by Kelly Lee
Names are important, and Cailleagh learns that importance works on faeries, too.
Seeing the Fey
FROM THE START, it was not a good day.
It had all started when Cailleagh Flannery stubbed her toe on the shower door. Then, she discovered her coffee maker had decided to pee all over the counter. After that, she discovered that her cordless phone battery went to battery heaven. To top it all off, her mother called her cell to inform her that she was to help in the shop on this day. Not that she minded helping her and her brother, Patrick, at Crow & Dragon, their new age shop. But sometimes, her mother forgot to tell her the day before Cail was supposed to help. She tended to spring those things on her at the last minute.
So, she was still cursing the dead phone battery and broken coffee pot when she left her apartment. She was always in a bad mood when she didn’t have her morning coffee.
She parked the car, as always, in the public parking lot near the shop. She paid for the day and walked the two intersections to the store. Cail eyed the café next door, and began fishing in her purse for her wallet. She must have coffee.
Before she had even maneuvered into the café, she found hrself bumped into. She found herself stumbling and clutching her wallet. She landed on her rump.
“I’m sorry,” a masculine voice apologized. “Here, let me help you.”
Cail looked up into a pair of the most beautiful eyes she had ever seen. They were a warm, soft brown and framed by extremely long eyelashes. “Oh,” she said, feeling herself blush under his intense gaze. “Thank you.” She took the strong hand that was offered and he pulled her to her feet. Upon standing, she saw his face with the cute dimple in his chin. Okay. That did it. She was a sucker for dimples.
“Guess I should watch where the hell I'm going, huh?” he quip ped.
She was too busy looking at the dimples on his stubble-covered face. “Oh, well, I wasn’t looking either.” For a moment, she had forgotten why she was there.
He ran a hand through his close-cropped, dark hair. “I’m Joseph Royo. You can call me Joey,” he said, holding the other hand out.
Cail took that hand. “Oh, I’m Cailleagh Flannery.”
“Close. It sounds the same, but spelled different. It’s Irish.”
“Hi,” he beamed. “Come on, I’ll buy you a cup of coffee.”
OKAY, SO THE DAY wasn’t so bad after that. She now had a remedy for bad days: meet a good-looking guy! A good looking guy with a nice job, at that. She had found out that Joey was an architect, as business he ran with his father, Joseph, Sr. He did indeed have a brother, Matthew, who was the same age as him. Matthew was adopted and currently finishing up his tour of duty in Afghanistan in the Marine Corps.
Joey, himself, had considered joking the military as well, but in the end opted for civilian life. He went to the University of New Mexico to study architecture, design, and engineering. In 2008, his mother died of breast cancer. So, now, it was just him, his brother and his father.
So, Cailleagh had decided the day was not so bad after all.
Well, the day got better, not great. Moira was in a foul mood, and was not pleased with anything she did. And it seemed Patrick was not too happy either.
But, Cail was in such a better mood, that she failed to notice when the woman walked into the shop. When she did notice, she began to wonder why someone like her would want to be in a new age shop.
Patrick nudged Cail's arm as the woman glided into the store. Moira, their mother, eyed her suspiciously, and it was such a hard suspicion that she wondered why. The other customers in the store just stared at the lady and gave her room as she moved about and came toward the counter Cail was standing behind.
Never had she seen a woman like her: tall, elegant, with extremely long, black hair. The color of the black was so deep that it drank up the light around her, or so it seemed. Her eyes were a brilliant silver-blue and her skin fair. And the presence about her was astounding: there was a dead silence in the store all of a sudden as everyone looked at her.
Peach and pink silks of a medieval style garment floated about her almost as if by themselves. The woman looked directly at Cail.
“I am in search of a book,” she announced suddenly in a cultured, yet melodious voice.
Naturally, Moira stepped out from behind the counter and smiled. She was certain Cailleagh know nothing about handling customers. But then, she never let her have a chance either. So, it came as no surprise when she said, “What are you looking for?”
The regal woman ignored her. “I am in search of a book concerning dreams.”
“We have several books of dream interpretation or dictionaries that might—“
The woman turned angry eyes on Moira. “I did not ask you. I asked Cailleagh."
No, she didn’t wonder how the woman knew her name. Rather, Cail was slightly vexed over her superior manner and rudeness toward her mother. She may have been secretly glad that Moira had been put in her place, but she was still her mother. No one -- not even she, herself -- talked to her that way. No matter how pretty they were.
“As my mother was saying,” Cail began, letting the woman know her disrespect was not appreciated, “We have several books on dream interpretation or dictionaries. Was there something in particular you were looking for?”
