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Old 09-27-2012, 12:29 PM   #1
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Celtic Druid Heals Injured Warrior (Closed for Slippedhalo)

[The idea for this story is borrowed from Priestess of the Forest: A Druid Journey by Ellen Evert Hopman]

Kent was a Celtic warrior protecting his land from the Northern People who would invade the land to rape and pillage. He was strong, proud and well respected among the warriors from all the villages that fought to resist the Northern People.

However, in his last battle with the Northern People, he was badly injured and the closest place for him to rest and heal was the hut of Abaris, a modest Druid/priestess/healer who lived alone in the middle of the forest. He was taken to the house of Abaris, where he was hastily dropped off with the request that Abaris heal him and watch after him, until he is ready to return to combat. His friends rushed off, as they had to return to battle.

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Old 09-29-2012, 02:08 AM   #2
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OOC: May I help you? I would love to be a healer woman who's left her clan and lives alone helping those who manage to find her and seek aid. She'd look much like the redhead in my sig.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:52 PM   #3
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OOC: SlippedHalo, I would love to have you join the story as the as the healer woman.

Kent was placed in a cot in Abaris' hut. He had wounds in his chest and legs and bruises all over. He was also gripped with a fever and slipping in and out of consciousness.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:09 AM   #4
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Abaris was preparing a new batch of her healing salve. The healing salve was popular in the nearby village among the black market crowd on weekends because it was cheap, quick to prepare, and easy for transport. The salve was known to heal most superficial wounds and acted as a natural antibacterial shield for broken skin. She added a pinch of crushed nettle for pain relieving qualities and aloe for the extra effect of speeding in growth of new skin. The salve was fresh from the fire, the pot still steamed as she added more water and some extra ingredients before mixing and separating into the jars she'd easily make a comfortable week's wages from the sale of at the market on Saturday morning...Her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of hooves and marching feet. Dread settled in her gut as she moved from her fireside to glimpse the oncomers from the window. With relief, she saw it was just an injured soldier being brought to her aid not the Lord of the Land's men ready to arrest her for witchcraft or some such deadly nonsense her kind were so oft accused of unjustly.

Abaris wiped the sweat from her fair brow with the apron of her dress and tucked a stray curl of fiery hair behind her left ear, it was unruly and stubborn, much like herself, even unwelcome now among her own clan for refusing to marry her childhood playmate and cousin simply because her uncle bid her to do so because he was too greedy to share family gold or secrets and too lazy to find his son another appropriate match, and too ready to find his young charge (and financial dependent) a new living arrangement which wouldn't be so needful of his constant vigilance and discipline...Curious and stubborn child she was, even more so when her parents were killed and she was sent off to live with such a diversely educated and talented group of family. Abaris had wanted to know everything and learned it well. By the time she was banished she was the best healer in the clan other than her own grandmother. It's no wonder the word was spreading about her talents and skill through the nearby villages. She hoped it would not prove her ruin, her curiosity and desire to help others.

The young soldier grunted in pain as he was placed on the sickbed not far from the fire. She asked the ones who brought him to undress him and fill the well bucket with water for her to boil for cleaning his wounds. Once he was sufficiently prepared for treatment they left him with her, no word on when or if they'd return for him, no discussion of price for her services. He made her a little nervous but she bit back that reaction and simply tended to his wounds, her eyes skimming over his naked maleness with no judgement or girlish shyness while she was in healer mode. But, she couldn't not notice how handsome he would be if well and with perhaps a few more good meals in him...Ah, but by the time she would see his true good health he'd be back to the front lines of their war, never to see her again.

Abaris was not going to allow herself to sulk over her lonely state. She'd been the cause of it. Had she not she'd likely be at current pregnant with her fourth or fifth child and serving her cousin in his home like a slave more than an equal. He'd have taken her books, spells, potions, and used them himself, or worse, sold them and her training would have been suspended in favor of 'family obligations'...No, she wouldn't sulk. One day, perhaps a family would be possible, a daughter to pass on her knowledge to would be heaven on earth. But Abaris would belong to no man. She'd be no one's dog to kick.

He moaned again as she applied fresh salve to some of the newly cleaned open wounds and wrapped them in clean cloth. She shhh-ed him. "It's alright" she lilted, the red curl had sprung free and she blew it out of her face to look down at him. ''You're safe here. I'll take care of you.'' she vowed.
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:53 PM   #5
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Kent was throbbing with pain all over and he was shivering with cold. He had a fever and he was slipping in and out of sleep. While asleep he was back in his childhood village running freely through the woods, under the mighty oak trees, chasing his friends and.

He heard a woman's voice that seemed to come from the sky, ''You're safe here. I'll take care of you.''

