“hmm, welll” I was not sure what to tell Randy although he had been there once when it happened.
“Let me tell you about your Grand Dad, my Dad.”
“He was a poor painters son as most of the times they were out painting people’s houses. When he was 15 they landed a big order for one of the major mansion’s around. He was dumbstruck by the beauty of the paintings that were in it. On an afternoon when his dad had left him alone he painted one himself on the wall/ Instead of painting it straight, he was found lying on the ground in the evening as he didn’t report home. The painting on the whole was of a bloody scene, a murder they said. He didn’t remember a lot except that he had looked into the butler’s mind before he left. The butler had run away the moment he had seen the picture. They didn’t know until they found our Grand Dad later that night. He told me this story as from that point onwards that he would have them on a regular basis. He said that when ever emotions were struck to him. Either by what he saw or by what he felt, he was drawn into it and he could see every detail of it just like he was watching a movie.”
“Is that your gift as is that what you do for them?”
“Hm, yea more or less. I gather information for them. Information they use to do evil with.”
“No murder or anything Nick, just blackmail, extortion and a way to gain influence.”
“Damned,” I looked at her. “How could you?”
“I can’t defend myself Nick. I have been thinking about that for the last 10 years as well. By the time I realized what they were doing I was drawn in to far. There was no way out of it anymore. Not without being subject of blackmail or pain myself.”
“So you got them a lot?”
“On a regular basis, as I said depending on how strong emotions are send out.”
“Did you feel my emotions when I saw you yesterday?”
“Oh, they where clear Nick. All understandable but there was more and …”
“Hmm, this is getting personal are you sure you want me to stay Nick?” Randy asked
“Yea, I might need someone to talk about and there are little or none secrets between us.”
He blushed a bit but kept quite.
“So that is what you found out about Francis?”
“OH, no I saw that in the picture you know. That is what your Grand Dad could do, too. Whenever he had seen an image full of emotions he was able to bring it back to life on the canvas. Powerful for sure.”
‘Do you have some of his paintings then?”
“No, sorry there is as far as I know, not one left. They all went down when his house burned down when I was 15 or so. I don’t think that after that he ever painted anymore. But I remember them.”
‘So when did he tell you then?”
“Just after I got pregnant with David. He said he had been waiting for me to get passion in my eyes as he knew that would be the trigger. So we talked about it. What he thought never knew is how strong it was for me. It was at some point not even choice anymore but very overwhelming where ever I was looking.”
“You still have it as often?”
“No, I have gained a bit more control over it but it is still overwhelming as getting control over it comes with a cost.”
“Yea, but more about that later. I don’t think you have it to bad so no need for that at all.”
“I don’t know. I don’t have a lot to compare with.”
“So you had them then?”
“Yea a few times. You remember that time at Nick’s place and then there was ….”
“They all had to do with Francis right. All since he left?”
“Yea, it seems our emotions are pulling us together.”
“I knew when I saw that painting of him on TV there was a special connection. I am sure that is what has been helping you so far. Putting the images you get onto paper instead of living them in the visions. It might mean you are not as powerful as me or …..” she stopped and looked at me.
“Hmm, let me know if you think I am going to far Nick or when you want Randy to leave, but hmm are you sexual involved with Francis already?”
I blushed as this was definitively not a question that I would ever dreamed off having to get from my parents, more or less, my Mom.
I looked at Randy as he knew but still.
When I looked back at her a smile came over her face. “Ok I guess that means a yes, hmm now a more difficult question do you have a certain special kind of sex with Francis, a kind of role play?”
I think by now I got as red as you can imagine. I looked at Randy again. When our eyes met I think we both realised what she was asking. Did she know I thought or .. I looked back at her again.
“I. hmm .. I welll. …. Hmm, what has that to do with the visions?” Happily to have found a way to deflect the questions.
“Well it is about the control thing, certain role play will help to keep them under control.”
I turned several shades of red now. What was this about, how why.. not with my Mom I couldn’t.
