I shall not post on this unless the need is dire, only reason for me to reply will be to include new stuff... so if you see new post from me, and ye've already read, or in middle of reading, it'll mean there is a new part I just added and whatnot...
once...In a far off place, there was a forest. This wasn’t any ordinary forest…oh no, this was a special place, a magical place…
This place was full of creatures of all shapes and sizes and breeds, you have your normal woodland creatures but there were magical beasts as well. Dragons’ powerful and mighty, unicorns with their shyness and grace, and flying horses with razor sharp talons. All sorts of these magnificent creatures, but among them all, woodland beasts and magical fantasies, there was one human, though one wouldn’t call her normal, she was full of mystery and power…
Now about this lady… she was what you would call the keeper of the forest. She knew everything and anything that went on in that forest, she had dark magical powers, but she was also a vampire. A sad one at that, for she did not care at all for eternal thirst for blood, the cravings were unbearable at times. Even though she was lonely, she kept her forest clear of intruders for fear of destruction of her humble sanctuary. She called herself Lady Dark for that’s what the forest was called, the Forest of Darkness… she kept this title for a time unknown, and was known to be cruel and heartless. She stayed in a clearing in the center of the forest. Travelers have always hoped to see this clearing, for it was said to be the most spectacular place on the planet.
This clearing was truly magnificent… It stretched for almost half a mile. Near the northeast corner, there was an orchard full of the juiciest and the most wonderful fruit of all types; the northwest was just a barren place with only a small creek passing through it and a small vegetable patch a bit further south. In the center of the clearing, there stood 2 magnificent trees, this was where the Lady stayed mostly. Towards the southern end of the forest was a massive lake, the East Side of the lake was guarded by sheer cliffs, a massive waterfall cascading down the cliff into the lake. The shore of the lake was a spectacular sight. It was a meadow, filled with wildflowers, and a slight hill, perfect for stargazing. In the middle of the West Side there was a tunnel and an over grown path, here is where our story starts… Here is where the travelers first made their appearance…
Mist lay thin across the clearing, giving the place a foreboding aura. Four strangers stood huddled together, staring in awe at the sight of the clearing. Despite the gloom, this is what they had been hoping to see, the clearing of the Lady Dark. They stood there in shock for there was the Lady. Cautiously they walked further into the clearing, silently walking up to her still form leaning against a giant willow tree.
The Lady watched them approach. She didn’t make a sound or a move, she was too shocked to see not one, nor two, but four strange men walk into her clearing. No one had ever entered her clearing before. She watched them closely, slightly fearful but more than that, she was curious. She stood up and stepped towards them, welcoming them into the clearing but ever wary of what their intentions may be. The men stopped, they stared at her cautiously as she walked towards them and bowed. ‘’Welcome to the forest of darkness’’ she said with a quiet and curious voice. Each of them in turn bowed to her slightly, keeping their eyes on her as they each introduced themselves in turn…
* * * *
The youngest of them stepped forward and his head inclined slightly, as he bowed respectfully to the Lady Dark, looking up at her face, ‘’Greetings fair lady, my name is Kalith, I speak for us all when we say we do not mean you harm. We heard of your forest and we wanted to see if it was a truly magical as the tales told. I do not know much of those three for I only met up with them on the road to here. But rest assured I do not mean you or your forest harm’’ he told her. The Lady Dark watched him closely for any hint of a lie but sensed none. She reached out and touched his cheek with her hand, and dropped it, sensing a strong power of healing within him. She eyed him curiously but she turned to face the other three.
The youngest of the trio bowed low to the Lady Dark, ‘’Good day to you Lady Dark, my name is Romien, and this…’’, he beckons other two with his hand, motioning them to step forward. ‘’…This is my friend Kain, and his brother, Tabris, we also mean you no harm, as Kalith said, we just wish to gaze upon the forest and all its magnificence.’’ Again the Lady watched him carefully, but senses no lie out of him, she bowed slightly to them, and wrapping a thread of magic around each of them, and sensed something the sparks her interest. She stared at the trio hard, her green eyes flashing curiously. ‘‘You three, like me. You are all vampires.’’
* * *
After the Lady had spoken, a silence fell upon the travelers. Finally barely more then a whisper Kalith spoke, his eyes widened with fear, and surprise as he took a step away from the other travelers. “ You…you mean you are all vampires? Why didn’t you tell me before?’’ ”Because we figured it was none of your business what we were.” Kalith shook his head and stepped further away, his face pale. Kain looked at him glaring slightly, “oh we never would have tried to take some of your blood, don’t worry about that, we prefer female blood, much sweeter nectar then that of a male…’’ Kain. Kalith shifted nervously and glanced at Lady Dark, and back to them slowly. ”It is my business if I’m traveling with three vampires. What if you couldn’t control the urge for blood! What would I be able to do? Nothing!’’ Kalith squeaked, and his body trembled as his eyes looked around quickly, without warning he dashed back into the forest. Kain growled and went after him, after a time he came back, holding the squirming body of Kalith. ”Oh stop it Kalith, if wanted to hurt you we would have done it at the beginning at the trip. No harm, you still have all your body parts and every drop of blood still in you. Stop squirming, or else we will hurt you!’’ Kain said angrily, his eyes flashing a pale red as he gazed upon the fellow traveler.
At that last comment the Lady raised her hand and spoke, power ringing in her voice, ‘’Silence all of you, there shall be no fighting in my clearing. I don’t know how you four got to here but I do know that if you do not end your fighting now, none of you will ever leave this clearing alive…’’
* * * *
Stunned once again into silence, the four looked at one another quickly and then back at her. Gathering his courage the oldest one spoke in a soft, quiet voice, ‘’Forgive them Lady, I understand where Kalith is coming from, and in his place I would as well, be afraid and angry. Please don’t turn us away from this place, we all do appreciate it and we will stop our argument.”
Lady Dark lowered her hand and looked at him, “You men may stay… but no more arguments, from any of you. I have no rules for I have never had people in my clearing before, but anything that I say I expect to be followed without complaint.’’ she said to them, her eyes cold for the lack emotion. Kalith stopped squirming, and murmured quietly, ‘’Yes lady.’’ Lady looked at the others, growling quietly. The trio bowed their heads and looked at her with curious eyes, “Of course lady.” They then followed her to the northwest corner of the clearing. She set up a fair sized fire, crackling warm and bright. Lady waved her hand at the forest, four logs flew out of the forest and landed around the fire in a semi circle.
’’You may stay here, do not wander into the forest yet, if you do, you will be killed… Sleep, I shall return in the morning,” at her last word she turns and walks off to the great willow tree and sits beneath it, creating a small fire within her hands. The four of them watched her walk away then looked at each other, and started to set up their camp.
