Today's sample is taken from Book 15: The Red Cross of Gold XV:. My Hope is in God. The Mighty Djinni is paying a visit to St. Simon's Island and introducing himself to Merry Sinclair. Be warned: This is the 15th book of the Assassin Chronicles and if you are unfamiliar with the mannerisms of Djinn creatures, Lemarik's
discourse might seem rather strange as he tries to relate some rather startling family secrets to Merry. :^) Happy Reading!!
“Ho, Brother of Adar!” A man’s voice caused her to open her eyes. She was surprised to see the purple wizard walking up out of the foamy surf.
Luke stopped and shaded his eyes against the lowering sun.
“Ho, Lemarik!” Luke returned the greeting and walked out to meet the wizard.
Merry did not understand this creature at all. He was not quite a man and yet he was a man, though his movements were strange and his voice hypnotic. The first time she had met him in the inner bailey, he had scared her to death. She had been looking over the flowerbeds next to the walls in idle curiosity when he had climbed up out of the well, greeted her as if he had known her all his life and then hurried into the keep looking for Luke Matthew, his long, purple robe flapping out behind him.
She watched with one hand shading her eyes as Luke and Lemarik hugged each other briefly and then the wizard came directly to where she sat.
“Ohhhhhh,” he smiled down at her and swayed back and forth. “You are very great now. It will not be long and the babe will be here with us. Such a strange and wonderful thing. But much too painful. You should allow me to help you with that. I could make a bubble for the child and you would be free to do as you please.”
“No, thank you,” Merry declined politely, remembering that Luke had told her time and again that politeness was extremely important when dealing with Adalune Kadif. She could never tell if he was serious or just kidding with her. A bubble? “I’ll be fine.”
“Of course you will. It will be as it was before,” Lemarik made another of his endless cryptic remarks and turned to look at Luke. “Will Simon of Grenoble be attending? Will Adar come to see the birth of his son?”
“I dunna know aboot me brother, but Simon ’as promised t’ be ’ere,” Luke told him.
“Surely Adar would not miss such a momentous occasion. He missed it the first time. He should be here this time.”
“Me brother will nae be th’ father o’ th’ babe, Lemarik,” Luke told him. “Merry is me woife now. I will be th’ boy’s father.”
“Ohhhh. Ahhh.” Lemarik's eyes grew wide as he swayed back to look closely at Merry's face with first one eye and then the other. “So this is what Adar has been keeping from me. You do not love him. I see. That makes things a bit different. That makes things much more complicated. But it is just a matter of some small adjustment. The boy will have his uncle as father and the nephew will be the uncle’s son. And what will the boy call his father? Uncle? Father? Hmmm. This will have to be decided. I will call him brother.”
Merry frowned. Brother?
Luke caught Lemarik’s arm and drew him away from her.
She could hear the wizard oohhing and aahhing as Luke spoke to him in a low voice. She wondered how the wizard had managed to come out of the water completely dry. His long beard fluttered in the breeze and his dark hair blew about his head as they talked. Presently, the wizard came back to her. He bent low over her hand and kissed the back of it.
“Welcome to the family of Adar, Meredith Nichole. I am your humble nephew, Adalune Kadif, but you may call me Lemarik and I will call you Merry. Your brother-in-law is my father. Your husband, my uncle, tells me that you are not well and that my presence here may be disturbing to you or distressing to you. I would not wish to be rude.”
“You are anything but rude, Lemarik.” Merry raised up slightly to look over his shoulder at Luke. “You are quite... charming. Won’t you stay for dinner?”
“Ohhh. No. I do not think that would be wise. Your Corrigan and your Simon do not like me. They are most rude to me and I would not wish to destroy them. A mighty Djinni such as myself can only allow so much rudeness in a man and they far exceed my limits in very short order. They are friends of Adar and he would be most unhappy with me if I were to feed them to the vultures.”
Merry’s eyes widened and then she smiled. He was teasing her.
“Ahh. Such a beautiful smile. Just like Adar’s wife. Her smile was like sunshine and she smelled of violets and roses, though she bathed in vanilla. Ahhh. Vanilla. Second only to frankincense and myrrh. And her baths were such wonderful things to see.”
“Ah, Lemarik.” Luke clamped one hand on the Djinni’s shoulder. “Air ye sure ye wudna want t’ come up t’ th’ keep? I can assure ye thot me Brothers will keep a civil tongue withee or they’ll answer t’ me.”
“I would not want to be a bother, Uncle,” Lemarik shook his head.
“No. Please.” Merry began to push herself out of the chair to which she seemed to be grown. Luke came to help her.
Lemarik frowned slightly and stepped back. Merry shuddered in the cooler air that had sprung up with the evening.
“Allow me,” he said, bowed low and whipped off the purple robe, wrapping her in it. “Come, come, come.” He waved one hand to Luke. Luke frowned and stepped a bit closer, taking Merry’s arm and then they were in the castle in the library.
Christopher looked up from his computer and shrieked involuntarily at the sight of the three people suddenly standing in front of the fireplace.
“Now then, that’s much better.” Lemarik took his robe from her shoulders and tossed it across one of the overstuffed armchairs in front of the fire. Luke and Merry stood looking at each other in shock. “What a wonderful fire. I do love to watch the flames. I see all sorts of things there.” The Djinni turned about and rubbed his slender hands together in front of the fire.
