My anger melted away with his words of family. He had touched upon my deepest hearfelt wanting. He understood even more than I, just how much the girls had come to mean to me? John knew what I had not been willing to admit to myself for fear of having it used it against me in some way… for fear of it disappearing from me. I looked upon those two young girls as my family. What I wanted more than anything else was to have a home to call my own, to know it would not dissipate into thin air? I wanted for young Elizabeth and Jane to grow to their adulthood safely, and for them to look upon their life with me with love and fondness? I wanted a place for them to feel well loved and happy, a place which they could call home? I wanted them to know a peace that I had never known.
John held me in his arms as I cried and apologized to him for my outburst. He had went about the actions in a wrong way, but his heart was in the right place. He had acted instinctively out of concern for my well being and safety as well as the girls’. I could not hold fault or anger at him for that!
There was a soft glow about us now as we settled our turbulent emotions and felt the comfort of each other. This glow was not like the flickers and the flashes of heated desires, but more surrounded us in a warm light. We sat there for a time enjoying the new feeling of ease and comfort. After a time John spoke, “This feeling shall endure and hold us together long after the heated sparks fade away?” He sighed and stroked my hair as I curled close to him, resting my head on his chest.
Then he spoke of the other more troublesome thoughts within us both, “I know in my soul that there is something amiss about Henry? You must take great caution with him Eleanor. I am worried about you and the girls. There is still trouble out there somewhere in this place and until we can find out who and what is the cause of it, you all are still in danger!”
I lifted my head and voiced my thoughts, “I think there is too much you are not telling me, John? And, the not knowing puts me at a disadvantage and in more danger! You must be truthful with me and tell me what it is you think is going on?”
John grimaced and was hesitant in coming forth with answers. Finally he admitted, “I am not telling you because, truly, we are not quite sure? I am also hestitant to bring you into this any further because I have been of the thought that you were safer not knowing everything? But, now I see your point in being at some disadvantage and more danger…”
He stood and pulled me up with him, leading me upstairs to the library. Once there, he brought out a stack of papers and motioned for me to sit at the table with him. He began to share with me what little they did know and why he felt such threat from Henry?
His first concern was one of the time slips and the misplaced people. They had thought they had it much under control and contained, but there were still people showing up? Though not nearly as many as previously, it was still a concern because these people were coming from other places than the original vicinity of Dragon Valley where the original displacements had been the worst. This could mean that the displacements were more far reaching than they had assumed, it could be a case of someone still out there misusing the time slip pools and portals?
Their research nad narrowed the window of time and location down due to the times and places where people were being misplaced from? The displacements spanned approximately a hundred or so years and were located in areas of Britain, Scotland and the coast of France. Someone within that time frame in those areas had played havoc with time and space for some unknown reasons? It had started around the time of Eleanor’s childhood in the mid to late 1400s and continued through the mid 1500s. Prior to that, there had been occasional, limited occurances and events, which had been accounted for?
Throughout the investigation, many ancient ones had come forth and admitted their personal uses and experiments with the time slips. The events had caused minor disruptions but nothing so severe as what had occurred in those years they were investigating.
On putting these fact together, my first and immediate thought was that of wicked Gerard! He was in those places at those times and I could not help but place my blame on him? I again brought up this point to John and was as usual admonished for it! “What is this insistance of yours not to see or suspect him of such foul play? Every time I broach this topic, you adamently deny that it could be him!” I clenched in frustration, “Has he you all so beguiled for some reason or by some power of his that you can not see his wickedness?”
I was quite tired of this support of the man! He may have done something good but I felt it just a cover for what ever other evilness he might have been hiding!
John groaned and replied, “Eleanor, Enough! I can see that you will not give up this resentment until you are aware of his full story? It is not mine to tell, but please believe me when I tell you that he has paid his own high price for his previous misdeeds and actions.”
I was not satisfied and spoke, “Well if you think that I would hear his side from him, or be in the nearest vicinity of him, you are quite mistaken! Besides which, as far as I am to know, he has conveniently disappeared and no amount of searching has ever found a trace of him!”
John pushed me back into my chair as I thought to end this now unpleasant discussion and leave him to his papers, which I now thought I had little interest in. He spoke in that stern, authoritative attitude that annoyed me so! “No, you are not going to leave because this is not going your way. You were the one who insisted to be filled in and included on these matters so now you will be!”
He stared up at the ceiling for a few moments… I could swear he was counting under his breath? He exhaled loudly then began, “I knew this time was coming and holding out hope that I could cause you to see some reason before approaching it? Unfortunately, that does not seem to be coming any time soon so we must go ahead and get this over with!”
I eyed him suspiciously and curiously, wondering just what his next surprise was going to involve? I was quite sure I would not like this one even after his reasonings and explanations, especially if it involved Gerard DeJewel!