She glanced briefly at Moira, a look passing between them –- had Cail seen that? –- then, she turned back at her. “Yes. For memories in dreams.”
Cail bade her to come with her to the books. As she did so, a vague feeling washed over her at that one small sentence: memories in dreams. It seemed as if she was supposed to know something, but couldn’t quite place what that something was.
THE SENSATION didn't go away. It haunted her for the rest of the day and it accompanied her home. And she couldn't get the image of that woman out of her head
And that was the night she had the first dream.
Cail found herself standing on what looked like a Highland moor. She could smell fresh air, the kind of smell after it rains and cleanses the air. She was not cold, nor was she wet. She was just standing there, amid a circle of stones. Being who she was – a Wiccan’s daughter – she knew that the stone circle was sacred and held power. But, why was Cail standing inside it?
She suddenly became aware of a presence behind her, and around her. But she could not turn around to see who was there.
When she woke up, it was morning. Cail decided to go somewhere quiet and photograph what she saw. By profession, she was a freelance photographer and taking pictures relaxed her.
Cailleagh was walking into the café again when she saw the same woman she had seen the day before. She stopped dead in her tracks and watched the woman walk into the café. Curious, she followed her.
Why do I care? What is it about this woman that seems so... familiar? Like... something long forgotten
Cailleagh was wrong; it was not the same woman, but one who looked like her. The hair and the eyes were the same, but this one was dressed in green silks and was younger.
She ordered a cup of coffee took her cup and started out the door when she saw the other one: a male.
What was going on?
Maybe she was going crazy?
She jumped in the car. She drove and found herself, not someplace quiet, but at a bookstore. She walked in and went directly to the books that had to with myths and legends. By this time, she realized what she’d done and wondered why she was looking at a book on legends of faerie folk. She felt herself redden at this and put the book back.
Those women had reminded her of something faerie, something elfin or other worldly.
But... that means something. Something drew me to the fey.
Turning away from those books, she came face to face with another that had to do with Scotland’s myths and legends. Her eyes blinked several times as an image flashed before her eyes of the stone circle. A vague longing hit her, and that fresh scent of rain-washed air and green hills assaulted her nose.
She grabbed the book and bought it.
She ended up at home, pouring into that book. The pictures inside made her feel the same things as seeing the strange woman and man, like left something behind, as well as the sense of knowing. It made her feel happy.
Cail could suddenly could hear bagpipes in her head and they made her cry, not out of sadness, but out of joy.
The hows and the whys were not forthcoming: still just a heartbeat away from revealing themselves. Just beyond her grasp.
She turned the page. A picture of green, rolling hills in the Scottish Highlands stopped her cold. A small circle of stones winked at her. The stones -- not monoliths like Stonehenge -- puzzled her at first.
Then, she could hear singing. In Gaelic.
Staring at the picture, remembrance tickled her brain: she know that place! Cail had been there before! But, when? That she knew of, she’d never been to Scotland in her life.
Was she wrong? Was it a memory suppressed?
Would Moira know?
Moira was from Ireland, not Scotland, but still, perhaps...
ANOTHER dream plagued her that night, and Moira would have fallen over backwards if she knew what Cail had dreamt.
The dream was very different from the first one.
It seemed to Cailleagh that it was more like a strong memory, but once again she was standing in the stone circle on the moor. This time, a man stood with her. Then, there were two women and she recognized them. The two younger ones, the man and woman, were the ones she had seen at the café. The older one was the regal woman she had talked to at the shoppe. There was no mistaking it now, they were triplets, and, yes, their ears were pointed.
Pointed ears? Really?
“What do you want?” I asked.
For you to remember, they replied.
But what was she to remember? Try as she might, those memories that Cail knew were there would not surface.
Remember! They chanted and danced. Memories in dreams!
Memories in dreams? Of course the older sibling had said that to her when she spoke to her in the shoppe. But what--?
She was suddenly aware of another male presence around her. He had leaned in, kissed the back of her neck, sending chills down her spine. She turned to face him, kissed him deeply, longingly, hungrily with a passion she had never felt before.
Then, she looked at his face.
“MOM?” Cail hesitated when she started to ask her question.
“Yes,” she said, not looking at her, rather she kept on counting receipts.
“Did we—“ Why was she afraid to ask? She took a deep breath. “Did we ever go to Scotland?” There! she had asked!
Moira stopped what she was doing and looked at her in an odd manner, like she was afraid of why Cail was asking. “Why do you want to know?”
“Just curious,” she shrugged, hoping to get that suspicious glare off of her.
