The Many Faces of Amelio
Chapter 1: Peace of Mind
The time was 302 A.E. after the people of Earth had established it's first colonies on Aria in a not too distant solar system discovered by accident. The days of long range telescopes went the way of the dinosaur, as wormholes and folded space theories paled to the doorways triggered by light. Scientists could not explain the streaks of light that obviously had a point of origin, but stopped in the middle of space with no outlet.
The first thought that came to men, was that a black hole was responsible, and was to be avoided, less one be sucked into oblivion. So after centuries of looking at space travel as mere fantasy and the subject of fiction, the question of where did the light originate was not as important as why did it stophere.
Soon scientist dusted the old notion that perhaps we were not alone in the universe, and that a greater design existed beyond the scope of our understanding. But talk of God or extraterrestrials soon pointed at our ignorance, and that we were children who had yet to cut our milk teeth.
The doors were not visible, because we were too young to know where the key was hung. It was in the light. Once the first door was opened, we discovered that the neighbors had been there for millions of years, and we were the new tenants.
It was a world that mirrored the Earth in appearance and atmosphere with one sun but no moon. But it was not alone, there was a chain of planets that lit up the night skies in their close proximity to Aria with a splash of beautiful golden light compared to the pale white of Earth's moon.
It took some time getting used to it.
With space travel only a few months away and not hundreds of years away as first thought, men bid farewell to their home world and began new lives on Aria. As the colonist of England left their modern lives to begin anew in North America, the first colonist from Earth landed on Aria.
Soon thereafter, Aria was discovered to have ancient ruins of a people long since dead. It humbled the scientific community more so than the discovery of the doors in space. It was such a revelation, that many lost their faith, turning back to the pages of history and the mysteries of Aztec temples and Pyramids and even Stonehenge.
But some did not. Perhaps it was because they were raised in the old traditions, and brought the seeds of faith along with them, reasoning that a higher authority made it possible for the old civilization to exist.
Amelio was a child born of those traditions, perhaps to be tested in his faith, yet separated by a fate he had no control of.
Amelio walked down the old path that led to his secret spot near the brook. He loved the way the trees danced in the breeze, and the sound of the water as it gently lapped at his feet. Fall was in the air and the leaves were beginning to change in color. It was as if they were announcing their final goodbye to the world, preparing to go out in style in a collage of brilliant colors. Amelio loved the old brook on his Grandmother's vineyards and would spend many summers soaking knee deep in the cool water; and wiggling his toes in the soft dirt.
He felt so alive whenever the breeze picked up, as it carried the many sounds of nature and the scent of the flowers that graced the fields. Amelio would lie beneath the canopy of wild flowers, watching them dance in the sunlight, wishing he could be just as free. But that type of freedom did not exist in the world he lived in.
Amelio put his sandals on, and headed back up the path towards his Grandmother’s cottage. His long brown hair danced in the breeze, and he smiled as the sun’s warmth kissed his face. Amelio loved the privacy of his Grandmother’s vineyards. There were endless rows of grapes that hung ready for the harvest, and he for one, enjoyed the festive atmosphere of the workers.
Many greeted him warmly as he ran through the fields, and he always gave them the sweetest smile. There were many dirt paths he loved to explore, and several wild fruit trees that yielded sweet apples, and pears.
His mother always complained that a young man should never wonder off alone on such a large plantation, especially with so many workers in the fields. But Amelio never felt threatened, nor did anyone ever bother him on his Grandmother’s land.
There was a way about him, a pure innocence no one dared spoil. It was an understanding that he held many gifts, and was blessed. In fact many looked upon him as a son, or brother, someone who needed to be cherished. It was as if he were in tune with nature, and his eyes held the gaze of one wise beyond his young age.
It was a sharp contrast to the life he lived beyond the borders of his Grandmother's lands. There were no glaring faces, no eyes that accused him day and night of keeping secrets.
Unlike the many people he interacted with daily in the grand metropolis that was Aria. Amelio was sought after for his expertise, and it was precisely the reason why he was often glared at suspiciously.
His carefree and sometimes aloof persona made people scratch their heads, considering his field of expertise was in Advance Science. His job was highly classified, and only few people had access to his field.
Amelio had the gift of sight. It wasn’t the type that told the future though one could easily say it did, but a sight that revealed the truth of the matter. Whether it was one’s dreams, or nightmares, Amelio could gaze upon one’s face, and see right through to their very soul. And this made him unique in his field.
His time away from the city was his way of unwinding, detoxifying himself of all the images in his mind. The natural flow of the air, the trees, and the old brook were sacred to him.
