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Blind Sight: Through The Eyes Of Leocardo Reyes

Ermisenda Alvarez

Chapter FOUR

EVASIVE MURMURS

BlindSightLeoBookCoverLeocardo invited Claudia over. He needed more answers and knew that she had them. He also wanted to spend time with her speaking their mother tongue; he loved her humor and the warmth she emitted.

“Let’s get cooking!” she exclaimed, heading straight to the kitchen to raid his fridge and pantry. Leocardo tried to help cook, but she clearly did not need it; she was a chef at the restaurant she worked at. While the onions, tomato and garlic simmered, Leocardo thought he would probe, knowing he was treading on thin ice.

“I couldn’t buy a ticket,” he said, while cleaning the cheap plastic counter.

“What concert did you want to go to?” she asked, as she stirred the simmering vegetables.

“A ticket out of here.” His voice was small. Claudia’s gaze whipped around to meet his.

“Leocardo!” she looked annoyed.

“What?”

“Just let it go.”

“Let it go? How can I? I need to leave this place. I hate it. You know what I hate most about this stupid place?” His brow creased.

Claudia gave him a deadpan expression.

“That every day I seem to hate it less, but I know that I still hate it so much. How is that possible? I’ve barely been here a few weeks and I’m already growing some stupid…attachment.” His fists clenched and he paced in and out of the kitchen. “How can I feel homesick when I think about leaving Edaion?”

“We need you here.” Her voice was soft; he moved up beside her and unintentionally took a big whiff of the delicious sauce in the pan.

“Who are we? Just tell me Claudia.”

She looked over to him pensively.

“You don’t understand. I can get into some deep shit if I tell you too much.” She explained with worry flickering in her gaze. “That night at the bar…, I had been drinking and I was being stupid. Thank Nevaeh for your co-worker.”

Leocardo frowned, why did she use the town’s name in such a manner? He then realized Nevaeh, Edaion’s capital, was Heaven spelled backward. He was barely able to suppress his scoff. Heaven? If there was heaven on earth it would definitely not be in this hellhole where it needed to kidnap people in order to populate itself.

“Tell me enough. I’m in the dark. No one will ever find out.” He didn’t like the way she spoke about being punished. Were there cameras in houses? Was this 1984? Did people have microphones on them recording their conversations? Was there some kind of mass political regime that ran this town? Was Theodore in on it too?

Claudia looked at him, she offered a gentle smile. Her hand reached out to touch his shoulder affectionately. “You’re a great guy Leo, but darn stubborn.”

“Thanks?” He felt the blood rush to his face and quickly turned away toward the window outside. The window was foggy and every day the temperature dropped. “Does anything interesting happen in winter?”

Claudia didn’t respond. He turned around to face her.

“Come on, winter’s coming and it’s coming soon. If it was up to me I’d say it already was winter. It’s freezing out there.”

“Winter’s the best season of the year.”

“I doubt so,” Leocardo scoffed as he rubbed his hands together. “I’m grateful for heating systems.”

“You don’t understand,”

“Well then help me understand!” he exclaimed in frustration. Claudia looked at him, uneasy about his reaction. “Sorry, I’m sorry I didn’t mean to…” Leocardo brought his palm to his forehead, trying to ease the headache.

“Winter is when we can…be ourselves, show off.”

“Show off?”

“Want to help me with the food?” she asked with a cheeky smile. Leocardo strode over and helped her drain the boiling water from the pot which carried the pasta. The sauce took another ten minutes to finish. The scarce ingredients had served Claudia well; she whipped up two delicious servings with plenty of leftovers.

The click of the lock sounded and Odette came in, dropping her book bag on the floor. Claudia suddenly tensed up; Leocardo could see it in the way she smiled. Was she nervous? He was not expecting Odette to be home early from school.

“Since when does your cooking smell good?” Odette asked.

“Odette, Claudia is here and she’s a friend of mine. She’s the one cooking.”

“Well, Leo is helping,” Claudia added. “Hola.

