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Josh screamed as Peter fell. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"
He ran full speed at the man who fired and hit him with a cross body block. As he hit the ground he rolled and bounced to his feet, immediately in a defensive stance. Before anyone could react he hit the other man that was armed, with a series of punches and one kick to the groin. As he spun around to defend against the others, he saw that no one was moving. They were frozen in awe at his reaction.
His body shook with anger and hate.
"I thought you people were his family? I thought you cared for him. Why? Why did you do this? I swear if you have hurt him, you will regret the day you were born."
No one moved. Josh knelt down and retrieved the stunner next to him, slowly bringing it to bear on Alexander Benoit as he stood up.
"You! You treated him as a beloved nephew. You treated him as a long lost son and built his trust and confidence. Then you turn on him. Why?"
"Joshua, I still love Peter. You don't understand what is happening here. Neither you nor Peter realize his potential. Josh, we only want what is best for him." Alexander pleaded.
"LIAR! I know why you are doing this. It is because of me. Because I am a Degardo. The hated Degardo family. Your life long enemy. You fear that Peter will not want to fight my family because of me. Isn't that right?"
"Joshua, that is not the reasons for our actions." Alexander shook his head, pausing as he gathered his thoughts. "Joshua, Peter has abilities that we have never experienced before. His abilities can be dangerous if he is not properly trained. This is very difficult to explain."
"You better find a way to explain, because you aren't going anywhere until I find out why you have decided that Peter is your enemy. I know that I don't have much of a chance to get either of us out of here but I am going to. Or die trying."
"There is no reason to take that course of action. We are not going to harm either of you. Peter would not listen to reason. His emotions were controlling his actions. Actions that could have harmed those around him, including you." He looked at the others in the room and each in turn nodded their heads. "Joshua, I am going to tell you something that no one outside of the Benoit family knows. We feel that it is the best way to resolve this situation. Will you listen for a moment?"
Josh nodded his head and Alexander began to tell him of the mental abilities of the Benoit family. As Alexander explained, the stunner in Josh's hand slowly dropped to his side.
"Josh, Peter has the ability to communicate his emotions to those around him. His abilities are amazing. Something that we have never experienced before. He doesn't know that he can do this, therefore he doesn't know how to control it. All we want to do is help him. Joshua, I do love Peter. More than you realize."
Josh nodded his head and looked down at Peter. "Alexander, I love Peter with every molecule of my body and soul. I would happily die for him if needed." He looked back at Alexander, tears running down his face. "I only want what is best for him and his family. My name may be Degardo but that doesn't mean that I am your enemy. If I could change my name, I would in a heart beat."
Josh dropped the stunner to the floor and looked at Peter again. He slowly walked to where Peter lay and knelt next to him.
"Peter, if you can hear me, I am still here for you. I will always be here for you. "
Joshua gently took Peter's hand in his as he stared at his beloved. Tears coursing down his face. He heard footsteps behind him and looked up. Standing in the doorway were several armed men. They had been there throughout the exchange. Now Josh realized how hopeless his situation had been. With the telepathic abilities of the Benoit family, no one stood a chance against them. The Degardo family was destined to failure.
Peter awoke several hours later. His mind slowly clearing as he became cognizant of his surroundings. He was alone. Suddenly fear shuddered through his body.
"JOSHUA!" He screamed.
'Peter, Joshua is safe and he is unharmed.' A voice spoke in his mind. 'He said to tell you that just holding you is enough.'
"Only Josh would know about that." Peter thought to himself.
'Where is he. I need to see him.'
'He is with Alexander. He will be with you very soon. Have patience Peter.'
Peter slowly sat up, the room spinning. Every part of his body ached from the stunner blast. He sat there for several minutes as he regained his stability. His mind racing with the latest events. Why had his uncle turned on him, why had his whole family turned on him? Was it only because of Josh? Did they fear the Degardo's that much?
'No Peter, it is not because of Joshua. Listen to me as I explain why.' Alexander told Peter about his abilities and how powerful they could be if he could only control them. 'Peter, do you remember when you became angry at me in the infirmary?'
'I remember that you didn't trust Josh and that it upset me.' Peter replied.
