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‘Text your friend and let him know you’re okay please.’ Alex said patting Quinn’s thigh in the back of a taxi.   Mikhail was in the front seat, looking out the window at the mid-morning traffic.   ‘Mamma?’ Alex called as he opened the front door, leading Quinn and Mikhail inside.   Mikhail went to close the door and thought he glimpsed someone watching him from the other side of the road.   He closed the door firmly behind him and stood behind Quinn.   ‘Papa?’ Alex called as he knocked on the office door.   ‘Come with me son.’ The old man said coaxing his eldest son to stand up.   Alex stood up shakily.   His father took his hand in his and led him to a door opposite his desk.   He opened it and stepped into a bathroom.   ‘Let’s clean you up.’ ‘Alright.   Explain.’ Mikhail said as he closed the apartment door behind him.   For the next 30 odd minutes, Alex explained everything that had transpired in his father’s office, leaving no single detail out.   He explained about the bizarre transfer ritual his father performed, and the twins chanting with him.   He explained that he felt an odd stirring sensation in his mind, like some miniscule rodent running about in there, making a lot of noise.
‘Already did, when we left the apartment.’ Quinn answered flashing a smile to Alex.
‘Good work.’ Alex said returning the smile.   ‘Now, just so you know, only my mother knows I’m gay.   And depending on how well this goes, my father might know by the time we leave.’
‘Should I wait outside then?’ Quinn asked, not entirely sure it was the right thing to say.
‘Nah, you can come in.   Mamma would slap me if I left someone outside.’ Alex said with a grin.
‘You’ll like Mrs. Braddock.’ Mikhail said from the front seat.   ‘Heart of gold she has.’
‘I can’t wait to meet her.’ Quinn said smiling warmly.   Alex squeezed his hand tenderly.
‘Mamma?’ Alex called out louder, walking down the hallway.
‘In the kitchen my baby.’ Mrs. Braddock called out.   Alex walked down the hallway toward the kitchen, as Quinn and Mikhail followed him.
‘Hi Mamma.’ Alex said stepping around the counter and giving his mother a warm hug and a kiss on the cheek.  v
‘What you doing here again Alessandro?’ Mrs. Braddock asked, subtly glancing at the shorter young man standing in front of the familiar Russian giant.
‘I came to talk to dad about something.’ Alex said as he turned back to his companions.   ‘You remember Mikhail, Mamma.   And this is Quinn.’
‘Ah, my Colossus of Rhodes.’ Mrs. Braddock said as she walked around the counter and reached up to Mikhail’s face with both her hands.   The giant had to bend over slightly, but Mrs. Braddock held his face firmly in her hands and then kissed him affectionately on the cheek.
‘Mrs. Braddock.’ Mikhail said respectfully.   ‘You’re looking beautiful as ever.’
‘Flatterer.’ Mrs. Braddock said with a smirk.   ‘And this is Quinn?’ She said releasing the giant and turning to the smallest of the three men.
‘Sì Mamma.’ Alex said standing just to the side and behind Quinn with a hand on his shoulder, smiling to his mother.
‘A handsome young man.’ She said reaching up to his face and holding his head tenderly.   ‘I see why my boy likes you.’ She said, as she kissed Quinn on the cheek with a knowing smile.   ‘He always liked the pretty ones.’
‘Ah, thank you Mrs. Braddock?’ Quinn said unsure if it was a compliment.
‘Your father is in his office.’ Alex’s mother said to him suddenly, gesturing toward the far corner of the house.   ‘Have you eaten?’
‘No Mamma.’ Alex said as Quinn and Mikhail both shook their heads in negation.   ‘Go talk to your Papa and I’ll make some food.   You two can help.’ She said smiling at the Russian and the blond.
‘Thank you Mamma.’ Alex said taking Quinn’s hand in his.   ‘I won’t be long.’
‘Come in.’ Came his father’s crisp Northern British accent.
‘Papa, I need to ask you something.’ Alex said walking into the office and taking the seat his father indicated.   He sat across from his father and wondered how a man could look so old and fragile at 45 years of age.
