Hi! So so sorry that it took a year to post a new chapter of this story. And for those of your reading, thanks for hanging in there. I tried to make this longer to make up...sort of...for the ridiculous delay.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own the Covenant. But I do own my OC's and my plot.
Pogue Parry looked up towards the door. He idly wondered if it was Kate returning to the room because she forgot something. It was like her to knock because she was too lazy to get out he key. Slowly, he moved to the door, his mind on other things. He probably would've been drinking a beer if it wasn't so early in the day. There was something about being in New York, with Leah and her son, that charged him with some king of high but confused him as well. Shaking his head, he pulled open the door.
The blonde sidled in, hands in his coat pockets. His light eyes were shadowed, his usually proud head bowed. Pogue didn't even know what to assume; it was rare to see Reid so serious without a stronger emotion attached like a bill rider.
"Sit down," Reid ordered.
Pogue couldn't do anything but close the door. Nothing good ever followed those two words. He turned to his friend, meeting the younger man's eyes as they rose.
"I'll stand," Pogue said tersely. "Just spit it out."
Reid didn't answer; instead he just shrugged off his heavy coat and pulled a manila envelope out of the interior pocket. He handed it to Pogue before sitting down in a chair.
"I shouldn't be the one telling you this," he said bluntly. "But open the damn packet anyway."
Pogue cautiously picked up the envelope, the thing feeling heavy in his hands. He had no clue what he was going to find, but it sure as hell wasn't going to be good enough news to throw a party.
Opening the top, he pulled the first piece of paper out. It looked official, but he couldn't tell what it was yet.
"Where'd this come from?"
Reid was looking down again.
"You'll know when you read it."
Nervous, Pogue looked down at the paper in his hands. His eyes flicked back and forth over the words, growing wider as they neared the end of the text.
"Holy shit," he mumbled.
Reid just nodded, picking with his coat sleeves.
"Holy shit," Pogue said again. He pulled the rest of the documents out, reading them hungrily.
"HOLY SHIT!" he screamed. Reid looked up at the outburst.
"I told you I wasn't the one who should have told you."
"I have a son!" Pogue screamed. He was clutching the papers in his hand so tightly he was crinkling them beyond repair. "She lied to me! She fucking lied to me!" Throwing the papers on the table in front of him, he ran his hands over his hair. So quickly Reid wasn't even sure it happened, Pogue walked over to the wall and punched it with so much power it crumbled at the impact. "How long have you known?" Pogue grounded out at Reid.
Reid fixed the wall before he answered.
"Only since last night. I overheard her talking to Oliver."
Pogue was filled with so many emotions he felt like he was burning alive. He was angry as hell, he felt like crying (though he would never admit it), but he also felt like giving a sigh of relief. As irate and upset as he was, at least he knew what was going on. He kicked at the ground in frustration. But the fact that he hadn't known earlier, about six years earlier, was the part that made him livid.
"How could she?" he raged at Reid. "Why the hell wouldn't she tell me? And what about the Covenant?! Holy hell, Reid. He's going to have the power! I needed to know this! I needed to know he was my son!"
Reid looked up.
"She was scared of you."
Pogue's head whipped around.
"She was scared of you man. For some reason she thinks you're going to mess things up."
Pogue growled, throwing his hands up.
"This is great," he bit out sarcastically. "This is just great. She doesn't even know about the Covenant and she's freaked out. So what happens when I tell her the great news that me and our son are warlocks who could die early from a power OD?"
Reid shrugged, though he was feeling anything but complacent. He was reining in his anger, because he had matured enough to know it wasn't going to help the situation. There was already enough raging fury in the room to burn down the place.
"You have to talk to her."
The other man nodded.
"Yeah," Pogue said. "Well I'm going to do more than that."
Without another word, he grabbed the papers off the table and stalked into the bedroom, slamming the door behind him.
Reid got up silently and put his coat back on. From Pogue's attitude, things were going to get ugly. And the blonde couldn't fault his friend for that. But he figured he should head over to see Leah, even if to do nothing more than resolve his own issues with her. Or to give her a heads up. She was going to need it.
"Reid, where are we going?"
Upset or not, Leah was not okay with being dragged around. Reid was gripping her hand so tightly it hurt, and was pulling her along so forcefully at his quick pace that she felt she was going to fall.
"To an empty room. Caleb found a rehearsal space or something." Reid's eyes were narrowed and alight with a mix of worry and anger. He couldn't help noting that it was a prominent emotional theme for his day.
"How do you know that?" she questioned, looking around at the doors whizzing by before looking at the back of his head. "How do you even know where you're going?"
"I just do."
