A/N: I don’t know what possessed me to write this, but I did. I guess this chapter was something I never saw myself write. So, please do leave a message after this chapter. I will update another chapter in the next 11 hours. Cause 1 bonus chapter was for Valentine’s day and I know this is a very late bonus. I was... lazing around.
Anyway, meet you all in the next 11 hours in chapter number 9.
Rune Bidaya bit his lips as he stared at that house before him. The straps on his shoulders were about to fall and his shoelaces were undone. The seventeen-year-old boy loathed the condition he was thrown in.
“Why should I?” he snapped at Sadka. “Why should I?”
His step-father merely glanced at him from the car. “Cause this male is your father.”
“So?” Rune bit out.
As much as he hated to admit, he wished his mother was here. He could not persuade her, but at least she would see the torment in his eyes and would at least hesitate to send him next time. But she had just given birth to his step-sister and both were resting in the Summer Coven.
He would rather play with that baby rather than spend his time here, with his father.
Julius had made it clear that he wanted to do nothing with him. Then why was everybody forcing him to spend his time with that douche bag? He had better things to do.
“He is your biological father, Rune,” Sadka bit out. “And don’t you dare give me that attitude.”
“What attitude?” Rune snapped.
“Rune! Stop testing me.” The Epsilon said, his eyes flashing. “You are nothing but a kid and you will learn how important he is in your life.”
“How important not to be like him,” he snorted.
Sadka opened the door and got out. When he stood to his full height, a shiver ran through his body. As much as Rune had matured, there was a part of him that still feared this male before him.
As much as Sadka was not his father, he was the only male figure he looked up to. But he would never tell that loud.
“Go Rune,” Sadka said, closing his eyes. “I will be back in three days.”
With that, the Epsilon got into the car and left. Rune gulped and tied his shoelace. He was aware of how messed up his hair was, but he was not going to present himself neat.
He took little, shifting steps towards the house. He had to admit, the house was amazing. It had the perfect sunrise and thunderstorms. There could not be a house better than this. Yet, this had never been his home.
He dragged the normal one minute walk to ten minutes. When he finally reached the door, he knocked.
There was a loud noise of television going on and blaring music being played. Footsteps shuffled behind the closed doors and a female was shouting at a male.
Sharon screamed again at Julius before she opened the door. Her annoyed face became even more twisted when she saw him.
Hugging her legs was a child of five years. And her stomach was swollen with another child. While one hand held the door open, the other held a beer bottle and a half-smoked cigarette.
“Get in,” she snapped.
His half-sister sniffed before she raised her hands at him, asking him to carry her. As much as he had a problem with Sharon, Halle was a child. Sighing, he bent down to pick the kid up. But Sharon slapped Halle’s out-stretched hands and pulled her daughter away.
“I asked Beau to share his room with you,” Sharon snapped. “Leave your things there.”
He rolled his eyes at his step-mother and glanced at the living room where Julius was sitting on a sofa with cigarette smoke a rousing him.
Rune glanced at Halle and sighed. Was this the environment he wanted his sister to grow in?
Seeing at Halle’s parents, he knew he could not do anything. Unless one was mated they could not adopt any kids and he was still seventeen himself. He still had two years before his community accepted him as an adult.
“I am here, Julius,” Rune said.
A grunt was his answer.
If that was all he was worth it, Julius should not have fooled with his mother. Fooled with his mother in spite of having met his mate.
He dragged himself up to the room where that blaring noise was heard. The scent of moonflowers greeted him. Sighing, Rune knocked on the door.
“Come in!” Beau shouted, turning the music off.
Opening the door, he was surprised to see the room being neat. Beau was fifteen-year-old and his room was completely different from what Rune expected.
“There you are,” Beau commented as he took his jacket from the bed on the upper bunk. “Is upper bunk okay for you?”
Rune nodded. “It’s fine.”
He threw his bag on the bed and sat on the lower bunk. “So... how’s your life?”
Beau snorted. “Unless Sharon changes, I don’t think my life will ever get better.”
With that tone, Rune was able to tell. “You are moving out in four years?”
Beau nodded. “I am aiming for the uni in North Tribe. They have the best course for music.”
“What of Halle then?” he asked.
“What about my sister?” Beau asked.
Rune nearly exasperated. “Do I need to spell it out for you? I think you can see how Sharon is. By the way, how far is she along?”
Beau made the sound of gagging. “The last time you left, do you remember how you left?”
Rune nodded. That was something he would never forget. Ten months ago, he and Julius had a spat where Rune had called him in colourful words. Julius had hit Apinya when she was there to pick Rune and fury boiled in his veins when his father hit his mother. What reason, Rune would never know, but Julius being the blood of Royal, was obviously stronger than Apinya.
Rune had thrown a punch to his father’s face that night and it was that night Rune had discovered what his powers were.
