Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chapter 37: Love Redeemed

  Reilly rang the doorbell, and waited nervously.


  He listened for sounds of activity inside the house, but didn't hear any.  He pulled the paper out of his pocket and checked the address again.  Yeah, he was at the right place.  Where could she be?

  He walked down the steps, and started to look around outside.  "Elly?" he called her name out, but she didn't answer back.


  "Boo!" a voice came from behind him, and startled him out of his skin.  He swung around, ready to fight, but realized it was Elly behind him, giggling, and not any Nephilium henchmen.  "Did I get you?" Her eyes sparkled with glee.

  He forced himself to relax, "You did startle me, yes."

  "I am sorry Reilly!  I meant no harm, I just thought that..."

  Reilly smiled at her.  "Why do I have the feeling that you love pranks?"

  She laughed.  "They are great fun!  But," she said on a more serious note, "I forgot that a lot of humans do not find our pranks very funny.  I am truly sorry."

  "It isn't that, Rhys and I play pranks on each other all the time.  I just wasn't expecting it from you, but forewarned is forearmed."

  Elly clasped her hands together.  "Oooh!  A challenge!"  She danced around.  "You are fun for a human, Reilly!"

  "That is a compliment, I think."  He watched her fluttering and dancing around, "The way you said human, have you had troubles with people before?"

  Elly stopped dancing, and regarded him seriously, for just a twinkle in time.  "Yes, the humans I have met, did not care much for our ways."  Then without missing a beat, "Tag, you're it!"  She tagged him with her hand, and with a flurry of pink sparkles, seemed to disappear before his eyes.

  "Hey, wait a..." he paused, when he noticed the small pink speck that floated around his head.  He heard tinkling laughter coming from the speck.  "Elly?"  The speck danced in front of his face, and circled around his body at a dizzying speed.  "That is an unfair advantage!"

  After playing chase a fairy for a while, Reilly finally gave in.  "You win!" he said breathlessly.  "I am no match for you!"

  She materialized in front of him, giggling.  "That was fun!" she said, and her eyes shined.

  "I need a break."  Reilly told her.  He had noticed her little plot of plants earlier, and decided to ask her about it.  "You like to garden?"

  "Do I?" she exclaimed.  "I am a Garden Sprite, it is what I do, make things grow.  See, that plant over there," she pointed, "it is called a Mandrake.  Did you know that Mandrakes help increase your fertility?  If you grind it up and eat it with your meals, it will help you have lots of babies!"

  Reilly blushed, and looked everywhere but at her.  "Really?" He stammered, and then he blushed some more.  "Uh, do Fairies, er, Sprites, have need of such plants?"

  Elly nodded sadly.  "Indeed we do, it is in high demand, for it is hard for us fae to procreate, we are not as prolific as you humans are.  So our numbers dwindle, it is the most debated subject in our Councils."

  "You have meetings about," Reilly paused, then rushed on, "fertility?"

  "Yes, it is very important to us.  We are dying off, as a race, and we are searching for ways to stop our demise.  If we had short lifespans, we would have already been a blip in your history books, as it is now, there are not very many of us left, who are of breeding age.  Something must be done, and soon."

  "Is that...why..."  Reilly hesitated, what was the best way to ask the question he was dying to know the answer to?

  Elly seemed to know what he was asking though, and gave him the answer.  "This place, has some sort of a special, magical essence, over it, and the Mandrakes that we have found here, have been especially potent.  Unfortunately, they take a long time to grow, and there are not very many of them in the wild woods to harvest.  All attempts to grow them at home, have failed.  There is something about this town, that causes things to grow so well.  So I was given the task of harvesting and growing the Mandrakes for my people.  And, if, while I am here, I find a mate to have children with, well, so much the better."  She smiled at Reilly.

  Reilly cleared his throat.  "Oh." was all he could think to say.

  Ethan followed Kei out onto the front porch.  "I have something for you."  he told her.

  She turned around towards him, saying as she did so, "I came out here for some quiet Ethan, not to be pestered by..." she stared at the bouquet of red roses that he was holding out to her.  She loved red roses, and Ethan, the rat, knew it.  It was so hard to fight against someone who knew you so well.  She reached for them, and breathed the scent in.  "Thank you."  she said quietly.

    "Enjoy your peace, Kei."  Ethan said, and he walked back inside, mission accomplished.


  The next morning brought bad news.  Kei held the phone in her hands, but she wasn't really listening to the words that were coming from the phone, she was too absorbed in memories.  "....he was just fine last night, we were all sitting around, and your Dad, he was up to his usual little magic tricks that the twins love, but this morning..." more sobs came from the phone, "...he wouldn't wake up!  I called 911, but it was too late...he was gone..."

  Kei couldn't believe it, her father couldn't be gone.  He had always been there for her, even when she had been an angry and hurting teen, that had lashed out at him.  The memories flowed from her, almost as fast as the tears that poured down her cheeks.

  "I love you Daddy." she whispered.

  Kit was tasked with telling the rest of the family the news, since his mother was in no condition to do so.  Rylan, Chaine, and the boys took the news stoically, but Nira broke down in noisy sobs. 

  He hugged her and comforted her the best that he could, but he was relieved when Tristan came home from work, and was able to take over.  Kit still had to tell Maya, who had stayed overnight at a friend's place.

