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“Until this thing is over…” Chapter 31 (1st draft)…
Horus and His Companions The Sun The Light & The Moon…
Gil said, “Gemma now what? He is gone…”
“Yeah, and I don’t feel we need to wait either for him to decide to come back,” I said.
“How can we not do anything but wait, Gemma?” Gil said, he looked worried and a bit tired.
Yeah I was a bit tired myself. I knew from preparation what I must do next. At least I thought I did.
“Gil, stay over there. Yeah right there. I have an idea,” I said. I wanted to keep Gil safe and where I could see him. Because I was doing things I had never done before. I needed more communication right now, than the emotions I had to figure out in my chest.
“Gil, I am going to do some crazy talking ok? Listen for anything unusual coming from Mom and Dad’s direction. If I need you, you will know it,” I said. I felt I needed to rub my hands together. Gods there was a surge of energy come up fast in them, not all from the Earth.
I had Gil backed into the kitchen counter. So much had went on in that kitchen. I am thinking it a good place to communicate from. Alec seemed to like it here and not on the patio. The patio would be in the past as far as I was concerned, for many reasons…
“Hey, Alec! What do I do now? Proctor is gone. He is threatening to come back. The element of surprise will be his. Could you come or send some one to be our back up here?” I asked. I used a louder voice than I would for talking. I also thought that the familiar was off licking his wounds in his dazed state, so no chance of him hearing my request.
I stood there, hearing nothing. Gil looked at me. I didn’t feel embarrassed, just a little frustrated.
“Gil, Alec will answer. I just hope it is in a way we both can take advantage of his help. It’s gonna get rough if I have to handle all of this with Jeff,” I said.
“Ummm, Gemma, I can handle my end ok… you just protect your parents,” Gil said. Gods I had stepped in it. I felt terrible. I was doing what I thought I was to do being the one freshly back from our world.
“Gil, I didn’t mean it that way. I know how you feel about now. I was only trying to help with that,” I said.
“Gemma, for each of us the transition is different. From what I am remembering. You also don’t know who I am. I understand now. That would get in the way of you thinking clearly. So you are stuck with my help for now,” Gil said.
I didn’t know what he met or how to take that. Right now I could not focus on smoothing out a spat with a Lyran male anyway. Like me he would have to figure it out on his own. At least until I could think about what he just said to me.
“Up to you Gil. I appreciate the help,” I said.
“No hard feelings then Gemma?” Gil said, with a slight smile on his face.
“Nope. I will deal with you later,” I said. Gods I felt stupid. I didn’t get who he was. Where the hell was Alec?
Then it occurred to me after waiting where I stood for 20 minutes… had I called out to the wrong person?
“Gil, I am gonna try something different. I may have used the wrong number? I will try again…” I said.
Focused on the center of my chest, I said, in a bit louder tone, “Mark, can you hear me? I need some back up. I need some direct advice, right now.”
It was then I saw a sparkle of yellow light right in front of me.
“Gemma! What is that?” Gil said.
“Something you don’t remember Gil!” I said. I so wanted to feel Mark in person again. Then there was a sparkle of red, along side the yellow light, both steady, both growing…. Then blinked out.
“Wait, they will give us something,” I said.
Gil turned to find someone at the door. Before I could tell him to stand back to let me answer it, he opened the french doors from the patio.
In walked two fully hooded figures, both about the same height, both in heavy riding boots. I knew it was real, because of the foot falls on the kitchen floor.
“Mark?” I whispered.
One of the figures nodded toward Gil, the other pulled back his hood. I could feel him…
“Gemma, what is going on?” Mark asked.
I didn’t know if I should touch him, Gods.
“Yes, you can touch me… but what is going on? I scanned the area before we landed. Where is the familiar?” Mark said.
“Gemma, Mark is just worried, Alec sent us right away. He is sending you what you need he just said,” Marty said. Martin pulled back his hood and offered his hand to Gil.
“Gods, Gil, it is great to see you again,” Martin said. Gil took his hand shaking it, smiling.
“You got me… I am not all on board with the memories yet…” Gil said.
I walked up slowly to Mark. Mark took me in his arms drawing me close. Mark whispered, “Gemma, Alec has it covered. You did exactly what you promised you would do. This is about over.”
“Mark, just tell me how to end this, I will do it. I just don’t want to kill anyone doing it,” I whispered back. My hands hurt so bad, once in his arms.
Marty came over to me and took my hands in his. In a low voice he said a word of gratitude towards me while rubbing a pinkish oil into the palms of my hands. I had covered them in Vaseline to seal off the slight weeping. I thought I hadn’t did a very good job of it since I had to keep touching them carefully with a towel.
