Characters: Mainly Cal and Pellaz, also Astarth [Cal’s POV]
Beta: thrihyrne (Thanks, Luv! <3) Any remaining mistakes are mine.
Rating: PG Aruna is alluded to and mentioned. Nothing explicit.
Spoilers: Enchantments, Bewitchments, Fulfillments
Synopsis: Cal embarks on a quest to rediscover his past and goes to Fallsend.
Disclaimer: All the characters, their world, and all things Wraeththu belong to Storm Constantine, to whom I am very grateful.
A sudden cool and welcome evening breeze blew in from the open balcony, causing the candles on the ornate wooden dining table to flicker and almost go out. It brought me out of my stupor. I’d enjoyed a typical dinner at Phaonica, like I did most nights. There was excellent food, the best drink, pleasant and beautiful company: all the necessary elements to a perfect evening for perfect Gelaming hara. I had my chesnari and soul mate, Pellaz, at my side, giving me his secret smiles and touching me meaningfully and often throughout the evening. I relished all of this to an extent. I’d been through rough times, rougher than most hara I knew and this, I told myself, was my reward for it all. Not that I deserved it– I knew I didn’t. All the more reason to cherish every moment.
Suddenly an unbidden memory assailed me as I regarded Ashmael, our illustrious General, as he sipped his drink and spoke with a tribal leader he was trying to woo over to the Gelaming’s Federation of Tribes. I remembered an unsettling dream I’d had about him after my stint as a kanene. I’d taken aruna with him in the dream, but I didn’t know who I was. I didn’t feel like I was me. I only remembered the dream because it was disturbing. I physically shook the thoughts away with a shiver.
“Cal? Are you okay?” It was my beloved’s voice.
“Yes, my love.”
That night as my one and only and I lay together in post-coital bliss, I pondered. What had brought that memory of my dream creeping back into my psyche? It was years ago. Why now? I remembered I’d been with Panthera when I’d awoken in a cold sweat from my aberrant dream. He’d been the one to comfort me and I’d forced myself to stay awake for a while so the dream wouldn’t continue. After that my thoughts wandered to of all places, Piristil. Thaine, Fallsend, Piristil– the place I’d been a kanene, the place I think of as the rock bottom time in my life. However, my next thought was that if I hadn’t hit bottom, would I ever have risen to the top? I remembered when I was there, I swore I’d leave. I’d vowed to become somehar, that I’d return to the higher status I’d had and wanted back. Notice that I didn’t say the status I deserved.
Well, here I am at Phaonica of all places, and a joint Tigron to boot! How the once mighty have fallen and come back stronger. Although I do for the most part think our “royal” status a joke, I also realize that my position allows me to help hara– for real. Maybe I think I can make up for all the wrong I’ve done, I don’t know. But this position I’m now in sometimes makes me feel like a fake, a poser. I’m not royal material, I know that. Sometimes I’d like to forget that, but then I feel alienated from myself so I have to do something– usually something completely inappropriate– to remind myself of who I really am. Lately I’ve been inundated with just those very thoughts. It’s easy to become complacent in such a place as Immanion, especially when you consider yourself one of the highest-ranking hara in all of Wraeththu society. Sometimes I even get an evil thrill out of lording it over hara. I hate myself for it, but it happens. Lately I’ve been feeling out of myself, like I don’t even know who Calanthe is anymore. Why do I care? I’ve always liked things to be easy. Why do I fight it when things are going well?