Disclaimer: The Brotherhood was
created by Ridley C. James. Supernatural was created by Eric Kripke. I
Esme pushed her long
brown hair from her face. She removed the scarf she had artfully
around her neck and slipped it around her head. Scarves had
been her signature piece of clothing. With her wavy hair off her
she finished wiping down the kitchen. The stainless steel sink
gleamed. She and Joshua had sat down for dinner a few hours
Joshua had eaten, Esme simply picked at her food while carrying on an
animated conversation with her son. She wanted to know about his
at school and his friends. When he finished, he excused himself
his homework, giving his mother a quick kiss on the cheek.
"Dad'll be home soon," Joshua had
told her solemnly. He grinned. "It's not like he's with another woman
or anything. . ."
Esme did not return the smile.
Unfortunately, her thirteen year old son had the peculiar habit
saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. The Sawyers were having
marital difficulties. Esme rested a hand against her son’s cheek.
hair was wavy like hers, but the blond coloring was her husband’s,
Richard Harland Sawyer. He disliked using Richard because of the
slurring of his first name - Rich, Ritchie, Rick and the most
distasteful, Dick. However, the latter did suit him. But,
would never hear an ill word about his father from his mother.
"I know, baby." She pinched his
cheek. She spoiled him, trying to make up for Harland's less
loving parenting style.
"Aww, Mom. . ." Joshua
complained, and pulled away from the affection. He had scurried
into his room, and hadn’t emerged.
Esme put the tea kettle on, brewing
some catnip tea to calm her. The aromatic smell of the infusion
permeated the kitchen as the water boiled. She turned the stove's
flame off as Harland entered their townhouse.
Harland was flushed, and although
Esme could dismiss it as the warm South Carolina spring, she knew it
was guilt at coming home late - again.
"Where have you been?" she asked and
pressed her lips together. She knew she sounded like a fish
When had she become so bitter?
Harland flicked his eyes to his wife
before he placed his keys in the bowl on the console table. He loosened
his tie in one fluid motion and deposited his briefcase on the
He had done well as a real estate agent, using his good looks and charm
to sell homes. "I had a meeting."
He made up the distance between him
and his wife, scrunching his nose when the smell of the tea assailed
him. "God, Esme, that tea smells awful."
But, Esme could smell something quite
distinctly over the smell of catnip. "A business meeting that involved
Chanel Number 5?" She placed her hands on her hips. "Which of
business associates is wearing that? Or was it Brotherhood
She gave a hollow laugh. "Silas taking up wearing women's
Harland clenched his fists. "That's
He never liked it when she spoke with
disdain about his fellow hunters. His friends in The Brotherhood were
not honorable men like her deceased father, Maxim or the two other
members of the Triad Julian and Victor. Esme and Harland had been
married long enough; she knew how to elicit a reaction.
Anger was an
improvement from the cold indifference of the past year. "No, it
isn't. You're making a fool out of me Harland."
"A fool of you? Esme Madrigal
ivory tower." He snorted, and made his way to the liquor cabinet,
removing a bottle of whiskey. "It's a wonder you associate with mere
When had those same lips that used to
kiss her and whisper words of love changed to sneers and vile
condemnation? She had loved this man once with all her
soul. But, as
much as she wanted to rage against him, she had a child to think
"Richard, keep your voice down."
He filled a crystal tumbler with the
amber liquid, drank, swallowed and winced before answering. "We've been
fighting like this for months. Joshua knows."
Esme took in a deep breath and
leveled her smoky eyes at him. "He doesn't know you cheated on me…
Esme felt her stomach twist when he
did not protest. She had turned a blind eye, not wanting to
her instincts. She saw the guilty look on his face. He was
It was worse. "Don't tell me, you've had our son meet your latest
"Just once. He didn't know."
Esme closed her eyes. "So you
She willed herself not to cry, for
herself and for her son. Of course Joshua knew about his father's
infidelity. He was a smart boy. With confirmation of Harland’s
cheating ways Esme had no choice. This was the end of their marriage.
