Savage Love, page 18
Calder ignored him, continuing his dialogue, “An intellectual connection can exist on its own and can sometimes be more intense and longer lasting than even the best sex or make a physical bond stronger.”
“Goodness gracious,” Carolina exclaimed feeling stunned at the amount of information Patrick had passed on to the child without her awareness. “Calder when have you been talking to Patrick about these things?”
“Whenever I call him and ask about stuff he tells me. I can also hear him in my head like I do Callum and Justin. You can too. Patrick told me so. But, you try not to and you’re so powerful you can keep us all of out of your waking thoughts. When you're asleep we can sneak in, but we're not supposed to. Patrick doesn't have to trespass though because you usually confide in him very freely.”
Dylan was intrigued and asked, “Calder can you hear me in your head?”
“No. We've tried before but all we heard was static and we got shocked a lot. Probably because we're not supposed to try without your consent.”
“Go ahead and try,” Dylan assured the boy.
Calder sat looking at Dylan for several seconds, concentrated for a few more, studied him again, and then gave a little yelp before saying disappointedly, “Nothing.”
Relieved, Dylan patted the child on the knee for his efforts. “Thanks for trying.”
“You're welcome. So, I’m going to finish what Patrick told me. He disclosed that a small number of individuals have many of the connections with one other person that will last until they both move on from this world and in very rare cases, entities like Patrick, August and your parents, are blessed to have many of the strong connections with several people that last beyond mortal life. Patrick and my legal father share connections of blood, heart and intellect. Patrick shares similar connections with me, Callum and now Justin, except his connection to our father is stronger because he's in love with him and because when our dad Ciaran was paralyzed, Patrick helped him end his life. Also Patrick and my dad are extra connected because they slept together with our birth mom Clover just before we were nestled inside her, again when she was newly pregnant with us and other times too but he says he can't explain that until I'm eighteen.”
Carolina was at the end of her rope and she fixed Calder with a toxic green glare that would have brought Superman to his knees. “He better not ever tell you and I better not find out you asked. I'm going to have a talk with Patrick about his lack of good judgment and Dylan I expect you not to encourage Calder. I don't want to hear anymore about adoptions, emancipation, letting, late night visits to the stables or tales about my brother's relations with his wife and best friend.”
Dylan looked at her apologetically and urged Calder on, “Go ahead son.”
Wanting to align with his newest father so he'd champion his cause, Calder scooted nearer to Dylan and started, “Patrick's connection to Carolina is-”
“Calder this is hurting me,” she interrupted him weakly. “I need you to stop telling Dylan these fanciful stories. Patrick didn't mean for you to tell anyone else.”
“He says whatever I learn I can freely repeat,” Calder stated confidently.
“Probably because he knows everybody is going to think you're nuts,” Callum snickered and quickly fell silent when Carolina gave him a scolding look.
Not buying into Carolina's weak damsel routine Dylan urged Calder to continue, “Go on and finish son.”
“Patrick is exponentially connected to Carolina in every way possible. Nothing is stronger than their bond, even though he isn't in love with her, and there's only one thing, each, they wouldn’t do for one another. Patrick's is he won't legally marry her and Carolina's is she can't stop being in love with him. So he's okay with you marrying her as long as you love her and treat her nice. He told me, you and Carolina have very strong physical and heart connections. If you bleed each other during the full moon you'll have the ultimate blood tie and by the time you're both old you'll have built a good intellectual connection. Patrick says you and mom think differently, from opposite sides of your brains, and even though Carolina is really smart she can be mentally hyperopic. But he doesn't think your connection to her will ever be as strong as his.”
Dylan asked Calder while looking accusingly at Carolina, “Why not?”
Calder sat silent for a few seconds then entrusted, “Patrick will tell you when he's ready. For now, what's important is that he believes you'll make her happy and you won't allow her to boss you around. He says she has a temper and likes to fight. But, I’ve only ever seen her loving and gentle but sometimes she does sulk, kinda like what she’s doing now. But dad, the good news is that Patrick blessed your union to her.”
