ORIGINAL CONTENT OF D.C. BLU. DO NOT COPY AND/OR REDISTRIBUTE WITHOUT THE AUTHOR’S PERMISSION. PLAGIARISM IS CRUEL. PLEASE BE RESPECTFUL.
Matt watch as the bald headed Russian seemed to blow-up in rage. His red face was an interesting contrast to his blue eyes.
Then the rage simmered into sorrow as the man hunched his broad shoulders and he moped. “My poor grandchild.” Ivan wailed. “Grandpa didn’t even get to hold you.”
Matt refrained from rolling his eyes at the man’s theatrics.
“Will… Will you two try for another one?” Ivan asked blushing. Blushing? He hoped the old pervert wasn’t imagining it.
“We’re talking about it. In a couple of year, once we’re a bit more stable, maybe… But you know our situation. Neither of us know if the child will come out healthy or not.” Because Ivan had become more involved in Matt’s life over the years, there wasn’t much the man didn’t know about Matt’s life and the family situation surrounding him and Val. Ivan even shared his own illicit relations like his wife being his cousin.
“I understand. I do.” Ivan lips twisted into a crooked smile. “Even though my own son looks fine, I sometimes suspect he has a defect.”
“Because he acts feminine or because he doesn’t like to kill like you do?”
“He’s a Voronin! What Voronin doesn’t like to kill!” Ivan roared, pacing inside the airplane cabin. For a big man he looked kind of ridiculous hunched over walking back and forth. He began to mutter in Russian about how much he and his wife both love violence, so how could the son be so averse to it? Even though his wife was also his cousin, none of the Voronin madness showed up in their son.
Ivan settled down and sighed before plopping onto the plush couch next to him in the main compartment. “Even my own daughter has more vim than he does…” And his daughter wasn’t blood related to either of them. If one only focused on the blond hair and blue eyes, no one noticed she wasn’t related by blood. “Matthew, my son,” Ivan said as he put his hand on Matt’s shoulder. He paused and looked down at his own shoes. “I wouldn’t worry about you and Val’s child being anything other than healthy. Don’t curse the child before its born. Let it decide what it wants to be. If it wants to be a football All-Star…” Ivan shuddered in disgust. “Then grandpa will support him. If he had some disability, grandpa will hire the best care. If he ends up with mental illness, then that’s a Radford through and through and the world is in trouble.” He laughed. “You might not know this because Travis was the last living Radford known, but that family had… A reputation at one time. I think the only reason he didn’t turn out to be like our family is because they slowly began dying off.”
“Are you saying incest runs in our family like it runs in yours?” Matt asked, not questioning why the Radfords died off. He already knew it was because of the Code.
“It was mild, but yes. Usually only cousins, since siblings were rare in the Radford bloodline. I don’t think it ever created physical deformities. But like our family, it created…” Ivan tapped on his own head.
Matt thought about Tyler and himself. Both had a clingy nature to their siblings and an unhealthy obsessive nature for them. The obsession was definitely mental. Maybe because their father never had siblings or cousins, he never became obsessed like Tyler and Matt. The company became his obsession instead.
If Matt and Val had a child… He thought of Bailey’s twins, his new niece and nephew. He also thought of his own little Chris who also had the Radford genes. Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to think about having a child if his own offspring was going to increase the obsessive cycle.
Matt sat with Val that afternoon as they had lunch. Lunch was spread out like a picnic in the bedroom. She was perched in bed looking a bit pale and he sat on the side talking between bites of soba. He told her about what Ivan mentioned and she didn’t look surprised at all. But he shouldn’t be surprised she already knew. The Code knew things even he couldn’t imagine with their ancient network of contacts. “When did you find out?” Matt asked knowing that only recently Val got deeper into the Code organization.
“When I found out that he was my father, I wanted to learn more about the Radfords… That’s when I learned that our grandparents on the Radford side were cousins. Fourth cousins, but still cousins. They had the mentality of keeping the business all in the family. According to my uncle, they only introduced new blood when the mental illness became too severe and hard to manage. Ivan was right…” She looked down at her half-full bowl of pasta. “My obsession with you is becoming more and more unhealthy…” She groaned holding her pelvis. “But it’s too late now.” She lifted her gaze and a dreamy look showed on her face. “Good thing Bailey is mostly normal and Cody is a saint. Those babies should be closer to sane. But there is no telling until they get older. We already know Christophe may have more Radford than Ricci.”
Matt saw it in the boy’s genius. He would probably be an engineer of some kind — brilliant. “And if we have another, he or she is likely…to have stronger dose of genius and madness.” After saying the words, Matt felt a hope bloom inside of him he didn’t know he wanted. He wanted to see this genius. Would it be music? Could someone else share this obsession with music with him? He wanted their child to be more brilliant than him or Tyler, but obsessed? Why? Why did he want to inflict a child with such a mental illness? He couldn’t understand it, but it was there, inside of his mind like a dark calling. It was a feeling, a knowing, just like he knew he loved Val from the moment his eyes landed on her. Matt thought he was more sensible. He didn’t want to bring a child into the world because he knew the consequences. And yet… He just stared at Val in horror at his own revelation. She knew! She agreed to try again, knowing that this was a real possibility, and yet those eyes gently watched him, accepting the twisted possibility and welcoming it.
