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Chapter 18
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Chapter 18

It was almost a month later, and Taru was still not able to access the elements that she had been able to in the past. She was able to do some other things, like produce the mage light, but she was frustrated that all of her training was now worthless. She also felt as if she had lost something, something that she didn’t even realize was there, but its absence was almost a physical ache. She was just very glad that her ability to speak hadn’t been taken away. Without that she would be isolated, and now that she and Hawk were together she didn’t know how she would deal with that.

Hawk had seemed very surprised when she spoke to him about what she and Alye had discussed. Taru was worried at first that her feelings would not be returned, but Hawk was only surprised because of her history. He didn’t think she would ever be interested in him that way, and had resigned himself to just being her close friend. He had insisted on taking things slowly, and Taru was getting frustrated. She was the one with the issues, shouldn’t she be the one to set the pace? She loved their closeness, but she wanted more. Alye was insistent that it was just because Hawk was a gentleman. He was very old fashioned in his views on relationships, and believed that courting was just as important as sex. Taru didn’t like it, but she would do whatever made him happy.

Hawk had shown her that they could do many things without actually having sex, and she had been surprised at how talented he was in this area. He had admitted that he had never been with a human before, and had never seriously looked for a Cheveyo mate. He had been with a few female Cheveyos, but they were meaningless to him. He was also a bit of an outcast in the Cheveyo community because of his age, and his throwback genes. Taru loved the extra ruff on his back, and the double tails were a lot of fun too. These things also made him different enough from any other Cheveyo that she didn’t feel that churning in her gut that she did when she looked at the others. Blue Sky had caused a lot of damage, and as much as she tried to show she was over it, she truly wasn’t. Hawk knew this, but he never pushed her to talk. If she needed to talk she would, and he would be there, but pressuring her just caused her to retreat even further.

They had been working on getting her skills back to where they had been. She hadn’t lost all of her ability, but she was rusty, even with the mounted combat. Hawk was also teaching her how to survive if she were ever stuck in the wilderness without any tools. A Cheveyo would not have any problems there, but humans were another story. He was frustrated in her inability with hunting, but she was able to be almost as silent as him when moving through the woods. She could stalk right up next to prey, but she couldn’t hit it if her life depended on it. She hadn’t been part of any of the small battles that had taken place since she had recovered, but she was hearing that Demerita was pushing even harder into Buenasha. Nik had informed them that the northern border was secure, and as such the troops were free to engage the rebels. They were still winning, but their losses were becoming greater with each battle.

They had started setting up man traps all along the border now, and that had helped slow Demerita’s forces from pushing into Buenasha. Taru hadn’t heard anything about what was going on in High City, but she assumed that nothing had been taken care of. There was still a mage from Malaquent there, and he was still a threat to them. Hawk had been trying to convince Alye and Dayn to start some offensive moves, but so far the twins had been reluctant to be the aggressor. They both believed that the whole reason Demerita hadn’t rallied his whole army to come and eliminate them, was that he still didn’t see them as a threat. Nikkaron had informed them that Rederick was not as naive as Demerita, but he was not in charge.

Now that she spent so much time with Hawk, she found that she knew a lot more about what was gong on in the camp. She and Hawk talked most nights, and she was surprised at how much thought and planning went into running a rebellion. Before she had thought that they just fought whenever Malaquent attacked, but there was much more to it then that. She was also very startled to hear just how many people had been killed in action. She had known that they suffered losses whenever she was fighting, but what she didn’t take into consideration was that the battles she fought were not the only ones that happened. Hawk told her about the seven war leaders they had in the camp, and Taru remembered one or two of them from her own campaigns. She didn’t miss fighting exactly, but she did miss the feelings that came from fighting and winning.

Life had settled into a routine, and was starting to feel normal when everything got upended again. It started with a huge storm that ripped though the camp, and flooded almost all of the buildings. They spent over a week trying to get everything cleaned up. Then the mage showed up, and with her she brought all kinds of issues. Her name was Helena, and she claimed she was from Shenta. Shenta was far to the north, and she explained that she had started traveling when she felt Taru’s powers forcibly awakened. She knew that she was needed here, so she came. Knowing what she did about mages, Taru found this hard to believe.

Helena tried to explain that in Shenta mages had never been seen as the ghastly creatures like they had in the more southern lands. In Shenta mage was simply another class, it was not a high class or a low class, but rather right around the middle. They were appreciated for their abilities, but they were not paid huge sums or treated like vermin. Helena had always wanted a reason to leave the country of her birth, as she did not agree with the strict class system that her country clung to like a life raft. Hali had questioned her three times, but had been unable to catch her in a lie so far. Alye and Dayn were nervous about her being in the camp, but for some reason Hawk accepted her without question. Taru asked him why, and he couldn’t explain it. He said to her that she just smelled right. Because Hawk trusted the woman, Taru tried to as well. Shet had not let her be alone with Helena yet, but she had wanted to ask the woman so many things. Mostly about the place inside of her that was keeping all her elemental ability trapped.

