For the Scottish lassie, Miss Lori P, who is missing Pamela.
“I thank you,” Wallace said taking Pamela’s hand, “for sharing with me your time on The River Walk here in San Antonio, Texas. But now, with your permission, if I might be your escort to a slightly different River Walk.”
“Scotland,” Pamela said as she took a whiff and a look around. “There is no mistaking the smell of the vegetation and the moisture in the air. The architecture could be anyplace in the Old World. But you can not disguise the smell.”
“Yes,” Wallace brought her hand to his lips for a kiss.
“I hate it when you become serious,” her eyes were watching him closely.
“While in Texas, I have been very good,” he smiled. “It has all been light banter and shopping and me admiring what you were wearing or not wearing. That was most enjoyable.
Scotland is also. I love it here,” he smiled. “The Scottish sky always tells you what it is thinking.
Unlike the sky in the New World. You can have a bright sunny day that ends in tornadoes and catastrophe.
Here, you build a bridge and three hundred years later it is still standing. And there are several bridges I would like to cross with you, today.”
“Bridges,” Pam looked him in the eyes and sighed. “Are these physical, theoretical, supernatural, spiritual or perhaps, bridges of the imagination?”
“Now, now,” he smiled, “they are possibly all that you mentioned. But there are also,” his voice was soft and sweet, “bridges that connect one person to another.”
Pam made a face at him.
“Please,” he took her hand, his smile back. “walk with me. I would like to share with you some time on my version of The River Walk.
I want to introduce you to Perth. We will walk here a bit along the river, buy a couple of beers and I will show you one or two churchyards that I am buried in. We shall toast my demise through the centuries. I shall tell you charming stories about my time and continue our journey in a most pleasant manner.”
“Wallace,” she stomped her foot. “We are having such a good time. You know I do not do serious. Good times Wallace, we are having good times. Why,” she lowered her voice, “why would you do that and spoil it?”
“Because,” he was Mr. Serious, again. “You need to understand about my past if we are to move forward into the future.
I love you Pamela. I feel my heart slipping away from me. I have learned a valuable lesson from the Were, du Lac. His first love in this life held sway over him for many years and there was no love in return. I do not wish to be your thrall, but I fear I am already.”
“I, I can not be your first love,” she said to him. “I refuse to be your first love,” she said with conviction.
“I admire your stubbornness,” he chuckled. “But you can not change my past or the way of my heart. You are my first love.”
“You suck,” she snipped at him.
“I know,” he said gently.
Hand in hand they strolled the city of Perth. Wallace spoke of the times he had lived here and was able to point out one or two buildings that stood where he had conducted business.
“I like Scotland,” he said as they stood listening to the bells chime from the church tower. “I always have. My mother, as well. She is the one who first brought me here.”
“Your mother…?” Pam’s voice was hesitant.
“One or two other places that I want you to see first, then,” he kissed her on the nose, “then more talk of my mother.”
When Pam looked around, she knew that they had popped out of Perth and were now someplace, else.
“I smell Edinburgh,” Pam said.
“Yes, it is to the West of us. But before us,” he made a grand sweeping gesture, “at one time, this was home as well. True, it was a bit more glamorous with a roof and doors, but you can see its fine lines,” he smiled.
“Yes,” she arched an eyebrow at him. “I am sure you and your wife and multiple children were all very happy.”
“No to the wife and children. I lived here with my mother.
My mother,” he began, “she is what you would call a witch. And perhaps even those in Fae would call her a witch.”
“But the fae are already magic,” Pam said. “You could all be called witches.”
Wallace considered the on going conversation, carefully. A garden setting was needed. Something to calm and soothe. Time to change up the scenery a bit. “Yes,” he responded, “but there is always someone who thinks they can improve upon the system. By adding a word or a phrase to help your magic along. My mother is one such person.
She is, perhaps, the person in Fae who introduced what you would call spells and we would call poetry.”
“Are you fucking kidding me?” came out of Pamela’s mouth without thought.
Wallace let go of an internal sigh. So much for the garden they were strolling, across.
“Now,” he smiled, “there is the honest reaction I was hoping to see. And no,” he shook his head and winked, “I am not fucking kidding you.
Please keep in mind that King Evan wrote Queen Sookie love poetry wrapped in prophecy. King Evan, that would be your maker, Eric,” he stressed.
Pam glared at him.
“My mother, is the First Witch of Fae,” he continued on. “And those that call themselves witch here on this realm, patterned themselves, after her.”
“Are?” Pam was thinking this through. “Are you a wizard?”
“No,” he laughed. “I am not. I am Wallace and my mother is called Stirling.”
“As in Stirling, the town of, as in William Wallace?” She arched an eyebrow at him, “Stirling?”
