The Light Behind the World
Chapter 19: Unchained

Copyright© 2010 by Sea-Life

I did manage a nap, longer than I'd expected, and I woke to the feel of Ginny, snuggled in to one side of me, her head resting on my chest, an arm draped loosely across my waist. Dare was curled up at the end of the bed between our feet. As I stirred, Ginny roused from her sleep as well.

"Mmm. About time sleepy head," she murmured. She slid up higher, nuzzling into my neck, and we had a long slow embrace. "I came in after napping a couple hours, and you were still sleeping so soundly I decided to just curl up with you for a while."

"Thank you," I murmured back. "It felt incredible waking up with you."

"You are sweet," she said, giving me a kiss. "Now lets get moving. I think we both need a shower and a change out of these traveling clothes." she slid off the bed and out the door.

That Ginny maintained a separate category in her mind for clothes dedicated to travel was amazing to me, but I just filed it away under the ever expanding category labeled 'Women Think Different'.

My bathroom was large, and had both a large tub, one of those old fashioned high backed Cast Iron tubs, and a very large shower. I imagined briefly sharing that tub with Ginny, but managed a quick shower, threw on a light, short sleeved shirt and a pair of hiking shorts and headed across the hall to Ginny's room. When I got no response to my tap-tapping at her door, I walked in, saw her clean clothes laid out on the bed and, pulling Dare down from her spot on my neck, I sat on the bed, and waited.

The second bathroom story from Raleigh played itself out again, with the roles reversed. Ginny's squeak was perhaps not quite as panicked as mine had been. She in fact only held the towel briefly in front of her. I of course offered a "Hubba, Hubba back at ya," and when I said those words, she giggled sweetly and dropped the towel, doing a slow circle to show me every part of her. I basked then in the beauty of my true love. I marveled at her trust in me, to so calmly bare herself.

How should I describe the image before me? Perfect. Glorious, humbling. I longed to reach out and pull her to me, but I understood the reasons why this day was not the day. I stood and kissed her on the lips. "You, my Goddess, are a Goddess, and I'm so glad this just happened, but you'd better get dressed, I'm going to go find mom and dad," and I gave that incredibly cute little butt a swat and headed to the door before she could protest.

I closed Ginny's door behind me and headed across the hall to Mom and Dad's room. I knocked on the door but got no answer, so I headed downstairs. I found Mom and Dad at the kitchen table, sipping some iced tea and talking with Uncle Aaron.

"Grandpa just woke up a few minutes ago, and should be out in about fifteen minutes or so," dad told me. "I've told Aaron that we need to have a private meeting immediately. Ambrose is on his way back to the house now, and should be here any minute."

I was still getting my legs under me, despite the eye opener from Ginny, so I poured myself a cup of coffee from the pot on the counter. I drank my coffee black, having decided, when dad offered me my first cup while on a camping trip several years ago, that if I was going to be drinking coffee, I should drink coffee and not some coffee flavored soft drink. It took a while to get used to, but mostly I drank Dad's coffee, and he was a grind-his-own-beans kinda guy, so I seldom had to experience 'bad' coffee.

I had no more gotten seated with my cup when Ginny showed up, sniffed my cup and went to fetch her own. Hers required a little sugar and cream, but once prepared she slid happily onto my lap. Less than a half a cup later Uncle Ambrose and Grandpa came through the door together.

"Well, I see the interested parties are all here" Grandpa blustered. "This is family business I assume Son?"

"Yes Dad, but Liz and Ginny need to be here as well. They know some things unknown to you all, and of course there are things we know that they, and Davey, are unaware of, but Davey believes, and I agree that what is said to day needs to be heard by everyone here."

That generated a blanket of no comment that lasted a stretch longer than felt comfortable, but finally Grandpa Harrumphed and said "Well this is no place for that sort of meeting. Ambrose, lets go show Davey the boat."

Mindful of Grandpa's bad leg, Grandpa and Uncle Ambrose rode a golf cart down to the dock. The rest of us walked and it was a pleasant stroll, the grounds were beautiful, and closer to the bay itself, there were cypress and willows gracefully bending towards the water. It truly did look beautiful. And so was 'the boat'.

I'd been hearing tales of Dad's sailing adventures with Uncle Ambrose my entire life. The grandest stories were reserved for outings on this boat. It was a sixty foot wooden hulled Alden Schooner. A classic design from the 1930's although this particular boat was launched in the mid 1940's. You could circumnavigate the globe in one of these, and do it in true luxury. That had once been the dream, according to dad. Much to my surprise and disappointment we did not board the sailboat. Moored across from the schooner was a curious little craft that looked a little like a miniature riverboat minus the big paddle wheel at the rear. It had a long wide flat deck with a landing craft style ramp at the bow and a small pilot house off-centered to the port side about two thirds of the way towards the stern. The deck was covered by a canopy that was fastened to high poles, four to the port side and four to the starboard.

By the time we were aboard Uncle Ambrose had her engine idling, and we cast off the moorings and got under way.

"No sails today, sorry!" I heard Uncle Ambrose say as dad and I joined him inside the pilot house.

"I understand Bro" Dad replied. "I'll want to show Davey the Nereid soon though. He's been listening to me talk about that lady for a long time," I pretended not to notice that that beautiful schooner was also named after another of Neptune's moons, and that unlike the freshwater nymph ours in Angel's Camp had been named for, Nereid was a sea nymph.

"Bro?" I asked.

Dad laughed. "Short for Ambrose, not brother"

Uncle Ambrose moved us out into the middle of the finger we were in. And he dropped the stern anchor, cut the motor and let the breeze and the tide pull the anchor tight. Once it looked like it was holding, we headed back to the open deck where everyone else waited. They were seated on neat benches that pulled up out of the deck and locked together. Obviously this little craft hauled cargo for a living, but hauled people often enough

As we got seated, Dad took the lead.

"As the only person here who knows all the story, I think its up to me to lead this discussion. Any objections?" No one spoke.

"Alright. First, in order for all of this to make sense, I need to start with some basic facts. Some are Clan McKesson facts. Some are Davey McKesson facts. You all will know some of these already, so please only interrupt if you think I say something you think bears correcting, okay?" Everyone nodded.

"First, near here, in an isolated and out of the way place best reached by water, there is a place which we call The Spot. Second, the McKesson Clan are not users of that spot, they are guardians. Third, The McKesson Clan are guardians in proxy for those who lived here before us. Fourth is the knowledge that the requirement to be a guardian is to demonstrate the ability to walk into the spot, stand at its center and be unaffected."

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