By: Tidia

Beta: Mog

Disclaimer: The Brotherhood was created by Ridley C. James. Supernatural was created by Eric Kripke. I own nothing.


Chapter 1/2

Esme pushed her long brown hair from her face.  She removed the scarf she had artfully tied around her neck and slipped it around her head.  Scarves had always been her signature piece of clothing.  With her wavy hair off her face she finished wiping down the kitchen. The stainless steel sink gleamed.  She and Joshua had sat down for dinner a few hours ago.  Joshua had eaten, Esme simply picked at her food while carrying on an animated conversation with her son.  She wanted to know about his day at school and his friends.  When he finished, he excused himself to do 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 of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. The Sawyers were having marital difficulties. Esme rested a hand against her son’s cheek.  His 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, Joshua 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 wife.  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 floor.  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 your business associates is wearing that?  Or was it Brotherhood business?"  She gave a hollow laugh.  "Silas taking up wearing women's perfume?"  

Harland clenched his fists. "That's enough, Esme!"

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 in her 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 mortals."

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 of.  "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… repeatedly."

Harland flinched.  

Esme felt her stomach twist when he did not protest.  She had turned a blind eye, not wanting to listen to her instincts.  She saw the guilty look on his face.  He was nervous.  It was worse. "Don't tell me, you've had our son meet your latest paramour?"

"Just once.  He didn't know."

Esme closed her eyes.  "So you believe."

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.  There would be no more tears for him. Spells became ineffective when the caster came to them under the burden of grief.  Esme would help her son heal.  She would be an example.

Harland studied the tumbler.  He was almost finished with his drink. "So is this it?  Because I'm not happy 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 better.  She 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 the members of The Triad. Maxim, Esme's father had been the Knight.  Victor Stephens was The Scholar and Julian Smith, The Guardian.  As was the norm with The Triad, the threesome had grown-up together, sealing their bond. Maxim not only protected The Brotherhood, but his daughter, fiercely.

"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 starry-eyed twenty-year-old wanted.  She had given up school and eloped with Richard Harland Sawyer.  Her father had not been pleased.  Yet, Esme 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 helped, 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 created 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 him weaker.  In fact, he'll be a better hunter than you'll ever be."  She firmly believed that, as did her mother.  They knew a woman's touch only made a man stronger.  Esme's mother had taken a keen interest in 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 her potent spells and potions were passed down to the next generation.

"But he won't be the next Knight."  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 Guardian, 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 next Triad.

"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 made few stands in her life against her husband.  She was in no way subservient to him, but had always wanted to provide a united front.  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. "My son 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 his own dreams.  If Griffin became the next Guardian then he could replace the Knight with his choice.  Griffin would name Harland as The Knight 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 became comfortable, believing the time of evil was over.  They didn’t prepare 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, while men thought they were immortal and unencumbered by the frailties of life.  Julian was dying of pancreatic cancer and in search of a worthy 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 about us?"

She enjoyed watching her husband's discomfiture for a few moments.    "I'm not like you, Richard.  I 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 now.  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 want to leave.  I'll have my lawyer contact you.  You can, of course, see Joshua when you like.  However, he will be spending two weeks of his summer vacation with Jim Murphy."  She walked to the door and placed her hand on the knob.

Harland remained in place. "Pastor Jim?  That wishy-washy, bleeding heart?  You've got to be kidding me.  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. She had never met Jim Murphy, and was about to impose on him.  However, her instincts told her it would be to everyone's benefit.  "Leave. Now."

He strode to the door, but made no further move to exit.  . "They all warned me about you. . . Did the 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 it was undying love?"  If she thought about it she could remember when he stopped telling her he loved her.  "I was warned about you too.  But the difference is they were right when they said you were a bastard.  Goodnight."

He grabbed his briefcase and stormed out.  He didn’t turn around.  Esme watched as he got into his Lincoln Town Car and drove off.  She closed the door and rested against it.    

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 had heard the conversation.

She knocked on his closed door to announce herself then opened the door.  Joshua was pretending to sleep, 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 parents had been married over twenty-five years before her father's untimely death.

"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.  He had 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. She 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 against 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 whenever you want. . . " She had so many decisions to make.  She pinched her thumb and forefinger together to gather her thoughts.

"I don’t think he wants me around," Joshua whispered.

"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 the promise in her son.  He may not become one of the members of The Triad, but he would be a hunter.  His magical abilities would serve him well 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."


Onto Chapter 2


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