A/N: Don't kill me with his name. He was name-less. It was getting SO ANNOYING. And slightly confusing. So I wanted to give him a name that the somewhat illiterate townspeople would come up with, especially since some of them had some not so nice opinions of him. So i took the Spanish word for light and added an "O" at the end. DEAL WITH IT. :D
Reviews are so appreciated it's not even funny. Seriously people. I love your reviews. They keep the chapters coming. Every day I check my email, and if I have a new review, I say "Ah, I should write that one more!" and when there isn't one I say "Well...no one cares anyway. I'll do that later.....maybe tomorrow...or the next day...or w/e."
Disclaimer: Not mine. Never was. Never will be. Not even in another dimension. If that's how you spell it.
They took to calling him Luzo. His light skin, hair, and eyes led to no other word for him if he refused to name himself. Even his slight frame agreed. The more learned of the town decided upon it. The gossip about this man, this Luzo, flew through the wind like tiny spores of a weed into all of the garden's in the small Spanish city, polluting the households and crowding the town's center. It was told he was a man from another land, a man where all the light skinned came. Others held fast to the idea that he was a fairy, come from another world, claiming no foreigner could know such Spanish and not remember their past. Certainly Spanish was his first language. Saying this led others to believe that his mother had dropped him in a vat of milk as a very young baby, and he had taken his bath in milk so much that the darkness of his skin, hair, and eyes had seeped from him, leaving him the pale wreck he now was. Stranger still was the tale that this man was a monster, come to ruin them all. Yet the monster Lito was the most popular story among the commoners. Aristocrats, choosing not to believe such silly ghost stories, decided the story of milk made most sense. If one spent enough time bathing in milk, would not one lighten? Fewer still believed the man was a God, come to save them from illness and famine.
These rumors reached the ears of the household within which he resided, but none were fazed. Nina allowed rumors to roll off her shoulders like rain in the fields, knowing that no town gossip could be too credible. At the death of her parents, they had speculated the pair had been murdered in their sleep by little Carlos in jealousy of Maria, or worse yet Maria herself. Other rumors had circulated claiming that her parents had not died at all, simply left so that they would not have so many mouths to feed, none to feed but their own. Those that liked her parents, and knew and respected them, thought that these were silly. The rumors they believed said her parents had died mysteriously, as if from a spell, and without warning. After all, they had not seemed sick, only two days before. None of these were true, and so Nina learned early not to listen to the people of the town, not to let them bother her. Lito did seem a fitting name though, and so he became Luzo, even to them. He did not mind it, and it was easier than calling him Pale Man, which was a bit of a mouthful.
It had been long enough, though, since he had been a resident on their small farm, for the rumors to die down from the crashing waves of a storming sea to the lapping ones of a calm beach, roars of a lion into the whispers of the breeze. They continued circulating, but he stopped receiving obvious stares and harsh whispers whenever he stepped a foot beyond the door. At least two weeks since Ernesto's storm had passed, and Luzo was healing nicely. He helped Nina and her siblings in the fields regularly, and helped raise the younger ones. Carlos even had begun to accept him, becoming less wary. He was no longer simply another mouth to feed, which helped coax the eldest boy of the family to like him better. He often helped stop the endless bickering between his younger siblings, which also improved his opinion. For once in Carlos's life, his house could be peaceful, if not quiet.
Nothing was ever quiet with little Maria running about, gleefully giggling at the slightest of provocation. Dun rooms were lightened by her presence, her boisterous energy and bubbling imagination. All were affected by it, no matter who came to visit. The second they laid eyes on the child, a new life sprang to their eyes, a younger, more hopeful expression that lasted only the few seconds they looked upon her. When she wasn't laughing wildly, she was spinning fantastic stories of journey's to other worlds, and the punishment of those that took more than they ought. Obviously her sister hadn't entirely kept her siblings in the dark about the evils of the aristocrats. No one knew where her energy came from, where she was storing it all. With so little food, surely she should get tired a bit easier? Luzo wondered what she would be like if there was plenty to eat, and she could receive all the meat and fruit in all of Spain. He laughed at the thought of the young girl running in circles and doing all sorts of complicated acrobatics.
