There’s no way to avoid the hit that’s directed at my head, so I simply shut my eyes and wait for it. But nothing comes. I tentatively open my eyes to see what’s going on, only to gasp in shock at the sight of a broad manly back in front of me. This guy sure is tall.
“The fuck do you think you’re doing?” The man in front of me says gravely, the rumble of his voice making me shiver in fear. Who is this guy?
“Ah, fuck! Let go, you fucker!!” I hear Dorian whimper in pain. Curious about what’s going on, I carefully step out from behind the big man, only to see Dorian kneeling on the ground with his hand held in a tight grip by the man. I’m pretty sure his hand is being crushed, but I can’t find it in me to feel sorry for him. He wanted to hit me with this hand.
“Shut the hell up. - the man growls lowly - Why don’t you try fighting someone your own size instead of harassing this poor girl, huh?”
“Mind your own business, man!” Dorian snarls, pulling his hand away from the man’s hold. “You have no idea who you just messed with.” He warns before scurrying away, leaving me with the handsome man.
“T-thank you.” I say quietly, extremely intimidated by the man. He’s so huge!
I barely stop myself from flinching in fright when the man suddenly turns around to face me, but then my fear turns into shock when I see a tiny baby cradled to his chest, wrapped up in a soft pink blanket. Did he have the baby with him the whole time?! How did the girl not wake up?!
“Are you okay?” The man asks worriedly, his strikingly blue eyes quickly going over my tiny, bandaged form. I feel like a mouse facing a lion. Whoever this guy is, he’s beyond intimidating.
“I-I’m okay. He didn’t hurt me. Thank you… for protecting me.”
“It’s no problem. - the man smiles softly - You look like a student… Are you going back from school?”
“Ah, yes… - I nod shyly - I’m on my way home.”
“You’re walking?! - the man exclaims in surprise - In this state? That’s unacceptable.” He huffs before waving someone over. “This is Gale, my driver. He’ll take you home.” The handsome man orders, his tone leaving no room for discussion. I throw a short glance at the driver, which he notices and sends me a small smile. He’s a kind-looking man, around his forties maybe, with dark hair and soft brown eyes. He doesn’t scare me, and I don’t think he’d do anything bad to me, but I still feel bad about being a burden to those men.
“I… I can’t-”
“That’s non-negotiable. I won’t let you walk in this state. - the blue-eyed man asserts - Unless you’d rather I got you a cab.” He adds as an afterthought.
“I’m really fine, thank you.”
“Please don’t argue. You won’t win.” The guy smirks smugly when he sees I don’t have any arguments to go against him. It’s not that I’m scared of him; how can I be when he’s protected me from Dorian? Besides, he’s holding the baby in his arms with such tenderness I don’t believe he’d be someone cruel.
“Mommy~!” The baby wakes up suddenly and cries for her mom.
“Oh, it’s alright, princess. We’ll go to mommy in a moment. - the man soothes his daughter with a loving smile, not at all minding my presence , before he turns back to me - Don’t bother arguing with me anymore, okay? Gale will take you home, you just need to tell him where to go. And you can be sure I’ll ask him if you’ve arrived safely, so no tricks, alright?”
He really doesn’t back down… “Okay.” I give in, unintentionally catching the small baby’s attention. She turns to me curiously then gives me a toothless grin, not at all afraid of my appearance.
“Peety!” She shouts to her dad, waving her tiny hand at me. What did she say?!
“She called you pretty.” The man explains, making me realize that I’ve actually said that out loud.
“Oh… Thank you then.” I smile shyly at the little girl. It’s one thing to get compliments from guys, but another when they come from someone as genuine and honest as a child. It’s nice.
“Gale, make sure this girl gets home safely.” The man tells his driver then gives me a small smile before walking away with his daughter. Such an adorable child.
“Miss, shall we?” The driver, Gale, smiles kindly, leading me to the expensive-looking car parked few yards away. It’s a sleek black limousine, which I’m sure cost more than my whole family would be able to make in a year. And I used to have a big family. Who the hell is that blue-eyed man?!
I just hope I won’t regret this.
─ ▪ ─
“I know you have something to tell me, Kaden.” Mom smirks smugly at me as we sit in our favorite booth at Maria’s. We’re waiting for my dad to arrive, but because of the traffic he’s running late, which is why we have some time to kill.
“I was wondering… if Gio could maybe stay with us for a while.” I tell my mom honestly, getting an intrigued look from her in response. It’s the first time I’ve asked her if a friend could stay over, to be honest, so I understand her surprise, but I couldn’t possibly watch Gio suffer while staying with his bitch of a sister.
“Is there a reason for your request?” Mom asks, quickly catching the hidden meaning of my words.
“Can you share it or is it a secret?” Mom smirks, glancing at Gio curiously. But my friend is too awestruck with her to even notice that all the attention is on him. He's been staring at her the whole time! If my dad saw the attention mom is getting right now, he'd snap a few necks, that's for sure.
“Gio’s father has gone to Alaska, supposedly for two weeks, but it’ll be probably a month.” Robin explains when Gio doesn’t say anything.
“I didn’t actually expect an answer!” Mom laughs, shaking her head at my friends. “But alright, I understand the situation. If Gio wants, he can stay with us.” She smiles at Gio, snapping his out of his stupor.
“Really? It’s really okay?” My friend gasps quietly, seemingly shocked by my mom’s decision.
“Of course. - mom smiles - Any friend of my son is welcome at our house.”
“Thank you, Mrs Knight! Thank you!” Gio grins. He's like a child sometimes.
“Don’t mention it.” Mom chuckles. I knew I could count on her.
My friends and I talk causally as we wait for my dad to arrive, until a loud angelic voice resounds over the whole dining room. “Mommy! Kay-Kay!” Oh dear. Dad brought Amantha with him.
