Hidden Secrets

Hidden Secrets
By Camile Sinensis

Story Notes

Two separate stories, because the first one was too emo (apparently!)

Characters: Velaxis and Caeru

Spoilers: nothing noticeable

Summary: Caeru reveals some secrets…

Author email: teapot@doramail.com

Websites: http://red-shellac.livejournal.com, http://www.mudsharks.org/stuff/

Hidden Secret 1

Standing on the edge of the balcony. Looking down. Dusk falling over the city; the amber lights twinkle welcomingly, and beyond, the sea fading to purple and black. In other circumstances, it could have been beautiful.

A slight sound from the other side of the balcony alerts him to the presence of another har. He knows it was deliberate. This creature moves through the corridors of Phaonica like a ghost. His long white hair and floating, gauzy garments complete the illusion. Perhaps he does not exist at all.

“You sent for me, Tigrina”.

Now he exists.

Caeru sighs and turns away from the deepening gloom and the flickering loveliness of Immanion at night.

I summoned you, and you came. As you always do.

Caeru walks past him, saying nothing, failing to make eye contact. The other har waits until he is exactly two paces beyond him, then follows behind. They move like dance partners through the rooms of the Tigrina’s apartments; elegant rooms, tastefully furnished. Silent. Empty.

Into the bedroom. The walls are red, the colour of passion, as if that emotion could be conjoured by shade and hue alone. The bed is large and carefully made up. Silk tasseled pillows are piled at one end, and curtains surround it which can be discretely drawn if necessary. The lighting is low.

Caeru stands by the bed and finally looks at the other har’s face.

Too perfect, he thinks.

No flaws or imperfections. None of the small, individual quirks which reveal a person’s thoughts or intentions. Blue eyes, darker than his own, study him carefully. This har is unknowable, but Caeru knows him, just a little. He trusts him, just a little.

Velaxis moves closer and takes the Tigrina’s face in his hands. He pulls Caeru towards him and they share breath. A symphony of aching desire resonates through Caeru’s entire body. It is only magic. Velaxis can raise angels or demons within another har’s flesh as easily as most can breathe, but for Caeru it is like water at the end of a parched desert, and he responds fiercely, pulling the other har deeper into the kiss, drinking his mouth and his breath.

He trusts him. A little.

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by James Leader (“Louiscypher”)

Story Notes

Spoiler warning: What happens after Shades

Canon Characters: Aleeme, Ulaume, Cobweb

– 1 –

Waking in darkness. Sparks of light break through from somewhere else. Memory voices speak down to me. I throw up.

I throw up a lot.

Music appears in my head, chaotic, sweet, sickening. In and out, up and down, the music is all around me. A chorus of sounds dancing in the darkness just for me and the many fractures that have become my mind. I scream and cry and puke and piss but the stain of what happened to me will never just…go…away.

Why can’t I remember what went on in my life before this great sadness? Why does my life begin with such fire and hatred? Screaming off in the distance, no, it is my own voice, screaming again. I have lost control again. Can’t think Can’t think Can’t think. It hurts my soul to think, to try to corral my thoughts into some sort of stream of sense.

Hands, strong and sure, grip me and hold me, soothe me, caress me, like a host would their own. They keep me from trying to harm myself. The room I stay in is empty except for the bed in the corner. the walls are smooth and soft so I do not hurt myself when I lose myself. I have nothing but this bed. They come in every day, pull my bed out from the corner, putting it in the middle of the room where they circle it and close their eyes. While those gentle, harmless, loving hands hold me, the circle of “they” hum in unison. I know not what they do to my bed, but I always fall into a deep sleep when I am brave enough to lie in it again.

No windows in my room. The light burns my skin and makes me cry for I know then that there is a chance that what lies on the other side of that window is the truth. My truth and I cannot face it, not yet.

