by AB

Chapter 3

Worlds revealed

George arrived some twenty minutes later.

"Tell me what happened." He demanded from Andreas who proceeded to tell him in animated detail. After George opened the principle's office's door and slammed behind him.

They couldn't tell what was being said but they could hear the yelling through the wood and glass door. The muffled screams carried all the way through the corridor.

The screaming carried for another ten minutes then the door opened and George exited.

"You are not in detention but…try not to hurt them too much next time, bad boy." George winked at him making Andreas grin.

"Old man." Andreas replied making them laugh. Triton couldn't understand why any of it was funny further reaffirming his belief Andreas was weird.

"What the hell did you tell him?" Triton said impulsively.

George "ahem'ed" with a smile on his face.

"What? I am an atheist, hell doesn't mean anything bad to me." Triton smirked.

"Yeah, but you might make others sad." George replied.

"But god doesn't exist, never has. Must not people realise this?" Andreas could tell Triton was genuinely asking, he wasn't trying to be insulting.

"People must, but they will not just because you insult their faith, if anything history has proven it only strengthens their resolve. Only education and literacy will change minds. You must be a friend of Andreas."

"Yeah, I guess you're right. Oh yeah, sorry, I'm Triton, as for friend…not sure, Andreas is weird." Triton poked his tongue out at the other boy.

"How old are you, again?" Andreas could not help but smile.

"Fifteen, so?" They started walking to the school's exit.

"So yeah, George's….my guardian you could say. And Triton's…well, we'll see."

"Well at least you said we'll see…" George chuckled at Triton's playful cheek.

"It is nice to meet you, Triton. Hopefully you can remove Andreas from his cocoon, he's been in there…for a while now."

"D…George!" Andreas exasperated rolling his eyes. Triton's horrified look did not go amiss.

"Ever the perpetual teenager." George grinned. "Perhaps…you two can spend some time together?"

"George, I am not five or ten. If I want to spend some time with someone I can ask for it myself."

"It wouldn't be a bad idea though, would it? If we hang out some?" Triton piped in.

"Not sure."

"Why not? What better have you to do?" Triton asked with Andreas shrugging his shoulders.

"Look it's settled, you're gonna come with me do our homework then go hang out some in the park. Yeah?"

"Whatever, sure." Andreas relented.

Triton recognised one of men outside of the school's main gates rushing to him.

"Hey, dad." Triton hugged the burly, semi-bald guy. Andreas scanned him top to bottom. He looked to be in his mid-forties and in good physical condition with thick hands and broad shoulders. "This is Andreas and his…father." Triton indicated, Andreas' pained look not going unnoticed.

"Nice to meet you. Call me Paul." Triton's father said after an initial momentary pause. George nodded. "Hello." Andreas just nodded.

"And the silent one is Andreas, my new friend." Triton grinned at Andreas who just could not help but smiling.

"Thought to come pick you up for a change." Paul told his son. Triton nodded smiling.

"Andreas is coming with me, mum has enough food?" Paul nodded.

George told them goodbye and left.

"So, lead the way I guess." Andreas shouldered his bag waiting for Triton and Paul to start walking.

"So, you're new around here eh?" Paul inquired, a hand around Triton's shoulders.

"Yeah, moved in around six months ago." Triton replied.

"Where did you live before?" Paul continued.

"Athens, northern subs, Larissa, Thessaloniki, elsewhere."

"Been moving around a lot. Your father has such a job?"

"I don't have parents, and yes I move around a lot. I like it." Andreas' tone of voice changed from neutral to nervous. Triton came to the rescue.

"Dad…stop interrogating my friend."

"Just asking some questions."

"Don't you play innocent with me, no questions." Triton was smiling but Andreas could see behind it, he was getting irritated.

Paul raised his hands. "You have me, officer. I surrender." Triton snickered.

"You're a police officer then?" Andreas fired.

"Homicide detective on the rise. Any thoughts on what you want to do when you grow up?"

"Be alive." Andreas thought. "Not really, I do like to write I'll admit but no I haven't thought that far out."

"Write? What do you like to write about?" Triton tried making conversation.

"Stuff." They walked the rest of the way chatting about casual stuff.

They finished their homework after lunch and headed to the abandoned industrial estate that was close to their homes.

