Summary: "He stared right at me and in a moment that occurred faster than any human could ever see, his eyes flashed a bright gold fire that started at the pupil an extended outwards." – The Sons are not the only supernatural beings in Boston. Set 8 years after the movie.
A/N: I wrote this on a whim, as most of my stories are written … I hope to finish this. It may take a little time, and watching the movie a few times, but I am excited to finally have the guts to post this.
The dark clouds rolled into Boston during the night. They hung ominously in the sky, holding onto the rain as long as possible. People donned raincoats and shouldered umbrellas in anxious anticipation. Every so often a pedestrian would look up suddenly, expecting the cold water to fall to the earth and break the perfectly serene evening. After briefly pausing to check the weather's status, those ever-so-cautious holiday shoppers continued on their destination. It was December and a little too warm for snow, so the soggy alternative was of course rain. That thought was always enough to dampen the Christmas spirit … though not mine, since I had none.
Late evening fell as I walked briskly through the streets of my current home: Boston. I loved this city, almost more than any other place I had every lived – Rome, Madrid and New York City to name three. This was my city, with all of its imperfections, secrets and lies. I loved this city. I smiled at that thought as I pulled open wide the door to my favorite coffee shop. I did not drink coffee or the like, but I enjoyed the seclusion from the rest of the city, and it always proved to be entertaining people watching. Those who did know of this place rarely told others because it was a safe haven – our safe haven.
The place was a little hole in the wall near Boston Common, down a side street where only a bicycle would fit. The road seemed to narrow the further down you walked, as if the bricks were attempting to reach out and touch your arm. There was a large wooden door to the building and a picturesque bay window that had "Ole Irish Coffee Shop" in a Gaelic-looking font scrawled across its front. Inside, though the width could not have been more than thirty feet, the shop was very deep. Upon entering you are instantly hit with the sweet aroma of coffee, cream and warm baked goods. It is as if the steam rising from the cups pulls beckons you, urging you to take a step out of your chaotic life. There are a few tables in the front, some by the window, and along the left wall was where Mark and his wife Erin work their magic. Erin is usually in the back baking the delicious pastries that sit in the tiny display windows that rest comfortably on crowded counters. The menu selection is very standard and not vast, definitely never-changing. It is dimly lit with little wooden tables and chairs, and a few booths along the right wall covered in deep, forest green seats. Framed pictures of Ireland, and old Irish sayings adorn the walls. I love it.
"Good evening Lilly," the owner, Mark McFadden, a kind Irish man said in his thick accent, giving away his original roots immediately. He had a kind old face. Not that he was old, maybe 60, but years of hard work, waking up at 4:30am to serve people at 5:15am and not closing his doors until 10:30pm had created many creases across his pale freckled skin. His light brown, wispy hair lay across a balding scalp, but his bright blue eyes were always alert. He was very perceptive, which I had to be careful of sometimes, especially when I came in with burdens on my shoulders. After going to this coffee shop at least five times a week for the past four years, he knew me pretty well … correction: he knew when something was wrong, and knew the façade that I always played up for him.
"Good evening Mark," I replied in my soprano voice, which still held traces of my city of origin, London. It trilled unnaturally through the air, which usually caught people off-guard at first. But Mark was used to my voice by this point. As I walked by him, I smiled my closed mouth smile and retreated to my usual corner. It was a solo table for two where I occupied one seat, and gave up waiting for someone to fill the other. It was tucked in the far back corner, almost hidden in shadow, as if the light was afraid to reach the dark recesses of the coffee shop.
"Try some coffee?" Mark was cleaning white porcelain cups for those that decided to stay in and enjoy their warm beverages. His bony hands, calloused from years of burns and cuts, gingerly held the fragile dishes and white dish rag. He asked me the same question every time I walked into the place, and I always responded with the same honest smile.
"It's not my cup of tea," I grinned at my own pun, and he too chuckled at the joke. After four years I never ordered a single thing from Mark, but he never took it personally. He had told me once that the purpose of opening his shop was for people to find a place to feel comfortable and if they wanted a cup of joe to help lift their spirits, then by all means they were welcome. But the main reason he stayed in business was to offer a place for people to hide and retreat from their world – sadly most of the people that walked through Mark's door were escaping from a broken life.
I always had the … gift, so to say, to sense other people's emotions. I could tell when someone was upset, or if someone was angry. I usually felt an overwhelming wave of sadness and remorse when I went to Mark's, strangely this did not keep me away. Rather, it drew me to this place. After living such a broken life myself, I found the shattered hearts and pain a comfort. The only days it was too hard to handle were when I too had burdens that weighed down my thoughts, and then the empathy link I had with every person present was overwhelming. The only way to squelch the agony was to leave – on those days, the days when I left after only sitting for a half hour, Mark knew I was not emotionally right.
I pushed my dark, layered brown hair behind my ears. The layers began at my jaw line and continued to the middle of my back, most of the hair cascading around my face when I leaned forward to pull a journal out of my black, leather messenger bag. I rifled through the bag, which contained keys to my apartment and car, a very small snack in case I got an insatiable thirst while out (luckily this had never been used), several leather-bound books from my personal library, and of course my journal and pen. I used to bring an ink well and write with an old-fashioned pen, but it got too messy and I liked to scribble on the parchment paper until Mark had to close so there was no time to let the ink dry.
