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Chapter 5 Havens Winds
I was haunted by that sad smile on the Great Mothers face. I made me think I was in for a lot more trouble. At least she did not object to the wedding. We of course will hold it in Her name. Something was still bothering me. I just could not put my finger on it. Mother was regaining her strength and asking more questions. She knew my Father was dead but not why they were taken in the first place. I said "Simply put it is because of me or more rightly said who they think I am. They think I am going to start a Seeker war. I'm not, they will do that trying to get to me. The one They should be afraid of is not ready for that knowledge. I am only a stepping stone to the destined one."
Mother said "You sound so much wiser than when you left home. Is there any of my son left in you?" I smiled a sad smile.
I said "Just enough to do the job and not go screaming in to the night. I have done things I am not proud of. This being a High Priestess means I can never go back even if I wanted to. I am trapped into a life not my own. The Great Mother made me by setting things up so I would choose to walk her path. Now I am too far from any other way to change now. So I am living this life and looking forward to my wedding. This is who I am."
Mother looked at me "You know why they let me live don't you? It is simple there is a spell on me that the seer will know what I know."
I smiled "There was a spell I broke it when I brought you here. I also sent the seer a little gift in return. The seer was worried about getting old, He does not have that worry any longer."
She frowned "Did you kill him?" She did not seem too adverse to the idea. I shook my head.
I smiled "I was not that kind. You see someone had to take your place. He fit the bill after a little alteration and to a limited amount she can not die except by her own hand. The spell can be broken if she asks the Great Mother for mercy but somehow I don't see that happening." I shook my head. "No this was not my choice. It was all part of the spell given to me by the Great Mother. It was either cast the spell or loose you. No choice at all. I paid the cost and you are here whole and alive so I'm good with it."
She looked at me a little sideways "You have turned hard. I never would have thought that of you."
I sighed "I have learned to take what life gives me and give it right back. I need to check with the others so we will talk later." I went over to Silent Cat to see how she was doing.
While I was waiting for her to finish writing something. I heard Lana say "She is not as hard as she pretends to be. Many nights I have held her while she cried. That is one reason I love her. She can still be soft after all this." I did not hear my Mothers response because Cat turned to me and started chatting. The rest of the day went calmly.
The next morning I woke up in other where. I looked over at the Great mother. "We need to do something the war is coming to soon. We need to give them someone to chase. So you are going on a little ride. Away from the others. I will give you a new ability. It is called blink. You will ride out of Haven and use your new ability when you are out of sight of everyone. It will teleport you to a place not far from your home town. You will get the local Seekers to follow you then when they can't see you use blink again. This will have them looking closer to home and not in the other areas. If this works we will try to pull then away from the other areas. That should settle things down for now and give Grace time to grow up. I can only make her grow only so fast without hurting her."
I said "So I play target to save my daughter pain. I can do that. How many times can I use this ability? Will it hurt me?"
She smiled "As many as you need to stop the war from starting now. I am afraid the more you use it the harder it will be to stop. Your horse may freak out a little at first. Know that I will protect you as much as I can but this is for you to do. Go Back.
I was in bed with Lana again. I shook my head. I got up and started dressing. Lana turned over "Where are you going? It's 5 bloody A.M. you need your sleep."
I sighed "Sorry love I got orders to follow. I will be a few days. No you can't come with me. The war is about to start I need to delay it a bit."
She sat up "You can't be saying you are going alone? That's crazy! At least take a knight or 10. I want you safe!"