She still eyed her with deep suspicion, like Cail was asking something she shouldn’t. “Why?”
Cail's attitude changed. Seriously? Moira was going to be cryptic? Of all the times for her to do that! "Oh, for--!” Huffing, she immediately wished she hadn’t asked. “Can’t you just answer me?”
“Answer her, Ma,” Patrick put in.
Cail looked at her brother. What did he know? Did he know something, too? Did everyone know something but her?
Moira looked at him. “I just want to know why she is suddenly asking this.”
“Oooh! Just forget it!” Cail snapped, becoming intensely angry. She carried a bundle of candles out to the shop floor, then, left the building.
Her dream still fresh in her mind, the last person she needed to see was Joey, but after Moira and her suspicions, maybe she needed the distraction.
She saw him heading her way, and contemplated ignoring him, but she suddenly realized her mother was watching her from the shop window and decided to let him see her.
“Hey, you!” he said as he approached her. “How are you?”
Catching another glimpse of Moira in the shop window, Cail replied, “Peachy,” She looked back at him and saw confusion on his face. “Sorry,” she smiled. “Mom and I are having a spat.”
A smile lit up those pretty brown eyes. “AH!”
She was still watching her, frowning at the sight of her with a man. She gave her a superior look -- which she knew was a bit childish -- and put her arm in his. “Let’s have lunch,” she suggested.
And. in an another very childish gesture, she looked back at Moira, sticking out her tongue.
"WHAT was the spat about?” Joey asked as the waitress left with their menus and order.
“I asked her a simple question, and she refused to answer,” Cail replied sourly. She huffed. “Sometimes she acts like she’s a queen or something!”
“Any brothers or sisters?”
“I have an older brother,” she replied, wondering why he asked.
“Ah, see you’re her baby. She thinks she still needs to protect you,” Joey said leaning back in his chair. “Your brother, she figures can take care of himself. You, on the other hand, she feels still needs her.”
“I’m 33!” she protested.
“In her mind, you’re still her baby.” Joey took a sip from his water glass. “I’m 33, too.”
“And did your mother treat you like you’re the baby?”
“No,” he smiled, those eyes twinkling. “Because I and my brother are the same age. But ask my brother. He’ll tell you all about it.”
“Oh,” was all she could think of to say.
That was when she noticed them.
Yes, all three of them.
They were sitting at a nearby table sipping their wine. The two women were dressed in their flowing silks and their brother was in his brocaded robes.
And they were watching Cailleagh. Very intently.
She was suddenly uncomfortable. Joey took it to mean she was nervous. She smiled at him and blushed slightly. She idly wondered if he saw them sitting back there, staring at them. She doubted it. “Well, I just wish she’d answer my question.”
“And what question was that?” he asked.
“If we’d ever been to—” The waitress suddenly appeared with their glasses of iced tea and a bowl of breadsticks and butter.
“To?” Joey asked when the waitress left.
“Scotland,” Cail replied. The oldest of the three turned and looked her, slightly smiling. She’d heard her.
“Maybe it’s something she doesn’t want to talk about?” Joey offered.
“Maybe, but she acted like I shouldn't have asked. Like, it was wrong to ask.” She buttered a breadstick and began to munch.
“Oh,” he said. A wink. “Can’t help you there.”
Oh, boy! he winked! Those eyes twinkle when he winks!
Cailleagh looked at him now, her mind totally on him and not the three sitting near by. She found herself wondering if dimples could get any cuter than they were on him. They deepened as he chewed the bread. The dream came back to her, and the kiss that happened in that dream. She was suddenly aware of Joey as a man. The white linen shirt he wore was buttoned to mid-chest and stretched tightly across the area. I wondered what the skin felt like, the light dusting of fuzz on that chest…
Down girl! Control those harmones!
She suddenly blushed and took a hefty drink of her tea. Whoa! Calm yourself! She smiled lopsidedly at him. “Thanks.”
“For what?” he asked.
That smile lit up those eyes, and deepened those dimples. “No problem.”
Okay... I am officially going to melt he keeps smiling at me like that!
THE dream came to her again. Cail was standing in the same spot, with the fresh air around her. And the three appeared.
Come home! the oldest said.
“Home?” she asked. “This is not my home.”
Oh, but it is! the middle sibling said, with a lilt of laughter.
You belong here, with your people, their brother said.
“My… My people?” Okay, this was getting confusing. “My people are the people of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Not Scotland.” But even as Cail said this, she knew she was wrong. She knew it as sure as she knew her own heart.
In the distance, a bell sounded.
