Jonah and the Fairy Ch. 02bymarkelly©
(I'm hoping my e-mail inbox will get some peace now that I have posted this addition to what I thought would be a one off story. I do have one final chapter in mind. Just hang in there its coming along nicely. My personal thanks Sanidia for editing this for me.)
It was still another hour before Mom shimmered back into the clearing holding one of the Bodyguard's hands. She stepped away then turned and thanked her before the bodyguard nodded smiled and left. Dad and Jacob came into the clearing seconds later so neither Robin nor I got to talk to her about her time away. I did however check her back as she passed us and was relieved to see no wings attached. Robin caught me looking and couldn't help laugh, after realizing what she was doing she tried to hide it faking a cough. I'm sure Mom knew something was going on but she didn't raise the subject.
Jacob waved and then turned and left leaving Mom to hug Dad whilst Dad was going into enthusiastic mode about the wonders that Jacob had taken him to see. Both Robin and I watched Mom as she sat patiently listening to her husband as though every word that left him meant everything to her and I held Robin so tight realizing just how much she truly loved him. It was when she looked up at us both I think she finally understood.
As the keeper, I had this secret and with Robin by my side it was easy to keep, she knew she could never talk to Dad about her time with Marise but her pressure valve was always both of us and her visit's to the mountain. My parent's stayed for the weekend and even held off leaving until the Monday morning such was there reluctance to return home. We both had opportunities to talk to Mom about her time with Marise and what they did together but I figured since she didn't tell us it was not our place to pry.
Life for all of us settled into a routine, both my folks would visit every six weeks and Jacob would always find something that kept Dad's interest, Mom's visits with Marise had increased as well and I started to wonder if a strange bond had developed between the two. I brought the subject up with Robin and she seemed to agree, when she talked with the other Bodyguards they always said that there Queen and Mom always found something to talk about.
The months folded into each other and Christmas was coming I had of course asked Marise if I could take Robin to see my folks and have a Christmas at our house away from the mountain. She readily agreed and Robin came back with stories that kept the all the fairies amused for days. Spring was now looming and with it the snow on the top of the mountain started to melt, the river started to rise but not as far as before and we all breathed a sigh of relief. But the spring also brought something unexpected to the mountain that changed everything.
It was the scream that made me sit up in bed that sunny spring morning and the sound of Robin being sick that sent my whole world into free fall. By the time I was out of bed she had pushed passed me and ran naked out into the clearing. I immediately followed her, I found her kneeling in the middle of the clearing, as I approached she turned her head, it wasn't Robin staring back but a stranger.
Her eyes were glowing red, her mouth always smiling was now a sneer and it got worse when I got closer, the face of the woman I love was nothing more than a hate filled mask. I opened my mouth to speak and her arm extended palm towards me. A red glow formed around her hand and from nowhere it felt like I had been punched in the stomach the force lifting me off my feet away from Robin landing at the edge of the clearing some fifteen feet away.
Something was terribly wrong with Robin and I felt so helpless there was nothing I could do, I tried again to walk towards her, again she held out her arm and this time the only thing that stopped my travel was the tree I had first found her under that stormy night. With the wind knocked out of me, all I could do was sit and count the stars. It hurt so much to get up now but I had to, my Robin was in trouble and I needed to help her, to know she was safe. Again I approached her and again she held out her arm, all I remember this time was being lifted off my feet before slamming into another tree I was too damaged to do anything but watch the scene unfold in front of me.
Robin stopped looking at me her arms now out straight, her hands flat, moments later two birds sat on her hands and at first I thought it was just the birds singing then I realized that she was talking to them both, after a few minutes both birds fluttered there wings and flew off in separate directions. Seconds later she lowered her arms and placed her hands on her thighs I passed out for a while, when I came to Robin had a red glow around her I could see her lips move but in the state I was in I couldn't be sure if she was saying anything.
