A Love Like Winter
Author’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web page: http://www.paranoid.nl/avalon
Summary: Pellaz sends Vaysh to Freygard to improve the relationship between their tribes after book 5. What happens when fire finds a way to melt the ice?
Disclaimer: Not mine. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warning: AU of course and spoilers up for book 5.
Sequels: Continued in A Touch of Spring
Beta read by Patricia and DA, thanks sweeties!
All remaining mistakes are mine.
A Love Like Winter
Vaysh was careful not to show his surprise at receiving the order Pellaz had just issued. “You want me to go to Freygard and strengthen the ties between their tribe and the Gelaming?” The assignment that Pellaz had just given him stunned him. “I thought you would rather forget about Freygard and its inhabitants?” Seated opposite Pellaz, he noticed the nervous twitch that appeared in the left corner of the Tigron’s mouth.
“I can’t pretend they don’t exist, Vaysh, even if I would rather do just that.” Pellaz rose from his chair and started pacing the room. They were in the Tigron’s office, but even there Pellaz seemed ill at ease. “I can’t deny what happened during Grissecon or before that.” He bowed his head and sighed. “I should never have fallen for Galdra.”
Vaysh got to his feet and his green cloak dragged over the ground behind him as he made his way over to his friend. “Don’t be so hard on yourself. You never stood a chance. I’m convinced that Galdra and you were supposed to be together in some way.”
Pellaz’ head jerked back and he searched Vaysh’s gray eyes suspiciously. “What do you mean by that?”
“Did you ever consider how convenient it was that Cal wasn’t at your side when Galdra arrived in Immanion? I’m convinced Thiede summoned Cal for a reason.”
Pellaz swallowed hard. “What you are suggesting is monstrous.” The implications of Vaysh’s observations made Pell nervous. “But I also know that Thiede is capable of orchestrating something like that.”
“Thiede isn’t the only force out there,” Vaysh hinted, but then quickly changed the subject since he didn’t want to confuse Pellaz. Thiede’s blood ran through his veins as well, enabling him to read energy and essences, an ability he hadn’t sensed in Pellaz yet. Therefore Vaysh knew there might have been other entities at work when Pellaz and Galdra had gotten together. “What am I supposed to accomplish in Freygard?”
“We need to strengthen our relationship with Freygard. We can’t risk them drifting apart or alienating them from Immanion.” Pellaz’ dark eyes revealed pain, but the Tigron still continued. “I can’t go there for obvious reasons, but Galdra has no past with you. He barely knows you.”
Vaysh rested his right hand on Pellaz’ shoulder and squeezed gently. “You can’t run away forever.”
“It’s too dangerous for me to confront Galdra.” Although the fact that Loki was Galdra’s son was the best kept secret in Immanion, Pellaz knew better than to mislead Vaysh with such a trick. “I need to keep my distance for Loki’s sake.”
“It’s not my place to judge you for the decisions you make, Pell, but sooner or later, the truth will catch up with you and Galdra will find out he fathered Loki’s pearl.” To some degree, Vaysh felt pity for Pellaz, but at the same time, he also realized that Pellaz had shaped his own life. Pellaz had decided to name Cal Loki’s father for obvious reasons, but the truth was that Galdra was the harling’s father. “I know how much Cal loves Loki and the harling has a good father in him. What worries me is the fact that you’re so distant towards your own son.”
Pellaz’ eyes simmered with a mixture of pain and rage. “Vaysh, I never wanted to create a pearl. It happened against my will.” Pellaz moved away and Vaysh’s hand slipped from the Tigron’s shoulder. “Can’t you understand? Loki is the living proof that I betrayed Cal. Each time I look upon Loki’s face, I see Galdra staring back at me. I’ll never be able to love my son the way he deserves to be loved!”
Vaysh shook his head. “I disagree, Pell. You made the decision to have this distance between the two of you. If you choose to do so, you can also bridge that gap.”
“In that case I don’t choose to do so.” Pellaz’ dark hair tumbled in front of his face briefly as his jaw set firmly and he glared at Vaysh. “Let Cal love him for the both of us because I can’t.”
Realizing that this particular subject had been closed, Vaysh returned to their original topic. “When do you want me to leave? How long must I stay? Are there any special matters you want me to look into?”
“You will embark tomorrow. They sent a boat.” Pellaz’ expression changed and softened as he noticed the surprise on his friend’s face. “They won’t allow you to travel by sedim. That’s why they sent the boat. They want to be in charge. They have ‘Readers’ as we have Listeners and the presence of a sedu will be seen as a breach of confidence.”
Vaysh cringed. “But traveling that way will take me weeks!” Weeks spent in a small cabin below deck. He hoped he wouldn’t become seasick. He had never traveled by boat before. He wasn’t particularly eager to find out how he would fare, but it looked like the Freyhellans would insist.
“Two weeks to be exact. I made sure you’ll be comfortable.” Pellaz shrugged. “The cabin should be warm and dry.” He had done some research and had learned that the sea could be rough this time of the year. “You had also better pack warm clothes. It’s winter in Freygard.”
Vaysh closed his eyes and cursed the fact that Pellaz had chosen him for this mission. He didn’t want to go, but couldn’t deny Pellaz his request. Pellaz *was* Tigron and Vaysh his aide. “Winter…why does it have to be winter?” He already felt perpetually cold and Freygard in winter was a place he could have done without visiting. “Is there really no other har who can go?”
Pellaz shook his head. “I need you to go, Vaysh. You know what happened between Galdra and I and you’ll be discreet. I can’t send Tharmifex or, heaven forbid, Cal. You’re the best choice.”
Vaysh knew Pellaz was right, but was loathe to admit that to his friend. “I won’t stay any longer than strictly necessary.”
Pellaz nodded. “Thank you, Vaysh.” In an unexpectedly affectionate moment, Pellaz pulled Vaysh into his arms and held him tight. “You’re the right har for the job. I know that.”
Vaysh however wasn’t as convinced as Pellaz was, but he would go at any rate. He just hoped he would be able to return to Immanion quickly.
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