“No. I’m not jealous,” Will said as he looked at me very sternly.
I didn’t expect that answer, and I was about to ask why he thought that when he started talking again.
“If you want to hear the truth, then here it is.” Will sat up in his seat and continued by saying, “I’m not jealous of Alexandra…but I am sorry for her. From what I’ve been told by my king’s knights, she became a vampire, not by choice, but because she had none.”
Looking at Will, I relaxed into my seat and waited for him to continue.
“Alexandra and your wife, Annabella, were somehow involved with a powerful vampire who wanted to transform one of the twins to become his bride while keeping the other twin as a source of blood. He basically wanted his cake and eat it too. However, something happened and based on buried documents, he attacked them and severely injured both of them. He was about to drain all of Annabella’s blood when Alexandra offered herself instead. What the vampire didn’t know was that despite being centuries old, he still wasn’t immune to the Sun and was lured to a window before Alexandra opened the curtains and burned him.
“Both she and Annabella were close to death, and Alexandra knew that the only way she could save her sister was by drinking the dying vampire’s blood, allowing her to transform and have the strength necessary to take her sister to a hospital. I don’t know what happened after that incident like what caused the sisters to drift apart, but from what I gathered through my own research, the incident has caused her to devote her years as a vampire to researching the life of Jesus Christ and finding all evidence for his existence…which included the Holy Grail.
“I can’t even imagine what she felt when she discovered her sister was murdered, at a hospital parking lot out of all places. But I think this tragedy caused her to focus all of her energy onto finding the location of the grail… Her intentions when she finally obtains it, I don’t know. I can only guess she either wants power…or a way to bring her sister back… So, back to your question. I’m not jealous of a woman who has lost so much in her life. And the fact that involving herself with your family could lead them to danger only adds to the sorrow that I feel for her. That was why I was hesitant to tell you of her existence, not only because of your safety, but also because I didn’t want to give her a glimpse of the life that she could’ve had, and then have it taken away from her.
“Do you understand what I’m feeling now?”
I looked at Will who had that same frown he gave to Alexandra earlier tonight, and I now felt like total shit for trivializing his serious emotions about me and her into simple, petty jealousy.
“Will, I just assumed that… Well, it doesn’t matter what I assumed. I was completely wrong about what you were feeling and I’m so sorry… Maybe I should take you back to your place instead.”
“No, no… You don’t have to… I forgive you, Damien.” Will placed a comforting hand on my shoulder. “Let’s just go home.”
I nodded, and though I had many questions circulating through my head, I decided to let them go unanswered for now as I turned off the engine and pulled the keys from the ignition. I then looked at my house and wondered if my life would ever return to normal, a life that involved coming back from a late night at work and seeing my kids in their beds before kissing them goodnight and seeing the love of my life waiting for me. Now my life involved saving vampires and fighting lycans who were just tools to a much bigger threat, a threat that wanted the Holy Grail that could end the peace between vampires and humanity… God, I needed some sleep.
I got out my car, and Will followed me to the front door. Locking the car doors, I then turned to Will who seemed to know so much of what was happening and wanted to ask him just one question.
“Will. Before we enter my house, I just want to ask you one question and be honest with me, okay?” I said, reaching out and holding Will’s hands in my own.
“Of course. What do you want to ask?”
Biting my lower lip, I looked above the ceiling of the front porch, trying to find the best way to ask this question, before saying, “With me being a descendant of Paul the Apostle and my wife’s sister being the sole carrier of the secret location of the Holy Grail, I want to ask…was our first encounter outside the bathhouse a coincidence or…was you meeting me there planned beforehand?”
Will furrowed his eyebrows and said, “What…no… I mean, meeting you there outside at the bathhouse was completely unplanned for… Why are you asking this?”
Shrugging my shoulders, I said, “I don’t know. You always seem to have everything planned out, like during our mission to take down all those newly transformed vampires.”