Kalith grumbled as he set up his blanket, keeping far away from the others as possible. He sat against the log and stared into the fire, deep in thought. Romien looked at Kalith, and shook his head, and thought, Humans, always assuming the worst of vampires. He looked over at Kain and sighed; Kain had laid out his blanket as far from Kalith as he could and sat down against a log, lost in thought. Then Romien looked over at Tabris and wondered what he was thinking, for Tabris was still staring off at the great willow tree, at the figure of the Lady Dark.
* * * *
Romien walked over to Tabris and tapped him on the shoulder, and said coyly, ‘’Tabris, you can’t spend your time gazing upon the Lady. It’s getting late you should make a place to sleep, and get some rest. ’’ Tabris jumped in surprise at the tap and looked at Romien with a blank expression and nodded. He walked over next to Kain and set up his blanket, laying down he turned his gaze up to the blanket of stars, slowly drifting off to sleep. Kain yawned, looking over at Tabris, he lay down, facing away from his brother, still pondering the encounter, and he drifted off into a waking sleep.
Kalith snapped back to reality and looked around. Romien noticed Kalith’s movement. He wandered over and sat next to him. Kalith looked over at him then back at the fire, muttering quietly, “What do you want…’’ Romien sighed and placed a hand on Kalith’s shoulder. Speaking softly he replied, “I’m sorry for not telling you about us, I wanted to but they decided against it, I don’t know why but I am sorry.’’ Kalith looks at him, a slight surprise showing in his eyes, “Its alright, just… its not a very good thing when you travel with three strangers for as long we did, and find out from another source that they are vampires….’’
Romien nodded slowly, moving his hand off of his shoulder he laid out a blanket on the log next to Kalith and he lay upon it. “Good night Kalith…’’ he says humbly as he closed his eyes. Kalith looked over at him and says, "Good night, Romien." He sighed heavily as he lay down with his back against the log and watched the fire's light die down. The warmth from the fire still spread among them. Kalith fell into a restless sleep, still thinking about what he learned.
* * * *
Early the next morning, the Lady awoke before anyone else. She pulled out her sword silently, the blade gleamed a mysterious light, even though the sun had yet to rise. She crept over to where the four forms lay still. She searched swiftly and silently through the woods around where they lay. Seemingly out of nowhere, a small black wolf with blood red eyes pounced on the Lady, driving her to the ground. With an angry cry she hacked at the wolf, fighting to keep the thing off her. The wolf tore at her as she gave another fierce cry and swiftly drove the blade deep inside the wolf’s body. She whispered an ancient word of the elves and the wolf howled a mournful cry as it collapsed. The wolf was dead. She looked over at the travelers and found them all watching her with curiosity in their eyes. Lady Dark sighed deeply and stood up, she walked over to them, and sat down on the spare log. She glared at the fire and instantly the fire burned hotter, and brighter. The travelers recoiled a bit from the sudden heat, and light. Lady picked up a cloth and started to wipe her bloodied blade.
The travelers watched her cautiously, but fear and awe dominated in their eyes. The Lady looked at them and smiled wryly, “You men look like a bunch of children at a market.’’ The travelers sat up and continued to watch her. Kalith looked at her curiously, “What was that thing, Lady?’’. Lady Dark looked at him and sighed, “That thing was a rogue wolf. There have been a few here and there, but not very often... Rogues almost never come close to the clearing...There is something out there, something I cannot find, that is controlling them. When I said that if you don’t end your argument none of you would leave alive, this is why. These monsters are drawn negative emotions like bees to nectar. That’s also why I said you must obey me for if you don’t you could die…’’
* * * *
Romien looked at his companions and then at the Lady and spoke quietly, “What if we helped you find this source of power that is driving these rogue wolves.’’ Lady Dark looked up at him with a sad look in her eye, “Its not just wolves that are rogue, there are many types of these beasts, and if you want to help you may, I would appreciate the help. Though, I do not see the use of your help. I have been searching for the past year. I haven’t had any luck…at all…’’
Lady Dark sighed heavily and lowered her gaze, her figure bending over slightly with the despair burdening her soul. The Travelers looked at one another and conversed quietly. After awhile Tabris stood up and walked over to the Lady, he placed a hand on her shoulder and said, “We will help you Lady, we are not all that we seem. Romien over there has the power of the dragons, the draconian ancestry, and Kain and I both have superior swordsmanship and powerful magic. I believe the little human fellow, I mean Kalith. He is very good at archery, and also has the gift of healing. He saved an entire village from a disease. We will use all our power and strength to help you find and purge the forest of this evil.’’
* * * *
Lady bowed her head, allowing the hood of her cloak to hide her face as she remained speechless for a time. When she finally spoke her voice was slow and quiet, “Why do you men wish to help me, you’ve heard the stories no doubt… Why would you want to help me, the ‘cruel and heartless wretch’?” the last few words were full of scorn. The three remaining travelers wandered over to her and sat down in front of her, looking up into her shadowed face. Tabris’ fingers tightened their grip on her shoulder spoke, “Because Lady, if you were as heartless as you were claimed to be, you would have given us no fire, no place to sleep. You could have thrown us out, or killed us, but you didn’t. We wish to help you, for no one deserves to be challenged this way, an unknown, unseen evil.”
Tabris removed his hand, but remained seated, Lady absent-mindedly rubbed the spot where his hand had rested. Romien looked at him, then at the others, “If we want to find this evil we each have to take a separate way… But I do not suggest for us to go alone. Lady, you know the forest well. What if we each paired up and searched?” Lady Dark looked at him and shook her head slowly, “As I’ve said, I have already searched; I believe the only way for us to find this… this evil is if we catch a rogue animal and track its power. I would have done it sooner but I cannot catch a rogue by myself. It’s either kill it, or try to catch it and be killed. But if you help, we may be able to catch one and track the extra power.”
Romien looked up at her with a curious look in his eyes, “Extra power? What do you mean extra power…” the Lady flinched slightly and looked to the side, “Err… The rogues have the power to regenerate, and multiply. I thought it would be a good idea to give them this power to help protect the forest…” Romien groaned and covered his face with his hands, “This is just wonderful! Rogue animals running around with the power to regenerate and multiply, being controlled by an evil set on destroying you and the forest! Wonderful, just wonderful!” He stood up abruptly and walked off, disappearing from view as he headed for the other side of the clearing.