Passing out seemed to be a habit now, the pain telling me she had broken some bones this time. For a few moments my eyes would open long enough to see Robin still in her red cocoon, her lips still moving and whatever she was saying was to herself, since I could hear the birds singing in the branches above me. It was Jacob holding my head still, while he tried to pour some vile tasting liquid down my throat that woke me the next time.
My first thoughts being that my eyes were failing along with the other parts of my body until I realized that it was now dusk. Jacob lifted me into his arms and carried me back across to the cabin; he seemed to be avoiding Robin as he did. His foot was on the first step when the roar of a car was heard then skidded into the clearing Mom rushed out leaving the door open and the engine running.
Before either Jacob or I could warn her she was knelt in front of Robin. The red cocoon that surrounded Robin now extended to Mom, Robin held out her hands and I feared the worst, instead Mom held them and both closed their eyes, not a word was spoken between them. Jacob placed me on a chair and we both watched and waited.
Two shimmers in the clearing put Robin on the alert until both fairies simply sat either side of her facing outwards before shimmering into human form. The red cocoon surrounding Mom and Robin moved back from a deep red to a lighter red again and as Robin started to look back towards Mom her stare stopped at Jacob and me on the porch. For just a fraction of a second I thought I saw my Robin in there but I simply couldn't be sure.
"You need to rest. I have sent for a healer but it's going to take a while to fix you up again."
"I don't understand Jacob. She was fine last night and then this today. What is going on?"
Before he could answer, the red cocoon around Robin shifted enough to let Mom out and then adjusted itself again. She opened her eyes and came to me switching the car engine off as she did.
"Jacob you must warn the bodyguards not to get any closer, it's important this is emphasized to them. I must ask you to go to your Queen, tell her that either I see her or she comes here. Please impress upon her I am not ordering her but there is a time issue involved and I wouldn't ask such a thing of her if I didn't feel it was important."
He nodded his head and left to speak to both bodyguards, both nodded and stayed seated as Jacob took two further steps back and shimmered away. Mom simply looked at me sighed.
"She beat you up pretty badly and she is sorry but you simply wouldn't leave her alone."
I choked back a laugh only because it hurt too much to do anything else, at least I found the funny side of it even if no one else ever would. Before I could speak I noticed a shimmer on the porch which brought a grey haired old woman walking towards us with the aid of a stick, the limp was of age and the lines on her face told me she felt like she had seen it all and know doubt done most of it. She sat next to me, prodded all the areas I wish she wouldn't and pocked the areas I cried when she did, it was then I truly wish she hadn't.
"Bodyguard worked you over real good. Just wait until the rest find out keeper."
"Am I now camp fire talk amongst all of you healer?"
The old woman cackled some more.
"You have been since Bodyguard mated with you. Tell me keeper what do you have that would keep her from mating with her own kind?"
"Charm, whit and personality the list simply goes on and on healer."
That brought another cackle from the old lady and even as she filled a leather beaker with some weird looking black goo, then held my nose until I opened my mouth so she could pour it in she was still cackling to herself.
"You only had to ask healer I would have opened my mouth."
"I know keeper but it's more fun for me when I do it my way."
Another shimmer on the porch brought Marise closely followed by two more shimmers and her Bodyguards stood behind her. Robin had obviously sensed her Queens presence because the red glow just got redder now almost a blood red. The healer went to kneel but Marise cut her short with a wave of her hand the look of concern on her face as she turned to me was genuine.
"Crystal did this to you?"
All I could do was nod; the black goo taking it's time to crawl down my throat had now made my breathing sound even worse than before. Mom stood before her and knelt, Marise followed her to her knees and held out her hands, Mom took them and both closed their eyes. It was just a few moment later when Marise suddenly opened her eyes and looked closely at Mom and then across to Robin.
"That's not possible."
Was all she said before she stood and walked towards Robin, both Bodyguards held their place on the porch the two bodyguards by Robin stood and walked away, joining the others by the porch steps. As Marise closed the gap between the two of them her own blue aura glowed more intensely until it seemed to crackle.
