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cw-02-lost-and-found02

Everyone at the table turned to see who spoke and when we did we found the woman who had been talking with the nobleman standing a few feet behind me.

“Are you in the habit of over listening to people’s conversations?” Siofra asked, her defenses clearly slamming into place at the stranger’s approach.

The woman smiled prettily as she met Siofra’s suspicious glance with level eyes. “At times,” she replied, her tone suggesting that she wasn’t entirely innocent from my aunt’s charge.

I watched as Mac turned on his natural charm in the form of a natural smile while I opened my mind and probed the woman, hoping to learn something about her intentions in approaching us. We were strangers here and while everyone had been kind and eager to please thus far, we were still strangers and that meant untrustworthy most of the time. “We’re looking for useful information, my lady,” he said.

She smiled at Mac when she turned to him. “All information is useful,” she told him in an easy tone.

My probe completed, I only felt good vibes coming from her and I allowed myself to relax slightly as I continued to watch her closely.

Mac regarded her silently for a moment, as if assessing her himself, then said in a casual tone, “I had a companion once. We traveled and adventured together. I’ve since lost track of him, and wish to regain his company.”

“Does he have a name?” she asked, tilting her head to one side as she did.

He hesitated again and I watched them both closely, hoping we didn’t put Joel’s safety in any further jeopardy by divulging his name to her. “Jolesic.”

The woman nodded to herself as she pursed her lips prettily, then looked around the table at each of us and smiled, “May I join you?”

Mac nodded. “Certainly.”

Since I was the closest to her, I moved my chair to my left to make room for her at the table. When I looked up again I saw that her companion was joining us as well and was bringing chairs for both of them.

“And what is your name?” Siofra asked as they settled into their chairs, the woman carefully arranging her skirts as she attempted to cover up the fact that she was trying to get a better look at Gwrhyr.

“I am Peorth,” she said as she straightened and put a hand to her chest. She then gently laid the other on the arm of the man beside her. “And this is Os-tur,” she added, looking at Siofra expectantly, as if she now awaited our names.

“I am Cormac,” Mac said as he leaned back in his chair and crossed a leg over his knee. He then introduced each of us and indicated who we were with an informal point of his finger. “This is my sister Siofra, her husband Glenn, my wife Elizabeth.” Eliza gave him a dirty look at the use of her full name and I had to stifle a giggle behind my hand as he came to me. “Her sister Corrine Mackenzie, and our companion, Kenaz.”

“And the wolf?” Peorth asked, glancing under the table again.

“The wolf is mine, he is known as Gwrhyr.”

Introductions out of the way, Peorth sat back and studied us. “The seeker, the lover, the mother, the dreamer, the dagger,” she commented as she looked around the table. “What are you all doing in Grimhaven?”

Siofra’s brow creased as she glanced around the table. “Why do you call us that?”

At the same time, Mac heaved a heavy sigh. “Seeking,” he commented almost forlornly as he picked up his wine goblet and looked at Peorth with an ironic expression. “Fulfilling my bloody hell destiny,” he continued to no one in particular as he drained the remaining liquid.

Everyone except Eliza either laughed outright or snickered at Mac’s reaction to Peorth’s words. His lack of enthusiasm about his destiny was obvious and had become a bit of a joke to the family, but Eliza eyed him with concern.

“Why do you call us by those names?” Siofra asked again.

“A gathering of five will point the way,” the other woman answered cryptically. “It has been foretold.”

Siofra eyed her with a guarded expression and when she spoke there was a touch of sarcasm in her voice. “Uh-huh. So have a lot of things. Do you want to be a little more specific?”

“You came here and you don’t know why you’re here?” Peorth countered, her brow lifting slightly in challenge.

“Seeking the seeker,” Mac answered.

“We know,” Siofra added, glancing between her brother and Peorth as if she thought Mac was giving away too much, too soon.

Peorth looked at her quizzically. “Then why do you ask?”

Siofra was uncomfortable, not sure how to answer. “Well, because…”

“Because you seem to know as well,” Cormac finished for her.