Kalith stared at Romien as he walked off, and he looked over at Tabris, “Do you think he will be alright?” Tabris looked over at Kalith and nodded, “He will be fine, he just doesn’t like extra difficulties, but he will get over it… I hope…”
* * * *
Kain stood up and walked off after Romien slowly. Tabris watched them go then he looked over at the Lady, “Is there any place where I can gather food for us to eat? We have supplies but they are low and no doubt not very good anymore.” The Lady Dark nodded and pointed east, over hill, “Go over that hill and walk along the blue flowered path and it will lead you to a fruit orchard. Only follow the blue flower path, for if you don’t you may be led to a more dangerous place. This may be my clearing but even I don’t know all the mysterious within it.” Tabris stood up and bowed slightly to her, and picked up a bag, “You coming Kalith?” Kalith shook his head, his gaze once again on the Lady, “No, you go ahead.” Tabris looked at him curiously but he walked off, over the hill and out of sight.
Kalith scooted up and sat at the Lady’s feet and looked up at her, “You want to talk to me; I saw it in your eyes when you touched me with your magic. You must have sensed the healing power within me. Now is a good time to talk if you have any questions, Lady.” She looked at him and smiled slightly. Lady reached out and touched the top of his head, wrapping a very small thread of unnoticeable power within his soul’s magic. “You are correct Kalith; I did want to talk to you. One question is, who are you? I mean, you looked like you wanted to see the clearing and all, but I can tell there is another reason why you’re here. So tell… why you are really here.”
Kalith sighed deeply and sat next to her, straddling the log as he faced her. The Lady turned to face him and looked into his face. Kalith stared into her eyes and said slowly, “Lady, you want to know who I am? Why I’m here?’’ Lady Dark nodded slightly, her eyes never leaving his face. “I am here Lady, because I have come to tell you that I am your brother.”
* * * *
Romien stood at the edge of the lake, skipping rocks into the water slowly. Gazing at the ripples the rocks made, lost in thought he didn’t notice the small, red eyed cat, approach him. Foaming at the mouth the large cat crouched down on the ground, and remained still. Just as it was about to leap onto Romien, Kain appeared at the top of the hill, he saw the beast and cried out a warning to Romien and rushed down the hill. Romien jumped in surprise, whipping out a pair of daggers he turned around quickly. The creature leapt at him, claws extended and latched itself onto his body.
Romien growled and drove his daggers into the beast, trying to get it off his body. Kain rushed up to the chaos and wrapped a cord of power around the beast. Carefully he pulled the snarling cat off Romien. Romien hacked at it again, and killed it. Seconds later he cried out in anger. “We could have used this to track the power!” He kicked at the cat, sending it flying into the woods and he looked at Kain. Kain stifled a laugh and wrapped an arm around Romien’s shoulder and led him over to a rock and sat him upon it. Romien scowled at Kain, “What’s so funny.” Kain grinned and took out a water skin and filled it with the clear, cold water of the lake and offered it to Romien. “The look on your face when you realized what you did was funny.” Romien glared up at him. He took the water skin and opened it. Looking at it he grinned and threw the entire content of water onto Kain.
Kain laughed and grabbed Romien by the shirt and threw him bodily into the ice cold water of the lake. Romien grabbed hold of Kain’s wrist and pulled him in with him and dunked Kain under the water. He squished out of the lake and shook himself off. Kain still chuckling faintly followed him and laid out on the hill, staring up at the fluffy clouds, letting the sun warm his body, he closed his eyes and fell asleep. Romien grinned and lay down next to him, relaxing against the warm grass, the scent of flowers filling the air, and drifted off into a light sleep.
* * * *
Tabris walked slowly along the blue flowered path, staring up the sky he sighed deeply. His mind wandered back to the first time he saw the Lady, the way she looked at them when she first saw them, the curiosity and amusement sparkling in her emerald green eyes, the way her hair fell upon her shoulders, the way she moved. He shook his head, trying to clear any thought of her, he walked faster and came upon the orchard and stared at it. Fruits of all kinds, peaches, apples, oranges, and plums were just some of the fruit bearing trees. On the ground, watermelons larger than he could ever imagine.
He picked up the bag and started to pick some of the fuzzy peaches, and ripe red apples, he also picked some of the plums and oranges. He kept to the blue flowered path, but a large golden apple caught his eye. It was off the path, but she said only to take the path to the orchard didn’t she? What was the harm of going off the path to pick something so beautiful, so welcomingly? He set the bag down and stepped off the path and walked towards the tree. Suddenly he fell into a large hole, he fell for a time. He landed on the ground hard, his head smacked hard against a rock, he sank into a deep, dark, dreamless sleep.
* * * *
Lady stared at Kalith, her eyes wide with shock and she shook her head violently. “No! I can’t believe it; I will not believe it. Y… You cannot be my brother. It’s not possible.” She stood up abruptly and walked off to her dark willow tree, she leaned against it, trembling. Kalith stood up and followed her, resting a hand on her shoulder he said in a slow, soft voice. “I’m sorry Lady, I shouldn’t have told you right away, I should have waited, till you got to know me, but the fact still remains that we are sister and brother.” Lady stared at him and blinked slowly, “But how? It’s not possible, is it?”
Kalith sighed, “About four weeks after you disappeared from the village, I was born. You were only three, Lady, when you disappeared like that. You must have known that I was on the way.” Lady nodded her head and sighed heavily, “I did know. I just forgot, that was so long ago. I can’t even remember our parents, or my own name. That’s why I call myself the Lady Dark.” Kalith grinned slightly and leaned up, whispering softly into her ear, “I know your name, if you wish me to tell you it, I can.” Lady stared at him with inquisitive eyes. “You remember my name? But how?” Kalith smiled and gently pushed back her hood, allowing it to fall back, he fingered her hair slightly. “I just do. Do you wish to know your name?” Lady nodded and stared at him, Kalith looked into her eyes. “Your name is Faith.”
* * * *
After a time, Romien opened his eyes slowly to see the sun sinking down into the west, and he nudged Kain. “Wake up Kain; we should get back to camp. It’s getting dark.” Kain grumbled and sat up, rubbing his eyes he stretched out and stood up, offering Romien a hand he helped him stand up. Slowly the two of them wandered over the hill and headed towards the camp. As they approached they saw the Lady and Kalith in deep discussion but when Kalith looked him and saw them he stopped talking. The Lady stood up and smiled, “Where have you two been? You look like you’ve been rolling in a haystack together.” She smirked and plucked some of the dry grass off their clothing with her magic. Kain grinned faintly and looked at them, “Have either of you seen Tabris? He went to get food but hasn’t returned yet…” Kalith shook his head and stared off into the darkness, “We haven’t seen him since this morning…”
Lady blinked slowly and stood up, she looked at them, then up at the hill where Tabris had crossed over. She sighed deeply, “Kalith come with me. I may need you. Kain and Romien stay here, watch the camp if anything goes amiss I’ll send you men a signal”, she glared at them as they started to protest, “Don’t argue with me. Come on Kalith.” The Lady picked up her sword from beneath a log and sheathed it. She grabbed Kalith’s arm and pulled him along, over the hill towards the orchard.
