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Chapter 16
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Chapter 16

It wasn’t long before Taru was pushing herself, and getting better each day. She nd Hawk still spent most nights together, talking and just enjoying each other’s company. Hawk had confided in Taru that he felt very out of place with the rest of the Cheveyos. He was the only remaining Cheveyo from before the mage wars, and the others were either in awe of him due to his age and experience or they looked down on him for his strange looks and old ways. There was no happy medium for him in their camp. Taru had been shocked to discover how old Hawk was, but she didn’t let that influence their budding relationship. She didn’t really fit in either. She had been an outcast in the Compound as well. She could speak mentally, but she also had elemental powers. They really didn’t know what to do with her. She was very glad to finally have someone she could talk to who understood her problems. Jaki was great to talk to, but she had never experienced the things that had shaped Taru into the person she was. Hawk had a firsthand knowledge of many of the things that caused her to sleep restlessly at night.

That was another thing that had developed in their relationship, most nights now Hawk slept in Taru’s bed. She knew she should be a little concerned about this, but she couldn’t deny that she slept far better when the warm body of the Cheveyo was curled up next to her. She soon found herself waking to find she had wrapped herself around him in her sleep. Her waking mind might have reservations, but when she was unconscious she took the comfort that was offered. She soon began to see why some of the Units were so close. If they had even half as close a relationship that she did now with Hawk, it was no wonder they did anything for the other. Sometimes thinking about that made her very depressed, but she tried to ignore those dark thoughts.

One night when Hawk wasn’t sleeping with her, she was pulled into a very strange dream. In it, she saw an ancient woman walking towards her. The face that approached her was not one she had ever seen before. The dark skin and hair indicated that she was from the coast, either in Buenasha or Malaquent. Other then that Taru did not recognize her. He smiled as she came closer, and placed a wrinkled hand on Taru’s chest.

“You have it here, you must let it awake. Fight it no longer.” Taru was confused by the strange words, but she was distracted almost immediately by a pulling that started in her head. She sank to her knees, hands flying to her head. It felt as if every molecule of her body was being pulled away from her. She knew she would have been screaming if she could, but as it was her mouth opened in a silent howl. She found herself on her side, struggling against the harsh pulling that was ripping her to pieces. Then she remembered the strange words, and tried very hard to suck deep breaths and calm herself. The pulling seemed to reduce in pressure when she did, and she fought harder to calm herself. The pulling stopped abruptly, and it felt as if everything was snapped back into her body. She jerked at the pain, but it receded quickly. She stood, and saw that the old woman was still standing there.

What did you do to me? Taru asked, even her mental voice was breathless. She couldn’t pull herself to her feet, but she was able to sit up.

“I gave you a push, you were not going to take the step by yourself, and you needed to.” Taru watched her walk off, and just as she slipped out of sight, Taru jolted awake. She tired to catch her breath, but she could seem to manage. She fought against the tightness in her chest for what felt like forever, and she could only catch her breath when she felt the silken head under her chin, and she calmed even more when the warm and wet tongue gently lapped her face.

Hawk…Hawk…I’m ok now. I’m ok. She didn’t know if her words were to reassure Hawk or herself. His golden eyes looked deeply into her, and she nodded at the unspoken question. She could breathe again, and she couldn’t explain why she had had such trouble before.

“I heard you crying out to me mentally. I came as fast as I could.” He still looked worried, and she hugged him gently, trying to reassure him that she was in fact ok. She had no clue what had happened with her dream, but she felt different. There was something new in her that she could touch if she thought about it. It was like the warmth that flickered from small flames. She closed her eyes and touched the new strangeness flowing through her. She gathered a little of it into a ball, and was jerked out of her exploration by Hawk’s gasp.

“Taru, that is a mage light.” He stated, and she followed his eyes to the sky blue ball of energy that floated in her hand. She clenched her fingers shut and it disappeared, but she couldn’t ignore the fact that it had been there.

I had a strange dream Hawk, and now this, what’s going on? She knew that her voice conveyed fear, but she couldn’t keep her mind from jumping back to the pulling feeling that had ripped at her as she slept.

“I don’t know either, but I will get Shet in the morning. It’s still very late. Try and get some more sleep. I won’t leave you.” He took his standard position at her side, and while she was certain she wouldn’t be able to sleep any more, she was soon drifting off to sleep once again.

When the next morning dawned for real, she didn’t immediately remember what had happened the night before. She simply enjoyed the warm body curled next to her, and the comfortable feeling that Hawk being there always brought her. She curled closer to the warm body, and buried her face in his ruff. He snuffed a little in sleep, and then rolled his face to look at her. He gave her a quick lick, and then let her wrap herself around him.

“We have to get up soon.” He mumbled. Taru shook her head against him, and snuggled deeper into the bed. She would stay here forever if she could. There was nothing complicated or horrible here. Just warmth and love and comfort, all the things she had been missing for most of her life. Hawk sighed deeply and shifted so that they were looking at each other.

“Do you want to talk about what happened last night with me, or do you want to wait to talk to Shet and everyone else?”

I don’t know, I’m guessing not talking about it at all isn’t an option.