Marise was now stood in front of Robin both the red and blue glow crackled and sparks seemed to fly in all directions. Marise knelt across from Robin and the glows finally touched. I went to stand but the healer pushed me back into the seat shaking her head as I winced and tried again to settle yet seeing the blues and reds dance across my eyes made them hurt even more now.
Suddenly Marise lurched forward through the red glow and grabbed Robin's shoulders. The scream of pain from Robin seared itself to my heart like a branding iron. We all closed our eyes as a deep blue light emanated outwards from the center of the clearing through the cabin and beyond. As the dust settled we looked on as Marise held onto Robin as she cried into her shoulder, they shimmered and then both were gone.
All but one of the Bodyguards left next. Mom stood, kissed my forehead and went to stand alongside the remaining Bodyguard before she held her hand and both shimmered away.
"Well keeper you mentioned this charm, do you plan on using it on me?"
"If it meant you not trying to pour any more of that black stuff down my throat I'm sure I could find some for you healer."
The healer cackled once again, stuck her hand into a pouch, pulled out a flower I had never seen before, she squeezed the back of the flower and pollen covered my face, I tried to cough but it only made my head spin.
"You need the rest, goodnight keeper."
I made the mistake of opening my eyes, the stabbing pain that shot through to my brain thought it best not to do that again. The cooling wet cloth that followed a minute later came as a pleasant relief.
"Does that help?"
Mom's voice was a comfort to me, but I would have rather have heard Robin's. Even saying thank you took some effort but my Mom brought up a gentleman so pain or no pain I did say just that and then the fog of sleep took me once more. It was the sound of voices that stirred me from my sleep, it seemed I was also being closely watched because as soon as I heard the voices they stopped and all I could hear next was footsteps.
The first sight that greeted me when I woke was Mom sat in a chair by the bed, Mom noticed the disappointment when my eyes took in the room and she was the only one there.
"Robin's not here son, there is a lot to tell you I just hope you're well enough to take it all in."
Mom called Jacob and between them I was pulled up the bed and rested on pillows, my ribs felt better and the pain in my head had all but gone now. As Jacob moved away I spotted Marise standing by the door.
"Is it wise for a Queen to be seen in the keeper's bedroom?"
Even Jacob laughed, then bowed to his Queen and left the room. Marise sat on the edge of the bed and smiled.
"I believe every fifty human years or so a Queen can cast caution to the winds."
Marise became more serious now.
"She could have killed you."
I shook my head.
"No she couldn't my Robin was in there, wherever there is. She wanted me away from her but not at any cost."
"After seeing the damage she inflicted on you and the healer telling me what damage I couldn't see I would imagine one more attempt to get near Crystal and we would now be looking for another Jonah to become the keeper."
"Where is she Marise?"
Both women looked at each other and I wondered who got the short straw to break whatever bad news there was to me. Marise looked down onto the bed and took a deep breath and I understood, she was after all the Queen and she had decided it was up to her to tell me.
"I would much rather tell you this when you are more healed Jonah. But Crystal is your mate so you have a right to know."
Even now both women looked at each other wishing there was a better way.
"With Crystal being in human form almost all the time now and still at such a young age for a fairy, her body could not adapt to the changes."
I had stopped breathing, even now fearing the worst. Marise notice my anxiety and smiled.
"She's alive Jonah, but Mother Earth has placed such a harsh punishment on her. Crystal's transition into an adult cycle has come early, that and her being with child have placed such a burden on her."
I smiled at the thought I was going to be a father, that smile faded when I watched both women, there was still sadness in the room. Marise had yet to get to the important part of this conversation, but what could be more important than being a father.
"There are complications Jonah. If Crystal's cycle had already happened before she was with child. Then the events of ten days ago would not have come to pass."
The shock stopped me from hearing anything else. I had been out for ten days, just how much damage had my Robin done.
"Oh she was very thorough Jonah she systematically took your body to pieces using the tree's to break as many bones in your body as she could. Even the healer cannot figure out how you got up the second time let alone survived the third."
Again Marise was reading my mind, and I simply let her, it was easier to think than speak.
