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 Ch 4 - Alba an Aigh

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 4 - Alba an Aigh   Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:55 pm


Arawela and Aurora arrived within seconds in New Orleans again. They were in the main foray of Raven Manor and Arawela immediately removed her coat and hung it on a hook by the massive front door. Though the homes decorations were very dark, it was clear by the quality of the furnishings that there was wealth within its walls. The air itself seemed to crackle with energy, but was a dark energy, almost as if the air itself was watching you at all times.

Turning to look at Aurora, Arawela gave a twisted half smile and motioned with her head, "That way."

Her young, crystal blue eyes showed intensity and power, but also a lack of reason. It was the curse of the Druids, they were the most powerful magic users on the planet, but their power could twist and corrupt the mind the more it was used. Arawela was clearly a gifted Druid, well beyond her years in talent and ability, however the after affects were clearly taking a toll already. It wasn't that they became insane or otherwise unable to take care of themselves, the insanity was rather one which would cause heightened fearlessness and the inability to reason. It was as if the magic itself had established a system of checks and balances, one could become more powerful, but within that power came a higher probability that you would kill yourself in the process.

As the two of them walked down the lavishly decorated hallway, Arawela remained two steps behind Aurora at all times and there was complete stillness within the massive home. They walked along past a series of doors until they came to another foray. Two massive double doors were at the far end and two house servants stood on either side of them. They were dressed in fine silks and ruffled shirts, the sort of fashion one would have seen over a hundred years ago. As the two ladies approached they watched Aurora expressionlessly and opened the doors in unison so they could walk into the massive dining hall.

A large table, enough for 25 or 30 people ran the length of the room and fireplaces on all four walls blazed with warmth and comfort. The table only had two chairs, dead in the center on the long side, directly across from one another. Arawela motioned for Aurora to sit at one and then walked around and sat at the place across the table, hands folded gently and properly in her lap and looked across at Aurora, "Now now... no need to look at me like that."

Aurora's stare was like ice and Arawela seemed unaffected, "I never had any intention of letting Sionn die, he is far too valuable, and handsome for that. No, I would never crush a rose in it's prime blooming. I did however need to do what must be done to get you back here, you see, you left in haste before we had opportunity to really get down to the business at hand."

She looked up and servants seemed to spring from the walls, coming near the table and began offering wine, water, and an array of foods, all of which smelled and looked delicious.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 4 - Alba an Aigh   Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:44 pm

Aurora didn't quite know what to think as she entered Raven Manor. It was dark yet elegant. There was an air of evil and yet it was somehow beautiful. She took in the interior as she kept walking, holding onto the bow and quiver of arrows. For a brief moment she wondered what would happen once Arawela found out that the quiver was not the true artifact. It wouldn't matter, so long as Sionn was alive and well, that was all she cared about.

Sitting down across from the druidess, she glared at her, her gaze that of black ice. Her gaze didn't waver as Arawela spoke to her, not until the servants just appeared. She looked warily down at the food and drink then back up at the blue eyed woman sitting across from her. She pushed her plate and glass away from her, "Let's get down to business, Arawela. For starters, do you honestly think that I would even consider eating or drinking anything you put before me? Like Tori said, I am naive....even gullible, but I am not stupid." She fought the urge to give into her fear and anger and throw her drink into the woman's face. Instead, she laid the bow and quiver of arrows on the table in front of her. "What is it you want, exactly? And where is Erebus?" She leaned forward a little, her dark eyes like stones of onyx. "How do I know that Sionn is alive and well, Arawela? I believe that was your given word wasn't it? That he would be cured if I came with you. So, prove to me that he is alive and well."

****************************
Beau followed the family into the house while Eryn circled outside crying out in sorrow and anger. ~Sionn....you can't leave her in Arawela's hands. We have to find out where the witch took her and bring her back. And you should make sure that your sister remembers why Aurora went with the witch in the first place! It was to save you!!~ Beau was clearly angry at Torri and he didn't bother to try and hide it his amber/gold gaze constantly glaring at Sionn's sister. ~Aurora may be all the things that Torri said, but she isn't stupid. What she is is compassionate and innocent. She has strength in her but she is new to the things that you and your sister were raised with. We cannot leave her with Arawela!~

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 4 - Alba an Aigh   Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:14 am


Sionn looked over and listened to Beau as the wolf spoke to his mind. As the family cleared to begin getting ready to depart their beloved home once again Sionn spoke softly so only Beau could hear, "I will talk ta' T Beau, but I will do it with the condition that ye listen ta me as well. As much as you are defending Aurora for wha' she did, you are passin' judgement on Torri for what she did. T is hot headed, reactive, and her head as as stubborn as a mules, but we are bounded she and I, and all those traits you are so upset about have saved ma' life more than once. To ask her to stop being who she is, well you'd have more success telling the moon ta stop reflecting the sun. I know you want her to understand Aurora, but in kind, you need ta' understand Torri as well."

He slid off the bed and knelt down in front of Beau, staring him right in his yellow eyes, "All of us are up emotionally right now, it's not fair to assess each other in these moments, tempers flare, things get said that should no be said." His face went slightly down cast and he continued, "Even though it was my life on the line, Aurora made the wrong choice, and now we will all displace ourselves, even Torri, to go find her and remove her from the Poe's. According to Da', she is one of the most important of our kind to walk to planet in hundreds of years, to so quickly hand herself over for the sake of me wasn't wise, though I am grateful, it was the wrong choice."

He leaned in ever so slightly and continued, "With that said however, I will do EVERYTHING in my power to get her back, ya' understand me? I know the danger and the place she is in, more than most, and I will not allow her to remain there any moment longer than necessary. Ya have me word on that Beau."

-----


Arawela politely ate her dinner as Aurora went on her tirade. She watched the young Native American with a bemused look on her face and let her finish before picking her napkin up, gently wiping the corners of her mouth and then spoke with a soft voice, "Well I will say this, it is obvious you have been around the McGhee's!"

Aurora's eyes reflected her hatred for Arawela, but she was completely unphased. Leaning back in her chair she crossed her arms across her lap and continued, "I know you are new to this so let me give you a small, free lesson in negotiation. You see, in order to negotiate you must have something that the other person wants and the means to keep it from them. You sweetheart, have neither. The objects I desire are sitting on the table between us, and I could take them, without a fight if they truly meant that much to me. You demand that I prove Sionn is alive, you demand that I view you as an equal, you refuse the delicious food that I set before you, and you do it all while placing conditions on me. I gave my word that he would live, and live he will. I tossed the vile which contained the antidote as we departed. As I told you just moments ago, I don't wish Sionn dead, not yet. He's too pretty, it is only a matter of time before he bed's the both of us, just as he has bed dozens, maybe even hundreds of women before you."

She watched the look on Aurora's face and her smile twisted at the grief Aurora could not hide, "Yes, that's right Aurora, Sionn seems sweet and handsome, charming and contagiously delightful, but do you think those charms are natural talent of some sort? He is a practiced master at the art of bedding women, he has more notches on his bedpost than Caligula, he is a womanizer through and through and if you want my take on it, you are just the next target of his desires."

Her face suddenly took on a more sympathetic look and she continued, "You should be thanking me for removing you from his misogynistic presence instead of berating me for behaviors you can not prove. If you don't want to take my assurance that he is alive, then don't, if you don't want to eat the food of my household, then starve, if you want to sit there and sulk in the circumstances of your existence, then feel free, it makes me no difference what so ever. This house is warded so deeply that they will NEVER get in, and you will never get out. Only those whom I permit may come and go! The truth of this situation is you, have, no, power, here."

She calmly picked up her glass of wine and sipped it, leaving a bright red lipstick mark on the rim of the glass. She looked across the table calmly and spoke, "As for my Uncle, I have no idea where he is. I don't keep track of him, nor him me. We have our own business to attend to, we don't keep a ledger or calendar to refer to. Where he is I do not know, when will he return I can not say for I don't have the information. What I do have is this meal, and this wine, and this warm home, and you, a woman who looks at me like I am her arch enemy instead of the one person who can truly open your eyes to the power that waits to awaken from within you."

