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Gabrio turned around following Radgna. His heart wrenched. “Don’t go.” Despite it all, he truly did love him like a father would a son. “It’s not safe.”
Radgna heard the desperation in his father’s voice, but he needed space. He needed to run and think and be alone. He felt his father grab his shoulder and he snapped. “No, Dad. Just leave me be.” Radgna stammered, “I...I’ll meet you at the next safe house in New York where the part of the Leavitt clan will be. Until then, I’ll do my duties and look for Thaddeus.” Seeing his father was as broken as the moment Thaddeus was taken, his guilt disintegrated the fury in him. For a split second Radgna almost stayed. Yet, Gabrio made the choice for him.
“Go, Radgna. I understand that you need this. I’ll see you in a couple days. Be careful, my son.” Wordlessly, Radgna gave his father a small curt nod and left.
Another thread of lightning crossed the sky as a clap of thunder echoed the distance between them. Numb from all thought, Gabrio lingered in the darkness of the night feeling the world around him. He snapped his gaze to the right and seen Conlaoch was standing by his side. Gabrio growled low as the burning feeling of contempt returned.
“You and I both know he needed to know. To understand the past is to know the future.”
Gabrio snorted, feeling a small bit of amusement from the well-worn statement. “That’s what Marrok used to say.” Contempt turned to resentment. He sighed, “I let him go. He needed to be alone. I saw his thoughts when I touched his shoulder. He planned on leaving when we were sleeping. He was going either way.”
“You’ll make him a stronger ally for telling him the truth,” Conlaoch stated.
“Or make him an unstable enemy.” Gabrio retorted with a heavier heart at the realization.
“Only he has that power to decide. Whatever one he chooses, we’ll be there for him.” Conlaoch stated as he looked behind him and saw the distant fires grow higher and larger. Especially if he turns, I will be waiting for him. Through the chaos of the storm, he listened a little harder and heard the low voices of the Beast Bloods walking to the funeral fires. “The fires are ready. I can hear your people making their way there now.”
Gabrio scanned the darkness one more time in hopes Radgna had changed his mind. But the open field and thick forest line were still void of any sign of him. Knowing his son was long gone, he turned around and began walking back to the house. “I can’t wait till this day is done, I couldn’t stand any more of what comes of it.”
Suddenly, an object fell from the sky and smacked Gabrio on the tip of his nose. Started, he stepped back and looked up. Lightning flash and he could see thousands of small black object falling from the clouds. In a sporadic pattern like the summer rain, hundreds of soft fleshy thuds hit the ground around them. “What are they? Hail?”
Conlaoch held out his hands and waited for one to come near him. Suddenly, he caught one of the falling objects. He brought his cupped hands to his chest and slowly opened them. Blood streaked through his fingers and a wad of black feathers filled his hands. Morbidly curious he opened his hand further. He saw black beady eyes lifelessly staring at him. Realizing what it was in his hand, he dropped it to the ground. “Jesus! They’re dead birds!”
Unbelieving of the sight he was witnessing, Gabrio waited for another spark of lighting to confirm what he saw in the darkness. Sure enough, another white blue blast illuminated the wide field. Gabrio’s stomach churned as his heart pumped hard in his chest. The stench of blood was growing as soon as the rain was washing it away. Incredulously, Gabrio spoke his dismay. “Oh, God.” For miles beyond what their eyes could see, large bodies of dead crows littered the ground and thousands more continued to fall.
Conlaoch said as his symbols began to turn from blue to black. “I have to alert the Order. They need to help find Thaddeus and the other Truer Sin. It’s time they become involved in what’s going on. Now, the world is at stake. Revelations have begun.”