Friday, November 9, 2012

Rory and Aryeh

Chapter 6

Hours later, after they both had slept for a while, he was running his fingers along her bare arm.   She was gazing into the fire and thinking about everything that had transpired. Her entire “childhood” was a lie.  She guessed it was a necessary creation to help heal her own mind. She still saw an image of a cat like a ghost when she looked at Aryeh sometimes. Hazy like overlapping images kept creeping into her mind.   She saw most people as they were. Yet for instance in the forest when she had been running to get home. Those were not the raccoons that chased her.  Her fragile mind assigned them to that, for that is how the stag's vision worked. They were thieves, bandits, creators of mischief and disharmony.   She was losing her thoughts to the flames, thinking of all that had transpired.  She also knew some of her memories were gone.   They must have cast spells of forgetting on her, to protect her.   She had hazy images of almost kissing Aryeh a year ago.   She had vague images of Aryeh walking with her from the town. It just made her so angry, everything.   How her people had to learn to live without a ruler. How she had not grieved the loss of her parents, the sacrifices of Tym and Quay.  She chose to act like a child for 17 years until they could figure out how to break the spell.

            Aryeh leaned up and turned her towards him, looked into her yes.  “Rory, can I call you that? Are you all right?  I can smell it on you, you are angry. Are you angry at me?”   She looked down she could not help it, but truth be told she was.  “A little bit yes, why didn't you just kiss me sooner? Look at all this time I have wasted for all of us.”  He ran his fingers over her eyelids and her face, to her lips.  D tell he wanted to kiss again. His eyes met hers, “At first, you were sick and when you came out of it you thought you were a child. It was like you were 7 again.  You had to grow up all over again.  That, plus I needed to realize I was in love with you, that you were not just betrothed to me.”  She closed her eyes, tried to shut them from the pain. He whispered softly, “You were not just a duty or responsibility. That I really loved you, wanted you for my own.”  Her eyes flew open and gazed into his.  Aryeh was looking at her very intently and sincerely.  He meant what he said.  “When did you know?” Taking a deep breath she finished her sentence, “When did you know you loved me?” He reached down and ran his finger along the chain of her necklace and lifted the locket and opened it.

            “The day I gave you this, you looked at me and blushed like you had that day so many years ago.   Only this time it was the face of a woman not a child that did it, suddenly I knew I wanted you.  It has been a frustrating arrangement, to watch over you every night for months and months turning into years.  O'Beth asked me if I had ever tried to kiss you.  After that night I thought of it many times, for weeks.  One night I held my lips barely over yours like this.” He then bent his head down towards her and just waited, their lips almost touching.   “Then you moaned, at first I thought I had done something wrong.  I left the next day and I told O'Beth it wouldn't work.  I didn't watch you that night.  Instead I ran through the forest as a cat and the Stag visited me and asked if I loved you.  An exercise in futility it was, for I could not know if you really felt that way about us.” He continued whispering against her lips.  Her breath was getting more and more shallow.  “Then I was sleeping above the falls, where I usually go to be apart.   You never go there, yet as I lay sleeping you came onto the ledge.  Usually if I met you in the forest I would run away from you.  I did not like you envisioning me as the cat.  This time I had no time to leave.”  He closed his eyes, looked like he was lost in thought.  He swallowed and then looked again into her eyes with a fierce light and continued, “O'Beth had to cast a spell to hide the color of your eyes, to disguise your appearance.  Yet that day, they were blue, the same blue I recalled when you were a child.  You were fighting it, fighting the spell trying to break free.”  His hand began to caress her cheek. “The one thing, you wanted was to see me. It awakened me to possibilities I dared not hope for.”   He started to gently kiss the corners of her mouth and across her cheek.   While his fingers trailed through her hair tucking it gently behind her ear. They then glided along Rory's jaw to her chin, raising it. He took a deep breath, then his eyes fell to her mouth and he bent his head and kissed her.

