Epilogue: The Witch and the Potter

Emma hadn't been sure what to expect when Andy woke up. She'd been unconscious and stashed in one of Josef's freezers for hours. After the sun had risen, the other vampires followed her example. Beth was sound asleep in a guest room while Emma… Well, once Josef had left her side to seek his own unconscious bliss, she hadn't been able to get to sleep. That made her the first and, as it turned out, only person to see Andy that day.

Andy had gathered the things she'd brought to Josef's house. Her tools, candles, clothes, herbs and other things she'd picked up along the way were all neatly packed in two bags. As she stood in Josef's lavish kitchen and poured a glass of A positive, her favorite blood type although she didn't know why, Andy acknowledged the fact that she could definitely use a few more hours of sleep. Her energy had been seriously depleted after the fight. Magic took a great deal of concentration and self-control. The way she'd fought with Naomi had been wild with desperation underlying every word and motion. It wasn't a shock that she'd passed out once it was over. The important thing to remember was that she won. Naomi was dead.

She wasn't the only one. Andy felt a sharp pang and her eyes began to water. Quickly she took a deep gulp of blood. She needed to celebrate, not mourn. Mona wouldn't have wanted her tears during a time like this. So Andy would celebrate, at some point. This morning, however, was for a quick getaway. The sooner she was gone, the sooner Mick and Beth could resume a normal relationship without the added stress of 'the other woman'. Andy snorted. As if she had ever been the other woman. There had only ever been one woman and it wasn't Andy.

"Are you leaving?" She turned around to look at Emma. The older woman glanced at the luggage then back up at Andy's eyes. "Can't you wait for everyone to wake up?"

"I'm no good with goodbyes. Besides, Mick will probably give me some trouble. A week and a few days might be a little early for a fledgling to leave the nest," Andy admitted, setting down the glass.

"What is it like, exactly?" Emma asked her. Andy could see the curiosity and she wasn't particularly surprised. After the baby was born, the topic of immortality was going to come up. Emma would probably choose eternity with Josef over the mortal experience of aging then dying. Andy would do the same thing.

"It's different for me. I've spent most of my life learning to control myself so that I won't abuse my gifts. The average fledgling has to learn a lot of control before they're safe around humans. Not to mention that some of them don't even know that vampires exist when they become one. Knowledge and self-control are key." Andy paused and studied Emma's considering expression. "If you want my advice, practice meditation for the next nine months. It'll help."

"I haven't made any decisions yet," Emma pointed out although they both knew that she was going to relatively soon.

"I'm just saying it wouldn't hurt." Andy washed out her glass then walked towards her bags. The longer she stayed to chat, the greater the chance of running into Mick. That was definitely not on her list of things to do. "Good luck to you and Josef. He's a good man."

"Andy, I can't help but feel that you're running away," Emma told her honestly. "I don't think you should leave things with Mick the way they are now."

"Everything's perfect with Mick," she replied tightly, picking up a bag and slinging it over her shoulder. "He's dealing with his vampire nature, he has his girl back and I am going to disappear. You could say that Mick's life could never get better."

"What about your life?" she asked.

"I think mine will definitely improve once I get out of Los Angeles," Andy muttered. "I appreciate the concern but I do have to report back to the other magic families and let them know exactly what happened. We lost a lot of good witches hunting Naomi and I'll be needed to take over my mother's job. Naomi wasn't the only magic abuser in the world."

"Then you don't intend to come back," Emma murmured. She didn't know what all happened between Mick and Andy but she could tell that there were feelings there. Powerful feelings that weren't going to disappear with a little distance and time. The problem for Emma was that she was Beth's friend but she owed Andy her life. God only knew what Mick wanted. He was impossible to read. If he wanted to find Andy once she'd left, then he could. He was a private investigator after all. How much would it hurt Andy if he didn't try to find her at all? "Thank you for everything," she said at last, giving the witch a tight hug.

"It was my job," Andy said, feeling a little awkward in the human's embrace. "Just take care of that kid. I can't see the future but I can guess you'll be having some problems." Emma drew back.

"What do you mean?"

"Come on, Emma. You're carrying the child of a four hundred year old vampire. The supernatural community is going to be buzzing. A lot of people will assume it's not Josef's but he hasn't been hiding these past few weeks. There are plenty of vamps that know he was human for a brief period of time. I can't say what will happen but I know something will. You're sort of a magnet for trouble." Emma smiled weakly.

"Yeah. I've heard that before." She pressed her hand protectively against her womb. Andy felt a twinge of guilt for worrying her but better safe than sorry. She picked up her other bag.

"Will you say goodbye to the rest of them for me? Just say I had to get going and couldn't wait." She smiled briefly at Emma then headed for the door.

"Is there anything in particular you'd like me to tell Mick?" Andy paused for a moment. A variety of responses ran through her head. Finally she reached up and took the gold pentagram earring out. She tossed it to Emma.

"Give him that. There's nothing wrong with a little extra protection." Then she was gone in a blur of movement Emma couldn't track. The potter wrapped her fingers tight around the earring. It didn't feel like an end to her. For some reason, Emma felt as if the real trouble was only just beginning.

End of Part Two