Before "Cat litter" (re-loaded), an old fanfic in a new coat

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by AzureAngel2, Sep 8, 2012.

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  1. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    *thinks about a very old German jingle with Franz Beckenbauer now: "Ja is denn schon Weihnachten?", because my husband making a comment in my fanfic thread is almost like a Christmas miracle*

    I am very, very grateful here and the tears do not only come from listening to the soundtrack of "The Village". Thank you for taking the time! That makes me unbelieving happy. I know I have not been easy the past months.

    Thanks for taking such tender care of my nasty skin disease since 8 weeks.

    Thanks for cooking when I fall into the door in the evening, being worn out by my two jobs that are very far away from our home.

    Thanks for caring that R2D2 like hoover upstairs and downstairs for me. Thanks for bringing the bike into the garage each time I forget it and I am already in my night gown when I notice that.

    Thanks for supporting me when all goes wrong for me as a German in your home country that I still like, but that is hell to work in as a language teacher in an education system that is on the brink of a collapse.

    Thanks for being a good listener, when I tell you how Lucien ticks, that I would love to curse certain people until the end of time for their rude behaviour, how my working day at the college or the home work institute was or when I simply try to get those chants into my head that I watched on you tube.

    AND, once more THANKS for your clever, thoughtful comments in here. It was NOT easy for you on a day you basically drown in Halloween decoration out of a sudden, because I decided to have a day on my own and that included doing the house all over plus the garden. I also know that me chanting my way through the house was an extra "Schwierigkeitsgrad", but you survived that and therefore I fully believe that your latest "Dungeons & Dragons" character will be the last person standing when everybody else is on its knees. You also won yourself some extra points for Formula One.

    Sorry for leaving it so long to comment.

    Well, that was a nice conclusion to that episode, and with a little bit extra knowledge about Isabeau that she never mentioned to us :)

    You know what happened with Isa in the original script, but I could not do that on the boards. I also got over my Marion Zimmer Bradley overdose, so I decided to surprise everybody to give her an intense love affair with Lucien´s cousin (= a son of his dead aunt).

    I like how Valiant comes over, and it is nice that Isabeau has someone to share passion with - she seemed a bit lonely in some ways.

    Isa can close herself up like a fan and does NOT speak about love matters. NOT even for the readers.

    I am not sure that being pitiable and hurt so your beau will feel compelled to care has ever worked well with abusive partners. But as you say, young love is crazy at times.

    The things I watch on TV at times... or read in the English text books of my students, tsk. There was a long article about abuse in one of those books.

    Of course, it also comes back to how we see the dark side. Is it a character trait, a flaw, is it like a drug? What's certain is that once you are caught by it, the dark side won't easily leave you at piece, and the weaknesses that led to you being ensnared by it in the first place probably make it extra difficult to get over it (yourself?) and find the way back to the light.

    You are gorgeous and clever. This is why I married you in the first place.

    As misty says, it is a dangerous game to play, dipping your toes into the dark side to get at someone drowning in it, thinking you can pull them out once you are done, and it is hard to rescue someone when you yourself are now drowning. Here it seems Grianan even contemplates diving into a dangerous current in those dark waters (or being pulled into it by lucien) so Lucien will snap out of his aimless tour deeper into the dark waters to come save her. Seems madness really; she's pretty optimistic and, well, arrogant, isn't she?

    Yes, Grianán is slightly arrogant. Got me here! Even the Lightsiders have an ounce of arrogance in them.

    I guess that's something those two share, being secretive and sure they are the saviours of their universe! And both have friends that dare tell them harsh truths (some of them the same now, ie. Taran). Perhaps they could rule their lives in light of that knowledge.

    I come downstairs now and give you a good kiss for being such a mastermind!

    But before I do, let me give you all my weekend update which contains a beautiful chant that I picked up on youtube! And it also has 2 quotes from a religious organization that would be to the liking of the Vong. Seems there are more folk out there who think pain is a religious experience and meditate on that.



    Chapter 25: Enemy mine

    Luçien came in the late afternoon, after I had allowed myself to doze off a bit. The mattress bent slightly under his weight. He touched my bald skull with gentle fingers, following the lines of the tattoos that he had made.

    My skin began to tingle pleasantly. I held my breath in, worried to make any inappropriate noises.

    “Why?” he asked me with a flat voice that indicated he had been crying.

    My heart began pounding fast. Fear was not the reason though. I kept my eyes closed, trying to keep my breezing under control. His fingers unleashed disordered, almost chaotic sensations. None of them was related to my trials at the monastery.

    I gave my best to sound normal, surprised at my own longing. “You were in a rage, not recognizing me,” I offered.

    Luçien kept stroking my head as if I was some distressed little kitten he wished to calm. His touch had the opposite effect tough. My insides practically contorted with desire. To play indifferent demanded a lot of strength from me. I clung on to the oldest Force mantras that I knew.

    His soft voice was menacing, even though he did not mean it to be thus. “If only you would have made yourself known to me,this would not have happened, Grianán.”

    “Keep telling that to yourself.” I opened my one healthy eye.

    Luçien was wearing a simple house tunic, nothing fancy. The white cloth contrasted against his copper skin. His black hair was as loose as his sash. Tears indeed hung in his eyelashes. Judging by his swollen eyes, it was not the only time he had cried.

    I smiled dimly for I realized that my plans with him were progressing, despite my appearance. Now I felt better. I even made him wear mourning clothes.

    “One word from you would have brought sense back into me,” he cajoled.

    I laughed, a trifle bitterly. “As if I could have any power over you.”

    “But you do.” Luçien gave me a hectic look, his left hand flying towards his brow. He shaded his eyes. “You bewitched me a long time ago.”

    “Did I?” I called out in disbelief. “I do not feel very masterful since our last encounter. Perhaps you broke my evil spell?”

    “I hate to confess it and to witness that my hopes of self-control are false.” He mused quietly. “Your mutilations speak a clear language. I am so sorry, my little dreamer, so sorry.”

    I blinked up at him.

    Luçien looked so desolate. His usually beautiful face was but strained and weary surface. The cat eyes in it were large and luminous.

    My heart squeezed and twisted. He needed me, he always would due what I had done to our souls so long ago.

    “Give me a hug.” I yelped and opened my arms.

    He inhaled sharply. His expression was pained. “Grianán, I possibly could not...”

    “Please,” I begged and used my ultimate weapon. His guilt. “I need this.”

    Luçien swallowed. His lips parted as his breathing audibly increased. The agony that he radiated was tormenting to watch. His needs fought against his old childhood fears. Fears that not many knew of. I seriously doubted that he had ever shared them with Sionnach.

    Compassion swelled in my heart.

    He remained motionless.

    When I already began to fear that I had stepped out of my league, his look turned feral. With a strangled groanheflung right inside my embrace. He sobbed like a little boy.

    Tears began to ooze my own cheeks as well. Prolonged tension could hold so much weariness. In order to calm both of us I started singing a lullaby of the River Valley. I kept my voice low and soft.

    Mother of darkness, Mother of light
    Earth beneath us, soul in flight
    Songs of love and love of life
    Guide us to our hearts


    We all come from the Goddess
    And to her we shall return
    Like a drop of rain
    Flowing to the ocean.”


    While I sang my hands moved involuntarily.

    I did not mean to spy on Luçien, but old memories were embedded in his skin and my mind allowed them in. They were already familiar to me. I had read them before. On the day that he had come into the royal pyramid, keen on killing my siblings and me.

    “The blood-letting at prayer time is inevitable,” my grandfather explains. “He has to learn that. How can he ever deal with a Force witch when he cannot even tolerate being flogged and beaten?”

    “You demand too much from him. He is only three. Wait until he is nine or twelve years old.”

    “You dare to defy me, Fleur?” he calls out, affronted.

    The same whip that has turned me into a miserable heap of flesh lashes out for her and fastens around her throat.

    ********************************************************************

    Time became meaningless. Only the distressed man in my arms mattered to me. For Luçien I would climb the highest mountains, dive into the deepest ocean, all to make him whole again. How could I be blamed for showing pity with him after experiencing what he had been through?

    There had been love, laughter and light for me in abundance as a child. Family and friends had cared for me as much as members of the royal court. It had seemed logical for me to unite my soul with his, to share my happiness about life with him.

    I placed my trembling fingers on hisspine.

    Touching Luçien´s body was like a crime investigation scene. The next memory that opened for me belonged into the time shortly after Gwenynen´s and Sereno´s death.

    I wonder why you trust me so much,” I say with a hushed voice. “I give you very little credit.”

