Like most friendships, theirs began by pure chance. In their Kindergarten playground, Simon was playing by himself by bouncing and catching the red ball. He was an ordinary kid with strawberry blonde hair and blue eyes playing with a ball during recess. Once, Simon bounced the ball just a little too hard and at the wrong angle. He watched it soar in an arc over the heads of the other children and crash landed in the sand box, completely demolishing a small mound another boy had been building. Simon winced with guilt and ran over there, completely intent on apologizing to his classmate. However, what he found wasn’t a teary eyed boy. Instead, the boy held the ball, looked at Simon and then grinned.
“That was so cool!” The boy said. At first glance someone can tell right away that this boy was one of the cutest boys in existence. Emerald green eyes, auburn colored hair and a face so adorable you can’t resist pinching him on the cheeks.
“Really?” Simon sat down in front of the kid. “You’re not angry at me for ruining your sand castle?”
“It looked like a meteor crashed through it!” The boy looked very excited.
“Hey, it did!” Simon exclaimed as he realized just how cool it was.
“Hey, let’s do that again?” The boy asked.
“Sure!” Simon began piling sand into a mound. “I’m Simon, what’s your name?”
“My name is Logan.” The boy introduced himself.
“Logan? Like Wolverine from X-men?” Simon tried to match the name with something he knew about. “That’s so cool!”
“Really? I never thought of that.” He laughed. “Can I throw the ball this time?”
“Sure!” Simon said as he finished piling sand.
“Alright, here I go!” Logan said as he backed off a bit. “Bombs away!” And then he threw the ball into the castle, sending sand flying everywhere.
The two boys hit it off after that. After spending an entire session of recess building sand castles and destroying them, the two declared themselves best friends. From then on they were practically inseparable. They would spend their time after school at each other’s houses, playing video games or watching their favorite afternoon cartoons shows. Whenever their parents thought they were spending too much time indoors, they would move outside and ride their bikes or play sports.
Before they knew it, three years have passed by in a flash of fun, with Logan’s eighth birthday looming just over the hill.
“So what time is your birthday party tomorrow?” Simon asked as passed the soccer ball to Logan. Lately, the both of them were spending more time playing sports. Simon needed to become a lot better at playing because his mom’s new boyfriend was a big sports fan, and Simon really liked him. He really hoped that Sam and his mom would get married, and if getting good at sports helped, then Simon was going to do his very best. Logan would help of course. Logan was much better at sports then he was.
Logan caught the ball and passed it back. “I don’t have a birthday party tomorrow.”
“You don’t?” Simon said as if it was the most shocking thing in the world. “Why not?” He kicked the ball a little bit too hard and it began to veer off.
“My parents are inviting a lot of their friends over to celebrate.” Logan ran and caught the ball, then kicked it back. “Eighth birthdays are really special to our families. They believe that when a boy turns eight they start to become a whole new person. When Randy turned eight, they did the same exact thing.” Riley was Logan’s older brother.
“Well, you still get birthday presents at least, right?” Simon said, catching the ball under his foot.
“Sorta…” Logan scratched the back of his neck. “Half of the presents will be for someone else.”
“Someone else?” Simon asked curiously. “Who?”
“Just some girl.” Logan said under his breath.
“A girl? Simon half gagged. “Eww!” They were still in the stage of their lives where they considered girls as disgusting cootie riddled things made from the gunk that stuck to the bottom of a garbage can.
“I know.” Logan sighed. “But my parents want me to be nice to her anyways.”
“Well, what time can I come over?” Simon skillfully pushed the topic of girls out of the conversation.
Logan stiffened a bit when Simon asked. “Sorry, but you can’t come.”
“What? Why not?” Simon whined.
“My parents said no one else can come over tomorrow.” He told him. “Just the family and the people they invited.”
“But that’s not fair!” Simon pouted.
“I know, but I have to listen to them.” Logan sighed again. “Anyways, it’s getting late. I better go home now before my mom gets angry.”
“Me too.” Simon said, picking up his soccer ball. “I’ll see you later then.”
“Later.” Logan turned and ran off home. He felt a bit guilty and disappointed that Simon wouldn’t be able to come tomorrow, but it was how it was supposed to be.
“Hello sweetie.” Logan’s mom Julia said as her son walked through the front door. She was a beautiful woman in her early thirties with pale skin, bright red hair and green eyes. She busy chopping some vegetables for dinner, which smelled like it was about to be finished real soon. “Did you have a fun time with Simon today?”
