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Blind Sight: Through The Eyes Of Leocardo Reyes

Ermisenda Alvarez

Chapter SIX

PELTING SNOW

BlindSightLeoBookCover

Leocardo was startled awake by the sound of his apartment door slamming shut. His heart thundered in his chest until he realized it was Odette coming home. Claudia moved beside him.

Odette burst into his room. “Can you help me or do you still have your slut over?” Claudia’s expression froze and Leocardo was too stunned to answer.

“I’m so sorry,” he started to mumble, hoping Claudia would understand that Odette was not usually this malevolent. “Just wait here,” he told her. Claudia looked up at him looking incredibly vulnerable.

Odette spun around on her heels and left his room. “Odette,” he hissed, following her out into the living room.

“What?” Her fake innocence was even more enraging.

“You know what.” She ignored him. “I’m not going to take this immature behavior from my sixteen-year-old sister. How dare you embarrass Claudia like that?”

“Immature! You let that woman seduce you in our home! I have to live here!”

“Don’t be so naïve little sister,” he said cruelly.

What did it matter to Odette who Leocardo had been with, or who made the first move? Leocardo knew that this was about how he had been spending his time recently. Odette wanted to always have him at her beck and call instead of him in a serious relationship. She had never cared before, so why now?

“Claudia is my frie—” he was cut short as his bedroom door opened. He twisted around to see Claudia standing there with a blank expression.

“I’d be careful of what you say little girl,” Claudia taunted as she picked up her belongings. “You don’t know anything about me.”

“Claudia, I’m so sorry,” Leocardo apologized before turning around to see Odette grinning smugly. “Apologize to Claudia,” he snapped.

“No Leo, it’s okay,” Claudia insisted. “You two clearly have issues.”

“Odette, apologize,” he threatened, knowing she would not be able to see his death glare. He watched helplessly as Claudia made it to the door.

“Bye,” Claudia muttered before leaving the apartment. Leocardo caught the door and ran out after her, stopping her outside of the apartment.

“Claudia,” he whispered.

“Your sister needs to grow up.” Claudia rubbed her arm desolately.

*

Leocardo trudged off the bus and walked toward the apartment building where Claudia lived. He could not believe that he might lose Claudia over his sister’s ridiculous, spiteful actions. Claudia had been his best friend for the past weeks; a romantic interest for a night.

The harsh beep of the buzzer echoed in his ears. “Hello?”

“Hey…it’s me.” Immediately the lock clicked and he walked up the stairs. The door opened without warning as he reached for the handle.

“Hi,” she murmured, forcing a weak smile.

Her thick dark hair was down around her shoulders and her expression unreadable. Leocardo’s gaze faltered before rising to her eyes again.

Leocardo launched into a profuse apology as if it was his fault.

“It’s okay, Leo,” he felt her hand brush against his comfortingly, but she still had not invited him in. A silence weighed heavily upon them both, compressing the air and sucking the life from their relationship.

“Let me make this easy for you,” she said softly. Leocardo shook his head. “It wouldn’t have worked anyway.”

“Odette is just—” he blurted angrily before suddenly realizing something. “I still have so many questions!”

“We can still be friends,” she murmured as they embraced. He breathed in her scent. “Ask Theodore Dawson, he can give you the answers that I’m not allowed to give.” Leocardo did not want answers anymore, he wanted out.

*

Leocardo arrived back at the apartment to find Odette slouched over the table. “I’m leaving and you’re coming with me.” He threw a few clothes into a bag before making his way toward her room and doing the same.

“Leo…” she murmured, suppressing a sob. Her eyes were as puffy and pink as marshmallows.

“No, let’s go. We will take the tourist bus. They leave at 1 pm today.” He instructed her of his plan, remembering his trip to the travel agency where he had pocketed a brochure.

The feverish steam of anger and fear was at boiling point. “What are you waiting for?” he growled, holding the door open for her. What had he been waiting for? Why had he been so compliant for so long? Was it just the island coaxing him to stay with her, an underground government group sending telepathic signals or was it the sweet Claudia he had now just lost?

“You know we can’t go.”

“Yes we can!”

“I don’t want to go. I like it here!” she screeched. Her chair toppled backward as she rose suddenly. Cielo entered the room alert. They both fell silent for a moment.

“Then you can stay here.” Leocardo felt his blood pulsing warmly through his veins, his throat was hoarse. “I’m going home.”

