The Colony Chronicles-Pt.2-Quentin
by, July 4th, 2010 at 03:20 PM (824 Views)
Quentin looked at the four people seated at his breakfast table and inwardly sighed. He had convinced Sophie and her friends to get a few hours sleep, with the promise that he would provide answers to all their questions when they awoke. Emily and Alasdair both had needed time to recover. Healing was never an easy task, but Alasdair should not have been as drained as he seemed to be. That fact told Quentin that his friend had been doing something to use up his reserves. He had not been able to get Alasdair alone to speak to him privately, so he was in the dark as to why he had suddenly appeared on his door step. He had a lot of questions himself, and as soon as he could he would get some answers.
Quentin watched as Alasdair finished off his second helping of eggs and bacon, and smiled. He had not seen Alasdair for many years, and was sure the man had probably changed a great deal, but his appetite, however, was still the same. The others had finished their breakfast and sat with coffee cups refilled, waiting for Quentin to say something. There had been no small talk, and Emily had barely eaten anything at all. She sat and stared into her cup, small and withdrawn, and visibly flinched when Quentin cleared his throat.
“I’m not human.” Quentin watched as all eyes focused on him. “And neither is Alasdair.”
“Not human?” Sophie spoke slowly. She looked at Quentin, then at Alasdair. There was no hysteria, as there had been the night before, but the skepticism in her voice was evident. “Gramps, when is the last time you had a check up? Have you fallen lately, bumped your head? You really shouldn’t live way out here all by yourself.” Quentin clearly heard the honest concern in her question. There was hope yet that he could salvage his relationship with her.
“I don’t have a head injury, or suffer from Alzheimer’s. I am perfectly sane, and I can prove what I just said.” Quentin reached across the table and took Sophie’s hand. “I need you to trust me, and listen to me. I know what I am about to tell you is going to be hard to accept. Your mother couldn’t and that’s why she ended up leaving here with you when you were a baby. It broke your grandmother’s heart, and I have never forgiven myself for handling things so poorly. I promised your grandmother Elise I would do better by you, and I will. But you have to have an open mind, and let me explain.”
“Perhaps Emily and I should give you some privacy.” Tasha spoke up. “This sounds like a family matter.”
“No, please, this concerns you two as well.” Quentin let go of Sophie’s hand and ran his fingers thru his hair. “There is a reason the three of you are friends. Haven’t you ever wondered why? All of you have different backgrounds, nothing really in common, yet you have been inseparable since grade school, since the day you met. Has not one of you ever questioned the bonds you developed so quickly?” He looked Sophie in the eyes, speaking directly to her. “Bonds that haven’t broken even though some might say you’ve had plenty of reason?” He saw realization dawn in her eyes.
“Have you been spying on me?” Sophie cried. “On all of us? How long? And why? Why would you do that?”
“I wouldn’t call it spying exactly. More like keeping tabs, making sure you were safe. Your mother refused my help financially, cut herself off from us completely. She put both you and herself in danger. I couldn’t force her to comeback here, so I did the next best thing. I found a way to keep tabs on the both of you without her knowledge. And when she died,” his voice choked, “I continued watching you. She apparently never repeated what I had told her, so I knew you would be unaware of the problems you would face as you got older. I had hoped to reconnect with you, but after the funeral….” His voice trailed off, and Sophie closed her eyes tight to keep the tears from spilling.
“Mom never talked about you, ever.” Sophie’s voice was laced with sadness. “Whenever I would ask about you and Grandma, she would say we were better off without you. She never gave me a reason, but I knew she hated you. When you claimed her body after she was murdered, I was so angry. You wouldn’t even allow an autopsy. All I could think about was that you shouldn’t have had any right to do that. You hadn’t been around all those years, why did you bother to show up then?”
Quentin realized she was not asking a rhetorical question. She wanted and needed an answer now. There was no accusation in her voice, just a yearning that broke his heart. He had tried to reach out to his daughter so many times before and been rebuffed, but he should not have given up. He’d known very well his granddaughter would need his help and guidance, but he had hoped that because of her mixed blood, she might be able to live a happy life unaware of her true heritage. Now he was faced with trying to explain too much in too short a time. Sophie was very much like her grandmother, and nothing short of the whole truth would be acceptable.
“Come with me. There is something I need to show you.” He led the group out the back door and into the backyard. A tall stone wall completely enclosed the large space. A path lead across the lawn to a small building that looked very much like a mausoleum. Quentin led them to its door and opened it, motioning for them to enter. There wasn’t much room, but they managed to cram into the dimly lit building. In unison, the group let out a gasp, all except Alasdair. He and Quentin exchanged a look, and Alasdair backed out of the room.