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 Ch 7 - The Enigma Ascertainment

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 7 - The Enigma Ascertainment    Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:21 pm



Hibiki, Tori and Sionn barely had time to react to the Druid’s appearance. The events happened so rapidly that only Hibiki was swift enough to pass through the air and attempt a strike. The Druid disappeared just as his foot would have made contact with the Druid’s head, instead his foot smashed into the wooden wall of the building behind the Druid, smashing the board to pieces. He rebounded off and landed on his feet, turning to Lilly who was clearly distraught.

He looked up at Sionn who approached and knelt beside Lilly, “That, lass, was a Druid. They are foul, horrible beings, all of them…”

He looked at Torri and then back to Lilly, “…No matter what anyone tells you.”

He helped her to her feet and inhaled deeply as he looked her over, “Well, with the Druids seeking you it would be better if you came with us.”

Torri and Hibiki simultaneously spoke, “Sionn!”

Sionn lifted his hand to silence them and spoke, “I am in charge of this party for the time being, an’ she is clearly in need… we will no leave a Stormborn to the mercy of tha’ Druids… for they show none.”

He looked back at Lilly, “I warn ya though lass, I am in charge of this group, by the Authority of my Mum, the Grand Chief of the Stormborn, who’s authority you sit under, whether ya know that or no. If ya step out of line I will put ya back in line or I will leave ya where ya stand. You have giv’n me plenty of insight into yer temper, and what we are doing is far to important to be dealing with tantrums and demands. For now you may accompany us, assist us and learn as ya observe us working… do we have an agreement?”

It would be clear to Lilly that his offer was sincere, both in it’s invitation for her to join them, and in his terms to her participation. The look on his face and tone in his voice made it obvious that the work they were doing was very important, and she would have to accept that at face value for now.

--

Gentry smiled warmly at Aurora, “I apologize if you got the wrong impression, I am not your new teacher, only assisting you should you wish it. My understanding is that Ean and Lexy were called to business in the Americas, I am happy to stand in for your Master until his return, however the choice is of course yours. I am not replacing him for you have been assigned to him, but in the end, we are all on the same team.”

He smiled warmly and waited her answer. Something he said lingered in the air, that she had been assigned to Ean… it was the first she would have heard such a thing regarding their relationship. It wasn’t a negative thing, in fact it would most likely make sense to her that a student needed a teacher, however the words stood out for her.


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PostSubject: Re: Ch 7 - The Enigma Ascertainment    Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:59 pm

Aurora at first was confused.  Assigned?  She'd been 'assigned' to Ean?  She wasn't sure if that was a good or bad thing but as she thought on it, she began thinking that the only reason he'd been treating her the way he had was simply because he was obligated to do so as she was his student.  Her face fell a little but she quickly hid it, thinking of Sionn.  What was wrong with her?  She was pining over being just a student to Ean when she was in love with Sionn.  But, at the same time, she worried over Sionn being away and had not forgotten the things he'd said to her before he'd left about needing to be sure that he could change.  She looked up at Gentry and gave him a small smile, "I accept Sir Gentry.  I would be honored if you would fill in for Ean in his absence."




Lilly looked up into the green eyes of the one called Sionn and placed her small hand in his, letting him help her to her feet.  Her back felt bruised and extremely sore as she rolled her shoulders.  She listened to every word Sionn said to her, her eyes narrowing at Hibiki's and Torri's disagreement.  She sighed then, looking away from the two and concentrating on Sionn.  

"Aye....I agree to yer terms, Sionn McGhee.  But I would prefer it if I be answering only to ye unless ye not be around.  Tis clear the other two doona wish me to be here.  If this is acceptable to ye.  And...if'n ye not be around, then I would prefer to answer to him," she said pointing to Hibiki, "not her for she has a chip on her shoulder damn near as big as mine.  Again, if this is acceptable to ye."

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 7 - The Enigma Ascertainment    Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:23 pm



Elizabeth could not help but notice the look on Aurora’s face as Ean was mentioned. She looked sideways at Aidan who never broke his attention to Gentry and Aurora’s conversation.

Elizabeth inhaled softly and listened, watching Aurora’s body language… she… she loved two men, it was obvious, Sionn, and her brother. Deep inside, Elizabeth’s gut turned over in happiness, her brother, a WOMAN was interested in her brother… one of the few things that he had ever mentioned he wanted out of life. There was however the small matter, or should she say, the elephant in the room, Sionn McGhee. She rapidly became lost in thought, thinking of her family growing up knowing the McGhees, how Ean and Sionn were such friends, yet how Ean was always in his shadow, especially when it came to the ladies. It would be so much easier if Sionn wasn’t in the picture…

She internally berated herself for even thinking that, Sionn was a good man, for the most part, if one took out the countless women he left in his wake, herself included in that club. She looked back at Aurora who was smiling and agreeing to have Gentry instruct her while Ean was away. As she turned and looked at her and Aidan Elizabeth smiled warmly, almost sisterly and spoke, “Good on ya lass, Gentry is a fine swordsman, among other things.”

Gentry looked at Elizabeth and his cheeks flushed ever so softly before looking to Aidan, “I can take charge of her for now Master Aidan.”

Aidan nodded respectfully and turned to Elizabeth, “Well, I might as well pass on some more knowledge of my own to my former star student.”

Elizabeth’s face lit up at the thought of being instructed by Aidan and she turned to Gentry and Aurora, “Be your leave Sir Gentry,” She nodded respectfully but there was a sparkle in her eye. Turning to Aurora she spoke warmly, “Shall we meet for supper?”

With Aurora’s nod she smiled and followed Aidan out of the training hall. Gentry turned to Aurora and spoke, “Well, first things first… if you are choosing this path it would be best to assess where Ean has left you off… shall we?” He gestured to the wooden swords, it would be obvious he wanted her to grab the one of her current level.



Sionn was amused to say the least at Lilly’s words. He turned to look at Torri who rolled her eyes, not at all in a subtle manner, and turned on her heals as she re-quivered her arrow and folded her bow back down to it’s compact size. The weapons disappeared under her coat and she began walking towards the coast, not concerned how quickly the rest fell in step with her.

Hibiki shook his head with a thin, wry smile and caught up to Torri who almost instantly began mumbling at him, too far away to be understood. Sionn looked at Lilly and spoke, “Come lass, there is much ta’do yet this day.”

As the four of them made it to the coast Hibiki went to a rock outcropping and pointed out towards the waters, “There is where the last three tremors have epi-centered,” He then turned to a rock and placed his hand in a small, dark portion that simply looked discolored. The rock shuddered and then snapped open, revealing a screen and several control panels as well as a keyboard. He ticked in a few commands and the screen came to life, showing a data table of the tremors, “Here you can see the activity, the epicenters move thirty meters each time, to the north, almost as if…” Torri interrupted and spoke, “Almost as if someone is looking for something.”



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PostSubject: Re: Ch 7 - The Enigma Ascertainment    Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:26 pm

Aurora looked at the wooden swords, picking the second one from the last. She knew she wasn't ready for the last and final sword. She held it like a pro, turning to confront Gentry. She crouched, not too much, just enough to make him think she was smaller than she actually was. Like a viper waiting to strike. She watched his eyes, waiting for the slightest change to indicate he was going to attack. She was patient.....waiting and moving, her feet making no sound in the dirt of the arena. When the attack came, she blocked with her own sword then curled up and rolled swiftly coming deftly to her feet at his side and striking out only to have to block another blow from his sword, but being at his side threw him off somewhat and his strike was a little off, granting her the opening to use a Native American move. She blocked with her own sword, her other hand grasping the wrist of the hand holding his sword and hooking her left foot behind his and pushing, making sure to give a push as well as letting go of his wrist so that he didn't pull her down with him. She stepped back, smiling at him her dark eyes dancing with mischief.



Lilly followed the trio, keeping to herself. She was quiet, using the time to study the people she was with. It was clear that Torri had quite an attitude, much like herself. Hibiki was just that....Hibiki. She couldn't figure him out and wasn't sure that she wanted to. Sionn on the other hand.....she found herself watching him often. He was graceful in the way he moved and his eyes were sharp...always looking even when he seemed not to be.

Once they reached the coast, she grew wide eyed as she watched Hibiki make what looked like a computer screen with keyboard appear out of a rock. She listened to what he and Torri were saying and began thinking about stories she'd heard around the campfires when the carnival had just been a small time carnival. Something about ancient artifacts that could bring about the end of the world as they knew it. She wished now she'd paid better attention to the stories for clearly there was something to them.

"A horn? Are they looking for a horn?" When the trio turned to look at her she was instantly defensive. Sionn asked her what she knew about the horn. "I just know the stories the old ones told around campfires before the carnival became big. They spoke of ancient artifacts that be changing the world as we know it if they be in the wrong hands. But they be just stories...aren't they?"

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 7 - The Enigma Ascertainment    Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:49 am

Gentry nodded as Aurora showed off a bit. He smiled but there was a glimmer in his eye, clearly, as a sword master and Knight of the High Order, he was holding back severely in order to assess and evaluate her abilities. He lunged, faded, spun and in a half second she found her sword out of her hand, and in his, both crossed at her neck. With a wink he spoke, “Never, ever, under assume your opponents abilities. That is a valuable lesson.”

With a friendly smile he flipped the wooden sword, handing it back to her, handle first, and spoke, “Again.”

She took her stance again, and he stepped over, making some minor adjustments to her position, then stepped back and nodded that he was also ready, she came forward and swung a very well positioned attack, he sword smashed into an invisible sphere, exploding on impact sending wooden shards in all directions, he didn’t move, simply smiling at her. As she looked in amazement he spoke, “Spirit, it is the heart of all Knights, it is the power we wield, it is channeled through steel, and it can protect you in more ways than your sword ever could… as you just saw.”

He smiled and stepped forward, the shield evaporating in a blue swirl. He could see the look on her face that she was familiar with this power. She told him about Lexy using it the very first time she saw her and Ean sparing, and he nodded, “Lexy is different… she is what we call an August, one of supremacy and grandeur in the art of wielding spirit. Few attain this level of ability, and most go on to be outcasts among even their own kind, ever heard of Joan of Arc?”

Aurora lifted her eyebrows as he looked at her, “That’s right, one of the most famous Augusts known… unfortunately she lived in a time when we were still ignorant of such abilities and instead of being embraced she was killed for it…. Our history is full of hundreds of such examples. Luckily we have come a long way since then.”

