by AB

Chapter 8

Ingrid, Iris, Irene, Eva

The funeral proceeded according to the Greek Orthodox customs. Six men, Andreas amongst them as well as Paul, carried the coffin to one of the churches inside the First Athens Cemetery, and then carried it out after the priests had chanted their part to where the tomb was where after some more chanting those present. threw some dirt on top of the lowered coffin before it was covered up by the diggers.

They proceeded to the cemetery's refectory to drink some coffee, brandy as per the custom.

Maria waited for him outside. "How are you, Andreas?" She asked him, hugging him.

"I…I am sorry."

Pulling back, she made eye contact. "Was George killed by one of your kind?" Andreas nodded.

"Why…" Her voice broke. "Why did he murder my babies, they were asleep, they had done nothing…"

Andreas looked away, somehow feeling ashamed. "I do not know."

"Promise me something, please." Her face changed from sorrow.

"I will find the Immortal who did this and I will…" She cut him off, shaking her head.

"He killed my babies. I do not wish for you to kill him, I will. When you find him I will."

"You won't be able to."

"George told me everything. An Immortal's head falls it doesn't matter if it was done by another Immortal or a mortal, they are dead, permanently."

"Okay, then." Andreas knew not to argue with a grieving mother.

She smiled as best she could. "I need some time alone, some time to grieve but if and when the beast who did this is found and killed I very much want to know more of you and of George. You have known him the longest and I want to know of his life before he met me…he had not the time to tell me himself."

"He loved you and the kids very much." Andreas nodded his agreement.

"I don't think I'll ever love another man as I did him and he…he cared for you deeply."

They entered the refectory.

"I'll open." Triton rushed to the door. "You must be Kendra? Dad and Andreas are in. Waiting." She smiled.

"You must be Triton, I haven't seen you since you were very young." She said shaking his hand.

"Don't worry, I am not going to take away your friend." She assured him. He smiled.

"I am ready, let's go." Andreas stood up from the sofa.

"Are you sure? Only the bag and the suitcase?" She inquired, surprised at the frugality of his belongings.

"Yes." He nodded. "This is all I have, minus some stuff stored in a safe place."

"We'll talk later." He bumped fists with Triton, who just hugged him. "As I understand it the new house is close by?" He asked looking at Kendra.

"A few blocks away, yes. Are you sure you have everything?" Andreas walked to the door.

She shook Paul's hand and left after giving Elena a quick hug.

He entered the front of the car. "You will have your own room, Mathew and Artemis are waiting to meet you."

They drove in silence despite Kendra's attempts to conversation. It was only a few blocks away to the south, closer to the sea. Here each block of flat had its own garden, with views to the blue.

Triton's block of flats was an older construction made in the seventies with its character whereas Kendra's building was new with the metal surfaces still shinning.

She parked the car in the underground parking, and they took the lift to the flat.

"Mathew! Artemis!" She yelled entering the flat. Andreas heard steps coming from the inner part of the flat, first on wooden surfaces then on the black veined marble floor.

"Hey, you must be Andreas?" A boy around twelve asked. They screened each other thoroughly. "You must be Mathew." Mathew had a lean figure with black hair, long and untidy. Deep amber eyes complimented his thin red lips and downwards, small nose.

Both boys smiled nodding their heads.

"And I'm the cool one, around here." Came a female voice behind them.

"Artemis, I presume." She was at about one meter seventy with black, curly hair reaching her waist, full, pink lips and Andreas could tell she was quite curvy under the jeans and blouse she was wearing.

"You wish!" Mathew pipped in. "She's seventeen, I'm thirteen, and how old are you?"

Kendra looked at him carefully, as if warning him with her eyes. Andreas did his best to not roll his eyes at her. "Fifteen…and some change." He winked at Kendra.

"Cool, I always wanted an older brother." Mathew offered his hand at him.

"Let's not be too hasty." Andreas tried to smile.

"Nope, you're family now." Mathew declared, stubbornly.

Andreas rolled his eyes. "You are like Triton."

"I've seen him around in school, he's a couple years older, isn't he?" Andreas nodded.

"Mat is…Mat. Let me show you to your room." Artemis offered, Andreas followed her.

His room wasn't large, but he had no need for large. Inside were the normal furniture of a teen's room. A bed with a nightstand, desk a chair and wardrobe with cupboards and a bookshelf. He opened the suitcase and started settling his few possessions in the wardrobe and night stand.