'Your anger hit my mind with such a force that it incapacitated me for a moment. An ability such as that, gone untrained can be very dangerous. I mean you no harm Peter. I love you and I want what is best for you.'
Peter could sense that his uncle was telling the truth. Were his abilities those of an impath also? Was he able to sense other people's emotions?
'Uncle Alexander, I just felt the truth of your words. I was able to feel that you were truthful. I don't know if I want this. I don't know if I can handle it.'
'You will in time my son. With training, you will be able to control your abilities. You will be able to turn them on an off at will.'
'I hope you are right.' Peter replied. As he was promised Joshua arrived a short time later. The two were reserved toward each other. More Peter than Josh. Peter could feel Josh's uncertainty, his fear of what Peter was.
"Joshua, don't fear me. I am not a monster."
Josh looked at Peter, anger in his eyes.
"That is exactly what I fear Peter. Your being able to read me like I am an open book. I have no privacy with you. I love you Peter, but at the same time I fear you."
Josh was trembling. His emotions were battling each other. First his undying love for Peter and at the same time his fear of what Peter could do. He didn't know how to react to what he was feeling. His heart wanted to be near his love but his mind was in fear of what he was able to do.
"I don't want to read you Josh. I-I'm unable to control it right now. I'm afraid too Josh. I don't want these abilities. I just want to be normal. I just want to love you, to be with you." Peter said as his eyes traveled to the floor, not able to look at Josh. "I love you Josh. That is all I want now, you and only you."
Peter slowly raised his head and peered into Josh's eyes. He concentrated on his love for the boy that stood across the room from him. He directed his love to Josh's mind, gently pushing.
'Joshua Allen Degardo, I love you with every molecule in my body and soul. I need you more than you will ever know.'
Josh's face displayed every emotion that was known. Suddenly he ran to Peter and threw his arms around him.
"Peter, I heard you and I felt you. It, it was both terrifying and wonderful at the same time. I love you Peter Alexander Buchard, with every molecule in my body and soul. I need you more than you will ever know."
Josh tilted his head and slowly kissed Peter. Their lips came together and both felt a strange force coursing between them. At that moment they knew that they were bound to each other for eternity.
"Vic, turn it off." A voice ordered from behind Vic Rawlings. "Give them some privacy."
Vic reluctantly turned off the vidcomp screen and turned to Alexander.
"Those two are something else aren't they?"
"Yes they are, but I am still not sure about the Degardo boy."
"WHAT?" Vic stood up and faced Alexander. "Listen to me Alexander, you have no idea what Josh has done to get here. That boy is devoted to Peter. He could care less about the differences between the Benoit and Degardo families. His only thoughts from the moment they took Peter away were to find a way to be with him again. He risked his life to find Peter and he almost died doing it."
'But Joshua is next in line to head the Degardo family. His disappearance will be the center of attention for the Degardo's. If he was to ever discover the power he is destined to control, he could turn on Peter.'
'That will never happen my cousin, not with Joshua. I know this boy as if he were my own son.' Vic telepathically communicated to Alexander.
'I only hope you are correct Victor. Now, let us get back to what else you discovered during you operation on Epsilon.'
Victor Benoit Rawlings had been bred and raised to infiltrate the Degardo family. He was born on Delphi, the Degardo family home world in the Delphinus constellation. His parents had also been born on that world, as were his grandparents. He was secretly trained by his parents to infiltrate the heart of the Degardo hierarchy. At the young age of 16, he joined the personal security staff of Joshua's parent's household. A few years later, Joshua was born. Only the senior Degardo family members knew that Joshua was the next in line for the chairmanship of the Degardo family. This secret was kept to prevent an assassination attempt on the destined leader of a great and powerful family. Vic, being in the position he was in, was one of the few that knew this fact. He endeared himself to Joshua's parents and gained their trust. As Joshua aged, the two became close friends. As a result, Vic was soon assigned as Joshua's personal bodyguard. Because of his Benoit heritage, he was able to communicate with his parents the movements of the Degardo family, without anyone in the Degardo household suspecting he was truly a spy for their most hated nemesis.
As Joshua approached puberty, it was decided that he would benefit from the experiences of a newly colonized world. It was believed that those experiences would harden the young man and make him a better leader, a leader that would do what was necessary to ensure the continuation of the Degardo family's control of the Federation.
