Tuatha's Children  

                                                                                 By Bert McKenzie 

                                                                                  Copyright 2011 



Chapter 16

"This can't be good," Jeff said as he looked around, hoping there might be
another escape from the cave.

"Andre, padrone!"  a voice called from outside the cave. Suddenly one of
the Italian group entered the cave.  He looked at Jeff and Willow in
confusion.  He asked a question in Italian, but neither Jeff nor Willow
could understand him.  He asked again, appearing a bit angrier.

"Look, buddy.  They vanished.  It was fairy magic," Jeff tried to explain.
"Hell, you don't even know what I'm saying."

The vampire turned and called over his shoulder.  Another of the Italians
entered.  "Where is Andre?" he asked Jeff after speaking with the first

"The big fairy, he used magic and they all got transported away," Jeff
tried to explain.

"Magic?" the vampire asked.  He raised an eyebrow and looked somewhat

"We followed them in here," Willow added.  "But when we got in here they
were all gone."

"Come on," the vampire said and he and his partner grabbed Jeff and Willow,
pulling them out of the cave, none too gently.

* * *

"They are definitely human," Sharon was giving a report to Robin in one of
the smaller conference rooms in the white tower.  "Given enough time, they
both should make a full recovery."

Robin seemed confused.  "Recovery?  Recovery from what?"

"Well the one was shot in the shoulder.  I treated the gunshot wound.  It
was pretty superficial and I'm sure he'll be fine."

"But the other one was not injured," Robin said.

"I guess that was partly my fault," Sharon said, her face coloring a bright
red.  "I had forgotten about Italian men and their reputation."

"Continue," the king commanded.

"I was leaning over the one with the gunshot wound and the other one
grabbed my...my backside."

"Ah," Robin said, as it all made sense.  "And you attacked this man."

"No.  You see, Rood was coming in the room at the time and he saw what
happened."  Robin sat back with a sigh.  "He just has a dislocated
shoulder.  He'll be fine in no time.  He was a bit surprised when he found
he wasn't nearly as strong as Rood and couldn't get close enough to bite
him.  I explained to them both that biting was not acceptable as human
beings.  I'm afraid they are taking this transformation a bit hard."

Robin nodded.  "As are we all.  Have Rood and Craig made plans to return to
the human world?"

"Yes, Craig was quite agitated.  He is worried about his friends."

"As am I.  We owe them a great deal.  As soon as they are able to travel, I
want those other two out of our kingdom."

Sharon rose out of her seat.  "I think Rood and Craig will want to leave
sooner than that.  They don't want to wait around for Andre and his flunky
to heal.  They want to return at once to find Jeff and Willow.  I think
Willow's dad is willing to accompany them."

Robin shook his head.  "I think it best if Rayel stays here in our kingdom.
If you see Rood, and I know you shall, have him meet me in the wizard's
chambers."  Sharon nodded and quickly left, heading back to her halls of
healing.  Robin quickly returned to the royal apartment.

"Where is our son?" Robin asked as soon as he came in and found Scott
sitting on the terrace visiting with Alex.

"He and Raven are in class," Scott replied.


"Alex suggested it.  Jennifer is playing school teacher and she is teaching
the boys about human history.  Once they master that she will get Rowana to
teach them Tuathan history.  They are going to be quite the scholars before
we let them have 'free time' again."

Robin smiled.  "It is fitting punishment for the problems they have caused
us.  Although perhaps Lord Alex should be helping in their education."

Alex looked up in surprise.  "Hey, I thought you wanted me to stay as far
away from the two troublemakers as possible."

"Who left them to their own so they could be such troublemakers?" Robin
asked.  Alex quickly ducked his head again.

"Rood and I are going back to the human world," Robin said, quickly
changing the subject.

"What?"  Scott jumped to his feet.

"We cannot leave our other friends without help.  And Craig is anxious to
get back to his life as well."

"Then I'm going with you," Scott said as he followed Robin in to their
chamber and began grabbing human clothes, tugging on jeans.

"No, you should stay here.  That land is not safe."

Scott snorted at that comment.  "It's safer for me than you."

Alex stood in the doorway and watched the two for a moment, then spoke up.
"Scott, remember what I told you.  Please tell Jefferson, and Willow."

Scott nodded and they walked out into the hall and descended the wide

A few minutes later they stepped into the wizard's chambers to find Rood
and Craig waiting for them.  They had two other sullen men with him.  "Why
are they here?" Robin asked in surprise.

"We go home now?" Sidonio asked.

"Yes, you will take us home," Andre said.  "This fairy land is not for us."

"Here you are human.  Are you sure you want to go back to a world where you
are restricted to the night and a diet of blood?" Scott asked.

"Human?  Bah, what good is being human?  There I am immortal.  Here I hurt
all the time, I bleed and one day soon I will die.  Please take us home."

"Yes, yes you take us home now, friend?" Sidonio asked looking up at Rood.
His arm was still in a sling but apparently the confrontation earlier gave
him a healthy respect for the tall blond guard.

