Chapter 6 - Revelation


Callum

I take a cab back to the hospital, say hello to the night nurses, stop by my room for a shower (and I urgently need one), and then start my late night round. I am still on a high due to a mixture of lack of sleep and general excitement. The children can feel it too, and none of them is sleeping. And everywhere I come the little ones ask me about Daedalus. Is he sick? Is he on holidays? Did something happen to him? It takes all the self-control I have not to give in to the emotions that try to come up, but I can do it, I can even spread white lies about him and say he’s just taken a night off and he’ll probably be back tonight.

While telling them, I feel that it is the straw I am clutching at.

I won’t be able to withhold this from Daniel. As soon as I enter his room, he comes running to me, as if he had been kept in the picture via some strange telepathic vibrations. I hug him and tell him that everything is fine, and Daedalus will come to see him later this night. He calms down a bit, but then he looks up at me with his bright blue eyes and says, "You must tell me what happened. I know he isn’t well."

Apart from the joy that he is finally talking to me, I cannot give in to that challenge now. I simply look at him and remain earnest. " He just had this little accident, Daniel. Nothing serious, really. He’ll be fine." I know he won’t buy it, either, but maybe the information will be sufficient for him, after all, no matter how poor it is.

A look at his face tells me that he is still very much concerned. "An accident? Was he hurt?"

I shake my head, forcing a smile. "No, Daniel. He is quite all right. As I told you, he’ll pay you a visit later tonight."

This seems to finally soothe him. He sits down at his little table again, but as if to chide me for my bad excuses, he won’t talk any more. I move closer and look at the hieroglyphs and the other strange and fantastic pictures he has painted. They look so vivid, so colorful that I can understand why Daniel and Daedalus seem to be connected by an invisible affinity; a congeniality of spirits.

The thought gives me a sting, reminding me that I will have to send Daniel away soon; much too soon. In any case, I couldn't hold him longer than a month’s time. He talks again now, he is physically stable, psychologically you never know, and the authorities don’t really care as long as the tests are all right; which they are. If I made a statement in my report that he was psychologically unstable I would only condemn him to life in an institution, and I won’t do that to him. I can’t, however, keep him from being dumped in one of the local orphanages. It hurts to know that. And I won’t even dream how I should break this to Daedalus.

I swallow back the lump in my throat and sit down by Daniel’s side. "Hey, these pictures are amazing. Is this how they decorated their pyramids?"

It is fascinating to see how a simple change of subject can make Daniel ‘work’ again. He nods enthusiastically and while I have to force myself to keep my eyes open, he starts telling me incredible facts about ancient Egypt and the different forms of art in the different dynasties. He calls them complicated names, and can but believe him, as he seems to be an expert on this topic. He sometimes almost clutters, I can hardly slow him down, and when he finally gives me a chance to butt in, I say: "You know so much about that, Daniel, I am proud of you. And I believe you will study archaeology later on, won’t you?"

This doesn’t have the desired effect, and too late I remember that both his parents were archaeologists. So I add hurriedly: "Well, this can wait till later, can’t it now. Hey, I love your pictures. May I hang some of them up in our corridors? How about that, huh?"

It sufficiently cheers him up, and when I finally leave him, he gives me a hard time sending him to bed again, because he is dying to start sketches for the walls right now. But then, I found out that if you manage to get children into bed and by means of a stupid excuse convince them to shut their eyes, they fall asleep almost instantly, at least most of the time; which is a bit mean, but very convenient.

On the way back to my sleeping quarters, I meet my dear and very pale friend, Daedalus. I step towards him with sincere relief. "How very nice to meet you here, dear."

Daedalus, still moving stiffly like people use to move when they were badly hurt and don’t want to show, forces a smile that doesn’t reach his eyes. "Callum."

There’s something else behind his composure, and I gesture towards my room. In silence we go into the office and sit down on the sofa. I sense that Daedalus is going to tell me something important, and it probably has to do with the past night, so I try to work through the emotional part as fast as possible to let him break the news to me. "You’re pale, you know." I grin encouragingly, "I’d offer you tea, if I knew it would do any good."

Here it comes. He pretends not to perceive my amiability, retorting: "There is an important matter we have to discuss."

