Gently I wrapped her in a cone of silence.
“You can talk, just keep your emoting low key so as not to awaken her.”
Our Chinese family were overcome by the honour this new development had brought to them, that this should happen in their home would be remembered forever. Without getting up I bowed to them, turned and bowed to Lua. They acknowledged my bow with eyes smouldering with a quiet pride and pleasure.
“Lua, you must convey to Daniel your father our pride in you and your family here. If we had not been here, if every single factor had not been exactly as it was, this may not have happened. All Cherinians are in your debt and grateful.”
Having given them what I owed them I allowed myself to become just another Cherinian, heart bursting with love and joy at our next step in becoming someday the ultimate Cherinians. I had not forgotten my Jade though. I put my arms out to her and Cherine made way for our magical imp.
“Yours is a gift that will break many a heart, but it will also serve to keep alive the history of our people. You have done us proud my sweet daughter.”
“Yes. Unless you do not want me as your father.”
She thought about it. “If all men call their God ‘Father’ then it is fitting that I do the same. May I also call you daddy?”
“Do so and every and each time you do so my heart will become heavy with a love I can hardly bear. Jade?”
“I do not want to be your God. Not even with a small ‘g’. Let me by your daddy, that is enough for me.”
“Not for me. I want you to be my husband when you are ready for me.” I was not the only one who chuckled.
“When I’m ready for you?”
“Yes. You are not ready now. First I have to grow into being your daughter then maybe your heart will see me as your love.”
“You are a wise girl.”
“I have to be with you as my father. Daddy, there has never been a father like you - every cell in me comes from you. Even my soul is part of your soul. The more you learn to love yourself the more you will love me. Or maybe, the more you love me the more you will learn to love yourself.” She and I were speaking earnestly, but the chuckles of the others, their love as they listened made us aware of all the others again. Alki knelt by her side.
“Will you call me pappou?”
“What else could I call you? You are the true father of my father.” He gathered her in his arms, his eyes shining.
Isn’t this the miracle of all children? The do not exist, then suddenly they are there and the heart is filled with love that makes it impossible to imagine a life without them.
Anna told me, “Robert, my husband will be home soon.”
“We better return then. Dommi, wrap Smaragda in your mother love so that she does not awaken and carry her in your arms. We will jump directly to her home. Anna, the four of us will return alone, girls, whenever you are ready come home.”
Cherine refused to stay without me and came with. We made it without awakening Smaragda and she was put to bed.
“Anna, please be careful. She is a child and will wake up excited at the memories she has. Please see to it that you are alone with her when she does.”
“I’ll sleep here with her. I do it every now and then, when she has nightmares. My husband will not question it.”
“Thank you love.”
“Anna, he called you love. That means he will never lie to you again.”
“They gave your secret away, the girls - they were not supposed to let me see how you manipulated me, were they?”
“It no longer mattered. The outcome I think was already inevitable - because of Smaragda. Anna, I had not thought, she has been exposed to some terrible truths of life. Please explain to her that if there are horrible people like those she saw tonight, she must not forget that there are the others, those who love and protect life. As a Cherinian she will be safe forever from people like them.”
“How can I apologise for what I tried to do?”
“There is nothing to apologise for Anna. That was a different person, one who had been wounded and did not know how to deal with it. Welcome dear Anna. We will talk later…and, we still have to take Smaragda to the void. Think on this - could we make your husband a Cherinian and would you want him as part of your circle if he could?”
“You looking for challenges?” She gave a bitter smile.
“That smile does not belong to you anymore. It will take you a while to get rid of the old Anna, just watch out for her and do not give her any space in your life anymore.”
“Thank you. Goodnight Roberto, Dominique and Cherine.”
PART TWENTY FOUR
Chapter One Hundred Seven
The Smaragda gift kept on hitting us all at odd moments, making it difficult for those who happened to be driving or in a meeting and so on. We dealt with it and not one of us thought to complain. We were too grateful for the wonder it brought to us.
Anna did not call us the next day and we felt her wish to be alone with her daughter, to think things through. We knew what bothered her, but set the protector to watch over them. We could not afford to allow any mishap to deprive us of her miracle girl. Not that even death would have been allowed to do so. I would have broken every rule to bring her back.
