Seventeen years later
Pushing with his feet the swing rocked with the movement. He could hear the crash of waves against the cliff. Looking up he could count the stars the perfect night without light pollution. Behind him he could hear the voices of his family. He could pinpoint the exact moment his brother left the house in search of him.
‘Josh what are you doing out here mum is looking for you,’ Sebastian sank down next to his brother. Letting the swing rock from his weight.
‘I don’t want you to go,’ Josh turned to look at his little brother although little didn’t really seem appropriate as he was anything but.
‘You know I have too. They understand me and there will be children like me so I won’t always be different you know,’ the same golden-brown eyes held Joshes gaze. One of the few similarities that marked them out as brothers. Whereas Sebastian was tall and all muscle inheriting his mother’s skin tone but fathers’ pale hair a perfect mixture of the two apparently. Well so Uncle Mark had remarked. Josh was slight, delicate, and often described as pretty in the media. With his pale hair and complexion. People often remarked at how he was the image of his father.
‘Yeah, I know. I am still going to miss you,’ Josh managed a smile.
‘I have to do this. Besides I want too. I will miss you guys but it will be better for me,’ Sebastian climbed to his feet. ‘Don’t stay out to long and get cold you know how mum worries about you,’ Sebastian smirked knowing how that irritated his brother.
‘I know and I won’t. I will be in soon. I just need a moment,’ Josh watched his brother stroll back to the house. Closing his eyes, he let the warm night wrap him in it’s velvet softness as he emptied his mind. He knew if he stayed to long his twin would be out here looking for him. It annoyed him how they all thought him delicate.
Pushing up he started the amble back to the house. A low growl reverberated around the garden. Josh stopped and peered into the gathering dusk to see where it came from.
‘Damn, damn it,’ a female voice cursed. Josh peered into the bush it came from. To be confronted by a small girl her long light brown hair tangled in the twigs of the bush.
‘Do you want some help?’ Josh stepped closer.
‘Oh yes…. Oh no, it’s you… I will be in so much trouble. I thought it was the other one,’
‘Um why?’ Josh asked as he untangled her hair from the thorny bush.
‘I was supposed to observe you without you knowing,’ she cast her eyes down as her cheeks pinked.
‘Why would you be observing me?’ Josh raised a brow as he ran his fingers through her hair. Catching a snag, she let out a yelp. ‘Oh sorry,’ he muttered as his fingers deftly braided her hair. Rummaging in his pocket he pulled out a hair band and wrapped it around the end.
‘Oh, what the hell.’ She stepped away from him. ‘I was supposed to watch you as word had got out you were in danger. If I felt a threat, I was meant to take you to your father,’ she sighed. ‘Beta Callum is going to be so annoyed. Please don’t tell your mum as she will go straight to your father and then I will be punished and probably fired and I really need this job and to show them I can be trusted with you,’ her voice trailed off as she took a large gulp of air having said that all in one go. ‘I begged for this job do you have any idea how humiliating that was,’ she sagged in defeat and studied her fingernails. ‘I wasn’t the first choice although I have trained to do this. Really hard actually,’ She gazed up at him her sloping doe eyes twinkled with tears she didn’t want to shed.
‘I have a father?’
‘Oh no I shouldn’t have said any of that,’ tears welled in her eyes, and she dashed them away her movement’s jerky.
‘How about we make a deal,’
‘What sort of deal?’ she cocked her head to see his face better her brows furrowed.
‘You tell me about my father, and I won’t give you away and tell my mum,’
‘You would do that? But you hardly know me,’
‘I hardly know anyone because of who I am.’ Josh gave a mirthless chuckle.
‘You are just like him you know,’
‘Benjamin, your dad,’
‘How do you know my dad?’
‘Secrets little Lycos, secrets,’ she turned to go. Josh reached out and grabbed her hand stopping her.
‘I will see you tomorrow, promise,’
‘I will find you,’ she pulled away letting his hand drop to his side. As questions bubbled up inside him. Watching as she faded into the night.
Lying in bed he gazed at the ceiling. The luminous stars he had stuck up their one holiday as a school project glowed. Giving him comfort. He didn’t really mind when his mum pushed the door open and stepped inside the swish of her ball gown making him smile.
‘Joshy baby,’ she cooed as she bent down to kiss his cheek. At sixteen almost seventeen he felt the nickname could go. He didn’t say it though. Just kept the annoyance to himself.
‘Mum I was sleeping,’ he grumbled.
‘No, you weren’t. Just like your father. Brooding away keeping it in,’ Her fingers stroked through his hair. He wondered how many teenage boys would gladly swap with him now. His eyes found his mothers face. Elizabeth Montrose probably the most famous woman on the planet.
‘You are the second person to compare me to him tonight,’ Josh watched for her reaction. There was none. She wasn’t the most sought-after actress for no reason.
‘Really that is interesting,’ she said instead.
‘What was he like?’ Josh asked waiting to see if she would answer.
‘He was sweet, and kind and he loved you very much,’ her voice light as she smiled. ‘He was delicate like you and I should have taken better care of him,’ taking Joshes hand her gaze connected with his. ‘I won’t make that mistake again. Now what’s bothering you hmm,’
‘Oh, you know the usual,’
‘Sweetheart your grades are excellent, and you will see Sebastian in a couple of months for the summer. He needs this he has been struggling,’
‘I know. I just… it doesn’t matter. I love you mum,’ Leaning up he kissed her cheek. ‘Get going or you will be late,’ he chastised as she rose to her feet.
‘I will be back tomorrow night and we can talk properly. Have pizza,’
‘Okay thanks mum,’ he watched her swish out the door. Tomorrow he would get the answers he needed. Snuggling down he let the warm cocoon of his duvet envelope him as he drifted to sleep.