106 Better

Still blushing from her great embarrassment, Arisa cleared her throat and spoke "Moving on, what's the sound proofing for?"

Equally, still recovering from their embarrassing self-exposing matters, Jonathan clamed himself before replying "The things I'm gonna tell you, only a few living people know of it. And until the moment is right, it has to stay that way. I'm just taking precautions, because you can never know who's ears might hear."

"It's that severe?" June asked with a furrowed brow, to which Jonathan nodded.

"It might cause the complete annihilation of the Gifted kind, if it falls to the wrong ears." Jonathan said grimly. "But I'm telling this to you guys because first; you both deserve it, and second; I have complete trust in both of you."

Hearing what Jonathan said completely caught Arisa and June off guard. Knowing the great weight that hanged in the balance. Jonathan was ready to risk it all, because he trusts his family. And this thought extremely warmed the mother and son's hearts.

After a pause of silence, Jonathan continued talking.

"I guess we'll have to start from the very beginning." Jonathan said as a nervous sigh escaped him. "How much do you guys know about 'The Queen' and Petra?"

The mother and son briefly looked at each other, before June answered "Not much really. We only knew the one's that Harper told us, when he came to visit."

Nodding, Jonathan continued "I see."

Something about Jonathan's response didn't sit well with Arisa, until a realization hit her.

"Wait, let me just ask this. And I want the full truth." Arisa looked at her husband straight in the eyes. "Did Harper know you're alive all this time?"

Jonathan knew that he couldn't hide from his family anymore. So after bracing himself, he looked at his family straight into their faces and answered with a curt nod.

Having the answer that she asked for, Arisa's body visibly shook. Her fists tighten so hard, that her knuckles started turning white. Seeing this, June placed a hand on his mother's fist, in comfort.

"I want to punch you so bad right now!" Arisa spoke through gritted teeth, as she seethed in anger. Feeling betrayed and hurt, her eyes burned with hot tears, just waiting to spill out.

Seeing the raging emotions in his wife's eyes, Jonathan felt his heart shatter even further.

"I know I don't have the right to ask for forgiveness, but I am truly and deeply sorry for everything." Jonathan said as his voice broke, filled with guilt and shame.

As the emotions ran high between his mother and father, June tried so hard to keep his composure, wanting to know the whole story first before he reacts. Putting a comforting arm around his mother's shoulders, June stared at his father with a somewhat composed expression.

"From everything you've told us before, I assume, all the deception has got something to do with that?" June asked

"Yes" Jonathan answered.

"It all started eighteen years ago, one year before you were born. The Guros, the advisors to the queen, received a prophecy."

"If I remembered clearly, it has something to do with the destruction of the Gifted kind if 'The Queen' continued ruling, right?" June said, recollecting the conversation with Harper.

"That's right, but what was kept hidden was that, the prophecy didn't end there." Jonathan said, which surprised and confused the mother and son. "The second part of the prophecy states that 'Also under The Queen's rule, the Gifted kind will rise again and be rebuilt anew'."

"If that's what the prophecy said, why hide it? Isn't it a good thing?" June asked in confusion.

"It is a good thing. But what had to be done before that's attained, is something that isn't as black and white as we think." Jonathan replied "There were a lot of variables that needed to be considered. And one of those variables are the power hungry Gifteds, that wanted to dethrone the Queen and rule our kind."

"If let alone, the Gifteds would continually destroy the Gifted race no matter how many times it is rebuilt. That is the Guros' first conclusion with the prophecy. So, they hatched a plan that would set off the first part of the prophecy. And that was the same time you were born." Jonathan paused as a ghost of a smile appeared on his face, remembering the day June was born.

"At that time, I had a close friend that could detect if a person is a Gifted or not, even if the Gifts hasn't manifested yet. When that friend took one look at you, she immediately knew you were not a Gifted. But you not being a Gifted didn't bother me at all, and still felt like the happiest father in the world." Jonathan said as he felt hot tears stream down his face.

Hearing his father's words, June knew deep down, that there was not a single lie uttered. June knew that his father is speaking the most pure and unadulterated truth. The next thing he knew, hot, silent tears also streamed down his face.

"I had plans to resigned to my duties, and live a quite and comfortable life with both of you. But before I was about to do that, the war happened. After you were born, the Guros decided that it was time to take a step forward towards the prophecy. Creating a false narrative by making the Queen a tyrant, the Guros sacrificed them by committing self exile. That action, successfully revealed the true intention of the Gifteds. Gifteds rose in rebellion under the leadership of Antares, which you might know as the Grandmaster at the Castle."