  Kei grabbed her keys, and headed for the door.  "Where are you going?"  Ethan asked her, he grabbed her arm to keep her from leaving.

  "None of your bus..."

  "I'm coming with you."

  "You are not!"  Kei argued.  "I am in no mood for company, and I am not up to arguing with you."

  "Excellent, " Ethan said, "then let's go, while you are not in the arguing mood."  Kei frowned but followed him out to the car.  He was sitting in the driver's seat, waiting patiently for her.

  "I'm driving."  Kei said stubbornly.

  Ethan shook his head.  "Get in Kei, you're not arguing with me, remember?  You're in no condition to drive to your father's grave."

  "I never said I wasn't arguing with you Ethan, I said, " she stopped, then frowned at him again.  "How do you know where I am going."

  "I'm a smart guy, now get in the car Kei."  She grumbled, but got into the passenger seat, in the back.  She slammed the car door, crossed her arms, and glared at Ethan from the backseat.  Ethan didn't say anything, he just put the car in gear, and headed for the graveyard.

  Kei's tough facade faded as soon as she was standing in front of her father's grave.  Looking at the cold grey stone that marked where her father lie, her father's death ceased to be surreal, and instead became very real.  The tears came, and her shoulders heaved with her sobs.


  Ethan reached for her.  "Kei."

  Kei let herself be drawn into his arms, and she cried all over his shirt.  "I cannot believe he is gone!"

  Ethan didn't say anything, for there were no words he could use that would comfort her.  Instead he pulled her closer, and just let her cry.


  "Good by Daddy."

  Elly felt the drops of water fall on her from the sky, she looked up in amazement.  Where she came from, there was only endless sunshine.  But it seemed the clouds cried in this world, she found the thought fascinating.  Maybe Reilly could tell her more about these tears from the sky.

  She smiled at the thought of Reilly.  He was so young, and yet he was so...  She couldn't think of a good enough word to describe him.  While she longed to have children, to help keep her family line going, she had found no one else that she really liked, or admired, let alone someone that she could imagine kissing, or having children with, as much as Reilly.  Humans had shorter life spans, suppose she just waited for him?


  She heard footsteps behind her, she turned around to see Reilly.  "What a pleasant surprise!" she said in delight.  Then she got a good look at his face.  "Reilly, what is wrong."

  "My Grandpa died." he said sadly.  "I just needed some air, I hope you don't mind that I walked over here?"

  "Goodness, no!  Let's go inside, and get out of these tears!  How precious that the very clouds in this amazing town cries with you!"

  Reilly cracked a small smile.  "Tears?  No, that is just rain.  It happens quite a lot, especially in the Spring and Fall."

  "Really?"  Elly said, as she guided him into her house.  "Please tell me more of this Rain."

  Which is how Reilly found himself talking to Elly about weather.

  Ethan had enough, it was time to step in.  Kei had been moping about for weeks, she rarely spoke, she barely ate, and would only shower when pushed into it.  He had to return to Camulodunum, soon.  His Generals could not be expected to fight the war with his father without their Prince's aid.  They had been very gracious with his need to spend time with his family and reconnect, before returning home.  Ethan had hopes that Kit and Reilly would be with him when he returned.  He had even spoken to Kit, about he and Reilly moving to Camulodunum, and taking their rightful place in Camulodunum society.

  Kit had dashed those hopes, and had declined, for now.  "Dad, it is not the right timing for either Reilly or I, to move to Camulodunum.  Someday, things may change, but for now, I think we'll stay here."

    Chaine had been eager at the thought of returning home, back to a place that he did remember.  Ethan just needed to talk to Kei about it now.  She was starting to shut herself off again, and Ethan was determined to keep that from happening.

  He found her, laying on her bed, channel surfing the shopping networks.  He grabbed the remote from her, ignored her protests, and shut the tv off.  He pulled her off the bed.  "Come on Kei, we are going to go to the Festival.  You have stagnated inside long enough."

  "I don't want to go..."  Ethan kissed her to shut her up.  While she was still shocked silent, he managed to get her out the door and into the car.  She stayed silent through the whole car drive, just stealing side glances at him from underneath her lashes.

  She stayed silent, all the way to the dance floor, until Ethan pulled her into his arms, and began to sway slowly with the music.  Then she spoke.  "You are an aggravating man, Ethan."

  Ethan twirled her around, and then pulled her close again.

    Ethan chuckled.  "Face it Kei, you love me, and you are never more alive than when we are together."

  "You are so full of yourself Ethan!"

  Ethan dipped her down, and pulled her back up smoothly, close to his body.  Breathless, Kei stared into Ethan's eyes, her cheeks were flushed with color, and her eyes sparkled.


   "You are my heart's desire, Kei, and you always have been from the very moment we met.  I want to marry you again, and this time, we will do things differently."

  "Really?"  Kei raised her eyebrow.  "what will you do that will be so different this time around Ethan?"

  "Well, for starters, how about you come with me to Camulodunum, and I'll train you how to fight.  Then you can fight beside me."

  Kei stopped dancing.  She stared at Ethan intently.  "You mean it?"

  "I do." he affirmed.

  Kei squealed and hugged him tightly.  "Yes!"