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 4 - Alba an Aigh   Thu Nov 21, 2013 8:35 pm

Aurora tried hard to hide her grief at what Arawela said about Sionn but she failed. When the druidess was done with her speech she pulled the artifacts closer to her and looked up at her. "There is no power within me, Arawela. I can speak to animals a little that is all. As for Sionn....that is for me deal with and none of your business. I know that you find me amusing.....and I suppose that is a step up from what Torri finds me. Still....I don't trust you, your food or your drink. What I would ask of you is somewhere to lay down. I am tired from everything that has happened." She waited patiently for her to finish her meal before she was led to a room.

The room was lavish but she didn't expect any less the Poe's after what she'd already seen. She was surprised that Arawela was letting her keep the artifacts for now but she didn't question it. Once she was alone, she sat on the floor, leaning up against the bed on the other side away from the door. What had she done? Had she acted to hastily? Was Torri right about her? She was beginning to think maybe she was. She was so out of her element here. Then there was Sionn. Tears began to fall at the thought of him. Were they right? Was she just another toy to him?

As she sat there, taking a moment or two to mentally berate herself for not thinking ahead tears flowed freely down her cheeks. Whether they were because of what she'd done and where she'd wound up or for Sionn or both she didn't know. All she knew was that she was so out of her element here.

Minutes or hours, she didn't know which she fell asleep on the floor cradling the bow and quiver of arrows to her body.


*****************************

Beau listened to Sionn and gave him a short nod of his regal head. ~Fine....what you say makes sense. What is going to happen to her, Sionn? She has a strong spirit and now she has the guides within her. But.....she is so innocent. Her mother made the mistake of sending her out too soon. And she has feelings for you....she loves you, Sionn. She has no experience in any of this.~ Beau's worry was amplified in his golden eyes as he looked straight into Sionn's green eyes. And he was concerned about Torri's reaction when the eventually got Aurora back. His first duty was to protecting Aurora and he would protect her to his dying breath. Coming to terms with the possibility of handing that protection over to Sionn at a later date was not sitting well with the wolf spirit.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 4 - Alba an Aigh   Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:56 am


“Aurora.”

The voice was soft and gentle, “Aurora, it is 10a.m.”

As Aurora’s doe like eyes fluttered open and looked through the blur of her awaking she would begin to focus on the fine facial features of Erebus. He was knelt over her and looked upon her kindly, “I apologize for waking you. I arrived very late last night and my niece,” he cleared his throat, “informed me of what she had done to you, and Sionn. I give you my word that she will be dealt with appropriately. It was cruel and uncalled for, and though she THINKS she is the leader of this house, she is not. Her behavior was completely uncalled for and unauthorized.”

The last three words were said with an authority that suggested it would not be questioned. He was the head of the House of Poe, and he made it clear. Reaching he touched her forehead with his open palm, she was cold, “You are chilled from sleeping on the floor, and I would assume hungry too as I was also told you wouldn’t touch your dinner last night. I understand why, it was more forced on you than served. If you would permit me the honor, might I take you to the dining hall and we can breakfast together? It is the least I can do for you to begin rebuilding some trust between you and I as well as make up for the impulses of my niece.”

He helped Aurora to her feet and though she had not answered him he continued, “There is a shower and a tub there,” he pointed to a door off to the side of the large room, “It is completely private and I give you my word you will not be disturbed. Please take your time and join me when you are ready… and if you are willing. I will also offer this extra bit of security,” He took her hand ever so gently and brought the back of it to his lips, placing a soft, warm kiss on the back of her hand. The skin tingled pleasurably where his lips had touched her and he withdrew before turning to look at the door. He took his other hand and placed it against his lips, and then blew across his fingertips. A soft red mist came off his skin and floated to the knob of the door which was the sole entrance to this room. The red mist fluttered over the metal and then settled upon it and flashed a mere millisecond before disappearing. He turned to look at her again, “A warding, to keep people out. Once I leave and close that door behind me only your hand will open it. I offer this as my first reach at extending a hand of friendship between us. I want you to feel safe here, and I want you to know that your BELONGINGS are safe here as well. For my part, know that I believe that bow is YOUR possession, not mine, not anyone’s in the House of Poe. I would dare not to have it removed from you.” He looked deeply into her eyes and then gently brought her hand which he had kissed back down to her side, releasing it, the warmth of his skin lingering a few seconds as he let go.

He smiled kindly and with a tender warmth, the type of smile that came when a man was enamored with a woman, in more than just her physical beauty but in complete awe of her. Suddenly his voice reflected a slight bit of nervousness, “I uh… well I will leave you to it. I hope you will join me when you are cleaned up, and if not, I completely understand.”

He turned and walked to the door, turning his face to look over his shoulder with one last gaze upon her before bringing the door closed and its latch caught in the doorframe. The red light that had settled over the knob and disappeared returned with one fast pulse, giving a visual indicator that it was still there, and that its power had engaged its hold.

Erebus lingered out side the door a moment, gently placing his fingers on the door and thinking of the rare beauty just behind the wood, and within the very walls of his House. He felt a slight ting of sadness, would she ever see him as more than just the head of an ancient line that had perpetrated some evil acts on this world? Would she? He would not answer that question, in fact he could not, the logical conclusion was always too painful, but the fact was, since he had fought one of his own order for her sake only a few days ago, the Druid with the wounded arm that attacked her in the Dwarfs hotel… she was all he could think about.


He turned to walk down the hall and found himself face to face with his Nieces scoffing, “You are so sick for her it stinks like rotten garbage.”

Erebus narrowed his eyes on her and withheld every impulse to bring his hand across her insolent cheek. He wanted nothing more than to knock the teeth out of her sneer but he maintained his control, “You had no right to bring her here, and you will be dealt with.”

She looked mockingly at him and spoke, “What power do you have which lingers over me Uncle? I am not you daughter, but I am the only heir to this House as you have yet to find suitable… companionship in your life.” She flicked a glance to the wall which was the border between the hallway and Aurora’s room. Turning her eyes back to him they went wide and her voice took on a lilt, “Or perhaps you ARE happy that I brought her back, perhaps it satisfies some deep, hormonal desire to find that woman who can produce an heir within your lineage, so that you won’t die miserable and alone.”

He stepped towards her aggressively and her eyebrows raised in amusement, daring him with her gaze to react. HE grit his teeth and spoke through a hiss, “Though you are my niece, though you are not my child, you are STILL in the line of Poe, and you are still subject to MY decisions, and judgments. You are restricted to your room, do not attempt to leave this house until I say, if you do I will see you locked out of it permanently.”

She looked at him and furrowed her brows, “You can not do that, I am of age now.”

His voice rose and boomed at her, “I can! And I have!”

She showed genuine fear as his hand came up and he pointed at her. She was defiant, and she was insolent, but she also knew when power exceeded hers, and the pull of magic to Erebus right now was so thick it was beginning to choke her. She took a half step back and whispered, “I will inform my father of this.” He looked at her and spoke, “Then do it! He is the elder, but I am the Head of House Poe! He gave me the right to discipline you when he made you my ward.” She shook her head, “I am not your ward, I am 18.” He grit his teeth and spoke, “Maybe by age, but not action. Now GO!”

She looked at him for merely a second and then turned and thumped angrily, all the way to her quarters on the middle floor of the mansion. Erebus turned a brief second and looked at the wall, hoping that his discussion with Arawela hadn’t disturbed Aurora. There was a sadness in his face that was full of knowledge, knowledge that his wanting to pursue her was most likely an impossible endeavor.