She was right. It was too late. There was no hope for either of them.
The next morning after Ivan took them to a house he owned in Japan, Matt got a phone call from his worrywart brother.
“Why aren’t you back yet?” Bailey asked concerned knowing Matt was scheduled to be back in the states three days ago.
So Matt told him. He even told him about their father’s genes.
Bailey got quiet.
Matt didn’t rush him as he let his brother think through it. Knowing that his children could one day be obsessed with each other probably scared his big brother who knew about Tyler’s crazy better than anyone.
“I guess I should brace for the worse, huh?” Bailey asked in resignation. “But I’m still going to hope for the best. But you two?” Bailey’s voice turned from gentle to hard and dad-like in a flash. “What the hell are you thinking? You actually want to try knowing what you could produce? Matthew!”
Matt groaned. “I know. We know. But-“
“If what you say is right, the stronger the genes, the worse this child could be. As much as I love Tyler, I worry about him. I worry about him tipping over a line he can’t come back from. Yet, you two idiots want to fucking breed disaster? I thought Val had more sense. You’ve corrupted the shit out of her.” Bailey chastised him for several minutes before finally calming down. Then he sighed a long tired sound.
“Sorry, Bailey, you’re right.” Matt agreed regaining some of his senses. “It would be irresponsible of us to do something knowing the consequences.”
“Exactly. However, if you do decide to do it… I would be happy to help raise my niece. Heaven knows, the child will need someone stable in their life.”
Matt chuckled. Bailey probably wanted to see that child more than any of them, except Ivan.
Matt looked over at his obsession who lay sleeping in the room across the hall from where he stood against the wall. Ivan made sure she was set up comfortably with everything she needed in the upstairs portion of the house. “She’s okay. You would’ve never known she was pregnant. She had none of Cody’s symptoms. And she doesn’t even have any emotional fluctuations. No hormone imbalance or anything. I expected her to cry, or be depressed, but no. She’s steady as a rock. I was more a mess than she was. So much blood. I nearly panicked.”
“As an assassin, she was probably trained to have tight control of her emotions. Just because she doesn’t show it, doesn’t mean they aren’t there.” Bailey advised.
“So stay by her… Well, I don’t need to tell you that.” When Matt heard a faint cry in the background, Bailey said, “Shaw’s getting cranky. Call me tomorrow so I know you two aren’t doing anything stupid.”
“Yes, dad.” Matt laughed hanging up.
It took Val a week to recuperate. During that time, Matt stayed with her in Japan. Her uncle came to visit at that time looking at her with a disappointed face but neither of them said what they both knew. Her uncle just sighed and told Matt to take care of her before he left.
Her uncle had a lot of guilt toward Val for allowing her mother to die, so he never chastised Val much and let her get away with nearly anything.
Ivan hung around Japan to deepen his “bond” with Nakamura. It seemed like the two had a relationship allowed by his wife.
Now that Val was better the three of them were headed back to the airport in the armored SUV.
“I’m surprised about you and Daiki,” Val said crossing her legs at the ankle.
“Why?” Matt asked looking between her and Ivan.
“Nakamura actually has three mistresses who each have children by him,” Ivan said stretching out his long legs.
“And he’s only twenty-eight? Damn.” Matt chuckled, intertwining his fingers with Val’s. “Are our aspirations too low?” He asked looking at her beautiful neckline.
“I only plan to have one more with you, Puppy. Don’t get ideas.”
He nodded obediently.
“Nakamura is interested in allying with Bellini-Sadik. He said once he reorganizes everything in Osaka, he’ll give you and Lloyd a call.”
Val didn’t seem to care one way or another.
“I’m surprised he didn’t want to ally with you, Mr. Voronin…papa, since you two are so close.”
Ivan bellowed a laughed. “Close? It’s just sex. He doesn’t trust me any more than I trust him.”
“He probably wants to deal with someone who is a bit more predictable.” Val whispered to Matt as Ivan continued to laugh.
After boarding the plane, Val and Matt coddled together in one of the bedrooms and just held one another like they hadn’t seen each other in week even though they hadn’t been apart.
During the long flight back to the US, Matt smoothed Val’s hair behind her ear as he said, “I changed my mind. Let’s not get married.”
Val’s head shot up from where it lay on her chest. “Why?”
“Because I don’t need it now. Before I wanted it because I wanted a way to bind you to me. A superficial way to feel secure. I realize how immature that is. I should respect what you want as much as you respect me.” He played with a wavy lock of hair.
“What if I want to be bound to you?” Val asked smoothing a hand over his chest.
Matt caught that hand before it did anything naughty. Val might be better but the doctor instructed for them to abstain for at least three weeks. “Do you really?”
“We’re already crazy. For each other.” She chuckled. “Why not make it official?” She kissed his lips. “I don’t mind being Mrs. Delarosa.”
“And I don’t mind you mind being Mrs. Delarosa,” he said and Val chuckled before she kissed him again.