When he kissed her it made her feel elated and helped to chase away the anger.   She realized he was going to win every argument they ever would or might have, just by kissing her.  She needed to talk though.   “Aryeh stop, I...” her breath fluttered out of her as he found an especially nice spot on her collarbone.  She became very quiet, losing the grasp of her thoughts.  He slowly raised up on one arm and said “Yes? Do you want to talk about something?” It took a moment more for her to get her equilibrium.  The longer it took her to respond, the larger his smile grew.  He bent his head and nuzzled her neck a bit, nibbled on her ear. She could not help herself and moaned his name. “Yes Rory? Was there something you wanted to discuss?”  He waited this time, unable to keep the grin off his face.  

            When she finally came out of it, she looked up at him and started laughing.  “How will we ever get anything done, if you can't stop kissing me and I cannot stop you from doing so?”  He rolled over on to his back, chuckling.  He pulled her over so she was laying on top of him, tangling them even more in their blankets, so she could talk to him. She pushed up on one arm from his chest, her hair hanging down to one side.   “What do I need to know or learn before we get there?  What are we going to do?  A part of this, I want justice for my parents.  Truth, I want some for myself as well.  I feel cheated of so much time getting to know you, getting to know you courting me.  The time lost when I could have been learning more spells.  Learning to track, hunt, fight and mostly…” she took a deep breath and quietly whispered, “Learning to rule a kingdom.”  She laid her head down on his chest, loving the feel of his heartbeat through his skin. Whispering against his skin she said, “There are so many things I have missed out on. That I feel I need to know, now.”

            Aryeh hugged her close and began to rub the middle of her back in a slow lazy circle.  “Tym has been teaching you how to track, how to hunt, to shoot a bow. He has given you some weapons training with your dagger. I need to teach you how to use your Staff. I have one too and we can start today if you want.”  His hands trailed lower, making her gasp. “Yes, you have a lot to learn, but if Tym can teach you how to hunt and track while you were in that dream state.  You should be able to learn the rest easily.”  He rolled her back over onto her back. “Now, wife, I want some more time with you before we start our responsibilities tomorrow.” She soon lost track of time.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Chapter 5 - Aryeh

Aryeh wondered what she was dreaming of now. It was such a long time to him, when he was younger he had all the patience in the world it seemed. When this happened every day he felt it slip out of him. All he could think about at first is I have to help her.  He recalled that day.  He had not loved her then. That had taken time watching her grow in her dream state. He felt very protective towards her, like, an investment. She already was given to him when she was born.  He recalled in his youth how his parents and hers, had him hold her hands as an infant, and they spoke the words.  Literally they had been married on that day, but later they would have a different ceremony.  He was curious a little about that, but it was such a long ways off. She was so young, still just a little girl.  Then she did something he would not have guessed.  When that day happened, he felt that presence too, not as fast as she did, it bothered him how much power she had. He wished he did, at least, to be on more equal standing.
            She ran and didn't hesitate to do what needed to be done. At the risk of her own life, she tried to protect, her parents, Antaquay, her brother and him. She often acted he thought impulsively. Yet now he saw, she at least acted.  He on the other hand, reflected. They started running after her not knowing why. Suddenly as the bolts came down on her parents she took her arms and flung them to the side. As she did a wind took Quay and tossed her into the river which saved her life.  A shaft of magic struck the ground where Quay had been before she was flung aside. Then Lumi looked back at them, terror in her eyes and flung her arms up in a defensive posture. He felt himself and Tym pulled in closer with her, the air turned green and blue and it shimmered as he saw three more shafts headed towards them.  They struck the shield and for a moment it seemed to hold. Then with horror, he watched as it collapsed and seemed to pull into Lumi.  As it did, she whispered one word as she fell. “Aryeh...” she whispered his name and said nothing more. 

