For Better or Worse - part 5

For Better or Worse

When Tom married his wife, he truly believed the love they shared would pull them throught any problems that may come their way, but what happens when you discover the one you married was not even human?

~o~O~o~

Written by Nuuan
Copyright © 2017 by Nuuan

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the Author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

~o~O~o~

Chapter 29

After the scare of almost losing Tessa during the teleport, the young girl’s unusual lack of growth began to really bother her as they walked hand in hand toward Tom’s mother’s home. It was now over four weeks since her rebirth and Tessa appeared to be no older than a six or seven year old human, at that age she should be fully mature and not only have the appearance of an adult human she should be in possession of all her past memories as Tom. ‘What if she never gets her memories back?’ Cara shuddered at the thought. ‘If she never remembers who she was I will be the one that killed him. It doesn’t matter that even Merla with all her secretive magic said that he would die without the ritual. If his mind never comes back what good was it to save his body?’

Cara hesitated at the back door, while she knew Mrs. Dennett never locked the doors it was not her house and she needed an invitation. Stepping around Cara, Tessa grabbed the doorknob opening the door as she walked on in. Halfway across the large country kitchen Tessa stopped and turned around, “Aren’t you coming mommy?”

Cara shook her head, “Mrs. Dennett isn’t here to invite me in.”

“Oh,” Tessa remembered how their kind could not enter someone’s home uninvited. “Mom put the house in my name some time back, so it’s our house too.” Tessa turned and continued to walk through the kitchen into the front room.

Cara’s eyes widened at what the small child had said, if Tessa was correct she had remembered something of Tom! Cara had heard stories of their kind that had tried to force their way into a home and had been careful to never even let it happen by accident. Slowly raising her hand, Cara inched it forward through the open doorway cringing as her hand passed unharmed into the house. ‘I can enter?’ Cara’s disbelief evident by the look on her face had anyone been there to see her expression. Walking through the kitchen Cara followed Tessa path into the front room of the log house to find Tessa sitting on the couch with Tom’s laptop opened on the coffee table in front of her. She watched as Tessa entered Tom’s password once the login screen appeared.

Cara sat down beside Tessa, a tear rolling down her cheek as she did, “You remember now?”

Tessa held up her hand, with first finger held up the way Tom used to do when he couldn’t be interrupted from whatever he was doing on his computer. Typing away furiously for several minutes before hitting the enter key and leaning back away from the laptop. Looking up at Cara, “Sorry mommy they really needed that code module weeks ago that Tom wrote. I also said that Tom had been in an accident and had been in the hospital.”

Cara wrapped the child into a hug, “God you don’t know how much I’ve missed you!”

“Mommy I, I’m not Tom,” Tessa hesitated to say. “I do remember some things but they’re like foggy dreams that I can’t see until I see something that makes them clear. I started seeing them back on the island with grandmother and our aunts, but I tried to ignore them as she didn’t like you or grandmother very much and I love you both too much to listen to her. I started hearing Tom after that but he was pretty mad at the other woman so I tried not to listen to him either.”

“Is this other person’s name Christie?”

Tessa nodded, “I was afraid to tell you about them because they fight a lot when I’m asleep and I was afraid something was wrong with me and you might let those council people take me.”

“Oh baby,” Cara wrapped Tessa up in a hug, her eyes so full of tears she couldn’t see, “I would die before I let anyone hurt you.” The two sat together Cara’s arm around Tessa long enough for Tessa to fall asleep against Cara’s breast. It was another half hour when the front door opened, Cara spotted her mother in law walking in wearing her chef’s coat along with white slacks and shoes.

The sound of the door closing woke Tessa who looked up with blurry eyes, “Mom.” she all but whispered sleepily, smiling at the woman before laying her head back against Cara’s breast.

Mrs. Dennett stood by the doorway looking at the two sitting together for several moments before she spoke, “She looks just like you.”

“She has Tom’s eyes,” Cara attempted to break the ice.

Mrs. Dennett walked over and sat down on the cushion in the wooden rocking chair, leaning forward with her gaze focused on Tessa, “You do have Tom’s eyes.” Looking over to Cara, “You said she is supposed to remember herself as Tom but hasn’t yet for some reason?”

