We finished the dishes in silence while we waited. Not that we had long to wait, Crystal was there in less than five minutes. Tresmayne came in just behind her. Nyota brought up the rear a few minutes later.
Then we waited ten more minutes while Momma got acquainted with Nyota. She didn’t say word one about slayers or creatures or her idiot son’s eventual inheritance. Nope, not a thing – but I knew she’d do that when Nyota was invited. It’s how Momma is – she’s gonna get to know the guests no matter what.
Crystal shot me more than a few ‘what the heck is going on’ looks but I kept my mouth shut. Nothing I’d have said wouldn’t have brought up more questions than I could answer. I just sat there nursing my OJ and waiting for Momma to get around to the point. Long and sometimes painful experience had taught me better than to try to hurry along the process – it never works with a normal girl and it backfires big time with Momma. Gritting my teeth and bearing it was the quickest way to get this over with and have some chance of finding out what the heck Momma had meant.
It seemed like forever but only about ten minutes went by before Momma smiled and turned to Tresmayne. For his part, Wolff had sat in the chair farthest from the table and just munched the cookie Momma insisted on giving him. I think it surprised him that she looked his way. What she said next surprised everyone but me.
"I wonder if you remember the Great Hunt of ’89? I was a messenger from the Herald and you were gracious enough to meet me that morning in the little town – what was that name? Garvery? No, Garvet, that was it."
For an ancient werewolf whose name alone could terrify his enemies, at least according to the books, Tresmayne looked remarkably like a kid with his hand in the cookie jar. He stopped eating and just stared at Momma.
"Oh yes, it was such an honor and I’m sure I bored you to tears with my prattling – I was young then – but you were ever so gracious. I knew you didn’t remember me but I could never forget meeting you. It was the closest I ever came to meeting the Mistress, you see. My only regret was that I never had the opportunity. But with so many of us it’s impossible for her to meet all the common slayers, I understand. My friend Janus said he never had the opportunity – remind me, Crystal dear, to tell you about Janus later. He was a sword singer like you. Anyway, I understand that not even all the true slayers get to meet her. A shame really – it means so much to us, you see."
"You… you were a slayer?" Tresmayne managed to squeak.
"Oh yes, in my younger days. I started young so I lost my powers before Jackie Boy was three. I suppose I should have told him – well, we’ll get into all that later. Crystal dear, I need you to do something, please."
Crystal’s Southern manners had kicked in and she wasn’t staring, much. "Ma’am?"
"I need to see the Chronicles. I can’t summon them anymore. It’s important, Dear. Please summon them."
"The Chronicles?" Crystal seemed perplexed.
Nyota broke in, "Crystal hasn’t learned how yet. Mistress wanted to teach her later." she stood up, "I’ll do it."
She stepped away from the table and closed her eyes. She raised her hands, palms upward and said something in another language. In front of her there was a little light and suddenly, a huge book complete with ancient book stand and even a very drippy candle appeared before her.
I wondered to myself if there would ever be an end to all the new weirdness…