On the Evil Scale: Keeper of La Tecla (The Key) Book Two

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𝒞𝒽𝒶𝓅𝓉𝑒𝓇 𝟫

𝐸rik, Jon, Thomas and Anthony had all gathered but we all waited for Leonus.

“He’s late.” I complained staring at the clock.

“He’s a bloody drama Queen.” Erik groaned, “Always the last one to make a statement.”

A loud knock banged on the new door.

“Who is it?” I called out.

“Leonus...” a voice bluntly answered.

Erik sped over, unlocking the door. Leonus grimaced in disgust as he stepped inside, growling under his breath.

“Leonus...don’t.” I warned, “Just don’t!”

“Did you find anything?” Leonus inquired, sitting in one of the chairs, glaring at Jon and Erik, “Surrounded by freaking Bloodsuckers and pets. Wonderful.” he heard their growls and roars.

“Yes. The guards found one of Lucy’s boots and hair ribbons, near the ruins.” I ignored his comment as I revealed, “But before we begin, I’m waiting on my mom. She and the other Wiccans have…”

“Wait...we’re expected to sit here and wait for your Mum to arrive? And when would that be? The stone age?” he mocked referring to her Arthritis.

“I know you hate me, but don’t you dare take it out on my mother!” I stood beginning to steam and doing so, the trash can near the desk erupted in flames, “Do you understand?”

His eyes squinted his answer before breaking his gaze, examining the trash can.

“As I was trying to say, my mom and other Wiccans have been working on a locating spell and she informed me that they might have found something useful. THEY might have.” I continued firmly directing my words in Leonus’ direction; he scoffed releasing a low TSK.

“We’ll wait.” Jon added, “Patience is a virtue!”

“She should be here so the wait shouldn’t be much longer.” I said.

In an uncomfortable setting, Thomas, Anthony and I engaged in quick conversation while the others sat across the room, sharing eerie stares that could be felt throughout the room, accompanied by Demon groans and Lycynian growls.

Erik leered in our direction watching as Anthony and I shared a moment of laughter with Thomas as they shared a humorous moment from their past but watching as I laughed with another man, unpleasant scenarios played through his mind. Especially watching the glances shared between the young woman and Italian Lycynian. Glances that were innocent in nature. He bounced his feet against the ground in agitation when Jon reached over, tapping his shoulder alerting him his jealousy was showing.

Hearing complaints all around I protested,

“For god sake...would you stop it!?”


Nick appeared outside the study, holding onto my mom who quickly glanced around. Escorting her to the waiting lounge he asked softly sitting her down,

“Are you alright, Lady D? Here, sit…”

“Thank you, sweetie, but I’m fine. It’s just...teleporting takes my breath away.” my mom replied, taking deep breaths.

“Good to know us Wraiths have that effect.” he joked as he sat across from her, “Now...I’ll wait here then take you back afterwards.” he reached forward, grabbing a magazine from the table.

“I’ll be fine sweetie. Go back to work.” she urged.

“I am working.” he argued, “It’s fine.” he gave a friendly smile, “Besides, you’re the Keeper’s mother so taking care of you is part of my job description.”

My mom returned the smile as she stood, walking toward the study door. Taking a deep breath, bouncing items she held in her arms and fixing her hair, she knocked quietly pushing it open, as it was left unlocked for her arrival. Aware, we all listened as the door creaked open followed by my mom peeking her head in, seeing all of us here, dressed in a beautiful dark red dress.

“I hope you’re not all waiting for me.” she inquired.

“We’ve only been waiting for an hour, woman.” Leonus complained firmly then glanced toward my direction, noticing my expression.

As she entered closing the door behind her, my mom returned the firm complaint walking toward the desk,

“Magic takes time and patience which is obviously something you don’t have, so I suggest you shut it and let me explain the findings, yes? Man!? Or should I say mutt?” she waited for his answer but he didn’t respond, “Good. Now, the others and I performed various locating spells utilizing Lucy’s coat sleeve and all we saw and received in our results were images of ruins surrounded by thick forestry. Now, unless those creatures know how to swim, Lucy is still on the Isle.”

“There are ruins on the island just past Ravenswood.” Thomas revealed, “Anthony and I briefly explored them when a couple went missing hours before the Boar-wolves a few years ago. The next morning after they didn’t return, we ventured toward the ruins upon Marxus’ request and found nothing but footprints of both man and creature with shredded and blood stained camping gear among them.”