In his younger years, he loved to dance in the fields with no one giving a care. Summer days at his Grandmother’s vineyard were a sanctuary to his mind and his soul. As the long days of Summer were slowly coming to an end, and as his next assignment was being delivered to his office, he wondered when he would ever return to such innocence.
Amelio, 8 years old…
As a child, he was often awakened by the faces that appeared on every wall, every rock, and every pattern of objects living or dead that surrounded a person. Once he kicked Reggie, his childhood friend who said he was such a busybody talking about people, as if he were peeping through their windows at night to see what they did. When in truth Amelio could see past the veil of their outward appearance, and “see” who they really were.
The images were hard to keep out of his mind, and even his ritual of hiding under the blankets did not keep the invading images out of his brain; often echoing against his own thoughts. He often closed his eyes and imagined himself at his Grandmother's vineyard and the safe haven of her embrace. The overnight hours were dreadfully long for him, and he often welcomed the sunrise tired and ill at ease.
Schooldays were often overwhelming to Amelio who had to deal with children his own age. The life of an eight year old was difficult enough, let alone being surrounded by children who had yet to establish their own individual identities.
The mind of a growing child is filled with wonder, youthful innocence, and in many cases, nightmares. And being unable to decipher what was real and what was imagined in your own mind was hard enough, but for Amelio it was hell.
Amelio always knew he was not like other people. His parents were called in several times for disciplinary reasons, as Amelio found himself in trouble whenever he called someone names.
It wasn't that he was an evil child, as many children at that age would pick on the differences of appearance or color. He was an honest boy who could see the many faces behind the child, and often had a hard time pegging one down.
One afternoon, his parents were called in by his third grade teacher, Miss Jane. As Amelio sat in a chair next to his parents, Miss Jane addressed the issue.
“Mr. and Mrs. Sinclair, I have called you this afternoon to speak to you about an incident between Amelio and another student.” Miss Jane glanced at Amelio, “Apparently he called his classmate Sandra Kensington a parrot.”
Ms. Jane purses her lips, as she nodded to Amelio who was fidgeting in his chair, and then continued.
“He has always been a special student, and is very well liked, but lately he’s been withdrawn, and distracted. Is there something bothering him? Perhaps there is sudden change in your home that can shed some light on this behavior?”
Monique Sinclair sighed deeply, as she glanced over at Amelio, who squirmed a bit more in his chair.
“Well, there hasn’t been any change per say- but lately has had difficulties sleeping. Perhaps it is lack of proper rest that has him acting out.”
Alan Sinclair winked at his young son, as his nervous wife tried to dispel any concerns over Amelio. After all it was very difficult to enroll Amelio in that particular Academy for gifted children. There was a long application process, and many a gifted child was screened and rejected.
Monique looked at Amelio and spoke, “Why did you call Sandra a parrot? She has has been your best friend since nursery school dear, and I don't understand why you would do such a thing.”
Amelio sunk his hands into his pockets and shrugged his shoulders.
“Amelio, can you please tell your parents what happened?” Ms. Jane tapped her pen on her notebook.
Amelio now looked at his parents with wide eyes. He took a deep breath and then spoke.
“Well, Sandra wouldn’t be quiet, she talked all the way to school about her silly new cat Mr. Boots -who doesn’t like being called Mr. Boots by the way- and went on and on about this and that giving me such a headache!”
Amelio rolled his eyes and then sat up a bit more and continued his minor rant.
“Then at lunch she took some of my crackers that mom always gives me, and wouldn’t be quiet, so I called her a parrot!”
Alan Sinclair fought to keep his composure, as Amelio -who was really as annoyed as he sounded- was right about little Sandra Kensington in every way, but he managed not to let it show.
His wife, on the other hand, was clearly not happy, as Sandra’s parents worked at the Science Academy of which Alan was an instructor. This newest incident with their son will no doubt be brought to their attention…once again.
Ms. Jane smiled at the transparent reaction by both parents, and spoke quickly to calm the mother down.
“I’m quite sure Amelio meant no harm, but name calling is not tolerated in my class. The students are aware that proper etiquette and respect is expected of them at all times. I’m certain Amelio will not do this again, right Amelio?”
Amelio shrug his shoulders again, then gave a nod to confirm this.
Ms. Jane then asked Amelio to go to the reading section in the class, while she spoke to his in parents in private. Amelio rose from his chair and glanced back as Ms. Jane brought out a folder before his parents.
“I’d like to show you both some of his school work, in particular his art. The assignment was to draw your family as you see them, and briefly describe them. And as you can see, there is clearly something going on in his little mind.”
The Sinclair’s looked at the way Amelio drew them and were shocked to say the least. Alan had been drawn as a large grizzly bear with little hearts all around him, and soulful doe eyes. Beneath the drawing Amelio wrote:
“My father acts like a grouchy old bear but he's really more like a teddy bear. But no one knows but me.”