“You seem to know a little bit more,” Siofra commented. “Because, well, I don’t recall hearing those terms for us before. The only one we’ve ever heard is the seeker.”

Peorth’s brow lifted in mirth. “You’ve never been called mother?”

“By my child,” Siofra replied with a shrug. “I’ve been called a lot of things. I’m not referred to by them on a daily basis.”

Peorth looked around the table again with a serious expression. “It was foretold that five would come, the seeker, the lover, the mother, the dreamer, the dagger.”

Siofra crossed her arms and looked around the table as Peorth had. “And who is who?” she asked.

“Don’t you know who you are?”

I watched as Siofra’s brow lifted and her mouth twisted slightly as she regarded the other woman. “Obviously I’m the mother, who’s everyone else? We know my brother is the seeker.”

Peorth smiled. “Well, he’s not the mother.”

“We’ve already discerned that I am,” Siofra countered.

Peorth shrugged. “Perhaps you are, perhaps you’re not. Any of you can be any of the names, except of course, the men and the mother.”

Siofra sniffed.

Mac looked across the table at me. “I’m pretty sure Corrine’s not the dagger,” he said, his words causing me to go on the defensive. It was always so naturally assumed that I would never be able to amount to anything more than a child that would need everyone’s protection and that knowledge caused a great sadness in my heart. Ever since Mac’s return I had been really trying to step up my training in the physical fighting aspects that the others of the family could teach me. So far I had been able to hold my own in the sparring that I’d done with Mac and Uncle Angus and I hoped that they hadn’t been holding back too much. It hurt that Mac still thought I couldn’t be a fighter like Eliza was.

Peorth’s gaze moved to me as well. “Perhaps,” was all that she said.

“You don’t know her as well as you believe you do,” he said.

Peorth met his gaze evenly. “I know none of you,” she said simply.

“Where’s Joel?” I asked, wanting to get the discussion off myself and my inability to defend myself.

She glanced at me again and smiled a little smile as if she understood my need to know. “He’s in Horsetower.”

“You seem to know us well enough to call us by those names,” Siofra said going back to Peoth’s description of us. “You know who’s who, you know that we came, you know why we’re here…”

“It’s merely prophecy,” Mac commented, picking up for his sister. “Glenn, myself… any of us could quote off an infinite number of them.”

Peorth gestured to Os-tur, who immediately pulled out a sheet of rolled parchment paper from his vest and handed it to her. She pushed the sheet across the table to Mac and said, “Have you not seen the prophecy?”

As Mac picked up the paper and began to read, I wondered suddenly if Peorth had any idea what she was talking about. I thought of using divination to gain knowledge, particularly the set of Ogham sticks my cousin Stephen had gifted me. There was no way that I could cast the sticks covertly at the crowded table, so I didn’t even try to hide them as I pulled a few from my belt pouch and dropped them on the table in front of me.

Since she was sitting next to me, Peorth turned her head toward me as I quickly studied the sticks before picking them up again and playing with them in what I hoped would be perceived as a nonchalant way. As far as I had been able to tell the prophecy she spoke of was true, but I had no way of knowing if it had anything to do with us specifically. In that time Mac had finished reading the paper that Peorth had given him and passed it over to Eliza, who began to read immediately. I couldn’t tell how long the document was because the paper was so thick and the light in the room was so poor.

“So what does this all mean?” Siofra asked as she waited her turn to peruse the page.

“It means many things,” the strange woman replied.

Siofra pressed. “Such as? Could you explain this a little bit better? It’s all a bit vague.”

Peorth nodded in understanding. “Prophecies usually are,” she replied, still not giving an adequate answer.

“Do you know where Joel is?” Mac asked.

“Horsetower,” his sister replied as if he hadn’t been listening to the conversation so far.

Mac glanced at her annoyingly before looking back at Peorth. “More specifically.”

She shrugged and glanced toward Os-tur. “With Taeynd.”

“I told you that,” Siofra scoffed. Eliza glanced up from the page with an unknowing look on her face as she passed it along to Os-tur who leaned across Peorth to hand it to me.

