Thomas sat quietly listening to what he was being told. He’d been given the news of “Alistair’s Return” that morning by Holly, naturally he had to come and see for himself. He sat listening the gentleman’s story of how he was the real Alistair, his brother and he was in fact alive and well.
If the story was to be believed, Alistair had been replaced by a demon during the journey up into the mountains, the man who’s hand Thomas had held as he died was apparently not the real Alistair, and the real one had been whisked away up into the mountains and held prisoner until a few months ago when he’d been saved and released by a group of travellers.
Thomas was not convinced, he wanted to believe it, he wanted to embrace the man, take his brother back into his arms … and while the story was indeed plausible, after all Tarik had been replaced by such a demon a niggling feeling in the back of Thomas’s mind told him something was wrong. He’d sat with Alistair looked into his eyes as he clung on the final moments of life, and it was hard to believe that was all some kind of charade. Not to mention that if what this man said was true it meant that somewhere up there in the mountains demons still lived plotting and planning a return to Grimstead.
Thomas stared hard at the man, trying to remain calm during what was inevitably an un-nerving experience, searching for some clue that mind reveal this imposter for who he was. The man had answered EVERY question Thomas had thrown at him, questions about his childhood, family friends… every question Thomas had asked to prove or disprove the man’s identity had been answered with such exactness, with such insight that Thomas was unable to believe that anyone but the true Alistair would have been able to answer them.
Finally Thomas was forced to accept that perhaps this was indeed his brother returned from the dead. “So what is it you want?” Thomas asked cautiously “If I am to accept, you are who you say you are? Then what do you want from me?”
Alistair smiled “I don’t want anything, I didn’t come here to take anything away from you brother, I understand your hesitation… but really i just want to be allowed to have life, too much has been taken from me already, I want a chance to watch my children grow.. I suspect I’ll barely recognise them, I have a son don’t I?? One I have never met?? Duncan I bet he’s grown.. almost a man, what did you think I wanted? To take your crown?”
“It had crossed my mind” Thomas replied.
“No brother, the crown it suits you … i just want to live”
Thomas nodded “what do you want from me to make this possible?”
Alistair shrugged “I don’t know, a small house maybe.. enough money to live off till I can get myself straight”
“I can do that” Thomas replied “but I want you to know that it’s going to take more than a story before I’m convinced.. You’ll have no power, no estate.. You can live modestly until I am sure you of who you are, is that understood”
“That’s understood” Alistair nodded.
“Ok well, I better be going, first day as King I have plenty to do” Thomas replied, making an excuse more shaken by the experience than he wanted the man to know “I’ll make arrangements, you will have a house by the end of the week”
“Thank you Thomas, I realise this is difficult but we will be, how we once where”
“And how was that?” Thomas asked.
“You getting me into trouble” Alistair grinned. Thomas nodded, managing a smile and turned to leave but before he reached the door Alistair called him again “Thomas”.
“Yes?” Thomas replied
“There is one more thing I want?”
Thomas turned to look at him, his hand still on the door handle “what is that?”
“Kait, I want to see my wife” Alistair replied.
Thomas smiled awkwardly “You realise she’s re-married?”
“She’s still my wife” Alistair replied “I love her and I want her back”
Thomas nodded “I’ll speak with her, ill see what I can do”
Once Thomas had left the building fully, Siren re-appeared having watched the whole conversation unfold “Kaitlyn was NEVER part of the plan” she scolded.
“He would never believe it was me, if I didn’t mention her” Alistair replied defiantly.
“If he brings her to you what then?” Siren snapped “in all our conversations you describe her as a bright intelligent woman do you not think she might not notice that they is something different about you?”
“it will never happen” Alistair replied confidently “Lar’s will never part with her, especially if he knows she’ll be coming to me… he love her”
“Then what exactly is your reasoning” Siren demanded.
“I’ll insist that Kaitlyn is given back to me… Lar’s naturally will refuse” Alistair explained, “This in turn will create a situation for Thomas…He’s nervous… He’s a new King the fear of losing the crown to me will be foremost in his mind, he’ll want to keep me happy both as a King and as a brother, forcing him to take Kaitlyn from Lar’s with force if necessary”
“I’ve told you how strong Lar’s is” Siren snapped, “the last thing your brother wants is the wage war on him”.
“True… but the situation might give us the distraction we need to cull his herd further, maybe even take out one of the stronger ones, his son perhaps”
“Hmm… perhaps your idea has merit after all” Sired purred.