LN Part 7: No Fear by RedPhantom ()
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After talking with Ann’s parents, they talked to Pt’this about contacting the young dragons telepathically. He agreed that it would be better if they went through him. She sent a few messages, but the young ones had to tell Pt’this their responses.
“There is one I think you should talk to,” Pt’this said. Ann nodded, guessing who would be.
‘Ann?’ A careful voice came to her mind.
‘Ti?’ She replied. ‘How are you doing?’ Ti was one of the dragons who was acting as a distraction while they rescued the elven children who had been held hostage by the trolls. He ended up getting severely burned. It was fortunate that he was close to needing to shed, so the healers were able to remove the damaged outer layer of skin while the new layer finished developing. He had been taken back to the Baj-tisk Mountains while he healed. His chosen, Dae, had gone with to help care for him.
‘Everything still hurts. I look terrible. Hearing you’re still alive helps me feel better. It’s always nice to have good news. How are you feeling?’
‘Better than when I was in the trance. I’m tired. I’m too weak to move. I’m afraid to go to sleep, but at least I’m alive. How is Dae doing?’
‘She is doing quite well. At first, I didn’t want her here. I didn’t want her to see me like this. Now, I’m glad she’s here. She’s been a great help.’
‘Ti, my head can’t take any more pain. I need to rest. I’ll talk with you soon.’
‘Pleasant dreams,’ He sent back.
“I think you should get some sleep,” Pt’this said.
“Can Andy still stay with me?” Ann asked.
Pt’this hesitated. So far, he had allowed them to sleep together despite the impropriety. He and Sapphire had chaperoned them, but he was tired too. The emotional drain of worrying about his niece and her pledged, the magical drain caused by some of the things they had tried to wake her, the physical drain from staying up to keep an eye on Andy, it was all taking a toll. Even if there was room for the four of them, he doubted he would hear anything they did. Sapphire was just as exhausted as he was.
Andy stood, whispered something to Sapphire, who nodded and then he grabbed Pt’this’s arm and propelled him out into the hall.
“This isn’t up for debate. I’m staying with her. I won’t leave her alone now. All through the trance, I felt what she felt. She felt a lot, but the one thing that was missing, the one thing I expected that I should have felt was fear. She hasn’t felt any fear at all until now, until you mentioned sleep.”
“No fear?” Pt’this was stunned. That was unheard of. It was part of the wizard’s trance. When your magic got too low, you would lose consciousness and become trapped in your own worst nightmare. Your mind would torment you until it became too weak and then it was too late.
“None whatsoever. Do you remember how she once said that in the trance she was battling creatures that became her fears?”
Pt’this thought back. “That does sound familiar.”
“They weren’t there, only Ann, all battered. I can only guess at some of the things that were done to her. She wouldn’t have survived receiving half of those injuries in real life.
“We reached her in seconds of her going down, and she was already too far gone. I think things happen so fast she doesn’t remember them. I think she’s afraid that if she falls asleep, she will remember them.”
“You think you can keep that from happening?” They had found Andy was the only one who was able to prevent Ann from having the nightmares that had plagued her all her life. Just his presence kept them at bay. It was why they had been allowed to share a bed on this trip despite not being married.
He was also the only one who could keep her from casting spells at those nightmares, something she had a habit of doing. Andy was also an Augmenter, someone who could manipulate magical energies in ways a mage couldn’t. He could transfer, magnify it, and drain it. Augmenters were rare and while they hadn’t had the chance to test the full extent of his abilities he seemed to be one of the strongest.
“I don’t know,” he admitted. “But I have to try. If she remembers all of that, she’ll go insane.”
Pt’this still hesitated. When Emeton had found out Andy had been sleeping with Ann, he had had a fit. Pt’this knew Emeton would prefer they did not sleep together, especially without a chaperone. And Pt’this was responsible for the girl, and her honor.
“Pt’this, I’m not asking for your permission. I am telling you. This is going to happen. Sapphire is changing her into her underclothes. I’m going to strip to my shorts. We’re going to have as much skin to skin contact as we can get. I’m going to let her take for me what she needs to feel safe. I’ll do what I can to prevent any nightmares, and if that fails, I’ll keep her from trying to cast any spells. You and Sapphire are going to go somewhere else and get some sleep too. This isn’t open for discussion. This is what needs to happen and so it will. Do you understand?”
Pt’this was taken aback. It had been evident since he had first met Andy that the young man’s first priority was Ann, but until this point, he had deferred to the judgment of either Ann’s father or Pt’this. Part of him wanted to argue, to protect his niece’s honor, but part of him knew Andy was right and was happy the young man would do what it takes to make sure she was all right, no matter the opposition.
Pt’this had been an advisor to human kings for centuries. He had been at the palace when Emeton and Tylan adopted Ann. However, a bastard orphan was not well received at the palace by many of the nobles. Pt’this made a special effort to help look after her and make sure she was taken care of. This it started rumors that perhaps he was the missing father. He wasn’t, of course. The rumors finally died when Ann became pledged to Pt’this’s nephew, Kithmar.
Pt’this and his late mate Mirimar had raised Kithmar after his own parents had abandoned him. Pt’this had been delighted to learn his nephew and Ann had become pledged. Although Kith had been killed before the two had gotten married, Ann became a niece to him.
Ann and Andy had learned Ann’s birth father was Thailyn, Mirimar’s brother and Pt’this’s best friend. When he disappeared at the end of the last war, they had assumed he died. They had yet to find him, but at least now they knew he was out there. Despite Mirimar’s death, by dragon custom, Ann was indeed Pt’this’s niece. When they got married, Andy would also be his nephew. He was someone Pt’this would be proud to claim.
He nodded. “Take care of her.” They waited for Sapphire to finish and come out.
“I washed her up and changed her like you asked. I told her I’d rinse this out for her.” She indicated the nightdress in her hands. “She’s very insistent that you come back. She also wants to know when we’re going home.”
“Not until she’s strong enough to walk and sit for an extended time. I’m not ready for a transport spell, and I don’t know if I can even transport all of us. I can carry the three of you, but it will still take a while. I’ve hardly flown since getting my vial back, and three has always been my limit. She’ll need plenty of strength to make the trip,” Pt’this said.
“I also got her to drink that broth,” Sapphire added.
“I’ll make sure she gets some rest,” Andy said. “And tomorrow I’ll make her something high energy to help her recover quicker.” He went back into the bedroom.
“Let’s get some sleep,” Sapphire took Pt’this by the hand and led him down the hall.
“Shouldn’t we stay close?” Pt’this asked.
“I thought we’d sleep down in the main hall. I figured there’s enough room for you to stretch out in there.”
“I can stretch out fine in any of these rooms.”
“Not in your true form. I remember you telling me your body didn’t like sleeping in elf form. I figure you’d get better rest.”
He pulled her to him and kissed her. It was things like this that had made him fall in love with her.
Image Comments (4)
Andy is quite a young man. It's good for Ann that his focus is only her well being. Splendid continuation. Though I must say your pages are getting longer and well, time being limited if it gets longer, I will probably have to skip some parts. Wonderful !