Chapter 23

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Chapter 23 of the Goldweaver family Legacy. The secret is out about the family's true origins and now all eyes are turned to Toren and his family. And even before the current storm has passed another rears its ugly head. Can Toren and the others do anything to stop this new disaster?

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“What do you mean you want to keep IT?” Avri yelled. How could this have happened? “YOU CHEATED ON ME???”

Silvana looked shocked, “Of course not. We..”

Avri didn’t even let her finish. He reared back and hit Silvana straight across the face.

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Silvana threw here arms up defensively to protect herself from her raging husband. She had known he would be unhappy, but how could he claim she’d cheated on him? She’d never do that. She pulled back as he came at her again. This time losing her balance.

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She tumbled down the stairs and onto the floor below. Her head smacked against the cold stone floor. The last thing she remembered was reaching weakly for her head.

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From the top of the stairs Avri looked down at the motionless form. Serves the bitch right, he thought. But he knew she out-ranked him in gypsy society and if he stuck around he’d be put on trial and even his contacts wouldn’t be able to keep him out of trouble this time. Especially if the baby proved to be his…but how could it be his? That little bitch. Avri clenched his fists. Well she was lucky he didn’t have the time to stop by her house for a chat, and she had better hope he never found the time. Without a second glance at Silvana, he moved out the door never to return.

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Iruviel had come over to tell Silvana that Kaya was pregnant when she found the front door slightly ajar. She’d gone in and called out worriedly and her panic only grew when there was no response. She made her way to the stairs and found her cousin’s still body on the floor. “Oh God, Si!” Iruviel had quickly dashed to the phone and frantically called her father.

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Arleth sat upon the stone floor of the hall trying to remain neutral. His mistress had ordered him to be courteous to the gypsy. He personally saw no need to inform the gypsies and their council of this incident, but the matriarch’s word should not be questioned. She was far wiser than himself and surely she knew what she was doing.

“It is an honor to have you here today.” though Arleth felt anything but honored by the gypsy’s presence.

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Lady Crumplebottom pursed her lips. She was no happier with the turn of events than the dark one that sat across from her. She’d been sent to deal with this problem, because none of the others wanted to do it. “And besides you are on peaceful terms with the darkies,” Gar had argued.

And while this was true, she wasn’t stupid. Gar and the others had been meeting in secret and planning something behind her back. They’d been doing this for years, not feeling a woman capable of leading them, but this time they were planning something bigger. She could feel it. “Enough of the pleasantries, just spill your news so I can be on my way.”

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Arleth forced himself to keep eye contact. He would not forsake his culture’s traditions. “We have been watching our borders carefully, Matriarch, (he hated using that title with this woman) in case any of Gal’s armies should breach our borders. Two days ago we found a stranger inside one of our most ancient ruins. He was captured, and is here for the council to question.”

Truth be told Arleth felt sorry for the young man. He himself did not think that he was part of Gal’s schemes, but all suspicious activity was to be reported to the high council and dealt with by them. Why his people took orders from a council they had no say on was beyond him.

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“Well show me to him then. I’ll not waste any more of your time or mine by dragging this whole scenario out. I’ll decide what’s to be done with him here and now.”

Arleth was a little surprised by this, but was well aware that it was within her authority as leader of the high council to make a judgment on her own without consulting the rest of the council. Silently he led the way to the dungeon where the prisoner was being held.

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Lady Crumplebottom had ordered the elf to stand guard at the door while she questioned the prisoner. She looked down on the young man with pursed lips. She wasn’t about to let him suspect that she’d already decided his fate with the matriarchs of the city a week ago. This was all just for show. “So, do you have a name boy? And what is your purpose here?”

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The half vampire looked up as the door to his cell opened. He had no idea how he’d gotten himself into this situation, but he certainly hoped he could get himself out of it. He’d left home in search of other vampires that could help his family. He knew it was a long shot that he would be welcomed anywhere, but his father had been kind. Or at least his mother said he was. He’d never known his father. Surely, there had to be others like him out in the world somewhere. He’d been searching ruins always a lover of history when he’d been confronted by elves. He’d surrendered peacefully, and now found himself face to face with a very angry looking woman.

