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.

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    Dear pants, I cannot help to notice that you are warming for Lucien... slightly. Your quotes betray you! :D


    Gri is confused & traumatized, having no control of her special Force gift, her fears or her body. Only her pride holds her up at this point.



    Yes, he does, though it didn't stop him just going further with her. I'll put that up to the dark side that was ruling him, or it would be quite troubling still, that he "respects" strong willed persons, only to strongly battle with them to conquer .... Well, he's reformed, my dear AzureAngel2 assures me :p
    I loved that contrast, nicely showing how she's still stuck in thoughts about her torture, while he's moved on but can't seem to do much to help her get back to the present. At least it is a good sign that her body eventually keeps snapping her out of the past and dark-side influence. There is good in her still, clearly, and it is fighting hard to get her back.

    Though I think Lucien still is a stickler for punishment - he can't really help her, but feels compelled to be with her, to be tormented by his love (as he now fully knows) hurting from wounds he inflicted. His "responsibility", I guess he will have to learn to stop doing that and let people be, instead of always trying to intervene!

    Oh, I agree it is also about love, he can't leave her alone when she's suffering like this, and I do guess that he needed to show her he finally will be compassionate and really able to at least try and mend what he caused instead of just forcing the issues. But still, I am sure that the punishment that it mentally gives him is secretly welcome now he has abandoned his own daily punishing on her earlier orders:
    Maybe now it is just another type of pain, not physical but mental? Not sure that's really better if so Luçien! But cleverly played, sort of. Need to work a bit more at staying in the light perhaps?

    Yep, for me too, definitely.[/quote]

    I could say a lot now, dear husband. Just let me tell you how ardently I admire and love you. Thanks for turning the stress before Christmas into a real treat & cleaning the windows downstairs.

    Okay, before I must go on feverishly with my Christmas card writing, I will give you my latest update. I hope that I can update for my husband´s 37th birthday, the 23rd December again.


    Chapter 36: Leap of faith

    Even after sleepless nights, it would sometimes take me a while to get up and change. Each time I looked around for Luçien before stripping. Before him, I never was ashamed of nakedness.

    [IMG]

    “Grianán?”

    His voice from the tent’s entrance made me jump and yell at him. “Will you stop staring at me? For once, respect my privacy!”

    He turned away his face. “I was just wondering if I can offer you a helping hand. That is all. You are slow this morning and in bad shape.”

    My Force shroud contracted around me. “Help from you? Who just loves to see me in awkward situations?”

    “How so?”

    “I mean being dependent on your mercy. Half-naked preferably.”

    He shook his head wordlessly and left the tent with hanging shoulders. Several heartbeats later he was with me again. “A storm is coming!”

    I looked at him critically as if he would have conjured the sand devil on purpose.

    “I did not plan this, Grianán! It´s not my fault. Hold on!” Luçien pushed me to the ground and lay over me, rolling his cape around us.

    A protesting scream erupted from my throat.

    “Please hush!” he begged in the semi-darkness that now trapped us. “This is a mere measure of precaution. My step-sister would have done the same with you. But we have another option she could have never used.”

    Despite my blind panic and anger he made me curious. “What?”

    “I suppose you know how to do a light shield?”

    I nodded eagerly, but then I found out that I could not summon the light. My heart was darker than I had thought. My positive Force abilities were blocked by the dark side.

    “May I?” Luçien suggested neutrally.

    I could not answer him. My eyes filled with tears. I was so ashamed of myself. This was one of my oldest Force gifts and I failed in using it.

    He managed to build up a protective shield around our bodies and the nervous eopies. “I am sorry that I had to throw you on the ground like this, but I cannot teleport you and the eopies at the same time.”

    “They do not need to die,” I agreed.

    Darkness fell around us and then there was a bone-splitting sound. The tent was torn into pieces, while our possessions were swept with enormous speed.

    Being so close to Luçien and upset about myself unfortunately stirred my Force gift inside me.

    Freeing Grianán from her restrictions now would void all the efforts and pain that brought us here and would halt – or worse, prevent– her salvation. Instead, I simply cut away her dirty nightgown, shedding the resulting rags. It is painstaking work and demands all of my considerable swordsman's skills. I do not wish to cut her skin. Not after what my tattoo needles did to her.

    I heat up fresh water with the Force before washing Grianán. She will get cold again soon enough, so this won't hamper the rituals. I use a fresh, soft, sponge to carefully clean her and gently rub her dry with a towel.

    “You must learn to master self-control. I am very, very upset with you.”

    I have the impression that she smiles at me from underneath the torture mask. Her situation then cannot be so bleak if she still retains her humour. I feel like emptying out the water bowl above her instead of putting a blanket over her quivering shoulders, if she's laughing at what we are trying to accomplish.

    “You are guilty, Grianán. Guilty as can be. I told you not to practice divination or sorcery. Almost begged you to better yourself. But you had to play with the danger, you wanton woman. Why did you stay with that Gwyllion shaman woman who is as mad as my half-sister? What did your Force phantoms promise you? Power? Unlimited power? Look at me carefully. Who is in charge now? Who has control, power? You? No, me!”

    There is a single tear. Why does she always cry so soundlessly? That has always annoyed me about her. Perhaps it can be changed.

    “Do you really expect them to be there for you? Or even to rescue you from right under my nose? They cannot do anything when I decide to remove your limbs. I believe I will start with your nails first though. Let us build up the tension a bit. I want you to never forget what was necessary for ME to Save YOUR Soul!”

    There, another tear. At least she can react as a normal being would.

    “You can cry as much as you like, but there will not be anybody to save you. We are in the middle of nowhere. Your family knows that you like to vanish from the castle grounds for hours, sneakily masking your presence in the Force. As for your father, he knows that I prepared the hunt for Isabeau. He was forced to lend me his ship for that. Mórag cowardly hides from me since the temple raid. And old Helygen could be bothered less to send armies of spirit animals on your behalf. Face it, Grianán, you are really bereft of hope.”

    Now she tensed. I had her attention.

    “Lost, but for me. For I can indeed save you. But it can only be done when you finally acknowledge the truth and forsake your evil ways. When you pledge yourself to me and my mission, only then will you be safe and whole again.”

    She squeezes her eyes shut.

    “Don´t you dare turn your gaze away from me,” I yell.

    Startled, she stares at me again.

