Parts 1 and 2 of "Loving the Enemy" The Ethehini: a group of people with the ability to use earth's elements and matter to our will and for our purposes. Mortals might call us warlocks or sorcerers, and they fear and hate us as such.
Wars have been fought to wipe out our existence, how ironic it is that we are the ones who help and watch other them, seeing that they do not destroy themselves in their mortal impulsiveness.
Never the less we are forced to hide and use glamour and magic to hide ourselves from the human world. However we are not exactly the bearers of peace. We ourselves are divided into two main groups.
The Sapientarrow and the Elanoreians. For over a dozen millennium the Elanoreians have fought them and protected the humans from their chaos and destruction. In turn the Sapientarrow have given everything they have to accomplish world domination and human submission.
My name is Azriel and for most of my life I had been a faithful member of the Elanoreians. They taught me everything and I was among their most powerful students. I was prepared to devote the rest of my life to them and become a member of their council. But things took and entirely unexpected turn. It was in the middle of autumn, three days before my ranking ceremony. I received a letter telling my that I was being summoned to verdict. I had never been called to judgment before and never been accused or tried in the courts before.
No one dared question me or my position. Thinking it must be a mistake I hurried to the courtroom where over 600 Ethehini sat in all their supreme power, dressed in the all white attire that is customary for the Elanoreians. I paused as they all turned to me expectantly. I walked quickly to the center of the room and addressed the judge. "One who is of fair verdict, tell me, why have I been summoned here?" I asked addressing him in the proper way.
"There are those who question your motives." He answered emotionlessly. His name was Jarahan and he had been judge for nearly a millennium, you could feel his authority and supreme stature over all the people. Though his hair was white as snow, his face was timeless, like many Ethehini, stuck between the age of 25 and 30. I turned to see my accuser and was not in the least surprised. There sat Djaqulin in all her beauty and perfection.
I kept myself from wrinkling my nose and scoffing. "Tell me cousin. What have I done to offend you. I should like to make things at peace between us." I said in a calm voice while lying through my teeth. "Nay cousin, it is not I whom you have offended. If offended be the correct word. I would in truth use the word 'betrayed' ." She said elegantly. This proper form of talking is essential to Elanorian court life.
When in court you give respect and courtesy, and in turn you will be treated the same. I felt my anger surge through my veins, but I was not worried, I had done nothing to betray anyone. "Pray, tell me how I have done what you say?" I asked with a biting edge.
My eyes narrowed slightly but my small smile remained, though now it appeared more challenging than sweet. "As everyone here is aware, Azriel is the daughter of Fellius and Haylen Windrow." She said using my first name and only getting away with it only because of our relation.
"Both of which are traitors to the Elanoreians." Her bluntness was barely hidden by her sweet smile and charming beauty. I stiffened and held my breath before speaking. "I am not my parents. Their decision is of no influence to me." I said coolly straightening my posture. "Isn't it?" She questioned me calling me a liar directly, in poetic voice.
I froze and the court went silent. I looked at her to make sure I had heard correctly. I had indeed. "No." I answered choosing not to call her on it.
"Then tell me why do you where your mothers ring to this day? The emblem of a traitor." "It was our grandmothers ring, and before her, her mothers." I answered purposefully adding in "our" "If you do not have a valid reason for calling us here Djaqulin, then I am going to dismiss this meeting." Jarahan said.
I smiled a little when he addressed her by her first name. "Indeed I do." Djaqulin said widening her smile. "Azriel has worked hard her entire life. She has earned and attained the trust of all the elders and leaders, and in fact they hope for her to be at their side soon." She said looking straight at me.
I knew where this was going. "She is powerful and wise just like her…parents. She tells us they have no influence over her, and after she was taken under the care of my father Lord Taldron, everyone else assumed this as well. But I ask you take a closer look at her life. Does she not mirror her mother identically?" "Azriel's similarities to her mother do not prove anything.
She has done nothing to prove she is a traitor." Jarahan said raising an eyebrow. "Neither had her mother, until she slit her brothers throat and ran away with her husband to the Sapientarrow." Djaqulin said turning up her nose. "But I ask you also, tell me, why does she keep in contact with them?" "With who?" I asked confused. I suddenly realized she meant my parents.
"How dare you accuse me of such absurd actions!
I have not spoken to my parents since they left the court!" I said angrily. "Indeed?" She asked in an 'are you sure' tone of voice. "Indeed." I glared biting down hard.
