Chapter 49 - Say It Again
The moment Ezekiels presence and voice faded out of the room, Brandon found it harder not to focus on the pain.
Brandon sank his teeth into his cheek, trying to stall the tears that wanted to build as the blood continued to gather on his hips. He felt the damp warmth dripping off his side and hitting the edge of stool and for a split second he wished that his energy would return. He wished that he haven’t temporarily banished the power inside that could wipe away every little ache and pain.
But just as quickly as he made that wish he took it back and mentally set it aflame.
Yes......Brandon knew that the power inside of him could wipe away his pain, but it could also wipe away every living thing in that house with him.
So instead of continuing along those ultimately useless trains of thought, he focused on his pain.
There was a throb in Brandon’s entire left side. Thump....thump....thump. It radiated out of the torn stitches and flesh and organs that he had.....quite foolishly damaged the other night. Every breath was like a hot poker to his guts.
It was excruciating. It was all he could focus on. That and the rude sounds that the blond haired Shifter across the kitchen was making at his expense. Brandon didn’t have to recall that this was one of Ezekiels brothers....or that he went by the tittle Guardian like Ezekiel. His brother who went by the name of Lander.
Brandon looked at him; A tall, handsome, blond haired, green eyed, mass of muscles with a raw magnetism about him that attracted the eyes no matter how hard Brandon didn’t want it to, but unlike Ezekiel his brother had a harsh vibe about him. A feeling came off of him that stung like the edge of a cold knife against Brandon’s skin.
Brandon couldn’t stand that feeling or the way that Lander had a perpetual sneer plastered across his charming face, even while he stood across the kitchen preparing a meal.
His eyes seemed far too dark to Brandon, like there were grey clouds brewing just beneath their hostile surfaces. And the expression in his face was full of sneers and condescension and a hint of rage; it was like Lander, knew everything everyone else was thinking and he hated them for thinking it.
What’s this guy’s problem?
Brandon thought to himself dully, letting his curiosity fog the pain a bit.
Lander must have sensed Brandon’s eyes on him, because he glanced up from the food he was preparing
“Hey.....” Brandon panted, stopped, and then tried again. “What are you grumbling about?”
“Me? I’m just thinking about You....you queers are so dramatic....” Lander murmured, he cut his eyes at the obvious blood drenching his shirt and shook his head as if in disappointment.
“Ezekiel looks like hes about to pop over some blood and it’s not even that bad of an injury...” The blond hair’d Shifter nearly hissed at him. “I don’t see why we have to go bothering my cousin for some sissy little mortal.”
“Queer? Sissy? ” Brandon bit off, unable to summon the strength just yet to infuse his question with any real emotion.
“Did I fucking stutter?” The tall Shifter grumbled as he slathered his bread with a white substance and then quickly tossed the various pieces of his sandwich together.
Brandon laughed in astonishment that one man could be so......vile. Everything about Landers demeanor made it not only unpleasant to be with him, but it also made it terribly hard to believe that someone so crass was related to Ezekiel...much less to Glen.
Brandon silently watched as Ezekiels brother tossed the final piece of his meal together, lifted it and took a big bite. Lander chewed the sandwich thoughtfully for a moment, his gaze centered on Brandon for a few seconds before he swallowed and said “So what’s your name anyway? And why cant I read you.....I can read everyone so I should be able to read a little nobody like you.”
Totally caught off guard by the quick change of conversation, but still sickened by the Shifters tone, Brandon bit of his next response. “My fucking name is Brandon...and I don’t have any idea what you’re talking about. I don’t give a shit if you can or can’t “Read me” but have I done something to you personally? Does me liking men offend you or something?” he asked Lander directly.
“Well, of course it fucking offends me!” Lander chuckled, tossing down a half-eaten sandwich on to his plate, so violently that it struck the plate and fell apart, spreading meat and lettuce over the clean counter top before him. “It’s disgusting....your disgusting. But besides that...How do you not know what reading is? You’re the one blocking me from reading you in the first place!”
“I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about...!” Brandon nearly shouted, only for the Shifter to bark back at him just as angrily.
“You’re blocking me.....from....reading.....your mind.” Lander slowly and obnoxiously .pronounced his sentences in snarling chunks, that made Brandon’s blood boil. “I can’t READ you, get it now? I don’t know how to say it any simpler for you idiot.”
Read my mind? What the hell?
Brandon asked himself. For a moment he didn’t believe the Shifter, but it didn’t take him long to recall the way that Ezekiel had put an illusion on his mind. He remember the sunlight and the calm that had engulfed him. A dream pouring into his him from another place. From another person.
In all honesty Brandon had forgotten about the experience, and he didn’t really understand it, but now he was struck with disquiet.
What had the blue eyed Shifter done to him to get him too sleep?
A hidden power....like what Lander was speaking of?
Instantly Brandon worried about what other things the Shifters in that family could do.
“You....Can you really read other people’s minds?” Brandon asked Lander slightly incredulous.
“Damn right I can.” Lander responded with a flare of confidence that seemed to fit right in with his character.
But Brandon wasn’t worried about his behavior.... So much as he was worried about what was being implied if Lander was telling him the truth. Brandon was possibly in a highly dangerous situation, without even knowing it and he had to find out what he was dealing with. “What about the others....” He forced himself to ask Lander in a calm voice.