For ten minutes I stared off into space, just thinking of my day's activities and the ones that awaited me that evening. There was not much variation from day to day, even on the weekends, which I labored unconditionally. I worked nights at a very well-to-do private pharmaceutical company called MediCorps owned by Dr. Neil Garwin. I was on the skeleton crew shift with about three other people that were unfortunate enough to get the short end of the stick. I chose to take the night position, but sometimes even my positive attitude was not enough to bring even a smile to those three poor people. Two were PhD candidates doing research for Harvard University, and the other one was a lab technician hired by Dr. Garwin as a favor for an old friend.
After work, which lasted from 11pm to 5:30am, I went home to my one bedroom apartment and ate. I usually ate a lot because there was no time to even sneak a snack from 8pm (my usual arrival time at Mark's coffee shop) to the time I returned from work. Day was like poison to me, it affected me too badly and I stayed inside. If it was absolutely necessary I would leave during the day, but extended exposure to the sun was not healthy for me – it destroyed my skin.
As it was already 8:15 where I sat, there in Mark's safe haven from the world, I tapped the pen lightly against my chin and pondered what to write about this evening. Four years ago I had started writing my memoirs. They were extensive, and at first I tried to write them in order, but the dates and the details blurred together so I began a new technique of just writing whatever I could remember at the time, attempting to put a correct date and location with it. My mind refused to focus that evening. The door opened, hitting the bell that hung over the doorframe and made my green eyes dart up.
All life ceased to exist as He walked in. The rush of air that blew through the door brought the sweetest smell to my nose. It was a mix of citrus and honey. It was so sweet, yet bitter, but in a good way. It made my mouth water and all thoughts vanish from my mind. I nearly dropped my pen, but my reflexes were fast enough to catch it. He had never walked through that door before. I examined this new patron's face, mannerisms, and most importantly his emotions. He was tall, dark, and extremely handsome, but my attention was not focused on his face, rather his intense, complicated emotions. He was spurting a mixture of anger and sadness. There was something inside of him that was aching and longing, for what I did not know, but it was important. Whatever he hurt from, it used to be his … lifeline. My eyes filled with remorse as I witnessed one of the saddest people that had ever walked into Mark's shop – and Mark had no idea, not even as the stranger's dark, deep voice solemnly asked for a medium cup of regular coffee with only milk.
Upon hearing his voice my eyes finally darted to his face and this time the pen did fall, as well as the journal. The stranger turned in my direction. We locked eyes. It was impossible to not turn away and refuse to see the man that stood before me. But he stared back with indifference, and no sign of recognition. He turned back as Mark asked for $2.75. Forgetting where I was, and how public the coffee shop could be, I picked up both pen and journal in one lithe motion and was standing next to the stranger in less than a second. I double-checked to make sure no one was gaping at how fast I had moved, but no one seemed to notice that I was standing literally three inches from this man.
Words caught in my throat as I attempted to call his name, but I failed. It was his smell – the intoxicating, addicting scent. All I could do was wait for him to turn and collide with me. Of course that did not work, he put a sleeve on the cup so as not to burn his hands, and just shuffled to his left to leave the shop without ever knowing I was behind him. As the distance between us increased, I contemplated letting him walk out of my life. There was no guarantee this would be our last meeting, but neither was it for certain that our paths would ever cross again. The fear of living the rest of my life with another regret put a pain in my heart that was impossible to escape. This was when I willed my voice to action.
"Douglas?" I asked softly, of course it was barely a whisper so only someone sitting a few inches from me would be able to hear it. "Douglas. Douglas!" My voice rang out as I chased after the stranger, putting a hand on his warm, shoulder as he went to pull open the door.
All attention was on me. I could feel all the emotions in the room immediately turn to curiosity – even his. He had never heard a voice like mine, I knew, and he looked at me with a wrinkled brow. I was sure he pondered what I could possibly want of him. I stared up at the face of my ex-husband. Had he really survived that horrid night? It was a long time ago, so to not have any contact with him in that span of time was strange, but then again – thinking back on the events that unfolded that evening – it was not completely out of the question either.
"Douglas?" I called my ex-lover's name as tenderly as I had said it the first time we had kissed.
He paused, obviously taking him my appearance, my voice, and my demeanor. Was I worth looking at? What was he thinking? Finally he spoke.
"No," he kept his voice level and shook his head, still grim, but with more tone than when he had spoken to Mark. There was no hint of recognition in his voice, but he looked as if a veil had been lifted from his eyes and he was seeing the small coffee shop for the first time. But his dark gaze rested back on me as he continued. "I'm Caleb. I think you have the wrong guy."
"Caleb …" I repeated, my eyes again filling with remorse as my lower lip trembled. I could feel the pit in my stomach becoming even deeper and the hole in my chest becoming wider. "I'm sorry … I … I was mistaken. Pardon my intrusion." I let my hand fall from his shoulder and entwined my arms across my chest. Cold was not something I usually felt, but a shiver went down my spine. I stared up at his dark brown eyes, and I could tell, without using my empathy link, that there was something horribly wrong with this Caleb and that we would meet again.
Obviously picking up on the fact that I was done speaking, Caleb opened his mouth. He cleared his throat first. "Hm, I'm, um, sorry I wasn't who you were looking for. Can I help you?"
It was half-hearted, but the polite and noble thing to say and do. It was something Douglas would have said if he were alive and in the same situation. For a moment the entire world stopped and I could only stare at Caleb's perfect face. My insides felt alive suddenly, and my heart began to beat just a little more strongly. I was instantly in love. Caleb still stared at me with a curious expression, not annoyed or disturbed by my silence … just curious. I simply shook my head in response to his question and turned to retreat to my corner of the coffee shop.