I met her young man today.
I never thought that my little girl would ever bring someone home. Dont get me wrong, I dont think my little girl is physically ugly or anything. Far from it. Shes got her grandmothers looks. My mothers.
Momma used to say that my girl was blessed by the Old Ones both in beauty and spirit. For the longest time I didnt see it. The shy little moppet, that grew from the fiery baby she was, in no way resembled my mothers predictions. In fact, during her gawky stage, I was pretty sure Mom had exaggerated. A lot.
I believe it now. When I look at my daughter, I I am so proud of her. Over the last few months, Ive seen her grow and bloom. Oh, shes still shy as a mouse, but underneath My girls come into her own. More than I knew.
But Momma did know. She said that the little ones hair was not just a coincidence. Mom always used to complain that I didnt inherit. She bitched and moaned from here until I conceived that the bloodline was dead, and I was betraying her and all our family stood for by marrying a reformer. Only Mom and Gran would have called Ira Rosenberg, practising Jew, a reformer. Very few people would call a Jew an upstart or young in his beliefs. Hell, the religion is over 4,000 years old.
Of course when I brought any of that up, Mom would snort and bring out our heritage. Yup, I was raised Pagan. Not too sightly for the wife of a man who is so Jewish the smell of bacon gives him hives. What can I say? I was in love. I still am.
Fortunately, Mom settled down once my girl was on the way. She decided that she would even tolerate Ira. They had even started playing Mille Borne before Mom died. Of course, the only reason Mom forgave him was because the Line was continued, untainted. Ira forgave her because she stopped badgering him about putting up protective wards. (She did anyway, but he never knew.) And so peace was preserved in the McCallum/Rosenberg household.
My baby got the mark. Bright red peach-fuzz adorned her head from day one. Mom was over the moon. Shed been royally unpleased at my not receiving it. I got the same training, but it didnt stick quite as well as it could if Id been marked. At least that was what Mom said.
Well, Mom prophesied before she kicked the bucket. She said my baby would be the strongest the Line had ever seen. She had the mark, plus she had the eyes. Mom said only very few descendants got both. Red and green. The commercial colors of the much celebrated Christian holiday. Little do they know what power those colors hold in a human, marked.
They are power. They show a line. They are Fey.
Wow. Ive gotten completely off topic. My girl brought her young man home tonight, and might I say, hes quite a catch. Well, I wouldnt have a couple hours ago, but now Hes all tall, dark, handsome and IRISH!! Mom would have sprung something in joy. Well, if she hadnt incinerated him first. But if shed let my daughter explain, she probably would have busted out in a fertility-spell-dance right in the middle of the living room, declaring that if either of them ever used a condom, the Old Ones would come and take large chunks out of their flesh. (Of course, she encouraged me to use them.) Who knows, maybe she wouldnt have tried to kill him in the first place.
He was polite, too, considering. He kissed my hand. A true gentleman. Yeah, there was that little misunderstanding, but Ill get to that later. I dont think theyre lovers yet. There isnt that closeness that happens after an intimate encounter. They will be soon, I hope. If they dont, Im going to have a serious talk with my daughter. One just does not let a boy that good looking go.
Of course he isnt really a boy. This guy is a man. He better damn well be by now. Shes a smart girl, mine is. Like I said, Im proud of that little slip.
Thats the other thing Mom predicted. She swore up and down that my little one would be slight of stature. Sure as hell didnt feel like it when she came out. How that little thing (110 soaking wet!) was ever 11 pounds at birth Ack. All I have to say is that I was DAMN glad I opted for drugs.
Before tonight, the only thing left to do was manifest. At least, thats what I thought. Im glad she did the way she did, though. There was some bad stuff going down in this town. Even for the suburbs. Why did we move here, again?
Oh, yeah. Mom. Dammit. That woman knew what she was doing, didnt she. Of course, for the longest time, I didnt see why she told we should come here. First I thought it was because of Xander. That boy is a sweet one, but if he were any denser, someone would come and use that brain for a new kind of radio-active fuel. I admit, my girl wasnt the most beautiful chickadee in the universe for most of her life, but !?!?! In the last two years Thereve been times where Ive just stopped myself to stare at my little one.
She is sooo pretty. Long red hair, bright green eyes, Line features (pixie ears and strong but delicate cheekbones), and that tiny waist! For alls sake, if she werent my daughter and I werent completely in love with my dear husband, Id have to stop myself from making a pass at her!
Dang. Off subject again. Her man. Right.
Well, to be completely truthful, she has brought someone home before. He was some kind of musician or something. He was nice enough. I dont quite remember what he looked like other than his hair color seemed to change from meeting to meeting. He was smart, though. He saw my girl for what she almost was.
Im not really sure what happened to him. Something about a world tour. Hm. Musicians. Anyway, my baby wasnt too broken up about it ending. She was sad for awhile, but I think that deep down she knew he wasnt going to be around for the long run. He did well with her, though. He gave her a confidence she had been missing. When they first started going out, she was passive and quiet, though she had improved considerably because of hanging out with Buffy.
Now theres a subject Im apprehensive to get into. Much as I thought she was a sweet girl, there was something definitely interesting about her. Mystical energy just seemed to converge around her. I was pretty surprised that with all that power flying around, my daughters powers didnt emerge. Little did I know.