            He reached out now, and touched her hair reveling in the fact that she was his wife.  He could not imagine he would feel even more protective of her, but he did.  She was more precious to him.   That day when the Stag first walked up, and she stood and seemed to look at him.  Then she looked at him differently and called him Growlers.   He had felt like growling then.  Lumi turned and followed the Stag into the forest.  He hurried and yelled for Tym and Quay, they were in the cabin.  Together they followed them into the village and to O'Beth.   Tym was able to track them although, for once, Lumi left almost nothing behind to show her passing.  When they got to O'Beth, it was the druid that explained it to them. The Stag had cast a spell of his vision on her. During the day, she would be able to function appearing normal. To everyone else it would seem as if she was awake.  However, it was a waking dream. Each night she would return to that same darkness.  She would see things differently. She saw herself as a small child and so she talked and acted like one.  She saw him as a lion.  So they decided, to cast the spell on him. With such a binding he had to agree to it. She had acted to save his life, and he was the last thought on her mind when she fell. How could he do anything less than to act for her benefit?

            He could transfer into the form whenever he wanted.  However, he would do it during the day.  He mostly thought and slept then. At night after he had changed back into his real form, he would go up to her room, watch over her while she slept.  Not as she did now.  Now she breathed more free, he could not sense the darkness of her thoughts.  She felt warm and inviting. They were on the river he had to keep reminding himself. Patience, patience, really he had almost none at this point. The hardest thing for him though, was they changed the color of her eyes. They had been this blue, a pretty sky blue on the clearest warmest day.  They changed it to that dark brown, with the amber.  They had to do this, because it was easier on her mind for them all to appear more like the men and the women of the village.  For her to think that this is where she was from.

            She had to grow up again, like from a child of seven or eight until she was an adult, until it was almost that same time as when she was when she fell. They had tried so many things over the years.  They fed her things, had her drink potions and tried casting spells on her.  Then they would have to cast another one to make her forget why they did that. Pretty soon they just learned to mask these things disguise them as her meal or drink. Sing spells always, instead of just say or chant them. They tried doing it on her birthday and she did seem to fare better then, because she would not go into the sleep at night, she would be in that dream walking state, so they had her partially awake for longer. Which he really liked, she didn't remember him much Rory had thought him one of the villagers then. That is when he had the most time to interact with her and talk to her.

            Then on her “fifteenth” anniversary, he had given her the locket. It had images of her parents Aryeh sketched and colored into it. So she could look at them. He had thought maybe it would awaken her. Instead, it had awoken something else. She had looked more closely at him and blushed. Like she use to when she was a young girl. Suddenly he realized she was a woman now. He wanted her, not because he felt a strong duty to his people, but he felt desire slamming into him.  He left early that night. It was the next day the Druid had walked up onto the ledge to talk to him.  He was in his cat form and lying in the meadow sleeping. 
            O’Beth approached him wanting to know one thing. “Have you, or did you ever kiss her? She could hear his thoughts like as if he was speaking. “No, we never did.”  He shook his head, resting it on his paws.  “I want you to ponder the possibility, that if she loves you, of performing the marriage rite and kissing her then. This may break the spell there are powerful forces at work, when love comes into play. This may be what we need. It is a very powerful old magic.” He had gotten up then into a sitting position and looked at her.  “I don't know if she does, we, we were friends then only friends. I was more like her older brother then.  She was still a girl. She doesn't see me, as myself, hardly at all now. I do not know if she cares.” He then turned and going back to a small cave he sometimes slept in, laid down.  O'Beth did not follow him.

            He did think about it though. There was not much sleep for him since then. He dreamed about her all the time. All he could seem to think about was holding her in his arms kissing her.  For weeks he was like that, and one night, as she lay sleeping, he bent down and stayed, hovering with his mouth over hers. She had seemed to moan in her sleep and she never did that.  It was like having cold water splashed on him. He pulled back immediately. The next morning he went and saw the druid, he told her that he didn't think it would work, that she didn't love him.  Rory started walking up the path he could see her with her light step. She had stopped when she saw he was near, the old druid.  He had turned and ran off. He could not bear to see the look in her eyes when all she could see was his cat form.