I know I won’t like this, but I let myself in for his little game, as it obviously makes getting over with it easier for him, so I give him the best innocent expression I am capable of at this time of night. "So formal?" I have to stand up again so that he can’t see my face, for after all, I’m not such a good long term actor, and pouring myself a cup of tea from the thermos flask I remark quite casually: "I bet it’s got to do with Julian."

With my back still turned towards him, I hear him answer: "In a way."

I turn back, and looking at him say: "Spit it out, then."

Daedalus is very good at this, but even he seems to be uncomfortable with my apparent ease. I remain leaning at the sideboard, the mug in my hands, to allow him to keep some distance. It works, and he finally says: "It's not easy to put in words. First, I must apologize for springing this on you like this." His expression is very stern now. "You have been witness to something no mortal may witness without... consequences. It endangers the Masquerade. It endangers all of us."

I let Dr McKay keep the steering wheel, feeling my jaw set although I’m smiling. "I see. And I bet the usual oath thing won’t be sufficient, huh?"

"No. There are precisely four alternatives."

Come on, Daedalus, you’ll manage to tell me. I’m anticipating it anyway. But I go on playing. "Let me guess. You could… do the hypnotizing thing again, you could kill me, you could… do something else to make me forget, or…?"

"I could kill you, alter your memory, embrace you - that is turn you into one of us, or I could blood-bind you." Ah, finally he gets to the point. With a mirthless smile on his pale lips, he goes on. "I will do none of those things, but Julian will. Julian Luna will embrace you."

"Sweet Julian wants to embrace me?" I can’t help but grin now. "Wouldn’t be the worst of choices, really."

But Daedalus does not go along with my gallows humor, he seems more in the mood of the final harbinger. "We don’t embrace without consent. You will know beforehand everything it entails. I will answer any question you may have. But know this: Being embraced by Julian Luna is not only a great honor, but it also means that you will be part of his Clan."

"Why can’t you embrace me, then?" I can’t keep myself from saying this, nor can I keep my eyelids from fluttering a bit. "I’d like that much more."

Of course, he stops in his tracks for a moment. When he goes on explaining the basics to me, his expression is a hint milder. "Callum, you wouldn’t want that. The Nosferatu Embrace not only makes you Kindred, it also distorts you physically. I could never do that to you. It would curse you to live my life. You would be unable to continue living among humans. You would be forced to hide underground, like I am. In time, you would come to hate me for doing that to you."

It is more than a little speech for him, and while he’s talking I let the impressions of the last night pass in front of my mind’s eye. I think of Frederick and the others, and I suddenly know why they look so strange, and that they obviously didn’t look like that before the change. Then I remember the painting Daedalus made of me, and the warm tide washes over me again. So much passion, so much desire, and all this in a body that is condemned to be shunned by humanity. Without a second thought, I put my hand on his shoulder. "I’m sorry. I understand only now what you must be going through every single day. The things Frederick said, the picture, the vaults… Your sad eyes… I should have known…" I know it might be utterly wrong in this kind of situation, yet I give in to the urge to stroke his cheek, and right now it feels like we’ve known each other for much longer. "Tell me one thing, Daedalus. If Julian does this to me, will I then be able to like you as much as I like you now?"

Daedalus is very still, although the touch made him start, and it seems he must get through this now, his voice sounding hollow as if coming from far away. "It is not unprecedented, if unlikely. Julian himself has always been able to transcend Clan barriers. As his childe, you might inherit this tendency. Also, strong emotions sometimes survive the embrace. I won’t deny that there’s a risk, but in your case, I’d say you have pretty good odds."

Now we have a change of attitude. First he was the executioner, whereas now he sounds more like a good old chap who only does his duty. I like this approach much better and join in. "Sounds good to me. What’s the name of that clan, then?"

"Ventrue. They’re also called Blue Bloods when they can’t hear it. They are the leading Clan, the lawyers, doctors, politicians. Often, the Princes. They are characterized by a certain… aloofness, ruthlessness even. But again, Julian proves that there are exceptions to any rule."

This catches me off-guard. "Really?" I can hardly imagine Julian proving in any way that he can be more than exactly that, but of course Daedalus knows him so much better… "Aloofness, huh?" But I also can’t imagine me being any different from what I’m now, apart from the usual development most of us are going through; which I hope will never stop. Suddenly I have the strong desire to move, I get up and start pacing the room. "Just let me think for a moment or two, okay?"

"You should think about it much longer than that, Callum. It is literally a life-changing decision." Daedalus sounds literally dead serious again.