    “I have already wasted hours here because you were unconscious. Do not make me administer any more drugs to you. You will stay awake. And you will listen to me.”

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

    My mind trip ended as abruptly as it had begun. With a fright, I returned to my own body. Luçien still lay on top of me, shielding me protectively. The fabric of his long travel cloak was stretched tight around us. His light shield kept the destructive force of the sand storm away from us and the animals.

    “There is nothing to fear, Grianán,” he told me full of heartbreaking honesty. “I will not abuse the situation. We will simply lie here until the storm is over, together. If you do not want to speak, that is aright.”

    I wanted to be myself again and not to re-live my own captivity through his eyes. Stubbornly, I turned my head sideways, closing my eyelids. “As long as you shut up. Completely.”

    In the twilight of the chaos around us there was something luminous about him that drew my eyes back.

    “You glow!” I exclaimed.

    He smiled down on me. I could feel it more than I saw it. “That is your doing, Grianán.”

    “I am not doing anything here!” I began, automatically on the defensive.

    “That is the light of your love. Thank you for saving me. Please let me support you while you save yourself. I know you can do it. And you know that you are the only one who can battle the darkness in you. Use the light inside you. The light that I have denied in you since the first time that we met. I can now see it. So can you.”

    I was not ready for this. But I knew that he was right.

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

    Nothing in the universe could compare to the fury of a sand storm. Not even the dark side of the Force. It was as beautiful as it was frightening. The whirl winds could be up to fifty times as wide and ten times as high as those of Draconis desert.

    I toyed with the thought to run straight into the eye of the storm, but Luçien would not let me. He was not prepared to give me up in any way. Back at the lodge he had showed the same determination.

    There is no honour in the things that I do to Grianán. I am under no illusion about that. She does not have the freedom to move or to speak. All she can do is listen and to suffer in silence. The potion enhances her perception of my words. It makes her believe my empty threats. I have to exploit that. There is still a spark of defiance in her that needs to be extinguished.

    “Bones are, by their very structure, hard to burn,” I tell her. “They are impossible to pulverize. But do not worry. I can cauterize the wounds for you. You won´t bleed out.”

    I remember an old hurt of mine, also of hers. It is a small crime to use it against her, but I have no choice. Her limbs will mortify if she does not give in soon. The words burst out of me with immense strength.

    “Can you remember the stench of Polysýndeton after the Force storm your cursed sister Adamah caused? Or have you forgotten all about it, egoistic as you Force witches are?”

    It amazes me how much lachrymal fluid her eyes can produce. I have given her no food or drink for the past twenty-four hours, but her soul contains so much water.

    “Your tears have no power over me. Those days are gone. They will never return.”

    I draw strength from my anger, which thoughts of the past bring on. My ire has always enhanced my Force skills. With it I can navigate in the dark. It has led me to lonely decisions, but I have always understood that sacrifice is needed.

    But now, I do not care to continue my life as a loner any longer. It is her that I want. How can she fail to realize that?

    “If I want to kill something, I do not hesitate. Be grateful that I still have kind feelings for you. But we do need to shed your filthy skin, I am afraid. You are very impure and unworthy.”

    The area around her eyes is red and puffed. Yet she continues to shed new tears. There are limits to the body and mind. Why has she not reached them yet? Why is she so reluctant to offer me her capitulation? Did Mórag alter her in some way? Does she seek pleasure in pain like Temperance, a former concubine of mine? Or does she still cling to romantic ideas about me? Have I underestimated the feelings she has for me? I am flattered in a way, but do not show it.

    “Stop indulging your sorrow. That does not suit you. I expect better from somebody who is trained in the Way of the Warrior. Be glad that Isabeau is not here to witness your disgrace. Wetting yourself, throwing up and crying endlessly. My poor step-sister. She deserves better from a student of hers, don´t you think?”

    All emotion carries knowledge, or so I was taught. The light of rage can be used in a positive way. It helps me to see into places that usually remain as blind spots to me. The delicate layers of Grianán´s psyche are at my disposal.

    “All her wisdom and skill wasted on an unworthy being like you. Look at you! You are so pathetic.”

    If I could be honest, I would admit that her bravado is extremely astonishing. But there is a protocol to keep to.

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

    (To be continued!!!)

    @SWpants666
    @Lady_Misty
    @earlybird-obi-wan
    @DarthUncle
    @Tyranus230
    @Chilla
    @Gkilkenny
    Last edited by AzureAngel2, Jan 5, 2013
  2. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4
    Each time I looked around for Luçien before stripping. Before him, I never was ashamed of nakedness.

    So is she being kind or is he being creepy?


    “I mean being dependant on your mercy. Half-naked preferably.”

    *eye twitches* But….he never acted like that. At all.


    My eyes filled with tears. I was so ashamed of myself. This was one of my oldest Force gifts and I failed in using it.

    :( Poor Gri. She is in such bad shape right now.


    There is a single tear. Why does she always cry so soundlessly? That has always annoyed me about her. Perhaps it can be changed.

    Many things about her annoy you, idiot. Past idiot.
    Eh, still an idiot.
    And females have some talent sometimes :p


    “You glow!” I exclaimed.

    He smiled down on me. I could feel it more than I saw it. “That is your doing, Grianán.”


    …Oh? I never really understood that…


    There is no honour in the things that I do to Grianán.

    Seriously.


    “If I want to kill something, I do not hesitate. Be grateful that I still have kind feelings for you.

    Oh yes, because the pain is SO much better than death.
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  3. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Females have talent but Lucien too. He is doing what he thinks is right or is he?o_O
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  4. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    I cannot help to notice that your banter with Lucien gets more tender with each update that I make, dear pants! :p


    Yes, dear bird, he is doing what he thinks is right.
  5. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4
    Yes, well...I still don't like him :p
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  6. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    Lucien can be creepy and things seem to be getting better.
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  7. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    Pants, you may NOT like him, but you somehow start to care for him. ;)

    Yes, the healing of both scared hearts starts... :)
  8. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    My husband´s birthday special update:

    [face_party][face_party][face_party]


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

    When the sandstorm was over, Luçien attempted to help me up. I dodged his gloved hand and struggled to my feet. “Leave me be! And do not come that close ever again.”

    “Taking advantage of you is the last thing that is on my mind, Grianán.” His voice was a small, almost ashamed murmur.

