Patty L. Fletcher
His foot falls echoed as he walked down the long corridor, he thought about the night ahead, and all it entailed. He knew there was no room for mistake here now, and he wondered what the council would think of his going to her as he had without first consulting with them. It was more than well known to them the trouble she’d caused, and he wondered if they would be willing to forgive it. He hoped they would listen when he explained she’d been enchanted, and terrorized by her then mate. Jack had been relentless in his control, and with his abuse. She’d been made to not only support him when he’d been found guilty of his crimes, but had been brainwashed into believing he was innocent. It had only been after he’d been imprisoned for months that she’d even begun to realize the truth, and once she’d finally broken free of him the damage done to her had more than been complete.
It had taken years for her to become as well as she could possibly be, and that was a delicate thing at times. Now, he hoped they would listen, because he loved her, and very much wanted to be with her.
For years he had to remain silent. No matter how hard she’d tried to reach him, no matter how horrible he’d been toward her, she’d never once wavered in her love for him. Even though her hurt and anger had for a while caused the sickness – made worse by the abuse she’d suffered, still at times plagued her to spin horribly out of control. She’d never stopped loving him. He could only imagine what it would be like to have someone love him like that. To have that type of commitment would be a wondrous thing. He’d never before even allowed himself to dream of it, but now he’d seen her, touched her, he could not leave her again.
He knew in his heart of hearts, no matter the decisions made here in this secret meeting he would choose her, and hoped he would receive their blessing. He knew all too well the dangers of going against the council, but what other choice was there. To be separated from her again was simply not an option. He no longer wanted to send her away hurt and alone.
He knew that to do it again would destroy her, and would break his own heart as well.
He cursed himself. “Why, Derrick?” He hissed to himself. “Why? You should’ve just left her alone.” As he reached the door to their meeting chamber he thought, “Because I love her.” It was just that simple, and he knew what he’d started earlier could no longer be stopped. He had no choice but to see this through. If the council refused him, what then? He took a deep breath to calm himself as his hand fell upon the door, and he pushed his way through.
The room was lighted with softly burning lamps, and the round table – which stood in the center, was already surrounded by the other members of the council. As he took his place among them the soft chatter that had filled the room as he’d entered, ceased.
“Nice of you to make time to join us.” The head councilmen said as he reached to refill his glass with the dark wine sitting in the center of the table.
“I was seeing an old friend.”
“Yes, we know about your visit with Ms. MoonWalker.” Derrick stiffened only slightly and thought, “Not going to waste any time are they?”
“Let’s get down to the thick of it gentlemen, shall we?”
“Save your excuses. We instructed you to stay away from her. She is not stable, and she threatens the very existence of all we’ve worked for.”
Derrick took a deep breath, and all the other arguments he’d gone through in his mind disappeared with that single act.
“No! That is not so. It was, at one time, to be sure, but no longer.”
“And what makes you so sure?” The head councilmen thundered!
“Randle listen.” Derrick spoke in measured tones. “The things she is working toward now go right along with our plans. If you will only allow me to hone her skill we can use it to our advantage.”
The room fell silent as Randle Jennings thought it over.
“You really think she is healed enough for you to control?”
“Yes, I do. I have been observing her from a distance for quite some time. Her workings are sign enough, and she has more than come into her own power. Now the truth is out, there is no more need to keep the two of us separate, and besides, I am available to her now in ways unlike anything that were ever before.”
Just then a man at the other end of the table spoke.
“I’d have to agree with Derrick sir. Honestly I think it would be safer to have them together than apart. If she is mated with him she will have to be submissive to him. She will have to listen to his council of her, and do as he asks. If he doesn’t approve something she cannot write of it, and she will have to seek his permission for anything other than simple every day magik. If we allow her to have a measure of power, and put her in a position where she feels her work is being noticed – as she desires it should be, no problem for him at all to manage her. She loves him. That is more than obvious.”
“What does she know of your work now? How much is she truly aware of?” Jennings asked. Derrick took a slow breath. “I haven’t had a chance to get that far with her. I haven’t had a chance to speak to her about my status, but she is going to allow me to escort her to the opening ceremonies tonight. After, I think I can take things a bit further along. She is hesitant to trust me, and that is to be expected, but I think if circumstances are allowed to proceed with no more interference I can easily and rather quickly bring her around with no trouble. There are two things that she wants more than anything, and I can give them both to her if allowed to do so.”
Again the room fell silent as the head councilmen considered his words. Derrick prayed to all the Gods and Goddesses, the decision would fall his way. He didn’t like the thoughts of having to work to control her so soon after their being reunited, but if that was what it took to make this happen then he would do it. Did he dare to hope he might be able to continue his work and have her too? Could he truly manage her, and would she really agree to submit to his will? Did she truly want his love and commitment enough to be alright with what he now represented? Would she listen? What would happen if he were wrong? He knew without doubt this was the head council’s biggest worry. They all knew how head strong she could be, and at times, she could be a bit unstable. Whether it was her fault or not, made no real difference. The consequences of her going out of control again were the same.