Alan nearly laughed out loud as Monique gasped at her portrait. It was of a beautiful mare, light brown in color, with a chestnut mane. Beneath the picture Amelio wrote:
“My mother is like a beautiful horse that loves to run in the meadows, but is afraid of lightning.”
Then finally, they looked at Amelio’s self-portrait, which was also of an animal. He drew himself as a gray cat, sitting on a windowsill, watching the world go by. Beneath the picture Amelio wrote:
“I see every one come and go, but sometimes they never leave.”
“As you can see he is also a gifted artist for his young age, with great detail and care.” Ms. Jane pointed to the fine lines, and perfectly shaded angles.
She next brought out a report by Dr. James Mason the school psychiatrist, who provided the Psychological Evaluation of Amelio as part of the entrance requirements to the Academy.
“Dr. Mason indicated Amelio tested high in all of his subjects, especially in the field of Science when he first arrived. A subsequent exam is done once a year, and at this time his marks in these fields are off the chart.”
Ms. Jane observed their reaction, though it was no surprise that Amelio was gifted, being the son of two scientists.
“He reported that he held and maintained a higher brain function than most of his peers, and extremely elevated reasoning skills. It was his opinion that Amelio may not be challenged enough at this level, and recommends further evaluation for placement in the proper Academy.”
Amelio’s parents were now speechless, as the Academy he was presently attending was for gifted children, so where else would Amelio go? Alan and Monique stared at the results pointing to the graph where Amelio placed as scientists would a lab result.
“Dr. Mason concluded that if a child like Amelio was not properly challenged, he would have more issues with children his age as he grows. That even though he is young there would be many difficulties when he entered young adulthood; and all the peer pressure of that age.”
As the meeting ended, Ms. Jane gave the Sinclair’s a list of specialists and several psychiatrists per Dr. Mason’s request. The quietly discussed this on their way home expressing concerned over the process, but in the end agreed.
Amelio was put through a battery of exams to evaluate his behavior, only to find the psychiatrists entranced by his intellect and perception. They concluded that his astuteness was well beyond his very young age, and that his sensitivity to his surroundings yielded no significant deficiencies with regards his mental health.
In fact it was quite the opposite. Amelio’s higher brain functions bordered on clairvoyance, that is, one who is able to perceive things beyond the human senses.
This left his parents to wonder what would become of him, as they often chastised him for being so outspoken about people. Now they feared for his future as a whole.
Amelio was then sent to several institutions to be tested, and assessed and in the end was sent to the Science Academy for minors. He had settled down, intrigued by the many wondrous things science had to offer, but when the summer break neared, he was eager to stay with his Grandmother.
All the probing and testing did not sit well with Nana. She always saw his “sight” as a gift from Yahpa, the Creator of the heavens. It was her ingrained faith reaching back to the first days of migration between Earth and Aria that made her a crag for Amelio to hide in.
Nana would tell Amelio stories about Yahpa, letting his imagination work on visualizing this invisible all powerful being that came alive with every word she spoke. She hoped Amelio would seek him out, and find peace in his life. Nana taught Amelio how to calm his mind through proper meditation, observation of nature in it's purest form, but most importantly- not to fear it.
Nana argued with her daughter with regards her choice of education, and would not be silent. The gap between old world and new was a subject of great debates and many a loud discussion.
“This child is not one of your lab rats Monique, he needs to be away from people not in the midst of them! Have you not learned that by now? He needs a field that compliments his gifts, not one that will complicate it. What will happen if he ever stumbles upon a deep dark secret that places his life in jeopardy?”
Monique tapped her foot on the hardwood floor in her mother’s kitchen. She always had this conversation with her mother at the end of each Summer.
But Nana knew her grandson well, stayed up many a night calming his fevered head when the faces came, and the darkness closed in on the young boy.
“Mother, Amelio himself chose this field. His mind is a wonderful gift, he needs to keep it busy. You know what happens when he is stagnant with this meditation. The specialists said…”
“Specialists?! What do they know? Hm? They have reached the stars, cured diseases, and have advanced in technology. Yet they can’t unlock the mind, heal the heartache, nor erase the images that haunt Amelio.”
“Well, his field of choice is not so bad.” Monique protested, “Archeology is a field in which he can work alone, or at least with minimal contact with others. He loves to travel in the stillness of space, and he loves discovering old civilizations. Not to mention he loves to be paired up with Alan on some of the most important dig sites.”
Nana had to agree on that point. She knew Amelio was close to his father and drew strength from his presence. Alan was always a loving, understanding father, who did not see his son's gifts as a hindrance, but a thing to embrace and utilize.
