Chapter 19 - Monitoring Spirits

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"I don't give a fuck what you say, I'm not going anywhere." Jose declared through his teeth.

"But we need you out there man." Alejandro protested, "Look-" he paused immediately Matt set his hand on his shoulder.

"Leave him be." Matt shook his head and turned to Mark. "You will stay here too." he told him.

Mark parted his lips surprised and blinked. "I'm sorry, what?" he raised one eyebrow.

"I need you here bro, I don't want to have to worry about you whilst I'm out there. Fernanda has already mentioned that things are going to get worse now that we are entering Asmodue's territory." Matt softly explained and studied the look of disdain on Mark.

"You saying that I can't protect myself?" Mark went over to Matt. Their noses were only separated by an inch. "How dare you Matt?"

Matt maintained their eye lock; his were soft whereas as Mark's were filled with rage. "You must understand that-"

"Fuck you Matt." Mark stabbed a finger to his chest. "I left everything just so I could help you save Ruth. Yesterday was my daughter's third birthday and I couldn't be with her. You know how much Monique makes it difficult for me to see her and now that I couldn't be there, she will surely use it against me in court."

"Gentlemen, please," Fernanda interrupted and received a stern look from Mark.

"I respect you Fernanda so please, stay out of this." Mark said to her as calmly as he could and clenched his jaw before turning back to Matt. "So just because you were a marine and I am a programmer, you think I can't protect myself? I will get in your way?"

Matt dropped his gaze and licked his lips. He slowly brought his head back up and set his hand on Mark's stiff shoulder. "I just want you to go back home to Chelsea. She needs her father. I don't want her growing up fatherless like we did. You have helped me more than enough but the only thing left for you to do now is stay and guard this boat with Jose."

Mark blinked once, twice and looked thoughtfully at Matt. He pressed his lips together and walked away without another word. Matt averted his eyes to Alejandro and he just shrugged his shoulders.


The team finally hit land and one by one, they made their way off the boat. Abigail stood away from them and watched them leave.

"We will see you soon." Alejandro said to Mark who just nodded his head with a stoic in response.

Matt was last to get off and he made his way to the others. He looked over his shoulder and caught a glimpse of Mark talking to Abigail. Mark felt him staring and he turned to see. A moment of silence followed as the brothers looked deep into each other.

Mark straightened his pose and brought his hand to his head in a salute. Matt's mouth fell agape in surprise. He tucked his lips and returned the salute. Mark dropped his hand and the brothers nodded at each other as a parting goodbye.

"Stay safe Matt and God be with you." Mark said to himself.

"God be with us all." Abigail's voice caught him by surprise and he watched her go back inside.


The team trekked through the forest for three hours straight. Mosquitoes feasted on their blood while they hopelessly slapped them away. Luckily for them, it wasn't raining. The last thing they needed was to have rain delay them anymore than they already were. They walked through the forest with Adrianna leading the way. She slashed branches and bushes away with her blade.

"I wonder if we are close enough." Diego broke the silence.

"Yeah me too but we should be there soon." Alejandro responded and ended with grunt due to his stiff waist.

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