Cailleagh shook her head. “You’ve got the wrong gal,” she said to them, hoping they’d go away.
The bell got louder, as if it were warning me of something.
The three seemed agitated by the sound.
Cail suddenly realized the bell was her alarm clock. But try as she might, she could not wake up. In fact, she kept dreaming she’d woken up, only to find herself still in the stone circle. She’d make herself wake up again, only to have the stones surround her. She was beginning to feel like she was in a murky pool of water that she could not swim out of and kept sinking in to. Cail wanted to scream, but no sound came out of her mouth. Up, up, up she kept swimming, and down, down, down she was being pulled.
“STOP IT!!!!” she yelled loudly, but nothing stopped the horrible sensation.
Cail turned around to find Joey standing there with that dazzling smile on his face and those beautiful eyes. She was caught off guard as he leaned in to kiss her cheek, his soft lips trailing along her cheekbone to the corner of her mouth. His lips brushed softy against hers, sending shivers down her arms and back. She found herself clinging to him.
The kiss that followed was hungry, full of sexual desire and lust. His tongue swept along the seam of her mouth , licking, tasting. Then, it plunged into her mouth, twirling around hers, sucking. A warm heat bloomed in her core at the sensations his tongue created, and arousal was near at hand.
Moisture was seeping between her legs, and she was sinking fast and she knew it.
Try as she might, though, she couldn't stop clinging to him, raking her nails against the skin on his arms. She clutched at him, pushing her body against his.
A bell chimed again.
No! No! This is not real, it is not Joey and I will wake up now!
Her one piece of sanity heard the alarm clock again and focused on that sound until it was so very loud in her ear. She pushed at "Joey".
“No,” Cail said weakly. “I am waking up now.”
The alarm clock beeped so loud, her ears rang. She sat up in the bed, panting and sweating. Oh gods! What a dream...
She realized her painties were wet. She dressed quickly and bounded out the door.
Like it or not, her mother was going to tell her what she wanted to know.
CAILLEAGH was right about one thing: Moira didn’t like it. In fact, for the first five minutes, she tried to brush off her questions. She finally cornered her in the loft above the shoppe, and demanded she tell what she knew.
She frowned at me. “Do know to whom you are speaking?”
Cail crossed her arms over her chest. “I had thought it was my mother, the woman who I could talk to about anything,” she growled. “Apparently I was wrong.”
Moira turned a lovely shade of red. “How dare you?!”
“And how dare you not tell me what I want to know,” she snapped in return. “Is it so hard to tell me what I want to know?”
“There are things you were not meant to know,” she replied caustically.
Cail rolled my eyes. “Please. Suppose you tell me why three siblings of, I am almost sure, faerie origin are following me around and invading my dreams?”
Moira seemed taken aback by this bit of news. “What?”
“You heard me. You even saw one the day she came into the shoppe asking for books on dreams. Don’t pretend you don’t know.” Cail was fed up.
Silence hung in the air like a heavy clouds full of rain. She finally hung her head and shook it.
Cail took that as her cue to tell all. She told Moira everything, the feelings, the dreams, the book, all of it. When she was done, she sat there looking at her, blinking. She had begun to wonder if she’d grown two heads while talking.
“Are you sure it’s Joey?” she asked.
“I’d know that face anywhere.”
“Do you think he’d normally behave that way?”
Moira smirked at me. “No offense, luv, but you haven’t known him that long.”
“True,” Cail said. “But the Joey I see in reality is very different from the one in the dream.” She sighed. “That is why I don’t believe the real Joey would behave that way.”
She looked pleased with Cail's answer, as if she had gotten what she wanted out of that answer. “Well,” she said, sitting on the stool near the kitchen island, “there are two explanations for that particular part of the dream. One is you are attracted to him and this is projecting itself into your dream—“
“Of course I’m attracted to him!”
“Or,” she continued, frowning at her, “it is someone else playing with your mind.”
“One of the three?” Cail asked.
Moira shook her head. “No,” she replied. “They are helping, though not by choice.” She looked at her, as if trying to decide what to say next.
“Glanconner,” was the reply.
“The Love Talker,” she said. “He seduces women, letting them pine away until they die.”
Apparently Cail's expression worried her.
“Oh, you will be fine!” she said. “All you need to do is say his name the next time you encounter him. You will have power over him.” She said this as if it were nothing.
“Why is Joey there?”
“It’s not Joey, luv. It’s Glanconner wearing Joey’s face.” She looked a little bit sad. “Glanconner will appear as your heart’s desire. Apparently you desire Joey.” She let a mischievous twinkle come to her eye.