Just as he was finishing up there came a knock on the door.

"Yes?" Kendra entered the room. "Settling in?" She asked, smiling.

She sat in one of the desk chairs, with Andreas, bag always by his side, sitting opposite her.

"Well, welcome home."

"Thank you, but it's not home. I don't have a home." Kendra noticed Andreas's tone of voice wasn't irritable, it was surrendered.

She sighed, "I do not know for how long you will stay with me, us but it doesn't have to be bad and even if for a short while it can be home, if you let it be."

He stared at her for a bit, before nodding. "I will try."

"Good, now normally I'd tell you the house rules include lights out before eleven at night on weekdays and midnight on weekends and you have to be back before dinner unless I know before hand of any arrangements with friends and so on, no girls in locked room and various other things but I am not sure half of them apply to you."

Andreas chuckled, how could he not. "Probably not. But I understand your need to not have me revealed to your kids and to not show undisciplined behaviour to them so I'll try to not to see them go in or out of the house after hours, as for girls…I can't get sick of anything, can't give anything to anyone and until and unless I become a mortal as an Immortal I am sterile…so I think I'll satisfy my biological needs as I must." Kendra nodded her approval.

"Is it only that? Biological needs?"

"What else can it be? Love? Feelings? She, whatever her name is, whatever she looks like, she will be dead in fifty or seventy years and I…I will still be like this."

"I have to admit, it is strange to me, even after 20 years of Watching your kind, to think you are…older than the teenager I see before me." She said shaking her head left and right in disbelief.

"How old are you, again?" She tried her luck. "You don't seem to be anywhere in our journals."

"I am old and no I wouldn't be."

"Ever so vague, so be it. I assume you'll continue to avoid us?"


Kendra left.

A few hours later he left to find Eva and Triton.

"Where's Eva?" He found Triton in the underground parking building.

"She texted me she'll be late. How did she find my number?" Triton wondered aloud.

"Have your text pad and pen with you?" Andreas smiled.

"Sure, but now?"

"We are waiting are we not?" Triton picked the pen and text pad from his bag.

"The Second World War…greatest insanity that has ever been…and mortals fighting for ideals, for countries…just like they had for the past ten three years… or more. And for a short time, it had me convinced as well. George had been drafted into service just after the start of the war in the UK and I had lost contact with him. I was in the states when the USA navy recruited me. Shortly after we were on patrol near the Chinese-Thailand borders when the ship was attacked and sunk, every soul lost in sea…except me."

"Was it the first time you were in Asia?" Asked Triton, his hand constantly moving, scribbling notes on the text pad.

"Not by a long shot. Chinese fishermen found me and for a month or two I lived in their village until it was raided by a Japanese invading party, they killed, raped and pillaged…how original of Humans…" I was captured by one of the higher-ranking officers and sent back to Japan, originally as a slave, the rest you know."

"What happened before the Second World War?"

"Me and George took part in the First Balkan War, then we roamed Europe seeing the new Balkan states fight each other over the land now liberated from the crumbling Ottoman Empire. We avoided the First World War as best we could. Before that we had travelled across the whole of Afrika…you can't imagine the wonders, the people, the animals. The fun we had running from cannibal tribes and discovering things most humans, mortal or otherwise had yet to even know existed."

"When did you meet George?" Inquired Triton.

"When I met him." Came Eva's voice from behind him, lost in his writing Triton had missed Andreas' having sensed another Immortal.

"We met you again during Greece's independence war from the Ottomans…" Andreas cut her off before she could reply.

"You did, interesting how with you, you bring death."

"It was a war."

"I was. How do you know Groves did not kill George?" She went straight to the point.

"Because I killed him a few nights before George was killed. And because Groves loved inflicting mass death from afar like a god, that was ever his motivation and desire, to perceive himself as a god. He would have never been interested in killing two mortal children up close and personal. It'd have been beneath him."


"What do you want?"

"I have found Yusuf the Roman slayer." That got Andreas' attention. "I am to fight him tomorrow, midnight in the old pier."

"Who is that?" Asked Triton.

"Someone from our past. During Greece's liberation from the Ottomans a general thought himself an heir of the Empire and of Osman, a legendary general during the crusades. Yusuf thought he was slaying "Romans" as he killed civilians. Romans…what the Seljuks called the Byzantines, even the Byzantines did not think themselves Romans anymore during the crusades." Eva replied.