He held my arms, forcing me to remain seated across from him. I could also feel him forcing some calm into my again whirling thoughts as he spoke, “First and foremost, Gerard did not just disappear into thin air and a vapor of time slip! Not of his own accord anyway… When he disappered from Dragon Valley and Royals Castle all of those centuries ago, it was because he was taken into custody by those of a higher authority than the Royals of the time! He was brought before the Council to answer to them for his actions and his involvements in those events. Gerard is a powerful witch, one of those most rare ones, a time weaver… He falls directly under the juristicion of the High Council and must be judged by them, not by mortals who would have destroyed him for their own personal gains and power plays?”
I started to argue but John cut me off before I could utter a word, “No, you must hear me out on this! I know you think Gerard the most evil and wickedest of enemies but, I will remind you once again that he saved you and countless others from being burned at the stake in those times! He may have went about it in all the wrong ways, but don’t we all at various times in our lives?”
John was determined to go on with this whether I like it or not! “As I stated, Gerard paid his atonement, his highest of prices for those actions he took without the guidance or approval of the Council. He had quite some length of time in confinement to consider his behaviors, his actions and his course in the future. He could have been responsible for much of the later disturbances as he was locked away in confinement serving his pennance during a good portion of that time!”
I was still doubtful, “Well, if he truly is as powerful a witch as you say, could he have not found ways around that with casting his spells?”
John sighed and replied, “For one thing, he is powerful but not in such a way as you imagine? His power lies more in his abilities with time and not so much with spell casting. But, the highest most powerful gift Gerard has is his brain! The man has an amazing mind, and is considered a genius? The problem for him was that when he was young, he had no proper training or guidance in his abilities! Because of that, he used his mind and his skills in the wrong ways. Once he was aware of this, he was able to put himself on a far better course for all of us!”
John clasped my hands and urged me to stay steady with him through this explanation. “Now, Gerard is one of our most valued researchers on many levels. He has made it his goal to make his amends and repair the damages that he and others have inadvertanly caused. Gerard is one of the foremost experts on the timeslips.” John gave another sigh and looked distressed as he continued, “He is also a leading edge researcher on our ancient genetics? He is determined to find reasons and cures for many of our unique maladies… such as the one that my sister Mellie suffers from? He is our most desperate hope for any kind of treatment or cure that will ease the torture of so many countless individuals, He has his personal reasons for this research as well?”
My mind was having great difficulty putting this new picture of Gerard with the one so engrained in my memories of him… At the mention of his personal reasons for the genetic research, my mind went again to Marie and her daughter, Marguirite who was Gerard’s niece?
An ever prickling thought came about, “John, I know your story of your sister Mellie, and her affliction… and I continue to come back this odd thought of Marie DeJewel and her younger daughter? I know well and understand that Marie was by the end our time together, not in her right mind… but, as far as I know she was no Vampyre? There was much speculation and rumors of Margurite’s malady, though no one would ever admit it openly. Many thought her some sort of changeling child, with bad blood inherited from one side or the other. Accusations abounded on which side that blood came from? And, when Marie so lost her mind and displayed her insanity, most of course laid the bad blood upon her? I do not understand all of it but, I am confused now… If Gerard is a witch, then wouldn’t that blood run through Marie and not Vampyre blood?” I continued my puzzled and confused thoughts on this subject, “If Margurite is a Vampyre, then where did she get that blood from? Would not that mean that Marie passed off some other Man’s child as Francois’…. or if Marie somehow carried Vampyre blood but did not evidence it, then wouldn’t that mean that one of her parents were of Vampyre blood? I am painfully distressed… I knew both of her parents well, and they did not appear to have any sort of Vampyre qualities or traits?” Another rambling thought entered my mind and I let it out, “Now, I think of it, I am puzzled about my own blood as well? From where do I truly come from and why do I carry this fairie blood in me?” My head began to hurt with the puzzles, and one last thought struck me, “I wonder now too, as to why you thought in my early years that I carried this other rare Witch’s blood, this Time Weaver blood that Gerard carries? You have already told me that I was no true relative of Gerard’s so would not come by it on that account? How would I have come by both of these traits?”
John seemed overwraught and overwhelmed with all of the thoughts and questions flying from me. He tried to calm them, “The one person who can help us answer all of these questions is Gerard?”
My thoughts stumbled and halted, “Gerard? No, I do not think I am yet able to deal with him? The thought of him and Marie much still pains me! And, besides, where ever would we even find him should I be willing to consider such a thing? A trembling feeling of lingering fear welled within me as John spoke,
“I have to tell you Eleanor that Gerard is in need of your assistance… he has questions and puzzles of his own which he feels you might hold answers to locked within your memories? He is here in Dragon Valley, at the much ancient Haunts Castle.”
I flinched at the mention of that Castle and of Gerard being near, “How appropriate! I find it quite fitting that he should be residing at that awful place!” I shuddered, long buried of that place tugging at the edges of my clouded memories! It was a place for me filled with ghosts of the past better left alone, I thought to myself… remembering that was where Lady Margaret had brought me as a child, to my meeting with Elizabeth and Edward who was now Bradley Pittens.