    “You are too holy for such unspeakable deeds, I know.” I gave him a steely glance and quoted something I remembered from his Holy Scriptures. “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

    Luçien looked at me, devastated. “I just wanted to suggest to you that we return to the city. Look, I am the appointed heir of the House Ankou since...”

    “The old Comte is also dead?” I cut him off.

    “Before we arrived, he indeed...” His voice trailed off.

    I was not cruel by nature. So I did not exploit his feelings, even though I had every right to do so. “You loved him very much,” I suggested.

    “He was the only father I ever knew.” Luçien hung his head.

    I withstood the impulse to give him a hug, though I had some compassion for him. “Actually, he was the only true parent in your life.”

    He stood opposite to me, wringing his hands. The words came slowly from him. “Speaking of family,... I bet that your family is very concerned about you. We should contact them. You could even use the holonet to speak to them directly.”

    Weighing the options, I stated, “I actually like it out here.”

    “I was trying to propose to you that we return to the House of Healing. You had a rough time out here. Your Force gift leaks through to me continuously. I can see myself doing horrible things to you, filling your gentle soul with my own darkness.”

    Silence hung between us once more.

    The snort of an eopie changed that.

    “How rude of me!” Luçien called out. “To forget something important like that. I hope the three of you can forgive me that I never made any proper introduction before.”

    My gaze followed his pointed finger.

    “This is Argent, my loyal eopie stead. Next to him is his sister Crépuscule.”

    A name that was familiar to me. The old eopie mare once had been Isabeau´s favourite. My chest felt heavy as I walked towards her. She looked at me through fathomless eyes. I bowed politely.

    Nothing happened.

    My heart sank into a bottomless pit. First my light shield would not be called and now I failed to bond with an animal.

    When I was at the brink of tears her knees gave in. I waited until it was appropriate to stroke her long trunk.

    Argent was suddenly behind me, trustfully rubbing his lowered head against me. Crépuscule also started to brush herself against me. I cried like a little girl.

    The animals gently squeezed me between them. They treated like a very young eopie calf.

    Luçien watched us for a while, his hands clasped behind his back. Then he started to dismantle the tent.

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

    It took us half of the night to travel back into the city. When we arrived at the House of Healing, a human moon priestess opened the door for us. I knew her round, happy face fairly well. The twin moons gleamed as bindis on Irmgard´s brow. Judging by the colour of her garment, the former mistress of Luçien served Calme and not her divine mother Sodalith. How good of her!

    “It is them!” the former bean feasa squeaked, jumping up and down. “Tell Minou that they are back, alive and well.”

    I was welcomed like kin by the patron. Luçien was ignored, not even receiving a curt nod to acknowledge his presence. Irmgard also would not look at her former lover.

    “It is really you, child. Please come inside! You look dirty and exhausted. What did happen to your wedding dress? Where is it?”

    I heard Luçien breathe in very sharply. Almost maliciously I answered, “Under the circumstances I did not find it appropriate to wear. This is a great scandal for the House Ankou already. We really should rethink the entire wedding business. Luçien can buy himself out of it. He should contact my family about the bride price.”

    His eyes drilled into my back, while we were led into the inner sanctum of the building.

    “What do you think, Minou? Am I worth twenty eopies and twelve banthas?” I spoke to the patron, but looked at Luçien.

    “Have a bath first!” Minou kissed me again like a daughter of her own. “After the tea ceremony we will have plenty of time to talk. Luçien?”

    “Yes?” he asked baffled, already busy undressing himself.

    “You will wait until Grianán is finished with the rituals.” Minou gave him a scornful look. “She needs some rest from you and I will make sure that she will get that.”

    He stared at his old mentor in horrified disbelief, not even blinking. “You deny me the rituals?”

    “On the contrary. But you will undergo them once your fiancée is finished. Some dust will not kill you.”

    He fumbled with his clothes and took a step back. “You are right. I deserve this. Please take you time to treat Grianán as she deserves. I had better visit the ducal homestead and make some urgent holonet calls.” Emotion had all but left his voice. “Irmgard, please show me the way out!”

    “I won´t!” she replied quietly. “It is time for you to learn about taking responsibilities.”

    We watched his dark silhouette disappear into the entrance hall, still struggling to re-dress.


    @DarthUncle, @Tyranus230, @SWpants666, @Lady_Misty, @earlybird-obi-wan

    Tomorrow I have a special Christmas update for everybody!!!

    But for now its my husband´s birthday!!!

  9. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Love Grianan and the interaction with the eopies. And Lucien he is just dark and has to wait. Grianan deserves a nice behaving Lucien;)

    Congrats on your birthday Darth Uncle[face_party]
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  10. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4
    I was not cruel by nature.

    No, she's not. She is much to kind to Lucien.


    I bowed politely.

    Nothing happened.

    My heart sank into a bottomless pit. First my light shield would not be called and now I failed to bond with an animal.


    Coruscant wasn't built in a day. :p
    (Sorry...THAT was a bit unkindly of me)


    “It is really you, child. Please come inside! You look dirty and exhausted. What did happen to your wedding dress? Where is it?”

    Oh my goodness, let the poor girl breathe.



    Happy birthday again, Darth Uncle!! [face_hug]
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  11. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    I tell him. At present he is trying to deal with the ... ZIGGO decorder to program the Doctor Who Christmas special in. Not sure if we can watch it life with his parents around tomorrow evening.


    Thanks for so much attention for his birthday. Usually people forget about it around Christmas and then he also has to share this special day with a twin brother.

    Anyway, you noticed that I slightly altered the text and put Irmgard, a Udaler woman & former Seeker in, right? O:)
  12. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    Happy Birthday Darth Uncle!

    So she seems to have reached him but it seems to me that she lost talents doing so. :(


    Well Happy Holidays!
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  13. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4

    :D
    My old manager's birthday is ON Christmas. My youngest niece's was two days ago, my older bro's was yesterday and my eldest niece's is today. I do feel bad for them because, as a kid, it means less presents!

    And errmm.... [face_plain] I didn't. Because I forgot the editions I put in.
    BUT now that you pointed it out, I remember being very confused about Irmgard (again, because of my memory) and it is less confusing :)
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  14. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    Dear Misty, I also with you a nice holiday season. And my husband says: "Thanks!". I kept him busy on his birthday & yesterday the Christmas dinner needed all of his attention.

    About the dark side of the Force bloking Grianán´s positive Force skills, well we can hope she finds the way back to the light and herself!