“So do you Nick, you reluctance to answer ….. I don’t condemn you if you do Nick. Just might be able to help.”
Still I had no appetite to talk with her about it at all. I looked at Randy again. “Shall I Nick?” he asked
I nodded. I then could here him start to tell about what had happened to me … .. I more or less slowly started to think about Francis. How was she able to help. How…………
I saw him again. He looked at me. I saw his lips moving but again their was no sound with the vision. I felt how my heart flowed over with love. I could see that he was not anymore in the lighthouse as the shape of the room he was in was different then before. I saw also that he was wearing a very tight t-shirt and a very tight pair of shorts, too. He looked incredible smart in them. No sexy was the better word. I am not sure how long we kept looking into each other eyes but a movement in the room where he was made him turn his head away and I could feel that I lost grip on the image. When he looked back at me again I could hardly make out his face. I yelled “Francis”. I felt how tears where starting to role over my face. I felt how some one had start to talk with me and kept me in his arms.
I stayed with his image in my head for a little while and then I opened my eyes, the images were gone and the whole experience came rolling over me. I looked at Mom.
“You had one again didn’t you?”
“Anything in them could help you to determine where he was?”
I thought about that one for a moment. “Sorry to ask that fast but it is important to remember now so you might go back to it and see if there is something in it?”
“NO, I don’t think there was.”
“That is a shame, just think back later if you can.”
I just then remembered what we had been talking. I looked at Randy, “I told her.”
“All of it?”
“All I know there might be more but that is up to you Nick.”
“Oh, ok so that can be of influence of the visions?” I asked
“Yea, that is a way of keeping them under control.”
“For you too, just like this?”
“More or less. But I have to be honest. I knew most of that, I have been reading the newspapers and keeping up to track. I just wondered how much of this all effected you and your relation with Francis. But I guess, … well; I think you have enough for now to adapt too. I am going to go downstairs and wait for the others. You can talk then if you want with Randy.”
“Your welcome Nick. Sorry you have to go through all of this.”
She got close and hugged me.
Randy looked at me. He didn’t say anything, stood up and sat down beside me. Still being quite he put his hand over my shoulder and we hugged.
I looked up to him and said “Now what”.
“Nothing Nick. She is just trying to be honest but I am not sure she is able to tell it all. Something says me that she has been through a lot. That is something you have to remember Nick.
“I guess, well we better go downstairs and see what Keith found out and how we are going to deal with this all”.
“You are not mad at her anymore then”.
“OH, I am but I feel I need her somehow as well. She might have the clue to find Francis”.
When we got downstairs it was just mom standing at the door and David not far away from the couch. It seems he just had stand up.
“Why? I’m in charge of my life … and I’m not going to stay if you’re going to be here.”
“Please, David … please stay.”
I saw him hesitate but, when his hand reached for the door knob, she pleaded, “Please, David … if not for me or for yourself … stay for Nick’s sake … OK?”
He looked over to me. I had no idea what this was about, so I asked her what she meant.
“Stay for Nick’s sake, David,” she repeated. “Don’t do it for me … but do it for Nick … OK?”
“We’ll see … but if this is just a ploy to try and get back into my good graces … then I’m out of here … understood?”
I looked at her again. What is going on, I wondered.
“I think it’s time for us to leave,” Alexei said. “I think there’s a family talk that needs to take place.”
“Hmmmm … Alexei? Are you James’s boyfriend … James, Susan’s son?”
“Yes,” he said, a bit startled that she knew that and that he was gay as well.
“OK, you’re almost Nick’s family … so please stay as well … and I guess the same applies to you, Randy. You’re not direct family … but you’re a very close friend who’s welcome as well.”
“What is going on, Mom?” David said now.
“Just wait till your Dad and Keith are here ok?”
It immediately became very quiet in the room. Everyone was asking questions inside, but no one had the nerve to voice them. We were silent, everyone lost in their own thoughts.
