"WHAT?!!! I thought it was a trick!" I said as the apparition of my mother stared at me. "I'm sorry Toman in almost all cases it is true that ghosts cannot exist on this plain. In certain cases when a death is so horrific and quick the essence of a person can latch on to another. In this case it was father. I thank you father for holding us as long as you have. I know it has taken a supreme effort on your part." "We?" I almost shouted. "What in the hell do you mean we?" Even as I watched another weaker apparition appeared.
"NO!" I almost screamed as I took off running. I felt pops, Mordaf, then finally Merlin try to wrap a capture spell around me. "NO! I refuse!" I shouted as I flung all three of them off of me. Merlin suddenly appeared in front of me. "Toman stop! You are the only one who can bring." "No, No, No, No, NO!" I shouted as I slung my arm at Merlin watching as he was flung from in front of me.
A look of absolute surprise etched on his face. Taking off at a run the visage of my mother appeared in front of me. "TOMAN! Stop!" She shouted bring me to a halt. "Thank you, had you not stopped I fear you would have run for a long time.
I am sorry that you have been saddled with this son. Your power rivals Merlin's now, as you saw." Here a smile crossed her features. "With the wild magic you posses there are certain things that you and only you can do. I . damn I am afraid I am too far from father." I suddenly felt the apparition grow weak, then, she fell to the ground slowly starting to fade.
"What is happening?" I asked. "I am too far from father, I had to stop you. Now I am afraid that I will finally pass.
I am so proud of you my son never forget that. I'm afraid I won't see you again for a long time farewell!" She said as it looked like she was in extreme pain. "NO!!" I was screaming I'd just found that she was still here and now my being a scared child was driving her away!!!?? A thousand thoughts ran through my mind then something I had heard in a story years ago came to mind. Could it work? Could I actually do it?
Extending my arms toward my mother I started to pour power out. Finally she stopped fading but grew no clearer. Grunting I reached inside feeling the locks that I had shut.
Opening then I felt twice the power start to flow. Mother's form was a little clearer, damn it, it wasn't enough! Pushing harder I felt the door I had felt open crack a little, come on open! Pushing harder I felt it finally start to open, come on faster I'm going to lose her! Even as I watched she was starting to fade a little again! NO! Damn it! Suddenly I felt an almost ripping sensation as the door was suddenly flung open!
About time I thought. I could feel Merlin behind me as he had been since this had started. Then I felt the approach of pops, Mordaf then Naci.
I could almost feel the tears that Naci was shedding as she watched what I was doing. Finally I could feel mother start to stabilize still I felt it wasn't enough. I had to put out more! Reaching as deep as I could I found another source of energy grasping it I felt the out pouring of energy triple!
Even as I watched, a halo of light appeared around the apparition of my mother. So it was true after all!
Nodding I started to feel strange as the two powers felt as if they were melding together. Odd I thought. That's when I felt the drain start to set in damn but this was taking a lot out of me! Suddenly I felt Merlin's hand on my shoulder, then Naci's on my other. I didn't know what they were doing but it was helping as I continued to pour as much power as I could into the halo of light.
It had almost been an hour I was fighting to keep it up, Merlin and Naci had released me some time ago both slightly stumbling away. I couldn't stop I had to finish! A moment later I heard pops and Naci gasp as a figure stepped out of the halo of light! Finally I thought it was about time!
"Stop Toman! You've done it son!" My mouth dropped open as I was staring at my mother! Not a ghost or apparition. No, a living breathing person! Dropping my arms I heard Naci whispering in my ear. "Push it closed Toman, like you did before. Lock the door when you do." I nodded as I did as she suggested. I felt one side easily close; the other took a lot of effort though I finally got it.
Then suddenly I felt mother's arms around me, god I had missed her! "My brave and fearless Toman! I thought I'd never get back or go to the beyond. Thank you son!" My mother told me a look of pride on her face. I clung to her for a moment then turned to see all the others looking at me in wonder. "When did you learn the restore spell?" Merlin asked. "I have been trying to master it for centuries." "I heard of it in a story," I told him.