    “You give me more than you think, Luçien,” Grianán mumbles into my open hair.

    “Nightmares?” I suggest full of self-irony. “Those about torture instruments for Force witches?”

    “Not since I have arrived here, no,” she denies. Her breath is warm against my neck.

    “I depend on your silence,” I let her know, swirling one of her locks around my left finger.

    “Why should I want to spread your secrets?” She leans back again.

    “I am a rich man,” I offer.

    “Emotional blackmail is a favourite pasttime of my sister Daná,” she giggles.

    “Political power?” I say.

    “I hate politics, even though I have had to live with it since the day that I was born. Goes with being a princess, I suppose.”

    No senatorial carer for Grianán then, I think, which is a pity. Her speeches are interesting. She also has a charitable heart. “Religious worship?”

    “As if you could make the Lidérc bow to me as well. I think it is bad enough for your ego that you get so much special attention from them.”

    My eyes narrow. “Careful!”

    Slowly, I came to the present again, feeling a tense body in my arms. I recalled whom I held and why.
    “I feel so lost. The dark is too strong, Grianán,” Luçien's voice was thick with tears. “What if I am going mad? Like Mórag, or even your own mother? I maimed you in a bad temper. I didn’t even know that it was you until I spotted you among the hunting company this morning.”

    ”You have your moments. Not many of them, but you do have them,” I found myself whispering into his hair. “Admitting that you have a problem is a good start though.”

    He laughed and stretched his neck to kiss the back of my head. His lips were so warm and soft, the changing of the subject abruptly. “Those agents, will you report them?”

    I hated how he acted as if the ´agents´ were not my friends. What indifference he had towards people at times! On the other side I had never told him of Aranea, Mora and Luna. “I asked for it, did I not?” I stated calmly, moving some of his locks away from my nose.

    “You are their princess.” Luçien drew a breath of sheer puzzlement.

    I definitely did not want him chasing after my best friends. I concentrated on reasonable arguments. “It was about my engagement with the Holy Inquisition.”

    “And what did you do before you became a teacher for the new blood of the order?” Curiosity resonated in his voice.

    “Let me just say that I deserve every injury that I got.”

    Abruptly, Luçien lifted me off his chest, his eyes blazing. “What did those women do to you? Kick you? Beat you? You have fresh bruises all over your skull. Was that a toilet seat doing that?”

    “You don´t want to know the details,” I ensured him.

    “Wait, are those hand prints around your throat?” He ran anxious fingers over the damaged skin, causing me to wince. “I want the names of those agents and I want them now.”

    “Can´t help you there. Sorry.” Nervous that he would harm the girls, I added hastily, “Know that this happened in the line of duty. Each of those officers is a loyal subject of the crown. I did nothing to prevent those injuries. And you will not do anything to avenge them on my behalf. Do you hear me? Nothing.”

    “I am the one who self-punishes,” Luçien commented dryly and cupped my cheeks. “There is no need for you to copy my bad habits. Next you’ll ask for my flagellum and I possibly won´t grant it to you. I am still very attached to it.”

    “You promised to never use that whip again,” I protested.

    He nodded hesitantly. “As long as you lived under my roof, yes. But the day that you left, I took it out again.”

    All the progress that I had made with him back at the lodgewas now gone. “Is it just self-flogging? Or did you act out other means of corporal mortification on yourself?”

    “We agreed a long time ago not to discuss my religion.” He pressed me against his muscular chest again. “I cannot change what I am.

    “You were only a toddler when this madness started. It is something else when adults sign up for military trainings, fully aware what will happen to them.”

    His voice came from far, far away. “A lot is expected from the promised Messiah. My culture is not known for charity and candour, Grianán. I must obey the Holy Scriptures.”

    “Praying with a whip cannot be right. Nor wearing a cilice.”

    “I have two legs, Grianán,” he reminded me with half-amused cynicism.

    “Two?” I stared stupidly at him for a moment before I fully understood the meaning of his confession. “Are you out of your mind? Take those spiked chains off immediately. And don´t you dare to wear them again. I will not let you!”

    Laughter rumbled through his entire body. “Blessed be pain. Loved be pain. Sacrificed be pain... Glorified be pain,” he quoted from the Holy Scriptures.

    “Your body is not your enemy. Why do you treat it so harshly?” Sighing, I burrowed into the curve of his left shoulder. “I bet you did not even ask the superiors of the Brotherhood for permission before using the other. They would not risk losing their Messiah to the lure of pain.”

    He began to run his fingers over my back, playful and slow. “No ideal becomes a reality without sacrifice.”

    “You are just hiding behind the ancient texts. Do you have no opinion of your own?” I demanded. “This is the right moment to speak up.”

    Luçien remained silent, which made me fear the worst. At least he was still holding me.

    Silent tears ran down my face.

    “Are you crying on my behalf again?” he inquired. “Oh, Grianán.”

    I let him cradle me. Until, from sheer exhaustion, I grew calm enough to state, “I do not intend to become addicted to abuse. Pleasure and pain are not the same for me. I am not such a fool.”

    He chuckled. “You have always had more sense than I ever did.”

    “But then I had a better start into life than you had,” I whispered.

    ********************************************************************
  2. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    Having sense is a matter of opinion.

    People say that females have more sense than males but you should hear things that my younger siblings and I did. You know the light bulbs that hang from the ceiling on a wire or cable? Well in our last house there was one in my closet with a shoe string tied to the chain to make it longer. Well one day two of my younger siblings and I thought that it would be wicked fun to swing from it. Long story short we ripped the light bulb and the wire/cable right out of the ceiling. We are lucky that the sparks didn't start a fire.

    Oh, the closet wasn't a tiny little thing or we wouldn't have been 'swinging' in there.

    I must have had a death wish as a child.
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  3. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4
    His soft voice was menacing, even though he did not mean it to be thus. “If only you would have made yourself known to me,this would not have happened, Grianán.”

    Bull. He wasn't in any control at all


    When I already began to fear that I had stepped out of my league, his look turned feral. With a strangled groanheflung right inside my embrace. He sobbed like a little boy.

    And yet that moves me. *sigh*


    “You are just hiding behind the ancient texts. Do you have no opinion of your own?” I demanded.

    hah I love her


    He is very lost and very scary. And also someone to pity.
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  4. DarthUncle Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2005
    star 5
    Puss in boots like? He's such a cat sometimes :)

    What Pants says above, I do think the bond between the two might have been strong enough that he would be startled out of his inky work by her, but at the same time, our Boas also looks at you as if it is your fault when you slap him on that paw that was clawing you in ecstasy. Get some grip on yourself Lucien. But yeah, she's good at steering him towards that, in that sense he's right that she's the more sensible one. But as I said after the last update, being more sensible than him doesn't mean actually sensible in the way others would use that word.

    Like a lot of this story, it is sweet in a somewhat disturbing way. But I am sure love will conquer all, it's such a terrifying force!
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  5. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    Thanks for sharing that with us, dear Misty. One could say that Grianán also has a death wish concerning Lucien, because he is like that wire/ cable, blasting deadly sparks.



  6. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    Because I have a pretty busy weekend ahead of me, I will already post that tonight and because I am gone between Thursday 4th October until Sunday 7th October, I post a bit more, if that is okay for you. Around the 13th October I will have a normal posting rhythm again and do only half a chapter, okay?


    ********************************************************************

    When I finally stopped crying, Luçien moved slightly away from me and looked me straight in the eyes. Through the haze of my tears I saw the look of admiration that he wore. “May I heal you now, my little dreamer?”

    I was on edge immediately. “I thought you relished in another’s pain?”

    “Not yours,” he sulked. His gaze sharpened. “You look like you’ve been trampled in a bantha stampede.”

    “First heal yourself!”

    “Grianán,” he protested mildly, yet irritated.

    “I will not have you touch me before you take proper care of yourself. Off with those cilices.”

    Nothing happened.

    “I am waiting. In pain. It is up to you to end it any time.”

    He gazed at me with hooded eyes. “I would like to hear what caused each of those injuries, before I heal them.”

    “I won´t tell. My lips are sealed. We both know that you don’t need to know the details in order to repair the damage.”

    [IMG]

    He made a disapproving movement with his pointer finger. “If you want me to stand up from this bed, I would like you to reveal to me what the fovea centralis had in stock for you. Quid pro quo, Grianán.

    I sighed and kept my answer as brief as possible. “There had been stress positions, kicks and punches, beating with blunt objects, water-boarding,...”

    “Enough!” He rose from the mattress and vanished behind my paravent. Soon, his tunic was swung over the thin wooden frame.

