by AB

Chapter 6

The Curse That is Immortality

Even in the darkness of the night Andreas could tell Triton's increasing state of panic.

"I don't mind, I don't care if you like boys or girl. Friends are friends." He tried to reassure him, pressing a hand against his friend's chest.

"Y…yes." Uttered Triton, changing side, facing away from Andreas.

Andreas hugged him closer.

After a moment's silence, "I thought you didn't want any friends." Asked Triton, bitter.

"It's not that I don't want any friends…" Andreas sighed, liking the warm body near him. "It's that everyone dies and I don't. In forty…" He was cut off by his phone vibrating.

Andreas stretched over Triton's body, grabbing the phone from the night stand. "It's George, what could he…" The phone stopped vibrating, then a second later a text message arrived.

Triton felt the bed rock and sway as Andreas jumped up, scrambling around in the darkness searching for his clothes.

"What's going on?" Triton got no reply. Switching on the lamp on the nightstand he blinked several times for his eyes to adjust then grabbed hold of Andreas' mobile.

"I love you, son."

Not two minutes later Paul, fully dressed heading to his room, saw Andreas bolt out the front door. A minute later Triton appeared out of his room.

"What's the matter? Where's Andreas going at this hour?" Asked Paul, stopped midway on removing his coat.

"Something must have happened to George." Triton shrugged running after Andreas.

"George! GEORGE!" Fifteen minutes later Andreas burst through his home flat's door.

George wasn't in his and Maria's room, Andreas run to his bedroom. Triton entered the flat to hear Andreas screaming "NO!" in a prolonged, agonizing voice.

Triton run to find Andreas on his knees, holding George's headless body in his embrace, head tilted over, eyes closed and tears streaking down his cheeks.

Triton knew not what to say or do. What do you say to someone who's holding his friend's dead body in his hands? What do you? He placed a shaking hand on Andrea's shoulder, giving it a light squeeze.

"Trit…oh fuck." Paul's voice came in behind them. "Get him outside, I'll call it in."

Forty minutes later Triton heard voices increasing in volume. His father's and some others. "Secure the flat, process it and ask neighbors if they saw or heard anything."

"Yes, sir."

"Dad, he hasn't moved…at all and I can't budge him.

"It's okay, son. Come with me, the social worker from child care will take care of Andreas."

The words child care gave Triton a morbid desire to laugh, he held it in.

Paul took his son out the flat, down the elevator and sat him in one of the police cars.

A few meters away, two officers were talking to a woman, she had a look of complete despair about her, like her soul was now drained and lost.

Twenty minutes later the social worker brought Andreas down, sitting him in the back of an ambulance. Then aided by an EMT she wrapped him in a blanket sitting next to him. She tried to remove the bag from his shoulder but he wouldn't release it, his grasp on it intensifying.

Triton stood up and walked to them. "It was a gift from his…father." He lied. He didn't know who had gifted Andreas the bag, his guess was George or another long since dead friend, but the bag being a gift from his father would stay the social worker's effort in removing it from him.

"I see, where's his father now? Is it…?" She asked Triton.

"No, George was a long-standing friend, from what I know and foster parent." Replied Triton.

"Do you know if he has any other relatives I can contact?" She asked him.

Triton shook his head. "Not that I know of, sorry."

"Doesn't look like he can answer any questions today…I'll make arrangements for a temporary foster home until he can and then we can find him a more permanent solution." She said and left them, mobile in hand.

Triton sat next to Andreas, hugging him close until his father took him home.

Andreas, gloom and silent was escorted into a police car and then with the social worker sitting in front, trying to talk to him, soothe him. She was failing.

There was no point contesting her, Andreas thought. She was doing her job and she did not know him. He could see she was trying to care but he also knew her case load would prevent her from following up.

Fifteen minutes later the car pulled in front of a derelict-looking block of flats.

Andreas did not look up, opening the door he stepped out.

"Damn you George…Why am I having such a dilemma fucking off for a few decades until I'm forgotten…friends? I hadn't had such problems in an aeon…"

"I know it looks…bad but you'll only be here for a day or two." The social worker failed spectacularly at trying to assure him.