‘What is it my son?’ Nathaniel asked of his oldest son.
‘Papa, how old are you?’ Alex asked, unsure where to begin.
‘You should know.   I turn 46 in several months.’ Mr. Braddock asked with a hint of curiosity.
‘Then why do you look like you’re almost 80?’ Alex asked without subtlety.
‘You noticed then?’ His father asked with a trace of humour.
‘How could I not?’ Alex countered with a smirk.
‘You had the dream again didn’t you?’ Mr. Braddock asked, glancing at the door.   ‘As did your friend.’
‘How did you know?’ Alex asked quietly, slightly shocked.
‘I had it too.’ His father said, sighing quietly.   ‘And the night before as well.   And…’
‘Why didn’t you tell me?’ Alex asked in confusion, interrupting his father’s sentence.
‘You didn’t give me much of a chance to, son.’ Mr. Braddock said with a hurt look on his face.
‘Forgive me Papa.’ Alex said lowering his head in respect.
‘Nothing to forgive Alex.’ His father said in his crisp Northerner accent.   ‘Your Mamma told me yesterday, after you left, that I had hurt you.   I didn’t mean to hurt you, son.’ Mr. Braddock continued, as he reached across the desk carefully.   Alex looked at the hand of his father.   It looked like the hand belonged to his grandfather, rather than his father.
‘What do you mean?’ Alex asked.
‘I mean, I did not know you were gay, and when I mentioned the order I was in, I didn’t realise it would hurt you so much.’ Mr. Braddock explained, flexing his fingers to his son.   Alex reached out slowly with his hand and took hold of his father’s hand.
‘You didn’t hurt me Papa.   Just annoyed me.’ Alex said letting go of his father’s hand.   ‘But that wasn’t what I wanted to ask.’
‘Then dear boy, ask your question.’ Mr. Braddock said sitting up slightly and smiling.   ‘What happened 15 years ago?’ Alex asked bluntly, and noticed the smile fall off his father’s face.
‘What did you say?’ He stammered.
‘I said, what happened 15 years ago?’ Alex asked again and watched the shock flash in his father’s eyes.   The same pale blue eyes he had.
‘How… I….   but….   How?’ The old man stuttered incoherently.
‘I was visited by someone last night, who just so happened to scare the absolute shit out of me and my two friends by FLYING outside my bloody window, ON THE 16TH FLOOR!’ Alex shouted at his father.   ‘Now, what the hell happened 15 years ago?
’ ‘Tell him old man.’ Alex nearly had a heart attack when he heard a voice behind him.
Alex turned so quickly, his neck clicked in protest.   He saw the exact same person from last night, standing in the middle of his father’s office with a smile on his face.   Behind him was another person, standing slightly in the shadows in the corner.
‘What the fuck?’ Alex said standing up quickly.
‘Sit down.’ The person said, flicking a hand toward Alex.   Alex felt a force press down on him and press him back into the seat.
‘Release my son.’ Mr. Braddock said standing up and raising a hand to the intruder.   Alex immediately felt the release of whatever force was holding him down.   He stood up again and rounded on the twin.
‘Sit down, son.’ Called his father calmly.   ‘Please?’ His father begged.   Alex looked back at his father and saw his wrinkled face puckering with pain.
‘Sit down and let me explain what you came here for.’ Nathaniel said wearily.   ‘They will not harm you while I am here.’ He said gesturing to the two people.
‘Are they…?’ Alex began asking.
‘We are the twins from your dream.’ The shadow in the corner said firmly.
‘But why?’ Alex asked trying to see the face of the shadowed person.   He looked back to his father.
‘It’s punishment.’ Mr. Braddock said sadly.   ‘My punishment.’
Alex looking incredibly stunned, gaped at his father.
‘Punishment for what?’ Alex said finally sitting back down.