“Yes, but coming here seems to have changed that.” Cara relayed her latest knowledge on the matter, “She has started to remember things that only Tom knew.” Pointing at the laptop on the coffee table, “She logged into Tom’s laptop and emailed the stuff he did to his boss. I don’t even know Tom’s passwords he was adamant on keeping those to himself.”

“Also changed them often,” Tessa yawned.

Looking keenly into Tessa eyes, “Is it true, you are Tom?”

“I, I don’t know,” Tessa stuttered. “I remember some things but most everything is real fuzzy.”

“Do you remember what my first name is?” Mrs. Dennett leaned closer.

“Mom.”

“My real first name,” Mrs. Dennett’s voice becoming quite stern, appearing angry.

Tessa grinned wide, “You told me that was the only name I was ever allowed to call you. And you wouldn’t tell me what you did to my car until I promised that was all I would ever call you.”

Mrs. Dennett’s expression changed into a wide smile. Looking over at Cara, “That was something only my boy would know. Mrs. Dennett thought back to the day when it happened. Tom had not had his license for long having just turned sixteen a couple of months prior. He had argued with her about going to all the way over to West Jefferson in the beat up car he had bought. She had refused to let him go stating the tires were too bald to be out when the weatherman was calling for a snowstorm later. Tom had stood up to her telling her he was old enough to make those kinds of decisions for himself, using her first name to address her instead of calling her mom like he normally did.” When Tom had gotten in his car later he found it wouldn’t start.

“Well you may not look like Tom, but I think that part of him has to be there somewhere to remember things like that,” Mrs. Dennett grinned at the small girl. “Although I think calling me mom now may be a bit confusing. I’m a little too old to have given birth to a six year old child. Not to mention the fact that it would be hard to explain how I gave birth to you when I haven’t been pregnant. So why don’t we change that to Grandma. It’s easier to explain that way.”

“Okay Grandma,” Tessa grins back.

“Alright, y’all can share Tom’s old room, bed’s plenty big enough for you both,” Mrs. Dennett stated. “How y’all set for clothes?”

Cara pointed to the large carpet bag near the wall.

“Can’t have enough to do both of y’all in that little bag. Guess we’ll have to run over to Boone and buy y’all some clothes. How are you set for nice dresses you can wear to church?”

Tessa perked up grinning from ear to ear, “I have a really pretty dress, so does mommy!” Jumping up from the couch Tessa went over to the large carpet bag and extracted her light brown stola that she held up for her new Grandma to see.”

“Yes dear that is quite pretty,” Mrs. Dennett nodded, “but it shows way too much shoulder to be respectful in church. We’ll have to get you something in Boone.” Mrs. Dennett stood from the rocking chair she was in. When Cara didn’t move she motioned for her to come, “Come on, time’s wasting. They close at ten so we need to get moving so y’all have something decent to wear to church.” Glancing up to the ceiling, “Heaven help me, I’m taking two demons to church,” Mrs. Dennett chuckled.

Tessa looked at Mrs. Dennett with a confused expression, “Grandmother Merla said we are Daemons, not Demons.”

“No honey, you’re demons. Daemons are like angels.” Mrs. Dennett argued.

“You’re wrong!” Tessa stubbornly argued, “The definition of Daemon is any being that possess a supernatural power beyond humans but less than the power of god, that uses that power to help.”

Sighing Mrs. Dennett looked over at Tessa, “Child do you have leathery wings, Claws and tail like your mommy does?” Tessa nodded. “That makes you a demon to the people I go to church with. So instead of arguing about what you really are let’s agree to not let anyone know about what you really are okay?”

“Okay Grandma,” Tessa beamed.

Chapter 30

Tessa woke the following morning to find herself alone in the bed. Looking around for the chamber pot for a few moments before she remembered that was done in a separate room here in her grandma’s house where she had found what the humans used for a chamber pot was something completely different that had a lever that changed the water in the chamber pot magically although the large white glass chamber pot was so large it was fixed to the floor. The same went for the wash basin that was fixed to the wall in the same room and instead of a large vessel of water that one would pour into the washbasin it had a device that piped hot or cold water directly into the washbasin.