Upon reaching the end of the hallway, he threw open the door to a room Leah was almost sure stayed locked. He pulled her in behind him before shutting the door with a loud bang. As soon as he turned from the door, she did as well. Leah barely had time to turn around before Pogue was in her face.
"How could you do this to me?!" he spat. Full of anger and incredulity, his muscular figure loomed over hers. His posture was threatening and confrontational.
"Pogue," Tyler started. The way Pogue was glaring made the younger boy fear a fight would break out.
Squashing the slight terror she felt, Leah leaned defensively into Pogue. There was no way she was going to let him bully her.
"Do what?" she scoffed. "Have a kid? Mess up your perfect life with Kate?" She eyed him with disdain. "So sorry."
The next words out of her ex's mouth were practically a roar.
"Don't even try that shit! You know exactly what I'm talking about. You had my kid and didn't tell me!" he pointed accusingly at her. " No, screw that! You lied to me about it!"
Pogue interrupted. "If you make up some excuse, so help me god I will---"
"You'll what?" Leah said scathingly. "There's absolutely nothing you can do to me anymore, Parry. I'm not your girlfriend."
He crossed his arms slowly as his mouth set in a firm line.
"I can fight for custody."
Leah blanched and her body lost a little strength. Her voice still managed to have venom, however, when she spoke.
"You wouldn't dare."
"I would. And with all the old money and influence that comes with my name, I'd win."
Tyler shifted uneasily and ran a hand over his head.
"Pogue. C'mon man. Stop."
Pogue didn't even acknowledge that his brother had spoken. He just watched Leah as she lost what little color she had. Pogue knew she was playing over the scenario in her mind. Although he felt bad for affecting her so much, it wasn't enough to apologize.
After swallowing the lump in her throat, Leah looked determinedly at Pogue.
"I had my reasons. Wrong or not, I had my reasons for not telling you."
Pogue shook his head angrily, chuckling humorlessly. This was just like her, making shitty decisions that impacted everybody else. Just like when she left all those years ago.
"There's no good reason for not telling me," he said coldly. "You were selfish. That's it."
Reid clenched and unclenched his fingers. Pissed off with Pogue's obsessive bullying, he turned his ice eyes on his brother. Pogue wasn't even giving Leah a chance to explain.
"Of course, if you weren't off fucking Kate a month after the two of you broke up---"
"Shut up Reid." Pogue snapped.
The blonde pushed himself away from the door. As he moved closer, Pogue could tell the younger man was furious.
"Save it," Reid said coldly. "She already knows how 'broken up' you were."
Pogue's eyebrows raised in shock before lowering in anger at Reid. What the hell? Wasn't Reid on his side?
"You told her? You bas--"
"Yeah, well. Someone had to be a ma---"
"Stop." Caleb's deep voice commanded.
The bickering men abruptly closed their mouths. Leah was surprised at how authoritative Caleb's tone was and how obedient the other Sons were. It was as if Caleb were pulling rank.
Caleb sighed. He was tired of dealing with adults that acted like children. Running a hand over his face, he let out a breath.
"Screaming is not going to help. Leah has things to say as do we." He nodded at Leah in acknowledgement. "Go."
Now that Pogue wasn't yelling at her, and it seemed he wasn't in charge, Leah regained some of her posture. Cocking a hip and crossing her arms she started.
"The day after I left, I moved into my first apartment in New York. I remember I was so excited to be on my own. I had already met some people from the theatre, like Oliver. He was working as a stagehand, believe it or not. Oliver and some of the staff threw me a welcome party. There were a lot of people there. So many in fact that no one noticed me run off to the bathroom to throw up my lunch. Well, Oliver noticed. He made me lie down and everything. I didn't even suspect pregnancy was why I was sick. I wasn't throwing up in the morning, after all. Then, the next morning when I woke up, I threw up again and Oliver dragged me to the doctor. Dr. Matheson kindly informed me that I was pregnant. After which, I promptly ran out the office, hailed a cab, and locked myself in my apartment 'till I figured out what to do."
"And at no point did you think that telling me was the right thing to do?" Pogue asked testily.
"I did, actually. Somewhere between the millionth 'holy crap, I'm preggers' and the nausea of morning sickness, I decided you should know a human being with half your DNA was going to be in existence in nine months."
"No need to be a smart ass."
"Then let me tell my damn story, Parry."
"Thanks for being such a girl about it. Anyway, it took me about a month to get everything together----a break, my travel arrangements, my sanity----and then I came back home. I went to Spenser and realized that I had no idea where you were. So I loitered around until I ran into Reid."
Caleb raised his eyebrows.