My daughter still misses that girl. Buffy was the first real female friend my girl ever had. Yeah, she had Xander and Jesse, but there are some things girls just cant talk about with guys. Or their mother. Whats more, Buffy was a good person. When she left I really thought my baby wouldnt be able to take it. I think my daughter still believes shes alive. I pray she holds on to that hope, and that it isnt false.
Ack. I sincerely need to take a writing course. I still havent gone into my meeting. Thats pretty odd, too. Something tells me it will go down in a couple history books as the worst first contact between a mother and a possible son-in-law.
Okay, I was sitting at home. Id returned from a dentistry conference in Las Vegas (boring, yeah, but they pays good) the day before. Anyway, I was just sort of relaxing, something I dont get much time to do, and my baby just stuck her head in through the doorway.
Mom? she chirped. (Yes, my daughter is one of those annoyingly cheerful people.) I was wondering if I could bring someone to meet you.
Still not really there (I was in a meditative state, leave me alone), I did the kind of Ehh ? thing old people do.
Smiling indulgently, she repeated the question. This time, not wanting my girl the brat to have further smugness cause, I answered quite clearly. Well, actually, I rather turned on the third degree. I get that way when disturbed.
Who? Why? When? Should we wait until your fathers home from China, and do I have to cook? I love the whip tone.
No, you dont have to cook, Id prefer not yet, tonight, because I want you to, and well Hm.
Something was going on.
Who is it?
My darling child moved further into our Spanish-style kitchen, and commenced shuffling. Now, my daughter is not one of those feet shuffling fools. Shes a body shuffling-maniac. When she is nervous, her entire body curls up like a spring and shakes. Its kind of amusing. Well, it would be if she werent so embarrassed.
Knowing she would continue like this for hours, I tried to put her out of her misery as quickly a possible. A new friend? Boyfriend? Lover? Id thrown the last in just to make her giggle.
My sweet girl nearly fell over. I knew then it was going to be an interesting couple of hours.
Um, uh, uh, nnh, w-w-well, n-no. It was pretty amusing watching her try and form a sentance. I mean really. Her face just sort of went completely limp; her jaw came to rest somewhere below her collar bone.
W-w-well, um, hes kind of, she paused, scuffing her toe against the floor. I couldnt help it anymore. It was FUNNY. I swear, the fact that I held out as long as I did surprised me. I really tried to cover it. I did. Hand over mouth, arm over stomach, I tried to swallow it as best I could. It didnt work.
Mom! Oh, the look on her face set me off even more. It was all righteous indignation and teenage bluster. I was not reacting like she thought I should be reacting. Moms are supposed to be all prim and proper. I was supposed to be grilling her on her activities, not laughing.
It was right here that I realized something. My daughter didnt know me at all. She expected me to react like the persona depicted on televison. For all that I can say about my mother, she did let me get to know her. This was one of the most stark realizations Ive ever come to. Lets just say, it was more than enough to stop my laughter. Face serious, eyes somewhat tearful, I turned to her.
Baby. Its about time.
If it werent physically impossible, I would have SWORN her eyes widened further.
Okey, doke. Time for the June Cleaver tude. Instantly, I did the body-soft-and-momish-eyes-glowy-and-comforting thing. When youre a mom, you learn to do these things pretty quickly. This time, though, Im pretty sure I broke some kind of a record. Stretching my arms wide, I cahjoled her towards me.
Come here, sweetie. Tell me all about the man whos stolen your heart.
* * *
Two hours later, I was feeling pretty good about life. From the stumbling broken sentances I could coax from my daughter, the young man I was going to be meeting was named Angel Boyle. He was older, financially independent, and (shock of all shocks), theyd been dating for nearly a year. Hmph. Right around the time the rainbow-headed kid had gone the way of moon boots.
To be truthful, I wasnt too sure. What kind of name is Angel, anyway? Now Boyle is definitely a nice Irish name. That gave me a nice little buzz, I have to admit. Now, before you go off on me about nationality stereotypes, remember, I married a Jewish man AGAINST my mothers wishes. Id never wished and prayed that my baby would find a nice Irish boy and pump out chilluns. HOWEVER, given the opportunity, I definitely wouldnt object. My point (now that Ive wandered yet again) is that with a name like Angel, I was bracing for a body-pierced nightmare.
Well, I didnt get the body piercings, but I sure go the nightmare.
It was when he walked in the front door I started to seriously have my doubts. Dont get me wrong, he is handsome. DAMN handsome. Dark hair, dark eyes, great shoulders. Let me put it this way, hed look FUCKING GREAT in leather pants. Problem was, he had this sort of aura thing around him.
Hmph. Let me state here (again) that I am no great talent when it comes to aura detection. It was another of the powers Mom said skipped me by because I didnt get the mark. Thing is, I was trained in Line magickry and am a mid-level adept. I may not be fantastic, but Im adequate, and this guys aura was screaming wrongness at me.
So, of course, after the formalities (hand kissing!!) I drug out the Mom attitude. I gave him a sharp looking over, deciding the only thing I could, un-supernaturally, call him on was his age. He appeared to be 27 or 28. Not exactly prime dating material for an 18 year old girl. So, with a solid dose of wariness, and not a little foreboding, I went to bat.