When my Dad came back with Keith and Susan, I could see that she’d been crying. They’d made some coffee and tea in the meantime as well.
Susan got close to my Mom and opened her arms to her. My Mom got up and responded to the hug. I could see that Susan had a tear rolling down her cheek.
“I’m going if I’m not told soon what the hell’s going on here?” David said, now getting very agitated.
“Please stay, David,” my Dad insisted. “Please do … yes.”
“But can you please tell us what’s going on? I think we’re all on the edge and the uncertainty is killing us.”
“OK. Let’s sit down though.”
“So what did you find out Keith” my Dad asked.
“Well we might have found a way out of this all, but it involves a certain equilibrium. That means that the moment we are able to find Francis and lift their leverage …”
“Who, hold on who said that they have Francis. Did you find some more clues to that then?”
“I talked it through with all the detectives and although I am sure it looks very unlikely for you, we are sure that they have him. I don’t think that they would use him against your Mom but they are a group that wants to be sure so yea, we can see that they want have something to make your Mom do what they want to.”
“Ok, so you know where he is?” Alexei asked
“No, the organization is big and it is almost impossible to know all the places they are located. You have to remember that we are just starting to get into knowing them and we are making progress for sure but it is slow going, for sure. “
“So how are we going to find Francis then”.
“Slowly Nick, very slowly, uncovering one stone at a time and then in the end we will find him”.
“Can you help them with it” I asked mom.
“I might but I need to do it very very carefully”.
“Why, if we have enough evidence to get them, then there is no way we need to be afraid of them” David said.
“Hmm, no sorry David, but some of them would get away before we get them for sure and that would threaten to many lives including Francis”.
“Oh, of cause, so what then, just wait and see”.
“No, there are ways that your Mom and Nick might be able to help us with. Your mom told us she could be helpful in the way she was helpful for them, but not to get back at them”.
“Oh, mom, what do you do then”. David asked her in a way he knew he wouldn’t get the answer.
“Sorry David, can’t tell you”.
“You told Nick though didn’t you”. Know I was not sure if that he knew she told me or that he was just trying to get to her.
“Only what he needed to know”.
“So you know then Nick”.
I looked at them. Was there a way out of this. “David, sorry but this is between Nick and your Mom for the time being stay out of it. Ok”.
“No, I am her son too”.
“Yea and you will know but we want to make sure as little people as possible know. Every one that knows is in danger so …. Your Mom just doesn’t want that ok”.
“I don’t know if she wants me to trust her it is a strange way of doing it”.
“I know David, but I can’t just not yet. When this is all over I will promised”.
I didn’t think that she convinced him at all. And my dad well he was just playing along I could tell. As long as she was cooperating with Keith he would not bite but their was still anger in him for sure. And for me, I don’t know I always had felt more attracted to her and maybe the talents we both had had to do with them. It isn’t making it any easier. I could see why she had left. I could still feel the pain of it. But I saw also what might have happened if she hadn’t.
“So you found a way to get them to stay off when we get Francis free then” Alexei asked going back to where keith had left off before David got into it.
“Yea, we are gathering enough information that will be so damaging to them that if we have Francis we could barging it to keep them off our backs for sure”.
“You got all the information then already?”.
“No, not yet Alexei but if we keep finding stuff like this together with Nick’s Mom we will in a few weeks or so”.
“So what do we do then in the meantime” Randy asked.
“Just gatering more information and see if Nick and his mom can help”.
“Oh, so there is nothing else to do then at this point”.
“no, we might have questions in the future or might need your help some how but not yet”.
“So, there is nothing else to do then”.
“No, unless…. ….. “.
“I think you are right Keith. I can tell you more tomorrow or so but for now there is not a lot I can do. I want to talk with Nick a bit more see if somehow I can find more out where Francis is”.
“You need to talk with Nick about how to do that”. David asked.
“He will help me”. I knew when she said that that it probably would be more the other way around. I was just not sure if I could.