“Yes, but some things changed during the course of the mission, and I had to improvise. Just like when I arrived outside the bathhouse to locate and detain Clarence, I had to change my plans when I saw you there…”
“I guess I just want someone who I can completely trust, okay? Alexandra says she can’t trust you because of your devotion to the king might cloud your judgement, and you say you can’t trust her in return because she might have ulterior motives to keeping the Holy Grail’s location a secret… I don’t want to be in the dark anymore. So, Will…you’re not keeping anything from me that might affect that trust, right?”
Will nodded and leaned towards me before kissing me on the lips. “You can trust me, Damien. If there’s anything that you don’t know about, I’ll sure to tell you as soon as possible.”
With our foreheads pressed together, I looked in Will’s eyes and said, “Promise?”
Kissing me again, Will then said, “Promise.”
I let out a breath, feeling the weight of all this drama and confusion being pulled off my shoulder. And I felt even lighter as Will and I continued to kiss right at the front porch, like a couple of teenagers after a date. This moment together, by ourselves, only solidified my belief that Will could be completely trusted and that all I had to do was lean on him whether I was uncertain and lost. I couldn’t believe we only first met around two weeks ago, but our connection, though rough in the beginning, strengthened so quickly. I really wanted Will to be in my life…and I wanted his body more and more as we continued to kiss each other under the porch light.
Taking a step back from our kiss, I said to Will, “Do…Do you want to head to my bedroom and…?”
Will smirked and quickly said, “That’d be nice…very nice actually.”
I could feel my pulse increasing as I fumbled with the house keys, and after a moment, I was able to unlock the front door. I stepped aside, allowing Will to enter first. The lights in the living room were still on, and what I saw on the couch surprised me.
My son and Anthony were sleeping in a sitting position on the couch with Austin’s head resting on my friend’s shoulder. On the coffee table was an old board game that I believe Austin and his mother played all the time when he was younger. The television was also on to a cheap action movie where the lead actor was dodging bullets with his martial art moves.
The scene of my son and friend passed out on the couch was oddly adorable, and I thought I should just leave them where they were. But of course, I had to awaken them when I stepped on that creaky floorboard at the foyer. Anthony woke up first, and when he looked at me with squinted eyes, he quickly sprang from the couch which caused Austin to wake up as well.
“Oh, Damien! You’re home!” Looking around the living room, he then said, “Austin and I were just playing a board game and then we watched a movie before we both fell asleep. The girls are already in their beds and sleeping as well if you’re wondering.”
Rubbing his eyes, Austin saw me and said, “Oh, hey, Dad…and hey, Will. You guys okay?”
“Yeah. We are… Austin, it’s still early. I thought you’d be at the diner with your friends,” I said.
“Oh, I…I decided to leave early. That’s all,” Austin answered. “Anyways, I’m going to bed now.”
Austin looked back at Anthony before going up the stairs.
“Hey, Damien…do you mind if we can chat for a moment?” Anthony said, eyeing Will before returning his sights to me.
“Oh, sure. Um, Will…”
“Don’t worry about me. I’ll just go use your bathroom and wash my face,” Will said before walking away as well.
Looking back at Anthony, I said, “What is it, Anthony?”
“Well, Damien… It’s about your son.” Anthony said as he squeezed his hands together. “And before you freak out, it’s not anything serious… I mean, it doesn’t involve drugs or anything like that.”
“Oh…good. Then what’s up?” I said and crossed my arms.
“Well…you see…the reason your son, Austin, left the diner early is because… I don’t even know if I should be sharing this to you since—”
“Come on. Just spit it out. I’m his father. I should know what’s going on in my son’s life,” I insisted.
“All right, fine… Austin, your son, tried to ask someone out to the homecoming dance tomorrow, and he got rejected,” Anthony said as he rubbed the back of his neck.
“Oh…I see. Who was this person? Is she a cheerleader?” I asked, looking back when Austin was conversing with two of them after the second quarter.
“You got the cheerleader part right, but…Austin tried to ask the male cheerleader out to the dance,” Anthony confessed.
My eyes widened from that confession, and I quickly said, “The…The male cheerleader you said?”
“Yeah… He’s really hurt, Damien, and I just thought that I would tell you about this since he’s also ambivalent about telling you about who he is… He thought that maybe if he got to ask this guy to the dance and he said yes, then he would have more of a motive to tell his father… So, I just thought that I would tell you now, and…yeah… So, what do you think?”
