She woke to something that she couldn’t explain. She felt
exactly like she had before she had made the trip to Buenasha. She stretched
her body and didn’t feel any of the residual weakness that had plagued her for
so long. She sat up, and tested everything again. She still felt fine, and that
almost scared her. Hawk wasn’t in the room, but he had been there not too long
ago, because his warmth was still on the bed beside her. She touched the spot,
and then hopped out of bed. It was the first time in almost too long to
remember that she had been able to do that. Dressing quickly, she hurried out
the door, only to run into Jaki on her way in.
“Oh! Taru, you’re up. Well obviously you’re up. I guess you
are feeling better then.” Jaki pushed her back into the room, and directed her
to sit on the bed.
I feel fine Jaki,
actually better then fine. I feel like I did before I was poisoned. When I woke
up this morning, well a few minutes ago, I felt normal again. Jaki looked
at her with surprise and proceeded to test Taru. She suffered through all the
tests that Jaki came up with, and was pleased by her confused smile that she
got when she was done.
“You’re right, you’re perfectly fine now. I can’t explain
it, but I can’t argue with the facts.” She allowed Taru to stand then, and she
grinned at Jaki, before taking off towards the training ring and the stables.
She missed Free and Loyalty so much. Not to mention that Hawk would be there
She couldn’t even describe how good it felt to stretch
muscles again. They should be tired, and weak with disuse, but they were strong
and powerful, and she raced as fast as she could to the stables. The freedom
was going to her head so quickly that she almost burst out into laughter. She
slowed when she got to the door of the stable, running and spooking the horses
would not be a good thing. She noticed that the stables had been rearranged,
but then it became clear, that most of the horses that she had known were no
longer in the stalls. She realized that they would have been in many battles
during the time that she was ill. She sighed sadly at the loss, and headed
towards the end of the line where Free and Loyalty would be.
She stopped by to rub Victory as she passed, and the mare
nickered softly under the caress. She would have stayed longer, but she was
itching to see her boys. She continued down the row, and was glad to see that
most of the horses at this end were still the ones that she had known. She was
very surprised to see that Free’s stall was empty. She looked around at the
ones close by, but she didn’t see her bay stallion. Loyalty was standing at the
end of the row, waiting for her to pay attention to him.
Hey boy, where’s Free?
Does Hawk have him out working with the students? She knew she was kidding herself
thinking that he was ok. She knew he was gone, and didn’t want to admit it. She
would mourn the horse later, but for now she let the joy of seeing Loyalty
cover the intense sadness. She gathered his tack from the room on the other
side of the hallway, and tacked him up quickly. He seemed eager to go, and even
nipped at her when she was fixing the saddle to make sure it was placed
perfectly. She smiled at him, and rubbed his nose. It was obvious that he had
been exercised but she doubted anyone had been able to ride him. Loyalty was a
She led Loyalty out into the ring, and saw that it was
currently deserted. She trotted him a little to warm up, and then began
cantering quickly, and moving over the low oxers that were set up around the
ring. Loyalty cleared them all with ease, and Taru looked for something a
little more challenging. She guided the horse out of the ring, and went over to
the cross-country course that had been set up to help train horses to be able
to evade in the heavily wooded areas that surrounded the camp. The freedom of
flying over jumps was intoxicating. Loyalty had a wonderful ability with
jumping, and she let her mind focus only on the moment. They took the course
twice, and then Taru felt Loyalty slowing under her, and she didn’t want to
push the horse too hard. She slowed him to a trot and then a slow walk, to let
him cool down. She saw Hawk sitting next to the fence, and steered Loyalty over
“Loyalty seems very glad to have you back to full health.”
He stood and his tails twitched in happiness. She dismounted, and gave him a
“Ew, Taru you’re all sweaty.” Giving an over exaggerated
shudder he grinned at her. She punched him lightly in the shoulder, and led
Loyalty back to the barn. Hawk chatted to her while she rubbed the horse down,
and put him back in his stall. The black stallion seemed much more at peace
after the workout, and Taru was glad that she was able to work with him again.
Hawk didn’t bring up Free, and for that Taru was glad. He walked with her to
the main building for an early lunch, and Taru was amazed at how much time had
passed while she had been working with Loyalty.
