Lannor found Tyler’s behaviour endearing. From the creases above his brow and the slight pouting of his lips, there were still elements of childlike qualities in his behaviour.
“Can I get you something to eat or drink?” Lannor asked.
“No. Stop avoiding the question?” Tyler said arms folded firmly across his chest.
“Right then. My name is Lannor and I’m from Yoorana.”
Tyler’s frown grew stronger and his lips thinned, “You’re making fun of me?” Tyler demanded.
“No. I’m telling the truth. I’m from a parallel universe sent here by my mother.”
For a moment Tyler appeared to take in Lannor’s word before he burst in to laughter.
“You’re kidding right. A parallel universe! That’s science fiction and a load of bull.”
“Then you explain how I can turn myself into a cat?” Lannor leaned back on his chair, fingers entwined on his lap.
Tyler glanced around the room, “A trip of the light. Hidden cameras.”
“Neither. I’ve been here for as long as the house has existed. Surely you’ve been told this house is haunted.”
Through squinted eyes, Tyler studied Lannor for the first time. As his eyes scanned his body and excitement tingled Lannor’s sensors; never had he enjoyed the thrill of convincing anyone as he did Tyler.
“You knew my Aunt Elizabeth?”
“Yes, we were lovers for a time?” Lannor replied.
Tyler looked about to deny Lannor’s statement but closed his mouth without a word being said.
“Why did she leave?” Tyler asked.
Only then did he looked away, eyes falling on the unmade bed.
“Elizabeth realised she couldn’t save me.”
“Save you! Why do you need to be saved?”
Lannor glanced back pushing aside the pain when he remembered Elizabeth.
“As I’ve said, I was sent here by my mother. You see, she didn’t think I understood what love was. So she sent me here to learn.”
Tyler remained quiet for some time and when he spoke he took Lannor aback.
“So your mother interfered with your life because she wasn’t happy you didn’t understand love.”
Tyler touched on exactly what Lannor had always thought.
“Yes. She did.” Lannor said in agreement.
Tyler through his hands up in the air, “What the hell is wrong with parents. My parents want me dead and yours send you to another planet. I don’t understand why they can’t accept us as we are.”
“Exactly.” Lannor responded. “I was minding my business when she came to my room and without so much as a warning I find myself here. And as a cat mind you. A cat, do you have any idea how much I hate being a cat. I mean it’s fine sometimes but so boring. I haven’t spoken to anyone in over ten years. I’ve read every book in the library a hundred times over. Read your magazine too,” Lannor leaned forward and said, “but I’m concerned about the content.”
Tyler blinked before a smile spread across his face and he gave out a laugh.
“I’ll explain it to you sometime.”
Lannor nodded his eagerness as Tyler blushed and looked away.
“Right.” Tyler said, “So you’re from another planet.”
“Yoorana,” Lannor interrupted.
“Yoorana,” Tyler repeated. “You’ve been here for three hundred years and you still haven’t been able to understand love.”
“I’ve tried everything. But no matter how many times they fall in love with me and I them, they either grow old and die or leave.”
“Right. So what did your mother mean by understanding love?”
Lannor shrugged. “Would I still be here if I knew?”
“I guess not.” Tyler replied.
Tyler shook his head and leaned back in his chair defeated.
“This is bloody ridiculous.”
“Yes it is. Maybe you can help me?”
“Me,” Tyler exclaimed shaking his head. “I’ve got my own problems to deal with. I might not be able to help you with yours.
Lannor was slightly annoyed at Tyler’s refusal to help. Given it was the first time he’d ever asked a man for assistance, he hoped Tyler might be more accommodating.
“Besides,” Tyler continued refusing to glance at Lannor, “I’m a man. How can I help?”
How indeed, Lannor thought?
“It occurred to me having never presented myself to any man before perhaps the love my mother referred to was the kind one finds in friendship. As I’ve never had friends before perhaps this is the first step needed to return home.”
Tyler’s head snapped around to glance at Lannor.
“What do you mean, never had friends? What about on Yoorana, didn’t you have friends growing up?”
“There were acquaintances. We spent much of our time growing up studying the cosmos. It is not until we reach maturity do we become more familiar with others.”
“More familiar?” Tyler asked.
A devious smile spread across Lannor’s face and Tyler replied, “I see.”
“Did you have anyone you loved there?”
“Of course. There was Marrissa, Jada, Tabitha.”
“I get it.” Tyler lifted a hand to stop Lannor.
Tyler pinched the bridge of his nose and Lannor liked how serious he was taking it all. The decision to tell him had been a good one and Lannor hoped together they could work out a way to get him back home.
“Right. I can see where your mother is coming from now.”
Tyler rubbed the bottom of his chin.
“Firstly, are you bound to the house?”
“Not entirely, I’ve never been past the perimeter of the property.” Lannor replied.
“Right. So you could leave.”
“No. I wouldn’t leave. This is where my mother sent me. If I were to stray, I may lose the connection I have to my world.”
“Secondly, now you’re here - where the hell do you expect to sleep?”
Lannor broke into a smile. “If it makes you feel any better, I can sleep in my feline form.”
“You should do that. Actually, you can be a cat as often as you like.”
“Now why would I do that?” Lannor replied. “Now I know you are fine with who I am, I look forward to more conversations with you.
Tyler gave an odd smile, his expression somewhat void of excitement.
Lannor offered Tyler time to let the information sink in and left the bedroom. On the edge of the bed, Tyler sat with his head in his heads. Everything learned that morning was unbelievable. However, Lannor had proven it to be true by shape shifting into a cat. Something like that was impossible yet it left Tyler with no reason not to believe Lannor. His head hurt. It was strange to be facing the prospect of Lannor being in the house since Tyler first arrived. Embarrassment engulfed him ever few minutes when he recalled his actions since arriving.
Then there was the magazine. The manner in which Lannor had asked about it sent Tyler’s body into a frenzy. Did Lannor know how erotic he looked? Dressed in beige cotton pants rolled up over his ankles and a white shirt with only two buttons in the centre holding the shirt closed. Lannor’s long black hair caught the sunlight and his green eyes mesmerising and alluring at the same time. Tyler crossed legs cursing the arousal steadily rubbing against his jeans since Lannor left the room.
As Tyler fell back onto the bed, massaging his temple, there were also his parents to consider. What was he going to do now his parents claimed him to be dead? Should he contact the paper and inform them of the truth? Tyler had a friend who worked in the media perhaps he could speak to him. The dull pain in his front temple made Tyler cringe. All Tyler wanted was to return to the life he had. Why couldn’t his parents except he was still their son? Tears formed and Tyler didn’t want to cry. But cry he did.
When the bed sank, Tyler’s head shot up. The last thing he wanted was to be comforted by Lannor. But it was the cat who pushed his way under Tyler’s arm to sit pressed against his body. Tyler wanted to protest, it was one thing to know Lannor was the cat and another to be in need of affection. Tyler dropped his head to rest on his arm and cuddled Lannor, the cat.
Calmness flowed through Tyler’s body as the soft purring near his ear lulled Tyler into relaxation.
“Why does life have to be so hard?” Tyler murmured.
If there was an answer Tyler would not get one.