Sunday, September 16, 2012
Laughter rings out across the flower beds, the merry sound of a happy child. Keon turns his head, glancing at his daughter as she dances in the fountain, splashing with his longtime friend Gil. A chuckle brings his gaze back to the ebony skinned woman walking beside him.
"She is a beautiful child, Brother. Are you sure she is - "
Her words cut off as his gaze becomes an icy stare. "I mean she really doesn't look like family. You must admit - "
"Yer a fool Meredith. Mera is both her mother and her father's child. Beneath the bonny blue-black waves are eartips as pointed as yer own. Her gills are a blessing from her ma. Look to yer own mane and ye will see a similarity."
The tall slim Sidhe had whirled at the sound of the rough voice. She dropped to a knee before the squat ugly form of the Mer Cronigh. "Your pardon Mistress of Waters. I was just..."
"Ye were thinking the worst of one who holds family honor close to his heart. And, yer a bitch, Meredith. Has served ye well, being in the Dark Court, but this is family. Let go of that hardness and enjoy yer niece for what she is, a very lovely and loving lass."
Their conversation is interrupted by a shriek of sheer joy and a small body that nearly flies down the row.
Fea catches the girl, swinging her up into her ample bosum. "How's my sweeting? Gil has ye sopping wet!" She winks at the Sidhe/Mer halfbreed. The man laughs. "I am here to see yer da about a spell he asked after, then we will visit, lovey. Go play with Gil. I be nae time at all."
The little girl drops to the ground and captures Gil's hand. The two are off to the fountain to wait until Keon's business is done. Meredith's hand lightly touches her brother's sleeve. "I am sorry Keon. It is just... I still can't believe you found time to find love in that life you lead."
Keon smile slightly, his eyes following his daughter. "Love? Twas more than love, Meredith." His fingers find the blue streak in his own hair. A tingle, like the caress of a kiss, touches his soul, and Keon smiles a smile of true affection. "One day Meredith... One day I hope the love of your heart finds you. When that creature does, don't walk away. You will regret it for eternity."
Meredith hands him a few more clipped roses for the basket he carries. The petals slowly change colors, fading from one shade to another. "Several more I think, brother dear. These keep brilliant shades. You did say you want some pastel as well?"
Without waiting for an answer, the dark skinned Sidhe sweeps onward, crossing several rows to another section of the beds. She lays a cloth over the cut roses already in the basket before laying in the lighter shaded roses. Keon hides his amusement. Fea bares her sharp teeth in a grin.
"The spell ye seek, tis an easy one. Once cast, the flowers will begin to change from natural petals to silk. By the time the women begin their walk along the path, the flowers and greens will be fabric. Will ye be picking up ta dress today? I hear ta seamstresses are finished."
Keon nods. "It is already at my home. A question concerning the spell. Will it work on Human Realm flowers as well?"
Fea nods. "It works on flowers from any realm. They will turn as soon as the bespelled ribbon is tucked into the arrangement. It is also a localized spell, so it will only work on the flowers in the arrangements."
"Good. The majority of the flowers are being supplied by Star and the florist is getting the rarer types."
His sister turns her eyes to Keon. "Have you truly aligned yourself with the Lady Star and her people?"
"Aligned? Star fosters my daughter. Erik is my sworn brother of Sword and Blood. I would say Meredith, I am a member of her household as surely as I am a member of the House of Night." Pride infuses his words, satisfaction settles into his eyes as his sister licks her lip in distress. "What is the matter Meredith? Bad enough I stepped away from leading Our House, Bad enough I became a member of the Dark Lords... Now I have done the unthinkable? Guess what little sister... There is a whole world outside the Courts. Pain, Love, Living Life, ... it is all a part of something we have forgotten here." His tone gentles and he takes his sister's hand in his own. "We live so long that we forget the realities of living. Look at Mera. She is joy, tears, unconditional love. That's what these flowers are all about as well. The couple getting married... both have lived a vera long time, longer than the Humans would believe. They will live so much longer still. But with love, their lives have become so much more than just being, fighting, surviving." He kisses his sister's cheek. "Think about it. Maybe you will find enough curiosity to come visit me in the other Realm. If you do... I will introduce you to some vera interesting people."
He lays another cloth over the fresh cut roses. His sister ahkes her head. "I don't know Keon. I am born to the Courts. It is where I know how to survive." Her eyes drift to Mera. "She is a pretty thing. Keep her away from the Courts. Ke. They would destroy her innocence."
Ke laughs. "I think Mera is stronger than you could imagine. She has already met the Queens of Dark and Light as well as the Ambassador herself."
Meredith's eyes go wide. Keon tucks the cloth into the basket. "I keep these covered and they will not wilt?" At her nod, he purses his lips. "I will need to show them to the one making the arrangements. That means uncovering the flowers."
"Cover them back up in ten minutes. She should only open the covers as needed. Once the flowers are in their baskets or holders, cast the spell. Then they will last virtually forever."
Keon gathers her close, hugging her. Meredith hugs him back, tentatively. "Be well little sister. If you need me, send word by demifae or HellHound."
Offering his arm to Fea, Keon heads to the fountain to collect his beloved daughter and old friend.