She could never trust him, and he wasn't the type to try to win her
forgiveness. She was strong, stronger than this man before her.
would be no more tears for him. Spells became ineffective when the
caster came to them under the burden of grief. Esme would help
heal. She would be an example.
Harland studied the tumbler. He
almost finished with his drink. "So is this it? Because I'm not
and you're not happy. A divorce would be best."
Her husband's cold and calculating
tone made her rally against the fait accompli. "You could have at least
tried." He made her feel worthless. She deserved
deserved the Harland Sawyer she met when she was twenty years old.
She had been on spring break from the
University of Vermont when she’d met Harland. Her father tried to
minimize her involvement with the hunters. The exceptions were
members of The Triad. Maxim, Esme's father had been the Knight.
Stephens was The Scholar and Julian Smith, The Guardian. As was
norm with The Triad, the threesome had grown-up together, sealing their
bond. Maxim not only protected The Brotherhood, but his daughter,
"Or did you only marry me because I
was the Knight's daughter?"
Esme saw Harland didn't want to admit
he had set out on a calculated mission to marry well within The
Brotherhood. So he had swept her off her feet with his supposed shared
interest in the arts and her ideas. He was everything a
twenty-year-old wanted. She had given up school and eloped with
Richard Harland Sawyer. Her father had not been pleased.
convinced him that Harland was her forever.
"What about Joshua?" she asked.
Her beautiful son had been her shining light, her reason to continue to
stay with Harland.
He glanced to the bedroom down the
hall. "He's your son."
Joshua had been a honeymoon baby. No
other children followed. There were potions that would have
her mother had tempted her, but somehow she had felt the hand of fate
had been involved. "Yours too."
"You've taught him all that. . . " He
waved his hand as if swishing a wand.
Esme frowned, disliking how Harland
demeaned her talent. When they were first married, the skills her
mother had taught her had helped them make ends meet. She had
face creams, masks, shampoos and conditioners that were much in demand
in the local beauty salons.
"My skills have helped and saved you
more than once. He has an aptitude for it. It doesn’t make
weaker. In fact, he'll be a better hunter than you'll ever
firmly believed that, as did her mother. They knew a woman's
only made a man stronger. Esme's mother had taken a keen interest
her grandson. Jocelyn visited at least once a month from her home in
Virginia, having sold the grocery store she and Maxim owned years
earlier. In her comfortable retirement she wanted to make sure
potent spells and potions were passed down to the next generation.
"But he won't be the next
Harland scrunched up his face bringing the sinister mask which was
always underneath to the forefront. She once thought he was too
beautiful for her, but she knew differently now.
"Julian made his choice." When Joshua
was five years old, Maxim was killed by a drunk driver. Her father's
death marked the start of the toll on her marriage. Maxim had not
prepared a successor. None of The Triad had. Julian, as The
chose Daniel Elkins as the interim Knight, as his position allowed him
to do when no successor had been named.
"It isn’t always the kith and kin,”
Esme added. "You know that." She knew the inner workings of The
Brotherhood well. "Joshua has a different path to follow."
Harland had wanted to be named
Knight, figuring his relationship to the old Knight would make him a
shoe-in. He then planned on training his son to be a part of the
"Path to follow?" Harland rolled his
eyes. "Griffin wants him to spend the summer in his lab, helping
him do research."
Esme crossed her arms. She had
few stands in her life against her husband. She was in no way
subservient to him, but had always wanted to provide a united
It was within her power to keep Joshua away from Griffin, and her son
would know her displeasure if he ever thought of associating with that
particular hunter. Her instincts warned her of Griffin Porter.
will not spend time with that man."
"That's the next Guardian you're
talking about," Harland growled.
"So you say." Esme thought Harland's
ploy was transparent. He promoted the candidate who would fulfill
own dreams. If Griffin became the next Guardian then he could
the Knight with his choice. Griffin would name Harland as The
and in turn Harland would bestow the position to Joshua.
Harland reached out a hand to his
wife, snaking it around her wrist. "You know different?"
She shook her arm, breaking her wrist
from his grip. "I know that The Triad is ill-prepared. They
comfortable, believing the time of evil was over. They didn’t
the next generation and now Julian is dying."