  "To be clear, Kei, what are you saying yes to?"

  Kei lightly smacked him with her hand, then kissed him.  "All of the above.  Are the kids coming with us?"

  "Kit and Reilly are not, they are staying here.  As is Rhys, he was very quick to tell me that he was not interested in leaving if Reilly was not going as well.  I am not sure about your daughter Nira and her husband.  Layla won't speak to me, apparently she is a lot like you."  Kei smacked him again, he grinned at her.  "She will know where to find me, when she is ready.  Chaine said that Rylan and Maya will join us, after she graduates.  She wants to graduate with her friends."

  "I am glad that some of our kids are coming, I am going to miss the ones that stay behind terribly."

  "We will visit Kei, I need to stay in contact with Kit, he is my heir after all."

  "Ethan, before we go home to celebrate, there is one thing I want to try out."

  "What's that?"  Kei led him over to a bright blue machine with lots of lights, and a big gaudy heart on top.

  "Seriously Kei?"  Ethan groaned.

  "Be a good sport Ethan!"  Kei chided him.  He grimaced, but placed his hand over hers and watched all the lights zip up and down, before the big red heart glowed bright red.

  It spit a little paper out at the bottom, and Ethan reached down and grabbed it.  "Well, what does it say?"  Kei asked impatiently.  Ethan grinned at her, and held the slip of paper up, so that she could read it for herself.

  Kei grinned back at him.  "Let's go home."


  Notes:  So I am thinking that I am a genius, lol.  :P  I have this little place called Camulodunum, that I can *send* all my spares to.  It is so convenient and handy!  Someday, if I ever feel like fleshing it out more (translated:if I ever get good enough at making worlds to where I can make what I see Camulodunum looking like--- in CAW, then I will get into it a little more!), then I can do so, but for now, this is a handy tool!   Where is Grandma---she's in Camulodunum fighting bad guys!  lol  (I have a lot of kids for this next generation, so I needed to move some of my beloved heirs and help out of the house, to make way for babies! :D)

  Ethan and Kei are back to how they were.  He is the only one that she actually has a 100% positive relationship with.  Most of her relationships are in the negative, as she persists in calling names and scaring people.  Even Kit and her are in the red.  But she and Ethan---they love to talk about their rebelling days!

  Ethan and Kei, after they got that little paper, also got this little moodlet---


  That was the happy part---the not so happy, I did almost cry when I finally got the notice that Kona had died.  :(   He was a fun founder sim.  RIP Kona.

  Next chapter, generation 4 takes over.  Woot! 


Monday, November 26, 2012

Chapter 36: Winter Fun

  "Watch out!" both Gator and Kit yelled at each other, but it was too late.


  Kit laughed.  "Ice skating is harder than it looks!"


  Reilly loved the feeling of the winter chill on his face. 


  There was nothing better than flying around town to get rid of the cobwebs and worries on his mind.  He almost zoomed right on by her, but the pink sparkle caught his attention, enough that he doubled back, and stopped to take a closer look.

  Curious, he approached her.  "Hello!  I'm Reilly, I don't remember seeing you around here?"

  She turned towards him, a playful smile on her face.  "I'm Ellyndria, I just moved here, from, well, a place far away."


  Reilly was instantly enchanted.  He had never seen such beauty before, and her voice!  It sounded like an Angel's.  He stared dumbfounded at her for several moments, groping about for something to say, while she looked at him quizzically.  Reilly wished Rhys was here, he had a way with females.  Reilly just felt awkward, and awestruck.  "Uh, welcome Ell, Ellyn," he fumbled with her name, "Elly." He finally just shortened it, and blushed out of embarrassment.  "Welcome to Moonlight Falls.  I'm Reilly."

  Ellyndria laughed.  "So you told me."

  Reilly's cheeks heated even more.  "Uh, so I did.  Have you been here long?"  More importantly, he wanted to know if she was single.  But he couldn't come right out and ask that, right?  He needed some polite chit chat first.

  "Earlier this afternoon.  I rented a house on  Lakeside Dr.  I didn't have much to unpack, so I thought I'd take a look around, and those markings," she pointed to the Celtic Knot, "There are a lot of such things where I come from, so I stopped here to check this, whatever it is out."

  "You don't live very far from me!  We recently moved ourselves," Reilly continued, "from another house in town.  My Grandmother was most insistent that she could not live another day in our old house."  Reilly looked at the Celtic markings on the makeshift broom arena.  "This is where people come and participate in broom races.  There are bets that are made on who will win and everything."

  "Broom races?"  Ellyndria questioned.  "I am not familiar with this?"

  "Well, I could tell you all about it, but maybe inside somewhere?  It's getting cold out here.  There is a little cafe just up the road, how about I buy you some hot cocoa, and we can talk there?"  Reilly winced a bit, hot cocoa was probably not the most grown up thing to say.

  Ellyndria brightened up.  "Oooh, I have heard of this hot cocoa!  I have never tried it before!  I would love to go to this cafe with you Reilly, and have some of this hot cocoa you speak of!"

  "Really?  I mean, cool! Let's go then."  It was all Reilly could do to not jump up and down in excitement.  He had to play it cool though, or she might think he was nuts.  He made sure to reach the door ahead of her, so that he could open it for her.  The blast of warm air felt good on his cold body, but his heated cheeks could use some more ice.