Helena’s arrival had put the whole camp on alert, and Taru was tired of the constant checks and questioning that happened every time she wanted to go anywhere. She had taken to spending a lot of time either at the stable with Loyalty or in her room reading up on everything she could about her mage ability. If Shet wouldn’t allow her to talk to Helena, she was going to make sure that she knew as much as possible so that when they were allowed to talk she would be able to ask intelligent questions. Every night she struggled through the old tomes that were worded in such a way that she had to ask Hawk to translate sometimes. His personal knowledge of some of the older way of speaking helped her out a lot, and they would laugh over the changes that had occurred to their language in just a few hundred years.

It was almost another month before Alye and Dayn trusted Helena enough to let her work with Taru. Their first meeting was strange, and Taru didn’t really think she had learned anything at all. They had discussed her dream, which at this point Taru had written it down, and tried to pull as many details from her memory as possible. Helena seemed just as confused by it as she was, and Taru wondered why everything seemed to be centered on her. She had never asked to be different, but fate seemed to have other plans for her. She would change it if she could, but thinking about all that had happened she wouldn’t give up what she had for a normal life. Normal was overrated anyways.

Helena was a lot like Shet, she wanted to focus on theory before they even touched on practical. Taru hated that way of teaching, but she guessed it worked, as she had had a lot of success with Shet. Helena was not the best teacher, but she did know what she was talking about. Taru showed her the few things that she could do, and Helena had explained that all of those abilities came from her not having any control at all over her gift. Once she managed control then she would be able to access that place that was holding her abilities captive. She explained to Taru that the reason her abilities were locked away was a safety measure. If she had access to the elements now she wouldn’t be able to control them, and would either hurt herself or someone else. Her mind knew this on a primitive level, and as such protected itself by making that place.

It made a lot of sense, and so Taru worked hard on learning to control her abilities. Hawk helped her practice at night, and whenever they were together she seemed to have better control then any other time. She asked Helena about this, and she explained that her connection with Hawk was such that he could help shield her. As her relationship with Hawk progressed, the more control she came to have over her abilities. It was the night that they finally took the last step in their physical relationship that everything came together.

The warm fur rubbed softly against her back. His body temperature was slightly higher then a human’s and it was like liquid fire slipping over her sweat damp skin. He was deep inside of her, and with each movement she could feel him sliding deeper and deeper. Then a point came when he was locked inside of her. This surprised her, but he just licked her face and she fell into the feelings that engulfed her. Her mind was so lost in sensations that she didn’t notice when the dam in her mind broke. As her orgasm rippled though her, her mouth opened in a silent scream.

She could feel him still moving deep within her and continued to loose herself in the sensations. He suddenly stilled; she would have whimpered from the loss of friction, but she was unable to. Warmth flooded her insides, and he shook with his own orgasm. He let out a short howl, and Taru wished that she could join him. She collapsed onto her forearms; she had been holding herself up on hands and knees. They had decided that this position would be the best for their first time. He stayed inside of her, and gently licked all over her back. His rough tongue rippling over her oversensitive skin caused her to shiver. He shifted slightly and she could feel that he was still hard. She worried for a moment that she had done something wrong, but he seemed to be happy. He was gently nuzzling the back of her neck and the coldness of his nose against her hot skin was an amazing contrast. She slipped into sleep before Hawk left her body, and he was careful not to wake her when he finally did pull out.

The next morning was an interesting lesson. Apparently sex was messy even the morning after. She quickly moved to the small bath attached to the room. She cleaned herself thoroughly and then found clean sheets to change the bed. Ew, it smelled. She bundled the dirty sheets into a ball and tossed them in the hamper that was scented with lavender and sage. She gathered a clean set of clothes from her closet, and headed to the main building for breakfast. She was ravenously hungry, and still buzzing from the night before.

“Hey Taru!” Jaki waved her over to the table where she and Hali were sitting. Taru changed her course to join them. She wasn’t sure that she could tell them about last night, but that was no reason to ignore them. She smiled as she sat at the table. “You look happy today, you haven’t smiled like that in a long time.”

Taru knew that she flushed at the comment, and ducked her head to let her hair fall across her face. Jaki knew something was up immediately, and she and Hali shared a look. They tried to cover their giggles, but Jaki couldn’t manage. Taru glared at her, and Jaki covered her mouth with her hand. “Sorry Taru, but it’s so obvious that you got some last night, and we’re just happy for you.” Jaki told her. Taru nodded and ate faster. She glared at them once more as she gathered her things and headed off towards the stable. She wouldn’t give them the satisfaction of the details. Besides it wasn’t any of their business what she and Hawk did.

