Chapter 9 - ‘Lonesome Tears’



    "Where has he gone?" Miriam demanded.


     Matt was sitting in a high-backed chair in the middle of the semi-circle of council seats. The council was in an uproar over Jason's awakening and his subsequent disappearance.


     "Tell us where he has gone, Matthew." Tobias insisted, more sympathetically.


     Matt shook his head. "I'm telling you, I don't know where he went." He told them for at least the fifth time. "And even if I did, I wouldn't tell you."


     Tobias pursed his lips disapprovingly. "Why are you doing this? What are you trying to protect him from?" He shook his head in confusion, "I don't understand you. Even after he attacked you, you are still trying to help him."


     Matt raised his head, "What do you mean? Jason never attacked me." Matt glared at Miriam, "It was--"


     Miriam quickly stepped into the conversation, cutting him short. "Where is he Matthew?" she snapped. "Where did he go? You saw him just as I did, he used the pattern. Where would he go?"


     Tobias looked at her curiously, but said nothing. Matt pleaded him with his eyes to let him go as he spoke. "I'm telling the truth, I honestly don't know where he would have gone. He didn't even know the pattern had the ability to transport people. But rather than wasting time here, we should be out looking for him."


     Tobias nodded sagely. "I believe you in this matter, Matthew. There would be nothing gained by lying. You will be released, but you must focus on finding Mr. Parker, before anything else happens to him. His mind will be very impressionable so soon after his awakenment."



* * *



     Matt strode up the white gravel path to the front door of a large, suburban house. Well, it was more of a mansion actually, complete with walled garden and private driveway. He rang the doorbell and waited patiently. After a few seconds of waiting, the door opened. A tall, thin woman with a thick mane of golden hair stood in the hall, holding the door half-closed.


     "Are you Miss Fiona Sutherland?" Matt asked.


     She nodded curtly, but made no move to welcome him in.


     "Is Jason here?" he inquired.


     She frowned. "You must be Matt."


     "Yes..." he said uncertainly.


     "He's had a lot to say about you." She paused, "Not all of it good."


     "Look, can I come in? I really need to talk to him."


     She narrowed her eyes, "No, I don't think you can. Whatever you did to him, you really fucked him up." She snarled at him.


     "Look, I really need to talk to him." He insisted.


     She shook her head coldly and began to close the door.


     He jammed his foot in the door. "You don't know what you're doing." He warned. "I--"


     Her eyes blazed with sudden fierce intensity. Matt was so surprised, he pulled his foot out of the way before he knew what he was doing.


     "Don't you dare threaten me! Now get lost."


     And with that she slammed the door in his face.




     Fiona slammed the door in his face and turned the bolt, locking him out.


     "The nerve!" She said to herself as she made her way up the large oak staircase from the hall. The doorbell rang, but she ignored it and continued her ascent. The doorbell rang again and the housemaid bustled round the corner at the top of the stairs and started down. They met halfway. Fiona stopped her.


     "Don't open that door, Rosy."


     Rosy looked at her perturbed, and Fiona repeated.


     "What ever happens, do not let that man in."


     Rosy nodded, "Yes, Miss. May I enquire why?"


     "Because he's responsible for whatever happened to Jason." She said. And now, Rosy nodded grimly. Fiona continued her climb. When she reached the top of the stairs, Rosy called after her.


     "Is there anything else you need?"


     Fiona turned and smiled warmly, "No thank you, Rosy. You've done more than enough already. Feel free to take the afternoon off. I think Jason just needs to talk to someone for a while."


     She walked down the hall and entered the guest room opposite hers. Jason was sitting, huddled up on the bed dressed in a bathrobe. He sat with his knees clasped to his chest. He was facing the far wall when she came and he had his eyes clenched tightly shut. A CD was playing softly on the stereo, it sounded like 'Lonesome Tears' by Beck.


'Lonesome tears

I can't cry them anymore

I can't think of what they're for'


     She sat down behind him and hugged him around the neck and rested her head on his shoulders. She could feel how tensed up he was.


     "Let him in." he said quietly.


     She lifted her head off of him, and then very quietly she said, "I don't think that's really a good idea right now, Jase."


     She felt his shoulders slump in resignation and then he said in a stronger voice this time, "It's OK, Fi. You can let him in."


     She nodded and smiled sadly before getting up and heading back down to the door.



     She turned the lock and opened the door again. Matt was still standing on the porch. Now that she looked at him actually, she saw why Jason liked him. He was gorgeous!


     "Jason says he wants to see you." She said, coldly, showing she clearly disapproved. His face lit up and he slipped past her in the hall as she held open the door for him.



     "Al lot of people are looking for you, you know?"


     Matt leaned against the doorframe. Jason was still sitting on the bed, hugging his knees and starring fiercely at the far wall. He ignored Matt.


     "Hey, buddy?" Matt asked, his concern showing in his voice. "Are you all right?" He took a step into the room.


     Jason never even looked at him. "I know what you are."


     Matt felt his heart plummet.


     "You lied to me!" Jason accused bitterly.