            Later the next day is when Rory came to visit him. Rikos took his place the night before and watched over her. He had said he needed a break from it.  He went out and prowled around, running and racing in his cat form. That was one thing he really enjoyed.  Sometimes he would run with other cats. They knew he was different.  Sometimes he would see the Stag watching him. Everyone else rarely saw the Stag, but the Stag was always watching him. Almost every day he would come out. On that night, he had stopped him. “Lion, do you love the Dawn. Is she not beautiful and fair, a joy to behold? Do you love the Dawn?” Then the Stag faded back into the forest. 

            Rory was, for over the years she had grown more and more beautiful. She had lost her rangy thin form.  She was trim and fit yet she had filled out into a womanly shape. Her face had changed also from the softness of youth had been replaced with a firmness along the jaw, her cheekbones were more defined. Her lips, they were like dark roses. The shape of her eyes though, they were so beautiful. He would sometimes trace their shape with his fingers. Gently he would run the tips of his fingers over her eyes then down her cheeks and stopping to hover over her lips.  Yes, it had taken time, thinking about her, seeing the woman she was becoming. He was in love with her.
The next day he was a little shocked.  He was really tired from not having slept at all.  So he was caught unawares. Normally he could smell her quite a ways off. She smelled of lavender and other flowers all the time and metals. It was because she worked with them all day long with O'Beth. He was so tired though, that he was dreaming of being with her, when her scent suddenly hit his senses. He sat up and she was close. She was within a few feet of him. Her eyes... they were blue on that day. The blue he recalled from when they were young. She was trying, trying to break free of it.  She was blushing too, she wasn't scared. He tipped his head to the side, how he wished he could read her thoughts.  Would that he had dared to ask her “Do you love me?  Do you love me Luminare de Aurora, Queen of the Elves? My sweet Rory, do you love me?” She looked like she was going to reach out and touch him.  Like she wanted to, why, why had she come up to find him? She never came to the ledge, she always stayed down below the waterfall. She had never climbed it. Yet she did, she had to have been looking for him. For once, in all the years they had waited, he hoped.  He hoped, as he never had before, he ached with it.

            He went into town that evening while Tym stayed up later with her and spoke with O'Beth and they planned. They decided to continue to watch over her.  He tried coming out as it turned dusk in his Elf form and started offering to walk home with her.  She saw him more and more and by the 16th anniversary, they put everything in motion and planned for an entire year.  At the 16th birthday party for Rory, she had almost kissed him.  That was enough for O'Beth, Quay and Tym. It was time, they would try, a kiss. He wanted it done right though. He wanted to be married to her. So they planned his wedding. His and Rory's wedding that took place today.
            They were nearing a good place to camp for today, they all needed some rest and well, he just refused to wait any longer to be with his wife.  He ran his hand over her face over her lips, down to her shoulder and shook her gently. She opened her eyes and again he was surprised how her eyes now swirled with colors, danced, they moved like the northern lights. Blues and greens, she stretched out and he watched her as he guided their small craft into shore. The other boats followed him. There was a place, he had picked out, without telling anyone else.
            Aryeh was looking at her very intensely now. Like he wanted to ask her a question, he had done that the same day she had climbed up the waterfall to see him. She wondered what the question was.  Her abdomen kept tightening and she would feel a rush of warmth looking into his eyes, even with a small glance.  They didn't speak much as they helped the others setup for the evening.  Once they had their camp set up, he came over and grabbed her hand. “Come away with me my Queen” She got very quiet then and blushed, feeling suddenly shy. She knew absolutely very little about what would happen next. Yet she felt a growing excitement a yearning to be alone with him.

             He suddenly picked her up in his arms and began racing down a path, laughing. She had to wrap her arms around him and bury her head in close against his neck.  Rory smelt so good, she started nuzzling his neck and he growled deep in his throat and then cleared it. “Here we are.” He put her down and took her hand, and walked up to the Cabin.  It was a one room cabin, very small. It had a fireplace and a large open room. There was no bed, but they each had blankets and their cloaks.