    “There is no trace of blood in your clothing. How old are these wounds?” I wondered aloud. “Or did you wear bandages over them? Why did you smell of red pepper earlier on? Is that burning gaze that I smell, lit with Force lightening? Are you going to burn yourself now, the greatest piece of evidence?”

    “Leave them be, Grianán!” Luçien bellowed, when I lifted his pants from his hands with the Force and began to investigate them with my hands and mind.

    I was appalled by what my gift of touch told me. “A normal person would have died with blood poisoning by now.”

    “Do you indicate that I am not normal?” He peaked out from behind the paravent.

    “It appears so.” I gave him his trousers back. “You are at the edge of fanaticism. Your own injuries speak a clear language. What next? Cutting yourself into pieces because the Holy Scriptures demand that from you? Jumping from the highest tower of this castle?”

    His voice was dangerously low. “Be careful with what you speak against. You are not one to talk!”

    “I am not a child any more, too worried to speak out her mind,” I ensured him sourly.

    “You have always felt the urge to tell me what to do, since Amnion. The last person afraid to speak her mind. Perhaps you should sign up with fovea centralis as a drill sergeant.”

    A bloodied metal chain flew through the room and ended up on the floor. Another quickly followed.

    I darted towards the cilices and picked them up. The metal was still warm from the contact with his flesh. “Pus and tissue,” I commented, running my fingers over the mess dripping from the devices. “How long have you been wearing those?”

    My answer was a brief snort from Luçien.

    “I see. More than one sun month then.” I looked down on the spiked metal chains. I ran my right thumb over them carefully. “How was it possible for you to avoid discovery? Sionnach and your cousin Valiant are both able Force healers. And I can tell you, they both seem pretty unaware of your suffering.”

    Luçien stuck his head out. One of his brows lifted. “I am a Force bender as much as you are. Certain skills of mine allow me to manipulate my meridians. Otherwise I could never teleport or change my outer appearance.”

    I nodded at that explanation, even though I thought everybody here at Dún Barr smelled those heavy injuries, no matter how well he masked the stench of gangrene. “To awaken the spirit to the body´s limits with means like that is wrong. This does not widen your perspective, it restricts you. There is even the danger that you become indifferent to the pain of others.”

    “That is not true,” he shouted from the other side of the paravent. “The opposite is the case. I am highly aware of the discomfort of others, especially yours, Grianán.”

    “Then let me not wait for my treatment. You can argue with me another time.”

    With that, positive energies flooded the room and my heart felt light. It was like witnessing a sun rise. Luçien was still a healer. The dark side had not left him bereft him of that. I was so happy about that beacon of hope, eager to cling to it.




    Chapter 26: The confession

    When Luçien stood in front of me again, only wearing his breeches, my heart rated spiked at his sight. He simply looked adorable. Unbidden my insides melted and unfurled. It seemed as if Isabeau had never taught me an ounce of self-control.

    “Could you turn around, please?” I murmured, flushing with nerves. He was so tantalizingly close to me.

    “Is this some kind of fashion show?” he muttered, annoyance shadowing his face.“I will not drop my pants for you. Let me assure you of that.”

    “That will not be required,” I replied in a small voice, shutting out the images that came with these words. “I just need to see your back.”

    “Go on then. But no pinching into my behind, please.”

    When my fingertips started tracing the line of his spine, I felt him shiver lightly. Triumph rushed through my consciousness. He liked being touched by me, more than he allowed himself to be. I hoped for his sake that he was not going to punish himself for that as well.

    “See, the wounds are gone and I promise not to inflict any more to myself as long as I am allowed to be your personal healer,” Luçien said, anxious and smug alike.

    “You can do everything with my body that you feel is required.” Realizing how wrong that sounded, I added hastily, “As a Force healer that is.”

    “Are you flirting with me?” He spun around. His cat eyes were intense.

    I blushed, walked away from him and lay down on the bed as decent as possible. “Focus now!”

    “You are flirting with me,” he concluded, looking down on me with such impact that I gulped audibly. “Why would you do that?”

    “Because I am traumatized?” I lied.

    “Nonsense!” he thundered. “This has nothing to do with Suaimhneas. Your eyes betray you, Grianán.”

    “Your mind is playing tricks on you.”

    “I feel stripped naked here.” His tone was accusatory.

    “It´s your imagination,” I snapped irritably, before biting my lip in sheer frustration.

    Luçien moved with light speed. Suddenly, he was next to me on the bed, pressing his brow against mine. With our faces so close his cat eyes blurred into one large blue orb. We both jumped a bit when he started purring.

    “Hush,” he pleaded at once, his voice dark and husky.

    Then I felt his thumbs stroking my cheeks in a slow and even rhythm. I answered by moving forward until our lips touched. It was my first kiss, and it felt like walking on clouds. Eagerly, I deepened it. A blue-white light enclosed us both. All the while, I felt him heal me.

    [IMG]


    ********************************************************************

    When Luçien let go of me again, his eyes were shining bright with disbelief, shock, desire and awe. “You are indeed in love with me, Grianán,” he murmured. “Why did I never notice that before?”

    I was too stunned to say anything.

    “How can you love somebody like me?” he continued. “I have brought you nothing but fear, pain and shame.”

    “No!” I defied him in an outbreak of passion, “You showed me glimpses of the wonderful man that you can be! When you play the vio -”

    “You never give up, do you?” he interrupted me, rubbing his nose against mine. “And I thought only your father was a desperate romantic.”

    “He taught me that true love knows no rules and no boundaries.” My voice was firm. “It does not judge. It simply is.”

    “What about your damaged bone marrow?” he inquired, taking me off guard with this sudden query.

    “I don´t know what you´re talking about.” My voice sounded small and lost, contrite even.

    Suddenly, my chin was resting on his left fist. “You live in a constant state of pain since I tattooed your skin. Perhaps you can fool your family, Isa and all the Force knights, but not me.”

    My lips twisted. “Better me than any of my students. They were children.” The words broke out of me before I could stop them. “How could you? Twenty-four young and innocent girls. They were like my family. The youngest one was only two.”

    “Grianán, please!” Luçien´s agitation was real and reminded me of Mother´s reactions in the past, when confronted with her own darkness. “I already know that I was wrong.”

    “Wrong?” I repeated. “Just ‘wrong’? What you did was abysmal.”

    He lowered his gaze. “For the record; you still can tell your family what I did and clear Mórag´s name.”

    To think about her ashes in an unnamed grave somewhere in the mountains hurt my chest. “Your half-sister´s reputation is a matter between her and me. Stay out of it!”

    He took a sharp breath. “You want to keep what happened at the monastery a secret? Why?”

    “Mórag understood your message well enough.”

    “But your own family,” he inquired. “Surely...”

    “There is too little to be gained from exposing you to everyone”

    Luçien leaned his chin on my left shoulder. “I already talked to Agathos and Narthex about the temple raid.”

    “I am not going to change my story now. We are not done, you and I,” I breathed into his hair. “Until we are, my siblings don´t need to know.”

    “I stand to my failures. If you wouldn’t mind, I would like to write to the families of your deceased students.”

    “No, leave it to that. It would do more damage than good.”

    “As you wish,” he agreed unwillingly. “But what about Draň? It was him who knocked you out with that brick stone.”

    My body remembered the impact of the stone too well. “I cannot destroy his marriage now, can I? From recent letters I take it that Caelestris is very happy with him.”

    There was a deep sorrow in his eyes that I could not explain. He ran a slender hand through his hair. What was he hiding now? “You should lie down for a while,” he suggested. “We can continue this conversation after dinner. But first, I think you need some rest.”

    I could feel my ears burning while he tucked me into bed. It was so nice to have him around me and care for me.

    “Agathos is still one of my best friends,” he said, while smoothing out my blanket. “I need to tell him what just has happened between the two of us. This changes everything.”

    “Maybe, then, you should consider marrying me,” I said, and closed my eyes.

    “All we did was kiss and now you want to marry me? Truly, you do have some kind of trauma,” he complained. “I never should have allowed you to read those love novels. You picked up some odd ideas from them.”

    “Fancy that!” I spoke dumb. “Nobody will get abducted and hidden away in a dungeon.My ideas are perfectly sound.”

    “Sleep now!” he moaned. “And rest assured that I will report every word of our conversation to your father, Grianán. Perhaps he will make you see sense.”

    That made me giggle. “Good luck with that.”

    He quickly left.

    Lisiére stayed behind, forming a soothing blanket around me that was formed out of love and light.