He turned and grabbed a steel sword off the rack and handed it to Aurora. It was much heavier than the wooden one she was just using, and it was clearly too big for her. Gentry walked around her in a circle as she held it and he spoke, “Spirit is cast much in the same way the magic is, but there is more to it than that. Spirit is based more in emotional connection, we have to conjure up the happiest moment of our lives, the one thing that caused our heart to leap for joy, and bring that feeling to the foremost of our mind, then press that emotion through our hands and into our blade. The blade is the means of channeling, a two hand sword, hand and a half, one hand, dagger, it matters not the size of the blade, the power is in the emotion, but it DOES need to be a bladed weapon, a simple piece of armor, or even a steel firearm will not work, it must be a blade. As you press the magic through the blade, you must bend it to your purpose.”

He turned and drew his sword, stepping with a yell and bringing his blade down and into a target dummy, the wooden and hay target exploded as a burst of blue energy erupted from his sword. He turned and smiled, “Destructive and horrific, or…” he lifted his blade and like a whisper a blue orb formed around him again in a flash before turning invisible, “…Protective and defensive. The wielding of spirit can serve you well, but it must become a second nature, something you don’t think about but instead simply utilize as an instinctual ability, if you think about it, you will get killed as your enemy strikes. Split second timing, like the move to block a strike or parry a swing… so too, spirit must be a response rather than a thought.”

He looked at her as he stopped directly in front of her again, “So if you are ready, I want you to think of the happiest moment in your life, the one event that caused your heart to leap in your chest. It must be ONE single memory, one single event, any crossing back and forth or confusion in your mind will not create the event we are after.”



Sionn, Hibiki and Torri all turned to look at Lillt simultaneously. Sionn stepped forward and spoke, “Well… they are not looking for a horn, in fact they have already found it… but I have no doubt they are looking for something related, whether here or somewhere else.”

He turned and looked out at the sea again, “That Druid in the alley, he works for Arawela, and we are fairly certain the horn is in her possession… if she is probing, searching, there must be a connection to whatever it is they are seekin’ ta’ find.”

Torri stepped forward, her brow furrowed, “Sionn, Da’ needs to know about this aye?”

Sionn nodded and she immediately pulled her mobile phone out and stepped to a quieter place so she could speak to Erich. Hibiki came over and looked at Sionn, “What’s your gut telling you Sionn?”

Sionn looked at Hibiki and shook his head as he responded, “I dun know, but there have been increasing reports of strange seismic activity all around the Pacific Rim… whatever they are lookin’ fer, it won’ be good if’n they find it.”

Lilly’s face showed concern and Sionn looked at her, “It’s alright lass, we deal with this sort of thing all th’ time… Damn Druids are always lookin’ to cause a fuss. We’ll figure it out.”

Hibiki looked less convinced and turned to go back to his hidden computer. Sionn turned to Lilly and smiled, “Da’ will advise us from here, worry not lass.”

He reached up and tenderly tucked a strand of her jet black hair behind her ear without even thinking about what he was doing. His emerald green eyes looked into hers and he smiled warmly.



Ean, Lexy, Jericho and Tae landed in Scotland. After scouting and investigating the tower it was decided to not run a suicide mission and instead retreat back to a safer place for the time being. Annette met them at the tarmac of the airport with a large van to accommodate their gear. She hugged Ean tightly and spoke, “What news lad?”

Ean looked at Jericho and then to Tae, “They will need some real rest, I can no thank you enough for helping with getting the van here, do you need a ride home?”

Annette smiled and shook her head, “No lad, Erich has the car and went to grab some lunch for all of ya, he should be back shortly.”

Ean’s stomach grumbled and he smiled, “Thank you.”

Lexy helped Tae to the van and Ean and Jericho unloaded the planes cargo into the back of the van. As they were finished Erich arrived, a somber look on his face, though he forced a smile at the site of Ean, Lexy, Taeryn and Jericho. Annette looked at him with concern and he spoke, “Things are no good in Japan, it seems the Druids are probing there too.”

Annette shifted uneasily and Ean looked at them, “Too?? Wha’ are you talkin’ about?”

Erich looked at him and spoke, “We sent Sionn and Torri to meet our friend Hibiki there has been strange seismic activity all around the Pacific Rim, apparently off the coast of Japan is one of the more active areas they are probing.”

Ean inhaled deeply and spoke, “Then we must go straight away!”

Erich shook his head, “No Ean, let the Stormborn and Hand sort it out first.”

Ean furrowed his brow in frustration and spoke, “But it is the JOB of the Sentinels to protect the innocent from harm and danger!”

“At the necessary time, as reported by the Neutrals when all investigations have been completed,” Annette looked at him after she said it, “I assure you Ean, we will keep you informed. Now for the time being, serve and protect Taeryn, he needs you, as will Jericho.”

He inhaled deeply and nodded, “Aye… thank you.”

Erich handed the large bag of food and patted Ean on the shoulder, “I will be in touch lad.”

The four loaded into the van and pulled out, heading back to Loch Lomond. Erich looked at Annette as they pulled away and spoke, “Apparently our children have also found something else unexpected, a young Stormborn who calls herself Lilly, Lilly MacDougall.”

Annette’s eyes went wide, “You don’a think…”

Erich shrugged, “She fits the description, dark hair, wild, eyes that change… there was only one of those.”

Annette covered her mouth with her hands and spoke, “I thought she died with Conor and Kiera… where has she been all these years??”

Erich shook his head and smiled, “I don’a know, but I told them ta bring her back here with them so we can see her and know for certain.”

Annette smiled and nodded, “Aye, that will be grand!”



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PostSubject: Re: Ch 7 - The Enigma Ascertainment    Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:02 pm

Lilly didn't move a muscle when Sionn reached out to tuck a strand of hair back behind her ear.  In fact, she felt a jolt of something when his fingers brushed the soft skin of her cheek.  She instinctively reached up to touch her cheek, looking at him in confusion before taking a step back.  

"So....the stories of the horn be true, then?", she asked more to herself than anyone else, shaking her head in awe.  "An' the bow?  It be real, too?  I remember me ma an' da telling me stories aboot these artifacts when I be just a lass.  McGhee?  McGhee?  Where hae' I heard tha' name before?"  She looked at Sionn then, really looked at him as if studying him making him a tad bit uneasy.  "Ye patched up me skinned knees when I be no more than five or six!  Ye ma an' da were friends with mine only we only visited a couple times a year with each other.  Sionn McGhee!!"  She saw his confusion at trying to remember her and she frowned, "Lilly MacDougall.....me parents were Connor and Kiera MacDougall from Ireland.  Do ye no' remember me?"  She looked over at Torri, "An' ye be Torri McGhee.  The tough one", she said with an impish grin.  It was clear that she was elated to have remembered them even if they weren't so sure of it themselves.  Hibiki looked even less pleased, watching her closely.  Finally she sighed, the defensive look coming over her again.  Where her eyes had turned a bright blue in her joy now they were back to a dark green in her defensiveness.   "Aye....never ye mind then.  Perhaps I be wrong and ye not be who I thought ye be."   Turning, she walked over to a large rock and sat down, waiting for them to finish, wondering where they were going to go next.



Aurora was stunned at what Gentry had done and yet she was familiar with it. She listened to his instruction and closed her eyes, thinking. When she opened them she faced the dummy and took her stance. I wouldn't bother her until after what her happiest thought was as she felt the power build within her as she sent it through her arm and down her blade, swinging at the dummy watching as it burst apart with a blue glow. She smiled, actually jumping in joy as she turned around to face Gentry.

"I did it!!! I really did it!!!"

Then her face fell as she realized what her thought had been. It hadn't been of Sionn. It had been of Ean. When he'd been attacked in the barn by Arawela and his head rested on her lap. Her happiest thought was of him opening his eyes and looking up into her own with a smile.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 7 - The Enigma Ascertainment    Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:10 pm



Sionn looked at Lilly as she spoke, furrowing his brow as he searched for remembrance, as she went and sat he walked over and knelt down, looking at her… “Lilly MacDougal… I do remember you… and your family.”

He looked up at her, “They died in a car accident aye?” She nodded and he spoke, “Everyone thought you died too, I remember the memorial service, a very sad day.”

Torri walked up as she stuffed her phone back in her pocket, Hibiki was right on her heels, “Da’ said to transmit the seismic data to him, they will analyze it with the other reports comin’ in, apparently this shite is happening all a’round the Pacific Rim, no a good sign.”

She then turned and looke at Lilly, her face somewhat softened, “Mum and Da’ would like you to come back with us as well, Lilly. I was too young to remember much, but they say they thought you were dead.” She half smiled and then turned to Hibiki, “Let’s get this data transmitted aye?”

Hibiki nodded and gave Lilly a last glance before turning to assist Torri. Sionn looked back at her and placed his hand on her knee, looking into her eyes, “I am glad we ran into one another.”

He smiled, very warmly, admiring how her eyes flashed, focusing on her beauty and the delicate lines of her face.




Gentry laughed as Aurora blew the target dummy off its stand. He nodded and clapped as she showed her excitement, “WELL done Aurora, that was phenomenal. Clearly you have seen this used and your body is anxious to duplicate what it has witnessed. Now, it is one thing to channel the energy through the blade, it is entirely another to make it useful, it will take time, patience, and concentration, but we can begin the first steps…”

Suddenly Elizabeth walked into the room, her face somewhat glum, “Sir Gentry I do no mean to interrupt, but might I have a word with Aurora?”

Gentry nodded, “Of course Elizabeth.”

He stepped over to some of the other students and Elizabeth looked at Aurora, “Ean and Lizzy are back, and they have brought Taeryn and Jericho back with them… Taeryn was blinded by the Druids… but worse, it was Algenon Poe, Arawela’s father that did the blinding. Nobody had seen or heard of him for years, and as nasty a tart as Arawela is, she is a moon cast shadow to the evil that flows within Algenon.”

Aurora’s face was showing horror and Elizabeth reached up to touch her on the shoulder, “Everyone else is fine, however we should leave as soon as we can to meet them back at the house, I will leave it to you to decide, there is much Sir Gentry can share and teach you, Ean and Lexy will understand if we stay a couple more days.”

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 7 - The Enigma Ascertainment    Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:46 pm

Aurora was horrified by what Lizzy told her but at the same time she was relieved that Ean had returned. She was beginning to accept the fact that while she loved Sionn she was wondering just what kind of love it was. Was it what was needed to bind two people together or was it that he was the first to find her? Was what she felt for him due to him being the first man she'd been remotely interested in outside of her own mountain home? And if so...how hurt was he going to be if her suspicions turned out to be accurate? She looked at Lizzy, then at the dummy she'd just exploded and last at Gentry finally looking back at Lizzy once more.