The twins were finding that the less they bickered, the far less tired they would have to be. They were coming to like each other a bit more, even. Fernando tried his best not to pick on his sister, and she in turn tried to be nicer to him, now that Luzo had them under his strange, strikingly blue, watchful eyes. Their harmony at first disconcerted Nina. She was worried they had grown ill, or something terrible had happened that they would not speak of. In the end, she realized the truth; having Lito around made raising the children and making sure they had enough to eat a little more bearable. Before, she had been only one. The twins didn't respect Carlos as an elder, he'd been too young when their parents died, he'd been their playmate, just as dependant as they. Nina was the only disciplinary figure in the household, and she had to attend to keeping them alive as well, not just keeping them from bickering. So, the two had grown into a discord, not realizing what a beautiful dissonance could be created from their seemingly opposite personalities. Now, kept at bay from torturing one another, they could be left on their own, and get along. More or less, that is. The occasional spat, however, ended with both sets of wide, young eyes staring into the eerily light ones of the tall man they now grew accustomed to seeing every day, begging for forgiveness in mere expression. He had talked to both of them, and had tried to explain the hardships they put upon their eldest sister when they fought so. They understood. And now that they understood, regret and remorse covered their faces whenever they were caught raising their voices to one another.
Carlos was strong-willed, and though unused to having an older man in his household for such a length of time, willed himself to like this new stranger. He could neither ignore nor deny the odd look his sister got on her face when he drew near, and the utter need his family had for his presence. So he tried his best not to be perturbed by the slight, white figure and piercing blue eyes. He had small conversations with Luzo, and usually they ended in laughter and sly comment. They worked well in the field together, and Carlos was finding it far less irritating to have him around when the meals grew a bit larger, though he was angry that his sister found the extra food for her siblings and still went days without eating herself. The resentment was not of Luzo, though, whom he heard scolding her for her neglect of her own needs. The two chided her as much as opportunity allowed. They did not want the twins or Maria knowing what Nina was doing. Especially when there was now so much peace within the house, which Carlos had missed more than meals since his parents passing. Even in poverty and hunger, the family was prospering.
Still, Luzo was troubled. A growing hunger had enveloped him. There was so much he wanted that was just out of reach. Firstly, a nice piece of meat. For unexplainable reasons, he experienced these cravings often, and longingly looked upon the few livestock Nina had been able to keep, wishing he could take them for himself, then hurriedly changing the subject in his mind. These thoughts scared him. These cravings, he did not understand. Sometimes, Luzo believed the rumors that swirled about his home, believed that he was indeed a monster come to ruin them all. This hunger could not be assuaged, but it could be ignored. For now. But for how long? Such a thought always rang through his mind.
Secondly, there was Nina. Quickly he fell for the beautiful young girl who had become his savior and his friend. Such a girl should be married by now, surely. But with the situation as it was, it had been impossible. She refused to marry the one man who offered, a young aristocrat who offered his condolences for her loss and asked for her hand in marriage in the same breath. Distraught, she had not thought of future prospects or possibilities. She had not thought of what comfort this might have brought to her family, she thought only of how vulgar this man was, and how insulting it would be to accept such an offer when mourning the dead. So she had refused, and the next day the young man had been accepted by another from her village, another wealthy aristocrat. They matched each other. Ugly, corpulent beings as they were. Nina had shared this story upon his inquiry with a bitter smile and a caustic laugh. Where would they all be now, she wondered, if she had taken the grubby hand of such a man? Then, her eyes ablaze, she had smiled sweetly at him, and, to his perception, coyly, and said, "I'd much rather have waited for a lighter man." She'd then turned quickly and almost giddily run towards the fields. At this Luzo had paled, and then blushed, wondering wildly if she had been trying to be funny, or if she really meant it. He had run after her, laughing, a trail of children following him. Carlos had shook his head and smiled, walking at his own pace and watching with amusement. Luzo would have very much loved to propose to Nina. In fact, propriety dictated it. He lived with her in her house, yet they were unmarried. Yet, he was unsure. The strange suspicions, his overwhelming longing, these things terrorized his mind, and made him wonder how long he would be able to resist. How could he ask Nina to marry him, knowing these things? So he waited.