            Aryeh had a fire going very quickly for them. He stretched out blankets and rolled their cloaks into pillows for their heads. He then went and grabbed out from his pack some blueberries and some nuts, plus some cherry ale.   Quay had provided him with a couple of Canteens of it, as a gift, it had become Rory’s favorite drink. She liked the pale red color, sharp and tangy taste.  He then began to pull, the ribbons and flowers from her hair.  Aryeh began undoing the braids while kissing her neck and running his fingers up and down her shoulders and her arms.   He could feel her start to tremble. “Rory, I have a question, perhaps it may seem, frivolous to you, or unnecessary given the circumstances. Do you love me?  Do you really love me, I need to know.”  Rory inhaled sharply and she turned around. She gazed deep into his eyes, grasping his face between her hands. “How could you not know? I have loved you since we were children, always. Every day it grew more and more and on that day, that terrible day, all I could think of was to save you.  Aryeh, you are my sweet wonderful lion.”  He growled and his face scowled. 

She knelt in front of him now, pulling him down with her onto the blankets, her hands on his chest. She began to untie his shirt as she watched his face. “I have always loved you until it was an ache I could not bear anymore.”  She then looked up at him, looking into his eyes, cradling again his face in her hands. It lasted for only a moment then he kissed her so passionately that the world was lost in that moment and there was only Rory.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Chapter 4

Together in a group they walked somberly back to the lake.  Tym and Quay climbed into a boat with O’Beth between them they began traveling down the river.  Rory had tried to get into the same boat as O'Beth.  She simply shook her head at her and then pointed out that Aryeh was waiting for her by another.  Feeling a little nervous, she packed her things into the front of the canoe. Why was she feeling so shy now with Aryeh, they had been friends for most of her entire life?  It was the kiss they had shared earlier, it left her wanting more.  Feel his hands on her hands, feel his breath on her neck again, nuzzling her.  She was starting to breath faster and glanced up to see if he noticed.   He had, he looked at her with such a bright look in his eyes, she felt her heart race even faster, and it spoke of a barely kept control he was now exercising.  He reached out and took her hand and helped to place her in the craft in front of him.  But he moved things more up into the front with her in the middle and him right behind her.  She could feel heat and warmth radiating from him.  He smelled nice too, like grass and pines. 

The water was quiet and yet it carried them, slowly down, Aryeh pulled her back against him, and said, “I know this is going to seem, well, unusual because in essence, you have been sleeping for 17 years now, but I really think that a lot has happened now and you should rest.”  She turned back to look at him, he was very close, so close.  She swallowed, “I admit I am weary, but, I am not really afraid but more hesitant to do so.”  He reached out his hand, and cupping her face, he pulled her closer and said, “Trust me, I have been watching over your evenings now, for 17 years, I think I can do it for a few hours.”  Then he bent and kissed her, with a bit more longing, less pleading than he had done before.   This was not a kiss of trying to awaken her, she was more than awake... it was of a promise.  Rory leaned back and feeling the rhythm of the rise and fall of his chest against her fell asleep.  It was here, she really came awake, here she relived, that day, when everything changed.

