Goldweaver Family Legacy Chapter 21: The Key Piece
“He’s her father?” Toren asked in disbelief. Of all the things he had thought his sister would discover in chatting with the young woman upstairs, this had been the least expected. Silvana nodded and slowly continued, “But something is still off…I don’t know.”
Upon hearing the news Ryker had moved across the room. He was now staring into the flames in a reflective way. Could it be possible? It had to be as he saw no other explanation. “I’ve suspected this for some time, but I think it is safe now to assume that I am correct. Lyrika’s coloring reminded me of an ancient tome I’d been read when I was still living in a coven. You remember I told you once that a vampire refused to make his mate mortal and was granted the choice by death to choose mortality? There was an elf who accepted and used the ancient relic offered by death to bring back the one he loved. Except the one he loved came back as the living dead. ”
Brother and sister looked at one another silently communicating. Ryker made his way back over to the couch and slumped down. His friends were smart enough to put 2+2 together. “ He thinks Gal has one of the lost relics. How are we going to unite all three if he has one of them?”
Toren replied, “We have to find a way back home.” From his seat Ryker agreed, “Yes, we do and I think sooner rather than later would be best.” Silvana looked at Toren, “Tristen and I can take over looking for the third relic and you boys could figure out a way to get us all home.” Toren thought briefly before nodding his consent. He had a lot to think about.
Silvana made sure to tell Lyrika good-bye before she left and promised to visit her again very soon. “But I don’t like being here alone all the time. I want to go home.” Silvana pulled the young woman into a hug, “Don’t worry my brother and I are going to find a way to take you home. And my cousins are coming home in a day or two and I bet K would love to come live here with you and Ryker.” Lyrika smiled. Silvana smelled like her mommy used to smell. She missed having a mommy. And she knew her new friend would help her get home to her papa soon. “Okay, but come back soon okay?”
Back in the main house, Tristen had suddenly found herself depleted of energy and it finally got the best of her one evening. Toren came home to find his wife passed out on the living room floor.
It didn’t take long to figure out what was causing Tristen’s poor energy. Her second pregnancy was more difficult and so work was put on hold. She was taught the elven meditation techniques which occupied most of her waking hours. But there was no way she was meditating through her daughter's first birthday.
Little Rhiannon grew up to be the spitting image of her father from the eyebrows to the cheeks, but Tristen couldn’t be happier that her little girl reminded her so much of the man she loved. And Rhia soon made it known that she was a daddy’s girl and could be found following after Toren wherever he went.
Rhia was also adored by her aunt Silvana who would always take the time to play with her niece whenever she was over at the main house. And Silvana was over almost daily helping in the gardens as they searched for new ways to prepare food. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“You’re a little later than I anticipated.” Kaya smiled, “I love it when you try to act all formal.” Ryker laughed softly. He probably did have a habit of trying to behave like a traditional vampire even if he wasn’t one. But none of his friends seemed to mind.
And Kaya seemed to care the least of anyone. “It is very good to see you K.” Kaya smiled softly back, “It’s good to see you too. Now where’s this little girl my cousin has told me so much about?”
After a brief introduction Lyrika and Kaya went to bed leaving Ryker to wander the house on his own. The next morning Kaya’s cousin Iruviel finally arrived and the two women and Silvana were found in the backyard of Ryker’s home trying to coax Lyrika into swinging. “But, what if I don’t like it?” Iruviel bit her tongue. Why had she let Silvana and Kaya talk her into this?
As Iruviel pushed Silvana again, Kaya gently encouraged “Just give it a try Lyrika. You’ll see it’s fun.” “But, I’m scare I’ll fall.” the woman whispered as she kicked at the grass beneath her feet. Kaya moved to the front of the swing. “Here if you fall I’ll be right here to catch you.” “Well, I guess I could try.” After all Silvana was having fun so maybe she would too.
As it turned out, Lyrika did think it was fun. She’d never had a swing before, but she really liked it. Maybe her papa would let her have one for her birthday next year if she asked him very nicely?
