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Blind Sight: Through The Eyes Of Leocardo Reyes

Ermisenda Alvarez

Chapter THIRTEEN

NIBBLING UNCERTAINTY

BlindSightLeoBookCover‘Edaion, 1902’. He typed it into the library computer search engine. His finger rhythmically tapped the mouse as he waited on the slow connection. The internet provided him few answers. Edaion had little published online and he had the nagging feeling most of their history had been inked into books.

Leocardo looked behind his shoulder to find a solid wall. He could not help but feel that people were watching him, or knew what he had done at the Dawson manor. He had never been a criminal, and although his actions were petty, he felt like a serial criminal on the run. How would he face Ana? What if she accepted his date proposal he had put onto her calendar? He should have waited until after he broke into her brother’s office to think about returning back to the crime scene.

His head slumped into his hands. What if the entire Dawson family found out? There were probably cameras in Theodore’s office and he was the idiot who walked right into it. He glanced up from his hands and saw that the search engine had provided him with little results. ‘1902, Edaion’ was not very descriptive at all.

He decided to take a different approach and tried the library database. He found that there was a history book that described events that occurred in 1902. ‘Timeline of the Edaion Council’. He paced the hallways until he found the right section and then fingered through the volumes until he found it. It was thinner than what he had imagined. His eager fingers clamped shut around it.

Leocardo opened it immediately and flicked through until he found the chapter he wanted, ‘The Early 1900’s’. It told him nothing, it generalized history so much that even history professors would’ve yawned. He flicked to the index and found that 1902 was in a special section titled ‘Scandals’.

He slumped into a nearby chair before burying his head in between the pages.

1902 not only marked the beginning of balanced government power within Edaion but was also home to a highly speculated event in history…

Leocardo read about how the Royal family began to lose power while the council grew in popularity and influence before the turn of the century. The royal family began to crumble, there were rumors of deep-seated corruption and Alexander Dawson, the ruler of the time, was speculated to be a power-thirsty king. Just as Leocardo was ready to put down the book, bored of the council history, the story got interesting.

Amongst the increasingly aggressive disputes between the council and royal family, a particular woman had been noted. No name was given. Apparently she had been a crucial contributor in the fight for the council’s voice and had aided the loosening of the royal family’s rigid grip.

Before the royal family signed the decree for the council’s increased power, she was murdered. Her remains were never found. The people of Edaion backlashed and the final wave of resistance made the royal family surrender their overruling command. True balance was restored, but a life was lost. Many claimed the Dawson family had the woman assassinated, but nothing was proven.

What interested Leocardo the most were the additional comments made by the writer. A series of rumors that sprung and circulated around Edaion that year were included, the year of the woman’s murder, 1902. One rumor claimed she had been sleeping with Alexander Dawson, another said she was the secret child of Etoile Dawson, the ruler before Alexander, another said she could bend thoughts, and there was a very popular one, that she had the gift of foresight. Some claimed that she was not assassinated, but rather that she went missing. Maybe she had escaped?

The means of her power, influence, and abilities to infiltrate and retrieve information from the Dawson family during their collapse was uncertain then and still is today.

Leocardo took a deep breath and shut the book. He rubbed his eyes with the butt of his palm and tried to think. It could have been chance that Theodore wrote down that date. Maybe it was not a date but the pin to his credit card? The scandal could not have occurred coincidentally during 1902, could it? He wanted to know the name of the woman; he wanted to know what happened. If she had seen the future, was that why she had been killed? Did she know what the royal family planned to do? Did they silence her because of her gift?

Leocardo gripped the book tightly, his knuckles pale. What if Odette could see the future? What if the Dawson family was up to no good again and Odette was recording it?

*

Leocardo checked his appearance in the mirror. His casual jeans hugged his legs, one of his last good pairs; a simple guitar print shirt, clean-shaven face, and his cologne was strong by habit. Whenever he glanced around at the meager surroundings he felt incredibly stupid and was ready to call the entire thing off. The ‘inside picnic’ he had created on the floorboards screamed pathetic. A navy tablecloth lay on the floor, a frail bouquet of daisies to create a ‘summery’ feel as the gentle sound of guitar played from the stereo. When the buzzer sounded, he tripped over himself to get the door.

He pulled the door open to see Ana in a winter coat, pink beanie and snow boots. “Hey,” he said with a smile and noticed how her eyes shifted to the setup behind him.

“You are going to freeze dressed like…” Her reaction shifted from confusion to delight. His eyes fell to the basket she was holding. “How fun!”

“Snacks for the way over?” He humored, hoping it was not a large amount of food for the picnic.

“Oh, no,” she replied. “I was not sure if I was supposed to bring anything, so I had our cook whip up some paella, because trust me, you do not want to try my cooking yet.”

