01 Raymond King
Tonight I need to go against my best friend, Richard. His daughter needs to be told the truth. I can feel the exhaustion from the past 7 centuries catching up on me. Running my hand through my hair, I lean back in my chair and take a few deep breaths.
As soon as my butler, Abraham, informs me that my guest is here I ask for her to be brought to me. This is a nerve-racking event for me, telling her what I need to tell her. There is no way of telling how she may react. Will she be calm or begin to rampage? If she rampages, how will I calm her down enough to listen to what needs to be said?
The door to my study opens up, causing my adrenaline to rise enormously. I try to take deep breaths but as soon as her brightly striped hair comes into view all hell breaks loose in my body. Somehow, I manage to regain my calm posture and face the young woman like the man I am.
“Hey, Ray. You wanted to see me?”
“Ah… yes,” I manage out. She’s dressed the same way she always is. A pair of joggers pants, a baggy sweater, and some sneakers, along with her usual half face mask and gloves. The same way that gets her in trouble with her mother. All her mother wants her to do is dress girly for once in her life.
“Have you ever let your mother win with the way you dress, Aszurya?”
Aszurya scoffs and leans against the wall by the door. I gesture for her to have a seat in one of the chairs but she just shakes her head. She knows something is up, she can smell my fear. My fingers begin to fidget with the hem of my suit jacket and I’m suddenly not able to meet the young woman’s eyes.
“Aszurya… this is hard for me to say to you right now, but it needs to be said. You know of my ex-wife and the things that she did.”
The young woman nods her head with a sudden angry look in her eyes. That lethal calm she inherited from her grandfather takes over her demeanour as her green emeralds scan my desk for a hint of why I called her here. She won’t find anything though. It’s all in my head, running amok, without a leash.
“Of course, I know. If that woman were to set foot in this realm she’d be killed on sight.”
I nod my head in affirmation before continuing: “Well, there’s a part of the story that has been kept from you, for your own good. When Nicolette left, she took our son with her to the human world. He was only seven at the time but he had already left a big impact on this world.”
A dark eyebrow shoots skyward as Aszurya takes in the information. While she was growing up, Zurya would always ask me why I didn’t have a child yet. I wanted to tell her about my son but it had been a mutual agreement between her father and me that she would be kept in the dark. Until now…
“Why didn’t you tell me when I asked you all those times before?”
“It had been a mutual agreement to keep you in the dark in hopes that when the time was right, you would be able to handle the news.”
“There’s something else isn’t there. That’s why you’re acting like this. Your heartbeats racing and your palms are sweating. There’s something you’re holding back because you don’t want me to spazz. Well, Raymond, you might as well spit it out cause there’s no stopping what will come if it’s that bad.”
I nod my head knowing she is absolutely right. I flinch from her angry tone before taking a deep breath and filling in the rest of the holes.
“When my son, Theodore, was still living with me in this realm, we were almost always at the Death-Rose manor. He played with your older brothers all the time until your mother became pregnant. When my son found out about you, he became very interested in your mother’s pregnancy. Theo liked to be around your mother, helping her anytime he could.
“Once you were born, Theo’s life changed completely as did all of ours. There was one night where you were throwing a tantrum, the sky was roaring, lightning creating wildfires as the rivers went dry. No one could get you to calm down. He went up to your crib at 4 years old and smiled down at you. You grabbed his hand and began to calm down significantly.
“Within minutes you were laughing and making baby noises as Theo played with you. From that day on, my son was the only person that could calm you down when your demons took over. We learned he had a rare Angel’s mark, the only sedative to your own devil’s mark. When Nicol took him away, she altered the course of life in this realm.”
I stop and look over to my death-daughter. I watch as her half-covered face begins to contort with anger. Her movements are so swift, they’re untraceable to the naked eye. Papers fly as her gloved palms slam down on the top of my desk, the sound causing me to jump back in my seat. Her eyes are swallowed in the darkness of her demons as she glares across the table at me.
“So you mean to tell me, that stupid bitch you married took away the only person in the realm that can calm me down?!”
I swallow hard and stare into those inky black eyes of hers. As soon as I make eye contact, I feel my soul tugging as if she were wielding the Scythe of Souls before me. I blink and break away from the strange sensation.
“Aszurya, I need you to calm down so we can talk.”
“I don’t want to talk, Raymond. I want to kill her. Lure her back here and torture her until she tells me where he is. You know how easily humans are to break. Why should she be any different?”
“There is no need for that, Aszurya. Please, sit down so we can talk properly.” I know I’m barely getting through to her but it’s worth a shot. “There is no need to lure Nicolette anywhere. I believe I know where my son is. I need you to go and retrieve him for me. I only ask you because I know you can get past anything thrown at you.”
To my surprise, the inky darkness in her eyes begins to dissipate and she begins to back away from my desk. Turning around with a hand running through her long black hair, Aszurya nods her head. I take out a small picture from my pocket and slide it across the table towards her.
“This picture is what I managed to get off him. It’s a bit old but this should give you an idea of what he looks like. He works in a secret agency in North America. There’s something else you should know before you leave. He… My son might not remember anything about this realm.”
Aszurya nods her head and takes the photograph from my hand without even looking at it. She walks out of the door without saying a word, leaving me to wonder if she will go. Knowing that girl, she’ll go after my ex-wife instead of my son. I should have made her swear an oath to Azazel. Oh, well.