“Yea, I guess.” Simon said as he flopped down onto the couch.
“How many times have I told you not to flop?” Julia said without looking up from the cutting board. “It makes you look like a rag doll.”
“Sorry mom.” Logan rolled his eyes at his mom’s analogy. He didn’t even know what a rag doll looked like. Dolls were for girls after all.
“Don’t you roll your eyes at me young man.” Julia said in a strict tone.
“Sorry.” Logan apologized again, this time putting some meaning into it. For a moment he had forgotten that his mom could do that.
“So what are you so glum about?” Julia asked.
“Simon asked if he could come tomorrow and I told him no like you asked me to.” Logan sulked.
“And you wanted him to come?” She raised an eyebrow.
“Well…I guess.” Logan said uncertainly.
“Oh honey…” Julia set down her knife. “You know we can’t allow an outsider see the ceremony. I know you trust him, but it’s too risky for the Kin-Lam Vuran.”
“I know mom.” Logan sighed for the umpteenth time. “I know.”
After dinner, Logan’s parents sent him off to bed early, saying that he had a big day ahead of him tomorrow. When Logan entered his room, he found a neatly folded pile of clothes on his bed, along with a pair of gloves and a note on top. The note was his mom’s basic reminder to wear those clothes the moment he woke up, not get them dirty and avoid touching anyone. Logan rolled his eyes again. His parents had drilled all the things he needed to know about tomorrow over and over again for the past year, yet they insisted on remind him anyways. Wordlessly, he moved his clothes to his desk, turned the lights off and crawled into bed to go to sleep.
Although Logan was disappointed that Simon couldn’t share what was happening tomorrow, he couldn’t help but feel restless as he tossed and turned in his bed. After his brother Riley turned eight years old, he had already begun to change drastically. And his father, Harold, was a rather stunning man. The same age as his mother, Harold was 6’5” tall and weighed 250 lbs. of brawn. He had short dark hair and hazel colored eyes, and was remarkably handsome. Knowing what was in store for him, Logan couldn’t wait for tomorrow to arrive. Tomorrow was his Tyr ‘d Lei, his Day of Destiny. He was going to become recognized as a true member of the Kin-Lam.
Logan didn’t realize he had fallen asleep until he was startled awake by a sharp rapping on his bedside window. A quick glance at the glowing green numbers on his alarm clock told him it was almost two in the morning. Another rap on the window brought Logan out of his sleepy daze and he crawled over to his window. Just on the other side was Simon, sitting on the roof of the patio and waving his hand.
Immediately Logan threw open his window. He shivered as a cold gust of wind blew through the opening. “Simon, what are you doing here?” He whispered loudly.
“I wanted to see you.” Simon picked something up behind him and brought it forward. It was a box wrapped in red paper with a white bow on top. “Happy Birthday Logan. I thought that you should have at least one present you don’t have to share with a girl.”
“Oh wow, you shouldn’t have.” There probably isn’t a single person in the world that said that and really meant it. He quickly ripped the wrapping paper off and opened his present to see what Simon had gotten him.
“Oh Simon!” Logan gasped when he saw what was inside. It was an autographed football signed by several players from the New York Giants, Logan’s favorite football team. “Wow! I mean, how did you…how did you get this?”
“Sam is a sports writer, remember?” Simon tapped the football. “He went to New York two months ago to interview the Giants, so I asked him if he could get an autograph from one of the players. I didn’t expect him to come back with a winning football signed by half of the team.”
Logan stared at the football, speechless. Simon could have just asked for an autograph for himself, but instead he specifically asked for Logan’s favorite team.
“Simon…I don’t know what to say.”
“Say you’ll invite me to your next birthday party.” Simon winked.
Logan broke out into a grin. “You got it. But you should really go home now before someone finds out.”
Simon nodded as he began to move away. “Alright. I’ll see you-”
Another gust of wind interrupted Simon. It had come so hard and unexpectedly that it blew the precious football out of Logan’s hands. “Oh shoot!” Simon stood up to catch the ball before it rolled off the patio roof, but another strong gust of wind blasted him. “Wha-whoa!” Simon threw his arms out in an attempt to regain balance before he fell off the roof, but he was already leaning dangerously over the edge and it didn’t look like he was going to make it.
Logan reacted before thinking and lunged forward, grabbing Simon’s hand. He clenched his teeth and pulled as hard as he could. He felt his arm go numb with that ‘pins and needle’ feeling as he pulled with all his might. He ignored the tingling and gave one last grunt before he pulled Simon back up again.