I furrowed eyebrows and shrugged. “I don’t know what to say. My son tried to ask another boy to a dance. I very well can’t criticize him for having the bravery to do so since I’m myself is seeing…you know… I’m just wondering why he confessed all of this to you and not me.”
“Don’t think too deeply about it. Austin sees me as his friend, and of course he’ll confide more of his personal life to a friend than his father… Just tell me you’ll support him regardless if he likes girls, boys, or both.”
“Of course, I’ll support him. He’s my son. What kind of parent would shame their child for…well, maybe there’s a reason why he hasn’t told me… He knows that I don’t have the best relationship with my parents which is understatement since they basically disowned me when I tried to reestablish a relationship with them.” I sighed. “I guess he was afraid that I’d do the same thing to him.”
“And you’re his only parent now, man. Having you possibly reject him could’ve been another reason,” Anthony noted.
“Well, I won’t. I’ll never treat my son like my own father did to me. I’ll love him regardless.” Facing Anthony, I then said, “I’ll talk to him tomorrow and let him know that he can confide to me about anything, and hopefully he will… Thank you, Anthony for telling me this.”
Anthony approached me and patted my shoulder. “No problem. I just want to help.”
“Well, you helped. A lot…and because of that…I’ve been considering telling something very important myself.”
Anthony furrowed his eyebrows.
“Since I’m apparently a descendant of Paul the Apostle, and the only other blood relative of the kids is Alexandra who’s in endangering herself because of her knowledge about the Holy Grail, it would be stupid and also negligent of me to not think that something won’t happen to me in the near future and have my kids become orphans without any support... If the worst-case scenario ever happens, and Alexandra and I ended up unable to support them, I want to know that my kids will be in safe hands…. Will you watch over them, as their guardian, caretaker, or whatever you call it?”
Anthony’s eyes were wide before saying, “I…I don’t know. But I can guarantee that you won’t be in the position where your life is threatened and—”
“Please, Anthony,” I interrupted, placing a hand on his shoulder. “Just humor me, okay? If anything happens to me, and I can’t support my kids anymore, I want to be assured that they’ll be able to live the rest of their lives without having to worry about power-hungry vampires or rage-induced lycans… I want you to be the one who protects them and be there for them. And I know that’s a lot for me to ask of you, I don’t see anyone else who can take up the mantle, especially since you know my kids for so many years and they all love you… So, it’s less a question and more of an offer. Will you be my kids’ godfather?”
Anthony looked down and didn’t say anything for a while.
“I understand if you want some time to think about it. I know it’s a great responsibility and—”
“No, no. It’s not that… I’m just…surprised that you trust me enough to take care of Austin and the girls if anything happens to you.”
“I definitely trust you. The girls consider you an uncle, and you were one of the first people to hold them both right after they were born. And Austin obviously trusts the hell out of you. What you just told me being a prime example of his trust in you… I can’t think of anyone who can be a guardian to my kids other than you,” I admitted.
Anthony soon looked back up and smiled. “Yeah…Yeah, I’ll take the offer of being their godfather.”
I smiled back and pulled Anthony into a hug. “Thanks, man. Knowing that my kids are in your safe hands is a huge relief.”
“And thank you too… Just don’t die before you put me in your will, okay?”
I laughed and patted Anthony’s back before stepping back and saying, “Don’t worry. Annabella already included you as a possible godparent in the will, just needed your confirmation before I make it official.”
“That’s great.” Anthony took a deep breath before proceeding to yawn. “Well, I guess I should go to my bed and get some sleep.”
I yawned as well and said, “Yeah, I should too.”
“Go ahead. I’ll stay behind and clean up the living room… Thanks again, Damien.”
“And thank you,” I said in return before walking up the stairs and feeling another heavy weight lifted off my shoulders. I trusted Anthony with my kids immensely, and I have no doubt that they agree to arrangement as well. I just hope to the god or gods that I’ll stay on this Earth long enough for that not to be an option.