As often happens with coincidences, we had a phone call from Anna two days later. She was hysterical. “He came home this morning and told me he is filing for a divorce. He said he wants to be free to live the kind of life he wants!!”
“I’m sorry Anna. Would it help if Dommi comes to be with you?”
“No. You come over - please.”
“Is that wise? If he is looking for a divorce, having another man in your home at this time might not be a wise move.”
She was silent a moment. “Are you afraid to come Roberto?”
I jumped over, she was still waiting for my answer and misconstrued my silence.
“I’m sorry Roberto, that was stupid and uncalled for. Please say you are not angry with me.”
“Quiet Smaragda, I’ve upset Roberto, please don’t interrupt, I have to get him to understand I did not mean it.”
I grinned at Smaragda and winked. She giggled and Anna swirled to look at her. She turned to see what she was looking at and gave a start. Angry for a second she then sheepishly put down the phone.
“Thank you for coming.”
“Smaragda, would you like to play with the girls? You can jump there on your own if you want.”
“You will feel me in your mind. It is a strange tickly feeling. I will show you how to open the gift so that you can.”
It was accomplished easily and I waited for her to jump. She didn’t.
“I want to stay here. Did you know my daddy does not want me and mummy anymore?”
“Did you tell her that Anna?” My voice was soft and low and she did not know me well enough to understand how angry I was.
“No. He did. He told her she is a big girl now and can manage without him, so he can be free to go and live his life.”
“Oh god!” By now I knew Smaragda inside and out. I knew she was hurting. I knelt by her and hugged her.
“A very, very nasty idea has come to me. Do you both want to punish him? I warn you both - it will hurt him a lot if he loves either of you at all.”
“Would it be bad of us Roberto?”
“No. Not at all Smaragda. Anna, even a Cherinian is allowed to strike back if hurt.”
“If he does not care for us, it will not hurt him?”
“It would, but not as much.”
I used the phone.
“Savva. Smaragda. She has been badly hurt. I will need your co-operation. Send over a police car and ambulance. Mother and daughter decided to commit suicide. Do Not allow them to be cut open. Arrange it with your relative. They will wake up after five or six hours. Notify the husband right now please. You can say Anna called.”
I turned to two horrified females.
“I will use my healer to put you both into a sleep that will look like you are dead. Do not be afraid, I will not let anything bad happen to either of you. My protector has been guarding you both since Taiwan and will continue to do so. Are the two of you curious as to how he will react? You are taking a risk - if he does not care you will know it. Are you both sure you want to know?” They both nodded. “Both of you, quickly write him a very short note. Smaragda, say you are doing this because he does not love you. Anna, write you found your dead daughter and cannot live without her.”
“Gammoto, but you’ve got a nasty mind.”
“I was not aware that ladies of your class use words like those. Quick now, the cops will be here soon.”
By the time the siren could be heard, their bodies were cooling - the healer was speeding it up. I made my body not visible to human eyes and watched as the cops broke in and medics checked them.
“Fuck!! They are both dead. What a waste! Why did she have to kill her daughter?”
“Hey, there are two notes here. Christe mou! She did not kill her daughter. The daughter committed suicide because her father told her he does not love her anymore and the mother found her and killed herself too. Guys, I have a child and know I could never do this to my child. What a fucking bastard he must be, I could kill him!!”
The other one shrugged, more hardened to life. “That is how these rich people are. No point in upsetting yourself.”
“Fuck you, you don’t have a child! How would you know how this feels.”
He gently caressed the face of Smaragda, pulled himself together and stood up, pulling his notebook out and writing. I jumped over to Savva. He sensed me and got rid of his assistant. I sat opposite him and became visible.
I told him what had happened.
“This has to be your idea.”
“Afraid so. Savva, I am so angry, you know this new gift, I was feeling her pain inside me. To make a child feel like that!!”
“If you had let me talk I would have tried to stop you. When they are found to be alive, he will use this to try and take the daughter away.”
“He can try, he will not succeed.” My eyes must have been cold and hard for he shivered. “Have you notified him?”
“I did not find him. I told his secretary what happened, she promised to let him know.”
“I wish I could see his face when he hears.”
The phone rang. From his face I knew it was him and extended my hearing so that his words were clear to me.