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He slowly stood and tilted his head respectively, “My name is Jonathon Mendez.” He wasn’t sure how honest he should be with this woman. After all he had no wish to draw the attention of the wrong people. He made up his mind quickly and began speaking once more, “I’m into family genealogy and recently discovered that I might have family living around here. I’ve also always been interested in anything historical and I admit when I saw the ruins, I was curious. I didn’t mean to cause any trouble.”

She almost smiled. The boy was clever. The gypsy kept her mask in place however, “You are free to go, but if you are going to be staying here you’d better abide by our laws. You are not to go near the elfin ruins again. I don’t have time to be getting foolish outsiders out of trouble. Understand that if you are caught snooping again I’ll just let the elves kill you. Now get out of here.”

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Jonathon had no intention of getting arrested again. He counted himself fortunate that he was free at all. Perhaps it was time for him to head home. What had he been thinking anyway? Did he actually think he was going to find a vampire out in the world that would help his family? As far as he could tell there weren’t any vampires left in this city. He stopped dead in his tracks when he heard one of his guards speaking with an unknown man.

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“I can’t believe Avri got away with what he did!” Ravi was fuming. Avri had escaped justice and was on the run from the law, but he had a feeling Avri’s father knew where he was hiding. He’d questioned he older man all morning, but had gotten nothing from him. And why did it feel like some of the elders knew something too?

Arleth sighed. “Our council cares nothing for the plight of the other people that live in this land. It’s no wonder the vampires went into hiding.” He amended his statement quickly, “Excluding Count Ryker of course. How is the girl?”

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Ravi cocked an eyebrow, “She’s going to live, though we are still worried about long term damage. I’m just grateful that Cinaed is such a good doctor. She can’t control her power right now which of course has made her very temperamental.”

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“She’s not living alone in that condition is she?”

Ravi shook his head, “No, her cousin Iruviel moved in with her, though Silvana wasn’t happy about it. Iruviel has some medical training from her father and extensive combat training.”

Arleth leaned back on the grass impressed by this Iruviel’s skill set. “That is good. We will keep our eyes out for Avri. I assure that if he is caught beyond our borders he will be killed on sight.”

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“Arleth, I appreciate the concern, but don’t be rash. I want Avri brought to justice as much as the next person, but.”

“You have to speak on behalf of your people, Ravi.” the dark elf nodded, “I understand that. But I am a dark elf. What he did to his wife is unforgivable amongst my kind. My people have their way of dealing with men like him and you have yours. I am only saying that he should not be caught here.”

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Arleth sighed. “Let us speak no more of that. There is another message I was bidden to give you by the matriarchs. Matriarch Gem has located and recovered the second artifact. I was told to escort those who would come to claim it to our meeting ground. All you need do is send a message here from Rainbow Valley, and I will meet you at the arranged location.”

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Ravi stood to go. “Thank-you Arleth. I will be sure to let Toren know of your discovery. I’ll be in touch. Take care.”

The dark elf stared into the flames as his friend left. He could put off speaking with the old crone no longer. It was a long way still to the meeting ground and he had much to report to the matriarchs.

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Jonathon had heard the conversation. There was a full blooded vampire and a half-vampire living in that nearby village! Finding either of them would be difficult, and making friends with them would be even harder, but he had to try. Once the guard was finally gone, Jonathon headed down the road to find the next form of transport that could take him to Rainbow Valley.

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Toren stood out in the cold night air. He’d tried once again unsuccessfully to see his baby sister. Once again, Silvana had refused to speak with him. It had been nearly a week since the attack and though his sister was according to all sources doing better; Toren still worried about her. They had never gone this long without speaking to one another, and Toren found that without Si he was incredibly lonely. Perhaps tomorrow the silence would end. Slowly he trudged home to the rest of his family.

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Inside, Iruviel found Silvana was sleeping. She sighed. Over the past week her cousin barely did anything except sleep. She barely got out of bed at all, which although probably was a good thing in some respects, spoke volumes about Silvana’s current emotional condition. She could heal the physical wounds Avri had inflicted, but the ones on her cousin’s heart were beyond her skill to heal. Time she supposed would have to be the best healer in that case.

