Chapter 15:

First Comes Family

Love and Destruction

      Whatever the motivation was for this was, he knew that this could very well be a disaster. He had no idea what Actavio was planning and surely he had to know that Sylas and children was a bad combination—especially his children. Sylas still was very well content on either abducting his crush altogether or at the very least removing his wife and children from the equation the old fashioned way, and now would be a prime opportunity to do so. Though it didn’t change the fact that something felt wrong about this whole affair, not to mention how suddenly Actavio decided this and on what unknown basis.

And yet here he was, sat in one of the many living rooms of their vast home with poorly disguised malicious intent.

The room was empty, save for the both of them and temporarily the maid who came and placed refreshments on the coffee table nearby: what looked like liquor but nothing too strong.

After the maid left, Actavio gestured forward at their already poured glasses.

“Please, help yourself.”

To further nudge Sylas forward, he took a brief swig of the glass and only then did the delinquent follow albeit still hesitantly.

“It’s not like you to be hospitable.”

“And it’s not like you to refuse a drink. You look tense.”

Because I want to murder your family. “Not everyday a thug like me gets to be in a fancy ass home like this.”

Sylas doesn’t try to hide his lie and nor does Actavio try to hide his ever-growing suspicion as his gaze remains skeptical but overall dismissive.

“Where is your family by the way?”

“They’ll come.”

Just as Sylas opens his mouth to speak again, the door creaks open. What Sylas expected to be another maid was in fact the complete opposite. It was Ceida, his wife. His wretched, ungrateful whore of a wife.

She met eyes with Sylas’s bleeding daggers and jumped in her skin before looking away in a flash while rushing over to Actavio’s side.

“Y-You have a friend over!” Her tone was disingenuous but Sylas didn’t notice as he detested anything that slut uttered.

“Not a friend.” Actavio immediately clarified. “And I said we would be having a guest.”

“Y-Yes I remember now.”

Ceida, albeit very blatantly reluctant, offered Sylas a hand to shake.

He stared at the extended limb. Slender and feeble. Wouldn’t it be easy to tear off?

Without standing from his seat, he clenched her hand, fiercely compressing it in a means to exert his frustrations with her mere existence.

“Ow–!!-” His wife yelped then instantly changed tone, “I-I mean oh! You’re um quite strong, Mister…?”

Rather than filling in the name, Sylas clicked his tongue and shifted his amber gaze elsewhere before he acted on his brewing intentions.

Just killing her doesn’t seem right.

“You know what my love,”

He twitched.

“I’ll just speak to you later.”

Actavio gestured to her and she knelt down, giving a farewell peck to her and eyeing Sylas all the while as if trying to further piss him off. His claws etched into his palms from the instant she walked in until the moment she left, and with flared canines he whipped back to Actavio–the vile traitor. Was he toying with him? If so, he didn’t like it. A kiss from Actavio wasn’t something to be taken lightly. Those lips belonged to him, just like every other part of Actavio.

He didn’t hide his fury and resentment as he snapped in a sharp, bitter tone, “You let her call you that?”

“No. I just wanted to see how you would react.” Actavio spoke casually and nonchalantly moved on as he sipped his drink some more.

Sylas swiftly seized him by his collar, nearly knocking the liquid out of his hands in the process.

“If you ever–”

The door flew open the second time around, letting a smaller boy dart through. Again he clicked his tongue, releasing Actavio with a disdainful leer.

Imitating his adoptive mother exactly, Nolan’s mood changes as soon as his eyes meet with the not-so-silently raging beast, though this time Sylas opts to ignore the intruder altogether.

Meek. Hazel-blue eyes and still nothing like him and everything like her.

“I-Is this a bad time?”

“No, what is it?” Actavio ushered his youngest child to stand before him.

Nolan glances again at Sylas then shakes his head toward their father. Coming to some form of unspoken understanding, he nods in return.

“U-umm…I made a friend!”

“Is that so? I’m proud of you.”

A pair of feminine tones shout out of the blue,

“And they’re a girl!”

“A girl!”

The sudden duet of voices causes Sylas to twitch again.

Spitting image.

Cynthia and Celia take the opened door as an unintentionally welcoming sign and stroll in. They lean on the couch behind their father and start to poke around his hair and clothes, like cats trying to groom their parent as a kindness.

“You never let your clothes get this messy!”

“Yeah what happened!”

“Our guest likes to rough house.” Actavio attempts a joke with his children but the jest only serves to get a barely hushed rise out of Sylas, who jerks more or less in place as he begins to lose his patience. Disassociating from the current scene was becoming less and less helpful as time went on.

