"Guys, meet Tensly! My sort-of foster Dad. Sometimes." Rupin grinned, rushing back outside from the cabin to drag them in for introductions. They'd been waiting outside for at least fifteen minutes whilst Rupin was explaining the situation to the older man. "Hey, Ten, these are my friends. Well, I think Demarion's a friend, but don't quote me on it."
Demarion pulled a face when the first thing he spotted was the numerous cigarettes littered across a rounded, pine dinner table to the left side of the dining room. One had rolled off onto the wooden floor below. He stood near the open door for fresh air, trying to remedy the smell of cigarette smoke as best he could. Most of the house was made of wood, which was to be expected of a cabin, but the building itself had two floors and looked surprisingly roomy.
Tensly himself was sat at the table smoking, eyeing the teenagers as they piled into the room. Thick auburn hair was brushed towards the sides of his face and base of his neck, the length neatly falling no lower than his stubbled chin. He slowly pushed away from the table with his muscled arms, his height towering over the rest of them. The chair legs scraped across the floor and scrunched up the rug behind him.
"Tensly Stark. Call me Ten." he nodded, standing up to approach the teens and holding one hand out after dropping his cigarette on the table. He kept the other hand behind his back.
Jesse immediately shook it and gave the man a smile. "Jesse Sinclair, sir."
Kiara introduced herself soon after, albeit more hesitantly. She spoke her first name but said nothing-else, unable to look the man in the eye. She'd been exceptionally timid ever since they'd entered the house.
Demarion, who was leaning against the wall by the door, was more wary and less friendly. He carefully watched the placement of Ten's other hand rather than shaking the outstretched one, and didn't say a word.
"Good, I like you." Ten gave an approving nod after a few moments of silence. "You need to be skeptical of people in these times. Somethin' as simple as a handshake will wind you up dead if you're not careful." He pulled his other hand out from behind his back, revealing a sharp knife to the group. "I could have been a Corrupted. Could've used this on any of you an' you'd have been none the wiser until it pierced your heart. Demmy-boy was the only one to consider a logical approach instead of trustin' I was a friend."
Kiara's face fell as she crossed her arms and looked to the floor, still unable to meet the intimidating gaze of the man in front of her. Her unusual reaction to the adult prompted a concerned look from Rupin.
"Hey," he whispered, leaning over, "he's a really friendly guy, I swear. He doesn't mean any harm."
"No, no, I know, it's... fine. I'm fine." she forced a small smile. "Ignore me."
Meanwhile, Jesse had adopted a disgruntled expression and folded his arms in disagreement. "No, it's in times like these that you need to trust people, or you'll never know who your allies are. I'd be dead if it weren't for friends having my back."
"Oh, a people-person, mate?" Ten leant down so that he was at eye level with Jesse, the boy being only two thirds of his own height. "Life of the party?"
"No, not really..." Jesse avoided eye contact and stared out the window to his left, shuffling awkwardly. He used one of his hands to rub the back of his neck. "But I trust my friends or else I can't expect them to trust me. Both Rupe and Kiara have helped me out a lot."
Ten straightened up, a satisfied smirk on his face. He chuckled heartily. "You four need to stick together. You work well as a group."
"You... you changed your tune." Jesse laughed uncomfortably at the strange man, but relaxed his shoulders after realising they'd tensed up. He took a few steps backwards but was trying his hardest with facial expressions to not seem intimidated.
"I'm just makin' sure you're all good company for my Rupert, mate. Nothin' personal." Ten glanced around the group whilst Rupin was turning a deep shade of red at the name 'Rupert'. "Now then... you'll be spendin' the rest of the night here, so all of you can go get some sleepin' bags from upstairs. Everyone'll be in the livin' room tonight." Ten waved a hand as a gesture for them to go up. "They should be in Rupert's old wardrobe. Oh, an' Blue–"
Demarion grimaced at the frequent butchering of his name and paused as he grasped the banister. "Yes?"
"You look like hell an' your clothes are becomin' invisible. Rupert's a tall lad, about your size. See to it that he gives you some of his spares. You can too, Scruffy–" Ten looked pointedly at Jesse. "Your clothes are matchin' the state of your hair."
Both boys had got changed into some more comfortable clothes that were actually intact; Rupin appeared to just alternate between a handful of outfits, so most his his spares had never been worn, and he had quite a large collection of various styles.