    Thanks, dear pants. yesterday we rushed over to our neighbours with a lollipop & birthday card, also signed by my in-laws, because it was the birthday of the wife of our neighbour. She had her brother and her parents over. All were thrilled to see us. They mistook us for Santa, because we knocked at the veranda door.

    Anyway, here my Christmas update. Please enjoy yourselves! I am listening to "The Lover of Love" by Frankie goes to Hollywood, while I write this:


    "The Power Of Love"
    I'll protect you from the hooded claw
    Keep the vampires from your door

    Feels like fire
    I'm so in love with you
    Dreams are like angels
    They keep bad at bay-bad at bay
    Love is the light
    Scaring darkness away-yeah

    I'm so in love with you
    Purge the soul
    Make love your goal

    [1]-The power of love
    A force from above
    Cleaning my soul
    Flame on burn desire
    Love with tongues of fire
    Purge the soul
    Make love your goal

    I'll protect you from the hooded claw
    Keep the vampires from your door
    When the chips are down I'll be around
    With my undying, death-defying
    Love for you

    Envy will hurt itself
    Let yourself be beautiful
    Sparkling love, flowers
    And pearls and pretty girls
    Love is like an energy
    Rushin' rushin' inside of me

    [Repeat 1]

    This time we go sublime
    Lovers entwine-divine divine
    Love is danger, love is pleasure
    Love is pure-the only treasure

    I'm so in love with you
    Purge the soul
    Make love your goal

    The power of love
    A force from above
    Cleaning my soul
    The power of love
    A force from above
    A sky-scraping dove

    Flame on burn desire
    Love with tongues of fire
    Purge the soul
    Make love your goal

    I'll protect you from the hooded claw
    Keep the vampires from your door



    @};- Merry Christmas! O:)

    @Lady_Misty, @earlybird-obi-wan, @SWpants666, @Gkilkenny, @Chilla, @DarthUncle, @Tyranus230



    Chapter 37: Sound of silence

    Dish after dish was brought in by serene moon priestesses. Fruit salad. Bantha cheese. Womp-rat meat with tomatoes and potatoes. I forced myself to eat some of it, but gave up after a few spoonfuls.

    “Should the groom not be present for his own opulent wedding banquet?” I inquired carefully.

    Minou Yeotenn’s expression turned sombre. “You have not consumed it yet?”

    It occurred to me that she was not speaking about the food in front of me. “There has been no need to,” I mumbled, my eyes downcast on my lap.

    “I take it Luçien is your first.”

    My eyes flew open.

    “You saved yourself for him,” concluded Minou Yeotenn. “By the way, I was with your sister Daná only two moon nights ago.”

    My heart made a frightened jump. “She has not come here to try to finish Luçien off in a senseless vendetta, has she?”

    “No, child. I had the pleasure of meeting her at Dún Barr.”

    “You were on Draconis? How come?”

    Minou Yeotenn waited until I had eaten at least seven spoons of rice and drink an entire mug of blue milk before she spoke again. “What do you want to hear first?”

    I thought hard. There was so much that I needed to know, but it was difficult to put a priority to the persons that meant something to me. Finally, I said, “How is Sionnach?”

    “The last time I saw her she was very concerned for your well-being, but she made Princess Caelestris her priority.”

    Giddiness flooded me. “Will my sister be able to have a fulfilled and fortunate life?”

    Minou Yeotenn gave me a long look. “With her husband dead, she will indeed.”

    “Draň is dead? But he was not supposed to be anywhere near the castle.”

    “The prince consort could not be contained by his family.” The crone interlaced her withered fingers. “He hijacked a small spice trader and landed in Ceilonwyn far off the radar systems. Then he burned the long-house of Draíocht Jörd, but Commander Cú Síth prevented the worst and everybody survived.”

    “So Taran finished off Draň,” I concluded.

    “No, Sionnach killed the price consort. He attacked her in the castle one night. She had no choice but to defend herself.”

    I hit my face between my hands, crying out in horror. My plan, my perfect plan to save everybody had proved to contain more than one gap. I was so foolish, so full of hubris. In the end I deserved what Luçien had done to me at the lodge.

    The clear voice of my hostess forced me to concentrate on her words again. “The Force willed it! And so it happened! You could have prevented nothing.

    Yet I wished that Sionnach would have not been forced to drain the cup of sorrow to the dregs. It was enough that I had done so.

    “Skje Jörd will help her to get over it eventually. He is a good man. Practical, solid and very, very gentle,” Minou reminded me.

    A tiny grin appeared on my lips. “They are made for each other.”

    “Like Luçien and you.”

    I made a face.


    [IMG]

    “It will make you happy to hear that your old nanny made a decree shortly before her death. Your sister Daná is to marry the stable boy Boreas Kyrene.”

    I laughed until tears ran out of my eyes. “Seriously? He must be suicidal to agree to that.”

    The enigmatic smile of Minou Yeotenn made me shiver. “Your race is made for companionship.”

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

    I woke up in the middle of the night, sweaty, uncomfortable and completely disorientated. My breath came in painful gasps. While I stumbled through the dark I fell over a pair of boots. His boots. My naked feet made the fatal contact. The window into the past opened.

    Increasing stress and fear. Sleep deprivation. Pride and ego. Exploiting an individuals' phobia. Futility. Those are all things that I am good at. I have been trained by the best so that I, in turn, became the best.

    Grianán challenges me, despite the helpless position that she is in. I left her in restraints for more than eight hours, but there is no sign of resignation.

    Just by looking at her I can tell that she is in excruciating pain. Her swollen ankles and wrists have doubled in size. I am not really sure about how well her kidneys function any more. I intend to fix that with my healing powers and soon.

    Time is of the essence, medically and perhaps even morally. It was not how I expected it to be. Grianán refuses to meet my expectations in her. I almost hit her, almost. She is like a thorn in my flesh. I am grateful that my other convicts were nothing like her. There would have been no redemptions.

    She passes out again, this time due to fatigue. She’s in no danger of suffocation. She keeps me waiting. We have an appointment.

    When this is over, I will be able to hold her in my arms and breathe new life, new purpose into her. The dark side will peel off like the old skin of a snake. Her purity will be restored. It will be like the dawn of a new age.

    Her faith in the transformation is lost, but I am a believer despite all her dark deeds. I will free her. Soon there will be untangling and understanding. I will heal all her wounds.