On this particular morning, Nina moved slowly around the house, eyes lifeless and glossy. She yawned, holding up her hand to her mouth absent-mindedly, other hand busy cleaning around the house. Exhaustion was plain on her face, her mouth laying limp, her limbs sluggish. To Luzo's dissatisfied eye, she looked like the walking dead. He walked to her and put a hand to her chin, watching her eyes jolt in shock. He smiled sadly, saying "Nina, please. Sit a minute. Sleep a bit. Surely you slept a little last night? You don't look like you have. I'll clean. Go." What began as a request had slowly morphed into an order, a command that she get rest. She shook her head, opening her eyes a bit wider.
"I'm fine, Luzo. I'll be awake once I've had a bit of water," she said, forcing her mouth into a weak smile.
His reply was swift and loud with finality, "Have a bit of food, at least. You'll need it, by the look of you. You're dead on your feet." At this, she defiantly raised her slack figure to a military posture, smiled as brightly as she could manage, and opened her eyes to an unnatural degree. She looked as if she'd just seen a ghost. Her transformation made Luzo laugh. Maria pranced into the room, giggling herself.
"My sister is so funny," she squealed, "that she makes the Pale Man laugh! Tell me, Daddy, is she funnier than me?" Maria had come to a stop just before Luzo, tugging on his clothes.
"No one is funnier than you, Maria," he answered with a flash of white teeth. She danced outside, off to play a fun game in her own imaginative world. With a last reproachful look at Nina, Luzo went to wake up the other children so that they could be ready for breakfast, and then right to work. It was a routine they had devised. Maria was usually awake before anyone came to get her, of course. She was always the first to wake, the last of the children to sleep, and the one with the most energy of any of them. No one really understood where she got all of it. She just always seemed to be moving, a constant stream of fluid motion and noise. And, as annoying as that sounded, she was a delight to all that saw her.
Carlos groaned at the light nudging and low words, and the twins yawned in near unison. Still, they were up, and Luzo went back to the kitchen, where Nina was fixing a light breakfast, none of which she would eat herself. Luzo would also skip this meal. He was the healthiest of them all now, and strong enough to skip a meal here or there. He could afford to lose more meals than Nina, though she would not admit it.
When breakfast began, the family sat at the table and ate in what could have been considered silence had Maria not been chattering away at speeds that far surpassed any normal conversation by a mile. They were all tired, and Maria's one-sided conversation was enough to keep them happy. The meal was small, and Nina and Luzo didn't even pretend that they had eaten. Neither had the energy. So, in the midst of a marvelous tale of fairies and monsters, Maria suddenly cried out, "Mommy, why aren't you eating anymore? Aren't you hungry?" This startled everyone at the table, and a hush fell over the entire party. Maria didn't seem to notice, staring up at Nina with large, questioning eyes and a wistful expression. Either she didn't notice, or she didn't care. There was silence for an uncomfortable twenty odd seconds, and then Carlos slammed his plate down on the table in front of Nina.
"You heard the girl!" he cried, livid. "Eat something!" His eyes were now blazing with the look Nina often got when speaking of the aristocrats. It was a look Carlos seldom ever held, one of passion and heat. Nina was even more shocked now, unable to form a coherent response. She came out of her daze like someone comes out of a deep sleep, slow and groggy. Eventually, she decided the best response would be anger. She stood from the table regally, held her head high, looked sternly at all of the children, glared for a moment at Carlos, and walked from the table like a slighted queen. Dumbfounded, the children all stared at me, looking for what to do. I motioned for them to continue eating, and all but Maria complied. She refused to eat another bite. Hot tears of frustration rose to her eyes, overflowing one at a time onto her face, creating little patterns of water down her cheeks, like winding rivers. She wouldn't speak, nor would she move from her tight position of crossed arms and legs in her chair. Luzo sighed and hugged her awkwardly, then left her to the care of her older siblings. He had to tend to Nina's temper.