The group sat and waited in the living room whilst Ten cooked up a 'little late-night somethin''. Jesse and Rupin lounged around on the leather armchairs, slowly taking turns to throw a scrunched-up paper ball to each-other. Kiara sat cross-legged on the floor by the empty fireplace, reading through some papers that had been stashed in her rucksack. Demarion noticed she'd been holding her gun ever since they'd arrived, and she didn't even seem to realise it. She didn't seem in a hurry to fill in the gaps of Demarion's memory either, so he was sat in silence, trying to decide whether or not to look at the journal she'd handed him in the tunnel. Just as he finally made his mind up to read through it, Ten walked over to the group with several plates in hand. Demarion half-expected a few pieces of burnt toast, but was pleasantly surprised when presented with a decent plate of spaghetti.
Rupin immediately sat up in preparation to have a hot meal, but Jesse seemed to have fallen asleep. He jolted upright and fell off the armchair reflexively once Rupin threw the paper ball at his head.
As Ten joined them, he placed the plates on a rectangular table in front of the dusty fireplace. He then lit a few more candles for extra light in the room and sat next to Demarion on the sofa. "Sorry 'bout this, the North rerouted all the electricity to themselves last year, we don't get none of it in the East anymore. So, Rupert here tells me you turned up outta nowhere an' said you've lost your memory?"
Rupin let out an exasperated sigh.
"Something like that." Demarion shrugged, twirling some of the spaghetti strings around his fork.
"What do you remember?" Ten asked.
"All I know is my name."
"I see." said Ten, gruffly. "Well that doesn't get us nowhere. What's the deal with your eyes? Let me look at 'em."
"What?" Demarion slowly lowered the fork full of pasta away from his mouth.
"You heard me, boy." he replied, leaning forward as Demarion reluctantly stopped himself from blinking. "... Hm, interestin'."
"I know, they're silver. We've established that already."
"You have the eyes of Oneiros, mate."
Kiara looked uncomfortable at the mere mention of that name. Guilty, almost. Jesse shifted uncertainly in his seat, but Rupin just carried on stuffing his face with the spaghetti.
"Silence. Sounds promising." Demarion scowled, attempting to eat some more of his dinner. "Who's Oneiros? That kid mentioned the name on the way here." he nodded towards Jesse, who looked less than impressed at being referred to as such.
"Lighten up, Blue." Ten slapped him on the back, making Demarion almost swallow his fork whole. "Oneiros is a good guy. Dream deity and all that. God of Dreams, if you like."
"Oh, more of this 'nightmare apocalypse' crap. Right." Demarion shook his head, finally managing to have a mouthful of the spaghetti without being interrupted.
"Listen here, boy, and stop bein' so ignorant. What's happenin' isn't just the result of some made-up religion or 'creation of the universe' theory, it's a real part of this world and you'd do right to understand that." Ten frowned at him. "By the looks of it, I'd say you're the oldest of this group, but you sure aren't actin' it. How old are you, mate?"
Demarion stopped eating and fell silent, staring at his plate. He didn't even know his own age.
"He was eighteen when I last saw him." Kiara glanced sadly at Demarion, but he didn't notice. "He's nineteen now, his birthday would have been about four and a half months ago. July 7th."
"An' the rest of you?"
"I'm seventeen, like Rupe. Not a 'kid'." Jesse sent a pointed glare at Demarion, of which he responded to by shrugging.
"Eighteen." Kiara answered.
"So you're all over sixteen. All adults." Ten mused. "Alright. I assume the rest of you know what I'm talkin' 'bout. I know Rupert does."
Rupin nearly choked on his dinner. "Ten, will you stop–"
"Yes, I researched all of our country's lore and history quite extensively when I was younger." Kiara nodded. "It was the one topic I was always interested in. The original tribes, their war, the first twins... All leading up to the events that are happening today."
Ten nodded in approval. "See, Blue, in the beginnin'– or at least as far back as anyone has records of– there were these two large tribes of people."
"Are you about to give me a history lesson?"
"You asked who Oneiros is, so I'm tellin' you how this all started. Stop interruptin', boy."
Demarion sighed and crossed his arms, leaning backwards into the sofa. "Go on."
"So, as I was sayin', there were these two tribes. Now, they worshipped two deities. One was Oneiros, an' the other was Noctus. Doubt you've heard that name yet, but he's the God of Nightmares. Typically depicted as the opposite of Oneiros. These tribes were separate 'cause of their different loyalties, they believed one deity had more power over the other an' it caused tension between 'em. A war broke out when a woman from the nightmare tribe murdered a man from the dream one, claimin' it to be 'in the name of Noctus'. It lasted for nearly a year, neither side was winnin' 'cause they both lost people at an equal rate."