“Oh we didn’t even notice you!” Celia chuckles.

“You’re so quiet!” Cynthia chimes.

Like the others, once Sylas’s murderous gaze lands on them they immediately cower and retract.



Nolan watches his sisters with a worried pursed lip, as if trying to warn them against whatever they’re thinking.

“You know um–”

“We were gonna do that thing.”

“Yeah! That thing with um–”




The twins motion for their younger brother to help him escape the situation he accidentally found himself in.

“Love you Dad!”



Just as fast as they came, the three flee the living room.

Immediately Sylas groans and downs his entire glass of liquor, releasing most of the tension from his body. The alcohol burned as it sank and for once he coughed. Usually he was able to sustain almost all heavy forms of booze and this was rather light so it was a bit strange but he all in all ignored it. Maybe he drank it too fast.

“Does it frustrate you?”

“What?” Sylas cleared his throat. It still had a scratch that seemed to get worse the more he tried to clear it.

“I said does it frustrate you. To see me with someone else.”

“You’re really asking me that?” He scoffed. “What the fuck do you think if you’re so smart?”

“I’m asking you.” Actavio repeated in the same placid tone.

“And I’m TELLING you.” Sylas sprung from the sofa and confronted Actavio directly with thin pupils and a clamoring voice, “Your fucking SO CALLED WIFE–”

Still, Actavio was calm, as if he expected this outcome. “And what about her? Did you not hear what I told her? We aren’t friends, nor are we more than that.”


And again he calmly interrupted him. “My younger children really take after her, for the better. Though the older two aren’t as kind, for better or for worse. Especially Eirian. You’ve met them before. They’re very fiercely spirited.”

The abrasive and bewildering shift in Actavio’s attitude forces him to calm down, whether he wished to or not.

“What the fuck are you talking about?”


Ever perplexed, Sylas begrudgingly listened.

“I love my family, Sylas. And you underestimate what I would do for them.”

“Exc-ckh-use me?” He hacked mid sentence; his throat was really starting to burn now. And now that he thought about it…Actavio still had his coat on.

Was there a way that Actavio somehow read his thoughts? No, that’s ridiculous. Maybe it was his standoffish behavior to them?

The saliva scalded his esophagus as it fell.

For a third time the door opened. Speak of the devil. Eirian and Aiden. Just as he said, they really were unlike their younger siblings as Sylas’s barbaric snarl didn’t do much to phase them by comparison. If anything they seemed to return the ferocity.

“Father.” Aiden respectfully greeted his parent while Eirian remained silent.

Eirian’s fairer skin was more noticeable now that it wasn’t covered in injuries. Aiden though…now that Sylas got a better look of him, he really looked like him when he was younger, orange eyes and all.

Wait, that wasn’t possible.

Was it?

The longer he stared at Aiden the more disturbed he became, his thoughts bouncing between the impossibility and the possibility.

Quietly, the two older siblings sat across from them.

Once more, Aiden was the first one to speak, “A brute of a man if you ask me.”

“Why do you try so hard to talk like Dad?”

“I do not!”

“Yes you do–There you go doing it again!”

“Both of you.” Actavio reprimands them before it sparks into one of their many pointless arguments. In sync they groan and look away from each other.

“Oh Father, about Eirian’s re-entry into university…” He ignored Sylas’s presence altogether and continued.

Aiden’s voice started to fade out as Sylas focused on his appearance. Or was it something else He couldn’t hear much of anyone’s voices now. They all felt like a crumpled fog in his head.

That once quiet part of him that felt distrustful about all of this was now frantically beating against his essence in panicked warnings.

He still didn’t know why Actavio would suddenly want him to meet his family.

Just to establish that he cared about them?

He knew that.

Even without him saying so.

And he did say so, during that night by the cliff.

Actavio wouldn’t let someone into his personal life, especially if he didn’t see anything between them.

And Aiden?

And now that he thought about it, Nolan too. He didn’t pay attention at the time, but looking back on it his hair was too dark. Nolan looked like him if he was weak-spined.

Sylas’s eyelids blinked in a slow heave, fighting against his dwindling consciousness.

Did he..drug him?

There’s no other explanation as to why he’d be feeling this way. It was too unnatural. This burn, this sudden fatigue.


His speech barely spoke audibly, and in the same breath, he collapsed. The last thing he caught sight of was Actavio’s cold hazel-blue eyes, looking down upon him with unfiltered abhorrence and disdain.

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