"Both of you need to talk Jonah, you both have some harsh choices to make, I will help with what little I can do but Mother Earth holds all the power here and she simply leaves us with two choices and both are going to hurt you and Crystal so much."
Both women stood and left the room, I had spent so much time thinking about the conversation I had with Marise I didn't see Robin sat on the end of the bed. Her wings looked slightly bigger than the last time I had seen her in fairy form. It was as she stood and walked up the bed I noticed the slight bump in her belly.
Robin came to a stop on my thigh and sat down facing me. She looked so sad and I felt so helpless to do anything.
"I'm so very sorry I hurt you. It was not my intention but too much was going on within me and I had to care for our child."
"Why did you think I would hurt either of you?"
"There was such a rage within me I couldn't take the chance until my cycle was finished. I did what I could but I was fighting too many battles and when you wouldn't stay down I had but one choice, kill you or let you kill our child."
Robin sat and recounted that morning. She had woken with a headache and just made it to the toilet to be sick. It was when she looked into the mirror she noticed the red mist in her eyes. She knew this did not bode well; the women folk all go blue for their cycle. Her senses told her she was with child and the scream of delight was soon chocked when she was again sick. Robin knew she wasn't safe in the cabin but the noise had woken me.
The clearing afforded her good all round sight but I came out and the first wave of her cycle tripped in. All her efforts were put into protecting our child from her cycle but I was now a distraction so she used what magic she could to push me away. Her cycle added to the power she used and I flew across the clearing. Things got worse now, Robin was distracted and her cycle attacked our child just at the time I stood and walked back towards her.
She was using magic against a gift that Mother Earth had given to all the fairies. She again pushed me away and her cycle added to her push tenfold. Robin held our child in its own cocoon as she also fought to let her cycle wash over her, wave after wave of pulses pushed at her body dragging it to adulthood. Had I stayed on the ground the red would have soon changed to blue and her need to protect our child would have stopped.
But then Robin had seen me get up once again and with her magic waning she had no choice, every time she tried to use just a little magic to push me away her cycle added to it, fear had also crept in now. Fear that what little magic she had left would run out leaving our child defenseless against her cycle.
By now Robin was in tears as she told me the awful choices she had to make while a ritual that is greeted with such joy threatened to kill our child. After a pause she continued her story of the events of that day, she closed her eyes and prayed that Mother Earth would find a place for me on the mountain and then with what little magic she could spare she pushed me high and straight into the middle of a tree hoping to kill me quickly and as painlessly as possible.
Her cycle had now chosen to seek its dominance and bring Robin to adult hood. She protected our child with everything she could but it wasn't enough. Robin used a pause in the ritual to call the birds to help her but only two were brave enough to come to her, she sent one to my Mom and one to her friends hoping against hope that if I was still alive they could keep me away. She managed to get them away just before the cocoon engulfed her.
I lifted Robin into my hand and held her gently to my shoulder taking care to hold her by her legs so I didn't damage her wings. Both of us in tears, my own ignorance and my own need to protect the women I love had cost me so much. I just held Robin until she was ready to continue, I knew the rest just as I knew she also had a need to tell me, so I put her back down, She once again sat on my thigh and wiped the tears from her eyes before blowing me a kiss.
Robin had sensed Jacob approach and finding her cocooned went looking for me. She wanted to look but that would have meant using precious magic and that wasn't hers to spare any longer. She did see Jacob lift me and carry me back to the porch. It was with a great sense of relief when Mom arrived and allowing Mom to enter the cocoon used up so much magic that she genuinely feared harm would come to our child but she needed her Queen to bring her out of this cycle and she needed her to know she was with child.
"I had to make so many choices with so little magic there just wasn't enough to go round. I'm sorry Jonah I did the best I could please forgive me."
Using a finger I gently brushed away her tears. She held onto it and kissed it before she let go. Both Marise and Mom had come back into the bedroom, Mom already in tears Marise being the Queen couldn't but her eyes gave her away and I knew she would when she was alone.