‘Punishment for killing the mother of these boys.’ Nathaniel said with a tear in his eye, gesturing to the twins.   Alex looked from his father’s crestfallen face to the amused glare of the first twin, and he still wasn’t able to see the face of the second twin.
‘Punishment? Killing? Mother?’ Alex stuttered, looking back to his father.
‘The dream you had?’ Mr. Braddock asked sadly.   ‘It wasn’t merely a dream.   It was a memory.   A memory that these two have forced me to relive ever since they found me, several years after that incident.’
‘Were you there?’ Alex asked, not sure he wanted to know the answer.
‘Yes.’ Mr. Braddock answered glumly.   Alex’s shoulders slumped in defeat.
‘Answer him completely.’ The first twin said with a trace of humour.
‘Father?’ Alex pleaded, a tear falling from his right eye.
‘I was the one who killed their mother.   I was the one who stomped the life from her, as I stomped on her throat and broke her neck.’ His father said with tears streaming down his face.
‘Why?’ Alex begged.   ‘Why would you do that?’
‘It was my duty to.   I was charged with the decimation of these two.’ He said waving a hand at the twins.   ‘And their dirty, filthy mother.’ As his father spit these words out, Alex detected a strong sense of derision in his father’s voice.   The twins, both of them, hissed with dislike.   Alex turned to them and was surprised to see the second twin was now standing beside his brother.   He was identical to his brother, naturally, except his hair was still the same blond Alex had seen in the dream.   The second twin looked at Alex with his startling green eyes.   It was as if the twin could see Alex, but was looking through him.
‘He doesn’t know anything.’ The second twin said.
‘What?’ The first twin said, turning to his brother.
‘He doesn’t know anything.’ The second twin reiterated.   ‘Nothing.’
‘Impossible.’ The first twin said turning back to Alex and staring at him intensely.
‘You haven’t passed it on?’ He said looking to Alex’s father.
‘No.’ Mr. Braddock said.   There was a note of hopelessness in his father’s voice that made Alex look at him.   ‘No, I kept it.   And the responsibility.   He is innocent.’
‘What are you talking about?’ Alex asked with impatience.
‘These two here.’ Mr. Braddock indicated the twins.   ‘They have abilities.   They are both telepathic.   This one.’ He gestured to the first twin.   ‘He has telekinesis, the ability to move objects with his mind.   He is also mildly empathic, able to feel people’s emotions.   This one.’ He pointed to the second twin.   ‘He has precognitive abilities; he can see events before they happen.   He is also strongly empathic, not only able to feel people’s emotions, but to also manipulate them.   He has a mild degree of telekinesis, but chooses not to use it.’
Alex was dumbfounded and slightly skeptical.
‘Bullshit.’ Alex said thinking this was some elaborate joke.
‘Idiot.’ The first twin said waving his hand toward Alex as a force of invisible energy made contact with Alex and threw him backward over his chair.   Completely shocked, Alex got to his feet and shook with fear as he watched the first twin advance on him.   When the twin was close enough, he reached out a finger and pressed it to Alex’s temple.
‘Hmm, you’re right Cade.   Nothing.’ He said looking back to his brother, who simply continued to look at or through Alex.   Alex briefly thought, it really is hard to tell if he was looking at him, or through him.   ‘Well, your son is at least safe from us old man.   You however, were warned to pass on your abilities before our return, and I still sense you have them.’
‘What abilities?’ Alex asked in a shaking voice.
‘I am telekinetic, son.’ His father said quietly.
‘It’s a long story that we don’t have time for.’ The first twin said with impatience.
‘But…’ Alex said before feeling a great pressure against his throat.
‘Do it!’ The first twin said glaring at the old man behind his desk.