“Dad was super pissed,” Beau said. “He used to hit us for a week after that.”
Rune got up. What was wrong with Julius? Just because he sorely lost to someone does not mean he had to be abusive. Julius could have improvised and challenged that vampire again. But no, like a kid, he had to mope around and complain.
“Sit down, bro,” Beau said lazily. “It stopped after a week. And... six months ago, my mom found she is pregnant again.”
“Another kid in the mix?” Rune asked. “What are they thinking?”
Beau shrugged. “Dunno. But after the first three months passed, mother’s been drinking heavily. Smoking cigarettes and all. And Halle loves our mother. She is a little girl after all. What can I do? And it’s twins this time.”
Rune took in a deep breath. “I wish... I wish I could meet my mate next year itself. Just to take you and Halle out.”
Beau yawned and put his headphones for charging. “Things don’t happen the way you want them to happen.”
Rune scoffed and winced when Sharon was shouting at Julius about something. No wonder Beau had put on loud music. As much as a kid would want their parents together, they would never want them both to be constantly fighting, being constantly toxic to each other.
“And,” Beau began. “Nephew stopped by.”
“What now?” Rune asked, closing his eyes.
“Atticus is the king,” Beau began. “Since he does not have a child until now, he has to name an heir within five years time. He was thinking of-”
“-you?” Rune asked. “Good for you.”
“BS,” Beau said. “He was thinking of you.”
“Why me?” he asked.
He was the child born out of the mate bond. Technically speaking, he should not be existing. He was an unwanted child. The unexpected child.
“You are Julius’ firstborn kid,” Beau shrugged. “So why not?”
Rune shook his head and climbed the steps to the upper bunk. “Sharon’s not pissed at this?”
“She is,” Beau said with a wicked grin. “So pissed off.”
“You need help, dear brother,” Rune said, falling on the bed with his face first. “Terrible help.”
Before sleep pulled him to its domain, all he heard was Beau’s laugh.
Family dinner. What a joke. He knew they did not want him here and they knew he did not want to be here. Then why the hell were they doing this pointless thing? Just why? There were other methods to torture a person.
But for the sake of Halle’s smile, Rune sat through it. He sat through the damned dinner. Everything was either canned food or ordered out. When Rune had met Sharon’s family they told what a wonderful cook she was. But after being mated to Julius, she gave up on everything. No, not after she was mated to Julius. After she found Julius had a kid with Apinya even after they had mated.
Why did people hang around the things that killed them? Why stay in the toxic relationship? What was the point in it? Was it a pleasure to hurt one another? Do they get sadistic happiness from seeing each other destroy themselves? Do they hate themselves so much that they want to shatter themselves? Or did they simply love that hatred?
Sharon had been an amazing singer when she had been mated to Julius. She had continued to be until Beau was five years old. That was the reason that boy was in love with music. But when Rune was five, Sadka forced Julius to acknowledge Rune to be his son, yet he did not.
Royals did not have a last name and that could be the reason why Julius never gave him one, but he never told anyone Rune was his kid. There had been times when people who visited Julius asked about him and being the douchebag he was, said Rune was his friend’s kid.
Rune remembered that night clearly. Sadka had forced Apinya to give Julius’ location to him and brought Rune there against his mother’s protests. When Sadka brought him there, Julius was stunned. Turned out, he never knew he had a child with Apinya. Yet he refused to take Rune as his son. That shattered whatever bond Julius had with Sharon.
Rune never knew why, but Sadka forced him to live with Julius at least three days in three months. Total of twelve days in a year. In the earlier days, Rune thought those twelve days had gone to waste. But once he met Beau, everything changed. As much as Julius and Sharon hated Rune, Beau could not. Beau was not as close to him as Kyan was, but they had a good rapport.
“Rune!” Halle called him, lifting her spoon full of pasta.
Sharon glared at her daughter, but he saw traces of that wonderful female Rune had seen. She had been the best mother any child could have and she had been heart-broken that Julius had another child. Apparently, Julius had him after he met her. Then how did the mate bond between them allow Apinya to be conceived with him, Rune would never know.
There was that hidden tenderness smothering her daughter even if it was for the briefest second. Sharon still harboured that motherly love towards her children but had it twisted in her own way. It was becoming too dark that Rune knew that these kids would one-day suffocate in them. After all, darkness was not for everyone.
Rune opened his mouth and ate that horrible packaged food. Atticus, his cousin did give Julius allowances, but all those went to buy alcohol and cigarettes. Halle giggled and began to eat her food.
Rune raised his head up. Sharon was glaring at him, as though he had spoilt her life. Unable to give her the answer she wanted to hear for so long, Rune began to eat his food in silence. It was better to suffer in silence anyway.
