Chapter Forty Eight
Nicnevan took a deep breath turning to face us, showing no emotion. “Aoife took my daughter and said I had to deliver…you.” She pointed at me. “If I give her you and the pendants, she will set my Marigold free. It’s a simple exchange really.” She shrugged.
I scoffed at her. “Simple? I can assure you it simply won’t be happening.” If I take on Aoife it will be on my terms, not hers.
“Bridey says you are losing your powers, hence why you have agreed to this…so called exchange, instead of fighting her. What happened to your entourage of Elves and Sprites?” Aunt asked keeping her temper at bay. Nicnevan narrowed her eyes at her daughter, that was the clue that at least the girl had told us the truth about her diminishing powers.
“You realise witch that there will be no exchange.” Aunt shook her head. Yep, I was with her on that one.
“You have been misinformed, my powers are as strong as they have ever been. As for my entourage they are currently…busy with more valid missions.” Nicnevan was lying it showed in her stance and her hesitation.
Aunt laughed. “You don’t fool anyone. If you were at your full power, you would be able to break the pentagram.” I swallowed hoping aunt was right and just allowing Nicnevan to believe she could escape if she was fully powered. Aunt widened her arms flaying them around the room. “If you had an entourage where are they? They would be here, protecting you.”
Nicnevan rolled her eyes. “So, what is it you want, why have you called me here if you are aware of all of this?”
“Question, why does Aoife want Morgan and the pendants? How has she obtained power she didn’t have before? I want to know where she got it from and who gave it to her.” Aunt said raising her brow.
The witch had to concede, she wasn’t leaving until aunt had her answers. “Alright, Aoife believes that the Tuatha blood merged with the half pendants would open the door to Tir na Nog and the travel pendant with the blood would send her there. As for her augmented powers she appropriated them from my entourage, they’re all dead.” Nicnevan didn’t look in the least concerned about her missing entourage.
It was our turn to widen our eyes. Aoife thought my blood was her way into Tir na Nog, the bitch. Her less than acceptable response to the loss of her entourage after being with them for centuries was cold, callous and downright heartless. Though by the way she was treating Bridey it shouldn’t really surprise me.
A noise suddenly burst through the slit of a window. A sound of swords and shouting. I ran to the window and could only just make out that Brollachans were attacking the castle.
I wasn’t too worried as the men were all prepared for an attack. Haig had over two hundred men ready at the wait. I returned to stand beside my aunt.
“Yes, the men have it under control.” I replied to the widening eyes of Nicnevan. It wasn’t hard to conceive that the witch assumed we would be caught unawares by the attacking Brollachans, how so wrong she was. “I think though we need to wrap this up.”
“I quite agree.” Aunt unfolded her arms. “Right now, this is how it will go. We will rescue your daughter Marigold, and it will not be done by exchanging my niece and the pendants. Once your daughter is returned…” Aunt moved a step closer to the edge of the salt line, her mouth set in a hard line. “You will never set foot here or anywhere my family resides, or send anyone to interfere with my family again. Nicnevan gasped.
“If you do.” Aunt continued. “I will make sure you spend the rest of eternity in the fires of Hell. Do I make myself clear?”
“Why…why would you do this? What is it you want in return, as payment?” It would seem Nicnevan was clearly shaken by the fact that we would save her daughter after what she had done, or tried to do. What she didn’t realise was that this wasn’t just about saving her daughter, it was about ending Aoife, by my terms, and my hand.
I leaned across to aunt and whispered in her ear. She gave me a disbelieving frown. “Morgan are you sure?” I nodded. “I hope you know what your doing.” So did I.
Aunt gave me a side glance waiting for a nod before turning back to the witch. “We will get your daughter back, but you will leave Bridey with us. You will not contact her from this day forth. That is the only payment we want from you.”
If I thought Nicnevan was surprised it was nothing compared to the look on Bridey’s face.
“What do you want with Bridey, she’s useless, not fit for anything. Still if that is your payment then by all means take the girl, she’s no loss to me.” She said giving her daughter a disgusted side glance. Now that is just sad, no mother should treat her daughter with such contempt and disregard.
I stepped forward as aunt had done to the edge of the salt line. “Bridey I don’t believe your mother deserves you. Has she always treated you this way?” The girl nodded miserably. “Then I think it is time that you parted ways and found yourself a new and better life, where you can gain respect and acceptance.” Her mother humphed. “If you wish to stay with your mother, we won’t stop you.”
“You would do this for me…after what I did?” For the first time tears ran down Bridey’s cheek. Real tears this time.
“Yes Bridey, I would, if you are willing to give it a go, work hard and do the right thing.” The girl nodded. Her mother rolled her eyes, just as I expected.
Aunt gave me a nod before turning back to the witch and her daughter. “Bridey would you care to send your mother back to where she came from?”
The girl straightened, her submissiveness taking a back seat, the first time I had seen her do this since her mother arrived.
“Goodbye mother.” Bridey said in a clear voice, before saying the words to send her back, quite a few words less than it took to bring her here. Her mother stuck her nose in the air and flipped her hand in the air as if she was some bloody queen waving off a peasant. Good riddance.
Once Nicnevan was gone, aunt put all the candles out and used her foot to break the salt line.
“You may come out now Bridey.” The girl shuffled forward. “I will take the beryl sphere.” She said holding her hand out. Bridey didn’t hesitate to put it in her hand.
“Bridey.” The girl turned to me. “How do you feel about not seeing your mother again?” I probably didn’t need to ask with what had happened, and how her mother had spoken to her in the centre of the pentagram, but I wanted to be absolutely sure I had made the right decision.
“I…I am happy I don’t have tae see her again. She has always hated me.” The sadness on the girl’s face was heartbreaking, how could a mother hate her own child.
Bridey twisted the fabric of her cloak, I had seen her do this more times than not. She turned to Ula. “Does this mean…I get tae sleep in a bed like the one at yer house?” Aunt was taken back by that, I didn’t realise and don’t think she did either that when Bridey had mentioned she was willing to sleep on the floor of the hay house, she was used to it.
Aunt put her hand on Bridey’s shoulder. “Bridey did you not have a bed a home?” the girl shook her head.
“No…my bed…was a blanket on the floor.” Bridey was back to scanning her feet.
I knew it, I should have punched Nicnevan right in the fucking throat before she left.
“Well you will have a bed for sure. So how about we go downstairs and have some tea.” Aunt said with a smile. Tea fixes everything, try and convince aunt Ula it doesn’t, ha.