While she found those two items interesting the large basin she was told was a bath tub confused her at first. Why with such advanced chamber pots and wash basins did they use such a small bathing pool? The one back in their father’s castle could easily hold all her aunts with room to spare. The novelty and questions the young girl had over these items quickly went away when old memories emerged and the understanding that most all bathrooms on earth were similar. Once back in the bedroom Tessa pulled a tunic over her head to cover her nude body that came down on her to around mid-thigh and went downstairs.

On the way down the stairs Tessa could smell a wonderful aroma coming from the kitchen. Wandering in on autopilot Tessa stood on her tiptoes to reach a cupboard above the sink where she pulled down a coffee cup that held a picture of a scantily clad female elf holding an ornate staff in one hand while she held her other hand out palm up, above her outstretched hand a glowing ball of flames floated magically. Under the picture of the sexy elf the words, ‘Good & Evil Online’ appeared in bold lettering.

Sitting the cup on the counter Tessa began pouring herself a cup of coffee when Mrs. Dennett turned from the stove, spatula in hand, “Aren’t you a little young for coffee?” The fact that Tessa had unconsciously grabbed Tom’s favorite cup did not go unnoticed.

“Tell you what,” Mrs. Dennett smiled before turning back to flip something she had in the pan on the stove. Placing the spatula down she went over and took the coffee pot from Tessa, pouring all but a quarter of the cup back in the pot, “I’ll make it for you like I used to when you were young… I mean when Tom was your age. Oh lord this is confusing,” Mrs. Dennett began shaking her head. “Why don’t you have a seat at the table and I’ll bring your breakfast over for you.”

After placing the food on a plate, Mrs. Dennett took some milk out of the fridge using it to top off the contents of Tessa cup carrying the cup and plate over sitting it all in front of Tessa.

Looking at the large helping sitting in front of her on the plate Tessa recognized the scrambled eggs but couldn’t remember what the thick grainy yellowish porridge like mush was nor the squares of fried meat on her plate. A bit of her memory unclouded to tell her it was her favorite breakfast items but the vague memory would not tell her what they were. Using her fork Tessa cut off a small corner of the meat square taking a bite to see how it tasted, then did the same with the yellow porridge.

Mrs. Dennett had been watching Tessa, “You don’t remember this do you?”

Smiling weakly up at Mrs. Dennett, “I remember it’s my favorite but I can’t remember anything else, even what it’s called.”

Mrs. Dennett chuckled, “Don’t ever feel bad about not knowing or liking something with me dear. Now that breakfast sausage square is called liver mush. Tom used to always want two slices with breakfast, one that he would crumble up into his scrambled eggs, the other he would eat normally. The other is called Grits, and Tom wouldn’t touch ‘em without lots of butter and a bit of brown sugar stirred in, but loved ‘em once he got his butter and sugar in them.”

Tessa used the side of her fork to break off about half the liver mush square which she smashed with her fork before mixing into some of her eggs. The smile on her face gave evidence to how much Tessa liked the mixture. After several bites of the egg liver mush mixture, Tessa tasted the plain grits.

Seeing the way Tessa scrunched up her face, Mrs. Dennett had to hold back her laughter as she pushed the butter tray and the sugar container toward Tessa. Using the unused butter knife beside her plate Tessa sliced off a pat of butter while watching her grandma for clues as to how much she should use. At seeing her grandma nod Tessa sliced off about a quarter of an inch of the butter. Dropping that onto the grits in her plate, she used the same technique to find out how much of the brown sugar to use. After stirring these into the grits a second taste test brought a smile to Tessa lips. “Thanks grandma,” Tessa smiled up at Mrs. Dennett, “This is really great!”

“Thank you Tessa,” Mrs. Dennett returned the smile with one of her own. “Tonight I’ll have reservations set for you and Cara at the restaurant. Since it’s Friday it’s catfish night and I think with how much you are enjoying that breakfast, I have a feeling you’ll like catfish as much as Tom did.” Tessa nodded trying to smile between mouthfuls.

~o~O~o~

Cara could easily see how busy the restaurant was as she walked up to the hostess station holding Tessa’s hand. Cara knew in the off season when the ski slopes were closed it was the things like the restaurant that kept the resort going by having specials like the all you can eat catfish night they were having tonight. While the all you can eat special was priced almost twice that of the normal catfish plate it pulled the men into the restaurant with thoughts of stuffing themselves with the area's favorite fish, while many of the younger men came in groups to have their own contests of who could eat the most catfish. Of course that meant that girlfriends, wives and children were also brought along to keep those same men out of the doghouse.

