by AB

Chapter 11

Renaissance man

"Hello, Adam." A hushed, coarse voice sounded from the mobile.

"My name's not Adam, you have the wrong number, creep." Replied Andreas, ready to terminate the call.

"You are third of five, you are Adam." The owner of the creepy voice insisted.

"What the actual fuck at this hour?"

"You do not know who I am? I am the second Adam, I am your…" Andreas terminated the call, throwing the phone back on the night stand and covering his head with both pillow and bed sheets.

Some weeks later, they were training in the park, Andreas showing them the first basic grips, pulls, and avoiding tactics, all the while conversing with them. Some of the subjects they understood, some they would not for years to come. They laughed and sweat run from their faces and their bodies.

As time passed they were noticed by others enjoying the park, of varying ages. At first Andreas had resisted anyone else joining in but eventually he had relented. Now their group counted ten. Another two teens, one of which a girl and some young adults.

The new had tried to acquire information from Andreas, of his family, of how he had learned something so well in such a short time but Andreas as Triton knew he would had remained mysterious, unrelenting, and vague. What choice did he really have.

"Fuck! What am I doing wrong?" Mathew kept trying to throw Andreas on the ground with Andreas resisting him with little effort.

"You fail, you fail because you expect me to fall on the ground because we are doing an exercise. Do not be predictable, do not expect me I'll fall if you do not do it right."

Mathew tried repeatedly but Andreas would not fall. Then as Mathew went for Andreas' wrist he found himself flying off his feet before impacting the ground with a "thump" sound. He groaned.

"Did you fall because it is the exercise?" Asked Andreas.


"So, that is what you are doing wrong."

"What I'm doing wrong is that I'm doing it wrong?"

"No, that you expect me to fall because it is an exercise. If this was someone on the street wanting to kidnap you or mug you or…else he'd not fall because you grab his wrist."

Mathew nodded. He did not do it right the next time but he had it right by lesson's end.

Two hours later they were readying to leave, the others had and Andreas was talking to Nikos when he felt another Immortal nearby.

"Lazarus di Padova, we met once in Firenze." The man said in a low voice. Tall with crimson short hair.

"Not here, not now." Replied Andreas, short and curt motioning Nikos, and the others with his head.

"Tomorrow at midnight, then. At the old train station to Peloponnese." The man turned to leave.

"That's on the other side of Athens!" Andreas exclaimed.

Lazarus answered not.

"Well that was weird. And a trench coat at this weather? October or not it's still hot." Mathew remarked but before Andreas could reply Michael and his goons appeared, coming towards them from the sea side. Andreas noted how one of them seemed much less sure of what he was doing there.

"Oh, what do you want, again? You are like a bad habit that won't go away." Andreas groaned.

"I want you hurt, I want you humiliated. You can't get away with it!" Michael growled.

"Get away with what? Not letting you bully and beat me and my friends? Look go away, leave and no one has to get hurt." His bag hit the grass, his hands by his sides. Triton knew this stance. He, Mathew and even Nikos stood by his side, ready.

Michael attacked Andreas, one of his lackeys attacked Triton and Mathew.

The third remained behind, looking unsure of himself and being there.

Mathew saw the punch coming and raised his hands to his face while Triton kicked the boy on his stomach, seeing an opening there by the angle of his body and the hand closest to him being behind his head, readying to hit Mathew.

Nikos came in from behind kicking the boy between his legs with all he had.

The teen howled in pain kneeling, his hands now between his legs.

Mathew grinned, and pushing him from his torso he grabbed one of the arms from the shoulder, then the elbow and finally from his wrist twisting the boy on his back, arm behind him, twisted enough towards his head. "Stay." He commanded.

Triton turned his attention to Michael and Andreas. Michael was trying his best to hit Andreas, hands, fists and feet and yet Andreas danced around him, pivoted and dodged, his hands still by his sides.

"STOP PLAYING AROUND!" Michael shouted in rage firing another fist at Andreas.

"So be it." Andreas growled.

It all happened in a blur. Andreas did not even try avoiding the incoming punch, instead he grabbed hold of the hand, sidestepped to the left, punched-grabbed hold of Michael's face and with a cat-like leap and using Michael's face and hand as leverage brought his legs wrapping around the boy's torso. Half a second later, letting go of the hand he twisted himself on Michael, grabbed the other hand, brought his hand to the back of Michael's head, and used his weight and moment to plant Michael face-first on the grass.

Andreas held him there for a second or two, for effect before getting up and stepping back.

Michael lost no time, got up and retrieved a knife from his pocket.