“No,” Mac pointed out, his annoyance growing. “You said Horsetower.”

Siofra crossed her arms in a huff. “I told you with Taeynd,” she insisted.

Peorth leaned close to me. “Do they always argue like this?”

I smiled at her as the paper in my hands practically burned for me to read it. “They are brother and sister,” I pointed out, bringing Mac’s attention back to the stranger.

“We’re all Brennans,” he said dryly and I lowered my gaze to the parchment and began to read.

 

‘These are the lines drawn across the stroke of time

The teacher must die that the dagger should live

The dagger must live that the seeker should seek

The seeker must seek that the seed will be sown

A seeker travels through a forest of danger

Known by many names, he shall fall to temptation

The snake shall rise before 7 days have passed

In the keep where music once graced its walls

The dagger may falter while the rivers yet remain

A house stands full of dreams safe and warm

Destiny yet calls to the lover reborn

A gathering of five will point the way

That the dreamer shall not be alone

Only ruin may open the traveler’s cage l

While the dead sleep unaware

To be calm in the eye of the human storm

The teller of tales shall heed magick’s call

When the smoke is gone and the wolf can see

The seeker through bloodshed will be saved

On the distant horizon the sun approaches

Garelan runs red as the gods will

When bloody bodies lay on the cliff heights

Blood gathers in the gray circle

As the distant bear rises a door will open

The dagger will carry new beginnings’

Where the distant masses stand on high

The wolf’s cry will herald a new dawn’

 

“Could you be more specific about this prophecy?” I heard Siofra ask when I finished reading and handed the page to Glenn. “We’re obviously this party of five.”

“There is much debate as to what the prophecy is. We’re fairly certain that the snake is Bloodmark.”

“Why?” Siofra continued.

Peorth seemed uncomfortable when she answered. “Because she took Horsetower in seven days.”

She had my aunt’s complete attention now. “From…”

Peorth eyed Siofra as if she should have understood her meaning immediately. “From the previous owner, Duke…,” she said slowly.

“And where is he?”

Peorth answered quietly and seemed to glance around the room to see if anyone was openly listening to our conversation. “Dead now. And Horsetower is the ‘keep’, for it once was a place of music and happiness and is no longer.”

“Why did she take it?” Siofra asked.

Peorth shrugged as she looked around the table. “Because she could?”

Siofra nodded. “Fair enough.”

“It is easily defendable,” Peorth explained. “No one knows her reasoning for certain.”

Siofra shifted in her chair next to me and crossed her legs. “And how do we play into this? I’m sure we’re not the first group of five to come through this area.”

Now it was Peorth’s turn to nod. “This is true, but there are other portents that said the group would come soon. Entrails, flights of birds.”

“So what were you and the guardsman arguing about?” Mac asked. I think he was trying to throw her off and see how honest she would be at the same time.

“Whether or not I was an elf or a witch,” she answered, without hesitation.

“And what are you?” Siofra asked.

“I’m neither,” she answered, almost too innocently for my tastes, which didn’t satisfy Siofra either.

“What are you then?” my aunt asked.

“I am of those who watch,” Peorth said.

Siofra laughed stiffly. “Wow, could you be more vague?”

Peorth looked around the room again. “I cannot be more specific in this place.”

“Then what is he?” Mac asked, indicating the man next to her.

She glanced at her companion, who hadn’t said a word since the pair had joined us, and smiled slightly. “That’s Os-tur.”

Siofra rolled her eyes and leaned forward in an attempt to drive her question home. “Uh-huh, and what is he?”

Mac wasn’t accepting her answer either. “I didn’t ask who, rather what. Ishonmir’s pet,” he said, causing the man in question to growl like I had heard Stephan and Uncle Angus do during one of their sparring matches with each other.

“Is it he who we saw earlier?” Siofra asked, undaunted by Os-tur’s attempt at warning us off the subject. He didn’t know that she had grown up with a werewolf for a brother and wasn’t easily put off by his attempt at intimidation.

“What did you see earlier?” Peorth asked, again pretending innocence and still doing a bad job of it.

