In case you guys were wondering what Caleb was up to 😉
Caleb’s breath caught in his throat. He didn’t think he’d ever see those oddly shaped trees or the sandy terrain again. “What are we doing in Lunar Lakes?” Caleb sat down beside Mason. After being with him for nearly a month, he was still at a loss for what made the man tick. This guy was his biological father, he couldn’t be more sure of that. Yet…he saw little of himself in the man, or what his mother would have saw in him. The weeks had dragged on, and Caleb felt like he was shadowing the guy. Except, Mason Moon didn’t do anything…interesting. His home wasn’t lavish. He didn’t have a time portal anywhere near where he was staying. Simply put, Caleb and he just stayed together, carrying out life as any normal human person would. It was confusing, and not what he was expecting at all. Where was the big evil lair and all the minions? It didn’t seem to exist.
“You want to understand me. You want to understand your past. You want to find something that makes sense.” Mason’s words broke him from his thoughts. It was weird, picturing the man who had caused so much pain in his family, as being his father.
“I never said any of that,” Caleb replied.
“You didn’t have to,” Mason murmured. “You came to me willingly, that’s all I needed to know about you. You’re like your mother, you know. She was always so ambitious. If she wanted to know something, she wouldn’t hesitate to go out and find the answer she was looking for. That’s why I don’t understand how she could get as far as finding out about her brother and father in Riverview and not taking the next step to find her own mother. She knew something wasn’t right. I know she did.” He frowned, realizing Caleb wasn’t aware of any of this. He was raised away from the influences of the future, and everything else that affected Athena. She piled it on Noah and shielded Caleb from it all. “You’re trying to understand how, with three lifetimes, there’s so much about yourself and your family that you don’t know. Well, this is where it all began. Take a look around you Caleb, you were born here. This is the house your mother and I raised you in, at least for a little.”
Was it that apparent on Caleb’s face, that for once, he wanted to be selfish? How was it that with two full lifetimes he never got to know his father? How was it, that this entire world-an entire branch of Grays existed that he would have never known about with his life as a Singer in Starlight Shores. Vampires, Mages…Who were the guardians? What did they want from his family? Who was Mason Moon? Who was the man his mother never spoke of? Surely, he couldn’t just be the menace he painted himself out to be. There had to be more substance. He wanted to know everything that was so conveniently left out of his narrative. “What happened?” Caleb found himself asking. “Why is it that I never knew you? What did you do to my mother that she ran to another man?”
“Close your eyes,” Mason instructed. “And focus on me for a moment.”
“Caleb,” Mason said. “Listen to me, and focus. I promise, if I wanted to hurt you, you’d already be dead by now.”
Caleb did as he said and took in a deep breath. is eyes fluttered closed and he tried to focus on the image of the man that he knew was in front of him.
Caleb felt his vision blurring, and when Mason instructed him to open his eyes, he was shocked to see a clear image of Mason and his mother, holding a child in their arms. “Mom?” He tried to speak, but his voice got caught in his throat. Seeing her, brought tears to his eyes. It had been so long since he had seen her. The reality he tried to push away, was standing right in front of him. His family, the one he knew at least, was gone forever. No Mom, no Levi, no Noah, Daisy and Kayden, no Elliot…
“It’s a vision.” He heard Mason say. “Just focus on it and watch.”
Caleb looked ahead at Mason…a different Mason, and watched him hold a baby tightly in his arms. “You’re leaving for work again?” Athena cooed. “Can’t you stay in a little longer? Or, come home earlier at least? Caleb and I miss you.”
“I’ll try,” Mason replied. He bounced the baby in his arms. “I hate leaving you guys. But I’ll be home in time to read Caleb to sleep.”
“Promise?” Athena asked.
“I promise,” He whispered, a smile gracing his lips. “I’ll be here for you and for Caleb, every day for the rest of our lives. You don’t have to worry about that, I’ll take care of us.”
“You’re a liar,” Caleb said angrily, as he saw his vision fading back to the present.
Mason stood up and approached the mirror. He was scratching his eye lid. Was that a tear that Caleb saw? “I didn’t lie. I tried to be there for you as best as I could.”