The young hostess looked like she was probably still in high school, Cara thought it was probably a summer job for the older teen possibly her first job by how the intense emotional frustration the girl was giving off as she tried to hand Cara one of those large pagers they gave customers to let them know their table was ready. “We have reservations,” Cara informed the young hostess without taking the pager.

Sitting the pager back into its stand, “What name is the reservation under ma’am?”

“Dennett,” Cara then continued, “Our reservation isn’t till seven, we are a little early.”

Looking at the reservations list the teen saw the name ‘Mary Dennett’ their head chef. Looking back up to Cara, “I’m sorry the only reservation for that name is our chef. Not sure why she would reserve a table when she is working?”

“That’s my grandma,” Tessa grinned up at the hostess.

“Mary is my mother in law,’ Cara smiled. “I’m Cara and this is Tessa.”

“Oh,” The teens eyes widened, “I’m so sorry, I’m kind of new and didn’t know Mary had any family around here. They just moved me up to hostess this week. I’ll show you to your table,” the teen said while picking up two menus and a booster seat from a stack of them behind her station.

Cara smiled at the frazzled teen as warmly as she could, “Tess and I don’t live in the area and it’s our first time visiting in some time.”

Showing them to the table she got both Cara and Tessa seated. As she laid the menus in front of them Tessa interrupted, “That’s a really pretty ring, can I see it again?” Beaming her best smile at the hostess.

Not seeing any harm in doing so she held her hand out for Tessa to see her ring. Tessa took the teen hostess’s hand peering closely at the small imitation diamond ring she had on her finger. Cara saw the teen’s aura change almost immediately from the frustration and insecurity she was experiencing to a happy contentment.

“Um, I need to get back, your server will be with you shortly,” The smile the hostess gave them genuine rather than the forced smile she gave originally.

Seeing the change in their hostess Cara waited until she could say something to Tessa without being overheard, “That was really nice to do that for her but be careful doing that in public.”

“I didn’t do anything?” Tessa pursed her lips unconsciously twisting them to one side as she tried to see what her mother was talking about.

“You pushed a different emotion to her.”

“I did?” The surprise that spread across Tessa’s face genuine. “I didn’t mean to.”

“All the more reason to be careful honey.”

While they were eating their catfish meal, a small girl about Tessa’s age that was sitting with her parents at the next table was giggling while watching Tessa. Tessa looked over at the girl, “You don’t like catfish?”

“You’re eating the tails,” the girl giggled.

“Yeah, they’re good” Tessa grinned, “crunchy like potato chips.”

They were all but finished with their meal when Mrs. Dennett walked up wearing her chef’s uniform, “Well what did you think of the catfish Tessa.”

“Grandma it was awesome, the best catfish ever!”

Mrs. Dennett leaned down kissing Tessa on her forehead, “I’m glad you liked it short stuff.” After standing back up she looked over to Cara, “It’s my treat tonight. I have to get back to the kitchen, I’ll see you both when I get home.”

Chapter 31

Both Cara and Mrs. Dennett had walked around to the side wing of the church to collect Tessa after Sunday school let out. When the door opened a small group of boys came running out the door. Behind them smaller boys and the girls filtered out not so much orderly but at least less frantically. They spotted Tessa with a young woman with short dark hair cut in a pixie cut, when Tessa saw Cara and Grandma she jogged away from the woman over to them.

The young woman followed Tessa over to them holding her hand out to Cara, “Hi I’m Sonya Lewis, Tessa’s Sunday school teacher. You must be her mother?”

Taking her offered hand Cara shook it lightly, “Yes I’m Cara.”

Looking over at Mrs. Dennett, “Mrs. Dennett you and your daughter must be so proud to have a grandchild with such a beautiful voice. Her voice, it’s, it’s, I don’t know any other way to explain it but to say it’s angelic.” Sonya couldn’t see the ‘I told you so’ smile Tessa gave her Grandma.

“Cara’s my daughter in law, she is married to my son Tom.”

“Well no matter, you both must be very proud of her.”