    “Of course you could not intervene at the monastery. I do not blame you.”

    The energy blanket drew tighter.

    “Taran came to my rescue. Let me tell you all about it.”

    And so I told the bodiless Force spirit all that I could not yet share with Luçien at this crucial point.

    ********************************************************************

    (to be continued soon!)
    Last edited by AzureAngel2, Oct 19, 2012
  7. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    Some people won't admit to their wounds.
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  8. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4
    “Not yours,” he sulked. His gaze sharpened. “You look like you’ve been trampled in a bantha stampede.”

    Heh, not the thing to say to an irate woman ;)
    “There is no trace of blood in your clothing. How old are these wounds?” I wondered aloud. “Or did you wear bandages over them?

    She shouldn’t be talking!!


    “Do you indicate that I am not normal?”

    Frell yes!

    She is such a healer though.

    “Is this some kind of fashion show?” he muttered, annoyance shadowing his face.“I will not drop my pants for you. Let me assure you of that.”

    I may not like him, but I’m sure he’s got a nice arse ;)

    We both jumped a bit when he started purring.

    See, even he wants her to like his arse. :p

    “How can you love somebody like me?” he continued. “I have brought you nothing but fear, pain and shame.”

    Sweetheart, I’m asking the same question.

    “Wrong?” I repeated. “Just ‘wrong’? What you did was abysmal.”

    I repeat – frell yes!

    “I am not going to change my story now. We are not done, you and I,” I breathed into his hair. “Until we are, my siblings don´t need to know.”

    See, that’s chilling. But it can be in both a good and bad way…

    Lisiere makes me smile
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  9. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    I am back from France and it is nice to see the lovely words in your wonderful story.
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  10. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    Nope, they won´t and Lucien is very bad at admitting things.


    And hi, bird. Good that you are back from France!!! Thanks for reading.




    Recently I had a lot of doubts about this story, because my number of readers dropped due to Chilla´s year in Japan & Gkilkenny being needed elsewhere! Fisto might catch up at one point, if his studies let him. Ty has to work hard for a living and my husband does not always have time.



    But each time I read the coments of witty pants, thoughtful Misty and kind bird I go on anyway.
  11. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    @Lady_Misty, @SWpants666, @earlybird-obi-wan, @DarthUncle, @Chilla, @Cem_Fel.

    Okay, before I am off to the Harz Mountains, re-charing my batteries, let me give you THIS update here:


    ********************************************************************

    Iocus, Blandita, Rubio and Calathus came to fetch me for dinner. They attacked me with hugs, questions, pokes and kisses. I joined their Force meld immediately, making sure parts of my mind stayed closed to them.

    Caelestris, who had been out hunting, stayed at a distance. “Welcome home, little sister!” she said.

    When I went to embrace her, she drew back from me. There was unbalance between her body and her soul. Her Midi-chlorians were in great disharmony.

    I didn’t press the issue, knowing I would find out what it was sooner or later. There were other methods for me than skin to skin contact. For now I was hungry and not only for food. I needed company.

    Having my family at a dinner table was wonderful, even though Draň was there. Seen in candle light, I liked him even less than before. He was the kind of man who was too beautiful to be true.

    “Where is Sionnach?” I asked while chewing my roast venison with cranberry sauce.

    My siblings looked at me with blank features, while Isabeau made a face. “Forget about that clone! She is not family. We are!”

    I didn’t ask again, but just before dessert Blandita told me via telepathy, “Sionnach hates to be around when Draň is here. Luçien is pretty annoyed about that.”

    “Do you want to have any more sauce, Grianán?” My evil twin Daná almost shoved the bowl into my face.

    “If you are going to ask in that tone, no thanks!” I warbled like a little bird, trying to be extra sweet.

    Isabeau grinned. “All back to normal with the two of you, I see. If you keep behaving like this, I can set up a training session at dusk.”

    “That will not be necessary,” I answered quickly, already having different plans than getting a sword into my hands. My body would not allow me a hard training session. I was glad that I was able to hide my constant pain.

    When I left the dining room with the excuse that I was tired, the girls waited for me in the corridor. I could tell that they were not here for pleasure. They held themselves tensely, telling me they wanted an emergency briefing. They had news for me.

    ********************************************************************

    Despite all the technical equipment, the conference room felt more like a preparation for an Amnionian party. I spun around in the office chair enthusiastically, laughing the entire time.

    Luna sniggered. “I can clearly see that you lived in the complete wilderness for quite a while if a simple piece of furniture can excite you so much...”

    “Actually I lived in a cave with Taran Cù Sìth for about one month,” I interrupted her. “Our only comfort was blankets made out of animal pelts.”

    They stared at me, dumbstruck.

    “You were with that notorious werewolf?” Aranea called out.

    I beamed at them. “He is my godfather.”

    It was Luna who was keen on breaking the silence. “Networking is your hobby, is it not? I must say I am impressed. What other alliances have you created since Luçien fried you with his Force lightening?”

    “That´s about it.”

    Mora laughed. “Commander Cù Sìth keeps authorities busy more than thousand years and you dazzle him like a lap dog. You, his godchild. That is so rich!”

    This was not exactly how everything happened, but that story needed to wait. “You all brought me here for a reason, did you not?”

    A holo projection switched on in the middle of the table, showing an image of Luçien in the royal library, unaware of the camera. The bluish projection reminded me of a Force ghost.

    Luna pointed at him. “There are some concerning developments about Cat Litter. We felt that it’s time for you to know.”

    “Cat litter?” I mused.

    “Our official code name for him.”

    I gave her a thin smile. “Do I have a code name?”

    “Of course, Bright Eyes.”

    My smile froze when Luçien’s image disappeared, even though the machine still glowed. They knew about this particular Force gift of his. I suddenly wished that he would have been less arrogant and careless with his apparition skills.

    “It is not the first time that he has done that,” Luna stated gravely. “I have gathered more than fifty recordings from our surveillance cameras this winter. He jumps through the rooms of this castle like a grasshopper. There aren’t even currents in the Force to warn a being.”

    “Oh,” I said, biting back words. Telling them that I have known for eight sun years was probably not the best idea.

    ********************************************************************

    Face it, Bright Eyes!” Luna glared at me several hours later. “Luçien can be anywhere at any time. No door can hold him back. There is no prison cell in this galaxy that could trap him for long.”

    My voice seemed to come from elsewhere. I asked a question that I knew better than they did. “Can he do that with another person close to his body?”

    Luna tentatively placed a hand on my shoulder. “Look carefully at this next recording and judge for yourself. This is Garou, his heir. You might have heard of the little chap.”

    I had to watch how Luçien and his youngest son teleported from the office room they stood in. Both reappeared in the rose garden of the castle.

    Aranea, who had remained silent until now, took my limp hands. “Reconsider this match, Grianán. His psychological profile is unstable, his presence simply unpredictable and he is the worst kind of Darksider that there is. He believes that his deeds bring peace and order to the galaxy. Not unlike your godmother Mórag and we know how that turned out.”

    I lowered my gaze towards the smooth surface of the metal floor and wept silently for a few minutes. Neither I could not tell my best friends about my first kiss. Nor about the delicate situation that Luçien had been in with his half-sister once.

    ********************************************************************

    The girls insisted staying with me that night, keeping me safe. There was a sofa in Aranea´s office room that could be transformed into a bed nest large enough for all of us. Our limbs entwined like vines, granting me all the comfort that I needed.

    This was how Grandfather found us the next morning. He was not surprised in the least. The smell of chocolate surrounded him. He had a tray with four steaming mugs on it.

    “Good morning, ladies!”

    He inclined his head to us, while we were busy untangling ourselves. There was something homely and nostalgic about waking up this way.

    “Grandfather, you should not carry that!” Eyeing that tray, I felt awful. “It is too heavy for you.”

    He gave me a mild look of displeasure from under his bushy eyebrows.

    A nervous fovea centralis agent appeared behind him. “There is a Force knight with a trolley full of cereals and other breakfast items...”

    “Clearance granted,” said Aranea. She jumped out of bed with only her lingerie on.

    I stayed where I was, even though I was the only one fully dressed. “How did you know where I was, Grandfather?”

    His smile warmed me. “If the girls were at the other end of a black hole, you would dive for them. And they for you. Nothing can come between the four of you for long.”

    “You are not easily fooled. S’agapó!” I rose and walked towards him. I love you.

    He put down the tray, which by now held only my mug. “I have heard it say that true love is blind. Your grandmother was constantly in touch with the dark side, but she never gave me such charming tattoos. Are you aware what the symbols mean? Those are curses that surround you.”

