Julian Files chapter 6, scene 2

Julian Files chapter 6, scene 2 — read scene 1 first


Saturday July 16, 2005
Westwind Hospital, Financial South neighborhood
Lexington, PA

“Why did we have to come back?”

Cedrick mused how his five year old son passed the gift shop without a second glance but Cedrick, the twenty-five year old dad, slowed and eyed the wares longingly. The notebooks! They had his favorite sizes, although a bit more melodramatic in style than he preferred. He didn’t really need something gold and flowery proclaiming “be well” on it, but—but then again, it looked like it would fit into his back pocket well, and there was something to be said about hiding important notes in plain sight, and…

No.

Shaking his head to himself, he tugged Boyd along as he sped his walk. He had entirely too many notebooks already. Soon, they would run out of room in the library and Vivienne would not be pleased.

She actually liked the library.

On the rare days she wasn’t working or doing errands or otherwise engaged, sometimes he found her curled in the library’s corner chair with her hair tumbling over her shoulder as she slowly flipped the pages. Her free hand would be curled around a warm mug of jasmine tea with milk. Once upon a time she had scoffed at the addition of milk but after his mom had introduced it to her, she had continued to add it even on her own, even after his mother had passed.

Sometimes on those days, when he walked into the room and if she was really taken with a story, she wouldn’t notice his presence until he was behind her and kissed her on the neck. On those days she would turn, startled, and her sky blue eyes would be unguarded. He would get the luxury of her flushing cheeks, and a flash of the smile that had broken his heart and mended it back together the first time he’d seen it. A genuine, brilliant pull of her lips that brightened her entire face and made her, for once, look her actual age, if not even younger.

It would remind him of when they had been teenagers, back in France when they’d first met. The time it had taken him to win her over, to convince her he wasn’t just trying to use her or hurt her; that he wasn’t mocking her or demanding she become an entirely different person to become someone worthwhile.

The time it had taken her to believe in the idea that someone could like her for who she was, not who they wanted her to be.

On those library days they were years younger again, and it was the first time he saw her smile, the first time he heard the clear bell of her laugh, the first time she gripped his hands and danced on light feet backward, facing him and smiling while the wind swept her hair into a pirouette circling to the sky.

It was all the many firsts in one moment; all the times he got a glimpse of the fierce and lighthearted woman she might have been if her grandmother had let her be human.

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Julian Files chapter 6, scene 1

Well, I forgot about having to post this about 20,000 times so I’m posting it without trying to perfect it further. It’s a little cheesy, sorry. Also it may feel a little bit repetitive from last chapter because I had hoped to write a new chapter in between them.

Oh well. You get another Cedrick and Boyd hang out chapter. Except this time, something a bit more important happens….


Julian Files chapter 6, scene 1

Saturday July 16, 2005
Vickland neighborhood
Lexington, PA

“–and we’ll have enough time to stop by the art store if you want.”

Cedrick had been talking for eight minutes straight and didn’t think his son had heard a word of it. Boyd trotted along at Cedrick’s side, small hand engulfed in Cedrick’s palm, but his wide eyes had been roaming the streets around them ever since they had left the used clothing store. Cedrick didn’t know what it was that had the five year old so intrigued, but it had left him in an even quieter mood than normal. Used to his son’s quirks, and accustomed to comfortable silence with his wife, Cedrick didn’t think much of it. He filled the gaps with stories and plans for the day the same way he always did.

As they passed down a main thoroughfare, Cedrick felt a tug at his hand and looked back. Boyd had slowed nearly to a stop, his head craning at an awkward angle as he looked intently to the side. When his feet stilled, Cedrick was forced to stop as well. He looked in the direction Boyd was staring, but it was too crowded for him to make out anything other than a bunch of people and some stores.

“What is it?”

Boyd didn’t answer. His fingers tightened on Cedrick’s hand.

Cedrick crouched down. “Boyd?”

He brushed fine blond hair off Boyd’s forehead and tucked it behind his ear, but Boyd only frowned at first. His amber eyes flicked over to Cedrick, back to the shadows, and then with a tick in his eyebrows he looked hesitantly at his father once again.

For a second, Cedrick thought his son might be afraid of whatever he saw, and was about to tug him along in case there was unseen danger he couldn’t detect, but when Boyd spoke all Cedrick felt was perplexed.

“Are we… so very much in a hurry?”