“Kay-Kay?” Hayden smirks at me, making it clear he finds my nickname funny. Well, it’s not like a ten-month-old baby can say my name yet, so she simply makes sounds that resemble it.
“She can’t say ‘Kaden’ yet.” I point out.
“Kay-Kay! Peety! Peety!”Amantha babbles adorably in her baby language, getting sweet coos from my friends.
“What is she talking about?” Mom asks curiously, taking Amantha from dad so he can sit beside them.
“There was a girl nearby. Some asshole tried to harass her so I stepped in, and when our little princess woke up, she called the girl pretty.” Dad explains as mom unwraps Amy from her blanket. My sister is extremely attached to it. She never leaves the house without it.
“What happened to the girl?” Mom questions, gently taking Amantha’s jacket off. How many layers did dad put on her?!
“I told Gale to take her home.”
“Okay.” Mom nods satisfied before calling a waiter over.
“Wow, your sister is cute!” Robin sighs quietly once we’ve all eaten and my parents have gone to talk to Maria in private. Supposedly someone is trying to extort money from her in exchange for ‘protection’, but my grandma is not one to be scared. She immediately reached out to my parents and told them about this. Safe to say, my mom wasn’t happy to hear that someone is threatening her beloved Mama Maria. That’s why she suggested going here for dinner. Sneaky move, mom, sneaky move.
“What did you say?” I turn to my friend in confusion, too distracted by Amantha to hear what he’s said.
“I said, she’s cute.” Robin repeats. “I swear to god, biology is unfair. First, you, now your sister. Why is it that all the good genes run in your family?!” He mutters in annoyance, making me snort in pure amusement. He’s sulking over genetics, of all things!
“Dunno.” I shrug. Though it’s true, Amantha is absolutely adorable.
She’s my precious little sister and I’ll jump into fire for her.
Amantha Mireille Knight.
Amantha is a Greek variant of ‘Samantha’, which was my dad’s mother’s name. Mom wanted to respect the tradition of giving children names starting with 'A', but at the same time, she tried to honor dad's late mother. And Mireille [read: mee-ray] is a French name meaning ‘miracle’. When I asked why mom chose a French name, she only said that the Devereux clan originates from France. It was the first witch, Xanthe, who first settled there and many centuries later, she was given the name ‘D’Evreux’, since she was from Evreux in Normandy. At least that’s what I found out about my mom’s family history. While mom was still bedridden after giving birth, she read about the family history to try to figure out if Amantha can pass on the witch-gene to her descendants. I thought it was obvious, but all the records found about the Devereuxs said differently. Every woman in the family has hazel or amber eyes, which are a sign of magic flowing through them, but Amantha has dad’s strikingly blue eyes, which can mean she didn’t inherit the witch blood fully. It’ll all come out in two generations, though, so it’s no use dwelling into that yet - mom’s words, not mine.
My parents sure chose a fitting name for their daughter. My little sister is a true miracle.
It was a true blessing that she was born. I still remember what my mom went through to give birth to her. She spent over eight months in bed because it was an extremely high-risk pregnancy and another three after giving birth.
When I was younger, I asked my parents once why didn’t they have children of their own. They explained that because of a certain incident, my mom can’t have kids. It would be really hard for her to get pregnant, and even if she did, she’d most likely miscarry.
For years, my parents were sure that they’ll never have a child, but then a miracle happened. Mom got pregnant. Thanks to her powers, she found out about it quite early, so she could take all the necessary precautions. When dad and I heard the news, we were both overwhelmed and happy. Dad instantly changed his tune around mom and became a ridiculously overbearing mother hen. Not that I don't understand why. Since I knew about the possibility of mom losing the baby, I also did everything I could to help and support her.
Mom spent her whole pregnancy in bed. She wanted to have a baby so badly she did everything in her power to keep it. It was heartbreaking to know what hardships my amazing parents had to go through in order to have a child, but I never said anything. I didn’t want them to worry about me on top of mom’s delicate state.
And then, my precious sister was born. I’ll never forget the horrifying sight of my mom getting cut open right in her bedroom as the doctors pulled Amantha from her womb. It was impossible for mom to give birth naturally, so she had to get a C-section. It was traumatizing. There was so much blood. No amount of bloody fights could prepare me for what I’ve witnessed that day. My sweet loving mother was lying in a pool of her own blood as doctors took a baby out of her stomach.
Even though my parents wanted a baby, the price my mom paid for having Amantha was tremendous. She was struggling so hard to heal from the pregnancy and the C-section that she had to stay bedridden for three more months. But she's never complained. Little Amantha is the apple of our eyes. We’re all ready to do everything for her. She’s so tiny, so fragile and delicate that it makes me and dad even more protective of her. My poor sister… she’ll never be able to date. I already pity any guy that tries to approach her in the future.
At first, I was slightly worried that my parents would forget about me after Amantha’s birth, but it never happened. They never treated me differently because of my sister. In fact, they emphasized that Amantha is my sister even more. It doesn’t matter that we’re not blood-related, I’m still their son.
My parents’ approach to their children - me and Amantha - is the reason why I don’t understand Gio’s father. He has two kids, yet he treats one of them like an unwanted burden rather than his son. That’s why I want to show Gio what a real family is like. I want him to get a taste of normalcy so he can see that it’s not his fault that his father is a scumbag.
As I think about my tiny little sister, I’m reminded of Faye. When I saw her for the first time, I was struck by a feeling of protectiveness comparable with the one I feel towards my sister. She looked so pained, so fragile, so broken I wanted to save her from the world. I still do.
I don’t know how she ended up so banged up, but I swear on my honor as a Knight that I won’t let her get hurt anymore.