“Si.” Anthony affirmed with a nod, “What was left behind was a massacre and that day, we promised to never speak of it again, much less return. Until now. Marxus didn’t do anything about it at the time, for it seemed he had better or more important things to attend to. He blames their actions for it was their fault in some sense, knowing they shouldn’t have been out that way! But they didn’t follow the island’s rules for their safety. They were belligerent and head strong.”

“Wow. Didn’t know that. But, that’s good. All of this information is good for it means we’re closer to finding Lucy. We’ll just have to plan wisely.” I commented then glanced in Jon’s direction, “We’re almost there.” I smiled receiving one in return then continued, “Thank you, Mommy. This really narrows things down and tell the others that helped, their work was much appreciated.” I walked over giving her a hug, and after a cup of tea, she prepared to leave us to discuss things further. “Let me walk you out. Thomas...Anthony, thank you as well.” I smiled in their direction.

They nodded as my mom and I walked toward the door and before leaving, my mom turned flashing Leonus a look of distaste. As her eyes scanned the room, she offered a warning that there was something very dark below the ruins, and that we should be extremely cautious.

“Perfect...we’re getting safety lessons from Her-mommy Granger.” Leonus mocked, “What’s next? Mary-f*cking Poppins?” he raised his gaze watching as the mother and daughter stood at the door but had hesitated. He gulped watching as the petite young woman turned, glancing over her shoulder leering in his direction.

Nothing was said as she turned her back and sighing a moment of relief, the alpha Lycynian began feeling a burning in his hands that ran up his arms. Glancing at them, the skin began blistering faintly before it faded quickly. He kept the stabbing pains to himself but released low moans that no one paid attention to for they thought he was just trying to call attention. He rubbed his hands together before they went up the forearms then he abruptly stood approaching the patio doors.


Stepping outside, Nick patiently waited as he read through the magazine. I smiled standing there alongside my mom, studying his appearance momentarily. Nick’s blonde spiked hair was dyed red complimenting his appearance. Okay, ladies…he was Ravenstone’s JASON STACKHOUSE from TRUE BLOOD. Oh, yeah! That cute!

“Thank you, Nick.” I said.

“No problem. Your mom and I get along great, isn’t that right, Mrs.D?” he answered as he stood, laying the magazine on the table and before anyone could speak, loud boisterous voices boomed from inside the study.

“God damn it…I have to go.” I rolled my eyes, “Thank you Mommy, for your help. Nick...you take care of her.”

“You know I will.” he smiled.

“Love you, sweetheart.” my mom called after me.

“Love you, too. See you later” I replied before closing the door behind me, “What the hell is going on in here!? I can hear it from outside. I feel like I’m in a daycare with bratty kids!” I continued.

“Leonus is arguing how we’re going to approach the situation.” Erik frowned.

“Of course he is.” I glared in Leonus’ direction then sent my next words telepathically, “Surely you’re signing your own death warrant. Wasn’t my warning moments ago clear enough for you? Or do you need to have a whole blasted through your chest this time? And that was done without looking at you, so imagine what I can do at any moment, Leonus...so don’t provoke me!” I squinted my eyes watching as he remained silent but his thoughts were screaming all sorts of obscenities, “Now, I know wolves live in dens...” I looked at Anthony respectfully, “ no offense, but boars I’m not so sure of their habits.”

“Hold that thought.” Jon added approaching one of the bookshelves retrieving a book about wild boars. Just one of many titles he came across while organizing the books back on the shelves. He flipped through the pages until he found information about their dwelling habits, “It doesn’t say anything here about caves, dens or holes in the ground. Just their sleeping quarters of grass, twigs, leaves, etc.” he continued closing the book then added one more comment, “Only wolves live in dens.” he looked over at Leonus.

“How far are the ruins, Thomas? And please speak quickly before I lose my mind” I began steaming wanting the tense moment to pass.

“It’s been years since we’ve been out that way, but...it’s maybe two hours on foot.” Thomas answered.

“If I may?” Leonus spoke reluctantly.

“If you must.” I gestured at him.

“Now that your MOMMY has given us a guide to follow, we should gather supplies and maybe a few extra hands then head out as soon as we can before another storm hits.”