“No,” Caleb said. “You didn’t, because if you did, my mother would have told me about you. She never spoke about you, Mason. Not even a breath, or a thought in passing. Apparently she didn’t think you were worth mentioning.”
“Apparently not,” Mason muttered. “My love for you either of you means nothing now, does it? I spent years trying to get to you. Decades…a century and more…I tried everything I could to find you.”
“You found me,” Caleb said, “When you kidnapped my brother and brought him to the future. Are you going to try to justify that? I was there in Oasis Landing. You could have said something then.”
“I wanted to make Levi pay, for taking what I thought was mine. I hate him,” He replied. “I hate the man you call dad. He took everything from me. He has the Grays and the Moons, and left me with nothing. Not a wife, not a child to raise, not even any descendants with my blood and name. I know you cared about him, but when I looked at him, I saw a man stealing everything I had ever wanted and needed. He had my life.” Mason ran his fingers through his hair. “All I wanted was to destroy the world, in hopes of either destroying his happiness or getting someone…anyone back. If I played with the timelines enough, I thought…It doesn’t matter what I thought. I’m a time traveler, not a time keeper.”
Caleb felt anger and pity for the man. He could understand how he was feeling even if he hadn’t lived it himself. Watching how worked up Mason was getting, there was no doubt in Caleb’s mind that the man really did love his mother. That didn’t make up for anything that happened afterward, but he understood. “I’ve lost the love of my life, twice,” Caleb said. “Well, loves. I lost them both, twice. I didn’t take that out on anyone else.”
“That’s different,” Mason said. “What if Noah took Star from you? You married her, had a beautiful bundle of joy and then when you turn around, she’s with Noah and has a happy family that wants no part of you. Not her or your brother. Even though that child is your son and not his.”
“It wasn’t fair for my mother to keep me away from you,” Caleb agreed. He followed Mason out of the bedroom, which he could see was too much for the man to bear. “But she was smart, she did it for a reason. Whatever it was. And, you can’t pretend like your anger makes it okay to do what you did, and are still doing to my family. If you care so much, why didn’t you stop?”
“I don’t expect you to understand.” Mason sat down at the table and rubbed his temple. “What is it you think I’m doing to your family?” He asked.
“Trying to eliminate them,” Caleb answered. “You kidnapped Noah and tried to convince him that he was married to my imaginary friend that you brought to life. You changed my nephew’s timeline so that he was somehow married and had children and didn’t remember how it happened. You brought my wife’s brother here and tried to get him to take out Charlotte. Tell me that’s not what you’re trying to do.”
“I am,” Mason admitted, “destroying the Grays.”
“I am not okay with that answer,” Caleb said.
“You knew that was the case when you chose to come along with me,” Mason said sternly. “You knew that I was the man tearing your family apart.”
“I did know that. I want some kind of explanation that you don’t seem to want to give me. Why hurt the Grays? Is this some kind of petty revenge to Levi? Is it? Answer me!” Caleb shouted.
“You may have lived more lifetimes than any other Gray, but you missed a lot being in that other dimension. What do you want me to tell you? I can tell you what I told the others in your family. I can tell you what I told Alistair. In 5 generations, Lunar Lakes will be destroyed, which will lead to the downfall of Oasis Landing and eventually this dimension entirely. The Grays are the key to that happening, but you see, the ones interfering are the guardians, Damian, Altiere, Audric…when the Grays are being pulled in five different directions, you can hardly blame me for the suffering. Believe it or not, and I know you’ll lean towards the not side of things, that everything I have done is to counteract what someone else has done. To stabilize the mess that has been left because too many people want to play Watcher and dictate how the world should be.”
“Wait a second…” Caleb took a seat. “Damian, Altiere, Audric and you, all want to use my family to get what you want.”
“Yes,” Mason said. “Don’t forget the guardians. They’re the most annoying, they never disappear.”
“And you’re fine just admitting this?” Caleb asked.
“I won’t lie to you,” Mason said. “I wasted too much time for me to not be honest with you now.” He drummed his fingers on the wooden table.
“That vision you made me watch, you said that you promised to be here for me every day,” Caleb said. “Destroying my family doesn’t line up with that.”