Nina stood, spine erect, in the next room, face to the corner, shoulders square. Her head was held high, but as Luzo drew nearer he could see her shoulders shake. He put a pale, wary hand on her shoulder, then put the other hand on her other shoulder, holding her firmly, but far away. She grabbed his hand in hers, holding it in a vice grip, trying to get a hold on herself. Eventually her grip loosened, and she removed her hand, wiping her eyes hurriedly and taking a deep, shaking breath. Suddenly, she said, "Maria was crying."
"So were you," he pointed out. She turned, her eyes bloodshot, but confident and dry. Her reply was sharp and robotic.
"It doesn't matter. Maria is so little…"
Luzo grabbed her shoulders once more, shaking her slightly, "So are you, because you refuse to eat. You're skin and bone, even Maria can see it. Don't think you're fooling anyone, Nina. The twins don't say anything because they are afraid. Maria just did, because she doesn't understand. Carlos and I…we are concerned. We want you to be healthy." Her eyes moved downwards to stare at the floor at these words.
"They are more important," she answered bluntly, as if that solved all the problems. Confident in her resolve once more, she met his eyes again, this time with an even stronger air of stubbornness.
"And without you, where would they be?" he asked, trying desperately to make her see what she did for them. Her smile was sad and cynical. He grimaced at the expression.
"With you. You'd do fine with them, I know they would. You wouldn't abandon poor little Maria, would you?" This ended the conversation. He sighed loudly in frustration, but released her. She was right. If Nina was gone, Luzo would do whatever it took to keep the family together and safe. Regardless of the cost to himself. He could never abandon the motley assortment of children that sat in the kitchen, eating that meager morsel of a breakfast and comforting the youngest. What could he argue? He did not know at the time.
When he followed Nina back into the kitchen, Maria was chattering wildly again, Carlos was attacking what was left on his plate that he had meant for his sister viciously, and the twins were giggling at Maria's antics. Though Carlos's attitude was ruined, most likely for the rest of the day, everything would be alright. Maria was a resilient child, and not very easily upset. Her recovery was nearly instant, probably from the moment she saw her sister walk through the kitchen door. The twins were happy to pretend nothing was wrong. So, in essence, all was well for them. Lito smiled at their innocence. He wished for a moment to return to such a state, such a state as he never remembered being. His past was still a mystery to him.
Later, they went to the fields to work. He watched Nina intently, her supple, fragile muscles moving gracefully, glaring at him, the only meat on her gaunt body. Her eyes turned hazy as she worked, and a sort of dizzy smile appeared on her face, elated by her work with the land, bringing food to her siblings, providing for them as she would her own children. She enjoyed her work because it brought so much to others, though it merely took what little energy she had, and gave nothing back to her, as she would not eat the food, or at least not often. Selflessness, that was his Nina. Her caramel skin glistened with sweat. She smiled more brightly towards him while she realized he was staring. The pair was silent as they worked. They did not need to speak, they simply enjoyed themselves. For he too enjoyed this work, he wanted to help her, to help the prancing, giggling children that ran about the fields, playing as they worked. They shared happy glances and bright smiles, but never exchanged words. They both saw the love that threatened to shatter the lived of all in the family, the love that neither could deny, the love that he was afraid of, and that she desperately needed. It was seen, but never spoken. It was during these long hours that they felt truly like a married couple. There need be no pretense when the conversation is unspoken. They enjoyed each other's presence, laughed at Maria and the twins, looked proudly towards Carlos. He thought Nina was most beautiful when she worked. She gained a sort of connection to the earth itself, a part of the land. Her hair waved about in the wind, and fused with it. Her movements flowed with the movement of the dirt that swirled about and the swaying of the crops. And she could see that he thought so, he told her so with his eyes, gleaming with admiration. These long, arduous hours of true happiness lasted only until lunch, however, when they needed to speak. The spell broken, things were less intimate. Suddenly he was a house guest again.