“That's right big of him,” Dylan sourly remarked.
Calder gave him a look of the utmost importance and confided, “Having his consent is mandatory. She can't get married otherwise. Before when she tried without his approval, Patrick ran the guy off and to punish her he allowed her to think the guy just ditched her. But she wasn't supposed to marry that tosspot. They had no connections, absolutely none. She never even allowed him to kiss her and he couldn't bleed her because he's not of our kind. She was only marrying him because Patrick wouldn't legally wed her and she thought Callum and I needed a consistent paternal presence in our lives,” he declared, looking at her solemnly.
Dylan refocused Calder's attention, urging him to continue, “Son, finish on up.”
The child was happy to oblige, saying, “Now hopefully we can accept that the connections we already have are stronger than man's law, understand that being adopted isn't really that important. Now Dylan I just need you to agree to be my blood-father so I can get a jump on Patrick when he gets here because I think mom is going to be harping at him most of the night and I need you to swear you’ll talk to Uncle Chris about my marrying Constance. You know if we lived in North Carolina I could wed her after my next birth-”
“Dylan.” From the doorway, Chris' big voice boomed into the room making all if the occupants jump nervously and turn in his direction. “There's some young whelp here to see Carolina and he's got a brokenhearted look about him that could mean trouble.”
From behind Chris a clear, sturdy voice, with a trace of Irish brogue piped up, “Carolina will you or Dylan please tell him to let me pass.”
Trying hard to conceal his irritation, Justin looked toward his uncle, affixing a tight smile on his face while Calder and Callum gave stoked shouts, “It’s Patrick!”
Dylan giving Carolina a fierce look, expressed to his brother, “You have no idea how much trouble, but let him in.”
Chris, continuing to block Patrick's entrance, said to Carolina with a note of concern, “You feelin' okay? 'Cause if not, I can pitch this pup back out on the doorstep.”
Putting on a brave face Carolina smiled fondly at Chris, knowing only an act of God could keep Patrick out if he really wanted in, “I'm fine. You can let him in.”
Patrick, hearing Carolina's voice, didn't wait for the wall of muscle, dressed in Levi's and a Dallas Cowboys jersey, to give way; instead, he slapped Chris jovially on the back before self-assuredly pushing past him. “I know the party isn't for hours but I wanted to drop off some wedding stuff and the chili I made for Chris and Vega.”
Chris gave Patrick a suspicious look, “What chili?”
“It's my own special recipe that I haven't prepared in over six years. Carolina can tell you, it's not for the faint of heart. She was in bed for nearly a week the last time she ate a couple of bowls.” He smiled at the memory, giving her a swift, knowing look and ignored the visual daggers Dylan was hurling his way. Digging in the front pocket of his coal-black, designer jeans, Patrick withdrew a silver and black leather key ring and tossed it to Calder. “You and your brothers take Chris out to the car for his chili, then get her unloaded, including the glove compartment Calder, the gift you wanted for Constance is in there. When you're done give Chris the keys. I don't want you three trying to drive my car. I need to talk with Carolina and
Chris looked down at Patrick from his superior height asking doubtfully, “You're old enough to legally drive?”
Giving Chris his full attention and a bright smile, Patrick commented, “I'm old enough to do a lot of things and I do them all very well, one of which is driving the Lamborghini Reventon you'll find parked out front. Take her for a spin if you like.” He watched as Chris and the twins took off double-quick with Justin following them at a much more unhurried pace. Turning to face Dylan, and as if he'd been in attendance during Calder's discourse, Patrick declaimed hollowly, “Now don't you wish you'd taken me up on my offer to tell you about us.”
