More Than Just a Fairy Tale Ch. 12byJaisen©
Not exactly a quiet chapter. I had trouble deciding where this one was going. Thanks to my partner for all of his help and the sheep.
"Damn laptop!" came the cussing from the bedroom. Meg walked towards it to hear more cussing stream out of Luc's mouth.
"What's wrong?" she asked.
"Stupid Windows program keeps freezing up on me," he growled. "Damn machine will work, or it will find itself in the trash can," he growled complete with sub-vocals. Meg shivered.
"Luc, the computer won't react to sub-vocals," she said in a teasing voice.
"Damn well ought to!" he said still growling. He was punching the keys with his right hand as the left still wasn't up to typing. "Grrrrrrr,......."
"Luc, what's going on?" she asked again. This time she sat on the edge of the bed. Duke had been by that morning with more paperwork and had taken some back with him.
"I'm trying to load this program and the damn thing keeps freezing up on me. It shouldn't. There is enough memory and I just ran all the virus programs, but it won't work," he said.
"I have a question for you," she said.
"Ask," he growled sub-vocally.
"Stop that!" she said. Her arms were covered with goosebumps and the hair on the back of her neck was beginning to raise.
"Sorry, it just pisses me off and I'm frustrated," he said.
"Okay. Why are you using Windows when most of the office uses Linux?" she asked.
"Because this forgotten pile of junk never got the upgrade to Ubuntu. That's why," he said rather forcefully.
"So instead of growling at silicon and plastic which doesn't respect your sub-vocals, why don't you just save off your work and install the latest edition of Ubuntu?" asked Meg.
Luc looked at her like she'd just slapped him with a wet washcloth. He slapped his palm to his forehead. He set the computer aside and leaned forward to hug Meg. It was still awkward trying to use his left arm, but it was getting better.
"Sorry about the sub-vocals. Would you please get the terabyte for me? I will save my data and then send this operating system to virus hell and upload the Linux distro that will work. And may I have a cup of coffee?" he asked as he let go of Meg.
"Of course," she said giving him a kiss on his forehead. She found the terabyte and took it and the power supply to him. Then she went back to her own computer for a bit. By noon, she had caught up on her own work and decided that lunch was next on the agenda. Luc must have gotten the new operating system up and running as there had been no more cussing or sub-vocals from the bedroom in over an hour.
Meg was in the kitchen when she heard the door open. Looking around she saw a blur of pink and blue backpacks take the turn to the bedroom with Ginny following behind. Heading to the bedroom, she got there just as Sara and Joe landed on the bed.
"Unky Woffy Luc!" they sang as they landed on their uncle.
"Hello you two," he said trying to move the laptop out of the way.
"We came to sees you!" said Sara. Joe nodded in agreement.
"Well, it's good to see you," Luc replied. "Hello to you too Ginny."
"Glad to see you are on the mend," Ginny answered.
""Would I dare do anything less?" he asked nodding his head towards Meg.
"No, and if you didn't, I'd help her throttle you," said Ginny.
Luc smiled. "Now, how are you two doing," he asked the bouncing children.
"Anty Ginny said the beaw twided to kill you, an An... umm Meg saved you and bwought you home," said Sara.
"Yes, Meg did save me by driving very fast and calling Aunty Ginny," said Luc. Suddenly, he figured out what Sara had stumbled over. "And, for your information, you two can start calling her Aunty Meg."
Sara and Joe looked over at Meg. Sara stood up on the bed and looked at Meg's neck. Meg realized what she was looking for and bent over. Sara touched the necklace and smiled.
"We's gots a Anty Meg," she sang in a sing-song voice as she bounced on the bed.
"Take it easy Sara," said Ginny. "Your Uncle Luc still doesn't feel all that good. Look at his neck and you can see where the bear got him."
Sara stopped mid bounce, remembering that they were suppose to be there to cheer up Unky Woffy Luc. She walked over to him and took a good look at the scars which were bright pink compared to the rest of his skin. Joe looked too, and then turned a little green. He sat down and patted Luc's leg.
"Po Unky Woffy Luc," he said softly.
"Uhuh, Dat musta been a mean ol nasty beaw," said Sara. She kissed a dirty finger and put it near one of the bigger scars on Luc's neck.
"It certainly was," said Luc. He reached over to the nightstand and picked up the claw that Ginny had given him. "He left this behind stuck in my car," he said as he handed it to Sara.
Sara took the claw that covered her little hand. She paled as she turned it over in her hand and touched the tip of the claw. Then she handed it to Joe. He held it like it was going to bite him. Then he gave it back to Luc.