Tym was hatching some new scheme to torment or play a trick on Quay, he said it was his mission in life, to get her to laugh.   Quay actually was not much older than them.  She was 15 years older than Lumi, but only five than Aryeh and 6 years older than Tym.  Aryeh had insisted on coming along, because Lumi was. Last night Tym had Lumi turn the little green frogs they had found in the creek, white, and then had placed them in her tent. They liked to sing and he made sure there were plenty of flies for them to eat in her tent, Aryeh and Lumi had caught fireflies using honey and flowers as bait. They had placed these all in Quay’s tent, which was now full of fireflies and frogs, and honey and flowers. Needless to say, Quay was not pleased, about turning the frogs white.  They glowed in the dark now.   Tym was trying to come up with a new plan.  Their parents were farther along towards the head of the procession. Some had carts or wagons while other’s carried their packs.   Some cargo was piled and tied down to a fabric that was strung on poles that they also used to make their tents. 
She caught her Mother looking back at her, as Tym stopped her from falling when she tripped over a root.  Celeste frowned at her, why did she always seem to be so clumsy.  She felt she would never be as graceful as Tym or Aryeh, she was so awkward.  Elves were not to be awkward. Here she had all this power and she could not control it. In fact everything around her was out of control.  She had recently become aware of Aryeh, on a different level and all he could see is the little girl. She was growing, she was older now.  Her body was maturing now faster than her mind is what Antaquay said.  That is why elves do not marry until in their thirties, because they do not bind themselves to each other until their minds are fully matured also.  Also it is for life, unless a mate dies. They do not cheat or take lovers, they enter into commitments. They believed that they were bound by laws of nature and love.  Like the wolves, the swans and other animals.
            That was when she felt it, Quay did too, she had been walking behind them a few paces back and they both started running. Aryeh and Tym tried to catch up to them.   Lumi began to panic, realizing they were too far, they could not, they would not make it in time. Suddenly from out of the sky appeared dark shapes like diving birds, that seemed to straighten and turn into shafts, like spears, pierced her Father and then her Mother's flesh.  Striking them down, without knowing how, she used the wind, to fling Quay into the river they were walking alongside and then she flung up her arms and stood in front of Tym and Aryeh.  It rippled, the air, it turned blue and green surrounding them as three more shafts arced from the sky towards them.  She felt first one, then another, then the last one strike the barrier she had placed over them like hitting a wall. She felt it buckle then, and fall inward, into her, and she cried out. Then it was if she was blind she could only sense an overwhelming blackness.  She could not speak or respond.  She could hear though like from a distance, could hear the weeping. The great weeping, but she could not respond to it. Her Uncle Mandel, to him, she was his precious Lumi, he doted on her and held her for the longest time rocking her, begging her to awaken.
            Quay, Mandel and the other Elven leaders spoke amongst themselves. They decided to split the group.  Some would go on to Kestral, to ask for their help and tell them what occurred.  Mandel would lead the procession back to their home, where her parents would be entombed.  He would take over leading the people for now. Quay, Tym and Aryeh would try and see if they could awaken Lumi because now she was their Queen.   Her people then worked quickly the sound of packing and people moving all around her.  They moved both day and night, until they reached a mountain valley, small, with a forest that held great magic.  Lumi could sense this through the darkness from smells and the touch of the cool mountain air.  This is where she would be safe.  She could feel the cool ground they placed her on, beneath her clothes, smell the grass.  She heard sounds like when people built things, she lost track of the hours until suddenly she felt kisses and hugs and people whispered farewells.  Lumi wished she could respond and in the darkness she began to cry as she sensed few around her.  Then she could feel a presence of light, illuminating the darkness.
She could see the Stag.  He spoke to her, “Dawn child, you are very brave.  You must be braver now, trust only those I tell you.  These three you can, I see no malice in their hearts. They will protect you until you awaken.  Now, rise, and in the dream, walk with me.” She then felt movement in her limbs, and she could see again and as she looked at Aryeh he shifted... into a Lion he was growling softly.  “Growlers.” Lumi mumbled a soft giggle escaping her lips.  Then she turned and fleet as the Stag she followed him into the forest. 
            With her hand on the Stag's shoulder, they walked together into the village as the sun slowly rose.  Until they came to the last house, a small cottage structure, with a sun porch with tables and benches with bowls filled with plants full of color and magic.  The Stag then turned and looked at her, gesturing with his hoof towards an elderly woman with sharp eyes. “This is O'Beth, my chosen protector, who serves me.  Trust her, listen to her and obey her. She will guide you through this until the time you awaken. Also you can trust the muskrat.  You will see Rikos in his human form and that of the muskrat. Recall this, I gift you this, this dream state, to be aware, to speak, to act only during the day though, at night, I cannot hold back the darkness from your mind. It is too strong right now.”
            The Stag then turned and speaking to the old woman said “O'Beth, you must protect the Elves. This is their Queen, she is young and she is under a great hurt. She will need your help in healing this great wound on her mind. Help her find the path back to us, this world needs her. She is the Dawn.  Use your gifts and protect her.” She then saw, with a vision of his making, the Stag go into the forest and leave her.  O'Beth, looked at her, and said “What should we call you?” She thought for a moment and said “Rory, my name is now Rory.”