    “Words cannot hurt.”

    “Needles can, Grianán. As can ancient secrets you may not be privy to.”

    “I will be his mirror and confidant, and everything in between,” I promised Grandfather.
  12. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    Grianan is in a tough situation.
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  13. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4
    Having my family at a dinner table was wonderful, even though Draň was there. Seen in candle light, I liked him even less than before. He was the kind of man who was too beautiful to be true.

    Awww. Well I felt the same about Dran, right? He grew on me. I'm glad she has her family around her. :)


    My body would not allow me a hard training session.

    That's for sure!


    I gave her a thin smile. “Do I have a code name?”

    “Of course, Bright Eyes.”


    :) :) :)


    My smile froze when Luçien’s image disappeared, even though the machine still glowed. They knew about this particular Force gift of his. I suddenly wished that he would have been less arrogant and careless with his apparition skills.

    Well, there are some things he has to be in control of himself. Can't do anything bout that.


    “Reconsider this match, Grianán. His psychological profile is unstable, his presence simply unpredictable and he is the worst kind of Darksider that there is. He believes that his deeds bring peace and order to the galaxy. Not unlike your godmother Mórag and we know how that turned out.”

    I AGREEEEE!!
    Though he's always had a bit more compassion than Morag. Ugh.

    Mmm hot chocolate in the morning ;)
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  14. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Grianan sure is in a situation and knowing about Lucien;)
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  15. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    @Lady_Misty, @SWpants666, @earlybird-obi-wan

    Thanks, girls, for reading this and commenting. At present there are not many highlights in my life. You sticking to me and giving feedback to this fic means the universe to me.

    Because my 2nd job expended to two days and I am forced to take a third one on, I will not be able to be on-line before next Wednesday. So I better update before the weekend.



    Chapter 27: The shadows are closing in

    Luçien returned the following afternoon while I was napping in my chambers. I woke up when his Force presence flared up in my breast like a shooting star.

    “Hi there!” I beamed, pushingaside the excruciating pain that sang in my bones.

    “Room service,” he joked and pushed away from the door frame.

    “What a nice surprise.” I smiled at him as he came near.

    Once more Luçien was not in his desert robes, but dressed casually. I liked him best this way. A tray with jasmine tea and cinnamon cookies rested in his large hands. “How are you, my love?” he asked, making me blush with this new title for me.

    “Tired, but happy. Please sit down!” I patted the mattress.

    Reverently, he came closer and put the tray on my night cabinet. “Do I need to give you anything against the pain you are in? You must have had a hell of a winter, even though Mórag had her best healers waiting on you.”

    I longed to tell him that it had been only Taran who cared for me.Instead I said, “The pain comes and goes. The healing session that you gave me yesterday helped a great deal.”

    He looked hopeful. “We can have more sessions. Not that the pain will ever fully vanish. Unfortunately, I used a very aggressive poison, but...”

    “You brought tea and cookies. And yourself. I appreciate the gesture.”

    In silence, he watched me eat and drink. I could tell that there was much on his mind. When I was finished, he pulled a little bottle out of his sash.

    “Argan oil?” I said and my heart began to race.

    “If I would ask you nicely if I can be allowed to regularly administer massage sessions, would you consider my offer?” His eyes were bright as sapphires.

    I twitched my nose. “After consulting my calendar, I might.”

    “On my terms only.” His face changed into a forbidding mask. “There will be no funny business. I promised your father as much.”

    “What are you afraid of?” I got up, smoothing down my nightgown. “I am not afraid.”

    “You should be. This is a betrayal of the Draconian crown.”

    Luçien,” I laughed, “I am last in the line of succession and besides, all of my siblings have liaisons.”

    “Liaison? Is it that what I am for you? A pet for a Tjiehenet? Or a pain killer?”

    “Of course not.” I could feel myself burning in embarrassment. “You are...”

    “Yes?” he encouraged me.

    It was too early to speak the three words. At this stage it would only send him running. “I would never dare to play with your heart,” I said instead. “It has enough scars already.”

    Luçien glanced sideways at me. His look was hard to judge. The next thing he said took me aback. “Could you please undress behind the paravent and put on a towel? There is no need for me to see more of your skin than necessary.”

    This was not how I had envisioned it. Disappointed, I did his bidding. I could not argue with him, if he talked to Father. I took time undressing myself though.

    “I do not know if this will help against your frustration, but please give me time to consider your amazing offer, Grianán.” He smiled, but made no move to touch me, once I lay down on my stomach. “You are very young and very beautiful. I still do not believe I really deserve you. And if such a relationship iseven proper, considering your current state of health.”

    “Let me decide that,” I mumbled into my pillow.

    A long time nothing happened.

    Then I heard the rustling of his tunic and he came to stand next to me, stating, “Speaking of decisions, when did you decide that it had to be me?”

    I shook my head, telling him wordlessly I wouldn’t tell.

    “When I became your tutor?”

    I remained silent.

    “Or the moment that you had to leave me behind for joining Mórag?” he inquired.

    “Does that matter?” I was resentful, even though it was clear to me that I owed him some answers at least.

    “You must have gotten your romantic ideas about me from somewhere. Teenage hormones cannot be the only reason.”

    I sniffed, not willing to tell. If he ever came to know that I knew all about his concubines, especially Irmgard, a Seeker like me, I was finished. Luçien might cut me into pieces and hide my maimed corpse away in the mountains, like he had done with Éibhear´s true father. No, I would not confess that not only romantic novels had to do with my feelings for him. My gift of psychometry had to be kept secret at all costs.

    “Oh, of course,” he exclaimed and I smelt the precious Argan oil being opened. “It was due to the aftermath of the Force storm.”

    “Even if,” I found myself saying. “Those are my dreams, my own feelings. Please do not diminish them.”

    He patted my back lovingly, his hands already adorned with the massage oil. “I would not dare. You have every right to them. You know how most of my dreams ended up.”

    After that, he worked on my back in silence. I could not help but make sighs of content every so often. His hands were gentle and rough at the same time. My thoughts strayed as my body relaxed.

    As a lover, I believed Luçien to be just as experienced, as well as sophisticated and considerate. I could feel his aura struggling against my vivid dreams. He wanted to keep it a simple massage. His urbane reserve was more than maddening and dampened my mood.

    His voice broke into my thoughts. “Would you take potions that I mix for you?”

    “If you would take care to share their contents and effects with me, I might.”

    “What do you know about Belladonna?”

    “It is one of the most toxic plants found in the Western hemisphere, Luçien. It’s one of the first things a Herbology student learns, and is constantly reminded of.”

    “In small doses however, the plant causes a feeling of euphoria, followed by a deep sleep, engendering vivid dreams.”

    “I never dream like that.”

    “Then it is about time you have the experience,” he offered. “Please. I want to do what I can to ease your suffering.”

    ********************************************************************

    Despite all my various obligations at court and the strong drugs Luçien had put me on at night, I managed to contact with the highest ranked priestesses of my order. A myriad of messages went back and forth from Dún Barr, without alerting Luçien to them. The death of Mórag remained top secret for the time being. They respected me as the new head of the order.

    Overall, I was happy and content, despite my physical suffering. Only one thing truly dampened my spirits. My niece Heulwen, the daughter of Sereno and Gwenynen, had been kept at a safe distance from me. The nine-year-old was afraid of her ´spooky aunt Grianán´. That did hurt a bit, but it was not in my power to change her attitude towards me.

    In public, Luçien and I did our best to ignore each other completely. He would usually visit me after my afternoon naps. While working on my skin with a mixture of esotherical oils and Force healing skills, he talked about everything that came to his mind. He rarely spoke about himself though or his feelings. He did not try to kiss me again, but he kept saying ´my love´ to me. That sent tingles through my body each time.


    [IMG]

    Each night after dinner, I was with Arena, Luna and Mora. They tried home-made popcorn, chocolate fondue and many other sweet sins to distract me from brooding too much. It was also their mission to lure me back into the Force meld of my siblings, especially for the nights. But I would not hear any of this. It was a blessing to be absolutely pain free, at least in sleep, thanks to Luçien’s concoctions.

    When he came in late at night, I bravely took his medicine. I had him tell me stories or sing lullabies to me, until the full effect kicked in. It was unfortunate that he could not play his violin, as that would have given us away.

    Luçien stayed at my side through each night, my left hand resting in both of his hands while I slept. He meditated in an arm chair he had erected next to my bed. He helped me wash and dress each morning, fussing over each wince my sore body created. I believed that I would not mind us continuing this way for the rest of my life, even though it made me vulnerable and dependent on him.