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Toren threw the dart angrily toward the board. Chess was no longer his preferred method of release. He’d thrown the pieces angrily to the floor several times over the past week, and he didn’t want the children to see. Granted one of them was too young to notice, but Rhia certainly was at a very impressionable age. And he was the one she came to when she was having problems, which he was grateful for, but she wasn’t the only one who was turning to him with their problems and Toren was starting to become overwhelmed with stress. Thankfully, he still had Tristen to turn to for comfort.

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Adding to the stress in their lives, were the new representatives of the various races who had started turning up on their doorstep asking for advice. Avri’s trial made it public knowledge among the different residents of Valenwood that descendants of the Valen elves were present in Rainbow Valley. The council had also decided to place sentries to guard the main safe-house. Toren found it uncomfortable to walk out his back door and find a gypsy he did not know stationed around the borders.

Yes, he was glad for the extra protection, but at the same time it was hard to explain what was going on to Rhia. And they were proving to be more of a nuisance than help, making it almost impossible for the family to leave the house without fuss being raised from these guards.

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Rhiannon looked carefully through her telescope. She was watching for any sign of bad people that might try to hurt her family like they had her Aunt Silvana. There were guards at the house now and one of them always drove her to school although her papa promised that when her Uncle Ravi got back that maybe they could work something else out. She hoped so, because she didn’t very much like the guard that followed her around everywhere. She wanted to go back to the way things were before her Aunt got hurt.

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Finally, Toren had enough of the guards following them everywhere. He’d thanked them politely for helping, but had firmly told them they hadn’t been ordered to stalk the family. He set up areas of the house for the guards to watch and forbade them from going into any of the bedrooms without permission unless the house was under a direct attack.

Everyone including Rhiannon preferred the new arrangement much better. The guard standing over her bed at night was more than just a little bit creepy.

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Lir had recently turned four and like his older sister before him was the spitting image of his father.

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With Ravi gone, overseeing the defenses of Rainbow Valley fell to Toren. This left the tasks of teaching Lir his life skills such as walking and talking primarily to Tristen. She had been worried she wouldn’t have the energy needed to do everything, but Lir was quite content to play with his toys on his own and wait patiently in his crib until a grown-up found the time to let him out He was truly a very easy going child.

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Across town Kaya spent most of her day’s relaxing and taking it easy. Pregnancy hadn’t been easy on her and like everyone else in the family she was worried about Silvana. Her husband was home less since the attack, but right now Silvana needed him more than she did.

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Ryker stood looking out the window of Silvana’s bedroom. She lowered herself gingerly onto the bed. All she wanted was to be left alone, but instead she had people hovering over her like mother hens. Still she supposed if she had to have someone hovering around her house at night, she’d rather it be Ryker than one of those sentries from the gypsy military. She sighed, “Ryker, I’m fine. You could just go home.”

“Look Sea baby, I already messed up my job once. I have no intention of doing so again. How’s your head?”

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Silvana sighed. “If you mean am I still hearing voices nonstop in my head then yes.” Not being able to control her “gift” was the worst part of the whole ordeal. Okay that wasn’t the worst part, but she wasn’t going to talk about the worst part.

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By night Ryker and Iruviel watched over her and in the daytime she had to try and keep away her relatives. She slept most of the time or pretended to be asleep so she wouldn’t have to talk to any of them. But her father proved to be too stubborn. He’d caught her faking and had dragged her down to play chess with him.

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I wish she’d talk to us. What did he do to you Baby Si? You used to smile all the time. I wish I could make her smile again.

Silvana cringed as she heard her father’s thoughts. Did he really care about her, or had she messed with his head too? Like she had with Avri. Had she really just been brainwashing people her entire life? Why else would everyone be so scared of people like her? She didn’t want to hurt anyone. But she couldn’t control her power, and she’d never been able to. That was obvious now. And the only way anyone would be safe was to keep them away. They…”Get out, and don’t come back. I..I.. Just leave please.”

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Glyndwr had taken one more look at his daughter before he’d left. Once he was gone, Silvana tried to make herself some food, but the memories of Avri’s last thoughts kept coming back. “That little bitch used her power to control me so she could have a baby! Well I never would have thought she’d have the guts. Guess I misjudged that one by a mile. And some of my kind wonder why we wanted freaks like her dead? Look at the stories. They always die alone. No one every loves them.”

