Chapter 31: Love Immortal
Daniel’s heart pounded as he raced down the hospital corridor towards where Michael and the others waited. He had done nothing, but walk the carpet bare since being locked in the nun’s cell and when he heard the door being unlocked, he nearly cried in relief until he had seen Ben’s face.
‘Michael is with her in York District.’
Was all he heard as he pushed past his father. He didn’t want to hear any more. All he wanted was be where he belonged, at Cayne’s side. Now as he approached, he wanted to knock Michael to the floor. Punish him for locking him up, and for not keeping her safe, but Michael’s smiling face threw him off balance.
‘She’s going to be okay. They both are. Her and the baby,’ Michael said walking towards him.
‘It’s confirmed? That quickly?’ was all he could manage to say as relief flooded through him. Michael nodded. ‘Can I see her?’
‘Apparently, it’s incredibly unusual at such an early stage. But then considering who she is. Anyway, she’s not awake yet, but Joshua is with her at the moment.’
A pang of jealously flooded through him and he tried to shake it off. Joshua was her blood. Of course he would have more right to be with her over him. He turned away from Michael and saw Kris and Ben sitting next to Henrick and felt his body stiffen. The man who took Cayne from her bed and from him to kill her and yet he sat there receiving sympathy as though he had every right. Henrick struggled to get to his feet and still Daniel found he could not move. He was filled with a mixture of hate and compassion, which he could not understand. It was he that Henrick was protecting, he knew that, but still he had taken Cayne.
Kris got to his feet and touched Henrick’s arm, seeing his intention.
‘Uncle, you don’t need to do this now.’
‘Yes I do Kristopher,’ Henrick said softly, before turning towards Daniel. ‘Will you ever forgive my lack of judgement, Master?’
Daniel opened his mouth to say no, but the word master threw him. Is that really what he was to these people? A simple young boy from Ireland, that went on to be a priest of Rome. He was a nobody and the title Master was not deserved. As Henrick stood waiting for his response, Daniel caught a glance of the bandage that was peeking through Henrick’s shirt. He wondered briefly who had hurt him and if it had been Cayne.
‘My father told me who you are,’ Daniel said finally, and he noted Ben’s head rise at his use of the word father.
‘But that doesn’t answer my question?’ Henrick responded his voice cracking.
‘No it doesn’t.’ Henrick hung his head and tears started to fall down the bridge of his nose onto the floor. Daniel slowly held out his hand and waited for Henrick to take it. For a moment Henrick did not move, but then with a look of confusion he took it. ‘But this does,’ Daniel finished.
Daniel pulled him close into a hug and found himself stretching to his full height in order to whisper in his ear.
‘You thought you were saving me. I understand that now. I understand everyone’s choices that they have had to make. Today is a new day, and please call me Daniel. Never Master. We are all in this together.’
He felt Henrick’s big hands squeeze him a little tighter and Daniel found himself responding. He had no idea where the forgiveness had suddenly come from, but he just knew that this was only the beginning for them all and if they were ever going to survive they had to remain strong.
Just then Joshua stepped from behind a door, his face still pale and frightened. Both men looked at each other awkwardly especially after the harsh words spoken earlier that day, but Daniel made the first move and went to shake his hand. Joshua looked at it for the briefest of moments, before sweeping him up into a hug that threatened to squeeze the very life from him.
‘Brother…Daniel…thank you,’ Joshua whispered.
‘For what?’ Daniel asked slightly bemused.
For bringing us together. Because of you I have sister and possibly a niece or nephew to dote on. You have given me my family back.’
Daniel smiled as he felt his insides swell with both love and pride. It was like all the pieces of a puzzle were finally being put into place and the three of them were no longer single children, lost in a world that was not ready for them. They were now united. Releasing Daniel from his grip, Joshua moved aside so the Daniel could enter Cayne’s room and then went to wait with the others.
Michael watched Daniel go into the room and rose to his feet. Making his way outside, he found an empty bus shelter and sat down. Opening the newly bought packet, he pulled out a cigarette and lit it, drawing the nicotine into his body. He felt like he had just done ten rounds with Tyson while riding a roller-coaster and he had a feeling this was not the end of it.
His job was just beginning and if he indeed was truly part of the three then he was going to play a major part in Cayne’s life. The truth was that underneath all the bravado, Michael had no idea if he had what it took. Cayne had already placed him on a precariously high and shaky pedestal and he was not good at living to everyone’s expectations. He would let her down. He knew he would, and at that moment he understood what it must have been like for Judas.
The poor man had been faced with an impossible choice, because it was all down to him. Everything was down to him and his actions. If they had been different, Michael and his peers would be kneeling to an old god and Jesus would have been passed by, just as Cayne could have. It was all down to him now. His actions from there on in would make or break the legacy that Cayne had to live or die for.
‘God dammit!’ he muttered to himself, and stubbing out is cigarette he made his way towards where the cabs waited and got in.
The first thing Daniel noticed was how peaceful and beautiful she looked. He had grown so used to seeing a pale frightened face that either held angry or sad eyes. It was refreshing to see her calm and resting. The machine attached to her beeped rhythmically telling him her heart was doing what it should. Reaching over, he stroked a piece of blond hair from her face. Her skin felt warm and soft and he kissed her lightly.
He jumped at the sound of his name. He had not heard Ben even open the door. He turned away from the old man and looked back at Cayne.
‘She looks so peaceful,’ he said absently.
Ben reached out and touched his hand and although his brain told him to move it away he did not. He actually appreciated the warmth of his father’s touch.
‘I know you must have loved my mother very much to have done what you did.’
‘Just as I understand your anger,’ Ben said softly. ‘My heart broke the day I walked away from you both, but I felt it stop when she died.’
Daniel looked up and saw tears streaming down Ben’s face.
‘You went to see her?’ Daniel asked.
Ben nodded. ‘I saw you leave the room that night. I admit I never really pay any attention to you. I just thought you were just another priest. Anyway, I sneaked in. I had never seen her look so old and tired, but when her eyes found mine I saw the Claudette that I fell in love with.’
Now Ben mentioned it, he did vaguely remember passing an old man that looked just like Ben on the night his mother died, but he too had not paid any attention, his mind elsewhere.
‘If you would have known who I was would you have spoken to me?’ Daniel asked.
Ben shook his head and sighed. ‘No, I wouldn’t have. You must understand we all have our part to play and mine was never a happily ever after with Claudette. All I did was provide the seed to bring you into this world.’
‘Is that all I am. A seed bearer?’ Daniel whispered looking back to Cayne. His hand went to her stomach as though he would be able to feel the life they had created.
‘God, no Daniel. You and Cayne are immortal lovers. What is between you goes beyond lust and sexual chemistry. You are the original Lancelot and Guinevere. Romeo and Juliet even. You are what every mortal on this plane strives to have. That one soul that will travel with them forever.’
Daniel moved his hands from her stomach to her hands. Even if she did have to die as gods were meant to, he would spend every moment with her as though it were their last.