I felt no more pain. My hands were pink. I looked up into Marty’s eyes, I saw a bit of a pained look there. I said, “Oh, Marty.” I grasped his hands with mine. He had the marks from my hands on his, these marks were fading, at this point.
“There Gemma, you are ok, now ready for the next go around,” Martin said, to me with a smile.
I could tell Gil was focused, like a man on a mission.
“Gil, don’t strain at it guy, you will remember,” I said. I held my hands out to him. He took them in his and kissed them each deliberately.
Mark said, “Good you called me. Alec was preparing the next step when he felt you asking too many questions. Then he got I had heard you, so he sent me. Martin is back up. Alec will be here soon.”
“Are you here for a while?” I asked. I didn’t want to deviate from the mission as planned, but Gods I could use their help.
“Yeah, Gemma, you are stuck with us for the rest of the game going on here,” Martin said.
“Gemma, where is the King and Queen?” Mark asked.
“I have them in my heart concealed, in the bedroom near the foyer. They are resting. They have sworn to not come out for any reason, until I go get them,” I said. I so enjoyed looking between Mark and Martin.
I asked, “How is Lucia?”
Gil picked up on the name, saying “Lucia?”
“It is good you have your parents where they are. You have their doctor here too. It is so great to see you come in from your mission too Gil. You were amazing,” Mark said.
“Yes, I had come to help. I was not sure how. I knew enough to hurry here to help Princess Gemma and her family. I figured, if I were ready, I would remember. Isn’t the person you ask about Queen Lucia? Why do you ask about her, is she ok?” Gill said, looking between each of us.
I said, “Gil, slow down. Lucia is fine. I will tell you later. She and Alec are the reason I am here.”
I looked at Mark.
“Hey what is the plan? What is Alec doing to draw the familiar back here, against its’ will?” I asked.
“You will have to prepare an outdoor cook out. You have everything you need. You will need to act casual as if nothing happened. Alec is sending you a guest. A very important guest, that Proctor will want to meet and question,” Mark said.
“We all will be ready for that, Gemma. I and Mark will be here. The familiar will not sense who we are, we will be cloaked pretty heavily by the guest. You only need to keep talking, to gain the necessary consent. The guest will do the rest,” Martin said. I picked up on the feel for the word “guest”. Gods, who in our world could make the familiar come to us, then consent?
“Gemma, don’t ask. Alec told me to tell you. Don’t over think it. There are things you should not know right now,” Mark said.
“Will my parents have to be involved?” I asked, now I was worried. I would be torn two ways in my attention. At least Gil would be safe.
“Remember we are here Gemma? Your parents will be taken care of. They can not leave, they must be sensed by the familiar in order for this to work. That is all I can tell you…. Alec tells me to say, trust him, I love you dear,” Mark said, then a smile moved upon his lips.
I got that just then. Alec was trying to seduce me. It worked. I was already convinced before I came here to this world. Alec just put a bow on it for me.
“Ok, when do I start cooking the cook out?” I asked.
“Gemma, I will help you cook it,” Gil said, smiling at me. That did things to me, I can’t go there, I am remembering. I know I must not remember him until this thing is over.
“Gil get the menu from Mark. I think I will change into something more for a cook out than a silk kimono, ok?” I said. I had to think.
Martin motioned to me. Took my hand, we walked to the foyer.
“Ummm, Marty if you get me near a shower, unless you can stop time, we would be there a while together,” I said. I wanted to know more what would go down with the familiar, but my heart was responding to him.
“Gemma, I will only be there to hand you a towel. The traveling skins will be changed soon for jeans to look presentable. I will have your back and your parents’ best interests for now as my full focus,” Martin said. He gave my upper right arm a gentle squeeze.
I got in the shower letting the warm water run over my body. I was centering in my chest, when I felt something. I then heard Alec say there, “Gemma it is the end of the mission, you must feel everything, but in somethings not act. Observation is the second part of this. Trust me. Let it unfold. Do not mother anyone, please. I am in control from now on, will be seeing you soon my dear…”
I had to get out of this shower, now. I ran the towel over me, walking out to my closet. Martin was standing over by the bed as if listening. I felt him all over the room. As I looked back at him with my jeans I had wanted from the closet in my hand, I felt nothing coming off him. He was now dressed in jeans, a gray t-shirt with a red flannel shirt unbuttoned over that. He looked over at me. Smiled.
“I hate that. You are shielded aren’t you. Shielded where I can’t even feel the shielding,” I said. I pulled on my bra and then an aqua blue t-shirt over that. I grabbed a light down vest from the other closet near the bedroom door.