"I will come with you, Lizzy. Hopefully I can return to Sir Gentry if need be. But first....I....I need to speak to you in private before we go." She led Lizzy over to a more secluded area where she fumbled nervously with the hem of her shirt. "Lizzy....I need your advice desperately. I love Sionn....but", she stopped, her eyes troubled, "I don't think it's the type of love to keep two people together." She rubbed her forehead with her hand, feeling the beginnings of a headache. "I am thinking more and more of Ean.....and when I called upon a happy thought to wield 'spirit' it was Ean I thought of, not Sionn. I am drawn to Ean more than I ever was to Sionn and I don't know what to do." She was clearly troubled by this, not wanting to hurt Sionn but needing to be true to herself. "I have gone over and over it in my mind and perhaps I was drawn to Sionn because he was the first man I'd come across outside of my home. The first man to show any interest in me as a woman. But Ean", her dark eyes became soft as she mentioned him, "I don't know what to do."


Lilly gave Sionn a small smile and then to Torri. She wasn't sure what to think about Hibiki....she didn't even think he liked her so she basically ignored him for now. "Aye.....they died in a car wreck.....but twas no wreck. At least I doona think it was. Da had just had the car checked over the day before we took the trip." Her hand absently went to her right side where she still bore the jagged scar of where a piece of metal had sliced her open. "I was thrown from the car an' I remember watching as Ma and Da were trapped inside. A black cloud covered the car then it was gone and the car burst into flames when there'd been no sparks to start a fire. The next thing I remember I was in a hospital trying to stay alive. After that I was rushed to an orphanage in Dublin." She looked up at Sionn, her odd eyes having gone from their dark green now to a chocolate brown in her sorrow.

She then turned her attention back to Torri, "Aye....I remember your ma and da....barely. But they were always kind and loving. I would love to see them again. Thank ye.....all three of ye fer not tossing me to the side for my earlier behavior."

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 7 - The Enigma Ascertainment    Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:30 pm


Elizabeth smiled gratefully as Aurora gave her decision almost immediately. When Aurora asked for them to go to a private place however, Elizabeth went, forgetting they had to leave.

As Aurora spoke Elizabeth looked around and spoke softly, "Perhaps this conversation would better be done in the car, aye?"

With a soft hug she turned and spoke to Sir Gentry, "Can you see the bags are taken to my car by one of yours? I am going to go get some provisions since we won't be around for lunch."

Gentry smiled and spoke, "Of course Elizabeth. I will have them fetch provisions for your lunch as well."

He turned to one of the novices and instructed him to fetch the bags and take them to the departure area, then walked over, "Aurora, it is unfortunate that we did not get to continue, however Ean is well versed in what you are learning or you never would have been assigned to him. Heed his advice and council on the use of spirit, like magic it will drain you and must be used with extreme caution and balance or what is meant to aid you can ultimately be your downfall."

He smiled and bowed his head to Elizabeth, "God speed your journey Elizabeth."

She smiled and bowed lower, in respectful posture and then turned to Aidan who had come to see her and Aurora off. As they walked he bid them both farewell and wished for them to return again soon so he could work with Elizabeth some more. She smiled, bowed again to her former Master and the two ladies got into the car and left York.

Elizabeth stayed quiet until they were on the Motorway and then spoke as she watched the road, "I needed a wee bit a time to process what ya told me Aurora, and I have to say first that I am honored you would confide in me such a thought," She turned to Aurora and smiled, "I do appreciate and enjoy that we are becoming friends."

She looked back at the road and continued, "Love is a mix of horror and wonderfulness, it will tear at yer senses and confuse you to the point of madness... but for all it hurts, it offers some wonderful joy the can no be compared to anything else."

She paused and swallowed hard, "I believe that Sionn is a changed man. He did what he did, sought who he sought and broke a great many hearts, but he has no broken yours, and I do no believe he will."

She turned and looked at Aurora again, "You have vowed to Sionn, and though Ean is ma' brother, and I know he is sick with you, you need to be true to the one you pledged yourself. If Sionn can keep himself true to you, then if you do no do the same, you will have done all to unravel the new man he is trying to become."

She looked at the road and continued, "Ean will understand, it is no gon' to be easy, but the right woman is out there for him, he just needs to believe. I understand what you said about falling for the first fellow since you left the mountains, but really in the end, there is nothing wrong with that, it would no be the first time love happened at first sight aye?"

She turned and looked at Aurora and smiled. There was sadness in her eyes, but at the same time sincerity and truth. Despite her own feelings, she was telling Aurora what was right, what was true, and it would be obvious.


Sionn smiled at Lilly and helped her stand again from the rocks. Torri returned and gave as much of a smile as she ever gave to Lilly and then looked at Sionn, "We are done brother, I think it would be best for us to head back to the house."

Sionn nodded and Hibiki walked by him, slapping him hard on the shoulder and giving him a large, warm smile. Sionn turned to Lilly and spoke, "Well, it would seem that you are in our charge then until we get you back home at least. Come on."

He smiled and gestured for her to head to the car. As he walked he felt a lump in his throat and berated himself internally, what was he doing, looking at Lilly the way he was, he had pledged to Aurora, he had promised to stay true to her, and he WOULD, by God he would! They got into the car and headed back to the house, Hibiki pointing out all different manners of interesting buildings and stories along the way. When they arrived at the house he looked at the three of them, "I have arranged for food to be brought, it should be here in about an hour..." he looked at Lilly, "Size four?"

She raised her brows in surprise, he laughed, "Don't think too much about it, you are about the same size as my sister. I will call and have some clean clothing brought to you."

He winked at Sionn and turned on his heel, pulling his phone out and began speaking in Japanese to someone on the other end.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 7 - The Enigma Ascertainment    Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:05 am

Aurora knew Lizzy was right and she did love Sionn.  With all of her heart.  She was just worried about what he'd said and while she had feelings for Ean, she was pledged to Sionn and Sionn held her heart.  She smiled at Lizzy as she drove, "Thank you, Lizzy.  I think I am just worried because of what he said before he'd left when we were at your home.  He said something about needing to make sure that he could be the man he needed to be before accepting what I offered to him.  But like you said.  He is a changed man.  If not then he would've taken what I offered him instead of refusing me."  Her smile was beautiful as she looked out the window to the passing countryside.  "I can't wait to see him again.  I miss him so much and I can't wait to continue my training."  

After a while though her thoughts turned serious and her smile faded.  "Lizzy?  This druid that blinded this man, Taernyn.  You said that he is Arawela's father which would make him Erebus' brother.  He will blame as well for Erebus' death won't he?"  She turned then, looking at Lizzy as she drove.  "What are we going to do with two powerful druids to go up against?  I mean.....I am responsible for Erebus' death and while you all say that the Poe's would be creating unrest regardless, what I did only complicates things.  Sionn has already been hurt twice because Arawela came after me.  And Ean.....he was injured as well and then Teddy was taken only to be probably eaten."  She turned back to the window, "And no matter what all of you think about druids, Erebus was different.   He WASN'T anything like what I've been told.  I was with him....I saw the butterfly go from me to him and land on his finger.  And because of me he is gone", she said in a sad whisper.  It spoke about just how much guilt she still bore for his death.  



Lilly smiled up at Sionn and accepted his hand when he helped her up from the rocks only to feel the 'jolt' again when they touched.  She looked up at him in confusion yet again before pulling her hand from his.  She couldn't deny that he was attractive nor could she deny that she was attracted to him, but at the same time the way he made her feel frightened her.  She vaguely heard him when he mentioned her being in their charge until the arrived back to their home on Scotland and was deep in thought when they got into the car where she was dismayed to see Torri getting in the front passenger seat while Sionn sat in the back with her.  Looking out the window, she tried hard to concentrate on what Hibiki was saying about the various buildings and their stories.

Once they arrived at the home, she removed her shoes before entering as was the Japanese custom and then blushed prettily when Hibiki mentioned her clothing size.  "Aye...I be a size four."  She knew she was tiny, but her size was also her advantage.  She was usually underestimated when it came to defending herself as quite a few male carnies usually found out when they tried to manhandle her whenever the O'Neal brothers were away getting supplies.  She'd loosened a few teeth more than once defending herself.  

A little while later, Hibiki handed her a bundle of folded clothing that had been delivered and she bowed to him in thanks before slipping into the nearest bedroom to change.  When she returned, she was stunning.  She wore a beautiful black Japanese shirt with red embroidered birds of paradise on it.  It hung to midthigh with a two inch slit up both sides and emphasized her tiny waist as well as her curves.  Beneath it she wore black leggings that showed off her toned yet shapely long legs.  She smiled at Hibiki and bowed again, "Thank ye, Hibiki and thanks to yer sister for the clothes.  They are greatly appreciated", she said to him her eyes having changed to a beautiful blue in her calmness, showing that while she was somewhat wild and had a quick temper she could also be very polite when she wanted.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 7 - The Enigma Ascertainment    Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:03 am


Elizabeth listened as Aurora spoke and nodded softly, continuing to watch the road, "Aye lass, Sionn would certainly have taken what he could from you when he could if he were no making an effort to be a new man." She turned and looked at Aurora and smiled sadly, "But it was he words to me when we spoke privately that truly convinced me that he was wanting to be true to you. He apologized, and told me that what he done to me was wrong." She laughed as the tears began to well up, "Of course I cried, damn it I cried when he said it. I can no be strong all the time aye?"
She sniffed and turned back to the road as she wiped the wetness in her eyes away, "I loved him too Aurora, I know what it is like to have him look at me, the way I see him look at you now. It's enrapturing to say the least, aye he's attractive, but he's also... I don'a know, it's like he gets into ya, all the way into the bones."

She turned and looked at Aurora again who was somewhat wide eyed, Elizabeth had said it exactly the way it was, "He's a charming man for certain, and you will be the envy of all the lassies the day you marry him, I guarantee it!" She smiled and reached over, squeezing Aurora's knee in a sisterly way.

It was quiet for a little while as Aurora was thinking, when she broke the silence again Elizabeth listened and nodded her head as she responded, "Aye, Algenon will no doubt blame you for everything, and as certain as the sun rises you will face he and Arawela again," she turned and looked at Aurora, her eyes were suddenly full of fire and determination, "But you will NO face them alone! You are family now, and family sticks together, and if necessary we die together!"

