RotP Excerpt: With a little help from my friends

Small excerpt from part one. The usually energetic and jovial James is reduced to a shadow of his former self when he realizes something about his father. As always, Copyright 2012 Evangeline Warren.

I look forward to your thoughts and critiques.

Juliana approached James’ door tentatively. Ever since the machinations of his father had come to light, James had remained moody and distant, much to the consternation of his two best friends. She lightly rapped her knuckles on the door and hearing no response tried the handle. It opened and she poked her head inside. James was laying on his back on his bed, arm crossed beneath his head and to casual observer, it would seem that he was simply day-dreaming. Juliana, however, could tell the difference.

She entered the room and perched on the edge of his bed. “James?” She waited for a response. When none came, she continued. “Are you okay?” Again, no response. “James, we’re here for you!”

As if their psychic connection gave him the ability to sense whenever she became upset, which was probable considering the strength of the bond, Cyrus entered the room and joined Juliana on the bed. “Yeah, we’re here for you. You know that you can talk to either of us. I bet even Master Theodore would listen!” You okay, Julesie? Cyrus asked Juliana silently, concerned about her well being as well.

I’ll be fine. She told him, just as quietly. I’m really worried about him!

Cyrus laid a comforting hand on hers and gently squeezed it in reassurance. Take a break. You haven’t strayed too far from him since last week. I’ll take care of him for a few a bit.

“You two do realize that I can not only see through your auras that you two are communicating but can also hear you?” The voice that had been uncharacteristically silent spoke up in more than monosyllables for the first time in a week, startling Juliana and Cyrus out of their conversation. “I’m ready to talk now.” He stated rather definitively as he sat up. His companions straightened their own postures, attentive to their friend’s words. “My father is an evil man.” James said, as if there was no argument against the fact, not that either Juliana or Cyrus would be willing to argue the point. “Now, I find myself questioning any advice that he’s ever given me. Was he simply manipulating me as a pawn in his greater schemes? Or was it truly his own version of fatherly advice?”

“Oh, James!” Juliana’s oft hidden emotional side was exposed for a moment as her eyes acquired a watery sheen. “No one can figure that out, save you. I wish I could help, I really do, but I can’t. You have to be the judge of your own experiences.”

Cyrus pulled Juliana into a quick hug, rubbing her back with one hand as he offered his own advice on the matter of advice to his friend. “As I’m sure you know, there’s good advice and bad advice. But just as there are not just good or bad people, there is a grey area when it comes to classifying advice. Perhaps the General gave fundamentally good advice, in other words it would help you succeed, but the success in question was simply incompatible to your moral fiber and sense of being.

“On the other hand, he could have just as easily been setting you up for failure. Personally, I would take his advice and compare it to sources that you trust, to see if there are any similarities. Perhaps this will help you decide.” And with that, Cyrus escorted Juliana out of the room to leave James to his ruminations.

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