He also acknowledged that Amelio’s ability to “see between the lines” was uncomfortable to say the least for those around him. But he knew that his son held no ill will towards anyone and never used his gift of sight in a cruel way. Instead Amelio would go out of his way to please people, not wanting anyone to think of his a freak.
The Many Faces of Amelio
Chapter 2: The Dig Site
Amelio age 18…
Amelio was now enrolled in the Academy of Advance Science and Archaeology. Although he was very young, he seemed to fit right in. By now he had spent the past nine years being studied, probed, and psycho-analyzed. He was categorized as a child prodigy and really did not like talking about himself.
As it was, his fellow students were much older than him, and was already seen as an oddity; but to him it was just another name to add to the long list of colorful metaphors he was called. He received considerable attention, especially when his thesis on “The Connectivity Among All Of Creation To One Source,” was published. This excited some Theologians which hailed it as ingenious.
But the majority of religious leaders of the day did not share such insight. It was now the common belief that the universe was created by the twin deities, Keylor and Saraia based on ancient writings found among the ruins on both Aria and the neighboring planets.
They argued that a mere child could not possibly know what he was talking about, nor that his claim that there was only one source in creation held any merit. It was hailed as preposterous. In fact his view was not well received by many on other worlds either, as they had 300 years of their own beliefs and didn’t appreciate his “scientific” opinion, regardless of his intelligence.
Such was his fame. However Amelio grew an affinity for ancient civilizations and discovered his gift of sight went beyond what he saw in people’s faces. He began to notice that the environment around a person left imprints -ghostly images as it were- of certain events in their lives. And that time, had no effect.
This occurred at one of his first expeditions to a dig site his Academy visited his first year. It was a well studied teaching site, estimated to be nearly six thousand years old, with wall murals, hidden chambers, and artifacts. What stood out to Amelio were the images on the stone sarcophagus of a wealthy nobleman’s wife. The remains had been beautifully preserved, indicating great love from her husband.
The dig site was personally conducted by Professor Jeremy White, one of Amelio's instructors from the Academy who specialized in Ancient Civilizations. He was well sought after in his field, and was also a child prodigy, a product of extensive study and quite young for a Professor at only 25 years of age.
Amelio was fond of the Professor, admiring his way of teaching and the gentle way of handling the remains of the dead. He took great care of the artifacts found at the dig sites, citing that they were important enough to have been placed with the deceased. Professor White was also the first person Amelio had romantic feelings for. Of course he had never told anyone, secretly admiring the Professor from afar.
There were times when Professor Jeremy stood over him observing him as he taught in class, and he could smell his cologne. It was incredibly sensual requiring one to be very close in order to pick up it's subtle scent.
To Amelio, Jeremy was an open book with nothing to hide. The life he's led up to now was filled with adventure in digging up the past. Jeremy immersed himself in the lives his subjects led, with an interest in their place in the universe.
This was refreshing to Amelio, since the face behind Jeremy was kind, and innocent. Though for his part, he didn't care for all the attention the object of his affections was receiving in the young women -and men- who hovered around him.
Amelio would collect each warm glance, each smile sent his way from the Professor, and have them play in an endless loop in his mind. His was a face he would not fear.
His mother was right, much to his Grandmother's protests, in that Amelio did love archaeology. It was easier to figure out the dead past, then to deal with the present complications of the human condition. The long dead never judged him, nor avoided him for the gift of sight.
When his father came to visit the academy, Amelio seemed the happiest, and this was not lost to Professor Jeremy. He could see a clear change in his outlook, and studied him from a distance. Alan Sinclair was well known at the Academy, with hundreds of dig sites under his belt, and Amelio had been a part of many.
As the trip to the dig site was announced, Amelio was looking forward to sharing the experience with Jeremy, wondering what the Professor would uncover as they walked through the site. The trip was several hours away, near an ancient plateau of Aria's past civilization.
As Amelio approached the inner chambers, he quickly found himself pulled along the current of the past. Amelio was disturbed by the images of a woman’s painful battle with disease. He saw images of her tortured expressions from an ailment that caused her debilitating condition, and then the images of a man’s sorrow over the crypt. What was interesting was the fact that no one else could see what Amelio saw play out in front of his eyes.
Even though he had prior experience with objects in the classroom setting, they were vivid but controlled images held in check by a sterile and unwelcoming environment. But this was different. It was not a piece of ancient pottery, or fabric from some dusty museum; it was a raw and exposed layer of history. Amelio's senses made his ears ring, as the stimuli was pungent and inescapable.
Amelio was moved to tears, much to the surprise Professor White. The young man walked slowly and studied the murals that were full of color, envisioning the woman in her youth.
