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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Run to trouble Atten: Reki


Rasheta Ardashir
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OOC: Set after this thread http://www.dragonmou...-shining-walls/

 

 

IC:

 

Taia sat on her horse surveying her surroundings. She was sitting on a hill over looking, well frankly not much. She was sitting there more because she wanted to be able to see where she was going and where she had been, then to admire the view. She had spent the last several weeks with two other Sisters from her Ajah and several of the Towers guard, fighting against the Shadowspawn. She had enjoyed the battles, her overactive mind had helped her save lives a few times. She felt like the Green Ajah was making a difference in the world. The Yellows could heal nearly anything, the Blues were political and manipulated events as they could. Taia spared a moment to think Mia would not like that description of her Ajah. The Greens had not done much in recent memory, it was good to be out doing something. Although, after the battles Taia had said she had other busniess and, if she was honest with herself, she had run away.

 

She was getting too interested in Rekinu he was a distraction. She had kept a close eye on him during the battles and had nearly stopped breathing when he had been wounded before she could finish her weave. Kathleen had healed him, but Taia had spent the day avoiding him and getting her control back. She had avoided him as much as she could after that. She had known he was going to offer to escort her back to the tower when she had announced her intention of leaving the group. She hadn't let him offer, she had said she was going alone and then left the room and the inn and gotten her horse and left the small town they had been staying in. She sighed and looked back over her shoulder, no one was following her that was good. He hadn't lost his mind and come after her, she turned her attention back to the front of her. Her horse stamped his foot and snorted, she laughed and petted his neck. "Come on we are going on, maybe I'll go up to Saldea I haven't been home in awhile." Her horse tossed his head and Taia laughed again nudging him forward. She needed to find a small town or something before nightfall. She could camp again, but she usually slept little at times like that. She could set wards, but she still didn't sleep well and she'd need to be as alert as she could be.

 

As darkness was falling Taia found a spot that she could defend reasonably well, she had not seen a town yet, she sighed and wished she had taken a different member of the guard to keep watch so she could sleep. Too late to be upset about that now though. She set up her camp as best she could, rubbed down her horse and fed him. He would hopefully warn her as well if anyone was coming. She set wards up, not enough to kill anyone but enough to warn her, and then laid back to stare up at the sky. She liked to stare up at the blackness of the sky that was scattered with light of the stars. She always wondered what it would be like to fly through the air, and be closer to the stars. Aes Sedai couldn't fly though, and never could, but she could still dream. She closed her eyes and tried to get to sleep.

 

Taia woke up from a bad dream where Trollocs were coming for her and she had heard her fathers voice crying out for her. No matter where she looked she couldn't find him. The sky was turning pink in the east the sun would be up soon. She breathed a sigh of relief she had made it through the night. She paused something wasn't quite right, before she could really registrar what it was someone hauled her off the ground and held her at arms length by the throat. She was having a hard time remembering to channel, the hand was tight around her neck. "Well what do we have here?" She moved her eyes as best she could and noticed she had been set upon by a small number of men. If she hadn't just been rudely awakened they wouldn't have stood a chance. She cursed inwardly, if they didn't know she was an Aes Sedai they would probably let her go soon enough and she could get out of this. She gripped the hand holding her throat and struggled some. He didn't let go but tightened his grip, she realized too late she hadn't taken her ring off. He saw it the same time she did, the grip tightened again and she was choking. She vaguely heard noise around her but her vision was blurring. Suddenly she was dropped on the ground, she fell like a stone and lay where she was, trying to make sense of what was going on and gasping for breath.

 

She must have blacked out because when she opened her eyes she focused on a person she wasn't expecting. "Reki your here." she was able to breath out. She frowned and asked "why are you here?" He was kneeling next to her, and she vaguely realized he was holding her in his arms, she had a moment of concern he wouldn't be able to fight if he was holding her, she dismissed it and asked quietly. "What happened?"

 

Taia Misna

Curious

Edited by Rasheta Ardashir
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Taia had been acting oddly lately. The trip had been hard, yet successful, and Rekinu had enjoyed the opportunity to get to know some of the Tower Guard better as well as some of the Aes Sedai. He had not been able to do much with them before, and found it most invigorating and interesting. He now knew that his time with Taia was very different than how the other Aes Sedai in their group acted around the men.

 

She was fun, yet there were times that Rekinu was very worried about her. She would be fine with talking with him for a couple of days and then cool off.

 

The expedition had gone well, but just when Rekinu was getting the nerve up to be more friendly with Taia, as she had earned his complete confidence and support with the way that she had handled herself. Of course she was an Aes Sedai, so he couldn't expect anything different.

 

When she announced out of no where that she was returning to the Tower, he was halfway out of his seat to offer to escort her before her words had sunk in. She wanted to go alone. With out him, or anyone else. He was at first furious, but he reminded himself that she was in charge of herself, and perhaps she had received a message about some Tower business. He watched he leave towards TV, and then he returned to his rooms in a foul mood. He was sharing it with Torvus, though Torvus would probably be drinking till much later. At about midnight, by the time that Torvus had returned, he had made up his mind. Irregardless of how Taia felt about him, he knew it was his duty to protect her. He had made an oath, and she had sworn for him. The least he could do would to ensure that she was safe. In mere minutes, his stuff was packed, and the leader of the Guards was informed of his decision. With their main mission completed, there were no complications, and Rekinu was off on his horse after her. He knew that she rode her horses hard, and she had more than a day and a half of time ahead of him.

 

He rode hard all day. He would not stop to rest or eat until he found her and ensured that she was safe. The night was dark, and very cloudy, and towards the end of that night, he heard more than saw voices on the trail ahead of him. He instinctively slowed, sliding off his horse before tying it up. In areas as far between towns as this was, ruffians were more than likely.

 

Before he had even gotten close, his internal warning signs were going off like a barking dog warning of intruders.

 

Just as he was crouching through the trees, the overcast sky cleared for a minute to reveal Taia, being held in the air by the throat. He had heard of moments like this from some of the warriors, Tower Guards and Warders that had taught them back in the training grounds. With out thinking, Rekinu achieved the void and lunged at them. His fathers sword was drawn from over his head and he moved into Arc of the Moon attacking the first enemy that he reached. He fell with barely a cry as Rekinu's sword cut him from shoulder to mid waist. That was enough to inform the others that there was trouble behind them. The smaller of the two whirled quickly, and only the automatic Leopard in the tree saved him, and allowed him to block the mace that was swinging at his head.

 

"Attacking defenseless women?" Snarled Rekinu at his opponents. The last person had dropped Taia, and was grinning evilly. He was a large man, and Rekinu flinched inside the void as Taia's body hit the ground.

 

The two men circled different directions as the little one responded "Cuor was stupid. Me and Weol are plenty good enough to deal with you... and then we can take care of your lady friend, no?" Rekinu flinched involuntarily, praying to the creator that Taia would be alright. As they laughed at him, Rekinu pulled the void around him tighter, and put his focus at the problems at hand.

 

Weol lunged, and Rekinu spun out of the way, his sword ringing from the blow. He would have to be more careful of that one. Just at the time that he got turned back from it, the other was already halfway to him. Hummingbird Kisses the Honeyrose sprang automatically from his hands, dealing a killing blow. Shoving him to the side, the man grabbed the hilt of his sword in his agony. He only hesitated for a moment. He could get his fathers sword afterwards.

 

Just as he reacted to the situation, Weol slammed into him, knocking him to the ground in a bear hug attack. The man had strength! Rekinu's head swam as the man clamped his arms around his chest and squeezed. As he struggled, he knew that he needed to get to his knife. Weol grinned at him, sensing Rekinu's helplessness, and Rekinu reminded himself of Taia, lying there, possibly hurt badly. He had to make sure that she was ok. Thinking quickly, his mind was made up. First, he used his knee to hit Weol in the groin bringing Weol's head close enough to headbutt him. The pain was intense, but he gritted his teeth and used Weol's momentary... distraction to pull his knife. Seconds later, the fight was over.

 

It felt like hours before he was able to pry Weol's dead fingers apart to allow him to pull himself out from underneath him. Once free, he took only a moment to assess himself. One finger seemed broken/dislocated, his chest was very painful, and his head throbbed. His first priority surfaced, and he painfully crawled over to where Taia lay. As he moved he was able to ignore the pain, and finally leveraged himself to look at her. She was out cold. "At least she didn't have to see that" he mused to himself. Glancing about, he saw her water skin near her packs, where she must have been sleeping before the band had found her. He stood up, and made his way over to it and back.