“Whoa, that was too close.” Simon sweated as he crouched down to a more stable position. For a moment there he saw his entire eight year old life flash before his eyes.
“Y-yea…” Logan said, letting go of Simon’s hand. “Y-you should go now.”
“Yea…” Simon said. “I’ll give you the ball back on Monday. I don’t think I want to be up here any longer.”
“Y-yea.” Logan agreed, though he seemed distracted.
“Bye Logan.” Simon said and started to move. This time he went carefully crawling across the roof and from there climbed down the tree growing nearby. Once he was safely on the ground, he grabbed the football, wiped the mud off of it and headed home with all of his bones intact.
Logan watched as Simon walked down the dimply lit street. As soon as he disappeared around the corner, he slammed the window shut and sat on his bed, staring at the hand that touched Simon.
Morning came, and the skies were crystal clear. All of the Kin-Lam Vuran families in the area arrived one after another to witness the glorious event. Some close personal friends of the family arrived early to help prepare for the big event. The men were out in the backyard setting out the chairs and the women were everywhere seeing to the decorations, flower arrangements and the feast to be served afterwards.
Before long, every seat was filled, and music began to play. Logan, wearing the blue and white ceremonial clothes his mother spent months carefully sewing, nervously walked down the petal strewed aisle. It was just so nerve racking to have all that people stare at him. He felt extremely uncomfortable as he walked at a slow, steady pace. His collar choked him, the strong perfume from the flowers made him want to sneeze and he was virtually roasting alive in his suit.
What made him even more nervous was the girl walking down the aisle next to him. The girl named Sophie, who was supposed to be his Arour Dian, his Bonded Partner. She was a rather cute girl, Logan had to admit. She had a petite frame, and a nice smooth light skin. Her long dark hair was braided with flowers, and the white dress she wore looked rather stunning. If someone were to look into this event, they would have thought it was a wedding which, ironically, was exactly what this was.
Finally, they reached the flower laced arch at the end of the aisle. There the Kin-Lam Vuran Elder, wearing his traditional brightly colored robes, began to conduct the Tyr ‘d Lei ceremony.
Although the Elder was speaking in a normal tone of voice, each word seemed to be shouted at him. Logan trembled at the Elder’s word about the purpose of the Tyr ‘d Lei, the bonds that would be made with the entire Kin-Lam Vuran and how the actions of a single union shape the entire race.
Finally, the ceremony reached the point that Logan was dreading the most.
“And now we will conduct the sacred Fel Neros ritual.” The Elder announced.
Sophie stepped forward and removed her right glove. “I, Selfelianna, pledge to devote my life with you, to share our pains, sufferings, joys and happiness. To this, I present my hand.” She held out her arm, waiting for Logan to give the ceremonial response.
“I-I, Loganos, shall embrace thee.” Logan stuttered as he stepped forward. He could feel the eyes of everyone sitting in the backyard watching his every move. He removed his white glove according to the ceremony, even though his mind was screaming at him. “To share our p-pains, sufferings, j-joys and h-happiness for all of eternity.” He began to reach out to touch her hand. “To this I…I…”
Logan looked up at Sophie. She looked so beautiful and pure in her white dress. Her face was so innocent and kind. Then Logan looked down at his shaking hand. Can he really do this to her?
Fel Neros, the Eternal Bond which, on the Eighth Birthday of a Kin-Lam child, forever bounds a person to the very first person he or she comes in direct contact with for the rest of their lives. Their powers would intertwine and grow along with them, uniting them into adults.
Unless it was with someone other then another Kin-Lam.
“I can’t!” Logan pulled back and yanked his glove back on. “I can’t do it!”
The crowd began to murmur angrily. Logan’s father Harold quickly moved in close to Logan. “What are you doing?” He whispered loudly.
“I can’t do it, Dad!” Logan cried as he felt everything begin to crumble. “I…I already performed Fel Neros with someone else.”
The murmurs grew even louder. Beads of sweat began to form on Harold’s forehead, but he still managed to keep his composure. “Alright, who did you touch? One of the other kids? An adult?”
“I t-touched Simon.” Logan shrank back.
The color drained from Harold’s face. “Simon? You mean your friend, Simon?”
Glumly, Logan nodded.
Logan’s mom let out a blood curdling scream before she promptly collapsed and his dad stumbled backwards.
“Logan, what have you done!?”