Romien and Kain watched them wander up the hill. Romien sat down cross-legged on the ground and mediated. Kain sat down, still watching where the Lady and Kalith disappeared over the hill.
* * * *
Lady Dark and Kalith trudged along the blue flowered path for a time. Kalith glanced at Lady and bite his lip. “What is it Kalith?” Lady inquired. “When we first arrived, you said you were a vampire. How is that possible?” Lady looked at him sadly, “That is a sad story, for another time. Come on, we need to find Tabris.” They kept walking till they came upon the orchard, and they walked along the path slowly. Kalith even more slowly then the Lady, for he had never seen such trees, or such fruit. Each tree was well over 10 ft, and full of the ripest, juiciest fruit that any tree bearing fruit could bear. He looked around on the ground and saw bushes and bushes of blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and bordering in between all the types of trees, not to mention the magnitude of strawberries and watermelons covering the ground. Suddenly he saw it, a large pack.
He hurried over to it, calling out to the Lady Dark; she hurried over next to him and picked up the pack. Kalith looked around and saw a large golden apple, he stared at its magnificent icy. Slowly he walked towards it. Lady saw where he looked and growled. Grabbing him, she whacked him across head with a branch, “Kalith! Don’t even look at that fruit look at me!’’ Slowly, as if in a daze Kalith looked over at her, the Lady pressed a glowing hand against his eyes and he jumped in surprise. “Wha… what happened?” The Lady pointed over to the apple, Kalith flinched and looked away from it. “Its okay Kalith, you may look at it if you want to. It was an illusion that’s all. There are a few here and there. I forgot about them.” Kalith looked and saw a half-rotten, evil blood red apple. “You either fall into a trap and die, or you eat that apple and become less than the living, but more than death. I fear Tabris has fallen into a trap though, come along, but be careful!”
Kalith nodded meekly and followed her slowly as she picked her way closer to the evil apple. She stopped suddenly, standing at the edge of a vast pit she groaned and turned to him. “Kalith, I want you to wrap your arms around me and holds onto me tightly. We’re going down the hole, Tabris is down there. I can sense it.” She kneeled down slightly, and Kalith climbed up onto her back, wrapping his arms around her tightly. “Won’t I hurt you doing this?” the Lady gave him a look and held onto his legs tightly and jumped into hole. Kalith’s body stiffened and the Lady rolled her eyes and used her power to float them slowly down to the floor, where the body of Tabris lay motionless.
* * * *
Kain stood up and paced quietly. Romien opened his eyes and looked at him. “You should really calm down Kain, I’m sure they’re fine. Come meditate I will watch for them.” Kain glared at him but obeyed. Sitting next to the fire he closed his eyes and fell into a light, absent minded meditation. Romien looked at him then sat down on the path, staring up at the hill.
* * * *
Lady shook Kalith off her back gently and walked over to Tabris and put a hand on his back. After a time she looked at Kalith, “He isn’t dead, but he is knocked unconscious and something is draining his life force slowly. I need your help Kalith.” Kalith nodded and walked over to her, kneeling next to her, “What do you need me to do Faith.” Lady looked at him with a slight surprise at her given name, ”Um, I have the power to heal, but you are more powerful than me, I am going to help you heal him. I will give you some of my power and guide you through the process.”
Kalith nodded slowly and placed his hands on the side of Tabris’ head. Lady placed her hands on Kalith’s back and poured the information to heal him into his head slowly. Kalith closed his eyes and murmuring quietly in the ancient language of the elves, he, Tabris and the Lady started to glow a pale shimmering purple aura. Lady felt something within the power rebelling against them and she poured more of her magic into them, pushing the unknown away. Kalith sweated heavily poured more into his power then sank into darkness.
Lady pulled Kalith away from Tabris breaking the connection. She placed her hands on both of them and in a bright flash disappeared and reappeared next to the fire, to the surprise of Romien.
* * * *
Lady Dark looked at him and trembled. She picked Tabris up in her arms and motioned silently to Romien to pick up Kalith. Romien obeyed, picking up Kalith, he followed the Lady up to the massive oak tree. Lady sat down under the giant oak tree with her back against it. She cradled Tabris in one arm and Kalith in another in her lap and closed her eyes. All three of them faded into the tree as Romien stared in awe and fear. He ran over to Kain and shook him. In a hasty and breathless tone he spoke to Kain “Come quick to the oak tree! Tabris and Lady and Kalith just disappeared into it! They don’t look too good come on.” He hauled Kain to his feet and the two of them ran over to the oak tree. They sat down under it, and waited.
Lady Dark, Tabris, and Kalith appeared out from the tree a few hours later. Kalith was wide-awake and he scrambled up out of her lap and stumbled over to the others and sat next to them. Kain and Romien looked at him curiously. Romien inquired if he was all right and Kalith only mumbled something inaudible and looked up at the tree. Lady bowed her head over Tabris’, her hair cascading down, hiding their faces. She pressed her forehead onto his and murmuring quietly, a pale white aura surrounded them slowly.
* * * *
Almost instantly Tabris started to regain conscious and he opened his eyes to see her own, staring down into his. The Lady smiled and sat up; gently cradling his head she looked Kain and Romien. “You should really get him some water and get him washed up. He’ll be too weak to do it on his own, so please help him; you may use the spring hidden behind the cliff. The water is warm and there is stuff to wash him with.” Slowly Kain and Romien stood up and helping Tabris stand up. They led him slowly south towards the lake, then headed east to the spring. The entire time Tabris kept his gaze locked upon the Lady.
Lady looked at Kalith and grinned, “That was fun wasn’t it?” Kalith glared at her slightly but broke into a faint smile, “I will join them, is that alright?” Lady nodded. “I will go with you; I have some clean clothes for you as well… I would have you take them but you will not be able to make it.” He made a face but stood up when she did, wrapping her arm around him to support him. They slowly walked over to the spring. Kalith stopped her before they reached the entrance, he turned his head and stared at her, “Will you please tell me how you became a vampire.” Lady sighed softly and nodded, “If you truly want to know, I will tell.” Kalith nodded quickly, and Lady led him over to a rock and sat him down, kneeling down in front of him she took his hands in her own, staring at his face.
