The man who sat in the chair was not Cameron's farther. He was taller and had the matted hair which was grey and reached his shoulders. He wore a long tailcoat and a black bow tie. A black top hat that was to small for his head sat sat slightly askew on a pillow of the greasy mop. He had thick greying stubble and his face sagged as if about to fall off. A cane was propped against the wall behind the table of which he sat. But it was the smell that got him more than any of his odd features. He smelt like... That was the thing. He just couldn't describe it. It was like he'd been hung up on a washing along with old books and photographs and left to decay for years. It was odd but that was the only way to describe it.
"So..." Said the man, "You must be Cameron." He grimaced at the way he pronounced his name in his Boston accent. He made it sound as if he was something that he was a piece of gum he stood on and had to scrape off with something sharp.
"Cut the pleasantries." He said scowling at his 'father'. "Who are you? You obviously not my dad and I don't want to spend anymore time with a creep like you than I have to."
The man was gone. Then he felt someone breathing down his neck. He turned around and walked straight into a blade the man was holding out. He was pushed backwards by the man which drove the knife in deeper. He stumbled backwards again and knocked over something off the table making a loud smashing noise. He looked down at the pool of scarlet that was forming on his stomach.
"Mmm!" The man purred, "Doesn't that just smell delicious. I could eat you right now. But I'm not allowed since you share my..." The man flinched before continuing. "Condition. We BOTH turned early and BOTH killed ones we loved. You and me are bonded like glue." Then he leaned in and whispered in Cameron's ear, "You belong to me now pal, which means, you're immortal! As soon as I take this blade out you'll recover nearly instantly. I could eat you and kill you and break you and smash you all I wanted and you... Mmm... You would still you would still be alive the whole time."
"Who are you?" Cameron asked, shaking as blood started trickling from his mouth.
"Fear me." He said stroking Cameron's face. "I am the Magician."
The Man was gone 5 minutes later, no one had seen him leave but since he was no where in Burnage House and there was no answer from the board room everyone assumed he'd left. Rhys was relieved to know he was gone. He'd never seen such a creepy guy in all his life. But if that was Cameron's dad he would try and accept him. Since Cameron hadn't come out yet he though he would go and check on him. After all, he'd probably been through a rough time after seeing his dad for the first time in 6 years.
Cameron was curled up on the floor clutching his stomach. Rhys kneeled down beside him and was shocked to see a pool of blood on the floor where Cameron lay. He had his knees up to his chin and was whispering something. Rhys leaned his ear in and listened carefully to what he was whispering between each shaky breath.
"It's gone... I... Need... I mustn't... Die..."
Rhys was pretty sure that parents didn't usually have this effect on their kids when they meet up with them.
"Cameron... Who was that man?" But Cameron didn't respond. He just stared off into space and kept reaping that same phrase over and over again.
"Cameron you're not going to die you egg! You're fine! You're safe!"
This somehow seemed to work as an end to all the madness because after one last spasm across the floor Cameron stopped and sat up.
"Hey Rhys!" He said as if he'd just walked into the room.
"Cameron where's all that blood from?" Rhys asked slowly. "Was it your dad?"
Cameron remained blank for a second before crumpling over and sobbing. "He hurt me Rhys! He smashed the vase over there," he said pointing to the shattered glass on the table, "and slashed my stomach." He looked down at a small scratch on his stomach. Rhys looked at the minuscule injury on his stomach. How can something that small make so much blood? How wondered. But he pushed all queries aside and decide to help Cameron first.
He started to sob so hard Rhys thought it was a wonder he didn't die from dehydration. He felt awkward as he put an arm around Cameron. There was some presence, something that seemed to draw him close to Cameron that had never been there before. As if it had literally only started as he'd walked into the room. Feeling a connection to a Halfblood was usual and was natural through every species including humans, it was especially strong to over Halfbloods. But this was different. Just putting an arm around him made his heart skip. His vision went blurry when he started to talk to him. Most of all was the sensation he was falling. Like his stomach was going to skip out of his throat.
"Rhys," Cameron said, a solitary tear sliding down his face, "Do you feel it too?"
"I... I..." He fumbled around with his words and felt his checks grow hot. "I do. What is-" but before he could finish Cameron leaned forward and started nuzzling his shoulder. Now he knew. Now he knew what that feeling was.
"No." He said getting up before anything else could happen. "I'm sorry but I'm not getting involved in this again. I know this isn't a dangerous as if I was dating a mortal but... I can't lose someone again. I can't live with myself knowing that I was responsible. But most of all I can't live with myself knowing that I'm not just in love, but in love with a guy. Oh wait, but there's more! He drinks blood has the ability to turn into an animal and he can bend reality! I'm sorry but I can't!"
Rhys slammed the door and rushed up the stairs to his room. He slammed the door and jumped onto his bed. He pulled the duvet over his head and wished that this nightmare would just end.
"Rhys," said Jason sitting on the end of his bed. He sounded like a five year old the way he winged and it entertained Rhys a lot, "I know you don't wanna get out of bed. I understand that, it's a Sunday and you've gotta make the most of it. But you missed lunch and diner and very soon you're gonna miss supper. You can starve yourself if you want but at least tell me what's going on."
Rhys mumbled something inaudible from under the duvet.
"What?" Said Jason, who was getting increasingly inpatient.
The mumbling became more pronounced but Jason still didn't understand what Rhys was saying.
"WHAT?!" He yelled at the top of his lungs. At that moment the Maisy, the little girl who Rhys had grown very fond of while he was at Burnage House walked in. She was wearing a purple stripy top on with her denim skirt he work every day. She topped in off with the fairy wings she'd bought in town that morning. She was about to ask wether Rhys would play with her when he pulled off the duvet and still lying down he shouted at the ceiling, "I like Cameron okay?" At that moment Maisy ran down the stairs singing;
"Cameron and Rhys sitting in a tree,
First comes love..."
Jason laughed. "Well done! I wonder who she'll share that with?" Jason kept laughing but Rhys just gave him the finger which made him crackup even more.
"Listen," Jason said, " You like a guy, so what? OMG! Guess who I like?" He said in a playful imitation of a teenage gossip girl, "I like girls. So what? Just because guys aren't exactly most guys cup of tea doesn't mean that some cant like coffee! I can happily sit there watching Megan Fox with some whipped cream but if you'd rather watch Zac Efron all day who... I just made that sound so wrong..."
Rhys cracked up. He was smiling, which Jason took as a good sign. They were both laughing with Cameron walked in and the room went completely silent.
"We'll I can see when I'm not wanted." He said storming out of the room. Rhys sat there stunned before Jason said, "Go after him mate."
Rhys turned to him and grinned. He had never had a friend as great as Jason before.
Rhys meet Cameron at the bottom of the stairs. He hadn't had time time to run so he,d slid down the bannister the whole way.
"Cameron," he said as he grabbed his should to stop him running away, "We're good friends right?"
Cameron took a a while to reply, "And you want it to stay that way?" His eyes were sad and he looked genuinely hurt.
"No brick-head! I wanna take a leaf from Brianna and Harrison's book. You can be best friends and still have an amazing relationship! In some ways it betters it! I wanna be with you forever, consequences be damned! I love you!" This seemed to take Cameron some time to process but before he could react Rhys leaned in a kissed him. Maybe it was because of the amazing person he was pulling, maybe it was because he was in love or maybe it was because of Cook's rhubarb crumble, but finally, finally Rhys felt like he'd dug a pit so deep he wouldn't be able to climb out of