Guiltless

On the 11th of January 1937 Johnathon Ignes is born. He is a suitable weight, in good health...but different from all the other babies in the ward, because he is born immune to guilt. 2 years and 235 days later, worldwide war breaks out.
Sent away as an evacuee, Johnathon grows up away from his mother, and meets Erebus, a cheeky paperboy. Erebus too, has no guilt, and under his influence, Johnathon grows up into a monster.
This is the story of how that monster, became a leader.
- The prequel to 'Souls' (but will make sense if you haven't read it) -

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32. Chapter 31

Johnathon and Erebus accepted Eloise’s invitation, and Johnathon continued to see Adele.

18th December 1972:

“So are we going to be fighting any hunters, robbing any stores…you know, anything different, tonight?” Adele joked, her hand interlocked with Johnathon’s as they walked to the restaurant.

“No, it’s just a normal date. I’ve booked a table at the restaurant, they’ll be no fighting or robbing. It’s just two people on a date.” Johnathon assured her, chucking in between his words.

“A normal date? Is there such a thing with you?” Adele rested her head on his shoulder.

“Perhaps, we’ll find out tonight” Johnathon smiled, enjoying the moments. It was those moments, not the moments he spent with Erebus killing and thieving, that made him feel most alive.

They arrived at the restaurant, and sat down at their table. Looking at Adele look at the menu, Johnathon knew that he was where he was meant to be. They ordered some drinks and food, Johnathon made a mental note of Adele’s order, figuring that one day he could get or make it for her as a nice surprise.

“So…what do people do on normal dates?” Adele leaned across the table.

“Well I’ve heard that they get to know each other, they try and get a sense of what the other person is like” Johnathon played along.

“Well I already know you’re a reformed murder” Adele lowered her volume when she spoke those words, not wanting anyone to overhear.

“Reformed?” Johnathon chuckled.

“Yes, reformed.” Adele confirmed firmly, “But what else should I know? Do you have a fear of spiders? Are you a good cook?”

“No to both of those,” Johnathon answered her question “But if it’s information you’re after I have plenty. I was born on the 11th of January 1937, and I stopped aging on my thirtieth birthday, I’ll be thirty for as long as I live…which may be a while. I’m very pale because my blood flow is slower than the average persons and-”

“No, none of that!” Adele interrupted him, “I want to know about who you are inside”. Johnathon thought for a moment, who was he inside? When you stripped back the speed and the strength and the lack of guilt what was actually left? What was he, expect from a Dark Soul?

“I like to read, classics are my favourite. I also enjoy learning the Latin language, I began when I went to school as an evacuee, and it has stuck with me. I suppose those two things make me seem quite boring and old-fashioned, maybe I am, but they’re all I could think of.” Johnathon tried to find a couple of his passions to tell her about. Adele, to his surprise, seemed quite impressed by these details.

“I told you the first night we met I like books,” she reminded him, “I can’t say I enjoyed Latin at school though…I always loved English and History. That’s why I became an English teacher.” Adele compared his own loves to her own. Johnathon liked the idea that Adele was a teacher (he’d found out a while ago that she was) there was something fitting about imagining her teach a class. She’d sort of taught him into being a better man.

“I’ve never had a proper job, I’ve never needed one, Erebus and I just rob houses for a living” Johnathon admitted grimly, looking down whist he spoke. A few seconds later he felt the warmth of Adele’s hand linking with his.

“Maybe you could try and get one now?” She suggested, “I could look around for you if you like”.

“I’d like that, thank you.” Johnathon met her eyes again, “My life is pretty empty at the moment. I spend all my time reading or drinking, that is, except when I’m with you”.

“Oh come on, there must be something coming up” Adele refused to believe a man like Johnathon lead such a simple life.

“Well there is this New Year’s Eve party I’m supposed to attend,” Johnathon recalled, “A lot of Souls will be there, some of them I haven’t seen for years.”

“That’ll be nice for you, you’ll get to see some old friends” Adele smiled warmly.

“I wouldn’t call them all friends,” Johnathon shook his friends, “They’re sort of…allies.”

“Well do you need a date to this party? It would be nice for me to meet some of your allies, though I might steer clear of that Erebus fellow…” Adele trailed off. Do you really think you could take her to a party full of Souls and not spill all our secrets? Eloise’s words rang in Johnathon’s ears, her reaction still fresh in his mind. Deep down he knew she was right, not about the relationship, but about the party. If Adele went the reaction wouldn’t be good, and he wouldn’t risk her safety like that.

“Adele, don’t take this the wrong way, but I can’t take you. It’s strictly Souls only you see, and it might not be safe for you there. Plus, I still haven’t told them about us.” Johnathon tried to explain, not wanting to sound rude, but still wanting to sound firm.

“Why can’t you tell them? Surely there’s nothing wrong with it. We’re just two people in a relationship, it’s nothing major. The world won’t end because we kissed.” Adele’s posture sunk. Johnathon sighed, not liking her sad state.

“They’re worried about the hunters, they don’t want to risk any information getting out. It’s stupid I know, but I’m no leader, they won’t do what I tell them” Johnathon tried to justify their view. Adele contemplated what he’d said for a moment, before her expression brightened up again, and she let the matter drop.

“Don’t worry about it,” she tried to assure Johnathon, “So do you want dessert or…” Johnathon began to lose concentration in her words, his mood ruined by the talk of the party. He knew he couldn’t keep them a secret forever, but he wouldn’t have to, would he? Once the hunter threat was gone and Souls were able to come out of hiding, he and Adele would be able to start up a proper life together, he’d only have to wait a few months at most…right? Or would he have to choose between Adele and the Souls in the end…?

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