Unable to move, Alex watched in horror as his father took a letter opener out of his drawer and stood up.   He moved around the desk and stood in front of his son, right next to the first twin and raised the letter opener.   Nathaniel saw Alex’s eyes bulge with panic as the blade came into his line of vision.   With a fast flick of the blade, the old man had run it across his own wrist, a spray of blood flickering over Alex’s horrified face.   Alex stared in morbid horror as his father began speaking in an unknown language as he cupped his hand under his bleeding wrist, catching his blood.   He lifted the cupped hand up and over Alex’s head and let the blood pour into his hair.   Alex felt gooseflesh pimple across every inch of his body as his father’s blood trickled over his head, down the sides and some down his forehead.   But then Alex heard the twins speaking in the same language and his curiosity kept him from outright panic.
After a few minutes of his father and the twins chanting in the foreign language, they came to an end.   The first twin waved his hand over the old man’s wrist and Alex watched in fascination as the wound healed instantly.
‘Why were you chanting?’ Nathaniel asked quietly of the first twin.
‘That is none of your concern, Old Man.’ The first twin said with malice.
‘Can you release my son please?’ Mr. Braddock asked quietly.   The first twin looked to Alex and smiled.   Alex felt the pressure release him and he gasped for a breath.
‘The transfer is done.’ The first twin said as he stepped to his brother’s side.   ‘You have a week to set your affairs in order, Old Man.’
‘We shall see you soon.’ The second twin said looking at Alex; again Alex was unsure if he was actually looking at him, or through him.
As Alex made to jump at the twins, there was an explosion of unseen energy and he was thrown back against the wall as he watched the twins fade from their sight.
Alex, with the aid of his father, managed to clean most of the old man’s blood from his face, neck and head.   He decided it was easier to stick his head under the shower and rinse the blood out with some shampoo, his father leaving him to it.   As he walked back into his father’s office toweling his hair dry, he saw his father leaning against his desk, looking out the window.   He walked over to the desk, righted one of the chairs and sat on it, looking at his father.
‘Hundreds of years ago, perhaps even thousands, 4 men attacked and destroyed a group of people.   A group of people that were rumoured to practice witch craft.   The four people somehow managed to steal the powers of the group, each of them taking one of the powers, before killing everyone.   One became telepathic, another telekinetic, one became empathic and the last precognitive.   They gathered and formed a great army, and rode under the banner of God.   Their duty, to rid the world of witches and warlocks, an affront to the will of God.’
‘Witches and warlocks?’ Alex questioned, still drying his hair.
‘It’s what those twins were called back in those times.’ Mr. Braddock answered.   ‘So these four men started a blood thirsty campaign at the head of God’s Army, laying waste to any and all that so much as looked like a witch or warlock.   Thousands upon thousands of people were brutally murdered by this army.   Entire villages, innocent families, all wiped clean off the face of the planet.   They became known as the Horsemen of God.
‘It was tradition to pass on his abilities to his first born son.   For generations, it passed, from father to son, all the way through the years, until it came upon me.   ‘Our grandmaster heard a rumour of a prophecy.   He believed the Triumvirate had been born.   The three leaders of the so called witches and warlocks.   He believed that the twins were two of the prophesised three, and that should a third son be born to their parents, the Triumvirate would be complete.   So, we “Horsemen” were dispatched to eradicate them.
‘We were trained to despise and hate them, educated to be repelled by their existence.   But something went horribly wrong when we approached their house.
‘Max, the gentleman you saw stabbed to the wall broke ranks early and tried to take them on alone.   He said something about a vision telling him he needed to get to them before the other three did.   Well, as you saw, that didn’t turn out so well.   When we got there after him, we found the mother in the lounge, half beaten to death and Max crumpled in a heap at the end of the hall.   She was pregnant, we believe.   ‘Even wounded these people are dangerous.   I stood on her throat as she called out, not to harm us, but to warn her sons.   I crushed her throat under my foot and snapped her neck.   I watched as her eyes lost their light.   As she died.
‘We burst into the bedroom as the twins were vanishing, much in the same fashion you just witnessed yourself.   I reached out to grab one of them and was blasted away by him.
‘When we regained our footing, we panicked.   We grabbed Max’s body and fled.   I have not thought about that day since then.