“Paella?” His mouth dropped slightly. It was not easy to cook, let alone quick. The cook must have invested a few hours this morning into that. Guilt was setting in quick.

He closed the door behind her. “You did not have to bring anything.”

“Your cooking smells incredible,” she complemented.

He waved off the complement modestly as he got up and moved to the fridge, taking out a platter of fresh fruits he had cut earlier. He placed it between them and let his fork sink into a slice of apple.

“I know you’re used to healthy foods.” He watched her pick at her favorites.

Her lack of conversation disorientated him since she appeared to be very bubbly when she first arrived. This was probably not what she was expecting…who would? Doubt had created a sour taste in his mouth and he felt unable to enjoy the food. Her responses were hesitant and she seemed distant. Did she find out he had broken into her brother’s office? If that was the case, he doubted she would’ve come at all. The only explanation was that this was far lower than her expectations or he had been discovered.

He brought the Spanish tortilla and bread he had prepared earlier along with her cook’s dish, setting it all down on the blanket. The meal was sprinkled with silence and awkward chit chat, but every now and then, they hit a topic that flowed well.

After they finished eating, Leocardo put away their plates and put the leftovers in the fridge so they would not spoil. He had not leaned in close; she had not brushed his hand, their bodies were separated by plates, forks, and food. Despite the romantic setting, the library had been more intimate and he wished they were back there. Maybe she could sense his uncomfortable mood? Maybe she was planning to bring Odette into her family to be torn apart for her gift? He could not tell Ana what he had learned, she would never understand.

He hoped to save the date with the next phase of his plan. “Now for dessert.” He realized dessert was not usually served at lunch, but he had something up his sleeve. Out of the fridge, he pulled out four lopsided pancakes, cooked golden brown for them to share. He also brought a number of condiments, unsure as to what she would want on her pancakes.

The way her face brightened made him smile; he let her have the first pick, waving it off as if it was no big deal. This childish happiness beamed from within her. For a few minutes he forgot all about 1902 and its implications. Seeing her eyes reflecting the multi colored sugars on her pancakes made Leocardo’s bubble of happiness expand. He wanted to brush her lip with his thumb. After sharing their pancakes they moved to the sink.

“I hope you enjoyed yourself; I figured this was something you hadn’t done before.”

She babbled happily, telling him how wonderful it was. He smiled as he scrubbed her plate, listening as she spoke, convinced the pancakes had saved everything, though apparently she even liked sitting on the floor. She fell silent and he looked over his shoulder.

“Your sister hasn’t been hiding away in her room this whole time or anything has she? She could have eaten with us if she was.”

“No, she said she was going to see Nate actually; she took Cielo since she feels guilty leaving her in the house when she goes out.”

He did not say anything else because it had really irritated him that she was with Nate. It was making him uneasy and agitated. Whether or not Nate was a friend, he knew what Nate was like.

Ana excused herself to go to the bathroom. She was in there for quite some time, Leocardo began to worry. Just as he grew suspicious, she returned to the kitchen.

Leocardo was easily captivated by the innocent gaze that her eyes constantly emitted. He noticed he had been staring, but so had she. “Have somewhere to go?”

“I better be going,” she failed to expand and he did not press. She told him the date had been ‘nice’.

Nice. It was nice. How the word really did sting. He remembered his words in the library. Nice. He had called her nice and then changed it to kind. Had she felt like this too?

He followed her to the door and he kept averting his eyes. Once they reached it, he opened it. He felt like he was going to choke on his words, but he had to say something to make up for the days earlier, breaking into her brother’s office and maybe for odd choice of venue for the date. Ana’s eyes glistened, how could malice exist beneath that gaze? Yes, she was a Dawson, but maybe Ana really was just trying to help him? His mind battled between the two possibilities, trying to disregard his feelings.

As his gaze reached hers he said, “You’re a beautiful person, Ana.”

“You’re pretty wonderful yourself.”

Leocardo finished it off with, “We should do this again sometime. We have a lot to investigate with my sister and all…”

He must have said something wrong because while she agreed, she practically bolted from the room. He thought it might be a bit dramatic to feel hurt, but he did. Without a second thought he nodded; this was for the best. No romantic gestures. This way, feelings would not complicate the situation further. From now on he would just see Ana as an acquaintance and try to deter Odette from seeing her. It was a mistake to set the date, let alone appear like an eccentric hippie who eats sitting down amongst daisies with a woman from a family who might be trying to exploit his sister.

*

Later that night, with a defeated feeling from the date that had filled his insides, Leocardo went to work. It was like any other day, but he felt oddly tense. Peter and a man with a soft round belly discussed politics about Edaion’s council decisions. Lee, a bartender from the club upstairs, had been helping out since they had lost Nate. Cameron called her ‘the reserve’ and always had an eye on her. Lee’s face was always caked with make-up, her eyelashes like that of spider legs and bony hips that made Leocardo want to feed her some real cake every time he saw her.