Without stopping, I say: "Three more questions. First, will I be able to continue my work?"

"Yes, most certainly," he answers promptly. "As I said, Ventrue are often –"

I interrupt him. "Yeah, you told me. Secondly, what about the night-and-day problem?"

"We can move in daylight, provided we take certain… precautions. But the sun is still dangerous for us."

I’m in the right mood now: past high spirits, past midnight, and past the point of no return. "Haven’t seen daylight a lot since I started working here. And the precautions consist of something red and liquid, I presume?"

There he has to smile. "Yes. We don’t need a lot of blood, and no mortal has to die to sate our hunger. In fact, it is forbidden by law to kill a mortal."

"Wait." I stop and gesticulate. "The only thing I know about you and your kind, apart from the things Frederick told me, is that there will have to be some… well, killing involved when you’re being changed. Right?"

Daedalus answers my stare unblinking. "You will be drained of blood, and then you will receive your blood mixed with your Sire’s. It is a death of sorts."

I can’t explain it, maybe it’s the comedy of the situation or just the strain and lack of sleep, but I burst out laughing at this, and I can but try to calm down again. "A little death, then? Hey, I must say, your offer sounds real nice to me, and being together with Julian for this... little death of sorts even sounds sexy."

I expected a slight cough, but all I get is another piercing glance. "I’ve heard it’s very… ecstatic."

Making a mental note to come back to this point some time later, and sitting down by his side, I state: "I have no choice, then."

Of course I have. He fills me in on the facts. "You could still choose the blood-bond. In this case, you would remain essentially human, but you would be blood-bound to your master. It would take away some of your free will, which is why I wouldn’t suggest it."

I understand, and having made up my mind already, I can only shake my head. "Never. You know me. Forget it."

This is appreciated with a nod. "Then, yes, the Embrace is your only choice." He smiles his sad smile again. "Take as long as you need to think about this, Callum."

"No more thinking required." I feel good, now that I told him. But I must know one more thing before it’s written in stone, and I almost snuggle up to get my point across. "I’ll be there, under one condition: You’ll be with us."

Suddenly, Daedalus throws away his stiff pose and takes me in his arms. "I’m glad, Callum. You’ll make a fantastic Ventrue. I will be there, but you won’t see me."

I can’t follow this sudden change of atmosphere, but I am much too confused now, and too tired anyway. If I give in to all those emotions, I will probably not see the end of it. So, finally, it’s me who has to keep the distance. After planting a shy kiss on his forehead, I pull away from him and order: "Leave me now, and I’ll see you tomorrow night."

The look in his eyes pays me for all my trouble, and his tone of voice is soft and warm, "Of course. Good night, Callum." With this, he leaves.

I sit down with my tea, I light a cigarette, I lean back. My mind has shut down for today. Quiet now.


Daedalus

It is done. I should be relieved, happy even, at Callum's acceptance of our offer. After all, he accepted immortality. As Kindred, he can and must learn about his new world – and me. There will be no more barriers between us, except those imposed by bloodlines.

And yet, I feel a sense of loss.

He'll no longer be human. I can't deny the fear that maybe, with his Embrace, he'll lose that indefinable quality that drew me to him in the first place. It is for this reason, among others, that I never made a childe in all of my centuries. There's no denying the fact that the Embrace changes us, if not immediately, then certainly with time. Not all changes are as obvious as the Nosferatu curse. Most are more subtle, and it is those subtle changes in Callum that I fear most.

What if I won't be able to love him anymore?

I realize I'm borrowing trouble. It may not happen. Whatever drew me to him may turn out to become amplified by the Embrace. And, lest I forget, there's no alternative.

It's time to distract myself from my propensity for self-torture, and what better way to do that than to talk to a child? And who better among all my children than Daniel?

The child has been reading again; he looks up and smiles as I enter his room. Then he proceeds to further threaten my composure by scrambling out of bed, running up to me, and throwing his small arms around me. "I'm glad you're okay," he says into the folds of my overcoat, and I'm surprised to find he's speaking English. Callum must have worked another miracle in my absence.

"What makes you say that, child?" I've been away from the hospital before, and never received such a welcome.

He draws back to look up at me. "Callum said you had an accident," he explains, "but I knew something was wrong before then." He frowns, which scrunches up his little face into an expression of utter concentration. "You look pale," he pronounces. "I mean, you're always pale. But now you look sick-pale, not normal-pale. Are you really okay?"

