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   Chapter 44 Keeper of the Crossroads

Keeper of the Crossroads By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 13167

Updated: 2018-03-13 11:13


Chapter 44

"Very strange stuff, " Jamie muttered to himself as he walked through the family parlor. He stepped into the hallway and was surprised to see a stack of books waiting on the hall table beside the brass calling card holder. Frowning, he reached for them. He picked up the top one off the stack.

The cover was leather but it was showing no signs of age. The leather was smooth satin beneath his fingertips and the bold black letters of the title seemed burned into the leather like a brand rather than something typeset. He recognized the title as being one of the books he ordered. Jamie looked at the next one down on the stack and realized it too was on his list.

"I suppose the books were just delivered, " Jamie said. He wondered if Del had brought them in or if someone else had placed them there. He knew that House whisked calling cards that had been slipped under the door into the brass holder, but the books looked a little heavy to do any whisking. "House, " Jamie asked.

"Yes Keeper?"

"How did these books get here?"

"You ordered them."

"Does all mail come here?" he asked with a frown.

"Yes Keeper."

"I see. Thank you." Jamie picked up the stack. Apparently the coat rack and calling card holder was also a large scale mail box. "I wonder if it is on the fed ex approved list or if it is viewed as a post office box, " Jamie mused as he took his stack of books up the stairs and into the study. He placed them on the edge of the desk and sat down. Jamie glanced at the wall clock as he took his notebook out of the drawer.

He had about two hours before his meeting with the representative of the Federan. He assumed the representative would be Terrell. Terrell would have one hour to explain his case and then he would leave. The representative of the Gederan would then have one hour to explain his version. He looked at his closed notebook and thought about both his dreams and the vision in the basement. Jamie reached for his journal, opened it to the next blank page and described the event for the record.

"Terrell seemed to be pushing for allowing both the Gederan and the Federan to use the space and the Keeper at the time seemed inclined to think that they had agreed to work together for a common cause." Jamie wrote. "Having met Terrell, I find myself agreeing with the statement that Terrell would not willingly share power." Jamie tapped the pen on the page, carefully avoiding the still wet ink. He stopped and drew a line down the center of the page. One side he titled, things I know and the other he titled things I need to know before making a decision.

"I know the Lune Merdos is a rite that raises power." He added that to the things he knew column. Across from it he began to list questions.

"How much power would be first, I suppose, " he wrote down although he was not really certain he needed to know that. "Even a small lever can move a mountain, " he said aloud, repeating Albe's favorite phrase.

"So I guess I would need to know what the power would be used for and what effect that would have. It would also be nice to know if there were different powers for the daytime version of the rite then there wore for the nighttime one and what combining them would do."

Jamie frowned. From Albe's lessons and what he had learned so far, the job of the Keeper seemed to involve arbitrating disputes. "If one group can conduct the rite at night and one during the day then there is no dispute, as they aren't using it at the same time. Yet they were still trying to get the Keeper to make a decision."

Jamie thought about the scene in the basement. "What agreement was the Keeper talking about?" He wrote down the question. There were other questions, but Jamie pushed them away for later. He put his pen down and set the notebook to the side, leaving it open so the ink could dry rather than because he had more notes to add. He reached for th

his features. Somehow Jamie had the feeling that the power from the Lune Merdos rite had gone into the destruction. It seemed to be a recurring thought.

"Was it?" Terrell asked. "I'm afraid I wouldn't know. I tend not to keep track of things of that nature as I rarely have need to visit the Keeper and am not privy to the council of the Gederan."

"But you had visited him shortly before, just after the big ice storm, to ask about his decision regarding the Lune Merdos." Jamie kept it as a flat statement, refusing to make it a question.

"I suppose I must have. Amazing how you forget these things." Terrell leaned back in his chair as though remembering. "Ah yes, I believe the Keeper at that time was planning to allow us to share the space. He thought it seemed fair that way. He was very much in favor of fair. In that sense he reminds me of you."

"I am surprised. I thought you spent a great deal of time here."

"Did you?"

"From the way you spoke of Albe as such a good friend..." Jamie let the sentence trail off.

"Ah you misunderstood me. I would often see Keeper Alberect...Albe as he was conducting his duties."

"Of course, " Jamie replied with a smile. "What was your planned outcome?"

"Excuse me?"

"For the Lune Merdos. Last time, I mean. When the Keeper was planning to allow you and the Gederan to share?"

"I am afraid I don't remember."

"So your planned outcome is not the same as last time?"

"I would not be able to say."

"So what is your planned outcome for this Lune Merdos?" Jamie could see the jaw muscles in Terrell's face clench. Whatever the Federan had planned, he did not want shared.

"That would be a matter for the priests."

"I see." Jamie said. "Is there anything else you feel that I need to know?"

"No, there isn't." The words were quite terse.

"Will you be sending a priest to me?"

"Of course not."

"Then will you return once you have spoken to them about their plans?"

"I do not know if I will have the time."

"Of course, " Jamie said with a smile. "Then if you have nothing else to add, I should not keep you."

"Yes, well then, " Terrell said rising. "I shall leave you to your day." Jamie stood and walked Terrell to the door.

"Oh by the way, " Jamie asked as he opened the door for Terrell. "Are the Brotherhood of Shadows involved directly or just as periphery proponents?" Terrell's eyes went wide. But he covered quickly.

"I'm certain I have no idea." Terrell swept out before Jamie could make a further comment.

"Well that was fun, " Jamie said. "I wonder if the Gederan will react the same way?"

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