Here it is, the conclusion of Etan’s chapter. This is one of my favorites, and I have really enjoyed getting to bring a little more depth to this complicated male. His book will be so intriguing, but that is coming in a little bit.
This will be the last post for a bit, as I will be diving into the world of Golon and Marilee and will not resurface for a few months.
Happy reading everyone!
Gelder Shorts: Chapter Two- Etan’s Hidden Pain Part Five
“I’ll hate you forever for this!” She screams the words at me, her voice cracking on her tears. “I wish I had never met you! I wish you had never come!” I stare at her as she collapses over his lifeless corpse, her body wracked by gut-wrenching sobs.
“I had never intended for this to happen, his death was out of my control,” I speak softly, knowing not the words to lessen this burden for her. In this moment, I would give anything to take her pain. To shoulder it myself, so that she may be spared. “If I could change it… if I could bring him back I would.”
I take a tentative step towards her, for once in my life unsure of the course of action I should take.
“NO!” Her head flies up, her black hair flying madly around her as she shakes her head violently. “You are never to come near me again. Never touch me again. I want you to leave. Or I swear I will find a way to kill you. I hate you. I hate you. I HATE YOU!”
She breaks apart before me, screaming nothing but those same three words over and over again. Each word rips my heart out of my chest at least that is what it feels like.
When she finally quiets, I whisper to her a promise that will tear me apart to keep. But it is the only thing I can do to bring her comfort.
“If my absence will help you, if that is your desire, then that will be my gift to you. Know that I will always love you, and I will always protect you. All you need do is ask, but I will leave you. And I will never return. Upon my word as a warrior, you will never see me again.” I wait with bated breath, hoping to hear her say no. To tell me to stay. That she is grieving but that she longs for my presence as much as I do hers.
She looks over to me with none of the warmth normally in her gaze, her eyes shoot frozen daggers at me. “Good.” Her one word is more than I can take. I reach into my pocket and pull out the memien weave that I made for her. It is linked to me, if she ever needed me she can call me.
I drop in on the ground near where she is huddled and then turn and leave, her broken and hateful words have ripped me open inside like a serrated knife wound. It has left me bleeding and near death and I will never heal from it.
I blink my eyes a few times and notice my glass is empty. Oh, I must have finished another bottle. I flick my hand and another bottle of starskie floats to me. It is an extremely potent alcohol that is strong enough to get a Gelder drunk if he consumes enough. And that is exactly what I intend to do. Sheit I may have already succeeded.
“Another bottle, Etan? That makes seven total now and that’s only in the past hour that I have sat here.” My eyes shoot to the corner of the room, where Arsenio is reclined back on what of my experimental prototypes for caeli chairs.
“What are you doing here, fire master?” I growl while dropping the glass and drinking straight from the bottle.
“I came to see why you fled so soon after we left Danion and our Queen. She was not well after the debacle Danion made of their union, and you were the only warrior to retire. I was curious as to why that was.” Arsenio is pensive as I sit there silently chugging the alcohol.
We engage in a silent battle, one I intend to win since I feel no inkling to appease his curiosity. But then something happens that I would never have expected. Concern warms his eyes, and I see compassion in the depths of his gaze.
“Etan, you are one of the few warriors here that I respect. And even rarer, you are one I like.” Arsenio leans forward in his chair. “So tell me, as a friend, what is ails you. You are hurting, and it is a pain that is old and raw. You hide it well, but something is very wrong with you.”
I lean my head back as I drain the bottle, while his words bounce around in my head. Why do I keep it a secret?
A bitter laugh escapes me, “Do you know why I hide my pain, Senio?” I use the shortened name of his that we used to affectionately use before his crimes. I see the shock in his gaze, his happiness over the nickname, but tonight I care nothing for appeasing him.
“I hide it, because I know every warrior here will try to convince me to return. Or they will intervene on my behalf.” I fly another bottle to my hand with such force that it shatters when it hits my hand. Oh well, I shake my now glass and alcohol covered hand, then bring another over and manage to not break this one.
Once I have it open, I turn back to the fire warrior before me. “But, I feel like you won’t. You will honor my wishes. Isn’t that true?”
He gazes at me, a look of contemplation heavy upon his face. Then slowly, he nods his head.
I brace myself to speak the words I have not uttered in over thirty Earth years. But find I need more starskie before I can bring the words to my lips. I drink heavily and then drop the bottle to the floor.
“I have a…” I collapse forward in my chair, my hands gripping my head and my elbows resting on my knees. “I have a mate. Like our king has been blessed with, but mine hates me. With good reason, and she refused me. My presence brought her pain, so I left her. The other half of my soul, the one being who could bring me peace. And she hates me.
“So, I left. My gift of caeli allows for me to manage the bond madness, but it is no easy task. It is a constant pain inside. Ripping me apart from within. And one day, it will kill me. Not today, not next year. But, my death will come. I predict within the next five or ten years, I will be no more. And then she will finally be free of me.”
I look up to see the stark disbelief and horror on Arsenio’s face. I let out a dark, humorless chuckle.
“And now you know my big secret, the pain I hide from everyone. And you can’t tell a soul.”