“It runs in the family,” Cara tried to steer the conversation away from Tessa’s singing, “Tessa has several aunts in show business, one has her own band.”

“If they sing half as good as your little girl they must be amazing,” Sonya smiled at Tessa.

“They’re better Miss Lewis,” Tessa’s voice rose excitedly, “Her band’s called ‘The Faerie Way’ and has a bunch of albums.”

“Faerie Way?” Sonya’s eyes grew wide looking down at Tessa, “Lea Saxon’s your aunt? Oh my god she’s great, I love their songs. Although my Father thinks they are some punk rock band because of her purple hair. Well I better get back inside, the pastor will be starting services soon.” Looking at Cara, “It was nice to meet you. I hope you can bring Tessa back to Sunday school, she was a little angel in class and her singing is quite amazing.”

~o~O~o~

Once the services were over Mrs. Dennett herded Cara and Tessa to her SUV. Once everyone was in the SUV and on their way out of the parking lot Mrs. Dennett looked in the rear view mirror at Tessa, “So care to tell me about that smirk you gave me back there young lady?”

“When did I do that?”

“Back when your Sunday school teacher was talking to us. You have this cat ate the canary smile on your face.”

Oh!” Tessa feigned recognition, “You mean when she said I sang like an angel? I just thought it funny that she would think that, you know with me being one of those nasty unclean demons and all.”

“Tessa!” Cara scolded.

“Well it’s the truth!”

“Apologize to your grandmother immediately!”

“But Mommy, it isn’t right that they go around thinking like that about us when they are nothing more than cattle to us.”

“Where in the hell did you hear that!” Cara yelled. “I know that none of your aunts told you that. They go out of their way to help humans.” When Tessa didn’t answer, “Well? I’m waiting. I want to know where you heard that crap.”

Tessa looked down at her feet in the backseat of the SUV, “I heard that lady say it last night. The one that fights with him when I’m sleeping.”

Who fights with who?” Mrs. Dennett glanced over at Cara.

Cara took a deep breath and let it out before beginning, “I spoke with Merla, Thiten, Glitonea and Mazoe last night. We believe that when Christie pushed her life force into Tom to save him, she pushed her spirit or at least part of it into Tom too. We believe that Christie’s and Tom’s spirits are fighting to determine which one will end up in control of Tessa’s mind.”

“I’m not letting either one take control of me!” Tessa yelled. “Aunt Thiten talked to me last night too and told me I could be me and I didn’t have to let either of them have control,” Crossing her arms in front of her as she huffed.

Pulling up the long winding drive to the house Cara saw them first, hissing, “RUN THEM OVER!” as she slammed her left foot on top of Mrs. Dennett’s foot that was covering the accelerator pedal. “They’re after Tessa.”

Mrs. Dennett did her best to steer the now runaway all-wheel drive SUV the rest of the way up the drive to the house while Cara was shouting directions, “Get as close to the porch as you and get yourself and Tessa inside. They can’t come inside.” The SUV came to a stop a few feet away from the porch. As Cara started to open her door a female Kynlif landed on the other side of the door attempting to rip it open and grab Cara. Twisting around in the seat Cara kicked the door with both feet knocking the winged woman backwards on the ground while Cara exited the SUV changing into her winged form along with her Wyvern skin armor. Pulling both the rapier and parrying dagger at her belt as she stepped clear of the SUV.

“GET INSIDE!” She screamed over her shoulder as she checked to make sure her first opponent was still on the ground before she ran around the front of the SUV to provide protection for both Tom’s mother and Tessa.

~o~O~o~

Thiton was sitting in the inner courtyard watching her twin, Thiten, weave her plant magic on the lawn and myriad of plants within the courtyard. It was also a place that Tessa’s small seemed to enjoy where it could curl up asleep in the sun. Both women stopped and looked at the small dragon-like creature when bellowed a blood curdling screech while jumping up on all fours. Its head darted back and forth then seemingly to focus on the home crystal in the center of the courtyard, it ran a few steps opening its wings to quickly glide over to the large crystal. Placing its long snout against the crystal it looked like the small creature was trying to push the crystal over while screaming that ear splitting noise it was making, when there was a flash and the wyvern disappeared.

“What the hell just happened?” Thiton looked to her sister hoping she knew something she didn’t

“Wyvern’s can’t use a crystal,” Thiten gasped.

