Sample Pages 11-Go deo agus i Gcónaí

Jon sized Mark up. For a man in his mid to late fifties, he still had most of his hair, and much of it was still a sandy blond color. He didn’t look like he worked out much, but was trim, in decent shape. In fact, the only thing that seemed out of sorts on the man was the polo shirt and khakis he was wearing; but then, it wasn’t like he needed to wear a tie for this. In addition, there was also that infernal green glow-but Jon was the only one who could see it, of course. Being Qui Perdere had its advantages, but this was not one of them. After ordering, they sat at a small table away from the others. Jon was amazed at the support Mark had; several parents of current and former students came by to show their support.

“So, Jon. You wanted to sit down, no recorders or mics, and talk with me. Kind of rare for a guy like you” Mark said. Jon nodded. “Before you ask, no, I don’t have a hidden recorder on me either, Mark. It’s because of what I’m going to talk about; I have something to share with you, something that may make you want to get up and walk out. I’m Qui Perdere.” Mark sat there for a moment and digested that. Taking a sip off his drink, he shrugged. “You’re telling me this why?” “I say that because I have a vested interest in keeping most of this conversation quiet. As you know, the Qui Perdere can see Cosantóirí energy patterns; right now, you’re glowing green to me. You also know that the Qui Perdere are pretty much mischief makers these days. We’re not out to destroy things or ruin lives-unless they’re Cosantóirí lives, or the lives of those without abilities. The Qui Perdere elders called them the impotens. You know, you Cosantóirí types are powerful. For 1700 plus years, you’ve gone around helping those you call the ní de cumas. Interbreeding with them created your cute little helpers, the níos lú de cumas. That’s one of things the Qui Perdere can’t seem to figure out. Either you’re Qui Perdere or you’re not. And since the year 1018, when you Cosantóirí types kicked our Qui Perdere butts to the curb, there’s no physical fighting allowed. According to the treaty of Stonehenge, all battles must be with vires.” Mark looked at him. “My Latin’s rusty. Care to translate?” “You call them cumais. And for the last nearly eighteen hundred years, since before the battle, you’ve taken care of those you call not with abilities. As I said before, the Qui Perdere elders called them the impotens. Some of us today have a different name for them. We call them fair game.”

 ———-

Four suitcases, a portable cooler, and some snacks were loaded in Russ’ SUV. They’d had to make time to pack: Russ was working a graduation party-and then at Sully’s Place that night. Jill and Sue washed and dried clothing in the off times; Mark helped fold and pack what Jill directed him to for Russ. They also all pitched in to clean An Nead a little bit, wiping down surfaces, changing sheets, dusting, sweeping and vacuuming, and cleaning the joint bathroom. “Want to come home to a clean house, pretty much” Sue and Jill had told Mark, and he agreed. They also took some time to clean the cabana up; while it never got “dirty” it needed dusting, vacuuming, and surfaces wiped down every so often.

The time had come, however. Goodbyes were said; Diarmuid wanted to come with them but was told he had to stay home and help take care of his Mór-Maimeó Mary. He nodded and said-as only children can-he’d do his very best. Angie and Ryan hugged everyone and wished them taisteal sábháilte, or safe travels, and to have a good time. “No arguing, you four” Ryan said good naturedly. They laughed; there had been few cross words between them since long before the cruise. Sharing as they did, keeping open communications and asking forgiveness once a year or so helped; they would undergo their annual Glanadh, athmhuintearas, agus athnuachan once they returned home. “We did this a little earlier, so we can go a few weeks past” Sue had said, and all had agreed. ##Is everyone ready?## Russ asked. ##I’m a go## Mark replied. ##I’m ready to leave when you are## Sue sent. ##I’m way past ready## Jill responded. Russ pulled out of the garage and headed for their first stop: Memphis, Tennessee. They would come back through Memphis on their way home; so they were only staying a night. Sue chose to sit up front so she could see; Jill didn’t need much coaxing to sit in back with Mark-though they were told “to behave themselves back there. No making out in the back seat.” While joking, Sue wasn’t worried. She knew ten minutes out on the highway and M’nai would be out like a light. He didn’t disappoint her. Jill was also out, her head on his shoulder, their fingers intertwined. Sue smiled gently and took Russ’ hand, intertwining her fingers with his. ##They’re out cold, aren’t they, Tq’r?## ##They are. They’re just like teenagers: can’t stay awake once tour starts.## Russ grinned. ##They have a deep and special bond. I’m watching them them grow slowly closer on a daily basis. I should be jealous of them, but I just can’t be. It’s hard to be jealous of them.## Sue squeezed his hand. ##It’s because we love them, they love us, and we all have a deep love and respect for one another. Besides, we have our own special bond and are growing slowly closer as well, you know.## ##That’s true. It’s deep and special to me, Tq’r.## ##And to me as well, Sltv.## She sighed as he kissed her hand. ##Think we’ll ever get their class rings back?## She shook her head. ##Who knows? We have the ring’s owners, and we all wear respective wedding bands and fáinní. I think that trumps class rings from nearly forty years ago.## ##Good point. Where’s our lunch stop?## He kissed her hand again. ##Does it matter? We’re on vacation. We’ll find someplace decent when were hungry-and the kids in back wake up.## Sue giggled quietly. ##Maybe we should get them a kiddie meal for lunch.## He snorted softly and the miles rolled on.

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