AN: Part of this chapter is reposted from A Graying World Retold. It was originally part of Sierra’s story, but I feel like it suits this story better. There is also new content at the end 😀
Caleb’s eyes glided over the massive monument. “Why take me here?” Caleb asked, feeling his heart in his throat. “Mom isn’t buried here…she’s in Sunlit Tides.”
“I know,” Mason said carefully. “I’ve been watching you guys, remember?”
“Then why?” Caleb asked, looking over at the black and green haired man. Mason looked uneasy at the prospect of being in a cemetery. Why? Hadn’t Mason watched many people die? The man himself had probably caused a few murders. Death shouldn’t have been a worry for the man.
“This is where I first met your mother.” A smile appeared on Mason’s lips. Not the devious one he had often worn, but a content and peaceful smile. “She looked so beautiful in that dark blue dress. Her hair straightened and her lips a vibrant red. But, she was crying. I…I couldn’t stand seeing her in pain. I didn’t know her, but…”
Caleb waited for Mason to finish he thought, but the man seemed tight lipped about the whole thing. “I told you that if this was going to work between us,” Caleb began. “That you’d have to be honest. Fully honest. She was my mom.”
“Follow me,” Mason said. He walked over to one of the tombstones and knelt down. “This is where your mother was balled up and crying. She was talking to her own mother. I remember she said something like ‘You left a 16 year old girl to raise herself. I know it wasn’t your fault, but I miss you.’ I felt angry. Because that woman never deserved Athena’s tears. Sierra Gray…” At Caleb’s confusion, Mason back tracked to explain. “I was watching from the sidelines, because I was here to see the same grave. When my own mother died, her last words to her coworker was to tell me about a woman named Sierra Gray. There wasn’t any context, and I thought maybe she was to be trusted. My mother never meant any ill will towards anyone. So if she mentioned a name, I thought for sure it was for a good reason…” Mason ran a hand through his hair. “Like I told you before Caleb, your grandmother caused a hell of a lot of trouble for a hell of a lot of people. Not just in my life, but in other timelines as well.”
“What did she do?” Caleb asked.
Mason shrugged. “I can’t tell you. I’m not sure of it myself. I’ve spent years trying to unravel the mystery of this woman, but the only people who know don’t like me. They won’t spill.”
“Well, you don’t exactly come across as the nicest person ever,” Caleb replied. “And you never truly reveal yourself. I’d be weary of you too.”
“Are you?” Mason asked, looking up. “After all the time we’ve spent together, are you still weary of me?”
Caleb knelt down by the gravestone as well. He was trying to see what Mason saw, but the sentiment was lost on him. Could his grandmother really have been as much trouble as Mason had said?
“Could you blame me?” Caleb asked, not meeting Mason’s gaze. “You’re lucky I even came out this far with you.”
“I know,” Mason replied. A small smile danced on his lips. “You’re smart. I don’t blame you for keeping me at arm’s length. But I will keep trying to gain your favor, no matter what. I’m your father, and that’s the most important thing to me.” Mason leaned forward and traced the words with his fingertips. “I was in Lunar Lakes to investigate Sierra Gray, of my own volition. Emit never told Athena that. Until her last breath, he would never tell her that I wasn’t there originally to destroy the timeline but to look into her past. Maybe Emit isn’t as much as a hard ass as I thought he was, or maybe…maybe he’s got a bigger secret then he’s willing to let on.”
“I’m not following,” Caleb replied.
“I have reason to believe that your grandmother worked with two men. Emit Relevart and Damian Woods. Neither is willing to talk to me about the woman, but that just confirms it for me. I also have reason to believe that Sierra Gray is still alive. There have been rifts appearing that I haven’t caused, and even your little dimension watcher hasn’t been able to pinpoint them. Maybe it’s a long shot, but I don’t think Sierra Gray is buried here.”
Caleb read the tombstone carefully. “In loving memory of Sierra Gray. Brilliant wife, mother and expeditionist whose sacrifice has opened many doors for our people.”
“She was a hero,” Caleb mumbled. “The people of Lunar Lakes seem to have revered her, or thanked her at the very least.”
“If you have’t gotten that Lunar Lakes is a backwater place yet,” Mason began. “Then you’re naive. It wasn’t until you and your siblings grew up that the people here actually found out that they weren’t the only ones in the entire world. Sierra Gray was a sham, not a hero. I don’t believe that she did anything to help Lunar Lakes. ” He pointed to the gravestone. “I don’t even think there was an explosion like everyone says. I wonder where she got that idea from?” He laughed bitterly. “My parents perhaps.”