"You say they were just tribes, hardly large civilisations, yet somehow they lasted through months of war." Demarion raised an eyebrow skeptically.
"It weren't like modern war, boy. They didn't go chargin' at each-other with weapons on a battlefield. Either side would send no more than one or two people in the dead of night, to avoid detection from the lookouts. An' they would only kill one or two enemies at a time before scurryin' back, since alarms would be raised within minutes. They only did this once a week on a different day each time, so their enemies would be left uncertain of when they'd be comin' to attack. It was a slow war, but the small overall population made it effective."
"The strategy was adopted by both tribes and was very focussed on stealth. It was named 'Assassins War' for a good reason." Kiara joined in the conversation from the kitchen where she was washing her plate. "Devastating to population at the time, but unfortunately it wouldn't be a viable tactic now, not with how many people exist in the world today."
"So I suppose I'd be right in assuming that something happened to stop this 'war', then." Demarion stuffed his hands in his hoodie's large pocket just as a chill drifted through from an unknown source, most likely a hole in the woodwork. The house didn't have any form of heating, so even Rupin had already curled up inside his sleeping bag on an armchair to listen to the rest of the story in warmth.
"Right, else we wouldn't be sittin' here today." Ten nodded. "Long before the war started, near enough fifteen years previous, a woman who was loyal to Oneiros an' a man loyal to Noctus had a relationship in secret. The woman had got pregnant an' had twins. It was unheard of to have anything but one kid at a time before this point, so the parents got scared of reactions an' tried to hide the fact they had more than one of the exact same age. Wasn't too hard 'cause both of their kids looked the same, an' not to mention they were just blubberin' newborns at the time, so it were easy enough to hide one with the other parent when people came callin'. But it was around the time they were born that the two sides of the tribe made the decision to live apart, to avoid the tension an' anger caused by the conflicted loyalties. So these lovers took one kid with 'em each as the tribe parted in two. Never made contact with each-other again, an' never revealed the other parent."
"Idealistic crap, all of it. It's just another cliché forbidden love story." Demarion leant forward to rest his arms on his knees and stared down at the palms of his hands. He didn't believe a single word that was being spoken, it sounded too farfetched. Yet deep down he couldn't shake the uneasy feeling he got as each word tumbled out of Ten's mouth.
"Don't be so ignorant." Ten slammed his hands down on the table with such abrupt force that it sent the remains of Jesse's dinner sailing across the carpet, and Kiara nearly dropped the mug she was using to drink hot chocolate from. "You're refusin' to listen. You don't know anythin' about your life, could be an ex-serial killer for all I know, so be damn grateful for my hospitality and respect your elders, boy."
"I can assure you I'm not a serial killer." Demarion replied coolly.
"How do you know? I mean, you pulled a pretty neat little trick on Kiara earlier..." said Jesse. "Y'know, with stealing that gun without her noticing. Got to have had some practice to do something like that, right?"
"Saw an opportunity to take a weapon that could be used against me. So I took it. Don't act like a saint, kid." Demarion scowled at him but was amused to be given a similar glare back. "Finish the story, Tensly."
Ten stared at him in silence for a few moments, but Demarion didn't flinch and calmly stared back at him. "Very well." Ten muttered. "One day, a meetin' was called between the two tribes an' they gathered in a large circle around a fire, durin' the night. A boy on each side had come forward, claimin' that the gods had spoken to them, orderin' the senseless fightin' to stop. The boys that had come forward were none other than the twins. They were sixteen years of age by then as their birthdays had just passed, meanin' they were viewed as respectable adults. The tribes were skeptical at first, but as soon as they saw the two boys looked identical to one another, they were eager to listen to these newfound 'chosen ones'. The twins had no idea they had a brother, let alone one that was an exact lookalike of 'em, but they soon worked out they were split apart because of their parents' loyalties. They both revealed their parents had died durin' the start of the war, so they'd spent most of the year raisin' themselves. The boys explained to the tribes that Oneiros an' Noctus were both needed for balance, both equals, and that it was their own moral projections of good an' evil that were the root of the problem. Both deities were there for a reason, existin' in harmony. The two brothers told of how they took on the appearance of their tribe's god during their dreams and nightmares; Oneiros' boy had white hair and silver eyes, whereas Noctus' boy had black hair and gold eyes. They both recalled that their own tribal markings had changed colour and weaved all over their skin."
