rolled forward a bit, leaning her chin on Ro's chest. "I don't know,
what's left on our To Do List? Let me check. Start sleeping together, stop
sleeping together, start sleeping together, break up, marry other people,
have kid, divorce, get married, have more babies... did I forget
“We have a To Do
List?” he asked slowly as his brain rattled through Ghet’s checklist,
“We’ve accomplished quite a bit in the past century or so, that is quite
a bit of living,” he looked perplexed for a moment, “but how does any of
that fit on your chest? Though I suppose I could draw little check
boxes…” A light bulb went on at that point and he stopped just short of
smacking hand to forehead. “Ooooh… well, for one, I don’t think I’d
ever put a bondmark on your chest, and two, you get to
initiate that one whenever the time is right.”
Ghet bit him, none too
gently. "But my chest is all empty! Well, bare. It's definitely not
supposed to be bare. I mean... screw it, you know what I mean." Her
lips twisted in frustration as she tried to work out how she felt enough to
put it into words. "I guess I feel... bereft. I lost the Fragment, I
broke the bond to Galain... the Talisman was the last thing left that lived
inside me. Now I'm alone. And yet..." She rolled onto her back
suddenly, staring up at the canopy of their bed. "We have been through
a lot. We've both lost so much to get where we are. All that loss... it does
two things. It makes me scared of taking that step, because we both know
what it costs to undo, and we both know that... things change. Nothing is
forever, no matter how we might feel now. But if I do lose you, am I just
going to be kicking myself that I never got up the guts to take that risk?
We've never had all the time in the world before, and it took me over a year
to make up my mind just to give Maeve the Talisman. Two years to get mad
enough in an argument to tell you I wanted to have your child. Even if I was
ready, it would take me years to get around to making the call." She
paused, thoughtful. "You keep being so patient with me, and I'm not
entirely sure that's what I want."
Ro was quiet for a
moment, more startled than anything. Rolling onto his side he slid an arm
over Ghet and looked down at her, a serious expression settling over his
features as he studied denim blues. “I can’t make that call, Ghet. If we
bond, there is no going back. There are deep scars on my soul now and if I
merge with you in any permanent sort of fashion… it will be a literal
merge. There will be no sliding apart, no disentangling, not ever, we would
be as mingled and connected as Callan and An’Thaya are… if we survive
Brushing a strand of deep
red hair away from his wife’s cheek, the S’Hean smiled in a quiet,
almost shy fashion that looked slightly out of place on his face. “It’s
worth the risk for me, but it has to be what you want too, with no doubts
holding you back.”
Ghet laughed wryly.
"We're too alike, you know that? Ro, I've seen the damage it did to
you, breaking your bond to Thorn. And to know... gods, Ro, I love
you. If you're waiting for me to be ready to risk destroying your soul, or
tying you to me so completely that you could never get free of me no matter
how much you hated me... Rodi, it is never going to happen." She rubbed
a hand across her forehead. "When I went to Chez, when I made that
choice, and I left Galain and I came to you, I took all of it. All the
decisions, all the responsibility, all the blame. How strong do you think I
“I love you too,
Ghettie,” he murmured, strong features shifting from deep, slightly
distressed thought to sudden, resolute calm. “No more waiting then… no
more being alone for either of us, ever.” His lip quirked up. “I’ll
take the decision, the responsibility and, if it all goes awry, the
blame.” Sliding a hand under her back, he let it slide up her spine and
lowered his head to kiss her.
With slow deliberation,
the S’Hean let his conduit slide open and the glimmering, emerald-starred
galaxy spun into view around them. Here and there it seemed ragged and torn,
and in one place there were thick black tendrils shoved in like barbed wire,
Samara’s legacy. Tentatively, emerald strands wound down, seeking and
teasing at the column of fire that was Ghetsuhm’s soul.
Ghet kissed him, still a
little stunned and hesitant. Yet it seemed completely wrong to say, 'no,
look, I didn't mean...', and so right to just let go. If he was sure...
Her bright column of fire
flared at the touch of his soul, essential to its nature to expand when fed.