Sionn looked at Beau and there was sadness in his eyes, “I don’t know Beau, I simply don’t know what they will do to her. Druids are unpredictable at best. Arawela is nothing short of the cruelest person I have ever known, but I do know this, Aurora is useless to Arawela dead. She can’t kill her, and I would venture she can’t even harm her. We know very little about the House of Poe, they are a secretive lot and she is the most public of them, she has been since she was 13. What I do know is that since Erebus came to be head of the house ten years ago they have not been responsible for any of the Druidic world disasters that have occurred, it’s almost as if … I dare not say but, it’s as if he doesn’t want to do anything like that. Ma’ and Da’ hesitate to speculate on that, as I said, Druids are unpredictable at best. Not to mention on top of that that prior to this quiet during his leadership the Poe’s were one of the most active Druidic lines in Earth’s history.”

He leaned forward a little, “Again, I don’t want to supersede Mum and Da’s authority, but since I am a hunter, out in the field and constantly looking to right the imbalances, I haven’t had to right anything that was tied to the House of Poe until the last couple days when we have been facing Arawela. My guess is that she is acting outside of the leadership of Erebus… but that is just a guess.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 4 - Alba an Aigh   Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:34 pm

Aurora slowly opened her eyes to the soft voice she was hearing and was relieved to see Erebus although she hid it well.  She was indeed chilled from sleeping on the floor not even having pulled a blanket off the massive bed, but she felt warmth flow through her when Erebus lightly touched her forehead.  Still, she said nothing....instead she listened to him, looking to the door he'd pointed to telling her that behind it was a tub and sink where she could clean up and relieve herself if need be.  But what shocked her was when he took her hand and kissed the back of it, the tingling feeling flowing like sweet water up her arm.  Even in her innocence she could tell that he was sincere and she found herself wondering if the McGhee's were completely accurate in their opinion of the Poe's.  Clearly Arawela was acting on her own accord.....wasn't she?

He again shocked her by placing a warding spell on the handle so that only she could open the door, thus leaving her in some form of safety.  When he left, she saw him look back towards her and saw something in his gaze that she couldn't name.  She was too innocent to do so, but it left her feeling saddened for him.

As she made her way to the bathroom, she heard the raised voices of Erebus and Arawela and frowned.  She couldn't make out but a few words here and there so she chose to let them hash it out.  She was desperate for a wash and when she stepped into the bathroom she was taken aback by the beauty. The beautiful tub was a step in garden tub made of black marble with matching sink and counter top that spanned the full middle of the wall. The toilet was even beautiful made of matching black ceramic. The faucets were gold with black onyx handles. She saw that someone had set out jasmine scented oil for her bath along with matching hair care products. She ran the water steam puffing as she pinned up her long, dark hair before she undressed. She couldn't stop a sigh as she sat down in the hot, jasmine scented water. She only soaked for a short while, her eyes closed as she blocked out everything for that time. After about a half an hour she washed and then washed her long hair.

Close to an hour later she was dressed again, her clothes somehow clean and folded on the counter top. She looked around to see if anyone was there and was suddenly uneasy. Stepping out of the tub, she wrapped an overlarge fluffy towel around her after wrapping one around her long hair and then dried off. She dressed quickly, brushing out her hair until it was semi dry and shining.

She took a deep breath, gathering her bow and quiver of arrows before leaving the bathroom and heading down to join Erebus for breakfast. She saw him sitting at the long table at one end with a chair to the right of him. He stood, giving her a smile as he pulled the empty chair. She gave him a shaky smile in return and joined him, setting her artifacts on the table next to her.

"Thank you, Erebus.....for everything." Her stomach suddenly grumbled in hunger and she blushed at the sound. "Will I be able to return to soon? Or am I to stay here as a prisoner?" The last part was said without any anger....it was as if she were trying to accept the error of what she'd done and the price she now had to pay for it.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 4 - Alba an Aigh   Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:58 pm


Despite having servants all over the room, Erebus felt alone as he ate his meal. Suddenly there was one of his house men at his side who whispered in his ear, "My lord, the lady approaches."

Erebus stood up and smiled warmly as Aurora entered into the dining hall. He could not help but smile, she was enrapturing to say the least, "As he walked to greet her he spoke, "You are simply breathtaking Aurora."

He pulled out a chair and she sat. As he scootched it in for her and took his place beside her she would see the slight flush to his cheeks, "I am so pleased you decided to join me, I can't tell you enough that I am sorry for my nieces behavior. I have tried for years to calm her spirit, but she is wild, perhaps too wild for her own good. Time will tell if she gets it under control or dies in the process of pressing herself."

There was no remorse in his statement, it was more said like a matter of fact, like a man who had accepted something despite his best efforts to stop it. As her stomach grumbled and she spoke about being a prisoner he exhaled softly and spoke, "I find it incredibly ironic that only a week ago my Niece had attacked you, brought you here against your will, and you asked me the same question. I will respond with the same answer, no, you are not a prisoner, you never were, and I never intended for you to be brought here like this, under these fierce circumstances... twice."

There was a slight lilt on his voice with the last word, as if he was trying to make light of the situation, but then he flushed realizing it might be too soon to be joking about it with her. Servants suddenly appeared with her favorite foods, even though she had never shared it, suddenly there it was, as if made to order without her even asking. She had a puzzled look and Erebus could not help but smile as he spoke, "This house, it provides what you desire. Though the look and build of it are unchanged, the things it provides for those who stay within its walls does," He smiled with a slight blush, "And I can't help be notice that you prefer the smell of jasmine."

As she looked at him he spoke while bringing up his hand in jest, "I assure you I did not know and did not place it there, as I said, the house provides."

He motioned for her to eat and he continued, "So as I said, you are not a prisoner, you never were, and I would not stop you if you wish to leave...," he paused and looked into her eyes deeply, "Though I would not be completely truthful if I didn't add that I wish you would stay for a while, on the fancy of your own will."

As she looked at him quizzically he continued, "A guest of mine, a guest of the House of Poe! I have no ill intentions, no ulterior motive, nothing except for the pleasure of your company, and the opportunity to get to know you better and begin to build the trust which must exist between us if we are to move past the treatment my Niece has subjected you to."

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 4 - Alba an Aigh   Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:57 am

Aurora's eyes widened as her favorite breakfast foods were placed upon the table. There were fluffy chocolate chip pancakes, a pitcher of chocolate milk, french toast with cinnamon sprinkled onto the pieces, crisp bacon and maple syrup. Her stomach grumbled again as she placed two pancakes onto her plate and smothered the syrup onto them before reaching for the bacon. She ate while he spoke to her, her dark expressive eyes closing in what one would think was almost rapture if they'd not seen her eating. She then sat back while a servant poured her a tall glass of chocolate milk.

"I thank you for allowing me to leave when I wish, Erebus and your invitation to stay is tempting but I fear that the McGhee's will come looking for me and they will not understand that you meant me no harm......that it was Arawela's doing and not your own." She quieted for a moment, her dark eyes looking down at her plate, her long, thick lashes casting half moon shadows onto her high cheekbones. When she spoke again it was in a softer voice, "You have shown me nothing but kindness and I do not want to see you come to any harm nor be judged unfairly." She looked back up at him then, seeing again that look in his eyes that she could not put words to. Her own female instincts telling her that he was interested in her as a woman and yet she simply didn't understand why.

She finished her pancakes, looking to the cinnamon sprinkled french toast. Giving in to temptation she put two pieces of french toast onto her plate then smothering them in the syrup as well.

She finished eating minutes later and finished her milk as well, delicately wiping her lips clean before she spoke again. "I am not accustomed to how you and the McGhee's live, Erebus. I was sheltered my whole life, living in the mountains where my mother trained me." She watched his face for his expressions as she spoke, not sure why she was suddenly telling him these things. "My life was simple...and now it is in chaos. So many things have happened to me since I left my mountains", she furrowed her brows then, "How do you live like this? How do you live with so much chaos and unbalance?"