"Is that not a communication contrivance on you finger?" She said sitting back in her chair. I looked down at my hands. "What?" I asked thoroughly perplexed. By calling me a traitor she was condemning me to death. I looked down at my ring with the seven point star embedded on it. "Rhone inspect the ring" Jarahan ordered one of his guards impatiently, I could tell he was also annoyed with Djaqulin's useless accusations.
Rhone came over to me and I politely gave him my hand.
He gently removed the ring and walked into the light to see it better. Several minutes went by far to long for him to inspect a ring.
I tried to catch his eye to see if anything was wrong. Finally he looked over at me anxiously. My stomach dropped as he cleared his throat. "After close examination of the device, I have concluded that…" He paused and looked at me sadly.
I held my breath. "It is a means of communication to some other device of it's kind." "That's not possible." I said too worried to urge anger into my voice. What if it was, and my mother had never told me.
How had I never noticed it before? What if Djaqulin did something to it? How would I prove that? Jarahan froze and looked over at me. "Examine it again Rhone." He said coldly. "I have already examined it, many times." Rhone answered placing the ring on the pedestal for all to see. He avoided my gaze. I looked over at Djaqulin who looked completely unaffected. "I didn't know." I said weekly.
"How did an Ethehini of such high rank and power overlook such an obvious thing?" Djaqulin asked then feigned disappointment. "I…never…" I knew my argument was week and I began to realize my fate.
"Just like her mother." I heard someone whisper somewhere off to the side. Everyone began to murmur and whisper loudly. "I have done nothing, but serve and faithfully follow our leaders." I said quickly.
"Indeed you have." Djaqulin scoffed. "Silence and order!" Jarahan shouted and everyone obeyed. He whispered for a few moments to the elders beside him then turned back to face us. "Azriel, on account of solid evidence," He paused and I felt my heart stop.
"But no valid proof you knew of it's existence, we here by order you stripped of all power and rank, for the safety of all Elanoreians. You will be watched closely and your life remains of questionable clemency" I froze and felt my eyes fill as the unbelievable and unpredicted began to happen to me. My hands were bound and tied and I was lead quickly from the room. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~Part 2~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Before I had the chance to think about what all of this meant they began the process of de-ranking me.
First my hair was stripped of the white dye that represented my authority over all. Then my skin was washed of all it's markings that illustrated my ability to control high elements and matter.
My tear stone pendant was snatched from my neck. For the final process a blue transparent orb was placed before me and I froze. This was it. I placed my hands around it and felt my power drain and leave me. Slowly and painfully it was torn away like a second layer of skin. They took it away and I was left in nothing but the simple white dress they provided to all women Ethelhini who were condemned or imprisoned. The cell they put me in was too large for just one person so I had plenty of space and time to think of how much I hated Djaqulin and how unfair I was being treated.
I also blamed my mother for giving me the ring. Both my friends and enemies were now planning my death. I had spent years learning to control and suppress my emotions, but even that didn't stop my sudden fit of anger that caused me to scream and bang my fists against the cell wall until they bled. I gave up and fell to the floor crying hysterically.
I began to drift off into sleep until finally I gave up and let it take me under. I dreamt I was finally getting my rank and I sat high and mighty along with all the elders of the Elanoreians. Then I looked down and in my hand was a dagger with the symbol of a seven point star, same as on my ring. I took it and mercilessly murdered all of the people around me. As they died, as customary, I was given their power and I was indeed the most powerful Ethehini, but there was one other, the only one who could defeat me.
Castien, leader and ruler of the Sapientarrow. I turned and like merely thinking of him had summoned his existence, there he was. I took up my knife and rushed towards him. He turned and grabbed my wrist taking the knife before I could put it through him. "That wasn't apart of my offer." He said forcing me against on of the large marble pillars. "What offer?" I spat feeling invincible and very brave. "I give you what you want and you give me what I want." He said with an amused smile.
"You can't give me what I want." I said angrily. "You are the reason I am here in the first place!" I said realizing that for some reason I was unable to use my powers. "No, sorry. Your powerless remember." He said.
I looked around to see all the bodies I had left behind me. I began to realize the horror of what I had done, but when I looked the bodies were gone and there was no blood on my hands. "I can give you back your powers if you agree to join me." Castien said getting straight to the point.