‘10 years passed, silently, uneventfully.   I watched as my 3 children all grew, while my secret ate away at my humanity.   Every day I would come into my office and stare at my bookshelf, where my diary sat, with that horrible memory written in the pages.   And then one night, they found me, sitting in this precise office, and they came to me.   They found me alone, and did unspeakable things to my mind.   If such a thing existed, they raped and pillaged my mind for hours.
‘They got everything they wanted from me, except my telekinesis, which they are unable to strip from me.   They warned me to pass it on before their next arrival.
‘The assault left a considerable mark on me.   My brain, tortured and beaten, lost an element of control over the rest of my body.   I began aging rapidly, becoming the old man you see before you.
‘I would like to tell you, that I regret what I did.   That I wish not to have done that.   The training I underwent, the conditioning I received, do not allow me to think like this.   I am repulsed by their existence.   I am disgusted to share this planet with them.   I cannot be happy while they exist.’
Alex sat mesmerized by his father’s words.   He was unsure what to say.
‘Why were they chanting with you?’ He finally asked.
‘I honestly do not know.’ Nathaniel said sadly.   ‘If John were still alive, and had his powers, he could have answered that.’ Alex nodded sadly.
‘I… I think I need to leave.’ Alex said standing up and tossing the damp towel onto the leather seat, his hair mostly still damp.
‘Don’t leave Alex.’ The old man said sadly.
‘I can’t stay here.   I need to go.’ Alex said walking to the door.   ‘I’ll come back when I can get my head around this.’
‘Please do, son.’
Alex stepped out into the hallway as Quinn came out of the kitchen.
‘Food’s ready.’ He said happily, and then noticed the odd look on Alex’s face as well as his damp hair.   ‘Are you okay?’
Alex reached out for Quinn with both hands.   Quinn ran the short distance and threw himself into Alex’s embrace.
‘What happened?’ The blond one asked his voice heavy with concern.
‘We need to go.’ Alex said, stifling a desire to cry.
‘Okay.’ Quinn said pushing back from Alex to look him in the eyes.   He didn’t like the shadow of sadness there.   ‘I’ll get Mikhail.’
‘No, I will.   You wait here.’ Alex said quietly.   He stepped into the kitchen and saw his mother hugging the Russian giant.
‘My son needs you.   Go my boy.’ Mrs. Braddock said pushing Mikhail toward her eldest son.
‘Alex, are you alright?’ The Russian asked striding toward his best friend.
‘Let’s just go, please Mickey.’ Alex said looking at his mother.   She had a sad smile on her face that Alex found interesting.   He’d have to ask her about that next time.   Mikhail took a plastic bag Mrs. Braddock had put food into and tucked it under his arm.   He took Alex’s hand in his and pulled him out of the kitchen.   The Russian handed the bag of food to Quinn, who took it without asking questions, as the Russian grabbed the blonds other hand and dragged the both of them out of the house.   Outside on the front lawn, the Russian jogged to the front gate and stepped through it, and whistled loudly for a taxi.   Quinn had fallen in step beside Alex and put a hand around his waist.   By the time the two of them had reached the sidewalk, Mikhail was already in a taxi.   They climbed in the back seat.
‘Quinn, pass me some of that food please?’ The Russian asked holding a hand out behind him.   Quinn opened the bag and pulled out a plastic container with bacon, scrambled egg, sausages and tomato in it, and handed it to Mikhail.
‘Would you like something to eat?’ Quinn asked Alex quietly.
‘Not really.’ Alex said, gazing at the back of the driver’s seat.
‘Try some of mine then.’ Quinn said shuffling to Alex’s side with an identical plastic container of food.   He picked up a sausage and held it out to Alex.   Alex leaned over and took a small bite of the sausage.   As he swallowed, he realised just how hungry he was.   With abandon, the two of them made their way through the two servings of breakfast Mrs. Braddock had given them, as the Russian in the front seat devoured his.
‘Do you want to talk about what happened?’ Quinn asked quietly as he nibbled on the remnants of his breakfast sausage.