 

Flopping to the ground, he gently used his sleeve to wipe off her forehead, but only managed to smear a little dirt on it, before switching sleeves using a little water to clean it up better. After a minute, her green eyes fluttered opened, and she muttered more than anything, "Reki, you're here." After a minute or two, she blinked and then asked, "why are you here?" he waited while she blinked away the cobwebs clouding her mind before she asked a final time, "What happened?"

 

"I had to know that you were ok, and the only way to do that was to come myself. By coming personally, I felt that I might be able to help..." He smiled wryly before finishing, "I am very glad that I did."

 

Relieved

Rekinu Alasayaar,

 

 

edited for spelling

Edited by Rekinu Alasayaar
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"I had to know that you were ok, and the only way to do that was to come myself. By coming personally, I felt that I might be able to help..." He smiled wryly before finishing, "I am very glad that I did."

 

Taia should have seen it sooner that he would follow her, he was a borderlander just like she was. They all had there own ideas about honor and duty. Arafel was espcially strange, she tried to sit up and her vision darkened, she breathed slowly in and out till her vision cleared. She looked around her and was impressed to see that all three men were dead. She knew that Rekinu still had a lot to learn, but on this trip he had been forced to fight a lot so it was reasonable to assume he would be a much better fighter then he had been. She focused on him and noted that he was bloody, which wouldn't be surprising. She knew she should heal up the bruises she could do that much. She glanced down and saw the unnatural angle of one of his fingers, that she could not help with. She also wasn't sure she could embrace the power yet. She reached over and touched his face. "Be still I will try and heal your bruises." It took multiple tries before she could hold it enough to even delve him to find out everything that was wrong with him. He had gotten off lightly for fighting three people bruises, a broken finger, and a cracked rib. She took several deep breathes and tried to heal the bruises, she found that the pain from her neck was heightened with the power. She needed to do this healing though and then they had to get out of here. It was possible there were more bandits in the area. She wanted to get out of there before the others came to find the three dead men. She was able to heal up his bruises, and then she said "Help me up we need to get out of here. I know there is a town close by." He did as best he could with his finger still broken. It took awhile for the two of them to get mounted and Taia was sure that the ride hurt Rekinu but he didn't say anything. She set the pace to a slow walk because she was getting stronger, but she was still a little short of breath sometimes and black spots swam in front of her eyes a few times.

 

 

It had taken the rest of the day to make it too the nearest village, really a small town. She knew they were far enough away from any threat for it to be known an Aes Sedai was in the village, so she made no secret of what she was. She sent for the village healer to have the woman take a look at Rekinu. Taia was worried about him, she hadn't been able to do more then heal his bruises, and that had taken awhile the pain in her head and her constricted breathing had made channeling harder then it usually was. She hoped the woman wouldn't take too long to get to the inn where they were staying. Rekinu needed to sleep and then they needed to chat about other things. It was possible that there were other bandits still on the lose Taia would like to find them. If not them she would like to try to find some more of the shadowspawn there had been rumors of more running loose. Taia wanted to make people as safe as she could. First though she needed to be healed as did her escort.

 

 

The healer looked Taia over and then made a drink, Taia was told to drink it several times a day for the next several days. Taia nodded and then the woman took a look at Rekinu. The healer turned and looked at Taia who was seated in the only chair in Rekinu's room, sipping the drink the woman had made. "Your warder is in bad shape Aes Sedai. Although I have seen worse. He will need to have his finger reset, I can do it but it will be painful for him." Taia continued sipping her drink and didn't comment on the warder statement. It would probably do to have people think they were bonded. She could tell Rekinu was going to speak so she beat him too it.

 

"You must do what you think best, he needs to be healed and I am in no shape to do it." The woman nodded her head she got back to work on Rekinu. Taia had known resetting his finger would hurt him, she wished she could have helped with that but her lack of healing talent was a hindrance with things like that. She watched as it was set, pain spread over Reki's face. He cried out and she couldn't blame him, she had been on the receiving end of various injuries over the years. She continued to sip her tea and watch with an impassive face though. The healer, her name was Kayla, seemed to think Taia's indifference was heartless. Taia didn't care, Aes Sedai had a reputation and for the moment Taia was going to play the cool impassive sister. If she didn't she would throw herself on him and ask him to allow her to bond him, and not to scare her again. She couldn't do that though, he had more to learn she hated that she'd found someone to bond and care about after all this time. She cursed inwardly when he groaned at whatever Kayla was doing. She finished her drink and Kayla informed her that Rekinu needed to rest now and Taia should go and lay down herself. Taia simply looked at her and Kayla shook her head and said "I will come back tomorrow to see how you both are doing." She didn't add the honorific and Taia nearly smiled, Kayla was very unhappy with something Taia had done or not done. Instead Taia nodded and said coolly

 

"thank you." Clearly dismissing the other woman. After the room had been cleared Taia stood up and walked to Rekinu's bed side. She looked down at him and said quietly. "Sleep now and when you wake we will talk more. There is some to discuss." She turned then and left the room to find her own rest.

 

Taia came back into Rekinu's room the next morning. He had slept through the afternoon and the night. Taia had slept through most of the night but had woken up shortly before dawn. She had eaten and then come in to sit and wait for him to wake up. Kayla came in shortly after Taia and looked Rekinu over, she applied some slave to some of the bruises and cuts Taia hadn't been able to heal. After Kayla left Rekinu opened his eyes. Taia held back a smile, he'd been pretending to sleep apparently. She looked at the door for a moment and wove a ward against eavesdropping. She turned back around and took in Rekinu's disheveled appearance. She had to admit it even hurt and just awakened he looked handsome. She mentally told herself to stop it they needed to set a plan. She settled in her chair and tried not to stare to hard, as it was her voice came out a little cool.

 

"I wanted to talk to you about what to do next. I am not ready to return to the Tower yet. If you hadn't noticed we aren't headed that way anyway." She winced inwardly that had been cruel. "We need to decide what to do next. I know there are more Shadowspawn around, also I don't know if those bandits you killed were the last of them or if there were more. When you are feeling better we should make sure there aren't more. I would feel like I wasn't a servant of all if I let the rest of them roam around and waylay travelers and maybe kill others." She noticed he was focused on her neck, she had a ring of bruises around her neck. She wondered if he was blaming himself for them he shouldn't it was her fault really. To hide them she pulled her hair over her shoulders, leaned forward and looked him in the eyes. "What do you think? Take a few days rest here and then move on?" She couldn't resist teasing him a little she smiled then mischievously. "I think Kayla the healer will be sad to see you go sooner then that. You should see if she will let you spend the night with her sometime." She laughed at him then and said "Come tell me what you think."

 

Taia Misna

Interested in an answer

Edited by Rasheta Ardashir
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She had that odd look in her eyes again when she looked at him as she blinked the woozyness out of her eyes. He could not for the life of him figure out what the look was to mean, but she sure had it plenty of times.

 

Touching his face, she said, "Be still I will try and heal your bruises." After a couple of minutes, she schooled her face into the Aes Sedai calm, and Rekinu could feel her looking through his body using the One Power to see his injuries. He vaguely remembered her telling him that she could not heal very well, but any help would be appreciated. He had more mobility, but through his training, he had learned how to understand his body's needs and how it acted. He knew that he was going to require either more specific help, or at least some rest to get healed enough to be of use to Taia. After a few moments she murmured, "Help me up we need to get out of here. I know there is a town close by." He guessed that perhaps she had been this way before, and nodded in agreement. Getting to his feet first, he offered his uninjured hand, pulling her to his. He supported her as she swayed with the effort, while he cursed at himself for allowing her to use the One Power when she was clearly not ready to be doing so. But what was done was done, and they had to push on. He left her calming her horse while he returned for his own, and did a quick search for the bandits horses. Finding none, he returned to Taia's camp and saddled her horse for her, grimacing when he used his sword hand(right), but had it done in almost record time.

 

Once they started, Rekinu regretted having a horse at all. Walking was not as jarring as riding a horse, and the left side of his chest screamed in pain. After less than an hour he was drenched in sweat forcing himself to go on, but on they had to go. After much deliberation, he took off his beloved chest strap that contained his swords, and tied them to the saddle awkwardly, ensuring that they were still well within reach should anything require their use. It alleviated some of the jarring, but after noon-time it made no difference. Taia was uncharacteristically very quiet, and Rekinu was very busy worrying about where they were going. By mid afternoon, he was already physically and emotionally exhausted. It was all he could do to keep quiet with every step, and his breathing was coming in raggedly. However, it was only when they got to the village, and the villagers seemed sympathetic to their plight that Rekinu allowed himself to stop focusing on every sound. Taia led them to the small inn in the village, and Rekinu sat on his horse for a minute longer, not comprehending that they had actually arrived until Taia told him to dismount. He did so, favoring his hand which by now was swollen, and made his way to help Taia dismount - not that he was much help at it in his condition.

