Aoibheann’s luncheon seemed to go very well, aside from a few people who didn’t make it. At least, I am guessing so from the number of chairs compared to the number of people. I have no idea who she actually invited. I only got to know what was happening because I forgot it was on, went over to get something and ended up serving sandwiches and drinks. Aoibheann was there, obviously, as was Mitternacht, looking very snug on her booster seat, Diane, Brigitte for a while, Neelam, who clearly couldn’t decide if she was there as a guest or as a server, a rather pretty lady whose name is Gabrielle, I think, and Anna and the Queen, who turned up only for a short while, being somewhat pre-occupied with Hadley being ill. Sophia turned up later, by accident, and was invited to join the party. She and Diane seemed to hit it off, possibly because both come from the southern parts of the states. Carmen also appeared later.
I had a bit of a chat with Diane myself, mostly about London and politics. We both bemoaned the fact that we never achieved that interview, for we could have made one hell of a story. I may be wrong, but I think she may have some of Brigitte’s predilections, judging from the way her eyes roved whenever a pretty woman came in. She seemed particularly taken with Carmen, even saying that she resembled a dear friend of hers from way back.
Eventually, everybody drifted off, saying what a lovely time they had. Neelam more rushed off, claiming some emergency, leaving Aoibheann and I to clear up the debris. I congratulated her on a successful event, which she accepted, but then went a little melancholy on me, wishing that Daimon had been able to come. I had been waiting for an opportunity to ask about that, ever since the queen inadvertently mentioned him in my hearing. I kept things neutral, merely saying I hadn’t seen him in a while and asking how he was.
It all came out. How Daimon was hosting the White Stag, how she could not see him, how she spent so much time in the woods hoping to see him, how she had even consulted with a goddess about what she could do… She was trying hard not to let any tears show, but they were there. What was also there was her inner strength; that core of steel that will not give up the fight, no matter what. She asked me if it was wrong of her to be happy or to enjoy herself while he was trapped. I did what I could to assure her that I was convinced that Daimon would want her to, that if he loved her, he would want her to get on with life until such time as they could be together. She also felt useless, despite people telling her how special she was, because she could not do anything. Again, I assured her that she was doing something; each time she thought of him, fought for him, tried to find some way to help him; that all that mattered and was important. I also tried to offer some hope, in so far as whatever goddess she had consulted could be wrong, that while there may not be something she could do now, there might be in the future. I pointed out that the whole reason for white stag stemmed from the departure of the fae king who had been the fourth power that held the cove together. The hunter had come to replace that fourth power, but because of the nature of the hunter, the white stag was needed to balance him. That, I suggested, could change. If some other way to balance the four powers could be found, then the hunter would not be needed and Daimon need no longer be the white stag. Or perhaps, somebody else could be found to host the white stag, freeing Daimon from that task.
That last seemed to spur some idea within her, and she rushed off, asking Neelam to finish the clearing up. She disappeared off to her room and emerged a little later all prepped for a night in the woods. I have seen her do this before, but this time, she asked to borrow my sword. Naturally, I was a little reluctant since I can barely use the thing and I was pretty certain she couldn’t. She assured me it was mostly for show, to make her look less like prey. Neelam offered to be her sword (prompting me to briefly wonder which end counted as the pointy end), but Aoibheann was adamant that she should do this on her own, saying that having Neelam hovering would just make her look like a defenceless child. I could see her point. I could also see Neelam’s, but unlike Neelam, I know the folly of arguing with Aoibheann when she has made up her mind. I fetched the sword for her and gave her some tips about wearing it, resisting the old advice of hold the blunt end and stick the pointy end in the enemy. As she was getting ready, she did give Neelam a bit of a telling off for always claiming to know what is best for people, yet not understanding happiness herself. Another very valid point. I don’t know if Neelam understood, and I suspect that she will attempt to follow Aoibheann anyway. I can’t say I would try to prevent her. It would be nice to know that Aoibheann had some backup, should things go wrong. And off she went, sword on her back, camping provisions in her back, and steel in her stride. I know that sometimes she seems to invite trouble, but for tonight, somehow I felt things would be alright.