"Dat claw is vewy scawy Unky Woffy Luc," said Sara.
"Not as scary as the whole bear," he said.
"Did you two forget something?" prompted Ginny.
"Oh! We's bwought you a pwezzie! Two pwezzies!" exclaimed Sara as she reached for her backpack. "Shut youw eyes," she admonished Luc.
Luc closed his eyes. First thing he felt was a slightly warm plastic bag. It smelled good. He opened his eyes and found a bag of peanut butter cookies in his hands.
"Thank you! Did you two help Ginny make the cookies?" he asked.
"Solda and Bitty helped too," said Sara with a smile. Joe nodded. He never did talk much around Sara.
"Ah, then they must be good. Shall we try one?" he asked. The two children nodded. Luc gave everyone a cookie.
"Shut youw eyes again," said Sara.
Luc dutifully closed his eyes. Sara pulled a tissue wrapped object out and put it in his hands. Luc opened them and saw the package. He unwrapped it to find a plush sheep.
"Um... Thank you?" he said rather puzzled.
"Squeeze it!" Sara and Joe shouted.
Luc squeezed the sheep. From inside the sheep came 'baaah, Beeeeeh, baaah, Beeeeh'. Everyone in the room laughed.
"You get cookies and Woffy gets a sheep," said Sara. "We gots it from da pet stowe," she explained.
"They think of everything don't they," said Meg trying to stop the giggles which kept bubbling to the surface.
"Oh yeah. Neither of them would come without a present for both sides of Luc's nature. I think we spent half an hour in Pet-Co while they figured the best present. The sheep won, and I have to admit that it is a riot," said Ginny.
"Unky Woffy Luc, tell us da stowe of da beaw," said Sara. Joe nodded.
"Okay, snuggle in with me and I'll tell you all about it," said Luc. Both children snuggled next to Luc. Joe had the sheep tucked under his arm, careful not to squeeze it.
Ginny and Meg waved bye and headed out on the front porch. They closed the door and sat down on the chairs on the porch.
"How are you holding up?" asked Ginny.
"I am ready for a bit of a vacation," said Meg. "I have just a touch of cabin fever. First the hospital and now the house."
"I thought you might feel a bit stir crazy. It happens to the best of us and you haven't had much time to relax since the attack have you," Ginny asked.
"No, and I realized that full tilt when Luc was growling at the computer today," said Meg.
"He was growling at the laptop?" asked Ginny.
"Yes, complete with sub-vocals," said Meg. "What on earth possessed you to give him a laptop with Windows on it?"
"Well, I knew I had to put some rocks in his feed, or else he'd be at the office by the end of the week. So, I gave him the only laptop that hadn't been updated," said Ginny.
"It worked. Is everything okay at work?" asked Meg.
"Sort of. Duke is trying to be top dog. So is Kevin," said Ginny.
"Oh god," said Meg.
"Yep, the only thing worse than testosterone poisoning is testosterone poisoning in an alpha male," she said.
Meg shuddered. Duke wasn't the most stable individual she'd ever met. He and Penny were still fighting. Plus, he flipped back and forth over her living with Luc. When he'd seen the necklace on her the first day he'd brought files over, he'd about blown a gasket. Yelled and screamed at Ginny about how Luc was wrecking two lives once he'd gotten outside. Meg had been very glad that Luc had been way too out of it to hear a thing. The next day he was fine.
"Is this going to be an issue when Luc goes back to work?" asked Meg.
"I hope not. There is a reason Duke normally doesn't work at the office. He's about as stable as a shaken can of pop. Kevin on the other hand is feeling responsible and doesn't want Luc coming back to a mess," said Ginny.
"Ginny, what does Duke do normally?" she asked.
"He usually does outside work, like trenching cable and that kind of thing. Stuff that keeps him away from people," said Ginny.
"Ah. Okay. Is he the kind of shifter that is more wolf than person?" asked Meg who was trying to understand the various dynamics.
"Not really, if he was just a human, he'd be bi-polar. However, Jeff has never been able to find a combo of medicines that work on both sides of his nature. It's why his relationship with Penny is so fractured amongst other things," said Ginny thinking about the latest argument which had been about furniture of all the stupid things.
"That explains a lot. I never know where I stand with him," said Meg.
"Just remember to channel that inner bitch," said Ginny. "Keeps all those wolves in line."
Both women laughed. Ginny looked at her watch. It had been about fifteen minutes since they'd come out onto the porch.
"How do you feel about running around town for a while?" Ginny asked.
"I guess. Shall we go get the kids?" said Meg as she stood up.