“I was not William Wallace but my name Wallace, began here and so it spread to those with male children. And Stirling, that is where we are headed, next.
But might I interest you in lunch, first?” he offered her his arm.
“Ahhh,” she looked a little bewildered. “Here?” Then a naughty smiled covered her lips as her eyes went down to his crotch.
“You are a wicked thing,” he smiled at her, showing a little fang. “Up the road is a lovely place to eat. It is called The Castle. They have lodging and a very nice restaurant. I bet they have room for us at their table.”
Pamela had happily helped him drink the Guinness. They had ordered another when he told her what they were having for lunch.
“Haggis,” she said for the tenth time as she had another drink. “I have had haggis. That does not look like haggis.”
“Well of course it is haggis,” he smiled. “It is made in the fashion of my castle, complete with moat, before it was destroyed by wars and weather and just pillaging in general.”
“I did not care for haggis when I was a breather,” she gave the dish another offending look. “I do not know if I care for it now.”
“It is,” he assured her, “most delicious. Please my princess, a bite.”
“You are being very charmin’”, Pam drawled. “And even I will admit I am havin’ a good time. Where is all this headin’?”
Well, the time had arrived. “I want you to meet my mother,” he said.
“Do what?” seeped out of Pam’s mouth. Her eyes and her voice both echoing her disbelief.
“Barkeep,” he called out, “whisky. Bring the bottle.”
They had gotten through lunch with small talk and Scotch and were now back outside sitting in the garden that they had walked through earlier.
Pam had watched to see where he sat the bottle.
“My mother’s name is Stirling,” he said as he sat down and leaned against the tree, patting his lap.
Pamela stood there, looking at him. “I can not do this, Wallace. I can not. I was a madam in a whorehouse before I slit my own wrists and Eric could either have let me bleed out or turn me, like I had begged him to do.
His sister, Nora, always referred to me as that fucking whore that you turned. I did not know who she was when he would talk to her on the phone, but there was no missing the compliments she paid me.”
Wallace’s voice was tinged with heat. “And Nora is no more, dead at the hands of her maker and yet you still stand,” he said with a smile and pride. “See, you yet stand. Please sit on my lap…and if not there, at least next to me.”
“Is the ground wet?” she grumbled.
“Just a bit. Just a tiny bit. Enough to soak through your pants and get your knickers damp.”
“You don’t wear knickers, you free balling bastard,” she gave him the evil eye.
“Right, my princess, about so many things. Wrong though,” he smiled, “about others.
I have,” he wiggled his eye brows at her, “the rest of the bottle and a hard on.”
“Well, if you insist,” she plastered on a fake smile and sat down with a thud on his lap. “I hope that hurt,” she hissed.
Laughing, he cupped her ass and squeezed and then settled in with his back against the tree.
“My mother, since anyone can remember, has always been a law unto herself.
Stop me,” he eyed her, “when this sounds remotely like annnnny one you know.”
“You are not that charmin’ or that funny,” she said, picking up the bottle off the ground and having a drink.
Winking at her, he continued on with his story. “Stirling is not only a great witch, but also a great warrior. She is fearless in battle. She is perhaps, not so fearless in matters of the heart.” His index finger traced patterns on the back of her hand.
Their eyes met.
“Who was your father?” Pam asked.
“Ohhhh,” he smiled, “that is where it gets interesting.
After Mab drained Suibhne, the battle lines had been permanently drawn, regardless of what anyone says or how the histories read. That was an act that was either right or wrong, there was no in-between.
OI’s mate had bonded to Mab’s sister. When the Scimitar cut Mab’s insane sister’s throat, the insanity took OI’s beloved. OI stayed by her side the entire time.
The madness that can take a dragon, is like your Alzheimer’s. At times they do not remember who they are or what they are. Multiple that times their power and strength. My mother made potions to help ease her passing into The Light. On one condition.
Stirling was most specific,” his face and his voice became very somber. “As soon as OI’s mate passed, OI would lie with my mother and give her a child.”
“What?” Pam was no longer watching the clouds but her eyes were riveted on him.
“I was perhaps, not conceived in love, but I was wanted. By both.
To preface all this, my mother told OI that she would have dreams about me when King Evan and Queen Sookie were still alive.
OI told her that he dreamed of a fair haired non dragon child that would call him Father. So the deal was struck. I am the only one born to him not of the dragon form. I can not shift, to any form.
Which, turns out was for the best. When Mab started destroying Halflings, more than once her eyes turned to me. Her court believed that I was human Halfling, since my mother spent so much time, here. But I reeked of Fae so it could not be proven one way or the other.”
“So when you went to speak to OI about us dragon riding after The Were’s Folly…” her voice was soft.