    In wise stories, told among the females in the serail, love is seldom a romantic tryst between two lovers. It is a union that strengthens, while the dance of life and death is participated within.

    Grianán and I, we unmistakeably dance at the edge and one of us will fall. It will not be me. It cannot be me. She is the Force witch and I am the witch hunter. My only concession is my love. I will not stop believing in what is wrong and what is right. I will not betray the laws of my people.

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

    There was a hand on my shoulder, squeezing it lightly. “Easy, take it easy, Grianán! You tripped over my boots. Normally, I take better care of my belongings. I am sorry, so sorry.”

    Furious, I brushed Luçien´s hand off. “Stop touching me, creep.”

    His blue eyes glistened in the dark. I could not see his expression, but I could sense his sadness. “I did terrible things to you and it caused you to lose sight of the light,” he stuttered. “The dark side is closing in on you and it is making your ordeal worse. Please let me help you find your way back to the light. That is your birth right, your destiny.”

    There was no point in listening to that smooth, treacherously friendly voice. I attacked him with Force lightning, which he deflected as it lit up the room.

    “Please allow me to make you happy, Grianán!” Luçien said behind his crackling white light shield. “At times there is no bravery in you anymore. I have to answer for that, I know. And I will. But please let me bring you back to the light! You belong to it.”

    “I hate you!” I yelled, doubling my efforts to bring him to his knees.

    “No,” he disagreed. “You hate yourself, like Mórag did her entire life long. Due to me, you believe to be a filthy disgusting creature. Not worthy of the light. It is not true.”

    Puzzled, I interrupted my attack and lowered my hands. That was a mistake. I found myself pinned against the floor immediately. My trapped hands rubbed helplessly against Luçien, sending electrifying Force lightening through his body. I could feel the colour drain from my face, pumping more sulphuric fire into my eyes.

    “You are light for me, Grianán. Please, come back to me!”

    Even though he stroked a nice and soothing rhythm upon my arms, an entire galaxy of pain lay between us. I screamed and screamed, my skin remembering.

    “You are a foul and vile creature, Grianán. Simply disgusting. That I keep up with you amazes me.”

    There is a new expression in her gaze. She believes that she is foul. That she is vile. I have won, but I do not feel victorious. Not even relieved. Bit by bit, I have betrayed all that Grianán ever believed in, all that she ever wanted. I feel almost hollow inside.

    I pick up her withered form and carry her downstairs. How light she is in my arms and how filthy she is now due to me. She used to smell of wild flowers and sunlight. Now she smells like an old hag.

    Carefully, I drape my travelling cloak around her, allowing her head to rest against my chest. Some moments of comfort and warmth cannot do any harm. She has been a worthy foe. She can teach anybody a lesson in patience and endurance. Was Isabeau ever able to inflict any punishments on her? And what did Mórag feel when all measures to break her failed?

    Right now Grianán stares ahead of her. She has trouble focussing on anything. Her entire body is over-sensitive to incoming input. I withstand the impulse to bring her into my room again, free her and nurse her. My pursuit of Isabeau cannot be delayed any longer.

    Her gaze brushes me, but she does not really recognize me. Did I just detect a tint of yellow in her iris?

    Then her lids close. A spasm races through her body. I sit down on the stairs, pressing her against me.

    When the seizure is over I start walking again.

    An idea flashes into my mind.

    Bertha, I need Bertha. If Grianán gives into me, I will need her favourite childhood companion. That toy bantha will be helpful when she heals from all the misery I had to put her through.

    I rest her on the floor. “I forgot something essential upstairs,” I tell her and rush back to my room.

    Bertha lies in the top draw of my night cabinet, which she has inhabited since Grianán vanished from my life. I have looked at the toy bantha from time to time, remembering its mistress.

    I stuff Bertha into my sash.

    To my astonishment Grianán is on the move when I get back to the basement. She is crawling towards the entrance door.

    “And where do you think you are going, Grianán?”

    She keeps on crawling with almost feverish determination. As if she could get away from me. As if I would let her, ill and delusional as she is.

    Sighing, I block her escape route. I am on my knees to face her directly. Her eyes burn with pain and fear.

    “This is pointless,” I explain to her calmly, trying to get some amount of reason back to her. “You can neither use the Force nor your hands to open the door at the moment.”

    She stares past me, her jaw jutting out stubbornly under the mask.

    “Let us get you into the ship now. I will come back later to clean the mess that you made upstairs, Grianán.”

    As I scoop her into my embrace again, she continues to struggle to escape. That makes me sad and angry alike. Why does she fail to see that I am doing this for her? Grianán has always found ways to complicate my life.

    “Stop wiggling in my arms. You are not an eel. Your fruitless attempts at escape just anger me. Is this how you reward me for saving your soul?”

    I drop her off in the luggage compartment of Agathos´ spaceship. Enough is enough. I need to get away from her.

    “During our flight to Sapuhru you can meditate about your unbelievable incapability to work with me. I try to improve this galaxy. You owe me your help, your obedience and your love.”

    Those grey eyes. They tug at my soul. I need to leave her alone for a while. She is on the brink of breaking me.

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

    Luçien held me close through each spasm that I had, unwilling let to go. It was hard to measure how much time passed. It was only us in the dark.

    “Do not be afraid of me! Please! Let go of all the negative feelings that hold you captive!” he whispered into my hair. “They are agents of the dark side, enslaving you. I know them all too well. It pains me that they ensnared you.”

    I was not sure what to believe any longer. Old pain and fear formed a haze around my thoughts.

    “I love you so unbelievingly much, Grianán.”

    Suddenly, I sensed a blaze of Force light. Its beautiful glow shone straight into my inner abyss. I had seen that light before. In the desert. During the sand storm.

    Tears smarted beneath my closed eyelids. “Where were you when I waited for you? I was ready to surrender on board the Paraceus, to swear alliance to you. But you would not come. Why did you abandon me like this? You fought so hard to win me over and then you left me behind.”

    “Be glad that I never finished what I started.” His galloping heartbeat slowed. “Be glad that I stayed away from you that when you were most vulnerable, for the madness had possessed me. Be glad that your diary kept me busy elsewhere in the ship. That it had the power to bring me back to my senses.”

    “I wanted to surrender. I still could.”

    He breathed a kiss against my brow. “Unacceptable.”

    “Why?” I howled, feeling betrayed. My loyalty was real and he rejected it harshly. He could have what I had denied my undead ancestors and Mórag. The victory was his and his alone.

