|Subject: Chapter 194 - Part 1
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Date Posted: Friday, July 08, 07:33:28am
In reply to:
's message, "Dreams in the Dark - Chapter 193 and onwards" on Thursday, July 07, 07:06:24am
Dreams in the Dark (194/?)
by Katherine Gilbert
It was a night which seemed to have no end--at least to several of the party. After the radio show, which had lasted for at least two hours--"special broadcast" that it was--Chuck's family found themselves invited back to Michael and Nikita's hotel for dinner. The offer, however, had come not from the couple themselves but from a messenger in the theater, the family informed that the studio would be happy to pick up the tab for such old friends of the star pair. But the pair themselves had seemed only too surprised that such an offer had ever been made.
Adam understood none of this, as the evening finally dragged its way toward a close, but he cared little--his earlier, brighter mood long since evaporated. This afternoon had provided too much surprise, too many questions. And he was beginning, to his dismay, to discover a few of the long-withheld answers.
The evening, then, was not for him the exciting night out it was for two of his younger siblings--both sisters beside themselves with the thrill of it all. He wished he could agree. While he now understood the decidedly peppy mood that Rachel had been in for at least half a week, her excitement as July 4th had approached nearly annoying, he couldn't say that he agreed with their joy; his gaze circled the table. And, if he were any judge of other people's moods, neither did anyone else.
He didn't entirely understand this last fact, but he had his guesses--the moods of his mother, father, and Michael making definite sense; his gaze bore more softly into the actress. Why the lovely Nikita shared their clearly disturbed thoughts was less obvious to him, but he supposed that it was, sadly, only to be expected. After all, when you were engaged to a son-of-a-bitch like Samuelle, you would pretty much have to give up on any thought of joy.
His two sisters didn't share, didn't notice, the disturbances around them, but that was only to be expected. They were young--innocent; Adam's glare tore into the actor across from him. He wasn't certain he could say the same thing about himself anymore.
It had been thoughts such as these which had plagued him all evening, none of them becoming any better, as the group finally began to break up. They had been put in a separate dining room, away from prying eyes, for which he was thankful, but it wasn't enough privacy for what would come next. No. For the conversation he was determined to have, there would have to be no one but he, his mother, and that bastard actor alone.
This end was necessary, but he wasn't entirely certain how to bring it about just yet, could see how anxious all the other adults were to bring this evening to a close; he didn't blame them. Still, he wouldn't allow the man before him to make his getaway as cleanly as that; his furious look probed deeper. If his suppositions were correct, the actor had already managed that once, at least 17 years ago; it took a lot to keep his breathing even. There was no way in hell he would let him do so again.
He made it to his mother's side just as they were all rising from the table, whispering his request to her. While she stared at him curiously, even a little sadly, for a second, she didn't ignore him, looking back to the group. Then, pretending the request had come from the nearby Michael--for the benefit of any watching waiters, he assumed--she announced, "A nightcap sounds like a great idea." She smiled back to the actor, some look in her eyes that her son had never seen before--and certainly never wanted to see again. "Why don't you show us up to your suite?"
Adam watched all of this, had to hand it to the man in some ways; the surprise in his gaze was barely perceptible, was possibly only his imagination. He had to try to control his rage a second later. Oh, yes. He was a damn good actor; his focus settled on the poor woman Samuelle was duping into becoming his wife. It was about time he settled this now.
The whole party headed toward the elevators, Adam's mother making brilliant conversation as always; it was one of her many skills. His gaze raked over the pair once they entered, only stopped when the elevator boy stared at him curiously. The man made him sick; he had try to hold down the rising bile. To think that he might be his son . . .
It was this theory which plagued him all the way up--this which had for much of the day--his memory rolling back in the most terrible way, hating everything that had happened. He had been happy enough when it had all started, had then been overwhelmed but pleased at meeting Nikita; it was impossible not to be. He had heard it said that some actors weren't as impressive, when you saw them in the flesh, but that certainly wasn't the truth for her. She was a star--in beauty and brightness, as well as fame. While he hadn't been able to make very intelligent conversation around her this afternoon, it was enough just to be in her presence--her soul shining from her all the more stunningly in person; his sigh went deep, followed quickly by the rising rage, his gaze returning to the man who was disgracing her. That she was being duped by a bastard like this . . .
He had to close his eyes for a moment, trying to hold down his disgust, but it was very hard. He had never once in his life hit someone, but the temptation to beat the hell out of the man who might well have sired him was rising by the second; his look at the elevator floor resumed, trying to stay calm. He had to hold himself together, or he had no idea at all what he might do.
He attempted to find his equilibrium by thinking back over the day--as little aid as such reminiscence gave him, the sadness of the change lingering. While he had felt outclassed by Nikita's beauty, impressed by the depth of thought in her eyes, he had been happy enough just being near her, hearing her answer his sister's endless questions with tenderness and patience; his sigh covered his wrath. It had only been when he had gone down the hall, had heard his mother and Samuelle discussing money for his future that the truth had started to sink in; his fists clenched. And he would be damn certain that this man regretted his mistake in mistreating his mother in spades.
They made it all the way up to whatever floor the couple's suites were on--Adam only a little relieved to see that they had separate rooms. Still, he wasn't naive enough to believe that this would be a barrier; his gaze burned. No son-of-a-bitch like the man who might be his father would let such a detail delay him for long.
He was able to stew in this thought for several minutes, as his mother handily arranged their conversation--leaving Chuck, the girls, and Nikita in the living room of the actress's suite to talk. Rachel hadn't run out of questions yet--and probably wouldn't for some time, especially not now. After the excitement of the day and the sugar boost of a very rich piece of chocolate cake, his sister would be quite awhile in coming down to earth. Still, this was for the best. The conversation he was going to have with this man and his mother was for the three of them alone.
He knew that Samuelle could see his concerns, knew he had guessed them, as the actor led them into his sitting room. He gave the man no credit for his last, concerned look at his fiancée, however, saw it for the obvious control tactic that it was. Bastards like this were capable of anything; the rage flowed through him. But he was going to make certain that the actor never hurt anyone ever again.
Adam had no real idea of what he would do once alone with the pair, but it was certainly for the best that none of them found out. The boy was as close to violence--possibly even to murder--as he had ever been, or imagined being. Before, he had thought only the serious harming of one of his family members could bring him to such a state--if even that. But now . . .
Fortunately, his mother saw this, was even a little frightened by it; it was more of his father's traits than she had ever wanted. Before, she had seen only Michael's good points in the boy: his intelligence, his self-contained manner, his ability to charm through talk when with those he felt comfortable, his ease with public speaking. Besides the more obvious physical traits the two shared, more so with every passing year--Adam's face and physique now a map of his father's--these were all she had found of the man in him before. But now . . .
She was between the boy and his true father as soon as the door was closed, had no desire to see the other side of Michael come out in her son. While the actor had never been violent for the sheer sake of violence, he had a darker side--seen mostly in a few fights in bars and once in the way he had quickly taken care of someone who had been spewing some sort of anti-Semitic venom at her. He would never harm the innocent, was slow to anger, but, when he did, there was a dangerous streak to him; she kept from shuddering, as she looked in her son's eyes. She had no desire to see that trait passed along.
Her hands were on her son's shoulders, her look forcing him to connect with her, to remember their bond. It had existed since the womb, had always been unspoken. While he couldn't by any stretch of the imagination be described as a "mama's boy," Adam and she had always understood one another; her hand ran over his hair gently, as she watched him calm. She would have to use it again now to make certain all was well.
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