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Mature story contains dark themes involving graphic violence and taboo topics that may contain triggers for sensitive readers. Please do not read further if this bothers you.

Rich Boy: Inheritance - 1. Chapter 1

THIS STORY ONLY HAS 3 CHAPTERS WRITTEN. IT HAS BEEN ABANDONED.

We are posting all three chapters as people aware they exist. This story will very likely never be completed.

“Fine.” Randall Smythe said, and Worthington felt the thrill of victory yet again. Actually, it was the first time in four years that he’d felt the thrill quite this strong, two long years of half-victories and half-measures. “You are correct, Worthington. All of these plans meet the conditions of your father’s will. The question I have is this: will he say yes?”

“I think so,” Worthington answered as the thrill of victory faded away. It had been four years ago, just after their graduation from high school when the Demon Lord Blasoc had led an army of demons against Clairville. At the time Worthington had been in Indonesia tracing down sightings of a beached Kilo-class submarine matching the description of the one that had escaped the Catalina raid. “We’re talking again, and he did visit me all last summer. Things have been platonic, for the most part, but the interest is still there, and he’s expressed a desire to return here and teach sports at the Simons Bradwell Academy.”

“He is most definitely qualified for that.” Smythe answered. He was still gaunt, but as healthy as he’d been since the death of Worthington’s father. The man before him now had been soul-bound to Worthington’s father and suffered greatly after the man’s death. Four years as the Director of Mage Operations for the U.S. Government had kept him too busy to fade away as usually happened with the surviving partner of a soul-bond death. “I am surprised he did not take the contract offer from the Cubs organization. He is a talented pitcher.”

“He is also an Adept.” Worthington reminded Smythe. “He’s also finally made his decision on a path.”

“Light?” Randall Smythe’s guess was a good one. Kyle had purposely remained virgin until he could decide what path of magic he wanted to follow.

“Yes.” Worthington sighed, ignoring the faint sensation of laughter. The Light was as familiar to him as the Grey or the Dark, and it was the most vocal with its sense of humor. The three paths had grown to near-sentience in his awareness over the last few years, especially with the Academy reaching its full capacity and the attached Sinclair Community College established for the teaching of adult mages.

If only everything in his life had gone as well as those two schools.

“Well, we win some, we lose some.” Randall shrugged as he glanced at the clock on the wall. They were inside Worthington’s office on the second floor of Sinclair Keep and other than the clock there was no natural way to tell the time outside. Like so many sensitive places in the Keep, it was an interior room with no windows for assassins to sneak inside. “Unfortunately I am here to tell you that we’ve lost another skirmish.”

“My Uncle.” It was Worthington’s turn to guess, and from Randall’s nod, he had guessed correctly. Three years ago they’d finally won the support of the U.S. President, and Worthington had donated heavily to the man’s campaign efforts the year after. Now he was termed out of office, and the man most likely to replace him was a Senator on the sole Oversight committee in Congress that was aware of magic and magical beings.

“Your Uncle owns Senator Helmsley lock, stock, and barrel without having to use a single spell to keep him under control,” Randall informed him. “He flat out has rejected any overtures from us and has made it clear he wants me out as Director, and your uncle put into my place directly, effective immediately. After Governor Cross removed himself from the field, he’s got no competitor for the nomination and the President is under intense pressure to comply.”

“We can’t let that happen now,” Worthington stated through gritted teeth. “We’ve got the government and local Mage Councils working together, smoothly and efficiently. There hasn’t been a demon attack inside the United States borders since the attack here at Clairville. Kyle and Colin managed to hold the Keep against them, and Kyle fought Blasoc to the death from the balcony of my room. Whatever Noloc is doing, he’s keeping it as quiet and as hidden as he can and outside of the United States.”

“Yes, and your Uncle is insisting that he’s the person who can take the fight to the demons since he’s not only a mage but a representative of God,” Randall spoke with an expression that looked like he was sucking on a particularly harsh lemon.

“Not even Senator Hemlsley could fall for that.” Worthington’s disgust was evident in his voice.