    ********************************************************************


    My daily schedule changed abruptly with the arrival of Sionnach O´Conghaile. I happened upon her in the kitchen on the evening she came. She was talking to Grandfather. I had trouble taking my eyes off her. The last time I had seen her was about ten sun years ago.

    The red-haired clone had turned into a self-aware woman with a calm dignity. Where Isabeau was fire, she was water. Her nature was sweet and forgiving, too forgiving perhaps. The shadows of Luçien had crept into her soul, but she still came back to visit him regularly. Like me she was afraid of his final fall from grace.

    Grandfather pulled me aside after I had made my presence known. “Grianán,” he said in a slow voice. “I believe this is my night to leave this world, this life. Give me a hug, a kiss, and don’t despair. I’ve lived long and all things must die.”

    I did as he asked. There was nothing that I could do, only accept his fate. “Then please, allow me to bring you to your room,” I said.

    My cousin stood up in one swift and elegant move. Her azure eyes showed concern. It occurred to me that she also knew that grandfather was taking his last breaths. “Can I help?” she asked me with her melodious voice.

    It lightened my heart to have her around, to share this burden. “Thank you, Sionnach,” I breathed.

    ********************************************************************

    Once Grandfather rested in his own bed in the servant quarters, he said softly, “Twilight is upon me, and soon night must fall.”

    I brushed my lips over his brow. “Mother and Grandmother will wait for you on the other side.”

    “I am grateful to have known you, child. And you, Sionnach. Together you two will make all well.”

    And with that, he died.

    Sionnach and I held hands in silence. I lost track of time. Only the moment counted and it stretched into eternity.

    I felt her Elfin eyes on me. “I will just speak about this once and then never again, Grianán. Who did this to you?”

    I owed Sionnach the truth to some extent. “You already carry the answer inside you.”

    The shock of confirmation drained all colour from her lovely face. But she kept on holding my hand, squeezing it even harder.

    ********************************************************************
    Last edited by AzureAngel2, Oct 19, 2012
  16. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4
    “How are you, my love?” he asked, making me blush with this new title for me.

    ew :p


    “If I would ask you nicely if I can be allowed to regularly administer massage sessions, would you consider my offer?” His eyes were bright as sapphires.

    I don’t even think that I could pass that up!


    “I would never dare to play with your heart,”

    Oye, don’t we all freaking know that.


    “You must have gotten your romantic ideas about me from somewhere. Teenage hormones cannot be the only reason.”

    [face_laugh] He’s very correct!!


    “Would you take potions that I mix for you?”

    “If you would take care to share their contents and effects with me, I might.”


    Hey, fair enough

    My niece Heulwen, the daughter of Sereno and Gwenynen, had been kept at a safe distance from me. The nine-year-old was afraid of her ´spooky aunt Grianán´. That did hurt a bit, but it was not in my power to change her attitude towards me.

    No, and she was quite spooky for some time. She needed time to heal too.

    I believed that I would not mind us continuing this way for the rest of my life, even though it made me vulnerable and dependent on him.

    I know that she would completely hate it after a while.


    Where Isabeau was fire, she was water.

    Apt descriptions.



    I brushed my lips over his brow. “Mother and Grandmother will wait for you on the other side.”

    “I am grateful to have known you, child. And you, Sionnach. Together you two will make all well.”


    It’s a sad but peaceful ending you’ve left us with.
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  17. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    For so many that Fall they can take people with them. When I was 11-12 years old two young woman in my church for a talent night played a Country song. I don't remember many of the words except that most of the chorus was 'If I fall you're going down with me.' repeated several times. Those words have stayed with me all these years because friends can drag each other down.

    Death is seen as an end for so many but for a few it is seen as a beginning.
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  18. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    A nice chapter with meaningful words. A Fall can take all but there was hope in the last words of grandfather.
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  19. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    @SWpants666: I simply love your comments. Thanks for being such a dedicated reader as much as a wonderful beta.

    @Lady_Misty: Thanks for your thoughts! Grianán might fall when Lucien does... we will see.

    @earlybird-obi-wan: Yes, Narthex was hopeful, but can we all be that hopeful. It is a dangerous game after all.

    Okay, because @DarthUncle and I had our 4th wedding anniversary yesterday, I am in high spirits and give you all a surprise update, before I vanish into the paper mountain again that concerns my German study debts.

    Perhaps other old readers, equally kept busy by Darth RL might join:

    @Tyranus230

    @arwen_sith

    @Chilla

    @Gkilkenny

    @Cem_Fel or @Shawnkyr




    ********************************************************************

    Èleos joined us many hours later, overwhelmed by the news of Grandfather´s passing. After a short conversation, it was agreed on that I should spent the night in the company of Sionnach. Valiant was asked to tell Luçien that his official companion was off with a Force healer´s errant.

    I led Sionnach through the castle. When we entered my room, I noticed immediately that something was wrong. My fingertips glided over the door when I closed it behind us. In my long absence, Aranea had arranged secret surveillance cameras to be installed. I masked my anger as much as my physical pain.

    Once I lay down in bed next to Sionnach, I reached out in the Force. “Luçien?”

    “Yes, my love?”

    “Grandfather is no more, but I would like to be alone tonight.”

    After a shocked silence that lasted for some heartbeats, he replied very determined, “Nonsense. You need company. Let me be the shoulder you can cry on. Please.”

    “You cannot visit,” I insisted. “I rather have you stay at Father´s...”

    My transmission was ended by slender Elfin hands that sent me straight into a Force healing trance.

    ********************************************************************

    At dusk I woke up between a snoring Èleos and a tear-smeared Sionnach. But there was more. I felt three strong Force presences just outside the door. Aranea, Mora and Luna had come for me. They took me to Grandfather´s chambers, armed with skewers and marshmallows.

    We sat down in front of his fireplace and silently lit dry wood to roast our sweets. We solemnly remembered Grandfather and began to giggle when Mora brought up his favourite quotes.

    After two hoursof memories, the subject changed abruptly.

    “You want the clone to know about the dungeon?” Aranea looked at me unhappily. “Not even my own department is aware of the porta nigra down there. It is our childhood secret.”

    I stroked her arched back lovingly. “It is not our club house. It never was.”

    Luna waved her hand lazily. “If it makes you happy then show Sionnach what is down there. She will be thrilled.”

    “I have too many responsibilities that are causing me stress with the upcoming funeral service of grandfather.”

    Mora licked her fingers, still sticky with sugar. “Get reconnected with the Unifying Force. It might help you relax and understand more.”

    Aranea gave me a sad look. “There is so much life for youto experience. I wish you to have some fun once in a while. Not only with us. Your cousin seems to be a decent person. I think it is worth trusting her.”

    Luna said nothing. She just grinned.

    Having arranged that, I fully dedicated myself to the task of having a cosy winter morning indoors.

    ********************************************************************

    I was dozing in my copper bathtub, enjoying the heat of the water and being carried away by the lavender essences. Luçien appeared next to my left elbow, dressed in his breeches only. His hair wastightly braided. For once, he wasn’t wearing eye make-up.

    “You had guests last night,” he stated.

    “I did not mean to shut you out,” I said, feeling guilty. “You loved Grandfather as well.”

    He nodded, not able to say anything proper.

    When I got up to hug him he immediately handed me a nearby towel. His eyes were fixed on my face only. “Cover yourself before you catch a chill! I cannot have you any more ill than you already are.”

    I still did not accept the towel.

    “Get dressed,” he insisted. “I cannot talk to you like this.”

    “Why not?” I probed.

    “You are naked and vulnerable,” he told me huskily, turning his back to me completely. “Please stop torturing me.”

    I quickly dressed, finishing with a green Elfin dress. It had a high neck line and an ornamented hood. “Finished!” I called out, covering my bald head.

    Luçien walked over, took the hood off again and stroked over the left half of my face. His touch seared my skin, filling my veins with fire. “There is no need to have that hood on when you are with me.”

    “I... I... feel so ugly at times”, I stuttered.

    “You are not.” He had to stop and clear his throat, before adding tenderly, “To me, you will always be beautiful, Grianán,”

    “But I feel like a freak.”

    “Don´t!” Impulsively, he gathered me into his arms.

    I closed my eyes, wanting to lift my chin and kiss him. His thumb brushed lightly against my lower lip. I wanted him so badly that it hurt.

    “You and I are not married,” he sighed. “I have no right. Your Grandfather just died and, damn... don´t look at me like that.”