 

When the inn keeper showed them the room where Rekinu was going to sleep, he promised that the healer would be there shortly, and Rekinu fell more than sat on, the bed. He closed his eyes in relief, and was drifting off into a haze of pain when the healer bustled in. After taking only a small look at him, she turned to Taia and she spoke, almost accusingly, "Your warder is in bad shape Aes Sedai. Although I have seen worse. He will need to have his finger reset, I can do it but it will be painful for him" As he heard the words, he tried to think of the sentence to reply. He would never assume that Taia would want him as a warder, much less need him as one... he couldn't even fight three bloody men without getting bloody hurt, but before he could formulate the reply and communicate that reply to his mouth, Taia responded first. "You must do what you think best, he needs to be healed and I am in no shape to do it." He groaned inwardly, were they not even going to let him rest first? Before he could ask that it wait until he rested some, the healer grabbed his finger without warning, and gave it a sharp jerk. Unable to stop it, pain flashed over his features. It wasn't much, but on top of the day that he had endured, well, it was too much to keep his features schooled like a Warder should. Afterwards, the healer added insult to injury by moving the finger in all the rotations that it should have to ensure that it was done properly, but Rekinu was not very appreciative. Once that was done, she applied some ointment saying something about the swelling, and then she took off Rekinu's shirt very gingerly. She applied some pultaces, for pain, and then wrapped him. Each touch on the affected area was like a firebrand being pressed into his flesh, and the pressure from the wrapping didn't help either. By the time he was about to shout at her to just leave him be, she stopped, turned to Taia and said "I will come back tomorrow to see how you both are doing." Rekinu frowned... that sentence was missing something, but he couldn't focus anymore. After only a moment he just lay there trying to figure out why he had been mad.

 

He was foggy, but sleep eluded him for a time until Taia approached his bed and told him "Sleep now and when you wake we will talk more. There is some to discuss." She turned then and left the room, and before the door closed, he was out. Never had a bed felt so good, but neither had his nightmares been like that before either. They were so vivid! Taia was in each and every one of them, being strangled or attacked and he always found himself too far away to keep her from harm. One time he awoke with a jolt of pain when he rolled out of bed trying to avoid an attack. It took him hours to get up. His body was extremely stiff, and the bandages on his chest restricted his movement, but once he got there, he was able to sleep without the nightmares, to his great relief.

 

He awoke, probably mid-morning, and he lay there, breathing. he kept his eyes closed, running through a wake-up exercise that his mentors had taught him in the Tower Guard. He used his senses to see what was going on. There was someone in the room with him, and there was bustling below them... probably a kitchen maid as he heard scraping from a pot or a bowl of some sort. Just as his exercise was completed, he heard steps approaching the room, and Rekinu kept his face schooled as if he was asleep. He did not hurt as much, well, except for his chest, but it was a large improvement. The door opened, and from the walk, Rekinu guessed that Taia was in the room, and the healer was the one that just entered. She approached him without saying a word, and lifted some of his bandages inspecting their condition. She applied some salve to his bruises, and felt the one above his ribs. That one smarted, and almost forced him to sit up in response, but he kept himself down, leaving the outlying muscles relaxed to not give away that he was awake. After Kayla left he Rekinu opened his eyes. Taia eyes had a smile in them again, for which he was grateful. But then, she seemed to shove whatever she had been thinking out of her head, and she looked to the door concentrating.

 

"I wanted to talk to you about what to do next. I am not ready to return to the Tower yet. If you hadn't noticed we aren't headed that way anyway. We need to decide what to do next. I know there are more Shadowspawn around, also I don't know if those bandits you killed were the last of them or if there were more. When you are feeling better we should make sure there aren't more. I would feel like I wasn't a servent of all if I let the rest of them roam around and waylay travelers and maybe kill others." As she spoke, he noticed the bruises on her neck, and he vowed to himself that the next fool to touch her would not get off so easily with just a knife to their ribs. She must have noticed what he was thinking as she pulled her hair over her shoulders, leaned forward and looked him in the eyes. "What do you think? Take a few days rest here and then move on?" The old twinkle was back again, as she smiled then mischievously and continued, "I think Kayla the healer will be sad to see you go sooner then that. You should see if she will let you spend the night with her sometime." She laughed before becoming serious again, "Come tell me what you think."

 

He wondered about her statement about the healer, but pushed it aside... she was like that with her funny questions and statements about spending the night with people he wasn't interested in. He might never understand that nature of her. However, he thought about the actual question that he had been asked. Responding slowly, he said "Well, I was unable to find horses from the ruffians that we... fought yesterday, so their camp should be less than a couple hours walk from where they ambushed you. I agree, ridding the area of filth that would go after an unarmed woman is terrible character, and something that the villagers would be grateful for irregardless. Have you told anyone what had happened to you?"

 

Taia seemed to think for a moment before responding, "No, I have not talked to anyone." She seemed thoughtful, and Rekinu continued with his idea. "I can talk with the healer, what is her name?" Kayla, he repeated to himself inwardly. I will talk with her about what had happened, and do not worry, I will keep up the front you put into place yesterday." He frowned, "What was the name that you used? I need to make sure to use it again instead of your real name to avoid trouble." Nodding to himself he continued, "So I will be your Warder for the villagers." That shouldn't be very hard, he was promised to protect Aes Sedai, and he always protected his friends, so in truth, he already was her warder in terms of his actions. Smiling wryly he spoke, "Do you think Kayla will let me out of bed?"

 

Taia laughed at that, and excused herself from the room to go look in the village for clues.

 

Once she was gone, it was only minutes before Kayla bustled back in. "How are you doing this morning..." "Rekinu, my name is Rekinu. Thank you so much for looking over my wounds. We were ambushed by a couple of vagabonds, and I let one get a little too close" He winced as he shifted in bed, and Kayla set down a food try on the table near the bed. He could smell the cheese and eggs, their smell intertwined together, and his stomach immediately growled loudly reminding him that he had not eaten since before starting to search for Taia a night ago. Kayla smiled at him and told him "You are more than welcome to eat, once I have looked at you." She took off the bandages, having Rekinu stand up so that she could look him all over without the bed hiding his back. She said nothing, but she was looking at the bite marks on his shoulder from the brutish man, and the odd shaped bruise on his back from when he had tried to crush him. Moving to keep the conversation going, and perhaps learn something, he spoke again. "I tried to wrestle with one, and as you can see, that didn't work out too good." She laughed at that, and then spoke "We have had a group form up, Borch is the leader, or so we have been told. They have left us alone, but they force some money out of the farmers that are too far away to expect some help. So far there has been little violence, but a few farms have been burned more recently. Others have been abandonded as well, when the farmers running them could not afford the protection money." She shrugged. "We petitioned for help, and the capitol has been silent about our plight. The Light willing, their messenger will arrive any day now with respect to what is to be done." She snapped her mouth shut, and hurriedly finished her work, leaving quickly. Mulling about it, Rekinu walked absently around the room until the smell assauted his nose again, and he ate ravenously. He ate every drop, even picking the crumbs off of the plain wooden plate, before sitting at the table. He was content. He had some information to tell Taia, and to top that off, he was no longer hungry.

 

He expected Taia to return again soon, but the drink that Kayla gave him for pain, sunk in and made him sleepy. By the time that he had decided to return to the bed, he was so exhausted, that he was asleep before he hit the bed. 'When Taia returns... she should *yawn* wake me...'

 

 

sleepy

Rekinu Alasayaar

Edited by Rasheta Ardashir
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"Do you think Kayla will let me out of bed?"

 

Taia laughed, he was learning how to deal with her apparently this was good. She stood up still smiling, she excused herself telling him to rest some more. She needed to see what she could find out. As she was walking down to the common room Kayla was walking up with a tray. The other woman paused and looked Taia over "You look better this morning Aes Sedai." Somehow the woman made the honorific sound like an insult even with a respectful voice. It was up to Taia to decide if she took offense to it or not. Taia didn't, she simply nodded and said "Be sure you do a very good job with him. I will not forgive you if he has bad side effects from your care, and I will know if he does." She left it at that and brushed past the other woman and walked down into the common room.

