We all have secrets. Some secrets are worse than others. Mine isn’t a huge one, but it could change the way some people look at me and Xavier now knows it. Although, it wouldn’t be a surprise anyone in the SCTU or the majority of my coworkers when it gets around. It’s possible, it won’t even shock you. But I do worry about how Nadine will react.
Like a lot of people who choose to make money by way of the gun, I’m a psychopath. I can admit this to you, you’ve probably suspected since Day One. Or perhaps you suspected it was Anthony, not me, at first. But slowly, I’m sure it’s dawned on you. But you, as followers of the SCTU are well versed in the wide variety of individual psychopaths. Yes, I’m high functioning. Yes, I have a high IQ. No, I don’t feel fear. No, I’m not great with empathy. Yes, I do love my wife more than anything else in this world.
Nadine is nothing like my first wife. She couldn’t handle sleeping in a dark room and nothing bad had ever happened in her life to create such a long lasting fear, well into adulthood. Except perhaps marrying a guy in Special Forces. She was terrified of everything and jealous of every relationship I had. Including those with my family.
As a result, I felt no urge to protect my first wife. Bad shit happens, sometimes it’s deserved, sometimes it isn’t. Nadine can handle herself and has proven it on many occasions and I get insanely protective of her. I think because I know she doesn’t require it.
I never met Donnelly Clachan, but Myrna Clachan, Ace’s mom says I remind her of him. Apparently, Donnelly was very dedicated to his family and like me, even though Myrna was a strong capable woman, he was fiercely protective of her, precisely because she didn’t need it. She once jokingly told me, that Donnelly preferred Damsels who could slay dragons and save themselves. Nadine refers to herself as a bumbler, but that woman can and has slain a few dragons and rescued herself. It is one of the things I love about her.
I’ve been told to be honest in this journal of my thoughts. Xavier’s side project to go with his DNA research. A look into the psychopathic mind or those who surround themselves voluntarily with psychopaths such as Nadine and Myrna. He swears it won’t be read until long after I’m dead and so, I’ll be honest.
I admired Nadine from the first meeting with her. She had grandiose ideas and she was determined to get the talent to put them into place, even if that meant gathering a few psychopaths. Xavier says he worries about people abusing his research and starting psychopathic armies. He should worry about it, but Nadine started it long before she knew a thing about psychopaths. Of course, Anthony was the driving force behind it, Nadine just bank rolled and made it sound attractive at first.
I was in love with her, romantically, before she was kidnapped. It was why I had installed trackers in the soles of all her shoes. She, like Aislinn, is a magnet for psychopaths, for different reasons. Reasons, Xavier is trying to better understand and who knows, perhaps the answer is in her DNA.
I could have stood up to Melina. I’ve had enough practice with my own mother to manage that. I chose not to. Possibly not because I was in love with Nadine though. I’ve thought about it long and hard a few times and while I would have enjoyed dating her, marriage was not what I expected. Why then did I marry her? I can’t answer that. I admired her, I even loved her, but damn she drives me absolutely insane. And nothing ever goes as planned when she’s involved.
So then, why didn’t I put my foot down and stop the charade before we ended up in a tux and white dress standing at the front of an Orthodox Russian church? And before I agreed to convert to Russian Orthodoxy for the wedding? Or before I took on her, her dysfunctional family, and her equally strange and dysfunctional dogs? I don’t have an answer. But I don’t regret it and not because I’m a psychopath. I’ve experienced regret before, but not with Nadine. With her, I’m experiencing something new… every time I think about how she’s going to react to finding out I’m a psychopath, I feel sick to my stomach. Myrna says it’s dread. Myrna also says I’m making a mountain out of a molehill.
She says there is a certain type of woman who thrives when they are in a relationship with a psychopath. She was one of them and she believes Nadine is too. And it isn’t like I’m the first psychopath in Nadine’s dating history, after all, she dated Malachi and at least, I’m not a sadist. Myrna says she isn’t talking about the kind of women who are only happy with criminals, but the type of women who need a high functioning psychopath because a normal man isn’t strong enough to handle them. She gives me lists of qualities Nadine has that most men couldn’t deal with, but that I can. Like Nadine’s habit of getting kidnapped and getting herself out of it, sometimes just by talking in circles until the kidnapper gives up and releases her.
And Nadine faced a jaguar, a drug dealer, a drug dealer’s army, and the racial prejudices of her own extended family for me. Russians and French Tahitian aren’t entirely compatible or acceptable it would seem to some of Nadine’s cousins, aunts, and uncles. Especially, a French Tahitian that’s black. Which brings me to my mother-in-law. Most people think Melina is crazy. They are correct, but she isn’t crazy in a bad way. After Nadine and I’s official wedding, Melina took me aside and gave me a big hug and told me; if I had been green and turned into a werewolf every time there was a full moon, she would still have wanted me to marry her daughter, because while we may not realize it, we were soul mates.
In reality, I think my mother-in-law and my mother are soul mates. Perhaps not romantically linked soul mates, but soul mates nonetheless. Oh and Myrna. What a trio. It will probably surprise you to know, I actually love all three of these woman as if they were all my own mother. They are so much alike, it’s disturbing and amazing and has to be by design. As Nadine would put it, the Universe aligned to bring those three women together. Or perhaps it conspired to bring them together, because despite Melina and Myrna both working for the CIA and my own mother doing a bit of work for the Directorate-General for External Security agency, they never crossed paths at work. The DGES is the French equivalent of the CIA or KGB…. yes, the universe may have been conspiring rather than aligning to bring these women together.
And all three of these forces of nature, agree Nadine will not react negatively to learning I’m a psychopath and yet, I’m still hesitant to tell her or let anyone else tell her. Her experience with them has been more in line with the general public’s experiences – bad. Ace’s only question was “why do you think it will surprise her when you tell her?” It’s a good question.
Why do I think she doesn’t know? Perhaps because I am capable of loving her deeply, passionately, and completely? Something Malachi couldn’t do. But I am not Malachi, not by a long shot. On a scale of high functioning, I am more high functional than Malachi. And I have a wider range of emotions. This isn’t speculation on my part, Xavier scored some of us after he got our DNA results. There were twelve in the subjective study; Caleb, Aislinn, Isabella Stuart, Malachi, Eric Clachan, Patterson Clachan, Jacob Strong, McKenzie Reynolds, Tatyana Zeitzev Jr., Harry Burns, and myself.
And we all kept another big secret as a result of those DNA tests. Ivan and Devlin are only half brothers to the rest of the Daniels’ siblings. You can’t tell it by looking at them, but they definitely had a different father than Liam, Nadine, or Vladik. They share a father. None of us have been brave enough or stupid enough to ask who it was. Two of the three boys tested positive for the control gene, Liam and Devlin. Devlin has more of the 92 psychopathic genes than Liam, but not by much.