“Ignoring it won’t make it go away Taru, something happened last night and we need to figure out what it was. It could end up being a very good thing.” Taru wanted to believe that, but she had learned very quickly that strange usually equaled bad. She buried her face in his fur again, and he chuckled.

“You can’t hide there forever, people would look at you kind of funny if you walked around with a Cheveyo on your face.” She smiled at him, and swatted at him.

I don’t think I want to tell this tale more then once. Let’s get food and then try and find everyone else. She wanted to get out of bed, she knew she wasn’t quite strong enough yet to make it all the way to the main building on her own, but she knew that Hawk would help her. She hauled herself away from his wonderful warmth, and pulled on some clothing. They walked side by side to the main building, and no one really noticed that towards the end of their trip Taru was leaning heavily on Hawk. His height provided her with the perfect balancing aid. They were some of the first ones into the main building for breakfast, and Hawk helped her into her seat. It was the first time in a long time that she was not confined to her room, and even that little victory was enough to brighten her whole day. They ate quickly, and then Hawk left to find a few people.

Taru fell asleep at the table while waiting for Hawk to get back, and was woken up by Jaki and Hali joining her She smiled at them both, and watched them as they chatted and ate their breakfast. Hawk hadn’t returned when they finished, and she found herself left alone again. Being alone gave her too much time to think, and she was drawn back to the dream that had disturbed her sleep the night before. She tried to remember the details of the woman’s face, but the longer she was awake the more the details of the dream slipped from her memory. She could remember the feeling of pulling most clearly, but the rest of it was slowly blurring.

Hawk came back then, and hopped gently onto the bench beside Taru, placing a paw on her knee. Alye, Dayn, their Cheveyos, and Shet all gathered around the table, and Taru found herself suddenly nervous. She didn’t ask for any of this, she was grateful that the rebels had saved her life, but she had wanted to live here quietly, fight well, maybe help in the battles, but never become the focus that she had. She cursed her abilities, and their annoying habit of interfering in her life. She sighed, and Hawk looked worriedly at her. She shook her head, to indicate she was ok and waited for the questions.

“Hawk explained as much as he knew, but we need to have as many details as possible Taru.” Shet knew that she wouldn’t like all the questions, if she had it her way Taru would cover this all up and pretend it never happened. Shet would like to allow her that but they didn’t have that luxury, maybe in another time or place, but not here.

Last night I had a dream, there was a woman and she spoke to me. I don’t remember what she said, but it was about something coming awake. She touched me, and I fell this horrible pulling, as if my insides were trying to escape my skin. She had warned not to fight, but it hurt so much. I eventually gave up, and it was as if everything snapped back into me. I woke up then, she may have said something else, but the longer I am awake the more of the dream I forget. All I can remember about the woman now is that she was old. Hawk came then, so I guess you know the rest. She glanced around the table and saw mostly confused looks on the faces there. She had hoped this had happened before, or that they at least knew what was going on, but it looked like that was not to be.

“I can honestly say I’ve never read anything like this before, but Hawk did mention that you were able to produce a mage light? That is something that should be impossible for anyone who isn’t a fully trained mage. I won’t ask you to try and produce another, but could you try to manipulate water?” Taru shrugged, and searched for that feeling in her that let her work with the elements. Her eyes popped open when she couldn’t find it.

I can’t, there’s nothing there! It’s all gone! She didn’t know whether to be upset or happy about this fact, but she could no longer feel the four elements running though her. Like picking at a scab, she continued to hunt for the lost feeling. Also like picking a scab, it hurt, that was something she did not expect, but she continued to hunt. The old feeling was nowhere to be found. She kept her eyes closed, and focused deeper. She found a place inside herself that she hadn’t ever touched before, it was deep and dark, but it was warm and not scary in any way. Taru let herself fall deeper and deeper into her own mind, and suddenly she could see a brilliant light, she almost turned away, but curiosity got the best of her.

She allowed her consciousness to be pulled into the light, and suddenly found herself surrounded by a rainbow of colors, all moving around her in swirls. She sat and enjoyed the beauty of them all before she realized that they were the same colors she had associated with the elements. She reached out t touch a reddish orange one and she could feel the heat coming from it before it hit her fingers. The blue-green one was wet to the touch, and the others also felt like the element they represented. Taru gathered the elements around her, and wondered why they were hiding so deep now. She tried to pull them back with her as she slowly allowed herself to be pulled back to consciousness.

Something warm and wet was brushing her face, and she was hit by hot breath as she came back to herself. She lazily swiped a hand at whatever was making her face all wet. Her hand hit warm furry muzzle and she realized Hawk was licking her face.

Ew, Hawk stop. She was amazed at how weak her mental voice sounded, and when she tried to sit up, her body refused to cooperate. Her eyes drifted closed again, and when she pulled them open she had somehow been put back in her bed.

Onto Chapter 17

 Malaquent is completely fictional, any relationship to real people, places, or events is purely coincidental, and is in no way ment to offend. All pictures of the Cheveyos are Emy Rothenberger. Any use of names, places, or images from these pages is strictly prohibited. Other images may be other artists, and all rights belong to those artists. Use without permission is prohibited.