Filaments of her soul wound about the strands of his, binding a surface
connection. She did waver then, inescapably aware of the enormity of what
they were about to do. They had always said it might not last forever, tried
so hard to be realistic about their chances. This desperate act of hope
And yet... her soul was
lively, compassionate, nurturing. It flowed into the broken places in his,
seeking to heal, comfort. He needed her to be complete, quite literally. "There
is no blame. I swear."
A part of Y’Roden’s
soul sparked in recognition, a constellation of stars that had once formed a
fragment deep in Ghetsuhm’s spirit. It knew her intimately and reached out
in welcome; calling her home. There was no hesitation in him, once a course
was set, Ro never backed down from it. He had wanted her from the moment
they’d met and now, well over a millennia later, they would know one
another on a level he had only dreamed of.
Heavy shoulder muscles
rippled as the S’Hean shifted his weight, settling between his wife’s
thighs and roughly joining their bodies in a physical reflection of the
spiritual plane. He grinned against her mouth and repeated words he had said
to her a very long time ago in a cabin in the woods. "I'll give you
anything you desire, just hold on to my soul."
Through the conduit, he
reached back into impressed memory and grasped the threads of Soul Healing
taken from Mira Badb Catha when she had fought to hold him together, and
with that knowledge, began a careful melding, shoring up crumbling verdant
edges with burning flames. With each brush of strand memories were shared,
glimpses of people, broken pieces of conversation, flashes of agony, love
Ghet's soul flared in
recognition. It had never forgotten the touch of his, and part of it still
bore the imprint of the Fragment she had carried for so long. That aching
vacancy was finally filled, a sense of rightness like a key in a lock, like
his body tearing into hers, bringing pain because there had to be pain to
make it real. She cried out against his mouth, pleasure and agony.
She drew strength from
him as he took tenderness from her, determination joining her natural
selflessness, letting her join the weaving, knowing she could match him.
There was a savagery in her that was difficult for most people to spark. "You
will give me everything." She was perhaps, the only one who
had really understood what that meant: not just known intellectually, but
understood in the core of her soul, as natural as breathing. She wove flame
through the darkest places, not lighting them, not losing her fire, but
making something that was both; red and black, dark and light. The memories
that were full of pain and horror were as much a part of both of them as any
spark of light they'd ever shared, and she could accept them and integrate
them. Her fear of what might happen, her hesitation, that was accepted too,
woven into the whole, no judgement, no conflicts. Simple.
She kissed him deeply,
body and soul so full of heat and fire she'd have come apart without his
strength to steady her, totally open and perfectly willing.
Resistance was a thing of
the past now; he had struggled nearly all his life to keep the shadows
hidden, to hide his soul from prying eyes. There was no place for secrets
here, it was all or nothing… she knew, and understood in a way no one else
ever had. The barriers came crashing down and everything that was dark and
ugly washed out. For several heart stopping moments he felt true fear as
flames delved into the demonic counterpart within the deepest recesses and
he balked, shielding her.
Not yet… not
Close to the core he
started to crumble and the S’Hean growled against her mouth. This was
expected, walking the line so close to death, shattering in places to let
her in. It was the mending that was more difficult than he had anticipated,
drawing fire close to the conduit and weaving quickly to prevent it from
being sucked into the gaping conduit that slowly started to lose its
Flashes from the past
became more prominent, forgotten moments rising to the surface and mingling
until it was difficult to tell what belonged to whom… and it ceased to
matter. Dark lashes lifted, verdant eyes lit with an internal glow as the
conduit pulsed and Aethyr exploded outwards, rippling through stars and
flame until, all around them, it seemed the galaxy had caught fire. His body
carved deeper into hers, fingers gripping fragile ribs with crushing
strength as agony soul deep laced through them both, sweet torment as
release matched the explosion of the conduit, a new burning pain boring into
his flesh just above the heart.
Ghet felt his fear and it
became her own; not of what lay inside him, but of her own weakness. She was
spread so thin now, not enough of her soul left wrapped about its axis to
hold the rest together. She had to let go of the core of herself, the
essential self she'd always fought so hard to preserve. She hesitated,
terrified of annihilation, and then she saw what she had to do. She wouldn't
hold together unless she drew him into that core, to make up for what
she'd given to him.
The moment she did it,
everything clicked into place, fire and aethyr flaring together, pain
lancing through her body as her teeth tore through the skin of his shoulder.