Cail reddened. “Oh.” She looked at her. “What does he want with me?”
“What do faeries ever want? Children, to entice us into the Realm… Remember, luv, not all fey are kind, generous folk. Most are tricksters of an innocent type, while others are tricksters of the malicious type.” She took her hand. “Even the kind fey can be malicious if provoked, like brownies or pixies. But some are evil no matter what.”
“That didn't answer my question. Why me?” she asked again.
Moira suddenly stilled. Her eyes closed as she took a long deep breath. Cailleagh got the distinct impression that this was something that wounded Moira terribly. What could be so awful that she won't tell? That she has hidden from me? "Because you belong with them,” came the sad reply.
“Excuse me? Belong with them?” The words came back to her: Come home! You belong with your people!
Moira sighed heavily. “Yes, that is what I have been keeping from you.”
“I’m a changeling?”
At this, Moira laughed. “Oh, gods, no! You, my dear one, are only part faerie.” She took her hand again. “I fear they have come to claim you.” And that sad look passed over her face again.
"Wait a minute. What? Part faerie?" Okay, she knew that it wasn't Moira who was the faerie. That left only the other parent.
The non-existent one.
For most of her life, Cailleagh had known that Moira didn't talk about the man who was their father. The subject was taboo in their household. She would only tell them that when they were very young children, she left Ireland and came to the United States, eventually ending up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. But there was never any mention of who their father was, or why he was not around.
The non-existent father was a faerie.
Cail realized suddenly why she kept this from her: she was her child. The fey trying to take Cail away from her had haunted her for part of her adult life.
Tears came to her eyes, those green eyes that now seemed so worried by the troubles she had endured. “There was a time when I was young and foolish, you know.”
“I never said you weren’t,” Cail replied. She was her mother, and she did love her. She smiled at her.
She smiled back. “He was beautiful, your father. Dark, auburn hair and green eyes. And oh! Was he charming!” A dreamy look came to her face. “He was so kind and generous. It was only one night we were together, but one night is all it takes sometimes.” Her voice was far away, lost in her memories. She sighed. “January came and went. I found out I was pregnant, but I never saw him again. He came by after you were born, wanting to claim you. I was angry with him for disappearing, angry for wanting to take you away. I refused to let him near you or to touch you. That’s when I found out who and what he was.” Moira raised her eyes to Cail. “Faerie decided to let you stay Above to be cared for until such a time your could take your rightful place in Faerie, in the Realm.”
Her brows knitted together. “Rightful place? What the heck does that mean?”
Moira smiled a sad smile. “You, luv, are royalty. Finvarra is your father.”
“Who’s royalty?” Patrick asked as he came up the stairs to the loft.
Moira ignored him. “You are one of the Seelie Court,” she said to Cailleagh.
Patrick dropped his stack of books. “Did they come for you?”
Cail whipped her head around to look at him in disbelief, the memory of him asking mother to tell her secret popping in her head. “You knew?” Anger flooded through her at the idea that even her own brother knew about the fey.
He suddenly bent down to pick up his books.
“Of course he knows!” Moira snapped. “He’s your brother!”
She eyed him. “Is he faerie, too?”
Patrick screwed up his mouth. “No, I am not. And I am leaving this conversation.” He huffed slightly and went back downstairs to the shoppe.
“You both kept this from me,” Cail sulked. “I should have been told.”
Moira stood from the stool she had been sitting on. “Don’t you dare be cross with us!” she groused. “I kept it from you to protect you. Patrick didn’t tell because I asked him not to. We both did what we did to keep you with us!” She took her hands again. “I would have done -- and would still do -- anything to keep you safe!”
Cail gaped at her, not quite knowing what to say to that fevered speech. She had always been somewhat distant with her, very few words of love or gestures of the ilk, and she had always resented it. Now, she saw a different side of it all. A side that was painful for her, the side that knew her only daughter might someday be taken from her. She was not the detached mother she had thought her to be. She was hurting inside, and she loved her.
“I only wanted to protect you,” she sniffed angrily.
Cailleagh did the only thing she could think of: she wrapped her arms around her and held her tightly.
CAILLEAGH remembered somewhere it was said to speak a faerie’s true name was to have power over it. Indeed, Moira had said that if she spoke Glanconner’s name the next time she encountered him, he would have no choice but to do as she said. But that was only part of the problem.
The Three, as she had taken to calling the siblings, were the ones who foiled her on the names. She didn’t know their names, therefore, she couldn’t control them. What’s a gal to do?
To strengthen the theory about names, she looked up names in a faerie book. By doing so, Cail found out that if one gives a faerie a name, one has power over it.