I resolve to tell the truth; it never pays to lie to a transcender. "I was injured, but I'm better now."

He nods, then switches to ancient Greek. "I've always wanted to ask you, Daedalus... What are you?"

I close my eyes. Please, I plead silently, don't ask me that. I can't tell you. I don't want to have to embrace you, too...

"Daedalus?" his child's voice asks hesitantly. "Don't be angry..."

I look at him. "I can't tell you, child. I'm sorry."

"Don't say that just because I'm little!" he says, showing the first hint of temper I've seen from him. "I'm not stupid, you know. I can understand things."

"Daniel, no one would ever think you're stupid. I can't tell you because it's a secret."

"Like the pyramids?"

I smile. "Yes, like the pyramids."

He walks back to his chair, sits down on it and folds his arms in a gesture of defiance. "When I grow up, I'll find out about the pyramids. And I'll find out about you, too."

Somehow, this threat sounds much less childish coming from him than it would from any other child. "Daniel," I say earnestly, "finding out about the pyramids will be easier and much less dangerous than finding out about me."

His eyes grow wide. "Dangerous?"

I hate myself for doing this, but this child is much too intelligent, curious and stubborn for his own good. I have to make him leave off investigating before his inquisitiveness leads to his downfall. "I like you, Daniel. You have nothing to fear from me. But there are others like me, and they won't hesitate to be mean to you. Very mean."

He's silent for a moment. "Like the doctor who was here before?"

"Yes. Like the doctor."

"Abel said you killed the doctor."

"Yes."

"Because he was mean to us?"

Caine, the child is clever. I can see where he's going, though, and head him off at the pass. He can't go on believing that he can do whatever he wants and I'll protect him. "He was killed because he broke our laws. If you find out about us, that same law will be applied against you." I harden my heart and allow my eyes to change color. "There are no exceptions," I growl at him.

Even now, he's torn between curiosity and fear, and then curiosity wins out. "Wow!" he breathes, switching back to English.

"Do you understand me, child?"

He nods. "Yeah, I get it. You didn't have to scare me like this, though. I'm not stupid. All you have to do is explain things to me."

I have to smile at that. Sometimes, Daniel acts in such a mature manner that it's hard to remember he's still a child. And sometimes, he's so much the precocious little brat that hardly anyone would believe he's eight.

He sees my expression and smiles too. "I love you, Daedalus," he says. "I don't care what you are." And then he throws himself in my arms.

Suddenly, I'm assailed by what can only be a vision. The room vanishes. Another room appears, some place I've never seen before, but it's blurry and out of focus. All I can see is a large circular object. I relax, letting the vision come to me, not forcing nor fighting it, but the room vanishes again before I can take it in. Instead, I see symbols scrolling past in rapid succession, and I hear a man's voice say, "The seventh symbol is the point of origin." Then I see the man, he's wearing glasses, and I know immediately that it's Daniel, and that I'm somehow seeing a vision of the future, his future.

"Daedalus?"

The vision fades. In its place, I see the young face of present-day Daniel looking at me with concern. "What's wrong?"

I close my eyes for a moment, forcing myself to calm. "Nothing, child," I say slowly.

"You're really pale. Are you sure you're okay?"

"Yes." At least I very much hope so.

What just happened? Normally, the discipline of Auspex allows us to see the past, not the future. And yet... I have to believe it really was a vision and not some hallucination left over by my injury. But if so, what does it mean? What are these symbols? What does Daniel have to do with it?

I do wish I'd have more time to ponder this. But at the moment, something else must take precedence in my mind and thoughts.

Callum.

Gently, I reach out a hand to stroke Daniel's soft hair. "I must leave you, child. And you should sleep now. No more reading in bed."

Obviously, he's impressed by what he saw and heard today, so he acquiesces without a murmur of protest.


Callum

This is it, then. It’s the last night I’ll live, at least as a mortal breathing being, and the last day I’ll experience with all the little niceties humanity has up its sleeve; like breakfast, sunbathing, cigarettes… What I learned to know about the vampires, or more specific, the Ventrue, which is Julian’s sort, isn’t in the least enough to understand what is awaiting me after what Daedalus called the Embrace, but then again, how would you explain swimming to a non-swimmer? Like floating? Yeah, great. So, if I’m lucky, I’ll happily float along.