“Shouldn’t we scout the area first before we just barge in there?” Jon questioned, “When you used to hunt, Leonus...I’m sure you didn’t just stomp on in there and attack your prey, right? I know it’s the wolf’s way to study the situation first. Any Hunter knows that.”

“Look...she and I…” he waved his right hand toward me, “agreed that I’d bring my knowledge to the table without interruption or argument but yet...here I am, getting exactly that! So, here’s my offer.” he grew arrogant, “Either those present with no experience in the matter, keep their mouths shut and let me do what I know best, or I walk and you find others willing to help you.” his eyes scanned the room.

At this point, we all began feeling the tension build. Wraiths, Lycynians, a halfbreed, hellhound and a dragon. Great and lethal combination. I sneered, wanting to blow Leonus apart but he was right. We needed him and he knew it.

“I’m going to regret these words, but he’s right.” I swallowed my pride, “How many of you know how to track or hunt?” I looked around the room but no one answered, “Alright then. We should gather a few more men that would be willing to come with us and of course supplies we might need.”

“Yza’s right. And Leonus too, I suppose.” Jon moaned, “But what I don’t understand is how they managed to grab Lucy earlier than dusk when they’ve never ventured out during the day.” he worried.

“They’re not thinking creatures like Lycynians.” Leonus interrupted, “So I can’t imagine how they managed the thought to do so. It was, unfortunately, a lucky break for them.”

“Lycynians, or should I say, HE thinks?” Anthony muttered sarcastically, “That’s a shocker.” he glanced at Thomas who smirked but then lowered his head hearing the young Keeper clear her throat. “Sorry.” he muttered.

“Are you saying those things were lucky enough to grab my sister!? F*ck you, Leonus!” Jon fretted with anger.

“Everyone calm down!” Erik lectured, “I’ve heard from the guards that they’ve seen something larger than the average Boar-wolf, disappear into the forest so it could be maybe they follow a leader that’s more human in its way of thinking, having the advantage of carrying her off. Maybe an uglier lycan version of Leonus when he’s in his Lycynian form, eh?” he looked in his direction, seeing Leonus foaming at the mouth, wanting to say something more.

“God damn it, Erik...please!” I scolded in irritation engulfed in full flame, “One more comment from you, Leonus and I swear I’ll throw you back in that cell, and lock you away myself!” then I turned my gaze toward Erik, “And you…stop it before I ask you to leave.”

Erik as well as everyone else, stepped back; hands held up in surrender taking no blame for the tension or action of the moment. They all stood terrified, as their Keeper took on a whole new persona.

Leonus defiantly stood, staring at me with such hate it almost gave off a scent. Zanz and Abraxas too, took their stand as they made their presence known. Everyone cautiously glanced in their direction, watching as they waited for my word of command. Thomas and Anthony remained silent, watching as Zanz stood there in all his magnificence and to their eyes, he had grown larger since the last time they fully took in his appearance.

“These creatures have been around longer than any of us, so you’re wrong Leonus. I wouldn’t be surprised if they learned to adapt to our ways, while learning a few tricks here and there. Everything evolves in time. Unlike some species.” I leered at Leonus who remained silent as he grimaced in agitation and hate, then bellowed an interruption,

“We’re supposed to listen to a stupid girl, who calls her mother MOMMY!? This is ridiculous! She knows nothing...NOTHING! Just look at her! She’s a fire-starting bitch! Someone should grab the extinguisher and put out her fire before she burns Ravenstone to the ground!”

“Leonus...sit your ass back down!” Anthony shouted his own interruption as he stood before Leonus, “You’re not making this environment any easier. Besides, it’s cultural for girls to call their mothers Mommy. Italians do it as well...you idiot!”

Leonus rolled his tongue along the side of his mouth as he sat saying nothing, glaring at Anthony, who walked over, standing next to Thomas. He couldn’t decide who he despised more. Me, or Anthony. But the hate was certainly there just the same.

“This is what I think we should do, if you don’t mind me suggesting?” Thomas spoke.

“Please.” I sat heavily growing impatient as my flames diminished.