She was tall and quite beautiful, dressed in a long golden robe that was gathered at her hips with a golden sash. She had long straight hair as dark as the night, and deep hazel eyes that complimented her flawless porcelain-like skin. Next to her was a young man kneeling before her with flowers in his hands extending them to her. He wore a silk tunic of royal blue, which was buttoned up to his neck with gold buttons.
Professor White watched Amelio as he walked through the dig site. He couldn't help but notice the young man with dark brown curly hair that touched his collar, and green eyes. Jeremy knew he was a bit of a loner, due to his age as his peers were several years older than him and often ignored him. Perhaps they felt inferior to his intellect, and not to mention his mysterious very classified education.
Jeremy noticed that Amelio never followed the other students as they could only see what was in front of them, but never really “see” anything else. There was nothing really wrong with that, they were all capable, intelligent students that no doubt would someday become excellent Archaeologists.
But Amelio would touch the walls and the murals, and seemed to be in a world of his own. He would feel the burial chamber with his fingers, and gently handled all the artifacts as if they were heirlooms to be admired.
This was not lost to the Professor. To Jeremy, Amelio was different and he felt there was more to him than mere intelligence. There was a spiritual connection between him and the surroundings. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but knew he was more than he seemed.
Professor White approached him, careful not to disturb his quiet thoughts.
“What do you think of the site Amelio?” Jeremy whispered from behind him.
Amelio did not turn around as he brushed away tears from his cheek. He was so involved with the story that played out in front of his eyes, that he ignored the Professor’s question and walked off without a word.
The Professor thought he may have not heard him and followed once again, curious to see if this was the case.
To Amelio it was a sad tale of undying love and despair, which ended in tragedy. As Amelio continued down the corridor to the inner chamber, the Professor noticed he stopped and was staring at the crypt where the Lady was entombed.
Amelio could see the images of what occurred after her burial. The Nobleman had fallen into despair, and in his sorrow died of a broken heart. The walls recorded the event and the subsequent discovery of his remains by his servants, as he clung to her sarcophagus.
Amelio was overcome by the emotions that were locked forever in time. He raised one hand to his lips, and the other over his heart, as if the pain he was witnessing, was his own.
Professor White wondered what this poor child saw, and felt that perhaps Archaeology was not his field; if the sight of the dead affected him so. He was aware of his gift of sight but had resolved to treat him as any other student and observe him. After all he was also a scientist, and the majority of his students at the Academy were highly intelligent gifted students in their own right.
Amelio’s records however where sealed when he was just a child, and clearance was required. Professor White often thought about him, as a shroud of mystery surrounded the young man and he couldn't help but want to uncover the details of Amelio's past. He didn’t care about the reports by the Psychology Department that painted an eccentric yet enlightened child, he was more concerned with the emotional heartache he was witnessing.
He once again approached Amelio, but this time he came up to him and tapped him on the shoulder.
Amelio was startled, but then quickly composed himself. He didn’t like anyone to see him this way, especially Professor White.
“Amelio, tell me what you see. I know there is much more to this site than what is taught in my course at the Academy, for I know you see more. And by your reaction just now, I sense you know more than what the history books revealed with regards to Lord Ramón and Lady Jessica, is this not true?”
Amelio gasped, no one had really asked him what he “saw” except perhaps his parents and grandmother. Most people shied away from talking to him directly if it could be helped. And those few who perceived his clairvoyance never wanted to know what he saw, for the haunting gaze he held was more than enough for them.
Amelio spoke in a hushed voice, “History is written by dreamers and people with great imaginations.” Amelio's stoic reply bordered on sarcasm. “Only man would dare to place Earthen names of these people. Lord Ranon and Lady Jezina would turn in their graves if they knew.”
Amelio turned around and faced the Professor who for the first time felt his haunting gaze. He was unaccustomed to being glared at, since he was an authority on ancient civilizations and felt a bit put off by his words.
“Is that so? Then you are of the opinion that history is a fabrication by some ancient 'Liar’s Club'? I can just see it now, a place where old men sat around in bars spinning tall tales of daring deeds and whatnot to impress the ladies? What scoundrels!”
The Professor’s comical reply, and his poor impersonation of a drunken English barfly shaking his fists in the air made Amelio laugh. The Professor smiled sweetly at Amelio.
“Now that’s better. Tears are not something a young man such as yourself should shed too often.” Professor White wiped a tear from Amelio's cheek. “Perhaps a different outlook can be adopted to help you through these moments?”
Amelio drew comfort from his kind words, and he felt perhaps Professor Jeremy would be different than most people. There were those who, once they discovered his gift would look at him with eyes that accused him of keeping secrets. He decided to take a risk with Professor White, and began to trace the images on the walls, as he explained.