Aha! Now, she had a weapon to use against her four tormentors. Glanconner would be the hardest to deal with, as he wanted her to believe he was Joey, a man she was attracted to. All Cail had to do was become aware in her dreams that the man she saw was not Joey, but a seducer out for the kill.
The Three, on the other hand, would just be given names. That was simpler than encountering Glanconner: they seemed to be following her everywhere.
Moira was pleased with her ideas about her bullies. And she had changed somewhat, preferring to let her handle customers rather than taking them away. Which was good, because Joey came in a few days later.
At first, Moira and Cail looked at each other. Was he really Joey? Or was he a malicious faerie in disguise? Knowing she had to test the waters, Cail stepped out from amongst the bookshelves and approached him.
“Hey!” His smile lit up his face.
Cailleagh smiled back. “Hey back at ya!” She hugged him, suddenly aware of the masculine smell that came from him: spicy and fresh. She whispered one word in his ear, Glanconner, but she should have known this was not the Love Talker. What she felt with Joey was different than what she felt with the faerie. And this Joey was warmth and gentleness. The faerie, come to think of it, was a bit cold to the touch and didn't have the same warmth.
Thank the Goddess, Joey didn’t hear what she’d whispered. Those eyes were still bright and twinkling, the long lashes curling at the corners. His smile was genuine. This would not have been the case had he been someone else.
Joey was Joey, and Cail slightly shook her head at Moira. She let out a small breath and went back to her work.
Joey was eyeing a silver chain with a quartz pendant. “This is where you work?”
“Sometimes,” Cail replied, shrugging sheepishly. “It’s my brother’s shop. He’s a Wiccan.”
“Cool,” was all he said. That was it. She couldn’t believe it. She was prepared for: Do you really believe in this stuff? Or Oh, I see… That’s usually what she got and then she’d never see the guy again.
Not Joey. His “cool.” was all he said and that was that. Apparently he didn’t mind what her family’s beliefs were.
“What brings you here?” Cail asked, wanting to get rid of the sudden awkward feeling that hovered in her stomach.
His lips quirked a bit. “I thought we could have lunch again?” He smiled again. He was still looking at the necklace as he talked.
Oh, good. He's just as nervous as I am.
“That one is nice,” she commented as she caught a glimpse of Patrick rolling his eyes. “Quartz is a good cleanser. It brings purity and harmony. It balances your energy.”
Joey looked at her then. “This gives me purity?” His lips curved in a wicked smile. “I’m a lot of things, but pure is not one of them.”
She couldn’t help it. She laughed. No, he didn’t mind at all what her family’s beliefs were.
“This one it is,” he said, those brown eyes twinkling with mischief.
As he moved toward the counter, a stillness suddenly passed into the store. Then, she walked in, the eldest of The Three, her silks floating in the air behind her.
She had an appointment to keep.
Cailleagh was right. She glided right to her in that same regal manner she had exhibited before.
“Hello, Cailleagh,” she said with an air of authority.
Time to put the idea to the test. “Since you know my name, might I have the pleasure of yours?”
She just smiled at her waving a hand. “Why bother with such superfluous things?”
“Well,” She glanced at Moira, who nodded, “I have to call you by your name, right?”
The woman clicked her tongue. “You may address me as you would any stranger.”
Cail smiled at her. “I could. But, you see, you have my name at your disposal whereas I don’t have yours. That's not fair.”
Her eyes narrowed, wondering what I was up to. “Names are nothing. What does one need with a name? It is not who you are.”
By now, Joey was making his way back to Cail. She held a finger up to the faerie, letting her know to wait. She let Joey know she had to help this customer. He said he would wait for her next door at the café. He smiled, kissed her cheek and left.
Now, she could put her full attention on her visitor. Moira had put the “Out to Lunch” sign on the door and locked it, and Cail went back to the faerie.
By now, she had recovered her composure but Cail was not going to let the conversation slide. “No,” she said as if they hadn’t been interrupted. “You are wrong.”
“Wrong?” Her fine brows rose.
“Yes. You see, names are important and are a source of power. You know my name and that means you have power over me. I can’t allow that to happen.”
She stumbled a bit, her stoic and regal manner fading. “You can't?”
She stepped into Cail's trap. She eyed the faerie intently, cocked her head to the side. “Nope, I can't. You see, I need your name.”
A look of fear passed over her face. “I cannot...…” she said in a strange voice.
“Then I’ll have to name you," Cailleagh said. She tapped her chin. "Oh, and your siblings.”
The color drained out of her face. “Wh—What?”