“I do not know if you know this, but we have a half brother. His name is unknown, for it is often changing. I did not know it was our brother, he seduced me, made me fall in love with him. We were together for quite a long time, then one night he turned against me. Knocking me out cold, he leaped on me, and sank his fangs into my neck. He was a vampire, our mother once mated with a vampire a time long ago. I do remember that much. He changed me… our brother did. He forced me into the life of a vampire that is why I hide in this forest. I do not trust anyone, it is simply the way I now am.” Kalith looked at her, horror and sadness resided in his eyes. “Oh Faith, I am so sorry…” Lady shook her head quickly, “Don’t. It is in the past. Whats done is done. No going back, but please Kalith, don’t tell anyone about this.” Kalith shook his head, “Not a word…”
* * * *
Lady stood up slowly and offered him her hand, Kalith took it and stood up slowly. Lady re-wrapped her arm around him and led him to the spring slowly. When they reached the entrance, the Lady reached into a niche and pulled out a large long screen and she grinned. “You should put this up so I can put the clothes out.” Kalith smirked slightly and walked into the spring and set up the screen for her and he stepped behind it and joined the others in the warm water.
Lady Dark walked into the spring quietly and set on a stone bench a bunch of towels, a pile of new outfits for each of them, including boots, and then she turned away and walked out of the spring. Going over to the lake she set up a new place to sleep. Lady Dark made a large fire, and set upon it a large pot filled with a stew. She wandered over to a rock and pulled out cots, and set them up next to the fire, she also pulled out pillows and many blankets. She set them all up in a semi circle around the fire and sat down. Waiting for the travelers to return…
* * * *
The travelers climbed out of the water and to their surprise, found a set of new clothing for each of them. They put them on and wandered out of the spring. Kalith smiled and looked the others, “I like her. Don’t you?” All the travelers nodded in agreement. Kain sniffed the air, “Hmm, smells like food is cooking.” They all gave a hungry look and dashed over to the source of the smell and stared at her, sitting on a rock on the shore of the lake, unmoving. Upon a very low wooden bench sat 4 bowls of steaming hot stew and utensils. Lady Dark stood up and walked over to them. “Thought you might be hungry. There is bread under that plate and more soup in the pot. Hope you sleep well tonight.” At that she curtsied low and walked off towards the giant willow tree, sitting beneath it, they couldn’t see her.
Romien picked up a bowl and a spoon and sat down next to the fire. The others mimicked him, but Tabris sliced up the bread and passed it out. Next to the bread they found fresh butter. They exchanged a look and sat down in a half circle, eating the food slowly. Slowly one by one, till all that was left was Tabris, they went to bed. Tabris stayed by the fire for a time then stood up, he walked over silently over to the Lady’s still form under the tree.
The Lady heard him coming; she stood up quietly and looked at him. Tabris walked up to her and stopped before her. He took her hand in his, raised it to his lips and kissed her fingertips lightly. “Thank you, Lady. You didn’t have to do that… I would have been fine, but still. Thank you.” Lady smiled and rested a hand on the side of his face, “You’re welcome Tabris. Most likely you would have been fine but your brother was worrying. I had to do something. Now, go off to bed now, its getting late.” She moved her hand and stepped back. Tabris took a small breath, and then to her surprise, he stepped forward and gave her a light hug. He turned and walked away, heading back to camp. The Lady watched him until he disappeared over the hill, then she sat down under the giant willow and fell into a deep sleep.
This continued on for some time, a few incidents here and there nothing too serious. A many battles with Rogues but never were they caught. The travelers and lady got closer, the travelers grew fond of this so-called cruel and heartless lady, who turned out to be kind, just cautious and lonely, the Lady in turn, grew fond of the travelers who wandered into her woods… catching her by surprise… one month ago. Then one day, they got the surprise of their lives… at least, in the forest that is…
One morning they woke up with snow on the ground. The travelers had started to sleep under the giant willow tree, called the Dark Willow. The Dark Willow kept the weather, and night attacks. This snow had covered the entire clearing. Winter had come early this year. The Lady now called Faith by her new found friends, almost like family to her, Faith or Lady, either way. Lady woke up with her breath freezing before her mouth. She went over to others to make sure they didn’t freeze over night. Lady nudged each of them awake. After the travelers had been aroused, she went and made a bright and warm fire under the dark willow tree. Suddenly, from the tunnel of the forest, came a traveler, half frozen, badly beaten, the man fell to the ground, and lay motionless.
Kalith, now the most powerful healer thanks to Lady, hurried over to the fallen traveler. Lady followed closely and knelt next to Kalith as they examined the fellow. Lady picked him up in her arms and carried him over to the fire, with Kalith following close, a strange look on his face. Lady laid the man down on a blanket close to the fire and started to peel off the bloodied clothing. Kalith raised his hand, it was glowing a deep purple, and rested his hand on the travelers head.
Lady watched as the purple fire rolled over his body, burning the rest of the clothing that was left on the body, but healing at the same time. She looked at Kalith proudly, and kept her gaze up out of modesty for the man, and stood up slowly, she reached into her willow tree and pulled out clothing and playfully threw the clothes at Kalith’s head. But Kalith didn’t move. He just stared at the man’s body. Romien nudge Kalith, “Kalith! Snap out of it man.” Kalith blinked slowly and looked away ashamed, he finished the healing then sat on the other side of the fire, away from the man. Romien stared at him bewildered and looked at the other men. Tabris shrugged and moved over to Romien to help dress the traveler’s cloth-less body.
Lady moved over next to Kalith and wrapped an arm around him. She led him away from the group and behind the oak tree. There she sat down, pulling her brother into her lap she brushed some hair off his face, she spoke quietly “Kalith, I saw a look, are you in love with that man?” Kalith scooted out of her hold and faced away from her, whispering quietly he replied “I suppose I should tell you… Faith, I’m gay.” Lady nodded slowly and pulled him back into her lap and held him close. “I figured as much, why so worried?” Kalith leaned into her and closed his eyes, “What will they say…”
* * * *
Kain watched Kalith and Lady walk off and he turned his attention back to the stranger, reaching into a hole in the ground he pulled out the stew from the other night and reheated it, because it was almost noon. He poured it into bowls and passed it out to Romien and Tabris, he set out two more bowls for the Lady and Kalith. After they had eaten, he filled up another bowl and walked over to the man and shook him gently awake.
* * *
The stranger opened his eyes wide, and looked up into three unknown faces peering into his. He started and tried to sit up and gaped in shock at his healed body. “Wha… What happened? How…” he stammered. The oldest one helped him sit up against a log. One of the others, he couldn’t recall who, placed a large bowl of hearty stew into his hands with a spoon. Stepping back, the trio sat down across from him near the fire, watching him closely. He devoured the food and fell back into a deep sleep.
