She had never loved him, not truly. And yet now, he was the only family she had left. Worse, he was the only person to whom she had any meaningful connection. Friends? She’d never excelled at making those in the first place, but the few she’d possessed had abandoned her the second they learned her son was a fugitive.
It was all his fault. He’d ripped her out of the world and placed her here. She’d already decided that she would never forgive him for that. She knew she would carry that grudge all the way to her grave.
There was still... something. A conflict. She’d realized it after Hector returned from his fight with Abolish.
If he died, she would be entirely alone.
Even if he was to blame for everything, even if she didn’t want to be around him, Hector really was all she had now. Vanessa genuinely didn’t know what she would do if Hector died, too. Pitiful as it was, she didn’t think she had it in her to go back out into the world again and build a new life for herself from scratch.
A small part of her wanted to admit this to him right now. The notion flared up in her mind, and for a terrible moment, as Hector again stood there waiting for her response, Vanessa wasn’t sure what was going to come out of her mouth.
But she struggled in silence for long enough that Hector apparently took it to mean that she wanted him to leave. “Alright,” was all he said as he turned for the door.
“Hector,” she blurted.
He stopped and looked back at her.
She hesitated, unsure of what she was about to say. “...Is your trip going to be dangerous?”
The question seemed to confuse him. “Um... probably, yeah.”
“Then... be careful.”
Hector stared at her like she’d just confessed to murder.
She immediately regretted what she said and looked away, filling her vision with the empty wall next to her.
“...I will. Th--uh... th-thanks, Mom...”
She shut her eyes and rubbed her forehead as she listened to him leave.
The helipad atop Rhein’s Keep hadn’t been used in a while. It was mostly reserved to non-servant VIPs, which they hadn’t had many of, as of late. Today was different, however.
Lawrence’s blue tie lashed against the wind as he waited by the staircase. He checked his watch. It wasn’t like Parson Miles to be late.