“Now that you mention it, mom did say something about her mother not returning from a mission she was sent on. They knew she was dead because they found her and her husband’s body.”
“She’s lied before,” Mason explained. “You know about your grandfather Bruce and what happened with that? When Levi took you from me…” He shook his head. “No, when I made a mistake and your mother had enough. It doesn’t matter now. We’re here about Sierra. I want to dig up her grave and prove that isn’t her body in that grave.”
“You can’t do that!” Caleb cried. “That’s so disrespectful.”
“I am almost positive that Sierra Gray is alive somewhere. I don’t think the body buried there is hers.” Mason clenched his fists. “All that time your mother spent going to that grave, talking to her mother about her life. Yet, her mother is probably out there causing even more trouble. Who the hell does this woman think she is? I am a lot of things Caleb, but your mother is the second most important person to me after you. My love was never fake.”
Caleb let out a long sigh. “How can you even prove that Sierra isn’t down there?” Because if what Mason was saying was true…his heart ached for his mother.
“We have your DNA and some gene splicing technology from the future. We can see if the bones buried there belong to a Gray. If they don’t, it isn’t her.”
“I just don’t like the idea of digging up a grave. Someone is resting there peacefully. My mother would not be for this.”
“The dimension is in danger Caleb!” Mason cried. “I’m not doing this for my own selfish reasons. There is a woman out there who knows the answer to our pain, and you don’t want to find her and ask why she did what she did? It’s why you’re with me now, Caleb.”
“We’re not doing that,” Caleb said, standing up. “I…I can’t get behind digging up a grave that meant so much to my mother. Even if what you said could be true…”
“I understand.” Mason stood up and wiped his pants. “I’m the only one who could look your mother in the eye and hurt her. Well, me and Sierra it seems.”
Caleb frowned and thought for a moment. “You said the only people who know things about Sierra are Damian and Emit, right?”
“That’s right,” Mason said. “Why, do you have a plan up your sleeve? Have I taught you the way of the world?”
“Don’t get ahead of yourself. I’m not looking to scheme. But Sierra is my grandmother. I want to know about my family history. I want to know why it’s important to be a Gray in any dimension…when I was uh, in the other dimension…it mattered a lot that I was a Gray. I don’t know…I mean, we’re important. How and why?”
“You want the truth and even if we dig up the grave, we won’t actually find Sierra. That’s what you’re thinking, right?” Mason posed. “But we can’t just waltz up to Damian or Emit. They’re both pretty tied up in some dangerous stuff. They both hate me.”
“But Damian is family,” Caleb said firmly. “Right? Same as you. Family doesn’t give up on family. We can talk to him,” Caleb said.
‘This isn’t some family is magic thing like in those movies,” Mason explained. “Damian only works in deals and his prices are steep. He made me an offer once…to uh, bring your mother back to life,” Mason mumbled. “But I wasn’t willing to pay his price…Just, trust me. The family card means nothing to that man.”
“I’ve got nothing he’d want,” Caleb mumbled.
“You don’t know Damian,” Mason said. “The real Damian. Everyone has something he wants and he for sure has something you want. If you want to give up your very core to that man, then fine. But I have known many a men who have been screwed over by the man. No one gets what they really want from Damian, because his deals just aren’t worth the pain.”
“But Emit isn’t an option, he’s closely guarded by the guardians and no one hates you more than them,” Caleb pointed out. “I say we go to Damian and hear him out.”
“It’s a mistake,” Mason said. “I promise you that.”
“Well, what if we beat him at his own game? Bring him something he wants,” Caleb mused. “What would Damian want?”
“I don’t know,” Mason said. “I’ve been trying to figure that out for years. Maybe it’s Sierra, since he’s so tight lipped about her. If that’s the case, then maybe Damian is the key to our whole mystery. If he is, then we just might be able to crack him down. Though, it’s still risky.”
“Let’s talk to him,” Caleb asserted. “Let’s find out what he knows. Even if not for our purposes, but for my family’s. I know that they still feel like the issues in Moonlight Falls lay unresolved. Maybe Damian has some closure for us, or some information.”
Mason patted his son’s back. “Just don’t get your hopes up, alright? Damian Woods is a freaking hard ass.”