I believed very well he could give me back my powers but his price was never fair. I noticed his hair was not dyed white as it might have been in the days when he was an Elanoreian, then I also noted neither was mine anymore. "I will NEVER, join you." I said angrily.
"Oh please. Spare my your loyalty-pride speech!" He said exasperatedly. " I have heard it all before, I myself said the same things, you are about to say, once." his grip tightened on my wrist. "Well then you will hear it again because-" "You realize they are about to kill you?" He said. "It doesn't mater, all the good you have done. They will kill you and mark you off as a traitor." Castien said bluntly. I looked up at him wanting very badly to give back a valid argument.
He was right, I was damned if I did and damned if I didn't. "Remember all the power you had, what it felt like. The rush and confidence, the sensual flair and mightiness." He said. Suddenly I felt a rush of all the power I once had and an added power rush under my skin and through my veins in warmth.
His power. I let out a sigh of pleasure then it was gone and I was left mundane. Feeling his power also let me feel his presence and beauty. He was beautiful. His dark almond eyes set perfectly on his thin angular face. His perfect cupids bow mouth formed a sensual taunting smile that before now would have angered me, but I was week and powerless. "Do we have an agreement?" He asked rubbing his thumb along my jaw line. I nodded slowly and he let me go.
I almost stopped him but quickly found myself. "Wait! You have to give me my power." I said as he turned to leave. "What? So you can change you mind?" He asked as if I thought him a fool. "Then how am I going to escape?" I asked. He turned and gave me another one of those smiles. "Wake-up." He said then vanished. I jolted awake and found myself back in my cell.
I stood-up and looked around but it had just been a dream. However I doubted the normality of it. I suspected some power was used to conjure it into my subconscious.
The next day my fate was decided. With further examination they discovered my ring did in fact communicate with someone in the Sapientarrow realm and I was sentenced to death. Immediately. I was pushed through the crowed of people who I once called my friends. I spotted Djaqulin watching me emotionlessly and several other faces. Some looked at me with sorrow, some hate, and others confusion.
I looked ahead to the steak where I would be burned alive for my ashes to be cast to the dirt like a human. Death, I had never considered it until now. What would happen.
According to legend and common belief only humans were allowed eternal paradise. Did that mean immortal beings were damned and only gifted with eternal life on earth? All these thoughts and more went through my mind while three guards, who only yesterday had been my subordinates, led me to my death.
As I mounted the marble steps and looked around I caught a glimpse of someone. I wasn't sure if my eyes betrayed me so I looked frantically through the faces until I saw him. He was dressed in the white robes of a elder and his hair was dyed white. I almost wondered if I was hallucinating in my last hours. I noticed a teleporting stone around his neck and when he saw me looking he smiled slightly.
I felt a bitter mix of feelings: I wasn't going to die, but I was going to betray everyone and everything I was about. He stretched out his arm opening his garment to invite me in. This was my chance, take it or leave it. On a surge of adrenaline and impulsiveness I pushed one of the guards away from me causing he to stumble into the others and ran quickly into Castien's arms. The guards chased after me and everyone let out cries of surprise. When they saw whose arms I was in, they froze in fear.
Everyone stared in astonishment. All the people who had doubted my sentence now looked on in disbelief. He hugged me too him and paused to look around and take in all the fear. I noticed Djaqulin looking at me, eyes and mouth gaping in surprise.
I heard a haughty "Humph" escape Castien's throat and he threw his white robe around me and we vanished. In the blink of an eye we were instantly in a different place. A teleporting ring with seven glass pillars all around us. Castien removed his pendant and placed it on the table in the center. I watched him as he want about and completely disregarded me. I almost wondered if he had forgotten about me in such a short time but I was to scared to bring myself back to his attention.
He was twice a strong as I ever was and a thousand times stronger than I was now. He shrugged off his white cloak and tossed it to the side in disgust.
"A keepsake from my days as a Elder in the Elanoreian council." He said. I realized there was no one else in the room and he had been talking to me. I wasn't sure how to respond or if I should. "Why keep it?" I asked then realized that he had just demonstrated why. "It is a reminder of what I once was and what they took from me." He said then turned to me. I felt my stomach drop as he moved closer.
"But don't for a second compare your situation to mine. I had much more than you and they did much more to me than just strip me of power and rank and condemn me to death." he said bitterly. I glanced momentarily at the faint scars lining his lean torso. He walked over to me and placed a hand on my shoulder. I held my breath and stiffened as his fingers pushed the traps of my white funeral dress off my shoulders.