Leocardo slammed the apartment door and moved hastily down the corridor. When he went to open the front door of the building, he heard Odette scream his name. The sound of her desperate plea broke him. He tried to blink away the burning, wet sensation from his eyes before he retraced his steps. Odette fumbled her way down the hall, both hands on the wall as she tried to follow him. He took her by the hand and she clung onto him.

“I’m sorry, I’m here.” He whispered, cradling her. He felt nauseous. What was he thinking, leaving her like that?

“I’m sorry,” she blubbered. “I d—didn’t mean t—to be so rude to her. I don’t know what I was thinking. You were always hanging out with—I don’t want you to leave.”

“What you did…” Leocardo didn’t want to sound condescending but he didn’t want to dismiss what she had done either.

“I will go t—to her, I will say sorry.” Odette’s body stiffened, as if ready to get up and go somewhere.

“What is done is done.” It hurt Leocardo to utter those words but it was true.

“I d—don’t want you to leave.”

“I don’t feel at home.” Leocardo sighed. “But I’m not leaving you.”

“You w—won’t until you accept it. We’re here now. I did it, you can too, Leo.” She tightened her hold around his middle.

Leocardo kissed the top of her head. Maybe she was right. Maybe it was time to let go of the past and embrace this future.

*

Days rolled by and Leocardo tried not to dwell on escape plans. He went to visit the indoor swimming pool, keen for a distraction. Allowing the water to envelop his body effortlessly was a familiar sensation that he had missed. He kicked off the side and propelled himself through the water with powerful kicks. His arms stretched out reaching for more than the concrete wall. He kept swimming, trying to leave thoughts of Claudia and his sister behind, but with every stroke, they grew.

Suddenly, his hand grated painfully against the concrete pool wall. He pulled himself out of the water, careful not to let the blood drip. It was nothing serious and he got the receptionist to help him bandage it quickly. Irritated, he sat next to his bag, sulkily staring at the other three swimmers in the pool. Captivated by the speed and precision of the female swimmer, he did not realize he was staring until she came over. He thought she was about to question him, but stopped instead at the bag next to him.

She seemed to be ignoring him, but then did a double take on his bandaged hand. Her intense gaze moved from his hand to his face.

“What happened?” she asked, though something in her tone suggested she really did not care.

“Scraped it against the wall when I was swimming,” he explained, holding it up.

She scoffed, “Beginner?”

“No,” he murmured defensively.

She continued rummaging through her bag rather aggressively, shoving stuff around roughly before finding what she wanted. She pulled out clothes and a dark purple towel. With a curt goodbye, she walked away through the doors toward the changing room.

Not everyone was friendly, he supposed. He swung the bag over his shoulder and left, waiting for the bus outside. With a sigh he leaned against the wall. He hated being alone with his thoughts; they merely tormented him.

When the female swimmer joined him outside, he chose awkward small talk over lonely thoughts.

“It should be here in about ten minutes.”

She gave him a fleeting glance. “I’m not waiting for the bus.”

“Oh, sorry then, I just assumed.”

“You’re not from around here are you?” she asked, looking at him properly this time. There was something sinister about her steady gaze; her eyes were like dark shadows.

“Is it that obvious?” he asked, trying to hide his mood with a smile.

“Kinda, well I’m going to go now.”

“Okay,” he managed, but she was already walking away. He was surprised by her rudeness, but Leocardo did not take offense to it. She had been an interesting, momentary distraction.

*

Before work Leocardo attempted to get hold of his parents but they had blocked his number. Rather than breaking down in tears he gritted his teeth and went to work. Things were different now, he had to accept it. Leocardo and Odette did not have parents anymore.

Once at work, Leocardo entertained himself by observing Nate. Tonight Nate’s attention seemed to focus on one particular seemingly uptight woman with coffee brown hair and amazingly vivid cerulean eyes. Leocardo always wondered if Ana knew how he acted at work when she was not there; he had picked up on the fact that Nate abruptly stopped flirting when Ana was around.

Leocardo’s attention kept straying to how he was going to deal with his situation with Odette. The country had effectively ‘closed down’ as they banished tourists out before the port froze over so he had already missed his opportunity to leave. Nate called out to Leocardo.

Nate came behind the bar searching for some vodka. “They asked for some margaritas. They’re buying her drinks because it’s her birthday.”

“Wish her a happy birthday from me.” He was pretty sure Nate wanted to do more than just flirt with this woman, which made him uneasy. Was Nate capable of cheating?

