“Mr. Gray thank you for having us over.” Madelyn’s legs were crossed as she tried to hold herself in a manner of sophistication. Apollo could see right through the poor girl whose legs were shaking.
“Of course Madelyn, the pleasure is all mine. You know I’ll always have time for you. Clarence, good to see you again.” Apollo leaned over and shook the boy’s hand. “What brings you guys here?”
“Well, uhm..” She bit her lip and looked to Clarence who rubbed her hand soothingly. “Clarence and I are getting married and it’d be amazing if you and your family came. Your brother I mean.” She held her hand over her mouth, realizing Apollo was living in that large house by himself. She had felt really bad for him, but he was always so kind to her. “I know that I used to date Alistair, but I hope it isn’t awkward. I’d really like you to come.”
“I appreciate the invitation. I’ll try my best to come and I’ll see if Ambrose, Tayla and the kids are available to make their way over as well.” Apollo smiled at the two. There had been an empty feeling growing in his stomach as he watched them interact with eachother. Madelyn was happy. It had only been four years since his son had broken up with her, but she had found someone that she was willing to spend the rest of her life with. He wondered what his son was doing right now? He hadn’t heard from him in years. He should have known that Alistair wouldn’t have returned home so quickly. It was always a project when it involved the guardians. He hadn’t realized the involuntary sigh he made until he noticed Madelyn shift in her seat and turn away from him.
“How is Alistair doing, Mr. Gray? I haven’t talked to him since he left. It would be wonderful if he came to our wedding as well.”
“I’d love to meet the guy,” Clarence said.
“Alistair is finding himself. When he’s ready, he’ll come back and I’m more than positive that he’ll be happy for you two.” He looked at Madelyn. “I know that you’re afraid that he hasn’t moved on from you, but he did let you know that he would be gone for awhile. If he wasn’t prepared for something like this, he wouldn’t have told you to move on. Alistair is perfectly fine right now, and when he hears about your engagement he’ll be ecstatic.”
“I just feel so bad-” Madelyn began but Clarence stopped her.
“She has a heart of gold,” He said.
“I know,” Apollo agreed. “That’s why you shouldn’t feel bad. You wouldn’t do anything that didn’t make you happy. And all Alistair ever wanted was for you to be happy.”
She nodded profusely. “Thank you, Mr. Gray. Thank you so much.”
Apollo nodded his acknowledgement. A knock on the door startled everyone. “Wonder who that could be? Could you guys excuse me for a moment?”
“Are you Mr. Apollo Gray?” Apollo hadn’t recognized the pink haired male at all, but he was no stranger to random guests showing up at his house. After all, that was how he reconnected with Ethan, met his daughter Pandora and met the man who would take his only remaining child away from him. Standing there dazed for a moment, Apollo didn’t speak until Declan waved his hand in front of his face. “My name is Declan Gage, I’m a friend of Alistair’s, from Moonlight Falls.”
Apollo was taken aback. “What’s happened to my son?”
Noticing his sudden appearance, Declan held his hands up in front of him. “No! Nothing happened to him. This isn’t that kind of visit. He’s perfectly okay. I mean, some things have happened but he’s healthy and-”
“You realize that you need to tell me exactly what those things are that happened to my son, right?” Apollo looked at him expectantly. “He is the onlyperson I have left and if something happens to him, I’d be devastated. So, I need you to not play games with me. Now, who exactly are you in relation to my son?”
“He was staying in my house when he first arrived in Moonlight Falls,” Declan began. “I’m a mage just like him. He’s been training under his grandfather, Lucas Nair along with me, my sister and our best friend Miles. Except now, what started as some simple training has took a turn for the worse because of Damian and his daughter Aria.”
Apollo’s hands flew up to his head. “Damian is always screwing things up for everyone, I expected that much, but he has a daughter?”
“Mhmm.” Declan nodded. “There’s so much for me to explain to you, do you have time to talk?” Declan motioned to the female figuring now approaching the two.
“Oh yes, just give me a moment. I always have time to talk about my children.”
“Mr. Gray, we really should be going. I’m really sorry for us to show to your place so late, but we’re really happy to have your blessing.” Declan watched the girl who smiled sweetly, followed by a softer looking gentleman.
“Thank you for coming Madelyn. I’m more than happy to show up to your wedding if you’ll have me. It’d be my absolute pleasure. You’ve grown up into such a wonderful young woman, your parents must be really proud.” Apollo extended his hand but rather than taking it she pulled him into a hug.
“Thank you Mr. Gray, for everything.”
Before she could leave the house, Declan instinctively blocked the door. “Madelyn?” He asked aloud, watching the stunning woman in front of him.
“Oh, um hi…I’m sorry. I don’t quite recognize you…” Apollo shot Declan a look but the pink haired male just shrugged in response.
