Sample Pages 13-An Clan Teagaisc

By the time dinner rolled around, the congratulatory e-mails had started to come in from the immediate clan-family. Angie came over for dessert, with Ryan and the kids in tow. “Are you for real? Are they serious? And can I decline a title?” Mark looked at her and replied “Yes, yes, and no. Nice try, though.” “What does this mean in real terms?” Russ asked as he pulled a huge bowl of pudding out and was dishing it up. “It means we’re going to be very busy, I have a hunch. Maybe ár Sue and I should have retired.” “Nonsense, leannán. We won’t be making anything by going around, trading info with other clans and teaching them what we know.” Jill looked at them and smiled. “I don’t know, Angie. You’ve certainly earned your title. Besides, it’s not like you’re not adding anything new. Clan Scéalaí isn’t anything you’re not doing now.” She sighed, then grinned. “I know, Momma Jill. But still, I was just adjusting to being Chomhairleoir to you four. Advisor I can handle. But historian and guardian of the Rialacha agus Deasghnátha na Cosantóirí for North America? That’s a load.” “You’ll do fine, hon” Ryan said. “Besides, with your travels for World Geo, who else is better equipped to do this?” “I’m glad you all believe in me, but you all forget I’m also a wife and mother of two-soon to be at least one more-young children. Plus I also am a part owner of a growing, thriving business, and I need to be around to keep up with that.” Ryan looked at his father-in-law and said, “You’re the one that should be sweating, really. Heading up the go-to clan for the entire North American continent…seems to me that would be a larger issue to handle, Príomh Ceannairí-Múinteoirí a lán Mark.” He paused then said, “Geez, that’s a mouthful.” “Which is why the shortened version is simply Príomh, dear.” Jill shook her head. “I just got used to being called Ceannairí-Múinteoirí. Now I have to adjust to a slightly different title.” “Ceannairí-Múinteoirí a Lán? Leader-Teacher of Many? If what Glacadh Éineacht Clan Mac Carthaigh seems to think is true, you’ll more than earn that. Have they sent anything new for you and Angie to play with?” “No. Good thing, too; Angie, Mary, Sue and I are still wading through that stuff the Kinder der Fähigkeit Zentralkomitee sent home with Angie. The folks in Glacadh Éineacht Clan Mac Carthaigh been thrilled with what we’ve sent back to them, especially the historical stuff. They’re especially happy with the copy of Daire Finnegan’s diary; it’s filled a few gaps they didn’t have-or they’ve misplaced.” Mark looked at them all and smiled a tired smile. “And that, everyone, is why our clan has been chosen as Taisech Clan. It’s not our numbers; we’re a small clan compared to others. It’s what we do-and what we’ve done-as a clan.” Russ grinned and gave Mark a flourish with his hand.“Mo phrionsa, we have pudding to eat when you’re done pontificating. There’ll be time to lead later on. Besides, we have to talk about this thing out in Jefferson.”

———-

Mother and daughter were facing off. “Mom, I’m old enough to know.” “That’s not the way to learn about…” “About what? About you? About how you’ve made things happen? About how you’ve run around, tricking people? About how you landed Daddy, until he ran off with….” There was a loud slapping sound, and Patriciá Gallo looked at her daughter, the joy of her life, with anger. “You want to learn about your Qui Perdere side? Fine. We’ll start with the basics. One, there’s one thing you don’t do and that is argue with those above you. That includes me. Two: You are either Qui Perdere or you’re not. There is no half and half, child. Nor have we figured out how the Cosantóirí developed their cute little assistants, the Níos lú de cumas. Again, it’s like I said: you’re either Qui Perdere or impotens. Three: you are risking your future to go to this. We are in a business where perception is everything. Qui Perdere don’t build. They ruin, they destroy.” “Prove it.” “You want proof? I almost destroyed a man’s life for my sexual needs and pleasures. Even though he was impotens, he was man enough to push me away, to walk away from a night of sexual pleasure he would never have regretted or forgotten. He could have had me fired, yet he saw to it that I was promoted after making his life a living hell for years.”

————

Mark stood at the edge of Death’s Cabin, looking down. One side overlooked Brimstone Lake, the largest sulphur lake east of the Rockies. Not that it was huge; to his right was Heavenslake, which was a much larger cool, refreshing freshwater lake. The area was popular with primitive campers in the early spring and late fall, as the sulphur lake was very warm and inviting. That it reeked of sulphur is what gave it the name. He sat, with his back to the world, wondering if they’d known for sure that when they left here they’d be killed. He wondered if his mother had known all that was happening, and knew what his life would be like this day, all those years ago. He sighed and looked at the final three bunches of flowers. He slowly stood up and walked to the edge of the edge of the rim; it was a good fifteen point five metres down, or roughly fifty feet. Behind him he heard a ragged, gasping sound approaching, then it stopped. ##Don’t you dare move a muscle.## ##Knj? What are you doing here?## ##Trying to stop you. Is there something you want to discuss? Or do I get to watch in horror as you jump off the edge?##

———

Back in Paris, Sue leaned back against Russ, his arms around her. She sighed gently and sent ##Sltv, I should have been there. Knj should be here.## Russ held up a hand. ##No. Stop that train of thought right now. Knj didn’t write the stuff you did.## He paused for a moment. ##And truth be told, Tq’r, she’s been there more for him in the last year than either you or I have. Between this book, Angie’s having kids, opening the Flying Horse up…we simply haven’t been there like we should. She has-and she deserves to be there to soak in some of the accolades coming his way.## Sue sighed gently. ##I know, but…## In the silence, Angie got through to Sue from the next room. **Mom…stop it. I know you well enough to know you’re feeling guilty, like you should have been there for Dad. You were so busy writing…writing this cookbook, writing your next book, ghostwriting that book for that stupid idiot that thought he was wonderful. You two have something just as special and wonderful as you do with Dad, if not even more special…and Momma Jill has her own special relationship with Dad that’s like nothing I’ve ever seen. It’s why the term polyamory doesn’t work, but compound relationship does. Now come on; Tilly’s on her way up and we have a big day today.**

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