"I thought I had nothing to lose, so I did it like I thought it should go." "A story?" Merlin asked, "Strange I remember no story like that." "I believe it went: When things are wild, from not quite a child. Life can be, for all to see. For as a reward, with family restored. Honor is earned, as the evil burns!" Merlin, his brother and pops mouths dropped open as all three of them fell to their knees. "By the great power! It's prophecy of the new age!" Merlin was whispering.
Looking up at me Merlin started to shake his head. "You are the catalyst my boy." I looked at all three of them then I saw the visage of my father also kneeling staring at me. "One day you should be able to restore me Toman. Then I can teach you a few things that I had to learn the hard way." Nodding to him I turned heading toward the village crap I needed to lay down soon. I didn't have a lot left as restoring mother had put a big drain on me. Walking as fast as I could I felt the others following me.
A moment later Naci was beside me holding my hand. The contact felt as if I had a current running through me! "I'm sorry for many of the things I said before Toman. I didn't realize that you had so much on you to do. Remember I am here also, I am not quite as strong as you but I am not that far below you either." She said almost in a whisper. "I know Naci, I need to strengthen you. Loving me has made you a target also. I have to tell you Naci." I said as I stopped right outside the village, "I do not really know what love is.
I haven't experienced it as I threw myself into learning and surviving. I had one friend, who tried to kill me. I do feel something for you Naci, I really do, though at the moment I am unsure of what it is. Forgive me; you are beautiful I have never thought of a female as that until I met you. So again forgive me as I am so unsure right now." Naci looked at me with large eyes as she nodded. "It is fine Toman as long as I can be with you to help with all these problems then I will be more than happy.
We can learn together as it should be." Suddenly she gasped then a wry smile crossed her face. "What's wrong?" I said as I started to look around. "I just realized something Toman. I just realized that I have been waiting for you! All this time I thought I was waiting for an older mage.
" Throwing her arms around me she pulled me to her, not hard as I was barely on my feet. Then she pressed her lips to mine, I felt her tongue as it began to push on my closed lips. Opening my mouth slightly I felt her tongue slip in dancing with mine. Again I felt a huge shock flow through me. Her eyes flew wide as I knew she was feeling it also.
I felt a presence behind us as I heard my mother clear her throat.
"So . this is the young woman mage who has captured the heart of my son." We broke apart but I swore it took supreme effort on both our parts. "You must be Naci, the one that Toman saved from the bear." Naci turned toward my mother as she blushed nodding her head yes.
Mother was about to reach out when she gasped. "You are a wild magic user also!" Then a sly smile crossed her features. "Good a strong woman to help keep an eye on him!" I rolled my eyes at my mother as Naci started to giggle, "Yes mam, I have tried.
Though it isn't easy I've already had to stop him from killing father when he lost control." "Toman! You almost killed her father? Tsk, Tsk, son. Not a real good way to impress a girl." Mother stated.
"Hey!" I yelled. "He pissed me off! He wouldn't stop pushing; besides I was still mad as hell about that hunter hurting pops!" Mother's face suddenly fell as she nodded.
"I know I was there, had you not strengthened him he'd not have made it. Thank you Toman." This last was whispered. "Yes, I have to thank you also Toman," Naci added.
"What you did for father has helped him also." I nodded, "I've found that I can help anyone. I even opened up Merlin a few of his were covered you might say. He said he has almost all that he used to. So I guessed I helped." This time it was mother and Naci who were rolling their eyes.
"Toman you have to realize that there are very, very few who can do that. As I remember there WERE only two, though I don't think she really wants to help anyone at the moment.
Last I heard she locked herself away on an island in the dark range of the magic world." Mother told me. "The dark range? Not sure I have ever heard of that." I told her.
"It is a place of darkness and evil. It has existed a very long time. Stories of it go back to the beginning of written word." Merlin told us as he walked up to us. "When Morgana attacked me I was able to subdue her for a short time. She told me that she had been cursed several times that she needed to leave before she hurt me.
