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Voldamar Books
S.F. Swem
S.F. Swem
S.F. Swem
Demesne New Beginnings
Demesne Challenge
Take a look inside the Cassiopeia
"I made a polite excuse and stepped back slightly, but stayed just close enough to catch their greeting. It was that young Garinith and the lady was the clan Matriarch. When I heard this, I decided that I needed to be somewhere else. I made my way towards the stairs that lead down from the balcony to that lovely garden they have, figuring I have had enough excitement for one day and would head out from there."
"Oh my, that is more than you wanted to do while you were there."
He nods and then continues. "Yes, well I didn't make it very far before her voice called me up short. I turned and there she was. The clan Matriarch was addressing me!"
Lily interrupts him again. "What did she want with you?"
"I am getting to that, patience, love," he chuckles. "Anyway, as she came near, she looked down to that garden of theirs and started asking questions about us and Aithera. She knew we had a girl child, and she seemed to know a lot about her without the need to ask." He is interrupted again, but this time it is by the clattering of something on the floor. The child is sitting there, fumbling with a box in her lap. The saddlebags straps are undone and open.
"Now how did she do that?" he asks, watching the little girl.
"Oh, Jonathan, she has been getting into everything that is not tied closed. The better question is, what does she have there and where did you get it?" Lily looks at what Aithera is holding.
Jonathan turns to his wife. "It seems our little Aithera is full of surprises. That box is what I was getting to." He gets up and moves to pick up the child and the box, cooing to his daughter as he takes her to her mother. Then he takes his seat as the child fidgets and squirms in her mother's lap, reaching towards her father and the box.
"The Matriarch said that she had a gift for our little one, but I was not to give it to her until the time was right and that I would know when that time comes. I was only to give it to her then, not sooner, and that it would aid her in her time of greatest need."
"I don't think I like the sound of that," Lily says, frowning.
"No, her statement does not bode well," Jonathan says and he frowns slightly. "She also said something strange. There were great things in store and that the valley would need our Aithera, and that we had the charge to protect her. She spoke softly but there was no denying that she was very serious." He sighs. "She also said that her time was upon her, and that she had to pass on to the next, that which is part of the whole. Beats me what that means."
"Well, that is a bit cryptic of her," Lily comments.
"Yes, she was that," Jonathan says, fingering the box. "She gave me the words to open it." He thinks for a moment and then whispers some strange words. The symbol on the box glows and then the lid on the box opens, and he pulls out a jeweled pendant attached to a chain. "It is a pretty thing. I guess Aithera will like it when the time is right."
"Jonathan, look at Aithera," Lily whispers, as the squirming child in her lap has gone suddenly still and stares wide-eyed at the pendant. "She seems to be mesmerized by it. Put it away. I don't know if I like this gift."
He puts the jewel back in the box and closes it. The symbol on the top pulses and then goes dark. He shakes his head. "I don't think the clan Matriarch would give a child something that would hurt her. It has to be for a good purpose. A charm maybe."
"Maybe you are right. I just don't know. We will have to see and keep our ears open for clues as to what it is. Yet, if the Matriarch said we must protect the child, it might not be too bad." Lilly sighs and then her smile returns. "Now, was that all that happened?"
"Let me see. Garinith was talking with his lordship and not looking at all pleased, but he did brighten when a young woman with red hair made her way to him, and they talked for a bit. The Matriarch joined them for a while before they moved to the edge of the balcony. Then Garinith and the Matriarch floated up and transformed back into dragons. Garinith headed to the southern mountains and the Matriarch just kept going up and up until we could see her no more."
"Is that it then, and you headed for home?"
"No dear. After they left, his lordship came over to me and said that they would like to visit and pick out some horses, and he asked if a few days would be enough time for us to be ready."
"I hope you assured them that it would be fine," she says, getting up and walking over to the nanny that had just entered, and she hands Aithera to her. She gives her instructions to the nanny before she returns to her husband. "When Gretta returns, please have her bring Tobin in to see his father."
"Yes, Milady," The nanny replies, and then she leaves the room with the child.
"Speaking of Tobin, where is our young lord?"
"Oh, I didn't tell Gretta when you were going to be back." She turns back to him with a warm smile and a gleam in her eyes. "I wanted a moment with you for myself, and Aithera has been moody lately. I thought just a moment with her father would be a pleasant surprise."
"I will always have time for the ladies in my life." He smiles as he reaches for her and takes her hand, pulling her onto his lap. "And, yes, I did say that anytime the Pellinores wanted to visit would be a good time, and that is how and why they are coming here," he says, sitting back and eyeing the box, as she leans against him and his arms go about her waist.