The way that kid worded things, sometimes… Good thing Julian wasn’t here, or he’d probably upgrade Boyd to a British alien now.

“Well…” Cedrick rubbed the back of his neck. “I don’t know, really. We need to be somewhere at four but we have time. Why? What’s wrong? Do you have to go to the bathroom?”

Boyd scrunched up his face, as if the very thought of him needing to do something so plebeian as to pee at a time like this was insulting. Cedrick had to hold back a laugh; all he could see was Vivienne in that unnecessarily haughty stare.

“So, I’m… not in trouble if I see something?”

“No, Boyd, of course you aren’t. You’re never in trouble if you see something and you’re never in trouble if you tell me something. Where do you get these ideas?”
Boyd hesitated, his lips moving between pursing to thinning out, before settling into a contemplative frown. He didn’t look away from the direction he’d been staring. After a long moment, he finally spoke.

“I think the skeleton needs help.”

“What?” All Cedrick could see was a bunch of people walking around, going about their busy days without paying much heed to their surroundings. “What skeleton? I don’t—”

But in a gap of people, he saw it.

Her.

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Julian Files chapter 5

 

I’m gonna be honest, you guys. This chapter is particularly slice-of-life. I don’t know if that means it’s super boring. I feel like it is.

But it’s also dorky and possibly humorous, and has lots of baby Boyd possibly being cute? I have no concept of this stuff. Maybe it’s just dumb, or maybe all this makes it okay. I have no idea!

I feel like this chapter is kind of fluffy and I’m super unaccustomed to writing (and not deleting) fluff. If this sucks then I apologize for the boring inconvenience 😦

Oh right, if you want to see my artistic interpretation of what Cedrick drew, I put it in my first newsletter. When you get to the end of the chapter, or that scene, feel free to scroll down at the link and finally understand all that confusion 😉

 



 

Tuesday June 28, 2005
Cedar Hills neighborhood
Lexington, PA

“Goooood morning, sunshine!”

Boyd shot up in bed, his blond hair a mass of tangles and fluff. His golden eyes were wide, turning to the door even as his little Batman pajama shirt fell partially off his shoulder. Cedrick grinned and took great hopping strides into the room, all the way to the bed.

“How’s my favorite son today? Did you sleep well?”

Boyd rubbed at his eyes and frowned. “What are you doing, daddy?”

Cedrick threw himself onto the bed, looping his arms around Boyd and dragging him down with him. He hugged him close, rolling back and forth while Boyd let out a startled huff.

“Guess what I did already today, Boyd? Can you guess?”

“No.”

“You didn’t even try!”

Boyd giggled as Cedrick shifted to ruffling his hair. “I don’t know!”

“Well, if you aren’t even going to guess I’ll just tell you. I called in sick for you and me.”

Boyd twisted around to look at Cedrick, amber eyes large and confused. “Why? I’m not sick. Are you?”

Cedrick had already run through his mind how he would handle this today, so he smiled and said, “No, but you do well in school and that should be rewarded. I’m instating a new system, where if you do super well, we’ll get to play hooky sometimes and go around together doing all the fun things we want. Besides,” he added, “this is just the summer academy right now. They won’t mind if you take one day off.”

Boyd frowned but it was more thoughtful than anything. “Then what are we doing today?”

“You’ll see!” Cedrick sat up and pulled Boyd along with him, absently smoothing down his hair. “Okay, get ready, buddy. I can help you with your hair. Do you want help with your clothes?”

“No.” Boyd scrunched up his face.

He had liked choosing his own clothes for a while now, preferring not to be treated like a little kid. Cedrick thought it was adorable, but didn’t say anything because Boyd Would Not Appreciate That.

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Julian Files, chapter 4, scene 2

Julian Files Chapter 4, scene 2:

Monday, June 27, 2005
The Sun office building, Crandall Park
Lexington, PA

The Sun’s office was crowded at eleven in the morning. The sound of phones ringing, keyboards clacking, and papers shuffling was a comforting undertone to the day. Cedrick half-listened to the murmured conversations of his coworkers, and wished not for the first time that Reisler would learn to temper his voice. The man’s conversations became everyone’s business in the entire floor at his superhuman decibel level. It wouldn’t be so bad, but it was usually so incredibly inane that it left Cedrick twitching for a good song and a set of headphones to replace the ones he’d lost on his last assignment.