Her voice was different filled with a strange sort of anger and sincerity, "You know I love you like another sister aye?" Aurora nodded softly, "Please know that I DO trust you and I know you have good instincts... but after the things I have seen over the years, I still can no bring myself to believe that Erebus was a good man... I just can no. I'm sorry."




Sionn was out back, sitting on a small deck smoking his pipe with his feet kicked up and looking out at the sea. He heard someone approaching and turned to see Lilly who spread her arms and twirled to show off her new outfit. He smiled and nodded in affirmation, "You look grand Lilly, Hibiki did well aye?"

Hibiki came following shortly after and as Lilly was taking a seat he looked out at the waters a couple kilometers away, "Not gonna be good when they find what they are looking for."

Sionn spoke but never took his eyes off the water, "It never is lad, it never is."

Hibiki turned to look at Sionn and spoke, "Why do you think they do it?"

Sionn looked up with a raised eyebrow and spoke through a smile, "The same reason the Sentinels and Arbitors try to stop them, the same reason you and I walk in the middle."

Hibiki laughed and turned to look at Lilly, "You see the mess you are about to get involved in? One day with your kind and already you get to see the worst side of life on this planet, Druids!"

"Take it easy there lad, the Shade and the Eclipse are no picnic either, they are just no so obvious about it."

Hibiki nodded and spoke, "We can only thank goodness for that."

Sionn looked up at him and spoke, "You sound more like a Sentinel then a member of the hand there lad."

Hibiki laughed again and spoke, "Perhaps I do, but just like you, I sway to the side that needs the most help, and currently those who fight for the light are up against it, like rabbits in a corner surrounded by wolves."

Sionn nodded and spoke, "Aye, it certainly seems that way."

He then turned to Lilly and smiled, "But we have Lilly now, things are looking up!" He flashed a beautiful smile and flicked his long red hair back behind him as he winked and turned to look out to the sea once more.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 7 - The Enigma Ascertainment    Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:30 am

Aurora smiled at Lizzy, understanding that Lizzy and the others had seen and been through more than what she had.  It was only natural that they would think Erebus had been evil like the rest of the druids.  But she knew different.  And she'd destroyed him.  She turned back to the passing scenery, thinking about Sionn again and wishing he'd call.  She wanted to call him, but she knew his business in Japan was important and she didn't want to call him and he be in the middle of something......maybe even defending himself.  She closed her eyes, dozing as the rocking motion of the car rocked her to sleep.  

~She was a fifteen and was walking through the woods near her and her mother's cabin.  They'd had an argument and she was upset.  She'd simply started a fire in the fireplace just by thought but it had made her weak.  Her mother came in sensing that something was wrong and found Aurora in a heap on the floor, her body burning up as she shivered.  "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!  RORY....WHAT HAVE I TOLD YOU?!"  She knelt down next to her daughter, pulling a vial from beneath her shirt and touching Aurora's forehead with the blue substance.  Aurora's shivering slowly subsided as her body temp returned to normal.  She opened her eyes only to look into her mother's furious gaze.  The next thing she knew her mother was chanting something and then forcing her to drink a horrible liquid.  She could feel something within her being caged.....again.  The first time was when she was a little girl and her mother had bound her abilities she carried from her Druidic father.  It hadn't been strong enough.  Now she was binding them again.  "Momma...don't.....please don't do this."  But her mother was oblivious to her pleas as she finished binding her abilities.  Then the fight began and Aurora's mother said things to her that were so hurtful that she wondered if she should return to her home.  She could feel the binding.....it was stronger this time and she knew that this time she wouldn't be able to undo it.~

Aurora woke, feeling the wetness on her cheeks and realized that she'd been crying in her sleep.  She wiped her eyes, looking at Lizzy to see if she'd noticed feeling embarrassed with herself.  "Is it much farther, Lizzy?"



Lilly blushed at Sionn's wink then looked away to hide it.  She concentrated on the sight before her...the beautiful sea instead of him then looked back at him after a few moments.  "Shades?  Eclipses?  What are those bloody things?  And what do I hae' to do with making things looking up?"  She was becoming nervous and as such she withdrew a small throwing knife from a hidden sheath beneath her shirt and began to flip it back and forth between her fingers on one hand.  The whole knife was only three inches long from hilt to tip and it was clear that she had no idea what she was doing in her nervous state.  It was also clear that no matter what she wore, she'd clearly made sheaths that made it easy to hide blades like the one she was toying with beneath whatever she wore.  

She grew quiet as she thought about going to Scotland.....seeing Mr. and Mrs. McGhee again.  The only movement she had was her right hand as she flipped and twirled the small blade, never losing control of it even though she never once looked at it.  "Was there a funeral for me as well, Sionn?", she whispered.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 7 - The Enigma Ascertainment    Sun Apr 27, 2014 8:39 pm


Lizzy turned to talk to Aurora again and saw her sleeping, she smiled and turned on a little soft music to help her stay resting as she drove.

Her thoughts took her away, she was thinking of the North, the Isle of Mists, also known as Skye. The group of Wizards, her friends, she had left several weeks ago were no doubt wondering how she was doing. She made a mental note to contact them when she got home to let them know that she was fine, minus a small battle on a hilltop with goblins amidst the standing stones. Then her thoughts lingered to Sionn McGhee. Glancing, almost guiltily at Aurora, she looked at the young Native American as she rested her head against a coat that had been hastily balled into a pillow and propped against the window. She inhaled deeply and thought about that night that Sionn had taken advantage of her. Of course she had given her consent and gone with the moment, allowing him to do what he would with her, but still...

She looked at Aurora again, her face suddenly became sad and concerned, would Sionn duplicate his behavior? She berated herself again and hissed at herself in her own mind, of course he would not, his face, his words... he was sincere, he would not hurt Aurora the way he had hurt her. She reached over and placed her hand in Aurora's, even though she was sleeping she smiled as if they were connecting at the physical contact. She left her hand there for the next couple hours as she drove, the Motorway was not crowded making it easy to just coast and drive.

Suddenly Aurora twitched and Elizabeth withdrew her hand, looking over and smiling as her friend blinked and stretched, asking her question about how much further they needed to go. With a smile Elizabeth responded, "Only about ten more minutes lass."

They pulled off onto the side roads and then up the driveway. Ean and Lexy came running out of the house to greet them, Jericho on their heels but staying back a bit. As Elizabeth got out of the car Lexy ran up and hugged her tightly, squeeling, "LIZZY!" and wrapping herself around her sister. She then duplicated the action and grabbed Aurora in a death grip, laughing and hugging her tightly, "Aurora! I am so glad you are home! I have dinner cooking, it should be ready in a few hours!" She leaned back and smiled, looking at Aurora in the eyes. The sound Lexy's choice of words lingered in Aurora's ears, '...home...', Aurora was not a stranger here, she was not visiting, she was HOME here according to the MacGregors.

Ean walked up and smiled warmly as he awkwardly half attempted to hug Aurora but then neglected to follow through with the gesture, not sure if it would be welcomed or appropriate. He knew she belonged to Sionn, and like it or not, that was how it was. He did not want to compromise anything that existed between them by doing something inappropriate. Instead he touched his hand to his heart and spoke, "It is good to have you back home Aurora, Sir Gentry rang me and told me of your progress, I am very happy. Tomorrow we will begin repair on the training hall, but we can still mix in some training outside..."

His smile lingered and he looked at her, following the lines of her face with his eyes before clearing his throat in awkward unassuredness, "I will.. um, I will fetch the bags aye?"

He went to the trunk and popped it, grabbing Aurora and Lizzy's belongings, totting them into the house.



Sionn looked up as Lilly spoke, he frowned and responded as he blew some smoke from his pipe, "I don't know lass, I was so young, but I recall that there was a memorial for the lot of ya, the believe was that the whole family had died in the car."

He smiled softly, "I am glad that you survived though, I mean, it is no comfort that your parents died, but at least you made it out aye? At quite a hardship it would seem, but we will make it right for ya."

He smiled and winked as he looked out at the ocean again, staring at the softly cresting waves. He pointed to a buoy bobbing in the distance and spoke to Hibiki, "What is that?"

Hibiki looked and spoke, "Tsunami buoy, they are set all over the Pacific to monitor wave movements, the system is called NOAA (Noah), it keeps track of all the motions that occur."

Sionn raised his eyebrows and spoke, "Is this data... attainable?"

Hibiki laughed and responded, "All data is attainable Sionn, you should know that."

Sionn smiled and responded, "Let's call it a rhetorical question my friend."

Hibiki laughed and nodded, "Sure... I will make some calls tonight."

Sionn smiled and looked over at Lilly, his demeanor changed becoming less business like and more flirtatious, he wasn't even aware he was doing it but the level of charm that started pouring out of him was intoxicating, "So Lilly... you toured with the Gypsies, and clearly you are handy with knives," he gestured to the knife she had been absent mindedly playing with in her hand, "Any other little juicy nuggets about yer wee self you want to tell us about?"

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 7 - The Enigma Ascertainment    Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:29 pm

Aurora couldn't stop her laugh at Lexy's enthusiasm and returned her hug with her own.  Yes...she was home.  She looked at Ean then, saw his hesitation but didn't acknowledge it.  Instead she gave him a sweet smile, "I am so glad to be home, Ean."  Then she blushed at his praise to her for what Sir Gentry had told him, her smile growing bigger.  

She then saw the man standing back a ways and assumed that this must be Jericho being that he could clearly see.  She remembered Taernyn but couldn't remember if she'd met Jericho or not so she walked up to him and gave him a smile.  "You must Jericho.  I am Aurora and I am so sorry to hear about Taernyn.  If there is anything I can do to help, please just let me know."  She smiled at him again before slipping by him and heading into the kitchen where Lexy was finishing fixing supper.  She grinned, remembering when Lexy showed her how to make mince-meat pies and the mess they'd made as they'd laughed.  "What can I do to help, Lexy?"  When Lexy mentioned setting the table she went to the cabinet and pulled out the plates, setting the table with them for everyone.  She'd yet to see Taernyn and opted to not set a place for him.  She could always grab another plate if need be.  She then gathered the silverware and placed them on the table followed by the glasses.  She could smell the stew and her stomach growled in response.



Lilly nodded her head at the mention of a memorial for her and her parents, having expected to hear nothing less, but when Sionn turned flirtatious again she blushed, trying to keep a straight face.  She looked at the small blade she was maneuvering with her fingers.  She didn't stop, instead she began to twirl and flip the blade faster, showing her nervousness.  "Juicy nuggets?  About me?"  She was confused at first and then she realized that he was flirting with her.  "I doona know, Sionn.  I am just.....well.....me", she said shrugging her shoulders.  "I be good with blades, mainly throwing and daggers.  I hae' a temper but ye already know that", she said with a smile.  She was attracted to him...she could admit that to herself.  As for what to do about it she had no idea.  She then remembered something the druid had said in the alley.