“Lady Jessica died of complications due to acute arthritis that contorted her fragile body until she expired. She suffered much.” Amelio paused as he looked at the image of Lady Jezina. “LordRanón, her husband, truly loved his wife and would come to visit her every night right here.”
Amelio pointed to a corner of the room where a stone bench once stood; but was now a pile of stones and crystal fragments.
“He always held a bottle of sweet wine like the crystal goblets you found in the outer chambers.” Amelio walked to the corner as he saw images of Lord Ranón sitting on the bench. “He would drink into the late hours of the night, and always alone.”
Amelio next moved to the white granite sarcophagus which had eroded with the passage of time and the elements.
“He would sing to her quietly until he passed out from exhaustion, often being carried back to the Manor by his servants and placed in his bed. This was done every night without fail, until his death six months later. The servants found him here one evening, draped over her sarcophagus. He died of a broken heart.”
Amelio’s eyes filled with tears once more, and Professor White was moved by this and approached him. He held him in his arms to comfort him, then he whispered in his ear.
“I’m certain wherever Lord Ranón and Lady Jezina are in death, you’re insight and kindness gave meaning to their love.”
Jeremy was the only person other than Nana, that was able to hold him without first hesitating. He felt both afraid and secure in his arms, and loved the sound of his heart beating against his face. He would love to raise his eyes and tell Jeremy just how he felt about him; and peer into those beautiful blue eyes and melt in his embrace.
Amelio's thoughts were disturbed by the sound of students walking nearby, then realized the situation he was in and how it would look to others. Feeling Jeremy had found a way through all his outer defenses, Amelio broke away from his embrace once again putting on a face of indifference.
Professor White was also surprised their embrace lasted so long, feeling a level of intimacy he knew was not allowed between Instructor and student. He cleared his throat, as he pat Amelio's shoulders and walked over to the mural of Lady Jezina and Lord Ranón. He carried on as if nothing was amiss now that Amelio had calmed down. Jeremy would have to put his thoughts away considering Amelio's gifts, but knew it would be useless to do so, and could not help but wonder what the young man thought of him.
“It was recently discovered through DNA testing of Lady Jessica’s remains, that she indeed suffered an extremely aggressive form of Rheumatoid Arthritis, which as you know there was no cure for during her time. She died at the young age of 22. It was also reported that Lord Ramón’s remains were interred with Lady Jessica, giving truth to your account of his devotion to her. Scrolls found in the historical archives of his era also concur with your account of his heavy drinking, and melancholy state until his death, nearly seven months following the death of Lady Jessica.”
Professor White smiled at Amelio finding the reports of his gift of “sight” very compelling. He also felt moved by the gentle manner in which Amelio witnessed history. He found his words that history was written by dreamers with great imaginations was quite accurate. He envied the ability Amelio held in his gifts.
But Jeremy was also finding his feelings for the young man were stirring in his heart. He knew this young man was destined for a greater purpose, and he wanted very much to be a part of it. He thought about Amelio on the trip back to the Academy, as their trip was cut short on account of rain.
After all the students had gone home, he poured himself a cup of coffee and began to review the notes of the day turned in by the class. As he read Amelio's notes, his thoughts drifted back to their embrace.
He found his notes insightful, informative and exceptionally well written. But it was the last sentence at the bottom of his notes that nearly made Jeremy nearly spill his coffee.
“I don't make it a habit of reading people despite what you may have read about me. But if I did read you correctly this afternoon, and you feel the same as you read my notes, please meet me tonight at the corner of Abrams and Highland.
Sitting On A Park Bench...
Jeremy stared at the note for the longest time. He looked at the clock and then outside where it was now dark. The rain had been coming down hard all afternoon. It had been nearly three hours since class was dismissed, and Jeremy panicked to think Amelio had been waiting for him in the freezing rain all this time.
His mind was sent racing, thinking of the consequences he would face if discovered. But he could not deny he had feelings for Amelio. His haunting gaze, and quiet nature was not the first time he had caught himself wondering about him.
“When did my feelings change? And more important, what am I going to do?” Jeremy thought to himself.
He wasn't about to let him think he didn't care, so he quickly grabbed his coat and crammed Amelio's notes into his pocket. His heart was beating so loud he could feel his temples throbbing in his head.
“I'll just go to make sure...” Jeremy mumbled to himself as he quickly got in to his hovercraft and sped off.
As he drove across town in the pouring rain, he made it to the corner of Abrams and Highland, and sat in his hovercraft looking for Amelio. It turns out that the intersection was the entrance to a public park, so Jeremy would have to go on foot. The cold rain was relentless, making the search for Amelio difficult.