    “We are equals, always were and always will be. I want you to be my wife and not my slave.”

    Nothing that I did or said could change anything. He kept on holding me in a firm embrace, waiting for my tantrum to end.

    “My love, listen! Please, listen to me!” he said after I had screamed myself hoarse. “You were there for me when the twins had died. I was horrible to you back then, but you kept trying to make me happy. You had courage and determination! I kept each painting that you did for me in those difficult days. They were explosions of light, love and life. I fear if I gave you any crayons now, your pieces would be black and white only.”

    I was too agitated to say anything.

    “You were able to focus my mind and give me hobbies. For that I am grateful. My decline to the dark side would have been too rapid otherwise. To be allowed to be your tutor for a couple of years was the greatest present I ever received.”

    I wiggled under him, but it was pointless. There was no escape.

    “I should not have become involved with the Holy Inquisition. Aggressive negotiations never do to any good to anybody. But you, my love, you suffered more than anybody else and still do. I cannot hide behind superior orders or the banality of evil. Irmgard is right; you are emotionally traumatized by me and we both have a long way to go. Both individually and as a couple.”

    I did not speak to Luçien for a very long time, just listened to his familiar heart beat. In the desert, it had been easier for me to bear his closeness. Inside the House of Healing, the walls closed in on me along with his body. Even when my eyes turned normal again and he came to sit behind me, I remained afraid.

    “I hope so much that you still love me, Grianán. How can I make you less frightened of me? Please tell me. I am running out of answers here. You need to help me. I would do anything to win back your heart.”

    I remained silent for a very long time. Then I whispered, “Can you stay and hold me for a while? Just hold me? No talking?”

    He nodded and settled behind me, taking me into his arms.

    I could not even recall exactly when I felt asleep, but I did. Whole, happy and content.
  15. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4
    “Should the groom not be present for his own opulent wedding banquet?” I inquired carefully.

    Heh, fair enough. Save for all of the sexual innuendos.


    “Skje Jörd will help her to get over it eventually. He is a good man. Practical, solid and very, very gentle,”

    :) He is!


    Minou reminded me.

    A tiny grin appeared on my lips. “They are made for each other.”

    “Like Luçien and you.”

    I made a face.



    She is like a thorn in my flesh. I am grateful that my other convicts were nothing like her.

    Oh goodness. If they were, he'd have lost his mind.



    Furious, I brushed Luçien´s hand off. “Stop touching me, creep.”

    She changes her tune too often. I know this is how she feels now, but she knew how he was, who he was. And she was the one trying to rape him before.


    “The dark side is closing in on you and it is making your ordeal worse.

    Mm. Bingo


    I was not sure what to believe any longer. Old pain and fear formed a haze around my thoughts.

    And it's because of him!


    I could not even recall exactly when I felt asleep, but I did. Whole, happy and content.

    Healing. :)
  16. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    Gri never ever tried to rape Lucien, sweet pants. She was a bit overwhelming, that is all, but he is used to that and thinks no ill of her in that situation.

    *just finished watching the ballet "The Nutcracker" on TV!*
  17. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    IT's a hard lesson to learn that you can't help everyone; especially if they don't want it.

    It's hard to tell if she's on the right path or not.

    barely slept last night and had a bizarre dream then an alarm woke me about 5:30 East Coast of the US. Could go back to sleep.
  18. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4
    Exactly. He's not used to it and asked her to stop and she didn't. To me, that's rape-like.

    I...never saw it [face_plain]
  19. DarthUncle Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2005
    star 5
    Thanks for the birthday present, just finished reading on my birthday present nexus 7 tablet! Will attempt to add more comment soon :)
  20. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    You are very welcome, my love! And here my last update in 2012... followed by plenty of updates in 2013, of course.

    SWpants666 worked hard and thorough the past years to make sure you guys get served a fanfic that does not contain nasty language mistakes, because English is not my mother tongue and my German gets more and more corrupted by my use of Dutch every day.

    [:D]




    Chapter 38: Redemption

    Waking up next to Luçien was more than awkward. I was filled with contradictory emotions. I could not help to notice how nice his muscles moved in the red twilight of the salt crystal lamps. A part of me wondered if could ever have the nerve to be intimate with him. I needed to talk to Irmgard about that. She also had the gift of psychometry.

    Luçien noticed immediately that I had opened my eyes and was watching him. “Bonjour!” he said and backed off slowly, but with unmistakable regret.

    I rose without answering, not knowing what to make of our situation. It was nice and frightening at the same time.

    “I would like to leave Sapuhru as soon as possible,” he informed me when he got out of bed.

    “Is that okay with your mother and the rest of your family?” I croaked; drowsiness had not left my body yet. “And the Brotherhood?”

    “I never thought I’d say this, but actually I don´t care what they think. You matter. Everything else can wait.”

    “You will make them your enemies, when you deny them your service and cooperation,” I argued.

    He smiled slightly, lighting his eyes with tenderness. “It may appear so to others who do not know how our organisation works. Of course my family is not happy with my choices, but what has occurred between you and me made many of them think hard on ethical and moral matters.”

    “Oh?”

    “To become a Force witch is a choice. To believe an innocent is a Force witch and punish her for it causes even greater evil. There have been many philosophical debates since we returned to the city. Your sacrifices for me question the core of the Holy Scriptures.”

    I gave him an uncertain look.

    “You are a daughter of the Force, Grianán. There are many witnesses who saw you when we headed for the dune sea. You are compared with the maiden moon goddess Calme herself. Soon there will be legends about you. Let it happen. When change comes to this realm, it is always quick and effective.”

    “So you admit we are soul partners?” I observed.

    “We have been since our first encounter. The bond we have is sacred.”

    I blushed. “It took you long enough to realize that.”

    “Not everybody can be such a quick learner as you are. I can be exceptionally dull and slow. Thank you for being the teacher of my heart and for writing a very unusual diary. But do me a favour? No more binding spells ever again. Both sides get entangled in dangerous ways, my love.”

    With that he pressed a kiss on my cheek, while I still held on to the satin blanket.


    [IMG]

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

    We stayed at the House of Healing for an entire week. Luçien was leaving constantly due to heavy negotiations going on with his mother and the rest of the harem. Minou Yeotenn and Irmgard, the giant Udaler woman, told me about it in the tea room one afternoon a few days later.