"Sionn?  Who be this Aurora?  Why is this Arawela so intent on making the lass suffer?"

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 7 - The Enigma Ascertainment    Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:28 pm




Lexy brought the large pot of stew to the table and set it down with a thump. Looking around at the whole lot of them gathered she smiled and spoke, “Serve yourselves, it’s venison, potatoes and cabbage, seasoned with herbs from the garden.”

Ean’s eyes went wide and spoke, “My favorite!”

Lexy thumped him on the shoulder and spoke, “Every meal I make is your favorite ya knob…” she leaned over and kissed him lovingly on the cheek, “…and I love ya fer it.”

He turned and looked at her and she winked as she looked to the rest, “Alright! To’it!”

As they served themselves Lexy went back to the kitchen and retrieved the fresh rolls she was baking, bringing them back to the table in a large basket. As she set it down she got herself some stew and looked around the table with satisfaction as everyone was smiling, talking and eating.

She had sat herself beside Aurora and leaned over, “How was York?”

As Aurora looked at her she smiled, “It’s a fabulous place aye? I have been many times to work with the Sentinels there, Sir Gentry and some of the others. They are the best in all of Europe, and some even would say the world… of course those someone’s are all from the U.K.” She winked and pressed her shoulder into Aurora’s playfully as she took a bite of her stew.

Ean looked around the table as they all started finishing up and spoke, “Tomorrow, we need to rebuilding the training hall. I have some lads coming from about, I am hoping we can have the construction finished in a functional manner in a few days. In the mean time we will need to train outside… and I suspect it will be raining.”

He laughed and Lexy threw a roll at him, hitting him right in the mouth, “AYE, right in the gob to shut that hole a’ yours!” The room exploded in laughter and Ean picked up the roll, eating it, “No sense in wasting good bread now aye?”

Elizabeth smiled and shook her head as she watched her siblings. She turned and looked at Aurora who was watching Ean and laughing hysterically… her thoughts went in circles, seeing how Aurora looked at her big brother, and she could not help think about Sionn… he would keep his words, she knew it.




Sionn listened with interest as Lilly spoke and he nodded, “Aye, ya do have a temper now don’cha.”

She looked at him and he winked, “It’s of no matter, ma’ sis did’no care for it, but Torri has been through a lot, she is far less tolerant of such things. Ya’ can no fault her for it, her eyes were opened early to the back and forth of this world, and she did’no take to it so well. She is Stormborn through and through, bred to the bone, but she sees a lot of it as a stupid see-saw… I suppose in a way we all do.”

He looked up at her and smiled as he thumped his pipe on a log and tucked it back into his jacket. Lilly mentioned Aurora and he smiled, “She’s a Sentinel, staying with some of Scotlands most famous Sentinels back at Loch Lomond. We are still trying to unravel why Arawela has it in so badly for her, but there are a few things I can tell ya.”

He went on in great detail about the last 6 weeks, the time in New Orleans, the situation with Erebus and his death, Arawela being the keeper of the magical bow, the Black Horn, everything… but he never once mentioned that he was with her, that she was lady. As he talked he managed to scoot himself closer to Lilly so their hips were almost touching by the time he was done. He could feel the warmth of her, the warmth that those of their persuasion were surrounded in form the power they wielded. As he finished he asked her if it all made sense and she shrugged, telling him that most of it did but that there were still some strange holes in it all. He laughed and nodded, “Aye, it’s a right mess to be certain, but we are putting the pieces together. Such is how it typically is, we walk in the middle between good and evil, often we are left to figure things out and sort of the messes… but there is a lot of fun in it.”

He looked at her and smiled, watching how the setting sun shimmered in her eyes. His bright green eyes stared back into hers and he said nothing, simply staring at her, letting the scent of her linger in his nose.


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PostSubject: Re: Ch 7 - The Enigma Ascertainment    Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:05 pm

Aurora was enjoying herself, watching the antics between Lexy and Ean and feeling like she was a part of something special.  A part of this family that had 'adopted' her so to speak.  But she missed Sionn and it showed in her dark eyes from time to time the way she would suddenly look at the kitchen window dreamily and hopefully only to get pulled back to the goings on at the table and laughing once more.  

"Yes, Lexy.....York was interesting to say the least and I am so glad Lizzy had the insight to know that that is where I needed to go.  I learned something about myself.....it would seem that I can wield some spells while holding a blade.  We don't know exactly how far I can go in that regards, but the small spells I can hold a sword and wield them at the same time without any repurcussions."  She saw the look of awe on their faces and grinned.  "I guess my druidic blood is helpful after all", she said with a smile.  She turned back to her stew and finished it off, tearing off a hunk of bread to clean her bowl.  "I would very much like to make all of you supper one night soon.  I had said that I would before Sionn came and Lizzy took me to York and never got the chance.  Let's make plans for it so I can make a list of things I will need for it."  She looked at Ean, "Would that be okay, Ean?"

She wanted to talk to him about what Sir Gentry had said about him being her 'master' but wasn't quite sure how to approach the subject so she left it alone for now.  Perhaps she would ask Sionn about it as soon as she got the chance to speak to him.



Lily had noticed that Sionn had scooted closer to her and wasn't sure if she objected to it or not but it didn't matter as she had nowhere to go so she sat there, enjoying his closeness.  Her odd eyes had now gone from their dark blue to an amber brown as her attraction to him grew as he spoke.  She let him know that she understood some of what he'd told her but clearly she had much to learn and she said as much.  She could hold her own in a fight but as for 'what' she could do being Stormborn she still had to find out.  It was something her parents were in the process of finding out when they'd been taken from her.

"Aye.....I sense the unbalance and feel the utmost need to rectify it but I doona know how.  Ma and Da were teaching me ways to find out exactly what it was I can do.....before they died.  I remember Da saying tha' he hoped it didnae' take as long to find out with me as it did with his own brother", she said with a grin.  "I guess it took Grams and Gramps aboot six years to finally know what Uncle Shamus could do and with what kind of weapon.  But I cannae' remember what it was he could do", she said as she looked out at the water and the sunset.  "I cannae' even remember wha' Uncle Shamus looked like....or me own parents."  She looked at Sionn, her eyes now a deep green with grief that she'd not felt for a long time.  "Sionn?  Does tha' make me a horrible person?  To not remember wha' me ma and da looked like?"  She was staring into his light green eyes and was thinking just how handsome he was while she waited for his response.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 7 - The Enigma Ascertainment    Mon Apr 28, 2014 10:21 pm




Ean looked at Aurora, surprised at her question, "Well of course it would be alright Aurora, you do no need my permission, this is no a dictatorship."

He smiled and that love for her shown in his eyes a brief second before flashing away as he buried it. Clearing his throat he looked at Lexy, "I'll take care of the dishes tonight Lex."

She started to protest and he pressed his finger to her lips, "You have done enough for the evening, if you like fetch Lizzy and Aurora some tea, and whatever the lug o'er there wants, most likely a single malt," Gesturing to Jericho who was smiling wryly, "...I will get the rest."

He leaned down and kissed the top of Lexy's head and started shuttling dishes into the kitchen. Lexy returned with tea for Aurora and Lizzy and then fetched some for herself. Jericho retired for the evening to be with Taeryn and the three ladies settled into the living room. Lexy sipped her tea and looked at Lizzy and Aurora a moment before speaking, "So, tell me about this wielding magic and holding steel?!?"

Lizzy laughed and shook her head softly as she spoke, "Sir Gentry and Master Aidan were able to test and discern Aurora's ability to cast and channel while holding steel, however there is a catch, she has to choose one path of the other, magic or spirit, for to learn one is to unlearn the other."

Lexy looked at her with confusion and Lizzy continued, "Magic is cast with memorization and concentration, using specific words with precise hand movements to tap into the energy of the sun or the moon, channeling the energy in a specific way to achieve a means. Spirit is cast with the emotional response of the caster, so the most common exercise, as you already know, is to have you channel while thinking of your happiest memory. The emotional charge will connect with your spirit and that energy can be transferred through your body and out across a steel weapon."

She smiled and turned as she looked at Aurora, "The more powerful the memory, the more powerful the spell affect."

Lexy's eyes went big and she grabbed Aurora's arm, "OH, What was your memory!!?? I drew on a Christmas memory, I had been hoping and hoping for my own training sword, non-edged but metal, it's what you graduate to after making your way through the bloody wooden ones in the rack. I was only third level at the time but I wanted SO desperately to have a REAL training sword so I could channel! Well Mum and Da surprised me with it Christmas morn when I was 8, I was so happy! That was the first memory I used! What was yours? I love knowing!!!"

Her smiled was as wide as her face and she waited in anticipation of knowing, Lizzy watched Aurora as their eyes locked. She sipped her tea and didn't break eye contact as she watched over the rim of her delicate cup.



Sionn shook his head, "No Lilly, you are no a horrible person, you were young, and it is no uncommon to forget a face, it's the memories that you remember. That is normal, and should no be counted as a fault."

He smiled and reached up, brushing her hair back behind her ears again, his fingers were warm and loving. He looked deeply into her eyes and lingered a moment on her face, he was just about to move in when he heard a noise behind them...

"Ahem!"

Sionn reared back and looked at Torri who had her arms crossed and her brows so deeply furrowed in anger it was obvious she was NOT to be trifled with at the moment. She never broke her eye contact with Sionn as she spoke to Lilly, "Lass, would ya mind excusing us, I need to have some words with my brother here."

The tone in her voice was so firm that Lilly would know better than to argue. As she stood to leave Torri spoke to her, again, not breaking eye contact with Sionn, "It is late, get some sleep, we will have a long day tomorrow."

As she got out of ear shot Torri glared at him, "Sioon McGhee, what in the bloody hell is the matter with you?! You are making moves on that lass and you have Aurora, no doubt, pining away for ya back home!"

Sionn cast his eyes down and didn't say a word. She stepped forward, "You should bloody well be ashamed of yourself, you made a promise Sionn! You PROMISED her! you were so proud about it too, the whole flight it was all I heard, I had to endure and listen to it until I was sick of the sound of it, but I kept listening you know what? Because you are my brother, and I am PROUD of you for trying to change for someone! Don't throw it all away to satisfy some tingling in your loin! You have had your score of lassies Sionn, and it has always bothered me! It is TIME to change, time to let it go and be that better man you were so proud of becomin'!"

