Dichotomy: Twelfth Installment "Confusion"
Marivon wondered where Trancy had gone. She had appeared in the dance hall with Gavinar, looked around in astonishment and horror, cried out to leave then the pair had disappeared. They were gone. She thought that she could feel Gavinars presence. She thought that she could sense his direction. Putting those two items together, Marivon thought, she is probably somewhere north of here, far north probably. The mountains just werent high enough in the north towards Merebon in the coastal range. The mountains that they were in now hadnt had snow for almost a month now. You had to travel across the Midsea to get to the Barrier Range Mountains to be able to have fresh snow on them.
How are you doing, Nocs? she said, the stream of her thoughts bringing her to rest upon the quick witted, young scoundrel was the best word that she could think of to describe the young man.
Since I been followin you? Not bad at all! Came Nocs promt reply. The view back here is quite nice. But I do admit, I don care much for travellin through snow wiout the prospect of an end in sight. I heard tell of a man from Clips runnin supplies ta miners in the mountains. This one day he was out and he got snow-bound, trapped in a whiteout. He dint eat for three days!
Will you be quiet, Nocs, spurted Temon, unable to control his laughter. Even though the night had gone from mildly bad to worse to really horrible, there was an element of humor brought about by Nocs consistency of commentary: Sex and the female form, or what he knew of both; and food, of which his knowledge was quite extensive.
After Trancys sudden appearance in the dance hall and subsequent abrupt disappearance, Temon had wanted to chase after her. In fact, he had jumped up to do just that, searching for discarded items of clothing, when Marivons voice had brought him up sharply.
And where do you think you are going? He had jumped at the words, not because of the sternness with which they were delivered, but because they were not spoken aloud. Spinning around, he stared at Marivon, incredulity painted across his slack jawed face.
You he said, Did you just? How? Staring around the room at the still recumbent dancers sprawled around the room in disarray, You did this! This is all your fault! You show up and
The rough equivalent of a mental slap took Temon by surprise. Quiet! Get hold of yourself! The next words were accompanied by Marivons voice, Do you even know where Trancy went? How are you going to find her? Even follow her for that matter? And this, she waved an arm, indicating the hall and its occupants as she drew him closer and continued in a harsh whisper, all the more stern because of the fact he had to lean in very close to hear, Is your doing, not mine. Your power did this: Your uncontrolled power. You swept us all along like driftwood caught in a spring torrent. We had no say! Your pattern was imposed and the dancers danced to your called tune. Your father, the elders, the fresh legs, they all were riding, dancing, trapped within your pattern, your energy. How many of these couples have now bonded? Some might have been able to avoid it, if they recognized the patterns soon enough, were far enough away from you. I recognized the patterns, but, dancing with you, I couldnt escape your power. I am bonded to you now! Years upon years of training are normally required before we let a Gaemel bond, and you are not even an initiate to the Gaemel.
Around the room, couples were stirring at the commotion, many of them looking dazed, some looking satisfied, some were beginning to realize what had happened and some were not happy at all. It is one thing to be cloistered in the confines of the academy in Ceston until bonding: Preparing and developing a relationship with your bond-mate, exploring the different patterns, walking them, talking about them. It is quite a different experience entirely to attend a celebration of community, to be overcome at the dance, and then, like popping out of an alcoholic haze or a drugged stupor, to find the person who is lying naked next to you talking inside of your head. The reality of the situation started to filter grimly into Temons mind.
Thoughts and a thousand questions sprang to the front of his brain. We bonded? was, however, the only phrase that managed to pass his lips. Marivon, looking about the room, knew that someone had better step in and control the situation or it was likely to go badly for Temon, for the whole village. Noting Bial nearby, she surreptitiously motioned for him to join the group.
Welcome to the Spring Dance! I think the first order of business would be to find some clothes, my lady, he deadpanned, scooping up and handing Marivon the dress that she had been wearing, and to dress ourselves in them. Authority comes across much better when one is clothed in more than power, No?
At first tempted to give the harsher side of her tongue to Bial, she recognized the humor in the situation and was thankful for the break, however brief, from stern speaking and thinking. I will do that, good sir, and thank you. She took the rumpled gowns from him and made a pretense at modesty, asking Temon and Bial to turn their backs towards her as she attempted to arrange the fabrics in something of the order they had been at the beginning of the night. As she turned her back also, she saw the older man give a playful punch to Temons shoulder and then grasp his hand as if congratulating him. Dont look! went through the bond as she leaned over. Men! So easily distracted. She could forgive Temon, almost, because he was untrained and barely a man, but Bial? Old goat, he was! Still, she had retained a consciousness of the events as they transpired, even if she were unable to stop them. If we were alone, she thought to herself, smiling inwardly, I would have been impressed. And here I am calling the men out as goats.