Hola, nice to meet you.” Odette replied without her usual teenage sarcasm. “It’s so good to hear another Spanish voice.”

“How was school?” Leocardo asked.

“I need your help with some homework.” Odette then added with a moment of hesitation, “Can I stay over at Samantha’s tonight?”

“Yes. After Claudia leaves I’ll see how I can help you with your homework,” he offered.

Once they had all eaten their fill, Leocardo escorted Claudia back to her car outside. They got distracted by an ice cream store Claudia spotted a block away. They spent an extra hour talking and laughing together. Despite his anxieties, he was able to enjoy his time with Claudia. Her chocolate ice cream cascaded down her hand, while she licked her fingers back to their natural color he could not help but watch, slightly embarrassed.

By the time he was back at his apartment, he had to rush to work.

“Do you have time to…?” Odette asked.

“No sorry, maybe tomorrow, have to work,” he muttered as he ran out before adding. “Have fun!”

*

“…A horse walks into the bar. The bartender says, ‘Hey.’ The horse says, ‘Sure.’” Cameron chuckled with laughter at his own joke. Leocardo laughed uncomfortably and Nate ignored Cameron, making a comment about a woman he had seen a few nights ago. They slipped back into the work routine. Leocardo had been accompanied by familiar thoughts of Claudia and the little she had told him about Edaion. Peter asked him to stay some extra hours since the night was busy. Leocardo agreed; he needed the money and Odette was sleeping over at a friend’s anyway. All he needed was for Nate to give him a ride home after.

“Hey Nate, mind dropping me at my place tonight? I’m staying late a few hours.”

No problemo,” Nate replied.

Gracias amigo.” They went back to work and the extra hours ended up being the most enjoyable of the night. One young woman was so surprised to see a drink handed to her by Leocardo; she claimed it was magic.

In the corner, a man played darts. No matter how many he threw, he was always a hundred percent accurate. Leocardo turned away and seconds later a fight broke out. The accurate dart player fell backward into the wall after a punch to the chin accompanied by jeers of “cheater” and something about winter. Peter darted over from the back room to break up the fight and exchanged quiet words with the dart thrower.

Leocardo had to stop watching when a perky redhead came up to the counter, with glasses that matched her hair. He was ready to take her order when she surprised him by handing him her number accompanied by a giggle.

“Can you give that to Nave for me?” Leocardo frowned at the paper. Nave? Who was that? Suddenly he noticed Nate nod at the redhead. Leocardo chuckled inside; she did not even know his real name. He handed her number to Nate.

“Thanks.” Nate pocketed the paper.

“Anytime, Nave.”

It hit him. Nate was with Ana. His respect for Nate plunged in a single thought.

Cameron was working to his right and Leocardo moved closer, “Cameron.”

“Yeah?”

“Does…Ana know about Nate’s flirting?” he asked, trying to be as casual as possible.

Cameron chuckled as he cleaned a glass. “Ana knows Nate doesn’t like to put labels on relationships, but she doesn’t approve.” Cameron had one eyebrow arched as he spoke.

The last hour of the night started to drag and he really wanted to fall into bed. Abruptly he heard his name and saw Nate slide his phone into his pocket. “You ready?”

“For what?” Leocardo asked.

“Sorry, but we’re going to have to make a side trip before I take you home,” he apologized.

“Side trip?” He was tired but to bond with Nate could be beneficial.

“You remember Ana? Blonde, comes in sometimes…well, apparently she got dragged into going to a party, needs a ride home.”

He followed Nate to his car. It was an old clunker with paint that peeled off like burnt skin. He had to use both hands to wrench open the passenger door and was surprised to find that despite its derelict exterior, the interior was pristine. Food did not litter the floor, and Leocardo could detect the distinct smell of air freshener.

Nate turned the key and the engine failed to turn over before silencing completely. Nate turned the key again but with no better result.

“Pretend you didn’t see this,” Nate begged, looking a little embarrassed. He leaned forward and kissed the steering wheel, “love you.” He turned the key again and the car sputtered happily into life.