There’s no way even to think of sleeping tonight. On the other hand, it’s much too late to go out, and the places I could go even at this time of night are out of the question. None of this any more.

So, I roam the corridors of the hospital, telling myself it’s just to make sure everything is all right, and then I lie down on my sofa, trying to close my eyes for a moment, if only to experience the warm feeling of sleep one last time. I doze away, but the ringing of my desk phone wakes me up again. It is four o’clock in the morning, and I hear Sean’s amiable voice.

I greet him cordially while racking my brains how to deal with this. I remember that I had left him a message at my last call, and he is almost certainly concerned. He would be even more worried if I told him the truth, but this can never be, I’ve learned my lesson so far. So, swallowing down the urge to tell him everything, I patter on about my daily routines, gladly hover quite a bit over the Daniel case, and then stumble through the "And how are you?" sequence. He is apt to see through my little charade, in fact he will most likely notice every single bit behind it, and yet he is kind enough to refrain from asking.

We finish our talk in the same easygoing tone of voice our friendship has always had, but his last words go on echoing in my head: "Callum, I know you’re not telling me the whole story, and I should not push. But if something should ever happen to you that you can’t explain, something that you think might change your life, please do me the personal favor and let me in on it." I pretend not to understand the meaning of his words, make a bad joke, thank him and hang up.

Well, I really didn’t catch the meaning of his words.

Can it be he knows something I don’t? I mean, he knows a whole lot of things I’ll never know, but maybe the Masquerade goes on and on… No, impossible. He can’t be one of them. And yet, he seemed to sense something unusual, and he talked about something ‘changing my life’. Or could it be he is hiding something from me; something else, something I can’t put my finger on? Or was it just me, behaving so strangely, which struck him? Gods, I’m tired, and it’s morning again.

I get up and make myself a coffee. Then I resist to take another day off and plunge into the daily hospital routine. At least, I don’t need to fear that I’ll lose this. While I’m doing it with a totally new attitude and the subtle feeling that my life as such will end tonight, I find that I’ve come to love my work dearly and would miss it, after all.

The day passes without further incidents, and all too soon it is evening again. I come back to my room with the need to tidy up. When I come back to work among the living – if I come back – I want everything to be spic and span. It’s going to be a new life, or rather, a new existence in any case, so I want it to be nice. But instead of setting to work, I suddenly think of grandma, hearing her voice commenting on the danger I’m going to put myself into, and I sit down and cry just a little a bit, pitying myself.

An ever so slight movement makes me look up. Daedalus must have entered my room without a sound and is now standing in front of me. "It is time."

I look into his eyes, and somehow this makes things easier. He will be there, he will watch over me, and if anything goes wrong, he’ll stay by my side, I’m sure of it. I resist the urge to take him by the hand and instead grab my sports bag. "Just in case it takes longer… And I told them I’ll be off for a congress, anyway." The children don’t know, though. I could not bring myself to tell them; especially Daniel would have looked through any kind of excuse. Biting back my bad conscience because of that, I follow Daedalus to the door. In the corridor we part, for he will go through the sewers, as usual, whereas I will take the car that is supposed to be waiting for me outside. I dearly hope he’ll be there when we arrive. His glance, though, is very reassuring.

Daedalus

Fortunately for me, San Francisco streets rarely let a car pass through quickly. It is still quite early in the evening, so there's enough traffic congesting Callum's way to allow me to reach Luna Manor before him. No traffic lights in the sewers, and a little celerity can go a long way.

He's pale, from nerves, I expect. I can only imagine how he must feel now. My own embrace happened without warning and without my consent, so I had no time back then to scare myself with what-ifs. But Callum had a whole day, and he seems to have used it.

To be frank, I'm a bit nervous myself.

"Callum," I greet him as he reaches the main entrance.

He smiles tightly. "I still wish I could see you when... you know..."

I shake my head. "I'm afraid it's impossible. Julian wouldn't allow it. For Ventrue, privacy is required during the Embrace. Remember, it is the most intimate act we're capable of – the making of a childe. Gangrel, for instance -"

"Daedalus," he interrupts me, "please. Let's save the lecture for when we're done, okay?"

I incline my head. "Of course. I'm sorry, Callum." He looks so nervous that I open my mouth to assure him that rarely anything goes wrong during an embrace, and that Julian is experienced and has already made several childer, but then I leave the words unsaid. Better not to even mention that there might be problems...