    He vanished, leaving me in emotional turmoil.
  20. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Lucien in love; love it;)
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  21. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4
    :D Congrats on your anniversary!!


    “Grandfather is no more, but I would like to be alone tonight.”

    After a shocked silence that lasted for some heartbeats, he replied very determined, “Nonsense. You need company. Let me be the shoulder you can cry on. Please.”


    While I don't like Lucien, his response is the same as mine would be.


    “You want the clone to know about the dungeon?” Aranea looked at me unhappily. “Not even my own department is aware of the porta nigra down there. It is our childhood secret.”

    Sometimes a secret has to be revealed. [face_plain]


    I was dozing in my copper bathtub, enjoying the heat of the water and being carried away by the lavender essences. Luçien appeared next to my left elbow, dressed in his breeches only. His hair wastightly braided. For once, he wasn’t wearing eye make-up.

    Sounds blissful.
    Ah, Lucien.


    “You are naked and vulnerable,” he told me huskily, turning his back to me completely. “Please stop torturing me.”

    You know, it kind of pisses me off that manipulating him, essentially almost raping him. And I don't like Lucien!
    Geez, he said he finds you beautiful shut the hell up about feeling ugly around him. Yeesh, as if his near-orgasmic reaction isn't enough to persuade you!


    Your characters frustrate me to no end. :p
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  22. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    Roasting marshmallows is so much fun!!

    They still have a ways to go.
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  23. DarthUncle Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2005
    star 5
    We had a nice day together :)
    Heh, @AzureAngel2 surely doing something right there!

    I think it helps to recall that Grianan and her kind are all quite used to, and comfortable with, being in the nude around each other (those family group hug/sleep places surely aren't pyjama, in a jungle setting, for example?). Still, I agree she's manipulating. He is still finding it perverse to think of her has anything but a kid, and she'd be all over him if she got half a chance. Lucien is right that teenage hormones probably do play a role in that :p

    And him only starting to realise he doesn't just care about her as a young friend/kid, but as a woman but not yet ready to fully accept her as an adult (let alone equal, I wonder if he will be able to see anyone as an equal really, period; though surely he must somehow find a way to get there if they are to have a future, hm).

    Nice to meet Sionnach again! I recall these scenes from her perspective, very disturbing to meet Grianan this way, with the doubts and issues with Lucien, and then that quite beautiful way to let Narthex go.
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  24. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    @earlybird-obi-wan: Lucien has trouble to deal with that love. He is completely overtaxed.

    @SWpants666: Grianán´s plan is a bit messy, yes, but she has no intention to rape Lucien. I can assure you that. Her emotions and needs are a bit messed up, due to events and the pain she is in and as my husband DarthUncle also tried to explain, she is from a culture where nakedness is rather natural.

    @Lady_Misty: Yes, this story still has way to go... into the dark... and perhaps running back to the light.

    @DarthUncle: I am so proud that I could lure you away from reading my books, such as "Bared to you", which I bought this month. Now I hear you calling upstairs with your exciting voice. I better drop this update and then I feed you by baking scones. Lot´s of them.



    Chapter 28: On the wings of angels

    Aranea ordered the fovea centralis to be extremely alert when I slipped into the unused dungeons. Nobody was to follow me accept Sionnach. It was as dark, moist and gloomy as it had always been.

    Some ghosts tried to make themselves known to me, but I calmly said into the never-ending night, “I am just a humble visitor. Please let me go my way! I do honour your sacrifices and will not forget them. For today, and all my visits to follow, I beg you to grant me and my Elfin cousin the right of passage. Our mission is urgent.”

    My honest plea worked and the restless souls drew back.

    I needed no light to find the sleeping porta nigra. My heart remembered every step that I needed to take. I stroked the ancient stone arch with my finger tips, activating it immediately. It recognized a legitimate heiress of this castle. I sang an old chant of my people anyway, feeling better with each note that left my throat.

    “Mother of darkness, Mother of light
    Earth beneath us, soul in flight
    Songs of love and love of life
    Guide us to our heart.”

    Green light shone through the torture chamber, illuminating the gruesome scenery. Nobody had ever bothered to clean up the mess in here, and the torture instruments were still there.

    I turned around to Sionnach and Valiant, who both looked terror stricken. Their hands shook uncontrollably, making the flames of their torches flicker.

    “Welcome to the underworld!” My smile hurt in the damp cold of the ancient dungeon. “Instead of having a history lesson, we will leave the castle unseen this way and go to places I think will interest you. Follow me.”

    ********************************************************************

    During my many journeys with Sionnach, I had been able to practice three abilities that I had believed to have lost since the temple raid: control, sense and alter. Everything that I had worked with before was coming back to me. It almost made me forget the deep pain that gnarled at my bones. And my romance woes with Luçien.

    Teaching my cousin was a blessing. She was attentive, diligent and eager. It was a pity that her master had become too lazy, too sloppy and too possessed with the dark side. A student like her was hard to find.

    Soon it occurred to me that she was not familiar with the concept of the Unifying Force. So during an extended and pleasant stay in the Western Prairies I started speaking about it.

    Sionnach pondered on all that I had said and finally replied, “I am willing to trust you on this.”

    I asked in a serious tone, “Then I can start your training?”

    Her eyes twinkled with sheer delight. For the past nine sun years, she had been vacant, only letting old Force lessons sink in. The challenge that I offered her made her face glow.

    ********************************************************************

    That evening, Luçien swirled into my bedroom like some sand devil. He was in his desert robes, veil and all. “Please do not puke out your medicine again, Grianán! It is disgusting.”

    I gazed up from my washing bowl, feeling guilty.

    Luçien looked implacable. “It is more than the pain of damaged marrow I try to keep at bay from you. You are in danger of falling to the dark side due to what I did back at the temple.And throwing up the medicine not only renders it useless but causes more damage to your organs.”

    I gave him a pleading look.

    “Show me how good you are without me and the sleeping draught,” he shouted. “But if you fail to do so, I will be in charge for tonight and all the nights to follow. And I will make sure that you keep my medicine in your system.”

    For the first night in ages, I slept with a calm stomach.

    Hours later, I woke up to the sound of a pencil moving over a piece of paper.

    “Why are you awake?” Luçien muttered, not looking up. I opened my eyes and saw he was just wearing a nightgown.

    “Are you drawing me?”

    “Perhaps,” he said, elongating the vowels, “But I will only show you when you behave like a good girl again.”

    “I am good,” I protested. “Always am.”

    Luçien got up from the stole he had sat on. “You are burning with pain. I will give you the drought now and you will take it.”

    “You will turn me into an addict if you go on like this,” I warned him urgently, while he held the cup already in front of me.

    “You should trust my judgement as a healer. I swear by all that is holy to me, I will not let you down.”

    I took the cup from him. “You should not let yourself down either, Luçien.”

    Then I drank in deep, even gulps. I felt my consciousness leaving me. He had increased the dosage threefold.

    “Can... can you... tell me... a story?” I stuttered. “And ho-ho-hold me?”

    He hesitated.

    “Pl-pl-please?”

    “Of course I can,” Luçien said, wrapping my sore body in a mixture of words and touch. “Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away,...”

    ********************************************************************

    With the support of the porta nigra, Sionnach and I were able to hold our training sessions planet wide. There was something soothing in all the landscapes that we visited and we found serenity in ourselves.


    [IMG]

    In the evenings, Luçien let me speak my nightly prayers. Then he read through each my favourite books, luring me away gradually before the drug unfolded its full effect.

    One late afternoon, young Garou joined me in the window seat that I was sitting in. By human standards, he was about eight sun years, even though he was born sixteen winters ago. I was writing in my leather-bound diary, which had been a midwinter gift from Isabeau. I wrote in it as much as possible in order to focus my mind and keep my dream alive.

    Garou waited until I was finished writing before speaking. “Princess, can I talk with You?” the boy asked politely. “It won´t take long.”

    “Of course you may.”

    “I would like to thank you for being so nice to maman. She needs a friend like you.” He gave my diary a side look. “I bet you also need her.”

    I smiled at him friendly. “Why do You think so, little lord?”

    His cat eyes flared with humour. “When I am upset with papa, I have Éibhear and Skylt to talk to. You seem to write everything down in that book of yours. Talking is not an option for you, even though you have friends who love you more than their own life. And family to whom you are as precious as gold.”

    “Your point is?” I inquired carefully.

    “I bet there are things in your heart that you would not even tell my parents.And I notice things that they do not. It is okay to be in love with papa. I will keep you in my prayers. I would enjoy having you as a step-mother and hope that he sees this.”

