Lukas Lewis wasn't nearly as receptive, however, and his eyes showed both anguish and passion. It didn't look like hatred. That's what Copé had expected to see. Instead, it looked like fear and uncertainty, an uncertainty in ones' self or what should be felt. That's what Secrat got out of the look on his brow.
"What are you doing here, Copé?" The words sounded unlike Lewis. The words reminded Secrat of when he talked to the knight back in Acera. How the knight tried to come off fierce and respectable, and Lukas, like him, came off phony and fake. Lewis wasn't exactly respectable and most certainly wasn't fierce, but Secrat could tell he still felt emotional turmoil caused by their last meeting.
The two of them had once been friends, or at least, the closest thing Copé ever really had to friends. Casual acquaintances that tended to get along and meet for drinks. None of that seemed to add up to very much though. After Copé took the life of Elson Mans, all of that seemed completely forgotten. Copé deemed this a proper moment for one of his smirks, realizing how often they benefited him in the past. Lukas Lewis brought his spear back and readied it, feigning a preemptive strike. "Uh-aha...," Copé said, backing away, his hands up in a pleading gesture. "I know I am likely not your favorite person, but if you could keep yourself from whacking me, I promise I'll seldom ask you for anything else ever again, honest."
Secrat put his smirk away, realizing how little it had benefited him in the past
Lewis lowered the spear down. Holding it with one-hand at his side. Secrat looked down at the stick and noticed the sharp-rock on the end of it. At least Lewis only intended to bonk him with it and now tear into his flesh.
Lukas Lewis' expression didn't change.
"Thank you." Secrat said. "And, now, I must ask you for something else.
Which I promise I will repay once I've had a couple nights' sleep." Secrat resisted the urge to smirk, realizing his smart alleck ways weren't helping him. "I won't be seeing you after a couple nights. I'll ask again, why are you here?"
Secrat heard Lewis slapping the spear against his side. A nervous fellow, Lewis always had trouble keeping his emotions in-check. Similar to a fire always lit, nothing was hidden or obscured when it came to Lewis. "I need to speak to Father," Secrat said, his eyes neither pleading nor apologetic in their gaze.
Lukas Lewis' stare back said a lot more than his words ever could. The man still hadn't forgiven him!
"Toucan is away," Lewis replied. His voice was unsteady, like a lit wick, it sounded like he could explode at any moment.
He was lying, however.
Secrat could easily see that much. Lewis had always been a terrible liar, a terrible liar and terrible at withholding his emotions when he was hurt or angry.
Secrat smiled at him and offered his retort: "Where is he then?"
"He won't be back for a couple of days, I'm afraid," Lewis beckoned back. His composure regained itself some, no longer cracking or trembling.
Secrat's smile regained itself. Lewis' expression remained. "I don't believe you, Lukas."
"Leave, or I swear I'll have YOUR SEVERED HEAD on this stick!"
Lukas Lewis' face was blood-red, and for all it's worth, at that moment, Secrat really believed Lewis meant what he said.
Secrat wasn't afraid though. He'd never be afraid of Lukas Lewis. The man and him had thrown back beers in earlier years. They fought around as kids, and as kids, Secrat always won. Secrat couldn't be afraid of him. He did flinch, however. Lewis was overly sensitive, but was never one for loud words or tantrums, even as a kid, and it caught Secrat off-guard. The spear was pointed up, right beneath Secrat's chin and Lewis looked like he was contemplating his kill. But something soon after made him cease and withdraw. Lewis lowered his spear down again and backed away.
Secrat turned his head and saw what it was, a woman named Mirai and a small child whose name escaped him. Mirai was Lewis' mother. Not old, but not youthful, late forties at best, and in-front of her black hair, strewn up in a ponytail, she wore a look of fear. The small child looked frightened as well.
"Lewis, what's going on?" Mirai's voice called out after him. Not shaken. Not afraid. Meant to be soothing. To calm her son. Lewis stopped and looked at her for a second, but only a second before his neck jerked back and he faced Secrat once again. Copé's eyes were on Mirai, who hadn't looked over at him. "Go back inside," Lewis replied calmly.
"Mother Lewis, it's wonderful to see you again," Secrat said, sounding enthused. "And look at you," pointing at the small child, "You've gotten so big since I left." Even if I can't remember your name. That didn't seem to make Lewis very happy and it wasn't supposed to. All Copé wanted was to stall long enough until one of the elite thieves came outside. They had a much lighter head about things such as murder and would be more helpful than Lewis.
"What is he doing here?" Mirai said. But before Copé had a chance to answer Lewis' question for him, Lukas fired back at her: "Take Ansh and go back inside." Ah, yes, Ansh, of course!
To Secrat's surprise, Mirai held her tongue and did as she was advised, walking back down the dirt-steps, beneath the stick-made roof and into her humble abode. Mirai was a good woman. Or at least that's the impression Secrat always got of her. She didn't help with the heists, so he didn't see her much, she was one of the women that stayed at home and looked after the children. Copé had been raised to respect that, and truth be told, could never imagine a world as dull and dreary as having to look after a bunch of anklebiting monkeys.
Secrat waited until both Mirai and Ansh were both out of sight before he spoke again. "I understand you're a little miffed and one day both of us will have to sit down, have a cup of tea and hatch this out, but I am not in the mood for you right now, what I am in the mood for is to atone for myself with Father. I don't need to atone with anyone else," Lukas beamed at The Thief, who added: "At least not now."
That didn't sit well with Lukas, once more, Secrat expected as much. What he did not expect was Lukas' reaction to be so violent.
Lewis dropped the spear to the dirt. Copé looked down at it with something reminiscent of relief, ... before Lewis grabbed him by the throat. Secrat knew he wasn't in any condition to defend himself; he was ready to take a couple of fists and be done with it. Lewis shoved him forward, leaning his back against one of the walls concealing the horses. Copé could hear a ruckus from the inside of the pen.
Lukas' hand was wrapped tight around Secrat's throat, and for an instant, Secrat even felt like he was about to start gasping for air. But before his suffering had a chance to begin, a voice called off the dog, Lukas, that is, and freed Copé from his grasp.
"You'll be joining your mother and brother in your home as well," the voice called out. Secrat didn't even have to look to know who it was. The deep and raspy voice easily distinguishable, and the way Lewis freed Secrat a second later left no doubt.
Father Toucan Veras stood.
The Red Flux & the Wunderkind THief
Chapter One (1 - 2 - 3)