“It does,” Mason said. “I’m doing what your mother would have wanted me to do.” The time traveler shut his eyes and waited for the onslaught he would be receiving from Caleb.
“This is not what my mom would have wanted!”
“I’m aware that the end does not justify the means, but when there is no other choice than to destroy what you love to reach a peaceful ending….” Mason looked at Caleb seriously. “Do you think I take joy in watching you suffer? My son? The man I watched for years? I kept tabs on you, even when you were in the other dimension. When you celebrated, I celebrated! Your mother would have wanted me to do anything I could to protect her family. I have to hurt you guys, to save you guys.”
For a second, Caleb got a flash of a smiling Mason lying on the couch. But, it was over in an instant. In the present, Mason stood up and approached Caleb. “Sierra caused this mess. She messed with the timelines and everything went to shit. I was upset, my parents died, I tried to go back and change that but Emit locked me out…I tried to make Levi pay….that was my bad too. I caused a lot of rifts trying to make things work out for me. I tried to fix her mess, and made a bigger one. It’s my fault that these outside forces have had the opportunity to step up and cause as much trouble as they have. But, I am trying to end it. That’s the only way to fix this whole thing, Audric will come to his senses soon enough. There is no saving this dimension. I am sorry that you have to suffer because of me, but as your father, I promise that I will protect you and I am doing the best that I can.”
Caleb took in a deep breath and allowed his father’s words to wash over him. Whoever Sierra was, caused a mess. His father tried to fix that mess, but was selfish in the process and made a bigger one. Somehow his family had gotten tangled up in that, and the holes that Mason created allowed for other forces to rise up in power. He claimed, he was trying to end the dimension so that it would reset and they’d start over. He claimed that there was no way the dimension they lived in now could be fixed. Did Caleb believe him? Yeah, he did. He believed that this Mason was the one he had seen cradling him in his vision, not the angry and jealous man who had been causing havoc within his family. But…if his words were correct….
“How much was your anger?” Caleb asked. “How much of my family had to suffer because my mom chose Levi over you?” And, when the time as right, he’d ask him about why his mother left him, again. But there was too much time the two had lost on to be caught up so quickly.
“Just up until Apollo,” Mason said. “Noah was to get back at Levi. But, after that I found out that the Gray line that stems from Levi has to cease to exist for the world to heal itself. I will tell you what I explained to Alistair, who didn’t want to listen. I created a rift that was too big to fix when you were born. I shouldn’t have had a relationship with someone from the past, but I did. Then, Levi and your mother had more children. That made the rift even bigger. I thought I had wanted to end the future with Apollo and I could have. If he would have stayed in University and married Tommy, he wouldn’t have had any blood children. Levi’s line of Grays would have ended right there. You had no children, so my line had ended already. Then, the hole wouldn’t have been so big and Audric could have patched it up. It wouldn’t have been so painful. But, I got selfish when the Guardians stepped in. They killed Star, and I was angry. I was angry that they took someone away from you that you loved so much. I couldn’t in good faith let Apollo end the line, so I forced him to have kids so I could be guaranteed another generation to try and take down the guardians.”
Mason took in a deep breath. Caleb was listening, actually listening. How long had he tried to explain this to the Grays? They never listened, they always saw him as some tyrant. “I wasn’t anticipating Altiere. And while I was vaguely aware of dimensions, I wasn’t anticipating Audric. So, I miscalculated and lost my biggest shot. I had Jeff brought here in an attempt to make more rifts to weaken the dimension. I told him to hurt Charlotte, because either I cause enough holes for the dimension to be reset or the Grays from Levis line cease to exist. That’s it.” He raised his hands. “There is too much happening now, too many opposing forces. It has to end now, Caleb, because if it doesn’t, Damian will be in control of everything, like he planned from the very beginning. And I’m not just talking about Moonlight Falls here…”
Mason watched Caleb crumble to the ground, the weight of what his father had just confessed too immense. “I…I need a minute to process this.”
“For the first time in my life,” Mason whispered, “We have time.” He shut his eyes tightly, regretting every decision he would have to make in the future, because they would irrevocably hurt Caleb, and he couldn’t bear to go back on his word to his son and his ex wife.