“Even if it could, you can’t use them to go away from them only to them.”

Glitonea entered the courtyard running, What happened?”

“The wyvern, it disappeared.’ Thiton relayed.

“It teleported,” Thiten corrected.

“What teleported?” came in running.

“The wyvern, Tessa’s Wyvern.”

“Get to the tower!” Merla ordered, “Tessa’s in trouble!”

~o~O~o~

Cara ripped the driver’s door open dragging Mrs. Dennett out of the SUV, “Get in the house, they can’t come in there.” Pushing her toward the front door as she reached to open the rear door.

Suddenly Cara was slammed against the SUV causing her to drop both rapier and dagger as she fell. A pair of clawed hands reached down grabbing her and tossing her away from the SUV. Cara landed almost twenty feet away. Immediately rolling back to her feet she ran back toward the SUV. Out of the corner of her eye she spotted another attacker swooping down from her side. Cara let the attacker come pretending she didn’t see her. When Cara saw that her attacker was too far into the dive to pull away Cara took wing going up high enough so the attacker swooped under the outstretched talons of Cara’s feet. The talons of Cara’s left foot caught the membranous skin of her attacker’s right wing shredding it and causing her attacker to lose control and ram headlong into the gravel driveway at full speed.

Folding her wings up, Cara dropped straight down to the ground the force of the fall bringing her to her knees. Spotting another attacker that had the SUV’s back door open and was trying to drag Tessa out. Cara ran head long toward the SUV, disregarding any other that were there.

As the one was dragging Tessa out of the back of the SUV, another landed to help. Before Cara could get there the two winged women had dragged Tessa out. Suddenly Cara saw the first several inches of a dagger protruding out of the back of the first ones shoulder as the attacker screamed and backed away from the girl. The second one was trying to get past the dagger Tessa was brandishing at her when the second attacker was slammed against the side of the SUV. Long deep scratches appeared on her back gushing blood while she was trying to reach behind to get what appeared to be an invisible opponent off her back. All the attackers stopped when they heard their comrade’s screams and watched as her back was ripped to shreds by an invisible attacker until she fell unconscious to the ground.

Then one Tessa had stabbed began looking around nervously for the unseen attacker, and realizing the only kind of creature that could attack in that fashion she shouted to warm her sisters. “Wyvern!” She staggered over, grabbing her unconscious and bleeding sister before looking over at me, “This isn’t over!” and teleported away, the rest of the attackers disappeared one at a time, using their teleport to retreat from the battle.

Taking a deep breath Cara sighed heavily, ‘I should have known it wouldn’t last, next time they’ll bring more. I’ve got to find another place for Tessa, someplace she’ll be safe from them.’

“Lily!” Tessa screamed when the small wyvern appeared in front of her. Its maw, wing claws and feet covered in blood, didn’t stop the small drake from standing up on its legs, putting its wing claws on Tessa’s chest and begin happily licking her face.

Seeing the battle was over Mrs. Dennett had come out of the house, double barreled shotgun in hand. When she saw the creature up against Tessa Mrs. Dennett raised the shotgun to her shoulder, “Tessa get back!”

“NO GRANDMA!” Tessa screamed, “Don’t shoot Lily!”

“It’s her pet,” Cara shrugged, walking up and picking up her rapier and dagger.

“You gave her a pet dragon!” Mrs. Dennett yelled.

“I didn’t give it to her, it sort of bonded with her or something.”

“Lily’s not a dragon Grandma, she’s a wyvern.”

“If it breathes fire it can’t come in the house, and it best be house broken too!” Mrs. Dennett lowered the shotgun.

“Grandma,” Tessa giggled, “Everybody knows wyverns don’t have breath weapons.

“Yeah, tell that to your aunt Lea. She was too close after Lily gorged herself on fish then belched.” Waving her arm in front of her face for effect as she chuckled, “I’d call that a breath weapon!”

“Wyvern, dragon,” Mrs. Dennett shrugged her shoulders, “They’re all big flying lizards that ain’t supposed to exist except in story books if you ask my opinion.” Looking over at Cara, “They’ll be back won’t they?”

Cara nodded, “But hopefully not before I can find a better place for Tessa to hide from them. I should have known they would watch this place and our place in Charlotte.”