"Silver eyes... I'm no representative of a god." Demarion had walked over to the window by the front door whilst Ten was speaking, feeling a compulsive need to keep watch, as if someone was coming.
"You've not got white hair either... but that doesn't mean something didn't just go wrong, right?" Jesse pointed out, directing the question at Ten.
"The boys didn't change their appearance in the real world. Only while they were sleepin' and made contact with the gods." Ten shook his head. "Kiara, you said Blue went missin'. What did he look like before?"
Kiara seemed to be in deep thought, clasping her mug with both hands to keep warm as she was sat huddled in her sleeping bag on the floor. Rupin, in the armchair closest to her, waved a hand in front of her face. She didn't even blink.
"Er, Kiara? You okay? You still with us?" Rupin shook her shoulder lightly until she snapped out of it.
"Sorry, I don't know where my mind wandered off to..." she sighed. "Um, yes, Demo. He had black hair, blue eyes."
Ten watched her curiously. "How're you feelin', girl? You don't look too healthy."
"I'm perfectly fine, just a little dazed. I'm sure it'll pass, don't worry." she mumbled, climbing out of her sleeping bag and placing her now empty mug on the table. "I think I have to go to go to the bathroom, excuse me a moment."
"Alright, the rest of you wash up and lights out when she comes back. We can finish the story tomorrow." Ten pushed himself up off the sofa with a tired groan and headed to the kitchen to make some hot chocolate. "You boys want any?" he asked, holding the tub of powder in his hands.
"I'd love some." Jesse grinned. Rupin had already scuttled over to the kitchen to help out.
Demarion nodded a 'yes' from where he was still stood, staring out of the window in thought. A flash of lightning bolted out of the sky near the Marswyn area, the town which was being attacked when they escaped from Lorlea. He turned his head when he heard a noise, just as Kiara returned. She gave him a small smile, but said nothing as she grabbed a cushion for a pillow and curled back up in her sleeping bag.
That night, as the windows rattled from the ferocity of the weather and the candlelight had been diminished, Demarion lay awake. A clock was ticking quietly in the far corner of the room as raindrops pelted the house outside. Everyone was in sleeping bags aside from Ten who was just lying on the sofa with his duvet. Demarion had rolled over and found a torch peeking out from under that sofa, so after a few failed attempts at replacing its batteries, finally got it to emit a dim light. Once he'd made sure everyone-else was sound asleep, he gently opened the journal Kiara had given to him, gazing at the writing etched into the inside cover: 'Demarion Walker - 07/07/2753'.
As he flipped through the pages, he found a number of drawings and diagrams. Descriptions of dreams he'd had each night, since he was seven years old, were scribbled on every spare patch of paper. Some dreams he'd only written a few words down for, whilst others took up a good few pages. On every single page, there was a small drawing of a wispy, fox-like figure. As he delved further into the book towards the most recent entries, he noticed a few curious ones appearing from the end of the previous year.
'09/08/2771 - I followed the ghost fox this time. Everything was black, I could see nothing but that creature. It led me to the white-haired god again. I believe he said his name is Oneiros. He has these unnatural silver eyes, white hair and some strange white markings all over him, like tattoos or cryptic lines. He tried to speak, but his words were as if spoken underwater. I couldn't understand him.'
'13/08/2771 - Soren says he's been having the same dreams, of a white-haired god. He knows better than to lie to me. I took his journal from him when he wasn't looking. He's been dreaming of a black-haired god with gold eyes to the same effect. His journal details several nightmares and horror scenes you wouldn't even want to see in a movie. He's starting to act distant.'
'15/08/2771 - I spoke with Kiara today. I was never raised with the stories of 'ancient lore', so she had to explain exactly who Oneiros was. She claims it's a good thing that I'm seeing him, but I don't believe her. Oneiros is no saint. Not from what he's been telling me.'
'22/08/2771 - Soren's started to show violent tendencies. He's been screaming in his sleep. I woke up last night to find him carving some kind of inscription into a tree. I don't know what it was about, none of us could translate the language. Kiara suspects it's the ancient language of the 'first tribes', but there's no way Soren could have learnt something that's been lost for years. The only thing we could work out was the drawing of some sort of big cat. A lioness, or possibly a panther. It might be his version of my ghost fox.'
'24/08/2771 - I keep seeing the spring, over and over again. I walk through it and find a cave, behind a small waterfall. I keep walking. There's a small glint at the back of the cave, in the wall. It's a small glass figurine, a glass fox. I see my reflection in it. I have white hair and silver eyes. Like Oneiros. I see these dark blue markings crawling onto my face, all over my skin. I drop the glass figure, it shatters... and I wake up.'
