Seerya has lived her life watching over the women who had no one to call on in the face of powerful enemies. Being the greatest sea monster in history, Seerya has a lot of inner strength to call on.
After thousands of years of loneliness, Seerya wants to rest until a few hundred years pass and all of her ties to the human world are severed by time. She needs one more item and she can begin her hibernation. She has to find it at the Crossroads.
Lothan is the current bearer of the Icon of the Destroyer, and when he meets her face to face, he knows that she is the one that the seers sent him for. He needs to convince her that a life with him is better than an eternity alone and he has to work fast.
Seerya dropped into the wing chair near the fireplace. When the proprietor came over with a cup of coffee, Seerya reached up gratefully.
“Thanks, Nina. It was quite the storm out there.”
“Did you get it?”
Nina took the seat across from her, her white apron gleaming around her hips.
Seerya reached into her cleavage and pulled out the small, carved icon. “Got it. It’s the second to last one, and I must say that I am relieved.”
Nina shook her head. “Can I see it?”
“Sure.” Seerya handed it over and watched her friend turn it in her fingers.
“How did this have a hold on you?”
“It was carved from one of my scales. I gave nine of them out a while ago in exchange for favours done by fishermen and explorers.”
“Where is the last one?”
She sighed. “I gave it to some elves. They needed protection against the light, so I offered it in exchange for them letting some human servants go.”
“Why did you do that?”
Seerya shrugged. “I had friends in the fishing community, and their daughters were being borrowed by the local dark fey. I gave them the light of truth to find mates that they were destined to have. It stopped the random abductions, and when they did find their mates, they interacted with the family so that it was known where the young lady was going.”
“Was it always young women?”
Seerya snorted. “No. It was occasionally a young man, but those occurrences were few and far between. They could find their mates far more easily than a male who wanted to become part of a breeding pair.”
“What was the big deal about breeding?”
Seerya snorted and set the empty cup down. “Have you noticed how many fey have babies?”
Her friend frowned. “No.”
“That is because they don’t. They are a fading species. They need to find the right match at the right time to have even a hope of making it through the next generation. Immortality isn’t as long as they used to think it was.”
“You can’t pass something to the next generation if there isn’t a next generation, so the fey became obsessed with finding mates with strong magic and binding them to their sides. The children usually have more power than the parents, but there are fewer children as time goes on.”
Nina blinked. “So, you are going to take the last icon from them? Won’t that decrease their family’s chance to find their true mate?”
Seerya chuckled. “They have other means available to them now. The modern era has many possibilities.”
“Oh. Okay. Do you know where you are heading?”
Seerya wrinkled her nose and nodded. “I do. I am so excited that this is my last one.”
Nina’s expression turned sad. “I am going to miss you.”
“I will find a way to communicate with you if you really want me to.” Seerya chuckled. She rubbed the back of her neck. “After all these years looking for another one of my kind, I am going to be relieved to rest under the sea for a few hundred years. I think the world will be a little different when I appear again.”
“I will be dead.” Nina’s expression was grim.
“As will everyone I know right now, but after the first thousand years, you get used to it. I will miss you, but you will become a fond memory that will make me smile and my heart ache a little, and then, I will swim on.”
Nina’s lips pursed a little, and she nodded. “I guess immortality is less than it is cracked up to be.”
“I promise to come back before I take to the sea.”
“I would like that. I want one final time to walk the beach with you.”
“You took your first steps on that beach.”
“Yeah, my mom still has the picture in a place of honour. You held my hand in yours, and we made footprints in the sand with the waves avoiding them until you said it was okay.”
Seerya sighed. “It was a good day, and the waves were content to wait until your steps were printed in the sand so your first path would remain as a memory.”
“Why were you the one holding my hand?”
Seerya chuckled. “Because I am related to the first being in your family line.”
“My brother was the progenitor of your line. He was a normal man who lived a normal life, and I have watched over his family. You and your sister, Lily, are the last in that very long line.”
Nina sat with her mouth open. “Why didn’t you say anything before now?”
Seerya shrugged. “It would have made no difference to your life or mine. I still would have been here when you needed me, and you still would have grown into the competent and charming woman you are today.”
“So, you are my aunty?”
Seerya chuckled. “No, that connection faded after the sixth generation. I am more of a fairy godmother that isn’t a fairy.”
Nina got to her feet and stalked off without another word.
Seerya watched Nina’s mother step out of the nearby shadows. “She took it as well as you expected.”
Irene chuckled. “And better than you expected. She attaches to family so strongly.”
Seerya looked at her cup. “I don’t suppose that I can get a refill on the coffee?”