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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54. Chapter 53

Gael didn’t return to the camp. As promised, Leo looked for him, but it was clear he didn’t want to be found. Eventually, Leo gave up, and let him be. He focused on leading the Wild Souls, and grew up to be three times the leader Kris was. The other leaders too, developed. Felicity found love with a kind Songbird and conceived a child in mid 1995. Felicity thought she must have fallen from the heavens to be so perfect, and so named her Angelica. Johnathon and Adele continued to live in Dustwood together, and though life was not perfect, it was good, and it was the life Johnathon wanted to be living.

15/06/1999

Cooking had never been Johnathon’s speciality. Adele was the chef in their household. But Adele was working late, and after a long week, Johnathon felt she deserved a rest. So he’d spent his day looking through recipe books, trying to find something simple yet delicious that he could plate up that evening. He’d chosen some vegetable tray bake with sausages. The recipe had made it look easy, but his fingers were coated in blue plasters from where he’d cut himself whilst chopping the vegetables. He sighed in relief when he at last shoved the finished dish in the oven.

The house always felt quieter without Adele in it, and that night was no exception. Johnathon resorted to reading in his study when she wasn’t around. His study was the one place Adele never went into, she thought it was too disgruntled and untidy. When he was in there he could pretend she was in fact home, and just in another room. Half an hour or so later, he heard the sound of a lock in the door, and he quickly got up.

“You’re back earlier than I expected.” He walked up and gave his wife a quick kiss.

“I missed you,” Adele confessed, “I’ve been feeling quite emotional at the moment.”

“Emotional enough to put up with my cooking? Because I’ve been busy” he grinned, leading her into the dining room.

“I’m starving.” Adele confessed, “I’d eat anything right now.” Johnathon pecked her on the cheek, before disappearing back into the kitchen to take the dinner out of the oven. It was a little burn around the edges, but it was nothing a little seasoning couldn’t fix. Johnathon pelted their plates with pepper and other herbs, and picked off the black bits. He made sure he put a little extra in Adele’s wine glass, hoping that might help distract from the taste, and at last he placed their meal on the table. “It looks better than your previous attempts” he tried to find a compliment to give him.

“...thank you?” Johnathon couldn’t help but chuckle at her efforts. He watched as Adele raised her fork to her mouth, but his stomach sank when he saw the facial expression that followed. Adele’s face scrunched up and her eyes squinted, she half-gagged and looked little bit like a walrus. “Is it that awful?” He grimaced, bowing his head.

“No, no, I don’t think it’s your fault. I normally love this dish...it’s just-never mind.” Adele fumbled, her tone apologetic.

“It’s fine, I understand.” Johnathon lied, he couldn't comprehend a words of what she was saying. Adele sighed, and took Johnathon’s hand in her own. After a moment or two of gazing at him, she went to go and make herself up some bread and butter. Johnathon tried some of the dish he had prepared, and found he actually quite liked it. Maybe it was just Adele? They both finished their meals, though the differentiation in their plates made for a slightly awkward atmosphere. Johnathon washed up as Adele settled down in front of the TV, and before long they were cuddling on the sofa.

“What are your plans for the future?” Adele suddenly asked him out of the blue. Johnathon turned to her, confused.

“Why are you asking?”

“I’m just wondering” Adele shrugged innocently. Johnathon thought for a moment.

“I suppose I’ll just keep carrying on, I’ll do the best I can to be a good man, and maybe one day, when you eventually leave me, I might just have to go and end my unaging life.” Johnathon summarised, speaking casually about such a heavy matter, Adele’s lip quivered, but she quickly recovered.

“What about the near future? Like, within my lifetime.” Adele urged him to be more specific, nuzzling his chest whilst she spoke as if the gesture would get him to reveal all.

“I intend to spend the vast majority of that time with you” Johnathon meant to assure Adele, but instead her brow creased.

“Just me?” She checked.

“Who else would I spend it with?” Johnathon didn’t understand her question.

“...Never mind.” Normally Johnathon would pursue the matter, but Adele seemed a little on edge that night. He let her gradually fall asleep with her head on his shoulder and her arm around his waist. He listened to her gentle breathing, and drowned out all the other sounds in the room. He found his own eyes shutting, and before he knew it, he was also gone.

He was awoken by the sudden absence of Adele’s warmth, and he caught a quick glimpse of her running towards the bathroom. He ran after her, concerned, but she shut the door before he could enter. He heard muffled vomiting noises from the inside, and groaned.

“Adele? Adele are you okay in there?” He called out to her, but no reply came, probably because she was unable to reply. Seconds later, he heard a large sigh.

“I’m...I’m fine, don’t worry. I just felt a little sick all of a sudden, that’s all.” She made her excuses, none of which comforted Johnathon, who was half tempted to break down the door.

“Are you sure? You don’t sound fine.” Adele opened up the door and stepped outside. She was smiling weakly in a pathetic attempt to hide her flushed skin and slumped posture.

“I’m okay now.” She leaned in to kiss him, but Johnathon was having none of it. It wasn’t a kiss and forget moment, it was a explain (then kiss) moment.

“No you’re not. You’re emotional, you’re taste buds are off, and now you’ve been sick. Tell me what’s going on.” Johnathon was firm, and Adele knew he wouldn’t let the matter go. She bit her lip, and tilted her head slightly, thinking about what to do next.

“Promise me you won’t freak out” she requested, taking a small step forward.

“I promise.” Johnathon was willing to say anything to get her to confide in him. Adele placed her hand on her stomach.

“...I’m pregnant.”

Two such simple words managed to have the most dramatic effect on Johnathon. All his other senses left him, and all he could hear were those two basic words ringing around and around in his mind. Like a mantra, a compulsive, lustful mantra, that urged his lips forward onto hers. Before he knew what he was doing, he found himself kissing Adele like he’d never kissed her before, with only emotion left to control him.

When their lips parted, they were both smiling, and Johnathon doubted if he would ever frown again.

 
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