I smiled at her all rumpled from sleep and leaned down for a kiss. Then said Sorry love this is something only I can do and it has to be alone. Look after Grace for me. I have to go." I hurried out to the stable. Zenith looked at me and I knew he was ready. I quickly saddled him and rode to the gate I had to wait a bit for them to open the gate. Then I was out and watching for a place to blink out. I soon found one and used the blink ability. It was a strange way to travel Zenith was not happy with me for a bit after we blinked. I knew where I was so I watch for a few and there was a Seeker watching our old house. I decided this was a good place to start. I took aim and blasted a stump near him and when he seen me I rode out. He called it in as he was trying to follow. I let him follow for awhile then ducted into a shaded spot and he lost sight of me for a moment. I blinked out. I did this for six spots then found a place for the night. My trail rations were still in my packs so I had plenty to eat. I blinked a lot in the next 4 days. Finally I felt it I could go back to Haven. I Blinked out and rode up to the gate at haven. I passed through and headed to the house. I was very tired and I am sure Zenith would like a rest too.
I rode up to the house and dismounted. Silent cat was out front. She stuck her head in and called "She's back." Then came up and took the reins from me "I'll take care of him. Your wanted inside." This did not sound good. I guess I am going to be chewed out for taking so long. I walked in and I was glared at by Lana.
Mother started it off "Where have you been Lana said you would be a few days and it has been 10?"
I said "Hmm must be something about the Blink that made it seem like 4. Well keeping a war from starting too soon takes a bit." I looked around. One person was missing. "Where is Grace?" I tried the link. Nothing happened.
Lana said "She has been in a coma since you left." She pointed to a side door. I walked to the door with a cold feeling in my heart. I opened the door and there was my baby laid out on a bed. She looked like she was sleeping. I went over and took her hand. She did not respond to my inner call. I sat in a chair. I knew where she was. I laid my staff across my lap and clasped her hand in mine and went.
I was in other where and there she was sitting pretty as can be. I rushed over "Are you ok? Why are you here?"
She looked at me "Hi Mommy, I've been waiting for you. Has it been long? I can't tell here. I feel sleepy, can we go back now?"
I smiled "Yes baby, we will go back now. Just hold onto my hand." As I was talking to Grace I could see the Great Mother behind her smiling and making a shooing gesture.
And I was back and Grace sat up and stretched. I smiled "Baby you are not ready to go there please don't do that again. It was very dangerous and you had everyone worried."
She said "I am sorry Mommy, I just wanted to see you. I thought you went there because I could not feel you."
I said "I am sorry Baby! I had to do something to keep everyone safe. I did not have time to tell you. Just please don't go there. Talk to Lana first before you do anything if I am not here. Ok lets go see the others." We walked out and everyone was relived. There was some hard stares at me but nothing more was said. Lana was mad at me for several days after that. For once we slept apart. I decided It might be better to rethink being married with this job.
I went to Silent Cat and said "It seem I am not wanted here right now so I am going to check on a few things. Will you look after Grace for me? I am not sure how long I will be. I know it sounds foolish but it is what I need right now."
Cat looked at me "Don't second guess your heart. Yes I will look after her. Yes I do think this is foolish. Do come back." She turned and walked away. I quickly packed and left. I walked up to Zenith and he shied away. You too, well so be it I walk. I turned and left the stable behind. Once out of the city I found a place and blinked to the hills, to the stone circle. I ran into Mother Bear I greeted her.
I said "How has life been here since Silent Cat left? Is the new Shaman any good?"
She looked at me "Where is your cub? You should be with your cub not bothering me."
I said "I sorry I will leave you alone." I turned and walked to the circle. I placed a hand on it and set my thoughts to the Great Mother to look after these people. then I turned to the trees and once out of sight I blinked to the Ranch I walked up the drive and was going to knock when Joann stepped out.
Joann said "What are you doing here, are you bringing more trouble? We don't need any more Seekers coming here."
I said "I just came to see if everyone is alright? I will leave in a few moments."
Helena stepped out looked me over "Have you eaten?" I shrugged and shook my head. "Come in then tell us what you have been up to." It was not a request. I stepped in the house and sat where she pointed. She fixed me a plate and set it in front of me.
When she had sat I said "We left the hills awhile ago as the Great Mother promised a safe place to hide for a wile. I have spent some time doing things for her so she would look after the others. The seeker war was stopped for now. Now I am checking on those we care for. Those in the hills and here."