No one ever loves them. She looked down at her swollen belly. “You won’t love me, but that’s okay. I’m not going to control you…I.. I promise.”

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Elsewhere Toren and Tristen were much more excited about the impending arrival of their children. “So how are my little girls?”

Tristen laughed, “They’re girls?”

Toren smile grew larger. “Yeah. I was thinking we could name one of them Kalana. After my mother and sister.”

Tristen smiled softly. She knew how much Toren missed his sister and she noticed the way his smile slipped when he mentioned her. “Can we name the other one Xanthe? Yellow has always been my favorite color.”

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Lir looked up at his sister with puppy dog eyes. “Pway me Wia?”

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Rhiannon ignored her brother and scooped up her toy bear instead. She walked very slowly over to the entry way and sat down.

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She smiled for a moment and gently stroked her bear’s head.

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She then pulled her bear into a tight squeeze as one of the sentries walked by. She whispered so only her bear could hear, “I want everything to go back to the way it was before! Why can’t…those people go away…I don’t like them…”

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“And why did mommy and daddy have to have more babies?”

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“I didn’t like seeing mommy scream. I’m not sure I’m gonna be a mommy if it hurts like that. Why did I see grey smoke behind Mommy, Ryker? The guard says it was my imagination, or my eyes playing tricks on me…but I saw smoke.”

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“It’s hard enough to spend time with daddy. Now I don’t see daddy at all now that the babies are here.”

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“Daddy and Mommy are always feeding or playing with the babies now. Or daddy’s off working so the bad men can’t hurt us.”

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“And Lir’s stupid! He’s always chewing on my dollies.”

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“Or playing with daddy so I can’t!”

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Rhiannon suddenly let out a growl of rage. She began beating the stuffing out of her toy bear screaming out, “I..I…I can’t…Go AWAY! I SAID GO AWAY!DON”T EVER COME BACK! I DON’T WANT YOU HERE!”

The guard watched in bewilderment as Rhiannon ran up the stairs and out of sight leaving the bear lying motionless on the floor.

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Lir seemed completely unaffected by the majority of the drama that was unfolding in the house. He spent most of his morning dancing away to the music that played on the newly constructed radio. His mother had unlocked technology and every day a new gadget was being added to the Vijayakar home.

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But the drama had not escaped the notice of Toren. His daughter was obviously distressed by all the changes. He had four children to help raise, guards to oversee because a distant relative wanted his entire family dead, a sister that wouldn’t talk to him, a man on the run from justice panning who knew what, nightmares of their impending doom, and now he was being asked to play mediator in his people’s infighting. He sat in a rarely used part of the house trying to figure out what he was going to do.

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Tristen slid into the chair next to her husband. She’d seen how tired he was getting and how often he was up at night wandering the halls because the dreams wouldn’t stop. She’d watched him trying to dream awake at every free moment. She looked at him with worried eyes, “Toren?”

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Toren turned his head at the sound of her voice. He smiled for her sake even though his heart wasn’t truly in it. She noticed. “Toren, she’ll be okay.”

Toren dropped his head, “She beat the stuffing out of her bear, Tristen. And she won’t even talk to Lir.”

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“It’s a phase Toren. I’m sure she’ll work through it eventually. And I think we can help her out of it some. We haven’t really spent much time with her since Silvana got hurt. That’s why I ordered ever single last one of those guards out of my house.”

Toren raised an eyebrow, “You? You threw those men outside?”

Tristen laughed, “Even I have my limits.”

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She took his hand and asked playfully, “Unless you want to invite them back in right now I thought we could spend some time with the kids. Your mom and dad are taking care of the twins. Oh, and I call Rhia”

Toren gave a relieved smile, “I guess that means I’ve got Lir.”

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Rhiannon was pleasantly surprised when her mommy came into the study. Tristen bent down and gave her eldest a hug. She’d noticed Rhiannon had turned on the radio. “Do you want me to show you how to dance Rhia?”

Rhiannon pulled back, “Really, you’ll show me? Right now?”

Tristen nodded. “Yes, right now.”