He started to wake, but could not see. "Is you goddess Brigid?...Great Goddess of Healers and Poets... Oh mighty Brigid, thank you for coming to my aid..."
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:57 AM   #6
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Abaris laughed softly, "No, no Sir, I am no Goddess, just a woman who's been charged with your care." she explained, cooling his heated forehead with a moistened cloth as his eyes fluttered open to look up into her green ones as she bent over him. She smiled, "Are you hungry? I have some broth heating which will do you good even with a weak stomach." she offered.
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:18 PM   #7
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It took a few minutes for Kent to open his eyes and the images to come into focus. He was in a small humble hut and a woman was with him. The woman was sublimely beautiful, but he tried, as always, to discipline his mind and not let it stray.

He had many questions, but was careful to be polite: "Yes, I am hungry. Thank you... Um, should I know you?... I'm very sorry, but,... I cannot remember anything... Just, a battle and... the last thing I remember was being wounded,... but he did not fight an honorable fight, he was hiding in an ash tree,.. a dishonor to the sacred tree,... may the fairies wreak their wrath upon that ignoble coward." He was getting worked up and upset, but then setting his eyes on Abaris, he paused, raptured with her beauty.

But, in Kent's world there was no room for love or lust. He was destined to be king or high priest someday, but only if he foresake love... That is what the oracle had told him. - He must forsake love and lust at all cost, to achieve his greatness - that the Gods had promised to him. This woman, kind and gentle as she was - by her mere beauty, could lead to turmoil in his soul. "I must go! I cannot stay!" He said with determination. He got up to leave, but his sick and injured body betrayed him and he collapsed to the floor in a loud thud.
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Old 10-02-2012, 03:07 PM   #8
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Abaris yelped helplessly as she saw the man fall to the floor in a heap. She bent to pick him up but he was quite heavy and it took a lot of effort to heft him enough to roll him onto his back and drag him toward the sleeping mat once more, rolling him onto it gracelessly. By the end of it she felt as if she'd been dragging logs from the forest. He slept again and she took a drink of water before forcing him to sip some and patting his sweaty brow with the towel she'd dipped in it. "Dear Sir, please don't try that again. I fear you may kill us both before you get well with such antics." she panted. "You're not well at all. You must stay until you can walk out unaided. I'm a healer. I can make you better but you must try to be patient." she explained as he slowly came back 'round.

His eyes locked onto her's and she thought she spied fear in them. This fear scared her deeply. She gasped, ''I'm no witch. I'm nothing wicked or bad, Sir. I'm...I...just let me help you and you'll see.'' she tried to explain quickly. ''Please, don't be afraid.''
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Old 10-02-2012, 04:04 PM   #9
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Kent felt greatly embarassed, but allowed Abaris to help him back to bed. Feeling guilty for having offended her, he felt compelled to explain: "Aye,... I know you mean no harm to me... Gentle and kind creature you are... I mean you no offense... But, you see,... any other man would thank the Gods ten hundred times for the opportunity to be here with you,... under your care,... but, I am different... The Gods have promised me distinction and honor, but at a cost, which I have accepted... Yet, the sight of you stirs such passions that I have foresaken in the exchange... It is best for both of us, that I part from your company as soon as possible... See, the Gods may read my thoughts and regard me as wavering in my end of the bargain... Again, I mean you no offense by this, and beseech you to understand my situation... I must leave at once..." But, his body needed rest, and as soon as he finished talking, he fell asleep.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:09 PM   #10
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She shook her head as he fell back into slumber. He was either insane, delirious, or some sort of saint, she imagined as she finished bottling her brews for Saturday's trip to market. It was close to evening. She had her soup, leaving a little more than a portion for her guest in the pan to eat when he'd awaken, and then she checked on him again. He slept fitfully but sleep he did and she thought it was best to let him stay that way for now. As dusk fell she headed to the stream at the edge of her property to bathe before night's rest for herself. She took her night-clothes and her father's good sword (willed to her uncle upon his death but stolen by her when she left the clan's lands) for her own protection in case of overly bold wolves. Her bath was quick because she knew she should not be away from the hut and the ill guest inside for long. She was about to rise out of the stream and dry herself standing on the bank when she heard a rustling noise making her heart thud in her chest, and in the darkness she turned quickly to face the sound, sword in hand and ready. "Away with you!" she hissed, hoping it was an animal and nothing worse.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:17 AM   #11
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Kent awoke and was confused, until his memory of recent events came to him. Realizing that he need rest to heal, he, at last, resigned to the fact that he would have to stay in this hut for some time with Abaris, and he concluded that protesting would be futile. "Where is she?", he wondered.