With a sigh, Cedrick tipped back in his chair and kicked his feet up onto the desk. He swayed back and forth, rocking on the swivel chair while his gaze automatically roamed the fabric partitions. He’d managed to commandeer the cubicle despite being mostly freelance these days, because it was far off in the corner with no hope of ever seeing one of the windows gracing The Sun’s walls. And it couldn’t keep a light working for the life of it.

The staff called it Suicide Cubicle, because everyone who had previously used the space with its oppressive darkness had… Cedrick was still unclear on the transition. Somehow, in Generic-”They” Logic, it became a cause/effect of bad lighting to the people from this cubicle getting all the worst assignments.

Well, that, and because it was rumored someone had died or been murdered in this corner before The Sun had taken over this building. It was the ghost, his coworkers said, who made this cubicle always feel cold and uninviting. The ghost who always made the fluorescent light overhead flicker endlessly, frantically, calling out for help or maybe revenge.

That last bit was Cedrick’s touch. He liked getting poetic about mundane things. It made life interesting.

Cedrick rather liked the cubicle, truth be told. It did have a creepy vibe about it, but he liked it for that reason. It was good inspiration for Red Sunset. He had the mystery novel mostly plotted out, with just a few last minute touches to be made on the final chapter, and had all but settled on the pseudonym of Andre Bute. He hadn’t had time to write much of the actual book itself, but a possibly-haunted cubicle was certainly mood-inducing for a novel about a woman who stalks and kills the son she learns her husband had with a mistress.

One particularly hearty rock had him nearly twisting his feet off the desk, and he caught himself with a hand braced on the cubicle wall. Paper crinkled beneath his fingertips, and a soft smile grew automatically.

He looked fondly at the wall, covered in Boyd’s drawings. He could track Boyd’s age by following the rows of art; they grew more detailed and realistic as time passed, and as Boyd became more used to using colors.

The one he’d touched was of a dog lying in the grass, and it brought the memory vividly back to Cedrick with mixed emotions.

This was one of the first pieces of Boyd’s art that Cedrick had saved from that time period.

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Julian Files, Chapter 4, scene 1

Julian Files Chapter 4, scene 1:

 

Saturday June 25, 2005
Icebox, Industrial District
Lexington, PA

“Why the hell you gotta bring me to these shit-ass places, Ced?” Julian dropped onto a barstool. “You’re gonna be that cheap, you may as well bring me to a liquor store where I can get some fucking Kamchatka for the same price.”

Icebox was as seedy as ever, and Julian swore to God he just saw a good dozen of his former cases walking across the room. He was probably going to end up in the background of twenty more of his colleagues’ shots. Christ.

Cedrick laughed, as amused by Julian’s pain as ever. Bastard.

“I should remove you as a friend,” Julian grumbled, dragging the mug of beer over that Cedrick offered him. He studiously ignored the glare from the bartender.

Whatever. Julian couldn’t be bothered to care at the moment.

“You’re in an unusually cheerful mood tonight.” Cedrick sipped the god-awful beer he’d gotten on tap. With Innocent Face ™ in full swing, he looked expectantly at Julian and his equally disgusting beer.

Julian snorted. Like he was really going to imbibe such a monstrosity as the drink he’d been offered. He looked down at the amber liquid with a scowl, and drank half of it in great gulps. He scrunched his face up dramatically and earned an outright scowl from the bartender now. He was going to get himself banned at this rate.

“You’re going to get us kicked out.”

There Ceddy went, reading his mind again. Julian huffed out a great sigh and slouched forward.

“Sorry, Crane,” Julian muttered to the bartender.

Crane didn’t seem mollified at all; with a scoff, he threw a rag over his shoulder and stalked to the other end of the bar where one of Julian’s past cases was trying to get the bartender’s attention.

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Julian Files, Chapter 3

Julian Files is a book set in the past of In the Company of Shadows. DO NOT READ JULIAN FILES IF YOU HAVE NOT FINISHED THROUGH FADE!

MAJOR SPOILERS FOR ICOS!


Julian Files by Ais

Three

Friday, June 24, 2005
Lexington, PA

“Come on, come on,” Julian muttered under his breath. “Turn…”

The sandwich bag crinkled with every shift of his ass, which had fallen asleep long ago. He longed to step out of the car and stretch until every vertebra popped, but he couldn’t until Junko fucking turned already.

