A Dying God (Book 2)

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Felix- soulmates

Felix

Molly stares out the front bay windows of the living room, quiet and nervous. She hugs her arms around herself unwillingly to look away or move. Her hair is a mess, her clothes wrinkled and dirt covers most of her body, including her shoeless feet. Every few moments, she shivers. It can’t be from the cold. In the middle of summer, it’s near ninety degrees in this house. It’s from vivid terror-filled memories of her time imprisoned in a house in Morgantown.

I lean up on the dining table, resting my fingers under my chin and observe her. I am a naïve man.

I thought when I received the papers from the Ruling the bickering would end. The Ruling, the Angel and Fallen judicial court system, an organization founded by the virtuous Merci, identifies me as Kio’s lawful king. It can’t be undone or taken back. I’m it.

As I watch Molly suffer in wait, I’m faced with the fact that documents and words don’t make me king. It’s the people, the forty-two hundred people that reside in Kio. While there are many who approve of my promotion, there is a section of highly influential beings that don’t.

The Elders of Kio slyly whisper behind my back. They do not care that the previous monarch named me heir, all they see is a feeble, two-thousand year old Newborn attempting to control a massive empire that’s completely beyond his intellect and skill. .

And for the most part, I agree with them. I am in way over my head. Elders are over six thousand years old. They have knowledge and experience I could never hope to obtain. But it doesn’t matter what I don’t know. It matters that Tymician, our lost King, chose me and I am taking my place.

Their rebellion is a child’s tantrum.

Three people are in the market to take the throne.

Abida, a Pakistani Elder is the oldest and has more than sixty percent in her voting pool.

Zarek, believes himself Tymician’s descendant and therefore the ‘rightful blood heir’ to his throne.

And Jorel, though silent, poses a haunting threat. He hasn’t thrown his hat into the ring vocally but do alligators alert their prey before they attack?

The first two things I’ve learned in this struggle for dominance is it’s all about influence and the influence of others. It’s about power and the power of your friends. It’s unfortunate that I am young because I have limited ability in both categories. Compared to those that want my chair, I am scrawny and mindless. Tymician raised me from the time I Fell, but my training was cut short by his sudden disappearance.

I stretch out my short legs, raising bulky arms above my head, grimacing when I hear a tear in the shirt. I quickly check the sleeve.

Tristan rests at the table, setting a plate of eggs and toast in front of me. I smile thankful but I have no intention of eating. I can’t force myself to eat anymore, not even for my family.

“Molly.” He beckons, “Try to eat. It won’t be another hour till they’re here.”

“I’m five thousand years old. I don’t need food. But he…” She buries her face in her hand, “He needs to eat.”

Tristan looks down at me and then glances toward Eric. Eric keeps his face tightly hidden behind his mask, unwilling to expose his mutilated skin even after she displayed all her trust in us by coming here.

Tristan gets up and coaxes her into sitting down with us. He snatches a blanket out of the closet and tucks it around her before taking his seat.

“It must be nice.” She whispers.

“What?”

Her gaze swings between Tristan and Eric. “You get to live so openly with your Soul Mate.”

The two of them uncomfortably shift and I glue my eyes to the table. It’s not a conversation we’ve ever had and though I’ve known about it, I’m not too keen on the fine points of their relationship.

I use “relationship” lightly because I don’t want to confuse it. Tristan and Eric are brothers and best friends but it’s an undeniable truth that they are Soul Mates. Perhaps if I had a better understanding of that term, I’d have a better understanding of their bond. I don’t have a Soul Mate and from what I’ve learned already, I’m better off.

Molly plays with the fabric of the blanket, murmuring. “No one hates you. No one tells you you’re cursed. You don’t have to live fearfully that one day someone’s going to find out that your Soul Mate is human. You are both Fallen. Both safe.”

I reach out and rest a hand on her knee, “I promise, soon it will be accepted.”

“Tymician couldn’t even do it. How can you promise me anything?” She rubs her face, “Shouldn’t you worry about yourself, Felix? Lady Veronica seems to believe you won’t be king much longer.”

A swift rage boils in my belly and it’s impossible for me to swallow, “Elder Veronica is going to find herself without a home after what she did to you.”

She giggles, finding my rage adorable somehow, “You can’t take Morgantown from her. She’s one of Abida’s top supporters.”

“What does that mean to me?”

Her smile slowly falls away. She doesn’t know me well enough to realize that I’m not just my words. “Don’t anger them, Felix. I know what damage they can do.”

“She hurt you because of me. Two weeks ago I came looking for you and since then she’s had you locked away in the cellar.” I scratch my scalp, my nose scrunching with distaste, “But do you know what else this tells me? How many things like this are going on that I don’t know about? Who else is hurting? Is there someone else out there waiting for me to drop by and look in the basement? If Tristan hadn’t been there, hadn’t realized Elder Veronica was lying about where you were, I would have never found you.”

Her gaze lightens and subtle warmth spreads over her as she loosens her hold on the wool sheet. She relaxes for the first time since she arrived here. “How can you be a Fallen and still have so much compassion?”

Eric cackles. “Lift up that posh frock and show her your knickers.” He hops out of his chair but I manage to punch him in the bicep.

A car door closes and we tense up, staring at the front entrance. Molly shakes her head. “It’s not him. He’s still twenty minutes away.”

I look at her oddly, “How do you know?”