"I'm hoping that they've fallen asleep," said Ginny as a sly grin played across her face.
"What?" asked Meg.
"They woke up at 5am, and I kept them up all morning with making cookies and shopping. I fed them just before we came over. So, between being full and tired, I figured that the minute they stopped moving that they'd fall asleep," explained Ginny. Meg raised and eyebrow over Ginny's plans and then tiptoed over to the bedroom door. Looking in she found all three of them asleep. Luc had tucked them in under the top quilt. Sara was curled up under his left arm and Joe was asleep across his stomach. Luc looked like he had tried to stay awake, but fell asleep with his head lolled back against the pillows. The sheep was tucked up against his head. Meg suspected that had been Sara's doing.
Ginny tugged on Meg's arm and nodded her head towards the front door. Meg nodded and turned towards the front of the house. She grabbed her handbag and locked the door as they left.
They took Meg's little Dodge Neon. It was a fairly quiet car and they headed downtown. First stop was the shopping mall. Meg had a destination in mind, and it was the first time she'd had a chance to even think about going shopping.
"Where are we headed?" asked Ginny.
"The Silver Lode," said Meg.
"Good choice. The owner isn't a shifter, but his one assistant is and makes most of the necklaces for the families in the area," commented Ginny.
"I wondered when I finally found the receipt in Luc's clothing. I hadn't been sure about getting Luc a necklace, but the more I thought about it, the better I liked the idea," said Meg.
"You'll need about a 26 inch chain to fit Luc right. Maybe even 28 inches," said Ginny as they left the car and headed into the mall. The Silver Lode was near the middle of the mall. When they entered, Ginny asked for the assistant. The girl at the counter nodded and went to the back of the store. A moment later, a tall sandy haired man stepped to the counter.
"Hello Ginny, how's that no good piece of bear bait doing?" he asked jokingly.
"He'll live. Surprised the hell out of him with that claw," she replied.
"Oh, you are the one who capped the claw," said Meg.
"Yes, and you are?" the man asked.
"Margaret Stewart," she said and extended her hand. He took her hand and gave it a firm shake.
"And I am Andrew Davis, silversmith. I take it that you are the reason Luc Moreau was in here sweating over which necklace to choose?" he asked.
"Yes, and I want to pick out one for him," Meg replied.
"Come this way. I have a number of acceptable choices," said Andrew.
Meg and Ginny walked over to a table and sat down while Andrew picked up two trays from a showcase off to one side. He sat down across from them and showed them the first tray.
"This is the more masculine line. Well constructed and yet stylish," he said. The tray held a number of chains similar to the one Meg was wearing, but nothing struck either woman as anything special.
"Then there is this line. A bit more conservative," he said. Once again, the chains were similar. Long braided bands with a buckle at the clasp end. Meg fingered one or two, but nothing met what she had in mind.
"Last but not least are these," he said and put the tray before the women. Meg and Ginny looked at the tray. There were braids as well as links on this tray. Two were patterned. Meg picked up the narrower of the two and realized that the pattern was made up of tiny wolf paw prints. The last one on the tray was a braid that literally flowed when Meg picked it up. It was beautiful.
"I really like this one, but do you have different styles of buckles for the ends? This one is really square and it just seems to clash," said Meg.
"I do indeed," said Andrew. "Something I think you will like. I've been working on it in hopes that Ginny would bring you into the store." With that, he got up and retrieved a small box from behind the curtained off area. He set it down in front of Meg.
Meg opened the box and inside was a buckle end. Rounded and the 'pin' was a small claw. She smiled.
"You made this for Luc didn't you," she said.
"Guilty are charged," said Andrew with a smile. "After setting the real thing in silver for Ginny, I couldn't resist crafting a buckle end to match. My only fear is that you wouldn't come in and that I'd have to call Ginny. However, I am very happy to be able to share it with you," he finished.
"Would it take long to set it to this chain?" Meg asked pointing to the one she had liked. "And, just how much will it cost?"
"I can have it done in an hour baring interruptions. The price is $275," he said.
Meg nodded. She'd seen the receipt for her necklace and while it was more expensive, it did have a buckle that no one else would. She dug her credit card out of her wallet and handed it to Andrew.
"I'll pick it up in an hour or so. Thank you Andrew," she said.
Andrew ran her card, gave her a receipt and headed towards the back to work on the necklace.
"Where to now?" asked Ginny.
"Food! I'm starved. You arrived with the kids just before lunch," said Meg.
"The food court is that way," said Ginny as she steered Meg down the mall.