'02/09/2771 - Soren's gone. Disappeared. We woke up this morning and he just wasn't there anymore. I found a trail, but it stopped at the edge of a cliff. There was no body anywhere. We realised he'd been seeing Noctus in his dreams- well, nightmares. I don't know what's happened to him. As much as I don't want to admit it... I need my brother back.'
"Brother?" Demarion hissed, the sharp pain piercing through his head once again as he began to feel dizzy. He slammed the book shut and stood up once he'd gained his focus back. He intended to wake and question Kiara, but heard a sudden creaking noise and went rigid. He switched off the torch to allow the darkness to envelop him, quietly turning around as he began to hear whispers in his head.
Demarion kept his breathing calm as he looked about for the source of the noise. He hadn't seen anyone wake up, yet he thought he could determine a humanoid figure in a dark corner of the room. He went to inch closer to investigate, but someone flew past him in a blur.
"The hell you think you're doin' in my house?" Ten snarled from out of nowhere, slamming the figure up against the wall with a painful amount of force. "You been followin' these kids?"
Kiara woke up startled, and covered her ears as best she could with a gun in one hand. She tightly shut her eyes as Rupin attempted to reassure her and snap her out of it.
"No, no! I– I was just looking for somewhere to stay!" a feminine voice wrought with fear squeaked from the shadows. "I didn't know there was anyone here, honest! My home, Marswyn, it was raided and destroyed a few hours ago by some C-Corrupted, I thought whoever lived here would have fled, I just needed shelter, there's a storm coming... Please, can I stay here for the night? I'll leave in the morning, I promise!"
Ten's jaw was clenched as he debated what to do. After what seemed like an eternity to the teenagers, he finally came to a decision. "Get out."
"Wh-what? But– No! Didn't you hear what I said?" the girl stammered as her eyes narrowed, her tone changing from one of fright to one of anger.
"I'm inclined to ask you the same question." Ten released his grip on her shoulders and roughly dragged her over to the front door by her arm. "Out."
"Are you serious? You can't cast me out!" she protested.
Demarion still hadn't seen a clear view of her face due to there being no lights lit. It was past three o'clock in the morning and he could faintly hear the distant rumble of thunder, but it wasn't going to be dangerously near the house any time soon. He gave a passing glance to the rest of the group– or at least what he could see of them.
Jesse had only just woken up in time to see Ten escorting the girl towards the door. Demarion assumed he was just a heavy sleeper, but he had no idea how it was possible for someone to sleep through a voice as loud as Ten's. Jesse was rubbing his eyes and yawning, not sure what all the fuss was about.
"Who's that? We got a visitor? Little late for girl scouts, isn't it...?" he mumbled, half-asleep still and not fully coherent.
"Some girl broke in, Jes." Rupin murmured, taking on a serious tone and nodding his head towards the pair at the door who were now arguing with each-other. "Pretty sure she's not here to sell us some cookies." He was still trying to calm Kiara down, who was silently trying to hold back tears for a reason he couldn't make out. "She's no harm, come on, you're usually the fearless one in these situations..." he said quietly so the others couldn't hear and put his arm around her. Kiara just shook her head and pushed him away, much to his frustration.
"If you don't leave right now, I swear to the gods you won't get another chance to." Ten threatened. Demarion spotted him twirling a knife behind his back and his eyes narrowed. He kept quiet but wondered if Ten was actually going to kill the girl. She didn't sound much older than her late-teens.
"Alright big guy, have it your way..." the girl said, turning on her heel and promptly marching out of the door. "Don't say I didn't ask nicely."
Ten slammed the door and walked over to the window, watching her to make sure she wasn't coming back. Once he turned away, he sighed and bolted the front door again. "I don't know how she got in. This is the only entrance and all the windows are locked."
"It's obvious." Demarion muttered as Ten lit a candle.
"Excuse me, boy?" Ten glared down at him, arms folded. He looked like he'd had enough for one night as he reached for a lighter and picked up a cigarette.
"I went in the bathroom an hour or so ago." Demarion nodded towards the door at the bottom of the stairs. "There's a trapdoor under the mat in there. Not entirely sure why you'd put one in a bathroom, of all places. But the mat was askew so I noticed it. Didn't think much of it until now."