“A flying creature,” Mac answered for her.

Siofra glance at him in annoyance. “A flying cat, black.”

Peorth drew in a deep breath. “He is an Im-ryn,” she conceded finally.

“He’s a shapeshifter,” Siofra corrected.

Peorth nodded with a small smile and a raised brow. “Yes. And since we’re being so forthright, what are you?”

Siofra smiled coyly at the question and I somehow knew she wouldn’t answer truthfully. “A mother,” she replied.

Peorth laughed slightly and turned her attention to me. “Are you a witch?” she asked casually, as if she wanted me to pass the salt.

“She is not a witch,” Siofra was quick to answer for me. I looked at Eliza and saw that she was barely able to stop herself from reaching for the blade in her cleavage because of Peorth’s inquiry. I thought that I should defuse the situation before it got ugly.

“Those around me like to remind me that I am but a novice only,” I said, deciding that partial truth would help finally get some straight forward answers. “There are certain things that I have learned and that is all.”

Siofra frowned at my answer and asked, “What else do you know about the prophecy?”

“I can, but guess,” Peorth began with a slight sigh. “You’re here to return Jolesic to his world.”

Siofra acknowledged her comment with a slight nod. “Okay, what part do you play in this?”

“I’ll aid you if I can,” Peorth told her.

Siofra frowned and glanced around the table. “Why? You don’t even know us.”

“But I know Taeynd,” Peorth countered.

Unfortunately, I didn’t and I was worried about what had been done to Joel in the time that he had been here. “What kind of hold does she have over him?” I asked, carefully avoiding the gaze of all my family members. They wouldn’t understand how important it was to me to get Joel out of here so I wanted to hide my intentions for now.

Peorth’s expression turned quizzical at my question. “It’s not clear. I met him on the road to Grimhaven and warned him not to come here, but he told me to trust in destiny, that those who came behind him would make sure all would be well.”

“When did he come here?” I pressed as I saw Mac pull a pipe and tobacco from a pocket in his tunic across the table and fill it.

Peorth thought a moment then answered, “Several years ago.”

“Have you seen him since?”

She nodded. “From a distance.”

“You can’t get close to him?” I continued. “Or you never tried?”

“It would not be prudent for me to get that close to Taeynd,” she answered cryptically, glancing at Os-tur again which caused him to shift discreetly to rest his hand on the back of her chair protectively.

“Why?” Siofra wanted to know.

The other woman’s gaze turned to her and she replied, “Let us say that she can see things that others cannot.”

“Is she a witch?” I asked.

Peorth nodded. “Of a sort.”

Now what kind of an answer was that? “What kind of sort?” I pressed.

“I’m guessing not the good kind,” Siofra commented as she looked around the table at us for our opinions.

“Exactly,” Peorth answered.

“The wicked witch of the east,” Siofra added dryly.

Peorth frowned slightly. “Actually, this is the west, but I suppose she could be considered that.”

“If one wished to get to him, how hard would it be?” I asked, attempting to find out as much as I could from the strange woman who couldn’t seem to answer a direct question with any amount of direct detail.

Peorth shook her head. “Depends on the day, the circumstances.”

I frowned at her obtuseness. “What do you mean?”

“Taeynd holds court of sort one day a week.”

“Are we close to that day?” Siofra asked.

“It is tomorrow,” was the reply.

Siofra glanced around the table at all of us again. “Then we go tomorrow,” she said, her head nodding as if the motion locked in her decision.

That was a given for me so I didn’t feel the need to answer, but asked another question instead. “Is he always with her?”

“I have never seen him not with her,” Peorth replied as she regarded my kindly. “That does not mean he is never without her.”

Siofra turned to Mac and Glenn. “What do you think?”

“I think it’s all prophetic bullshit,” Mac answered her in Gaelic so Peorth wouldn’t understand.

“So then we shall go home?” she asked, speaking Gaelic as well.

“Nay,” I replied quickly, bringing their attention to the fact that I spoke the language as well. How could Siofra even suggest that?

