Stupid, worthless brat.
Antioch stopped on the street corner.
A memory came to him.
A memory that was and wasn’t his own.
“Robin. Robin. Robin.” He sang the word over and over as he rocked his small son to sleep. “Robin. Robin. Robin Hastings.”
Robin’s eyes drifted shut.
His heart grew large with love for his child. He sang softly, “You’re perfect. My little Robin is perfect. I love you. My small Robin bird. I love you, my son. My boy. My child. I love you. Love you. Love you so much. My Robin. My Robin. My small perfect Robin bird.”
Antioch clenched his teeth.
I am not Peter Hastings. I’m not!
Always just me.
I am not him.
No matter what that brat and his wench mother may think or say, I’m me.
No matter what memories may come and say, I am me. I am not Peter Hastings.
I am not Robin Hastings’ father.
I am no one’s father.
A slight melancholy grasped him.
I am no one’s son.
I am a clone.
I stand alone.
Without Capernaum around, I am alone.
What am I supposed to do with my life? Where am I supposed to go?
Without The Institute, who am I?
Antioch looked up at the city light-brightened night sky. He saw two adult dragons fly overhead.
I am more than an ordinary human.
I am an extraordinary.
I am a vampire.
I am Antioch.
And LM will break my Lord’s hold on me. I will be free of his influence and power.
And I will make him suffer and pay for everything he’s done to me. Every insult. Every unwanted touch. Every assault.
He will pay for it all.
Antioch caught a whiff of a scent that smelled like shredded wheat and granola. He licked his lips and ran after it.
Robin took another sip of his root beer and gagged for the three hundredth time.
Ambrose shrugged. “I don’t know what your problem is. Tastes just fine to me.”
“Well, you got corrupt taste buds from drinkin’ hot water all the time.”
“Hot water is good for digestion and other stuff.”
Robin scoffed. “Ain’t sure how scaldin’ your stomach and intestine linin’ could be good for digestin’ anythin’. Besides all that, root beer ain’t supposed to be hot. Duh. It’s freakin’ root beer!”
“It’s not my fault. I made a simple request. The woman behind the counter was the one who misunderstood it.”
“Stupid. Stupid stupid Ambrose. You probably put the idea in her head.”
“What? Why in the world would I ask for hot root beer? That’s just mindless.”
“So says the man who thinks that freakin’ hot water is all that.”
“Uhh, because it is all that?”
“Yeah, right.” Robin smirked. “Anyway, I know why you’d do it.”
Ambrose folded his arms across his chest and leaned back in his seat. “Really?”
“You’re all sore and jealous that I’m sittin’ next to Barbara while you’re sittin’ all the way over there.”
“I’m not that far away. I could kick you easily if I wanted to.”
“Ba. Lo. Ney. You’re just all jealous. You’re a jealous sauerkraut.”
Ambrose looked over at Barbara.
She smiled. “I think I’m supposed to throw my arms around Robin’s neck.”
“Ha! Brat. No fair teaming up with Robin against me.”
Robin took another sip. “Eugh. I think I’m gonna be sick.”
“Then, stop drinking it.”
“Fine.” Robin shoved the drink to the middle of the table. He thought about it for a moment and reclaimed it.
He took another sip. “Ugh. Tastes so bad.”
“Idiot.” Ambrose said.