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"Please help us," I pleaded. "You knew my mother and this amulet better than Michael ever had. There must be something you can do!"

"I would never keep such sensitive information from either of you," His voice grew distorted as we began to lose connection. "Espio crea*static* amulet conceal itself and whoever wore it. I'm sorry that I can't *static* but I'm afraid you both have much larger security concerns, Ashaa."

"You think someone else will strike at us?"

"*static* both have a very large bounty on your heads. Honestly, neither of you would have been able to properly sense anybody close by, assuming you were both consumed by lust at *static* then whoever it was... they were obviously patient enough to wait and take advantage of you both."

"I don't like this," Kali began to pace back and forth on the stairs of our apartment building. "If someone knew about the amulet, then they obviously knew about our son. Is it possible that your people knew about Kylan?"

"No one, not even the other riders, knew about our son." The connection eased up. "The world may know of our history together, but the three of us swore to keep this secret until Kylan could take care of himself."

"And you haven't seen him yet?"

"It would seem that the legend of the daeva holds true," Ben said with an equal to Kali's frustration, though he did well to keep a straight face for all of our sakes. "Ashaa has given us the child of divinity. You said so yourself, Kylan's power has surpassed even my own and his existence, like all Nephilims, evades the sensory of kin. If he's dead, I cannot find his soul and if he's alive, I've yet to meet him in the flesh."

"That's just great," Kali scoffed. "Imagine my surprise to find that you're still as useless as ever."

"Enough, Kali!" I raised my voice to her. "Arguing with him isn't going to solve anything."

"Fuck that!" She huffed angrily. "This entire call was a waste of time! He isn't helping at all. In fact, he didn't even show up to see him when he was born! Fuck, he didn't even have the courtesy to show up and have a conversation with us face-to-face at his own funeral!"

"We had this discussion when you came to me," His eyes narrowed, expressing his clear disapproval. "I'm sorry that I couldn't be there to witness him take his first breath or hear his first laugh, but Kylan is not just your son, Kaliska. He belongs to the three of us and I know you can't forgive me like Ashaa has, but I'm still that boy's father-"

"Stop it! Just stop saying how he's your son!" She cut him off with unnecessary, harsh words. "You told us that you wanted nothing to do with him, so just stop acting like he's suddenly your son, like you lost him because you haven't lost anything! All you are is the donor, Ben. Don't ever think you're anything more than the man who impregnated my wife."

His jaw dropped slightly, unsure of how to respond. His gaze fell downwards briefly before he took a short breath and remained silent on the line.

"Go upstairs," I said with little patience for her temper-tantrums.

"What?" She asked in disbelief.

"Go upstairs," I repeated in a much clearer tone of voice. "Benjamin's still a part of our lives, Kali, whether you like it or not. If you cannot find respect for that, then go up and wait in the apartment. I'll join you shortly."

"Wow," She scoffed, looking between the both of us. "The man calls off your wedding and you still manage to choose him over me."

"I called off the wedding because she deserved better than-!"

"Spare me," She rolled her eyes and made way for the entrance. "We both know why you called it off and it wasn't because you thought she deserved better than what you could give her."

We waited in silence as Kali cleared the staircase and disappeared inside of the apartment complex. No one could compare to the amount of flair Kali had when she was pissed off. To be honest, I was genuinely surprised that he still hadn't lost patience with her after all these years. I know I certainly have from time-to-time.

No longer feeling the need to share the video call, I disabled it and put the phone to my ear to speak with him further. 

"It's the corruption of Eden," I insisted. "She didn't mean it."

"I appreciate you trying to make me feel better but she's right," He said quietly. "She may not know it, but we know why you really called me, Ashaa. You don't think Kaliska can handle any of this but she's been there far longer than I ever have, and she certainly loves you more than she'd ever be willing to admit."

"I love her too, Ben, but you didn't see what she did on the train... and I'm not sure I can keep her from stepping into that dark place again."

"How bad was it?" He asked, worried.

Bad? It was worse than bad. There was almost nothing left of that shapeshifter, and I was afraid she wasn't going to stop until she killed every living creature on that train.

"She just needs time," He said in response to my silence. "What Denarius did to her was... well, it was unforgivable to say the least, but she survived the very worst of the horrors he forced upon her. It may have taken her a while to see the light, but she did eventually gather the strength to leave her master behind."

"She didn't leave because she saw the light, Ben. She left because of you," I smiled.

"Oh, so you do know the real reason why we broke up." He laughed softly. "That's reassuring, you know. I was worried that I might actually have had to tell you one day, and that would've been far too awkward to say after all these years."

"You could have broken your promise to her."

And he very well could have.

"I could never do that to her," His laugh slowly ceased. After a brief silence, he grew soft and mindful over his next words, "You and I both know that Denarius stole the chance- her chance- to be with you. I knew where Raphael had sent you, but she had no idea where you were after the casting of her family. Denarius told her that you sent him, that you were punishing her for destroying Jerahmeel. If I had intervened, I could've freed her before he did all those terrible things to her and the worse memory is remembering the look on her face when I told her that she had to stay with him, so yeah... Kali has every right to hate me."

We all had skeletons in the closet but this was something Kali simply could not cast aside. She couldn't forgive him for abandoning her and it led to collapse of their friendship, but he had responsibilities outside of the two of us. These responsibilities had very strict rules, rules that neither of us could even begin to comprehend. He and the other riders were not allowed to aid either side.

Death was a neutral party and if he had even tried to intervene, his soul would've been lost for all eternity.

Before I could say anything, the phone clicked and rang a dead tone. I stared at the phone briefly, contemplating whether to call him back or not, but was there really any point? He wouldn't have picked up. 

Time just couldn't heal all wounds.

Submitted: February 05, 2016

© Copyright 2020 JaayAnon. All rights reserved.


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