“What are we going to do mommy?”

“Well first thing you’re going to do little miss, is take that critter of yours around the back of the house and wash the blood off it before you even think of letting it in my house,” Mrs. Dennett grinned at Tessa.

“Come on Lily,” Tessa pushed the wyvern off her and ran around the side of the house. Lilly galloped along on all fours behind the small girl.

“Just when I thought things couldn’t get any weirder,” Mrs. Dennett’s gaze was focused on the small wyvern as it disappeared around the corner of the house, “I learn my granddaughter has a baby dragon following her around.”

“Oh Lily isn’t a baby,” Cara informed Mrs. Dennett. “Water drakes don’t get much bigger than she is now.”

“I thought you said it was called wyvern?”

Cara thought about how she should explain this to her mother in law, who had of course never been to her realm. “Where I’m from, all flying reptiles are called drakes. Like how gorillas, chimpanzees and baboons are all called monkeys. And drakes differ from true dragons by number of limbs and most dragons are quite intelligent.” Seeing the confused look on her mother in law’s face Cara continued, “Drakes only have four limbs, their front legs have developed into wings, whereas dragons have both front and rear legs and a separate set of wings. Then Drakes have no magical abilities, while wyverns and dragons normally do.”

“Okay enough,” Mrs. Dennett was shaking her head, “That’s too much information for my old brain to take in at once.”

Chapter 32

Cara was washing the breakfast dishes when there was a knock on the door. Looking over where Tessa was sitting on the floor scratching Lily’s neck, “Will you see who that is?” Looking at the small Wyvern as Tessa left the kitchen, “And you better hide.”

Twisting her long neck Lilly cocked her head sideways while looking back over her shoulder at Cara. With the way the wyvern looked at her Cara was glad they couldn’t talk because if they could she would swear by the way it looked at her it would have said, ‘Really? Do I look that stupid?’ before it faded out of view becoming invisible. Hearing the Wyvern’s claws scraping on the tiled floor Cara sighed, “You’re invisible, not silent.”

“It’s Aunt Glitonea and Aunt Thiton Mom,” Cara heard Tessa shout from the other room. Cara came out of the kitchen drying her hands on a hand towel.

“Lily hasn’t showed up here has she?” Glitonea asked.

Tessa nodded, “Yeah she attacked those bad Kynlif that came.”

“So Merla was right when she disappeared,” Thiton frowned. “Your little wyvern knew you were in trouble. We would have been here sooner but someone,” Thiton glanced sideways at Glitonea, “opened a portal to Liverpool by mistake.”

“At least I could remember where the entrance to the Underhill was,” Glitonea smirked.

“Lily was awesome Aunt Thiton,” Tessa began talking very fast. “When the two tried dragging me out of grandma’s car I stabbed one with the dagger Grandmother Merla made for me and Lily jumped on the other one’s back and tore up her back and her wings while she was invisible.”

“So you stabbed one with your dagger?” Glitonea focused on Tessa, “The one Merla made for you?” Tessa nodded.

“Is that important?” Cara asked.

“Yes, we’ll be able to find this person from the wound they received,” Glitonea nodded.

“Won’t they just lay low until their regeneration has healed it?” Cara asked.

“Not wounds created with her dagger,” Thiton answered. “Tessa’s dagger was created with Unseelie magic. It will take a long time to heal, if it ever fully heals.”

“Cara I thought I heard…” They heard from above. Looking up toward the upstairs railing Mrs. Dennett was looking over the railing at the group, “Oh I’m sorry I didn’t know we had company.” Mrs. Dennett came around and down the stairs.

“Grandma, these are my great aunts Thiton and Glitonea, they’re my other grandmother’s sisters.”

“Family is always welcome here,” Mrs. Dennett smiled, walking across the room to them. “I’m Mary Dennett, I’m Tom’s mother. Please call me Mary. Have you had breakfast? I could whip up some bacon and eggs for you both?”

Glitonea winced, “Thank you but we are fine. After staying with Circe for a few days some time back, I swore off all things pork.”

“Aunt Thiton what’s unseen magic?” Tessa looked up to the woman.