Joshua's family was transported to Epsilon as common workers. They only thing that connected them with the Degardo family, was their last name. There were literally thousands of Degardo's on Epsilon so it was the hopes of the senior Degardo family members that Josh's true lineage would not be discovered. Little did they suspect that the Benoit's had known from the day of Josh's birth.
Josh was encouraged to pursue a career in the company's security forces. The training that he would receive would toughen him and teach him how to defend himself. Josh was being closely watched by several members of the undercover security members of the Degardo family, Vic Rawlings being one of those members. Peter was an unknown to both the Degardo and the Benoit family. It was thought that he had been killed when his aunt was murdered on Capistrio. The future of the Degardo family lay with Joshua. What they didn't expect was that Joshua would meet and fall in love with a Benoit family member, Peter Alexander Benoit Buchard.
"What do you know of this project that the Epsilon Energy Division is working on?" Alexander asked Vic.
"Not much. All I know is that the security around the labs is the tightest I have ever seen. I tried to get clearance into the labs, thinking that my connections to the family would help but Professor Dengheim blocked my attempt. I was able to talk to Professor Hamilton some but the only thing I could get out of him is that he was concerned with the direction the project was taking. He actually seemed afraid of what might happen and Edward Hamilton is not the type of man to be frightened easily."
"We need to discover what this project entails. You were the only operative to be that close to the heart of the Degardo family. Now that you are more or less a fugitive, we have lost one of our most valuable resources."
"My primary assignment was Joshua and I followed the directives of that assignment." Looking at Alexander with conviction. "And I would have done what I did even if I was disobeying orders and the good of the family. I love Joshua as if he were my own son. I know this sounds strange but it is fact. I am overjoyed at the love Joshua has found and I don't think it could have been with anyone better than Peter."
"Victor, I am not accusing you of anything. I apologize if it sounded that way. I should have kept my thoughts to myself. I am extremely concerned with this Epsilon project and I was just running things through my mind." Alexander stood and embraced his cousin. "Victor, I am happy that you have finally joined us in the flesh. Welcome home."
Peter and Josh lay together on the cot in the small room that Peter had awoken earlier that afternoon. Peter looked at Josh's sleeping form next to him with amazement and wonder.
"How could someone love me like this boy does. How could I love someone the same way? It was as if he has me under a spell. No one has ever controlled me like Josh does." He thought.
"I love you Joshua, I will love you until the end of time." He quietly whispered.
A while later Josh slowly opened his eyes to see Peter laying next to him one arm propped under his head, staring at him.
"What are you staring at?" He asked groggily.
"Because I can't get enough of you. I want to absorb you completely so we become one. I thought if I stared at you enough that would happen." Peter said jokingly as he leaned to kiss Josh.
"Buth sthen iss uld onybe on ov uss" Josh tried to say around Peter's kisses.
Peter pulled back. "What did you say?"
"I said that then there would only be one of us and that wouldn't be much fun."
They both started laughing at Josh's remark.
"Yes, you are right. It would be rather difficult to make love that way." Peter agreed.
"Peter, I'm famished. How do we get food around here?"
"I think I can take care of that." Peter replied as his face took on a look of concentration.
'Uncle can you hear me?'
'Josh and I are hungry, can we get some food?'
'Most certainly, I will be there shortly to take the two of you to the cafeteria.'
"Ok Josh, let's get dressed. Uncle Alexander will be here shortly to take us to eat."
Josh looked at Peter shaking his head as he wormed his way out of the small cot to begin dressing.
"What's wrong Josh?"
"Oh nothing, I am still stupefied with the telepathy business. I'll get use to it eventually."
'You better get use to it my love, because it is a part of who I am.'
Josh jerked his eyes back to Peter, his mouth hanging open.
'You and I have a bond Joshua. A special bond.'
Josh looked at Peter his mind racing with confusion.
"I don't understand how this could be happening." He thought to himself.
'I don't understand either but let's keep it our secret for now.'
'You mean that you can hear my thoughts as well?' Josh thought as he concentrated on Peter.
'Yes my love, I can hear you.'
The two smiled at each other with their new found ability and with the fact that only the two of them knew about it.
Copyright S. John Holder 2000
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