“Gotta do it, Gemma. No way around it, to pose as your neighbor or a writing client,” Martin said. He then stood a bit taller, I guess he was self conscious about what he really wanted to be doing about then with me.
“Let’s go do some cooking then. Maybe you can light up the gas grill, you know how to run one?” I asked.
“Yes, when Gretchen allows me to do it for her. That is when we have private dinners for a few of us and not the usual army of people she makes feasts for,” Martin said. He motioned to the door and opened it having me walk through first.
Mark was busy chopping the vegetables for a salad and for the burgers. Gil was placing the paper plates and plastic ware on the table on the patio. The paper lanterns were up on their hooks for evening lighting. It all looked like home, like Adeer would look for a group gathering. I could feel Gretchen’s hand in all of this.
“We even have ice cream for later. Some sun tea for drinks,” Mark said. “Gemma, we will have a nice dinner when you get back home. Relax, be the hostess you are good at being my princess.”
I went out with Martin to light the gas grill. I folded the padded cover up and put it over in the corner of the patio on the wooden bench.
Gil had the meat ready. Meat, I guess I will be eating a burger. I hadn’t had meat since I had left for home. I was basically a vegetarian, I had changed so much. I did not even know what the eating habits were of my world. But I guess since we had to look ‘normal’ for the familiar this was the thing to do.
This cook out looked about ready. I wasn’t too concerned about the food getting cold. The special guest had not arrived yet and I did not ask.
There was a knock on the back wooden gate. I walked over to open it. I suspected the guest was there, but I did not see anyone’s head up over the top of the gate.
I opened the gate then looked down to find the wheel of a bike coming through followed by a blond child looking downward. I honestly felt nothing coming from this child struggling with the bike over the threshold for the gate.
“Miss Gemma, it is me!” the little boy said.
“Dima? Dima, what in the Gods’ names are you doing here?” I asked. I was now breathless, like all the air had been knocked out of me.
“Mark! Mark?” I said.
Mark was at my side with an arm around my waist. I didn’t feel him either. Oh Gods not what I need right then.
“Gemma, yes, the guest is Dima. Dima wanted to help you the best way he knows how. Alec worked with him. Alec has it covered. Just trust the situation. Go with it. Don’t ask, please…” Mark said.
Mark helped Dima with his bike, bringing it over to the lawn off the patio and parking it. Dima ran his hand over the seat of the bike and touched the handle bars.
Fear gripped me for the first time. Why was Dima here? I thought, I was shielding myself and thoughts at this point.
Mark came over to me took me by the hand and sat me down in one of the patio chairs around the glass patio table. He began to massage my neck. I felt the massage but none of the internal conversation that usually went on between us.
“There is a reason you feel nothing, because if you feel nothing the familiar feels nothing too. You must only shield yourself from the familiar not from us… do you hear me?” Mark said.
“Yes. But what about Dima?” I asked. I had recovered myself at this point.
“Dima is fine. Dima can handle himself. Believe me. Let it ride Gemma. You and all of us will be going home soon. Think on home. Think on what we can offer the familiar to relieve its’ pain. That is all Alec asks you to do right now… remember we have your back,” Mark said. He let go of me and went back into the house. I continued to watch Dima look the bike over. I was guessing he had never rode one before or even been around one. He was acting like the typical little boy. But what got me was that he had not necessarily greeted me as he usually does. That feel from him was missing. So odd.
“Well, I think we should serve this now, Gemma?” Gil said.
“Yeah, let me help you get it on the table,” I said. I got up and helped dish up the burgers on to the platter. Gil had even placed leaf lettuce under the burger patties for decoration.
“Gil, the courses paid off. You know the cooking courses,” I said. I was attempting to feel normal, like this happened every weekend or something.
“Thanks, I try to get my money’s worth from what I learned. Who ever shopped to stock the refrigerator knew what they were doing too,” Gil said.
My first guess it was Gretchen…
Mark, Martin, Gil, Dima and me stood next to the table. My parents would be too tired to join us. Especially since this was about business… was my guess, I thought.
“Hey where do you all want to sit then, let’s get to this,” I said.
There was an extra chair and place setting for Jeff, I noticed. Dima was sat at the head of the table between Marty and Mark. Gil sat me next to Marty and he near the empty seat. I faced the empty seat across from me. I got why the seating arrangement was that way, for a possible show of strength and for reading an opponent. The boys had it covered, but I still didn’t like the odds… so far.
We sat and talked there as the sun sat slowly across the fields out back the patio. We talked about nothing from home, but about where we each had traveled, what those places were like. I talked about what I liked about Japan, Iceland and the UK. Mark was in to Paris. Marty was talking about his train trip to Moscow, when we all heard the grind of gravel from a truck pulling up in the drive way next to the two trucks already there.