“He believes it because he believes the same about himself.” Randall shrugged. “The President knows we can’t let Helsmley take his job, and that means we’re going to support the other party in the election.”

“Can’t we find some independent and fund their campaign instead?” Worthington demanded sourly. He didn’t like the holier-than-thou behavior of the President’s party lately or their desire to legislate morality, but they were better than the alternative.

“There are actually two good possible candidates on the other side that you might like, and one of them is in a position right now that can keep your Uncle David out of the position, if we can find a suitable alternative,” Randall suggested as he smiled at Worthington. “I’ve already met with her, and she’s expressed tentative support for your positions. Hell, she’d probably do better for the country as a whole rather than any alternative on the President’s side. She listens to the business community but doesn’t sip the Kool-Aid, she’s liberal on social issues just like you, and she is the minority leader on the Oversight Committee. That gives her the power to veto your Uncle’s appointment. We can expect Helmsley to veto my reappointment or your nomination.”

“What about Darius Ruckert?” Worthington asked, thinking of the Dark path Adept who had the last three years as the Midwest Coordinator for the Department of Magical Affairs as it was now called. “He owes both Kyle and me a blood debt, and he has been a staunch ally since his life was saved.”

“He’s Dark path, alright, and probably someone your Uncle thinks he can manipulate.” Randall smiled as he nodded. “The President understands our situation so he’ll put the name forward, especially with that donation you’ll make to his Presidential Library. Ruckert will suck every bit of money and influence he can from the position until the election is finished and we can replace him, but he’ll also do a decent job. He’s gotten a reputation for ruthless impartiality on most matters, and there is the matter of owing Kyle and you a life debt. A good choice, as always.”

“I don’t always make good choices.” Worthington groused, beating himself up yet again over something four years in the past. “I ran off to Indonesia and chased rumors forcing Kyle into an impossible situation.”

“You had no idea Blasoc had planted it as a trap to pull you away, or that he would attack in an effort to reclaim four children.” Randall tried yet again to console him. “I also don’t think you could have been expected to know that Kyle would be forced to shoot those four children in the head to keep them from tearing Darius apart and eating him. Nor could you expect him to be so shaken by that experience that he would go off to USC for school instead of ASU.”

“He needed his space,” Worthington answered with his normal response. There was so much repressed emotion in this train of thought that his voice came out dull.

“What about your needs?” Randall Smythe asked. “Your Grey path is supposed to be a mixture of Light and Dark, but for the last few years, all it seems to be is you caught between the demands of the two with nothing for yourself. The Light takes away your love interest, the Dark twists your ward into something almost unrecognizable and you’re forced to put him down like a rabid dog, and the Grey does nothing but makes demands of fairness from you. What does all this gain you except heartache and misery?”

“I saw Colin’s fate coming a long time before he went over the edge,” Worthington stated with a sigh. “Why do you think I put that trigger in him before he turned sixteen? His cruel streak was almost uncontrollable then, and he’d have been worse if I hadn’t done what I did. He’d already warped two of his schoolmates into virtual slaves and refused to undo his controls.”

“I’m not saying you weren’t right to take the action you did,” Randall spoke quickly and calmly. “I am saying you should truly consider if your Grey path is a mixture of Light and Dark still, or if it is a tool the two paths are using to twist you up.”

“Worthington!” Brandon’s excited voice was preceded by the door to the office slamming open. Four years had changed the shorter man very little. He was still best described as ‘cute-as-a-button’ and looked a good eight years younger than his actual age. He all but ignored Randall Smythe, as was normal, and hopped onto the edge of Worthington’s desk with a broad smile. “You’re never going to guess what I just heard!”

“Jhanal finally married Rob?” Worthington guessed and saw his soul-bonded Channel’s smile falter.

“Hell no, he’s still making Rob go through the Seven Trials,” Brandon said with a shake of his head. “Rob keeps screwing up the Fourth Trial’s seven days of purity requirement. He broke down at six days of not being able to have sex or beat off.”

“I give up then,” Worthington said with an indulgent smile as Brandon’s face returned to a broad smile. The smile almost hid the massive scar that ran from just in front of his right ear up and into his hairline to the crown of his head. That particular Oska demon had spent quite some time dying once Worthington got his hands on it.