    I gave him a little smile.

    And I am sorry,” he moved on, “that we had to increase the strength of the potion. Papa was not happy when I suggested it to him.”

    My stomach clenched together and so did my hands. “You help him out?”

    “Of course I do. He is worried he may accidentally poison you otherwise. You mean the universe to him, but the dark side clouds his judgement, and that is very dangerous for you. Please try to stay out of trouble. This is a crucial time, for both of you.”

    ********************************************************************

    When spring lay in the air I decided to strengthen my old bonds with Helygen again. The ancient shaman had certain skills that I needed Sionnach to learn. There was great Force potential in my cousin.

    In the wrong hands, the procedure of essence transfer could go utterly wrong. My undead ancestors in the crypt of the Holy Isle were the best proof of that. But Sionnach was one of the best Force healers that I had ever come across. Compassion and kindness for other beings came naturally to her. Críonnacht O´Conghaile, Mother´s former nanny, had done well in her education.

    Before I went to my rendezvous point, I took one of Luçien’s spare gloves with me. It would help me to tell a story, from a certain point of view at least. It would be impossible to give my old Force teacher and Sionnach the absolute truth. I needed to protect them from exposure as much as I needed to protect the man who I loved.

    Luçien kept countless secrets; I did not even know all of them. He had isolated himself from those who meant him well.

    While Sionnach was deep in a Force trance, embracing the Unifying Force, I thought on key events of Luçien´s life. Each sage leaf that Helygen threw into the ceremonial fire gave the memories more clarity and intensity. I held on to a very special one – the day that his life became infected by the dark side.

    “Do you know why you are here, Luçien?”

    I shake my head, because this entire meeting seems more complicated than I expected.

    “A powerful Force user like you is a blessing for our world. There are many who have gone astray. The scriptures are not obeyed as well as they should be.”

    To hear that makes me sad, but there is not much that I can do about it. I am only three years old.

    “I understood from Fleur that you love the Holy Scriptures very much.”

    I answer with an enthusiastic nod.

    The ghost of a smile hovers on the lips of my grandfather. “You have come to the right place then. I can teach you all there is to know about the Scriptures. Do you want me to?”

    I may be young, but I understand what a handshake means between adults. The one that my grandfather gives me is painful and bone crushing. I cry immediately, for this was not the deal that I had in mind.

    “Stop crying like a baby, Luçien,” he shouts at me. “Pain is insignificant next to the power of the Force. A single life means nothing to the existence of our people. You are just dust in the wind, nothing else. A bastard that your mother brought forth.”

    The tears continue to flow, though I’ve quieted my sobs.

    “I will teach you to better yourself and to be the saviour that we need.”

    He hits me harder, dealing worse abuse than I have seen him give my mother. His signet ring splits my lips.

    “I want home,” I sniff.

    “Home?” he sneers. “You have no home from now on. Fleur abandoned you to me when she walked out of that door. I am your destiny.”


    *******************************************************************************************************
    As I surfaced from the past, I found Helygen watching with hooded eyes. She reached out for my hands and squeezed them with her claw-like fingers. “When was the last time you went on a soul journey, sunshine? A real one, I mean. Not one into the dark hole that is Luçien´s soul.”

    Her words hurt me with a bitter-sweet ache. I closed my eyes again, pressing the heels of my hands against my lids. “Forgive me, but those days are gone. If he ever catches me doing soul journeys, I will be a dead woman.”

    “If you cannot be what you truly are around him, you will never flourish,” she said wearily. “You will wither away like a flower that has sun and rain, but no roots to nourish it.”

    “Luçien will not approve of the way of the shaman.”

    “Then wisdom, healing and insight will not come to him.”

    I wanted to weep, but instead defended his views. “Parhelion thought a Force healer like Sionnach could help him physically, from the inside out. But that was wrong. Love is the answer. And I love him with all my heart.”

    The fire crackled.

    Helygen began chanting an old Ophidiae song that I knew since my early childhood. Her usually harsh raven voice turned soft.

    “Earth my body
    Water my blood
    Air my breath
    And fire my spirit.”

    On the far side of thehearth, Sionnach sat with crossed legs, her open palms resting on her knees. She was with us in body, but her spirit was not. Soft light glowed all around her. Her eyes were closed, and her face reflected serenity.

    “Helygen, please believe me that there is more than anguish and hatred in him. He can be so much more than the sum of his fear and anger."

    She smiled, genuine and startling. “Our common ancestors believed in blood sacrifice to keep the cosmos in balance. How far are you prepared to go, Grianán? All the way?”

    ********************************************************************

    That night, I watched Luçien attentively while he prepared my medication. The dose of belladonna was alarming, but I had to trust both him and Garou with this. When he was finished and turned around to face me fully, I gathered the courage to ask him a question that had been on my mind since I had left Helygen.

    His reaction was mild panic. “Are you out of your mind?” he practically screeched.

    “Laying next to me has to be more comfortable than sitting on that chair the entire night. How long will you continue to ruin your posture?”

    Luçien´s eyes narrowed. “I will not crawl under that blanket with you. That is out of the question.”

    I gazed at the dancing patterns that the candlelight played on the ceiling. “If you do not give in to my most reasonable request I will not drink the potion tonight.”

    “Empty threats do not impress me much, Grianán. Do not act like a child.”

    My eyes wandered back at him and I gave him a level look. “You cannot stand to see me suffer. And you have unfounded qualms with forcing the potion down my throat.”

    “The longer I know you, the more I see glimpses of your mother in you.” He gritted his teeth audibly.

    “Is this about acts of necromancy again?” My stomach lurched. There was no way that he could know about my visit at Fan Cill.

    “No, it is more about profound desires and an indomitable will.” A mix of mirth and sorrow echoed in his voice.

    “Moi?” I asked as innocently as possible.

    Luçien sat down next to me, exhausted and annoyed. “I swear, Grianán, you will be the death of me.”

    “Would you feel safer if I would allow you to place your scimitar between us?”

    He rolled his eyes. “Just drink the potion.”

    I reached out for the mug that he had placed on my night cabinet.

    “You are right – I can’t justify forcing the medicine down your throat.” Luçien gave me an exhausted glare. “So here’s what we’ll do. You stay under the covers and I’ll stay on top of them. You will keep your hands to yourself and you will not ask me to go oppose the few morals I still hold.”

    I drank the portion in eager gulps. After I had finished it off I sank back into my pillows again. My head started spinning. “I heard that some Amnionian men give party drugs to young girls to get them into bed.”

    Luçien shook his head and tucked my blanket tighter around me. “I do not drug you for senseless reasons, Grianán. Stop being silly.”

    I closed my eyes.

    “You have been spurting a lot of nonsense of lately.” He came to lay down behind me. “I should reconsider the dosage and the ingredients.”

    An urgent question popped up within my hazy mind. “You will... not get up... again... once I am... knocked out?”

    “A promise is a promise for me.” His warm breath stirred over the skin of my skull.

    “Arm?” I asked sleepily.

    “Well, I guess it can do no harm.” Carefully, he slid one of his arms around my waist and pressed a cheek against my back.

    Soon, there was only darkness, warmth and peace.

    And a girl, shivering in my arms. I addressed her carefully as if she was a frightened eopie calf.

    “I also lost a sister,” I whisper into her dense hair. For that I get no answer. “You know, I can be your elder brother.”

    “Mama would not like that,” she protests weakly.

    The piercing scream of a woman echoes through the nomad camp, followed by the victorious roar of Alezan. The men around me start to hoot and jeer.

    I begin to mentally see disturbing images. Something bad is happening to Isabeau´s mother. Something that Alezan does to her in front of all the gathered warriors. From their reaction, I gather that it must be part of traditional war making. I do not understand it, so I shut the images out and concentrate on my new sister.

    “I am here for you,” I tell Isabeau.

    She looks up to me with her tear-streaked face and I wish nothing more in the universe than for those tears to stop falling.

    I take her small head between my palms. If I only could make all the horrible pictures inside her vanish. It is bad enough that I cannot forget the way that my grandfather prays, a whip in his hand. My finger start to massage her temples.

    They took papa´s head,” she whispers. “Can I have it back? Perhaps it grows on again.”

    Isabeau should not remember what happened here tonight. I want her to live a blissful life. My Force gift unfolds all by itself. I had not known it was there. It races through Isabeau´s brain. Her eyes roll back and she begins vomiting. I feel guilty; my good intentions have gone wrong yet again.
  25. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    The Shaman has a point: how far is she willing to go and is she prepared to deal with the consequences.
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
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