After dinner, Sharon picked a bottle with amber liquid and went to her room after she ordered Beau to put Halle to sleep. Beau was singing a soft song to his sister and Rune noticed Sharon’s moistened cheeks before she entered her room, but it could have been the trick of the dim light.
Julius took a can for himself and gave one to Rune. Rune shook his head.
“No thanks,” he said dryly.
Julius shrugged and chucked the contents.
“Sharon’s drinking,” Rune commented.
“So?” came a gruff reply.
“She is pregnant,” Rune stated, blinking at the male who gave him life. “It will affect the babies.”
“Why do you care?” Julius snorted as he switched the television on. “It’s not like you are going to get a girl swollen with your child. You will never experience fatherhood. Why care?”
Rune’s breath became haggard. He knew that his father was not very welcoming about his sexuality, but he never knew that Julius would be so against it. Fine, he did not give Rune a home or a family, did not even accept him as a son. The least he could do was to respect Rune as a living being.
“He may be gay, dad,” Beau said, folding his arms as he stood before Halle’s room. “But that not mean he cannot care. And who said he can’t be a father? He and his mate can adopt.”
“Adoption,” he sniggered. “Is not good as having your own children. What would you understand? The sooner Rune grows out of this phase, the better.”
It was at that time, Rune knew that Sadka was better than Julius. While Sadka did know that Rune was born to Apinya and Julius, he never mistreated Rune or bet him. There was a civil relationship between both and at times, Rune even looked up to him.
But that laugh told Rune things that Julius would have never admitted. One being disappointed in himself.
“I am in Autumn Coven,” Beau said. “You have to visit here at least once, brother.”
“I will try my best, Beau,” Rune said, trying to feed Mali who was running around the place.
Chalot, a young vampire by seventeen years old was trying his best to feed his sister, Lawan. Lawan being Mali’s age, both the girls hit off pretty great. With that boy, Wirat, the three were inseparable.
“Feeding Mali?” Beau asked through the phone.
“Who else?” he asked.
Beau laughed. “Catch you later, bro. The studio manager’s here.”
With that, Beau cut the call. Rune stared at the phone before pocketing it. Beau was now a nineteen-year-old boy who was working as a lead singer in a band in Autumn Coven.
While Halle still lived with her mother, she usually went to stay with Beau and Sharon’s mother. But her stays were not long enough. She had a sister at home and that ten-year-old was taking care of the four-year-old. Leila had a twin but was born dead. This threw Sharon further into depression and strained the bond she had with Julius. Yet, the two stayed with each other. When would they realise that they had to be apart for them to even breathe? Or did they think that what they had was love?
Halle grew up faster than he would have liked. She did call him occasionally, but there was a certain coldness in her voice that she did not possess four years ago.
“Beau?” Chalot asked, finally feeding Lawan a spoon of rice.
Rune nodded. “That guy is in Autumn Coven.”
“Parents?” he asked.
Rune took in a deep breath. While not it was not mandatory for him to visit Julius, he still made it a point to visit that house. After all, Halle and Leila were still there.
Beau got his fresh start, and when the time came, Rune prayed that Halle and Leila would get theirs too.
“Not good,” Rune mumbled. “Beau does make it a point to go home every fortnight. It’s not enough with all those things going on in their lives, but... if Halle and Leila want to move out of that house, he has to work hard.”
“You will help them right?” Chalot asked.
Rune nodded as he picked Mali and spun her around. She squealed and giggled. “Who’s the monkey now?”
“You!” Mali shrieked in happiness.
How was it that while one sister was filled in sunshine and happiness, his other two were drowning in an endless abyss? Had it been up to him, he would have brought Halle and Leila to Summer Coven, but this coven was not safe for anyone, especially girls. He saw it through the way Dave was behaving with the females. That boy was hardly fifteen, yet he treated females like objects.
He let her go and the two girls immediately held hands and ran around the kids’ park.
“Would you?” he asked.
“I would,” Rune said. “But not here.”
Chalot nodded. “Understandable.”
“I am worried, you know,” Rune said. “Halle is so grown up and cold that I can’t believe that she is just nine.”
Chalot gave him a smile. “Well, everyone has their paths to walk on. Whether it will make them or break them, its for them to decide. Some have the chaos of their life thrown early, some late, some never and some born in it. You can’t control the flow of fate. What will happen, will happen whether you like it or not. You can’t fight everyone’s battles. But that does not mean, you can’t help them to win theirs.”
Draco was unusually a quiet child. He fiddled with the Rubix cube, matching it and mixing it again. Aiko was working on a school assignment as she baby-sat Draco. From how it appeared, Kessa could have left Draco alone and he would be that silent kid, not getting into any fight or anything. Yet, Aiko loved this kid like a brother and she very often baby-sat that nine-year-old kid.
“Rune!” Aiko said when she saw him enter the coven kitchen. “What brings the mighty Epsilon here?”