“Christopher?” Luke addressed the frightened apprentice. “Fetch some woine. And some tea fur th’ lassie.”
Merry found her way to the armchair and picked up the purple robe. It was heavy and smooth in her hands. A grand piece of work with deep pockets on the inside. Soft and yet strong. Warm and yet, cool to the touch. She ran her hand along the black embroidery on the hem and wondered who had sewn the work for the wizard. She sat down, holding the cloak in her lap.
“Won’t you sit down?” She asked him and waved one hand at the other chair.
“Ohhh. No. I like to stand. It is more conducive to moving about and less disturbing to watch,” Lemarik told her and then began to travel about the room, peeking into every nook and cranny. He picked up the objects on the tables and smelled of them one by one as he talked. Some of them, he tasted and made faces of delight or distaste at the results. “I came to remind my Uncle to practice his work diligently for the time of your labor draws nigh and great things will be accomplished on that day. Some of it will be very sad for me and yet, some of it will bring great joy. But he will need to be ready for that day just as you are.”
“Whattar ye talkin’ aboot?” Luke asked and backed up to the fire and put his hands behind him to keep from waving them about in agitation. His brother had taught him to be very careful when talking to his nephew. Luke had quickly learned that a little patience always stood him in good stead and usually brought the best results.
“Omar has raised a great army. And he has taken up with the Dogs of Shaitan against my protests. I am most ashamed of him. He has allowed his mind to become polluted and he believes that he has... transcended. He no longer needs his father’s wisdom and he shuns the wisdom of his grandfather. His mind has been unduly affected by his wife just as I expected would happen. She has made him turn from his truer purposes and she has ruined my beautiful son. The sadness breaks my heart.”
“Your son?” Merry turned about in the chair to watch him as he pulled random books from the shelves, opened them and then put them back.
“Ohhh. Yes. Yes. Yes. He was such a beautiful child. Wonderful. Glorious and most wise. Most kind and most polite. And then the daughter of Adar came and beguiled him with her charms and... poof.” He snapped his fingers. “He was lost to me.”
“Wait. Wait. Wait.” Merry shook her head. “Adar’s daughter? I thought you said that Adar is your father?”
“Oh, yes. Adar is my father.” Lemarik glanced at her and then continued his perusal of the books. “My son’s wife is his daughter.”
“Luke?” Merry turned to look at her husband. “Is there something here that does not make sense?”
“Mark Andrew is or was, at one toime, Adar, th’ moighty Hunter,” Luke shrugged. “Or so I’m told. Adar was or is Lemarik’s father. Nicole was and is Omar’s woife. Omar is Lemarik’s son. Nicole is Mark Ramsay and Sister Meredith’s daughter. Damn me, if I understand it, lassie.”
“There is nothing to understand.” Lemarik swayed across the room to stand next to Luke. “It is very simple.” The wizard was a bit taller than Luke and thinner. He wore a white shirt and black pants. His tall boots reached above his knees and he wore a wide belt about his waist. The hilt of a jeweled dagger sparkled on his left side. He looked very much like a pirate to Merry, except for the long beard which she did not like. “Mark Ramsay was Adar before he came to this world. His brother, not Luke, but another brother, chased him from the heavens because he was jealous of my mother’s attentions to him. His brother wanted my mother for his own, but she did not return his affections. As soon as I was old enough, he chased me away as well and I followed Adar here. This is a wonderful world if you do not pay too much attention to the workings of men. Adar had himself born as a man and was a great wizard, a mighty sorcerer, very powerful and then he was enchanted by a sorceress. Alas. She was one of his own students. She imprisoned him for many years until his brother found him and released him with the intent to destroy him, but Adar had a surprise for him. A wonderfully powerful work of magick. And he sent his brother to the halls of dust and ashes. But his brother was also very powerful and very tricky, indeed and he soon escaped the land of Kurnugi and came to search again for Adar, but Adar had found his way into the womb with Luke and there he remained hidden for nine moons with him while his elder brother cast about in darkness for him.”
Merry sat with her mouth hanging open as Lemarik told this story. Luke stood by the fire, also staring at him in disbelief. Mark Andrew had never told him any of this. It sounded like some great faery tale to him and he would never have believed it, except that Mark Andrew had warned him to always be polite to the Djinni at all costs. The Djinni was most dangerous, Mark Andrew had told him. Extremely powerful and very unpredictable. Mark had told him to merely listen to him and agree with him for the most part and then report to him everything that the Djinni might say. So far, this was the third visit that the wizard had paid to them since Merry had come here. The first visit had been in the company of Mark Andrew and he had departed with him again without speaking to Luke personally. The second visit had been very brief. The wizard had stayed only a few minutes, inquired after Merry’s health and then gone about his business as mysteriously as he had appeared. This was the first time that the Djinni had come inside the keep and actually talked with them. Luke was fascinated and Merry was beside herself.
Christopher reappeared with the hot tea and wine Luke had requested. He set the tray on the desk and poured drinks for them. Lemarik took tea.
“And then what happened?” Merry asked him when he had his cup of tea in his hands and Christopher had left them.
“Ahh. Then a terrible thing happened. Luke, here, was born. And Adar was not ready. He did not want to come out of hiding. He was afraid that his brother would find him in his helpless state of infancy. Luke’s mother tried to make him be born, but he refused and she