I approached the white mansion slowly, cursing the desertion of my earlier audacity. As I came up to the monstrous gate, I stood there, knowing that the amount of cameras posted all around would make my presence known so fast that pressing the silver button would be completely useless.

"State name and reason for presence," a mechanical voice said, the noise issued from a small set of speakers beside the silver button.

"Rory Johnson, here to see my father, Gerard Johnson,"

"Wait one moment," the voice ordered.

"Sure... whatever," I said lazily, hating the formality.

"Enter within 15 seconds of the gate opening,"

The gate shot open, and I hurried forward, dragging my bags with me. God, this was going to be painful.

I trudged up the long driveway, and the maid opened the heavy mahogany doors.

"HHello Rory, nice to s-see y-you," The maid stuttered.

"Hey Janet, how are you?"

"Ggood, yyou knnow,"

I smiled sympathetically. Janet had lost her husband the year I left home, and I haven't seen her since.

"Arre youu com-ming iiin?" Janet looked at me enquiringly.

"Sure... sure." I walked through the solid doors, and flinched at the familiarity of it all. The pristine marble floor shone and glinted in the light. I walked in, my muddy boots destroying the sheen. I gave Janet an apologetic glance, and she smiled back, and waved her hand away, signalling that it didn't matter.

"I-I'll let y-your fa-father know you're he-here." Janet said kindly and walked away up the cherry wood staircase that swallowed a good percentage of the foyer.

"Yeah, that would be good," I said absentmindedly, while reminding myself repeatedly why I was here, for Evangeline. It was the only thing preventing me turning around and fleeing.

"Do you want to shower and change first, sir?" I glanced around to see who had spoken, to see a young maid, with dark curly hair beside me,

"No, thank you. I really must see my father then I'm going to leave,"

The maid looked a little taken aback, but smiled and went away.

I saw Janet hurrying back, a strange look on her face, almost like incredulity.

"Yo-your fat-father said that you-you weren't wel-welcome,"

"Ah. Thought that might happen."

"Okay, Janet, where did you say he was?" I smiled gently, and winked.

"Up-upstairs, sstudy. I-I  have to go put out the d-dogs, but I'll be b-back in ten minutes,"

"Okay, Janet, thank you so much,"

I watched her walk away then marched up the staircase, and headed to my father's study.

I threw open the heavily ornate doors and walked in, eyes strong, back straight.

"Hey dad. How're you?"

His chair spun around at the sound of my voice. His eyes narrowed. He had become balder since I had last seen him ten years ago, and had lost a lot of weight, now, I was guessing, under weight.

"I thought I asked Janet to show you out, "

"Oh, yeah. Well, what can you do, I must have sneaked by when she left,"

"What do you want?"

"You're not to intefere in this ever again,"

"This? Am I supposed to know what you're babbling about?"

"My life. Go near Evangeline, and I'll do what you've always feared."

"Feared?" He let out a short rasping laugh.

"Please, son, give me a break,"

"Ha, funny. You know what I'm on about. I know that you initiated her early, placed me near her."

"I'm sorry son, I placed you no where."

"Ugh, you sicken me. Now, you're going to attend the next meeting of your 'magic' group," I sneered, "And you're going to tell them to use another pair of protectors. D'you hear?"

And with that, I stormed out, knowing I'd said my piece, and all I could do now was hope that pathetic excuse for a father would find it in himself to save her.




The End

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