He had been the Epsilon for almost eight years. And just two years ago Mali found that her mate was Dave. And ever since that, Rune could not even harm that retarded bastard.
“Can’t I see the girl who is stealing all my best friend’s time?” he asked.
Aiko stuck her tongue out. “My dad loves me the best.”
He could not argue with that. Sean did love his daughter to no end.
He bent down and kissed her forehead. “If my mother or your father asks where I am, tell them that I have gone out for a coffee.”
“There’s coffee in the pot there, Rune,” she said cheekily.
“I am still going out,” he said.
“Kanya’s coffee,” Aiko said. “You love this.”
This female was damn intuitive. “Beau had called okay? I am going out for a coffee with my brother and sisters.”
Aiko’s face dropped. “I thought you were going to meet that male you met last week on that dating app.”
“Not him,” Rune groaned and left, trying to shut Aiko’s laugh.
The walk to the coffee shop was long, but it gave him time to think. It was just outside the coven’s border and there could not be a better place.
The little bell that was hung at the top chimed when he opened the door and entered the cafe. As expected, Beau, Halle and Leila were waiting for him.
While Leila was looking skittish as she glanced shiftily between the cup of hot cocoa before her and the cars parked outside, Halle wore that cold mask of hers. As usual. What else had he expected?
He took his seat next to Beau who took his headphones when he came. “Rune.”
He brought his hands together, with the palms touching each other to his chest and smiled at the three. While Halle nodded lightly, Beau returned the gesture. Leila simply frowned but she turned her head away towards the cars that were parked out.
“Halle,” he said, taking a seat. “You met Mali week.”
“Just wanted to see how your other sister was doing,” she said coolly. “Turns out she is doing fine.”
Beau opened his mouth, but he became quiet after Halle’s glare.
“Mali is suffering,” Rune said, waving the waiter off who came to take his orders. “Her mate is cheating on her every day.”
“That’s shitty, yes,” Halle snapped. “But do you know how it is to grow your sister who a child in her mind and will be so for the rest of her life? Just because her mother could not stop drinking when she was pregnant.” A tear rolled down her cheeks and her eyes were red. “How do you explain to such a sister that she had met her mate and he rejected her and that’s why she was feeling immense pain and she is tortured by her own body. How do you look after such a sister? After a maniac mother and a father who can go and fuck himself! Tell me! Is it wrong of me to meet Mali?”
Rune glanced at Leila who pouted and sniffed and looked down at her boots.
“Leila met her mate?” he asked finally.
Halle nodded. “I don’t know how, but she did. That guy rejected her on spot.”
“Can’t I meet her?” Halle asked, heaving heavily. “She’s my family too. And you called us here, to ask justice for her just because I spoke with her?”
Rune shook his head. “I never stopped you-”
“I looked up at you once, Rune,” she said through her tears. “My sane brain knows that you are not at fault for how my mother tumbled down. It was my own father. But the way she hated you and blamed you, I could not but help myself to hate you. It was easier that way, Rune. It was easier to hate someone who rarely visited you and spoke with you, loved you than hate someone who in spite of despising your existence lived with you. I am sorry Rune. My mother and father drove you away, I know. I can understand, but its easier to hate than forgive.”
Rune pressed his lips together. “I should have fought more.”
“And you would have lost,” Beau said. “You did try when you were twenty, remember? You lost just because Julius is Royal. While you may be his son, you are not born to him mate and your claim over us was weak.”
Halle wiped her face with a tissue and she smiled at their sister.
Leila then smiled. “Another cookie?”
Halle smiled back and ordered one for her.
“You see, Rune,” she said after the cookie came. “Forgive me if I had spoken anything harsh towards Mali. But I was really envious of her. Hated her for it. I should have met. But you know how I am.”
Rune nodded. “Mali was mad at me for not introducing you to her before.”
Halle smiled tiredly as she patted Leila. “Mali is an amazing female. I am glad to know her.” Then she glanced at him. “I hope you can forgive me for shouting today, Rune. I don’t know why I just burst out.”
Rune gave his three siblings a look. “I am your eldest sibling no matter what. And Halle, you can shout at me. You have the rights to. I should have been there, ripping that guy’s head when he rejected Leila. I should have been.”
“Blessing in disguise,” Beau commented before Halle could say anything.
“What do you mean?” Halle asked.
Beau took a small part of Leila’s cookie and she grinned at him. “I mean, would it not be a nightmare if she was to be mated to a guy who would not see that she requires special care and just... you know, force himself. In that way, I am thankful.”
Halle shook her head as she slurped her smoothie. “How you manage to see the silver in every dark cloud, Beau?”
He winked. “It’s a secret, Halle. A secret I hope you will know.”
A/N: What do you think of Rune now? Of Halle and Beau? As I said, I don’t know what possessed me to write this.
Anyway, Taurus will get another update in 11 hours.