Following Beauty's death, the whole family made a concerted effort to take special care of little Taliesen.
Since his mother was dead, he needed lots of bottle feeding and extra attention.
Pete still had a few days off work following their honeymoon, so the two of them began settling into their married life. Both of them loved being outdoors and Dory was keen not to see her grandfather's garden go to ruin, so they spend a fair bit of time outdoors looking after it.
Pete also took some time to write thank you cards to all the wedding guests.
Dory's keeness on the garden extended to the small beehive the family had bought a while ago, she loved the taste of fresh honey (although she wasn't so keen on the stings the bees sometimes gave her)
While Dory & Pete settled into married life, Mira took some time to catch up with the rest of the family. She arranged to meet Nia at a local park for a picnic.
Mira passed on all the family news Dory had picked up from Shang Simla and Nia was thrilled to hear about her new young cousin.
However, before it was time to leave she had some news of her own to pass on.
"I'm engaged to Kane Sperie-Sabo, we've been dating for a little while now and we've decided it's time to move things on to the next level."
Mira was delighted to hear that her niece was getting married and wished her all the best for the future.
Beauty's strange death had been preying on Dory's mind a lot and when they met up with Nik at one of the local lakes she was suddenly consumed with anger that he hadn't prevented it."You're supposed to be protecting me and my family! Why didn't you stop what happened to Beauty? She was too young to die from old age and nothing was wrong with her!"
Nik seemed taken aback by the violence of her greeting but soon recovered his breath and responded in equally angry tones
"You think I didn't try? I'm not all powerful you know! My powers are stronger now I'm back in my natural form but I still have limitations! And before you start making derisory comments about my abilities, would you have preferred to come home and find your mother dead?"
Dory stared at him in shock as his words penetrated
"You mean the attack wasn't just on Beauty? How do you know? Why would someone attack mother too?"
"I can't say for certain" responded Nik, "but when you fight someone's magic you can often gain a sense of their intent and the attack was aimed at everyone in your family. I thought Beauty, being a full grown unicorn, would be the most able to protect herself, whereas your mother and the cats were the least able."
Dory started to panic, "If whoever is after my family is that powerful what are we going to do? I'm sure someone keeps watching me, but I can never see anyone!"
"Watching you? I wonder, there's a new couple moved into town, Bryn and Rhiannon Glyndwr, they seem to have some magic, but not a lot and the wards let them through..."
"Wards? What wards?" demanded Dory.
"I've set wards around the island to protect against enemies, that's why I wasn't able to make your wedding, I was busy setting wards at the time. Here, take this fairy dust, its power is limited for a mortal like you but you may be able to use it against an attack if you need to. And now, I must go, I want to check on the wards and see if I can find out anything about the Glydwrs."
After Nik had flown away, Dory and Pete left separately, Dory wanted to go looking for some wildlife while Pete decided to head home and do some medical research before he had to go back to work the next day. As he was leaving the lake, he looked back and was shaken to see a huge meteorite slam down into the ground by the lake. He rushed back to check and see if anyone had been hurt but fortunately no-one had been standing close enough at the time.
Pete was however worried by the coincidence of this happening and when Dory got home later, he raised some of his concerns with her.
"Dory, are you certain you can trust this Nik? He's supposed to be protecting you and yet bad things keep happening around you. Just after we left the lake a meteorite slammed down right where we had been standing..."
Her response took him slightly by surprise.
"Why would you think it's his fault? If it weren't for him mother would be dead, something would probably have gone wrong with our wedding and that meteorite may have fallen just after we left, but it didn't fall while we were there did it?! Are you sure you're not jealous of him?"
"Dory, honey, calm down, I'm just a little worried. You know there's fae in my family tree and I know from our family stories that they don't ever do anything without a reason, yet this Nik turned up out of nowhere claiming to have been sent to protect you. Something about this just doesn't feel right to me.""He hasn't lied to me! Grandma Abi taught me how to sense a lie and he hasn't told any at all! I trust him Pete, if you can't trust him won't you at least trust my senses?"
"Ok Dory, if you feel that strongly about it. Maybe I'm overreacting, Dad rang my while you were still out - both Mum and Aunt Seirian died today, within hours of each other. The doctors have said it was old age in both cases but I guess I'm feeling a little off balance with the news and everything else that's been happening."
"Oh Pete, I'm sorry, you should have said something!" Dory reached out and embraced him, all thoughts of their short argument gone as she realised how upset he was.
Taking his hand, she took him upstairs and did her utmost to show him how sorry she was about his news and that she would always be there for him.
Their embraces were slightly frantic as they tried to distract themselves from the death and bad news which seemed to be surrounding them.
After they were done, they curled up in bed together, holding each other against the sorrows of the world.
- Faye & Ryan McKinley-Crist had a baby boy called Thomas
- Adalyn & Fabio Sperie-Sabo had a baby girl called Marianne
- Christy Sabo & Bernard McKinley had a baby boy called Louis
- Quyhn & Gideon Sperie-Harris had a baby girl called Carmen
- Minna Harris-Crist, Lorette Marlin-Mitchell, Todd Sperie-McKinley, Louis Sabo and Sallie Mitchell-Crist aged to toddlers
- Allen Sperie-Sabo aged to a child
- Mort McKinley-Sabo aged to a teenager
- Raina Sabo-Harris aged to young adult and got a job in fortune-telling.
- Auburn Mitchell-Crist aged to elder
- Blue Marlin-Mitchell aged to elder and retired
- Lukas Sperie started dating Adamaris Dennis
- Menolly Clemetis started fating Bryan Harris-Crist
- Brook Harris-McKinley and Grant Sperie-Sabo got engaged as did Antoine Sabo and Quetzal Sperie, also Elijah McKinley and Susanna Stacy