Helena said "How are you traveling? The hills are a fare piece even by road. Yet I heard no car?"
I shrugged "I have learned many new skills working for the Great Mother."
She looked at me "Eat before it gets cold. We will talk afterwards."
Joann got up from the table "I am no longer hungry I am going to my room." She walked out. I looked at my plate and ate in silence. After the food and no desert I sat with her to talk.
She said "Your not here to check up on us, you are here so you are not there. Tell me what happened to that happy girl that was here before?" So I laid out everything that happened and how it had splintered our group with me the odd person out. I wanted to cry but just did not have the energy.
After I was done I stood up and picked up my bag. "It not safe to be around me so I will head out now. What should I tell Julie about how you are doing?"
She smiled a thin smile "Tell her we all are fine. I plan to go see my sister back east tomorrow. Joann will be going with me. We have shut down the Ranch for the trip. only one we could not find a place for is Lyn. You remember her? Do you think you could take her with you?"
I said "I don't know when I will be back this way it could be a long time. It would also be dangerous to be around me." Lyn came in when Helena rang a bell.
Helena told Lyn "You will be working for Angelica from now on go get your things." Lyn curtsied and went to do as she was told. I raised my eyebrow. She waited a moment then said "We might not come back here too many Seekers around here. I think this is going to be one of the fronts of the war. So I am going to get while the getting's good. I suggest you do what you do and vamoose." Lyn was back. She had changed into traveling clothes and wearing a back pack and carrying a shotgun almost as big as her.
I looked her over and said "come on were moving out." she nodded. We walked down the road till we were out of sight then I held out my hand. When she took it I blinked us out. All the way back to Haven's gate. We slipped in just before it closed for the night. I led her to the house. I was half expecting it to be empty but it was not. I was not sure how long I was gone but Lana came up and through her arms around me and kissed me. Over her shoulder I looked at Grace and asked by link "How long?" I got a vision of a calendar with half the days marked off. So I had been gone two weeks. Hmm Grace was grown into a fine young lady. She looked 16 years old. almost ready to be told the truth. I introduced Lyn to everyone. I sent her to get changed and while she was out I told Julie why she was here. Then she was back in her maids dress ready to work. I smiled "You will be attending Lana and Grace from now on do you understand?" She nodded clearly not happy. Then Curtsied to Lana and Grace.
Look like our little crew has another member. Later I was sitting on the porch and Grace came out. She started "Mother, I have some questions. I am told you are the only one to answer them." I smiled and patted the seat next to me. She sat and looked thoughtful for a moment. She said "I guess the big one is who am I? I know I am your Daughter but Who was my Father? Why is he not around any more? Let's start with that."
I laughed "You don't start small do you. Well let's start with your second question first. You know that everyone has another self. With magic we can bring that side out. My case was a little different because I am living in my other self. both of my selves had magic and both had wings. The big difference is that my first self was male. Through my magic on both sides and a little help from the Great Mother my two sides had a child, you. So you see your father is my male self and your mother is my female self. Of course your Father is still around but in another form. I hope that makes sense. now for your first question we will have to take a trip to see The Great Mother. Let's go to your bed room it will be more comfortable there." We went and slipped up stairs. We ran into Lana I grabbed her hand and pulled her in with us. Time to go we all laid holding each other. I took a breath and we went to other where.
The Great Mother was waiting for us. She said "So I see the time has come for you to hear the truth. Angelica do you think she is ready?"
I said "She is asking the questions that will lead her there. Yes I think she is ready."
The Great Mother said "Lana do you think she is ready?"
Lana said "Yes if she can ask the question she deserves an answer."