It fell the floor around my ankles and I felt my entire body flush as I stood completely naked before him. He turned away shamelessly and said simply, "You will never wear anything like that here." He walked away and came back with a large blue velvet robe.
I guessed by the size it was one of his. "Now to meet your mother." He said helping my into it. I froze. "My mother…" I said quietly. I wasn't sure how I felt about seeing my parents. For so long I had forced my mind to see them as enemies and traitors.
They had left me when I needed them most. I followed Castien through a door which lead out to a long hall. We walked in silence, me quietly by his side. I caught a glimpse of someone to my left and paused because it was a slightly familiar face.
I turned and found I was looking in a mirror. Castien walked a few more steps before realizing I had stopped walking. He came back to my side and we looked at our reflections. I had been years since I had seen my natural hair color of raven black and without my power I felt awkward and insecure. I wasn't nearly as beautiful as I felt with my power. I wasn't thin and elegant that was for certain. My thighs were a size to big and my chest size that I had once prided seemed to large for me now.
I tightened the robe around me to hide my form. Castien scoffed and rolled his eyes. "You'll get over it." He said then frowned when he realized his current hair color.
"We need a shower anyways." He said. I widened my eyes and felt my face flush. "Don't get excited, I didn't say together." he said then ushered me away from the mirror. He lead me into a side hallway and then through a door. I felt my stomach flutter. What would my mother think, did she know I was coming? Did I really look just like her?
The room was dark and it took a while for my eyes to adjust. I made out a bed and a pile of something in the corner. As we stepped closer I realized the pile was a person. My mother turned to us and squinted at the light curling tightly into a ball. "Haylen, you daughter is here to see you." Castien said calmly.
She turned for a moment to eye me then began muttering piteously. "What did you do to her?" I asked horrified. My mothers hair was as tangled as I imagined her mind to be and her clothes though clean, looked like rags on her thin frame.
"She did this to herself. She wanted power and I allowed her to have it as long as she did what I asked, in exchange that I watch over you. To much power for one person and this happens to them" He said coolly. "And you let her have it!" I nearly screamed. "I could have taken care of myself!" I said angrily. "Obviously." He said sarcastically. "That is how you work isn't it? You only help people if there is something in it for you!" I said in disgust.
"Are you so different? You were only willing to come with me if I gave you back your powers." He pointed out. I stopped, he had played me well. "She is corrupted…" I stated more to myself than to Castien. "I warned her but she insisted. And as long as she kept her part of the bargain I had to keep mine." Castien said leaning in the doorway waiting my expression.
I walked angrily past him and stormed out of the room. He grabbed my arm and I winced as his nails clawed and dug into my skin. I turned on him and planned to fight him off but when I raised my hand I remembered I was still powerless. He gave a low laugh and pinned me again against the wall by my wrist. "Stop doing that!" I breathed frustrated. "Why? You like it." He said then moved his knee between my legs. I squirmed a moment then sopped as I felt that same rush of power from my dream surge through me, only this time it was real and felt so much better.
A mix of his power combining with mine and I felt warm and calm. My eyes grew heavy and I placed my hands on his chest. He took my hand, the power still linking us together, and lead me back down the hall in another direction. He pulled me into a room and closed the door. I turned and he pressed his lips to mine and I felt a different feeling mix with our power. He pushed my back to the door then pressed himself against me and the power flared a little causing a moan to escape from us both.
"When they said you were powerful, I thought it was just a praise on your behalf. But they did not exaggerate, you really were powerful. How did all their fear and adoration taste?" He asked moving his hands in and around the robe to my back then feeling the length of it.
I let him as I felt more than confidant now, I felt superior. "A little like this." I said then pressed my mouth to his. "Hmm." He said then shoved me onto the bed. I felt the presence of his power leave me for that short moment of separation. Straddling me he pulled my arms out of the robe sleeves then stretched them above my head running his hands along their smooth bronze skin. His lips were soft as he kissed my forehead, then my nose, my lips, then the line of my neck, the swell of my breast, the tip, my naval, my stomach… I let out a moan as his lips found the right place between my legs and I ran my hands through his long silver dyed hair as his tongue entered me and I let out a cry as both passion and power enhanced.