"Michael?! What the fuck! I did not agree to this, for fuck's sake! I only hang out with you and your friend because your mother has threatened to fire my father if I don't, and because you'd bully me otherwise. Fuck this shit. I'm out of here." The third boy left, leaving one of his friends lying on the floor, a hand twisted behind his back and his other friend threatening another with a knife.

Various passersby who had gathered to view Andreas' training with his group were retrieving their mobiles, in fear, to call the police. Others started shouting.

Triton placed himself between Nikos and Michael, even though the older teen faced Andreas.

"I tried to be polite, to not lose control and to afford you…humanity even though you have none. So, you want war? Have it your way, then." Andreas brought his hands, bent in front of his torso, and crouched.

Triton felt it, the chill on his spine, he was different, he was as he was when fighting another Immortal. "Michael, you are colossal fool…you stand no chance, none whatsoever." He whispered.

Michael, letting a roar of rage, launched himself at Andreas. Andreas waited until the last possible moment and then in a blur he committed to three movements. He sidestepped to Michael's exposed flank, grabbed his hand from the wrist and brought his other hand from below with a force.

Everyone nearby heard it. A clear, sharp "crack" as Michael's hand broke, bone clearly visible from pierced skin. In the next two movements, he brought himself behind Michael kicking him with savage force behind and to the side of his knee.

With another clear sound and Michael's knee dislocated.

Grabbing hold of the back of his head, Andreas faceplanted him, again.

Triton saw it, most missed it, Andreas holding his fingers in a way and pattern making Michael lose consciousness.

"Wicked!" Nikos and Mathew exclaimed at the same time.

"No, causing hurt, even in self-defense is not wicked, not as you mean it. Loss of self-control displays weakness, thus to attack does not betray strength." Replied Andreas.

"That's…Japanese, isn't it?" Asked Mathew.

"It is."

"How do you know it?"

No reply came from Andreas. Triton eyed him carefully, as if having gained a new measure of understanding of his friend.

"It was still cool, and Michael was going to gut you, he deserved it!" Nikos continued.

"Few deserve pain, Michael is a lost, frightened boy with a complete lack of self-control or respect. When one hates one's self one cannot allow others to change that self-imposed perspective, even if violence must occur."

"What would be the alternative?" Asked Mathew. "Without you getting hurt…or us?"

"Depends on who you ask. Freud would say he has to discover the true object of his rage and confront it, in a safe environment, in therapy. Confront himself and then his father to find reasons to love himself.

"Japanese philosophers would argue he has to count cherry blossoms until he has gained a measure of inner peace and if he cannot achieve this he has but to die for his liege lord.

"The nomads of the Mongolian steppes would command he follows the Khan's army and slay whomever stands in their way and in doing so tame the beast inside him.

"Ancient Greek philosophers would probably have him discuss and ask questions until the object of his rage reveals itself to him, then kill it in the name and honour of patron god or goddess… the approaches are many and as many as the cultures that have existed on Earth."

Triton chuckled at Nikos' and Mathew's confounded faces.

"You are weird." Nikos giggled.

"Perhaps I am, but what of it? Better weird than Michael." Andreas winked at him smiling.

"Yeah!" They all laughed together.

"Wanna come by my place?" Asked Nikos.

They nodded following him to his house.

"Mum, I'm here!" Nikos yelled letting them in.

"In the kitchen!" A female voice came from across the flat. A very lightly decorated living room gave way to a white-coloured corridor with five or six rooms.

They entered the kitchen, curry and rice smells drawing them in.

"Wash your hands…" Nikos interrupted her.

"Mum, these are my friends, Triton, Mathew and Andreas." Nikos introduced them. "Guys, Iokavi my mum." Turning around, her brunette, curly hair and green eyes sparkling, she shook their hands. Andreas thought she looked young, at the prime of her beauty.

They talked while eating.

"Mum, can they stay for a sleepover? Please!" Nikos pleaded, making Triton chuckle.

"It's a school day tomorrow, love. But they can stay for a couple of hours and we you can arrange they come over for a sleepover during the weekend, you all can buy pizza and whatnot."

"Okay…" Nikos pouted before grinning.

"Actually, lunch was great, Mrs. I…" Mathew started saying when Iokavi cut him short. "It's Iokavi, love. No. Mrs. Or Ms. or whatnot."

Mathew smiled, "lunch was great, Iokavi, but I have some errands and homework to do, I'll see you tomorrow at school." He nodded his head towards Triton and Nikos before turning to Andreas. "I'll see you home later?"

"I have to go as well, but the curry was splendid, indeed." Replied Andreas standing up.

Triton blushed seeing Andreas winking at him.

"Come I'll show you my room." Nikos seized Triton from his hand dragging him to his room.

