CHAPTER THREE - STONEHAVEN
Alcide and I had been in Syracuse, New York State, for around two weeks when Alcide suggested that we should go and see some of his friends in one of the nearby towns. It was a strange request as during the 10½ year journey he had never asked for such a thing. Anyway, I agreed, as it would be interesting to meet some of the people he knew before he came to look after me.
Another incentive to go was that I might even find out something about his past. However, the things that I would find would almost be more than I could cope with. Almost...
Alcide arranged for us to go and meet these friends of his late the next week. I thought this was a bit odd because today was only Monday and we were going to see these people a week on Friday. That was a long time to prepare for one visit, wasn't it? Even so, we left for what would be one of the most life altering experiences I would endure. Literally.
To get to the house you had to drive up a long, secluded side road for about 3 miles until you came to a wrought iron gate with a high stone wall that seemed to stretch for miles! On the gate, there was a black post box and a sign that simply read ‘Stonehaven'. You then went through the gate and then drove down another long and windy road for around 2 ½ miles, which finally ended at a house surrounded by a crunchy gravel car park and a large grassy border before you hit the forest. These people must like their privacy because all you could see as you drove down this road was a dense forest that seemed to go on forever. It was like a National Park sized thing - but private.
The house was huge! It was a three story (maybe with an attic) but it was built like some old Victorian mansion. It had also had renovations done to make it modern and it looked... homely. It looked like a large family lived here and it had the atmosphere of it too. Dotted around the car park were a few cars and motorbikes. This was another good point as I noticed a Porsche and an amazing looking bike. These people must be rich.
There was a spacious stone porch leading up to the front door with a man waiting on it. The man had wavy brown hair to just below his shoulders and was wearing a faded T-shirt, an ordinary pair of jeans and black shoes. Not very distinguishing, I thought.
Alcide and I got out of the car and started to walk towards the man. The man started to walk towards us and met us part way. Alcide and the man shook hands and with a big smile the man said, ‘Alcide, it is so good to see you again. How are you?'
‘I'm fine thanks. It's so good to finally be back.'
They continued to exchange pleasantries and you could tell they knew each other well by looking at the way they talked. The man then turned to me and I noticed that he now had a strange sadness to him that hadn't been there a moment ago.
‘And you must be Max. Alcide has told me many things about you. My name is Lucian and I own this house. I hope you enjoy your stay here.'
I decided to ignore his strange sadness as I could think of nothing that I had done to cause it, so I simply replied ‘Yes, nice to meet you,'
The visit to Stonehaven went surprisingly well.