Regent & Duke
When the candlelight goes out
soon will he be leaving?” Kelson asked Carolyn pointing with his chin
towards a nervous Matt.
“I thought you said you didn’t want know about this stuff?” she countered.
“In this case, I do need to know, if I am going to find a replacement for him,” he said leaning back against the countertop in the small kitchen of the Rampart Lion.
“Good point,” she said with a smile,” it should be one or two days.”
“Speaking of days,” Kelson said looking at his watch,” how soon is this person coming?”
As if on cue the door to bathroom, where the Transfer Portal was located at the rear of the kitchen, opened to reveal…
“Jessie!” Kelson exclaimed
“Surprised?” Carolyn said with a slight smirk.
“Very, “a stunned Kelson said.
“It is good to see you Jessie, “Kelson said coming forward to give her a hug,” I knew you were Deryni, but had no idea you had the ability to block powers.”
“Afraid so, “she replied with a smile.
“My how you’ve grown,” she said standing back a little to look up at him.
“As much as I would like to be young forever,” he said,” we all do get older.”
“Speak for yourself, “Carolyn said from behind them.
“Well I hate to cut this reunion short,” Kelson said glancing at Jessie with a smile, “but we had better get going.”
“Before, you go. I have really dumb question for you,” Carolyn said as she followed behind them.
“And that is?”
“Won’t it seem kind of funny when someone comes out of what should be an empty house?”
“That is taken care of,” Kelson said turning slightly as they reached the doorway,” I have a couple of friends staying at my home in Iowa for a couple of days, so that the neighbors won’t become suspicious when two people suddenly leave.”
“We shouldn’t be all that long though,” he said stepping on to the Transfer portal and feeling its familiar tingle under his feet,” maybe an hour at the most.”
After Jessie had moved to stand beside him, he placed his arm around her shoulder with his hand resting at her throat feeling for her carotid pulse.
“Ready?” he asked.
“Ready as ever be,” she replied lowering her shields.
“We’ll be backing shortly, Carolyn,” he said feeling the sudden sense of vertigo as he triggered the Transfer Portal.
Appearing at their destination Kelson cupped his hand and a Handfire appeared.
“Where are we?” Jessie asked squinting to see in the dark.
“In a small chapel hidden just behind the basement,” he said stepping towards a candle stand right next to the portal.
Passing his hand over the candle igniting the wick, he then dispelled his Handfire.
“You said some friends are staying here, do they know about you?” she asked as they made their way across to the opposite side of the room.
“They some idea what I can do, but not a whole lot,” he said passing his hand over a section of the wall, when a darkened square then appeared , just big enough for one person , he stepped through.
“Its about time you showed up,” Dean said as Kelson and Jessie ascended the basement stairs,” I was beginning to think you forgot.”
“I didn’t forget,” Kelson said as he reached the top,” I just wanted to make sure it was late enough so that the neighbors won’t see that it’s me.”
“Well it looks like it is late enough to me,” Dean said taking a quick glance at the night sky through the window by the door.
“What time is it anyway?” Kelson asked.
“About nine,” Dean replied as a beautiful dark hair woman came around the corner.
“Hello, Cyd,” Kelson said ,” it’s been awhile.”
“Hello, Kelson,” she said with a smile as he gave her quick hug.
“Dean, Cyd. This is Jessie,” Kelson said introducing her,” she used to be my grandfather’s household chamberlain.”
“Nice to meet both of you,” Jessie said after receiving a handshake from Dean and a hug from Cyd.
“Everything ready?” Kelson asked as her began to make his way down a long hallway to the right of the front door.
“Yep,” Dean replied as he and Cyd followed behind Kelson and Jessie,” the car is all gassed up ready to go.”
“Dare I ask what you two are going to do while we are gone?” Kelson asked with a mischievous smile on his face as he opened the door to the garage.
“Get your mind out of the gutter, Kelson,” Dean said placing his arm around Cyd,” since you must know we are going to do some wedding planning.”
“It’s about time,” Kelson said as Jessie preceded him into the garage,” we shouldn’t be to long.”
After the door had closed behind them, Cyd looked up at her future husband and asked,” Do you have any idea what he is going to do?”
“Yeah, I have some idea,” he said absently staring at the closed garage door.
“I’ll have to explain it to you sometime,” he said kissing her forehead,” once you get used to seeing him do the things he does.”
“They seem like a nice couple,” Jessie said as Kelson steered the car down the dark street.
“They are,” Kelson said stopping the car at a stop sign.
“So long will it take to get there?” she asked as Kelson made the turn on to the main road.
“Less than five minutes,” Kelson said, glancing at her briefly he returned his attention to road ahead.
“So what have you been up to all these years?” Kelson asked as they stopped at a stop light.
“After your grandfather abdicated in favor of your uncle, he asked me stay on as his chamberlain,” she paused,” and I fear I am going to continue on doing so. Your cousin Pauline has also asked me to stay on as well.”
“No rest for the wicked, huh?” Kelson asked with a smile.
Jess was quite for a second then said,” and on that thought Carolyn told me about your suspicions about your brother.”