"So, you hang out a lot here, with your friends?" Andreas asked.

"Sometimes. It is abandoned so there's little fear of adults and some of my friends are into parkour so it is good for that." Triton explained. "Also, there's a mall near it with cinema theatre, shops, and stuff as well as a park, usually I walk from the park's end near my house all the way to it. And the estates are also used for art installations and stuff sometimes, it's really cool." Andreas smiled inwards at his enthusiasm.

"Sounds good. So, your friends do parkour? How good are they?" He asked feigning apathy, but it was obvious the subject interested him.

"Eh you know, they are fourteen to sixteen, how good could they be? Most of them haven't been doing it for long, like a year or two."

"Ah, okay."

"Do you know any moves in parkour?"


"You don't talk much, do you?" Triton giggled.

"Not much to say." Andreas saw some boys ranging from early teens to late teens wave at Triton.

With the introductions finished they started talking between themselves in a range of subjects from video games to celebrities, girls, and sports. Andreas could see some subjects like sports and girls interested Triton less than others like movies and ancient cultures.

"So, Triton tells me some of you are interested in parkour?" Andreas popped the question.

Some of the boys grinned.

"Yeah, some." A guy named Viktor, a friend of Triton's, said. "You got skills?" Coming up to him. He was a short, muscular guy around their age with brown eyes and short, brunette hair.

"Yeah, some." A slight grin on his features.

"Cool, can you climb to the floor above us?"

Andreas looked around. They were standing below a building supported in very tall cement columns. They were on the ground floor, in front of them were some fallen chimneys, now decorated with flowers, trees, and street art, to their left and right were ground demarcations with steps leading to higher and lower terraces. Andreas saw a path to it. The floor above them and a path back down.

"Come on Victor, you always ask this of whoever says they are interested about parkour, no one our age can do this shit." Another boy told him.

Andreas cracked his head left and right winked at them and ran at the nearest part of the fallen chimney, cat leaped on it, climbed it then climbed on the tree next to it, wall run to the next forking branch. From there he jumped to the terrace to the left, run up the stairs from the baluster, dashed to the terrace next to it and then up one of the higher tree's forked branches then across to a yet higher terrace before leaping onto one of the two columns supporting the building, wrapped his hands around it then using small jumps he climbed to where the column met the building's horizontal beam leading to the floor. With a back jump his hands grabbed hold of a small balcony's edge. After that it was easy for him to rise his body a bit higher, grab hold of the metal railing and pull himself up and inside.

Triton and his friends cheered below.

"Fuck me!" Victor screamed making people laugh. "Now let's see you come do…" Andreas jumped over the railing grabbing it with his hands and landing on his feet, like a cat, on the outside of the balcony, then he slid lower on the column. Sliding a little lower he jumped back doing a backflip he fell onto the tree below landing on his feet before vaulting down on the ground.

"Your turn." He beamed at Victor.

"Yeah…okay you're an animal, I can't do this shit!" Victor laughed giving him a handshake and a knuckles bump.

"That was brilliant." Triton approached him smiling. "How do you know to do that?"

"I practice a lot." Andreas shrugged. More of Triton's friend shook his hand asking where he learned to parkour this well so young. Andreas led them away from it to more fascinating, to teen boys, subjects.

"Who are they?" He nodded at four girls approaching their vicinity.

"Only the hottest girls in school, in our class." Victor chimed in.

"And at least three of them don't have boyfriends, no one's worked up the courage to talk to them yet." George, another boy in the company, said.

"Why? Girls don't bite" Andreas replied, casually.

"They are hot and they know it. Why would they go out with any of us?" George continued.

"Hey now." James, a lanky, thin, well-built boy with dark hair and blue eyes piped in. Some laughed.

"He is not wrong."

"Well then, why you don't talk to them, then?" Triton taunted him.

"Yeah, hot stud." Victor laughed. "Talk to them, if you dare."

Andreas shrugged, turned around and waited for the girls to come closer.

He saw them look their way and he made his move. Walking towards them, slow and with confidence he raised his t-shirt, deliberately as if to swipe away some sweat from his cheek, displaying his abs. They giggled slowing down.

Triton and the others saw him slow down in front of them making eye contact.