“We know what we’re up against. Maybe not up close and personal but we know their behavior so let’s scout the area and get accustomed to it first. Afterwards, we’ll make a plan then return with proper equipment, medical kits, men and weapons. I think considering the time spent locked up in here, two days would be an acceptable amount of time apart to gather what we need, yes?” Thomas continued firmly and confidently.

“No, we should go now!” Jon protested with worry, “I don’t want her in there a moment longer.”

“Jonathan, mate…going in there hot headed isn’t best for anyone. Especially for Lucy. It could get you killed and then where will she be? Or you?” Erik protested with concern, “This is the best way. Isn’t that right...Leonus?” he leered in the 6’6 Scotmans’ direction.

“I have nothing more to say.” he stomped across the study approaching the door.

“Good. Now, let’s leave and allow the lovely Yzavela to gather her thoughts.” Anthony advised, flashing a charming smile.

“Thank you.” I appreciated.

Erik took notice of the innocent smiles exchanged, then glanced away feeling a sense of jealousy once again. He stood preparing to exit with the others but paused, hearing my voice call out after him,

“Erik…wait! You and I aren’t done here.”

Jon was last to leave and hearing my words, he nodded before closing the door. As the others strolled down the stairs ahead of them, Jon asked as he turned to Leonus, pausing on the stairs’ landing,

“How long does my sister have?”

“Boar-wolves shouldn’t generally kill children.” Leonus replied.

“How do you know for sure?”

“I don’t.” Leonus continued down leaving Jon standing with a sense of self despair.

Anthony gently placed his hand on the young mans’ shoulder in comfort then descended ahead of the young Demon.

As I paced trying to calm my temper, I turned to Erik,

“You…you arrogant jacka** troublemaker! You just can’t keep quiet, can you!? You don’t help with your comments. It just makes things harder for me and why did you leave earlier?”

“So, I’m a problem now? Good to know.” he stood by the door, nodding in disappointment

“That’s not what I said and you know it!” I stepped toward him, “You just…add fuel to the fire. I can’t stand Leonus either, but there’s a time and place to say things. And you didn’t answer my question!”

“What do you want me to say, hmm!?” Erik shrugged.

“Wait…is this whole god damn attitude about the speech I made!?” I gestured toward the desk realizing that could’ve been the issue, “Is that it!?”

“In a way…yes.” Erik answered bluntly, “I mean, you asked for my help writing the bloody thing in the first place and then, you just toss it aside and go your own way. First, my words weren’t good enough and then you agree with Anthony on everything during the meeting so…”

“What the hell does agreeing with Anthony have anything to do with what’s going on between us because that’s what I’m talking about!” I argued.

“I saw the smiles between the two of you and I didn’t…like it!” Erik raged.

“I can’t believe this…” I shook my head placing my hands on my hips, “you’re showing jealousy now, of all times and toward Anthony for NO apparent reason? HE’S A FRIEND! YOU KNOW THAT! Erik, what’s wrong with you?”

“I don’t know!” Erik glanced at his feet, ashamed of his behavior as he replayed it over in his head, “I don’t know.” he sighed, “Look…I’m sorry. I’ll try to control my temper.” he continued in a soft whisper.

“It’s easy to apologize just to end the conversation so you want this to be over? Consider it done!” I affirmed.

“Keeps…” he reached for me.

“I need you to leave.” I instructed him.

“Keeps?”

“For god sake, Erik...my name is Yzavela or Yza. Use it for once, please.” I argued, “Just..leave! I won’t ask you a third time!”

He bit his lower lip as he nodded, backing away toward the door. Opening it he paused, turning to observe the young woman he hoped would be part of his life but he wasn’t sure if that was possible now. He roughly closed the door then descended the stairs.


“F*ck!” I hollered slamming my hands on the desk, “I don’t need this...I don’t need this…” I shook my head then in that moment, I felt the urge to venture up to the Room of Secrets and for what reason, was unknown to me but I’ve learned that I shouldn’t ignore my feelings or instincts.