“Tom’s coming home!” Brandon’s voice was ecstatic, and Worthington couldn’t resist the smile that formed on his face. After all these years, Brandon still had the hots for Tom, and now the man had finished his four years at MIT. “He called and said he’d decided to take the position Governor Lokar offered him working with Stumpy Engineering.”

“Trust the dwarves to name one of their companies that way,” Randall spoke softly, and Worthington nodded in his direction.

“I’m happy for you both,” Worthington said as he leaned forward, already expecting Brandon’s motion to come in for a hug. Then he was out the door again, and Worthington was turning back to Randall.

“I should be on my way back to Washington.” Randall heaved a sigh as he stood up and looked at Worthington one more time. “I will put in motion the appointment of Darius to replace me. Please, think on what I have said.”

“I will,” Worthington assured the man as he also stood up. They shook hands, and the man was gone from his office a few moments later. Unfortunately, Nick Wooten was in next, with a stack of papers.

“Brandon left these for you to sign,” Nick said with a knowing smile. He set the papers down on the inbox and smiled. “Oh, and we got a call Kyle’s plane landed just fine and that he’s on his way up here.”

“Thanks.” Worthington had to fight the urge to stand up and begin pacing. Kyle’s impending arrival had him antsy, and it had only been Randall’s regular trips out to see Martina, the family housekeeper that had brought him up here. The two of them had entered into an odd, long-distance relationship that Worthington did not quite understand.

“You’ll need to get through at least half that stack before he gets here,” Nick advised him sternly.

“Who is the boss around here?” Worthington complained.

“Brandon, when it comes to paperwork.” Nick reminded him. “You said so yourself two years ago, remember?”

“Yes, I remember.” Worthington sighed as he tried to forget the holy mess an unpaid invoice had caused for him, and how it had forced him to make that rule. “Fine, I’ll get to work. Leave me alone.”

“I’ll bring you some Vkalo,” Nick told him, mentioning the caffeine-laden drink preferred by many dwarves and by Worthington after several years of exposure to the stuff.

“Thanks,” Worthington said as the man left. Since he had hired the man and his lover, Dakota Ungashick, he’d never once had a cause to regret the decision. Both of them were capable paper-pushers as well as decent mages. During the Battle of Clairville Keep, they’d handled quite a few demons themselves, although Dakota had ended up paralyzed from the waist down by a demon’s claw.

Most of the people around Worthington had collected injuries, scars, or died in the last four years, and Worthington himself was covered in scars from battles with the demons, and on occasion a mage or two.

It was several hours later that he finished the paperwork off and moved the last of it to his outbox. Nick hadn’t brought more in, and Worthington smiled as he realized that for the moment at least, he did not have to rush off to do something else. He’d finished up high school and four years at Arizona State University rushing to finish his homework after finishing hours of paperwork like this. At least most of the government paperwork these days was handled by Randall Smythe and his people, leaving Worthington to focus on the operations of not only the Sinclair businesses he’d inherited from his father but from the multitude of operations he’d started up since then.

Just over four years of an exclusive contract providing mage training and consulting services to the government had left him well-off in his own right without any need to touch his inherited money. The truth was he’d reinvested most of the money from that source back into the company’s profit-sharing plan. That kept the mages and his mercenaries so happy that no one had been able to poach them from him.

What made him stinking rich was the income from the dozens of contracts with the dwarves and elves. The two races now controlled Clairville, the dwarven mixed-race town they’d built on the site of an old copper mine Worthington had owned, as well as Clairhaven, the elven village built in the treetops as well as in burrows underneath the trees of the nearby forest that the federal government had sold to Worthington’s companies.

The former National Park land had been difficult to arrange, but in the end, Congress had voted it under a guise of alternative energy production from thermal taps. In actuality, dwarven magic took mining refuse from centuries of mines both here and throughout key parts of Arizona and turned it into electricity that was shipped down the hill to the every-growing Phoenix population. In the grand scheme of nationwide power distribution, it wasn’t that significant, but it had made the dwarves very, very rich and Worthington received five cents on every dollar they made.