The entire time she spoke to him, Sionn was in her thoughts as well. He was never far from her thoughts, but neither were Torri's or Arawela's words either. She wanted answers as well as to what was happening to her. The spirit guides that now lived within her, how she knew the chants in the cemetery, among other things. The more she was out in this world the more she realized just how much her mother had left out in preparing her for it.

"Erebus.....I have also heard about your family. Horrible things that your family has done. And yet you seem the opposite of what I have heard. You are kind and sincere. You make one feel welcome and you have made me feel safe when Arawela made me feel threatened."

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 4 - Alba an Aigh   Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:17 am


Erebus watched her eat and he smiled, it had been a long time since he had seen a woman indulge so much and he found it adorable. His face sank however when she spoke about not staying in his home, and about the McGhee's not understanding. With a soft nod he forced a smile that still reflected his disappointment and spoke, "I... well I understand your position."

As she continued however and expressed genuine concern for how the McGhee's would respond to him and that she did not want that sort of treatment to come this way, his face took on a completely new expression, one of gratitude and simultaneous sadness mixed with appreciation. His eyes welled up slightly and he inhaled deeply. He reached across to her and gently placed his hand on top of hers and with a soft squeeze he spoke, "Thank you, that is the first time in my life that someone has shown genuine concern for my own well being. Not even my parents..." His voice trailed off and he cleared his throat softly, "My parents were mostly absent during my growing up, I was the last thing on their minds I think."

He released her hand as he did not want to linger uninvited and went back to eating his food as she ate hers. They finished and as their conversation progressed and Aurora began to speak about her growing up and how she was thrown into this world so suddenly his face showed not only interest in what she had to say but also compassion for her, "There's a very old saying, so old and so overused that it has become a cliche. It is unfortunate because it was once a true philosophy for living that allowed people to adapt and modify their behaviors with the turning circumstances. I am sure you have heard it, "Everything happens for a reason". You see, our lives, when you break it down, is a chain of events, each connected to the end while simultaneously being pulled forward for a purpose. Some call it fate, I prefer destiny because fate suggests we can't make changes along the way, where as destiny, well destiny is something we strive for and we control the rutter. For example, my Niece feels it is her fate to rule this house, and perhaps someday she will if there is no other heir. She is mistaken however, it is not fate that is tying her to that conclusion because what if I have an heir? What if my son or daughter should I be blessed with one is born? Fate would cease to exist because hers could not cross with the others. Sure, there would be options, she could kill the child to maintain her right as heir, but would that not be a decision then? A decision to harm someone and remove them so you could advance? It doesn't seem that fate would linger so violently... at least not to me."

He smiled softly and shook his head, "I am speaking too much."

As she spoke of chaos and unbalance he nodded in understanding again and spoke, "The world simply is chaotic and unbalanced. It's a long tradition with the houses, some causing unbalance while others try to balance, the fact is I was fairly sheltered as well, spending a good many of my childhood years on the property here. I too was dazed when I entered the world and saw the constant disorder," he laughed, "I am sure that is quite a shock to hear a druid say that."

That was when she hit him with the tough question, the question about his family and their past. His face reflected a slight sadness and he spoke, "A tree can not choose where its seed falls, all it can do is grow and spread its branches as wide as possible, gathering as much sun on its leaves as it can. Is it wrong if a tree grows taller than its parent? Is it wrong if it sees fit to spread its branches even over its parent and put them in its shadow? It is an unfortunate mentality of this world that one will be judged by the sins of their fathers, I am no exception to this. I am judged and categorized immediately when I meet someone, 'oh... he's a druid of Poe, he will break the world'. It is something I have dealt with my whole life, and though I might at times seem I have armor to deflect those flaming arrows, I still have a heart, and it still hurts when I have done nothing to deserve such words. My history is clean, my hands have never killed a person, yet I am categorized and judged simply for my name." He inhaled deeply and let a soft sigh escape his lips. He looked back up at her and spoke, "I apologize, I do not mean to burden you with this. I know it is your desire to go, I can take you back the same way as you were brought here, if you wish to gather your things we can leave when you are ready."

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 4 - Alba an Aigh   Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:18 pm

She listened to him explain his family and found that she believed him when he said implied that he was not like the other Poe's. She also realized that she didn't want to leave....not yet. Here she was treated as a person. She didn't have Torri's snide remarks or judgements. And she didn't feel as if Erebus thought any less of her for her lack of experience in the outside world the way she did with everyone, including Sionn at times, back with the McGhee's. Thinking about Sionn brought sorrow to her expressive, dark eyes and she looked away from him, swallowing hard as she tried to get her composure.

Once she was composed again she raised her head and have Erebus a small smile. "I think I would like to stay for the day, Erebus. So long as Arawela is not present. I am enjoying our talk and would like to know more. Do you have gardens you could show me? Perhaps we could take a walk although I would like to keep my bow and quiver with me."

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 4 - Alba an Aigh   Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:18 pm


Erebus watched her and not only sensed that she was experiencing sadness for some reason, but he could also see it in her face. He remained quiet and allowed her the opportunity to work through her thoughts on her own. He would have spoken had she asked him, but she seemed to want to work through whatever she was feeling on her own, and he allowed her that as he did not want to overstep his bounds.

As she looked up and said she wished to stay his smiles was nothing short of elated and he nodded as she mentioned his Niece, "Arawela has been restricted to her quarters, she can not leave until I remove the warding that contains her, I assure you she will not be joining us."

As she mentioned whether or not there were gardens he smiled and nodded, "We only have the finest gardens in all of Louisiana!" With a smile he stood and extended his hand to help her stand to her feet. She mentioned her bow and and he nodded in complete compliance, "Of course Aurora, it is yours, you do not need my permission nor my endorsement to carry it with you, please feel free to carry it with you anytime you are on the property, as I said, I have no intention of taking it form you, in fact it confuses me why my Niece is so obsessed with it."

He smiled and gestured with his hand to the northern end of the dining hall. There was a set of doors which had been opened and he walked beside her slowly into a long, wide, perfectly straight hallway that went for quite a distance. They passed several small galleries along the way, each large enough to hold four paintings, two on each wall with a small bench in the middle. It was obvious that this hallway which contained 12 of these galleries was designed and built specifically to house these fine works of art. Aurora paused to look at a Picasso which hung in one of the galleries and Erebus stopped and smiled, "Ahhh, an admirer of the great Picasso? I find his work pretentious, but he had a few high notes."

As she looked at him he winked and spoke, "You know, you might find this one highly intriguing, given your lineage I mean."

He walked with her to a small room off the end of the hallway that was roughly 20 by 20. The whole room was Native American folk art. There were painting on buffalo skins, several weapons which Aurora would know immediately were authentic. Hanging on the far wall was the piece he was referring to however. He could see her gaze immediately fixate on it and he stepped forward as he spoke, "The bridal dress of Sacagawea. This is the very dress she wore when she married Toussaint Charbonneau before leaving him to accompany Lewis and Clark on their journey across the North American frontier."

He stopped talking and allowed her to take in the beauty of the dress. It was much more elegant than most Native American bridal dresses, the bead work all over the front alone looked like it had taken hundreds of hours to complete. Aurora seemed emotionally moved by the doe skin dress and after several moments she turned to look at him, he smiled and seemed to know what she was thinking, "There is more to Sacagawea than most know, she was a Binder, that is why she accompanied Lewis and Clark and left her husband behind. This dress would have been lost had it not been for a member of the Poe family, but that is a completely other story."

He cleared his throat and spoke again, "You wanted to see the gardens, they are this way." Aurora gave one last look over her shoulder as the left the room and Erebus looked at her as they were walking away, "You can go back and look at anything you wish in that room whenever you like. Every single item in those walls is magical in some form or another, well, except for the dress, it's magic is just that it is one of the most beautiful examples of a Native American wedding dress I have ever seen."