Romien watched the man, after he fell asleep he looked over at the others with a strange face. Kain looked at Romien and inquired, “What’s wrong Romien?” Romien shook his head and stretched out in front of the fire, then after sitting out on the snow. Romien fell into a deep meditation. Tabris and Kain exchanged looks then shrugged, settling against a bench they waited for Kalith and Lady to return.
Lady looked at Kalith and saw that he had fallen asleep again so she picked him up in her arms and carried him back to camp. There she laid him gently down on the cot and looked over at the other traveler. She glared at the other traveler; she walked over and nudged him hard in the stomach. The man woke with a start, staring up into fiery emerald eyes, he cowered slightly, and he backed up till he was almost at the edge of the Dark Willow. Lady walked over and knelt in front of him, taking his chin in her hand. The man trembled and tried to pull away. Lady kept her hold and kept her eyes on his, “Who are you, and how did you get into my forest.”
The man cleared his throat and stared squarely back into her eyes and replied slowly, as if cautious, “My name is Sanska. I am just a traveler in seek of this mighty clearing that everyone is talking about. How I got here I do not know. Some creatures attacked me and I ran away. But they followed me and were about to rip me apart when they suddenly vanished. I’m assuming they fled because they saw your approach but I don’t’ know. Please believe me, I speak the truth.” Lady couldn’t find a trace of lie in his explanation but she always remained cautious with him.
* * * *
Kalith woke up and saw that the man was up and Kalith stood up and walked over to him, and then he sat down in front of him. The man smiled at him, “Hello, I’m Sanska. I hear you are the one who saved my life. Thank you.” He held out his hand and Kalith took it, “It wasn’t a problem, and you may call me Kalith if you wish.” He dropped Sanska’s hand, turned to face the fire. Sanska watched him with a smile and scooted up next to him. Picking up a bowl of stew he offered it to Kalith. Kalith smiled back and took the stew with quiet thanks. Slowly he ate the stew, watching Sanska closely with a hidden smile.
Tabris watched Kalith and Sanska then went down and sat next to Lady. “So Faith, what did our new guest say.” Lady looked at Tabris and leaned against a log with her eyes closed. Tabris stared at her and took her hand, “Faith?” Lady took her hand back with a slight pink tinge on her cheeks and opened her eyes, looking at him. “Our new ‘guest’ said he’s name was Sanska, and that he, like you, he was traveling to see this clearing. Then he claimed that a pack of wild animals attacked him, he ran, but they followed. Then when he reached our clearing the animals fled when they saw me approach with Kalith. I don’t believe him though…” Tabris looked at her curiously but didn’t question further. He wrapped a blanket around Lady and she leaned against him, staring into the fire.
Kain looked over at Lady and Tabris, then over at Kalith and Sanska. He sighed deeply and walked over to Romien, with a slight grin he made a snowball. He threw it at Romien’s head and raced off. Romien opened his eyes and looked around quickly, after shaking off the snow of course, and he saw Kain, and raced after him, tackling him down into the snow. Kain pushed Romien off with a grin and looked at him curiously. “So, Romien. Do you trust our new companion?” Romien’s eyes grew cold and he stared off into nothing. “He is not a companion and no I don’t trust him. I don’t think Lady believes him either, and it’s her call to whether he stays or goes.” Kain nodded slowly and he lay back in the snow with his eyes staring up at the clouds.
* * * *
Late that night, after everyone had gone to bed, Kalith got out of bed. He was restless, and he walked to the other side of the tree. Sanska heard him and followed. Kalith looked at him in surprise at the presence of Sanska but looked away. Sanska walked over and stood next to Kalith. He took Kalith's hand in his own and held it gently. Kalith looked at him curiously. Sanska smiled and he wrapped an arm around Kalith’s waist and pulled him carefully down onto the ground with him. Kalith leaned against Sanska, he turned slightly and wrapped his arms around Sanska and fell asleep. Sanska smiled and held Kalith close and he too, fell asleep.
Lady heard Sanska and Kalith get up and she too sat up. Silently she faded into the shadows and followed them. She watched them fall asleep in a tender embrace. Lady glared at Sanska from within the shadows but returned to the camp and lay down at the foot of Tabris’ cot. She stared into the fire for a time, and then fell fast asleep.
* * * *
The next morning, Tabris woke up early to see Lady at the foot of his bed. He sighed softly at the sight of her and carefully put a blanket over her sleeping body. Tabris tenderly brushed a lock of hair off her face, he watched her sleep for a time but he stepped away and went to gather food for breakfast. Romien, who was already up, watched Tabris’ movements then climbed out of bed and followed him.
Romien caught up to Tabris and placed a hand on his shoulder, whispering quietly he asked, “You love her don’t you Tabris.” Tabris jumped in surprise and looked at Romien, he nodded slowly. “I do... I have for quite sometime. It isn’t obvious that I do, is it?” Romien shook his head slowly, “Unless you know what to look for, no it’s not obvious.” Tabris nodded and they stepped around the Dark Willow and stared at Kalith and Sanska, asleep in each other’s arms. They gave each other a look, quickly they hurried away silently.
Romien and Tabris went up to the orchard to pick fresh blueberries, and then they headed a bit south where the cow and chickens were kept and they gathered milk and eggs. Returning to the fire they found Kain already heating water. The Lady remained asleep, curled up under the blanket Tabris put over her. After they cooked the eggs and made the porridge,
Romien walked over to Lady and shook her gently, “Faith, get up, its time for breakfast.” Lady mumbled something inaudible and rolled over. Romien, Kain, and Tabris exchanged a look. Tabris went over to her and kissed her cheek softly, “Faith, time to get up now.” She sat up and faced the fire; Tabris put a bowl of the porridge in her hands. Lady bowed her head in silent thanks, and slowly picked at the food. Kain looked at Lady and then over at Romien. Romien shrugged and sat down; Kain sat down next to him with their porridge. Tabris sat down next to Romien but kept his eyes on the Lady.
* * * *
Sanska and Kalith woke to the smell of breakfast. They looked at each other, and with a shy smile Sanska disentangled himself from Kalith. Both of them wandered over to the fire and got themselves a bowl of porridge. Tabris, Romien, and Kain looked up at them with a smile, and then went back to eating their porridge. Lady looked up at Kalith and Sanska, her bowl dropped from her hand as she stood up. Silently, she walked out of the camp towards the hidden springs near the cliffs. Kalith looked at the other questioningly, but they all shrugged, not knowing what bugged her.
Tabris stood up and headed down to the springs slowly. Kain and Romien watched him, then set to work picking up the breakfast when a scream echoed through the clearing. Kain and Romien picked up their swords and raced towards the sound. Tabris started at the scream and he too raced towards the sound. It came from within the spring. They entered the spring and saw the Lady, clad in only a towel, with tears rolling down her face, kneeling on the ground next to a spring. They looked at the spring and saw the spring had frozen over and written in blood were the words, “He is here. The Lady will not last a fortnight.”