“My secretary called me, she told me it was urgent I call you. She was crying. What has happened?”*Ask him where he is, I need an exact address.*
“Please give us your address, we will send a police car to pick you up.”
“What for, I can come in my car.”
“It would be better you do not drive now. Your address please, sir.”
He gave it. I changed back to being invisible and jumped. It took three jumps, but I found him. He was in an apartment with a girl of about twenty. I watched as Savva told him. He wiped his hand over his face.
“I’ll be waiting for your car. Thank you for calling.” He closed the phone.
“What is it my love?”
“My daughter. She killed herself because she thought I don’t love her.”
The girl was horrified. Weeping, she tried to embrace him, but he pushed her away. “Don’t, you will only weaken me. I have to identify them and face the cops.”
“My wife found my daughter and killed herself also.”
He left a girl distraught, guilt eating away at her. He held himself rigid as he waited on the pavement. A police car pulled up and he got in. I returned to Savva.*The bastard did not show any emotion. Where is he being taken?* *I’m going there, follow me.*
The two bodies were already in the morgue. A young man stood over them. He reached down with a scalpel. Savva made to shout, but I stopped him. I wanted to see how the protector would react. The man hesitated, put the scalpel down and went to his desk and took a book off the shelf. As he sat there reading I congratulated the protector for acting so discretely.
The father arrived. He looked at both of them. He returned to his daughter and his fingers trailed down her cheek.
“Why moro mou? I did not say I don’t love you.” I saw his fingers were trembling. He took a deep breath and turned to Savva.
“It is my daughter and wife. How did they die, did they take poison?”
“We were waiting for you. We will cut them open to check, soon as you leave.” I knew this was not standard procedure, the police do not speak in such an unfeeling way to the relatives of a victim, for Savva to say it that way he was angry.
“Cut them… do you have to?”
“Why? They are gone. What you see is just meat and bone. Whatever pain they felt is now gone. They will not feel the knife.”
“You blame me?”
“I saw the note your daughter wrote.”
Savva thrust it at him to read, but his eyes refused to focus on the sheet. “I have to go. Do you need me to sign any documents?”
“I’ll need a statement. Thanassi, take the gentleman and get him to sign a statement. Get all the details of what he said or did.”
As they walked away Savva looked down at the two bodies, he was trying to use his gifts to feel life in them. He shuddered. Almost under his breath he asked, “You are sure they are alive? Roberto, I understand why you are so angry. I felt like hitting the cold bastard.”
“Actually he did feel pain, but he controlled it. He saw no point in letting himself suffer for what is done and cannot be undone.”
“You are acting as witness?”
“Yes. They needed to see whether he cared. I do not look forward to letting them see.”
“I’m sorry Roberto, I know this must be tearing you up. Can you bring them back now while I am down here?”
Gently the healer warmed their bodies and brought their heartbeat back up to normal. Five minutes later Anna sighed. Her daughter did not take much longer to open her eyes. The young man sat up in shock; recalling the scalpel and what he had been about to do, his hand trembled as he checked them out.
“Do not move, you must go to the hospital for a doctor to check you. What drug did you take?”
“I will take over. Go write your report.”
“Shh Smaragda, I am here. It is over, we will get you and your mother home.”
“Can we go to your home please?”
“Of course my love. That okay with you Anna?” Numbly she nodded in agreement.
“Did he care Roberto? Did my daddy cry?”
“Let’s get home and I will let both of you see what my eyes saw directly.”
She began to cry and her mother heavily got up and going to her hugged her daughter.
“He didn’t cry mummy. He doesn’t care.”
As they hugged each other I stood there, still invisible, my arms crossed over my chest, trying to hold the pain inside me. I silently made my plans.
The girls were tender and showered them with a soft sweet love. I stood in my office looking at a map. I jumped to the first factory. I re-set every machine, causing a few to destroy themselves and others to make the products rolling out on conveyor belts totally worthless. The workers rushed around trying to set things back to normal, but I blocked them, confusing their minds.
I went to the second factory and repeated my performance. Chemicals mysteriously spilled out over the floor and the factory had to be vacated. The third factory was just as easy.
I returned to each factory to examine the books and computers. I was now ready.