It was after lunch, back out in the fields for just a bit longer before the children took some time to play and the trio of adults would care after other matters, that they came. The sun was lowering in the sky, and long, dark shadows were cast on the ground in the guise of demons, tall and distorted. The children danced about, making little puppets with their hands and laughing at their strange creations. Luzo and Nina were sharing their peaceful love in their silence. Carlos tried to help entertain the children, occasionally speaking to Nina and Luzo, though wishing to not interrupt. The dirt road shone in the waning light, and two figures came slowly from the distance. They walked without haste, and with much purpose. Their clothes, regrettably, were expensive and gaudy. Their dark skin was covered with jewels and ornaments, and their corpulence was apparent from a long way away. Obviously well fed and well dressed, to the small, broken family, this visit could mean anything. The whole of them stopped everything. Even Maria managed to keep herself quiet as the dreary pair somberly approached.
Once they were near, it was easier to distinguish their exact personage. The woman was bovine in structure, her eyes large and drooping, her hips the same width as her waist and bodice, her grubby fingers short. She wore an immense amount of jewelry, each gaudy piece glinting in the late afternoon sunlight, sending a shimmer of blinding sparkles in every direction. She wore a dress of a distasteful, bright purple that clung to her hips and spread wide in a hoop skirt. Her hair was done up in a complex design that resembled a bee's nest. She held her head high, her pompous nature showing through every pore on her large body. Her husband was equally large, perhaps more so, and his eyes were like a fish. His mouth stuck out slightly, perpetually in a frowning pout that made him seem like each moment of his life was filled with anger. Heavy brows rested over his beady fish eyes like furry caterpillars. He was equally well dressed, but did not have any jewels or jewelry save a single ruby on his simple gold band.
"We had to see for ourselves," the man said, without bothering to introduce either himself or what the family assumed to be his wife, "this…atrocity." The man stepped forward, standing a breaths width away from Luzo, staring up at his tall person. The man was short to begin with, and Luzo stood well above most men. "This Pale Man. What is this, Patricia, do you think? This abomination?"
Her voice was shrill and many octaves above what would have been the immediate assumption of her tone as she said, "Oh, of course darling. Abomination is just the word. They are calling him Luzo, are they not? Oh, how repulsive. Not proper at all for a lady of my stature." The family glared at the pair now, recovered fully from their initial awe and shock. Maria's stare was the coldest and hardest of all.
"Now, Patricia, has your poor weak heart had all it can take? I do not blame you. Such things are not meant to be looked at long. Come along dear." And without another word, the Baron and the Baroness left the family as if they had never visited. The silence hung about the land long after they had disappeared over the horizon. Luzo's hands shook. Nina's eyes burned. Carlos's teeth clenched. The twins held each other's shoulders, eyes glaring off in the distance. Maria's fists tightened. The tension rose for an immeasurable amount of time as they stood there, unmoving. The indignity of the situation had struck more than a few nerves of each of them. And their blatant discrimination against Luzo enraged them all. Not a word was spoken.
"Bastards…" Carlos muttered under his breath. Nina's head snapped to him. She lost it.
"Carlos! The children!" she hissed, unable to control herself.
"They've heard worse from you, Nina!"
"Do you think I'm proud of it? I stopped that a long time ago!"
"Well you shouldn't tell me not to say what you've said every day since our parents died!"
"Get inside, now, Carlos!"
"Telling me what to do, sister? I own you until you're married!" Once this was said, everything stopped, except the now audible wails of Maria. Carlos's eyes widened in regret and fear. In her rage she was visibly shaking. Maria ran to the house. No one stopped her. No one else moved or said anything. Luzo stood staring, unsure of whether to attempt to aid Carlos or calm Nina. The twins stared at their own feet, shifting uncomfortably. Carlos was frozen, rooted to the spot in which he stood, unable to move his hands from the awkward position next to his chest that he held them.