Cailleagh leaned in and smiled at her. “Hello, Hemlock.”
This time, the Farris woman nearly fell to the floor, glancing at Cail with the most horrible look on her face. “Treacherous girl!” she seethed.
“I'm not so easily snowed, am I? Helbore! Henbane! Come out!”
As soon as their names were spoken, the other two appeared next to their sister.
“Wicked one!” Helbore snarled at me, stomping his feet.
“What do you wish?” Hemlock spat.
“Tell Finvarra to leave me alone,” Cail replied. “I am not going to the Realm, not now, not ever.”
“But you are one of the Seelie!” Henbane wailed.
“So what? This is my home, Above, this is where I stay. Tell my father I have made my decision, like it or not.” Cail huffed at them. And, then, she turned and walked out the door toward the café.
That night, after lunch with Joey – and dinner, Cailleagh knew the dream would come. She’d been prepared: She set my alarm clock to chime in at 5:00 a.m. This way she’d get a full night to deal with what was to happen.
The scene was the same with the highland moor and stone circle. The scent of rain and fresh air enveloped her as she looked about. The difference this time was the Three were not there. Cail searched for him, and she knew he would appear.
You sent them away, his voice floated in the soft breeze. It was Joey’s voice. But she knew he was not Joey.
“Yes,” Cail replied. She didn’t tell him how she had sent them away.
Now it is just you and me, he said.
“Isn’t that what you wanted?” I asked the false Joey.
Yes, he replied. I want you to myself.
Cail nodded. “I know.” Her skin suddenly felt soft caresses along the line of her elbow. He was there, ready to seduce. But, she had to do it. So, she turned around.
And, there he was, looking like a person he shouldn’t. He used Joey’s likeness to lure her in. A smile came over his face; those soft brown eyes crinkling at the corners, those long lashes curling at the corners as he smiled.
And he was naked. Those muscles rippled through that form, almost pulsing. His arms and legs were smooth, gleaming skin, his chest glowing. His cock was thick and hard, ready to conquer. And, indeed, the sight of his hot, heavy sex made hers go moist again. She almost lost it when she felt the wetness seep down out of her.
He was ready to plunge inside her, as evidenced by the bead of white on the tip of his cock.
She gulped, knowing she had to remind herself this was not the Joey she knew. “There you are,” she said, smiling. She hoped her voice didn't give her away.
His cool hand slid up under her t-shirt, to find and cup a breast. Then, the fingers trailed down her stomach to the waist of her panties. His finger curled into the leg and found her sex. It teased her folds, rubbed and explored.
I will always be here for you, he said with mock sincerity.
If Cail had not known this was Glanconner’s game, she’d have fallen for that line. In factit was all she could do to not give in to the fingers plunging in and out of her sweet spot. “Promise?” she asked.
Instead of answering her, he leaned in and touched her cheek with his lips. The sensations that followed were a rush and happened all at once. Chills went down her spine and gave me shivers. Goose pimples rose upon her skin as a longing overcame her. His mouth covered hers and he kissed her with fierce desire that brought a sense of wanting more than kisses. He knew he could get me if she’d let it go too far.
His hands pushed up her shirt, pulled -- no, tore -- her panties off, and she felt his cock seeking entrance between her legs. He lifted one of her legs up and thrust his hips toward her pussy, a loud grunt excaping his mouth.
She found herself clinging to him whether she wanted to or not. Okay, time to come out of this sexual euphoria and put an end to this. She brushed her cheek against his, his mouth trailing kisses along her neck and shoulder, all the while he sought entrance to her sex. She almost let him have her.
You belong with me. You are mine. Let me inside you. Let me fuck you, he said.
Even as he spoke these words, Cailleagh could feel herself sinking again into those inky depths of the dream from which she couldn’t climb out. She’d let it go too far, after she had told herself not to. She had to think clearly and stop herself from falling to his charms. Else she was going to be fucked... literally.
Thinking clearly, however, was not happening at the moment. Especially when the seduction turned physical, which it had. Her shirt went up over her head now, and his mouth found her breasts.
"Stop,” she protested weakly.
You want me, I know you do. Let me have you. he said.
“Yes,” Cail whispered, feeling herself fall back into those inky depths.
Then, she heard that distant bell again. Cail suddenly remembered what she supposed to do, thanks to her alarm clock. Is it 5:00 a.m. already?
Cailleagh concentrated on that sound, knowing it was to help should things get out of hand.