“Helen’s going to have one hell of a birthday,” he chuckled, “courtesy of Nate Pascal.”

“And Ana?” Leocardo asked.

“What about her?” Nate shoved bottles around as he continued to search.

“This is wrong.” Leocardo didn’t know if he was just going to let Nate walk away or if he really should get into someone else’s business, but now that he knew Ana was Odette’s friend, he could not stay quiet when Nate was taking it too far. It was now or never. He hoped Nate had been caught up in the moment and would be able to see reason.

“Do you think I should wait a bit longer before going over there?” Nate responded.

“What? No. I meant Ana.”

“She’s not exactly okay with it but, you know, I’m a grown man,” he retorted, his frustration showed on his face. Leocardo was taken aback. It seemed unlikely that his girlfriend didn’t care.

“It still doesn’t make it right.”

“What doesn’t?”

“Cheating!” Leocardo said through gritted teeth. Why was Nate acting oblivious?

“On who?” Nate asked.

Leocardo stared back at him with a blank expression on his face. An awkward silence drifted between them before Leocardo answered.

“Ana, of course.”

Nate doubled over laughing and he took his time in calming down. “We’re not dating,” he managed to gasp between chuckles. Leocardo felt the heat rising to his cheeks. “We’re just really close friends, that’s all.”

“Oh…” Leocardo simply stood there, hoping something would distract one of them but nothing did. “Sorry Nate,” he apologized.

“Wow, aren’t you the little hero,” Nate jabbed, grinning. “That’s cute what you just did.” Leocardo could hear Nate’s voice become more patronizing by the second.

“Look I don’t even know Ana, it’s just that some rules your parents teach stay.”

“The world needs more decent guys like us,” Nate commented, as if trying to conclude their little talk with some sort of wisdom.

Leocardo smiled, restraining the urge to roll his eyes. At least Nate had a good heart. He was just getting around with no strings attached. Leocardo was not going to let their different upbringings get between them at work or complicate their new friendship.

Nate left to chase after Helen while working and Leocardo was left with his tormenting thoughts. Odette said to try and accept this new life. But how can you force yourself to feel like you belong? Searching the room for a distraction, he watched as Nate and Helen came out of the bathroom, Nate with a dopey grin. Leocardo was relieved he was not the cheating bastard he had originally seemed to be.

*

Leocardo was on the phone with Theodore’s office as he discussed all the paperwork that had been mailed; citizenship processes, driving license validation and leasing options. They were all things he wanted to burn or put through the shredder. Originally he was talking to Theodore’s assistants until he requested Theodore himself. What Claudia had told him had not left his mind. Theodore had answers and Leocardo had plenty of questions.

After several minutes on hold, Theodore came on the line. They exchanged greetings before Leocardo took the conversation into his own hands.

“I am sorry to disturb you, but I have a few questions,” Leocardo said with a sense of urgency. He was still ashamed about his actions the day he momentarily abandoned Odette.

“We are all friends here Leocardo, ask away.”

Leocardo admitted his escape attempt, his refusal to live there, and his determination to leave. He wanted answers about what he was doing there, how he had come there. How could they expect Leocardo and Odette to just accept this change?

There was a long silence. “That is a topic which cannot be discussed lightly and not over the phone. I have a busy schedule, but I am free in two days, just before lunch. You are welcome to come around and I will answer all your questions.”

Leocardo agreed. Speaking through clenched teeth proved difficult. He wanted answers, not more time to wait for them. Odette walked into the multi-purpose room where she stood there waiting for Leocardo to stop talking.

“What?”

“Can I have a friend sleep over tomorrow?” she asked. They had been holding an amicable relationship as of late. He figured she was trying to make up for what she had done to Claudia.

“Who?” The only friend he could imagine coming over was Samantha.

“Ana.”

“Sure,” he shrugged.

Odette was smart enough to leave the room quickly and hide in her bedroom with her aging braille laptop and Cielo. Leocardo sighed as he flipped through papers and scribbled where his signature was required. He had a sudden desire to rip up the papers and head back home, but instead he got up and made some hot chocolate.

As the stress and anxieties temporarily eased, he enjoyed the moment. He noticed white spots clinging to the outside of the window as snow started to fall. Whirlwinds of pearl smudges drifted lazily. It was his first snow in Edaion and he found it hard to appreciate the delicate beauty of snowfall when all he could see was Edaion. She came down on him with force and natural precision, clouding his mind. Was he ready to accept her as his new home?

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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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