Just as she started to tilt her lovely little head, the jackass who’d been courting her from the bar finally won. Junko’s whole back shifted to Julian and she was soon out of his sight as the two of them headed upstairs.

Julian scoffed and tossed his camera to the empty passenger seat. Just great. The one time he wasn’t on cheater duty he got a perfect shot. He snagged the remnants of his sandwich out of the bag and moodily chewed it, glowering out the window.

He was about to consider sleeping when he heard his phone trill. He hardly glanced at the name on the screen before bringing it up to his ear.

“Hey Fin,” he said around a mouthful.

There was a distinctly displeased pause. “I told you not to call me that.”

“What? But everyone else calls you it. You’re saying I’m not blue enough for your brotherhood? You wound me.”

He could imagine the eye roll he got out of that one.

“Were you at your office Wednesday night about 2230?”

“Depends. Am I being accused of something?”

Another obvious eye roll without a sound. The man’s silences were impressive.

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Julian Files, Chapter 2

Julian Files is a book set in the past of In the Company of Shadows. DO NOT READ JULIAN FILES IF YOU HAVE NOT FINISHED THROUGH FADE!

MAJOR SPOILERS FOR ICOS!


Julian Files by Ais

Two

Friday May 13, 2005
Carlisle Windsor School, All Saints neighborhood
Lexington, PA

“That child is there again.”

The man said it flatly, and Boyd got nervous. He ducked back into the hallway, wondering if he was in trouble now.

He hadn’t meant to see the man again, but the man and his friend always went to one of the back classrooms in the unused building on the corner of campus. Since Austin put Boyd’s backpacks in weird places like that, Boyd always had to go there before he left. He’d done his best to stay quiet and unseen like always but he must have done something wrong.

Boyd was just debating if it was worse to go home without his backpack and have his mother angry with him or to interrupt the man and his friend, when he realized a third, very tall man had come up behind him.

Boyd’s heart clenched. He looked up and up and up, into angry eyes.

“I’m sorry,” Boyd said, not knowing yet what he’d done wrong but thinking it was probably good to let them know right away he knew it was his fault.

“Bring her in,” said the man inside.

The tall man grabbed Boyd’s shoulder—it hurt—and pushed him ahead of him into the room. Once inside, Boyd saw the man’s friend was looking surprised.

And now that he was closer, Boyd realized he knew who the man was. It was Mr. Cole, Austin’s father. Boyd had seen him pick Austin up from school sometimes but it was always far away. Mr. Cole wore a hat and different kind of clothing here in the back room than he ever did in public, so Boyd hadn’t recognized him until he was close.

“Are you sure about this?” asked the friend, but Mr. Cole was peering at Boyd.

“Who is she?” he demanded.

“I don’t know.” The very tall man shook Boyd. “Who are you?”

Boyd twisted the hem of his shirt between his fingers, and shyly, guiltily, looked up at Mr. Cole through his eyebrows. “I’m Boyd Beaulieu, sir. I’m sorry to bother you. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

Mr. Cole’s eyebrows shot up in surprise. “Beaulieu? I know that name. As in that woman Vivienne?”

“That’s my mother, sir.”

Mr. Cole’s friend swore, which made Mr. Cole frown at him.

“It’s fine,” Mr. Cole said.

“No, it isn’t!” hissed the friend, and moved closer to Mr. Cole. He and Mr. Cole got into a quiet conversation but even though they may have thought Boyd couldn’t hear, he could.
“That bitch doesn’t know when to hold her tongue,” the friend growled under his breath. “And she’s too astute. For a damn spy, she reports everything. You know how much trouble she’s caused some of the parents already? If she finds out—”

“What will she do?” Mr. Cole watched his friend closely. “Whine about her inferiority?”

“But what if she—”

“You think I fear that harpy? You think she’s more powerful than I am?” Mr. Cole’s voice dropped dangerously. He leaned closer to the friend.

The friend leaned back. “Of course not.”

Mr. Cole relaxed a little. “That’s the right answer. She is nothing. She is no one.”

“But between her and the father—”

“I know of him. I research all the players and find their weak points. He’s a hack reporter no one listens to at a pathetic local rag in in Crandall Park. Crandall Park. They couldn’t afford an office in Financial, or at least Lincoln Square, and you’re worried about them? I have ways of suppressing the media. Their voice will be silenced, like the rest.”

“But his specialty—”

“If either of the Beaulieus try anything, they will learn their place.”

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