As I observed the characters and their authors talking amongst themselves, and going back to their respective conversations about how bad each other's families were, I wondered if maybe it was time to try another healing exercise, or let them continue voicing their problems out in the open instead of discussing them with me. If it was helping them to heal, who was I to stop them? The sound was defeaning, but everyone fell abruptly silent, startled in fright by the audible and angry growl that suddenly came from the hall.
"This is bullshit!" said the voice.
"Victor, please! Just do this for me!" Another voice followed, this one female, the desperation clear in her voice. Another author with a character? I glanced down at my wristwatch. They were precisely 40 minutes late, but I wasn't about to turn them away, not now. Who else was she missing? She looked down at the client list in her lap.
Everyone's eyes went to the door as a petite Hispanic girl with shoulder length auburn hair, and large brown eyes entered the room, who couldn't have been more than eighteen, entered the room. She held her hands up in front of her in defense. "I am so, so, so sorry I'm late, but I couldn't convince a certain someone to get in the car willingly." She froze as she looked across the room and saw the dragon, a bewildered expression crossing her face. "Is that a dragon?"
"Yes, this is Moonwalker and his dragon, Llewellyn, and his friend Galen, who just joined us as well. It's quite all right, I understand completely. You're not the only one who had some trouble getting your characters here. You can just jump right in. We haven't gotten very far." I glance down at the open file in my lap then up at her. "Who might you be?"
"I'm Amy, and this..." She glanced over her shoulder in the empty hall and exhaled sharply. "Victor!" She cried.
After a few long seconds, a very tall, dark, handsome and striking man with dark brown, almost black, hair, and steely green eyes strutted into the room. His eyes darkened to a emerald as he eyed the group coldly. He was dressed in a very expensive looking black suit, a red dress shirt beneath, and black leather loafers. His seething eyes shifted back to Amy, as he brushed his suit jacket aside and planted his very large hands firmly on his hips. "I can't believe you forced me into this shit, my sweet. I don't need a goddamn therapist!"
"This is Victor," Amy said with a roll of her eyes, quietly shutting the door behind her.
"Welcome Amy, and Welcome Victor," I gesture to the two empty chairs near Devlin and Reaper. "Please, have a seat. We were just discussing families, and telling each other a little bit about ourselves."
Amy stepped away from the door and started past Victor, jumping in fright as he gave her butt a firm smack. Victor's suddenly provocative action both startled and surprised the group, but I knew there had to be an explaination for his action. There often always was. I had a feeling that his action was due to some unresolved sexual tension between he and the petite girl, who was his author, and perhaps it was.
"Ow!" Amy cried, glaring at Victor. "Do you have to smack me so hard?"
"You think that's bad?" He sneered as he followed her to the chairs. "Just wait until I've got you alone in your next story. Or maybe I should just teach you a lesson right here in front of everyone. Would that get you off? Because it sure would me."
Shard scoffed in disgust, clearly displeased with the man's action. Sarah shook her head in disbelief before whispering to Alex, never taking her gaze off the man as he lowered himself into the arm chair, crossing his right leg over his left and resting either one of his elbows on the arms of the chair, folding his hands in front of him. Amy plopped down in the chair to Victor's left, sighing deeply and narrowing her eyes in vexation at the man. "Don't start," she told him.
"Now Victor, there's no need for violence," I chide him. "We've already had one near death experience here today, and we don't need another one. Now I know there are unresolved issues between you and Amy, but everyone else is also having issues, which we are trying to work through."
"Unresolved issues?" He scoffed. "Well isn't that the under statement of the century." He froze, his gaze fixing on Llewellyn across the room, blinking back his astonishment, as if he had never seen such a creature before in his life. "What the hell is that thing?"
"It's a dragon," Amy told him.
"What the hell is a dragon doing here?"
Llewellyn's snout began to fume, and I could tell there was going to be trouble if Victor couldn't control his mouth, and Moonwalker couldn't calm him down, placing her hand over his snout to keep him from incinerating Victor right there and then.
"He's trying to get help just like you are," I told him calmly. "We don't discriminate against characters here, nor do we descriminate against those who created them."
"Sorry about him," Amy said to me with a lop-sided smile. "He's a horny bastard, with a very, very sick mind, and dangerous too." She looked around at the group apologetically, almost as a young mother would in disappointment over her child's behavior. "I'm sorry," she murmured.
Devlin scowled at her, clearly being able to sympathize. Everyone else either stared at her expressionless, or gently nodded their heads in regard.
"Sorry? You're the one who made me, sweetheart, so really, who's the sick one here, hmm?" Victor retorted. "You put these thoughts into my head. You love this sick mind and you know it."
Amy rolled her eyes once more and turned her head away, but said nothing.
"That's what I thought. No, more than my sick mind, you love my ten inch di--"
"Victor!" Amy shouted before she proceeded to scream, startling everyone around her. "Stop it!"
Victor turned to look at me, his brows arching expectantly. "And I'm the one with the issues? Look who created me."
My heart stung as I watched Amy prop her elbow up on her knee, tears welling up in her eyes as she rested her forehead against her hand, looking down at the floor. I sigh and meet Victor's gaze. "Now Victor, I know you think it's easier to blame Amy for the person you've become, but you shouldn't be talking badly to her. She's the one who gave you life." I look around at the rest of the group. "And I could say the same to the rest of you. Your authors shouldn't be your enemies. You wouldn't exist without them, and all of your struggles, and trauma, you can learn from them. You can grow as individuals, as real people."
"Jesus Christ," Victor said with a chuckle, glancing over at Reaper. "Do you believe this shit?" He looked around the room. "Are any of you actually buying into this holier than thou crap she's feeding you?"
I sigh in discouragement. I can clearly see why Victor is such a loose cannon, and so hard for someone as emotionally sensitive as Amy to control. I'm going to have my work cut out for me with this arrogant and insensitive man. It might even take several visits, but I was hoping, those visits wouldn't stretch into years. "I'm trying to help you, all of you. But I can't do that unless you open up to me, to each other." I look at Amy once again. "Amy? Are you okay?"
She gently nodded her head, but did not look up. "I'm fine," she muttered.
Victor sighed deeply. "Stop crying," he told her gently.
"I can't help it!" Amy cried. "Okay? This happens all the time. You do this to me all the time."
"What? Do what? What the hell do I do? You brought this on yourself, my sweet."
"Now why do you call her that, 'my sweet?'" I ask him. "You seem to have such unrestrained animosity towards her, and yet you still use that term of endearment."
He flexed and unflexed his fingers, shaking his head in disbelief. Unfolding his hands, he pressed his left index finger to his temples, looking me square in the eye. "I've been calling her that for years, ever since the day I first popped up in one of her stories, no, novels. I don't know, it's just a special little term of endearment she thought up for me." His gaze wandered back to Amy, a mischievous smile creeping across his face. "I guess because the sound of it makes her so hot and bothered, because she secretly desires me inside of her."
"Go to hell," Amy muttered.
"I will...eventually, and it'll probably be after you put me on death row. I'll probably be killed off in some poetic way that any other killer would, by an electric chair or a lethal injection. Isn't that right? Is that what you have planned for me? Is that how I'm going to die?"
I blink in surprise. A killer? Another killer? Just like Reaper? Oh boy. This was quite a bunch. Secretly, I'm praying he didn't have a concealed weapon on him as well, but that was wishful thinking because he probably did. I look from Victor to Amy then back to Victor. The rest of the group was quietly and curiously watching the exchange between the new author and her character, as if they were watching a play being performed before them. "Maybe we should switch to another topic."