Ten frowned. "That trapdoor can't be opened from below. It has to be unlocked from within the bathroom itself, an' I haven't had any visitors in weeks besides some poor granny an' you kids. Unless..."
"You think it was the old lady?" Jesse raised an eyebrow.
"No. She and her family didn't step foot in my house when they called round." Ten glanced back and forth between Demarion and Kiara. Kiara was quietly recovering from the state she had been in, whilst Demarion was giving Ten a wary stare. "You, boy. You were rather observant of the way the intruder broke into the house."
"Yes, and I then proceeded to tell you about it so that you would suspect me of letting her in. Brilliant conclusion."
"Reverse psychology." Ten muttered in response to Demarion's sarcasm. "Kiara."
Kiara glanced over from where she was huddled in her sleeping bag.
Ten sighed. "Do you know anythin' about this?"
She shook her head but refused to look directly at him, much like earlier. "I was only in there while all of you got hot chocolate. I didn't notice anything strange at the time."
"I don't understand..." Ten growled to himself, putting a hand to his temple whilst trying to think.
"I don't get why you didn't let her stay. I know she broke in but she–" Jesse started, but was cut off.
"I said earlier, you all need to stop trustin' so easily. What that girl said, it's one of the most common lies by a Corrupted. They break in, and if they're not caught, they'll kill you while you're sleepin'." Ten's face turned grim whilst Rupin's fell. "If they get caught in the act, they plead for shelter... and then you're vulnerable, if you invite 'em in anyway. They end up accomplishin' what they came for unless you send 'em packin'."
"Someone needs to tell me what the hell is going on here." Demarion abruptly brought himself to the attention of the others. "I wake up in the middle of nowhere with amnesia, get told there's some 'evil spirits' that manifest as bad dreams, and suddenly half the country have turned into psychopaths that are trying to kill us all." He shook his head. "We have time. So talk. And don't give me another history lesson, it was useless."
Ten took in a deep breath to control his temper, not pleased with Demarion's attitude. He disposed of his short-lived cigarette and lay back down on the sofa, staring up at the ceiling. Everyone-else had already retreated back to their original sleeping places.
"Alright. What do you need to know?" Ten looked over at Demarion who was looking out of the window again, trying to see where the girl had gone all of a sudden.
"These 'Corrupted'. Tell me about them."
"They're just people, but lost their minds 'cause of the horrific scenes they experience when they sleep. Nightmares you wouldn't even be able to describe without losin' your sanity. Even the world's worst horror movies have got nothin' on 'em."
Demarion frowned at the words 'horror movies'. He suddenly realised why that sounded familiar and turned sharply to Kiara. "You. I have a brother."
Kiara went exceptionally pale. "Yes... you do."
"When were you going to tell me this?" he asked, walking over to her angrily. Ten stood up and put a hand on his shoulder. "I read the journal. He went missing before I did. Has he come back?"
"No." Kiara took on a cold demeanour as she watched Demarion's impatience increase. "He hasn't. And after how he acted, you wouldn't want him to either, so calm down and let it go."
"He's my brother. That's not your call to make. Have I got any other family you're not telling me about? What about my parents?"
Kiara took a deep breath. "Look, this isn't for me to tell you. Whatever happened to you when you went missing caused you to lose your memory. We should just focus on getting it back, then you'll have all the answers for yourself. Good and bad ones."
"So what you're too cowardly to say is that all my family are dead." said Demarion bluntly, his face lacking any sort of emotion.
"You don't know that." Kiara shook her head.
"No. But you do." he spat, snatching his journal and sleeping bag up from the floor and heading upstairs to sleep in the hallway. He didn't care to ask if Ten would allow it, but the older man just let him be and said nothing.
"I think that's the most I've heard him say all evening..." Jesse trailed off, watching as Demarion cursed loudly when the sleeping bag got caught on a protruding nail in the stairs.
Kiara replied when Demarion disappeared out of sight. "He's actually more mature than you'd think. Poor guy raised himself and his brothers on the streets for years after his parents died, it really hardened him. I suppose without those memories to draw a personality from, his frustration will be more... apparent." Kiara sighed when Jesse gave her an accusatory look. "I want to tell him everything I can, I do. But it'd break him if I did, and we need him to focus on finding out what happened. I don't want to see him in the same state as when I first met him."
"You said 'brothers'. You mean he has more than one?" Jesse asked.
"He... it's not my place to talk about it. Demo needs to get his memory back then he can tell you himself, if he wants to."
Demarion's eyes narrowed from where he stood at the top of the stairs, listening.