Mac glanced at me quickly then said, “I don’t think we can until we’ve rescued Joel.”

“Aye,” I added with a nod. Both of them fell silent for several moments and I had the feeling that they were continuing the conversation in a way so that the rest of us couldn’t hear them.

“Fine,” Mac said finally. “We leave in the morning.”

Glenn had been quiet for most of the encounter with Peorth and Os-tur, but now he spoke. “We need to be very careful not to get too close to Taeynd until we find out what it is that she can see that others cannot. It wouldn’t do for all of us to end up in her dungeon,” he informed us wisely.

Siofra nodded as she looked at her husband and Kenaz, whose eyes were heavy because of the late hour. The young girl was leaning against my aunt’s shoulder with heavy eyelids. “Should we all go, or only a couple?”

“I’m not sure we should split up,” Glenn advised.

I didn’t like the idea of splitting up at all and Siofra seemed to agree, too. “Well, I have much to do then, if we are to leave in the morning,” she said as she glance down at Kenaz’s bobbing head. “And she needs to get to bed.”

“I’m all right,” the girl said in protest as she righted herself again, but spoiled the proclamation with a wide yawn. Siofra stood and said goodnight as Glenn picked up the little girl and they made their way to the stairway. Kenaz said something as they passed that caused Os-tur to smile at her while Peorth regarded the rest of us still seated.

“I am staying here at the inn, and if you want my help, I’m willing to give it,” she told Mac.

“We will be going to Horsetower in the morning,” Mac replied. He then asked for her room number, and said that we would get with her in the morning.

 

*****

Glenn and Siofra joined us in our room after we returned for a discussion on what we had learned from talking to Peorth. I hadn’t realized it at the time, but Glenn had kept the page with the prophesy that Peorth had shared with us at the table and he was now carrying a book that he had brought with him from our world that I had seen him with before. He told us that it contained most of the prophecies that his mother had made prior to her death and had come into his possession afterward. He showed us an entry that was very close to the one on the parchment, but it wasn’t word for word.

I didn’t know what to make of the similarities. I wasn’t like Mac and I didn’t balk at what Destiny may or may not have in store for me, but knowing that a prophecy existed in two separate worlds that pointed in the same direction was kind of creepy when you thought about it. After looking it over, I sat back and waited to see what the others thought.

“This is a timeline prophecy,” Mac said, the book still in his hands.

Glenn frowned as he moved to look over Mac’s shoulder. “Yeah?” he asked as if he hadn’t thought of the concept before.

Mac nodded as he reread the prophesy, using his finger to guide his progress. “Yeah, I’m pretty sure.”

Siofra picked up the copy of the prophecy that Peorth had shared with us and reread it again. “Yeah,” she replied after a moment. “It follows.”

Glenn reached over Mac’s shoulder and pointed at a line in the book. “If this snake rising before seven days has already happened…”

“This has already happened because I’m here,” Mac pointed out. “Peorth said this when she walked up to us.”

We began to discuss the two prophecy’s line by line, looking for explanations. Siofra read aloud from the Peorth’s page. “’The dagger that carries new beginnings’. That’s Eliza,” she said matter of factly, gaining a blank look from the other woman. I had figured that the passage meant that Eliza would have a child, which was totally possible now that Mac was human again, but Siofra looked around at us and asked, “Will carry new beginnings?”

Mac reached out and patted Eliza’s belly, earning yet another strange look from his wife for a split second, until her face showed that she got the meaning, causing her to glance down quickly in embarrassment. “But we’re not there, let’s worry about where we are,” Mac said.

“But this is the future,” Siofra insisted.

He thought a moment as he continued to look over the lines in the book and nodded. “The very near future, it appears.”

“Why do you say that?” Eliza asked.

“Well, because we’re here,” he replied, pointing to the line that read, ‘A gathering of five will point the way’.

Eliza agreed hesitantly, looking uncomfortable at finding herself in the middle of a conversation that didn’t involve kicking someone’s ass. “Okay, but if this was however many years ago, this could be that many years in the future.”

