Thursday, August 30, 2012

Traeger cut fresh baked country bread and sliced chunks of cheese and piled it with a cluster of grapes on a paper plate before shoving it over to Erin... "Sorry, no fine china today". Erin laughed and picked up the food with an appetite she didn't know she had... "Local goods? tastes like home". Traeger stopped in mid-bite to nod yes. They ate and talked about common simple subjects; the countryside, the weather. Erin felt really comfortable by the end of the meal  and decided to broach one of the subjects on her mind.

"Traeger, we have only met... and this may be none of my business, but I'm jumping in... are you here to mourn someone who died in the fire? I am aware of your scars; I saw them when you didn't know I was here... before you turned aside and wove the glamour spell."

Traeger looked at her with an unreadable look; as if he was reading her again, and then sighed and nodded. "Yes, I lost my wife in the fire. I shielded her the best I could and burned my face; but smoke inhalation killed her like so many others."

Erin scooted closer and laid her hand on his; and both felt an electrical tingle... as if somehow their energies flowed together. "I lost my parents and sister; we came every year... it is our home place of worship; or at least it was."... She hung her head a moment, remembering... then looked up again. "I have a hard time because I wasn't there that year; I had lambs birthing and I stayed away... several were first time mothers. I sometimes feel guilt that I lived".

Traeger squeezed her hand and another jolt shot through them; "Part of why I'm here is because I finally worked my mind around to realizing the Lord and Lady had a reason to keep me alive... a purpose... I'm here to discover what I am to do."

Erin felt somehow lifted by his statement; as if it opened a door for her too... she twined her fingers in his, ignoring the pulse between them  and looked directly into his eyes...  "I have quite a story to tell you about some dreams... maybe we were destined to meet right here... right now."

Erin told Traeger about the dreams; that they seemed so real... and deciding he trusted this woman; he told her about the family and friends he held near and dear.

Traeger told her about his beautiful daughter and his grandchildren... his son-in-law and other gargoyle relatives, the weres, and the tavern... and how the town as a whole drew the weird and fantastic to call it home.

Erin didn't display the shock he expected to see at his tales... "I have always been aware there were other creatures and worlds beyond ours," she laughed. "Remember, I grew up here in Ireland , among an ancient Celtic family... we have always been witches; and know that many legends of today were friends of our ancients. The forests talk to me if I listen; although today you caught me unawares... and I am often aided by gnomes and fairies when I venture to the woods in search of herbs  and other necessities."

"Well, guess we are not so far apart, are we Erin?"... Traeger said with a grin, "in fact; I can't remember being this comfortable except for Rowan." When he said her name Erin could see the pain flash in his eyes. "Its okay, she is a very special lady and wonderful friend; I wished for more... but she is the most dedicated woman I know about helping others. She cares for a whole coven of witches, as well as half of us in town. The Others like her because she understands their different needs,and never judges them."

Erin was listening with rapt attention. "I am so lonesome here, I feel like I serve no purpose... you, on the other hand come from a world where the fantastic is everyday... I would really like to see that".

Traeger made a spontaneous decision... "Erin, would you like to come with me on my trek? I would enjoy the company and you will see a lot more of the world before we return to Exton... are you able to pack and go? Money is no object; I am wealthy, and I promise we are only traveling as friends; although I think you are one hot lady."... he winked and Erin felt like a school girl instead of a woman of middle years. She had to admit that the moment he turned and she had seen him; she had felt some connection... was drawn to him; this trip could prove to be memorable as they grew to know each other. "I don't really have much, I can be packed this evening."

Traeger put away his basket and helped her with her tree planting; then walked with her through the woods to their cars. Erin was shocked at the sleek Mercedes he drove; but it was not some startling color, but a deep green so like the forest around it. So like a warlock she thought... we are ingrained to hide; even in plain sight. 

Traeger followed her to her home in the Irish countryside and admired the small neat house she called home. It was full of those touches that bespoke "woman"... dainty doilies of lace, flowers in vases; feminine in every way. They kept up a lively conversation as she bustled around; calling a friend to take her sheep, asking another to check the house periodically... and leaving Traeger's number with them as a contact. Erin smirked to herself as she did all this by phone; she could imagine the stories that would fly round the village after she left... well, this is where life was leading her.

Finally her two small suitcases sat in Traeger's trunk; and he shut the lid... "Well,Erin; are you ready to start our adventure?.. at least with all this traveling  we are going to get to know each other pretty well...."

He looked into her eyes with an earnest expression... "I don't think we meet by chance Erin; I think we are meant to be... where it leads us is yet to be discovered." Traeger took her hand and gave it a squeeze as he shifted into gear... and again the charge pulsed between them...

"We have to figure what thats about too, must be a witchy thing."... He grinned and started down the country lane... "Next stop; Scotland; home of Tori and Ike."

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