Elven magic cleansed the forests of pollution and neglect, leaving the trees here bigger, stronger, and less likely to burn from forest fires. The two fires that had been started by summer lightning storms had been easily contained with the help of Elvish Rangers, saving the government tens of millions of dollars. For their efforts, the Elves received a hefty sum, and Worthington got his three cents to the dollar on that.

In just four years he now had enough income that he could see becoming a billionaire in his own rights before he turned thirty, and that had caused its own set of problems for him.

His musings were cut short as he felt a shimmer along his wards and smiled to himself. The entirety of Clairville, Clairhaven, and the Academy lands were well-warded and keyed to him when he was here (as well as several others). The outer wards all tracked the passage of mages, much to the chagrin of young students, and these told him a very strong, very Light mage had just crossed through the main gate. He stood up from his desk, straightened his business shirt and tie before heading out the door and to the main entry.

“It’s about time the young sir has returned.” Sapha, the Mistress of the House told him as he entered the entryway. She was dressed in a red woolen dress brocaded with silver today and smiling broadly. Her marriage last year to Dolgar, the young Fifth Minister to King Odras of the dark Dwarves had scared him for a bit. The household ran so efficiently under her hand he feared to lose her, but Dolgar was now living in Clairville, the First Assistant to Governor Lokar.

In a few decades, he would likely be the Governor here.

“What rooms did you put him in?” Worthington asked her, unsure of exactly what arrangements had been made already.

“He’ll be in Colin’s old suite, halfway between yours and Rob’s on the top floor,” Sapha answered, and Worthington resisted the flinch at Colin’s name. They’d all seen it coming, and nothing anyone had tried worked to calm the young man down before he went over the line. Taking him down had left Worthington with a rather nasty burn scar on the underside of his left forearm, and a rather painful set of memories.

“That should be fine,” Worthington stated as he felt the vehicle approaching the driveway. As if by an unspoken signal, dwarves and humans in the silver-gray and dark red livery of his house appeared, an honor guard to welcome Kyle home. Anticipation of the man’s reaction to this left Worthington smiling.

“Ah should have known.” Kyle’s heavy Texas twang sounded as soon as the man himself stepped into the room. At twenty-two, Kyle looked much the same as he did at seventeen, although he was an inch taller. His brown hair was still medium in its length, although the bangs were longer and hung just over his eyes. His shoulders were broader, and his body had more muscle on it, a result of workouts for the USC baseball team. His cheeks even blushed despite the wonderful tan he had developed over the course of the summer. “Y’all are doing this just to see me blush.”

“When you blush so prettily, child, what else would you expect?” Sapha spoke first, taking several steps until she stood in front of him, placing her hands on her hips and staring upwards. “I swear, you’ve gone and grown some more!”

“You’ve just gotten shorter, Mistress.” Kyle retorted with a smile, and the dwarf woman’s laughter boomed out in the hall.

“Anyone else would get a piece of my mind for that, but not you, silly boy,” Sapha told him fondly. “Welcome home.”

“It’s good to be back, and to see all of you,” Kyle said as his accent drifted away, and he nodded at several familiar faces around the room. “I take it someone will get my bags?”

“Naturally,” Sapha replied, taking his hand and using that to steer him towards Worthington. Several humans disappeared outside to get those bags while everyone else disappeared for this next reunion.

“Heya, Worthie.” Kyle blushed again, and the twang was back as he looked at Worthington. Hearing that voice address him sent shivers up his spine, as did the sight of the man he’d held a torch for over the past four years. That awful day four years ago, when he’d returned to find a smashed main gate, smashed homes, smoldering doors, and Kyle in the basement with the bodies of the four young boys they’d once rescued from demons, Kyle had said: “I need some time apart.” With any luck, that time was now gone.

“Heya, Kyle.” Worthington couldn’t help how soft his voice sounded, but the smile on Kyle’s face told him it was enough.

“I, uh, I guess I’m home,” Kyle said with a shrug. His words made Worthington’s chest flutter, and he reached out, gathering Kyle’s right hand in his.