With a smile he opened a large set of double doors that led to an enormous piece of property behind the mansion. It was breath taking to say the least, extremely well maintained and groomed to the finest detail, "The climate in Louisiana is unique, it stays warm enough during the day to grow some fairly exotic specimens, but it also cools just enough to allow us some fine berries and fruits."

He moved his hand, offering the entire garden to her which was at least four to five acres in size, "I often come here when I need to find some calm. As you can imagine with all the responsibilities of running the House of Poe I need a place I can untwist all the stresses."

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 4 - Alba an Aigh   Sun Nov 24, 2013 12:23 am

She willingly took his hand as he helped her out of her chair, waiting then for her to retrieve the bow and quiver. She was glad that she and Sam had thought ahead to making this replica of the quiver. While she believed Erebus was sincere there was still Arawela to contend with.

Then her breath caught as he took her into a small room filled with Native American items. She could feel the magicks radiating off them until she saw the dress. She knew exactly whose dress it was before Erebus even said anything. Sacagawea was a great Native American woman and revered by all. That the Poe's had the dress long thought lost was amazing and she couldn't stop herself from reaching out and touching it. Her eyes welled up with tears at the thought that this relic was not lost as all of her people had once thought. She gave Erebus a radiant smile for showing her and then again when he told her she could visit the room at any time she wished.

When he opened the double doors she was first hit with the beautiful scent of Magnolia trees then she saw the beautiful colors and wonderous trees. She followed him into the massive garden, listening to him tell her of the different plants, flowers and trees, her hand touching each one gently as if she were speaking to it. A butterfly suddenly flew up from a bed of wildflowers and flew towards them, landing gracefully on her outstretched hand. She looked up at Erebus, her dark eyes dancing with awe and wonder before looking back at the beautiful, small creature. "Hold out your hand, Erebus....slowly", she whispered to him. As he did so, she slowly and patiently moved her own hand towards his, speaking to the beautiful Monarch the whole time. "It's okay, little one....he is a gentle soul and would never harm you. Go....visit with him", she said softly to it. She smiled as the butterfly fluttered it's wings and lifted off of her hand only to land on his. A few moments later it flew away to continue gather nectar. She looked up at Erebus' face, seeing the awe there and smiled that she was able to bring him some small type of peace in return for him being kind and generous to her.

They walked on, talking of family and how they were raised....getting to know one another. She told him about when she found Beau as a cub trapped in a vicious trapper's trap and how she was able to mindspeak to him and he to her. Then she told him about Eryn and that she stayed with her when she would be free at any given time. Aurora was not holding her to her...Eryn had chosen to stay with her. She talked about the bubbling streams in her mountain home and the caves she would explore when she was a child. How the bats always showed her the way out, never letting her become lost in the twists and turns.

When they reached a small grove of weeping willow trees she couldn't stop herself. She ran to the drooping limbs, asking the tree first if she could swing before grabbing an armful of them and pulling them down so that she was almost sitting on the ground. She turned to look at Erebus and grinned impishly. "Have you ever swung from the limbs of a weeping willow tree? Let me show you....I haven't done this since I left my mountains. These trees were few and far between there." With her last word, she lifted her feet and let the dropping limbs jump up, taking her with them as she hung on to them tightly while she bounced up and down and then swinging. She laughed, waiting until the ride was over before letting go, thanking the tree for allowing her to play.

She walked back to Erebus, her dark eyes sparkling for a short time until she looked up and saw Arawela in her bedroom window. She could feel the mental instability from her gaze even at that distance and shivered. "Erebus.....Arawela said something to me last night. She said that there was untapped power within me. Do you know what she meant?"




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PostSubject: Re: Ch 4 - Alba an Aigh   Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:20 am


Erebus watched Aurora as she brought the butterfly to him and he felt peace enter his body as it rested on his finger. It was an odd feeling, he had felt relaxation before, but nothing like this. As the continued walking and she spotted the weeping willow he shook his head when she talked about swinging on it. He smiled and watched as she so lightheartedly played swung from its branches, her lilting laughter filling the gardens. AS she came back, panting with childlike exhaustion he so desperately wanted to put his arms around her and hold her lovingly, he was a man of understanding however, and he refrained. There as much bridge building that would need to take place before he could even attempt and go there, if ever.

Aurora looked up and saw Arewela staring down at them. Erebus followed her gaze and his own eyes locked with his Nieces. She narrowed her eyes while furrowing her eyebrows in anger and turned aggressively away from the window leaving nothing but fluttering curtains in her wake. As Aurora turned to him and mentioned what Arewela had said the night before Erebus nodded his head softly and spoke, "The truth is Aurora, I can't answer that question. I don't know what power lies within you. Obviously I have just witnessed, and felt, some of it, however my suspicion is that is only a scratch on the surface."

She looked at him almost disappointed and he brought his hand up to indicate he wasn't done, "I can tell you this however, anyone who has privilege of bearing an ancient artifact clearly has power within them. I fear my Niece was playing on your naivety, she doesn't know what power lies inside you either, but she does know there is power, and if she said she could help you find it, well she wouldn't be lying about that either. Arewela is an amazingly talented magic user, even at the young age of 18 she is more powerful than most Druids in their forties. You see magic gets stronger with age, but its toll on the body also increases, so though an elder magic wielder could potentially do incredibly powerful feats, they might only be able to do it once. My point is, artifacts choose their bearer, not the other way around. That is why I have been saying I have no intention of taking your bow, even if desired to posses it for my own I would never be able to use it, for it did not choose me. This is only the case with the most powerful artifacts like your bow, and lesser artifacts were merely be less powerful by a non-chosen user, but that bow would be useless to me, or Arewela, which is why I said earlier that I have no idea why she is so interested in it."

He inhaled deeply and continued, "This too brings me to the McGhee's, there has been accusations that we stole the Black Horn and were responsible for stealing the operating instructions from their family castle, I assure you I was not responsible, nor was my Niece. The fact is I don't know where the Black Horn is, and therefore would have no need of the instructions..."

He stopped and shook his head, "I am sorry, I do not mean to be putting this on you. You are a victim of circumstance, caught between the diplomatic tug of war between houses and factions... I do not mean to burden you or spoil our short time together with such things."

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 4 - Alba an Aigh   Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:41 am

Aurora laid a golden brown hand on Erebus' arm, looking up into his eyes, "You haven't burdened me, Erebus. You have told me more in this short time than anyone else has since I arrived from my home. And I am enjoying my time here...with you. Although, I miss Beau and Eryn among others." She didn't mention Sionn, beginning to realize that Erebus had feelings for her and she didn't want to cause him any heartache. Besides, she wasn't altogether certain that Sionn wasn't just toying with her......that she wasn't just another conquest to him. Still....she couldn't and wouldn't lie to herself......she had strong feelings for Sionn....she knew that she loved him and yet. She cast a side glance to Erebus and knew that this gentle man was gaining her affections as well. She sighed, unsure how to handle any of these dealings with her emotions and with men.

She then turned her thoughts to what Erebus had told her about the artifacts and how the most powerful ones chose their bearers. She held back telling him about the spirit guides within her.....following her instincts to not reveal everything. She was learning that to be total trusting here was unwise. And in that knowledge, unknown to herself, she was losing her innocence. Her carefree way of looking at life was slowly ebbing away.

She continued walking with him as they talked once more about their lives and how similar and yet different they were to one another. They came to a wooden bench, inlaid with druidic and Celtic symbols. She sat down smiling as he waited until she was seated and comfortable before seating himself next to her. There, she grew quiet listening to the birds singing and watching the butterflies gather their nectar, her thoughts in a jumble once again. One of those thoughts was staying for another day here with Erebus. He had told her more and spent more time with her than Sionn had and here she didn't have Torri and her comments or looks. Again, Sionn invaded her thoughts and she looked away once again. She loved him....even she in her innocence knew that she did. She put on a smile as she turned back to Erebus, "This is beautiful, Erebus.....thank you for bringing me here. And thank you for being honest with me and answering my questions. I hope I didn't bore you with my lack of knowledge." She then leaned over and gave him a kiss on his cheek. "You are a wonderful man and I am sorry that your parents weren't smart enough to see that in you when you were growing up."