‘Not yet.’ Alex said coming out of his reverie and glancing at Quinn.   He managed a weak smile as he ate the last piece of bacon.
‘Okay.’ Quinn said leaning over and kissing Alex on the cheek.
‘That doesn‘t sound good?’ Quinn said with concern.
‘It doesn‘t.’ Alex agreed.   He recalled a part of the conversation between his father and the twins, and then dismissed the thought as he was shocked out of his skin for the third time today.
‘I believe we can answer that.’ Came a voice from the sliding door.   All three people sitting on the sofa jumped with alarm.   Alex looked at them with fierce intensity.   He noticed that they were very nearly his height.   The red head appeared to be his height, and the blond, with his stooping posture appeared to be Quinn’s height.   They were both wearing blue jeans, the red head wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, the blond wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt.   The red head had straight, flowing red hair, almost the colour of blood, the same length all over.   Some was swept across his forehead, while some swept down over his ears and down his neck.   The other brother had that same pale blond hair Alex had seen in the dream, the same length as his brothers, in the same style.   Both twins, though not nearly as broad shouldered as Alex weren’t exactly slight of body either.   Although the blond twin, with his posture, looked like he might have been the same build as Quinn.   And their eyes.   Alex found it hard to look away from them when he made eye contact with them.   The green was so vividly intense, it was as if there was a 200 watt light bulb placed behind each eye.   They were just so bright.   Alex shook himself trying to break free of the hypnotic glare of the blond twin.
‘Please!’ Alex said standing up and stepping toward the twins, who were merely standing there calmly, observing Alex, or Mikhail, or Quinn alternately.   ‘Please don’t hurt either of them.’
‘We won’t.’ The quieter of the twins said, again with a distant look about his eyes, as if he wasn’t quite seeing what was in front of him.
‘We came to explain what happened.   In terms you will understand.’ The more dominant twin said stepping toward Alex with his hands held out in peaceful gesture.
‘Please, promise you won’t hurt either of them.’ Alex said, still blocking Mikhail and Quinn from their view.
‘We promise.’ The twins said in unison.
‘Thank you.’ Alex said letting his breath out.
‘My name is Jaden.’ The red headed twin said holding his hand out to Alex.   Alex shook his hand and smiled in reserved welcome.   ‘This is my brother Caiden.’ He said gesturing to the blond headed twin.   He in turn held his hand out to Alex.   As Alex grasped the hand of the second brother, the twin shivered slightly.   Alex found this curious, but decided it wasn’t important.
‘This is my friend Mikhail.’ Alex said gesturing to the Russian, who puffed up to his impressive full size.   The twins nodded to him.   ‘And this is Quinn, fast becoming an important person to me.’ The twins glanced at Alex together and then to each other.
‘At such an early stage.’ Jaden said with fascination, glancing at Alex with a raised eyebrow.
‘Fortunately for him, it appears to be reciprocated.’ Caiden said leveling his full attention on Quinn, who seemed to shrink slightly under the gaze.
‘What’s the time Mikhail?’ Alex asked over his shoulder.
‘Ten minutes to midday.’ The Russian answered curiously.
‘Not too early for a drink then.’ Alex said making his way to the kitchen.   ‘Come help me?’ He asked as he walked past Quinn.
‘You need not fear for his safety, Alessandro.’ The quieter brother said from the sliding door.
‘I’m not.   I can’t carry five wine glasses and a half dozen bottles of wine by myself.’ Alex said smiling to Quinn.   ‘And please don’t call me that.   Call me Alex.’ ‘Certainly.’ The twins said in unison.
‘You grab the glasses, I’ll grab the wine.’ Alex said brushing his cheek against Quinn’s.   The stubble of his unshaven face grazed the smaller man’s cheek, but he smiled with affection.
‘Alex?’ Quinn asked retrieving five wine glasses from the cupboard and placing them on the counter.   ‘What did they mean when they said “At such an early stage” and that it’s reciprocated?’