“Welcome back. Love.” Worthington said as he leaned in to give Kyle a brief kiss on the lips.

“There yuh go with that L-word again, Worthie.” Kyle’s smile and teasing tone kept Worthington from tensing up. “If you’re not careful people are going to think you’ve gone soft.”

“It will be really long before any here think that, Adept.” Governor Lokar spoke as he came in through the doorway. The short, dark-skinned dwarf was grinning as he crossed over to shake Kyle’s hand. “How is the Defender of the Wall doing today?”

“I am fine,” Kyle answered with barely a frown. He did not like the images the dwarf title brought to his mind, but he knew they meant it as an honor. “How are you doing, sir?”

“We are still growing, which is a good thing.” The dwarf grumbled as he took Kyle by the arm and led him towards the Keep’s Great Hall. Worthington found he was trailing the two men while Sapha walked beside him, giving him a bemused expression.

“He is a hero to our people, Master Sinclair.” His Mistress of the House stated in a soft voice that barely carried enough for him to hear. “Have you not noticed all the fields at the school and parks dedicated to the sport he plays?”

“I’ve never laughed so hard after watching dwarves trying to play baseball,” Worthington admitted in soft chuckle. “The elves cheat like mad. I actually saw one steal second, literally and then run the rest of the bases with the second base still in grip. The trolls are great batters, but have no concept of running bases.”

“Yes, we play it in his honor.” Sapha nodded. “His return means a lot to all of us.”

“I get the hint, Sapha,” Worthington stated with a bit of an edge to his voice. After five years of their company, he’d gotten to understand dwarves a lot more than he had at the beginning. They often drove their point home with war hammers if they thought they could get away with the pounding. “I am doing what I can to get him to stay long term.”

“You misunderstand.” She asserted as they entered the Great Hall where more friends were waiting. Jamie couldn’t be here, what with his wife so close to her time for their second son to be born. Yet, most of their friends from Scottsdale and Phoenix had made it, including half of the men and women who had been in the MR four years ago. Most of them had returned and were now a part of Sinclair Protective Services.

“What is it?” Worthington asked as they stopped just inside the doorway. Many humans and the sole ogre in the room were busy greeting Kyle. The stories said that on the day of the battle the ogre’s family had been cornered by a bunch of demons until Kyle hammered them with Light Fire just before Blasoc himself had entered the battle.

“Do not push him too hard with your proposal.” She warned him in a stern voice. “He has ties to this place that run as deep, if not deeper than your own. Do not lose us his presence because you push him too hard.”

“I won’t.” He promised her. “If he says no, he says no.”

“Mayhap, you should wait before pushing your proposal.” She asserted.

“Mind your business, Mistress, and I will mind mine.” Worthington snapped at her as he resisted the urge to lose his temper. Everyone thought they knew best how he should handle things with Kyle. Why couldn’t they leave him to do what he knew was right?

 

“Your retainers seem worried about you, Worthington.” That particular drawl, and magical signature could only come from Anthony Zacharias Wilmington, III. Worthington turned slightly to see the slender man entering the Hall behind him, and Sapha disappeared quickly at the approach of the Dark mage.

“They are worried for me, Anthony, something you are not familiar with given your nature.” Worthington countered with a sneer evident in his voice. Once Anthony had been slated to get a soul-bonded Channel of his own, only the boy had refused the offer. Much had been done to young Carl in retribution, but now Carl was a bright young man who worked mostly with Jamie down in Scottsdale. “Have you made your decision?”

“You know I will send my little brother to your school.” Anthony’s tone was direct and full of anger. “This place has already withstood one demon attack without a single mage child being killed. Byron Jones and his ilk cannot boast the same.”

“It wasn’t Byron’s school that was attacked,” Worthington noted. The school hadn’t even been in the United States, a Dark Path school in Brazil had lost nearly all their students to the demons. “The United States is well protected from demonic entry. The new sensors are installed on planes that constantly fly over the country.”

“Nothing is full proof, Sinclair.” Anthony sneered. “Yet this place is built more solidly, and with such a vast array of protections that it is safer than anywhere else I have ever seen. No wonder your population of human mages grows every month.”