Resentful and restless Dylan walked over to a disabused Carolina. Taking her hand in his, he motioned with a tilt of his head for Patrick to follow them. Moving purposefully through the sprawling, Southwestern styled mansion Dylan kept Carolina's hand clasped in his, needing the feel of her petal-soft skin. When she started to speak, he silenced her with a look of complete suffering, pulling her closer to his side, mulling over things that had happened since they'd met, having precious few minutes to reconcile himself to what he might have to do.
Stopping outside his hand carved wooden doors Dylan spoke to Patrick, “I'm not gonna ask about your prior relationship with Carolina. I want to know what's keeping you from marrying her now?” Pushing open the study doors, Dylan led them into the dusty yellow room with its central, floor-to-ceiling, stone fireplace and a wall of windows that allowed for spectacular views of green acreage dotted by flowers of lavender-blue, scarlet-red and silvery-white. Dylan got Carolina settled on one end of the U-shaped brown leather sectional while Patrick sat directly across from her and he positioned himself between them, on the oak coffee table, waiting for Patrick's response.
As tactful as he was willing to be, Patrick informed Dylan, “Clearly you're as blind as she is. I don't legally marry her because there's no need. We wed the day we met in a ceremony that can never be undone, not even death will separate us. She refuses to accept our union because it lacks the human stamp of approval.”
Unblinkingly Carolina looked at Patrick saying, “I was an eight year old child making promises I didn't understand. Tell Dylan the truth.”
Vehemently Patrick professed, “Dare not lecture me on truth. The reality is that we are wedded. A promise means everything and the vows we exchanged were made stronger because we waited to physically consummate our union until your eighteenth birthday. Ten years I waited to possess you but we bled each other many times prior and those repeat exchanges combined with numerous consumptions of pure essence are part of what forever binds us.”
Bluntly, Dylan stated, “Calder said you won't marry her because of the feelings you have for his father.”
Patrick waved the statement aside, “I didn't want to have a long confab with him about the complexities of my bond with Carolina, so I left him with a partial truth.”
She gave Patrick a dark look, “You shouldn't have told him anything. He's going to have a normal life. Do you know he lured Chris' daughter out into the night because you've filled his head with your fanciful stories?”
“What they did was harmless,” Patrick defended.
“He's asking for a betrothal, has researched North Carolina as a place to wed when he's fourteen. I want you to make him forget about marriage for several years.”
“I won't and he doesn't need to relocate to marry her, that's just the human part of him wanting to give his truelove what she desires, romance and tradition, like you’ve tirelessly worked at filling my every need.
“The human part of him? He is human. Your influence is confusing him. You have him believing you're communicating with the dead and heaven only knows what sense he's trying to make of hearing you slept with Ciaran and Clover,” she shouted.
Patrick remained calm, stating, “I can communicate with the departed because theoretically I'm one of them. As for Calder's coming to a conclusion about my relations with his birth parents, well he's always known, as does Callum. You'll eventually admit the truth to yourself, what you've seen for years but have denied.”
“They're your sons,” Dylan announced emphatically, seeing in Patrick qualities the twins possessed, especially the intensity of his gaze. He’d seen the same uncommon colors flash in the twins' eyes several times before and he wondered how Patrick and Carolina's brother could have had children together.
Reading Dylan's thoughts, Patrick commented, “The how is not important at this time but without question they are my children, the only offspring I've ever sired in my existence.”
Carolina felt as if someone had opened all of her major arteries, was having difficulty focusing her whirling vision, her body feeling cold and weighted down. Distressed, she stated weakly to Patrick, “I'm not listening to anymore of this lunacy. What you're suggesting is impossible.” Her essence tried opening her eyes to the reality but Carolina steadfastly refused to pay attention because the truth was unfair and unkind. Every time she'd looked at the twins she wouldn't be faced with the deception of her loved ones, accept that she'd been duped again. Feelings of fear, weakness and love made her look through him.
Patrick wouldn't be ignored, “I love Ciaran so you know my giving him and his wife my children is no more impossible than you possessing the ability to restore life. Don't sulk; being jealous and resentful of the departed is pathetic.”
