Chapter 3 – The Gift

~Rowyn’s POV~

Mom’s fairy brooch was one of those things that we admired over and over as we were kids.  Idy would wear it and pretend she was all grown up; I would touch it every time Mom had it on, which was often.  Once in a while Mom would make us wear it inside our clothes, but she never told us why.  Later, as we grew up, we understood its true purpose: It was like a beacon to bring Mom’s fairy guardian in case we were in trouble.  I don’t recall ever being in trouble.  Mom’s fairy guardian was Aunt Claudine, and we saw her all the time along with our cousins.

Idy and I concurred that we needed that fairy brooch to make it into the cluviel dor.  Grandpappy had said that any item would do, it didn’t really matter what it was.  But, he did say, that the more meaning the item had and the more beautiful the better.  Mom had a lot of beautiful things in her jewelry case.  She had necklaces commemorating our births, a set of earrings for every single Mother’s Day she’d celebrated, another chunky necklace that she used to joke would call cats in case of trouble… but the most beautiful item, the one with the most history, and the one that was under lock and key, was the amber and jet necklace that Dad had made for her.  I’d only seen it a few times, and it wasn’t something we could procure.  When I say it was under lock and key, I mean NOTHING short of a nuclear bomb would get to it without the combination to Dad’s vault, and only he and Mom had it.

So… we went with the fairy brooch.

I snuck into Mom and Dad’s bedroom when Mom was taking a shower and Dad was dead to the world.  It was an easy in and out, and I retrieved the brooch.  Hopefully Mom wouldn’t miss it.  Idy was waiting for me downstairs, too nervous to do it herself.

“Grandpappy is going to be there in a few minutes,” she said, trying to hurry me.

“He’s just gonna have to wait.  We had to wait until I could get in there undetected,” I said, rolling my eyes at her.

“Let’s go,” Miss Bossy said, and we made our way to the house in Bon Temps.  Grandpappy figured the proximity to the fairy portal would help.

“Please tell me you brought the keys,” I said to her as she pulled into the long driveway.

Idy made her car screech to a halt.  “You’ve GOT to be kidding me!  Rowyn!”

“Hey!  I can’t be in charge of everything!  I was in charge of getting the brooch!” I said and reached in my pocket.  I dangled the keys in front of Idy’s face.  “Where’s your brain, huh?  Do I have to think of everything?”

“I’m pregnant,” she said – as if that would explain anything – and put the car in drive.

“All the more reason to pay attention and remember shit.”  What can I say?  It’s fun to mess with my sister.

Grandpappy Fintan was waiting for us on the house’s porch, sitting on the swing.  He didn’t seem put out about having to wait, but Idy still went ahead and started apologizing, blah-di-blah.  He smiled and waved her off, as I knew he would.  Not everyone is wound up so tightly as Idony.

Finally it was time to figure out how to do this.  We were sitting in the living room.  I put the brooch on the coffee table and we all took our seats around it.  Grandpappy reached out to grab our hands.

“This takes a lot of concentration.  I want you to pour love into it.  I will, in essence, channel your emotion and we will imbue the flower with our love,” he explained.  Obviously there was something he could do that we could not, and that was to wield the fairy magic.  We settled into silence, each of us lost in the memories of what we loved the most so that we could do this for our parents.

~Eric’s POV~

“This is getting out of hand,” Sookie said wringing her hands and pacing.  “Where are they?”

I shook my head.  I’d already called Idony’s Evan, Pam, everybody at every one of my businesses, and nobody had seen or heard of Idony.  Evan had already gotten his department looking for both Idony and Rowyn, and I felt completely useless.

It had all started with Sookie’s insistence that something was missing from her jewelry case.  I’m not sure how she knew, but I could tell immediately that Rowyn had been around her things very recently.  He’d taken his mother’s fairy brooch, the one she used as a charm of protection to call Claudine in case of emergency.

We immediately called Rowyn to see what was the matter.  Something must have happened for him to need to brooch.  He didn’t answer.  We called Idony to see if she knew where he was, and she didn’t answer either.  That’s when Sookie began to worry in earnest, not that I wasn’t worried as well.

Unfortunately, when I attempted to call to my children, I couldn’t feel them.  It had to do with how weak I’d become.  I couldn’t even fly, as much as I tried.  And I had tried several times to lift off.

Thankfully Pam was driving around.  She said her next stop would be the house in Bon Temps.  Claudine was also helping, trying her own fairy magic.  If Rowyn still had the brooch, then she might be able to pop herself nearby.  She would try and let us know.  In the meantime, we kept calling our children and kept receiving no answer.

“Sookie, please sit down,” I said.  I could see the physical pain manifesting on her face, and she was wearing herself out.  She needed to rest.  I could hear a faint wheezing from her chest as she tried to breathe deeper.  Lately she’d had trouble catching her breath.