 

Taia was not used to being pitied, she could see the looks of pity in the faces of nearly everyone she passed. The marks on her neck stood out against her skin, while it seemed the concoction Kayla had made had helped they were still purple and ugly. People would speak to her but stare at her neck with sad eyes and one woman, even knowing that Taia was Aes Sedai, murmured a kind word to her and sorrow for the violence that had been visited upon her and her warder. Taia decided she liked pity better then anger or fear. She had her fair share of those emotions from people over the years. She also had looks of admiration, even with her injuries she knew she was still beautiful, and some of the men noticed too. She spoke to them asking about the bandits, or if there were any rumors of Shadowspawn in the area. The men usually asked what her warder had been doing to give her such bruises. She sighed at such conversations, because inevitably the next thing the men said was "If I had been there you would never have been hurt." She didn't tell anyone she had foolishly left a group of people to travel on her own. No that was her own foolishness and it caused her misery. She wouldn't share such with anyone else, besides maybe Rekinu later. Thinking of him she registered that is was afternoon she had been outside the inn all day. She nodded to the man she had been talking to and turned around and went back to the inn. The Inn keeper met her in the common room with a mug of the healers tea. She thanked him and then turned away to smell what was in the tea if it smelled any different then yesterday she wasn't going to drink it. It didn't so she sipped it as she walked up the stairs, before walking back down the stairs and asking the inn keeper to send up food to Rekinu's room. The man nodded and she went back upstairs.

 

Taia came into the room to see Kayla seated in the chair reading, Rekinu was sleeping on the bed he looked like he'd fallen asleep had a nightmare, tossed and turned and then fallen into a more peaceful slumber. Taia glanced at Kayla who was looking at her expectantly, Taia wasn't sure what the other woman wanted exactly so she just looked back at her. Someone knocked lightly on the door Kayla called for whoever it was to come in. Taia narrowed her eyes, but moved from the door as one of the servants came in with food. It was set on the table and Taia thanked him and sent him away. When it was apparent Kayla wasn't going to leave, Taia crossed her arms and asked "What are you still doing here I have busniess with him." She nodded to her "warder" and then waited. Kayla kept her tone respectful when she said "I'm sure you can see Aes Sedai that he is in no state to be talking to you right now. I am here to make sure he doesn't have more nightmares and if he does to sooth them." Her tone turned soft on the last words, and her eyes roved over him in a way that was more possessive and admiring. Taia embraced the power and threw the other woman against the wall with air, which knocked over the chair the woman had been sitting in making a loud noise. Taia noticed Rekinu wake up and try and sit up she shoved him down with air so he wouldn't hurt himself. Taia wasn't sure if Kayla had noticed Rekinu waking up as the other woman was angry now. Kayla narrowed her eyes at Taia and was about to snap something else, but Taia was beyond caring about whatever the other was going to say. The only thing keeping the woman from being hurt by the power Taia held was that she was a healer and Rekinu needed her. Taia snapped.

 

"He is mine! I will not allow him to share your bed or you to share his. If he needs anything in the night I will give it too him." Her more logical brain tried to tell her this whole fight was silly she should not be pinning someone to a wall because they had an interest in Reki, plus it had been her who told him this morning to share the other woman's bed. Taia didn't care, he was hers and when he was older she was going to bond him. She wasn't going to glance at him to see how he was taking this, she wasn't sure if he would accept her bonding him yet. This might not be helping her case when she asked him finally. She took several deep breathes and released the other woman. "Get out of here." she said softly enunciating every word. Kayla looked at Rekinu again and looked as though she was going to say something but Taia beat her too it. "You can see him only when I am here from now on. If you see him while I am not I will make you regret it." she let that sink in. Then she added "Get out." Kayla left slower then Taia would have liked, it was if the healer knew she was important, at least till Reki was better and she had to show some defiance. Taia sighed when the door closed and the tension went out of her, and she said almost to herself. "I shouldn't have let her insult go this morning." She took another deep breath before turning around. Rekinu was staring at her as though he wasn't sure how to take the fight he'd just witnessed. She couldn't blame him, Taia had never lost her temper around him before. She had always been the laughing sister or the cool one. She stared at him for a moment and then moved to him and grabbed his face in her hands and kissed him for all she was worth. She just needed to get rid of that reaction to her fight, it was stupid and she was sorry he had to see it. After awhile she realized he was holding her just as tightly as she was holding him. She pulled away and dropped her hands, she took several moments to get her breath back and she said.

 

"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that. It was a reaction to the fight which was also silly. She had been disrespectful and to an Aes Sedai if you don't have respect then you have nothing." She backed away and picked up the chair and then nodded to the tray. "I brought you dinner." She smiled "I think you've been sleeping throughout the day. It will do you good to eat." She pushed the tray closer to him and she ate a little. He still looked a little dazed so she continued talking.

 

"I learned a little today, there are no shadowspawn around here, which is good. I think you got your fill of that over the last weeks. I think we will find the bandits however, I think you need a few days still to heal up. Kayla will do her job." Her voice hardened on the last part and then she looked up at the ceiling saying softly." Reki there is something you should know." She turned her attention to him. "I would like to bond you when you are ready. I am a little possessive of the people who I care for. I wouldn't be able to handle you sleeping with Kayla if you agreed to be my bonded." She had been possessive of her other two warders as well. They hadn't minded too much, she was not innocent when it came to what her warders would need sometimes. Reki needed to know before he agreed what she was like, she pushed on. "I lose my temper sometimes over silly things, I have a reputation as a flirt and I am quite a flirt when I need to be. I can easily morph into whatever the situation requires cold and heartless, or sweet and innocent." She shrugged as though it was nothing. "You know that I cannot heal, which is why you are being seen to by that woman." If it was possible to make a word sound insulting and harsh Taia did it when she called Kayla a woman. She sighed "you don't have to answer me now. This is probably more then you wanted to hear right now. We have work to do, did you learn anything today?"

 

Taia Misna

Upset.

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Rekinu slept fairly well, he only woke up a couple of times, but it was just Kayla coming in to check on him. That woman made him uneasy. She would stand there for minutes just looking, and then she would run her hands along his chest. He supposed that she was checking on his wounds, but she did it in such a way that he was sure that that was not the only thing on her mind. One time, after checking on him, she sat in a chair and Rekinu couldn't figure out what she was up to until he heard the rustle of pages at frequent intervals. He slept uneasily after that, nightmares of Kayla running after him no matter how far he ran to get away from her.

 

He woke from the middle of one of those dreams to hear the familiar words of Taia, as she spoke to Kayla with her best I-am-an-Aes-Sedai,-and-you-will-obey voice. There was a pause, and Rekinu could feel the room getting colder. It appeared that Kayla was not leaving. He felt uncomfortable, so he kept his eyes shut. However, Kayla's response had him madder than a hive of bees disturbed by being kicked by a passing foolish boy. "I'm sure you can see Aes Sedai that he is in no state to be talking to you right now. I am here to make sure he doesn't have more nightmares and if he does to sooth them." Her tone turned soft on the last words, and Rekinu's skin crawled. She would NOT talk to his Taia like that so he steeled himself to stand up- only to have Taia push air on him. She was quite firm, she would fight her battles, and well, the exertion of getting up while angry DID take out all his energy, so he wisely stayed put.

 

He watched the fireworks from his bed, as the scene played out in front of him and was shocked at the torrent of words that Taia spat at Kayla. She was like a mother bear, being very protective of a cub, "He is mine! I will not allow him to share your bed or you to share his. If he needs anything in the night I will give it too him." After a dangerous pause, she finished very slowly and deliberately, "Get out of here." After a much shorter pause she said in a much calmer voice, "You can see him only when I am here from now on. If you see him while I am not I will make you regret it. Get out."

 

 

After Kayla left, Taia released her hold on him, and he sat up. She turned to him, and stood there studying him for a few minutes. Rekinu though to himself, 'Did she just? I thought she would not want anything to do with me after my poor performance yesterday, Light!' His head was still spinning when Taia spoke again and said "I shouldn't have let her insult go this morning." She stared at him for a couple of minutes, as his thoughts running round and round, trying to understand them, and what she did next surprised him even more. She glided over to him, grabbed his face in her and and started to kiss him. He had kissed her before, to hold up the image they were conveying to a town many years ago, but that was nothing compared to this new kiss. It was filled with passion, and protection, perhaps even love. After only a moment, Rekinu put his arms around her as well, and pulled her to sit down on the bed next to him, and wrapped her in his arms. It felt, right. He only relinquished his hold on her after she pushed on his chest, and even then it was with much reluctance.