I found him at his home. I went directly to the entrance of the apartment and rang his bell. I looked totally different, like a Greek lawyer. He opened the door.
“Who are you, what do you want?”
“You have heard from your factories?” I pushed my way past him, making sure he could not stop me. I went to the dining table and sat.
“Konstandino, sit down and listen carefully. You did not want a wife and daughter. Fine, you will not have them. They are not dead, they came back to life and left, hiding with friends. I have come to tell you what the terms of your divorce will be.
I want you to be clear that the terms are not negotiable and I am certain you must have had phone calls from your factories…”
“They are not dead!!?” I only stared, my eyes cold and hard.
“You have been told you suffered tremendous losses today. The same will happen day after day until you prepare the documents I want. Let me be clear about this. Your wife does not know me, she has not authorised the action I am taking on her behalf. If you think that by negotiating with her you can get a better deal, you are welcome to try. I do not care what she agrees to, these are my terms!
You have three factories. The chemical one is the most profitable one and worth the most. You will transfer that factory into the name of your wife as settlement for the divorce. You will draw up a will in favour of your daughter, leaving her the other two factories, shares, properties, everything you have, here and abroad. As part of your divorce agreement the will is to be final and irrevocable. You will also undertake to provide your daughter with an income equal to no less than one third of your annual profits or returns on investment during your lifetime. Sit there!”
I went to the kitchen and got a sharp paring knife.
“You are thinking of resisting me. Do not. You are not dealing with a human being, I can walk into your factories and cause havoc as I did today. I can walk into your home whenever I want and harass you, I can make sure you do not get another night of sleep. Take that knife. Hold it point down over my hand. Now use all your strength to stab me.”
He did not have a choice about it, I forced him to do it. The blade broke and he stared at my hand.
“You cannot kill me. I exist - I do not exist, as I will.” I made myself invisible and getting up walked to his side and breathed heavily on him, pushed him about and returning to my seat I became visible again.
“What you did to your child has incurred the wrath of powers you cannot imagine exist. The mother was a favoured one. If you had treated her well, filled her heart with love, your possessions would have increased tenfold. We brought them back to life. They will live and prosper. Not you. There will not be one woman again for you. You are welcome to try,” I gave a wicked grin, my eyes staying hard, “you are no longer a man in that sense. One final word of warning. Each day you delay, there will be more losses and damages. This will reduce the value of the factories. In that case we will demand more, a higher percentage of your net worth so that they do not lose by your obstinacy.”
“This is blackmail!”
“So you do have some courage? Blackmail is what a human does to a human. In our case, it is our will.”
“Who are you?”
I did not answer. As I stood by the door I turned to him. “I will be back every day until you do as ordered.”
The door did not open, I just vanished.
“What you did Roberto, is it ethical?”
“If Anna did it, perhaps the answer would be no. Alki, I will do this whether I am right or wrong.”
“If you do not follow rules, laws, whether human or ours, you will become a menace and all will fear you - including Cherinians.”
“If we were in America, it is what would be awarded, more or less. Alki, sometimes what is wrong can also be right, if examined in a different way.”
“That is not the point, the laws here are different. What you are doing is illegal.”
“Are you saying that if a law is wrong we should not take matters into our hands and try to see justice is served?”
“I ask that you think carefully before you continue.”
“Alki, the Law was created so as to serve Justice - it was never meant to be that Justice serves the Law. It was supposed to make all humans equal. Is that how things are? We know it is not. If you can afford the best attorneys you can get away with murder. Hell, now even corporations have more rights than people do! We are afraid of chaos so we say, obey the law, if you seek justice then see to having the laws changed - do not break the laws. Vote into government the party you believe represents what you want so that they change the laws. That is hypocrisy, for none of the parties care about what their citizens want, once they are elected. The ordinary person, those without wealth and power see the injustice of how things are, but, however strongly they feel about it, knowing they are powerless they accept it, because they know that rebelling will destroy everything, bring our civilisation to its knees.
I have the power to force justice to be served. I should sit back and watch as he settles a pittance on his wife and daughter, takes away from his daughter not only a father and social standing, but also changes his will so that some pretty young cunt gets it all because he has the ‘hots’ for her? You say I could harm the Cherinians by doing this? I would be harming myself if I sit back and allow it.”