Sookie stood in front of me looking up.  Even though she was feeling weak physically, she was not weak.  She was trying her best to exert her will on me.  “This is why you cannot think about this business of dying at the same time as me, Eric Northman,” she said and stabbed a finger on my chest.  “Your children are God knows where or in what kind of trouble or danger.  You need to be strong enough to watch over them.  Do you see?  Do you understand?”  She was so mad that her face flushed.  I became hungry immediately and would have liked nothing better than to sink my fangs into her pale flesh.

She saw my fangs lengthen and backed away.  “I’m so sorry, Eric,” she said in a whisper.  I knew she was about to cry again.  She seemed to think the disease was somehow her fault.

“I’m just hungry,” I muttered and reached for her.  Her scent would have to do for now.  She thought I was mad at her, but there was no room in my heart for any more emotions.  I was filled to the brim with worry and despair.

My phone rang and I answered it immediately without bothering to look at the number.  It was Idony.

“Where have you been?!  We’ve been worried sick!  Is your brother with you?” I yelled into the phone.

“We’re fine, Dad,” I could hear her eyes rolling.  Cheeky child!  She wasn’t too old to get a spanking and I told her so.  “We were at the house in Bon Temps, okay?  Call off the troops.”

“No!  You call Evan and Pam and Claudine who are out looking for you and YOU tell them what you were doing and where you are.  Do you have any idea what you and your brother did to us?  You take Mom’s brooch and don’t tell us anything?  We thought the worst!  Evan has his whole department looking for you!”  I couldn’t stop yelling into the phone.

There was a long pause on the line and finally a deep breath.  “I’m sorry, Dad,” Idony said, her voice breaking.

I put my hand to my forehead.  “Please get home immediately,” I said, subdued.  All I wanted was to see my children safe and sound.  As Sookie would put it, my imagination had gone to town and conjured up a ridiculous amount of horrible scenarios.

Forty-five minutes later Idony and Rowyn arrived, followed by a whole entourage of people who had followed them home.  Fintan and Claudine were disguising their scents as they entered the house.  Pam looked like she wanted to pull somebody’s ear.  Evan was huffing and puffing his ire.  My children looked like they had gotten several lectures on the way home.

The first thing they did as they walk in was hug both their parents.  I felt like I could forgive them anything.

~Sookie’s POV~

We all sat in the living room waiting for an explanation.  I was willing to bet that Idony had been the ringleader of this particular party, but from everything I read, Fintan, Rowyn, and Idony were equally to blame for their disappearance.  Granted, in the grand scheme of things they had not disappeared for very long.  Just a few hours had passed from the time I discovered my brooch missing until they returned home.  But in the supe world, anything could happen in just a few hours.

“Why did you feel the need to take my brooch?” I asked Rowyn.  “You scared me.  I thought you were in trouble, and then when neither of you answered your phones I thought I would lose it.  Care to explain?” I asked, putting off the hit of morphine until we got over this conversation.  I wanted to be completely lucid for this one, pain be damned.

“We used the brooch for something, and now we’re ready to give it back,” Idony started.

“We realize we should have told you where we were so you wouldn’t worry,” Rowyn continued, “but it was a surprise.”

At that moment my children blocked their thoughts from me completely.  I crossed my arms over my chest and pushed my way through their barriers.  They were mine for a reason.

“Mom!  You’re giving me a headache,” Rowyn complained while Idony made a face and massaged her temple.

I tried to take a deep breath, but the pain was becoming too difficult to take.  “I need to go to bed now,” I said and lost all semblance of strength.  I had none left.  “Could you two please just…?”

“We’ll explain, Mom.  Go to bed, we’ll follow,” Idony said, getting up and pulling Rowyn.

Eric helped me by carrying me up the stairs.  I could feel his strength had waned.  He carried me without complain, but I could tell it cost him.  Once again I wished he would take another’s blood.

I settled in bed, but forewent the morphine for a little longer.  I wanted to hear what my darling children had been up to.

Rowyn came forward and handed me the brooch.  Immediately I felt better, the way I felt whenever I hugged one of my fairy kin, multiplied by a hundred.

“This isn’t my brooch,” I said, examining it, and seeing that it was indeed mine.

“We tweaked it with Grandpappy’s help,” Idony piped up.  “Now it will grant you or Dad any wish, as long as it something that will save a loved one.  Rowyn and I made it for both of you.  It’s called a cluviel dor, and…” Idony’s voice broke as tears began racing down her cheeks, “we want you to use it to get better.”

Eric and I looked at each other at the same time, both of us feeling guilty for yelling at our children at the same time that we marveled at what they were telling us.

“Please get better, Mom,” Rowyn pleaded as well.  “The cluviel dor is for both of you, so you both have to wish for the same thing.”

I blinked and then looked at the small brooch in my hand.  Had my children really accomplished this?  I’d heard Fintan mention the cluviel dor in passing many years ago.  It had never entered my mind that he would help Idony and Rowyn in making one, much less for Eric and me.

I opened my arms and asked silently for my babies.  They both hugged me tight, and I didn’t care that I couldn’t breathe.  Their gift would soon put everything to rights.  Eric had taught me not to give gifts back, to accept them graciously and thank the giver profusely.  That was exactly what I did.

Next Chapter 

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