"Hello, would you like to hang out with my friends and me?" Bursting into giggles they looked at each other and Andreas, his hands in his pockets, relaxed and sure of himself, his back straight and his face gentle and smiling with a mischievousness about him.

"Sure, I guess." One of them said.

"Andreas." He told the girl, now looking only at her. "Pleased to meet you, what's your name?"

"Sophia. Haven't seen you before around here." She walked with him. Her girl-friends following them.

"Yeah, I moved in a few weeks ago, only started school today. Would have started earlier if I knew there were such pretty girls here." She blushed smiling smug.

Looking at Triton and his friends he saw them standing there stunned, some with their jaws slacking.

"Nice bag, what brand is it?" One of the girls asked him.

"Oh, it's custom made. Present from a friend." He answered.

There was an awkward silence when girls and boys just looked at each other, not knowing what to say.

Then Victor made a start by offering his name to one of the girls who reciprocated. With the ice broken the rest followed.

"What are the handles for?" Hector asked him awhile into the conversation.

Triton saw him avoid the question, and all questions about his bag. "Oh, sorry what did you say?" He feigned not having heard the question. "What kind of movies do you like?"

It was easy for the boys to not pressure him on about it as their interest and minds were on the presence of the girls in their skirts and sweet-smelling perfumes.

Then just as in the Tram in a blink of an eye Andreas' head jolted up looking left and right.

He pretended to look at the time on his mobile. "So, nice to meet you all but I must go now, but I'm sure we'll see each other again, being friends with Triton." He turned his head to Sophia.

"Wanna go out with me sometime?" She giggled taking his phone and writing her number in it before saving the new contact.

"Sure, maybe." He grinned passing a hand around her waist briefly bringing her closer to him. "Come on now, maybe?"

"Okay have to go. I'll call you."

"Wanna go back home?" Triton asked him.

"Nah, stay with your friends." Andreas walked fast. "I remembered I must do something."

"What? Maybe I can help you, that's what friends are for right?"

"It's okay, I can manage it on my own." Andreas walked faster yet. "Go home or back to your friends."

"They are your friends now as well, you know."

"I met them once, not my friends yet."

"Why are you being such an ass? That's not how friends behave." Triton fired at him irritated.

"I do not want or need friends. Just go." Triton failed to read the angst in his voice.

"Go fuck yourself." Triton yelled at him before he turned and left, hands fisted by his sides.

Andreas now ran until he was under an old bridge. The road under it no longer used often.

"Richard of Accra." A man stood opposite him a few meters away, half in the darkness cast from the setting sun and the bridge's shadow. "We meet again, Andreas."

"Survived the Greek Liberation war from the Ottomans, I see."

"I survived the Crusades, boy. They wouldn't kill me with gunpowder.

"You were a mercenary in the Liberation from the Ottomans, were you one in the Crusades as well?" Andreas taunted him.

"No, I slew infidel pigs, then I realised they paid more than some god-fearing monks, far more. You killed my friend, the other day. Jeremy of Jerusalem."

"You've killed many of my friends. The Code prevents you from…"

"Fuck the Code, boy. I've come for your head." Richard pointed the sword at him, bringing his shield in front of his torso.

"So be it. It's your funeral." Andreas grabbed hold of the two peculiar-looking handles in his bag and twisted them. One clockwise, one counter-clockwise pulling them up revealing two curved short swords.

Richard attacked him swinging with his long sword then with his shield. Andreas deflected him using his twin blades, one blade for the long sword, one blade for the shield.

Richard pulled back then stabbed at him. Andreas used both blades to alter the sword's trajectory, then launched for Richard's gut. The kite shield obstructed his way before Richard tried to bash his head with it. Andreas bent backwards before forming an arch with his body, hands and legs on the ground. Then holding his weight with his hands, he pushed up with his legs kicking at Richard's shield. The shield hit Richard at his torso making him groan.

"Gonna play or gonna attack me?" Andreas taunted him, back on his feet.

Richard, a look of anger painted on his face swung his sword at him feinting for his neck, Richard waited for the last possible moment then altered the direction and glanced Andreas' ribs drawing blood. Andreas spun around on his axis while at the same time kneeling on the floor. One sword deflecting Richard's from further damaging him, the other aiming for the guy's thigh, tearing it open.