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After a few minutes Toren and Lir joined the girls in the study. “Good job Rhia!’

Rhiannon beamed, “Mom, Dad! Uncle Ryker taught me how to play darts. Can we play, please?”

Tristen swung Rhiannon around once more, “Sure.”

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“Watch this daddy! Uncle Ryker taught me how to hit the middle almost every time.”

From the side of the room her parents cheered. “Okay, I guess it’s my turn.”

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As Toren went to line up his shot he didn’t notice that Lir had crawled right beneath his feet. Lir was caught up in the excitement of seeing his family laughing and smiling that he just had to dance.

Rhiannon saw him first, “Daddy, watch out!’

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“Ugh!’ Toren barely kept his balance so that he didn’t crush his only son who was still dancing obliviously at his father’s feet. The dart went wild and hit the wall just behind the chess board.

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Tristen moved in and scooped Lir into her arms. “I think it would be safer to watch daddy and Rhia from over here.”

Lir snuggled into his mother’s arms. “Go Wia!”

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Rhiannon lined up her second shot and hit dead center. She laughed as her brother cheered her on each time. Maybe having a baby brother wasn’t all bad.

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“Wia won!” Lir babbled excitedly. “Pay me! Pay me!”

“Play with you? Well,” Rhiannon bent down mischievously and let out a rawr. “I’m gonna get you Lir!”

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“Me monstar too Wia! Rawr!”

Rhiannon let out a giggle. “Okay, but you gotta be louder than that if you’re gonna be a monster.”

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Before she realized what was happening, Rhiannon had spent the entire afternoon playing with her brother. Somehow she even found that she’d let him in her room. She’d turned her back on him for only a minute and then found him near her dollhouse.

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“Lir!” she whined as she noticed Lir put one of her dolls in his mouth. “Stop eating my dolls.”

Lir looked down at the doll let out a laugh and then, “Rawr! I eat them all up!”

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Rhiannon sat down on the floor next to Lir and picked up two more of her dolls, “If you’re going to play with my dolls at least do it right. Like me.”

Lir looked up at his sister with the doll’s foot still stuck in his mouth. He watched her for a minute and then.

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He pulled the doll out of his mouth and began trying to imitate Rhiannon. Rhiannon still thought he was banging them too hard, but at least he wasn’t drooling on them. Maybe she’d let him keep that one.


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Toren was relived beyond belief when Ravi finally returned from Waterfall Springs. He tilted his head in question, “So?”

Ravi shook his head, “They still haven’t found him. I don’t know where Avri is, but something else is going on back home Toren.”

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Toren tilted his head to the side. This was not something he didn’t already know. “Things will get better. Come on in for a bit. I know Tristen has been dying to see you.”

As he followed his friend into the house he reflected on the fact that he had just neglected to tell Ravi that his dreams also predicted that things very well might get worse soon after getting better.

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Rhiannon had come downstairs and had started lounging on the couch. She was bored and depressed. She’d thought that having her Uncle Ravi home would mean she’d get to play with him and Uncle Ryker tonight, but apparently they had grown-up business to talk about. What was she supposed to do until bedtime?

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Lir was playing with his toy rabbit head as if all was right with the world, and Rhiannon wondered what it must be like to always smile and not get stressed out about things. She’d never seen Lir get upset about anything. She’d tried to provoke him by teasing him, but he always found a way to turn it into a game.

She tried to smile most of the time, but sometimes she didn’t feel like smiling. And with all the guards in the house and the babies, and the other stuff sometimes all Rhia wanted to do was lock her bedroom door and scream.

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And she really felt like letting out a good scream right about now as she sat struggling to make sense of that game everyone in her family before her seemed to enjoy. She’d been putting off playing her dad at chess because she knew he was the best at it in the whole world, and she was the worst. And Rhiannon didn’t want to look stupid. She knew cheating hadn’t gotten her anywhere last time, but she still found herself trying anyway.

Toren rubbed his chin thoughtfully as Rhia tried to get him to turn around. “Rhia, it’s only a game. And it’s okay to get something wrong. Sometimes messing up can be a good thing.”