The gate latch picked up ward and the gate pushed into the patio.
Dr. Proctor was there. Dressed in jeans. I was amazed by his affect. He was either here with questions or had some pretty tough shielding in place.
“Jeff, come on over. We have a guest missing so there is an extra place. Join us,” I said. I got up walking over to him. Then pointed the way with my hand to the open seat.
“I would like to introduce everyone to one of my parents’ doctors from the University of Washington Medical Center, Dr. Proctor. He is up north visiting some friends. I am glad he is back and able to eat with us.” I said. I saw from the corner of my eye Jeff accept the paper plate with the stacked burger on it and salad. He was calm in appearance. I felt unusually calm too at that moment.
I went on saying, “This is Mark and Martin, I am coaching who are into fantasy. You already know Dr Andre here. Then we have Dima, a kid I know who wanted to show off his new bike. He found out we had burgers on, wanted to stay.”
That did it. It was like scales had been removed from Jeff’s eyes. He could not take his eyes off Dima. Jeff’s expression changed to bewilderment. Then I noticed he was then attempting to focus his attention on the burger. He ate it as if he had not eaten in days. Or maybe that is how familiars normally eat?
“Jeff, we were talking about the most amazing places we have been too. Where have you been that impressed you? Was there one place that you would go back to?” Gil asked.
Jeff looked confused. Like he had been thinking too deeply. Reality was right now, there in his face.
“Well, I enjoyed Victoria, Canada. A quiet clean place, the university there was nice. I also liked Paris, for the brief time I was there. I loved the cafes. Helps if you speak French, I wouldn’t want to go there if I hadn’t known French,” Jeff said. He looked again down the end of the table locking eyes with Dima.
It was then I noticed Dima looked different. I looked away. I did not want to attract attention to what I felt I had seen.
“Dima,” Jeff asked. “Where would you like to go if you could again?”
What an odd question to ask a little boy? I thought. Really, had Proctor lost his mind. I looked closely at him. It was then I felt I must verbalize this thought out loud. I thought again, Dima did not seem to mind. Then I thought to bring my focus back to our guest Jeff.
“Dr. Proctor, why would you ask a little boy that question? Have you met Dima and his family before?” I asked. Gods, what a question. What did I expect?
“Gemma let me answer the question,” Dima said. He felt to me like his old self. I looked at him, then did as Alec had asked me to do just observe. I knew I had set this all into motion.
“I loved the cafe on the Ave de la Grande, you remember La Belle Armee? The seats were so comfortable the espresso hot. I could chat for hours there.” Dima said. Looking directly at Jeff.
I looked at Mark, who shook his head ever so slightly. I was afraid to look at Jeff. I was slowly getting what was happening, I could not believe it myself.
Jeff sat straight up in the chair, then leaned over his plate looking down into it. He whispered, “Amanda…”
“Jeffrey, the war is over… why do you not come home?” Dima said in a very quiet voice directly to Proctor.
“Ma’am how do I know it is you?” Jeff asked. I felt extreme tiredness coming off him.
“I came to kill you… Princess Gemma. I came to die doing it too” Jeff said to me but he was not looking at me, but what remained of his dinner in his plate.
Taking in a deep breath Jeff continued, “You were so close to death, but you have powers beyond my control at your command. I came back to see what it was you wanted from me. Before I killed you.”
“What did you find Jeff?” I asked him. I really wanted to see what he had found here?
“You gave me my world back. I know she is dead, but she is here. Amanda is here in this child. A dark ones’ child. But even more than that the mouth of a god,” Jeff said, then he looked hard at Dima, nodding toward him. Dima stared back at Jeff… in total control of the familiar.
I looked at Dima. Now I knew what it was I had felt that day… the first day I met Dima near his home in that alley in Aniece. Like he had always known me, had always cared for me all my life. So natural. I put my hand over my mouth, as if that would hide what I knew just then. I felt I must have been as shocked as Jeff was at the moment. I had to hold myself together and speak what I felt led to say.
“Jeff, you can come home to rest. You can be with your people. You can work this all out. I am going home too. We must. Our people need help to rebuild. They are calling us to do that. We still have a purpose out side of war…” I said. I could not read him at the moment. I guess it was because I was all over the place emotionally myself too. It is not often you meet one of your Gods in the flesh, see them act in mercy, see them love so strongly, know that they love you too at that moment.