“Damn!” Jeremy cursed as he kicked himself for putting off the notes for a faculty gathering in the teachers lounge.
“That was over three hours ago, damn it all!” Jeremy continued to move with haste as he searched every park bench finding no one around.
“For Heavens sake, he's probably not even here anymore!” Jeremy pulled his collar up to try and stay warm. He was feeling rather foolish looking for Amelio when he didn't know what he would say to him even if he was standing in front of him.
As fate would have it, Jeremy turned down a path and stopped at the very last bench in the park. And there he found a small figure sitting in the rain. He didn't know if it was Amelio, but found himself picking up the pace; and in the end began to run towards that person.
“Amelio?!” Jeremy called out as the rain soaked instructor got closer. “Amelio, is it you?”
Amelio looked up as his name was called out. His body was trembling and soaked to the bone. He had only a light jacket that did very little to protect him from the pouring rain, and he had no umbrella.
As Jeremy stood several feet away from him, Amelio slowly stood up and smiled at Jeremy.
“Y-You c-came, I-I knew y-you would..” Amelio stuttered as his body trembled.
“What on Aria are you doing out here in this torrential downpour?!”
Jeremy was thankful it was dark and Amelio could not see him blushing. But the dim light post Amelio was standing under was enough for Jeremy to notice the young man was now going pale.
“Let's get you out of this rain, and into some dry clothes!”
Jeremy quickly opened his coat and put an arm around Amelio, who once again picked up the scent of Jeremy's cologne. He felt the warmth of Jeremy's body, as he rushed him back to his car.
“You idiot! Don't you know you could die of pneumonia?!” Jeremy continued to scold Amelio, but the young man was not listening.
All he knew was that Jeremy came for him. It didn't matter if nothing came of it, but there he was fumbling with his key card, and turning the heat up in the hovercraft. Amelio turned to look at Jeremy who kept his eyes forward, as he continued to scold him. But again, Amelio didn't care.
“Amelio where do you live?” Jeremy asked rather angrily.
“At the Academy's private housing.” Amelio spoke in a low voice.
“What?!” Jeremy slammed on the breaks and looked at Amelio in disbelief. “Why did you want to meet me all the way across town when you lived at the Academy? I was just there!”
Jeremy shook his head. “I need to get you out of those wet clothes.” The irate Professor began to drive through the city heading back in the direction of the Academy, but was now debating whether he should just drive to his own home.
Amelio looked out the window seeing the many lights of the city. He was taking a great risk, but so was Jeremy. He wanted to tell him how he felt, and he thought the note he left was clear enough. But Jeremy was still angry, so he decided to wait until they were out of the rain. He was very happy to see Jeremy run towards him, and he wanted to believe it was for the same reason. Though his eyes were not visible in the pouring rain.
“Well since we're closer to my place, we'll just have to take care of you there.” Jeremy mumbled.
Amelio kept silent. He didn't know what to say, thought he privately thought that this must be a dream, and that perhaps he was still sitting in the park delirious, or more than likely unconscious.
Jeremy continued to drive lost in his thoughts, when it suddenly dawned on him that Amelio could read people with his gift of sight.
“I don't know if I like my thoughts being probed Amelio, so please don't do that.”
Amelio was roused from his thoughts when he heard Jeremy repeat himself.
“I have not.” Amelio whispered back, as he placed his hands in the warm air of the vehicle's heater. Amelio was very careful not to touch anything, though it was impossible given that he was in the Professor's vehicle.
Jeremy didn't know what to say to that. “Did not Amelio's notes allege that he knew I had feelings for him? To know that meant that Amelio had probed my mind, right?” Jeremy's private thoughts only confused him more.
“I prefer not to see what others think...it only makes them insecure.” Amelio looked away, “And then they stop talking to you, and you find yourself alone again...so I just don't.
“But today..” Jeremy began, “The note?”
“I was in tune with the site, and all the artifacts overwhelmed my senses. Your presence seemed to float into the mix. I'm sorry if I read too much into it.”
Amelio was quiet after that and didn't speak again, afraid of making the awkward situation more complicated.
As they walked to the front door Jeremy looked around nervously, feeling unsure about bringing a student to his home. But what was he to do? He quickly opened the door and rushed Amelio into the bathroom. It was a rather upscale home, with a beautiful spa bath and a deep tub that could fit more than one person.
Amelio knew the Professor was a successful Archaeologist, and the Academy paid well, so it was no surprise to know he lived well off. He was made to sit down in a bench near the bath, and watched as the Professor grabbed several towels. There was a statue of a woman holding a pitcher out in front of her, no doubt a piece from an ancient fountain. Amelio wondered what he might see if he touched it.
