The next installment of Etan’s story is here! Make sure to follow the blog to stay up to date on all the latest content. Be sure not to miss out on the new developments in his story.
New and different posts will be coming soon as we head into the holiday season with special ideas for gifts for the reader in your life.
And if you haven’t checked it out yet, click here to see a list of my all time favorite books for some inspiration for your next read!
Gelder Shorts: Chapter Two, Etan’s Hidden Pain: Part 2
“Etan, may I speak with you a moment?” I wave my hand in the air to dismiss the small, holographic display that houses the arrangements I am making to travel to Earth soon. I turn towards the deep voice, an easy smile appearing on my lips as always.
“My king,” I greet Danion with a shallow bow, had we been in public I would have dropped much deeper out of deference to his title. But here in private I am allowed a more informal sign of respect. “Of course you may speak with me, you know that my door is always open.”
I move over to the two small hovering planks in my chambers, they are intuitive technology that will form around our bodies once we sit in them creating a perfect comfort experience.
In our personal chambers is some of the only places you will find these luxuries. Danion has had them removed from all the other areas of the ship in order to make his human mate feel more comfortable.
“Yes, Etan, you have said that before.” Danion moves to the intuitive seats and falls into it with the grace only a seasoned warrior like himself can achieve. “I have come to request your opinion on my adding Arsenio to the team.”
I wasn’t expecting that, the king has never before questioned his decision once he makes it. Ever. For him to be this unsure, something is bothering him. I can sense it beneath his calm façade. He is plagued by unease.
“What is it, my king?” I ask the warrior sitting before me. “I know you are ill at ease. Share with me your burden.”
Danion drops his gaze to his hands, his eyes are dark with memories past.
“You know that my mate is due to come aboard soon.” I nod my head to him, silently requesting he continue. “I find that I am…quite anxious about her arrival and safety once she is on board. She is human, and therefore delicate. No harm can come to her. None.” Rage is swirling in the king’s turbulent gaze.
In any other warrior, such anger would be dangerous. But in our king? The most powerful warrior among us? It is deadly. He is barely maintaining control of his emotions.
“Have I ever told you that bond madness can be managed?” I ask him in a deceptively bored tone. I have no intention of explaining why I know this. His interest is piqued, so I continue. “It never goes away, and the more powerful you are, the more maddening it will be. It will work to drive you completely insane. Desperate for one thing and one thing only. Your mate, and when you cannot get to them, we all better hope no one gets in your way.”
I stare at him for a time, contemplating this powerful being in my chambers. The stronger the warrior, the harder the bond madness will be. I wonder if he will be able to control it. And more importantly, if we will survive his loss of control.
“I know this Etan, I have been feeling it every day for the past twenty years.”
“Yes, but you are only experiencing a mere fraction of what you will feel once you see her.” My mind threatens to turn to memories better left buried, but I refuse to let it go there. “You need to be prepared.”
Danion, in a rare moment of weakness, wipes his hand down his face and sighs in frustration. “But how?” He beseeches. “That is what no one says, we all know about the bond madness and what it does to a warrior’s control. But no one says how to combat it. I feel like a scimaar is slashing my brain to bits, my skin is crawling with power just begging to break free.”
I must tread carefully here, to ensure that I can help my king, but not reveal too much. My pain is mine and mine alone. I have no intention to share it.
“You must be find ways to center your powers around the calmer lineages. Distance yourself from ignis specifically. The fire lineage is too volatile. Anium and caeli are the best to focus on. They will provide a measure of peace, and once you have found that peace, you grab on with everything you got.”
“How do you know this will work?”
How indeed? That is an answer I will never give. So I do little more than give a careless shrug of my shoulders to him, and then toss a happy smile to him. “You will just have to trust me that this will work. I would not steer you wrong.”
Danion nods, “Yes, I know that.” He sighs again, then turns to me. “Do you think Arsenio will hurt Eleanor? His vendetta against me has harmed innocents before.”
“If I may be so bold, if you were so worried about this, why bring him on at all? Why not leave him to his banishment?” I ask him, hoping to allow him to draw is own conclusion and ease is own mind.
“Because there is no one with better control of ignis than myself. Arsenio may reject the teachings he learned when he was taught the warrior’s code when it comes to other warriors, but he has always been fiercely protective of females.” Danion’s head falls forwards, a furrow on his brow.
I smile at him, “Yes, I agree. Arsenio may be a right rultshart, but I do not believe he would intentionally harm your mate. Even to spite you.”
“It is easy to convince my head, the heart however is not so easily persuaded. I fear for her. She will no doubt be unaccustomed to hardship, and the life of a warrior king is no easy life.” Danion seems to suddenly realize how much he has let slip, he stands abruptly and moves to the door.
More than his concern over her safety, he is concerned she will not be happy with him. An understandable worry for a mate to experience.
Danion nods to me in farewell, and exits the room.
Now alone, the smile fades while the pain I keep locked away blasts its way through my defenses. I send a pray to the stars that Danion’s mate loves him, and provides him the peace that only a mate can give.
To walk these endless years of existence alone is no laughing matter. It is enough to sour you against immortality. Because what good is living forever when you are trapped in your own personal nightmare?