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 4 - Alba an Aigh   Sun Nov 24, 2013 2:52 pm


As she kissed his cheek he was extremely aware of the warmth of her lips, and then the coolness that lingered as the moisture wicked away when she withdrew. His cheeks went slightly pink and warm as he nodded to her but remained quiet for now. As they sat and watched the gardens Erebus suddenly spoke, "It is near lunchtime, perhaps I should get you fed and back to Scotland. As I said earlier, I can transport you back just as you were brought here last night. For the sake of not causing too much a stir I will not take you directly to their house however. If I recall correctly there is a town just near them right?" She nodded in confirmation, "Perhaps I can bring you there and you can call them to come pick you up, I will make sure I am gone before they arrive, but I will stay with you as long as I can. Would that be satisfactory?"

She would see the hesitation in his face at the thought of her leaving, but he also showed an understanding that said he would take her whenever and where ever she wanted him to take her.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 4 - Alba an Aigh   Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:34 pm

Aurora didn't know what to do. She wanted to return to Sionn and yet Erebus treated like an equal. A part of her wanted to confide in him how she felt about Sionn and yet her feminine instincts told her not to. She was beginning to realize that he had feelings for her and while she knew she had fallen in love with Sionn she wasn't that naive to not realize that she was beginning to have feelings develop for the druid as well.

"Erebus, before we head back to the manor, I have a question. Do you know what Arawela did to Sionn? How she poisoned him, claiming to not give his family the antidote she had on her unless I came with her? It wasn't until after I arrived her that she informed she'd had no intention of letting him die....not yet at least. And she attacked them at their home......I thought that wasn't allowed?" She saw the anger cross his face at the mention of what his niece had done and wondered if she should have said anything.

"Erebus.....there is also something else", she was now looking into his eyes, "You have treated me like an equal and you don't know how much I have enjoyed our time together. You have made me feel welcome into your home and safe as well. I wish that our time didn't have to end just yet but I fear what will happen if Sionn and his sister suddenly show." She then took his pale hand in her smaller, golden brown one, "I wouldn't be able to tolerate anything happening to you when you have done nothing but care for me and make sure I was safe in your home. I am not sure how I would stop them, but I would do what I would have to to convince them that you are not the enemy here."

She then smiled at him, a genuine smile that was not in the least bit sisterly and a little more than just a friendly smile, "I am hungry. Let's go see what the house will serve for our lunch. Breakfast was fabulous.....I imagine lunch will be just a wonderful. Especially with such good company."

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 4 - Alba an Aigh   Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:38 am


Erebus listened to Aurora as she spoke, her voice was softer, more serious, and he paid attention. As she spoke of his Niece and her actions his face showed his discontent, and his disapproval. He nodded at a couple of the things she said and he answered as she posed her first questions, “Arawela is, well, there is no other way to say it, she is going insane. Now, I don’t pose that as an excuse for her behavior, but it is the truth, and I would speak the truth to you out of respect for you and your question. I would honor you with the whole story so you have no more confusion on the matter. Druidic magic is, and always has been, the most powerful of the magics, and also the most destructive. The magic of the Wizards, those of the orders of the Arbitors and the Eclipse, seems more powerful visually, to watch a good wizard at work is simply a breathtaking thing to behold, but they are kept in check by the source of their power, the sun for the Arbitors and the moon for the Eclipse. Then there are the Gray, the most powerful order of the Wizards, their magic comes from the natural flow of magic on our planet created by both the sun and the moon. These two forces intertwine and are present everywhere, so they do not need to carry stored energy with them, but it takes a heavier toll on their bodies and exhausts them to the point where physically they must rest. Druidic magic however, is completely different, it comes form the very elements of the earth itself. Earth, Air, Water, Fire… we can draw upon all these sources simultaneously, four sources of energy. The cost however for delving too deeply is the loss of our minds. Most Druids die not from their enemies but from their own lust for greater power, for pushing themselves too hard, too fast. With the use of magic comes the desire to use MORE magic. Think of it as when you meet someone you find attractive. At first, the gentle touch of their finger on your cheek electrifies you, but after some time, it takes more, the holding of a hand say. Then, over time, the embrace of a warm hug, and then a kiss, and then caresses and deeper, more intimate connections, each one builds upon the last, and each one creates more desire within the body to experience what is coming at the next level. It is the same with Druidic magic, and it the loss of self control, the lust for more and more that will ultimately destroy a Druid first from within, and then with an action which causes their own demise. Unfortunately my Niece has been grasping too quickly, without self control, and her mind is slipping faster and faster... away.” There was obvious sadness in his face at this statement.

He paused a moment and looked deeply into her dark, exotic eyes, “As for her attacking the McGhee’s at their home, it’s not been a rule between the factions to not attack at individuals places of residency, however traditionally it has been shied away from simply for the sake of respect and not wanting the repercussion to come back on you at your own place of residency. We do protect ourselves, all of us no matter what faction or alignments. Tradition is easily overcome by the evil will of just one individual.”

As she continued, telling him there was more, the tenderness and sincerity of her words reflected a sincere and thankful expression on his face. He smiled and nodded as he responded, “I treat you as an equal Aurora, because you are. Sure, you are younger, less experienced, and still trying to find how you fit into the world now, but you are special, you are unique among humanity, our gifts come with a responsibility, but being uneducated about those abilities does not make you inferior. We are a separate society of brothers and sisters, yes we pursue our own endeavors, some for good, some for evil, but in the end, we are all of us equal.”

As she took his hand and spoke of the McGhee’s coming he nodded, “Unfortunately there is a reckoning coming for what my Niece did, surly the McGhee’s will not allow her intrusion to go unanswered, and my guess is that they are coming here, right now, to recover you.” He looked regretful of the things that were in motion, things beyond his control but that HE must make right, “If I might make a proposal, and I will give you time to think about it, If you were to stay until they arrive, as I am certain they will, I will drop the wardings that surround this house and allow them in as a gesture of goodwill. They know that these grounds are impenetrable unless by the will of the residents within they are given access. I feel that with that gesture they would at least give us a chance to explain the situation, and perhaps grant some leniency towards me. At that time then you could return with them, if you wished.”

She would hear the hesitation in his voice at the thought of her leaving. However, he would allow her to make that decision on her own, he would never force her to stay.

As she mentioned lunch he smiled and responded, “I am also feeling the pains of hunger, I would be delighted to share another meal with you, and you can decide what you wish to do after we have the satisfaction of a good meal. I will add that should you decide to leave immediately I can make arrangements for that.”

He gestured with his hand and they walked side by side back to the mansion.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 4 - Alba an Aigh   Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:42 pm

Aurora was quiet on their way back to the mansion, deep in thought. A part of her wanted to return to Sionn, Beau and Eryn but another part of her wanted to stay here with Erebus. She was so deep in thought that she stumbled on a root of a magnolia tree. She felt Erebus' hands catch her, steadying to keep her from falling and she smiled up at him. "Thank you, Erebus. I need to pay closer attention." She turned away from him to continue walking, seeing that they were nearing the doors. She stopped suddenly, turning to face him confusion written all over her face. "I don't know what to do, Erebus. I am lost here.....lost in what to do.....how to act......just everything." A tear trailed down her cheek as she spoke. "I cannot lie, Erebus. It's not in me to do so and I won't start now. I like you....you have treated me with nothing but kindness and respect. A part of me wishes to stay here with you. But....I have strong feelings for Sionn and I miss him, Beau and Eryn." She sighed, wiping at another tear, "I fear that I am developing feelings for you as well, Erebus. And I don't know what to do...I have entered a world here that I now know I was not prepared for, let alone having feelings I've never felt before. To be quite honest, I am scared at what is happening to me."