Opening the bookcase and entering the corridor, memories of my first experience flashed through my mind. I grew a smile as I ascended the metal stairs that creeked beneath my weight. Removing the key from around my neck a keyhole appeared on the surface on the door that has no handles or locks. Magic works wonders. Pushing open the door, I felt the energy within greet me eagerly for it’s been a while since I connected with them. Stepping inside, I scanned all the items in awe, as if it were my first time entering the magical space. I walked toward the bookshelf displaying the books and their spines with their titles of various topics, running my fingers along their spines. Lowering my hands I glanced toward the Mirror of Time that remained uncovered and wanting to keep it clean and free of dust, I struggled to cover its tall height. I grunted then stepped back using Telekinesis to cover the rest and once that was succeeded, I ventured toward the Record Book finally taking the time to look through its antique parchment pages. Each section of the book was labeled with titles written in Gothic fonts, depicting logos, descriptions and sketches. It was magnificent. My mom would go crazy if she saw this.

One section toward the middle however, caught my eye. The title page presented its topic with Gothic font and a crossed-sword logo depicting its section, revealing weaponry and their origins:

WEAPONRY and their ORIGINS

Scanning through the pages, my eyes widened for there were so many varieties. I raised my gaze glancing across the room toward the section where all these weapons were displayed in glass curio cabinets that accommodated the weapons’ size. Knowing I had limited time before the effects of the rooms’ iron began taking its toll, I took the chance to examine the weapons. I approached the cabinets feeling as if I were standing in an armory because there were ancient axes, spears, maces, bow, arrow and quiver sets, swords and daggers of various craftsmanship. A single set of Escrima sticks however, forged in a highly polished metal with symbols etched along their shafts and leather wrapped around their base for a strong grip, hung in a separate cabinet to themselves. Flame-like designs tipped the sticks, blending down the shaft disappearing into the smooth highly polished sheen, almost blinding as they reflected the room’s soft lighting. A weapon that could belong to maybe the Angels perhaps?

Opening the cabinets, I ran my hands over the surface of each weapon, imagining the warrior who previously yielded them. As my hands touched the Escrima sticks, I felt a surge of energy rush through my body and examining my hands, I engulfed in my Aura that was unintentionally activated. Breathing deeply, it was then I sensed a strong presence suddenly appear behind me. Turning around, thinking maybe it may have been Marxus, no physical body was present. All that stood before me, was a fiery essence in the form of an adult man; over six feet in height. I felt uneasy yet a sense of familiarity as the fiery aura was similar to my own. The figure said nothing as he slowly approached me before disappearing with a faint voice whispering my name,

“Yzavela…it’s almost time, my lovely...” followed by a faint breeze sweeping through the room, the presence wasn’t gone but the immense power vibrating through the room was overwhelming as I breathed deeply, feeling every nerve in my body tingle. I shook it off (or at least I tried to) as I closed the cabinets before returning to the podium, reading the page describing the Escrima’s in a short paragraph:

“Every weapon chooses its warrior, as every warrior chooses their weapon. This weapon, forged in the Sumerian age of an ancient and unlimited magic, once belonged to Sumeria’s most powerful and lethal Jinn and crowned Prince who crafted this weapon of unknown alloys and enchanted with Sumerian symbols. They were eventually confiscated, deeming him unworthy to yield them for they held great power that he could no longer access. The Jinn’s name was never recorded…”

Whoever transcribed this page, didn’t know of any other information. Below the description, was a sketch of the Escrima’s. I stood there, staring at the page when suddenly Zanz and Abraxas entered the room, breaking my train of thought. Closing the book, I watched as they approached and seeing them had a calming effect. The strange figure that had appeared vanished, for I no longer sensed its presence. Zanz grew too close to one of the many chests; sniffing the ground.

“Zanz…get away from there.” I ordered then I turned to Abraxas who hovered, “Come here.” I held out my arms in which he landed, curling his wings around his body, “Alright...let’s go. I’ve been here longer than needed.” I glanced toward Zanz; whistling.

The presence that had disappeared, made itself known once more; appearing in corporeal form; it was Molock who watched as the door closed behind the young halfbreed. He stood before the weapons, admiring all their craftsmanship and reaching out his hand, he touched the sticks creating a quick spark, but withdrew them quickly. In a Sumerian tongue; the oldest language in history that has never been translated he spoke,

“I will have you in my possession soon, my lovelies. Very soon We shall be reunited and the young halfbreed will be the one to do so.” he disappeared in a red flame releasing a low laugh.

I exited the corridor; the bookshelf quickly closed behind me. I adjusted paperwork on the desk before leaving then once my presence was no longer required, I left searching for my friends; they were gathered in the atrium. Erik was among them and when watching as I entered, things were quiet and awkward between us.

