The stars surrounded me, and Xanaas had built the cookfire nearest up to warm me. Pelts were piled high and fur sides in, all around me, mounded so high that I could barely see above them, and only my face could feel the chill of the spring night…
But I had the stars….and, I watched, feeling Kaivelt in them, and knew that he felt me, too, when his soul twined with joyous peace through mine…
I opened myself to every detail of the weather, the Pridekeep, the location of each and every star I could see in the sky, as a whirling picture, noting their colors, their brightness, the picture-patterns the Singers told the stories of, and which twinkled, for in his mind, as he drifted into sleep, dreaming for me the stars that had been moving – MOVING!, – said that such things were important….
I pulled in as much of the Huntthread as I could hold – open to me, to help in my healing, and made stronger by the arytana nectar and broth the healer spooned into me every minor moonslength….
Tacivaar felt what I was doing, and I felt his anger….but Xanaas stopped him from coming near, and insisted that he must leave me to what I was doing, which was as sima garo provided, and must therefore not be altered.
I knew the healer feared for my life, but I didn’t. I had Kaivelt’s strength, and my own, and the Pride. A I had never been stronger, in spirit.
~I am still here, my daughter. You have traveled far; far beyond my sphere. You know the greatness of what you call Everdeep, which is my home. I will help you to bring your Solemate here…but it will be to you to do the bringing….sima garo provides as it will, even for me.~
“How will you help?” I was growing sleepy, and my voice was almost a whisper, and thin, weak….but I feel as strong as Aletris, as Everdeep…..
~I will add my sense of place to yours, and to the thread that leads you to him. If he chooses to, he can follow that thread to you, if he has the strength and time enough for such a journey. He is a great distance, my daughter, and he doubts….~
I knew it true. Kaivelt was not like me, and he knew little enough of my ways. Sima garo was a truth he might come to, but he was ruled by a need for proof and logic. What he felt, he didn’t trust; emotions had undone him, before, and would do so again if he was not on his guard against them…
But, when he dreamed, when he allowed himself to feel, as he did now, in this space, he sought me, and, if his mind and his awareness of sima garo were clumsy in their reaching toward me, the fierceness of his desires and the way he wielded them was not.He was breathtaking, even in our dreaming…..and, of a sudden, I was wreathed in arytana, as I had been on that first night I had sensed him, and become one with him….
We were together, in furs, in the bower, but with enough open space above to watch the stars….
“There,” he whispered into my ear, his breath hot and soft, and smelling, still, to me, like the fruit he had eaten, the fruit that had first let him sense me, touch me…
He pointed up, straight up. I followed the path of his finger, and together we studied the sky. “It is the red star, there….almost, it cannot be seen, from here, but, if you learn its place, sometimes, in some seasons, as your world turns, you will see it, and you will know that I am there…..there, looking for you, here.”
We watched the sky, without talking, for a time. Then he said, “My star is at the zenith of your sky, in this place, and at this season, my own. If you can track its movement, perhaps we can use this to find your star in my sky, and I can begin to calculate the space between….”
His mind sank into a place I didn’t understand, a place filled with knowing as alien to me as the Hunt was to him. I smiled, because this was who he was, and I had no wish to change him. “You will have your Hunt, my fierce one, and I shall have mine. And, if sima garo provides, we will find each other.
And I looked up at the place in my sky he had called the zenith, and watched until his star passed out of sight, and I fell asleep with it, and my awareness of him, glowing redly in my soul…..
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