He looked around the hut trying to learn about Abaris from the objects she had chosen to take into her possession. They were not pretty trivial things like most women he knew. This woman was very different... she was well read, practical, obviously had extensive knowledge of plant medicine and obviously participated in many sacred rituals. With the changing times and the Roman faith of Christianity spreading rapidly throughout their lands, her ancient ways would be coming under increasing attack. She will be labeled a "witch" and forced to relinquish her faith and calling as a healer or she would be persecuted. This made him sad. His own family, a noble family of Gaerth, had already converted because the Romans had offered them a peace treaty, very lucrative trade agreements, extensive lands close to Rome and a place at the Roman Senate. But, Kent was still holding on to the ancient Gods, because of the deal he had struck with them.

Kent wondered how long Abaris had lived in this hut in the middle of the forest. He knew of no other woman that would spend three nights alone in the forest. He was embarassed for how he had acted before with her, yet, he longed for her return.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:43 AM   #12
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Abaris's jade eyes searched the darkness and saw a lone rodent scurrying through the grass on the other side of the bank and she sighed feeling silly for her nervousness. She set the sword down to dress quickly in her soft, handmade nightgown of cotton-wool she'd spun herself last winter and carried her day clothes (which she decided she'd rather wash in safety of the daylight tomorrow) and her sword back to the hut where the soldier was now awake and standing, looking at the books and healing tools on her shelves. Her eyes widened as she watched him, she was defensive and her hands fiddled to find the gloves she wore almost all the time to hide the burn scars on her hands and lower arms from the day her house was burned down and she couldn't keep the flames from engulfing her mother...Judgement felt like fire to her now. It burned like so many accused of witchcraft left as examples to broil at the stake before the judging eyes of others...''Those are medicinal, tools for helping the sick and the wounded. See, there is no magic to it. It's science, perhaps art to those who really appreciate it...you understand, don't you? You, who have been chosen by your Gods to fight in a war...You won't judge she who is only here to help you, will you?'' she asked warily.

As he turned to look at her she became somewhat self conscious. A woman in a thin, cotton nightgown, hair loose and falling in wild ringlets down to her waist, wearing long gloves upon her hands as if cold, yet barefoot as she shut the door behind her. She knew she must seem strange. She also wondered if she saw his eyes trying to distinguish her form beneath the fabric of her gown and she glared at him in warning. ''I help through medicine and care. I am not here to quench any...filthy...manly desires...or anything like that. Please avert your eyes until I have fetched my robe.'' she ordered.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:34 PM   #13
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"You need not worry, lady... I am not of the new faith that fears and persecutes witches... Though, my family has converted, I have resisted..."

"... And you need not worry about base desires with me," he said turning around to give her privacy to change. "I am chasing my destiny which is far above and beyond lying in heat with a woman... The Gods have set me apart for greater distinction in warfare and in the royal throne that awaits me."

Hoping that he had not offended her, yet again, he added, "Aye,.. I do recognize and acknowledge your beauty, and, had I not a greater purpose in life, bedding you might have become my greatest ambition at the first sight of you."

He had never been with a woman, but, his nights in the dream world were full of erotic fantasy. He was sure to meet Arabis there, in the dreamworld. He hoped to see her there as he had just now - in her thin, cotton nightgown, with her hair loose, and the shape of her beautiful body clearly showing.

He asked her, "Do you have any diagnosis of how long my wounds will need to heal?"

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Old 10-04-2012, 07:02 AM   #14
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She shook her head, "That depends much upon you. I can't force you to rest if you won't. But, I suspect you heal on an average rate and that would make it at least a week, perhaps a fortnight, before you'd be well." she replied honestly. "I'm no Goddess, just a healer. It takes as long as it takes." she said, pushing the steaming bowl toward him. "Drink the broth. It's good for you. " she said stifling a yawn. "Night is upon us. I will be up to my bed soon. If you need anything further I suspect you can find what you need yourself until dawn. But, if the pain is too great to bear or if there's more bleeding please yell for me and I'll come down. My name is Abaris." she said before climbing the ladder to her loft bedroom.

She lay upon the soft bed, her one luxury, a bed double-wide because she tossed and turned so oft nights, memories, bad dreams, worries, they rarely kept her eyes open but they certainly stole much restful sleep from the young healer. In her life she thought she must have had more experiences of grit than many women double her age and she felt it most in the darkness, alone with her thoughts while she slumbered.

She heard soft snores from the lower portion of the hut and smiled to herself, glad the young warrior was accepting the rest he so needed. She wanted to like most people and she suspected if he would just trust her to do her part and heal him she could like him very much as a friend and fellow respectful student of the old ways. Morning light through the windows and the sound of birds chirping awoke her and she rose feeling well rested and quite surprised to have slept so soundly for a change. Perhaps there were some benefits to having a companion in the house while she slept. Abaris surely felt much safer with a soldier around, sick or not.