“I knew he would find a way,” he smiled as he kissed her hand. “I just did not know what path he would take.”
Her fingers lingered in his braids.
“Do not think me sweet,” his voice was serious. “Pamela, you and I, we do a regular blood exchange. You sit here in the sunlight. You eat and drink outside The Realm. I am half Stirling and I am half OI. Dragon’s blood. Direct descendent of the oldest living dragon’s blood. You have seen what it can do. We…and I do mean Father and I, we have no idea what it is going to do to you, what it has done to you, what it is has already laid the ground work for.
As our King Eric is so found of saying, Vampire is just a watered down version of Fae. What happens when you are no longer as watered down?”
They both sat there until the clouds moved back in and light rain drops found their ways down the tree leaves and onto them.
“Why do you think your mother will like me?” she asked.
“Besides the witchery, she is a great warrior and protects those that she calls her own. She does so in a way that is fierce and deadly.
With Mab, everyone in court was suspect…everyone was a traitor. Even my charming self,” he said in mock dismay. “I know how hard that is for you to believe,” he chuckled.
“I was required at court so that Mab had enough leverage to keep my mother in check. From time to time I would meet OI and tell him anything of interest I had heard.
One faithless evening, I still do not believe I was followed, I think it was just all bad timing…” he said with conviction. “There was a traitor out in the woods having a meeting and spotted me, as I waded in a pool of water in Baile.
They jumped me, and thought to drown me in the pool. That is when Father showed up with his intent to rescue me. More warriors were called, as well as dragons.
OI did nothing during the wars to endear himself to anyone. Many wanted to claim that they brought him into The Light.
When the Claymores showed up, so did my mother, her intent to rescue both of us. And she did. The stories about her will tell you that she slew two Claymores. She killed six,” his voice was low and his eyes steady as he looked into hers. “With a murderous rage and a dragon’s tooth sword, she flew into battle. She slit throats and hacked off limbs. It was a blood bath.
Between her and OI, that night they destroyed an entire dragoon of dragons. From the Scimitars all the way through the ranks to the Claymores. OI torched everything to ash and then mother called for the wind and blew all the ash, away.”
“What does she do now?” Pamela asked.
“She owns a pub. The Traitor’s Gate,” he laughed. “That is where we are headed if you do not object.” When he got no response he continued on. “We’ll take it slow. Make a few stops along the way.
I can tell you all about the history of Stirling. Sometimes, I grew up there.”
Pam was now standing in a different part of Scotland. The smell was more bucolic and less urban.
“Now that the showers have pushed through, it is a beautiful day,” Pam said as she looked up at the tower.
“There have been many beautiful days through the area’s history,” he replied. “War, though, does not stop for the weather. And William Wallace did not stop for the English. So the Scots erected this tower in his honor. He was fierce, loyal and true.”
“Oh and look,” Pamela smiled, the seriousness in his voice speaking that perhaps he had known the man, personally. She fucking hated it when he was this serious. “He has provided us with coffee, toilets, and souvenirs as well.”
“Aye, lass,” he winked at her. “I will let you pay in the coin of the realm and we shall stroll the grounds and climb the steps with me behind you so that I may enjoy your fine ass.”
William Wallace, Pam had to agree with every Scot that was at the shrine, today, was a “A true Scottish man! With moral and fiber and courage and a will for freedom!”
“I know you are moral, have fiber and courage,” Wallace said to her as they left, “what says your will for freedom?”
When there was no answer he simply said, “Next stop, behind my mother’s pub.”
Popping them into Stirling, behind his mother’s bar was a much nicer area than what had been behind Fangtasia. Fangtasia….that seemed like a life time of simply marking time, ago. She ran her hands across the lavender.
“What do you see when you look at me?” she asked.
“Do you mean do I see children?” He shook his head, no. “I am not legally bound as your mate. I can not see our children. I do however, see a beautiful woman full of grace and love.”
Pam knew bullshit when she heard it. “Then, let me rephrase that question. What does OI see when he looks at me?”
“My Pamela, do you want to know?”
“Yes,” she said.
“He sees his grandchildren, little girls, who look just like their mother.”
She stopped walking and wrapped her arms around her self. “I can not do this,” she sobbed.
“All right then,” he replied, taking her in his arms. “Then you will not.”
He could hear those behind him in the beer garden, ordering drinks. Pamela was wrapped in his arms, with his back to them. She could weep all she wanted, no one would know.
The grief he felt from her broke his heart. So much of her past had been so wrong. But she had endured and overcome. Her inner strength matched that of her beauty. Flawless. Whatever she decided, he would stand by that decision.
When she righted herself, she looked around and noted the open doors. “Your mother brews?” she asked, to change the subject and give herself more time.