Faces are distorted and laughter is heard. Hands and claws grab and rip at my skin, invading my softest parts, burning them and killing me. I see a face in the dirt and it is mewling at me but I am too weak to reach for it. I close my eyes and when they reopen, the creature is gone. My little comfort, my worst nightmare, gone. Gasping for breath, I awaken to the darkness. It was not real, it was only a memory. I touch myself in places to assure myself that I am still whole and unhurt. It is in these moments of great stress that I can sense about me a type of serenity, dare I say, a sense of clarity. Those moments are very far and few in between, for the darkness creeps back in and wraps it’s arms around my soul again.

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The Fire Within

The Fire Within
by Morgana

Story Notes

Author’s Email: morganalebeau@yahoo.com

Web page: http://www.paranoid.nl/avalon

Pairings: Ash/Vaysh and Pellaz/Caeru

Rating: NC-17

Summary: Caeru recovers from an attack and learns some surprising facts about Vaysh.

Spoilers regarding book four, The Shades of Time and Memory.

Disclaimer: Not mine. No copyright infringement is intended.

Warning: AU of course.

Beta read by Patricia and DA, thanks sweeties!

All remaining mistakes are mine.

The Fire Within

From Storm Constantine’s The Shades of Time and Memory

Pellaz nodded thoughtfully. “I’ll have them clean you up,” he said. “I’ll send Vaysh to you. He can sit with you.”

“Vaysh,” Caeru said dully. “Is that because I’m like him now? Barren? Is he going to talk to me about that, try and make me adjust?” He laughed bleakly.

“No,” Pellaz replied. “It’s because Vaysh is trained to protect a har, which is more than can be said for our so-called security staff. But that is not your concern. Just get well again.”

Vaysh wasn’t surprised to find out what Pellaz wanted from him when the Tigron visited with him that evening. Earlier that day, they had already established that the security staff had failed Caeru miserably and he had offered to look after the injured Tigrina. The offer had been accepted and Vaysh wondered how much persuasion on Pellaz’ part it had taken to make Caeru agree to this arrangement.

As he studied his friend’s face, Vaysh couldn’t help but notice that the expression in Pellaz’ eyes had changed during the last few days. In the past, when Pellaz had talked about the Tigrina, he had done so with little interest in Caeru’s actual well-being. But that had changed. Those eyes radiated concern.

“I’ll look after him,” Vaysh promised as he made his way over to the door. On his way over to Caeru’s sick room, he would pick up his weapons. No attacker would take him by surprise. Pellaz had been right in that aspect: Thiede had trained him well.

Looking exhausted, Pellaz nodded once. “Thank you.” He hadn’t known who else to turn to. Vaysh was the only har he would entrust Caeru’s life to.

Vaysh nodded in turn and closed the door behind him. As he started to walk, his thoughts involuntarily drifted off to the things he had heard lately. Apparently, Pellaz had exhausted himself by healing Caeru’s gravest injuries and the Tigron had literally chased off every har who had dared approach. Did that mean Pellaz had finally admitted to himself that he cared about Caeru after all? Vaysh hoped so for it would finally solidify and deepen the relationship between Tigron and Tigrina. Pellaz had been in denial for much too long. Although Vaysh understood Pellaz’ twisted way of thinking, he had never quite agreed with the way his friend had treated Caeru. It was amazing how much humanity had survived in Pellaz.

What a tangled web they had woven: Pellaz, Caeru, and Cal. It was amazing they hadn’t killed each other, considering the past they shared. Vaysh shook his head and was unwilling to dwell upon his own past which surfaced unintentionally. Pellaz had told Vaysh that he had ordered Ashmael to leave when the other har had visited with Caeru. Ashmael had complied and that fact puzzled Vaysh. Had Ashmael somehow understood what Pellaz had been going through?

Thinking of his former chesnari was the wrong thing to do and Vaysh forced his thoughts away from Ashmael. It was useless to dwell on a past that had died many years ago. He had a job to do – one which Pellaz had entrusted to him and he wouldn’t fail his friend. He vowed to keep the Tigrina safe.

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