She smiled "I might be called the Great Mother but you have two great mothers. One who went out to protect you and one that stayed home for the same reason. Both because you are a very special Girl. You see you are the one that will end the Seekers once and for all. The war that will end them began two hours ago. All their seers can see is your smiling face. They know that they are lost but they are arrogant enough to think if they are the last ones standing you will take pity on them. But that is not how it works. they will kill each other your mothers have seen to that by bringing you to this point. It is the beginning of the end for them. We who watch over all of you will protect the innocent as much as we can. so only the seekers and there toadies will parish in this war. Your part is done. You will be free to live your life as you please very soon. Unfortunately Angelica still has work to do. I will be sending her here and there to talk to the other watchers. Seem she is going to be a very busy Lady for awhile. But you will still have your other mother to lean on."
Lana asked "Will my love be safe?"
The Great Mother smiled "She is special to all of us so I will see that she is protected. If I have to go down there and crack a few heads myself!"
I said "That is some guarantee!"
The Great Mother Looked hard at me "I hear you haven't married this woman yet? What are you waiting for? You have everything you need! Why not?"
I sighed "We never seem to be in the same place, at the same time, feeling the same way
and who would we get to perform the ceremony?"
She said "You are in the same place at the same time are you feeling the same way?" we nodded "We have a witness and I'll perform the ceremony myself. In my name of course. You ready? Ok in my name do you?" she looked at me.
I said "I do!"
She looked at Lana "Do You?"
Lana smiled "I do"
The great Mother said by the power of me, I pronounce you wife and wife. You may kiss." She looked at Grace "How'd I do?"
Grace did something I would never do, She hugged the Great Mother.
She said "And finally go back."
And we all woke in the real world smiling. I looked on my finger at the silver ring. It was just perfect. Lana was looking at her ring and smiling. Grace was fingering a triple heart necklace in silver of course! looks like nobody was left out.
We went down stairs and just could not stop smiling. Finally Josie said "I'll right you three what's going on? You three look like you drank a gallon of giggle juice. So what's up or do we have to go with the head swat again?"
I held up my hand and Lana held up hers. It took them a moment then it all went crazy with questions and answers and just plain fun. Of course Grace had to show off her Necklace. Every one said "FINALLY!" then we got down to talking about what happens now. We decided to stay here till things blow over. I of course was called while we were talking about that.
I looked at the Great Mother smiled and got up and curtsied. A first for me by the way. I said "Does my first trip happen before my wedding night?" I was only half joking but she nodded. Oh here we go! "Where and who?"
She smiled "You need to go in and pull out someone, Silent Cat wont like it very much. It happens to be her ex. But she seems so much happier now that she is a girl." Oh this should be fun. She gave me the place and time of meet and sent me back. When I opened my eyes Lana was there.
She said "You got to work right? Well make it as fast as you can! I want some of our honeymoon to be together."
I got up "I will go as fast as I can if Zenith will do his job it wont take long. He does not like my new way of traveling. Freaks him out a bit. Me to at first." I looked at Grace "By the way Grace when I give the signal sit on Cats lap. She might be a mite surprised when I get back." Grace nodded. I left and went to the stable and saddled Zenith for my ride. We left quickly. Out trough the gate no problem. a little ways away slipped into a dark spot Zenith was getting edgy. He knew what was coming I blinked out.
The spot was a good choice made for anything including ambush. The target came into view. Great she looks like a street walker. I let her hang a bit to be sure it was her. She was getting edgy as the time came and went. then a truck pulled up and I had to laugh at the way she reacted to their come on. I decided she was real and flashed into action I came by at a full gallop and picked her up and swung her up behind me. That short skirt was not a good idea. I almost fell of Zenith when she said "Now that's how to pick up a lady." As soon as I was out of sight.
I said "Hang on we going for a ride." I blinked out. We came out still running. She was clinging to me like a second skin. I reined back to a walk. I said "You can let up now we got away clean." She didn't let go at all. I shifted she shifted with me. dang it Lana wont like this. I felt for Grace in my mind. Yep right where she should be. We went through the gate and up to the house. I smiled at what was about to happen. "Get off now or you will regret it." She reluctantly did as asked. I slipped off and tied Zenith out front. I gave Grace the signal and got the confirm. I opened the door and walked in with her following. Cat looked up and her eyes narrowed.