“You used your healer to make him impotent?”
“No. I used psychology.”
He thought about it and chuckled. “If he manages to screw his girl, what then?”
“Alki. He went through a traumatic day. He saw his wife and daughter dead. He touched her cheek and felt it was cold. He gets this terrifying visit. If he can get it up after all that, well, good luck to him. But if he fails even once, he will not recover.”
“Would you mind if I discuss this with Themi, Luigi and Elia?”
“At a guess I would say Themi and Elia would agree with you and Luigi with me. You all have a vested interest in seeing the boat is not rocked. I am not insulting you Alki, I am saying that your wealth, the power you enjoy, subconsciously affects the way you view things.”
I had finally annoyed him and he countered, “You are trying to be a Robin Hood?”
I laughed, “You mean you side with the Sheriff?”
“You are one crazy bugger - as you British say. You know I do not. You forget I come from a village, I have known poverty. As I said, let me think about it.”
“I do not want Anna to know.”
“I think not. I want the bastard to make them think he is giving it to them because he feels guilty, or because he does care. A small salve to heal their hearts. Alki, if he had reassured Smaragda that he loves her, will always be there for her, but he does not love her mother, maybe that he loved someone new, I would have felt sorry for them, but not been angry. What he did though, the way he did it, can you imagine what psychological damage he caused that precious little heart? He has to pay!”
“A theoretical situation. If he has a child with his new love. Are you saying the new child should be left penniless, Smaragda to get it all?”
I nodded. “You’ve made a good point. Let him create new wealth for her. We will only demand a share of what he has today. The future belongs to him, but he has a child and has a responsibility. She is part of his past and he owes her his total commitment as if he had stayed with the mother.” I though of how my father left my mother totally penniless and knew I am doing the right thing.
“You see things too simply.”
“I have wondered why governments do not have a committee to kill laws. Just as they sit and make new laws, there should be someone who looks at old laws and gets rid of those no longer relevant. Of course I thought that way at a time when I was far more naïve about governments and what drives men.”
“I agree, naïve, but not a bad idea. Unfortunately it is not likely to happen, every law, whether antiquated or not, however obsolete it may be, widens the hold governments have on their citizens.”
The next day I paid the factories another visit. I found him at one of the factories and he stood with a stony face as he saw everything going haywire without reason or human intervention. I made my presence a frigid touch by his side and whispered to him. “Get the papers drawn up. You will tell your wife and daughter it is your idea, a small way of making up to them for what you have done to them. You even hint at the real reason and I will destroy you totally. By the way, you must move out of your home today. We are going to arrange for them to return there. It is and has been the home of your daughter and you will not deprive her of that one comfort and security.”
“I will do it.”
“A point was raised. What you create in the future out of your share, it is yours to dispose of as you wish. Only the past and present belong to Smaragda.”
The man has balls! He did not answer, just walked off, his back rigid with his self-control. He also had the sense to see he cannot win - many others would have not agreed so quickly, for I sensed he did not agree out of fear, just out of a realisation that he cannot win.
“Robert, when can we leave for our holiday?”
“Cherine baby, we could have left at any time you wished. After all, two weeks there will only be half an hour here.”
“But your mind will be on the problems here.”
“I thought you said I would be made to forget the future?”
“A feeling will stay with you that there is something you have to do. I would rather wait until this is over, but we must leave before the next problem comes.”
“May we first visit John Smithson and Feizal? I’ve been worrying about them.” She nodded her agreement, so I added, “Agreed.” She gave me a quick kiss, her little soul bright with her joy.
Anna would swing from one mood to another; she was still trying to adjust to her world tumbling down about her ears without warning. I knocked on her bedroom door.
“Anna, get your things, you are going home.”
“He will be there, I don’t want to meet him.”
“I don’t think he’ll want to meet you either, but if he does, you can’t avoid it Anna. Do not tell him where you have been. He is ready to settle what he considers a fair share for you and your daughter. I have been watching him and I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Anna, he is not worth it. The sooner he is out of your life the sooner you might find someone to give you love and fill your life. At least you will not need to worry about money.”
“You had something to do with it?”