“You don’t know me, but I’ve heard of you. Alistair talks a lot about you. Guess he didn’t really expect you to be marrying someone else. The way he talked about you made it seem like you two were the only couple in the world. But, I guess he doesn’t mean as much to you as you mean to him.” Declan’s voice was clam, but laced with vicious intent. He couldn’t have Alistair because Alistair was so wrapped up in this girl who had so obviously moved on from him! It angered him to n end that this girl, had Alistair’s heart in the palm of her hand and instead of cherishing it, like he would have, tossed it aside for some other, scrawny looking chump. What did that little guy have compared to Alistair?
“Excuse me?” The man stepped forward instinctively and blocked his fiance. “I don’t know who you are but don;t ever talk to my fiance like that!”
Ignoring him, Madelyn broke past him. “So, you’re telling me that Alistair still has feelings for me? After all this time?” Pulling her arms over her chest she shook her head fiercely. “It’s been four years with NO contact. He can’t expect me to rekindle something we had as teenagers. I know I’m young and getting married now, but honestly I don’t see myself in any other position. I wish I had the opportunity to break the news to him my self, but unfortunately, he’s nowhere to be found. So, if you see Alistair let him know that I still care deeply about him and I still want him to be in my life when he comes back, but I’m in love with Clarence, and always will be.”
“We’ll be going now.” Clarence shot Declan another glare before leaving the Gray household.
“You have so much explaining to do. I don’t appreciate you coming into my house and being rude to my guests,” Apollo said, annoyance clearly written across his features.
“I’m sorry sir. Alistair is a bit of a sensitive topic for me,” Declan mumbled. “I…uh, really care about your son. I want whats best for him, and I guess I got a little angry seeing that girl with someone else when Alistair speaks so highly of her.”
Apollo sighed. “My son has always loved Madelyn, she’s been the one constant thing in his life. The normal girl that he could turn to and block out the crap being hurled at him in his regular life. Alistair has never had it easy. My late husband and I raised him as best as we could, but it didn’t stop him from feeling like he never belonged to begin with. My son, felt like he didn’t belong in his own life, and it killed me to see him struggle so hard in magic lessons and to see him trying to hide everything that could make him seem different. Madelyn was the one who allowed him to be human because she hadn’t known otherwise. When he was with her, he could be someone else.”
“I had no idea…” Declan rubbed his temple. “I knew…that he didn’t feel like he belonged in Moonlight Falls, but I thought it was because he wasn’t used to our world and the supernaturals in it. But, I had no idea that he felt like a stary in his own home as well.”
“He was happy when he was with his father. Ethan and Alistair were like two peas in a pod. No one understood each other better than they did. I hadn’t even realized, for so damn long, that my own husband felt like a stranger in his own home.” Apollo looked seriously at Declan. “He hadn’t physically given up his powers, but he had refrained from using them for so long and hid who he really was, all for my sake. Then, Alistair came along and Ethan was so happy, but I was dreading raising him because I knew that he was different and I couldn’t do anything about it. I couldn’t help him adjust, I couldn’t do anything to make him feel comfortable and normal. I hadn’t even known that my ignorance caused such a rift in the household…” Apollo hadn’t realized he was ranting. It was something he had been doing recently when he brought up his family. He felt so utterly alone, and he blamed himself entirely for the total destruction of his family. He needed to talk about it, to somehow repent for something he felt was on his shoulders.
“Sir, with all due respect. You sound crazy.” Declan cracked a small smile. “You couldn’t have done anything more than you’ve done.”
“I appreciate it, but you don’t know that.”
“Actually I do know that. Alistair holds you in the highest regard. He loved Ethan, and you can tell by the way he speaks about him, but you…you’ve left just as big of a mark on his life. You’re his rock, he speaks about you like you’re some kind of saint. Like you’ve been holding the world on your shoulders for so long. I’ve actually been excited to meet you because of how highly Alistair speaks of you.”
Apollo laughed. “Come on in Declan. Take a seat. Flattery will get you no where, but it’s nice to hear.”
“Flattery?” Declan fake gasped. “It’s nothing of the sort, sir. I’ve seen too much in my lifetime to fluff the truth. The last time I lied, I hurt someone important to me. I don’t want to ever make anyone feel like that again.”
Apollo was impressed by the man’s maturity and wondered just how well he knew Alistair. A strong male in his life would be a good thing to keep his son stable and on the right track. “How old are you?” He mused.
“Me?” Declan paused for a moment, almost forgetting the time distortion. “I should be 25 now.”
“Should?” Apollo raised his brow.
