Interpret Me the Savage Whirr
Author website: http://www.thrihyrne.net
Author email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: Ashmael, Seel, and the harish world all belong to Storm Constantine; I’m merely playing with great abandon in her sandbox.
Rating: NC-17 (rooning, adult language)
Spoilers: Bewitchments, Wraiths
Author’s Notes: I’m not entirely sure where this story came from. I spent months writing a Vaysh/Ashmael gapfiller, and then as I was doing more research in The Wraiths of Will and Pleasure, I discovered that Ashmael and Seel had a relationship, of sorts. So I explored that, from Seel’s POV. This does gratuitously reference my interpretation of Ashmael, and includes some key elements from “Maelstrom and Mage” for color. There are also two directly quoted sentences from Wraiths for grounding, and also extensive rereads of Bewitchments. Primarily, however, it was this paragraph of Storm’s that drew me in and ignited my pen:
Colt and Stringer saw Seel’s new relationship with Ashmael as a positive healing thing. They were not aware of the darker undercurrents and Seel didn’t enlighten them. Ashmael took to visiting Saltrock fairly regularly. Seel always looked forward to these visits, but somehow they didn’t seem real. In bed, Ashmael taught him things he’d never dreamed possible, all the while respecting Seel’s pride and pretending Seel already knew of them. Seel felt as if he were being groomed for something. Taking aruna with Ashmael was like being trained to explode the world. He could feel immense power simmering around him and yet he could not dispel the suspicion, however slight, that Thiede’s hand was behind it. He was under no illusion that this relationship was permanent.
Interpret Me the Savage Whirr
Seel discovered many illuminating self truths when he was seduced by Ashmael Aldebaran. He knew he was often pulled in conflicting directions at the same time; Cal had set that in motion, back in their Dark Ages, back in a time even before they’d become har. Seel had been drawn to Cal like the inexorable pull of gravity, and yet he’d been anxiety-ridden about it at the time. Now, an eternity later, Cal had proven himself still beautiful and also capable of the atrocious and diabolical. Seel’s loyalty and love for this troubled, inescapable demon was crushed, the broken shards of it making new cuts even as he tried to move on. Determined to assist in that was a different blond who’d come swaggering into his life. Seel had wished, even from Ashmael’s first advances at the Nayati, that he’d put up more of a resistance. Somehow he should have convinced his pride-injured spirit to turn Ashmael away— but, of course, he hadn’t really wanted that at all. Seel knew that his flimsy barricades had been seen through by the Gelaming general and in sharing breath, Ashmael had wordlessly knocked them down. When they inevitably took aruna, not long afterwards, they’d exhausted each other in their ferocity.
“Seel? You are miles away. Who’s taken over in your head?” Colt asked, raising his eyebrows and tapping at Seel’s temple.
“Just the usual. Ghosts and demons.”
Colt quirked his mouth to the side as the wind of the approaching thunderstorm played with his dark hair. “So you say. I think it’s something less dark than that. In fact,” he paused to take a swallow of wine, “I am pretty sure you’re imagining someone particularly fair.”
Irony having been an integral weft in the weave of Seel’s life, a roiling cloud distinctly different from the ones naturally occurring appeared off to the outskirts of Saltrock. The churning skies and sudden appearance of a magnificent sedu made the scene complete. Ashmael simply had to arrive, just at the moment his name had teased Seel’s tongue until he said it aloud.
“Who, Ashmael?” he asked by way of answer to Colt, even as the Gelaming and Zephyr thundered triumphantly to the ground. Colt gave Seel a quicksilver wink, though his expression didn’t change. “That’s who I believed was on your mind. No wonder they want you in Immanion so bad; all you have to do is think about this one and he simply drops out of the sky to see you.”
“Coincidence,” Seel muttered, but he found it a struggle to keep the smile from settling on his lips.