"You saw Reid?" Leah nodded slowly after taking in Caleb's expression. Caleb turned to Reid. " And you didn't mention this years ago for what reason?"
Reid shrugged. "She asked me not to. And I listened."
Leah gave Reid a grateful smile before continuing.
"He didn't know I was pregnant. We talked, but I left that detail out."
"Stupidly..." Reid mumbled.
Leah rolled her eyes. "I didn't want to tell you prior to telling Pogue. I thought you were going to find out that day anyway. But as you know, things turned out differently and I didn't tell Pogue."
Pogue sighed in irritation.
"If you were there, why didn't you tell me?"
Reid cut his eyes towards Pogue.
"Because we stumbled across you violently making out with Kate on the soccer field, that's why."
Pogue's eyes widened; he had no clue what to say to that. When he looked at Leah, he found that her gaze was determinedly focused to the side, avoiding his. Of all the things he expected, it wasn't Reid's admission. Pogue knew he couldn't even imagine how Leah must have felt back then. She had been pregnant and alone, and then she had to watch the father of her unborn child swap spit with her best friend. Pogue felt like scum. And even though he and Leah weren't together then and weren't together now, he felt like he had betrayed her.
Feeling the guilt rise off of Pogue in waves, Leah turned and looked at him. His hazel eyes were trained on the ground, like he was wishing it would swallow him whole. His hands were clenched in fists and Leah knew that if he could, he would've punched something. That was what he did when he was angry, and he felt the worst kind of anger: anger at himself. Leah had the urge to walk over and put a reassuring arm around him, but she pushed it away. What would she say anyway? The fact was, he had been locking lips with Kate pretty much right after she left. And he had, although inadvertently, broken her heart. Leah had no comforting words to tell him that weren't a lie. So, her anger exhausted, she just picked up the story where Reid left off, deciding to get it all over with.
"When I saw you and Kate, I just…couldn't face you," Leah said. "Things were already dramatic enough. I was so upset with you; I felt like crying and beating the shit out of you at the same time. But in that moment of looking at you and Kate, I thought, 'He's obviously happy without me. He moved on. He doesn't need me to mess that up with a pregnancy.' So I left, and I told Reid to keep my visit a secret. I didn't want you knocking on my door in New York demanding answers."
Pogue's eyes met hers for the first time since her admission. All he saw in her gaze was the guarded resolve that came with accepting the unpleasant events of the past. He needed to tell her something, but he wasn't sure how to say it. How his voice should sound. Should he sound persuading? Imploring? Defensive? Sad? He didn't know. But he had to tell her.
"I still loved you," he admitted. He said it matter-of-factly, deciding to just sound honest. "I won't deny that I liked Kate, but I still loved you. And I would've supported you and the baby fully."
Leah just nodded, swallowing hard.
"I think a part of me knew that. But I was distressed enough to forget and just run away." She looked down at her shoes and took a deep breath. This was the hard part. "I'm sorry for doing that. I'm sorry for keeping you in the dark regarding James. But once I started keeping you out of it, it just became easier as the days passed. And before I knew it, years had gone by and you still didn't know. So I'm sorry. I shouldn't have acted so brashly, regardless of what I caught you doing."
Now it was Pogue's turn to nod. Unclenching his fists, he spoke.
"Thanks. I'm sorry too."
Leah shifted her weight. His voice was soft, like it got when he was trying to make sure somebody knew he was sincere. She had heard that voice many times when they were teenagers, and it had always sent chills down her spine. However, she was highly uncomfortable with his voice evoking the same reaction at the present time. She mentally shook off the feeling.
Silence now reigned in the room, no one quite sure what to say. Leah felt emotionally tapped, having relived one of the more upsetting parts of her past. But she was also nervous about what came next. She knew Reid hadn't forgotten about her…issue, but wasn't sure how he was going to bring it up. And how was she going to explain it? It was beyond frightening, beyond weird. How was she going to tell them that she woke up sometimes not knowing what had happened in the previous hours but feeling violated all the same? There was no way to gently tell people such a thing.
Pogue felt apprehensive for a lot of reasons. He now knew for sure that he was a father. Of course he had pretty much known when he read the birth certificate, but after talking with Leah it had sunk in. Now he wondered if James really liked him, how things were going to go from here as far as his role as a father. He knew Leah had found her dream job in New York, and it would be stupid to ask her to give it all up and move to Ipswich. So, was he going to move to New York? He wanted to be in James' life as much as possible. He had to teach him things, like how to whistle (he had never seen why this was a parent activity, but apparently it was a father-son thing), how to ride a bike, how to swim the breaststroke for a competitive team, how to…Pogue stopped suddenly in his thought. There was one thing he was going to have to teach James about: The Covenant. Which meant telling Leah about it. And he had absolutely no clue how.