Arent you a little old for my daughter?
His response was definitely not what I expected. Instead of blushing, wincing or even getting defensive, he laughed. Full, flat out, from-the-belly, laughed. Strange thing was, so did my daughter.
I was missing something here. I hate that.
Willow. Sweetie? Heehee. I love pulling out the ice-cold-IamyourmotherdoasIsayordie-voice. Even at the age of 18 my baby stops cold and nearly strains something coming to attention. I have that girl trained.
Honey, go in the other room. I need to discuss something with Angel? I deliberately put a question mark at the end of that line. I was bound and determined to find out what was going on. Besides, it was fun watching that hunk squirm under my SUPERMOM scrutiny. Now I know why Mom was such a happy bitch when I was young. This scaring your child stuff is a blast.
Uh, sure, Mom. She slunk out of the room, casting tentative glances in her mans direction, trying to reassure him he would be okay. HA!
As soon as I heard the den door click shut, I smiled. Evilly.
Heehee. The tone worked with him, too. Ram-rod straight, shoulders out, arms stiff at the sides. I should have been a drill sergeant. Of course that would have meant boot camp and years of physical labor never mind.
Yes maam. He kept his eyes straight ahead. I circled slowly around him, inspecting the man who wanted the right to date MY daughter. Of course what he didnt know was that I was really trying to read his aura.
Shit. I should have paid more attention to Tante Hilde during those lessons. Who knew the fate of my daughters social life would fall into those rusty teachings? ::sigh::
I wasnt getting anywhere. Hmph. Direct approach time.
Angel I stopped in front of him, just to his left. why is your aura tinged with black?
He shot a startled and wary look at me. What?
Deciding Drill-Sergeant-Annie wasnt the best tone choice, I opted for one with less steel and more seriousness.
Look. I love my daughter and trust her judgement, but I have a bit more experience with the world. Something is off about you and I wont give my permission on a relationship unless I have some sort of an explanation. Arms crossed, I stood, waiting for answer.
All I have to say is that if I thought this boy was squirming before! First, he started shifting foot to foot. Then his shoulders tensed. Then the head came down to the chest. He looked all the world like a coiling spring. As in my daughters case, it would have been funny if it hadnt been so serious.
Then he sprang.
Mrs. Rosenberg He sighed. Let me just say now that I adore guys who compose their thoughts. Ira is a prime example. He never says anything he doesnt think out completely first. Well, except when hes in bed, but thats fun and (usually) not serious.
Mrs. Rosenberg, I just want to say that your daughter is the most important thing in my life. He paused here. It might have been for effect, but I didnt get that impression. It seemed like he was uncomfortable speaking for long amounts of time. Or any amount of time, for that matter. I dont think he does a lot of public speaking.
She helped me through a very tough time in my life. Shes amazing. I swear on all that is holy his eyes were glittering. Now, dont get me wrong. Im as much a romantic-sop as the next girl, but his aura was still freaking me out a bit. You may not understand, but Im a mom. My most basic instinct is to protect home, hearth and young. My girls the only child I have. I dont want her getting hurt. I said as much. His answer
No one will ever harm your daughter. Not while I walk this earth.
The look in his eyes when he promised me that Ill never forget it. I could see in his eyes that he would give up is very soul to protect my daughter. His tone never wavered, his eyes never disengaged. He believed every word he spoke.
Look, Angel, thats nice. Unfortunately, I dont really care.
It was like watching a balloon deflate. His entire body just sank in on itself. Shoulders drooped, back curved, and legs sagged. If hed been a child, I would have lain bets that hed have been in the fetal position. I, however, didnt back down. There I stood, doing my best Annie Oakley impression, ready and willing to do battle for my baby. Im sure to an outsider it would have been fairly amusing. Here I am, all 5 feet 3 inches, staring down a 6'1" bulky man, and making him twitch.
I am a mother. Whatever I was, whatever I will be, my top priority is my daughter. Trying to see if my point hit home, I caught his eye. Now, Im not the kind of person who gets guilty easily. Hell, Momma wasnt even able to pull any kind of trip on me, past the age of thirteen. The only two people in the world who could consistently drop me at ten paces were my friends mother, and my sophomore year shop teacher. Both of them currently reside in Kentucky. Looking into this mans eyes It was like standing in front of Mr. De la Vega, trying to explain why I was three days behind on re-assembling his wifes car engine. This guy knows pain.
I am so not kidding. If there is such a thing as a walking bruise, this guy is it. How can psycho-mom tell all this, youre asking? Remember those aura lessons I skipped? Well thats because I was brushing up on my inner-being reading. Yup. I dont do it often, but when the subjects willing (and Im nosy enough) I can deep scan with the best of them. It was the only thing that got Mom off my back long enough to meet Ira.
I havent done it to one of my daughters friends, though. It always seemed invasive. Hell, aura stuff is basic and surface. Its one thing to squint your eyes and pick out colors, its quite another to conciously stare into someones deepest center. I knew I had to, though.