Marivon snapped her mind away from the prurient and back to the present. Assembled as best she could manage, she turned to Bial. This is your village. These are your people, she indicated the people in the room. Some of them were stirring, some were already dressed: Some were aware of what had transpired, some were as yet blissfully unaware, still basking in the afterglow. Some were asleep, and some were looking like they were soon going to be screaming curses at a particular someone. Marivon had an inkling of just who might be the object of that wrath, and so did Bial.
I think we had better remove the fuse or the powder, or both. The source of ignition looks to be coming this way, Bail said as he moved to intercept Yelena. Marivon grabbed hold of Temon and ushered him to a secluded spot behind some greenery that had been brought in for the dance, fir branches with the fresh growth of spring already on them, Bials body an additional barrier between the young man and the clearly maddened young woman.
It is his fault! I told you he shouldnt be Spring King! I told you he was unfit, and for just this reason! Yelena practically shrieked across the room at Temon. Bial, Yelena and Yelenas father all converged at a point halfway across the room from Temon. Surprisingly, it was Yelenas father who hushed the girl almost immediately.
Quiet, Daughter! he said in a low voice. Tis not his fault. Tis ours. We didnt realize he was this powerful. We saw only the beauty an strength of his aura when we did the lightning dance. We have had powerful Spring Kings before, even ones who bonded with the Spring Mistress. There is a reason for calling them tha, ya know. Yelena gasped at this last bit of information, But we have never had a Spring King pull us all along with him.
You mean to tell me, Yelena sniffed, looking more and more repulsed with each passing second, That was supposed to happen? Look at me! I am ruined! My life is a shambles. I was saving myself till I met a nice man, and now you have ruined that. Ruined my dream. I have her in my head, now.
Sighting along Yelenas outstretched arm, the mens gazes came to rest on the form of Ajanite, who was still lounging in the pile of clothes where she had been, looking very pleased with herself and how things were transpiring. Still undressed and unconcernedly aware of the fact, she stretched her lithe body. Had she been a cat, she would have been purring, stretching, washing her paw, and stopping occasionally to let the rest of the world bask in her beauty. She winked at Yelena.
Yelena almost burst free of the mens grip, so blind to everything but the thought she had been robbed of her fairytale life. Angry, enraged, she was like the other side of Ajanites cat, scratching and gouging, until her father simply wrapped her in his arms and sat down on the floor, whispering to his daughter that it would be all right, tears coming to his eyes.
Others, realizing the danger of uncontrolled emotion or because they were sympathetic to the shock the abruptness of the revelation can have on a mind, moved to placate those with angry looks on their faces and to comfort those whose looks told of their sorrow. Luckily, both of these groups were in the minority. Those upset were largely confined to the Fresh Legs, though the parents of the young dancers tended to reflect the emotions of their children, mostly it was just a concern for the child being brought so rapidly to the understanding, the crux of what dancing and the surrounding ceremonies entailed: Both the dangers and the beauties.
Where is Nocs? Temon says he thought he saw him standing with a group of female Fresh Legs in the corner, Marivon asked.
Indeed, Nocs had been talking to three young ladies, and neither they nor he could be found among those up and about. The piles of clothing scattered about the room were picked up and distributed to the owners who had not already retrieved them. Even Ajanite uncurled her form and donned her clothing, though she was blatant in her awareness of the appreciative glances and could not resist a little showmanship.
I dont know where he could have gotten to. We must form a search party for the four missing people. Ring the bell! Gavinar is not here either. Might he have taken them somewhere?
One of the village men opened the door to the belfry and gave a guffaw. No sense ta ringin the bell now, not lest ya want ta look further for the skinny git n his arem. Right ere e is.
All eyes in the room swept towards the location of the mans voice. Soon, Nocs and the three young women emerged from the doorway, cloaked in an old drapery that had been hastily donned, giggling and grinning from ear to ear. ey, Temon, right good dance. Whas everbody lookn at? Is it over? A smattering of laughter accompanied this proclamation, along with some worried looks on the faces of the parents of the four. An ow come I can hear you all inside me ead. Be terrible fierce trying to concentrate on one thing with all of you jabbering somat.
I think you should ring the bell, Marivon said, I saw Trancy with Gavinar, in here, after Her gesture seemed to sum up the impotence that she was feeling at the moment, after the ceremony was completed. She saw us, all of us, in flagrante . She asked to be taken away. Away to where?
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