Reid's mind was going a mile a minute, processing everything. He knew most of it already, but still. It was heavy shit. And then there was that thing with Leah and that son of a bitch that was following her…Reid's blood was boiling as he thought about it. That fucker had to be stopped, and that was only going to happen if the rest of the guys knew about it. And being him, he decided to screw subtlety.
"Leah has a stalker."
Four heads snapped in his direction.
"Reid! How could you just blurt---" Leah began, only she was interrupted by Tyler.
"You know too?"
Now four heads swiveled towards Tyler.
"How the hell did you know?" Reid asked, bewildered.
Tyler looked at Leah before looking at Reid.
"On my way into the theatre I found an envelope with all these pictures inside. They were...umm..." He looked at Leah uncomfortably.
"They were what, Tyler?" Caleb asked. His voice wasn't irate, but there was definite anger detectable. Tyler knew it wasn't directed at him, but he hastened to answer nonetheless.
" They were the kind of pictures where the subject was unaware. Leah and James were never looking at the camera. And these pictures were taken everywhere, even private places."
Pogue's eyes flashed and his hands bunched into fists.
"What kind of private places?" Unlike Caleb, he didn't bother to mask his anger when he spoke. It cracked through the air like a whip.
Tyler shifted his gaze to Pogue, taking in the man's expression and knowing it was only going to get worse.
"Places like her dressing room," he began. He took a deep breath before uttering the rest. "And her bedroom, and her shower."
"WHAT?!" Pogue screamed. His voice was so loud and so angry that Leah had to instinctively take a step back. The Sons, however, stayed where they were. They were just as upset as Pogue. "Who is this son of a bitch?"
Reid sighed in frustration, running a hand over his blonde hair. "Some bastard named Liem. He's been terrorizing her for a while now. Tell them, Leah."
All eyes were turned on her. A little unnerved by all the raw anger in the room and uncomfortable with relaying her chilling tale, she took a few deep breaths before recounting the events and detailing everything she had told Reid. When she was done, her hands were shaking in fright.
"I didn't know about the pictures," she admitted, "but it makes sense." She was trying to sound strong and put together. Despite her fear, she couldn't fall apart. She had someone else to take care of. Someone she needed to be strong for. " Liem terrifies me. I never know when I'll suddenly black out and wake up not knowing what I've been doing. But the worst part is that I can't protect James from him." A tear ran down Leah's cheek. She defiantly brushed it away and focused her gaze towards the ceiling in an effort to stop. " I mean, I told you what happened to James with his arm. I don't want that to happen again, but I have no clue how to prevent it."
Caleb looked at Pogue, nodding slightly. It was time to tell all. Pogue, picking up the hint, took a deep breath.
" We can help," he said to Leah, voice strong.
" How?" Leah questioned.
" You remember the old stories about Ipswich? The one's about witchcraft and stuff?"
"Yeah," Leah said a little apprehensively, "And?"
Pogue made sure he was looking Leah right in the eyes. There was no going back now.
"They're all true."
Leah stared at Pogue for a few seconds before breathing deeply.
"All of them?"
Pogue nodded, looking cautious. He expected the realization to hit and the volcano to blow at any moment.
"All of them."
" Oh. Hm."
The Sons looked like they were standing on pins. Leah's "hm" was a little shriller than the normal register of her voice.
" 'Hm' what?" Reid asked.
" I just…I mean…shit…" Leah trailed off.
" Is that a bad 'shit?' Or a good---"
" I can't believe you're telling me this."
" Leah," Pogue tried to explain.
She took an unnaturally deep breath. "But scarily enough, I believe you. I believe what you're saying."
All of the boys stared incredulously at her. She hadn't even asked them to levitate something yet.
"It explains a lot, actually." Leah confessed. "Like why I thought your eyes were black, Pogue, the night we broke up."
"What? What are you talking about?"
"When we were arguing, I thought for a second your eyes were black. But when I blinked they were normal again. Why were your eyes black? A spell? "
Reid practically choked on his own saliva at her suggestion.
"We're not cauldron-and-broomsticks witches," he explained. "Our eyes turn black when we Use."
Leah quirked a brow. "Use? You make it sound like a drug addiction."
The men suddenly looked away from her, solemn and hesitant to share the darker side of the secret. After a moment, Caleb inaudibly sighed and took on the task of telling her.
" It is, in a way," he responded. "The more we use, the more we age. We don't get a full dose of ours powers until we turn eighteen; we call it Ascending. If we use our powers too much, we could die prematurely."