Angel It was time for the cold, reasonable tone. Im going to ask you something. Please be honest with me. I paused, trying to gather my thoughts. My daughter doesnt know this We come from a long history, my family does. My lineage can be traced back nearly thirty generations, up my mothers side, to the McGlorys. We are Line.
He knew. It surprised me a little, yes, but it also made thing simpler. If he knew what a Line member was, then he would know something of our power.
I see you have an inkling of what that means. I just had to ask. Call me bad, but I needed to know what he knew.
I know. His voice held a new note of respect. You are decended from fairies. You and your family claim ties to the white and Wild magics that banished the Evil ones.
Very good. So you can understand me when I ask you, why is your aura black?
That caught him. In his favor, he didnt shrink again. Hmm. When faced with an emotional jab, he is vunerable. Intimidation and Power bring out the armor. With a tone even more stern than those Id excercised earlier in the evening, he issued a single command.
Dont run. I wont hurt you.
Boom. Power that had been waiting YEARS exploded through my nerves. Every cell in my body awoke, screaming for what little Power I had in me to come to my aide. The mortal enemy of every Line member was standing in front of me. Asking to date my daughter.
Get Out. An electric charge snapped in front of me as I hissed the threat. My daugther had been dating a demon. You know, at the time, the only thought in my head (well, besides PROTECTKILLMAIM) was Mom must be laughing her ass off, where ever she is.
Back to the electrical storm building in my living room.
Across from me, Angel hadnt moved an inch. His face was stone-still, eyes hard but accepting.
We werent going to tell you. Not about this.
I can see why. Why are you still here? Get Out. A twitch of power here, a tug there If he didnt leave in the next thirty seconds, he was going to get his ass roasted by every ounce of power I had in me.
Mrs. Rosenberg, you dont know everything. Im not the demon, hes not me
I dont care. GET OUT! By this point, the room was buzzing with power. I was spitting mad and deeply mean. Fifteen seconds
MOM!! Whats going on!?
Damn, do I have to work on that girls timing. Get BACK, Willow! If she knew or not (and according to his earlier words she did), it didnt matter. She didnt know the demons like I did. Id trained for nearly 20 years to battle against these things. She could only know what he had told her.
Baby, go back to the den. Moms going to handle this
No! With strength a running back could admire, she came charging down the hall. She slammed into Angel so hard, she knocked him five feet to the side just enough to let him avoid my power ball.
Shit! Oh, dammit, kids and those damn romantic feelings! Arg. Other parents get the occasional smoker, or drinker. Me? I get a daughter who falls in love with someone who has a piece of ultimate evil inside of him. DAMMIT! Now I have to replace that new entertainment center I bought Ira for our last aniversary.
Hands on hips, eyes about a quarter-inch wide, I moved to stand over the two prone forms. I was seriously pissed off. Not only had my daughter ruined my plans to incinerate her boyfriend, shed caused me to lose about $5,000 in electronical equiptment.
Charred bits of plastic and wire were still falling when Willow started to stir. I did give Angel some credit. Hed twisted during the blast so hed taken the brunt of the explosion. He wasnt in very good shape. There were small bits of plastic and metal sticking out of his shirt, obviously impaled in his skin. Serves him right.
Willow Anne Rosenberg. Get out from under him and stay away. You think the tone I used to get her out of the room was serious? This puppy coulda encased the sun in a permanent ice age. I used the time it took for Will to pull her self from under that thing to recharge. Come hell or bad coffee, he was going to be vacuum-filler by the end of the night.
Well, that was my plan, anyway. Apparently, not my daughters.
I really didnt notice anything happening until the shock-wave knocked me into the far wall. It really wasnt a very pleasant experience. Hitting a hard wall at about 20 miles an hour is definitely not the way to stay conscious. It was an uphill fight to keep my eyes open, trying to see what had thrown me nearly 15 feet. The edges of my sight-line dimmed as I scanned the wreck I once called my living room. My mind perked up pretty fast when they landed on my daughter.
Standing in the smoking ruins of what was once a 35-inch television was something magnificent. Eyes glowing white, red hair standing on end, crouched in a battle-stance, the thing that had knocked me back glared at me. Dear gods. My daughter had manifested. Whats more, she was in control. Complete control.
DAMMIT! Mom was right again.
Let me explain something to you right now. There are hundreds of levels to Line magic, each of them different in their emergence. Im somewhere in the middle. My manifestation was pretty okay; I only blew out the power for Beverly. Beverly, Massachutses, that is. Mom moved us there from Evanston, Illinois in a fit of whimsy. For those of you not versed in geography, Beverly is just across the bay from Salem. What can I say? Mom was weird.
ANYWAY, the electrical charge I let go that fried the power-company circuits wasnt very high for a line member. At least thats what Mom said. Her manifestation was a lot bigger. Luckily, she was in the presence of other members, otherwise it could have been a lot worse. SHE was the cause of the great mid-west blizzard of 58. Like I said, Power reveals itself in odd ways. My POINT is, when I was sitting on that floor, almost unconcious, I wasnt thinking about how mad I was at my daughter for attacking me. I was thinking, How could I have missed this?!