Tabris growled deeply and thrust his sword into the icy spring, the ice broke and melted. The Lady remained motionless as she watched the ice melt back into the spring. Kain and Romien looked at her, then at Tabris. Tabris knelt down in front of the Lady and lifted her head gently with her hand and wiped away her tears softly. “He will not get you Faith. Not with us around. It’ll take a lot to get us to leave you now.” Romien and Kain nodded in agreement and they each rested a hand on her shoulder.
Lady bowed her head, “Thank you…” They smiled and Tabris picked her up in his arms. “Is there another place where we can go? Obviously whoever he is knows about this place.” Lady nodded and pointed southwest, to a blank sheet of rock. Then she looked at Romien and Kain. “You people should go back to the fire. Never leave the camp unguarded, I know Kalith is there, but I do not trust him and Sanska alone together. Ever.”
* * * *
Back at the camp Kalith and Sanska watched the trio vanish over the hill. Kalith shifted nervously and then sat down. He picked up his sister’s daggers and he started to polish them. Sanska sat down next to him and watched him. Kalith finished the job then put them away behind a rock, and then he sat down next to Sanska. Sanska smiled and slowly leaned over to press his lips against Kalith’s in a light kiss. Kalith stared at him in surprise and curiosity. Sanska grinned, pressing Kalith gently onto the ground. He rested his body over his and kissed him again. This time Kalith wrapped his arms around him and kissed back.
Kain and Romien walked back to the camp slowly. Kain stared in utter shock when he reached the camp. Seeing Sanska and Kalith making-out, Kain stopped suddenly and Romien ran into him. “Grrr, why did you stop?” Romien peered over his shoulder and stared at the two, it was impossible to tell who was who in the tangle of limbs. They obviously didn’t notice they had company, Romien raised his eyebrows then picking up a branch he slammed it against a tree, emitting a sharp cracking sound as the branch broke in half.
Tabris held Lady in his arms gently and she looked up at his face. Tabris looked down at her and blinked in surprise he set her back down on the ground. The Lady swayed slightly and leaned against his solid body as she closed her eyes. Tabris gently tilted her head up. “Shall we go to the other spring?” Lady smiled, “Yes, I do not think I can ever return to this place again…” Tabris nodded and picked her up in his arms again and carried her out of the spring. “Wait…” she said softly. Tabris stopped and the Lady waved her hand at the cave and the rocks filled up the entrance and pressed together so perfectly it looked like there had never been a cave. Lady rested her head against his shoulder and closed her eyes as he carried her slowly over to the other spring.
* * * *
Kalith and Sanska leaped apart and stared up at Romien and Kain with similar look of surprise and embarrassment. Kain snickered at the sight of them. Romien glared slightly at Sanska. Kain looked at them, “Having fun?”
Lady reached her hand out and placed it on the rock wall, almost instantly the rock crumbled away, revealing a long tunnel. Tabris carried her down the tunnel and set her down on the stone bench, he looked at the spring. Put up a screen around the edge of the spring and gently pushed him out. “If you want to stay, stay out here and wait. Otherwise you may go back to the camp…” Tabris looked down at her and nodded, he hesitated slightly then kissed her forehead firmly with his lips he turned around and sat down at the edge of the cave and stared out. The Lady stood there for a moment in surprise then stepped behind the screen and dived into the spring.
Kalith looked away ashamed. Sanska stood up and bowed low, staring at the ground. Romien growled slightly at Sanska Kain chuckled faintly at Romien and looked at Kalith, “So Kalith, have something to tell us?” Kalith looked up at him with a slightly amused look, “How about, I’m gay?” Kain nodded, “I thought so”, and he walked over to Romien and pushed him over, “Stop it Romien…”
Romien sat down on a log and stared into the fire. Kalith sat against the log and stared into nothing; Kain sat next to Kalith and stared with him. Sanska sat down on the other side of the fire. Romien looked at the three of them and thought, then with a grin scooped up some snow and threw it at the three of them, starting a giant snowball fight.
* * * *
Lady climbed out and donned her gown, and a heavy cloak, and she walked silently over to Tabris’ still form and gently rested her hands on his shoulders. Tabris looked up with a smile, then stood up and bowed low. Lady curtsied in return with a shy smile. “Shall we go back to camp and see the damage those four have done?” Tabris laughed and offered her his arm. Lady looked up at him curiously but took it and he led her out of the spring and up the hill. They reached the top of the ridge and Lady laughed at the scene, but ducked quickly as a few snowballs headed their way.
Kain and Kalith had formed a small fort at one end of the willow tree, and Sanska and Romien closer to the forest. They were viciously throwing snowballs at each other mercilessly. Lady stopped in mid throw of a snowball and stared into the forest. Silently, to the surprise of all, she transformed into a large snowy white wolf and raced across the clearing and into woods. Lady disappeared into the forest. The four stopped and watched where she disappeared. Swords in hand Kain and Tabris stepped towards the forest. Sanska sat back in the snow and sighed. Kalith raced back to the Dark Willow and picked up his bow and arrows and stood next to Kain and Tabris.
* * * *
The wolf form of Lady raced out of the forest and slid to a stop in front of them, she rested her paws up on Tabris shoulders. Tabris nodded and looked at the other two, “Faith says there is groups of rouge… rouge bears heading this way.” Kain and Kalith exchanged a look then looked over at Romien and Sanska. Tabris looked into the wolf’s eyes, “She also says that Kalith, Romien, and Sanska need to stay at the camp. She knows Kalith would like to go but she doesn’t trust Sanska with only Romien around.” Kalith bowed and walked off towards Romien and Sanska.
Lady dropped back onto her paws and turned into a large snowy white bear and rambled off into the woods. Kain and Tabris looked at her and followed swiftly into the Dark Forest. The Lady led them into a small meadow where four large black bears with glowing red eyes. Kain and Tabris stared at the size of the bears but they raced towards them, and what would be a bloody battle.
Kalith explained in quiet tones to Romien, where they went, and Romien nodded. Slowly he stood up and headed for the Dark Willow. Kalith looked over at Sanska, “We need to go back and wait at the Dark Willow.” Sanska nodded and he stood up, wrapping an arm around Kalith, he led him over to Romien, they sat down together. Romien stared at Sanska with a cold look in his eyes, but he kept his eyes on the two.
