Welcome back to another chapter of Random Paths! In the last chapter, Eva and Thomas had some trouble getting pregnant, but after a discussion with their doctor and a silent one between them they decided on fertility treatment and Eva soon found herself pregnant. And at the end of the chapter, the SUA declared war on Sim Nation. And now on with the story.
Agent Roberts was able to get in touch with enough of Eva’s relatives to make sure they were safe. They were and he even checked on Thomas’ relatives and found they were just fine as well. It definitely relaxed Eva some, but they were still on edge. The war was not going quickly and it seemed that the SUA was winning.
A draft had been put into place since they needed more soldiers than they had volunteers. Eva and Thomas were told that they were exempt due to the reason behind their being put into witness protection, though they both still had to go through the motions to not arouse suspicion.
It did seem that they were pulling from law enforcement more than anything at the moment and Eva couldn’t help but be thankful that her cousin was probably too old for being in the military.
Eva was eight months pregnant when they got a surprise call from Agent Roberts.
“Hey. First off, everything is fine. Your family is fine. None have gotten marching orders. Though Eva’s cousin Canderous is still active in the military. His age keeps him off the field, though. Calling you guys because I have been drafted. Which means you guys are getting a new control agent. He’s better than me at watching out for his guys. He was just unavailable due to having too many at the time you guys went under. But his load has been lessened so he was willing to take all of my charges. He’s meeting with them in order, but since Eva’s pregnant I told him to do you first considering it might be harder to pull you both away after she gives birth. Your meeting with him is tomorrow…”
“Tomorrow. How do you expect us to get there in under a day?” Thomas said.
“Relax. He lives in Riverview and his office is there, too. I’ll text you the address once we’re done on the phone.”
“Alright. Be careful out there.”
And the rest of that day and the lead up to the meeting the next day was taking too long for Eva. What if this guy was really really strict and didn’t let Wolfie make periodic phone calls? Or found out and put a stop to the mail tag. Which is how she knew her own sister was just as pregnant as she was.
They were waiting in his office when they saw Paul come in.
“Hey, what’s with the sudden visit? I don’t have time today though. I’m expecting a couple…” Paul said before he started to add things up. Agent Roberts had said that this pair was a married couple and they were eight months along to their first child.
“You’re a witness protection agent?” Thomas said.
‘Yea. It’s not something we typically announce just in case we run into someone who is looking for someone they suspect is in witness protection.”
“Paul, you’re expecting us. You might want to look at our file.”
Paul walked over to his desk and finally opened the file. He generally didn’t look at the file until after he talked with the people, but he didn’t think these guys were under. He looked down and saw the pictures of Eva Wallis and Thomas Destansi. “Shit. No wonder you haven’t been sent off, Thomas. You’re already wanted by the SUA.” Paul sat down and then said, “No wonder Agent Rand looked so uncomfortable at your wedding. He had to be careful to not say the wrong thing. So why did you want Wolfgang…”
“I’m going to stop you there, Paul,” Thomas said, “Wolfgang raised Eva and her sister Miranda. Eva never really knew her father. Her father was in a bad depression from when her mother died. And that was within a few weeks of Eva being born. Miranda might have been ok with letting their father actually act like it during her wedding, but Eva wasn’t. You literally made her day by asking Wolfgang. Question for you though. Can you put your feelings and the feelings of your wife aside should the need arise to relocate us?”
“Most definitely. She’s going to ask about this meeting though. No one else could meet with me today. You’re the only ones in Riverview. Shit. It’s against protocol for me to tell anyone though. But she’s hormonal from the pregnancy.”
“We trust her. We could tell her. You don’t have to move us if the person who hears the accidentally heard information is deemed trustworthy, right?” Thomas asked.
Paul laughed and nodded. “Mal… Thomas. How are you handling witness protection?”
“You can still call me Mal, Paul. Probably safest. And some days are better than others. Most days are just fine, though.”
“What about you, Aly?” Paul asked.
“Same. And I can now explain why that one week it started with me being sick but despite telling Renee on the phone that I was getting over it that I was still not wanting to hang out. And why he didn’t want to go with you.”
“I told him the truth! I told him I wanted to get drunk and that you didn’t need me drunk that night.”
“That’s only a partial truth. That day was the first anniversary of the attack on me since I entered witness protection. And it was anniversary number four.”
“Damn,” Paul said.
The three talked for a while before Thomas and Eva had to run off to do errands before it got too late in the day.
A few weeks after they got Paul as their control agent, Eva went into labor. After some initial panicking by both parties, they found themselves at the hospital where Eva gave birth to twins Elliot and Olivia.
Thomas and Eva were relieved that they only had twins. It did strike them as ironic that Elliot was a vampire and Olivia was a mundane. Mirroring their own relationship. He was the vampire and she was the mundane.