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“When you get an answer wrong, it give me or someone else a better idea of how to help you learn what you don’t know. If you don’t know what to do go ask someone for help. You’re a smart girl Rhia, t’s just that chess doesn’t come naturally for you. That doesn’t mean you cn’t learn how to play with practice.”

Rhiannon looked down at the board, “It’s really okay for me to mess up?”

Toren nodded. “Yes, it’s okay for you to mess up. We all mess up sometimes.”

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She and her dad had played chess until her Uncle Ryker had come over. Since her mommy had been dying for Uncle Ravi to meet the babies, Ryker had time to spend some time with Rhia after all.

He’d been surprised when she’d wanted to play chess with him again instead of darts. He watched as she struggled to move her first piece. But he could already tell by her opening move that she had gotten much better at the game since the last time they’d played.

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Ryker pondered the pieces thoughtfully as he planned his next move and he noticed Rhiannon carefully surveying her own pieces. “Uh…so Uncle Ryker am I in check or are you?”

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Ryker grinned, “To be honest, I have no idea. There’s something to be said for sticking with something that’s hard for you Rhia, but I’d much rather play darts.”

Rhiannon nodded, “Me too. What does daddy see in this game?”

Ryker laughed, “No idea.”


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The sound of Rhiannon and Ryker’s laughter drifted into the living room as Ravi and Toren took a seat on one of the loveseats. “He’s going to be a while I imagine. Not so sure it’s a good idea for him to be reproducing, but I guess with Kaya around he won’t make to big a mess of things.”

Toren snorted as Ryker’s disgruntled reply drifted into the room, “Thanks for the vote of confidence there Walosenko!”

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After a moment Ravi gave Toren a scrutinizing look, “You held back earlier. Things aren’t going to simply get better.”

Toren inwardly sighed. He supposed he should have realized Ravi would reach the conclusion that he’d been telling a half-truth, “I didn’t lie.” he began slowly. This was complicated.

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“A big change is coming to Valenwood and Lorian. The prophecy itself says so. The two lands are going to have to join together in the near future. You and I both know that what remains of Valenwood isn’t going to last on its own; they need Lorian.”

Ravi was confused,” Yes, but the union is a good thing right?”

Toren nodded, “Of course it is, but you’ve seen the infighting going on. The balance of power is going to shift Ravi, and..I can tell you that there will be some very hurt feelings when this is over. Generations of misunderstanding and bickering isn’t just going to magically go away once Gal is gone. ”

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Toren stood and walked over to the fireplace. “I’m going to do what I can for our people Ravi, but it’s not going to fall to me or you to truly prevent what I’ve seen. No bringing the various people together will be our children’s legacy not ours.”

Ravi looked into the flames as they danced on the hearth. “You aren’t going to name Lir heir?”

“No, our people’s future hangs in the balance. Our people need to be the ones to make that choice. They will be more likely to listen to an heir they chose, and it’s the best way that I can give all of us a chance at a brighter future. I only hope my son will understand.”

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Ravi turned his head in contemplation. Toren was right. The distrust and misunderstanding that had existed for centuries was not just going away. His people were going to be the ones to worry about. The gypsies were used to calling all the shots. Some would be angry and others were going to be afraid and could be easily swayed into causing problems. Real problems. He knew…war, that was what Toren had seen in their futures. And his people were the ones to start it. He appreciated the curtsy. He tried to sound reassuring, “The council could choose Lir anyway, and even if they don’t I’m sure he’ll understand.”

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“What do you think, Ryker?” Toren asked as the vampire took a seat next to him on the opposite loveseat.

“I think you’ve made the only choice you can given the circumstances. Only you’ve seen how bad it’s really gong to get, and I’m sure we all appreciate you sparing us the details. Some things are better off left unsaid. And I agree with Ravi. I’m sure Lir will understand completely if he’s passed over for heirship in favor of one of his sisters. I mean does anything bother that kid?”

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Toren shook his head, “No. He’s very easy going. I guess I’m just worried that as he gets older and the stress of life comes at him full force, some of that might change.”

Ryker almost wanted to reach across the loveseat and shake Toren. Sometimes dreamers were so depressing. “So what was that about the prophecy and your mom?”