I told her that I could help her that everything that had happened was not her fault." Here Merlin sighed. "She had at least forty curses on her I had managed to take three off her, almost had the fourth when she went on the rampage she had." "Merl?" Pops said in shock.
"Were you in love with her?" Merlin quickly averted his face a few tears falling from his eyes. "I was Reg, aye I was, hopelessly, desperately. After I subdued her I finished the fourth. Then I managed to get five more before she awoke. She kissed me with tears in her eyes. Told me she was going, even after I told her I had removed nine of the curses. I told her I could take the rest. She sadly shook her head saying there wasn't time, thanking me. Then she told me she loved me and was gone.
That was hundreds of years ago." Mother and Naci had tears in their eyes. All the stories about Merlin and Morgana had them as bitter enemies and rivals. Shaking my head it just went to show just how information could be lost in the re-telling of a story. We were almost to teepee that pops and I shared when I started to stumble a bit. "Tall Bear?" I asked. "Yes Toman? Can I help?" He asked a little concerned. "Yes, when I am awake again I suggest that Naci and I unite.
I am going hunting as soon as I can. I am through being a sitting target. I think it's about time I took the fight to them. Especially after today. I can feel that my control is almost complete." Here I turned toward my mother.
"If I am going to free father I need to build up my strength and power. I don't feel I should be sitting around here. Plus I think I might get these people killed if I stay here." Tall Bear nodded, "I thank you for the concern that you are showing for all of them. While you are resting I will announce and have everything prepared." "Thank you Tall Bear, I am afraid that we will be leaving not long after that." I replied to which he nodded his agreement.
Turning to Naci I told her, "I am sorry that I haven't had time to help you grow stronger. I will try to remedy that as we travel. The stronger the better." Leaning over she kissed me sending another shock through me that damn near knocked off my feet! "Thank you Toman I will do all I can to be the best partner to you." Here she smiled slyly, "In all ways." I nodded not all that sure what she was talking about I was just glad that she'd be there to help.
Walking in I was shocked when I saw a mage bed in place of the skins on the floor. Turning I stared at pops. "You earned it son, more than earned it." Nodding I took a step then another then collapsed.
Sinking into the exquisite softness of the bed I felt my entire body relax. Strange the whole time I was out of it I don't remember a single dream. Finally I jerked awake snapping my eyes shut immediately from the bright light.
[Well, it's about time you awoke. Ha! Teach you to use your life energy. Especially now that you have linked your magic, wild magic and life energy together.] Came pops gruff thoughts. [Ugh not so loud pops geez!
How long have I been out?] I asked him. [Three days son! We were starting to get a little worried that you WEREN'T going to wake up. Naci is almost beside herself with worry. She's been there every day checking on you.
Never lose that with her Toman, the union of you two is going to make a very strong partnership.] Pops told me. Sitting up a little quick the world started to roll a bit as my head was also swimming a moment. "Weak as hell aren't you?" I heard a voice on the other side of the teepee. "That was a hard way to learn and link your life energy Toman. I could have showed you an easier way had we the time." "I know but I couldn't leave her, not after all that we've been through.
I have to admit she did delay him a bit. Just wish I'd also strengthened her." Sighing I shook my head, "I always seem to forget something. Guess I'm still young though I did learn quite a bit with you. I just hope it's enough when I meet the council leader's son. Then there is this war I am about to start with Naci along." "With the control you have I think you far outclass even the strongest of them." Merlin was deep in thought for a few moments then he nodded his head.
"There is another trick I think that you need to learn my boy. I've informed all involved that you and I will be busy the rest of the day.
So if you're up for it shall we go?" Nodding Merlin smiled then we were suddenly within the bubble. Naci was furious, she was worried, concerned, frightened, thrilled Argh! She was more confused than she had ever been! Uncle Merlin said it would only be a few hours! It was almost dark! He and Toman had been gone almost the whole damn day.
For the umpteenth time she decided she'd waited long enough they actually started to leave! A moment later Merlin appeared walking to the marriage circle that had been set up.