“Hey, guys.” I greeted them with a smile.

“Hey…” Sarah returned the smile as she held onto Jonathan.

“How are you holding up?” I sat on the other side of him, nudging him gently.

“I’m trying.” he looked at me, “It’s not easy but I know stressing about it won’t help anyone but Yza, I swear...if we don’t get things organized, I’m going out there and getting my sister back.”

“I know, Jon...I know and we will. I promise.” I placed my hand on his shoulder.

Erik abruptly stood, rushing out the doors.

“Alright, what’s going on with him now?” Sarah leaned forward looking at me.

“How should I know?” I shrugged.

“Because, I don’t know...it’s all about you when it comes to Erik.” she murmured.

“Sarah…” Jon looked at her.

“Excuse me…” I stood, instructing Zanz and Abraxas to stay while I stepped out into the foyer seeing Erik pacing, “Erik, what the f*ck is up with you?”

“Me?” he turned to me arrogantly, “You!” he pointed toward me.

“Me?” I backed away in confusion, “Why? What the hell did I do?”

“Ever since you came here and we got to know one another, it’s all I think about. Well, not all but just the same, enough! Then, you leave for two years...two bloody years...come back and expect things to continue where they left off. But where’s that exactly?” he argued loudly, “And now, you’re cozying up to Anthony quite a lot lately and come on, you know he’s got a thing for you. Don’t pretend you don’t see that. I know you’re not blind.” he turned, pacing once more.

“Are you done?” I asked, “If so, it’s my turn. One…” I counted my fingers, “I didn’t leave for Ireland on purpose, you know that! I left because Marus suggested it and yes, it had everything to do with my position here because it taught me things I needed to learn.”

“Yeah, I bet.” Erik scoffed.

“Two.” I counted again ignoring his remark, “I never expected things to continue where they left off because there wasn’t anything really between us back then. It was…” I thought of the words, “a crush. A crush that ended with a kiss that was meant. For god sake Erik, I don’t go around kissing men like that! And as far as Anthony?” my voice raised a tone, “Well, he treats me like a lady and perhaps, gives me the attention you lack to share except when it comes to your ex, apparently, so don’t you dare...stand there and blame your sh*t on me! Now, I don’t know what’s up your goddamn a** but you listen to me, you arrogant jacka**...” I took a step toward him, “you better take the time to figure it out before we do whatever the hell this is! Do you understand?” I continued with a warning.

Erik said nothing as he disappeared, leaving me standing there with a sense of being the bad guy in the situation. I sighed then turned; Jon and Sarah peeking their heads through the atrium doors. I knew they heard everything so there was no sense in trying to hide or justify it.

“I’m sorry, but I have to go.” I apologized; tears stinging my eyes as I glanced away.

“Yza…don’t blame yourself for his actions. Unfortunately, he’s always been that way but more so now, it seems.” Jon comforted, exiting the atrium fully, “No one knows what’s wrong with Erik, except Erik.” he shrugged.

“Well, then…I’m glad I’m seeing that side of him now before we…” I sighed.

“There’s no need to explain.” Sarah fretted.

“Tell you what. Go home and spend time with your mum. Family is precious. You of all people know that.” Jon proposed knowing my closeness with my mom, “We’ll be fine and I promise, I won’t do anything stupid or reckless.” he grinned.

“Thanks.” I slurred, “See you later.”

“Sure thing.” Sarah agreed.

I nodded as I walked away; Zanz and Abraxas followed after. I ventured toward the dwelling where my mom sat at the kitchen table writing in her spell journals. I stood in the shadows slightly, observing her actions of flipping through pages and taking notes while taking sips of tea from a cup she almost knocked off its plate when my presence startled her. I apologized as I approached the table taking a seat next to her offering my services if she needed. It was an offer eagerly accepted but she saw it in her daughter’s eyes there was something wrong. She had already voiced her opinion on the topic of Erik in earlier conversations so she wouldn’t waste her words a second time. She kept quiet as we began mixing herbs and oils; following the instructions precisely. The time spent was relaxing and peaceful, as the aroma of the fresh oils and herbs filled my senses. Jon was right, but I knew that already.