"Wha-" June was rendered speechless upon hearing his father's revelation.

"Power hungry, Antares sold his soul to the Chaos for power. Being on the Queen's side. Our job was to save as many Gifteds a possible, whilst defending Petra. We were ordered to not fight seriously, unless the situations absolutely calls for us to do so. While the Queen acted as a tyrant according to the Guros' orders, behind all that façade, she was trying to save as many lives as possible. But as wars are supposed to be, it was bound that many lives will be lost in the process.

Families were destroyed, friends started turning on each other, loved ones killing each other, it was a scene that has hunted my dreams ever since then. A child's parents were killed right in front of his eyes, while Harper and I did our best to save that child's siblings.

As the war went on, it was obvious that no side was gaining the advantage, while both side kept losing people. So in the end, the war was settled with Antares taking a third of the Gifteds with him. Besides Petra, there were more places like it existing, and one of them was the Castle. Zenayda had to give it up to Antares, in order for the truce to happen.

The wake of the war left a huge loss on the Queen's side. Although it could be said that nobody really won or lost, we still felt that we lost. Many innocents lives were were taken and many sacrifices were made. It was all according to the prophecy, the first part came to pass, but at what cost?" Jonathan spoke as his voice filled with grief and sadness.

"After the war, I was determined to leave and not get involved with the Gifted world again. But then we got the sudden report that the 'Legends' were being killed off one by one."

"Wait, you mean... Tea? Choco? Cane?" Arisa asked in great surprise, to which Jonathan only nodded.

"All of them are dead?" Arisa asked again in disbelief, to which Jonathan only answered with a grave nod.

"Oh my God!" Arisa covered mouth, as her heart beat started raising.

June gently rubbed his mother's back, trying to give her some comfort. June remembered seeing the faces that his mother just mentioned, in his parent's wedding photo. June was somewhat familiar with them, hearing about them on his mother's stories, so he knew that she had a very close relationship with them, much more his father.

"When that news came, fear suddenly enveloped my whole being. I wasn't afraid for my life, but I was afraid for the both of you. I was afraid of losing both of you. I knew at that time, the 'Legends' were being hunted one by one, and eventually it will be my turn. And with me being hunted, both of you will be caught in on the conflict and will for sure put your guys' lives in danger. The thought of losing both of you, broke my whole being." Jonathan's voice began to break once again.

"I decided then that I would do anything, just to keep both of you safe. And for that to happened, I had to remove myself from the picture. It will only be then, that your guys' lives won't be targeted anymore. Leaving both of you was the most painful thing I've ever felt, to the point that I felt like dying, but if it was to keep both of you safe and living a peaceful life, then I told my self I'd endure it. I know, I might sound like I'm making excuses for what I've done, but please believe me when I say that I did everything that I've done, for the both of you.

You might hate me more for me saying this, but I don't regret my actions. What I do regret, is how it made the both of you feel. All the hurt and sadness and pain of not having a husband and a father, all I could really offer is that 'I'm so so so sorry for what the both of you have went through without me'. All the hardships and struggles. Words will never be enough to express how sorry I am." Jonathan said with every ounce of sincerity he has.

Now that the truth has finally been laid out in the open, June and Arisa finally got the closure that they were seeking for.

"You know, growing up, mom would always tell me countless stories about you. And whenever we got into the topic of you, mom never shied away from it. Instead she'd get more and more excited about it." June said with a soft tone in his voice.

"Really?" Jonathan's asked in great surprise, to which June nodded with a smile on his face.

"Yup. Through her countless stories, I felt like I still had a father growing up. Although you were not physically present, but your presence was. Mom would always tell me stories of how great you were and how brave you were, how caring you were. But now that I've met you personally, honestly you don't even come close to the person that mom made you out to be." June said, his voice suddenly getting more serious.

Hearing what his son had said about him, saying that the remaining pieces of Jonathan's already shattered heart has now been obliterated, is an understatement. Jonathan felt like dying, the pain that he's currently feeling didn't even compare to the wounds and scars that he got from the war.

"I- I know." Jonathan could only say, as he stood with his head hung low.

"It's great that you know." June said almost brutally "It's great that you knew, that you don't even come close. Because... you're better!"

Jonathan was already expecting the final nail on the head, but what he heard was completely different from what he expected.

"Huh?" Jonathan raised his head in surprise.

"Jonathan Summers, Arisa Summer's husband, my father, dad. You are better!" June said with a big teary and proud smile.

