Welcome back to another chapter of Random Branches! In the last chapter we found out that Alexandra gave birth to Canderous and then immediately left Atton taking little Canderous with her. Atton became severely depressed. Alistair found him one evening in a bar and at least got him to leave sober and pushed Atton towards getting his life together again. And that’s when Atton remembered where Alexandra wanted to live. And now on with the story.
Lucian Dracule stood outside of the apartment suite that all intelligence pointed to Alexandra Alto living in. He had spent several weeks pulling in favors and collecting evidence. And was here in the city he hated the most: Bridgeport.
He had never seen Alistair so worked up over something. If it hadn’t been the nature of what Alistair said, Lucian would have been happy for it. It meant Alistair finally let someone in. But Atton just had that effect on people. Then again, saving someone’s life tends to create strong bonds.
It had taken all of Lucian’s charisma to keep Alistair from coming here. It would immediately tip off Darius with werewolf smells suddenly coming into town. Another vampire smell would be easier to mask.
Lucian sighed and knocked on the door and hoped the intelligence was right.
The door opened and who appeared to be Alexandra opened the door.
“Canderous, no throwing in the house!” the woman yelled, before saying, “Can I help you?”
“I’m looking for Miss Alexandra Alto. Are you her?” Lucian answered.
“I am, why?” Alexandra asked before quickly saying, “Did something happen to Atton?”
“May I come in? I don’t want to say what I need to say in the hall.” Lucian said. He wanted to say that yea something had happened to Atton: someone had broken his heart. But he needed Alexandra to not be on the defensive.
“I suppose. I need to keep an eye on Canderous anyways.” Alexandra fully opened the door and let Lucian in.
Lucian entered the apartment and took stock of what he saw. It appeared to be a one bedroom apartment. And by the looks of the place, the kid was driving Alexandra up the wall based on what he had heard. “Now that I’m here, I don’t know what to say exactly. So I’ll be frank. It’s not safe for you here as long as anything ties you to Sinbad Rand. And I know the kid is Atton’s. Which means he’s Sinbad’s grandson.”
“I could believe Atton telling stories. But you a stranger? Just who are you anyways?”
“Lucian Dracule. A member of the Immortal Council of Moonlight Falls. We let you come in because someone in the military thought it wise to station a human in Moonlight Falls. The Rands are allowed to stay in Moonlight Falls because they are being hunted by a criminal even worse than what you think Sinbad is. Darius Myst. You’ve been here a couple of years now. You should have heard of him by now.”
Alexandra nodded. “What does that have to do with Canderous? He… he wouldn’t…”
“He’s done it before. Our intelligence of his gang’s knowledge of the family leads us to believe he’s not aware that you and Atton were even together. Let alone had a son. But look at you. You’re low in the military in a cheap one bedroom apartment. Your parents are rich, which means they’re not letting you ride on their coattails. Which means you’ll have to start asking for money as Canderous gets older. And you’d ask Atton. Or your parents would contact Atton. And you know Atton would step up financially. Leading a paper trail that indicates that he might just be a Rand.”
“But living with Atton is just as dangerous.”
“What makes you think that?”
“For starters Sinbad is a criminal! He can’t be a good influence. Carth is so immature he wouldn’t be able to handle raising a kid. Kreia’s just as bad as Sinbad. Atton’s quirks would get in the way. That only leaves Mira as a reliable parent. And I can’t put raising Canderous on her. She has to keep her family in line.”
Lucian just looked at Alexandra. It seemed she honestly believed what she said. Apparently she only saw the negative in the Rands. “Sinbad Rand took a major step backwards in his dream career in order to save his family. He’d give up his own life in order to save his family. Carth can contain his immaturity when he needs to. Kreia would go through hell for her nephew. You don’t want to know how hard it was to keep them from coming. And you underestimate Atton. His quirks would not interfere with raising a kid. And what about you? How are you handling being a single mom?”
Lucian could tell what he had said had gotten to Alexandra. At least to some degree. “It’s exhausting. I’m not ready, but with me is the best option.”
“So even though if Darius Myst ever gets wind of just who his father is he’ll be dead, you’re not willing to give him up?”
“No, I promise to not try to mooch off of anyone…”
Before Alexandra can finish her thought, a knock on the door is heard. A loud knocking. She sees Lucian freeze in place and glance at Canderous. He shook his head and wrote on a piece of paper with a pen, “Alexandra, I know who’s on the other side of the door. Get Canderous barricade yourself in the bedroom. Now. Quietly.”
Alexandra nodded and Lucian handed her the sheet of paper. She wondered why before she realized he didn’t want whoever it was to know any names if he didn’t already or that they were there.
She barricaded herself in the bedroom and hugged Canderous and tried to keep an ear out for what was going on on the other side of the door.
“Darius, I never imagined you would be the one to come here.”
“I was going to do it here. And then call Sinbad.”
“They aren’t here.”
“I can wait. It’s obvious they still live here.”
“No, you’ll leave. Because I don’t want to kill you here. And we both know I’ll get the upper hand. It’s why you didn’t try the last time we ended up in the same place.”