“Yes,” he replied with a grin.
Pam’s eyes went to the lavender. “The Death from Above is a beautiful purple color,” she commented.
“That might be perhaps,” he wiggled his eyebrows, “the secret ingredient, known only to OI and perhaps one or two or now three, others. This type of lavender is not grown in Fae.”
Pamela ran her hand across the top of the flowering heads and sniffed. Wallace was right. The sky here did tell you what it had on its mind.
“Is your mother here?” she asked.
“Yes,” he responded. “Inside, seeing to the afternoon crowd.”
“Our daughters never ever get to date,” she said, dabbing at her eyes.
He thought he just might explode…..! Would not do to burst into tears and song and dance her around the universe. That would come later!
“I mean that,” she growled at him. “Any male comes sniffing around, I get to kill him first. Then, maybe I’ll let you kill him. Then I’ll turn them over to Eric and let him kill them. And then OI, he can turn them to ash. And your mother, she can curse the ashes so that he will never again get a hard on or want a female.”
“Agreed,” he bowed his head, his voice just as serious. Fuck, it would be a joy to kill any male who thought to even look at their daughters!
Taking his hand she leaned in and ran her face across his chest. “What if your mother does not like me?”
“She loves you,” he smiled.
“Have you been talking to her about me?” she said raising her face to his laughing eyes.
“Yes,” he responded.
“You rat bastard,” she sniffled. “This really is all about you.”
“Yes, my princess,” he grinned as he felt up her ass, “it really is.”
“Pamela!” she heard her name shouted in joy coming through a window. “Welcome daughter! The rain has started again and that great hulking oaf of a son has you standing outside in it. Does he not understand something so sweet can melt right through his fingers?
Wallace, bring that beautiful killing machine in here right this minute! I’d be out there to hug on her but I have to over see this arm wrestlin’ contest. If you two hurry on in, it is not to late to place a bet.
Son, be takin’ your hand off her ass so she can walk faster.”
“Why Mother Stirling,” Pam called back and then eyeing Wallace, batted his hand, away. “I want one hundred on the one with the most tattoos!”
“Greggy,” the cheer went up. “That’s a hundred on yah, sight unseen. Flex that naked lady on your arm and let that pretty lass win some money!”
Wallace watched as his future bride went scurrying inside.
“Good times,” he chuckled as the cheer went up and the crowd started chanting,
“Killing Machine, Killing Machine, Killing Machine.”
“Good times,” he laughed as he followed his beloved inside to meet his mother.
The resemblance was not lost on Pamela. Small, blonde, blue-eyed, petite woman who ran a clean bar and took no bullshit. It was with a matter of pride when she would throw the brawling drunks out into the street, herself. If she chipped a nail, she told Pamela, “I charge them for the manni when they come back in.”
Smart dresser, killer shoes, and had some very nice jewelry. Pam was betting it was gifts from OI.
Sitting behind the bar was a family photo. They were all three standing. Son, mother in the middle, and that old, rough, but handsome looking man with the beard and braids had to be OI.
Father and son. Yes, you could see the resemblance in the face and the body. Both tall, heavily muscled men that carried a quiet strength and purpose with them.
The evening had been comforting. It was odd, she did not have that feeling unless she felt Eric was around somewhere.
Wallace helped his mother behind the bar, washing glasses and pouring up drinks and having a pint or two when he thought she was not looking.
Pam was the honored guest.
“No, we’ll not have yah a workin’ until you lose your mind and all good reason and actually marry the big oaf,” Stirling said.
Turning around she pinched her boy. “Leaving that sweet thing out there in the rain in those gorgeous Jimmy’s…what were yah a’ thinkin’?” and she pinched him again. “You should be a fearin’ for your life. You should just be grateful that yah still live and walk the earth. Those are this year’s, just off the runway.”
She poured up another pint and handed it to Pamela.
“I have done the best I could,” she sighed. “Big oaf,” she sighed again. “Would not know a designer anything from a blue light special.”
Both women rolled their eyes.
“I do not mean to be a pushin’ yah, my lovely. But there are times when he sorely vexes me. It would be a blessin’ to my old heart if he could be sorely vexin’ someone else.”
Grinning, he wiggled his eyebrows and nodded his head, yes.
Pam started laughing then became serious. “Mother Stirling, I think I love him.”
“Well, just bless your heart then lassie, cause my boy, he’s part dragon. Perhaps a very important part. And that is one part you won’t be seein’ until you desire his child.”
“Really?” Pam’s eyes traveled down Wallace’s body. “He is…well…so well hung already.”
Stirling started laughing. “Just wait until after he is completely unsheathed…!”
“Woof,” Pam smiled. “Good times!”