Sionn looked up at her, his eyes welled up with moisture, "I know T, I know... I just..."

"You just need to grow the hell up and stop acting like a child!"

He inhaled deeply and looked out at the water, shimmering as the moon began to rise. He nodded as he spoke but didn't look back at her, "Aye T, aye... I will try."

"Don't try Sionn, DON'T! If'n you only tried when we went into battle together I would no'n go! DO, that is who we are, we DO, we don't try! You owe it to Aurora, you especially owe it to yer'self!"

She turned on her heel and walked back to the house. Sionn pulled his pipe out of his vest along with his tabbac pooch and filled the bowl, lighting it and puffing until the glow was red and hot. He stared out at the water, watching the light off the top of the NOAA buoy bounce gently with the waves, his mind returning to Aurora. He wondered about her, where she was, what she was doing... what was Ean doing with her?

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 7 - The Enigma Ascertainment    Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:50 pm

He was going to kiss her......she knew he was going to kiss her.  She wanted him to kiss her.....where before, with other men....she couldn't stand for them to be near her let alone kiss her, but Sionn?  She wanted him to kiss her.  Then Torri showed up....clearly angry at Sionn.  Her first instinct was to tell Torri to get lost but something about the way she was looking at her brother had her keeping quiet.  She blushed as she looked at Sionn, knowing what had almost happened as she just as quickly looked away, leaving the siblings to have their 'spat'.  She didn't go far though, deciding to eavesdrop, only she could only catch words here and there.  But, she heard enough to know that Sionn was with someone else.....or at least he was supposed to be.  At first she was angry and her eyes turned an icy blue, but on her way to her room she thought about it.  If he was promised to someone else.....if he wanted that other woman and loved her, then why was he making moves on her?  Why almost kiss her?  Lilly decided then and there that who was she to stop him if he wanted to flirt with her....even kiss her.  It didn't mean it would go any further, but if he truly loved this other woman then he wouldn't even be thinking about kissing someone else.  It would probably be doing this other woman a huge favor to find out that Sionn was not as loyal as he was supposed to be.  She lay down on her pallet after putting on a pair of dark blue shorts and a matching tank top, wondering just what she'd gotten herself into.

A short while later she was still awake and decided to get up and see if Sionn was still up.  After using the bathroom, she silently made her way back out to where they'd been sitting, seeing that he was still there puffing on his pipe.  She walked over to him, standing next to him, her head barely coming up to his shoulder.  

"Sionn....I couldn't help but overhear a little of what Torri was scolding ye aboot.  Something aboot ye being true to another lass.  Is this true?"  He nodded, opening his mouth to say something but she held up her hand.  "Maybe ye should think aboot something, Sionn McGhee.  Do ye truly love this lass?  And if ye do.....why did ye almost kiss me?  An' ye know ye were going to kiss me, Sionn."  She stood there for a minute, letting what she'd asked him to sink in before she continued.  "Can ye be true to her, Sionn?  For if'n ye can't.....then it's not just her ye be lying to but yeself as well.  Think on it....before ye think aboot trying to kiss me again....be sure.  I doona want to be hurt and I doona want to see another hurt either."  She stood up on her tiptoes then and kissed his cheek before she walked back inside.  She was attracted to him.....she wasn't so naive that she didn't know that.  But she also had seen how much pain it could cause all three when one was untrue to another.  It had happened more than once in the carnival and she didn't want to be the cause of another's pain.  



Aurora's smile at Lexy's enthusiasm turned to a frown at her question on what her happiest memory was.  She looked away from both women and into the kitchen at Ean moving around as he cleaned up from dinner.  She wanted to tell Lexy...she truly did but she felt so guilty for what that memory had been that a lump formed in her throat.  

"It's nothing, Lexy.....nothing as awesome as your memory."

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 7 - The Enigma Ascertainment    Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:17 pm




Lexy looked at Aurora and pouted as best as she could fake it and spoke, “Don’t be a poop! Tell me!”

Elizabeth looked up from her cup and spoke, “Lexy, she wishes it to remain private, so you should respect her wishes.”

Lexy looked over at her and cocked an eyebrow, “You know don’t you?”

Elizabeth shook her head and spoke, “It matters not.”

Lexy looked at Aurora and then back to her sister, “You do know! You told her?”

Elizabeth sighed, “Lexy, it’s no a big deal, it does no matter.”

Lexy exhaled and mumbled, “It’s an issue of trust.”

Elizabeth sat up in her chair and spoke a little more firmly, “It is a matter of privacy. Someday she may tell you, but for now she wishes to keep it to herself. I only know because I was there, and that needs to be the end of it.”

Lexy bit her lip and nodded, “Fine,” She looked at Aurora and spoke with a bit of mischief in her voice, “But you owe me a secret.”

She winked and sprung to her feet, heading to the kitchen to see how Ean was doing, returning in a couple minutes with sweet cakes. Ean came out with her, a beer in his hand and a smile on his face. As he sat he looked at Aurora and his smile was as broad as his face, “So, Sir Gentry tells me that you shattered a target dummy on your first attempt! That’s impressive.”

“Ask her about her channeling memory Ean!” Lexy buried her face in her tea cup right after she said it, Elizabeth looked at her crossly and spoke, “WISHT Lexy ya great chattering gerbil!”

Ean looked at her curiously and then looked at Aurora who was blushing. He smiled and then laughed, “It’s alright lass, sometimes those memories used the first time, heck even the tenth time and beyond can be personal. It’s no a matter of what the memory is, rather that it evokes the right rise in yer spirit, which it certainly sounds like it did aye?”

He sipped his beer and leaned back in his chair. He looked at Aurora again, his eyes lingering on her face. He smiled abscent mindedly, just relaxing in the lines of her beauty, loosing himself in thought before she cleared her throat curiously. He snapped back to reality and Elizabeth shook her head in amusement of her brother. Lexy was less subtle and just started laughing. Ean’s cheeks went flush with embarrassment and he spoke, “Sorry… I … ahh… I would like to see you do it again tomorrow.”

He smiled softly and sipped his beer again, doing his best to not stare at Aurora.




Sionn looked up at Lilly and exhaled sadly as she finished. With a nod he spoke, “I… well, I have a past, a very checkered and active past when it comes to lassies.”

He puffed his pipe and looked up at her, “I owe ya an apology, I almost did something that I would have ended up regretting, and it would have put you in the middle of a situation that neither of us need to be dealing with, especially because I need to mind myself, and not hurt another person… and I certainly would have hurt her.”

He inhaled deeply and tapped out his pipe, tucking it back into his coat, “Luckily I have my sister to watch over me aye?”

His words were dripping with embarrassment, Torri, in her way, had protected both he and Lilly from what would surly been a horrific fallout if he had followed through with Lilly, which he fully intended to do. He looked up at her and smiled as best he could but his face was full of sadness and regret, “I better get to bed, Torri was right, tomorrow is gon’a be a long day.”



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PostSubject: Re: Ch 7 - The Enigma Ascertainment    Tue Apr 29, 2014 8:44 pm

Lilly listened to Sionn, his voice stopping her before she could walk away from him.  Her odd eyes held sympathy for him for she could sense that he meant what he was saying but she had a strong feeling that it wasn't going to happen.  If he were going to stay true to this woman then he wouldn't have almost slipped up with her.  But she kept her thoughts to herself.  Who was she to argue with him.  "Aye....Torri seems to do a good job watching over ye", she said with a sad smile.  "I hear me bed calling and ye be right....tomorrow will be a long day."  She gave him a smile again before turning away and heading to her room.  

She closed the sliding door, crawling into the soft pallet like bed.  She watched Sionn's shadow walk by the door and sighed.  She remembered as a little girl and even that young she'd had a crush on him, especially after he'd gently taken care of her skinned knees.  She never dreamed that she would meet anyone from her past like this....let alone them remember her.  She listened as he went into his own room her heart aching for him and his dilemma.  


Aurora smiled at Ean after she snapped him from whatever it was he was so deep in thought over.  Her own thoughts on that one happy memory that she'd had in order to pull 'spirit' and use it.  She wanted so badly to talk to Lexy about it.....but Lizzy's words also rang through her head about Sionn.   Her heart still skipped a beat whenever she thought about him and she smiled again, looking away from Ean.  But...she couldn't put her finger on it....it was just a feeling but it was strong.  She'd never been able to shake the feeling that Sionn was not to be hers, not after what he'd told her in the barn before he'd left.  She closed her eyes, the thought of him not staying true to her making her heart ache.  

"I need some fresh air.  I'll be outside", she said as she rose from the couch and headed outside through the back door in the kitchen, wiping the tears as they began to fall.  Beau watched as she left the house, his amber gaze going to Lexy's confused one and Lizzy's sympathetic one.  He looked at Ean, giving a whine before he laid his massive head on his crossed paws.  There was nothing he could do for his charge with this problem.  All he could do was be there for her when everything happened.  

Aurora ended up at the ruins of the barn, leaning up against one of the beams of the torn up wall.  She wiped at the tears again, angry at herself for letting them fall to begin with.   Ean's quiet strength called to her gentle spirit but her heart belonged to Sionn.  But did his belong to her?

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 7 - The Enigma Ascertainment    Thu May 01, 2014 11:45 am




As Aurora came out of her room and went to the kitchen area there was one place setting, for her, and a note.

Aurora,

Porridge and sausages on the stove, hot tea in the kettle, we are outside working on the barn.

Love,

Lex


When Aurora glanced out the window she saw the three siblings, plus about a dozen others, working to clear the area. It was only 7:00am but the area around the barn was amazingly clean already, and many of the broken pieces from within were already out in rubbish piles.

When Aurora made her way out it was a beautiful day. The sun was shining and the temperature was already in the upper fifties. Ean was moving stones off a fresh pile and fire lining them to the next lad, who in turn passed it along. They were moving through the pile at amazing speed. Several empty palettes suggested they had been at it for a bit. He looked up and smiled at Lexy as he spoke to the line, “Take a break lads, get some water and Lexy cooked bacon and biscuits, it’s over…”

Before he could finish the whole lot headed towards a table where Lexy was opening the packages of foils, steaming food filed the air with delicious smells. She beamed as the whole group of men came and started digging in as they laughed and talked with one another. Ean pulled a dry shirt back on over his massive muscles and headed over to Aurora, Elizabeth was already with her, “Good morning lass! We were gon’ wake ya but Elizabeth insisted you needed rest after the casting you did in York.”