She dressed quickly and descended the ladder to see her charge was also awake. ''You look much better than you did last night.'' she admitted, checking his bandages right away. ''Tell me, are the Northerners very close now?'' she asked, as much for conversation's sake as for curiosity. She rarely indulged in fear but did indeed wonder if the horror stories about these armies coming down from the North were true at all. If so, she did have very much to fear, a young, attractive woman of learning and skill all on her own in the woods...She was not too naive to know what her fate would be if they found her.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:09 PM   #15
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That night, Kent closed his eyes and entered the dreamworld...

...It was night, with a full moon, and he walked through sacred trees and came upon an opening. Inside a circle drawn on the ground, Abaris was performing a ritual to honor the moon Goddess Rhiannon. She was wearing her thin, cotton nightgown, with her hair loose, and the shape of her beautiful body clearly showing. When she saw Kent, she invited him to partake of the ritual and brought him inside the circle. Then, she removed all her clothes and danced... This pleased the Goddess greatly, because the moon grew larger and larger,... as did Kent's passion for her.



During the negotiation of the Gods to decide on Kent's fate, the concensus was that he could be either a great poet or warrior king, but not both - thus, it was decided that he must forsake love and lust for glory in warfare and conquest. Yet, Kent's closest allies Clíodhna, the Goddess of love, and Caer Ibormeith, the Goddess of sleep, cleverly negotiated an exception for the dreamworld. They argued that his dreams would be separated from reality and would not cause a distraction in the physical world. Thus, it came to be that Kent could meet any woman he desired in the dreamworld.

... But, Arabis, posed a challenge... she had her powerful Gods watching over her and Kent could not advance, even in the dreamworld, without their approval. Thus, Kent would have to be patient. He called upon his Gods to aid him in winning their approval.

Kent woke up the next morning feeling a lot better. ''You look much better than you did last night.'' said Arabis. "I feel much better, too. Thank you for the care you've given me." He wondered wether she remembered the dream and whether she knew it was a shared dream.

She asked ''Tell me, are the Northerners very close now?'' Kent answered, "You need not fear too much over it. Yes, they had advanced, but we drove them back... We have discovered the location of their main cities and plan to take the offensive by surprise soon... We have been on the defensive for so long, but my men and I have devised a fantastic offensive. When I heal, we will make preparations, and execute the plan." He paused and said, sympathetically, "You have more to fear from the political changes in our lands... I'm afraid the new trend has become to fear your ancient ways, specially in this area. I'm familiar with some of the noble families that control this area, and they can be most unkind. But, I'll have you know, you can always count on me as an ally. If you have any interest, I could help you find a place that is less hostile to our ancient ways." Noticing the sadness on her face, he quickly changed the subject, "But, we can discuss that later.... I don't mean to pry, Arabis, but if it pleases you, please tell me about yourself. Did you grow up in this region? Where is your family from? How did you become a druid/healer living in this forest?"

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Old 10-04-2012, 02:31 PM   #16
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Abaris smoothed her gloved hands over his skin as she smiled slyly and shook her head, dimples showing as she pulled away long enough to change his bandage swiftly and expertly helped him to dress into freshly cleaned clothing without even dropping her eyes once at his impressive manhood (well maybe just a slight bit for a second, enough to know it was larger than average) and she said softly, ''My story isn't a very interesting one. I remember very little about my childhood or my parents. I know my mother did as I do and my father was well respected among her clan. This was why I was taken care of quite well and given much indulgence in my curiosity by the uncle and aunt who took me into their large family when my parents were...uh...when they passed away. I grew up with the Westwood Clan although it isn't where I was born. I left them some five years ago and struck out on my own. I was willful as a young woman and could not confine myself completely to the expectations of my uncle and cousins. Their vision of what my life should be was different than what my heart and dreams told me was my destiny.'' Her cheeks flushed and her eyes blazed with indignant anger. She had to bite her lip and look down to collect herself. ''...I checked on them last year, found many of my generation have left, modernized, turned Christian and Catholic...The cousin I was nearly forced to marry is now himself an ordained Catholic Minister. It's good I left when I did. It's only a shame I had to do it...just to be myself.'' she looked embarrassed suddenly and stood to leave the small hut feeling claustrophobic. ''I've run on too much. There's work to be done.'' she announced, leaving with the blush still burning her cheeks, her gloved hands wringing themselves as she hurried off to feed the chickens and collect their eggs, feed the ass and the goats...wash something, anything to get away from those eyes of Kent's...

His gaze disturbed her. It was far too honest. She could read all of his thoughts through them and it made her worry he was much too pure and kind-hearted to be in the midst of something as ugly and evil as war.
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:48 PM   #17
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Abaris smoothed her gloved hands over Kent's skin and this sent sparks all over his body. She smiled slyly and shook her head, and Kent tried to read her mind, but alas, he did not have such a power. She had been distant yesterday, but was softening up to him. He wondered whether the dream had had an effect on her.