Without a word Jeremy drew him a bath, and began to pull the wet clothing off of Amelio who was still pale and trembling. He began with the shoes and socks, then noticed that his feet were wrinkled due to the long exposure to the rain. This confirmed that Amelio had been in the cold weather all this time.
Amelio didn't know what to think of this situation, since he didn't plan this far ahead; but now trembled more out of fear than anything else. His heart was racing, and this made his ears ring as Jeremy began to unbutton his shirt, and pull the wet clothing off him.
“I-I c-can do this.” Amelio protested, as Jeremy yanked the sleeves off, “Please let me..”
Jeremy was blushing as Amelio stayed the Professor's hands by reaching out with his own. He felt how cold Amelio was, and then looked up just in time to see Amelio's eyes roll as he fainted into his arms.
“Amelio?! Amelio wake up!” Jeremy panicked and began to shake the unconscious young man. “Damn it all!” Jeremy quickly checked his pulse, and found it rapid, and his breathing labored.
Jeremy knew Amelio needed to raise his core temperature, and did what he started to do before Amelio fainted. He grabbed Amelio carefully in his arms, and stepped into the warm bath. He sat up against the wall on one of the steps and held him tight against his own body. Jeremy adjusted the water temperature down to lukewarm in order not to send the young man into a seizure or worse, give him a heart attack. He took a deep breath, and began to peel off Amelio's clothing and then his own.
This was no time to by shy, and he was thankful that Amelio was not awake to see him fiercely blushing when Amelio's naked body made contact with his own. It was too much for his body to deny the erotic charge it was feeling.
It didn't help that Amelio wrote that note, which made him drive to the park at breakneck speed. So Jeremy could no longer ignore his attraction to the handsome young man.
“What the hell kind of mess are you getting yourself into Jeremy White, you damn idiot?!” He hissed under his breath. “Let's hope you don't wake up with me holding you naked in the tub!”
Jeremy kept the water running and once Amelio's body temperature returned to normal, he raised the temperature to warm him up. Jeremy sat there for what seemed like an eternity, holding Amelio completely under water with the exception of his head. He used a sponge to keep his head warm, and when he felt confident that he was warmed up enough, he quickly moved up the steps and reached for the towels. He wrapped several around Amelio then picked up the young man in his arms again and made for his bedroom.
He gently placed Amelio on the bed and dried him up with the towels. Jeremy couldn't help but gaze at Amelio's body. He was a bit thin for his taste, but his body was well defined for his age. His skin was fair giving Jeremy the image of a white rose with the slightest blush of pink.
He gently rolled him to one side and pulled the towels away, when he noticed a strange mark near his left ear. At first he thought it was a tattoo, then upon closer inspection was shocked to discover it was a scar; one he recognized. He quickly inspected the base of his right ear, and then his temples.
Amelio had been probed.
This angered Jeremy due to the fact that such probes were banned. Or so he thought. He quickly covered him up with a comforter, as his skin was cooling and he didn't want to him to get chilled again. Jeremy was still naked and reached for his robe, then went to the fireplace across from the bed and started a fire to warm the room
As he added wood to the fire, he thought of the scars on Amelio's body. He knew the young man was special, and his records indicated he was exceptionally intelligent. But if he was probed then they must have found something else, something he believed was under lock and key. It was probably top secret or above security clearance, and certainly higher than his own. But for now he would have to put that aside as he gazed at the handsome young man in his bed.
It had been a long time since he's had any feelings towards anyone, and his last lover was a woman. But he could not deny the emotions Amelio stirred in his heart. He'd been courted by men before, but never really gave into the attraction, thought he was not inexperienced with men. Not to mention his job left little time for a relationship.
Jeremy sat in a large high-back chair by the fire, and warmed up as he watched Amelio breathing a bit better. He had never gotten involved with a student before, but confessed he was intrigued by the cloud of mystery surrounding Amelio.
Amelio stirred on the bed, and began to awaken. He looked up at the ceiling and stared at the many shapes he could see in the plaster. He followed the ceiling down to the fireplace, and was now watching the flames dance before he noticed Jeremy sitting next to the fireplace.
He was drinking a glass of brandy as he thought about the day's events. But as the time passed, his thoughts went back and forth as to the serious situation he found himself in. It should have been an easy decision to make to just let the young man stabilize, and then he'd take him to the medical center and let them continue his care.
But that in of itself would raise a number of questions as to how he came to find Amelio, and Jeremy would once again come back to the note. Of course he could lie and say he found him that way and be considered a hero, but he didn't feel heroic at the moment knowing this would make Amelio's thoughts about him false.
Which they weren't. Jeremy felt just as Amelio spoke, and would not add denial to his growing list of crimes.