 

 

She stood there, looking past him, at the wall, but he had a feeling that she was looking at something that was far beyond that, perhaps even beyond time itself to another situation she had been in, or perhaps she was imagining the future. As for him, his mind was made up. If she needed him that much, that she was willing to kick the healer out, then he was sticking around. Even if she went back to her joking self about not needing anyone, he would not let that pusuade him again. He needed her too. He had precious few friends, and all of those were either in the Tower Guard, or long lost in the hive of activity in Shol Arbela. After several moments, she spoke again. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that. It was a reaction to the fight which was also silly. She had been disrespectful and to an Aes Sedai if you don't have respect then you have nothing." Sadly she backed away from him and picked up the chair that had fallen, and then nodded to the tray on the table. "I brought you dinner." She smiled when his stomach growled loudly, and continued, "I think you've been sleeping throughout the day. It will do you good to eat." She pushed the tray closer to him, and after he started to eat, he offered her some, and she shared his meal. She waited until they were mostly done, before continuing, "I learned a little today, there are no shadowspawn around here, which is good. I think you got your fill of that over the last weeks. I think we will find the bandits however, I think you need a few days still to heal up. Kayla will do her job." She paused there, and looked up at the cieling. She seemed to be weighing her thoughts very carefully, and apparently reached a decision. Her face tightened slightly, and she spoke, almost in a rushed manner. "Reki there is something you should know." She turned to him again, and continued; "I would like to bond you when you are ready. I am a little possessive of the people who I care for. I wouldn't be able to handle you sleeping with Kayla if you agreed to be my bonded." She pushed on again, "I lose my temper sometimes over silly things, I have a reputation as a flirt and I am quite a flirt when I need to be. I can easily morph into whatever the situation requires cold and heartless, or sweet and innocent. You know that I cannot heal, which is why you are being seen to by that woman." Her voice turned hard again at the end of that sentence, and then she sighed. "You don't have to answer me now. This is probably more then you wanted to hear right now. We have work to do, did you learn anything today?"

 

He kept silent for a minute, trying to figure out what she was thinking, This outburst of emotion, although very much appreciated, and enjoyed... was uncharacteristic of the Taia that he had always been shown. He was fine with it, but he wondered how she felt at throwing things out like that. Finally he spoke, however he answered the easier question first.

 

"I was able to talk to Kayla, before she went all weird... anyway, she told me that it is rumored that a man called Borch is the leader of the group. I found that they use scare tactics to force farmers to pay them for protection, burning their farms if they do not, or cannot pay the fees. The village sent for help from their capital, but there has been no word yet, and I would assume that they do not expect much being so far from there anyways. I would not feel right leaving these people to continue to be bullied by these thugs, so I agree that we need to stay and take care of them. Give me a week, and I should be healed sufficiently to go with you searching. But I want you to promise me to not go with out me outside of the village." He held up his hand cutting off her protest. "If I am to pretend to be your warder, then I will do it right. That includes keeping you close. I do not want a repeat of the last time." He looked down and said even quieter, almost a whisper, "The next time you are hurt, I had better be seriously wounded or worse."

 

Looking back up to her eyes, he took a breath, held it, and then released it slowly. "As to your other question. There is something that you should know as well. You are the closest thing I have to a friend. In the Guard you are encouraged to be companions, but we are taught that our companions might be pulled to be a Warder, or might perish in battle at any moment, and lasting bonds are not encouraged. The friends I had I left in Shol Arbela long ago, and that is fine. I am also very protective of those I like... so I guess we would make a good pair." He grinned before continuing, "about Kayla, she kind of creeps me out..."

 

Taia laughed heartily at that, and Rekinu was glad. She needed true laughter, and well, he was more than happy to oblige!

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

It had been a week. And what a week it had been. After spending the first couple of days sleeping, Rekinu had been ready to leave the room, and Kayla and Taia actually agreed that he needed to stay in bed. You can only sleep so much, and then your mind wanders. It is not good for it to wander, thoughts like that can get you into trouble...

 

So he had taken to practicing in his room when Taia wasn't there. The first time Taia had caught him, she had actually spanked him, and then she had taken most of his weapons away... she muttered something about men not taking care of themselves, but he just went through the forms without anything. Doing sit-ups was out of the question with his rib, but he was able to do push ups, and walk around his room. Two days ago, they finally let him leave his room, and walk around the village, and Taia accompanied him. Most of the men would not look at him, but they seemed to have their eyes on Taia. That was fine with Rekinu... she probably had flirted with several of them to get the information that they needed. He ignored them, but his chest constricted painfully as his body tried to prepare itself to defend her if any of them made any comments. One time a man was being more that open about how he thought of Taia, but she seemed to read his mind, and she took his arm, and gently led him a different direction. This time had been a very enjoyable time for Rekinu, and he hoped that Taia enjoyed it as well. They spent a lot of time talking about things, and Rekinu found himself telling her of his youth in Shol Arbela, of fending for himself after his mother died when he was 10, and the history of the prized sword that he carried, marked in shame. She was still a little reluctant to talk about her life, but Rekinu knew she just needed more time.

 

However, when Rekinu got up this morning, things were different. The air... felt different. Without thinking he packed his bags and prepared to go at a moments notice, and that was when Taia burst into the room. Without saying anything he knew that the time to leave had come. She didn't say anything, but her face was hard, and he collected both of their things. She would tell him when he was ready.

 

Once the horses were saddled, and they were an hour from the town, she told him what had happened. Another farm had been razed, and a young girl was the only survivor. She showed up in the village, her body clearly showing the signs of beatings and worse. They were headed to her farm to verify that her family was beyond help, and track down the bandits. The village mayor had asked Taia to check it out, and he would send a party of men to salvage what could be from the farm, and bury the dead.

 

Rekinu's face hardened at hearing of the abuse, and he agreed, avenging this abuse was the thing they would do first. Destroying this band was first... they had no idea of the opportunities that they would have to meet their creator, or the Dark One himself for their actions.

 

They were of the same mind, and purpose.

 

 

Determined.

Rekinu Alasayaar

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After the fight with Kayla, Taia was in a bit of a daze. She knew she had to spend her time finding out what she could about those who had been attacked, maybe she would be able to figure out where the bandits were hiding. She couldn't seem to focus however, bits and pieces of the conversation she had with Rekinu would go through her mind at the most inopportune times. She was talking to a man about what he knew about the bandits and rekinu's voice passed through her head. "The next time you are hurt, I had better be seriously wounded or worse." She started and the man looked at her funny. She tried to smile at him, but found herself wondering what Reki had meant by that. She sighed and excused herself. She had gone back to Rekinu's room to see him practicing with his weapons. She had taken them away giving him a lecture about how he needed to heal. He hadn't seemed to take it to heart till she reenforced her lecture with the power using it to spank him like a Novice. He had glared at her and they had a few words. He was more forceful when he was angry. Taia filed that information away for later use. Taia was sure that Rekinu continued praticing, she was finding he could be stubborn as well. He defied her and Kayla both in some ways. After she had kept him in his room for awhile he was allowed to leave and they went through the village. She didn't pay anyone any more attention then usual but Rekinu seemed to see and take note of everyone and everything. Once again his words from several days ago went through her head. "That includes keeping you close. I do not want a repeat of the last time. The next time you are hurt, I had better be seriously wounded or worse." She woke up some nights thinking about the kiss too, and all the emotion she'd had over the last weeks was enough to drive her nuts. She would be glad when he was finally bonded to her, safely hers so she would know where he was, how he was feeling, and she would be proud to give him some strength as well as the ability to sense the shadowspawn. They would have to talk about what it meant to be bonded to an Aes Sedai, especially one of the Green Ajah, later when this was done and he was ready.

 

Taia realized she hadn't been paying attention to what was going on and Rekinu had stiffened beside her. She noticed that he was looking at a man who was proclaiming Taia was the most beautiful woman in the world and would she like some flowers or a real man to watch her back. She nearly rolled her eyes, she was used to the beautiful comments she got them enough, however, now she just wanted them to stop. She already had a warder, or almost, and she wasn't interested in someone from a backwater village. She turned from the man and gently took Rekinu's arm and led him away. She left him at the inn and went back to explain to the man just how to treat an Aes Sedai. He was respectful to her after that, in fact he avoided her as much as he could. That was two people in the village she had made fearful of her, although Kayla still showed some defiance. Taia wasn't going to bother with the other woman though, Rekinu was hers! If she had to prove it to the woman Taia would find a way to do so.

