August set the phone down in its cradle and sighed slightly. Martin didn't like this one bit and he knew his son well enough to realize that Martin may do something drastic with this information, which was why he'd asked him to come over.
Hobbling over towards the front door, he planted himself in the chair in front of it, sighing at the releasing tension of his leg not being walked upon. Despite the cane, the damn thing hurt like a bitch. Placing the cane to one side of his chair, he settled the leather bound book on his left thigh, waiting for his son.
Half asleep when he came through the door, August jumped a little, but then smiled slightly at his son, who came over to give his old man a hug right away.
August made a motion for Martin to sit down as he gathered himself and shuffled over to the couch were Martin chose to sit, taking the book with him. Martin's own was gingerly set down on top of the sturdy wooden coffee table, Martin unable to take his eyes off of it before looking over at his father, who stood in front of him.
"Dad, how much does she know?"
August shook his head. He hadn't asked, he didn't know. "All I know is that…she needs these, for all the good they'll do her. She doesn't even know who she is. It's been kept from her." A heavy sigh, then he continued, "All for the best I suppose…until now."
Martin watched his father, saw the drained look on his face, how tired the old man was. His white hair hung limply, long but not overly so, but despite his tired looking face and body, August Savages' grey eyes were still bright and clear, just like his mind.
Standing, Martin guided his father, silently, to sit down on the couch and joined him on the other side of it, looking at the older man seriously.
"Are you sure...absolutely…that this is best?"
August let out a bark of ironic laughter.
"I'm not sure of anything, anymore, my boy…except this one thing. She's having the dream her mother had, the one she ran away from, and every moment she does not have these books, she is in more danger then either of us can realize."
Martin had been afraid of that answer, but he recognized the truth when he saw it.
"Do…did you want me to go and deliver them, or were you going to go yourself?"
August looked up at Martin, as he'd previously been looking at his folded hands, and smiled gently. His son was struck by how soft the man before him looked when he'd been so fierce in his youth.
"You go back to Moira, and your children, and give them my love. Tell that girl of yours not to worry about her father-in-law, and tell your children that I love them. I am going, Martin, and I may not be back for a long while, if at all."
These words startled Martin, who stood suddenly, staring down at his father.
Even to Martin, the question was deathly calm, and he could feel anger boiling under the mask of calm he presented to his father.
August knew his own temper well though, and recognized it when he saw it mirrored back in his son.
"Sit down, you bloody idiot. I'm old, old men die. In this old man's case, I'll die how and when I choose, hopefully, but I'll do it helping that child…and after I make amends."
Those words took the fight right out of Martin. So THAT'S what this was about.
"Dad, you know it wasn't your fault either of them died. Mom had cancer, had it for a few years, you couldn't have done anything to save her, no one could…and Anna chose her own way after she met the Cassella boy, knowing fully well the consequence for her actions. You CAN NOT blame yourself."
However, Martin could tell this was going in one of his father's ears and out the other without making any serious stamp. Angry, Martin stood and began to pace back and forth in the living room, silent as he stewed.
He couldn't let his father go, alone or otherwise, but how to make him see that to do so would be foolish?
Martin didn't want to go, any more then he wanted his father to leave. Why couldn't it have skipped the girl? Why was this happening now?
Slowing to a stop, Martin turned towards his father and said, "You shouldn't go. We should send the books and leave Odette to train her. That woman is more than capable, as I'm sure you remember."
Martin had sneered Odette's name. She was the one he blamed for his sister's death. He couldn't care less about her husband, but he was quite sure Odette's meddling had brought his sister to death's door, and then the woman had pushed her in herself.
Of course, Anna had known the risks, and had chosen it anyway, so he couldn't be so completely angry with her, but he could still hold that flame of anger to her whenever they spoke about her.
He was surprised, however, when August sighed, and then relayed, "It was Odette that phoned me to tell me about the girl."
Martin went cold.
Deathly calm once again.
"We've been in contact for some time, and as the girl is just coming of age, we've been in contact even more."
Martin couldn't say anything but he just stared at his father, almost unblinking for a long while before August collected the books and stood, tucking them under his arms.
"Martin, my mind is made up on this. You cannot change it, even if you tried, my son."
Martin looked away from his father, unable to speak.
"I love you, son, truly, but Willa Cassella is all I have left of your sister."
Martin didn't understand, wouldn't understand, August could see it in his eyes. He knew he blamed Odette and the whole Cassella family for what happened to his sister, and now would probably lay blame at Willa's door as well as his father's own, although his father was ready to accept his share of the blame after so many years of protesting innocence.
"I must do this."
August insisted with a tone that Martin had never heard before. It was one of total control and fear at the same time. Fear of the unknown, and feeling confident in that. It slightly amazed Martin, who sighed heavily, and, after running his hand through his blonde hair a few times, nodded.
"Alright, dad, I get it. I'll book your trip for the earliest flight there and have everything situated for you by this evening."
"Thank you, Martin. You have no idea-"
Martin held up a hand.
"Just so we're clear, dad, I'm angry at you. I don't know if I can forgive you this. I'm pissed as all hell. Don't thank me, don't be appreciative or loving towards me. Call me if you need me to send you something, or when you need a return flight, but don't call for any reason other than that."
And, with that harsh statement that broke his father's heart, Martin headed out the door, slamming it behind him as he said, "I'll call when I have the information!"
Martin got into his car, started it up and drove off in a hurry, leaving August alone in his suddenly desolate house.
However, the old man stood strong, and fought back the heartache that he felt gnawing at him. He'd make it up to Martin later, but right then, he needed to pack…and to make a phone call. As he stumbled towards the phone, he wondered idly if Odette would be pleased or angry as well at the prospect of him coming to see her and their grandchild.