   Kei approached Chaine, who was sitting on the couch, looking through a book.  "Chaine, can we talk?"

  Chaine looked up at her.  "I guess so." he said hesitantly.  He closed the book.  He looked up at the woman that everyone told him he had married, but he didn't remember her, or their life together. 

  "Chaine, I..." Kei awkwardly started to say.

  "Let me make this easier on you, Kei."  Chaine smiled at her in compassion.  "Ethan tells me that I am suffering the aftereffects from when Raven was messing with my mind."  Chaine chose his next words with care.  "The odds of me regaining my memory, are so slim, they may as well not exist.  Most Guardians who have gone through what happened to me, they lose their minds entirely, and revert to vegetables.  I am thankful that that did not happen!  I am alive, and determined to live the rest of my life well.  I have two beautiful kids, that I want to get to know again, and a grandson!  He is quite the handful!"  Chaine shook his head, but smiled while doing so. 

  "But what of us Chaine?"  Kei cried.  "I know we have not always seen eye to eye, and we have fought often, but..."

  Chaine interrupted her.  "Kei, I don't know of any way to say this, other than just to lay it all out.  I don't remember you, or our married life, I have no feelings for you.  You are as a stranger to me.  Meanwhile, you and Ethan give each other looks when you think the other is not looking. " Chaine shook his head again.  "How foolish!  You are Mates, and Life is precious.  Take hold of it Kei."

  Kei was shaking her head.  "How could I leave you, to be with him?  We are married Chaine, he was dead, and oh Chaine!  I feel like to do would be, would be like robbing you, of your place!  I am just so sad for you and..."

  "Sad for me?"  Chaine was genuinely perplexed.  "Why ever for? Every day I am given is a gift, and, I look forward to spending time with Rylan, and Nira, and even that imp, Rhys!  I have so much to live for, and to learn about!  I may even get used to that older guy that stares back at me in the mirror."  Chaine chuckled.  "In my mind I am still young, and it is quite disconcerting to see the grey whiskers that keep popping up in my beard!  A divorce is easily managed Kei, and you will not be breaking my heart in the least bit.  In fact, it will be of great relief to me, because quite frankly, you scare me!"

  Kei laughed through her tears, and looked at Chaine, the man who had helped her grow in so many ways.  He was still dear to her, though her feelings for him, had never been as intense as they were for Ethan.  "We are okay then?"

  Chaine smiled at her.  "We are okay.  You should let Ethan out of his misery, he did what he thought best, which is how we Camulodunums are raised to be!  Sacrifice, is the ultimate expression of Love."

  "I don't think I care too much about your culture's ideals."  Kei said.  "Kit tried explaining it to me, but it is beyond me.  However, as far as Ethan goes,"  she looked thoughtful for a moment, "I am just taking it one day at a time.  He has years of groveling to make up for."

  Chaine shook his head.  "Better he, than me." he said with great feeling.

  Ethan found Kei walking down the hallway.  "Hey Kei, wait!"  Kei paused, and waited for Ethan to catch up.  "Check out my parlor trick!"  He was holding one whole raw chicken in his hands.

  Ethan swallowed it whole in mere seconds.

  "Impressive, yes?"

  Kei was not impressed.  She rolled her eyes.  "Save that trick for the boys, they will be suitably impressed."  She started to walk away.

  "Kei!"  Ethan followed her.  "I'm sorry you didn't like my little magic trick, your Dad used to do that one, it used to make you smile."  She kept walking.  "Kei, could you hold still for just a moment, so that we can talk about the stuff that is bugging you?"

  Kei swung around to face him, her eyes flashed with fire.  "The stuff!  The stuff!  Oh, you mean the YEARS I wasted looking for you?  The grief and frustration I felt, when it seemed like I had failed?"

  Ethan hesitated slightly.  "Well, yes, that stuff.  We need to talk about it, so we can get past it."

  Kei pretended to think about it, then said, "No, I don't think so." and she walked away. 

  Ethan called after her.  "You're going to be difficult about this, aren't you?"

  "You owe me!" she yelled back over her shoulder as she slammed the bedroom door closed behind her.  She opened it up again, "And, for your information, I don't like this house either.  I want to move!" she slammed the door shut again.

  Ethan sighed and went down the stairs, and walked into the small study that was just off to the right of the staircase.  Kit was sitting in there reading, but when he saw his father, he stood up and put the book away.  "That went well."  Kit commented.  "Are we really going to move again?  We haven't unpacked everything from the last move we made!"

  Ethan shrugged.  "It went as well as I expected. "  He smiled at his son.  "I'm getting to her though, it's just a matter of time."

  Kit stared at his father.  "Really Dad?  It didn't sound like it."

  "Why else do you think we are moving again?  She's desperately grasping at things to keep me away, but it won't work."  Ethan grinned.

  "You guys are crazy."  Kit said.

  Reilly came home, but he couldn't keep the grin off his face.  Elly was so amazing, and funny, and they had sat and talked for a couple hours.  The way she had of looking at him while he talked, that what he was saying was the most important thing in the world, made him gush inside to think of it.  Not that he was the gushing type, because he wasn't.  That would be girly.  He even managed somehow to get her to agree to go to the Festival with him.  He was so stoked.  Then he was abruptly brought back down to Earth from cloud nine, by a snowball missile.  "Dude!"  Reilly yelled.  "That was my face!"