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 4 - Alba an Aigh   Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:52 pm


As they walked Erebus could see in her mannerisms that she was lost in thought. As she tripped he reached, grabbing her before she could collide with the ground. The feel of her softness was beyond words, the muscles of her arm and back were firm and tight, but the softness that he could only imagine lay just over the surface of their tension. His hand slipped over and rested on her hip as he settled her back to her feet, the curve of it, how he wished to continue and explore where it might go, but her words, her tear, reality came crashing back to him and he remained silent, nodding softly as she finished, “I am but a man Aurora, yes, we live extravagantly, but it is only the advantages passed on through longer living and sometimes, inappropriate means that have allowed it. I don’t know any card tricks, I am not a suave man or skilled in the art of attracting a woman.”

He paused and took a deep breath as he stepped forward, “Your tear has brought me all the answer I need, you are torn, and I could never put you in a position that would cause you to be compromised, either mentally or physically.”

He reached into his tunic and removed a small stone, it was about the size of a shooter marble, perfectly rounded and polished so that a mirror like shine reflected everything around it back uipon itself. He pressed the stone into the palm of her hand and then brought her hand up to his mouth, “Istulsa, shalahashta alyelstina”, he whispered the words and they came off his tongue like silk. As he spoke the ancient words of magic a faint glow erupted from the center of the stone and Erebus leaned forward as he brought her hand with the stone up. He kissed the stone ever so lightly, and then closed her fingers around it and turned her hand over, kissing the back of it. A warmth like fire emanated form where his lips touched her skin, but it was comfortable and inviting, almost erotic in it’s feeling. As quickly as Aurora had felt it, the magic dissipated and he looked up at her, “This stone will bring you back here, if you wish. All you must do is bring it to your lips and say the words, “Erebus, I wish to come to your home.” I don’t want you to feel awkward or uneasy about using it, it is my gift to you, and you will always be welcome here, any time, any day, any hour, I will welcome you and you are always invited, no matter what the circumstances.”

He smiled. There was a sadness that lingered a fleeting moment in his eyes, but also understanding. He spoke again, “I would never attempt to out maneuver Sionn in the ways of wooing a beautiful woman. He is more handsome, more dashing, and more skilled at it than I ever was.”

He smiled again and turned as two house servants opened the doors, “Come, let us eat and I will transport you back to Scotland.”

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 4 - Alba an Aigh   Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:15 pm

Aurora followed Erebus back to the manor her thoughts in a jumble. She'd been thrust into a world she wasn't prepared for, could feel her abilities growing day by day but didn't understand them and now she was attracted to two men. Although she knew in her heart that she loved Sionn, she wondered if it was possible to fall in love with two men. She smiled to the servants then to Erebus when he pulled out her chair for her. Again, her favorites were on the table and she smiled again. There on the table was macaroni and cheese, cheeseburgers, pizza with ham, sausage and pepperoni. There was lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced sweet onions, ketchup and mustard for the cheeseburgers. A pitcher of iced sweet tea was there too. As before, she ate with a healthy appetite, smiling when she saw Erebus watching her. For dessert, a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream appeared. She wondered if Erebus had ever had something like that before and held out a spoonful for him to try.

But, it was all over too quickly and she knew that it was time for her to return to Scotland. While she was anxious to return to Beau and Eryn and especially Sionn, neither did she want to leave Erebus and his home. He'd treated her with nothing but respect and kindness, something she knew she would not get anytime soon from Torri, Sionn's sister. She turned her dark gaze to the man sitting next to her and smiled sadly to him. "It's time for me to return, Erebus. But before I do, answer me this. When I return to visit you, will it be you and only you who greets me here or will I have to deal with your niece first? I do not mean to be unkind, but if I have to deal with her then I will be hesitant to return. And I wish to return and visit with you more." The last she said with a genuine smile for him.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 4 - Alba an Aigh   Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:38 am


He could not help but smile as Aurora ate, stuffing herself with the delights of her heart. As she offered him a sample of the mint chocolate chip ice cream from her own spoon, he flushed slightly, but then took it and with a smile and responded, “Mint chocolate chip, one of my childhood favorites.”

As she looked at him with a smile he smiled in kind, and the time between them passed quickly, more quickly than he had hoped it would. As she looked up at him and mentioned her need to return to Scotland he nodded with obvious sadness in his face. She continued, speaking of ‘when’ should would return to see him, not ‘if’, and his heart was lifted by these words. She then hit him with the big question however, and he spoke softly, “Aurora, that is a very complicated question. My Niece she is … well she is sick. It is not an excuse for her behavior, but despite my best efforts, a gentle hand, a harsh one, soft speaking, loud yelling… she is not getting better. She presses herself too swiftly into Druidic magic before she is mature enough to handle it, and the inevitable conclusion will be the loss of her sanity.”

His eyes welled up slightly and he spoke, “I have tried Aurora, I have tried everything I can, but she refuses to listen, refuses to heed my warning and advise, and all I can do is watch from the sideline as she spirals into madness.”

He inhaled deeply through a shuttered breath and took a moment to calm himself before continuing, “With that said, this home is her home too. These past two days I have isolated her in her room so she could not disturb us, but I can’t do this every single time you come, it would be unfair to her, but I think it would also be unfair to you.”

She looked at him curiously and he continued, “I would be untruthful to not say that I have grown rapidly in having deep feelings for you. It’s strange,” he spoke through a soft laugh, “I have refused to fall in love with a woman, for the sake of my niece. I felt that she needed all my attention, all my devotion and care, but to what end has that come? She is walking the same path as her father, and her mother… she will kill herself before she turns twenty at this rate.”

He blinked slowly, pushing the tears back into his ducts, not allowing them to fall, “I love my niece, I love her very much, and I don’t want her to die. I respect your concerns about her behavior, and if it is the difference between seeing you and not seeing you, I will make sure you don’t have to be face to face with her again… but if you could find it in you to extend some grace to her perhaps together, you and I, we could find a way to get through to her.”

He inhaled deeply again and spoke, “I am sorry, there is no need to put this on you, I am grasping for straws in trying to discern what is the best course of action. If you don’t wish to be involved please believe that I completely understand, and I would not hold it against you. To answer your question, No, you won’t have to see her if you don’t want to, but I would again ask you to consider my idea, her uncle can’t reach her, but perhaps another, younger woman such as yourself could.”

He returned her genuine smile and stood up, walking the few steps to where she sat and extended his hand to help her stand from the table.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 4 - Alba an Aigh   Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:07 pm

Aurora took his hand, standing next to him. She then did something that shocked even her. She stood up on her tiptoes and kissed him on the lips. A soft kiss....a timid kiss then she turned away and blushed as well as felt a little guilty for kissing him because of how she felt for Sionn. "Thank you, Erebus. For everything....but mostly for being you. Regardless of Arawela, I would very much like to come back and visit with you. I have enjoyed our time together. Perhaps next time Beau and Eryn could come with me if that's okay with you." Her dark eyes then looked up at him and she was smiling again. "I do need to get back. I worry on what could happen if they come here. I don't think they would listen to me when I tell them that you are not what they think you are. Especially Torri."

She didn't know how much time had passed, but it was like she'd drifted off to sleep and then woke up safe and sound where Arawela had first taken her. Their on the craggy cliff near Sionn's family home.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 4 - Alba an Aigh   Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:54 am


Erebus smiled as she spoke, and he was taken aback by her approach, and more by her kiss. He allows her to linger as long as she wished, and returned the gesture with his own pouring of affection. As she withdrew his face reflected regret that the moment was over, but he made no movement to over reach her expression of affection towards him. He smiled and nodded as she spoke of the McGhee’s, and when she mentioned his niece he smiled softly and his eyes welled up, “Perhaps someday she will see that she is only driving herself to madness with her vigorous pursuit… we can only hope.”