"Blood for blood, going to do better than this, or shall I put you out of your misery?" Andreas kept taunting him.

Viciousness in his eyes Richard launched himself at him again, this time hiding behind his shield, the tip of the sword protruding from the curved top.

Two slashes later he was defending against Andreas' flurry of jabs. All of them landing on the kite shield.

Andreas disengaged before jumping back with two backwards flips of his body, like a wheel.

Bending his posture slightly he brought one sword in front of his face the other lower by his waist. The tips of the twin blades looking opposite each other. He swayed back and forth on his feet, back and forth back and forth never breaking eye contact with his opponent.

Richard brought his shield in front of his face, raised his sword above his head and with a war cry attacked him.

"Nope, this ain't the Crusades." Andreas blocked Richard's sword with both of his then pivoted around releasing one of the blades guiding Richard's one away from him and at the same time twisting his now free sword on the palm of his hand arching it on a circular motion to Richard's stomach.

"Fuck." Richard groaned, the sword falling from his hand. Andreas twisted the sword now embedded on his stomach, driving it deeper.

"For my friends, you slaughtered for coin." Andreas twisted around burying his second blade on Richard's torso, twisting it around.

The shield fell from his hand as he kneeled on the floor, his legs no longer able to support his weight.

Andreas removed both blades from his body and placed them diagonally from each other on his throat.

In one swift, decisive motion he severed Richard's head clean off.

A second later thunders struck all around him before striking him and Richard's corpse. Several lightning strikes later Andreas and head connected via a stream of light and sound, a never-ending lightning as Andreas bent backwards, his hands extended to his sides, his eyes rolled to the back of his head.

Some seconds later the lighting show stopped, Andreas fell to his knees panting.

"Triton wait up!" Andreas spotted Triton walking to school. It had been three days since and the first one he had seen Triton.

Catching up to him he tried to slow the other boy down.

"Hey, are you okay? Haven't seen you around school for a couple of days."

"Yes, fine." Triton sped up.

"Look I'm sorry for the other d…" Triton ignored him walking faster.

"Leave me alone." Andreas walked into the class they shared to see Triton having sat next to another kid, rather than the seats they had taken together the other day.

Three intermissions later Andreas tried talking to him again. Triton eyed his bag nervously. "Look just leave me alone, okay? Please." Shaking, Triton left.

Andreas did not try to apologise again, and the rest of the day went by without any other excitement.

"What's eating you?" George asked during dinner two days later. Maria had taken the kids to a movie with some of their friends and their mothers.

"I cannot understand why… this has become so important to me."

"This?" George inquired."

"Yes, this. This where Triton isn't talking to me for three days now and I can't decide if I am sad or fucking angry and why for the love of god would I be either? Or trying to apologise to him for ditching him the other day when I felt one of us nearby. What was I supposed to do? Tell him? Yeah sure that'd have gone so well "You know Triton? Guy, I met less than a week ago, I am a fucking immortal, and another immortal has probably come for my head and I have sensed him closing in. He won't do anything while mortals are around but you know, later I may have to fight him to the death." Yeah sure…"

George chuckled letting down his fork. "I know better than anyone why making friends, or lovers with mortals sounds like a…" He was cut off by the sound of the doorbell ringing.

"I'll get it." Andreas stood up, walking to the door and opening it to find Triton standing there. His hands by his sides. Shaking.

It wasn't cold outside, being a mellow September afternoon.

Andreas didn't know what to say seeing Triton standing and shaking and crying like that.

After a few seconds of awkwardness George opened the door more, "Come in, we have food if you want something to eat?" He offered the boy who stormed in.

Closing the door behind the two boys, George stood in the living room with Andreas and Triton standing near an armchair and the sofa.

"Would you like something to eat? To sit?" George did not get an answer.

Triton sat in silence, tears streaking down his eyes. After an attempt or two to open his mouth he stood up and turned to leave.

"Wait! What's going on? Talk to me, I'm sorry if my behaviour the oth…" Andreas stood up from the sofa, trying to stop the boy from leaving. George interrupted him.

"He knows." Triton froze on his tracks.

"Knows? Knows wh…?"

"I saw you okay? I saw you kill that guy." Triton snapped turning around, his hands fists in front of his stomach, with a look of anger, disbelief, pain, and fear.

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