"Before you come with us, we need to make some preparations," Craig said.

"What preparations?" Rood asked nervously.

"They will require blood as soon as they get to the other world.  I think
we better have some on hand so they don't decide to go after the first
humans they see, which would probably be me and Scott."

"Good point," Scott admitted.

"Very well," Robin replied.  "You may return and we shall wait here for but
a little while.  Then we shall come after you."

"Give us an hour," Craig said, pulling the wardrobe door open.  "You come
with me, big fella'."  He indicated that Rood should accompany him.

"We'll have to guess," Scott answered.  "No clocks around here and watches
don't seem to want to work in Tuatha."

"Whatever.  We'll hurry to that butcher shop and have some bottled blood
standing by."  With that he and Rood stepped into the cabinet and pulled
the door closed behind them.

"Why he go in closet?" Sidonio asked.  Scott reached over and pulled the
door open to reveal and empty box.  Sidonio and Andre looked at it in
surprise, and then stepped around the back to examine it and make sure the
two hadn't just stepped through a back door.

"More fairy magic," Andre said with a smile.

* * *

At the villa Jeff and Willow were treated a bit less cordially than before.
No one seemed to be in charge with Andre missing.  No one seemed to know
what they were supposed to do now that their leader was gone.  They weren't
sure if this mission he had committed them to was finished, a success or a
failure.  And they all seemed to blame Jeff and Willow.  Simone stepped in
and tried to take authority.  She and one of the male vampires continually
argued.  As most of it was in Italian, Jeff and Willow didn't know what the
arguments were about. But as their names came up occasionally, they assumed
it had a lot to do with them.  Unfortunately they couldn't tell which of
the two vampires was on their side and which was blaming them for their
leader's absence.

"When the sun comes up, you have to make a break for it," Jeff said quietly
to Willow.

"What are you talking about," the boy asked.

"They can't go outside in the sunlight.  You can get out of here.
Otherwise I'm not sure that this won't end badly for us."

"I'm not leaving you here alone."

Jeff shook his head.  "I can take care of myself."

"Against fifty angry vampires?  I don't think so."

"Just don't worry about me.  You've got to get out of here before they
decide to do something drastic like have an early lunch."

"I thought you said I was protected.  Hello, remember, fairy blood here.
Poisonous to vampires."

"You know that and I know that, but I'm not so sure they know that, and I'm
not so sure they would listen if we told them that.  It sounds like a
convenient excuse to save your life."

Willow sighed as he looked toward the heavily shuttered window.  "Jeff,
they have a lot of human servants who are fiercely loyal to Andre.  If the
vampires think we are somehow responsible, the humans aren't going to let
me out of here or off the grounds either."

Just then the cell phone in Jeff's pocket rang.  He had forgotten he had
it.  Craig had given it to him before so they could keep in touch if they
were separated.  He pulled it out and looked at it in surprise.  "Well,
answer it," Willow said anxiously.


"Thank God you're okay," Craig's voice said.

"Where are you?" Jeff asked.

"In Illinois.  I'm making arrangements to get back to Rome."

"Are Andre and Sidonio with you?"

"Yes.  Give the phone to whoever seems to be in charge and I'll put Andre

Jeff looked up to see several of the vampires standing around glaring at
him.  He held the cell phone out to Simone.  She took it and spoke into it.
She listened closely and her eyes widened in surprise.  She nodded a few
times and said a few words back.  Then she handed the phone to the other
vampire with whom she had argued.  He took the phone gingerly as if it were
a deadly snake.  He held it to his ear and listened.  In a few moments he
handed it back to Simone who gave it to Jeff.  She had a smirk on her face
as if to say she had been given an official promotion in Andre's absence.

Craig was back on the line.  "We'll be there as soon as we can.  We have to
get another plane and identities for these two Italian vampires without
passports.  We'll see you in two days."

For the next two days Jefferson and Willow were treated like royalty.
Apparently Andre made it clear they were not to be harmed, but treated as
honored guests.  Cardinal Compelli even made a visit one evening to speak
with them.  He wanted to get a first hand update on what happened to the
child.  He seemed genuinely concerned.  Meanwhile he told the pair that
Father Stephen had made a hasty retreat back to America.  Apparently he was
deeply concerned and committed to the notoriety he would get from the
Church by proving vampires existed and his organization was serving a
worthwhile purpose.  But he wasn't nearly as concerned with reconciling
with the Church over his apparent falling away from the fold, being a
priest who no longer performed any priestly duties, nor answering to the
Vatican.  Father Stephen also did not want to explain how he managed to
live for so very long.  That was still a major concern for the Church and
one that Cardinal Compelli was doing his best to try and bury.  He said he
was doing a bit of campaigning to convince the authorities that Father
Stephen was not the same as the priest from so long ago, although he
assured Jeff and Willow that indeed it was the same man and he would love
to find out what this man's secret was.  He just didn't want the Church
finding out on the chance that they would find out a lot more things, like
how long-lived the cardinal was as well.