The next thing Jonathan knew, a pair of arms wrapped around him and enveloped him in a tight embrace, leaving him completely stunned.

"Dad, thank you for all the sacrifices that you made for me and mom! We lived a pretty comfortable life because of you!" June said, as the dam finally broke and endless tears started flowing down his face. "Thank you so much!"

Finally, regaining back his senses. Realizing that everything's real. Jonathan could help but burst into tears, as he hugged his son back. Both father and son sobbed and cried, as the years of longing, flowed like a raging tide.

"Have room for one more?" The father and son suddenly heard.

Turing to Arisa who's been trying so hard hold in her tears, June opened up his arm and opened up a space for his mother. Walking towards his son and husband, Arisa joined in on the family embrace, finally letting out the tears she's been holding, as the father and son wrapped their arms around her.

It was at that time that Jonathan felt his heart mending, healing, and reconstructing to what it once was. The guilt and shame that he's been feeling all his life, after he left his family, slowly vanished into nothingness, replaced by love and joy.

Time slowly passed, as the family finally became whole again, a warm heat spread through out their bodies. It was like a gigantic blanket, wrapped around them, in comfort and peace.

As they broke from the hug, the family of three sat on the edge of the bed with their son in the middle.

Both hands holding each one of his parent's hand, June felt like a little kid once again, his heart about to burst from fullness.

"It might've been really hard at first, especially for mom, but we got through the sadness and lived a happy life. We always made sure to remember you whenever we had the chance. We hanged multiple pictures of you and mom, all over the house. Mom made sure that you are still a part of me growing up." June said, as he stared at both of his hand, tightly holding each parent's hand.

Jonathan stared at Arisa with eyes full of adoration and love, upon hearing what his son had said.

"Thank you" Jonathan said with a soft voice.

"You know that I love you and that will never change. I sucker punched you because you deserved it at that time, but my love for you will never waver. It will always stay like that till the moment I die." Arisa said with all sincerity.

"Wait a minute!" June held up a finger, upon feeling his parents strong urge to kiss each other.

As both parents look at their son, June took out the necklace that had his parent's rings, from under his shirt.

"If both of you could stand please." June requested, to which both parents complied, both having an amused expression on their faces.

"Please, face each other." June then said, to which both parents complied once again.

Standing up, June unclasp his necklace and took out both rings. June then handed his mother's ring to his father, while he handed his father's ring to his mother.

"Now, please state your vows." June said with a huge grin on his face.

Arisa and Jonathan laughed at their son's antics, but still complied non-the-less. However, when the husband and wife looked at each other, something within them told them that what they are about to do is not just for any fun, but something much much more. Turning serious, Jonathan went first and gently took Arisa's left hand.

"Arisa, when I decided I was going to leave, I had already prepared myself to never see you or June ever again in my life. Then again, I guess God had a different plan. Now that He brought both of you back to me, I swear that I will never let you guys go again. I did it once before and felt like I was walking aimlessly in an endless wilderness, just waiting to take my final breath. I promise on my life, that I will do everything to protect both of you. I love you and our son so so much, and thank you for giving me another chance." And with that Jonathan gently slid the ring to Arisa's finger.

When it was Arisa's turn, she took Jonathan's left hand and gave her husband a loving smile.

"I already said it before, but I'll say it again. You, Jonathan Summers, know how much I love you and that will never ever change. I sucker punched you because you deserved it at that time, but my love for you will never waver. It will always stay like that till the moment I die. Now that God as brought this family back together again, we all have a lot of catching up to do. And as our time together passes, I promise to cherish every waking moment with both you and our son. I love you and our son so so so much, that words will never be enough to express it." And with that Arisa slid the ring into Jonathan's finger.

"Now then, my turn" June said with a big smile on his face, which caught his parents by surprise, a pleasant one at that.

"Let's hear it, then!" Arisa said with great enthusiasm as Jonathan wrapped an arm around her shoulder, gently pulling her to him.

"Mom... Dad, just like what both of you always say, 'Everything happens for a reason.'. There's a reason why we were separated for a while, but there's also a reason why we are now together. Honestly, right now I don't even care what that reason is. I'm just so grateful to God for bringing us all back together again. As your guys' son, I will do my absolute best to be the son you both can be proud of. I will protect this family, and make sure that we don't get separated ever again." June said with great conviction, that his parents felt the great weight of the words that he uttered.

"We'll all protect this family" Jonathan said in agreement as he pulled June into a family hug.

And with that, the reunited family's bonds became stronger that ever. While unbeknownst to June, the golden flame inside of him grew even bigger and brighter.

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