I hear footsteps and turn around to face Julian.

"Callum. Daedalus." He smiles and nods in Callum's direction. "I hope you are well rested, Callum?"

Callum nods wordlessly, looking back at me.

"That's excellent," Julian goes on. "Shall we, then?"

Still Callum lingers, throwing me a pleading glance. I wink at him, and his face dissolves in a smile.

I'll be there, my friend, I promise him silently.

I watch them go. Something stirs in my chest, and then I feel my heart give a few beats with an emotion I have not felt in a very long time. Jealousy.

You agreed to this, I remind myself. He can't be yours. It is the only way.

For the sake of the Gangrel guards, I head for the gatehouse, but as soon as I am out of sight, I seek the shadows and return to the manor, obfuscated. Unseen, I pass through the door and up the stairs. The door to Julian's bedroom is not closed yet, and I slip in silently, neatly sidestepping Julian who closes the door behind my invisible back.

"Let's skip the preliminaries," Callum is saying. "What do I have to do?"

Walking to the bed, Julian removes his jacket and tie. "Get comfortable. Try to relax. Oh, and loosen your collar."

Callum smiles in a way I can only call flirtatious. "Just my collar?"

Julian rewards him with a cool look. "More isn't necessary."

At that, Callum visibly tries to pull himself together.

"I assume Daedalus explained to you what you have to expect?"

"Yes."

"Very well then." Julian makes an inviting gesture towards the bed.

I have to fight the impulse to look away as they lie down together. If it were anyone else, I wouldn't feel so much like a voyeur. The discipline of obfuscation turns all of us into voyeurs sooner or later, and I am no exception. But these are my closest friends. I feel like the intruder that I am, and I don't want to watch – not without being a part of them. It is only my promise to Callum that holds me here.

As Julian gently guides Callum's head back to expose his throat, I can't help but notice that Callum is aroused. The scent of it carries over to me, and I close my eyes to breathe it in, again and again.

Then Julian extends his fangs and sinks them into Callum's neck, and I almost groan out loud along with him.

I know that now neither of them is aware of their surroundings, so I don't have to be quite so quiet anymore. It is like a swoon, to drink from a mortal, especially to drain them dry. Before the advent of the Camarilla, back when unlife was simpler and much less dangerous, I used to seek this swoon like an addiction. The ecstasy, the intense satisfaction, the way the world narrows down until there is only sensation, the need to hold tight with arms and legs and drink and drink – oh yes, I know exactly what Julian is feeling now.

And quite obviously, Callum is feeling something very like it.

When you do it, time dilates, and it appears to take hours until the vessel is drained. Observing, I find that after just minutes Callum's breathing begins to turn shallow. And then it is over.

Julian raises his head from Callum's throat. He looks so different from his usual suave self that I can feel the Beast in me respond to the savagery he is exuding. For a moment, he actually looks in my direction, wild, primal, but, of course, he can't see me.

How I wish he would really look at me like that just once!

Then Julian uses his fangs to open a vein in his arm and holds the bleeding wound to Callum's mouth. We both wait for the first drawing of blood that will tell us that the fledgling has started his Becoming.

And wait.

Suddenly terrified, I approach the bed. Julian is whispering under his breath, pleading with Callum to drink, please drink. His eyes change color with the domination he is exerting over Callum, but still I can feel him growing weaker, and Julian, to whom he is connected, must surely feel it as well.

I am just about to reveal myself and act, when Julian yells, "DAEDALUS!" - almost taking out my hearing.

"I'm here."

Julian is so caught up in the events that he doesn't question my presence nor even jumps with surprise at my sudden appearance in his bedroom. "Something's wrong," he forces out hoarsely. "He's dying."

"No!" I kneel down next to them. "He can't!" Futilely, I press Julian's wrist to Callum's mouth, holding two fingers against his throat to induce swallowing. Nothing. I begin to shake him, shouting something while I'm already mentally going through everything I ever learned about alchemy that might save Callum and coming up empty.

Suddenly, I notice Julian holding onto my hand that’s still holding Julian's wrist. "Daedalus! Daedalus, it's over. I can't feel him anymore."

I stare at him in denial.

"I felt him slip away, Daedalus. He's dead."

Dead... I throw back my head to howl out my despair.


To be continued...



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