at the end of the coffin, crossing himself, his eyes meeting Gideon's.
Everyone around the grave said Amen, the priest walking up to Gideon.
"We'll give you a few moments to part with her." he said, Gideon and Lucas both shaking the young priest's hand.
The young priest smiled at Colton, patting his shoulder.
Everyone moved from around the grave, the area surrounded by many local people and old acquaintances of Sarah's.
Finn and Skyler were gently guiding Albert Hammond away from the grave, his eyes filled with tears, their arms around the man.
Josh smiled at Lucas, the young man smiling back, his friends all moving away from the grave, the three left alone in front of it.
Josh stared at his Lucas, Justin and Lance's arms going around him, the three walking back to the limousines.
They all knew Lucas wouldn't leave Colton or Gideon at this final parting.
His love and friendship surrounded them.
Lucas' and Gideon's eyes met, Gideon's hand going to Colton's shoulder.
"She loved you, Colt. As much as she loved me. She was mother to both of us." he said, Lucas quietly watching both men.
"I loved her, Uncle Gideon. She was always there for me. Now she's gone as well. I can't keep love around me." he softly said, his eyes showing glistening tears.
"Yes you can, Colt. I'm here, Lucas is here as well." Gideon said, Colton's head lifting, staring at both of them.
"Please don't leave me!" he sobbed, Gideon pulling him against him.
"Never, Colt." Lucas said, Colton's blue tearing eyes staring at Lucas.
The young man moved, his arms going around both of them.
"It's time we left, my friends. Her love remains in
your hearts. A mother's love never ends."
Both men teared up, Colton's body sinking into both men, both surrounding him.
"Goodbye, Mom. I love you." Gideon softly said, his eyes flowing with tears.
Lucas stood between the two of them, his arms of friendship around both of them.
"Goodbye, Grandma. I love all of you." Colton said, Lucas hugging both, their eyes staring down at the flowers.
Lucas' eyes were staring across the grave, someone standing a few gravestones away, staring at the touching scene of emotional farewell.
Lucas smiled, the older woman tipping her head with a soft smile, her hand raising.
A small child smiled at Lucas, Lucas' arm tightening around Colton.
Lucas watched as Sarah Carlisle faded away in the late afternoon sunshine.
The small child smiled widely, running with happiness between the gravestones, Rosa Sharon's small form fading into nothing.
Everyone sat on the front veranda, Albert walking out with a tray of drinks, Finn taking it from him, Albert thanking him as he sat down.
"A moving ceremony and a wonderful tribute to her giving soul. The church was packed." he said, Lucas smiling at him.
Lucas sat on a wicker sofa, Colton seated beside him, between Lucas and Gideon.
"Everyone loved Mom so much." Gideon said, Lucas smiling at him.
"She lived here all her life, Gideon. That love formed a bond around all of them." Albert said, Gideon nodding.
"Your heart felt more, Albert." Lucas said, the older man smiling.
"I'll have those memories always, Lucas. Her love can never pass away." he said, everyone smiling at the innkeeper.
"Yes you will, Albert. As will all of us. Her smile captured all of our hearts." Harry said, Gideon smiling at his friend.
"Thank you all for staying, stopping your busy lives for us." Gideon said, Lucas patting his knee across Colton.
"You're family and a friend, Gideon." Lucas said, the man smiling around at everyone.
"When do we leave for Los Angeles, Uncle Gideon?" Colton softly said, Lucas quietly staring at the young man.
"Whenever you want, Colton. I want you to be comfortable with all of this." Gideon said, Colton rising from his seat, the young man walking over to the veranda railing, staring out into the late day's receding sunshine.
"I should stay here, Uncle Gideon. You don't need me." Colton said, Gideon rising from his seat, the man walking over to his nephew.
"I have to admit it will be a big change, Colt. I've never been a parent." he softly said, Colton's blue eyes meeting his.
Gideon's hand went to the young man's shoulder, their eyes meeting.
"I'll try my best, Colt. I won't leave you alone."
The young man softly smiled, his uncle wrapping his arms around him in a tight hug, everyone smiling at the touching scene.
Lucas softly watched both, seeing the looks in both their eyes.
"Coffee, my love?" Josh said, Albert smiling at both men.
Josh blushed, Albert chuckling.
"You don't hide your love, Josh. I've seen it all week." he smiled, Lucas smiling at the innkeeper.
"Privacy comes with friendship, my friends." Albert said, the two men smiling at him, Josh's hand going into Lucas', Lucas smiling at him.
"Your love makes mine show itself, Lucky."
"I wouldn't want you any other way, babe."
Josh smiled, Lucas kissing his lips.
The young man broke the kiss, their eyes meeting.
"I understand, Lucas."
Lucas smiled, the young man rising from his seat, everyone looking at him.
He moved, walking to the railing, Gideon and Colton both softly smiling at him.
"It's been an emotional day, my friends. Your loving mother's and grandmother's love will always surround you. It passes through both realms. In life and in death. And I think you had part of this wrong, Gideon."
Gideon looked at Lucas, the young man smiling at him, his hand going to his shoulder.
"Sarah Carlisle was a true Carlisle, in her love and her magic."