“Because of the time distortions, which I should probably explain.” Declan looked up at him. “You know that Alistair was made in the future, right? They used a new kind of procedure called gene splicing. The only thing is, what is usually a surefire procedure, turned into something a little more drastic. There’s a chemical that is used in the future that doesn’t exist here, it can’t exist in your time period, and yet it was used to create Alistair. That chemical would have killed your child if he was taken back to your time. They needed something to stabilize him, so they used a vampire’s genes. His name was Altiere and his magic was implanted into Alistair. It reacted with Ethan’s genes and created an almost normal human being. He was able to live normally for so long, until the time distortions started. The reason that Alistair feels like he doesn’t belong, is because he doesn’t. He’s meant to be in the future, not the past.”
Apollo listened intently. “How do you know all of this?”
“Lucas has been training me to be the keeper of magic in Moonlight Falls. He knows quite a lot.”
Apollo nodded. “What are time distortions? And why did they use a vampire’s genes? I don’t understand.”
“A vampire’s genes were implanted by the guardians. It was their intention from the beginning, to make sure that the Gray lineage extended to include vampires. I don’t know why. When things get really stressful for Alistair, his brain will activate a defense mechanism. It will reach into Altiere’s powers and speed up time. Three years have passed that Alistair can’t remember because of it, and now he has two daughters, from Damian’s daughter.”
“This doesn’t surprise me at all,” Apollo sighed. “The same thing happened to me, except it was Mason’s doing. He sped up time four years and I couldn’t remember a minute of it, but when I came to I found out I had triplets. It wasn’t easy, but Ethan accepted it. Alistair needs to find someone who will help him through it. If he comes back, I’d be more than willing to meet my granddaughters.”
Declan bit his lip. “Unfortunately, it isn’t going to be so clear cut.” He paused trying to think of a way to break the news to Apollo. “That’s kind of why I’m here. We’ve found your other children, but there’s a problem. You won’t be happy to hear this, but they’re in imaginationland, and the only way they could have gotten there was with the help of an imaginary friend.”
“Damnit!” Apollo cursed. “Even Scarlett and Night? After I practically raised him like my son, he’d take my daughter away from me?”
“I don’t know the details sir, I just know that Alistair can’t get there with his own imaginary friend to rescue them. His imaginary friend was brought to life by Cora Lyons, and because of that, their bond was severed. The only way to get there is to have someone who can open the portal and allow both themselves and Alistiar to enter Imaginationland. There’s only one person who can do that. It’s Ethan.”
Apollo raised his brow. “You realize that he’s dead, right? And Cora? She’s still around ruining people’s lives?”
Declan nodded. “Unfortunately, Cora is powerful and no one can really pinpoint how or why. But, she’s working with Aria and so it’s impossible that she’d help us willingly, and even then…it wouldn’t get Alistair to imaginationland, and thats who needs to go.” He rubbed the bac of his neck nervously. “I’m here to resurrect your husband so that he and your son can save your other children. Then, when they’re back safe and sound, Alistair’s mental state will go back to normal and the time distortions will be able to be tames.”
“What are the drawbacks?” Apollo asked. “I know that something this big doesn’t leave you unharmed, and what happens to Ethan?”
“I also have Altiere’s magic inside of me. I defeated him and stole his remaining power. Normally a resurrection spell kills the caster, but because of Altiere’s magic, I’d survive and only lose my magic. Ethan would be completely intact but would die after a few days. I can’t keep someone alive that long, not at my current power level.”
Apollo was silent for a moment before speaking. “What exactly is your relationship to my son?”
“I love him, sir,” Declan answered honestly. “But, I’m sure that he’s straight. It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t return my feelings. I just need to make him happy. I want him to be able to live a normal life with his daughters. He deserves so much, but the guardians, Damian, Altiere…everyone is just throwing things in his face. It isn’t fair for someone so amazing to be under so much pressure.” Declan blushed, realizing he just confessed his feelings for Alistair to his dad. “Forget I said anything. I just want to help, but I guess it’s up to you whether or not I bring Ethan to life.”
“How did Alistair feel about this?” Apollo asked. “About you coming here?”
“He didn’t want me to give up my magic.” Declan crossed his arms over his chest. “But I don’t care. It’s just some magic.”
“What else aren’t you telling me?” Apollo pressed.
“Alistair can’t come home if I give up my magic. Lucas is losing his power and he needs someone to take over his position as the guardian of the mages. It was supposed to be me, but I’m the only one who can bring Ethan to life. Therefore, Alistair has to be the one to step up and lead the witches in destroying Damian’s rule. He’s the only one capable of doing it.”
It was a lot for Apollo to take in. How would you react if you found out that the only child you had left needed to stay in Moonlight Falls for the rest of his life? Apollo would never meet his grandchildren. He’d have his other children back, but who knew what they were like now? Would their sanity still be in tact? “This is Alistairs old room, please stay here for the night. It’s really late, I can’t have you sleeping on the street.”