Leocardo watched out the window as the environment around him changed from nightlife to suburbia with grand houses sitting lavishly on their perfectly manicured lawns. Each garden with its fountains and pruned flower beds was more elaborate than the next. It only took a second to see where the party was. Every light in the house must have been on, and music was blaring. Cars parked up and down the street and people in varying states of sobriety came walking or tumbling out of the house.

Nate pulled out his cell phone and started to text, but stopped when he saw two people approaching the car. Leocardo’s brows furrowed slightly as he watched Ana pause with another girl beside her. Leocardo felt his stomach knot up as he saw dark haired, fragile, and wide-eyed Odette step into the car alongside Ana. They smelled curiously sweet yet revolting with the mix of expensive perfume, cigarettes, and whatever other stench was in the air during the party.

“Oh shit…” Odette’s voice was muffled by her own hand.

“Did you forget something?” Ana asked oblivious to the situation between Leocardo and his sister. He was disappointed and upset but he plastered a neutral expression onto his face. What was he to think? His sister had lied to him. What happened to the sleepover at Samantha’s? If she had said she was going to a party he would have just said, ‘Okay, be careful’. It hurt him that she felt like she had to lie; he hated feeling like a grumpy parent.

“Ana, this is my brother, Leo.” Odette’s voice was small.

“Hello,” Leocardo said.

“Oh hi Leo, I remember you from the bar.”

He contributed to the polite chitchat with Nate and Ana on the drive, but inside he was furious. Leocardo learned that Ana had been playing the harp since she was eight among other trivialities. When he asked how long Ana’s family had been in Edaion, Nate snorted. Clearly Leocardo had missed a private joke so he let Ana and Nate bicker uninterrupted the entire trip.

As soon as Nate had dropped Leocardo and Odette off, Leocardo gave a disappointed look at a hunched Odette. “Let’s go inside,” he sighed.

Once inside she blurted, “I’m sorry!” Cielo trotted over to Odette, licking her hand, clearly showing whose side she was on. “It wasn’t worth it anyway. The party was crap.”

“Tell me the truth next time.” Leocardo murmured without much enthusiasm before heading to bed. Was it so bad to be protective over family? Did she see him as a parent to hide things from? He felt like one ever since he arrived here at Edaion. He was tired from work, exhausted from Odette’s lack of trust, and upset about his life Edaion had transformed without permission.

*

Leocardo woke up to a knock on his door. The sun was high in the sky and Leocardo groaned, realizing he had overslept. Odette came into his room already dressed. “After school I’m going with Aniela to hang out.”

“Aniela?” He rubbed his eyes and the girl’s portrait slowly came into focus.

“Ana.”

“Right.” He didn’t know what he thought of Ana, since she was probably the one who had taken Odette to the party.

“And Claudia is in the living room,” Odette added neutrally.

“Claudia?” Leocardo checked the time; it was 11am. He frowned and looked straight up at Odette. “Why aren’t you at school?”

“There was an exam for the language students and the rest of us didn’t have to attend until noon.”

Leocardo quickly tugged a random shirt over his head and greeted Claudia groggily.

“Hello sleepy head,” she murmured before adding cheekily, “nice hair.”

“I wish I could say the same,” he joked.

“I’ve got the day off so I thought I would come over and see if you wanted to have lunch.”

“Can you take Cielo for a walk later?” Odette interjected.

“Later,” Leocardo grumbled, a little annoyed at Odette’s interruption.

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FROM THE START (ProloguE)

Blind Sight is an urban fantasy series about a blind girl who develops the ability to draw. You are reading Blind Sight Through the Eyes of Leocardo Reyes. This volume is told from the point of view of Odette’s brother who thinks she’s having premonitions. The companion novel, Blind Sight Through the Eyes of Aniela Dawson tells the same story, but through a different point of view. Odette’s new friend Ana is convinced Odette is a medium channeling spirits and cannot be convinced otherwise. Who is right? Whose eyes will you read through?

amazonbutton-purchaseYou can also learn more about our novels on our page, Ermilia Books.

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