She clutched at him, pulling him closer. A chuckle came from him, the kind that said he’d won. He pushed that hot part of his body toward her, trying to get his cock inside her. And it almost did. The hot, wet tip of his penis nudged its way into her folds, rubbing against her clit.
Or so he thought.
Cail put her hand on his skin, at the base of his cock, stopping him, her fingers teasing just enough to keep him unaware. She leaned close to his ear. “Glanconner,” she whispered.
And, just like that, he suddenly became violent, throwing her aside. He still looked like Joey, but his lovely face was twisted into a strange visage of anger, disgust and hate. Cail looked at him as he threw the biggest tantrum she’d ever seen: he stomped his feet, screamed and cursed so foully that even hardened soldiers would blush.
Her eyes narrowed. “What?” she asked. “Do you think I am stupid? Did you think you could fool me? I am Finvarra’s daughter, I can’t be fooled.”
He glared at me. Bitch! How dare you?!
Cailleagh pointed at him. “You are not Joey, so stop wearing his face!” She felt like a fog had been lifted from her brain. “I know you and what you do. Go find another to play games with and leave me alone.” The alarm clock was getting louder: she was waking up. “And don’t wear Joey’s likeness again.”
Glanconner screamed again. In that scream was a rage that belied any reason. The foul words that came from his lips poured out non-stop, echoing long after he was gone.
And, then, she opened her eyes to look at the clock. 5:00 a.m.
Sweat poured off her body as she panted with relief. She reached for the phone and called her mother.
After talking to Moira, Cail trudged to the kitchen to make herself some tea, only to find a good-looking gentleman sitting at the table. Even seated she could tell he was tall, lithe. And the auburn hair hung loosely around his shoulders in shoulder length waves. A close cropped, auburn beard graced the ethereal face.
She nearly screamed at the sight of the man dressed in shimmering green robes and gold brocade. There was no mistaking who this was.
“Finvarra,” Cail said with a long-suffering sigh. After she calmed her heart, she glared at him.
“Cailleagh,” he said. “How you have grown!” That sentence was filled with pride, or his version of it.
As if he'd know! As if he cared!
Cail let out a snort,and raised an eyebrow. “Thanks to Moira,” she replied. “Why are you here?”
He nodded that dark, red head at me. “No getting past you, is there?”
He sighed. “I had hoped to convince you to come to the Realm myself. But I can see you are as stubborn as Moira.”
“And proud of it,” she added. “No. I am staying here.”
He smiled then. “I am impressed with how you handled The Three and Glanconner.”
“Wasn’t that difficult,” she said. “All I needed to do was give them names so that’d I’d have the power, Finvarra.”
He let the smile slide, knowing that his praises were not going to get him anywhere. He stood and walked toward her, eyes glittering. He kissed her forehead. “If you should ever change your—“
“I won’t,” she cut him off. “The next time you want something, don’t play games.”
He smiled again. “Indeed, I won’t.”
And then, he was gone.
That's suspicious. He let it go too easily.... Oh, great. That means he'll be back! Yay.
Cailleagh went back to making tea and then remembered that my coffee maker was broke.
Grumbling, she went to the phone and dialed a number.
The line on the other end rang three times before a masculine “Hello?” greeted her ear.
“Hey,” she said, sighing sadly.
“What’s wrong?” Joey asked, suddenly alert.
“My coffee pot is broken and I had a weird dream,” Cail grumbled. She could see those eyes in her mind crinkling at the corners as she heard his laughter. That alone lifted her spirits. “It’s not funny,” she protested. “I can’t live without my coffee pot!”
A chuckle sounded as he got his laughter under control. “No, I don’t suppose you can,” he said. She could hear thumping. “I'll be there in ten minutes,” he promised.
Ten minutes it was. She opened the door to find him standing there holding a coffee pot in his hands, a brand new one still in the box. His eyes twinkled with humor, eyebrow raised.
“Oh, funny,” Cail grinned.
“I thought so,” he said, kissing her cheek. “Actually, I have another, so this one is yours.”
She hugged him after he put it down. “Thank you,” she said returning the kiss on the cheek. “You weren’t asleep were you?”
“No,” he admitted.
She eyed him, taking in the sight of him. Oh, yes, this was the Joey she wanted. “Why?” I began opening the coffee pot.
“Why not?” she asked, running a finger over his face.
"I kept thinking about you.." he murmured, taking her hand.
"Well," she blushed. "I slept forabout five whole hours!"
He laughed then, coming to help her with the box and packaging. “At least one of us could.”
Then, he kissed her for the first time. The kiss was tentative at first, light, gentle, and full of warmth. His hands cupped her face as his lips brushed against her lips.
She kissed him back.