Alexandra then heard the sound of a fight start. She prayed that Canderous stayed quiet. The fight seemed to go on forever before it just went quiet.
She jumped when the door jiggled.
“Alexandra. It’s Lucian, let me in.”
She relaxed at his voice, but he didn’t sound good. She put Canderous in his crib and opened the door slowly.
Lucian shut the door behind him before sitting on the bed. “He’ll be gone for a while. He’ll be back, though. I did manage to convince him that Sinbad would just love to see you dead for what you did so he said he’d leave you alive. Take my phone. Call…” Lucian passed out before he could say who to call.
Alexandra pulled him onto her bed properly and ran her hand through her hair. “Phone, phone. Where are you?” Alexandra said, digging through Lucian’s pants for it. When she got it she looked through the contacts. She stopped at one name: Alistair.
The name rung a bell. “I’ll call him. Whoever he is.”
“Did she give up the kid?” Alistair said when he picked up the phone.
“Did who give up whom?” Alexandra said.
“Who in the world are you and why do you have Lucian’s phone?”
“Alex.. Alexandra Alto. Lucian’s been hurt. Badly.”
“Where are you?”
“My apartment. 156 Crossing Street. Suite 615.”
“Shit. I’ll send help. Bye.”
Alexandra blinked at the abruptness of Alistair. Not five minutes later three sudden simultaneous pops made her scream.
Nicholai’s attention immediately settled on Lucian. He looked bad, but a quick examination said he wasn’t about to die. Thanks to the incredible healing capabilities that vampires have. He noticed Matias go off into the other room to see what he could see and Iris wasn’t going to have anything to do with Alexandra and she was playing with Canderous.
Alexandra was just staring.
Nicholai sighed. He wasn’t too fond of Alexandra, but he needed to know if this was just a random attack or if this was due to Canderous being a Rand. “Alexandra, I’m Nicholai Tritten. The fairy is Iris Baines. The genie who went into the other room is Matias Wisherton. What happened?”
Alexandra opened and closed her mouth some before explaining what happened. After she finished she said, “I still don’t think with Atton is any safer than I did this morning, however, I think it’s safer for him to be there than here.”
“Coast is clear and apartment is secure,” Matias said stepping back into the bedroom, “Who did it and will he be fine?”
“Good,” Nicholai said, “Darius and yea. Alistair forgot the fact that the person who told him was a human who is unaware of the fact that vampires have remarkable healing capabilities. But considering everything, I’m not surprised he did. And Alexandra agrees now that with Atton is the safest place for Canderous.”
Matias nodded before looking at Alexandra, “I’m not sure Bridgeport is safe for you anymore, Alexandra.”
“I’m not moving back to Moonlight Falls.”
“Good!” Iris said, glaring at Alexandra.
“Be nice, Iris,” Lucian said, having been awake for a good few minutes, “We wouldn’t force you to go to Moonlight Falls, but Matias is right. For at least a few weeks it might be best to leave Bridgeport. I don’t think he’ll come after you once he calms down.
Alexandra nodded and said, “I’ll pack up Canderous’s things to take to Atton.”
“Can you get the door, Atton?” Mira said, “I’m on a roll with the novel.”
“Sure, Mom,” Atton said, getting up and answering the door.
When Atton opened the door he blinked a few times. It was Alistair holding a blond toddler who fit the basic description Sinbad had been given for Canderous.
“He’s a rambunctious little pup if what I’ve heard about him is right,” Alistair said, “She’s given full custody to you.”
Atton took the sleeping toddler from Alistair and said, “Thank you.”
“No need to thank me. She ran off with a member of your pack. I was obligated to do whatever I could to rescue the pup.”
And this is where the chapter ends. Will Canderous adjust to suddenly not being with his mom quickly? Will Atton find someone special? Will having Canderous with him finally end Atton’s depression? Find out in chapters to come!
Progress towards Atton’s goals:
- Master an instrument – Piano at level 5
- Get married – He has a romantic interest
- Join Music Career – Achieved Chapter 1.8 when Alistair got Atton a job.
- Learn all songs – He knows all his skill level gives him
- Become Hit Movie Composer – He’s level 2 – Roadie
- Know all co-workers – Achieved Chapter 1.8 when Alistair got Atton a job (a mod from Twallan)
- Befriend 1 co-worker – Achieved Chapter 2.0. Pip Goodfellow and Atton are already Best Friends.
- Level 5 Logic – He’s got none.
Progress toward’s Mira’s goals:
- Grow a garden with every plant from the store (She’s gotten everything from the store except what requires 7 or higher gardening skill)
- Master gardening skill (Still at level 7.)
- Get married (Accomplished Chapter 1.0 when Mira married Sinbad)
- No woohoo until married (Accomplished Chapter 1.0 as Mira never woohooed before marrying Sinbad)
- Have a boy and a girl (Accomplished Chapter 1.1 as they have 2 boys and 1 girl as of that chapter)
Progress toward’s LTW’s
- Mira – Illustrious Author: Level 2 Painting, Level 6 Writing
- Sinbad – Master Thief: Cat Burglar – Level 9
- Atton – Hit Movie Composer: Stagehand – Level 3