  Rhys chuckled.  "Dude, you had a sappy face, I just helped you out.  Where have you been anyway, and what's her name?"  Rhys threw another snowball at Reilly, and Reilly reciprocated.  Rhys quickly retaliated.

  "Why do you think it's a girl?"  Reilly said defensively.  "Maybe I was just flying around town, enjoying the scenery."

  Rhys snorted and laughed at the same time.  "I bet you were enjoying the scenery.  Now, come on, share.  Who she is?"

  "Why do you think a girl is involved anyway?"  Reilly said irritably, as he launched another snowball at Rhys.

  "It's written all over your face Dude!  Well," he considered for a moment, "it was, until I helped you out with that."   He laughed as Reilly pelted him with a flurry of snowballs, then he returned volley for fire.  Several minutes later they both collapsed into the snow, laughing, their clothes and hair were covered in snow.

  "Her name is Elly."  Reilly said quietly.  "She is the most beautiful girl you will ever see."  Reilly sighed and closed his eyes. 

  Rhys crawled through the snow until he was next to Reilly.  "Are you sure?  Because I have seen a lot of pretty girls, and I plan to see a lot more."  Reilly elbowed him.  "Okay, okay.  So where did you meet her?"

  "She's new in town, I'm actually the first person she has met in this town!  She was at the old broom arena, looking around.  I almost missed her too!  That would have been tragic!  I invited her to have some hot cocoa,"  Reilly ignored Rhys' groans of Dude, not hot cocoa!, "and she was excited about it!  She had never had hot cocoa before, and we just sat and talked, and drank hot cocoa. But everything just clicked, I felt like I had known her forever.  It was magical."  Reilly finished on a whisper.

  "Magical?"  Rhys said doubtfully.  "She hasn't had hot cocoa before?  What rock was she living under?  I want to meet her."  Rhys said abruptly.  "I need to make sure she's on the up and up, and not the type to break your heart.  You're too much of a romantic Reilly, I worry about you.  All your magical fou fou nonsense!"

  Reilly turned his head and smiled at Rhys.  "You're just a cynic, and how you got to be so, I'll never know.  I worry about you!"  Reilly turned Rhys' words back on him.  "I don't want to scare her off Rhys!  It's nothing romantic, yet.  I just wish it to be, I have no idea how she feels.  I wish I were older though.  I hope she doesn't find anyone else!"  Reilly fretted.

  "You're a dork."  Rhys told Reilly.  "If she does find someone else, it's her loss."

  Kei threw the book across the room.  Sitting in a room and pouting, did not sit well with her.  She was a person of action.  She pulled her winter coat on, and winter boots, and stepped outside into the frigid air.  There were a lot of things that she had always wanted to try, but never had the chance to.  One of those things she could do right now.

  She laid on her back, in the snow, and waved her arms and legs.  She loved Snow Angels.  In the still quiet of that moment, she stared up at the big expanse of sky above her, and felt a peace creep into her heart. 



  Notes:  Reilly's generation, should be!, in charge by next chapter, or the following chapter at the most.  Because of Kit's generational goal, none of them have made it to the top of their careers yet.  So I guess that it is a success!  lol  I will be glad to be done with homemade, that was just a minor pain.  We miss our ice cream breakfasts! :P  Though on the plus side, it will give my up and coming Farmer a boost.  :D

  Chaine is perfectly happy with the way things are turning out.  He rolls lots of wants to spend time with his kids, but any wants associated with Kei?  They are non existent.  Even in this Post seasons---everyone finds everyone hot---world---Kei and Chaine do not find each other hot.  lol 

  Some big changes ahead---not bad ones---at least I don't think so! lol

  Blooper pic of a sort---this is Gator Wolff and the clothes the game gave him for his outerwear.  *shakes head*  What an outfit!  I get a lot of guns added to just about all my Residents' outerwear.  Someone noted that it may be because the game automatically makes the sims have gloves with their outerwear, and the gun is categorized as gloves. :)


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Chapter 35: Healing Hands

  Kei turned around, and screamed.  "Ethan!"  She launched herself at him, and kissed him, taking him by surprise.

  "You don't know how happy I am to see you!" she exclaimed.  "Because if you are here, which you can't be here, because you are dead, so that means this is all some horrible nightmare that I am going to wake up from any time now. And I'll roll over, and Chaine will be his normal self, and we will do our normal fighting, after I tell him how glad I am that he is okay, of course...." Kei babbled.

  It took Ethan a moment to recover, and actually follow what she was saying.  "Kei," he said, "this isn't a dream."

  "But of course it is a dream Ethan."  Kei said reasonably.  "If it were not, well, I'd hate to be you right now, because I would be seriously upset that you were alive all along, and yet chose to let me believe you had died.  Not only died, but died by being murdered!  That would mean I spent years of my life, years that are forever gone!, trying to find a Murderer THAT. DID. NOT.  EXIST!"  Kei's voice began to rise as fast as her hysteria.

    "Kei, calm down for a..."

  "Calm down!"  Kei yelled.  "I am the very picture of calmness!"  She followed her statement up with some action.