     Matt leaned heavily against the wall. "I never told you I was human." He said, "You've seen enough weird things lately, I sort of guessed you'd figured it out."


     But Jason wasn't listening, at this point, he was beyond reasoning. "I know what you are. I know who the Council members are. I know where you took me. The pattern showed me everything."


     Matt stepped forwards toward Jason, with his hand outreached, "Look, Jason, I can explain. I--"


     Jason's head whipped around and he glared at him with white, fiery eyes. "You betrayed my trust!"


     Matt found himself frozen in place, his muscles refusing to move. Jason rose to his feet, quaking with rage. Matt could see small fracture-like lines spreading out from his eyes, like tiny bolts of electricity.


     "But what's even worse, is what you've done to humanity." Jason walked forwards and placed his palm on Matt's chest. If Matt hadn't been held in placed by his suddenly immobile muscles, he would have collapsed from the pain. Jason's hand was like a searing flame. Matt gasped.


     "And I know I should hate you," Jason continued. "After all you've done, all you've put me through..."


     This close, Matt could hear a faint sizzling sound. He realized Jason was crying, but his tears were being boiled away by the energy in his eyes.


     "Jase." He whimpered.


     "And God knows I've tried... but I can't help the way I feel."


     The CD in the background reached its crescendo:


'How could this love ever-turning

Never turn its eye on me?

How could this love ever-changing

Never change the way I feel?'


     And as it did, Jason leaned into Matt and their lips touched. The pain fled Matt's body, exorcised by Jason's soft lips and his muscles regained movement. He put his arms up around Jason and they embraced as they tasted one another. Their lips parted and their tongues danced together in their mouths.



* * *



     Jason broke away, and the kiss ended. "Mmm... you taste like vanilla," he sighed. His eyes had returned to their normal, deep blue, but they were filled with sadness. "I'm sorry." He said suddenly and backed away.


     "I-- We-- can't" Matt stuttered.


     Jason hung his head, "I know. You're not. And it's supposed to be a sin or something, isn't it?"


     Matt took Jason's hand in his own. "Don't be stupid; of course it's not a sin. Well, I mean we don't actually know what is and isn't wrong. But trust me, if it feels this good, it can't be bad."


     Jason perked up as he said this. "Then what did you mean?" Realization dawned on Jason, "Oh God, you don't love me do you?" A single tear rolled down his cheek.


     Matt reached up and brushed away the tear. "Of course I love you. I love you more than anything else in this world. I always have. But it's forbidden, between mortals and... us, I mean. And there are good reasons too."


     "I don't care, Matt!" Jason wrapped his arms around Matt and pressed his face into his chest. Matt placed his hands on his waist and drew him against his body. Jason's voice was muffled by his chest, "I'm scared Matt. What's happening to me?"


     "I don't know Jase, I've never seen the pattern do this to anyone before."



     Fiona was about to check on Jason when she saw them from the doorway. She smiled as she turned around and headed back downstairs.


    Matt just stood and held Jason as he sobbed into his chest. Eventually, Jason's sobs ceased and he began to breath more evenly. He'd fallen asleep in his arms. Matt carried him to the bed and gently laid him down. He tucked him under the covers and turned out the light before quietly closing the door.



     Matt found Fiona in the large kitchen. She was just heating up a pan of soup. Matt came in and sat down at the table.


     "How is he?" she asked as she stirred the soup.


     "He's asleep." He said and smiled as he remembered their first kiss.


     She set a bowl of the soup down in front of him and another for herself, on opposite sides of the table. She sipped her soup.


     "What happened to him?"


     "I can't tell you that." He said with some remorse.


     She pursed her lips. "Jason appeared naked on my doorstep, and I mean appeared, as in out of thin air. Then while we were bathing the soot off of him, he kept mumbling... interesting things." She looked at him meaningfully. "I'm a bit old to be believing in magic, I think you know what happened, and I think you had better tell me what."


     "Honestly, I don't know what happened. He went through a..." he searched for words. "A procedure, and then he disappeared. I don't know how it happened, or where he went before he came here, but I do know there are a lot of people looking for him. I'm just glad you found him first."


     "Well, actually he sort of found me..."


     "None the less," Matt insisted. "You took good care of him. I can see you're a really good friend for him."


     Fiona laughed. "We grew up together. I was the first person he came out to. I guess I was more of an 'older sister' figure for him, since Sara was never around."


     Matt stiffened at the mention of Jason's sister. Fiona noticed.


     "You know more than you're letting on," She accused. "What do you know about Sara?"


     Matt's eyes hardened. "We have a 'history.' Not exactly a good one either."


     Fiona snorted. "Not many people do. She's not exactly the social type her brother is. But what'd she do to earn your disdain? Huh?"


     Matt frowned, "She tried to kill me."


     "Well! I guess that could do it. Are you serious though? Does Jason know?"


     "No! Jason can't know!" Matt said, suddenly very agitated. "I don't want them coming into conflict. Besides, it's not like she hurt me or anything."