* * *
When I woke up, it was like it had been a dream. I was settled on the living room couch, the peach blanket that normally adorned the back of the couch was settled over my legs. I shifted slightly discovering an ice-pack precariously balanced on my forehead. Okay, so it wasnt a dream. Was it?
A quick glance at the entertainment center for confirmatinon proved even more inconclusive. There it was, stately and frightening in all its high-tech glory. At this point, I was well and truly confused. Up to that point in my life, I had never hallucinated. Well, except when I had that peyote in the mid-seventies nevermind. I wasnt anywhere near peyote right now, and other than a pounding headache, I wasnt sick. Well, sitting on my duff wasnt going to get me any answers. The only thing that could was finding my daughter and it.
After about five minutes of false starts, grunting, groaning, and some all-out cursing, I finally got my unsteady feet under me. Too bad it was unnecessary. As I made my first gargantuan effort to step foraward, my daughter popped her head around the hall doorway, scaring the hell out of me.
I immedieately drew back into a protective crouch. It was weird, and painful. Weird because I was protecting myself against my daughter. My baby. The child I gave birth to and raised. Painful because my head still hadnt recovered totally. However, the necessary outweighed the weirdness and pain. Yeah, Im a mom first and foremost. Id rip my own arm off to protect my child, but I wouldnt offer it up to be ripped-off by my child. Hey, Im not stupid.
You manifested. And you didnt tell me?
Damn it. I could feel my eyes starting to shine. I really didnt want to get mad right then. Anger is dark, and very frightening. Its an emotion that Line-members must keep under strict control. We all have bad tempers. It comes from the fey blood.
Its pretty well documented that faeries are evil when provoked. They have little emotion, but when its felt, its felt deeply. Its the only constant trait they pass on to their children. Ive got a pretty bad share of it. Of course, Id started to wonder about my daughter. Past second grade, shed been the most even-tempered, compliant little bit of a girl Id ever met. Lets just say, any and all theories I had on her not inheriting were completely blown out the window the second my back hit that wall.
From my position, bowed infinitely near the cream carpet, I could see the entire room. Oh, didnt I tell you? I did go to combat training. Anyway, Tio Andreas always said, get close to the floor. Youre harder to see, harder to hit, and can do both better to the opponent. Staring up at my daughter, it was still very hard to believe that this little thing had enough power in her to blow me across the room. And still be strong enough to get me to the couch and conjur a new entertainment center.
Willow looked about ready to bolt. Her mouth was pressed into a tight line, and her arms were crossed over her chest. She didnt look in the least threatening. In fact, she looked like a seven-year-old who knew shed done something she was going to get punished for. If there was someone who looked exactly opposite to the fey princess whod attacked her own mother, it was the girl standing in front of me.
Mom Her bottom lip trembled. It was so absolutely pitiful. Ducking her head, she tried to collect her thoughts. It was something shed picked up from her father.
At this point, I really didnt know what to say. Or do. There just isnt an instruction manual on how to proceed if you daughter manifests great fey power, falls in love with a demon, brings him home, and nearly kills you. Sometimes I really wish Id been born Polish.
Mom, she tried again. The bright cloud of red hair was brushed back with a careless toss. Mom, I didnt know. Why didnt you tell me? Tears that had been so valiantly trying to stay in their ducts spilled across alabaster skin. When when I did the first casting
She turned away, not able to speak. Its something else she gets from her father. Whenever he has really important to say, he cant look at me. He says that I am too intimidating.
Silently, she walked over to the large picture-window overlooking our back yard. It was dark outside, but the strong halogen lamp Irad installed a few weeks ago glowed cheerily from its lofty perch on a 12 foot pole. Tugging a lock of her own hair, my daughter contemplated the pastoral scene. The first casting I did was restoring Angels soul to his body.
Whoa. Didnt see that one coming.
Choking slightly, I tried not to make a sound. My daughter needed to get this out, and I needed to let her. However, I filed this little snippet of news away, hopefully keeping it for posterity.
It was right after I got attacked in the Library at the end of Junior year. Th-the day Buffy left. I could hear the crack in her voice. After nearly a year, Buffys departure still hurt. We, Cordelia, Giles, Xander, Kendra and I Right before the attack, I was attempting the spell. Dru a really bad vampire burst in right before I went into concentration.
She glanced casually over her shoulder. From the tone of her voice, Id expected tears. Maybe a piteous glance. Nope. Fey princess had returned.
Mom. Why didnt you tell me? From what I saw back there Her voice cracked in rememberance of how shed thrown me into that wall. Her eyes, however, didnt change. They were hard as ice and demanding answers. You knew about this. You know what I am. You didnt tell me.
All take it! I would like to say right now, that it is normal for every conscious Line member born to be introduced to their heritage. Even members that drift away have some genetic memory of what they are. So, I was truly shocked when Mom, Grans spirit, and the Council of Ten made me promise I would not reveal my daughters nature to her until her twentieth birthday. I still dont understand that.
Baby, I wanted to tell you, but I was overruled. Sighing deeply, I sat back on the couch. My headache was still killing me.
Mom! The teenage indignation was back. This time, there was a dark snapping of power to enforce her threat. Its not like this was something light! You kept knowledge of my very being away from me! When I finally went into concentration for Angels spell, I had no idea what was going on! One minute I was chanting some Latin curse, the next, I was in Tir-na-Og!