“What?” Lander responded. “Oh, Can they read minds? No....and it wouldn’t matter, because I can’t read your mind anyway.” Lander griped, tapping a hard fingers on his temple a few times. “You’re keeping me out of your head somehow. So why don’t you focus on telling me how you’re doing it?”
“What are you talking about” Brandon grumbled back confused. “I’m not DOING ANYTHING, but what about the rest of your family....What can they do if they aren’t mind readers like you?” Brandon implored him, only for Lander to growl at him aggressively.
“Why would I tell you any of that shit....you’re a stranger and besides; Why do you care!?” he asked Brandon suspiciously.
But Brandon only shrugged off his suspicions and said. “What if you attack me or something? I need to know what I’m up against...”
“Oh come off it mortal.” Ezekiels brother answered back, completely unsympathetic to Brandon’s words. “If any one of us wanted to take you out, knowing about our abilities, won’t save your sorry ass.” Lander told him, his tone far too condescending and sharp for Brandon’s liking.
“But...” Brandon tried to interject only for Lander to strong arm past his words the next moment.
“Alright now that you understand all that, let’s get back to the important matter.” He growled, flashing a pair of canines that were almost too long and too sharp. “I can’t read you and that only happens when someone is actively blocking me out.” Lander briefly explained, although Brandon got the feeling that he didn’t really explain for his benefit. Lander paused, and starred dead into Brandon’s eyes and for a moment Brandon thought that he saw his green eyes lengthen, and elongate. He thought he saw a light flash in his irises, but in the next second Lander blinked and it was gone. Suddenly he spoke a tremor of a growl on his voice. “Now...Right now....I’m trying to read your mind....Can you feel me?” he asked Brandon.
And almost instantly Brandon felt...a weight on the side of his head. It was a light as fingertips on his temples and as cold as ice. Something in Brandon responded to the feeling.
Brandon felt a thump inside of his core, the energy flickered alive like a spark form two stone striking. Angry. Vengeful. The cold was knocked away like a worthless bug as the power inside snapped like a vicious dog at the foreign energy that tried to invade his thoughts. Then the power retreated back into the recesses’ of Brandon’s soul. Spent and buried once more.
Brandon bit his lip and looked down to hide the bewilderment that tried to raise over him. He didn’t understand any of what he was feeling or why he felt it at all. He couldn’t control it. He could barely decipher it....and live with it. But one thing was for sure.....he couldn’t talk about it. So when he looked back at Lander in the next few seconds he smoothed over any expressions, and shrugged nonchalantly.
“No...I don’t feel anything.” Brandon said. Then sighed as he keyed back into the pain radiating along his side and whishing that he could tune it out completely. He should have been dead.....Brandon knew it. The damage that had been done to him and the damage he had done the other night, no normal man could have endured.....but he wasn’t just any man. He didn’t know what he was.
I’m something horrifying.....I know that at least...
Brandon thought to himself.
But Lander, completely unaware and unconcerned with Brandon’s state of mind just then, uncrossed his arms and shook his head, seemingly unable to believe what Brandon had just said to him
“Hmmm, I can’t believe it.” Lander mused, the glare in his green eyes sharpening, before he shrugged. “Must be all the homo blood in your veins blocking me out then.” Lander sneered unpleasantly before he took up the plate before him, turned and tossed the food into the trash, then he turned back and leaned back against the counter top. He ran a hand forward through his spikey blond hair. “Case closed. I guess.” He said and shrugged.
Brandon’s hands itched to throw something into the Shifter face, but nothing was around for him to grab, so he clenched his jaw in frustration. “You know what?” He said. “Fuck you.....you’re just an ignorant ass-hole...” Brandon griped at Lander in annoyance, wishing that the Shifter would leave him to suffer in peace.
“Well fuck you right back queer. I’d rather be an ignorant asshole, then a fagot any day of the week.” Lander snapped back without a hint of hesitation or kindness.
Brandon slammed his hand down on the counter top, ignoring the streaks of fresh blood that he spread across its once pristine surface, as his gloved hands pressed onto the marble top. “Say it again! I dare you to say that fucking word to me again!” he shouted at the edge of his seat
Lander growled, dark green eyes shining unpleasantly as he opened his mouth.......
“Hey...!! Hey what are you guys screaming about in here?” Ezekiel said walking back into the kitchen at that exact moment. “Lander what are you doing...?”
But the blond haired irritant completely ignored Ezekiel. Lander locked his green eyes on Brandon’s face and sneered. “Lucky you....” He snarled.
“You just got saved by the fucking bell.” Lander said, then he began to pull away as if he was preparing to leave, but Brandon wasn’t about to let that stand.
“Hey!! What are you scared of you prick? Come on.....I dare you. Please, come over here...” Brandon baited him as he used his eyes to motion to the area next to his seat. “Say it to my face Shifter.”
By now Brandon could sense Ezekiel moving towards them, he was saying something, speaking in a stern tone, but Brandon ignored him completely. He clenched his fists on the table top and waited to see if the blond haired Shifter was still going to turn and walk away.
But Lander wasn’t backing down. He laughed and walked up right beside the chair and leaned down and snarled in Brandon’s face. “FAG!”