 

It had been a week and Taia was thinking about letting Rekinu stay for another few days, his bruises were mostly healed, helped a little by Taia's small healings. It wasn't much but the power faded the bruises faster then anything else. Taia could kill anything, but she couldn't do anything to ease the suffering of the innocents afterward. Taia was about to head to Rekinu's room to let him go back to the village when the innkeeper appeared. "Aes Sedai the mayor would like to see you." Taia nodded her head and followed him down to the common room which was empty for once she noticed a girl huddled in a corner table with Kayla and the mayor standing over them. The girl was cloaked and seemed to be gripping that as if for dear life. Taia moved toward them and Kayla looked up at Taia no sign of defiance. "Can you heal her Aes Sedai she might be beyond my skill." The girl was only sitting up because she was propped up, Taia couldn't see the extent of the damage, but it didn't look good from what she could see. Taia could tell the girl was frightened even among friends, most girls would have found the village and thrown themselves weeping on the first person they saw. This one either couldn't or wouldn't, there was such a thing as pride even if it was only in hiding what everyone else knew. Taia knelt down and spoke far more gently then she usually did. "Let me see what's wrong child. Let me see if I can help." Taia knew she couldn't, but if it would put everyone at ease she would at least get the girl to open up. The girl looked up and asked "Are you a healer." Taia shook her head. "no child I am an Aes Sedai. We have powers you couldn't imagine." She tried to smile as though it was there little secret. The girl threw her arms around Taia's neck and sobbed "Please Aes Sedai kill the bandits who did this. They murdered my family and burned our farm." Taia was surprised by the girl hugging her she didn't think that had happened to her since she was home in Saldaea with her family. She used the opportunity to delve the girl, it was bad and Taia made eye contact with Kayla and shook her head slightly. Kayla nodded and the mayor spoke then, "Aes Sedai we couldn't ask you to do this surly the messengers from the capital will be here soon and help us." Taia looked over the girls head at him and said. "I have already been asked to do this and I will. If the messengers come tell them Taia Misna an Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah has taken care of things. Tell them also that in future messengers with a few soldiers should come a little sooner when called. An Aes Sedai cannot take care of all the problems of the world." She turned her attention to the girl speaking gently "You must let go now. I have work to do." Kayla helped pry the girl from Taia and then the healer set to work checking the girl over for herself.

 

Taia excused herself and went back upstairs Rekinu was already set to go, he seemed to have just known she blinked surprised for a moment and was going to say something but he just nodded to the stairs and they were ready to go. It seemed he had just been back upstairs for the rest of there things. She was impressed, she waited till they were away from the town before telling him what had happened she watched his eyes harden and turn determined and cool. Good that's what he needed "The next time you are hurt, I had better be seriously wounded or worse." Taia blinked why had that thought come suddanly, she pushed it away and focused they had a job to do.

 

They survayed the farm it had indeed been razed to the ground. She was sure the family was probably in the husk of the house, she could go and look but it would do no good. It would give her nightmeares and the men of the village nothing to do. They were swarming over the reckage, while she sat and watched from the back of her horse. Rekinu dismounted and looked around himself she wasn't sure what he was looking for but she left him too it. She had offered to dismount and help with the work, oddly Rekinu had given her a slight shake of his head and she had stayed on her horse instead. Men came and spoke to her about what was going on. After awhile Rekinu came to her side and remounted and nodded off toward the other side of the farm.

 

"They came from there." He told her, "they left the same way." She nodded and addressed the nearest man to her. "Rekinu and I are leaving you now we will find the men who did this." If anyone wondered why she didn't just say "my warder" instead of using his name all the time no one mentioned it too her. She motioned to Rekinu to move and they rode off, she let him take the lead while she kept watch for trouble. Nothing happened for awhile until he stopped and nodded up toward the rockier part of some hills they had come too. She glanced around and smiled, not one of her sweet smiles one of her, "i'm going to do something that will impress you." She rode forward and motioned Rekinu to stay where he was. He wasn't happy about it but she made it to the foot of the hill and looked up. Nothing moved for a moment and then she embraced the power and helped the rocks to start sliding down from the top of the hill. Cries went up and the senteries started moving not fast enough Taia used earth to build up a wall of earth in front of her so she wouldn't be hurt but the others would not be so lucky. She waited for the slide to end, she turned and motioned for Rekinu to move on. He glanced at her and shook his head. She smiled it was as though he was telling her to stop showing off. They moved on up the ruined hillside just before they made it to the top Taia had them dismount and continue on foot. At the top saw what they had been looking for. The camp was suprisingly orderly for a group of bandits. They had set themselves up in a protected valley between the hills, if she hadn't been Aes Sedai it would be perfect. She could however, destroy the camp rather quickly where it was. She glanced at Rekinu "Mercy or no mercy for them?" He was holding the hilt of one of his swords and she took that to mean none. She pointed to a path. "go on down there I will watch from here, You'll have a distraction bring back the leader alive if you can I would like to question him some." She sent him off and went to work providing a distraction.

 

She used fire to start things off, and then earth and then a combination of both. She wasn't as good with water and air but when a man was sneaking up on Rekinu she used boil on him. It was faster then anything else. When the man fell she turned her attention to other things. It was a suprisingly quicker fight then she would have thought. Rekinu did his job well, when he couldn't kill with stealth he did it head on. She kept others away from his back, so he could do his job. At the same time she was causing chaos around the other part of the camp. When it was all over she watched Rekinu bring back the man who presumably was the leader. Taia eyed him and then glanced at the sky it was getting dark now and it would take them the till later to get back to the village to deliver the man to justice. They would have to risk it, she wanted to get back to the inn and then leave the town. They had been here long enough, she wondered if they could hope to find any of the bandits horses if not the ride would take longer. She shrugged it would take as long as it would. They returned to the horses and tied the man to the saddle of Rekinu's horse they set out.

 

Sometime later the moon came out and made it easier to see where they were going, and luckly they found a horse wandering around. The man was put on that, Taia held him with air in place, they returned to the village well past the midnight hour. The innkeeper was still awake and some men kept to the common room when Taia entered with the man the mayor was sent for and the night passed in a blur. It was decided justice would be delived the next night. Taia wanted to sleep and when she woke up she started. Somewhere in the night Rekinu had come to her room and was watching her sleep. She wasn't sure how long he had been there but she yawned and he pushed a tray at her. She smiled, and looked him over. "Are you hurt?" He shook his head, she wondered as she ate if that was true or if he's already seen Kayla and so wasn't going to complain. She didn't pursue it. She yawned again and then asked.

 

"Are you ready to return home, ready to get back to your training so you can be ready to accept my bond?" She smiled when she said it but he started and she laughed "Don't worry you are safe I would not do it now, no matter how much I would like too. There are other things you need to know about being the warder to an Aes Sedai especially a Green sister. We aren't all smiles and flirting. There are other things to know too, I would have to bond you before you knew them all. Although if you want to ask me anything now you may, we still have some time before they dispense justice and we can leave." She smiled at him and took another bite of bread.

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As they looked over the farm, when they first arrived, devastated would not suffice. The farm looked like it had been quite large, at one time, but now it was mostly a smoldering ruin, except for the main building. The bandits had left it alone.

 

Rekinu dismounted. and joined the search, looking for any clues. He wandered all over the place observing things about tracks, what animals had been slaughtered, and what had been taken. He talked with a couple of the villagers about what the farm usually contained, though there were only basic information to be had. He had glanced into the main building only to confirm his fears that the remains of the family were there. He did not know them, but the sight of such blatant disreguard of life made him sick. When he passed Taia, moved to join in looking around, and he shook his head in the negative. She did nor need to see that. No one needed to see that, but least of all a woman.

 

After one last pass, he mounted his horse, and nodded in the direction that they needed to go. He was unsure how many there had been, but they numbered more than 40. The poor family had not had a chance. Taia, trusting him, turned to the man in charge of the villagers. "Rekinu and I are leaving you now we will find the men who did this." She lifted her hand, and Rekinu took it as a 'move out' signal, so he spurred his horse forward to take the lead. He had been completely serious when he had told Taia that he would be there to ensure that she didn't get hurt.

 

As they moved, Rekinu did his best to push his thoughts and perceptions in front of them, and after a while, it started feeling more like normal rather than something that he had to strain himself to do. That was good. His training was starting to take effect. Taia was quiet again, so Rekinu kept his thoughts to himself. He glanced at her only twice, to not miss anything, and she had that far-away- look that she got sometimes.