I wanted him to stop but couldn't bring myself to do anything about it. He pulled up and moved between my legs. I had never had sex before, in fact it wasn't allowed during the first 37 years of training, but seeing and comparing our bodies I was beginning to get an idea of how it worked. "No!" I said then quickly squirmed away. He was about nine inches and much larger than I could imagine ever fitting into me.
He looked at me in annoyance then grabbed my ankles and pulled me back under him. I squirmed around but he pinned me down. Even with all the power surging through me I was still wasn't even a tenth as strong as he was.
He lined himself up and lifted my hips to meet him. He pushed in and I screamed and clawed at the mattress around me. "Please stop!" I begged as he reached my barrier. "You really want me to stop?" He asked with a sensual grin that said he knew I didn't. He began to push again and I squirmed in discomfort and pain. "hey," He said pausing to get my attention. I looked up at him. "You need to relax." He said finding it all amusing then added, "Not that I don't enjoy your voice." I tried to relax allowed the hum of the power to take me under and pacify the pain.
It was still there but I could suppress it somewhat and filter in the pleasure. He pushed past my hymen and I let out another cry of pain. Slowly he pulled out and pushed back in. My moans matched his movements and his hands roamed my body caressingly. "I can't believe you are forcing my to do this." I breathed. "Forcing you? No love, you are letting me." he said in a low voice.
Was I letting him? I wondered, I wasn't stopping him. I wasn't even using any of the power I had, though little it was. "What are you doing to me?" I asked after another surge of power caused me to jolt and arch my back.
He gave that seductive smile I was beginning to hate just as much as I loved. "Giving you what you want in return for what I want." He said then kissed fervently under my neck. "You said…that me joining you is what you wanted. Not this." I said as my body betrayed me and pressed towards his. He began moving faster and I was amazed at how wonderful it felt now.
"What would you call this?" He asked seemingly amused. He placed his hands on my back and brought us up to a joined sitting position. Moving around with him inside of my hurt and I bit my lip to keep from crying out. It was strange how what might have seemed disgusting or wrong, 48 hours ago, now seemed beautiful and thrilling.
My chest pressed against his lean masculine torso and I put my chin on his shoulder as he continued pushing in and pulling out of me. Our lightly moist and soft skin touching was in itself sensual and relaxing.
"It has been a while since I have had a virgin in my bed." Castien whispered in my ear. "I wager it hasn't been that long since you had another girl here though." I argued trying not to gasps. I was still fighting to seem somewhat indifferent. He didn't answer but I felt him smile. His hand roamed through my hair and his breathing began to get shallow. Just when it began to feel extremely good he pushed in further and the pain returned. I wasn't sure how my body was accepting him but he was all the way inside.
"Oh my god it hurts." I moaned. "I don't think you want god seeing you right now." Castien said in his sarcastic way with that damned smile. "Shut-up" I ordered breathlessly. I felt a mounting sensation that when combined with my power and his felt so electrifying it threatened to pull me into a trance, but I didn't let it.
I forced myself to feel both amounts of pain and pleasure. He began pulling my hair and in turn I grabbed his hair through my fingers as our breathing became desperate. He groaned and said something in Ethelhini that translated would mean something like "Fuck" or "Shit." I grabbed his hair harder and let out a cry as I felt myself climax.
He moved one of his hands down to my waist and pushed me closer to him as I felt him release into me. After several moments of ecstasy I assumed he prolong with magic, he laid my back down and fell beside me.
My chest rose and fell matching his breathing and he pulled me to him. We lay linked together like this in silence. His hand began to wander over me again and found it's way to my sore pelvis. He pulled his hand away and brought it up for us to inspect. There was blood mixed with a clearer solution. "Am I bleeding?" I asked appalled but to tired to move. Castien kissed my forehead softly. "Yes, love. A little." He said then smiled. "How does it feel?" He asked. I looked at him in and raised an eyebrow.
He suddenly laughed. It was a beautiful, sensual, and somewhat terrifying laugh. "I meant to have some of your power back." I frowned. "Better. not as good as it would feel if I had ALL of my power back." I said. "You'll get it back and them some." He said then added "In time." "What does that mean 'in time' ?" I asked sitting up. He kissed my stomach. "It means," he kissed in between my breasts. "Exactly what," he kissed my neck. "What it sounds like." and he kissed my lips and I lay back down.
After kissing for several moments he pulled away and looked at me. Neither of us were prepared for my next question, and I had only meant to think it, but I found my impulsiveness talking as I asked, "Where is my father?"