The man looked at the extended hand before pulling Chris into a hug and whispering in his ear.
Once they finished their hug, Christopher turned and motioned to me to approach; I guess it was time to meet Chris' dad and boss. Kind of strange to have your father as your boss, especially in a secret organization. I mean, lots of people do it all the time, but this was really strange. Christopher's dad then addressed me almost formally.
"Hello, Jeremy, I'm truly sorry about what happened to your boyfriend..."
I was taken aback and drew a sharp breath at hearing him talk about Adrian and me as boyfriends. I looked to Christopher almost begging with my eyes, I looked back at his father as he continued.
"Do not worry about that, Jeremy, you see, one of my brothers is gay, so it's not something that would make me see you differently. As for my son being gay, it does worry me, because I know that this world is not all accepting of what you three are, and so I will also worry about you two, Jeremy," he said softly, almost like he was trying to comfort me.
I was stunned, I guess the saying like father like son is true after all, but to hear acceptance and the love he was showing toward me was almost over whelming. My heart ached at the thought of Adrian, as I had hoped he could have heard what Chris' father told me.
"Do worry, you both will find him soon enough," he added, like Chris, it was as if he was reading my thoughts, this can be quite annoying though.
"Thank you, sir." I said.
"Now, Christopher, report, please. All the details you can give me."
"Well there is nothing more I can give you… aside from that it felt like the last time," he replied.
They both started talking about the event, but it seemed so complicated I was having trouble understanding half the words they were saying. I was about to doze off when I felt someone sitting next to me and hugging close. I looked up to see Chris' Mother, Maggie, as she smiled down at me softly whispering to just sleep that she'd wake me up if they needed my help.
When I woke up I was in Christopher's bed, lightly covered by a blanket. I could hear some soft talking in the living room, so I decided to go see if they finished talking about whatever they were talking about. I moved slowly, still half-asleep, trying to keep my balance. That's when I realized that Christopher was not the one having a conversation. I listened a little trying to see if I could figure out something about him.
"You know he still blames himself for what happened, and partly you because you forced him to team up with Eugene. Christopher doesn't like him at all," Maggie quietly said.
"You know I had no choice, he was the only one available for that kind of mission. If I had known it would turn out so ugly, I would not have sent them at all," Chris' father replied.
"He hasn't recovered from the loss of his friend, you know."
"I know, honey, I really don't know what to do about it," he said and then, surprising me, turned around to motion me to come join them. He patted the couch beside him.
"I don't know if you know that or if he wanted you to know but... Once Christopher was leading a team into a situation, his three member team was handpicked by himself. Usually we have five member teams, but most teams were unable to go," he said.
Maggie decided to pick up, "His team was two of his best friends, they grew up together, laughed together, cried together."
"So since they had finished doing their primary training, I had no choice and no other team able to assign. I sent them on this mission with a trainer in case something should happen. Unfortunately it was Eugene, an old friend of mine that Chris never really liked for some reason." He continued where Maggie left off.
"When things got bad, Chris tried to help his friends to escape the event, but Eugene blocked him so he couldn't get to them fast enough, he managed to save one of his friends, but he was injured and would never walk again. The other friend got dragged in and we couldn't find anything after the event cleared, he is still missing in action," he finished.
"THAT JERK KNEW I COULD SAVE THEM!" Christopher said angrily.
"Watch your mouth, young man," Maggie said sternly.
"Sorry Mom... but I stand by that; he knew I could save them, but he was too preoccupied with me not being injured for the sake of his career, since I'm your son," he continued, tears falling freely. "I could have pulled both of them if Eugene didn't grab me and hold me, at least he would be alive and maybe Jeffrey wouldn't be in a wheelchair."
In a flash Chris' dad grabbed him in a fatherly hug, holding him tight as he cried, while mumbling about all of it being his fault. Chris' father, Tom, as I found out, tried as hard as he could to comfort him, whispering to Chris non-stop. Maggie sat near me putting an arm over my shoulder pulling me closer to her side.
I was getting a little worried since Christopher was losing more and more of his emotional self-control in the past few days. That just added to my worries as to what to say to Adrian's mother, and my own mother. As I was pondering the situation and trying to find a way to explain it to Adrian's mom, the doorbell rang, screwing up my concentration. I noticed when Maggie got up to go answer the door that Christopher and his father had moved to sit on the other couch that was in the living room. I felt like I was missing a few minutes, but all that was put in the back of my head as I watch Adrian's mom and mine walk in the living room.
"Jeremy, are you all right?" my mom said, hugging me.
"Yes, Mom, but... Adrian... he's lost," I said in tears, as the emotion finally caught up to me.
"Since our sons won't be able to do the introductions. I'm Margaret Kenneth and this is my husband Thomas Kenneth," Maggie said, pointing to Chris' Father, who nodded at the two women.
"You can call us Tom and Maggie," Tom continued. "Nice to meet you both."
"Nice to meet you too, I'm Elisa Matthews and this is Angelina Simons, Adrian's mother," my mom said for introduction.
"Nice meeting you, you can call me Angie," Adrian's mom said softly. "Do you know where Adrian is and if he's all right?" she asked worriedly.
"Well..." Tom started, but was interrupted by Christopher.
"Yes and No... He's most likely all right, but simply shifted," he said softly, almost at a whisper.
"Shifted?" All the adults said at once. We would have all laughed, but the seriousness of it was weighing heavily on all of us.
"Go on, son, you are the expert in the room about those things," Tom said.
"Like I explained to Jeremy earlier today, what I... I mean, what we do at the agency is to hunt temporal events that may occur. Usually they aren't bigger than a golf ball, sometimes as large as a baseball. Those events, as we call them, if touched or crossed by a person will usually simply cause a Déjà-vu effect. But what happened today wasn't normal at all, and I know of only one other occurrence for this kind of event. That was about two years ago."
"This event probably would create the same effect, but to a greater scale. In theory, it could move someone or an object to some near future," he finished calmly.
"So you are saying that he was sent to the future?" Angie asked, unsure if she was liking what she was hearing.
"Might be. Yes and to a near future, like a few days or weeks. But like I said, it's theory, I can't with all certainty know if it is accurate or feasible. All I can say is that Einstein's Relativity Theory permits time travel to a certain degree, Past times cannot be reached, but Future times could, in theory, be attainable. But it would require so much energy..." he continued to explain, the last part in a soft whisper.
We all watched silently as he was pondering the implication of what he just said, no one was willing to break his train of thought as he was gesturing in the air as though marking a white board. That continued for a few minutes in total or near-total silence, as he was constantly mumbling and shaking his head, until he jumped up and ran somewhere in the house. He came back almost as quickly as he left, carrying the small hand held device that looked like the mini-computer he had when Adrian disappeared.
"Dad! I need the files on the last event and all other reports from today!" he almost shouted.
Tom complied, knowing it was futile to try to get an answer from Christopher as he was frantically typing something on his mini-computer. Tom returned with something that looked like a small USB key and gave it to his son. Christopher never missed a beat and plugged the small USB key into his device.
"Ah!" he exclaimed, making us jump from the sudden yell. "I might be able to predict when he will come back!" he said.