Aurora flushed slightly and he spoke, “It’s really no bother, I knew you’d show up eventually.”

He winked at her and rubbed her shoulder gently before heading towards the group of lads, “All right ya bunch a hogs, out the way so I can get some food.”

Elizabeth watched him and then turned to Aurora, “He is always so full of life and fun, even as s young lad, such a contrast to our brother who was very serious and focused.”

She turned and looked at Aurora with a  sad smile, “But all things happen for a reason. How did ya sleep?”

After Aurora answered they both could over hear the lads talking, as they looked up many of them were looking at Aurora and when they saw the two ladies make eye contact they turned and tried to hide their curiosity. Elizabeth whispered to Aurora, “Pay them no  mind Aurora, they are just curious about you, it’s no often we get Americans to come and be in residence, and as you know, even rarer to see a Sentinel who can wield magic.”

She leaned in and hugged Aurora tightly and stepped back, “Pitch in as much as you wish, but do no push yourself too hard, the first days after learning some casting can be a little taxing on the body, as you develop your affinity to wielding spirit the body will recover faster and faster, like any exercise, just do as you feel you are able.”

With a smile she went over to the food table and grabbed some more hot tea. Ean walked over to Aurora, his mouth full of food. After he swallowed he spoke, “So did’ya sleep well then? I remember the first day I learned to wield spirit, I slept for two days… of course the day was longer than yours was. Lizzy said you fell asleep on the drive back, no unusual, it will get better.”

He smiled and turned as two large lads came up, “So this is her then? The one who can cast?”

Ean turned and looked at them, “Her name is Aurora, and aye, she is the one I told ya about, and she is my Squire.”

The two nodded in approval as they looked her over and the first stepped forward, “I’m Angus, this is my brother Lochlan. We’re O’Neil’s, have ya ‘eard of us?”

Aurora shook her head and Ean spoke, “Get on ya knobs!”

The two brothers laughed and one reached, thumping Aurora on the shoulder gently, “Just pullin’ yer leg lass, it’s good to meet’cha aye!”

They two brothers went back to the fire line and started hauling stones into the building, Ean turned to Aurora and spoke again, “They are all Sentinels, they are your family as they are mine.”

He smiled and patted her on the shoulder, heading back to the work.




The four of them were up early and after a quick breakfast that Hibiki had cooked up they got into the car and headed North. It was pretty obvious that Sionn had not slept much, but there was work to be done and he stayed awake as they drove. Hibiki spoke as he took them up 52, “So the seismic activity in Suruga Bay is bad enough, but not they are getting activity all around the island, the worst has been up around Toyama and Kanazawa, all round the Noto Peninsula. I have a place for us to stay up in Nanao, but it will take about six hours to drive there.

As they drove Hibiki continued to chatter away about the landscape, the terrace farming, points of interest and the like, the trip went fast and Torri wondered if he ever ran out of words. She smiled and shook her head as Sionn looked back at her from the front seat while Hibiki pointed out the window at a massive field of rice patties.

Finally they pulled into Nanao and up a small set of rolling hills to a house, it was simple like the last but larger. As the car stopped they gathered their gear and headed inside. Once settled Hibiki met them in the living room, “So, I will make us up some lunch and then we can head to the coast. Have some tea, make yourselves at home.”

He headed to the small kitchen and Sionn headed out to the porch, Torri glancing up from her computer as he did so. She almost went to talk with him but decided to stay back for now… she was still not ready to engage in full conversation with him. Several times she would look up at Lilly and study her. She didn’t blame Lilly for what happened in any way, but she still was keeping a curious eye on her.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 7 - The Enigma Ascertainment    Thu May 01, 2014 10:42 pm

Aurora read the note and smiled, feeling a little better than she had the night before.  She was still tired, but also a bit more clear headed.  She'd decided that later that day she was going to call Sionn and hear his voice.  She fixed herself a bowl of porridge and adding some syrup she sat down and ate quickly.  Once finished, she cleaned up her bowl and spoon, headed back upstairs and cleaned up.  As usual she looked beautiful, her long hair pulled back with a Native American barrette.  Her dress was simple, a pair of blue jeans, a turquoise blue short sleeved blouse that buttoned up the front and her soft suede boots.  She headed outside and saw Ean and some other men working at clearing the rubble.  They had quite a bit of it already cleared and she was impressed to say the least.  But seeing Ean shirtless had her stopping in her tracks.  She gave herself a mental shake, looking away as he donned his shirt.  She smiled at Lizzy when she came over to her, giving her a gentle smile as Ean made his way over to them.

When Angus and Lochlan came over, all she could do was grin at them.  They didn't give her much time to do anything else as they introduced themselves.  Then, as quickly as they showed up to have a look at her they went back to the fire line to continue clearing away the rubble.  It was then that Ean told that all of them were Sentinels and all of them were her family like they were his.  She didn't know what to say to that.  She'd never had a family before.....not like this.  It had always been just her and her mother.   She then cast Ean a beautiful smile only to look out at everyone, including Lexy and Lizzy.  

After she stood there in awe for a few more moments she headed over to Lexy, seeing her standing by the table of food.  "Lexy....I want to help.  What do you want me to do?  Anything...just tell me."  Her face was the happiest anyone had ever seen, her dark eyes dancing as if they sparkled and  her smile was radiant.  Any thoughts of calling Sionn had flown when Ean had mentioned family, something Sionn had never really made her feel like.



Lilly had been quiet since rising that morning.  She could feel Torri constantly watching her, even though it wasn't in a threatening manner it was still rather unsettling.  Once they reached the house she smiled at Hibiki and his offer to make themselves at home heading to the kitchen.  "I be getting some tea going....anyone like any?", she asked as she walked on into the room.  She felt Torri following behind her and when she saw that Sionn wasn't following she decided to speak to her while she filled the beautiful teapot with water.

"Torri...I need to apologize for what almost happened with yer brother", she said as she started the stove and put the kettle on to start heating before turning to face her.  "We didnae' get started on the right foot so to speak", she said with a smile.  "I am not the easiest lass to get along with, aye?  But I get the feeling tha' yer brother kissing me is no' a good thing."  She debated on whether or not telling her that she'd overheard some of what was said between Torri and Sionn let alone that she'd risen later and spoke to Sionn.  She opted to keep it to herself and Sionn.   "Anyway....I doona want to cause problems and if'n I did I am sorry."  Hearing the whistle of the kettle she reached for it, grabbing it bare handed only to cry out as it burned the palm of her hand.  She dropped it instantly, "SHITE!!!", she hollered out, rushing to the sink to open the cold water and douse her right hand with it to stop the burning.  She'd been thinking about Sionn and the disturbances instead of grabbing a potholder to grab the kettle's handle.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 7 - The Enigma Ascertainment    Fri May 02, 2014 5:36 pm




Lexy looked at Aurora as she came and offered help. She smiled and leaned in whispereing, “Truth is sister, if’n I recruit ya to help Ean’ll have me head.”

She leaned back and looked at her with a smile, “He is VERY protective of ya now that y’er officially his Squire.”

She noticed the difference in the look of Aurora’s face, especially her eyes, and she could only return the look, “Here, help me carry these pans back to the kitchen aye?”

As she and Aurora picked up the tins Ean yelled out, “Do no work her too hard Lex, she’s recovering!”

Lexy turned and looked at him, feigning an annoyed face and retorted, “Get back to stackin’ bricks ya great donkey, it’s all y’er good for any who!”

The lads laughed and pointed at Ean who only laughed boisterously and shook his head as he got back to moving stones. The work was coming along at almost a supernatural speed, almost as if something beyond the men that were there was helping. As Lexy and Aurora went back into the house Lexy laughed, “Oh he’s gon’ make me pay for that one! Snipping so the lads laugh at him, I’ll be do’n a hundred extra push-ups indeed.”

She turned and looked at Aurora with a laugh as she crinkled her face in amusement, “But it was worth it!”

The two of them cleaned up the pans and then Lexy went over to the stove, looking at the items inside, “Roast Quail and tauties with veg for dinner, it’s gon’a be grand.”

She turned and looked at Aurora, “I have no forgotten you want to cook a dinner, but with all the lads showing up today I did no want you to be burdened with it, besides, the Ox told me you can no be over worked.”

She rolled her eyes gently and through a smile spoke, “He wants ya to be the gentle little lamb, but yer a lion aye!”

She brightened up siddenly and spoke, “But we can go to town, you an’ me and buy what you need! You can cook tomorrow night! I will be your Sous-Chef, it’al be your kitchen to run!”

She smiled and ran, grabbing her dark green shawl and returned with another that looked very similar, except embroidered in the bottom corner where her celtic knot was there was a dream-catcher in golden thread, “I have been weaving it for a couple weeks without ya knowing, Lizzy said you liked mine, I thought you should have your own, the weather here is a lot different that what you are used to, a good shawl to keep off the cold will serve ya well!”

She laughed and slipped to the back door, yelling out, “I am takin’ Rora to town!”

“To get what she needs for supper!”

“I know I have supper in the ovens, it’s for tomorrow night!”

“Oh shut up ya great Ox, I won’na let her lift more than a grape!”

She slammed the door and looked at Aurora, “Make that two hundred extra push-ups.”

With a wink she locked elbows with Aurora and they got into the car, Lexy drove them to the market in town.




Torri looked up from her work as Lilly spoke and with a flat tone she responded, “Well, unless y’er planning on apologizing for being female there is nothing for me to forgive lass. My brother is a womanizing arse and causes problems wherever we go… he has committed himself to a lass back home named Aurora, and we’ve only been gone 72 hours before he starts movin’ in on someone else. I’ve a right mind to call Aurora an’ tell her what happened…” she softened slightly, “But I would never.”

She sighed heavily and worked at getting some cakes for them to have with the tea Lilly was making, “All of us have our vices aye? It didn’a used to bother me so much what Sionn did, but it does now… I don’a why, I mean, it is no right, I’ve always known that… but lately, and especially with him swearing to commit to someone…”

She sighed and just a millisecond later Lilly yelled. In a flash Torri turned and looked, “Oh dear lass… alright, alright, it’ll be fine.” Her voice was slightly shaky, she was clearly doing her best to comfort Lilly through the pain. She watched as the blisters almost immediately formed. She had Lilly sit and she went and retrieved a cold, wet cloth, “Hold that against it.”

She ran to the door and yelled to Sionn, “SIONN! COME, LILLY HAS BURNED HERSELF!”