Colton and Gideon both looked surprised, his blue eyes staring at Gideon.
"How. . .how can you be sure?" Gideon said, Lucas looking around at everyone, his eyes meeting Albert's.
Lucas' hand went into his black suit jacket, pulling out an envelope.
"Your mother left this note for me on the day she left this world, Gideon. She wanted me to divulge its contents after her funeral."
Everyone looked surprised, Colton staring at Lucas.
"She. . .she knew she was going to. . ." he softly said, Lucas' hand going to his shoulder.
"She sensed her time might not be long, Colton. I believe she sensed the evil was focusing on her."
Colton's eyes lowered, Lucas squeezing his shoulder.
"Why didn't she tell me. . .I would have. . .I would have protected her!" Colton said, his eyes showing tears.
"She knew you would have, Colton. As she knew I would have." Lucas said, Colton's blue eyes meeting his violet.
"What did she write to you about?"
Lucas smiled at Colton.
"About you, Colt. About you and your uncle." Lucas said, his eyes meeting Gideon's blue.
"About me too, Luke?" he said, Lucas nodding.
"She sensed what I've sensed. And she saw what both of you needed."
"Each other?" Colton said, his eyes meeting his uncle's.
'You will always have that." Lucas said, Gideon's eyes meeting Lucas' again.
"I'll read you the note." Lucas said, the young man leaning against the railing, opening the envelope, pulling out a single piece of paper.
He unfolded it, his eyes looking around at everyone staring at him.
His rich melodic voice filled the veranda.
New friend, of magic and of love.
Today I felt its presence.
The duality of life and death.
I feel evil and I feel love.
You are the love, Lucas.
A love of perhaps unfathomable truth.
That evil can hold no sway to the greater love and magic I sense within you.
Yes, I sense it.
For I have an instilled magic as well, albeit minutely lesser than yours.
I feel the encroaching evil, Lucas.
My grandson and my son may both be in danger.
Colton's heart needs the greater protection.
For I sense it has the greater magic.
My son you do not know, but my heart senses he'll come to know you.
For your love resonates through all of us.
He has magic as well, although it's hidden from him.
Colton's intellect is too great for him not to sense his own self.
Take care of them, Lucas.
My son has a giving heart, and a loving soul.
I know he ran from the same evil those years ago.
I fault him not for fearing the unknown, but his father's courage still lays in his heart.
And therein resides my love as well.
It is Colton I worry for.
He needs a greater love than even my son can give him.
I know they will love each other, their joining after my loss will echo in their souls.
I love both of them as they loved me.
Hearten this old heart, Lucas.
Give the child your protection, and your giving love.
I think he'll greatly benefit from both.
As will my son from your friendship.
Look to the past to seek the future.
Look to life to find love.
Thank you, Lucas.
For what you carry and what they all need.
Gideon's eyes were filled with tears, Lucas' hand going to his shoulder.
"She knew. She knew I ran from the evil." he softly said, Lucas nodding.
"Yes, Gideon. And her love never diminished for you."
Lucas' eyes met Colton's, the young man's arm going around his uncle.
"You. . .you faced the evil?"
"A long time ago, Colt. But I didn't have your courage." Gideon said, his blue eyes meeting Lucas'.
"I don't have the courage our young friend here has."
Colton's blue eyes met his uncle's, Gideon sighing.
"I love you, Colton. But I can't protect you like Lucas can. I sensed in my mother's words what she meant, Lucas. I sense you did, too."
Lucas nodded, Colton's blue eyes meeting his violet.
"You have a giving heart, Gideon. And yes, a magical one. But I have even more."
Lucas' eyes met Josh's, the man smiling at him.
"You will be going to Los Angeles, Colt. But if you'll agree to it, I'd like you to stay with me."
Everyone looked surprised, Josh walking up to Lucas.
"We'd both like you to stay with us." Josh said, Lucas' eyes meeting Josh's loving blue.
The young man's blue eyes met his uncle's blue.
"I'll understand, Colt. It's your choice. My love will be close." Gideon said, Colton tearfully staring at him.
His blue eyes met Lucas' violet, the young man smiling at him.
"I told you life sometimes gives us surprises. Consider my
friendship and love two of them."
The young man sobbed, moving into Lucas' arms, the man hugging him close, smiling at Gideon.
The man smiled, staring at his new friend.
"She saw the love as well, Luke. And I know you'll always protect him."
Colton raised his head, Gideon putting his arm around him.
"I'm here for you always, Colt. But you need Lucas more."
The young man nodded, looking into Lucas' violet pools.
"Another angel comes to Los Angeles." Lucas smiled, Colton hugging his uncle.
Everyone rose from their seats, the young man surrounded by welcoming friendship.
End of Chapter 99
And so a new member enters Josh and Lucas' home of love.
The magical, mysterious Colton joins Lucas' family.
Lucas seemed well prepared for that eventuality, as did Sarah.
Mystery, magic and love surround our hero.
Who is or was the lady Almira Carlisle?
What truths or pain does the mysterious Joshua Belmont have in his soul?
And what of the evil?
Up next: We return to Los Angeles, with new surprises, and blossoming family love.
I'll try to keep it exciting.