To everyone's surprise, Nina's voice was calm. "Carlos, please go inside," she whispered politely. Carlos obeyed, racing to the door, releasing his frustration in the activity. Nina's eyes welled with tears for the second time that day. She asked the twins to follow Carlos, and they too hastily went inside. Nina stared at Luzo, angry and hurt. "I could kill him," she said, "and it kills me." Luzo went to her and drew her into a soft embrace. She did not sob, simply let tears fall from her eyes for a while. When she was ready, she swallowed a few times and drew away from his arms, drying her eyes as she walked back to the house, ready once again to face her siblings.
The scene inside was similar to the one that had been taking place with Nina. Carlos held Maria close to him, soothing her in soft tones, while the twins hung close by, seemingly attached to each other. They all looked up at her as she entered, a weary look on her face, her eyes reddened and her smile weak. Bonita was first to smile back. Then Fernando. Maria's watery smile was the brightest of them all. Carlos looked away, ashamed. Bonita touched his shoulder, then went to hug her eldest sibling. Nina stroked her hair, murmuring her apologies. Fernando gave a brief hug, and Nina mussed his hair playfully. Maria bounced over to her for her own hug and personal apology. Carlos stayed behind, still unable to look his sister in the eye.
"Carlos…" Nina sadly chimed. Carlos nodded curtly in response. "Carlos, look at me." He turned his face, but kept his eyes fixed on her nose for a few seconds.
Then, looking her straight in the eye, he said clear as crystal "I'm sorry." She went to him then, sure he would not move to her, and embraced him tightly.
"You are forgiven, you silly little thing. And don't object, Mr. Man of the House, to being called little, for compared to Luzo you are but a small boy!" Laughter ensued, and Luzo placed Maria on his shoulders, and the mood lightened greatly. The Baron was never mentioned again, and neither was the outburst from Nina and Carlos. The family knew there was no need. All were forgiven, no more need for regret or anger. The Baron would not be returning to their home, not for a long time at least, and so there was no use dwelling on that either. So the family restored peace once more, forgetting the fat pigs in their pretty houses, forgetting the fat pigs in the yard, forgetting the tears and the arguments. There was no need for such things when life was so wonderful.
So at dinner time, the mood was light as Luzo's pale skin and blue eyes. Maria chattered, Luzo and Carlos chatted, and the twins played with Nina. All would have been well, had Nina eaten more than a mouthful of food. Why was she still starving herself, Luzo wondered, when they were finally gaining enough crop to keep for the entire family, including Nina? Why did she sacrifice when there was no need? It was unclear. He stopped asking. She never gave a clear answer, never really knew why. It was almost a reflex for her now. She felt guilty for taking more than she absolutely needed to survive. Not what she needed to be healthy. Just enough to keep herself moving. So she nothing at all most meals, and very little on the seldom that she did eat. Luzo wondered how long she had tempted fate in this manner. He wondered how should could still work.
Still, the light mood carried over to the evening, and Maria almost refused to go to sleep at the end of the day. There was much laughing from everyone, Carlos's eyes smiled even when his lips did not, enjoying the beautiful, warm evening in a way he had not imagined ever being able to do, with the burdon of his family on him and his older sister. Maria made a point of paying close attention to Carlos. She stuck by him all night, determined to keep the smile in his eyes. It was her opinion that Carlos needed laughter the most. Without it, he was cold. She wanted him to be the warm, happy brother he had been. The one she missed. And when she saw him coming back, she held fast. The twins kept trying to steal her away, but Luzo and Nina kept their attention well enough. Carlos was happy. Maria was happy. Everyone in the family was, oddly enough. Their day was too horrible to be in bad spirits.