After a lunch of shrimp and salad, Meg and Ginny hit Victoria's Secret, Delights, Hot Topic and the Import Shop. Each woman had a handful of bags.
"Not bad for just over two hours of shopping," said Ginny. She'd gotten some new undies, a nightie that was more sheer than not and two new shirts. One of them said, 'Forget Princess, I want to be a Werewolf!' the other which was for Luc said, 'Never Moon a Werewolf!" Meg had teased her about them and Ginny had explained how the recent werewolf/vampire craze had really made life easy for all the shifters. Meg conceded and found a teeshirt for herself. It said, "Sorry, I only date Werewolves". That one had cracked both of them up, and they couldn't wait for Luc to see it.
"We didn't do bad at all. I really like the new undie/bra sets I got. Three for $30 was a great price. I love the tee shirts you got too," said Meg. She'd gotten new jeans, a flannel shirt for Luc, the undies and bras as well as a silk nightie. It was cut like a flannel shirt and had a plaid print on it.
"Shall we go pick up the necklace and head home?" asked Ginny.
"Yes, but we have to stop at the grocery store. Someone was complaining that there wasn't enough meat on his plate earlier," said Meg.
Both women giggled and headed back to the Silver Lode. When they got there, Andrew was behind the counter. He smiled at them and reached down for a package.
"I've got it here," he said and opened up the box for them to inspect it. It was gorgeous. Meg handed it back and he arranged it in the box. Then he wrapped the box up in tissue and placed it in a bag.
"May the winds be favorable and the hunting good," he said softly and then headed back into the shop.
Meg looked at Ginny with a puzzled look on her face.
"Just one of those "greetings" that some people give others, if you know what I mean," said Ginny. "Andrew is as close to a priest as any of us would recognize. He usually officiates at ceremonies for those that want them."
"So, I just got blessed?" asked Meg as they walked to the car.
"Yeah, you did. Which brings me to a question I've been itching to ask. Are we having a big ceremony or a dinner party?" asked Ginny.
"A dinner party," said Meg. "We already decided that before the bear attacked," answered Meg. She didn't get any farther, because her cell phone rang. It was Luc.
"Hello," said Meg as she hit the speaker button.
"Unky Woffy Luc says to tell you dat da sheep is gonna get et if you don huwwy up and get home," said Sara.
Meg and Ginny laughed. "Let me talk to your Unky Luc," she said.
"Ohhhhkay," said Sara and handed the phone to Luc.
"You left me all alone," he said trying to evoke pity.
"I did not. You had two fierce pups to protect you and a sheep. What more did you need?" asked Meg.
"Well, you could have told me you were going. I woke up about five minutes ago and there was no one here except us," he said still trying to sound pitiful.
"We came in to tell you and you were asleep. So, we went shopping. We are headed to the grocery store and then we will be home," she said.
"Okay. Don't be too long," he said and ended the call.
Meg looked over at Ginny and laughed. They put their bags in the car and headed for the grocery store. Thirty minutes later they had raided the meat counter, bought eggs, bread and more coffee. Ginny added a box of maple cookies and Dr. Pepper to the basket. It had been Meg's turn to smile. Luc tried to hide his Dr. Pepper habit, but it never worked. They arrived home to find two little faces pressed up against the glass. As they grabbed the groceries, Sara and Joe came out to help. Luc stood in the door and directed traffic.
"Did you spend every penny you had?" he asked looking at all the bags.
"No, just most of it," teased Meg.
"I could return this," Ginny said as she waved a bottle of Dr. Pepper in front of Luc's face.
"I think I'll just shut up now," he said and took the bottle.
"Good move. How does it feel to be up out of bed?" Meg asked as they put groceries away.
"Better, but I'm not ready to run a marathon. I wear out in about five minutes. Hell, Joe is stronger than I am," he said. At this, Joe curled his two little arms up to show everyone his muscles. Not to be outdone, Sara did too. It brought smiles to everyone's face.
"Meg, I know you invited us to stay for supper, but I think I'll take the two kids home. Luc looks wiped out," said Ginny.
"Are you sure?" asked Meg. She had made the same assessment of Luc once he'd sat down in the chair, but didn't want to be rude to Ginny.
"Absolutely sure. This way, Sara and Joe can tell all the news to Isolde, Jack, Ivan and Bitty. It isn't every day that Unky Woffy Luc finds a mate," she said with a smile.
"Oh, hadn't thought of it that way," said Meg. She wondered how the rest of the family would react with this happening so soon after Duke and Penny's break up. Especially as that wasn't going as well as expected from what Ginny had mentioned over lunch.