The Triad had become lax with their
power. Esme knew the tide was changing - again there would be
darkness. It was the natural cycle of things. Women understood,
men thought they were immortal and unencumbered by the frailties of
life. Julian was dying of pancreatic cancer and in search of a
successor. The field of consideration was narrow. If rumors were
correct then Julian would choose either Jim Murphy or Griffin Porter.
Harland paled slightly. "Does he know
She enjoyed watching her husband's
discomfiture for a few moments. "I'm not like you,
didn’t run to him so he could protect me." She saw his eyes flash at
the insult. "I've been alone in this marriage for quite awhile
I'll manage just fine."
"You might want to watch the way
you're talking to me. . ."
Esme did not like the tone Harland
used. It was threatening, and she refused to be in fear. "You may
to leave. I'll have my lawyer contact you. You can, of
Joshua when you like. However, he will be spending two weeks of
summer vacation with Jim Murphy." She walked to the door and
her hand on the knob.
Harland remained in place. "Pastor
Jim? That wishy-washy, bleeding heart? You've got to be
Esme, I will not allow it."
"You have no say in the matter.
Joshua is thirteen-years-old. He'll decide." She opened the door.
had never met Jim Murphy, and was about to impose on him.
instincts told her it would be to everyone's benefit. "Leave.
He strode to the door, but made no
further move to exit. . "They all warned me about you. . . Did
spell you put on me stop working?"
She lifted her chin, knowing he was
using his height to try to make her feel small. "Spell? I thought
was undying love?" If she thought about it she could remember
stopped telling her he loved her. "I was warned about you
the difference is they were right when they said you were a
He grabbed his briefcase and stormed
out. He didn’t turn around. Esme watched as he got into his
Town Car and drove off. She closed the door and rested against
She bit down on her fist to stifle a
frustrated scream, as well as the hate and distrust she felt for
Richard Harland Sawyer. Her skinned crawled in revulsion.
He had made
everything suspect. Finally, she composed herself. Esme
wanted to go
into her bedroom and hide away, but she had a son. She knew he
heard the conversation.
She knocked on his closed door to
announce herself then opened the door. Joshua was pretending to
his hands tucked under the right side of his face. "Joshua? I know
you're not sleeping, darling."
He sighed, opened his eyes and sat
up. She took a seat on the edge of his full size bed. She waited
because she didn't know how to begin the conversation. Esme's
had been married over twenty-five years before her father's untimely
"Are you and Dad getting a divorce?"
As usual, Joshua was blunt and honest with those he loved, unlike
Harland who was charming enough to do well selling real estate.
the slickness of a seasoned liar.
"Yes, Joshua. We are." She
rested a hand against his cheek. "I am truly sorry."
He closed his eyes, and some tears
escaped. Joshua opened his blue eyes, his mouth turned down. "What
happens to me?"
Esme wanted to cry with her son, for
her son. She had promised no more tears. She gave him a smile.
placed her cheek against the top of his head reminding her of when he
was a baby. She would carry him and his cheek would be nestled
her neck. "Nothing. You still have two parents who love you very
much. I love you, Joshua."
"But Dad. . ." he choked out.
Esme was glad Joshua didn’t push away
her affection. "You'll live with me. You can visit your Dad
you want. . . " She had so many decisions to make. She pinched
thumb and forefinger together to gather her thoughts.
"I don’t think he wants me around,"
"Shhh, no son. That's not
true." Esme felt her anger stir. Joshua should feel like he was
Harland's pride and joy.
"I'm not what he wants."
She moved her cheek from her son's
head, faced him and placed a hand on each side of his face. "Ohh,
Joshua. Your father is lucky to have a boy like you." Esme saw
promise in her son. He may not become one of the members of The
but he would be a hunter. His magical abilities would serve him
in the coming dark days. And he was always a blessing to her. "I thank
God for you everyday, sweetie."
Joshua shook his head. "You have to
say that. You're my mom."
She gave her son a kiss on the cheek.
"And Mom is always right."
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