“Me? What could I have done!” I opened my eyes wide in feigned astonishment. She laughed and kissed me on the cheek.
“Thank you Roberto. You have turned out to be a good friend.”
“Oh you know me, I’m full of good intentions, but I end up fumbling from one catastrophe to another.”
We felt how happy Smaragda was to be home, in her own room. We returned home relaxed and happy.
“This might turn out to be good in the longterm, Robert. We’ve had this problem of too many men joining us and no free women for them to form a circle, for far too long. Maybe she will love one of our men.”
“You are not going to play matchmaker are you Dommi?”
“Of course not!”
As I had half expected, all my loves are determined to go with me on my visit. I phoned John so as to ensure our arrival will not be inconvenient and he called back to let me know that Feizal asks that we jump to their desert camp. I warned everyone that I don’t want John to know about my father being a Cherinian, as I want to surprise him, once my father has settled down a bit.
Feizal hugged me and gave me a cheek kiss. He did not waste much more time with me, only briefly greeting me and asking after my health and then going directly to Cherine. Gallantly he told her, “I do not know which I wish for when I know you are to visit, for both as child and as adult you have great beauty.”
Cherine understands that his flowery phrases are partly a politeness and partly a game, so she repaid him in kind - in her own way. “I too find myself troubled, for I cannot decide which I prefer, your wit or the wisdom of your father. He is here?”
Finally we were all seated and I could not help staring at the men. From forty, they were already over two hundred! Among the new men there were a number of them who stared back at me with hard, cold eyes, but without their faces betraying their hostility. I was tempted to ask John why they are so hostile, but the protector warned me that all of them are armed and they are trying to mask their tension and feeling of excitement. It helped me sense them and Cherine instantly moved to sit next to me, her body stiff as she silently asked me what I want to do.
I sent to the protector and to all my loves, *Protector, do not attack, even if we are attacked, only protect all of us - and I am including our hosts. Something tells me we are only the excuse for what is about to happen.*
I could sense that Cherine did not agree and could not understand my instructions, but, for this once, she is determined to do as I ask. Quickly Sam cut in, helping me, *If we are attacked, Feizal will be humiliated and if we are not careful, he may some day hate us. If we save him and his friends and family, he definitely will hate us, as there will be no way for him to think of himself as our equal. If he can protect us, the humiliation and debt of honour will not be as strong and we can remain friends. It is important he and his real followers become Cherinians, so Robert is right.*
I concentrated on sending a message to John, warning him. He gave me a quick glance and then he tapped the carpet once with each hand, with his thumbs tucked in. Feizal did not even glance at him, but from the change in emoting of about twenty men, we realised he has signalled them.
A stranger, one of the men we do not know, bowed to Feizal and asked whether those who have not previously met the great Robert and his family may have the honour of being introduced to him. Feizal ordered them to come forward. He then turned to me and softly told me, “There is danger, it is being taken care of…”
I answered, just as softly, “We are your guests, I place the lives of my loved ones in your hands.”
He gave a relaxed smile and gestured for the men to introduce themselves, as if I had just agreed to meet them.
As the men stepped forward, their hands were suddenly holding revolvers and it felt as if time has slowed for me and I noticed that instead of each of them having a chosen victim to aim at, some had no gun aimed at them, while others had three or more. They were obviously well trained and fast, but not disciplined. If any of the shots were fired by them, the sound was covered by the louder noise of, I think they were Uzi submachine guns, and the attackers danced to the bullets smashing their bodies.
My loves were not the only ones sickened, but I demanded of them that they remain calm and still. I promised them they may cry in my arms afterwards, once we are home again.
John urgently whispered to me, “Thank you - and please pretend you did not realise what was about to happen before he did.” I nodded my agreement.
Feizal barked out orders in his language and once people were doing as he ordered and a row of his original men stood before my loves as protectors, he stepped to my side. “You are not a foolish man Robert Teller, so do not ask that I believe it of you, but I shall remember your courtesy. My family and I are in your debt. If our honour is important to you, I expect you to call on us whenever you need our help, whatever the probable cost.”
“You knew they were planning to kill you?”
Αλέξανδρος Ζήνον Ευσταθίου(Alexander Zenon Eustace)
14th August, 2019
* posted on Steemit: 14th August, 2019