   "How could you!" she wailed.  "What of all that Bonding nonsense!  I couldn't feel you, so why?  You felt dead!  And then Chaine, oh Chaine!" she moaned miserably.

  Nira stared in horrified fascination as her mother morphed quickly from one emotion to another.

  "What a mess!  What a disaster!"  Kei ranted on.

  Ethan chuckled, and Kei glared at him.  "I am sorry for many things, " he said smiling, "but I have missed you terribly Kei!  It is so good to be with you again."

  "That was by your..."  Kei started, but Kit interrupted her.

  "Okay, explanations and..." he waved his hand at his parents, "whatever that is, can wait.  Reilly and Rhys are in trouble, we don't have time for this."

  "Those two are always in trouble."  Kei said.  "Nothing new there."

  "This is different Mom."  Kit said impatiently.  "This is life and death.  While Dad was explaining things so well, " he gave a pointed look at his father, "I was looking through Reilly's laptop to see where they might have gone."

  Tristan came up behind Kit.  "Camping somewhere weren't they?" he asked.

  "No, they lied about that.  There wasn't a camping trip scheduled.  They had another purpose in mind.  That would be bad enough, but I have to reason to believe that the Nephilium are going to be searching for Reilly."

  "Rhys lied!"  Nira said in shock.  "Not my Rhys?"

  "Nephilium?" Kei questioned, the word was both unfamiliar and weird to her.

  Kit rolled his eyes.  "Both of them lied, and the Nephilium are the ones that were sent out to kill, or do worse, to our family, but I think I know where the boys are."

  "When I get my hands on that boy of mine..." Tristan growled.  "Where do you think they are?"


  "Bridgeport!" they all said at once.

  Kit hesitated, "It is where Mina is."

  Kei nodded her head in understanding.  "Searching for his Mom, is he?"

  "I believe so.  Here's the plan,"  Kit looked at each one as he said their name. "Dad, Tris, and I are going to Bridgeport to find the boys.  I wish Chaine wasn't hurt, we could have used him.  But no matter.."

  "You're not making me stay with the girls are you?"  Rylan asked.

  Kit apologized.  "Ry, I know you want to come with, and I am sure we could use your help, but I need someone levelheaded to stay here and keep everyone else from doing something stupid."

  Rylan groaned.  "You so owe me for this Kit.  Getting stuck with a bunch of hys..." he paused, "Women that I am related to, is not my idea of fun."

  "I'm coming too!" both Nira and Kei chimed in.

  Kit turned to his mother and Nira.  "No, I need you two to stay here and to take care of Chaine and Ayden, not to mention all the cousins that are scared out of their minds right now.  I need you to cooperate."  Kit gave his mother a hard look.  "This is not something to play with Mom, these guys mean business.  If you interfere, you could get us all killed."

  "Kit..." Kei started to say, then changed her mind.  "You obviously know more than I do, so I will trust in your judgment.  Not his!" she pointed at Ethan.  "When you get back, Kit, do you promise to tell me what is going on?"

  Kit kissed his mother's cheek.  "I promise."

  Kei watched them leave, with a mixture of emotions.  "I can't believe he's still alive!"  Nira said to her mother.  "What does that mean for you and Dad?  Are you even legally married?  Am I a..."

  "It is pointless to speculate."  Kei told her daughter abruptly.  "We'll have to hear what Kit has to say when he returns."  Kei sighed heavily.  She had the same questions as her daughter, but no answers.

  Once they arrived in Bridgeport, Kit stopped and picked up a map.  "Don't you know where your ex wife lives?" Tristan asked him.

  "I have her address." Kit mumbled absently, his eyes scanning the map, "But I have never been here.  I prefer to not get lost."  They all heard the explosion, and looked up to see a huge ball of fire hit the other side of the Bay. 


  "That way."  Ethan pointed towards the raging fire.  "My grandson is amazing, such power." Ethan said in wonder.  "It was one thing to read about it, prepare for it, but quite another to see it in person!"

  "You think Reilly did that?"  Kit asked his father skeptically.

  "I know he did."  Ethan said confidently.  "But that little display, will attract more than just us.  We'd better hurry."  Kit nodded.

  "Whoa Dude!"  Rhys exclaimed.  "That was pure awesome!  Your control is a lot better too!"


  "I am getting better."  Reilly said, pleased.  "I was even able to keep the heat and the shock wave of the explosion from reaching us."  He stared at his hands.  "I can't believe that I come from a line of wizards!"

  "I can!"  Rhys said enthusiastically.  "Look at what you can do!"  They heard the wail of sirens in the distance.  "Uh oh, it's time to get out of here!"

  "I'm right behind you!"  They hiked back up to Mina's house, when they were almost there, both boys stopped and stared at the house.

  "I don't know what's wrong," Rhys whispered, "but something is not right."

  Reilly whispered back, "Yeah, I feel it too."


  Semir stared down at his fingernails.  "We can do this the easy way, or we can do this the hard way.  The choice is yours." 


  Mina spit at him.  "I say you can kiss my ass, and get the hell out of my house."

  Semir chuckled coldly.  "Such spirit!"  He grabbed her by the throat.  "It seems a pity to mark such a beautiful face."