‘I honestly don’t know, sorry.   I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough.’ Alex said smiling to Quinn, and was rewarded with a flash of Quinn’s knee weakening smile.   As the two of them walked back to the lounge, Mikhail was still standing by the sofa, keeping a vigilant eye on the twins.   The twins themselves were just standing around calmly, the dominant one watching the Russian with equal interest.   The quiet twin watching Alex and Quinn with vague curiosity.
‘Let’s sit outside.   Seems to be nice and sunny out there.’ Alex said to everyone.   Jaden turned to the sliding door, and with a gesture of his hand, the doors slid open all the way.   Mikhail and Quinn both started with surprise, as the twins stepped out onto the balcony.   Alex followed them out and placed the several bottles of wine in the middle of the table.   Quinn followed next and put the wine glasses next to the bottles.   As Mikhail took a seat at the small table, Alex sat to his left, and Quinn to Alex’s left.   When all three were seated, the twins sat down opposite them and smiled.
‘I’ll pour, shall I?’ Jaden asked waving a hand at the bottles.   In a few seconds, all five glasses had filled with liquid.   On closer inspection, Alex noticed that two of the bottles were empty.   He looked back and forth between the glasses and bottles, trying to figure out how that happened.
‘Molecular manipulation.’ The red headed twin said smiling.   ‘Quite a fun gift that.’
Alex suppressed a shudder.   The glasses all rose from the table and floated safely to the five gentlemen seated around the table.   ‘Cheers!’
Alex took a large swig from the glass and then looked to the red headed brother.   ‘So, explain why you came to stalking me, and attacking my father and me in his office.’
‘Your father was right.   There was a prophecy about the rise of the Triumvirate.   They however, were wrong about the third member.   It was not our yet to be born brother.’ Jaden said with sadness.
‘So they attacked you for no reason?’ Quinn said suppressing a shiver up his spine.
‘Yes.’ The red head said looking at Quinn with curiosity.   ‘The third had already been born.   Our father was already looking for him.’
‘Why did your father have to go looking for him?’ Alex asked, taking a smaller mouthful of wine.
‘He was not born of us.   By us, I mean our species.’
‘Species?’ Alex, Quinn and Mikhail all queried simultaneously.
‘Well, we aren’t quite human.   A few biological differences, which allow us to be born with these abilities.’ Jaden tried to explain.
‘But, my father could use the powers that were stolen from those people.’ Alex questioned.
‘As I said, we are born with these abilities.   Your fathers “army” stole them from us.’ The red haired twin said, a fire flashing in his green eyes.
‘Oh.’ Alex said.
‘So, when my brother and I fled,’ Jaden gestured toward his brother, who just so happened to be staring at his wine glass with immense concentration, ‘we met my father at a safe house.   We explained what had happened, and he took us somewhere safe.’ He paused momentarily to take a mouthful of wine.   ‘This is good.   Try some Cade.’ The blond twin lowered the glass and took a small mouthful of the wine.   He smiled brightly and took another mouthful.   Alex couldn’t help but smile at him.
‘We were raised by the Elder, with our father’s protection.   We learnt to use our powers with much greater control and precision.   I became the offensive and Cade became the strategist.   He planned everything, I put it into action.’
Alex nodded in understanding as Mikhail seemed to relax and drink some of his wine.   Quinn had shuffled unconsciously closer to Alex seeking both to comfort Alex and draw comfort from him.   Alex glanced to him and took his hand in his and laid them on his thigh.
‘After a few years, Cade came to me with a plan.   He secretly told me that when the one who attacked us died, his precognitive ability had somehow siphoned itself into Cade.   And over the years, he had devised a plan.   We take the powers of the other three, and hold them until our Third was revealed.   So we slowly began hunting them.   We started with the telepath, who was relatively easy to locate, considering both of us are much stronger telepaths individually than he ever would be.   The empath was particularly easy.   We barely had to strike him to make him surrender his powers.’
Alex took a mouthful of his wine while Jaden took a moment to savour another mouthful himself.   ‘This truly is a magnificent wine.’