“You’re not thinking of relocating here, are you?” Worthington actually hoped the man wouldn’t.

“No, the Dark is not comfortable here, for all you purport to welcome it fully.” Anthony retorted. “We will move to where we are more welcome. The Council in Orange County is predominantly Dark and has agreed to welcome us. My family moves to Redondo Beach by the end of the month.”

“I would have thought that four years of no attacks in the States would have had people relaxing,” Worthington stated, seeking confirmation of the rumors he’d heard. Four years ago, Anthony had fled with his father, mother, and siblings to Europe at the outbreak of conflict with demons on this planet. “Now even the Dark mages are forming Mage Councils and building solid communities.”

“There is strength in numbers, and the old ways are no longer protecting us, so we change, or we die.” Anthony’s voice was flat. “Demons have been active across Europe, as they have on every continent but it is only here they suffered defeat. You have chased them in the jungles of Vietnam, the halls of the Kremlin during the heart of winter, and even through the Catacombs of Paris, but when you are not there, mages die.”

“I have enough responsibilities on my plate without adding to them,” Worthington stated, glad for the confirmation of the rumors. “Eventually they will come back here.”

“Unless you defeat them there, first,” Anthony stated. “I have heard there is a reason for the attack in Brazil. There are many places on that continent where hatred of this country can be nurtured and used by those that will target you. We prepare for that day, and my brother’s learning from you and your pet mages will make him stronger when that day comes.”

“Let’s pray; it doesn’t come too soon,” Worthington stated, sensing the conversation was over as Anthony turned and headed towards the main entrance. If he was leaving, Worthington would have to ask Dakota to do a sweep of the interior wards to make sure no unpleasant surprises had been left behind magically.

“Get in here!” Kyle shouted out to Worthington as Lokar and Sapha were escorting him to the high table. A meal had been prepared in his honor, of course, and now there was to be a lot of laughing and eating. As he moved to join Kyle, Worthington felt a smile slip into place on his face.

The Demon Wars were going to have to wait – Kyle was home and smiling at him.

“You look happy,” Worthington whispered as they took their seats, followed soon by everyone else. There was a good foot of space between them and the people next to them. Brandon was on Worthington’s other side and smiling as he chatted up Chad, a former MR who was now a senior non-commissioned officer in Worthington’s mercenary corps.

“I feel good,” Kyle said simply as he leaned in and pecked Worthington on the cheek. The gesture made Worthington’s belly flutter. “You look handsome. Was that a Dark mage I saw talking to you in the doorway?”

“He’s going to send his little brother here and was checking it out for himself.” Worthington’s answer was simple and as full as needed. “I also got a bit of confirmation that there’s been more trouble in Europe and the South America thing portends more going on down there.”

“We can talk about the war stuff later,” Kyle assured him with a pat on his leg and a smile. Worthington frowned, though, as it seemed so out of character. For his part, Kyle just shook his head. “I’ve worked my way through that, Worthie. In the end, I gave the boys what they wanted and kept their worst nightmares from coming true. It hurt like hell, but putting that pistol to each of their heads and pulling the trigger was the right thing to do. The price has been paid, and it’s time to get back in the fight.”

“I… see.” Worthington couldn’t think of anything else to say as he took a sip of the wine, a good elvish white, very fruity.

“Do you remember us fighting side by side under the Tower of Terror?” Kyle asked him quietly, and Worthington nodded. “I want that, us fighting side by side, partners in everything, in all aspects of our lives. It’s why I came back, more than anything.”

“I want that too,” Worthington whispered as his hand found Kyle’s on top of the table. With the touch they entered into a light rapport, their minds answering their fears about each other’s feelings. Many things had changed in the last four years, but what was between them was still there, and Worthington smiled, feeling muscles unknot for the first time in many, many years.

Life was suddenly good again.

Copyright © 2019 dkstories; All Rights Reserved.

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I am glad that a decision was made to post these last three chapters from this series.  It was truly a loss when he stopped writing and then to lose Trebs…  Well, it was just truly sad.  To what might have been.

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