As he sat in the silent room waiting for the head councilman to make his final decision he poured himself a glass of wine and drank deep. The chilled liquid’s calming affect was immediate, and for that he was grateful.
Finally the head councilman again spoke.
“You give your word that if she becomes out of control again you will do whatever is necessary to stabilize her?”
Derrick did not hesitate. “Yes, you have my word.”
“You’re prepared to swear an oath?”
Derrick stood, his glass remaining in his hand. “I Derrick Gibbous, Member of the Order of the Walkers of the Night swear on my honor that I will be one-hundred percent responsible for Leya MoonWalker. No matter what it entails.”
Randle Jennings stood to face him and said simply “As head councilman I decree it is so.” Then he added more softly, “I sure as hell hope you know what you’re doing.”
As Derrick walked from the chamber a little later something inside him kept questioning.
That had simply been too easy. He asked himself, “What did they really want of him? And, why had Terrance Clevenger spoken in her behalf like that?”
As he rounded the corner into the lobby all of his questions and worries melted away. There she stood with King by her side. The beauty of the two of them simply washed any fear he’d had just a moment before away. Her long dark hair was swept back into a beautiful long thick swirl of curls, and tied at the nape of her neck with a ribbon of black velvet. Her gown was a shimmering red silk which flowed with billowing folds all the way to the tops of her satin shoes. King’s cream colored fur had been brushed to perfection and his dark leather harness had been oiled to a shine reflecting the lights with such clarity that it seemed he could see his own reflection in it. How could anything possibly go wrong?
As he started toward them King began to wag his long tail, and Leya moved to stroke his massive head. He could barely speak as he reached her. “You’re beautiful.” He breathed. She smiled and it seemed to him the lights dimmed with the brilliants of it.
Her voice was low and soft beside him, “I was beginning to think you were going to stand me up.”
“I’m sorry; I had to attend a meeting that was called at the last minute. Being promoted has its disadvantages you know?” She laughed.
“I never would’ve believed you of all people would’ve taken such a position.”
“AWW! So you know of that do you? Looks like I’m not the only one who does detective work.”
“I own a magazine. It’s my job to know things.”
He reached out and taking her hand in his he asked, “Will you walk with me pretty lady?” She folded her hand into his, and together they walked toward the large dining room.
As they passed beneath the glowing arch way a man just to the left stood watching. His heart beat quickened as she passed and he caught her scent in the air. It took all his self control to keep from growling as he watched Derrick slip his arm around her waist, and as they entered the room, he vowed they would both pay for all he’d had to endure because of her work.
As the two of them were seated a server appeared at the table. “What may I get you to drink?”
Derrick answered with no hesitation. “A bottle of your very best Casimian wine. Spare no expense.” Leya laughed as she settled King beneath her chair.
“So, going to keep your promise no matter your misgivings huh?”
“Absolutely, besides, the results might be, well, rewarding.” She smiled.
“Maybe, if you are very good, I’ll allow you to escort me to my room, and maybe if you are absolutely the perfect gentlemen I will let you in for a good night drink.”
“Just a good night drink? No kiss?” She smiled, and it seemed to him that she was more beautiful than he ever remembered. Her skin glowed with a vibrant essence it had never before seemed to have, and her eyes shown sure and bright. “You certainly are no longer that scared young lady I once knew.” He said softly as he reached across the table and took her hand gently in his.
She laughed. “Alot of things have happened to me since you and I last saw one another, and I’m afraid you only think you know of them all.”
He gently dropped her hand and reached for the wine as the server came hurrying back to the table. “I’ll pour, that will be all for now.” Derrick said firmly, and with a wave of his hand dismissed him.
“Asserting your authority Mr. Vice President?” Derrick’s hand shook at the realization that she did indeed know of his new title.
“You really do make it your business to know things don’t you?” He asked as he regained his composure, and finished pouring their wine.
“Absolutely. I just cannot understand why you’d want to be a part of that.” He smiled, and handing her a glass of wine.
“There is plenty of time for me to tell you all. Let’s just enjoy this evening. I want very much to watch you work your charms on this room filled with people. This is my dear, a very important night for you. So let us have a toast.” He tapped his glass to hers and said, “To second chances.”
She took a long drink of her wine, and sitting the glass down she began to speak.
“Do you realize Derrick just what is at stake here tonight? Do You realize that if things go right here tonight it could mean millions of dollars for the Blended Lives Center, and the beginning of a whole new world for us all?”
As the evening progressed dinner was served, and as they enjoyed becoming reacquainted with one another, people began to arrive. As they did, one by one, guests stopped by their table. Many people seemed to be very interested in the two of them, and Derrick saw it surprised her that he was not in the least bit concerned about it.
Finally dinner was over, and the night’s program began. Derrick watched as her demeanor changed. She refused his offer of more wine. Her eyes cleared and she became acutely aware of her surroundings. He noted she began to work a word of knowledge, and soon she was lost in the magik power surrounding her. He realized she was only half paying attention to him, and she was working very hard to seek out those guests who would be the hardest to convince. He fell silent, and watched in fascination as one by one they were revealed to her, and was simply amazed at how she picked out each weakness and found ways to manipulate it to her advantage. As her name was called she stood, and he asked, “May I walk you to the stage?”