He replied nothing and just walked in the building.

"You are going to be in the basement, the foster family has another three boys so you should have some company." Andreas snorted.

"Sure, who doesn't like company at attempted rape." He replied, dripping with sarcasm. He walked in before she could speak.

He did not bother letting go of his bag or luggage with clothes. He did not look at the other three boys in the room.

Two of them looked almost eighteen one sixteen.

Andreas looked outside the dirty window. He shook his head and sat in one of the chairs in the living room, looking at the TV.

Not five minutes later A guy, the foster father Andreas guessed, walked in the flat and the police car left.

"Okay, rules are. We eat at lunch, lights out at eleven and you're up at seven. Go to school or don't I don't give a fuck. I don't give a fuck what you do with your day either, just don't die of anything 'cause I'll kill you again for giving me grief with the cops." Andreas sniggered.

"Sure, whatever." Andreas did not look at him, his voice apathetic but out the corner of his eye he saw the look of lust he threw at the other boys.

"You will respect me, boy."

"Earn it. I agreed to your rules, don't bother me, old man, I am not going to be here long either way, so don't bother me and I won't…bother you."

One of the boys came in behind him grabbing hold of his hands, pulling them behind the chair. The other two boys and the man stood above him.

"Remove the bag and suitcase, and let's break him, boys." Andreas' lips formed a grin.

"Bad mistake." His voice, now, no longer apathetic.

It was raining leg chairs, as his mother liked to say, Triton lay on his bed, having just finished his bed routine and slowly drifting asleep lullabied by the rain hitting the balcony and windows outside his room. His jerking off sessions nowadays were mostly occupied with thoughts of Nikos and another one or two boys, but mostly of Nikos. Triton thought the way his hair fell on his eyes and he had to remove them by blowing them away or by his hand was cute. That his full red lips would feel amazing wrapped around his dick and he could only imagine what the boy sported between his legs and how it would feel to suckle on that.

"Fuck, I'm horny again." Triton thought as consciousness started to leave him.

The doorbell rang making him jump fully awake. "Who could it be at this hour?" He turned on the nightstand light, looking at the time on his mobile's screen. 01:00 am

He made his way to the living room, to see his father opening the door, in his nightclothes.

"Who is it?" His father shrugged.

Andreas stood there, bag across his right side, luggage on his left. He was dripping wet, head to toe.

"Damn he looks cute, all wet." Triton thought.

"Well don't stand there, come in." Triton rushed him in, his father closing the door behind him.

Andreas left his bag and suitcase on the floor standing in the middle of the living room not knowing what to do.

Paul disappeared in one of the rooms returning with Elena and two towels.

"What happened, Andreas?" Elena's voice was not accusatory, but genuinely caring.

"I had to get away from that vile place…" Replied Andreas while removing his soaking wet t shirt and jeans, wrapping himself in the towels Paul had brought in. He sat on the sofa, next to sleepy Triton.

"The man…let's just say he and his three foster sons tried to have their way with me…but twice already against my will is plenty enough thank you very much so I threw some punches on their pride and made a run for it." Explained Andreas, seeing Elena ready to ask again, why he had left the foster home.

"Wait…you mean they tried to…" Triton paused, not wanting to even utter the word. Andreas giggled, he couldn't help himself the boy's innocence getting the better of his melancholy.

"Yes, they tried to, but failed." Andreas told him.

"And you've had that happen twice now?"

"Well, not them but yes, two others have succeeded but that's a story…or more for another time."

"What happened next?" Paul asked him.

"Nothing much, I walked some of the way, used public transport for the rest. Needless to say, I'm not going back there." Triton could tell there was no point arguing this with him, nor did he want to.

"You'll stay here tonight, and I'll make arrangements. I know a woman who can take you in, she currently has one child of her own and a foster one. I know her from work so I can vouch she won't abuse you in any way." Paul assured him standing up.

Triton stood up, ready to get them to his bedroom. "You are a watcher, aren't you?" Asked Andreas. Triton thought at first Andreas was asking him, but turning his head, he saw Andreas looking at his father.