She jogged to warm up, and then found Loyalty waiting for her. He seemed overjoyed that she was there again. She knew that he had been ignored while she was sick, but to see him this happy to see her made her day a little better. She rubbed him down before they worked out, just to help him work off a little of his tense energy. She took him around the cross-country course once, and then decided to get a little weapon work in. She didn’t like it much, but she knew practice was the only way to get back to full fitness in anything. She gathered her sword, and a shield, and went to find someone to practice with. Hawk was nowhere to be found, so she asked one of the younger boys to work out with her. He wasn’t very good, but he was a great person to start off with. His sloppy hacking chops were easy to block, and it was very similar to the way that the soldiers of Malaquent went after you.

An hour of fighting later Taru was starting to suck wind, and called a stop to the training. She thanked the boy, and walked Loyalty for a long time to cool him down. Hawk joined her and let her know that Helena had asked about her while she had been working. He had figured it was better for her to work off all of her aggression before sitting for hours with the mage. She thanked him, and headed towards the bathing pool to get cleaned up. A quick bath later she was back inside, and sitting cross-legged with Helena’s voice droning in her ear. She was trying to focus, but her mind kept drifting to the night before. She was very glad that Helena couldn’t sense any of her thoughts.

“Taru, you’re distracted, and this isn’t going to work if you can’t focus. What’s going on?” Taru could hear her frustration and felt bad. She knew that Helena was trying to help her out. She ducked her head and shrugged. Helena could tell that she didn’t want to talk about whatever it was, but she couldn’t let it go. Taru needed to be trained and soon. Nik had been bringing more and more disturbing news to them. If they didn’t do something drastic by winter there was a good chance that they wouldn’t live to see the spring. After proving her loyalty Helena had been included in most of the tactical discussion. She was now working with everyone in the camp who had the potential for mage gift, and was finding more and more had the ability. Tar was by far the strongest, but she was certainly not alone in her gifts.

“Taru whatever it is you can tell me I won’t judge you for anything. I just need to be informed because it’s obviously affecting your focus here. You know that time is short here with Demerita not having Terotmal to distract him. You need much more control then you do now.” Helena tried to understand, she remembered being young like Taru, and she would not have wanted to share things either. She had to keep reminding herself that Taru was barely 17 years old, and while she acted very mature she was still just a child.

I slept with Hawk last night. It was good. She was not going to say any more then that, and at Helena’s smile she glared at her. It was times like these that she wished she could vocalize her anger. It was then that the table they were sitting next to began to shake.

“Taru, Taru! Stop!” Helena gathered her wits; she had been very surprised when her student’s anger started leaking out this way. “Taru, you need to calm down, I am just happy that you and Hawk are together.”

Taru jumped up and the shaking stopped. She glanced worriedly around but everything seemed to have stopped the moment she gained control of her emotions. She sat back down, and looked up at Helena.

“Well I guess I can conclusively say that your ability has become completely unlocked. It must have happened last night or you would have felt it. Well this is very good news. We can stop dancing around that issue now.” Helena seemed pleased and that was the only thing that kept Taru from panicking. She took another deep breath, and brushed her hair back behind her ears, trying to get full control of herself.

Is that what’s going to happen every time I get upset now? She was worried about that, because she really did have a temper.

“No, nothing like that, you simply were not expecting it that time, it won’t happen again unless you want it to.” Helena moved over to the bookcase, and pulled down a small diary from the top shelf. “This is my personal diary. I was waiting for you to become fully in control of your abilities to give this to you. I think from this point on you can learn more by yourself then you can from me.”

Taru looked at her with confusion, but took the small book. Helena showed her to the door, and then quickly moved over to the table and a bowl of water that sat there. She swirled it gently with her finger. It rippled gently before calming into a mirror-like surface. A face of a man with silvery hair to his shoulders appeared and Helena smiled grimly.

“Helena, you had better have some information for us this time, or we might have to do something unpleasant” The man’s voice was smooth and melodic, but there was something dark about it.

“The girl came into her full powers last night.” She informed him. “None of the others have even half as much latent ability as she does. I stopped all of her training from this point. I told her she was done.”

“Perfect, be sure to keep us informed of the movements of the troops.” His face shimmered and vanished. Helena sat down with a deep sigh. She really hated that horrible man. He thought he owned her, but she would show him. She would only give him enough to keep Gwenna alive. Any more then that he could get that information himself. She felt horrible about selling out the rebels, but with the information that she just gave Taru, she was hoping that the girl would be able to figure it out.

Onto Chapter 19

 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.