He leaned forward and cupping the sides of her head with his hand brought his lips near her forehead, “May you go in safety, and may the time between this and our next meeting be short.”

With that, he pressed his lips to the skin on her forehead. A drowsiness almost immediately began to overtake her, the kind of drowsiness that didn’t feel magical, but more like the way one feels after a hard day of work and sleep seeps into the body. He did this to protect her from the queasiness often felt when traveling by magic. She appeared almost instantaneously on the cliffs of the McGhee’s family land, laying on the soft peat, her body surrounded with warm air despite the chill of the wind and rain coming off the water.




Erich and Annette were helping their children and Rhain to prepare for the trip, they had remained awake almost the entire night due to Sionn’s insistence that they leave as soon as possible. They were only minutes from loading into the cars to head back to the airport when Annette looked suddenly towards the cliffs. Erich too felt it and they began to run to where the encounter with Arawela had occurred. Aurora was sound asleep, and covered in a golden glow. Sionn, Torri and Rhain had seen the elders perk up and dash out the back of the castle, and the three of them followed in immediate stride. Sionn saw her and in the circumstances he pressed magic through his body to overtake the group and hit the ground on his knees as he slid up beside her. He touched her sleeping body and she didn’t stir. The golden glow of light pulsed softly and her skin was warm. “Aurora! Aurora come back to us lass! Oh God please come back!!”

The golden glows pulse began to slow and she stirred softly as her eyes fluttered. Sionn’s voice broke the sound of the water below, “Aurora?? Lass? It’s Sionn!”

The others arrived and Annette knelt down beside Sionn, reaching a hand to Aurora’s forehead, “She’s warm, but no sick…”

Reaching into her sweater pocket she removed a blue stone and set it on Aurora’s chest and began to whisper words of magic, the stone pulsed, and then faded, with an almost surprised look on her face she turned to Erich and then to Sionn, “She’s… well she’s fine lad, there be no trace of curse or magic within her…”

As Aurora’s eyes opened and she looked at Sionn he smiled warmly and brushed his hand over her cheek, “You’re back lass, back in Scotland, back where you belong, away form those bloody Druids!”

They helped her to her feet, and Aurora would feel nothing but strength and rest as the spell Erebus had cast left her, she felt as refreshed as if she had slept for two days. The group made their way to the house and Annette had Torri and Rhain put some tea on, as well as prepare some foods for Aurora to eat. Sionn retrieved a blanket and draped it over Aurora’s shoulders as she say at the big table just off the kitchen near the hearth fire.

As the food was brought, it didn’t look, or taste as delicious as the food she had eaten at Raven Manor, but it was satisfying. Sionn made her a little plate and set it in front of her before speaking, “What happened love? What did that crazy bitch do to you? How did you manage to escape?”

Annette reached a gentle hand and placed it on Sionn’s forearm, “Easy lad… let the lass breath, and eat.”

Aurora would see the gentleness in Annette’s eyes, but also the same questions that Sionn was speaking. Though she was being motherly, she was also waiting to know the answers in time.”

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 4 - Alba an Aigh   Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:31 pm

Aurora's eyes opened to Sionn's voice, her dark eyes looking into his green ones. She gave him a small smile as he touched her cheek then looked to Annette as she lay a stone on her chest. She was quiet when they led her to the house, Sionn's arms supporting her even though she felt as if she could climb the mountain where she'd been born. She was taken inside where Sionn sat her at the table as gently as he could, draping a warm blanket over her as the chill began to seep in now that the spell had passed. She still had said nothing as the warm food and tea were set before her and she began to eat, Sionn throwing the question at her about Arawela. Still she said nothing as she ate, remembering his words at the cliffs about the Druids.

Once she finished eating, she then sipped her warm tea and looked at Sionn, her dark eyes filled with the love she felt for him. She looked around for Beau and Eryn, smiling when she heard Torri's voice, swearing at the beasties. Beau almost knocked her out of her chair as he came barreling into the kitchen. Eryn herself was flying around in circles over the house, crying out her joy that her mistress had returned. Aurora smiled as she leaned down, hugging Beau tightly before sitting back up and smiling again at Sionn. She reached out to smooth a lock of his hair off his forehead.

"I am fine, Sionn. She didn't hurt me...in fact, she was punished by Erebus for her actions. I truly believe that she acted on her own....Erebus was nothing but kind and considerate to me. There are things we talked about while I was there that I need to tell you all but I am not sure how to. I don't know that he is not the horrible druid you think he is. And I do think that there is another faction at work here. I just don't know who."

She then took the initiative and leaned in to Sionn, kissing him softly on the lips. It was not the same kind of kiss she'd given Erebus. This was filled with more feeling....more emotion. She leaned back, blushing prettily beneath her golden skin.

"I missed you horribly and was so worried about you. I didn't know how else to save you but I believe that it was meant to happen. I was meant to go there. To talk with Erebus. I think that we need to rethink this. Something doesn't fit with what is going on. I mean....Erebus truly wants peace....and there was something else that Arawela said to me and Erebus couldn't help me figure it out. She said something about me having untapped abilities...something very strong. What did she mean? What is happening to me?"

It was then that she remembered the bow, quiver and the arrows. "Erebus never even touched the bow, quiver or arrows. In fact, he wanted me to keep them with me. He said that he would never dream of taking them from me, that it would do no good as no one could use them but me. But what Sam and I made....do you know about it? The quiver hidden within the wrap? Is it safe?" She looked down to see that the bow and quiver of arrows that had been with her were still with her, laying on the large table near her. Then she shook her head, saying again, "Something just doesn't fit with all of this."


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PostSubject: Re: Ch 4 - Alba an Aigh   Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:46 pm

Sionn, Erich, Annette, Torri and Rhain all listened as she spoke. The entire McGhee family remained perfectly quiet as she spoke and as she finished and looked up at Sionn he spoke through a whisper, "Aye lass, what doesn't fit is most of what you said."

She looked at him with furrowed brows and he stood up, placing his hands on the sink and stared out the window. Annette walked over and pulled out a chair, looking at Aurora with soft eyes, "Lass, there be nothing good in the heart of a Druid, any Druid. They be a twisted and wretched group of people."

Aurora's face showed her anger at Annette's words and the Matriarch of the Stormborn placed a soft hand on Aurora's, "Believe me lass, anything he did was done to elevate his own purpose."

Sionn turned, his face was almost as red as his hair, "That... that MONSTER has deceived you!"

"SON!"

Sionn turned to Erich who was stepping towards him to quiet him, "Mind your tone."

Sionn furrowed his brows slightly at his father's words and Torri stepped into the conversation, "I told you, I told you she was too naive and foolish."

Annette turned to look at Torri and said all with her eyes, after the previous days outburst she was not about to tolerate another blast from Torri's fiery tongue. Torri stepped back beside her brother and Sionn spoke, "Have you all forgotten already? What she did, what HE did?"

He pointed to the massive scar in the peat, a scar that ran along the ridge and reached 20 meters in depth in some places, "And do I need to remind everyone about ME being stabbed with hexlock ghost?!?"

Annette stood and leveled a gaze on her son and daughter, standing side by side in absolute protection of one another, "Out, both of you."

Sionn looked at Torri who turned on her heel without a word and Sionn turned to follow, his eyes meeting Aurora's before he stepped out, "He lied to you, they all lie."

"OUT LAD!"

Annette was now taking a half step forward and her son and daughter both knew that she had had enough. Annette turned to Erich and spoke softly, "Retrieve her quiver husband."

Erich stepped out of the room and Annette cleared her throat softly, smoothing the front of her dress before sitting in the seat across from Aurora again, "Now, without any more distractions... Is that all he said and did lass? Is there anything you left out? It is imperative that I know everything that happened."

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