She turned her head slightly and said simply, “No thank you, this is something I want to do completely on my own.” He released her hand, and watched with pride as she worked King toward the front of the room, and as she took her place behind the podium and her name was announced the applause was thunderous.After a moment she raised her hand for silence, and as the room fell silent she began to speak.
“My name is Leya MoonWalker, and it is my pleasure to be allowed to speak to you this evening. I want to take a moment to talk to you all about the Blended Lives Center, and all the most awesome work that it does, and will, if allowed, continue to do. I’d like to begin by talking to you a little about what the center means to me on a personal level. You see, when I first came to Blended Lives nearly six years ago, I was nothing of what you see before you today. I was a frightened woman. Completely insecure, and I had no idea of what awaited me when I arrived. I was overweight, and very lacking in self confidence. I was such a mess it still amazes me, I was allowed into the program. In fact I lied on my medical application just so I could gain entry. I will spare you the details of how I managed that. Let’s just suffice it to say that how I managed to get through the training program still amazes me to this day. Lucky for me I had a fabulous trainer. Someone who knew just what to do to see me through those difficult days. Someone who knew that deep within me was a successful young lady just waiting to be set free, and thanks to the wonderful encouragement and strict training, I became the woman you now see before you. It was not easy. I have made many mistakes along the way, but had I not had the Blended Lives Center come into my life when it did, I would surely have died long ago. The work this center is doing is priceless, but it is not free. It is for this reason I do the work I do. It is my deepest wish to see this work continue for centuries to come. So more beings such as myself can be reborn into what they’re truly meant to be. I call upon you to reach deep within your hearts, and give as you have never given before. Before I leave you tonight I want to share with you how it was for me on that long ago day when King here, and I first met. So I encourage you to call upon your servers, have your drinks refilled, and prepare yourselves for a magickal tale. It is one you’ll soon not forget. I certainly never will, because for me it was a life changing experience like none other has ever been for me before or since that day. The day I was given this big beautiful beast you see here by my side, was a day unlike any other I have ever before experienced. Once our trainer Derrick Gibbous had left us together to get to know one another, the two of us entered into a world like none other I have ever visited before or since. There is no other way for me to explain than to take you there.”
As she spoke it seemed to Derrick that he was literally transported back to that long ago day.
He realized suddenly he wasn’t just imagining it. She was creating the elution of being there. He was not the only one seeing what she was saying. They were all being transported back in time.
“Time wasn’t moving for me as I sat on the floor, petting and talking to King. Even as trained as he was, he was trying to accept a new person into his life. If he heard a noise in the hall, he would get distracted and whine, probably for Derrick our trainer. I snuggled him close to me, telling him in a soothing voice he was safe in my loving hands. As the afternoon went on, he began to trust me. We both had a lot of love and faithfulness to give. My heart opened to him and his to me. Then and still today, I knew and know that a dog, either guide or pet, requires love and reassurance just as any other living being does. I’m not sure how much time passed while King and I sat in each other’s arms, getting to know one another. I couldn’t tell you when Derrick knocked on my door and came back into my room. It seemed to me, King and I had escaped into our own private world, and for us, no other beings existed. After some time, I began to come back to myself and my surroundings. I realized Derrick was there and raised my head, then turned to him as if returning from a long distance. With tears in my eyes, I said, ‘It’s as if I’ve loved him forever.’ I still had one arm wrapped snugly around King; it was as if I were afraid that if I let go, he’d disappear. I could hear the emotion in Derrick’s voice when he said, “I’m pretty sure it’s the same for him.” We stayed like that for a moment. I was on the floor, one arm wrapped around King, and Derrick was standing a few feet away, watching us. It was simply a moment I wasn’t quite ready to let go of. As I held King in the crook of my arm, the energy I felt from him was unlike anything I’d ever felt before. I could feel his longing for Derrick. I could also feel his wanting to love me, but being frightened to do so. I could also feel Derrick’s energy. It, too, was rather scattered. I could feel his love for King, but I could also feel his hope that this match would work. Ladies and gentlemen I simply can’t describe the moment any other way than to say that for a moment, brief though it was, there was a triangle of connection, linking King, Derrick, and me. Once I returned to Korponious with King, I faced many challenges. Some of which nearly cost me my life, but thanks to this dog I was able to keep the will to live alive within my soul, and now thanks to alot of hard work, and the love and ability this dog provides for me each and every day I am now healthy and whole. So I ask of you from the very depths of my heart please? Give to this center as you have never given to anything anywhere before. Allow them to continue their work forever!”
As she left the stage, the applause was thunderous. When she reached their table, he was standing along with the rest of the room full of people. He took her hand in his and as he helped her settle King back underneath her chair and saw she was seated comfortably he said in a shaken voice, “That was quite a speech. Just where did you learn to do that?”
She spoke not a word. She only sat smiling up at him, and for just a moment it seemed to him that she was looking straight into his eyes, and through into his soul.
To Be Continued