Ho-ly, shit. This was worse than Id thought. Tir-na-Og? Shed been to the homeland. Tir-na-Og is a different name, kind of, for Avalon. It is where the Old Ones reside. Tir-na-Og is the most beautiful place in any plane of existence. Its Ireland, only with brighter colors, more sun, and one REALLY BIG castle. Only the strongest of the strong ever got a glimpse of the homeland, but my daughter did it on not only her first casting, but her VERY manifestation! God-dammit, why didnt they let me train her!? My amazement and outrage must have been pretty damn apparent. It drew my spitting kitten up short.
Oh, God. I was pretty out of it. MY daughter, little ol Willow Anne Rosenberg had been to TIR-NA-FREAKING-OG!?
Mom, are you okay?
I must have blacked out from shock or something because the next thing I knew, Willow was crouched in front of me, eyes bright with concern. Shaking my head, I tried to get the cobwebs out of the way. I really needed to stay clear headed right now. My daughter and I needed to have a serious talk, and me passing out just wouldnt do.
Lord Baby, could you do me a favor? It took just about everything I had to cup her cheek with my palm. I need you to go get me some asprin from the medicine cabinet. You and I have some talking to do. Ill tell you about your heritage, and you can tell me about Angel.
Smiling slightly, my daughter inclined her head. Okay. As long as you promise not to fry him again.
::sigh:: The things we do so we dont get killed.
Fine. For now.
Taking my statement at face value, she smiled. With a grace Id only glimpsed before, Willow rose from her crouch, and bounded across the now-clean living room. Watching her titian pony-tail disappear past the low Spanish-arch, I slumped back into the soft cushions of the couch.
Okay, it was a major concession on my part, but I did keep some pretty major stuff from her. Yeah, Id been told specifically not to talk to her, but Im rebellious, dammit! I should have ignored authority! Damn the Man! Whatever! Besides, if she was fully trained, she could have easily destroyed Angel when shed first discovered his identity.
Its amazing how a headache can clear your thinking.
I didnt get much more time to go over this sudden clarity, though. Industrial-size Bottle-O-Relief in hand, my daughter bounced back in. Man, that girl has mood swings.
Gratefully, I accepted the two capsules she offered and the half-glass of water. I never could take pills with out something to wash them down. No supernatural reason, I just cant.
Dragging a large comfy chair to face me, Willow settled down and waited. God, you have no idea how hard this was. I was about to break a direct order from my mother, my mothers mother, and the ruling aristocracy of Tir-na-Og. The council of Ten consists of ten elected officials. They rule Tir-na-Og for periods of five hundred years. That may seem like awhile, but faeries are long-lived.
Half-breeds arent that short-lived either. Mom only died because she got hit by a bus. That didnt stop her from hanging around, though. The old biddy chose the worst times to interrupt, too. There was this one time Wait, you dont want to hear about that. IRA still cant think about that without cringing. Hmph. Im avoiding the topic.
So. I had to talk to my baby about her being a faerie. Again, its not something they dedicate an entire chapter to in parenting manuals. Now, I have already told you most of what I told her. A woman in my family, many generations ago, caught the attention of an Old One. Im not giving names because that would give anyone who reads this power over my family.
Names ARE power, and neener, neener. You dont get any. Sorry.
Anywho, they had lots of fun in bed, nine months later, she was joined by a little girl. This wasnt much of a big deal, except, she (the mother) had a trace of fey blood in her (from way before), so the child became MORE than just a half-breed. This kid went on to do lots of nice deeds for both mortals and the Old Ones. In doing so, she was blessed by the council. This blessing basically stated that her decendents would have the ability to tap their fey sides. Resulting in Power. Long story short, that kid went and had a daughter, and SHE went and had a daughter, yadda, yadda, yadda.
So, my daughter and I are Line members.
Giving her this much information didnt exactly help HER mood, though.
Sitting across from me, eyes narrowed and mouth compressed, she didnt look too appreciative of my little informational relay.
I already figured this much out, Mom. Having access to the biggest occult library outside of Europe gives me some research material.
Whoa. Occult library?
Seeing my confusion, she dropped her annoyed act. Looking a bit guilty, she shrugged.
I I just know.
Willow turned pink.
Dear? Is there something you want to tell me?
This is where Id been wanting to go all evening. Just how did she come into the position of finding out about vampires? Or becoming involved with them? Yeah, we live on the Hellmouth, but Im pretty sure she didnt know that before high school. Not to mention, occult library!?
Turning her face back towards the restored entertainment center, Willow shrugged again. She looking pensive, she started to speak.
* * *
and thats how we ended up falling in love.
Nearly two hours later, my daughter finished her narrative of the past three years.
That pretty much covers it. My daughter had spent the last three years fighting the forces of evil. So much and so often, I definitely had to revise my earlier opinion. SHE has more life experience in that area than I will ever hope to accumulate. That saddens me to no end.
As a mother, there are two things constantly in your mind. The first is love. There is no way on earth that anyone who has not experienced it can understand the pure and total love a mother or father has for a child. This baby comes from you. It was a part of your flesh thats now walking around. It is the scariest and most beautiful thing you can ever do, bringing forth a child. With that love, comes a protective instinct.