   Semir brought her closer to his body and let his other hand wander down her cheek.  Mina turned her head slightly and bit him.  He cursed, and raised his hand to strike her, when a voice interrupted him.  "Having troubles with this one?"  Raven mocked.  "I think you have grown too soft Semir."


  "Nothing I can't handle." he said angrily.

  "We do not have time for this." Kadar barked out.

  Semir released Mina and dropped to his knees.  "A thousand pardons General.  I did not know you would be here as well."

  Kadar surveyed the room.  "The King is quite interested in this boy, I am here to make sure we get him."

  "Where is the boy?" he asked Mina.  Mina stared defiantly back at him.  "We know he is here, we can feel his magic all around this place.  Cooperate, and we may let you live."

  "I repeat, kiss my ass!"  Mina yelled.  Semir grabbed the back of her head.

  "It is not wise to be on our bad side."  Semir growled at her.  Mina didn't say a word, just stared at them angrily.

  Raven came closer to Mina.  "This one has some Old Camulodean magic as well."  Raven gripped Mina's chin.  "She will be a lot of fun to break."

  Mina smirked at her.  "Go ahead and try."  Raven slapped Mina, causing Mina's lip to start bleeding.

  "You will speak to me with respect."  Raven hissed.  "Or I will make you regret you were ever born."

  Mina laughed in her face.  "You are too late for that!  My family beat you to it many years ago."

  Raven leaned in closer and smiled wickedly.  "I will do a much better job, I assure you."

  "Raven, stop playing around." Kadar ordered Raven.   "We need to know the boy's whereabouts, you may play later.  Now is the time to work." 

  "As you wish."  Raven sought out Mina's mind.  Mina struggled to keep her out of her thoughts, and determined that if she lived through this, she was going to train herself to use what little magic she had.  She hated being helpless. 

  Mina deliberately kept her thoughts off of Reilly, and locked all her emotions about him far back into her mind.  There was no way Mina was going to passively give them her son.  The pain in her head was excruciating, and she didn't know how long she could hold out, as the pain grew and grew, but she was not going down without a fight.

  "Fight it yes, "  Raven whispered.  "I love pain, don't you?  Don't worry my Pretty, maybe I won't kill you.  Maybe I shall make a pet of you, won't that be lovely?"

  Reilly and Rhys burst into the room.  "Let her go."  Reilly commanded.


  Raven dropped her hold on Mina, and Mina slumped onto the floor.  Raven stood up, and smiled at Reilly.  "Aren't you just precious!" she said in delight. 

  Kadar stepped forward.  "Excellent, the boy is here."

  "Step away from her," Reilly warned them, "I don't want to hurt anyone, but I will if I have to."

  Raven made a slight hand signal, that neither Reilly or Rhys caught.  "It seems Ethan will have some explaining to do." she murmured.

  "I am your Prince, Raven."  Ethan said quietly, as he stepped into the room.  "I owe you no explanations."


  Raven glared at him.  "That boy should have been ours.  If you would have taken me as your Mate, and given me your child, he would be!  Raised properly, he would have been quite terrifying and powerful.  Now, it will take me years to train this boy properly, and to rid himself of useless emotions and sentiment."

  "Those are not Camulodean ideals."  Ethan told her.  "Those are the ravings of a mad man."

  "That mad man is your father, and my King."  Raven's eyes flashed.  "You are a great disappointment Ethan, but you are no longer needed.  We have our heir, and I will make him into a worthy Mate, unlike you."  She smiled, but her smile turned into a frown when she saw two others come up behind Rhys and Reilly; they were not the ones she was expecting.


  "Sorry it took a little longer."  Kit said.  "I had to get around the Protection spell to disable the Portal that kept letting more of those Nephilium pests in.  Between the two of us, we took care of the pest problem, so now all we have left are in this room."

  "Dad!  You're here!"  Reilly said in relief, as he went to turn around to look at him.

  "Keep your eyes on that woman, Reilly."  Kit told his son.  Reilly turned his attention back to Raven.

  Rhys nervously waved to his dad.  "Hi Dad." he said sheepishly.  He wouldn't admit it, but he felt a lot better knowing that his Dad and Reilly's Dad were both there.

  "You are defeated Raven, you and my father both.  I have an army, amassed on Camulodean's front gate, they are loyal to Camulodean, and tired of having a mad man lead them.  Give up gracefully, that we may show you mercy."  Ethan said.

  Raven sneered.  "Give up?  Never!  Not so long as I have breath in my body."  She chanted a few words, and then disappeared, Kadar and Semir with her.

  Ethan ran to catch her, but ended up with empty hands.  He cursed.  "They escaped."

  Kit hugged Reilly tightly.  "Are you alright?" 

  Reilly hugged his Dad back.  "I'm okay, but Mom isn't."  They both went over to where Mina lay on the carpet, still and silent.  "I tried to help her."  Reilly knelt before his Mom.  "She wasn't so bad, you know Dad?  Messed up, definitely.  She has some weird ideas, but she does love me, and she tried to protect me.  First from her family, and then, and then..."  Reilly shook his head, willing himself not to cry.  Kit knelt beside Reilly, and put his hand on his back. 