It had taken her an hour to grow tired of the swing, but eventually Lyrika began to feel scared being outside by herself. She’d wandered in and found Silvana playing on the piano. “Can I have a turn? I can play a song. Want to hear me play it Silvana? Huh?” Silvana had slid off the seat and had watched with a sweet smile as the young woman pounded out a creative “song” of her very own. It was days like this that she wished she could have a little girl of her own. When this is all over, she reminded herself.
Silvana returned home to find Avri nowhere in sight, but that wasn’t uncommon. Their life had fallen into a routine. He would head off to work early and she would soon follow by heading to Toren’s or the Haven. She’d spend the afternoon and early evening at Ryker’s. When she finally did come home she’d spend part of the evening attending to chores.
Avri worked late and so many evenings Silvana would play her piano quietly to herself. She would continue to play even after hearing Avri return home.
She’d tried early on to join him in a game of chess, but he seemed to prefer to play alone. He always came home so stressed out and Silvana found it best just to give him some time to relax. Eventually the two would crawl into bed and go to sleep. He would hold her in his arms and she would wish things were different. She wanted more than anything to have a baby to love and care for and it was getting harder to come home to an empty nest.
It was even harder as she watched her cousin and her brother both expecting children. In spite of the danger they were finding a way to raise a family. Why couldn’t she and Avri?
Her cousin Tala had given birth to a beautiful baby boy girl they named Elysium who was soon nicknamed Ely. Everything was going beautifully for the young families and Silvana had about made up her mind to risk asking Avri a second time, when near disaster struck.
They’d come in broad daylight and kicked in the front door. Gal’s men began to search the house for the family. But it appeared that no one was on the first floor. “You two check the second floor, we’ll stay and watch the main entrance.”
Glyndwr stood at the secret door in the upstairs bathroom. He was thankful that he and the girls had been upstairs when the intruders had broken in. He’d sent the girls ahead to get help, but he’d stayed behind. He needed to get the statue before Gal’s men found it and if he was lucky he’d be able to get out the secret door himself.
He sealed the door so that the intruders could not follow his daughter-in-law and grand-daughter out of the house. Then he crept from the bathroom to secure the ancient relic.
Tristen sat in the car frozen. She couldn’t just leave Glyn in there by himself. Rhia was buckled safely in the backseat looking blankly up at her mother’s head. She knew she just drive away, but she couldn’t. So far the intruders were still inside, so Tristen decided she could risk waiting for Glyn. If he wasn’t out in five minutes she would leave. She stared at the secret exit to the Nectu home.
He’d recovered the relic and was headed for the door again when he’d heard the creatures in the side room on the second floor. They were all inside there from what he could tell. They were tearing the room apart looking for the relic. Glyn cringed as he realized all his wife’s paintings of the family were in there. Then he realized there was only one way out of the room except for the door.
Glyn pushed the large wardrobe in front of the door as quickly as he could before quickly making his way back to the secret door. The men inside quickly started cursing and had tried to break out. “Stop doing that in the name of Gal!” they’d ordered. Did that ever actually work he thought. By the time those men could get out the window and climb down the side of the building Glyn could be into the nearby woods. He’d just double back to the Haven when he was sure he’d lost them.
When he’d reached the bottom of the stairs he found Tristen still waiting in the driveway. As he climbed into the now running car, he admonished gently. “Tristen you should have left. I’m an old man and I’m not worth risking your lives over.” As he buckled his seat belt and they drove away he added as he squeezed her hand, “Thanks though.”
It was late evening and Toren found himself poking at a strange fireplace. It hadn’t taken the family long to get settled in the safe-house. He and Ravi had set up a system of safe-houses where the family could go should the need arise, but had hoped they would never have to use them. But they had. Somehow Gal had discovered the location of not only his home, but that of the spare families as well. Luckily, everyone had gotten out safely, this time.
Ryker had stopped by earlier in the evening to see for himself that everyone was alright. His had been the only house that Gal had not hit, so apparently Gal either was unaware of Ryker’s location or had seen no reason to attack Ryker outright. Toren wasn’t sure himself, but at least it appeared the family had another safe haven to run to should they need it.