Finally, they managed to calm everyone down. Carlos was first to bed, as usual, yawning and stretching, then giving Nina and Luzo a pointed look as he left the room. The twins were soon to follow, ghosts of their laughter etched on their tired features. Maria skipped off to bed, after much coaxing. Leaving Luzo and Nina alone, as was the routine. This was the other time that they could be together in the way they wanted. No children around, no Carlos, no one but themselves and each other. A certain calm swept over the house as the others crept slowly into sleep. The dark made it difficult to see, once the lights were off, but Luzo's pale skin shone in the residual light. Nina smiled faintly in the shadows. Luzo smiled back. They were happy, and, now that they could admit it, alone in the dark, in love. Luzo moved closer to her, sitting close to her, but apart. Their fingers barely touched. Yet they felt an intimacy that could not be reached through open affection. Their love was secret, even from themselves. It was an easily realized dream, but the consequences were fearful. Would the children accept it? Would Carlos? What would become of them if they married? Would the townsfolk wish to kill him for marrying someone so normal? They thought he was a demon. If they thought Nina was too, they might want to take Maria and the twins away. Maria would be resentful. Bonita would not understand. Fernando would fight back. It was a scene they wished to avoid at all costs. Carlos would them for it. So they shared this and this only. Never any more
And their respite was short lived. Maria lifted her hand and smiled weakly once more. A shaking hand grasped Luzo's shoulder. Startled, he grabbed it, trying to steady it. She pulled away, saying she was simply tired. He stared after her retreating figure as it walked into the bedroom, eyes wide. She was shaking. Shaking. And still she denied anything was wrong. She couldn't go on like this. He had to do something about it. He sat for a long time, hearing the even breaths of his family, knowing they were fast asleep. Carlos snored loudly, but they were very heavy sleepers. Even jittery little Maria could sleep through very loud noises, unless it was a storm.
Suddenly he was overcome by both of his impulsive hungers. He wanted Nina, and he wanted a feast of meat. He was dizzy, he felt sick. His breaths were short and ragged, drinking in the air to steady his stomach. It didn't help. He got up, and stumbled forward, turning to the door, his dizziness worsening, his stomach clenching. His eyes were seeing red, and his minds' eye was seeing Nina. He panicked and race to the door, exiting the house and finally falling to the ground, hands out in front of him, eyes shut tight. As sudden as it had come, it stopped. Luzo sat on the ground, panting, hands over his face. Tremors ripped through his body. He felt immeasurably weak. He imagined idly that Nina must feel similarly all the time. Still shaking, and still a bit nauseous, Luzo went back inside. He lay down, tried to sleep, and hoped the nausea would leave him. However, it did not for a long time, and he was unsettled by this occurrence. He had never felt that way before, nor did he want to repeat the experience. He didn't know what had brought it on, nor did he know how it had stopped. It was unpredictable, could come back at any time. He was helpless. If they were to see him? What would they think? Sleep did not come for a very long time. But sleep did come. Dreamless, restless sleep, that was interrupted every so often by a wave of nausea, until that, too, finally passed.
That was when he dreamt. A beautiful woman with sweet smelling hair held a beautiful baby girl. The child was paler than the mother, the complexion instead of light caramel more of a light tan. Still, the child was beautiful. She smiled at him, as did the mother, Nina. Suddenly Carlos was there, laughing and smiling. All were rejoicing in his baby girl, his and Nina's. An older, more womanly Maria danced playfully around the child. Bonita and Fernando cooed at her and congratulated the parents. It was the sweetest dream Luzo had had since he could remember. He took the baby in his arms, and kissed it on the nose. But when he brought the child to his face, a succulent scent tickled his nose. He went into a frenzy, and consumed the child. He wanted more, more, more. He took up Maria, then Bonita. Then he ate Fernando and Carlos. Nina stood screaming, and began to flee. But she was so thin, so weak. He caught her and ate her up, too. Then, he exploded into a thousand pieces. His flesh was torn, his bones broke, everything pulled apart in an agonizing process that made a loud boom.
He was startled into consciousness, cold sweat forming on his brow. He wondered if a demon could be a demon and not know it. He wondered if some rumors were true, and if someone who looked like an abomination could keep from being one. Lastly, he wondered what Nina would make for breakfast that morning.
A/N: There you have it, my longest chapter yet. We're about to get to some good stuff, people. Good stuff. So review if you want good stuff FASTER! Reviewing makes the world go round, and makes me neglect my homework to write fanfiction. So please review. I don't like homework.
If you were wondering at all why I write two author's notes, it's because I hope that if I write two, at least ONE OF THEM will be read. Maybe. It's probably a false hope. But hey, you know what, it's worth a shot.