Cat said "I see you are still dressing like a street walker. It's Heather now is it not."
Heather nodded "And you are going by Silent Cat I believe." I just wanted to slap both of them in the head.
Cat said "You can get up now Grace, I'll behave myself. Good ploy Angelica very effective. You know I would never hurt Grace so you used her to keep me in place. You are learning. Now Heather we should talk alone." She showed Heather to another room for their talk.
I said "I need to put Zenith up be right back in." I headed for the door and got to Zenith as he was taking bite out of a would be horse thief. Poor kid that's leave a scar. I looked at Zenith "Feeling better?" He did his best to nod or bob or something like that. I led him to the stable with him looking very Proud of himself. I gave him his oats and bushed him down and left for the night. I walked in trough the kitchen door and walked right into a right cross. I went down and out.
I opened my eyes in other where. Oh great I walked into something now my body is helpless. I pulled my self up and looked around. The Great Mother was there. When she caught the movement she rushed over. She placed her hand over my heart. After a moment she said "This is not good I can't get a good reading on your body. That means your body may be dieing. We need to know what's going on down there. I will need to call someone else from down there. I don't like this it is dangerous. I will call Grace she can come here on her own."
A moment later Grace was there. She ran over "Mommy We could not wake you up I was so scared."
I asked "What happened? Did I walk into a fight? Was any one else hurt?"
Grace took a breath and said "You walked in on a fight between Cat and Heather. Heather through a right cross and you walked right into it. You hit your head on the way down. I think you are hurt bad. Julie is trying to heal you but when I left it was not working. She said working on the brain is very hard."
The Great Mother said "Go back tell them help is coming." She turned to me as Grace vanished. "This is very bad. I will have to go down there myself. Were you carrying your staff when you were hit?
I said "No but it is getting hard to remember. I think it is by my bag in the living room. Am I going to die like this?"
She said "Not if I can help it!" She closed her eyes then she was gone." I was having trouble staying awake. Then I felt the pull of my body stop for a moment. I was dead down there. I struggled to grab the threads that connected me to my body I just caught it. it was very thin. No more than a few hairs now. Finally I felt the tug to go back to my body. I had to take it. Live or die on this one chance.
I opened my eyes. I had made it. Everyone was there even the Great Mother. Grace was holding my staff. I moved my head Ouch! the Great Mother smiled then vanished. Well I knew she had to get back. I looked at Lana "I'm Home."
She said "Yes you are!" She turned "Now for that Bully! I am not having her in my house! Not after this!" I smiled She was hopping mad!
Grace spoke "Mother, The Great Mother is sending someone to fetch her. She has lost the good will of the Great Mother So she will be treated as a criminal. As soon as it can be arranged she will leave this city and never return. She is banned from Haven." There was a knock on the door "That is the escort give her to them." I noticed Grace was still holding my staff. Cat went to do as asked. Lana was looking at Grace with new eyes and it scared her a bit. My Daughter was a powerful mage and winged like me and had a Puma form as well, she just did not show her strength till needed. Now she was showing it. I slowly pushed into a sitting position.
I held out my hand. I said "That is not your burden to carry not yet. This is your time to be a kid. Don't give that up too soon. I will heal and I will go back to my Duty to protect this family! When I am old and gray it will be your turn. Not before!" She placed the staff in my hands.
she said "Yes Mother I will do as you say. As both my Mothers say. I am a good daughter and will live up to my parents, looking around all of them. There was a very good feeling in that room right then.
My recovery took several days in the meantime Lana and I had a good Honeymoon. A very gentle and loving time. We learned about each other and our selves. 5 days after the wounding I was called back to work. Simple deliver a letter to a certain guy in a certain town at a certain day. Easy right, wrong. got there and he was dead. The cops were coming and there was no place to blink out. Ah I love my work. I had to run for 4 blocks in heels and skirt. Well typical day for me.
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