Leah's eyes flickered away from them, her eyes meeting the floor. Saddened, her shoulders slumped under the weight of the news.
" Is that all?" she inquired quietly. "Or is there more? It…it seems like your magic is more of a gift than a curse."
"There's more," Pogue said seriously. "More that involves you."
Leah looked up at him then, nervous and curious. Just how many layers were there to the Sons' secret?
"What do you mean?"
"The way the Power passes between the Sons of Ipswich is very specific. It hasn't changed in hundreds of years."
"So how does it pass?"
Pogue's lips thinned briefly as he summoned the strength to tell her the news. He had come to accept the inevitability of his bloodline, had become complacent of lay in his offspring's future. He had, after all, known nothing different. But it changed now as he looked at Leah's face. He knew that he would no longer think of the passing of the Power as simple fact; it would now carry a certain worry, a certain fear, that both his child and the mother of said child would not be able to handle the stresses of the Power. Pogue felt dread wash over him as he thought of Caleb's father and mother. Would James turn out to be as addicted? Would Leah eventually drown in the grief brought about by the consequences of the Power?
Mentally shaking himself, Pogue pushed his negative thoughts to the back of his mind. He had an obligation to Leah to tell her what would one day happen to their son.
" The Power passes to the first born son of each of the families. When he turns thirteen, he can tap into the magic."
Leah's eyes widened as she digested Pogue's words. The words' meaning ebbed into her understanding like spider's webs. She turned away from him, breathing deeply to compose herself. She prayed the Sons would give her a moment of silence, or respite from the revealing of the long-held secrets of everyone present.
It was all so clear to her now. The surreptitious nature in which the boys did things, the weird hierarchy of their friendship, the burden they all seemed to bear. She understood the distance there always seemed to be between her and them, the distance she realized they constructed to keep her out of the complicated nature of their heritage. But she wasn't kept out of it now. Her son was fated to exhibit the same magic, and that terrified her. Not because it would make him different, but because it would put his life at risk. He'd face the same possibility of addiction that plagued the other Sons. Leah shuddered; would she outlive her Son? The image of her attending his funeral invaded her mind, the picture of his twenty-year old body being buried in the ground looking like the corpse of an old man.
Leah closed her eyes to think, her mind quickly running over everything that she knew. The Sons possessed magical qualities that could eventually kill them. Not only that, but her son would one day face the same. Now that she had logically brought it forth in her mind, it could be evaluated.
To start off, the men in the room with her were her dearest friends and she therefore knew them with startling accuracy. She knew that though they could seem aloof, they were capable of doing what needed to be done when it was time to be serious. The matter of their Powers, being a life or death situation, was very serious, and she noted that her assessment of their character must be correct: none of them looked a day over their actual ages. They were keeping tight control over their Use. They were safe. Moving on to James…
It was unsettling that he would carry such a burden. However, the more she thought about it, the more Leah realized that the situation was not as horrid as it could be. James was an extremely bright child who would most likely grow up having the same level of intelligence and sense. Upon gaining his powers, he would take what he knew of them and use them wisely. He was a curious child, to be sure, but not a stupid one. It would only take once, if ever, of him experiencing the darker side of his Power to keep him from Using in excess. James, Leah realized, would be relatively safe. If Reid made it this far, James would.
"Okay," Leah said, turning around to face her friends. "I'm okay now."
Pogue searched her face quickly and desperately for truth.
Leah looked directly at him, determined. "Yeah. Things are what they are, and I know that when things get to a frightening point, we'll deal with it. That goes for everything…the situation with Liem included."
The men bristled at the mention of the man who was haunting their friend. Leah could feel their urge to say and do something about the issue, but cut them off at the pass.
"My stalker problem is a discussion for another day; I have to get back to rehearsal. We've probably been in here for longer than my allotted break time. I'll meet you guys backstage when I'm done?"
They all nodded their assent and the group collectively moved towards the door. Pogue, running a hand through his hair, hung back. He waited till his brothers left to gently grasp Leah's arm. When she looked questioningly at him, he quietly asked the question that'd been in his mind for a while.
"What are we going to do about James?"
Leah took a deep breath before smiling a tiny grin at him.
"He's our son, Pogue. He needs both of us in his life. And I'm prepared to make adjustments so that can happen."
" You are?"
" Yes. And although there are things we're both going to have to sacrifice in order to make this work, that's okay." She drifted off for a second, eyes growing misty and distant before she looked at him again. "I'm glad you're the father of my child Pogue. And though we've made a rocky go of it so far, I think we'll be great parents…together."
"Yeah," Pogue intoned, gazing into her eyes with a small smile. "Together."