“What do you want from me Gemma. I am as my mistress, dead due to the war. What do I have left to do? You have brought the impossible to me, you did so trusting me to see your offering to me. No bargaining with me, only offering me freedom. This world has been nothing but a focus of pain for me. I had finally found you, to find you had been looking for me to bring me home. That there are those that remember me at home wanting me to return. Return to life and not hated into death,” Jeff said, then he looked at me.
“I want your consent to take you back home Dr. Proctor to your people. Will you give me your consent?” I asked.
“Yes, I consent in the presence of my mistress. How will you return us home, Princess Gemma? I can not even do such a thing…” Dr. Proctor said.
“I will take all of you home. Will you consent to me too Jeffrey to do this for you?” Alec said. Gods, Alec walking out of the kitchen on to the patio. In the jeans and hoody I had last seen him in the day he left and this all started.
“Yes, Alec I know you. I trust your work necromancer. I take it that these here at the table are of the Promise and that Gemma is your beloved?” Jeff said, he stood up with his hands up on his chest, a sign of resignation for a magic practitioner, also a sign of respect.
Jeff turned back to me. He said, “Princess Gemma, I had thought about your words. All were honest words. Words of negotiation, words of diplomacy. I am fortunate to have had you take an interest in me. To face me. Now I want to give something to you. I would like to introduce you to your Lyran lieutenant, more importantly your mate, Gil. May you both prosper and have each others’ backs always. I am jealous of that immortality of your love. The love of the Promise towards you too. I am thankful to have my connection again with the love of my mistress once more. I have felt so lost. My purpose spent. I have created nothing here. Alec do what you will with me.”
Alec motioned toward Dima to stand by him, then Alec held out a hand to Dr. Proctor. Proctor looked at me, smiling. I felt just then a sense of going home. Alec looked at me, saying “Gemma see you in Adeer.” There was a flash of light, they were gone.
“Gemma, is it time to go home?” Dad said, as Mother had him by his arm coming through the French doors. Dad had the cat in his arms.
Mark helped me up from the chair where I had weakness over take me.
Mark came close to me, whispered, “Gemma, you can relax now, cut off the flow of energy you have going. That is what you feel, that is wearing you down. If you can’t I can help you with your consent.”
I took a deep breath in, Marty was standing next me taking in the same breath showing me support. I closed my eyes and the energy went back into the Earth at my feet. I felt lighter right then.
“Yes, Dad we will go, these here will tell us how,” I answered.
I turned to them, saying, “You two know how to take us home right?”
Mark looked at Marty, then looked back at me.
“Really, you do don’t you?” I asked. In my head I heard Mark, ‘Of course. Even the cat and any luggage you have too!’
Marty said, “Don’t worry about the house. We will use it as a mission base for others’ to find their way home from, ok. The stuff you want we will bring back to Adeer too. The cat will love your room at Adeer. You know Lucia has a few puppies in her apartment that Alec got her? Why not a cat at Adeer too?”
Gil went and got the luggage Mother had left in the guest room closet. Gil was unusually quiet. I was guessing it was about now that I would need to deal with this Lyran male.
I had to get what I felt out there, what I hoped out there too.
“Gil, I need you to do some explaining. I want to hear all about your life here. I will tell you about mine. I will tell you about what I found the first time I stepped on to the other world too…” I said. He looked at me in a guarded way.
“Gemma, is that all you want to know?” Gil said. He was searching my face, since he could not as yet see my heart.
“No I want to take a long shower with you, to get you up to speed. I want you to meet Brad and Brian. I want you to get settled in the Promise, cuz that is where you and I live now. Hope you like groups of caring people who expect intimacy and have your back 24 hours a day?” I said. I tilted my head down to line up my eyes directly with his.
“I am not exactly good with intimacy, hasn’t been on my agenda for a long time,” Gil said with a slight smile working its way on to his lips. I knew he couldn’t help it, not with me that is.
“I have had some very eager teachers where I have been recently, who treat the subject as sacred. I am sure I could apply what I learn to help you out,” I said. I felt free saying that, I still did not remember all of what we were about with each other, but I did know Gil was mine and I was his. No one will take that from either of us. We were going home. It was almost overwhelming for me.
“Gemma, you are over thinking things again,” Mark said.
“Yeah, you were thinking that loud,” Marty said. He leaned over to kiss me on my neck.
Mark said, “Gil you had better take her in your arms, or one of us will have to pick up the slack.”
Gil moved slowly toward me. Pulling me close. The heat flowed over me clinging to my flesh. I could not let go of him. I was shaking, it was affecting him too. I hoped to the Gods we got home soon enough to finish this. What was happening right then.
All of us together were embraced by the roar of a flash of bright light. I was already there.