Season 4, Episode 8
Written by Tof Eklund
Read by Tawn Krakowski
Time slid past me as I healed. Lily changed my bandages and her ma pronounced my recovery as uncanny as my injuries. I soon found myself strong enough to assist in my own treatment.
Using the Power to heal oneself is usually counterproductive and can be dangerous: as a novice I learned the cautionary tale of Mother Kaliah, who stopped her own heart trying to heal a deep but not life-threatening cut to her hand. She would have died if her assistant hadn’t risked her own life restarting Kaliah’s heart.
There is a relatively safe way to support one’s own healing. The Power is already present in the circulation of the blood, the process of digestion, and in the drawing of the breath. The applicable maxim is “awareness of the Power is mutual; behold and you are beheld.” Focused mediation on the body brings one’s attention to the Power within and speeds natural processes. Getting a significant benefit out of such a healing trance requires the focus to mediate for extended periods, and deep reserves of arcane strength to draw upon. In the Niall family farmhouse, I was reminded of just how much I’d changed since I left Maragoya.
My trances came easily, and my awareness of my body and of the Power’s presence in me was far keener than before. Maybe it was my third eye turning inward, or perhaps it was the experience of twice having passed through the Wyrding itself, but when I meditated, I could feel the bindings of fate upon me, grating against my skin like rough ropes or knotted roots.
The Wyrding was entwined in me as well as about, entering through the charred glyphs on my skin. Though more invasive, that presence was less chafing. It seemed to me that the damage to my body was only incidental. It was the ancient magic written on my skin that had been burnt out, nearly exhausted, and was now growing back, even as my body worked to fill in the gaps in my flesh with scar tissue.
Deeper still, I could feel the baby, self and yet not-self, continuing to take shape within me. There was something unspeakably strange and glorious about every detail of that process, and letting myself feel it happening was the only time I felt anything like the “radiance” of motherhood some people speak of. Stranger still, I perceived the Wyrding straining toward the life in my womb, but not reaching it.
I spent a fortnight in meditation, my attention on my surroundings only when my physical needs required it. The heavy snow fell and the deep freeze set. Deep in self-contemplation, I at least felt comfortable with the setting of my new scars and the fern-like fans of Wyrd and Power that emanated from them. A sense of longing filled me and I rose to awareness.
The farmhouse was almost pitch-black, with only the faintest gloaming from the banked embers in the hearth visible. I lay on my side, wearing only a rough and unfamiliar men’s nightshirt and a few spots of cloth bandaging. The air was cold, but heavy blankets and Kaye’s warmth behind me kept the chill off. Most of all, the longing that had roused me from my trance was now quite clearly half in my heart and half between my thighs.
“Kaye,” I whispered in the dark, “are you awake?”
There was no reply, but Kaye snuggled closer and placed his hand on my hip. My hips twitched backwards in response.
“I want you,” I said.
“Mmmm…” he replied.
I thrust my hips back, pressing Kaye against the stone wall. That gave me something solid to grind against, and I did. Kaye grew hard against my bottom, and I bit back a moan.
“Yelen,” he said, his breath warm upon my neck, “are you sure?”
“Keep your hands off the bandages,” I replied, “and we’ll be fine.”
“We have to keep quiet,” he said, “poor Lily.”
I stopped moving against him. “Poor Lily?”
“Her folks have been at it three nights in a row. You can hear them even with the door shut.”
“Oh,” I replied, momentarily derailed. “Well, sex isn’t only for the young.”
“I should hope not,” Kaye said. “Do you know how old Lilika is?”
“No,” I replied. “Wait, is she younger than me?”
“She’s in her sixty-seventh year.”
“I’m older than Ma Niall,” I whispered, shocked. “How odd.”
“Why?” Kaye asked. “You used to tell me all the time that you were older than my mother.”
“Yes,” I said, searching for an answer, “Lilika just reminds me of a Crone. You don’t get to put on the black until at least one hundred and forty. The Crones choose their own and decide when a Mother is ready to join their ranks.”
“I’ll probably be gone before then,” Kaye said.
My first thought was to remind him of the Foretelling that our child should lose a parent, that one or the other of us would probably be dead soon. Instead I turned around and kissed him, hard. He returned the kiss with all the passion of a drowning man who, expecting water, draws in clean air instead.
We grappled like wrestlers, but were seeking only to get closer to one another, to touch and hold in some way that neither time nor fate could part.
A few minutes later we were spooning once more, with Kaye pinned to the stone wall as I ground my hips back into his groin, but there was no longer anything between us, and his cock was buried deep in me as I moved against him. One of his arms was underneath me, cradling my belly, and his other hand was between my thighs, his fingers moving on either side of my clit.
“Mmm…” I was trying to keep quiet, but when the orgasm came, it was fierce and abrupt, like our lovemaking, and it pushed the scream past my lips before I could think to halt it. “Aaa…aaaaaahhhh!”
Kaye moved his hands to my hips, and with his assistance I pounded hard and fast against him. He seemed even fuller than before and the sensation was delicious.
“Please…” he begged in a strained whisper, and then he came. He muffled his voice better than I had, but his fingers dug into my hips as he throbbed inside me, and I was satisfied.
Afterwards, we lay together, still holding each other tight.
“Always,” I said, unable to finish the thought.
“Always,” Kaye replied.
© 2014 Copyright Tof Eklund
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