Siofra chimed in as she looked at her. “Yeah, but you’re not getting any younger,” she said with a sly smile, obviously liking the idea of Mac and Eliza having another child.

“She’s not getting any older, either,” Mac said dryly with a grin as he glanced at her.

“I’m not getting any older, either,” Eliza said at the same time.

“Yeah, that’s true,” Siofra commented. “I guess. None of us are.”

“Well, the wolf maybe,” Eliza said. “And you know, it’s only been a year since Mac came back. He could be getting older.”

“Feel old yet?” Siofra teased her brother.

Mac rolled his eyes and shook the book that he still held. “Let’s just worry about this, shall we?”

Siofra got serious again. “Yeah, but if you look up here, ‘known by many names he shall fall to temptation’… well, I guess if it’s right before, Taeynd is taking over.”

“Maybe he fell to her,” Glenn said, meaning Joel.

Siofra nodded. “Instead of Corrine. Yeah, but this part up here, the beginning, talks about Mac, then we go into this, technically it could be her.”

“Which would make it not a time line. Unless he fell to her before…” Glenn looked over at me and smiled good-naturedly. “Have you been meeting guys and not telling anybody?” he teased.

I rolled my eyes at the jibe and replied in what I hoped sounded like a dead pan voice, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Glenn chuckled. “Well, if this is a time line, and you’re this temptation, and it happened before the snake rose, then…”

I shook my head at the preposterous idea Glenn was proposing. “I don’t think that I’m a temptation in any way,” I told them, earning skeptical looks from everyone but Mac as I tried to look calm.

“Aren’t the dead pretty much unaware anyway?” Glenn asked, moving on to another line of the prophecy.

“Yeah,” answered Siofra.

“She’s a necromancer,” Mac suggested.

Glenn skimmed down a little further and commented on another line. “The wolf could be Gwrhyr, or one of the avatars, or a werewolf.”

“Except that we don’t have one with us,” Siofra pointed out. “Not that there couldn’t be one here.”

“We have a werekitty,” Glenn corrected, but not totally dismissing the fact that the prophecy might not include them, he added, “There could be a werewolf.”

“’The seeker through bloodshed will be saved’,” Siofra read. “Well…”

Glenn picked up for her. “We think that’s Joel and that someone’s going to have to die to get him out, which has already been said, I think, in someone’s dream, that only harm could set him free, and he couldn’t do harm or something like that.”

“He can’t harm her,” Mac said in a way that made me frown at him, wondering what he was talking about.

“Taeynd?” Siofra asked him and Mac nodded.

“And why is that?” Glenn asked.

Mac shrugged as he kept his eyes on the book. “We’ll ask him when we find him.”

Glenn agreed. “Okay, let’s do that. Sunrise somewhere, the battle, Garelan runs red. Is that the river or the cliffs?”

“The cliffs,” Mac said.

“’The cliffs of Garelan will run red’, or something like that,” Siofra quoted.

“This is just Garelan,” Glenn pointed out.

“I imagine the river would run red, too,” Mac commented.

Glenn nodded. “Depends on the amount of blood, and when that happens, ‘blood gathers in the gray circle’, which could be family… or could be an injury.”

“Could be us returning home,” Siofra suggested as well. “We’re family.”

Glenn agreed by nodding his head absently then moved on. “Not that we know what the bear is. Maybe it’s a local thing.”

“Here or home?” Siofra asked.

“Here, but could be home. We were in a cave, its possible there were bears there, though not likely in the middle of Nashville.”

Siofra shook her head. “I haven’t heard of any. I wonder if one of the Fates would have something to do with that. Avatar? Familiar? It’s possible, they are odd.”

“Especially Carlene,” Glenn mentioned, the leeriness I had seen before in his eyes at the Fates house returning once again.

Siofra looked down at the prophecy again. “We don’t know who ‘the bear rising’ is. ‘The dagger will carry new beginnings’, we already know that one.”

“You think you know that one,” Eliza corrected, obviously uncomfortable with everyone taking for granted that she was the one to have a ‘new beginning’ in the form of a baby.

