Alanna sat in the kitchen of Murphy’s pub, watching her cousin Aiden as he manned the bar. Her thoughts drifting back to the days before her Dad’s birthday party and the surprises they managed to keep secret.
She remembered how she walked from Chen Chi’s herbal shop to see Irena at Crystal vibrations. Her father’s birthday was in a week and she wanted to get him something special for this one. He was going to be thirty nine and she teased him repeatedly about how this one was going to be his last birthday. He would be thirty nine forever.
Pushing through the door, she listened to the bells jingle as she walked between the rows of raw crystals but shook her head. Nothing was speaking to her. Until she found herself at the very back of the store, and stood looking at the huge sheets of agate, cut in half inch slabs. Here was something her father could use. He was still looking for crystals that eliminated negative energy.
Ever since Fagan had invaded his house, and his wife to be, Blaire moved in, he used every tool he had to expel or absorb negative energy. The sheets of fire agate would work as an adjunct to the great clusters of black tourmalines he had scattered thorough out the house.
“Irena!” Alanna couldn’t keep the excitement from her voice.
“Yes dear,” Irena joined her in front of the display.
“Can those sheets be placed into frames?” Alanna point to a matched set of fire agates iridescent with orange and red and specks of emerald green.
“Of course, how soon do you need them?”
“I’m late getting to dad’s birthday present. I’ve got some money put aside, so if you can, April 13th, is that too short notice for you?”
“I’ll send them to Rogan O’Dell. If you can get Harry to move them, then it will work out even better.” Irena was one of her Grammie’s best friends.
“I’ll bring him in tomorrow, and we’ll do it. He can shift them home afterward and I won’t have to bother you.” Alanna dug into her pocket for her wallet. She had just enough saved to cover the price if she haggled a bit.
“If you go with a silver frame, I’ll let you have them for half off. They’ve been sitting back here for over a year.” Irena said.
“Done, I was going to talk you down anyway.” Alanna said as she walked to the front counter. “I’ll take those lapis lazuli earrings as well.”
“I have some blood stones at the back as well. When you have time come in and we’ll see if they vibrate for you.”
“I’d love to have more to wear when I’m healing. If they aren’t too big, maybe we can make a bracelet and ring out of them?” Alanna suggested.
“We’ll talk about it next time.” Irena pushed the transaction terminal toward her.
Alanna winced inwardly, half of her savings were going into this gift, but something told her it would be well worth it. Blaire was still anxious at times and would be until Honshu was behind bars. The assassin’s trial was still months away.
Gaia sighed, the jet streaking back across the Atlantic, taking them home to Billings. She thought back to the spring when they’d been deep in the bargaining process and the last minute decisions on how the purchase would proceed. In her mind she relived the tense week before Andrew’s birthday.
Harry drew a deep breath as he talked to the bank. In the end he and his wife decided to buy a Gulfstream 550 for Andrew’s birthday. They’d already rented a hangar at Billings airport and the final payment was due.
Gaia only heard one side of the conversation, and she understood why her mate was trying to calm himself down. It seemed the bank was trying to convince him to take a loan instead of buying cash. In the end, he told the bank representative, he’d get back to them and hung up.
“I’ll have to call Gloria and Blaire tomorrow morning. I think they might have a point. I need to consider the tax bill if we end up making a profit with the airplane. If we intend to let our entire family have use of it, at cost of maintenance and fuel, we might be wise to take out a loan.”
“We did put our affairs in their hands, my love. I’m not sure about the costs associated, but I am sure we’ll be over to Ireland often, and there are costs associated like landing fees, fuel and hangar space in Galway, or wherever else we might be landing.”
“Aye, and we’ll need to train Andrew and hire a second pilot to help. He’ll be using it to fly all over the states as well.”
“It’s exciting. Tomorrow, we’ll get that final check into the seller’s hands. We’ve had a thorough inspection done, and the jet we’ve chosen is in great shape. Brand new engines and a completely overhauled avionics package. I think it’s going to be fine.” Gaia said.
“It’s a big step, but I think we’ll be fine. I wonder what Andrew will say when we take him to see it on his birthday?”
Harry’s voice interrupted her thoughts.
“Are you happy with how things turned out?”
“Yes, love. I think we’ll be fine with the way things have turned out. Gloria will finish her degree in another year, Blaire will have the twins at Yule or very close to it.”
“Are we going to spend Yule in Montana?” Harry asked.
“Of course, we’ll send the jet to pick up Alanna and Cardamon. We’ll go over there for Imbolc in February. I want to have our rites at the old circle in Cork. I think the twins will be old enough to travel by then, and we’ll take everyone over, Gloria included.”
“Will Alanna have her answers by then?”
“I hope so. Her dreams are intense, and I’m sure there’s a message for her. I wonder if she’ll meet someone over there. Someone who will be there for her like you have been for me.”
In Montana, Andrew stopped at their mailbox as he turned into the driveway at the ranch. He pulled out the usual pile of flyers and a couple of magazines, and as usual, stuck his hand back into the box to be sure there wasn’t something at the bottom. His fingertips sensed an envelope, and he stepped out to double check when it didn’t slid out easily.
A thick packet, he pried it out gently. It felt like there was something stiff inside it. Looking at the postmark, he saw it was old, almost six years old.
What the hell? How had this been misplaced for so long. The postmark is from Florida, the town was close to the military base. Addressed to Alanna Quade? Who would be sending a ten year old girl a package like that? She’s in Ireland now. Do I peek and see who it was? I would have six years ago. Not now. I have to trust she’ll understand it was sent well in the past. I’ll get James to shift it to her, or maybe Harry can do it.
Andrew took the plain brown envelope and placed it on the passenger seat on top of all the flyers. He reminded himself to check the mailbox more frequently. It wasn’t often when they got anything important these days, but assuming wasn’t a good idea. Everyone living on the ranch got mail delivered to this box. Its clever design prevented anyone without the key from getting into it.
I’ll have to remind my sister to check it for us every day. The walk to the box would be good for her now that she was getting back into shape after the birth of her triplets. Blaire was getting on toward the end of her second trimester with the twins. I’ll talk it over with her first. I love her beyond life, I hope she doesn’t scare me like she did ever again.