 

All of a sudden, he sensed rather than saw the sentries, and one of them had smoked a cigar earlier that day, leaving its stench in the small pocket that they found themselves. It did protect from the wind, but that foul smell stayed in it as well. This was a dead give away, and Rekinu had them stop. After a couple of minutes he spotted the faint red glow from one of them smoking his foul stuff.

 

After pointing it out to Taia, and she smiled a grim, almost excited smile. She felt like he did about the waste of life, and uselessness of the reasoning behind what was happening because of these bandits. She observed for a minute the hill side, seeming to look under the surface, and then motioned him back. He did so unhappily, and then observed. She brought up a wall of earth before them as she caused rocks to slide down the slope. He could hear the sentries curse as they tried to figure out what was going on, and then yells as the rocks did the damage they were intended to do. After it was done, Taia motioned to him to move forward, and he did so, shaking his head slightly. He was always amazed at the things that Aes Sedai could do, and sometimes had a fleeting wish that he could experience it himself. Of course, if that were the case he would not be permitted to train with the Tower Guard, so it was for the best. He felt at home in Tar Valon, much more so than he had for years before arriving.

 

As they arrived at the top, they dismounted, and left their horses tied to a tree to keep them from running off. When they arrived to where they could see into the camp, they were surprised at the order. He had not seen many bandits, but Taia informed him that most camps were much more haphazard, and disorganized than this one, unless it was run by a military band. She also muttered about how she could destroy the whole thing all at once if she wanted to. He kept silent, though he agreed with the sentiment. Finally, she turned to him, and she ask "Mercy or no mercy for them?" He thought about it for a minute or two, and then gripped the dagger at his waist. His face grew hard when he thought of the family murdered over not being able to pay extortion money, and knew that these people must face the same consequences that they served themselves.

 

She pointed to the path that would take him right to the camp, and said "go on down. I will watch from here, You'll have a distraction, use it to find the leader, and bring him back alive if you can. I would like to question him some." He felt uneasy about leaving her there by herself, but he knew that it would be better for her to stay where she would have a great vantage point than if she were to come down with him. Still a little unhappy about it, he moved out, and down.

 

He made his way down the mountain side, and arrived at the outskirts of the camp. They must be sure that their sentries were very good, because they did not have a secondary set like Rekinu would have had he been the leader. He stored that thoughts, and most others as a huge fireball blew up on the other side of the camp. Leaving his sword sheathed as it might draw attention, he drew his long knife with his left hand, and tossed it to his right. "Keep myself hidden.. that is key." As he made his way through the camp, he hid from people as they went rushing around, as he listened to their words. A couple of times he caught people in tents, and killed them before they were able to get their weapons bared. Once he got caught by someone who tried to sneak up behind HIM, and he whirled when he heard a funny noise behind him. The man was dying, and Rekinu knew that it was Taia. It aggrivated him for two reasons. One, he should have KNOWN that the person was there. There was no excuse to not knowing. and two, Taia was busy enough and she didn't need to waste her time keeping an eye on him. He needed to train better... but that anger stayed with him. The next time he came across one of the men running around trying to figure out what was going on, they were both suprised as they came around a corner. Acting quickly, and funneling his anger, he threw himself on the surprised opponent, and Rekinu slammed his hand into his head, breaking his nose, and killing him in one hit. He shook his left hand. That had been surprisingly easier than he had been led to believe in his training. Irregardless, mere minutes later, he found the leader. He must have realized it at the same time that Taia did, because she caused the ground to shake, and and used the confusion to bury a couple of the men nearby. Rekinu stuck like a rattles at the leader from behind. His hand hit the pressure point, and the man slumped towards the ground. Rekinu used the motion to sling the man over his right shoulder, passing his blade to his left hand. He knew that Taia was watching him from above, and sure enough, he could see her clearing his way out of the camp. He ran at full speed, knowing when he left the camp that anyone left inside were going to be experiencing hell in a matter of minutes. When he got back to the top of the ridge, he was very tired. The man must be close to 250 pounds, more his own weight, and it was not all muscle. Taia allowed him to rest for a moment as she surveyed the remnants of the camp, doing things to finish up, and then she motioned for them to go. Rekinu picked the man up, and dragged him down to the horses. He was starting to wake, and so Taia tied the bandit to his horse. Rekinu led the way, heading back to the town.

 

It was getting dark, and Rekinu went at a fast trot. The moon was not out, but this portion of the trail had been beaten smooth by the passage of the bandits over the months that they had stayed there at that camp.

 

When the moon rose, Rekinu picked up the pace. He did not want to be traveling all night long, and Taia was safely on a horse. After an hour or so, they came upon a horse, that was grazing a couple of yards for where they were walking. Rekinu approached it, and found that it had a frayed rope that had once secured it, and it was slicked in sweat. It must be from the bandits. he told Taia, as he led it back to where she stood. She untied the man on Rekinu's horse, and he let out a spewage of such filth, that Rekinu hit his pressure spot again, causing him to go blessedly silent yet again. They positioned him on the new horse, and Taia re-tied him into place, and Rekinu gratefully got back up on his horse, to finish the trip to the town. Even with the horses for the majority of the trip, it was well past midnight when the got to the Inn.

 

When they walked in, with the bandit leader in tow, glowering for all he was worth, one of the patrons ran to get the mayor. Things went crazy from there. The patron must have told others, because people started streaming in, to ogle at the prisoner. Hours later, Rekinu convinced Taia, who was looking exhausted, to go to bed, and he stuck himself up against a wall, observing everything that was going on. She would want a complete report he was sure, when she woke up. He eventually went and took a nap himself, but Kayla woke him up early to look at him. She muttered about the new bruises on his left hand, but said nothing else, and leaving quickly. After she had gone, he decided to eat. The common room was still bursting with people, and he almost had to push to make his way to the kitchen, and snagged some breakfast from the cook, enough for two. He made his way slowly to the stairs, and was only stopped by the mayor as he went to go up them.

 

"Do we need to be worried about the rest of the bandits?" he asked him. Rekinu thought about it for a minute, and the responded "no, I do not think enough survived to do much. The most they could do is thieve, but you know now where their camp is, go and see for yourself."

 

Excusing himself, he went up the stairs, and entered Taia's room, setting the tray down. He picked the chair up, and set it next to the door, and sat down to wait. His mind was in a jumble. He was prepared to die for Aes Sedai in general, but was he really willing to tie himself so irrevocably to someone? The thought made him slightly uneasy. The last true connection that he had felt with someone was with his mother, more than 10 years ago. Since then, he had made a few friends, but none of them lasted very long, except with Torvus, but he was another story all together! His thoughts sobered quickly. Taia. He started to ask himself a few questions, Would he be willing to give his life for hers? Yes came the answer, fast enough that it surprised him. The next question was a little harder, what do you think of Taia as a woman? At first, he wondered at what he meant by that question before realizing that if he became bonded to her, he would be with her more often than not, and he needed to like her as a person. As he thought of that, he realized that though sometimes she had him more confused than a dog chasing its own tail, he enjoyed his time with her, and he felt that she did too. That is the basis of a good friendship, right? Concluding his thoughts, he was content. His mind was made up, and that made him feel at peace. He hoped that the question would come up, as there was much to discuss. He had not talked with any of the guards about how it was to be bonded, and it was only mentioned in passing that they would receive something as part of the bond as well as the Aes Sedai that they would be bonded to.

 

When Taia woke up, she glanced at him before standing up, pushing the tray to her, he nodded at it. The food was still slightly warm, and Rekinu started eating as well. Taia looked at him, and asked "Are you hurt?" He shook his head. His mouth was full, and he had received no lasting injuries. He thought that he might have pulled a muscle in his leg, but it had gone unnoticed by anyone yet, so he wasn't worried about it.

 

After she took a bite, she continued, "Are you ready to return home, ready to get back to your training so you can be ready to accept my bond?" He started. Did she know his thoughts? "Don't worry you are safe I would not do it now, no matter how much I would like too. There are other things you need to know about being the warder to an Aes Sedai especially a Green sister. We aren't all smiles and flirting. There are other things to know too, I would have to bond you before you knew them all. Although if you want to ask me anything now you may, we still have some time before they dispense justice and we can leave." She smiled at him and took another bite of bread.