The night’s discussion was still fresh on his mind. He’d been planning this endeavor since he’d first learned of dreaming awake, but until that evening had not spoken of it to others outside of his sister. After the day’s events though it was obvious that perhaps discussing his plan with Ryker might offer new insight.
“Yes everyone made it to a safe zone. I met up with the McCarthy’s at the Haven first. Eventually Ravi and I drove Gal’s men out. They were looking for the artifacts, but we’ve managed to for the time being to push them back away from the Valley.”
“ It took us a while to reach the Ceberlandon house, but Arden ensured us that everyone there was fine too. His home was not directly hit, but Gal’s men did lurk around the front doors until Ravi showed up with a squad of Nectu Millitia.”
Ryker threw his hands into the air, “And all the while I was sleeping! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again Vampires do not make good guardians.” Toren frowned, “Ryker, if it wasn’t for you Silvana and I would probably be dead by now due to power overload or have been killed by Gal’s men that night in the elven ruin. And we wouldn’t have Jumbok in our possession right now. You’ve helped me more than anyone with my powers, and I need your advice.”
“I appreciate that Toren. I…lose my temper when those I care for are attacked. I’m always willing to help if I can.” “I know. I’ve come to the conclusion that if I want this nightmare to end with the outcome I desire that I need to understand Gal’s motivation. I think Lyrika is a key piece to understanding that. But as you and my sister have pointed out, there is something off about her. She obviously died at some point and I’m guessing she was a child when she died. Silvana doesn’t believe she could find the memories that I need without hurting Lyrika, but I can dream about a person’s past without hurting them at all. I need to learn how to dream awake.”
He could see that Toren was right. If Toren could master dreaming awake he could look into Lyrika’s past and see what made Gal tick and it would give Toren more insight into the prophecy and a greater chance of controlling the outcome. “I don’t know much about dreamers Toren, despite having spent the majority of my life with one. They are usually quite mysterious and stand-offish. What I do know about dreaming awake is that it is very rare for a dreamer to gain enough control over his ability to do it. And none have ever been able to control dreaming awake, that I am aware of. You would be considered very advanced to have ever done it at all.”
As he watched the flames dance in front of his eyes he wondered how he was going to learn to do something no other dreamer before him had ever done before. But he knew how important it was and he was going to find a way. He needed to understand.
Life continued on for the family in their new respective homes. The main line had found shelter in an elderly Nectu’s home. She did not use the old cottage anymore and had been more than happy to allow the family to move in. And Tristen and had been more than happy to keep an eye on the old woman’s extensive garden.
Tristen had given birth to their son Lir shortly after moving into the safe-house. She was quite in tune with her husband and seemed to always know when he needed a chance to unwind. She was always there with open arms to offer silent support when he needed it most.
But the two did not often get as much alone time as they once did. Rhia proved to have a very powerful set of lungs and a rather frightful temper.
Toren made his way into the nursery late one evening and scooped his daughter into his arms. “You cannot sleep either Rhia my Rhia? You’re not a dreamer like me are you?” He didn’t remember dreaming when he was little, but then he’d been little. So? Rhia stopped crying and looked into the eyes that matched her own. She reached up and touched Toren’s cheek and suddenly gave him a smile.
After he had changed into his usual clothes Toren took his daughter to get her changed. He didn’t mind the diaper duty all that much really as he enjoyed spending time with his children. “You changed moods quickly.” he teased with a smile. Rhiannon only giggled happily from the changing table.
After trying unsuccessfully to put Rhiannon back to bed, Toren decided to try his hand at teaching her to talk. “Come on Rhia, can you say Mamma?” But Rhiannon’s mood seemed to have switched from happy to grouchy in a matter of moments. She scrunched up her nose and began to fuss.
Toren started to laugh as he patted Rhiannon on the knee. “You are related to vampires aren’t you Rhia? I guess we’ve got a lot of work to do on that temper huh?”
Rhiannon’s response was to tilt her head and look at her father with inquisitive eyes. She gurgled for a moment before uttering a single word, “Baba.”
