Darrin, 23, was learning the ropes of being a politician.  He was thoughtful and inquisitive and wanted only the best for the people of the city.  He was probably the least spoiled of the eight and was just about to graduate from law school.

And then, there were the three who were still living in Priade Cathedral.  While the others had moved out when they reached the age of 21 to be mostly on their own, with generous allowances until they could make their own way, three were still at home and Magdalena was in no hurry to make them leave.

There was only one girl at home now, Irma, and at 22 she had already gained enough experience as a computer genius to make her the most dangerous woman alive.  Thus, she preferred to stay in the comforts of one of the towers of the cathedral where she could mess with any system she wanted to, as long as she didn’t take down the Priade network, and not be bothered or arrested.  If she’d been an ordinary person, they would have had her in confine by now, but as it was, she kept the network guarded and free of anyone trying to crack into the main computers.  She was good at her job… and she loved it.

The second to last son, Jordan at 21 remained in the home because it was going to be his home soon.  He was the one chosen and molded by his father to succeed him.  From his birth, he was chosen to follow in his father’s footsteps.  While each of Magdalena’s children were qualified, it was Jordan who showed the strongest abilities to be a supreme judge.  He was to be the last child for Magdalena.  The one that was what Donovon wanted.

And then,… Blake was born two years later.  Donovon had been so angry that he’d demanded that Magdalena get an abortion, but she stood up to him on that account.  Each of her children had been born with one thing in mind by their father, to take them and guide them to follow his ways.  From the moment of their birth, Donovon had been more involved with them than Magdalena had.  She had slightly resented that her part in their childhood was limited until Donovon lost interest and moved on to the next child.

Magdalena didn’t see a reason not to have Blake.  He was there and he was apparently meant to be so she would be a mother again, and this time, since Donovon was so devoted to teaching Jordan and had been for longer than the others, he would truly be hers.  She couldn’t have been more right about that.

Donovon was not present for Blake’s birth.  He refused to see the child at all and ordered that he never be anywhere that he might see him.  Donovon didn’t name him.  He wasn’t there for his first birthday,.. his second or third,… That was life for Blake.  At 19, he had no particular aim in life other than to live for the day.  When he was ten, he had finally been allowed to meet his father and had felt just how hated he was.  The boy had burst into tears, only making Donovon all the angrier at his existence.  He avoided his father, even though he was now allowed to play with his brothers and sisters.  Blake never understood exactly why it was that Donovon never liked him.  He was his father.  Wasn’t he supposed to love his children?

Blake swore to himself, even as a child that he would never be like that to any of his kids when he had them.  He’d be nice to them and never upset them.  Donovon had been cold to the boy, finding him a threat to his favored son, Jordan.

Soon,… Donovon wouldn’t have to worry about that anymore, or anything else.  It was only a matter of time.  A matter that was taking far too long for Blake. All he could think about was why he should be there.  It wasn’t like his father wanted him there.