“I hope I am wrong about it though,” he sighed braking going down a steep hill.
“Well I will certainly keep an eye on him,” she said,” and let Carolyn know if he does anything that is questionable.”
“Thanks,” he said.
** I do hope am wrong though** he thought.
Finding secure hiding spot for the car near the darkened nursing home was easy, as was ensuring that they were not disturbed by the staff. After making the necessary adjustments to the memory of the nurse on duty they began walking down a dimly lit hallway towards Kelson’s grandfather’s room.
“Does he have his own room?” Jessie whispered.
Kelson waited to answer as they passed a room where the television was playing loudly, after being a sufficient distance from the room he whispered,” yes , it is one of the perks of being the former Duke of Cassan.”
Coming to the end of the hallway they stopped in front of a door with a sign on the door, ‘Alexander McClain’.
Seeing the door was slightly ajar Kelson pushed the door rest of the way open, it glided soundlessly, much to their relief, to reveal a reading lamp brightly shining onto a sleeping figure a book discarded at his side.
They moved towards the bed making every effort not to make any noise.
As Kelson stopped at the edge of the bed, he whispered,” he looks so peaceful.”
His grandfather began to stir.
“Damn,” Kelson said,” I forgot how good his hearing is.”
At the sound of Kelson’s voice his grandfather was suddenly awake.
“Who are you?” Alexander asked with his surprisingly strong shields coming slamming down,”What are you doing here?”
“I…,” Kelson started to say as he started to back away from the edge of the bed.
“Tell me who you are before I call the…,”Alexander said starting to sit up stopping in mid sentence upon seeing Jessie.
“Jessie is that you?” Alexander asked smiling; suddenly forgetting Kelson was even there.
“Yes, you’re Grace,” she said coming towards the bed, allowing Kelson to back away to close the door.
“Don’t call me Your Grace,” he said as she came to sit on the edge of the bed,” I haven’t been called that in a couple of years. Katherine will be so glad to see you.”
“I know she will,” she said.
And as she grasped his hand in greeting she quested forth with her mind, finding the right point just behind his shields, and it was done.
In the small chapel , hidden in the basement , of Alexander McClain’s former home, the tall candle next to the Transfer portal began to flicker. Slowly the flame began to recede, then finally extinguishing . The smoke curled up unseen towards the ceiling in the darkness.
After taking several moments to make adjustments to his disease ridden memory, Jessie stood and made her way towards Kelson.
“You were right to be concerned, Kelson,” she whispered,” he still had some very strong shields, and if he were to be probed by another Deryni who knows what kind of reaction he would have had.”
“Are all you alright?” she asked noticing Kelson very quite and staring at his grandfather’s sleeping form.
“No,” he said quietly.
“Do you want to talk about it?” she asked.
“No,” he said opening the door, “let’s get going.”
After a quite ride back to the house they entered the now dark chapel underneath the house.
“Now do you want tell me about it?” Jessie asked as Kelson focused on the candle across the room, igniting it.
“I suppose,” he said moving towards the transfer portal,” I was hoping that at least he would have remembered me.”
“But that is was to be expected from Alzheimer’s,” he said as Jessie took her position next to him on the Portal,” remembering someone they haven’t seen in years while forgetting about someone they’ve seen all the time.”
“I am sorry, Kelson, I can’t imagine how disappointing that was for you,” Jessie said as he put her arm around her.
** I wonder why the candle went out. ** Jessie wondered as Kelson triggered the portal and felt the sense of vertigo.
After seeing that Jessie had departed safely, Kelson and Matt exited the Rampart Lion, with Kelson stopping just outside the door to light a cigarette.
“Did you know we are being watched?” Kelson whispered taking a puff.
“Yes,”Matt said not looking directly at a darkened alleyway just to the right of the building across the street from the Rampart Lion,” I spotted him just after you left. I didn’t think it was a good idea to investigate to see who it was, in case something was to happen here.”
“Smart idea Matt,” Kelson said,” I wouldn’t want you in confrontation here by yourself.”
From his hiding spot across from the pub, Anthony von Furstan watched as Kelson Haldane and his bodyguard began to walk up the darkened street.
As they were passing his hiding spot, Kelson looked directly at his spot and gave a little wave and continued on.
** Damn it** he thought.
“You are getting sloppy,” Alroy Haldane was saying as he entered his room in castle Laas.
As Alroy turned the light on near the bed, Anthony von Furstan closed the door and began to shift from his female alter ego to his true form.
“I am sorry about that,”he said,” it won’t happen again.”
“You could have jeopardized a great deal,” Alroy said chiding Tony,” just to see my brother come out of pub. Other than to see that he might have drinking problem, you didn’t see a whole lot tonight did you?”
“Perhaps,” Alroy said as sat on the bed and began to take off his shoes,” you should return to Carthmoor and find a good place to hide for awhile. At least till things cool down a bit, my brother is up to something I just don’t know what it is yet.”
“I will,” Tony said beginning to shape change into his female form, “you can reach me through my father. Let me know if you find out anything.”
After Tony had left Alroy sat on the edge of his bed and thought, ** What are you up to Kelson?**