Trevor snorted. “Kemp, do you really think you could have hidden from Khalid?”
“He didn’t find me while I was gone. He didn’t come after me then.”
“Agreed, he didn’t. But why would he bother when he knew you’d come searching for Owen as soon as you could?”
“And because I did, Owen is dead. That makes it my fault. If I’d…I should have…” Kemp’s words and the sigh that followed were filled with pain and anguish.
Trevor gripped Kemp’s arms tightly, giving him a hard shake to get his full attention. “You can beat yourself up over what happened, hide away in some dark corner of your mind and just exist in this world. Or you can decide to do whatever it takes to make certain the same thing doesn’t happen to someone else.” When Kemp opened his mouth to protest Trevor overrode him. “You don’t have to make that decision right now. As a matter of fact you’re not capable of doing that at the moment. First you have to let go of your grief. And kid that ain’t happening as long as you sit here having a pity party for yourself.”
“I am not…”
“Oh yeah? Bet me. Right now you’re being a whiny little brat saying ‘Why me?’ like you’re the only one affected by what happened.”
“Fuck you,” Kemp growled. “I’m not doing that, I’m just…it was my fault…and…”
“Yeah, that’s right; it was all your fault that a bad-ass vampyre decided to go after your father and used innocents to try to get to him. Give me a break kid. If you’re to blame for anything, it’s that you didn’t learn to use your powers when they first surfaced. You are going to be more powerful than any dhampir I’ve ever met and that includes me.”
“If I had, could it have helped?” Kemp asked, almost afraid of what Trevor would reply.
“Probably not. Owen was already destroyed by the time we found him. Even if you were as good at what we do as I am there was no saving him. And before you start thinking there could have been a different ending if you’d stayed in the city and Khalid got you instead, the operative words in what I said were that you’re ‘going to be’ more powerful than any dhampir I know of. Right now Khalid would have still chewed you up and spit you out. It took three of us to deal with him. He was that powerful. Well,” he smiled at Kemp, “four if you count the fact that you were a great distraction when we needed it, even if you didn’t intend to be.”
Suddenly it all became more than Kemp could handle. Tears welled in his eyes, flowing down his face as he began to sob. Tentatively Trevor pulled him close, rocking him gently. “I won’t say it’s all right,” he murmured, “but it will get better in time. There will always be an ache in your heart when you think of him. If there wasn’t, then what you felt wasn’t really love and I believe you did love him. As cliché as it sounds right now you have to remember the good times and bury the bad deep in your mind. Don’t forget them or you won’t have learned anything from all of this. But do not let them rule your life.”
“I’ll try, Trev,” Kemp said mournfully, wiping away his tears. “I will try.”