“I will not hear what you say, will not let you punish me because I defied your will. You're coming here was a mistake. I want you to leave,” she insisted sullenly.
Patrick paid no attention, going on to needle her, “You preferred not to believe Gingernut. However, you've always known I've been in love with Ciaran. The twins were conceived the day after I became a man in your arms. Their birthday is exactly nine months and one day after yours. You've always denied their parentage because to accept who they are would make you question your very existence, fill you with hatred and self-loathing. Face the fact that there are things in life you were intended to have and others you were not. I was meant to be yours, but not completely as you've always wanted. The twins are your sons, just not children you birthed, as will be Justin because I can testify to your chastity. More telling to the utter impossibility of your being Justin's mother is the fact that if he were born of you he'd be dead now, because you've never held the ability to save your pure-blood kin, not your parents, nor Ciaran.” Patrick shifted his attention to Dylan, “Even in the womb she had a sense of her power but she didn't understand its limitations. Impossible as the occurrence was for the doctors to believe she was born breech holding her dead twin's hands, trying to enliven him.”
Carolina shot Patrick a pleading look before desperately telling Dylan, “Don't listen to him, he's drunk.” She knew what he was revealing wasn't her whole truth. Not even after all their years together did he truly know or understand who and what she was and even though he'd deceived her she didn't ever want the truth revealed to him or Dylan fearing their rejection.
“He sounds sober to me,” Dylan countered looking squarely at her. Giving his full attention back to Patrick, he signaled the other man to continue.
“Our first meeting was due to her literally stumbling upon my murdered human shell, a vulnerable child's form having suffered torments akin to Justin's But maybe I was drunk then instead of hovering, waiting to either be called home or sent to fill another vessel, right Carolina? Perhaps every orifice of my worldly form hadn't been ravaged, body beaten and broken until it no longer looked human? Is that your recollection because my memories are horrific?”
Remembering his physical state when she'd first stumbled upon him made her feel ashamed of her current state of anger and resentment. He'd been naked, filthy with dirt, dried blood and the secretions of the many men who'd used, then tossed him away. Finding Patrick, as a little boy, dead in the woods had made her heart instantly fill with love. She'd wanted to save and protect him. Sitting by his side, she'd brushed i
Patrick bit out, “Sorry, like Justin was for threatening to become emancipated? Oh, but I wasn't there, so how do I know that? Your unwillingness to be at least truthful with yourself is bothersome to me. You lie because you believe avoiding the truth keeps you safe. When you were a colleen, you were brave, full of heart and compassion, bringing me back to life, strengthening and making this vessel I inhabit nearly invincible. As a woman, you invest little when it's really important and now I wish you had left me dead because death would be preferable to seeing the shell you really are. I'm sick of your clawing. My heart has always belonged to Ciaran. I gave him the twins because of the feelings we share, a level of sacrifice and commitment you're not mature enough to understand. You allowed me to mate with you partly because I could never sexually know Ciaran, thinking to surpass his place in my heart with your maidenly charms, because you feared forever loosing me. You were frantic for all of me and knowing your own desperation and accepting what I am you should have realized I'd never let you birth my sons. Ciaran's wife, Clover, supported and loved all aspects of my relationship with her husband, was accepting of the long-term responsibilities the twins might have to assume because they are mine. She was the perfect vessel to carry and birth my children but you weren't and had Clover survived, outlived Ciaran I would have legally wed her, proudly acknowledged her as my wife and the mother of my children.”
Dylan saw Carolina visibly shaking, felt the intensity of her grief at not bearing Patrick's children, and her sorrow pulled him apart. On one hand, he was glad he'd give her what no other man had and on the other, he wanted her to have her heart's desire, the child of the man she so clearly loved that the force of her feeling shook even him to his core. With the selflessness of an enamored man, he wished she'd soon have what she wanted, a babe of her own to make her happy, fulfill her life and love her endlessly.