‘I’m glad you like it.’ Alex said with genuine thanks.
‘The telekinetic was going to be difficult.’ Jaden continued.   ‘In the brief moment he saw us in that room as we were vanishing, he very nearly managed to rip Cade from my grip.’
He glanced at Cade with loving affection as the blond brother took a mouthful of wine and swished it around in his mouth.   ‘I knew we were dealing with a talented soldier.   So, we approached him slowly and cautiously.   We planted seeds of doubt in his mind, made him slightly paranoid.   Then we confronted him in his office.   And told him we would make a deal.   We would spare his life, if he transferred his powers to his next.   So we left him that day and travelled around trying to find our Third.   We went from country to country, city to city, following loose ends and errant thoughts, to no avail.   Then while we were back in this town, following up on your fathers promise, we noticed something.   An errant thought of his lead us somewhere, where we noticed a kinship to someone.   So we followed him, tested him.   We knew we’d found him.’
Alex had a niggling feeling at the back of his mind, but was enraptured with the Twin’s story.
‘Then we followed him one day and we confronted him.’ Jaden was smiling now.
‘He was speaking with his father, the man who had promised us he would pass on his powers.   Fascinating, the irony of this outcome.   The man, who took the life of our mother and our unborn brother, in an attack of ignorance, would sire the Third.’
Alex was shaking uncontrollably while listening to this.   Quinn was struggling to hold onto his hand, while Mikhail had a huge arm wrapped around his shoulders.
‘So, here we are, speaking with the Third.   The Third piece to our puzzle.   The Triumvirate is complete.’ Jaden finished smiling.
‘He needs training.’ Caiden said looking Alex dead in the eyes.   ‘He feels it, but cannot use it.’
‘A minor concern.   Let him absorb this information first.’ The red head said smiling to his brother.
‘Three hours.’ The blond replied.
‘Three hours?’ Quinn enquired.
‘He will understand and accept in three hours.’ Jaden answered for the twins.
‘I see.’ Quinn said standing up.   He pulled gently on Alex’s hand and Alex stood.   ‘If it’s alright, I’d like a private word with Alex.’
‘That is fine.’ Caiden said smiling properly to Quinn.   ‘We will not intrude.’ He nodded.
Quinn smiled at the blond twin, already liking him more than the rather intimidating red head.
‘We shall enjoy some more wine with Mikhail.’ Jaden said smiling to the Russian, who felt a tiny bit out of place.
‘Mamma?’ Alex called as he opened the front door, leading Quinn and Mikhail inside.   Mikhail went to close the door and thought he glimpsed someone watching him from the other side of the road.   He closed the door firmly behind him and stood behind Quinn.   ‘Papa?’ Alex called as he knocked on the office door.   ‘Come with me son.’ The old man said coaxing his eldest son to stand up.   Alex stood up shakily.   His father took his hand in his and led him to a door opposite his desk.   He opened it and stepped into a bathroom.   ‘Let’s clean you up.’ ‘Alright.   Explain.’ Mikhail said as he closed the apartment door behind him.   For the next 30 odd minutes, Alex explained everything that had transpired in his father’s office, leaving no single detail out.   He explained about the bizarre transfer ritual his father performed, and the twins chanting with him.   He explained that he felt an odd stirring sensation in his mind, like some miniscule rodent running about in there, making a lot of noise.
‘Papa?’ Alex called as he knocked on the office door.   ‘Come with me son.’ The old man said coaxing his eldest son to stand up.   Alex stood up shakily.   His father took his hand in his and led him to a door opposite his desk.   He opened it and stepped into a bathroom.   ‘Let’s clean you up.’ ‘Alright.   Explain.’ Mikhail said as he closed the apartment door behind him.   For the next 30 odd minutes, Alex explained everything that had transpired in his father’s office, leaving no single detail out.   He explained about the bizarre transfer ritual his father performed, and the twins chanting with him.   He explained that he felt an odd stirring sensation in his mind, like some miniscule rodent running about in there, making a lot of noise.