"You seem to know a lot about history…" Mathew tried making conversation on their way back home.

"Indeed. I am…inclined towards it you could say." Replied Andreas.

"It's interesting, just boring as we're taught it in school."

"Perhaps, one of modern civilization's worst crimes, for any who don't know history are bound to repeat it again."

"Sometimes I wonder, you speak of historical events but…it, you make it sound as if from personal perspective, and it's so much nicer than in school textbook."

Andreas smiled. "Which era you like the most?"

"Oh, I think it has to be medieval ages, all the knights, the epic sword battles."

Andreas smiled, grimly. "Indeed, thugs with weapons and you had no human rights, marauding "knights" who raped and killed, pandemics of black plague and god knows what else and myriad other things that could kill you before you turned thirty. Modern culture has greatly…beautified how things were back then."

"As if you were there." Mathew laughed. "Like I said, it's interesting."

"I was." Andreas stated. Mathew looked at him bewildered for a moment before bursting into laughter.

"Good one. You can be convincing." Andreas smiled.

"Can I ask you something personal?" Asked Mathew, hesitantly.

"Sure." Andreas shrugged.

"How was it? Living in the street?" Mathew fiddled with his thumbs looking at them, before looking at Andreas.

Seconds later Andreas still hadn't answered.


"I said you could ask, I said nothing about answering." Andreas grinned.

"You, asshole!" Mathew grinned.

"It's not easy, anyone who says otherwise are either lying or they can't face what they've had to do. It was rough and it was…bad but it also had good moments of freedom, of doing what I wanted when I wanted, be it food, travel or…you know girls and boys." Mathew heard every word coming from his mouth, his eyes changing from sadness to surprise to his eyes almost bulging out of their sockets.

"Boys and girls!" He let out before he could stop himself.

"Well yeah. Too…uhh young to limit myself." Andreas continued grinning while Mathew blushed a light pink.

"And uhm…when you grow up?"

Andreas knew the question was coming, and so his face betrayed not what he really felt.

"I think women, but for now…you guys are far too cute to resist." Mathew yelped feeling Andreas' hand giving him a playful yet hard slap on his buttocks.

They continued talking as they walked back home. Entering the flat they first heard then saw Artemis snogging on the living room couch with her boyfriend, his hands on her thighs, her hands on his cheeks.

"Eeewwww!!" Mathew giggled, not really grossed out.

"Fuck off twerp." Artemis fired back, smiling as well.

"We'll be in my room." Mathew told her running off.

"You can't have been all that grossed out, considering…stuff." Andreas nodded to Mathew's crotch and his obvious erection. Mathew's blush was a very dark crimson this time.

"I…sorta have started liking girls…I think but Artemis is like an older sister to me…sooo…" He shrugged. "I sure would love to have an older brother though."

Andreas could not hide his sorrow now, his face darkened with it he took a seat at the bed's edge.

"Oh, I'm sorry, did I say something?" Mathew sat next to him looking concerned.

"No…you said nothing bad." He paused for a second. "We will see what the future holds, yes?" Mathew smiled nodding.

"If you only knew…" Andreas thought. Then he felt it again, the peculiar sensation. Someone had gone by outside on the street or stood there, Andreas could not get to the window now.

"I'm going in for a shower, wanna join me? Better than showering alone." Andreas grinned impishly.

"Sure…if you're not shy…?"

"Are you asking me if I'm shy when I've asked you first to join me or are you trying to let go of your shyness?" Andreas winked at him and getting him by the hand he led them to the bathroom.

"So, where were we?" They were, two days later walking back from school to Triton's place.

"I think end of the medieval ages so…" Triton readjusted his bag and started telling Triton everything, all throughout their walk, lunch and for a few hours later.

"So, let me get this straight! You stole the heart of one of the Byzantine Emperor's daughter's , you…sexed her up and you didn't try to become…well emperor? And that story about the time you escaped from the Seljuk prison camp…precious. I guess Venetians were brutal merchants, weren't they? And oh my god I don't think I'd like to have lived in the 400s AD…although stealing that sword from that Visigoth General is soooo funny." Triton fired away his barrage.

Andreas chuckled. "I think though, one of the most important dates in history coincides with one of mine."

"Which one?"

"Twenty ninth of May 1453…the Fall of the Eastern Roman Empire, the Fall of the City, Constantine's jewel of a City and the day I met Constantine, not the creator of the City but the guy who you knew as George, best friend I've ever had. Even Ingrid, born in the mid-700s fell in love with him but to me…perhaps a second father even if I never told him." Triton hugged him as for the first time Andreas dissolved into tears.

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