“Yeah,” Siofra said unswayed as she continued to look over the prophecy.

Mac looked over at Siofra and me. “Could be any of you,” he pointed out, trying to redirect his sister’s teasing of Eliza. The hesitation in his gaze when he looked at me would have offended me if I weren’t thinking about how all this would affect Joel when we got him away from Taeynd.

Siofra turned to me then and her eyes narrowed at her brother’s suggestion. “Could be you,” she offered.

“What?” I said, rejoining the conversation.

“Haven’t you been paying attention?” Siofra scolded.

“No,” I admitted.

“She’s thinking about Jolesic,” Mac said.

“’The dagger will carry new beginnings’,” Siofra sing-songed.

“I’m not a dagger,” I said. “Mac already said that.”

“He could be wrong,” she said absently with a shrug.

“That was before I read the prophecy,” he said.

“It is possible that it is you, Corrine,” Siofra said seriously. “It is possible that it could be all three.”

Glenn spoke up. “This could be Corrine up here where the dagger must live that the seeker should seek, because Mac saved you in Salem.”

“Anyone could be the dagger,” Siofra said while Mac stretched and yawned. Then she went back to the end of the prophecy again. “Someone will carry new beginnings. Plural. Could be twins.”

“True,” Glenn relied, trying not to look at Eliza, who was beginning to not like how often the subject of pregnancy kept coming up during the conversation.

“Sorry for your luck,” Siofra told her good naturedly with a laugh.

“Or yours,” Mac told her.

Siofra shook her head. “No, I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be yours, because you know…”

Mac stood and I could see him fighting back another yawn. “We have a long road ahead of us tomorrow,” he said, suggesting that it was time for sleep.

“What about the rest of this?” Siofra asked, holding up the parchment page. “There are two lines left.”

“’Distant masses stand on high’?” Glenn read. “Nashville?”

“Family?” Siofra suggested. “We have no idea how time passes here, if it’s the same as home. It could go slower or faster.”

Glenn thought about what she said and nodded. “There could be an army coming, distant masses.”

“Come to help us return home?” she asked.

“Come to kill us before we get there?” Glenn countered.

Siofra shook her head. “No, I like my idea much better,” she said in her pampered way. “‘The wolf’s cry will herald a new dawn.’”

Glenn nodded. “That could be, again, Gwrhyr, or a werewolf, or an avatar.”

Siofra frowned. “Well, not yours,” she pointed out. “Angus?”

Mac, who was still standing and regarding Siofra with an annoyed glare, had finally had enough. “Good night,” he said with a clipped decisiveness.

“We weren’t finished,” his sister protested.

“I’ve been trying to kick you out of my room for ten minutes now,” he countered.

“I thought you wanted to go over this?” she replied in a huff as she indicated the parchment in her hand.

Glenn leaned back and studied the other man. “He’s not interested in destiny, remember?”

Siofra glanced at her husband quickly and then back to her brother. “This isn’t destiny, this is a prophecy.”

“Get out of my room,” Mac said, pointing to the door that separated the two rooms.

Glenn stood and smiled. “Come on; let’s leave him to his, ah, musings over his destiny.”

Mac expression hardened. “I’m sleeping so I can keep your pampered arse alive.”

“Pampered?” Siofra repeated in outrage.

Mac met her glare for glare. “Yeah, Princess.”

Glenn took his wife’s hand and tried not to laugh as he pulled her toward the door. “Let’s go.”

“You’re all Dreamspeaker,” Mac called out as they entered the other room, leaving the door ajar. “You’ve all read the prophecy. Go dream now.”

“What shall I let you dream of?” Siofra taunted from the other room.

“The prophecy,” Mac ground out through clenched teeth.

After securing the outside door to the room we quickly changed for bed and snuffed out the lights in the room. As I lay in my bed next to Mac and Eliza’s, I found myself worrying about Joel and if he was okay. I was sure that we would be able to get him away from Taeynd, but what happened after that? Would we be able to find our way back home safely?

I decided to try to find Joel. I had to be sure that he was alright and there was only one way to do that right now.

 

 

 

 

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