     "Calm down. I won't tell Jason if you don't want me to. But I do think you need to tell him at some point."


     Matt shrugged his shoulders, clearly wanting to change the subject. She took the hint.


     "So exactly how did you and Jason meet? Do you go to Uni together? He never mentioned you, and usually he tells me everything."


     "Ah- No, we don't go to university together. I've known him since before he was born. But we only met recently. He wasn't supposed to ever meet me, but I'm glad we di-" He drew a sharp breath and cocked his head to the side.


     "What?" she asked anxiously.


     He didn't reply. He just stared at the far wall. Eventually he nodded once and let out a long breath. He looked out the kitchen window as he addressed Fiona.


     "How secure is this place?"


     Taken aback by the question, she took some time to answer, "I- I don't know. I mean we've never had any security problems..."


     "How much mistletoe do you have?"


     "Wha- What?"


     "Mistletoe, it's nearly Christmas, I assume you have some?"


     "Well yes, but-"


     "Hang a sprig of it over every window and door in Jason's room. If anything out of the ordinary happens, or you feel at all unsafe, then get inside his room and shut the door. The Mistletoe should hold them back." He said hurriedly as he rose to his feet, leaving his soup untouched.


     "Why? What's going on? And where are you going?" She asked, also standing.


     He shook his head, "Just do it OK? I won't go far, but I need to be out there." He gestured out the window into the extensive garden.


     Fiona nodded and he dashed out the front door. She locked it behind him and ran off to find some mistletoe.



* * *



     Matt prowled along the high garden wall, slipping from shadow to shadow. He found them at the back gate. There was five of them, all dressed in black. Four were wearing SWAT gear, but the fifth was bedecked in long, ceremonial robes with a hood that hid his face.


     The four busied themselves trying to break through a chain that held the gate closed. One brought a pair of bolt-cutters to the chain and attempted to cut through.


     From behind a nearby tree, Matt waved his hand at the fence. The bolt cutters bit and then the blade snapped. The man looked surprised, but was quickly shouldered out of the way by a second, this one with a crowbar. He set the bar against the lock and heaved.


     Again, Matt extended his fingers and waved at the chain.


     The bar snapped in half, jarring the man. The third shoved him aside and brought an electric spinning saw to bear on the chain. Once more, Matt stretched his fingers and with a gesture, the saw slid off the chain and jerked into the iron bars of the gate with a loud clang.


     The fifth man, who until that time had been examining one of the gargoyles on either side of the gate whirled at glared at the foursome from the depth of his hood.


     "Impotent fools!" He grabbed them by their arms and hauled them backwards. "Do you want to alert the whole of heaven to our presence?" he snarled.


     He knocked them to the ground and strode back to the gate. He reached out with his hand and tensed his fingers. He curled them into a claw and red light flooded between his digits. The gate groaned as it bent and contorted. Metal whined as it was twisted, before with a particularly loud crunch of metal, the gate was torn free. As if by an invisible hand, it was flung into the air and crashed into some bushes not far from Matt's hiding place.


     The other four men dashed to the gateway, but were stopped at the last moment by the raised hand of the cloaked man. He raised his other hand and pointed each at a different gargoyle. The statues hissed and popped as the plaster melted.


     "You have to love these plaster moulds, they hold none of the magic of those blasted stone gargoyles," the cloaked man laughed. He pulled back his hood and gestured for the four men to follow him.



     As he was about to step inside the grounds, Matt slipped from behind the tree.


     "Damien. I though I smelt something rotten." He said, loud enough to be heard by them.


     Damien froze in place as his hollow black eyes fell on Matt. "Matthew, what a coincidence!" He grinned nastily, displaying a row of serrated teeth.


     "You have no place here, Damien. Leave, before I make you."


     "Oh, I think not. You see, I know Jason's in there and I intend to get him this time." He took a step forwards. "Besides, there's nothing here to stop me from having my way." He took another step forwards until he stood directly under the gateway.


     Matt whipped a knife from his belt and held it tightly in his hand as he faced Damien.


     "Oh, for Satan's sake, Matt. You don't actually intend to face me with that do you?" Damien practically laughed.


     Matt smiled and shook his head. Before Damien could react, Matt brought the knife to his other wrist and slashed it across his skin. Ruby blood splashed from the cut onto the ground. Where it touched the earth, grass and small blossoms sprouted from the soil.


     Matt smiled sincerely back at Damien, "Angel's blood has been spilled here. This is hallowed ground."


     Damien visibly quaked with rage at being barred access. "You don't know what you've done here. You can't hope to stop us, but I assure you, Miriam will hear of this!"


     And with that, flames billowed out from under his feet and enveloped him and the four men. The conflagration blazed and then in a matter of seconds died. Not a mark remained of them.


     Matt sighed heavily, and clutching his wrist, staggered back towards the house. The confrontation had taken more out of him then he'd expected. His wound was paltry, but somehow, just being near Damien had left him feeling drained and spent. He would need time to regenerate, but that could wait until Jason was safe. But now something else was troubling him. What had he meant about Miriam?