    “He wants to step back from all his duties to the House Ankou, and is telling them to find somebody more worthy of it. He had accused beloved bride-to-be of witch craft and tortured her on more than one occasion. Everybody in the city knows of his transgressions.

    “Do I need to suspect possible assassination attempts on my life?”

    Irmgard shook her head defiantly. “The ducal pride would not dare to harm you. It would not become the honour of the House Ankou very well if a daughter of the most beloved senator from Amnion would join him in death.”

    I took a long sip from my porcelain mug. The legacy of my father was more worth on this planet than being a princess of the royal family Tjiehenet. That was interesting and unexpected.

    “But Fleur is certainly not happy with you. All that she built up around Luçien crumbled to dust with your arrival,” mused Minou Yeotenn.

    “How so?”

    “He claims to be done with reminding people of their duties. He would rather concentrate on being a good husband and a Force healer.”

    “And the Brotherhood?”

    “They are better off accepting his bidding.” Minou Yeotenn took a long sip from her own mug. “He is not used to repeating himself.”

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

    In the private salón of Minou, we received the travel blessing that usually a clan mother would give. With the assurance that our eopies would be cared off until our return, we were finally let to the door, bearing wedding gifts for us and letters for Sionnach.

    Gallantly, Luçien led me on board his own star cruiser, which had been stolen from Isabeau. I let him hold my hand, even though it made me jumpy.

    “This time you will travel first class,” he ensured me.

    “Where are we going?” It had not occurred to me to ask this before.

    “To Amnion first and then Draconis.”

    I stared at our mingled fingers, remembering who exactly had given the order to fire at my little niece and her ship. “After what has happened with Heulwen, I am not so sure that I will be welcome on my father´s home planet.”

    “You are with me. Nobody in his or her right frame of mind would attack you.”

    I could have explained him my reasoning, but I did not. It was my unfinished business, not his.

    On the gangway we passed our flight captain who beamed at us radiantly. “Your Highness, it is an honour.”

    “Oh, the honour is on my side, Captain Magenta.” I smiled back at her.

    The blond and athletic Ophelia had not only been the favourite pilot of my belated father and grandfather. She also had known Luçien intimately, even though their love affair had been the briefest that he ever had had. But due to her I had learned that he did not enjoy hurting women on purpose. It disgusted him to be violent with a lover, even when the other person craved it.

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

    During the interplanetary flight itself, we did not speak a single world with each other. It had nothing to do with the fact that Captain Temperance Magenta was flying us to Amnion. We were simply too nervous to start a real conversation after last night. Nobody wanted to hurt the other by accident. Not even with words.

    I pretended to look out of the panorama window with great interest. Luçien followed my example, his arm resting around my shoulders casually. I did not object to his touch.

    Space was a dark place, only ignited by the soft light of the stars. Our ship seemed small and fragile in its unlimited depths. Out there, silent lucidity reigned.

    When the dark blue gem of Amnion came in view, I could not contain my excitement. I had never believed I would ever return.

    Luçien got up and vanished from the room for a short while. When he came back, he coughed lightly to get my attention. I turned to see an urn in front of him. It was fairly bruised and battered, yet intact.

    I jumped up. “Grandfather Narthex!”

    He nodded politely. “I found this in the desert camp where Heulwen had been held. It was undamaged in the crash.”

    I just looked at the urn lovingly. “Thank you. It would have been strange for Grandfather to get a sand funeral. He loved the High Sea.”

    That remark caused Luçien to laugh a bit, but then he turned serious again. “Would you give me the honour of spreading these ashes?”

    I thought of the dour sacrifice that my niece had made for that urn. And Isabeau. “Heulwen will not like us doing that.”

    The mention of her name visibly affected Luçien. His features turned very soft. “That is very unfortunate”, he said, “but It cannot be helped. I already arranged a boat for us.”

    I thought of Isabeau, being tied to a mast by him a long time ago.

    Guessing my thoughts, he asked, “How many times do I need to ensure you that I will not tie you up?”

    “It bears repeating.” I felt a little faint.

    He moved my fingers to his unveiled face, kissing them slow and deliberately. His breath tickled, awaking urges inside me that I had believed to be dead and gone. “You are free to walk out on me any time, Grianán. I never gave anyone that freedom before.”

    I said nothing.

    “This is frightening me, but it also feels more than right.”

    I still said nothing.

    “May I take that as a consent that you will stay?”

    I blushed and looked away. “Yes.”

    “So we can still get married?”

    I nodded, not trusting myself to speak.

    Luçien´s relief was unmistakable. “Then it is settled. Parhelion will hear our vows on Amnion. He was very explicit about that.”

    “I wish my family could be there as well,” I breathed.

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

    The trouble started when we were almost outside the space port. A group of men wearing the grey, impersonal uniforms of the city guard approached us with heavy steps. “Princess Grianán Arcānā Tjiehenet?” one of them asked.

    I had nothing to hide. “Yes?” I replied with a cheerful voice.

    My heart sang with longing. I already had an idea who was keen on seeing me, even though it would be a complicated reunion.

    Luçien enclosed his arms around me; the public display proved to all of his love for me. “I am Comte Ankou!” he stated. “And this is my bride. We are on our way to see the archbishop. What could possibly be so important as to hold us up?”

    While the majority of the guards ducked under his scorn their leader went on carefully, but determined, “Sir, You are well known in Polysýndeton. And so is the fact that You are engaged to be married to this woman here.”

    I squeezed Luçien´s hand and continued to smile.

    The officer cleared his throat and went on, “Let me offer my heartfelt condolences to the death of Your honoured father.”

    My husband nodded coldly.

    “I also would like to congratulate You for having such a... beautiful, young bride!” The officer coloured when he said this to us and avoided my glance. “But Her Royal Highness was aware of the fact that members of her family are no longer welcome on our world.”

    I turned to Luçien. “Please let me deal with this matter my way,” I begged before he could say anything.

    It was in his power to kill all the seven men that had come for me, but with a deep sigh he subjected to my wishes. “Fine, Grianán. Just do me the favour of staying alive and unharmed. Your pacifistic ways have the tendency to anger people!”

    Under his burning cat eyes, I allowed them to handcuff me.

    “I love you,” he said.

    I smiled at him widely. “I know.”

    Luçien stormed away without looking back.

    “If you would care to follow us, Your Highness.” The captain of the guard was nervous. I could feel that it pained him to obey the order of my arrest.