Whatever you child chooses to do, a parents first rection is to protect. It was that instinct that was screaming bloody murder. A parent is driven beyond sanity with wanting to protect their offspring. It was now pretty glaringly obvious that Ira and I had failed. We, the people who were responsible for her well-being, and, heavens forgive my old-fashionedness, her innocence, had royally screwed up.
I had never wanted my husbands support more.
Unfortunately, the bastard (Im kidding, really) was in China.
The heavy emotion clouding my mind was apparent in my voice. It cracked.
Staring at my daughter, I could finally see. She wasnt a child anymore. She hadnt been for the last year. She was a woman. I We had just been too blind to see. They say that if you stare at something for so long, you develop an image of how it should be, rather than how it is. I had looked at my baby day in and day out for the past eighteen years, but today was the first time I had seen her.
I said earlier that I was proud of her. Id like to emphasise that now.
I did, too. Physically, that is.
Lets just say I nearly knocked the poor thing out of her chair.
Well, okay, I rock when I hug.
FINE, we did end up falling on the floor. ::sigh:: Im an emotional hussy, okay? I meant to get through this recitation without reminding you about how sappy I get.
It was worth it, though.
Oh, sweetie, Im so sorry, I mumbled through the rocking. She was crying, too, though Im not really sure if she knew why. Maybe she knew how deeply I loved her, or maybe she could feel the sorrow I held for not being there for her.
Eh. Im pretty sure it was just because I was crying. Ill stick to my sappier notions, though. Theyre more appealing.
However, I knew there were things that still needed to be said. Pulling back from the rib-crushing embrace, I looked down at my daughter.
I still think that Angel should die.
That did it. Any sympathetic emotion my daughter had been feeling dried up, leaving only cold, hard fae princess.
WHAT?! After all Ive told you!? You still want him dead? Dammit, Mom! Jumping to her feet, she spun away from me. Changing her mind, she turned, staring down at me with about the equivalent contempt shed give a frog. With my daughter, thats quite a bit of contempt. Biting off her words, she continued. I thought you understood. I was wrong. She was about ready to stalk off again, when I found my voice.
I understand you believe that, but its not right!
That stopped her. Eyes glowing, she came up with the only argument she could.
Hush, you. I held up a hand. Id dealt with five screaming two-year-olds at a birthday party. Dealing with pissed-off fae princess was a similar concept. Shock em quick, and hit em hard. What I mean to say, is that I cant trust him until I have proof. I love you. More than anything on this earth. Itll take more than his and your word of honor to convince me of his intentions.
Boy, did she look ticked. I really didnt want to know the thoughts running through her mind. Im pretty sure I wouldve had to slap her silly because of them.
I do have to give her some credit, though. She pulled herself together and managed to bite out a question. Whats more, it was a relevant one.
Whats the one thing in the world that will convince you hes good?
I answered without hesitation.
A soul reading.
Surprisingly enough she relaxed, minimally, and nodded.
If thats what you need.
Without preamble, she grabbed my arm and dragged me back through the kitchen. It was something kind of amazing, considering she yanked me from a sitting position on the floor. Apparently enhanced strength was part of the package. Hmm. Thinking about it now, I should have suspected something was up when she never needed help bringing in groceries Those non-perishables can be pretty heavy.
Finally, after much moaning and whining from me (HEY! Asprin can only do so much!) we arrived at our destination. The guest bedroom. Happily, it wasnt up any stairs. I probably would have fallen down them. Not so happily, Angel was unconsious inside. Apparently she hadnt taken him too far to heal. I nearly lost it when we entered the room. All helpless and barely conscious It was all I could do to reign in that pesky protective instinct.
Did you know that incineration is just damn fun?
Willow must have sensed something, because she gave me a stern visual warning. Im sure it translated to something along the lines of hurt him, and the house is a goner. Eh. Too bad. Giving me a nudge, she pointed me to the far side of the bed.
I rounded the bed on wobbly legs, finally settling near his side. Gratefully, I sank to the soft surface. Man, I must have hit that wall pretty hard.
Anyway, the bed was pretty small, so there was no way I could avoid coming in contact with his bare skin. My daughter had stripped his upper body (Im not sure about the lower part due to blanket coverage, but Im sure my daughters still too much of a prude to take off more than his shoes and socks. ::sigh:: The dissapointments of parenthood.) It took quite a bit not to recoil at the temperature.
Thats one thing I dont get. I have problem enough with Iras cold feet when he gets in bed. How the heck do people stand Vampires? EVERYTHING is cold! Okay, yeah, it could be kinda exciting cool shock of skin against fevered skin rising excitement ACK. Tangent girl strikes again.
So, there I was, sitting next to this half-naked dead guy. Right. A person needs to be conscious so that the soul reading can work. Whats more, they have to agree. It was a sure bet that if I tried to wake the guy, hed pass out again. I did try and kill him. At the time, I was still planning on it. Instead, I tagged my daughter on the shoulder. She had settled on the sleeping vampires other side. Sending her red hair swinging violently, she jerked her head in my direction. Apparently, my desire for Angels death was pretty obvious. She gave me one good glare and turned her gaze back to the th PERSON sleeping below us.