“It’s Unseelie my girl,” attempting to clearly speak the slight difference in the way it is pronounced. “The faerie folk are divided into two groups, the pretty ones, the Seelie who are actually quite cruel and shun the less pretty faerie races. The Seelie royalty which was known as the fivefold court also hated how the other faerie folk helped in the mortal world as the fivefold court wanted the humans of the mortal world under their control. The other faerie that the Seelie had exiled became known as the Unseelie and the Seelie began telling stories about the Unseelie to frighten the humans, eventually making it so that all Unseelie had to hide from both human and Seelie alike.

“So what happened to the Unseelie and their queen?” Entranced by the story Tessa begged for an answer.

“They’re still hiding, mostly in the Underhill a place the Seelie fear,” Thiton chuckled. “But enough history, the reason we are here is that we believe we have an idea of where Tessa would be safe until we can make the Kynlif understand she is to be left alone.”

“Here isn’t safe, neither is the house in Charlotte,” Cara stated. “What of this Underhill, if the Unseelie have been able to hide there for so long why can’t we?”

“To anyone without knowledge of Unseelie magic the Underhill becomes an inescapable labyrinth. It is also naturally warded against teleporting into or out of. Without the magic to straighten out the tunnels and paths you would become lost there forever.”

“Cara we need to see your memories of the one you believe could be one of the guardians of legend,” Glitonea asked. “If this truly is one of that race, she will help Tessa.”

~o~O~o~

“So it’s confirmed, one of the Hawklords has returned,” Glitonea. “I only wish I knew how, their race was wiped out by the great old ones prior to the cataclysm.”

“Probably the same way that witch queen Aunghadhail reappeared after she died in the cataclysm she caused so long ago,” Thiton vehemently spat.

“There’s a witch queen?” Mrs. Dennett gasped.

“My sister was being a bit overzealous with her dislike of the former Seelie Queen. I believe Aunghadhail originally meant well, it was that she had no problem with the philosophy of the ends justifying the means.”

“She took thousands of Unseelie and conscripted them to fight her battles!” Thiton glared. “She experimented on many of them, turning them into monsters that she would unleash on whoever ruffled her skirts.”

Glitonea cleared her throat, “Back to the reason we are here. Now that we know that a guardian has returned and has also shown favor toward Cara. We can be assured she will continue her duties of old.”

“What duties?” Cara asked, “And how do we know she will continue them?”

“They are the sworn protectors,” Thiton answered, “It’s in their blood, they couldn’t stop themselves if they ever wanted to. Some say they were descendants of the ancient celestial dragons that once roamed the cosmos.”

“Their race believed that above all, young should be protected,” Glitonea explained. “We get Tessa to the guardian it will protect her.”

“How do we find her?”

“That’s what this is for,’ Glitonea held out a green crystal. “It will allow Tessa to home in on the type of essence the guardian possesses.”

“But what if the guardian is thousands of miles away from here?” Cara worried, “How can we safely travel with Tessa that far?”

“I’ll take her through the Underhill,” Thiton grinned. “Kynlif cannot follow us there as it is one of the faerie realms.”

“But if Kynlif cannot go there how will Tessa?” Cara’s worry beginning to turn to fear.

“Unlike others of the Kynlif you and Tessa both are of our blood, which allows you to enter the faerie realms,” Thiton’s grin widened while obviously holding back information about their lineage.

“You’ll find the Unseelie of the Underhill quite helpful to the both of you. So helpful you might say they’ll treat you as if you were royalty,” Glitonea smiled knowingly.

“What about the ones I can feel out there watching the house. How do we get past them?” Cara added.

“We’ve arranged it so that they will become very busy come nightfall,” Thiton smiled evilly.

“We’ll slip past them after dark, there’s an entrance to the Underhill very close.” Glitonea explained, “Thiton will take Tessa through the Underhill getting Tessa as close as she can to the guardian before letting Tessa continue.” Looking at Cara, “While Thiton and Tessa travel the Underhill, you and I will be going back home to assist Merla.”

“But Tessa…”

Glitonea interrupted Cara before she could argue, “Will be better off with you someplace else. The council can scry your location, the only way for them to locate your child is to locate you. Having you in another location protects Tessa. They don’t know of Thiton’s or my existence therefore we can keep an eye out for your child. Although once the guardian learns of her plight I think the council will have other concerns far greater than that of Tessa.”



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