As she helped him dress, he thought he noticed her taking a peak at his manhood, but then, convinced himself it was just his imagination trying to flatter him.

Abaris said softly, ''My story isn't a very interesting one. I remember..." and then shared information about her childhood and family. She hinted that something tragic had befallen her parents, but seemed not to want to discuss it. "She has scars, and maybe even some demons," thought Kent to himself.

The more he leaned about Abaris, the closer he felt to her. They had much in common. He enjoyed listening to her, and thought she enjoyed sharing personal stories with him, but suddenly, she stopped abruptly, and said, ''I've run on too much. There's work to be done" and she was gone.

Kent felt longing like he had never felt before. Abaris was causing something in him to burn with desire, something about her was penetrating into the core of his soul and causing unrest. He thought battles with men were a challenge, but a greater battle was looming, a battle in his heart and groin.

Kent needed to get his mind off Abaris. He thought, "A walk in the forest may clear my mind and I may shift my focus to the military tasks ahead." He got up, struggling a little, and walked slowly out the door.

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Old 10-06-2012, 04:18 AM   #18
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She tried to not follow where he went as Kent loped off into the woods. He was still somewhat uneasy on his feet, limping like every step hurt but he persevered in a way Abaris found to be noble, stubborn, but noble. She was working on the chicken coop. The roof was getting old and she'd gotten some scrap wood cheaply upon her last trip to town, useful to patch up the leaky spot in the chicken coop's roof. She wondered if there'd be enough left over to reinforce the weak spots in her own hut's roof as well. Although, getting up there was tricky. If she was going to do something about it at all this year it needed doing within the month, before the rainy, chilly Autumn, and before winter's freeze would worsen things in the far too soft wood. Her cousins would have laughed at her doing all of this herself. ''Man's work'' they would have called it. But, Abaris learned early that if one wanted independence it meant not relying upon anyone. This left a woman having to do many things herself others might prevail upon others to do for her, hardened a bit...she still liked to think she was soft in the areas of life where it still mattered, though.

The work took much of the morning and she was back to the hut soon, preparing lunch, when Kent returned from his walk looking pale and pained. ''You should not push yourself too hard yet, Kent. You're not yet ready. Please, wash your hands in the basin and come to the table for lunch.'' she said. As she watched him move something...a flash from a dream?...came to her, it was him and he was nearly irresistible. In the dream he'd put out a hand to beckon her and she'd resisted him. Why? In the dream she was confused because she'd truly wanted to go to him, to touch him and let him touch her...but she didn't dare move. Fear made her stay put...Abaris shook her head, it had only been a silly dream. He didn't want her. He'd told her as much the day before. And, she knew better than to think of one of her patients this way. She sighed and put the food onto plates for them both. ''My apologies, I seem...I'm a little off today.'' she apologized as she handed him the food.
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:26 AM   #19
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:11 PM   #20
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Kent walked for a few hours. He could see why Abaris had settled here. The forest was beautiful and full of life. He thought he could feel eyes on him, but only saw animals starring back at him.

He pondered many things during his walk, and finally managed to halt his burgeoning infatuation for Arabis,... or at least that's what he thought.

On his way back, he picked up some firewood. He arrived a little pale and pained. ''You should not push yourself too hard yet, Kent. You're not yet ready. Please, wash your hands in the basin and come to the table for lunch.'' Arabis said.

He did as he was told and met her at the table. Their eyes locked for a moment and then, each of them looked down with a little embarassment. ''My apologies, I seem...I'm a little off today.'' she apologized as she handed him the food. " "Well, that makes two of us." He said with a smile. The feelings that Kent thought he had vanished in the forest came back to him with a vengeance.

"Abaris," he said and paused. "Well, um... well I appreciate everything you've done for me and must repay you some way before I leave... Is there anything I can do for you? I am closer to recovery and would love to do something helpful and make myself productive. I know you are quite resourceful on your own, but, maybe there is something I could be of service with." He was hoping that she would ask a big task of him so he could extend his stay.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:44 PM   #21
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She shook her head and denied needing anything. ''I think it's best you allow yourself to heal, Kent. There's really no need to worry about me.'' she fibbed. But, as if the Gods themselves were calling her bluff thunder rolled in the nearby clouds which had been threatening rain for days and suddenly it grew ominously dark outside as the sky opened up with pouring rain and hail. The leaky roof which had been a slight annoyance weeks before could not take the onslaught of the pounding hailstones and the leak cracked open, quickly becoming a gaping hole letting the bad weather inside, soaking the loft upstairs, her once luxurious bed, dampening the floorboard to drip down onto the floor below...She rose from the table quickly, hastening to put empty pots of every size in the worst of the leaking spots. She'd be spending the rest of this storm emptying pots of water and refilling them from these horrid holes in the ceiling.