Sionn came in a hurry and went to look, he took the cloth away and looked at the large blisters in the palm of her hand which arched in the shape of the handle, “Oh aye…”

Lilly was looking at him, clearly in pain. He smiled, “I know it hurts lass… I am no healer, but I can cool it.”

He pressed the elemental magic through himself, gathering water from the air and tracing his finger along the burn on her hand. It soothed as much as it could, pulling some of the heat out but it was by no means a cure. He looked at Torri, “I have the travel med kit, there are a couple packets of that burn gel Mum got for us, can you get it for me?”

Torri nodded without a word and went to the bedroom. Sionn didn’t look up at Lilly, he kept his head down and kept working on the burn. When Torri returned he took the packet and opened it, spreading it delicately on the blisters, “This will help, but it will still take a few days to heal aye.”

He stood and Torri knelt down, she had also brought some gauze. She wrapped Lilly’s hand and looked up at her, “Too tight?”

Lilly shook her head and Torri nodded without a smile, “Good.”

“There ya go lass, right as the wind… ‘cept we don’a have a tea pot no more.”

She gave a half smile and wink, “No matter, cakes are just as good without tea, here.”

She handed Lilly a delicious looking Scottish tort, covered in cream cheese frosting and dark sugar sprinkles.


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PostSubject: Re: Ch 7 - The Enigma Ascertainment    Fri May 02, 2014 11:07 pm

Aurora couldn't help but just smile at Lexy's enthusiasm.  But when she saw the beautiful shawl her eyes welled up with tears.  "Oh...Lexy, it's beautiful.  It's wonderful", she said as she hugged her before putting it on to keep off the chill of the Scottish weather.  She climbed into the car, casting a look over at Ean as he worked alongside the other men before they left the farm.  

Once they reached the town she looked at Lexy, "I am unfamiliar with the names of things here, Lexy.....so how about if I just tell what I am needing.  I need two pounds of ground beef, two pounds of ground sausage, three cans of tomato juice...", she finished telling her what she needed for fixing a traditional spaghetti dinner with a salad and garlic bread.  It was a couple of hours later when they finally finished they're shopping, both girls giggling and carrying on, having fun.  They loaded up the car, Aurora having bought something for Ean, Lizzy and Lexy without Lexy knowing which hadn't been easy.   They'd stopped at a small strip mall that housed five small stores along the sidewalk.  One of them sold items that were ancient Celtic replicas.  She'd found a small statue of a bear hovering protectively over a maiden.  That she bought for Ean.  The statue was made of wood, with Celtic knotwork and protective runes carved into the bear.  It stood about five inches tall and the statue was fixed to a wooden circle of more Celtic knotwork that was about seven inches in diameter.  For Lizzy she found a beautiful stationery set with matching pen.  The stationery was a beautiful dark purple with an embroidered Rowan tree in the middle of it.  The pen was a matching color and was made to write smoothly.  For Lexy she bought a dark green suede pouch to keep her various vials in.  The pouch itself was about four inches long and resembled a pear, wide at the bottom and tapering to the top.  It had three compartments inside of it, all of which were padded for holding breakables.  The Celtic stitching on the outside was ancient healing runes.   She'd hidden them inside one of the bags that held a soft sweater she'd found in another small shop and she'd bought it.  It was a soft cashmere and the color was teal green, which would enhance her exotic looks with her golden skin, dark eyes and hair.  She would wear it that evening and after the men left that night she would present her gifts to her new 'family'.  For Sionn she'd bought a dual edged dagger, inlaid with sterling silver on the handle.  It was not very big, something that could be hidden anywhere on someone's body beneath his/her clothing.  Along with the gifts she'd also bought small gift bags to put them in along with tissue paper.

They loaded up the car, Aurora careful to keep her bag guarded so that Lexy didn't accidentally pick it up, smiling all the way back to the farm.



Lilly held back the tears from the pain of her burned hand, letting Sionn ease the pain.  She hadn't realized just how badly she'd burned the palm of her hand until Sionn had opened it to look.  The burn stretched across the full inside of her palm.  When he applied the burn gel she hissed at the sting but didn't make any other sound, giving Torri a small smile after she wrapped it.  

But what truly made grin was the Scottish torte.  She bit into it, holding it with her right hand and moaned in pleasure her eyes closing.  "Aye.....Torri, these are absolutely to die for", she said all but breathless from the taste.  She opened her eyes which were a sky blue with pleasure and looked at Sionn, grinning.  "Thank ye for helping me", she said then looking at Torri.  "Ye too.  For everything.  But I should apologize to Hibiki for his teapot.  I can pay for it."  She looked over at the shattered teapot on the floor where she'd dropped it when she'd burned herself.  "What can I do to make up for it?  How can I repay any of ye for helping me?"  She popped another torte into her mouth, again closing her eyes at the decadent taste of it.

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PostSubject: Re: Ch 7 - The Enigma Ascertainment    Sat May 03, 2014 9:01 am





As Lexy pulled the vehicle to a stop the two ladies got out and went into the house, from the large back window they would see that most of the repairs were done on the outside, and through the doors they could see them all inside, shoring up one of the last beams that needed repair. Lexy turned to look at Aurora, "Looks like they are almost done for the day."

She smiled and helped Aurora put away the food then turned to her, "I am sure they are famished, I want to see the repairs though, come!"

She grabbed Aurora's hand and pulled her out the door with her, heading to the barn. As they entered the lads cheered and one of them yelled, "AHH, supper has finally arrived!"

Lexy looked at him with a raised brow and put her hand on her hip, "Is that all I am to ya Angus McDonnel? A meal ticket?"

His face went flush and he raised his hands, "Oh no lass! I donna want to be on the business end of that forked tongue?"

Lexy walked up and whispered, "Smelling like you do you'll be lucky to be on the end of any tongue."

The lads hollered in laughter, even Elizabeth covered her mouth and gave a chuckle at Lexy's wit and Ean stepped to the front of the training hall, "Alright lads, alright. I can no thank ya all enough for aiding in our time of need, and as always, my help is always welcomed if you need it as well."

He gave a few more words of thanks, what they as Sentinels were up against in this world, and then finally turned to look at Aurora, "I know most of you have no had a chance to meet her yet, though she was about this morning a wee bit..." He looked at Aurora, "Come here lass."

Aurora looked at Elizabeth and Lexy, both of whom were smiling and nodding in agreement to go, she did and Ean placed his hand on her shoulder, "This is Aurora Jameson, Bearer of the Bow. She is in the lineage of the North American Plains Walkers, and yes, she can wield magic."

All the lads were looking at her, especially now that they basically had permission to do so without feeling awkward about it. Ean looked at her proudly and spoke, "I do not bring her before you to embarrass her or make her feel uncomfortable, but to welcome her to our family. I received a call yesterday from Sir Gentry of York, and she has been officially named my Squire in Training."

The room went into cheers and the lads hooted and hollered in joy. Ean waited until they settled down and several times while they were cheering he looked at Aurora and smiled proudly, "NOW! As you know most Knight only get one Squire, so I pledge the vow of bonding to seal my agreement with a council of twelve witnesses to confirm the words..."

He turned to Aurora and looked at her, his eyes shimmered with tears that were welling up just under the lids:

"I am Ean MacGregor! I am a Knight of the Sentinels! I am a servant of the light, of the conclave of the protectors I have been accepted, I stand with my brothers and sisters as the shield that holds evil back from the innocent, the helpless, and the less able! My steel is my song, and I will sing until evil is vanquished. All I know, I will teach to my Squire Aurora, for now, and until my last breath, I will teach her the ways."

The lads spoke in unison, "BY THE WITNESS OF TWELVE!"

Lexy was crying and holding her hands to her mouth, and squealed as soon as the words were said, then got quiet as Ean turned to Aurora, his smile broad and his face strong with his love for her, "Welcome to our family."



Sionn looked at Lilly as she spoke and shook his head, "You are Stormborn, we assist one another with no payment or obligation, it is the way of our kind."

He stood and looked at Torri a brief second and his eyes turned sad, he turned to walk back outside and Torri spoke, "Sionn, are ya just gon' avoid me all day?"

He turned and looked at her, then Lilly, and then back to her, "No... but I am gon' go back outside and finish what I started."

She looked at him with curiosity and asked, "And what have ya started?"

He looked at her without a smile and spoke, "Thinking."

She curled her brow in annoyance, but also stayed silent as he turned and walked out. Torri turned to Lilly and shrugged, "I do'no what's crawled up 'is arse, but whatever."

She helped Lilly clean up the tea pot and then went back to her work on the computer. A few minutes later Hibiki came in the back sliding door and walked in, noting the bandage on Lilly's hand immediately and her sorrowful look, "What happened?"

She told him about the pot and he turned to look, the mess having already been cleaned. Her face was full of sorrow and regret over it and he laughed and responded with a smile, "It's from Wal-Mart, there is nothing to worry about."

He stepped up and patted her in a friendly manner on the shoulder and spoke, "But I appreciate that you were so concerned."

With a fast wink he spun and unloaded the things he had bought, and whipped them up a fast lunch. As Sionn came back in he smiled, "Ahh, there he is, I made some lunch."

Sionn half smiled and nodded, "Thank you Hibiki."

Hibiki immediately picked up on the sullenness of his words and spoke, "What's eaten you?"

Sionn looked at him and shook his head, "Just an old habit that comes back now and again."

Hibiki looked at him and got more serious, "If there's something I need to know about you need to tell me Sionn, we are about to go back out there and if everything isn't on the table one of us might get hurt. I am more than willing to work with you guys but not at unnecessary risk."

Sionn looked up at him and sighed, "Aye, you are right lad, I owe ya this much..."

As they sat to eat, Sionn told his story, his womanizing, all he had done, the literally hundreds and hundreds of women he had been with and discarded, and how last night, after he had pledged himself to Aurora, he would have done the same to Lilly if Torri hadn't caught them.

He looked at Hibiki, "You can't blame Lilly at all, she was just there... I'm the one to blame."

Hibiki nodded, "You're right, you are."

He sucked in a mouthful of noodles and Sionn furrowed his brow at Hibiki's honesty, but couldn't help but nod at it in understanding as well. He sighed heavily and spoke, "I will be on my best today, I assure you."

Hibiki smiled and nodded, "Good, because there was a Druid sighting last night about twenty kilometers north of here."

"WHAT?!" The group turned to look at Torri, "Why didn't you tell us?!"

Hibiki looked at Torri and smiled, "I just did, and I found out just before I got back... but we had to clear the table of his story before I could say anything. But now that we are focused and on the level, we can proceed as a team."

He smiled and pushed another mouthful of noodles into his mouth.

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