“Father!” Erik shouted urgently, banging on his father’s door, “Father! Open the door! I know you’re in there! I can hear you!”

“Aye!” Hiromi replied as he exited the bathroom tying his robe closed, “Hold on!” he opened the door with an angry expression, “What, big head? Why are you banging on my door? I was in the bathroom ready to take a sh...”

“Yeah, don’t finish that bloody sentence, father.” Erik walked in.

“Why are you here and so angry? You have negative energy!” Hiromi asked, closing his door.

“I was with Keeps…I mean Yza, and she...ugh, gets under my skin in all the wrong ways!” his hands were expressive, “I mean, first she kisses me, you know, then she leaves and comes back and now...I don’t know, father...but I think I f*cked up this one.” Erik remarked, taking a seat in one of Hiromi’s chairs.

“Ah, I see.” Hiromi sat across from him, “Are your feelings for the young Keeper like the ones you felt for Lilien?”

“What? No.” Erik shook his head, “What Lilien and I had was...a thing. Something casual.”

“Oh, so you didn’t care about the girl? She was nice enough.” Hiromi pressed Erik further.

“I know she was but I don’t know...it just wasn’t what I wanted.”

“And now you want whatever it is you don’t know, with the young Keeper?” Hiromi began growing confused with his sons; predicament.

“Yes. You get it.” Erik leaned forward.

“No.” Hiromi frowned, “But let me take my shower and afterwards, you can tell more about it and I’ll make that tea you love so much, hmm?” he grinned.

“Sure.” Erik leaned back staring at his father’s ceiling.

Hiromi stood leaning forward, gently squeezing his son’s shoulder then turned away, entering his bathroom to take the shower he was going to take before the interruption.

Erik waited listening to soft music playing on a radio and even though it was calming, Erik’s thoughts raced. He stood beginning to pace when Hiromi emerged from the bathroom dressed; he towel dried his hair as he approached the chest at the end of his bed. Removing a glass jar filled with the calming tea, he instructed Erik to put the tea kettle over the fire then once the herbs were brewing in the water, he and Erik sat while it brewed. They talked, trying to work out Erik’s issues but Hiromi could only help so far because there were things Erik needed to work out. Whatever they may have been.

“Look, son...I remember the day I found you on my doorstep.” Hiromi spoke softly, “I was lost. I didn’t know who left you there or why, much less how to raise a child but with help from those around me like Steven and Nikolaas, even the woman down the street who always wanted sugar even though she borrowed cups a few hours before asking again…” he paused with humor; Erik chuckling at his father’s attempt to make him feel better, “I had help. I had those I could speak to and I trusted what they had to say. So what I’m saying here, son...is to have trust. In someone other than yourself. I know that’s hard but if you like the young Keeper Yzavela as much as you say you do, you need to show her that you have trust in her. Not just expecting her to trust you.You know trust works both ways. And although I know you’re not telling me everything, I know it’s not all her fault either.”

“Meaning?” Erik questioned.

“Your arrogance and temper.” Hiromi bluntly revealed, “Not to mention your jealousy.”

“I’m not jealous.” Erik argued as he stood, “Or hot tempered.” he turned to his father, receiving an expression that said it all, “Alright, maybe a little but she’s no better you know.”

“And you blame her for that?” Hiromi pressed, “Why? Because she’s not some little girl that falls for your charm and accepts your apologies over and over? Because she’s not weak or desperate for male attention?”

“I didn’t say that.” Erik placed his hands on his hips.

“You didn’t have to because that’s what you’re making her out to be in here…” he tapped the temple of his head, “and it’s interfering with your relationship. If there is one. Now, I’ve spoken to her mother Lady D and she’s a good woman...she raised that girl right. Especially in this harsh world, just as hard as I raised you.” he sighed, “I’m getting tired of this conversation for I’ve given you all the advice I can so the rest is up to you. Take time and think about what I said and definitely take time to yourself before you play with fire. And I mean that in a literal sense.” he referred to the young halfbreed’s natural Pyrokinesis ability.

Erik nodded as his father stepped toward him, embracing him quickly before backing away.

“Now, how about we meditate?” Hiromi encouraged calmly, “And that wasn’t a suggestion.” he turned, stepping out on his patio with two pillows he pulled from the chairs in hand.

Erik grinned then sighed heavily as he followed after his father.

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