“Ok, lets split up then I guess you want to go to Nick’s room again”.
“Yea that might work”.
“You going along Keith”.
“No, if they find anything I will hear it tomorrow”.
“Ok, well for the rest I have a drink in the living room. I think we can use one”.
“You come along Randy” David asked.
I was surprised at that and it seems Randy as well as he looked at me to see what I wanted him to do. I didn’t feel like I was on a good list of David any way and we definitely didn’t want to go any deeper so I though what the heck. I think though that Alexei felt something too as he said. “You go with David Randy, I will go with Nick,just in case he needs some one ok”.
Randy nodded. David led Randy into the livngroom and we went up to my bedroom.
We got up and I felt that Mom followed me into my room. When I wanted to close the door though Alexei pushed his way in.
We all sat down. A very awkward silent hang in the room.
“So do you have any more questions then Nick”? She started.
“I don’t know Mom. You mend me, that I was able to figure out where Francis would be if I would have more vision’s right.
“Yea but , .. hmm he knows all about it then” she said pointing at Alexei.
“yea he knows most of it and has been a good friend so far”.
“Sorry Alexei, but the last thing I expected that my son’s would be having celebrities as friends”.
“Oh that says a lot about them as they feel very much at ease with me and the others. They are fun to be with and always careful not to slip up to others”.
“So you are all right to getting mixed up in this”.
“I don’t know but I have been there for Nick from the moment he needed a friend to confide in. I know he has gone to a rough spot a few times and I am glad that I was there to help him. He knows that he can trust me and if he needs help I am their”.
“Ok, well yea you are right Nick. I can’t do a lot except for helping you with the vision’s when you get them”.
“So how would you help”.
“I think you need to know more a lot more…..” she stopped then.
“More, of what”.
“More behind me leaving and also behind the visions. They are linked together but in a more difficult way then you can imagine”.
“Well we talked about the bit of feeling like being humiliated and be treated somehow as a slave. I know after Randy told me the story that probably your relation with Francis has nothing to do withthat but definitely you have feelings in that directions. That is how you ended up with Mike didn’t you”.
I nodded. .
“Your Dad told me you have been going to a psychologist”.
“Yea, why did he tell you that”.
“Can you tell me what for Nick”?
“To deal with the things that has happened in the past”.
“I think I want to, although your Dad told me a bit about it. But can you tell me what the psychologist want you to think about and get to grips with. In other words what is behind all of this for you as there is always is”.
What I thought, how would she know that? I am not going to tell my Mom anything about those feelings. I know Alexei know or guessed but still it is not something to talk about with your Mom, especially not if she is more or less a total stranger to you.
She continued “I think Nick, there is nothing to be embarrassed about, at least not if you tell me. I think I know what you feel, why you feel it and that it is difficult to handle it”.
‘How would you” I said.
‘It happened to me too Nick. I have those feelings too. That is what they are locked in with the visions”.
I felt that Alexei had moved closer to me, his arm now resting on my shoulder.
“Feelings of wanted to be humiliated, feelings of be humiliated by some one you love. The emotional stimulations from it. I have them too. That is what they found out, that is the real bit they blackmailed me with. That together with the fact I needed to act on it, because otherwise the visions became too bad. So they had me. I couldn’t get away. The emotions where to tight and I had no one to talk about it”.
“But you are straight” I yelled out, not realising that what she meant was humiliated by other men not women.