Teary eyed, after forty minutes straight of both Kent and Abaris running back and forth to try to reduce the damage the rain and hail was causing to the small abode, she looked him in the eyes and nodded ashamedly, ''Alright...perhaps there is something you could do for me. When this rain stops I'll be needing help repairing that roof...and another thing...''

But, she blushed deeply and couldn't ask the second part which had crossed her mind lest he think she was asking something inappropriate (But, her gaze went to the now pitifully soaked through mattress of her former bed. Where would she sleep now?) She shook her head and turned her back to him.

...Several hours later Abaris sighed and cleared the table when the hail passed and the thunderstorm had moved on to terrorize some other place. She once fell asleep sitting there, her head slumped upon the tabletop during the creation of a quilt several winters ago. She supposed tonight and every night she had a guest until she could afford another good bed she'd use this tabletop as her new pillow. She'd have to sleep sitting in the chair there. For, she'd never ever ask a man to share his bed with her. She knew that would be inviting too much trouble, especially given the uneasy flip floppy feeling she got in her belly whenever Kent looked into her eyes and smiled...

She sighed again as he moved to help her and she felt so foolish. ''Please, you've helped so much today. Just relax in your bed. I'll check your wounds soon.'' she promised. The notion of doing more healer's work made her feel more at ease.

She took off her gloves for a few minutes, to wash her hands and face, almost forgetting he was still in the room with her. She was usually so self conscious about her scarred hands and forearms...As she felt his eyes upon her she turned and looked at him, shrugging. ''I forget about them sometimes...Pretty ugly, huh?'' she asked conversationally. ''...happened when I was about nine. Consequence of trying to touch someone still aflame...I don't know why I even did it. I just had to touch her one last time... My mother's last words to me were, ''Don't show them your hands, my baby. Never show them your hands!''...I guess she had seen the damage in her final moments... By the time the others had come from burning down our house with my father inside...I'd run off. I've been told it's a three day walk to my Mother's Clan and their lands. I got there barefoot. I don't recall the journey. My uncle found me while hunting and carried me back. I'd mumbled about my parents in those moments, I was feverish and in and out of consciousness for a long week...My aunt had made me long gloves to wear over my bandages and even after the wounds had healed I preferred to wear them. I felt odd and tingly, sometimes pain, when I touched anything with my bare skin, except other people...But, that felt too...odd...so I stopped. Once something I had touched accidentally on my aunt when I'd slipped in the bath and had to grab her to keep from falling...something in my touch had frightened her. I remember how wide her eyes were. She never failed to remind me about the gloves after that. I never forget them..." Abaris said, feeling like she'd rambled again... She picked up the gloves and slipped them on, sitting in her chair (her new bed) at the table.
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Last edited by slippedhalo : 10-09-2012 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:38 PM   #22
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Kent moved as fast as he could to save Arabis’ hut from substantial flooding. Despite their best efforts, there was some damage to the hut and Arabis’ mattress was unsalvageable. The only thing good to come out of this predicament was that it gave Kent an opportunity to do something for Arabis and to spend a few more days in her company. She reluctantly asked for his help to repair the roof, and there was something else she wanted, but she could not say it then.

Exhausted, Abaris fell asleep sitting on a chair with her head down on the table. Kent was about to pick her up to place her in his bed, but as he was about to pick her up, she woke up. ''Please, you've helped so much today. Just relax in your bed. I'll check your wounds soon.'' she promised. “But, you take the bed. I can sleep anywhere. In my military career, I’ve slept on the ground with only leaves and twigs wrapped in a sheet as a mattress.”

She took off her gloves for a few minutes, to wash her hands and face, and then turned around embarrassed about and the scars on her hands and forearms, which she had, apparently, been hiding. She disclosed to Kent the tragedy about her parents’ death and how Arabis had touched her mother while still aflame. Her house had been set ablaze by some people. Abaris escaped the attack and walked for three days to her uncle’s house.

Kent stood there, not knowing what to say, not knowing how to console her,... and then he felt a strong wind push him and hurl him toward her. He was suddenly embracing Abaris and gently touching her hands and forearms. “You poor girl. What tragedy!” They sat together quietly for a few minutes with Abaris' head on Kent's shoulders and his arm on her shoulder. Kent reflected on the shared dream they had had last night. He suddenly remembered that the dream had started off as a horrific nightmare involving a house in flames and people burning. Abaris was there crying in extreme agony. He tried to pull her away, but she would not leave with him. After many attempts, he finally managed to pick her up and take her forcefully into the forest, where they met the moon Goddess Rhiannon, who appeared to them as a large brightly lit full moon. This soothed Abaris and she dutifully performed rituals worshipping the moon.