"He killed a lot of women and children, then George met him in the field of battle and killed him, only he did not stay dead." She turned her head to Andreas. "I want you to be my second."

"You can't best him, run and hope he loses your scent."

"I can't do that, Andronicus, or however you call yourself now. Be my second."

"I will not kill him, he has not come for my head, he kills you…he did."

"I know I can't best him, that's why I want you to be my second, he manages to take my head, you can take his after."

"I will not kill another dishonorably." Andreas' eyes furrowed, getting angry. "it pisses me off when you try and get others to do your shit for you."

"He killed Konstantina."

"Fuck you, prove it!" Andreas pointed at her, getting angrier by the second.

"Who was that?"

"An old love." Andreas replied not even looking at Triton.

"I was there, George demanded that I don't tell you so you wouldn't go after him back then, he did not believe you could best him, always wanted to protect you."

"Fine I'll be there, but I'm not going to do anything dishonorable, if he challenges me after I'll fight him. Killing him won't bring back someone who has been dead for almost three centuries."

Andreas turned and left with Triton following him.

Saying their goodnights, they headed for their respective homes. Returning home, as silently as he could Andreas headed for his room. Passing outside Mathew's room soft sounds peaked his interest. Looking inside threw the slightly open door he grinned at the sight of Mathew fooling around with another boy his age, probably a friend of his having a sleepover.

His mobile ringing woke him up the following morning. It was Nikos.

"Hey, Andreas. Wanna hangout later today?" Andreas grinned.

"Sure, but I can't today, I can tomorrow though and I'll bring Triton over as well, meet at the north park entrance, outside school?"

"Sure!" They spoke for some time more before terminating the call.

Andreas got dressed and headed for the kitchen, to eat breakfast.

Artemis and Kendra were there with Mathew. "Hi." Mathew greeted him. Artemis and Kendra followed suit.

"Morning." Replied, Andreas, then walked over and sat next to Mathew. As Artemis shifted her attention to her mobile and Kendra to serving him breakfast Andreas pressed his face near Mathew's ear. "Might wanna lock your door and try and be more silent when you have…friends over, like last night." He whispered.

Mathew's eyes almost popped out of their sockets, his head snapping to Andreas.

Andreas had to chuckle at the crimson blush spreading over Mathew's cheeks.

"So, where's your friend?" He asked.

"Oh…eh he had to leave earlier." Mathew stuttered a reply.

"Pity." Andreas grinned.

The rest of the day went by fast with Andreas' attention in the duel between Eva and Yusuf that was to happen later at night.

After everyone seemed to be asleep he slipped out the balcony, jumping down from balcony to balcony.

Arriving at the pier he searched around for Eva until he sensed another Immortal. He could not see Triton around but he knew the boy would not be far off, probably hidden behind a wall or a column of a nearby building.

"I see Eva decided to ditch me, it is nice to see you again…Roman."

"I am no more Roman than you are." Replied Andreas, looking at Yusuf's direction.

Yusuf walked closer, releasing a Kilij curved sword from his trench coat adorned with precious stones and golden hilt.

"I was to be her second, and it was never nice to see you, then or now." Andreas spat, his hands on his swords, still in his bag.

"Well then, Eva or Irene or whatever her name is, is not here so you'll have to do."

"I have no quarrel with you." Andreas released one of his blades.

"I have with you, your friend George made me into this abomination. He is now dead, so I'll kill you and Eva in return."

Yusuf launched at him, with Andreas bending back to avoid the blade. Yusuf continued on a flurry of jabs and hacks at him.

"You know what your problem is? Has always been since the eighteen-hundreds? You love that big stick of yours too much and you are far too predictable." Andreas blocked Yusuf's blade with his and released the second one in a large arch upwards. Yusuf groaned in pain, his intestines spreading all over the floor.

"This did not have to happen, but since it has for Konstantina, there can be only one." Andreas swung both swords crossing each other like a pair of scissors, severing Yusuf's head.

Ten minutes later kneeling on the floor he sensed another Immortal approaching, a familiar sensation.

"You still don't get your own hands dirty for your own shit…" He panted to approaching Eva.

She stood over him, revealing a rapier and pressing it on his neck.

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