  Reilly reached out and touched his Mom.  "Don't die on me Mom, not now."   Reilly watched in wonder as his hands began to glow.  The glow spread through out his Mother's body, and totally encompassed her.  He could feel power, almost like an unbearable heat, coursing through his body and emptying into his mother's body.   Then the heat and glow went away, and his mother sat up and blinked at him.

  "Reilly?" she said uncertainly.  "What happened?  Are you okay?  Kit?  How did you get here?"  She stood up rapidly, "What's going on."  Her body swayed, and Kit reached out to steady her.

  "Easy Mina."  Kit said soothingly.  "Everything is fine, just relax."  Mina sighed and allowed herself to relax against Kit.  She even allowed herself to enjoy being in Kit's arms, for those few fleeting moments.


  "I healed her."  Reilly said in amazement.  "But I don't know how I did it!"

  Ethan came up to Reilly.  "You have the Healer's hands, the most powerful Old Camulodean magic of all.  You can curse people, and they will shrivel and die.  Or bless them, and give them great health.  You can break curses, and you can even bring back people who are at death's door.  It was all foretold.  It is your choice on how it is used."

  Reilly regarded Ethan curiously.  "Who are you?"
  "I'm your Dad's father, and your Grandfather."

  "I thought you were dead."

  "That is a long story for another day."  Ethan replied. 

  "Dad, that healing thing that Reilly can do, would it heal Chaine?"

  "Chaine is hurt?"  Reilly asked.

  "If anyone could, he could.  Healing is never one hundred percent certain, however."  Ethan cautioned.

  "What happened to Chaine?"  Reilly wanted to know.

  "I'll tell you on the way home."  Kit promised.  He looked at Mina, "Mina," he paused.

  "I'm staying here." she said matter of factly.  "My life is here, I'll be fine." she smiled reassuringly at Reilly, whose expression showed his concern for her.  Reilly hugged her, and she hugged him back.

   "I'll email you."  Reilly said.

  "I may even answer."  Mina threatened jokingly.  "Take care Kit." she said softly to her ex husband as he turned to leave.

  "You too." he responded.

  And then they were gone, and Mina was left alone in her house, Matthew would not be returning from his trip for several more days.  Things were exactly how she wanted them, and she did her best to ignore the small voice of discontent that told her it wasn't really what she wanted. 

  Kei was relieved to see her loved ones back, and unharmed.  Nira started crying and hugging Rhys, until he begged her to let him breath.  Reilly had given his Grandmother a hug, before walking over to the couch, to where Chaine was still laying, unmoving. 

  Reilly stared down at his Grandpa, and prayed that he would be able to help him.  He had no real control over the actual healing part, and it sapped his strength.  He still hadn't recovered completely from healing his Mom, he only hoped that he had enough left to heal Chaine.

  He placed his hands on Chaine's body, and he could feel the Power rising up inside of him, and the burning glow, that left his hands and warmed his Grandpa's skin.  Soon Chaine was enveloped in the glow, and Reilly ignored the gasps of surprise from his family that hadn't seen him heal his Mom.

  Kit saw his son's body begin to tremble, and almost collapse.  Kit came up behind Reilly and helped hold him up.  "Reilly, stop, you're going to hurt yourself.  Chaine wouldn't want that."

  "I'm okay Dad."  Reilly whispered.  Chaine twitched, and then sat up straight.  Reilly collapsed against his father.  "I'm just tired." he slurred.  Kit picked his son up, like he was a small child again, and carried him into another room and placed him on the bed.

  "Rest Reilly."  Kit told his son.

  Chaine looked around the room in confusion, where was he?  Who were all these people?  He found one face that was familiar though, and his gaze latched on to him.  "Ethan!" he said in relief.  "I was beginning to worry!" he laughed awkwardly.  "I am not sure what is going on, or who these people are, and my head feels strange."  Chaine regarded his friend intently.  "You look old---der."

  Ethan frowned as he walked closer to Chaine.  "You don't recognize anyone else?"

  Chaine looked around the room again, not letting his gaze linger too long on any of the shocked faces that were staring at him.  He felt like a bug under a microscope.  "No, should I?"


  Notes:  Yay!  Another chapter done with!  Woot!  I'm celebrating!  Now I can start actually playing the game again---and actually get back to the Challenge part.  lol  I left the door open to the King and others, in case I ever get nostalgic and want to write about them again.  So they may make the occasional appearance.  For the moment, they are licking their wounds and regrouping.  :)

   If you are all wondering, Chaine's memory loss is permanent as well.  He has some obstacles to overcome.  As to Ethan and Kei---that is up to Kei.  At the moment, she is not too happy with him. :P

   I couldn't keep Kei and Chaine together, because they are actually a terrible match, lol.  I have fought those two forever, trying to keep them together for story purposes.  I have no idea what it is, but Kei loves to pick on him, and he loves to argue with her, and they both want to divorce each other.  Sheesh!

  And yes, I didn't realize until looking at these pics that I had actually dressed Kit and Ethan in the same clothes, just different colors.  lol  Oops!  Kit will be getting a new wardrobe! :)

  One last note--I was having trouble with Kadar, who is a Genie.  The game wants him to have blue skin, and I am forever fixing it.  It is supposed to be a greyish-green color, not the green color that is showing.  But no matter what I did, my game stubbornly refused to show his skin as the proper color.  So Kadar is having a bad skin day.  lol