Instantly, her face softened.
Her voice was as soft as velvet. The dead guy responded instantly. Chocolate eyes fluttering lightly, he unerringly focused on my baby. She smiled gently, carefully tracing the light scar above his eye. I hadnt noticed that when hed arrived. Must have been due to a piece of flying plastic or glass. I squashed a minute smug feeling. (He got hurt cause of me !)
Hey! I still didnt trust the guy! My daughter was fully manifested with witch tendencies, but that hadnt quite sunk in yet. It was a busy night, okay!
Angel, Mom, she nodded slightly in my direction. She needs your permission for a soul reading. The hand moved further down his face, tracing his hard cheekbones. You know, the thing we did right after you came back.
That was a surprise. Though at that point it really shouldnt have been. There was such tenderness between them. He was obviously in pain, but there was such joy in him. It hadnt been there earlier. The emotion obviously stemmed from being near my daughter. If I hadnt been holding so stubbornly to my training, I might have known it then. Unfortunately, the body language completely gave me a miss. They were in love. However, the only thing that did register was the fact my daughter had done a soul reading. My baby did a soul reading? Not much harder than a soul-restoration but still pretty complicated.
Angel seemed to understand. In a voice stronger than I would have given him credit for, her answered her, his eyes shifting to lock with mine.
If thats what is needed.
So that, my friends, is how I got on intimate terms with my daughters boyfriend.
Now, participating in a soul reading is one of the most personal experiences you can have. Contrary to popular belief, or any belief the words soul reading arouse, a soul reading does not give you access to someones memories. It gives you free roam through their soul.
Now there is a big debate in the world on whether or not there is or is not such a thing as a soul. Let me make this easy, we do. Each living thing has a deeper essence that makes it what it is. A tree is a tree only because it has a tree soul. Its the same with a human being. There are exceptions, however. Vampires and demons are it. Technically, vampires are demons, but we really dont need to go into that.
ANYWAY, when my soul touched his I really cant accurately describe the experience. Its like ripping yourself apart and gluing yourself back together, but with something pasted on. In a good way. The feeling is something very similar to a constant orgasm. Or it can be. It is the most personal thing someone can do to, or with, someone else. A person can hide NOTHING from the other. It works both ways, too. So, when I reached out, he reached out.
God, I really need a writing class. Eyuh! Hm. When we touched, I could see him for everything that he was. The demon was there, as Id expected. Initially, that pulled me back. I didnt want the demon to have access to me, and because of the nature of what I was doing it could. But, I had promised both Angel and my daughter I would do this, so I couldnt back out. Pulling on all my courage, I lept forward
and encountered one of the most amazing people I will ever know.
He was in control. Complete control of the demon. Looking around the alien landscape that was Angel, I could see traces of the damage it had done this man. There were scars, but they were healing. Getting closer, I could also see a spider-web attachment. A tiny, gossamer fiber stretching out into the abyss. Curious, I extended myself, touching it lightly. It was to my daughter. This little-bitty thread connected them. If I could have grinned in this form, I would have. He wasnt lying about doing ANYTHING for her earlier. He couldnt. Lie, that is. This link was permanent.
Feeling somewhat relieved (though not completely relieved), I moved on, towards the rest of him. Now, every person has a different soul. Well, DUH. What Im trying to say, is that every person is uniquely patterned. Everything that has ever touched you leaves a mark and shapes you in some way. Inside, these changes are marked by color, or light, or even sound.
Basically, youre a walking 3-D IMAX movie. In a good way.
Moving on, I went looking. I knew it had to be there. For Angel to be able to change, it had to be present. The thing that had done so much damage. The evil one.
I was not disappointed. Mostly.
Far, far back at the edge, I found it, imprisoned. Yes, it still had tendrils of power connected to the man, but it was caged. Chained. Bound for good by bonds forged in fae magik. Damn, my girl does some fine work. I reminded myself then to have her look over the solstice spells. They always needed tweaking. Eeek, off topic. Where was I? Oh, yeah, the chains (Back to serious mode.)
The chains were solid, thick power, forged for permanance, not just show. The power throbbing through them was enough to give even me a slight buzz.
That was all I needed to know.
Letting go, I came back to them. Just to be vindictive (Id had a hard night! Lemme alone. A girl needs some fun ) I waited until I was fully conscious before smiling. Damn, the coming years are going to be fun. Watching that boy squirm is habit-forming.
He loves my baby so much it hurts. There is little even a well-trained Line member can do against true love. Corny as it may sound, it is the highest power. Nothing can beat it, and if it is opposed, it isnt for long. Its kinda like putting up a paper barrier against an ax-wielding maniac.
Im glad shes found him so young. Most mothers would be having an anxiety attack right now. Shes too young! Shes got to know herself first! All ramblings from women who dont know what its like to truly know that the person across from you is THE one. They cannot say with conviction that the man they married was made specifically for them. I can. I see in my daughters eyes that she will be able to. It is the most beautiful experience of any life time.
My girl found it at 18.
I told you my she was gifted.
Well, thats about it. I cant wait to see the children.
How, you ask?
Mebbe the kidsll squirm more than they do