“Jaki came and talked to me after you started working with
Loyalty. She said you are fully healed, but she doesn’t know why. I have to say
I’m not going to look this gift horse in the mouth.” His tails wagged, and Taru
grinned at him. They ate in relative silence, and Taru realized that was one of
the reasons she liked being with Hawk. He didn’t feel the need to talk often,
and they just enjoyed each other’s presence instead of filling ever second with
conversation. Taru loved Jaki like a sister, but she had to admit that the
other girl’s need to talk all the time could get on her nerves. Quiet was just
as important to a conversation as talking was. Hawk also never pushed her about
things. That was another nice thing. She knew he must be going crazy wanting to
ask her about what had happened the night before, but he let her gather her
thoughts and didn’t push.
I think I’ve made you
wait long enough. She told him with a smile. I don’t know what happened to make me well. I think it had something to
do with where I went yesterday. I found a place within me that I didn’t know
was there before. It was a wonderful place that held all my elemental ability
now. It was peaceful, and I wanted to stay there, but I guess I must have felt
you and it pulled me back. I haven’t tried to find it again, because I’m
slightly worried that if I find it I won’t want to come back.
Hawk nodded his understanding. “I was very worried about you
last night, but you slept well, and so this morning I had no qualms about
leaving you. I guess I somehow knew that you were ok.” He gave her a small lick
and then hopped off the bench. Alye saw them and waved as she came over. Hawk
had to return to the training center for afternoon lessons, but Alye was free,
and wanted to talk to Taru.
Let’s get some fruit
and go back to your room. I have something I think we need to talk about. Alye
said with a smile. Taru shrugged, and they headed back to her room. Taru had no
idea what Alye wanted to talk to her about, but she guessed that it had
something to do with her miraculous recovery. She would soon find out just how
wrong that assumption was. They
settled into the small room, and Taru had to admit how comfortable this place
now made her. It was her haven now, and she hoped that she would be able to
keep this room for as long as possible.
I see you and Hawk
getting very close. Taru was a little confused by Alye’s statement, but
nodded. I wanted to talk to you about
that, because I didn’t know how much you knew about relationships between
humans and Cheveyos. There is a long history between us. For as long as
Cheveyos have been around they have found humans that they bond with. Sometimes
that bond is deeper then others. Like Fire Wind and me.
I know; you are unit
mates. That’s a very close bond, or it should be. I know not all the pairings
are like that.
That’s not what I’m
talking about Taru. Fire Wind and I are much more then Unit mates. He is my
mate. In every way.
But how? He’s a Cheveyo.
To say she was shocked would be a lie. She had seen them together, and she
knew their actions were those of lovers not simply bonded partners. She didn’t
realize however that a human and a Cheveyo could have a physical relationship
Well it does take some
creativity Alye replied with a smile. But
I’m sure you know the mechanics. There have been pairs like ours since the
beginning of the Compound. It’s obviously completely forbidden there, but it
does happen more then they would like to admit. There is something about the
way that Cheveyos are that cause such a deep connection with us. Cheveyos mate
for life, and the way that they find their mates is a deeply spiritual thing.
They believe that there is only one being on the earth that can connect soul to
soul with them. They call the humans that are connected with them spilt souled.
They believe that we are born human in body, but Cheveyo in spirit.
So if I wanted to have
that with Hawk, what should I do? She didn’t know if she was ready for a
physical relationship yet, but she knew that if it were to happen, having it
with Hawk would be the only way. There was a peace that she felt with him that
she had never had before.
Well first you have to
talk to him. He is far too much of a gentleman to bring it up. I know that he
has been sleeping here, and that is a good thing for both of you, but if you
want to have more, you need to let him know that you’re ok with it. Some humans
would be scared off by the idea of having a physical relationship with a
Cheveyo. Even though they have intelligence on the same level as us, they are
very different in many ways.
Taru nodded, she told Alye that she needed to think about
things and the woman smiled at her as she left the room. She knew that she
wanted what Alye talked about, but she wasn’t sure that she was ok enough with
herself to have it happen. She sat on the bed, and allowed herself to drift
into a light meditation. Shet had taught her the technique early in her
training and she found it a good way to clear her mind enough to think about
deep things. She let the pros and cons be weighed in her mind, and in the end
she couldn’t find a good reason to not at least try. She would talk to Hawk
Now that her mind was made up, it was as if a weight had
been lifted off of her chest, and she decided that the best thing to do would
be to see how much of her skills with fighting had been lost during her long
illness. Her body was not fit, but that didn’t mean that a lot of knowledge
hadn’t been lost. She hadn’t had any problems with riding, but that was
something that had always come naturally to her, and so she wasn’t worried
about that. Fighting was something she had had to work very hard at to become
as proficient as she was. She jogged back to the training area, and told
herself that this wasn’t just an excuse to see Hawk.