She drew his blood into her until control gave out and she screamed, lost in
memory and desire and the most complicated joy she'd ever felt. Shaking, she
curled against his chest and wept, dizzy, off-balance, a mess of unprocessed
sensations. She was too big to fit in her body. Her heart was on fire.
Slowly, she drew her head
back, every nerve impulse deliberate as her body tried to work out what was
hers. Her eyes gradually cleared, and the first thing she saw was his chest.
Laughter bubbled up and poured out of her, sweeping away any conflicts and
leaving her simply overjoyed. "That's going to take some
The half-elf let his head
fall forward, bemused emotion naked on his face as he looked first into
indigo eyes, then glanced down to his chest, finding the same colour
reflected in the mark emblazoned on his skin. “Now… didn’t I just say not
on the chest?” he asked no one in particular, “and there I go making a
liar out of me.” Balancing on one hand and his knees, he touched at the
bondmark curiously, tracing the body of the scarab, one eyebrow lifting at
the D’Riel seal clutched in its pinchers. Delicate gold wings spread out
to either side and all in all, it quite effectively hid the puncture mark
where, once upon a time, Ghet had driven a dagger clear into his heart.
Ro shook his head as if
to clear it, unsure whether the sheer amusement was his own, or his
wife’s. The amount of emotion swimming about was nearly overwhelming to
someone who barely blipped on the ‘feeling’ radar. Dragging his gaze
from his own chest to hers, he grinned despite himself and lowered his head
to kiss the fresh mark on Ghetsuhm’s skin. “If anyone asks,” he
murmured against the silky texture of her breast, “we can always just tell
them it is the Terran-Egyptian symbol for rebirth. Considering…
everything, it’s oddly appropriate in many, many ways.” And given the
fact that Ghetsuhm’s father had been a human archaeologist, the source
likely wouldn’t be called into question. The private meaning, however, was
a secret buried in their soul.
Closing his eyes, the
S’Hean simply let himself feel in a way he had never experienced
before, sinking deep into the newborn connection and burying himself in it.
Delving into the hued layers of spirit that sang out tones of ‘Ghetsuhm’
he was struck by how complex and beautiful she was, and although they had
always understood one another on a profound level, he was blown away.
“You,” he muttered, “are simply amazing.”
Smiling, crying, Ghet
followed his journey through their soul. She'd always been awed by the power
of his, even with the damage done to it. To share that now would have been
intimidating, except that she could feel quite clearly his awe at her.
The complexity and contradictions that had caused her so much pain over the
years made her the perfect complement for him. "If anyone asks,"
she said, her voice rough and warm, "you can explain it. It can only be
a matter of time before Callan works it out and spends an hour trying to
make me say the word."
She ran her fingers over
the mark on his chest, amused at the way it lay over the old scar. Rebirth.
Which couldn't be had without death. Memories of her soul-healing stirred
and washed across them. She'd always loathed the way love and death had
woven together for her, and now it simply made perfect sense. Overwhelmed,
she had to lie back, close her eyes, and just steady herself for a moment.
"You... thank you. You were right, it was worth it."
A rare, lazy smile lifted
Ro’s mouth as he watched her; he’d always been deeply affected by the
way Ghet looked after he’d made love to her. Languid, sated and ruffled,
this time, it was so much more, and he was content just to watch her relax.
“It was… it is… and a natural path for something that has always been
so… right.” Dipping his head he kissed his wife’s exposed throat,
following its elegant line until he found her mouth and licked away his
blood from her bottom lip. “Just a beginning,” he murmured, “another
step on a very long road together. I love you Ghettie.”
Ghet's throat rumbled
under his mouth, a near purr. She stretched, her movements languid but
restless. She was tired, but unable to settle. "I love you too, Rodi.
Gods... I feel peculiar. Spinny. That's going to wear off, right?" She
half-opened her eyes, long lashes brushing her cheeks. "You know you're
not getting any sleep tonight, don't you?"
A warm laugh lost itself
against Ghet’s mouth, “I’m pretty much counting on it.” In a
hazed reality of dreams and desires come to fruition, he intended on
treasuring every moment, dreading the hours before dawn when they would have
to leave the comfort of their haven.
disgruntled fae had finally fought their way free of Ghet’s dress and fled
through the curtains, leaving the royal couple to their night of blood and