"N…no." Replied Paul, with an audibly surprised tone of voice.

"I do not believe you." Andreas pushed on. "It is obvious I have seen you before, prior to me meeting Triton, you must have been George's watcher as his death did not come as a surprise to hear, you were clothed when I run out of the house, you had been outside and your face was grim. You were near his place before or during his fight with the other immortal. When you entered the house, you knew exactly where everything was, you knew where George's body was. So, I must have glanced you before, watching George. When I met you "for the first time" in school when you picked up Triton you did not look a man who was seeing me for the first time. There are facial micro expressions, body language when you meet someone you have not before. You already knew me. Don't lie to me, not tonight." Andreas laid down the facts making Paul sigh.

"Not now, I'll expl…" Andreas cut him off.

"Triton knows about Immortals, he has known for a while now when he followed me to a fight. By how your wife is not surprised by what she's hearing she knows as well, so now is the perfect time for this."

"Fine, I am a watcher. I have been most of my adult life."

"How much does your order know about me?"

"I cannot tell…"

"You can. Or I leave and none of you will ever see me again, I can go to another continent for a century or two and I have a feeling whatever it is you have been discussing with George me leaving Greece and Europe is not part of it."

"You are driving a hard bargain."

"It is not a bargain, I have…well I don't have much to lose by bolting and I cannot have the watchers or anyone knowing anything about me without my will."

"We know nothing of you until you moved in with George some months ago, even then it took a while for us to realise what you were. George did not tell me until I confronted him about it. Since then I think we can place you as having killed some Immortals but nothing with any degree of certainty."

"I like honesty. I…want to trust you and Triton." Andreas paused for a moment thinking. "I have known about the watchers since your order formed." Triton saw an undeniable deep eye contact. He missed his father's pupils dilating for a second. "And have avoided you since. It is perhaps one of the few benefits of being a teenaged Immortal, I can slip away easily from notice, especially when I know what to look out for."

"What do you want to trust me and Triton with?" Asked Paul, having regained his composure.

"I am rather tired, but we can talk in the morning?" Paul nodded.

Andreas stood up following Triton in his room. Triton surfed the internet while he showered, closing the lid when he sat on his bed, naked from the waist up with a towel around his pelvis.

With everything that had happened Triton had not had a good opportunity to see Andreas' body since that day in the school's showers. Andreas was largely hairless on his torso, above his elbows and back, while he had some body hair below the elbows, and below the knees. The rest was covered up but Triton could see nicely toned, sleek smooth muscles in his belly, abdomen, biceps and pectorals. A fuzz decorated the region above his upper lip, the beginnings of a moustache if Andreas ever became a mortal and grew up from his fifteen-year-old body. Was that even possible?

"Can you ever become a mortal?" Asked Triton. There was no mistaking the look of longing and pain in Andreas' face.

"I do not know…there is a legend amongst our kin. That when the Gathering occurs, the one to survive it will have his or her wish come true. If that is the case that is all I would ever ask. Mortality. But like with any legend there's many different variations. Another variation has the Gathering granting not wishes but the combined knowledge of the universe, virtual godhood to anyone who wins it. I think I have heard of at least twenty different variations and I have known of at least three failed Gatherings…"

"How can there be a failed one?"

"Well…for one thing I am still here and I was never so far part of a Gathering."

"So…?" Triton was not entirely awake.

"If there can be only one surviving Immortal after the Gathering and I have never been part of one and I am still here…." Triton's eyes bulged for a moment as he realised what Andreas was saying.

"So, all other Immortals have to be dead? But if no one knows how many there are in total?"

"There lies the predicament and not only that but there are new Immortals being born every year, a never-ending cycle it would seem but I have heard of three failed Gatherings."

"So, what did you want to tell me before? When you said about trusting me and my father?" Andreas looked up from the floor for the first time.

He patted the space next to him a couple of times. Triton sat next to him with a look of expectation about him.

"I have reached to a decision, after George's death, after today." Said Andreas, solemnly.

Triton did not ask what this decision was, did not speak. He was even breathing low and quiet.

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