Toren’s eyes lit up and he smiled. “You said bottle! Your first word. Come on Rhia my Rhia we’ve got to show mommy.” And with that despite the fact that it was 2 in the morning Toren scooped his daughter into his arms and headed straight to his bedroom.
Toren was not the only one in the family who had a great day. Avri had come home from work early and had been in the most delightful mood. Silvana couldn’t remember the last time Avri had shown her this much affection.
As he’d pulled her into a hug she’d leaned in close. “Avri, I don’t know what’s gotten into you, but I’m certainly not going to complain.” Avri kissed her deeply and then whispered, “Want to have some fun?” Silvana was grinning like a school girl as they headed to their room. She completely forgot that she was supposed to be meeting Toren at Ryker’s.
Toren did however show up at 10:00 that Saturday morning and was greeted by Iruviel. He had not seen his cousin since college and he was rather shocked to be pulled into a hug. But he made no comment, “It’s good to see you Iruviel. Why don’t I come in and you can catch me up on the happenings around here.” “Sounds good to me.”
As he took his seat in Ryker’s study he studied his cousin’s features. Not for the first time did he notice how self-reliant she appeared. There was something in her eyes or smile that gave away the fact that she suffered no fools. “So what’s been going on these days?”
“ K’s still bubbly as ever and annoying as hell. I don’t know why I put up with her to be honest. As for Lyrika, I guess she’s alright. She acts like a kid and ya know.” “ You still not interested in having kids huh?” Iruviel laughed, “No still not interested in having a bunch of screaming puking brats.”
“Silvana stops by most days and stays until it’s pretty late. She doesn’t really seem to want to go home. Are things between her and Avri not going well? She always seems so sad.” Toren bit his tongue when it came to Avri. He didn’t want to seem to judgmental, but apparently he wasn’t the only one getting bad feelings when it came to his sister’s husband.
“I know I said I wouldn’t mind moving in to help look out for everyone since Kim can’t be up in daylight hours, but I didn’t agree to watching them call each other pet names and fawn all over one another.”
“And it doesn’t help my appetite to watch that guy with his hands all over her in the hot-tub.” Toren smiled evilly, “What’s wrong, can’t stand to see your Baby K all grown up?” Iruviel snorted, “Yeah, you just wait Toren. Rhiannon won’t be a cute little toddler forever.” “Maybe I’ll get lucky and she’ll be happy to be an old maid like you.” “Shut-up.”
“And that guy’s a little weird. I mean what kind of guy proposes in his pajamas? Of course, I’m now questioning my cousin’s sanity since she found it to be the most romantic gesture in the world.”
Toren could see the light in his cousin’s eyes through the entire discussion. She liked Ryker whatever he cutting words might say. “I’m sure Ryker’s glad you approve.” Iruviel grinned. “So what’s up on your end of things cous?”
“Well, my baby girl said her first word and Tristen’s given me a beautiful baby boy.”
Kaya’s big sister has a toddler now too. Ely’s inherited her grandmother’s black hair. She seems very sweet and it is a little scary how much she looks like her grandmother.”
“And Tala’s pregnant again which means Lir may grow up with a cousin to play with.” Iruviel laughed “Ah yes, you suffered as a child since all your cousins were girls. It’s good to see the girls are still outnumbering he men two to one though.”
Iruviel slowly stood up and moved over to the coffee table, “I hope you don’t mind if I get back to my exercises cous. This chat’s been fun and all, but I’m not the sappy type.” As Iruviel brought her leg close to her head she added, “Oh, the kid will likely sleep for another hour or so. You’ll have to wait for your chat with Miss Zombie.”
Toren grinned, “Running out of snarky comment then? Well alright if you just have to bend yourself up like a pretzel go ahead. Just do me a favor. Don’t step on me when you get down. I think I’ll meditate to clear my head before I meet with Lyrika.” As he closed his eyes he hoped he’d be able to make a connection with the girl upstairs. If he couldn’t he’d never see what he felt he needed to see. For the first time since he arrived he noticed someone was missing. Where was Si? It wasn’t like her to be late. Well surely she’d be there by the time Lyrika woke up.
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.