"How is it that no one in the Church has noticed that you've been around
for so long?"  Jeff asked when the cardinal admitted he was about four
hundred years old.

"I have seen quite a number of enclaves in my lifetime," the cardinal
admitted.  "But not always as a cardinal.  In fact, Cardinal Compelli," he
tapped his chest, "this is a fairly recent incarnation.  I will live for a
time in this persona, and then I will appear to die.  And I will start my
life over again in a number of years as another bishop somewhere."

"But won't there be records?  How do you just start in the middle of life
as a bishop?"

The man chuckled.  "I find a bishop somewhere who has never been to Rome,
or who is fairly unknown and unremarkable.  Then I just replace him and
begin my climb up the hierarchy again."

"How do you just replace him?  Surely he must ..." Willow began to ask,
then suddenly grew quiet.  He realized what the cardinal was saying when he
said he would replace someone.  He undoubtedly would replace the existing
man by dispatching him.

"It's not always pleasant, but I am sending a good man to his heavenly
reward or a bad man to his just punishment."

"That does bring up a philosophical and religious question," Jeff said.
"If you are a moral person, how do you rationalize taking a life in this
fashion?  Wouldn't that cause you to be a bad person worthy of that same
eternal damnation?"

The cardinal shrugged his shoulders.  "God made me as I am.  And who am I
to question His wisdom?"

"But he didn't make you as you are," Jeff countered.  "Some other vampire
made you as you are."

"And we cannot condemn the sick because they have a disease.  We must show
them compassion.  The same could be said of our kind."

After the cardinal left Jeff shook his head.  "Why are you so worried about
this?" Willow asked.

"Because he is turning a blind eye to the death he doles out.  At least I
have only killed when it was necessary to protect myself or someone I cared
about.  I never just murdered someone to prolong my own existence, no
matter how badly I've wanted to."

"That just proves you are a better man than him," Willow said, wrapping his
arms around his lover.

"I'm not a man at all," Jeff said with a snort.

"I'll be glad when we can get out of here," Willow replied quietly.  "I
think this place is making us all on edge."

The next morning Francois left early in the limousine and returned around
noon.  He drove into the underground garage and quickly jumped out to open
the passenger doors.  The car was crowded with a number of people.  Andre
and Sidonio quickly climbed out to be greeted by several of their friends.
Craig, Rood, Robin and Scott all got out and were quickly escorted to a
sitting room to find Willow and Jeff.

Craig gave his friends a quick hug while everyone greeted each other.  He
explained that he had all their papers and everything was ready for them to
return home.  Jeff then took Andre aside.  "Why did you come back?  You
could have had a human life in that other world."

Andre looked at him in surprise.  "Why would I want to be human?  I am
immortal.  Here I have friends and family.  I have a world to rule.  What
do I care about a human life?  I would age and die."

Jeff looked over at Sidonio who shook his head and looked at Andre.  "What
he say," he replied.

"What I do not understand," Andre said, "is why you would want to be human.
What you are is so much more."

Jeff thought a moment, and then answered.  "My life was taken from me.  I
never really had a chance to live.  And now I have someone in my life who
will eventually grow old and die.  I don't want to outlive my mate.  I want
to grow old with him."

"He is part fairy.  He may live a very long life," Andre consoled him.
"And as for living, you have every chance to live your life now, on your
own terms."

"We'll see," Jeff replied.

"We'll need to be at the airport shortly after dark," Craig said.

"But you should stay a while," Sidonio said, clapping Rood on the back.  "I
show you the sights.  I show you wine, women and much more."

Rood had a wicked grin as if he almost wanted to take his new friend up on
the offer, but Robin just shook his head.  "Sadly, I have someone waiting
back in my land for me," he told the vampire.

Sidonio winked at him.  "Yes, the lady doctor.  I know you get mad at me
again, but she does have nice ass."

Rood just laughed and slapped Sidonio on the back in return.  "That she
has," he agreed.

* * *

The limousine was ready to leave the villa shortly before sunset.  Andre
hugged Jeff and Willow, kissing them on the cheeks in traditional French
style.  "Have a good life, my friends.  I would hope to see you again if
you ever choose to come back to this world.  But I don't think I will be
visiting your world.  There is just too much sun for me."  He laughed at
his own humor.

The humans, fairies and Jeff climbed into the back of the limousine and
Francois drove out into the evening.  In a short time they were at the
airport and climbing onto the private jet that Craig had waiting for them.
It would make a quick stop in London to refuel, and then they would be off
to New York.  Robin leaned back and closed his eyes to meditate as Scott
sat tensely in his seat.  He felt he needed to talk with Jeff and Willow,
but was delaying the discussion he knew he had to have.  Eventually he got
up and walked over to Jeff's seat and asked if he could chat.

"Sure, what's up?" the vampire asked.

"I don't think you should return to Tuatha."






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