Work was nothing exciting, nothing out of the blue, and nothing to stimulate thought. By now, Leocardo could even concoct most of the more common drinks without much thought. However, he was glad that there also seemed to be nothing too horrific, terrifying or life threatening in his life or Odette’s. The seizure stresses were starting to fade, but he could never forget them. He preferred this monotonous pace to the rapid and alternating descents into paranoia and despair.

*

Odette trudged inside the apartment as Leocardo slurped at his hearty soup. She looked tired.

“Hey,” he said, but no reply came.

She placed some bags in the fridge before slumping into a dining chair. He rose and served her a bowl of soup. On nearly every other occasion, she had complained he gave her too much food as she weighed the plate with her hands, but Odette was already consuming the food without complaint or thanks. He looked at her, confused. He thought she was supposed to have lunch with Ana and wondered if something went wrong.

“How was lunch?” He asked.

There was no response except a shake of her head; her eyes did not even glance at him which was a habit she had developed to demonstrate she was listening despite being unable to see. Nothing. She blocked her face with the bowl as she brought it up to her mouth and slurped. It was like she was afraid that at any moment he would rip the bowl away from her.

“Do you want more?” She nodded and he served more. Ominous shadows darkened beneath her eyelids as he gazed at her with deepening concern. Had she not been sleeping well?

“After this bowl you should go to sleep.”

Something serious must have happened with Ana. He did not understand and could tell she would not talk about it. Once again, she devoured the second large bowl of soup. Rather than watching her eat another serving, he sat down on the sofa and turned on the television, hoping he would catch something about the council meetings. He wanted to know what was going on in the political life of his new country. Suddenly he heard cupboards opening and noticed Odette rummaging for more food, grabbing biscuits, crackers, fruits, eating some as she went.

“Odette, how can you be so hungry?” Maybe she was going through another growth spurt? Maybe this was how she was dealing with the emotional ordeal of the seizure?

After he spoke, Odette took the handful of packaged food she had found and went straight into her room with Cielo following close behind. What was wrong with her? He needed to talk to Ana and wondered if he should call her. No, he should not get in the middle. He could not ring Ana without Odette admitting that there was an argument first. They were two young, sensible women and he was sure they would be able to resolve any issues they might have. He needed to let them work it out themselves.

Nothing on the television was worth watching, so he left it on a channel playing action movies. He pulled out some legal documents to finish filing for health insurance. He wanted to become a citizen, but he needed to be a resident for a few years first.

Leocardo flicked through the channels again growing bored of the bullet proof male protagonist irresistible to any female and the elite villains who always lacked aiming abilities. All of a sudden, he stopped on one channel with Alaya Dawson formally acknowledging the council’s main discussion topic at some sort of press conference. They were discussing the possibility of raising taxes during the winter period to support the country to make up for the lack of revenue from tourism.

Alaya did not come off as superior even though she was queen; many of the other speakers spoke for longer periods or had more convincing arguments. Leocardo could not help but think about 1902, and the woman who was murdered. Suddenly he had an image of Alaya’s bloodied hands over Odette’s limp body. Leocardo switched the channel, back to the bullet-proof hero currently seducing an older, attractive woman.

The movie ended with the most predictable of finales, one of which Leocardo had formulated within the first five minutes of watching the screen. He turned off the television with a dissatisfied sigh. Leocardo moved over to the kitchen and noticed Odette had left the cupboards open, the plates dirty and a small litter of crumbs. He sighed, tempted to demand she return to clean up her own mess, but decided to be a considerate brother in her obvious time of distress and cleaned up after her.

Once he was done, he decided to try something. He stood on one side of the room and concentrated on appearing on the other. He looked, focused, squinted his eyes, and bit his lip, but nothing happened. He jumped, shuffled, twitched and tapped his feet together, but did not find himself on the other side of the room. Tatiana was probably wrong regardless. How could she guess a specific power out of all of them? He waved his hand in front of him, but nothing happened then either. He gave up for the time being, went over to Odette’s room and knocked on her door.

“Odette?” No response. “Are you okay?” He began to open the door fearing a replay of the scene that took place a few days ago.

“I’m fine, go away!” she exclaimed with a bludgeoned tone in her voice as if she was trying to suppress her emotions.

He took his hand off the doorknob and moved to his bedroom, not wishing to disturb the already apparent emotional and moody teenager. Had she found out about the date? Did she know that he liked Ana? Was this her response? Even once he was in his bed, he could not help but toss and turn in his sleep. Something did not feel right.

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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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