“Oh, well it’s nothing really major, but mom figured out who the “rowan tree” was. It was Kalina Goldweaver. Kalina means rowan tree.”

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Ryker looked excited, “That must have been why Loros picked her over her cousin’s in the first place!” He slapped his knees, “Funny that his kid named his daughter that. Wonder if he knew how much his father liked it?”

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Ravi spoke up from the couch, “Wait? Oloros didn’t know what the name meant?”

Ryker shook his head, “Not when I knew him. We were hanging out one night with some friends at the coven when names we found pretty or interesting came up and he mentioned liking the name Kalina. Everyone said it was weird he liked a foreign name he didn’t know the meaning of, but he didn’t even seemed phased by it.”

Ravi took a glance at Toren and then shot Ryker a worried look, “Hey, is he alright?”

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“Ryker, what are you doing?”

“What does it look like?”

“Looks like you are vandalizing Count Midlock’s fountain again.”

“Come on, Loros you need to lighten up.”


“Oh fine spoil sport. Come on then we’ll do something even you’d consider fun.”

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“Hey nice moves there Loros! I knew I’d finally get through to you before you left!”

Page 92: Chapter 23
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“I see how playing music is relaxing and fun, but I still don’t understand how pouring soap into an elder’s fountain is exciting our enjoyable.”

“Well, are you having fun?”

Page 94: Chapter 23

“I’m scared to death he’s going to walk in here and catch me and…yes I think I am. Ya know what Ryker, I think I’m going to miss you.”

Page 95: Chapter 23

“Good luck there Goldweaver. Almost felt like I was part of a clan but guess it just wasn’t meant to be. Know what’s funny? I’m gonna really miss your uptight persnickety self.”

Page 96: Chapter 23

“Uh Ryker? Did you really convince my great-great-great grandfather to put soap in my grandfather’s fountain for kicks?”

Ryker looked sheepish,” Maybe…that’s not a problem is it?”

Page 97: Chapter 23

“I’m confused,” the gypsy interrupted with a shrug of his shoulders. “Did you just dream about Ryker?”

Page 98: Chapter 23

Ryker and Toren were both sitting quite uncomfortably on the loveseat. “Well, uh I guess that confirms you’re able to dream awake better than any other vampire in history.”

Toren nodded still just a little bit disoriented, “I guess. I just wish it’d been about Lyrika instead.”

Ravi soon went home mumbling that vampires were weird. Toren couldn’t help himself, “So, you play the drums huh?”

Ryker absently drummed his knee with his right hand, “Yeah.” He suddenly blurted out, “Want to rock out?”


Page 99: Chapter 23

It was finally going to happen. She’d known it would be soon. Cinaed and Arden had said she’d probably give birth early if she gave birth to the baby at all. Bit now that it was time, Silvana decided she wasn’t ready for this. She let out a howl of pain as the contraction ripped through her body. It was too soon! “Iruviel, I…”

Iruviel rushed into the room, “Hey, I didn’t get all that medical training as a mid-wife from mother to let you and that baby die. I’ll get you through this. Just breath and calm down.”

Page 100: Chapter 23

A few days later, a very tired, but otherwise healthy Silvana walked back into her home this time carrying a healthy if small child in her arms. This was the first time anyone had coaxed her into holding him, and Silvana couldn’t stand to hold him any longer. She quickly handed him off to Iruviel, before walking away.

Page 101: Chapter 23

Iruviel found herself in the most uncomfortable position of acting as this baby’s mother when his mother was only right down the hall. She cuddled the little boy in her arms trying to sound soothing, not feeling the least bit at ease with the situation. “Don’t worry little guy. She’ll come around and…” She couldn’t seriously keep calling him little guy forever! Silvana hadn’t even given her child a name. She’d known Avri had messed with her cousin’s head, but she never thought she’d live to see the day when Silvana would not want to interact with a baby. When they were kids, Silvana had always talked about having babies. This wasn’t right at all.

Page 102: Chapter 23

As night fell over Rainbow Valley, Silvana sat in the cold night air and tried desperately to chase away the horrible memories and thousands of unchecked voices that pounded away inside her brain. And she tried with all her might to forget about the one thing she loved the most sleeping just up the stairs.

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They always die alone.