“Thank you sir, for your kindness.” Declan nodded in acknowledgement.
“But…before you go to sleep, I just have a few more questions for you, if you don’t mind answering them,” Apollo said.
“Of course,” Declan answered. “Alistair is your son, I’ll answer anything you want.”
“Does he not want you to go through with this because he doesn’t want the responsibility of being in charge, or is it something else?” Apollo knew that Alistair would jump at the chance to see his father again, and there was more than Declan was leading him to believe. Declan must have been extremely important to him, for Alistair to think so responsibly. Apollo hadn’t seen his son in a while, but he knew how important family was to him, that much would never change. If he didn’t know better, he’d say that maybe, just maybe, Alistair returned Declan’s feelings.
“He told me that he can’t do it because he couldn’t do it on his own. That, he needed help with the kids and that he couldn’t step up and lead everyone,” Declan responded.
“And because he doesn’t want you to give up your magic,” Apollo concluded. “I’m not an idiot, I was in Moonlight Falls before. The only difference is that I’m human, and I know how horrible Damian is to normal people. If you give up your magic, you can’t stay in Moonlight Falls. Alistair doesn’t want to lose you.”
“He doesn’t want to feel guilty for taking away what he thinks defines me,” Declan clarified.
“No,” Apollo said. “That’s not true, and we both know it. Alistair cares more about you than you know. But, I need you to listen to me, resurrecting Ethan is the worst thing you can possibly do right now. You bring him back to life, and never return to Moonlight Falls. You’ll never see Alistair again. I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but he won’t come back for you. If he has children and he feels like he needs to stay to protect them, he won’t leave. And if he feels like people are relying on him, he’s going to stay. If you do this, you won’t ever see my son again, and it might be the biggest mistake of your life.”
“I appreciate the sentiment, Mr. Gray but I’ve thought long and hard about this. I care about Alistair and I want to do this for him.”
“What if we bring my imaginary friend to life,” Apollo began. “I wasn’t so close to it, but I had a doll. If I brought it to life with one of Ethan’s old potions, I could go to Imaginationland in Alistair’s place.”
“We can’t do that. I won’t send a human to Imaginationland, you’d be trapped like your kids. Alistair has to be the one to go because of his magic,” Declan said.
“No!” Declan nearly yelled. “I know how much it means to Alistair to see his dad again. Mr. Gray, my dad died when I was a child. He was my absolute everything. He taught me how to do all kinds of spells and he promised me that he’d take me to see so many different places. He promised me, that when I was older, he’d take me to see the infamous weather stone. A witch would be able to change the weather with a simple spell. He told me that there was one in every world and town, and I know it’s stupid to be holding on to a stupid legend like that, but…” He pushed his hair from his face before continuing. “I just wish I could see my dad again one more time. Alistair, he doesn’t feel like he’s gotten closure. He wants to eliminate Damian, whether he admits it or not, because he killed your husband. I want him to speak to his father one last time. He needs that more than anything. Saving his siblings is a bonus.”
Apollo smiled sadly. “The weather stone is real.”
“It is?” Declan asked, eyes wide. “How do you know?”
“I’ve seen it. That’s where Ethan and I had our first kiss.” Apollo smiled fondly. “You’ll get to see it one day. Whether you have magic or not to activate it. Declan, you seem like a fine young gentleman, and I really want you to think about this before you do it. No matter what, even if you don’t go through with this, Alistair will still be there for you. If you stay in Moonlight Falls with him and no magic, it’d be extremely dangerous. Please think of all of the consequences, because at the end of the day, you’ll be the one losing the most. Don’t let Alistair decide something for your life. I wish Ethan told me that, because then I wouldn’t have held his magic back so much.”
“I bet you that he didn’t feel that way,” Declan smiled sadly. “When he decided to live here with you, it was because he loved you. He wanted you to be happy, and when you love someone so much, your happiness doesn’t seem to matter. You forget about whats important to you, because when that other person smiles, it seems like its all worth it.”
“Maybe it is,” Apollo agreed. “I just wish that I could have given up more for him. I wish that he didn’t have to be the one to sacrifice everything.”
“Unfortunately, the world isn’t fair,” Declan said. “But it doesn’t matter to me. I’m happy being able to feel like a person again. I haven’t felt so alive in a long time. My feelings have been on the backburner since my dad died and my mother abandoned me. Alistair has returned that spark to my life, so even if I can only enjoy it for a little while, it’s all worth it to me.”
I LOVE this ship. I’m so glad that you guys feel the same way and voted for Declan! If you were wondering, Declan got 53 votes and Madelyn and Pepper tied at 11 votes. I hope they have cute little pink haired babies 😉 Thanks for voting, reading and commenting!