“I see it.” Fondly, she gazes at the gold band around her finger, teasing the diamond. “They just past the King of Prussia Mall. It’s little glimpses.” Molly pops her attention to Tristan, “You’d call them glimpses, right?”

Pausing from stuffing a bite full of food in his mouth, he replies carelessly, “I never see anything. I feel when he’s pissed off.”

“Ah, belt up, yeah.” Eric nips as his cell phone rings and it throws him out of his chair, “Not a bloody word, mate.”

I look toward him whispering, “Who’s on the phone?”

Tristan lips humorously, “Meghan.”

“Who?” Molly wonders.

“It’s his girlfriend.”

“Is she in Kio?”

“No, she’s human.”

“Human?” Molly stutters wide-eyed as she turns to me. “He willingly dates a human and you let him?”

“Why not? It makes him happy. Eric is a hard man to please, if there is anything in this world to make him pleasant, I’m willing to make sacrifices.” Tristan and I both cackle at his expanse, hiding our smiles the moment he walks back in the room.

Leon enters from the front entrance with groceries stacked along his long thin arms. He holds the screen door for Miley, bellowing at her to hurry up. Her high-pitched response in a curse and I hide my embarrassment behind a thick hand. It’s one of the rare moments I’m relieved my Fallen pedigree left me with no blood circulating my veins. Otherwise, my face would be a red cherry.

“Oh.” Miley stumbles on her heels, stalling in the living room. “We have company.” She proceeds to fix her perfectly combed blond tendrils and soothes out any wrinkles in the blue summer dress she wears. Leon shoves her out of the way to get to the kitchen with his weighty packages. She stomps her foot and barrels after him, forgetting instantly about our guest.

I attempt to apologize but Molly interrupts me. “At our house, every action was disciplined and every thought and emotion was controlled. It’s refreshing here. No one is afraid to be who they are.” She looks around, her gaze drifting to a different time and place. “It’s what I imagined Tymician’s home to be like.”

“You’re welcome to stay here.”

She shakes her head quickly, “I won’t burden you. You need to focus on staying king because I believe Tymician chose you for a reason. Meeting you and this family, I’m assured of that.”

Just as Molly predicted, twenty minutes later Meryl and Roger pull into the driveway. If Molly was paying any attention she’d be more surprised by the fact Roger is an Angel and he’s happily married to Meryl. But she loses all interest as her Soul Mate exits from the backseat. He’s just as soiled and unclean having been on the run for the past two weeks, dodging Elder Veronica’s diligent hunt.

I stand on the front porch. Her cries of jubilation echo in the silent air of the late morning. The sun beams down on the grassy fields and showers the red and white flowers blooming along the sidewalk with its rays. Meryl and Roger hold onto each other, watching their loving embrace with tenderness. Eric and Tristan lean against the rail to the right and Leon and Miley sit on the steps, unwilling to look away from this rare moment of affection.

I head back in the house. As per usual, I reorganize the shoes stacked at the front entrance before moving onto the living room. The pillows require repositioning and the coffee table is always disorganized.

I grab plates off the dining room table, disregarding my uneaten breakfast and bring them into the kitchen. Tristan rarely ever cooks but when he does, he doesn’t clean up after himself. Egg shells lay on the marble counter, spilt milk and other random items are left over from his brief time here. I get to work cleaning up after him.

The screen door closes and I’m surprised when Miley enters the kitchen and sits down at the island bar. “You too, huh?” She questions.

“What do you mean?” I scrub the stove with grit.

“Well, let’s see. Meryl and Roger. Eric and Tristan. Now these two newbies. Everywhere we look, Soul Mates.”

“You and Leon get along just fine.”

She bows her head and I wickedly grin.

“You’re not supposed to know about that.”

“I’m not blind.”

Miley pops her head up, “It’s not like we can have sex or anything.”

I quickly put up a hand but she barrels through my plea.

“I’ll never understand God. Angels should be the virgin ones. They’re holy. Why can’t we go around screwing whoever we want?”

“Miley.”

She drops her head on her arms, “Can’t you be my friend and not my father, for once?”

“You have enough friends.”

“Yeah, and they all have Soul Mates. I’m never going to have a Soul Mate, Felix. I’m a twin. I’m a fractured piece of a Soul. I’m a third wheel for the rest of my life.”

“There are plenty of people out there with no Soul Mates. I don’t have one. And I’m happy about it.” I drop the rag on the table and rest my attention on her, “Think of it like this. You’re free. You’re lucky, Miley. You will never have to deal with the crap they go through. If you fall in love, great. Ten years from now, you want to leave, you can do that. Soul Mates are around forever. Who can love someone forever? Only God is capable of that.” I ignore her wide eyes of surprise, continuing with my scrubbing. “Look at Dion and Isis. I bet nine thousand years ago they were inseparable. Now they’re trying to kill each other. I don’t want that. Would you?”

She scrunches her nose, “I never heard you talk so callous before.”

I chuckle, spraying the counter, “Tymician despised his Soul Mate too. Maybe it rubbed off on me.”

Miley buries her head in her arms. “I miss Tymician.”

I throw the used pots in the sink, snapping on the hot water. I refuse to admit that I miss Tymician too. As long as I pretend he’s still alive, I have the urge to fight the Elders and follow his request to lead this clan. I’m only becoming king so that when he returns, I can hand it back to him in one piece.


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