“The Blood Family and the True Family.
The Emptiness of the Lack of Love and the Desire to be Loved.
The One who reaches out his hand and Supports the Warrior.
And the One that hides a Trap amongst the stones of the Path.”
- The Prophet of Truth
John straightened his tie and took a deep breath. He’d already greeted all the congressmen and politely and adequately flattered their eternally young companions.
The waiter walking around the hall offering champagne and small appetizers approached him, noticing his empty glass, and John didn’t hesitate in exchanging it for a full one. It was going to be a long night …
John turned towards the familiar voice that had called him and saw his father signaling him for his presence. Another congressman, he thought as he straightened the lapel of his jacket, making sure he had his polite business smile in place.
Carl Donavan looked rather excited, his left arm over the other man’s shoulder in a friendly gesture. And yet John didn’t remember ever seeing him in any of the other receptions. Relatively younger than most guests, the stranger looked more his age. And, as if that wasn’t enough, even though he wore an Armani that fit him like a glove, he looked more like a gang leader than a politician or businessmen.
Taller than his father, he was forcing the older man to practically stand on his tiptoes to maintain that friendly embrace. His hair was black, short and standing all over the place, as if he were a teenager. To add to the picture he had even painted the tips blue! His eyes were long, indicating a possible mix of Asian blood, and dark-blue, matching the color of his hair. And his left ear had three piercings. Stars, he noticed, three small stars, of different bright colors. However, worse than his physical appearance was his posture. Haughty and cold, he didn’t seem to be listening to a single word his father kept uttering. His unwavering gaze was locked on him, following his every move as he approached them, and the aura of danger that surrounded him was intimidating and palpable.
“Oh, John! Come closer!” Carl urged, nodding anxiously, and John renewed his plastic smile before obeying. “John, this is my good friend. He’s the CEO of several multinationals including Green Oil Company. You know, that company dedicated to extracting oil through low environmental impact methods. Farran Andrews.”
John reinforced his diplomatic smile and reached out his hand.
“It’s a pleasure. John Donovan.”
Farran stared down at his outstretched hand before slowly taking it and John couldn’t help the shiver that ran down his spine at his cold, moist touch. It was almost as if he’d just shaken hands with a corpse, he thought.
“My pleasure. I’ve heard a lot about you,” he declared in a surprisingly soft tone that, although beautiful and inviting, still gave him the creeps.
“I’ve heard rumors that Doctor John Donavan will be the name of the future, when we talk about the cure for cancer. Your research will save many human lives,” he added, and although his voice was lacking the usual enthusiasm that similar comments normally held, John still smiled proudly.
“Unfortunately we’re still far from that,” he declared with false modesty.
“Well, gentlemen, if you’ll excuse me. I still have a few more rounds to make,” Carl Donavan announced, obviously eager to leave them alone, and nodding politely walked away to greet an old business partner, a frequent guest of such gatherings.
“I apologize for my father. He tends to get a little overly excited on such occasions.”
“I guess that’s what one would expect from a good host,” Farran replied and John laughed, although he felt an ice cold feeling slowly freezing his spine.
“But please, tell me. My father mentioned you wanted to meet me in person. I wonder if you might be interested in founding our research?” he guessed from the previous talk and Farran’s blue gaze became even darker.
“Straight to the point. I like that,” he declared, almost purring, which left John slightly nervous.
“It kind of had the feeling you would.”
“And I do,” Farran admitted with a soft smile. “But my interest in you has nothing to do with your research.”
John arched an eyebrow, looking intrigued.
“No. Nevertheless, I’m sure we can work together towards our mutual interests.”
“What do you mean?”
“Do I stand correct in assuming that your current problem is called Sarah Wilson?” he asked and John frowned, displeased and suspicious. How did that stranger even know about that? His obsession with Sarah was something he kept deeply locked up amidst his private matters. Farran smiled maliciously, apparently amused by his suspicion. “Please don’t worry. My problem is called Alexius.”