“Yea I know and I know just like Alexei that you are gay. But that has nothing to do with it as you know what I mean. When Randy told me about what had happened with a certain Mike and some doctors I got scared. Do you know why as it got very close to what had happened to me. I got hooked up in a world that was more vicious. More know about stuff like that and they had a grip on me if I wanted or not. When I stopped for some time the vision’s came and they where innocent at first but then became more fierce full as I had them of your Dad on the strangest moments of the day. Then at some point I think I started to get them about other people as well. When I met one of them at some point he humiliated me the way they did and the vision I got then of him, in the heighted of emotions made me aware that he had secrets, secrets he could be blackmailed with. What I didn’t know was that when I told a friend that that he would make such miss use of it. So I was hooked I needed the humiliation and the visions came then by it self making it almost impossible for me to have a normal live. When I had a vision of your Dad at some point where he was in the opposite role I got afraid. It always meant that there was something going to happen that would lead us down that path and I loved your Dad to much for that. Just like you love Francis to much for that. I can see that in the painting you made of him. So now you know most of it”.
I looked at her in disbelieve. I could feel Alexei present beside me reassuring me. I could feel that I started to tremble a bit.
“Stay with us Nick” Alexei whispered in my ear.
I almost had to faint again. I looked at her. I saw tears where running over her face. “I knew you were good in painting Nick; I knew that was a quality you had from me. When I saw the painting on TV, the love it was showing I knew you had found your destination but it showed me also that you must had the vision of some kind. I was afraid there might be more you have inherited from me and that was the reason I had to come, I had to find out and warn you about it just in case it was true. I am sorry that my fears became truth though”.
I got up and held my arms out, a long hug followed, tears running over both our eyes.
“Any questions Nick” she asked when we sat down again.
“I don’t know Mom, I really don’t know, this is just too much to take in”.
“I know. I will be around for some time although I am not going to stay much longer down here as I know this is the first place for them to check out to see if I am here. There must be no proof of that at all or we are all in deep shit”.
“Mom,” I said not expecting for her to use such a word.
“I am sorry Nick, but you better get use to the fact that I am saying what I mean and no other way. I have learned to be honest with those I love and care for.”
“How would you know about that, you left us?” I asked as the anger in my voice surprised me. I saw that it had Mom straight in the face again. I was about to apoligize for it when she said.
“I know, but there were others.”
“You got married again?” as that was the first thing came to mind for me.
“No, not married, but …. Lets say that although I didn’t want to I got pregnant at some point.”
I looked in disbelief at her as I almost wanted to run away. A child, for who she had been their all the time. A child who had the love that I had devoured and the support I had needed?
“Yea, you got a little brother,” she said then softly.
“You didn’t run off from him then did you?” I asked
“No, I didn\’t, I couldn’t. They had us.”
I looked now as I could see a lot of pain and regret on her face.
“Let me explain, again,” she said with a sigh. “He is the son of one of their leaders. I couldn’t get away he wouldn’t let me. But David and you are all I have, he is not my son. He is .. well you are all he is not, smart, well-behaved, and talented.”
I could see a tear starting to run over her face. I still had no idea how her life had been but it for some reason it felt like she had not had a lot of control over it at all.
“He has a name?” I asked
“Damon” she said.
I saw her tremble a bit before she spoke. “He is in their grips totally and will do what they want. I love him and I know he loves me, but I am not sure what he would do if he ever needs to go against me, though”.
“Does he know he has brothers?” I asked
“No I was too afraid to tell him when he was younger and later, he was too messed up to know. He …….“ She stopped there.
“He is not of this world. Lets forget about him for now. Lets see where we stand.”
“So now what then?” I asked as my mind wondered
“Well the detectives tomorrow I guess,” she said.
“Hmm, you stopped there a moment ago, Mrs., but I have a feeling there is more….” Alexei said looking at her.
She sighed deep. “You see people Nick?”
“I tend to do yea or at least their emotions and with you I can see there is more, more warning more danger. I don’t know how but if you could tell us it might help to deal with the detectives.”
“I know, I am sorry Nick. I know this is something you don’t want to hear.”
“You think they would kill Francis?” I interrupted her fast
“No, no worries about that, although I am not sure how you felt after that long session with Mike.”
“Well dead a few times for sure, but what does that has to do with Francis? What do you mean, would they hurt him?”. I asked
“Hmm you said something earlier on, Madame that they don’t kill people but they use them, how?” Alexei asked.