Trying to lighten the mood, Kent said, “In my world of mortal combats, scars are a thing of honour; they are badges of courage. Have you not notices how many scars I have?” Kent removed his shirt and proceeded to identify each scar on his chest, stomach, throat, back and legs, though remaining modest. He described the various face-to-face combats that had been almost lethal. Perhaps, Kent was also using this opportunity to show off his toned and muscular body to Abaris. They talked for hours and the mood became much lighter.

It took Kent a while to convince Abaris to sleep in his bed and he would sleep on the floor with some leaves and twigs covered in a sheet to serve as a mattress.

Before going to sleep, Kent felt that it was his turn to share personal information. Abaris had opened up to him, yet he remained hidden from her. He began, “My parents are still alive, but, we are dead to each other. My parents, the Prestons of Birmingham, are wealthy and of noble origin, of the Pentreath clan, but they have always been driven by the most selfish and evil lust for money and power. When I was 14, I was to wed an 18-year old girl from an even more noble and powerful family. My father had designs on using this transaction to cement ties to her family, and ultimately, manipulate them and usurp their power. The girl had a lovely spirit, but her looks were unflattering, and I had no physical love for her. My father collected a harem for me of 12 exotic beauties from various foreign lands and told me that, when I tired of them, he would collect another 12 for me. He said that I need not love my wife or be attracted to her, that it was strictly a political arrangement, and that my father had secured her father’s approval for me to keep a harem.”

“But, at that time, I had a very poetic soul, and believed a man should love his wife, and this situation did not sit well with me. My father tried very brutal measures to persuade me to go along with his plan, but I resisted, even resigning myself to die at his hands. Finally, my father seemed to relent. But, he said the matter needed to be handled delicately to avoid a deadly war between the two families. He said I had to play along until the day of the wedding. This seemed odd to me, but I wanted to avoid war, so I promised to keep up the charade.”

Kent paused and looked down. “On the wedding day, when everyone had arrived and taken their seats, and the ceremony was supposed to begin, my family executed the most brutal and evil ambush and slaughter that there has ever been. Obviously, her family, powerful as they were, was most unprepared. None of her family was sparred. Even their friends and allies were slaughtered. With the consent of all the other noble families in attendance, under duress and ghastly fear, my family took the slaughtered families' lands and my family’s power and wealth grew exponentially. They were feared for the monsters they are. Yet, their ambition was far from over. They are determined to extend their power to all four corners of this land and beyond. They became Christians, and forsake our ancient Gods, in order that they could enter into a treaty with, and buy weapons from the Romans. Their conversion was strictly a political maneuver, for they have no Gods, they think themselves gods."

"I believe that they have conspired with the Northern people, too. The Northern people attack, terrorize and weaken all our villages near its borders. I am convinced that this is part of a plot contrived by my father. The Northern people are paving the way for my family to exert power and control over these villages, either by invasion or under the guise of protection. I do not know what bargain the Northern people believe they have struck, but one thing you can bet on, is that my family will betray them in the end and take their lands and possession.”

“My father said it was my refusal to wed that started all the violence and bloodshead. He said my refusal made war inevitable because of the insult on her powerful family, and he was forced to launch a preemptive attack. Maybe he is right and I have the blood of 1000 people on my hands... But, one day, I will unite all the villages and lead an army to destroy him.”

Kent looked at Abaris to see how she was taking this all in.
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:54 PM   #23
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Arabis listened to Kent's tale and her eyes read such horror and sadness in his. She shook her head. ''You are right to fear their power and greed for more of it. Kent, you have a strong spirit if you'd even turn against your own kin...I know this, how lonely it can be to walk alone...'' Abaris reached out a bare hand, feeling less self conscious with him now than anyone who'd ever seen her naked hands before.

She felt compelled to touch one of his scars, to feel where once he'd hurt and now was stronger because of nature...The toughened pink skin beneath her fingers warmed as she rubbed over it and grew smoother, her own hand tingling at this...She gasped when she pulled her hand back and saw the scar she'd reached out to touch had disappeared. The skin was now perfect and smooth, almost the same color as the untroubled skin around it.