And for the next couple of months, Thomas and Eva were very preoccupied by the twins in their house. It took them that much time to find a routine that worked for them. But eventually they found one. They would feed and play with the kids before bed timeThomas would do the first round of crying in the middle of the night and would typically stay up for a few hours and take care of a few chores that needed doing before going back to bed after checking on the twins one final time. They would then typically make it until the wee hours of the morning by which time Eva was mostly done with sleep and would take care of the twins. And during the day, it was whomever was free.
Eva even contacted her bosses at work and said that she had some minor free time and would be willing to do some of the editing work that had to be done on the articles being written in her absence. And so she would be e-mailed articles and she would edit them for her boss.
Thomas exercised and read, still unable to find a job. He figured he’d start looking again once the twins were children. When they weren’t so dependent on others to help care for them.
And the years went by and soon their babies weren’t really babies anymore. And it was shortly after this when Elliot approached Thomas.
“Dad, do you have a minute?” Elliot asked.
Thomas peaked up from his book and saw that Elliot looked worried, “Always have a minute for you or your sister. What’s the matter?”
“How… how do you ignore all of the voices in your head?” Elliot asked.
“Voices. What do you mean by voices?” Thomas asked and thought, Is this Atton style insansity where the voices aren’t pronounced and we’ll have a child with an altered perception of reality or is this full blown voices like my father’s and we’ll have to watch to make sure his voices aren’t making him do anything illegal or dangerous?
“Well, most of my voices are just annoying. Like telling me to wear my swimsuit to school to see the reactions and I don’t mind doing that to just shut them up. But I’ve got a couple of voices that scare me. They’re trying to convince me that my twin is out to get me or that someone is out to get me and that I should do whatever it takes to stop them. And they like to give suggestions.”
“What suggestions do they give?”
“Hitting her. But that’s wrong, isn’t it?”
“Yes, that’s wrong,” Thomas said and for the first time in a long while consciously wished they weren’t under witness protection; he needed advice from his father right about now.
“So how do I ignore them because I can’t hit my sister?”
“Let me think for a minute. Hearing voices like that isn’t normal.” Thomas thought back to his life with his father. The conversations with the voices seemed to die down if Ian was caught up in his work or something that he was passionate about. “What hobby would you like to try?”
“That’s not going to help!”
“It may. Give you something else to focus on.” Thomas said after a second.
Elliot gave Thomas an odd look but said, “Trini says that inventing might be fun and I’ve looked things up about it and I agree. So can I have an inventor’s bench?”
“Trini is?” Thomas asked, trying to get his emotions in check. Great-Grandpa Zachary was an inventor and Thomas had been close to Zachary.
“The one voice I can touch.”
Thomas took a deep breath. Trini must be an imaginary friend. And that one hit hard. “Does… is Trini a voice that scares you?”
“No. What’s wrong Dad? Why does Trini make you sad? She’s not doing anything bad is she? It’s ok if she’s here, right?”
“Trini is just fine. Just reminded me of someone I used to know that I haven’t seen in years. If she’s not telling you to break any rules or anything, she is very much allowed to stay. And I’ll have to talk to your mother about the inventing station.”
“She might think it would be unfair to indulge in my hobby but not Olivia’s.”
“Oh? And what’s Olivia’s hobby?”
“Olivia has been trying to work up the courage to ask for a piano. She loves music class. We’re looking at the famous composers and she’s picked out her favorite and she wants to memorize his works.”
“And who is her favorite?”
“I’ve heard of him. He was a musical genius.”
“Who’s a musical genius?” Eva asked, having gotten home from work.
“Atton Rand,” Elliot said, “He’s Olivia’s favorite composer. Our music teacher says Olivia’s got the makings of being just as good if not better.”
“Oh, really,” Eva said after a minute.
“Yep,” Elliot said.
“Elliot, why don’t you go run off and do your homework. I need to talk to your mother alone.”
‘Ok,” Elliot said and ran off to do homework.
“You ok, Aly?” Thomas asked. The two had stopped using their real names since the twins were born so that they didn’t find out.
“I’ll be fine. I just didn’t expect the answer that came out of Elliot’s mouth.”
“Neither did I and that’s the least of our worries, his poking into our past in that way.”
“Oh? I would call that pretty risky.”
“Elliot’s hearing voices. And I’ve managed to discover that it’s voices like my father heard voices. Not like your uncle. He does have a couple of voices that are telling him to hit Olivia. They scare him, but he’s aware he’s not supposed to hit his sister.”
“And I’d rather not take him to a doctor for it. I don’t want him to have to take any medication at his age if we can help it.”
“Same. It isn’t affecting his school work. But he is wondering how to shut them up. A hobby could work and he’s showing interest in one.”
“Oh? What hobby would that be?”
“Well, if we add a shower to the garage, I don’t see why not. Anything else he mentioned?”
“Yea. Olivia wants a piano. Their birthday is coming up. It could be their birthday presents.”
And that’s it for this chapter! Will Thomas and Eva be able to keep a straight face even though their children are being drawn to things that remind them of their past that they can’t talk about? How is the war against the SUA going? Will Elliot continue to ignore the scary voices? Find out in chapters to come!