Cal Grey sat back and waited for the waiter to bring her the drink that she had ordered. She was sitting at the most sought after table on the most exclusive restaurant in New York, and she never had to make reservations. Tourists milled around trying to see who this woman eating alone was that had been escorted past them all and walked to the center of the dinning room. She smiled to herself; they would all assume that she was a star of some sort, and actress or model. They would be wrong. Cal was the highest and most influential book editor in the entire publishing industry. And with good reason too, the last six books that she had worked on had immediately landed on the bestseller list the week that they were released. All of them had gone on to critical praise and awards. She leaned back in her chair knowing that the streak would only continue. She had just finished editing bestseller number seven and was having her staff dig through the slush pile for her next project. She preferred to work with unknown authors since they were more malleable.
When her phone beeped with a call from her assistant she assumed that it meant they had located something promising they wanted to show her. When she heard the quivering in her assistant’s voice she knew something was wrong.
“Cal, there are some people here who say they need to speak with you immediately.” Grace said.
“Who are they? Do they have an appointment?” Cal asked. She was not used to her assistant being so scatter-brained.
“No, but the woman insists that the two of you have a mutual friend.” Grace explained breathing heavy into the phone.
“What in the world is going on there Grace?” Cal demanded. “Who are you talking about?”
“She says that she is a friend of Mr. Barrie.” Grace tried to explain.
Cal stopped for a moment and realized what was going on at her office.
“Let them know where I am having lunch, tell them to meet me here.” Cal said. “And Grace you may have the rest of the day off, you are going to need it.”
“Thank you, ma’am.” Grace said. She began to moan as the call disconnected.
Cal sat back and fumed, her day had started out beautifully and now after all these years she had to meet with the little harpy. There was nothing that she would have not done to avoid this, but if she was coming for Cal better to face her out in the open head on.
She gestured the maitre de over to speak with him.
“Philip, I will be having an uncouth woman and a vacuous young man arriving shortly to join me for lunch, they will be dressed most inappropriately, please show them to me with as little fuss as possible.” She requested. “And you should have all of the male staff stay as far away as possible.”
Cal sat back waited, knowing that the time she had to compose herself would be short. Before she knew it Philip was returning to the table with the two of them in tow.
“I see you brought the new one.” She said to T. “Does this one have any talents, besides the obvious?”
T was taking aback for a moment with the viciousness of Cal’s comment. Without even stopping to allow her to react Cal turned to Peter.
“Your Charles I believe?” She asked.
“My name is Peter.” He responded the annoyance showing in his voice.
“They are all named Peter sweetie. Try to be an original sometime.” Cal bit back. “You know T, Jamie used to moan in his sleep, but it was always the name Margaret, not yours.”
Once again Cal turned back to Peter. “You know the last ones closest friends died because they were in the way when someone tried to kill him.” Cal let the implications hang in the air as she pointedly turned back to T.
“Enough of this, we are happy. Can you not leave the past alone?” T responded.
“I am not the one forcing myself back into your life.” Cal snapped.
As the two women bickered Peter could not help think back to his earliest memories. That night being taken from his crib brought to the window and held as the large smelly man climbed out onto the ladder. The jostling as they moved down the ladder. He remembered the crack of the rung braking and a moment of weightlessness. Them suddenly it wasn’t him, and something that might not even be alive cracked down on the windowsill and fell to the ground limp.
He looked up to find T’s deep green eyes staring back at him. She laid him down on the ground and whispered something that he could not hear.
“Explain to me again why this is necessary.” Jareth asked.
“With my brother gone I will need knights of my own,” Robin said. “His men will not be loyal to me, and I would not trust them.”
“So this is how you are going to fill out your knights.” Jareth continued to question.
“Yes like this and with members of the family I can trust, you, Rip and George.” Robin insisted.
“Everything is done” T said.
As the two of them stopped their conversation and turned to look at him, Peter realized he was changed, he was a fully-grown man now, as if he had always been this way.
“So you are Charles Jr.?” Robin asked.
“Actually I think I am Peter.” He responded.
The noise level in the dinning room snapped Peter back to the present. Hastily he looked around.
“Ladies!” Peter snapped and then gestured to the rest of the room.
Both of them turned and realized that T’s heighten anger had spread around. Several most of the men and women at the tables near theirs were sweating and caressing each other passionately.
Cal signed and blew a kiss to a man sitting with a woman near them. Suddenly the man dropped down to one knee and recited and original love poem of amazing beauty and clarity, in the end he proposed and she accepted, even though it was their first date. The sudden romantic gesture calmed the mood of the room and the three turned back to face each other.
“Very nice,” said T. “but have you considered explaining to him that the voices will not stop for a long time, and when they do he will feel lost and alone. Should you tell him about the drinking and the drugs to try to make it better? And then the anger, or maybe you should tell his new fiancée that he will crush her skull on their honeymoon because he just can’t make it stop.”
Cal turned her head to look away from T’s accusations.
“They have all contributed to the world in ways that you would not understand. Their names will live on for eternity that is what they want.” Cal preached.
“Have you asked Tom if that was what he wanted, if it was not for the little girl where would he even be, just another used up wreck following in your wake.” T lectured.
“Why have you come here. Get on with it. Is the Prince upset about something again, sent his little messengers to chastise me.” Cal sneered.
“Robin has sent us to bring you in, he wants everyone he can get.” Peter explained.
“What could be of so urgent need?” Cal asked.
“We are going to War. Bathory has come to the States and is trying to move in on Robin, but we are going to take the fight to him.” Peter replied.
“Oh, please. He is jumping at shadows again, he is beginning to sound like the Thunderer with his tales of doom and gloom, the battle at the end of the world.” Cal said.
“He has sent Rip to apologize to Syrie for him.” T said.
Cal stopped for a moment, unable to phrase a response to this startling revelation.
“What?” Cal mumbled.
“He requested that I come to you personally.” T said, “He knew that the only way this would work is if you and I set aside I past. Please come back with us and at least hear him out.”
Cal sat for a moment and considered her options.
“Fine,” Cal finally said. “I always have had trouble refusing my baby sister.”