Her green eyes widened in shock and horror. She pulled away, falling off of the small cot onto the hard stone of the floor. She moved across the hut from him, afraid of his own reaction to the magic she was unaware she possessed...although vaguely she had memories of early childhood, saving wilting flowers in the field, touching a bleeding wound on her father's hand once and watching it dry and seal shut as a result of her action. Father had smiled down at her proudly when she did it, not like her aunt's fearful reaction years later...''I'm sorry...'' Abaris said in a small, terrified voice from the other side of the room as she scuttled yet further back, tripping over a bucket full of water and falling in the puddle gracelessly. ''....I haven't....I haven't tried to use my hands like that since I was very little. I honestly forgot I could...I thought...I thought I had only dreamt I could heal that way. I had no idea those were real memories and not childhood daydreams...I'm sorry, Kent...'' she trailed off, shaking. This was not at all something she wanted for herself. She'd worked hard to learn how to heal through potions and real, true medicine and care. She didn't want anyone to know she could simply lay hands and make things all better. It would cause her no end of trouble from the war mongers then.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:23 AM   #24
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Kent felt a tingling sensation when Arabis touched his largest scar, which was on his chest. Then, he experienced a very soothing and sublime feeling and fell into a very brief trance. He snapped back into reality when Abaris gasped in horror, pulled away, and fell to the floor. He was confused, not knowing what had prompted this reaction, and looked down to determined whether an untimely erection might have been the culprit. Fortunately, his cock was not the cause of her horror, and he breathed a sigh of relief.

But, the look of horror on her face was disturbing. ''I'm sorry...'' she said and she was looking at his chest. He looked down and realized that his biggest scar was missing. In case his eyes were tricking him, he searched for his scar with his fingers... no scar, just smooth skin. It took him a minute to fully grasp what had just happened, but his first concern was to pick up Abaris from the floor, "Are you okay?... Be not afraid. It is a gift from the Gods!... You are a blessed!" He tried to hide his fear from her. They were both in extreme danger if anyone ever found out about this miracle. He would have to recreate that scar before rejoining his men.

Kent held Abaris trying to calm her down, "Its fine... Its a shame really... You could have done so much good with this extraordinary gift... But, I'm sure you understand that, in these times we live in, it is best to never talk of this again... You must never let anyone know about this power,... about your gift." She nodded. "Evil men, like my father, would stop at nothing to possess and exploit this power for evil,... to turn his men into an immortal unstoppable force of evil ambition... and superstitious men, they would think you a witch and burn you alive!... I will guard your secret with my life, Abaris."

They sat together silently for a few minutes. Kent reflected on how much he had learned about this beautiful woman, who was just a complete mystery to him, yesterday. Yet, there was still much he wanted to ask her,... but not tonight. It was very late and she seemed exhausted, both physically and emotionally. They locked eyes and he kissed her on the forehead, saying "I will leave you to rest now, Abaris."

He was exhausted, too. He laid down in the bed he had created out of leaves and fell fast asleep.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:56 PM   #25
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She nodded, letting Kent tuck her into the bed on the cot by the fire, like a little girl being put to bed after waking from a nightmare. Abaris lay in the dark thinking about what her hands had done and suddenly realized her mother's warnings to her back when she was a girl watching her die had nothing to do with the burns, as a matter of fact, she was now certain her impulse to touch her mother's burning flesh was a futile effort to heal her knowing full well back then that she had some significant gift. Likely, her parents had always known about this gift but hid it well from others. Perhaps her Aunt knew too. She wondered what it had done to the woman when she'd accidentally touched her that one time...

...Sleep came despite her racing mind and Abaris found herself launched into a dreamworld where she was flying through the stars toward the moon, naked and unashamed even though she wasn't alone. Kent, also as naked as the day he was born, flew along with her. They were hand in hand and the places where their fingers interlocked during this journey radiated with a soft white glow. He smiled her way and directed her downward. Gently they landed by a moonlit lake, the two of them alone in the darkness and still holding hands...He jumped into the water and she didn't hesitate to join him even though she knew she could not swim. He guided her gently and she felt no fear, not with Kent. Beneath the water he came ever closer, kissing her with a passion she'd never known in the waking world. They twirled, a mass of spinning arms and legs entwined, and the water felt so good as it moved in it's cool way, all about their naked bodies, kissing them in it's own way as they kissed each other the way familiar lovers would.

...Abaris awoke shivering. It was cold. The fire had gone out in the night and it was still the dark hours too long before dawn. She looked over to Kent, he was shivering in his sleep but his mouth was formed in the shape of a smile. Abaris blushed as she wondered if he had dreamed something like what she had. He looked to be quite enjoying his dream. She moved to him and he felt cold to the touch and shivered once more. But, he rolled onto his back and she saw...his pants were clearly bulging up and outward in an unmistakable way. Abaris gasped, checking his face once more to see he was indeed asleep and therefore she should not be so offended by that which he had no true control over. Still, the dream she;d just awoken from made her tingle in places she'd never felt much before and now his huge erection made her wonder if his body was reacting to thoughts of her. He had called her beautiful before, had he not? Abaris bit her lip and chided herself for such fanciful thoughts about a man she was supposed to be taking care of not mooning over. She sighed and shook him awake. ''Kent, Kent, please, wake up!''

He looked up into her face, blinking drowsily.

She explained. ''I can't leave you in this cold. Come, we can share the cot. Come to bed. We'll both be warmer if we lie together and share it.'' she offered, pulling him toward the warm, waiting bed.
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