So we ate ice-cream and Alex gave Cass a lesson in mental etiquette. Hunter was grinning but he made me sit next to him. Drake was more than happy to walk holding on to mine or Alex’s hand. Cass and Alex talked about telepathy the whole walk home, which left me really alone with Hunter. His arms wrapped around my neck. He whispered in my ear, “It always hurts.”
“I know.” I sighed, “We’ll talk with my Dad about it. Is that what you dream?”
“It scares me,” he said simply.
“Me too. We’ll deal with it alright?” He had nodded against my neck but we hadn’t said anything else. His visions just weren’t in the dream world. He saw more than the rest of us. Michaela might have known, or she might not have understood. The dreams were Hunters way of interpreting things in ways he could understand. I had never really talked to my Dad about the specifics, but we were going to have to have a sit down – the three of us. And Dorian. Probably Alex too, to make sure Hunter got the training he needed.
Why do I need to be there? Alex asked in my head.
Because you can read Hunter and see what’s going through his head. You may not be able to understand it, but you should be able to understand it better than he can at 5.
Alex nodded. “So I’m Hunter’s advocate?”
I smiled. “I think we need to work together to help Hunter. He’s only 5. Most of the precogs in the Venatori go insane. My Dad’s gift was unique in that he only gets glimpses of the future, small snapshots of what a few moments in time – and how they could play out.”
“So like Nicholas Cage?” Alex joked.
“Yes. Exactly like that except he can do it for longer or shorter periods of time. It’s why he’s the greatest hunter of all time. His kill ratio is near 100. His mission completion is 100.”
“You said what you see and what he does are similar? How?”
“My father sees images – the way our brain interprets things. Like a movie playing out. I can see the possibilities, but on a tinier scale. Sherlock Holmes was a master observer. You know the stories right?”
Alex nodded, “Never read them tho.”
“Me either. But he saw the small details and could deduce those things. It’s the same for me, except I see it in finer detail. I see the patterns of the universe. I see the way it settles. I can see how the elements make up the flow of things. I can’t predict the future, but given enough time, I can figure out all possible situations in a given moment.”
“But you would have to know physics and…” Alex started as realization dawned on him. “Straight As…”
I smiled. “The things I excel at are because I have put a lot of effort into mastering the fine details.”
“Drawing, dancing, cooking.” Alex nodded, “You know that is probably why you look like this too.”
“The nutrition, the workouts, the schedule. All attention to the fine details in order keep my sanity.” I nodded.
“A method to your madness.”
“So my Dad seeings things no one else can?” Cass added.
“Yes. I think Hunter can too.”
“I can see things. Hunter says he sees some of it. But no one believes us except the other kids in the class.”
“The whole class sees things the adults can’t?” I asked.
She nodded and stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and the flow of the pedestrian traffic had to move around us as we all stood staring at Cass. She pointed to the water puddle on the side of the street. “I see blue wavy lines cutting their way through yellow and red lines pressing hard against the puddle. And the brown lines curl up to cup the puddle, they are the strongest and brightest colors, the others are dim.”
I laughed, “Those are the elements. That is what a Magnus can see. And if you can see them, you can manipulate them. What you are witnessing now, is evaporation.”
“You mean she’s watching water molecules float up into the air because they are superheated?”
“Not necessarily super heated but yes. She sees the elements at work. All science and magic are the same. It’s why Sage can manipulate a computer, a mechanical lock and a human being. All with his technopath ability.”
“Wait, Sage can manipulate a person?”
“Why do you think he won’t touch anyone?”
“I figured it was because he was a germaphobe or something.”
“Has nothing to do with germs. Sage is a foster kid or he was. Not anymore as the Morgan’s adopted him. But Sage is rare in that he can manipulate a person. He was three the first time he did it. He wanted to go back to play at the ball pit. He made his father do a u-turn in the middle of the highway. He and his brother survived, but his parents didn’t. Sage knew he was doing it at three. He remembers doing it. He refuses to touch anyone out of fear.”
“But he touches you, and his wife?” Alex asked.
“He can’t manipulate me.”
I shrugged. “We were too young to experiment and figure out why, and now we just take it as fact. Sage doesn’t like when I ask too many questions. I think he knows why now.”
“But he won’t tell you.”
“Sage doesn’t tell me a lot of things to protect me.”
“You know he has secrets from you.”
“He kept knowing you from me. I think he kept the fact you went to Vegas from me until I’d finished my case and I was freaking out about it. I think he kept the fact that Jace was lying a secret too.”
“And you aren’t mad at him? I’m kinda mad at him,” Alex said as he pulled open the door to my building for us all. Cass went first with a giggle. Drake followed. And the rest of us after. Alex’s hand was at the small of my back as I passed through the door. The small touch made me happy.
“Sage is who he is. His father is an FBI agent, and he’s a hacker. Lies are who he is I can’t be mad at him for protecting me. Just like I can’t be mad at Dorian, or Margo for their lies.”
“But you are angry with your father?”
“I’m not angry at my father as a man. I have 18 years of resentment to overcome. It’s difficult, and I’m working on it and so is he. The problem my father and I have stems from the fact that he hated what I represent.”
“And what’s that?” Alex asked.
“Change. He blamed me for Nick being gay. He hates me on most Venatori principles that everyone hates me for. But he feels guilty for not being there for me as a kid so he over compensates. Which is why I think he loves my brothers so much. I can’t wait to see how he treats his grandkids.”
Alex laughed, “Wait for the spoiling to begin.”
I nodded. “Yeah.”
We all got in the elevator and I buried my face against my son in my arms and Alex wrapped his arms around both of us putting Hunter between us. Cass and Drake wrapped their arms around us all in a giant family hug. Now isn’t this the life.
It’s nice, but I’d rather have you squirming underneath me.