    “Please lead the way,” I answered, inclining my head.

    The captain put his hands around my left upper arm. His fast heartbeat pounded into my arm, telling me the story of his life. I relaxed. He was more than a man who followed orders; he had a conscience and there were many doubts in him about the ruling authority. He walked slow, allowing Luçien the time to show up with the archbishop in tow.

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

    (To be continued!)

    @DarthUncle, @earlybird-obi-wan, @Lady_Misty, @SWpants666, @Tyranus230
    Last edited by AzureAngel2, Dec 30, 2012
  21. SWpants Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2004
    star 4
    :) I did my best!

    I rose without answering, not knowing what to make of our situation. It was nice and frightening at the same time.

    It is an exciting situation to be in at times ;)


    Of course my family is not happy with my choices, but what has occurred between you and me made many of them think hard on ethical and moral matters.”

    Well that is good.
    “So you admit we are soul partners?” I observed.

    “We have been since our first encounter. The bond we have is sacred.”


    Yeah, because she was a baby and didn’t completely understand what she was doing.
    Very sacred, no matter their behavior towards each other.


    “He claims to be done with reminding people of their duties. He would rather concentrate on being a good husband and a Force healer.”

    And, you know, that’s not bad at all. For most people.


    “After what has happened with Heulwen, I am not so sure that I will be welcome on my father´s home planet.”

    *snerk* The situation with Heulwen tends to require mmm…strong words and feelings :p


    Nobody wanted to hurt the other by accident. Not even with words.

    Well, I mean, it’s something.


    When the dark blue gem of Amnion came in view, I could not contain my excitement. I had never believed I would ever return.

    :)


    I thought of Isabeau, being tied to a mast by him a long time ago.

    Sometimes the past has a way of being triggered in not-so-fun ways…


    “So we can still get married?”

    *sigh* yeah, yeah….
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  22. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Lovely to see Lucien and Grianan getting married. And what will happen now? A cliffie?
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  23. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    My dear bird, of course many cliffies will happen from now on. I learned from one of the best, you know. My husband and pants also convinced me that short updates are better.

    And pants, Gri deserves the marriage that she dreams of since she was a little girl. But as for the wedding... well, spoilers.
  24. Lady_Misty Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 21, 2007
    star 4
    Things seem to be going well. :)
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  25. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    Well, let me give you my "Sylvester" update then, dear Misty. perhaps you change your mind again:


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

    The city was more crowded with people than I remembered it to be. Even my exotic garments did not draw much attention. Lidérc were a common and welcome sight in Polysýndeton.

    However, the fact that I was handcuffed and surrounded by seven guards was carefully ignored. That led me to suspect that arrests like this happened often. It said much about the political climate. Pedestrians had learned to mind their own business. I was highly alert when we reached the city hall. The office of the current mayor was different than the lofty air that possessed the rest of the government building. It was austere and functional. Even though it was noon, the blinds were drawn; it was as if the sun was shut out on purpose.

    Dramatically, my twin brother Aconite spun around in his large office chair. He pressed his fingertips together to steeple under his chin. For almost twenty sun years, he had waited for his revenge on me. A hatred like that never died.

    The guards saluted as one. “Your Excellency!” they said in unison.

    “Leave us!” Aconite ordered them briskly. “I will deal with this aggressive intruder alone.”

    The electrical door opened and they marched out, their boots loud against the floor.

    As my eyes adjusted to the lighting conditions, I was able to get a closer look at Aconite. Nothing in his features showed that he was of Ophidiae origin. As far as the citizens of Polysýndeton were concerned, he was a local boy who had made it very far in the political arena.

    Aconite was admired for his eloquence, sharp mind and – especially among the ladies – for his stunning looks. His actions meant that I was the only family member of the royal court who cared for him.

    My twin brother came closer, with no haste in his smooth movements. I stayed as still as possible, purposely making no move to run away. He needed this confrontation. I owed him.

    ”You don't know how hard I found it, signing the order to terminate your life,” he told me, squeezing my chin in his right hand.

    I looked into his fathomless eyes. “I'm surprised that you had the courage to take the responsibility yourself.”

    With his free hand he clutched the back of my skull. He was strong enough to break my neck. “Luçien and I have much in common,” he breathed.

    “Loving me into bits and pieces?” I suggested.

    Aconite was not easily provoked. His thin lips formed a crooked smile. “You should have never come back here.”

    “I am so sorry to disappoint you!” I put inflection and truth in my voice. I never wanted to disappoint my siblings.

    Both of his hands gilded towards my throat now. His thumbs started to massage my larynx. “Not sorry enough for my taste.”

    “You look good. Aurora was a fine foster-mother. I am happy that she filled your existence with her light. Grandfather Narthex thought highly of her.”

    ”Charming to the last.” His eyes were like dark pools of water. Even the deep sea held more life.

    “Am I to die so soon?”

    “The sooner the better,” he leered. “I do not have the luxury of seeing this world through the Force. I see only the real world. You forced me to live on like this. I hate you.”

    Aconite continued to press, but the red, merciful curtain would not sink down over my consciousness. My Midi-chlorians helped me to balance my air deficit.

    “Your feeble health destroyed my future!” he growled. “Mother wanted to have her legacy carried on by her seventh daughter. You.” The physical exertion made him clench his teeth. “It had to be you, and never me.”

    To argue that I never had wanted the responsibility of cleaning up her mess would not have been helpful. Suddenly, he realized that his attempt to kill me this way was futile. He pushed me away in disgust.

    “Feel better now?” I inquired softly.

    For my brother Aconite, the Force was a concept that he did not understand very much. This was made evident as he thought aloud of alternative methods to kill me while I stood motionless in front of him.

    “Drowning will take too long and you just escape anyway. Same with hanging. Poison will not work either, I fear. Stabbing you is too messy. Burning you would be a religious statement that I could not make.”

    My brother´s voice into the background as I began concentrating on my upcoming wedding day. I had no wedding dress, shoes, or veil. There was also nobody to give me away at the altar. My father was no more and there were no family or friends were in reach. I would marry in secret like some runaway. If I had been an Elfin lady, I could be disgraced forever and shunned by society.

    Suddenly, Aconite cheered, “Yes, of course, that is how we do it!”

    I was pretty sure that neither I nor Luçien would like it.



    @DarthUncle, @Lady_Misty, @SWpants666, @earlybird-obi-wan, @Tyranus230
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