* * * *
Tabris went for the second largest bear, for the Lady was already involved with the leader. Kain went to help the Lady as the third bear crept up to her. Tabris swung his sword in a mighty blow and sliced off the bear’s head. He turned to see the Lady in a bear hug with the Leader. They were ripping and slashing at each other violently. He turned to help Kain kill the bear he was fighting. Lady smacked the Leader across the head with her claws, blinding him. She turned back into her human form and pulled out her sword and she drove it deep into the heart of the Leader.
Tabris and Kain finished off the bear and turned to the last bear. “Don’t kill it, I can trace the power” Lady cried out. Tabris looked over at her then looked away quickly, and went to help Kain seize the bear. The Lady went over to them and put her hand on the bear’s head and she tracked the second power. She stumbled back and shook her head, turning into a small white rabbit she hopped away. Kain and Tabris exchanged a look then killed the bear.
Tabris turned to Kain, “Go back to camp, I will catch her.” Kain looked at him cautiously but obeyed; he sheathed his sword and headed back towards camp. Tabris turned into a fox and followed Lady, catching up to her; he turned back into human form and picked her up. She struggled in his hold and sighed. Tabris petted the top of her head. She turned into a mouse and jumped out of his hold, running behind a tree she turned back into human form. “May I borrow your cloak Tabris?” Tabris slid off his cloak and put it in her hand. “Thank you.” She slid it on and stepped over next to him, “I suppose you want to know what I saw don’t you…”
* * * *
Kain returned back to camp to find Kalith and Sanska asleep once again in each other’s arms with Romien watching over them with hate in his eyes. Kain picked up a pair of sticks, throwing one into Romien's lap, he thwapped him on the shoulder with the second.
Tabris looked at her and nodded. “I do.” Lady sighed deeply and wiped some blood off Tabris’ face, she wrapped her arms around him, hiding her face in his shirt. Tabris gently stroked her hair as she mumbled quietly, “Kalith is going to be so disappointed…” Tabris looked at her in shock and lifted her face up with his hand. “Its Sanska isn’t it…” Lady looked up at him sadly, “I was right about him, he is more then he seems. I don’t know what I’m going to say to Kalith…” Tabris kissed her forehead softly, “Just tell him the truth, and don’t drag it out.” She nodded and looked up into his eyes. Tabris leaned down but stopped, he straightened up. “We should get back to camp.” Lady looked at him curiously but nodded. “Yes... we should…”
Tabris and Lady arrived back at camp to find Sanska and Kalith asleep in each other’s hold, and Romien and Kain having a fight with a pair of wooden sticks. Tabris looked at Kain and Romien with an amused look in his eyes. Lady walked over to Sanska and Kalith, she nudged them hard with her foot. They jumped apart; Kalith looked up to see her face, hardened with anger. Sanska scrambled away from her, and he stood up. Lady glared at Sanska and drew her sword. She pointed it at him. “Tell the truth. Who are you.”
* * * *
Romien and Kain dropped their sticks and stared over at her. Tabris placed his hand on the hilt of her sword as Sanska sneered at them. “The truth? You want the truth do you…? The truth is that it is I who defy you, oh Lady of Darkness. I control the rogues; I am the one you seek.” Kalith stared at him in disbelief. Sanska smirked, “A shock is it Kalith? I did tell the truth, I was attacked by animals, but not the Rogues. A pack still loyal to the Lady attacked me. I thank you Kalith, for letting me survive to seek my vengeance… on my aunt who killed my brother!”
Tabris, Romien and Kain remained silent through this argument, but their hands rested on the hilt of their swords. At the ready for whatever went on. Lady’s eyes started to gleam a deep scarlet, “Your brother? Your brother deserved to die, he defiled this place. I was not happy to kill my nephew but I had no choice!” Sanska shook his head, never letting his eyes stray far from her face, “You had a choice, dear Aunt Faith. You could have let him live, forgiven him! But you didn’t you killed him!” Lady shook her head, keeping her scarlet eyes on his cold eyes. “What he did was something that never could have been forgiven. Did you know that there is a small, rugged mountain village yonder those trees? He murdered almost every one of those innocent people. Nothing gave him the right to do such a thing! I could never forgive him.”
Sanska shook his head, “No foolish girl. My brother didn’t murder those people… I did! Oh didn't you know? We’re twins. He tried to save the village but all he did was help with the murder.” Lady threw a dagger at Sanska, but it passed through him. Sanska laughed, “Oh you truly are a foolish girl. Did you really think I would hang around? As soon as I was well enough I created a copy of myself and ran off. Foolish girl, I will get you. Oh, and here’s a warning for you, someone within your midst is not all who they seem to be… Now watch your step, milady, my vengeance will be completed!” The copied Sanska disappeared in a burst of colour, leaving silence through out the camp.
* * * *
Lady dropped her sword, pulling the hood of the cloak over her face to hide it in shadows; she walked off towards the lake. Kalith shook his head and ran off towards the orchard. Romien, Kain and Tabris exchanged a look. “You people go after Kalith, I’ll get the Lady.” Tabris said quietly, with that he ran off silently after her. Romien sat down on a log. “You go after Kalith, I’ll protect this camp,” he said. Kain nodded and ran swiftly after the disappearing form of Kalith.
Tabris ran up to the lake and found her sitting in the middle of the lake on a pile of rocks. Silently he dived into the water and swam over to her, sat on a large rock next to her. Lady turned away from him and stared into the water. Tabris moved over next to her and wrapped an arm around her, “What’s wrong Faith?” She leaned against him slightly and looked up, “I was tricked, so badly. I was a fool, still am… “He held her close and looked into the water, “We were all fooled Faith, and how were you to know they were twins... please don’t be hard on yourself, foolish or not, we will stay with you.” Lady put a finger to his cheek and turned his face towards her. She looked up into his eyes, “I’m glad, I must admit, I don’t know what I would do without you people.” At her last comment he smiled, leaning down, he gently pressed his lips to hers in a slow kiss.
Kain stopped just before the orchard. Seeing no signs of Kalith, he searched the area around the orchard as well as inside. He searched for some time; with slight hesitation he searched the edge inside the Dark Forest around the orchard. Kain finding no results he slowly headed back to camp. Romien looked up at his approach with a questioning look seeing him alone. “Where is Kalith?” Kain shook his head and sat down next to him, “I do not know. I believe he has run off into the Dark Forest but I do not wish to pursue without the help of Faith. Where are they anyways?” Romien looked at him with an amused smile, “Tabris is no doubt making Faith feel better about her mistake, or if he has abandoned that, he is helping her feel better about something else.” Kain raised his eyebrows and grinning faintly he settled against a log and watched the hill.
* * * *
Lady opened her eyes, breathless from the kiss, and she looked into Tabris’ eyes, smiling shyly. Tabris smiled back and he wrapped h