Nodding to Naci she couldn't help but notice the bruises and the limp her uncle had. Toman swallowed hard as he stepped toward the area that had been cleared for this. When he told her father all those days ago he'd had a lot of confidence, now? Crap he felt as if he was about to pass out but why? It was just Naci, he'd seen her before why was he scared? Hell even the hunters had been nothing compared to this! Swallowing hard again Toman took a step into the circle not far behind Merlin.
Naci felt rather than heard Toman as he stepped into the circle. A low gasp escaped her throat as she saw that Toman ALSO had bruises about his face, neck and shoulders.
Growling she glared and growled at her uncle. How dare he?! Merlin suddenly got a worried look on his face neither one of them had been able to do a proper healing though Toman had used most of his on him. Crap that boy's power was outstanding. With this latest exercise Merlin estimated that Toman had all but one percent control.
I swallowed again when I heard Naci growl, then I noticed she was staring at Merlin! Smiling a bit it soon disappeared as soon as I got a real good look at Naci! Then I really did almost pass out.
By all that was holy! She was absolutely the single most beautiful female I'd ever seen! (I'd have to make sure to apologize to mother later.) Damn I thought why am I so nervous? I have to remember it's only Naci! It's only Naci! Problem is the closer I got to her the more my heart was damn near pounding out of my chest. The white dress of animal skin she wore was hugging her body like a second skin!
Every inch of her femininity was highlighted and I could swear heightened! Pops got in step beside me as I moved slowly toward her. [Breathe Toman!] I heard pops say as we got closer. [Damn it I'm trying! What is this? Why in the hell am I so nervous?] I thought to pops. [Is this a spell?] Pops smiled as he looked at me.
[No, I think you are starting to feel for her what she is for you. I imagine you feel a great sense of responsibility for her. That you'd do anything to save or help her.] Pops thoughts said. I looked at pops with a look of surprise. [Yes! How did you know?!] Pops smiled, [we all feel it at one time or another.] Here pops looked over at Merlin. [Even Merlin has fallen to this. We're here son, it's time.] Pops thought said as he stepped aside as I stood beside Naci.
Tall Bear stepped up then he spoke. "To the tribe today we celebrate the union of my daughter to Toman. The grandson of the tribe's friend Reg. Toman's Mother has journeyed far, to witness this as well. It is a good day to unite the families with a strong bond." Stepping back the shaman waved the smoke of several burning herbs onto us. "These will protect the both of you driving out those spirits that wish to harm your union." Finished the man then stepped tying our hands together.
"An unending cord of strength to bond your hearts and souls." My mouth dropped open as I thought I saw the infinite loop in the design. Damn I thought the eternity symbol this man wasn't playing around. [I can feel your fear Toman.] I heard Naci's thoughts.
[Please, I will do all I can for you. Please, don't fear me.] "Naci, daughter of Tall bear and Palaki. I unite you to Toman, Grandson of Reginald friend of the tribe.
Son of Tollan and Drenna. Know both of you this is a sacred bond uniting both of you to one. What you have is far stronger than the rivers and earth. Cherish it always as it will you." The shaman turned both of us to the rest of the tribe. "These two are now joined before the Great Spirit, may the blessings always shine upon the both of you." I was shaking pretty bad thought for a moment I was going to fall. Naci leaned over to me lightly kissing my lips sending a shock through the both of us.
"Now my mate and husband we are joined." She whispered. I nodded to her as I was too . tongue tied? Shocked? I was sure I just couldn't get my mouth to work! Several of the warriors came up to congratulate us, several slapping me on the back with a wink. Sighing yeah I knew what they were thinking, but at the moment I didn't have time for that! Even if I was feeling the stirring of something, for Naci, in the southern region of my body.
As soon as I could I pulled Naci after me toward mine and pop's teepee. "We need to pack get going as soon as possible. I am sorry Naci I know you wish a wedding night.
Right now we need to leave to ensure they are all safe." Naci looked me deep in the eyes as she nodded. "Where you go I go husband.
We both have honor to restore to our family. Remember your family is now mine, don't forget that!" I nodded then smiled this was going to be interesting to say the least! Then I saw the look of fierce determination in her eyes that I knew oh so well!