Chapter FourteenMature

Demitri led me to a house in a nice part of town.  It was bigger than the houses on my street but looked fairly non-descript from the outside.  A short drive led up to a garage which joined on to the main body of the building.  It was still pretty impressive for a guy who was permenantly at school.

'This is where you live?'  Demitri nodded as he tried to find his keys.  'Where do you get the money from?'

'I'm not the only person living here.'  He said as he unlocked the door and pushed it open.  'Through that door over there.'  He pointed to a door opposite the one I was walking through but I stood still, in amazement at the entrance hall.  The floor was polished wood and the walls were a smooth creamy white colour.  There was a guilded mirror across the wall by the door with a table underneath it where Demitri threw his keys.  It looked as tidy as a show home but something about it felt cosy.  'Don't gawp, we don't have enough time for that.'

'But it's so...'  I let Demitri lead me to the door and open it, guiding me into another room.  This one was an utter contrast to the one I had just left.  The walls were bright red with splashes of darker yellow.  They looked a little like a Jackson Pollock painting.  There was a comfy sofa against one wall and opposite that was the biggest TV screen I had ever seen in my life.  Across the floor, abandoned controlers for games consoles were scattered left right and centre.

'Sorry about the mess, we don't usually have company.'  Demitri pointed to another door that led off from this room.  We walked towards it but a voice coming from the entrance hall stopped Demitri in his tracks.

'Hello?  Dem is that you?'  The handle on the door turned and a man walked in.  'Oh sorry, I didn't realise you had a guest.'

'No problems Mark.  This is Cassandra, y'know the girl I was telling you about.'  The guy came over and shook my hand.

'Of course I remember.'  He leaned in and kissed me on the cheek.  'It's lovely to meet you at last Cassie, I can call you Cassie?'

'Umm... yeah... I guess.'  I wasn't sure how to react.  Was this guy another key piece in the inner workings of my new world?  Did he even know who and what Demitri was and if so why was he still around?

'Why are you home so early?  I thought you said you'd be working late tonight.'

'I was meant to be, but the case was passed to someone else.  There was nothing for me to do in the office so I came home to work on another case.'  I studied Mark carefully as he chatted with Demitri.  He looked about thirty, was quite tall with scruffy blonde hair and a bit of stubble on his face.  There was nothing in him that reminded me of Demitri but I didn't know why Demitri would share a house with someone.  There was too big a risk of being found out, particularly when you never aged.

'I'd love to chat but Cassie and I have things we need to do.'

'Are you going to be around for dinner?'  Demitri shook his head.

'We're going to see Savannah later.'  Mark chuckled and clapped his hands.

'I'd love to see that,' he said to himself.  'I hope I see you again soon Cassie.'  He smiled at me.  'I also wish you luck with your meeting tonight, from what I've heard it'll be interesting at the least.'  He waved goodbye before leaving the way he had come.

'He knows about us?  The truth?'  I asked as soon as Mark had shut the door behind him.

'Yes he knows.'  Demitri said, calm and unworried.

'So who is he?  Is he someone important who I need to remember?'  Demitri shook his head.  'Is he part of your world?'

'Yes and no.  Mark is a very special case.'  Demitri lowered his voice so only I could hear.  'He's the son of the last warrior.  When she was called upon she was eight months pregnant.  Why she was chosen no-one knows, what is certain is she couldn't last long.  As soon as she'd given birth to Mark there was an attack.  I hadn't been able to train her and she was fatally wounded.' 

'I'm so sorry.  Were you two close?'

'Not very, but when it's your duty to protect someone and you fail.'  He left the sentence hanging in the air before he continued.  'As I held her when she was dying, she made me promise to look after Mark, she didn't want him to go into some children's home.'

'What about the father?'

'Long gone.'  Demitri looked angry, like he couldn't understand why anyone would leave a heavily pregnant woman to fend for herself.  'I felt I owed it to her to agree to her final request, so I looked after him.'

'That must have been hard.'  I said it more to myself than to anyone else but Demitri replied.

'It was for a while.  But when Mark grew up he said he wanted to help me.  I'd never tried to hide what I was or what happened to his mother, it would have been impossible.  Mark decided he wanted to work for us because his mother didn't have a chance to.'

'I think that's so brave.'  I looked at the closed door Mark had gone through.  'I don't know if I could have done that.'

'Well you don't have a choice,' Demitri was suddenly all business again.  'And we've already lost time so let's start training now before we have to leave.'

The End

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