 

He decided to think for a minute before answering so he chewed his food slowly while he thought. He took a swig of milk before beginning "I am not yet ready to return to the White Tower, though just like you said it I am far from a seasoned veteran. Yesterday was proof of that." He thought about that for a bit before going on, "What kind of things do you need to know about the Aes Sedai/Warder bond? I mean, we have been told that there is something there, but I do not recall being taught exactly what that is. The only part I know is that a warder shares a... connection to his Aes Sedai, and can sometimes sense her feelings?" He shrugged. "To be honest, I didn't pay too much attention to those lessons, as I was trying to focus on my sword training, or bow training. What is there different about being bonded to a Green rather than say, a Yellow? All Aes Sedai are sword to protect, and to work for the better good of all people, though each has a slightly different... calling in how to do that. The Green... they are the Battle Ajah, right?" He furrowed his eyes as he thought, trying to remember, and then he continued with his last question, "You mentioned having a warder before, and I do not need to know the specifics about them, but what kind of things do a Warder need to know to be the.. best warder possible?"

 

 

 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

They stayed in her room, talking about many things, and by the time they left, it was past noon. The whole town was bizzing with energy. People were excited about the prisoner, and giddy with laughter. Rekinu and Taia went for a small walk, and almost everywhere people thanked them, and showered them with praise. These people now had hope, which was now fanned. Before, they were opressed, even if they didn't know it, and they were excited to not have to worry about the farmers all moving away. In fact, one old woman caused them to stop, to kiss Rekinu on the cheek. He blushed as she explained that her nephew's family was one of the ones that had left their farm to hide in the city. He had left that morning to return to his farm and pick up where he had left off. They mayor had decreed that the town was going to assist each farmer that returned to their farm with a months worth of food, and four days help from the men in the village so that they would lose as little of the years harvest as possible. Rekinu was glad that things were looking up for the people of this sleepy little town.

 

They returned to the Inn that night, to be witnesses in the trial/execution of the bandit leader, and the place was packed to the rafters with people there to experience the whole thing. They made their way to the Mayor, with Rekinu leading to push their way though, though most made room without being asked. People were clapping him on the back, and thanking Taia again. They arrived to a couple of tables left, one for the prisioner to stand on, looking sullen, and one for the mayor to stand on. He held his hands up, trying to calm the people down.

 

"Please, please!" He shouted, "Quiet down!" He waited for them to be mostly quiet before he began.

 

 

Rekinu Alasayaar,

not looking forward to the trial

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"What kind of things do you need to know about the Aes Sedai/Warder bond? I mean, we have been told that there is something there, but I do not recall being taught exactly what that is. The only part I know is that a warder shares a... connection to his Aes Sedai, and can sometimes sense her feelings?" He shrugged. "To be honest, I didn't pay too much attention to those lessons, as I was trying to focus on my sword training, or bow training. What is there different about being bonded to a Green rather than say, a Yellow? All Aes Sedai are sword to protect, and to work for the better good of all people, though each has a slightly different... calling in how to do that. The Green... they are the Battle Ajah, right?" He furrowed his eyes as he thought, trying to remember, and then he continued with his last question, "You mentioned having a warder before, and I do not need to know the specifics about them, but what kind of things do a Warder need to know to be the.. best warder possible?"

 

Taia laughed behind her hand, as she tried to keep up with Rekinu's questions. He might have been a good warder for a Brown sister as well. Lucky for him Taia could pass for a Brown when she wanted too, she could as a White too. Both Ajahs had hoped that she would pick them. She had been able to tell by there visits shortly before she had been called to the room under the Tower to test for the last time. Her good mood vanished at that, and she shuddered remembering the first time she had been there. The Accepted test was forever imprinted on her mind, the Aes Sedai test was almost easy in comparison. Rekinu looked at her curiously she said. "Sorry I was remembering something unpleasant." She paused and then drank some water and said "You ask a lot of questions, it would take me a long time to answer the questions in full. However, you do deserve an answer to at least some of it." She settled into her chair and said. "Yes the Green Ajah is the battle Ajah we are holding ourselves ready for the Last battle. I will fight next to the Dragon himself if I can, it would be an honor to die saving the world from the darkone." Rekinu stiffened and she patted his arm. "Don't worry I won't let myself die easily. You've watched me fight I do not give up easily." She gave him a smile and continued "The difference between the Ajahs is considerable. Brown Warders spend little time outside the tower, usually they spend there time with there sisters holding there books or notes or both. The Browns are more interested in learning then almost anything else. I do not think you would enjoy being bonded to one of those. White sisters rarely bond, when they do it surprises me. The White Ajah is fully occupied with logic and they spend little time or attention on there warders or even forming any social relationship with anyone outside there Ajah." She shrugged "The Red I would stay away from, up til recently they weren't bonding anyone. We think they have started now, but they have a goal to still any man who can channel so I don't think you would enjoy the attentions of such women. The Greens like men and enjoy the company of everyone, bonding one of the Green Ajah is an experience." She laughed "you will find out all about it when you are bonded to me." She changed the subject.

 

"I suppose you should know at least a little about my former warders. I had two, they were Edvar, and Aekold, they both came from the Borderlands. They were both good for me. I didn't love either of them, but we had a working understanding. If they needed anything they were to come to me. The nights could be fun." Rekinu blushed and Taia laughed. "they died some years ago, I guess we should have a talk about what happens when a bond is broken, but later. I could talk a lot more but I have some questions for you."

 

After awhile the two talked about many other things, Taia couldn't tell Rekinu about everything he asked because it would take too long. They had busniess around the town and sometime later Taia and Rekinu ventured out. There was a new stillness about Reki as though he was trying to be more "warder like" or what he thought they should be like. Taia tried to hide a smile, he had an uncanny ability to make her smile it was almost disturbing. She did smile when the woman came and kissed his cheeks. She accepted the thanks with nods and many tried to give her gifts, she declined all of them though and they moved around the town and then back toward the inn where the justice was to be carried out. Taia didn't think the leader had any hope of being alive by the end of the night. She and Rekinu came to the inn and she was given a place of honor with Rekinu next to her. She watched the room there were loud exclamations from nearly everyone the Mayor was trying to get everyone's attention.

 

"Please, please!" He shouted, "Quiet down!" He waited for them to be mostly quiet before he began. Taia helped him out some by amplifying his voice. He didn't notice and continued talking. "This man was brought back here to face our justice, we know he was the leader of the band who destroyed our friends farm and beat there daughter." The room erupted in cries and yelling for the death of the leader, who continued to look sullen and almost annoyed. Taia showed nothing, but she could feel Rekinu stiffen even more then he already had been. He hadn't seen the girl or he might want to kill the man himself and Taia couldn't let him do that. She touched his arm quickly and Rekinu relaxed a little. The mayor was continuing he asked the leader if he had anything to say. The leader looked around defiantly and said nothing, he would probably go to his death with a defiant look on his face. In the end people like him only had there pride and they would keep it till the end. Taia waited throughout the closing remarks and then the mayor looked at her and Rekinu. "Aes Sedai would you and your warder come with us to see the justice is done." Taia nodded her head, if they had been on there own she would have asked Rekinu if he even wanted to go and see this but they weren't so she spoke for him. The mayor told everyone to leave the inn and return to there homes, he added that the Aes Sedai and her warder would ensure that the job was done. Taia hoped that the mayor wasn't thinking she would kill the man, her oaths prevented her from using the one power in such a way. Rekinu could do it but she wouldn't make him if he didn't want too.

 

After the inn's common room had been cleared Taia was suprised to see Kayla appear she was holding a cup of something and the Mayor asked the man to drink it down. He refused at first and Kayla explained he wouldn't feel any pain the poisen put him to sleep and he died that way. Taia said, "That is a nicer way to die then what you did in the farm you should be greatful." He spat at her and Rekinu pulled his sword smoothly, and Taia stopped him. "No Rekinu don't, killing him isn't your job." She turned to the mayor "I will hold him in place and you can force him to drink it if you like." The man growled something she couldn't hear but rekinu apparently did as he again made a move toward the man. Taia stopped him a second time and the mayor nodded "Do what you can Aes Sedai." She nodded and tied the man up in air execpt for his head. Kayla stepped up and forced the drink down his throat. After awhile the man sagged and then Taia let him go to the floor slowly. Kayla waited for awhile then checked the man's pulse. "He's dead." She announced the mayor nodded and went to find someone to bury the man. Taia turned to Rekinu. "We should go to bed we need to leave in the morning."

 

Taia had a hard time sleeping she didn't like watching death at least not when it wasn't in battle, and even then she sometimes didn't care for it. The man wasn't innocent but he still had been defenseless. When she did get to sleep it was fitful, she woke up again to Rekinu sitting next to her. He told her that everything was ready for there departure. She yawned and nodded, she wished she could crawl back into bed and not wake up again for awhile. She sent Rekinu away and got ready to go, she came downstairs and paid the innkeeper and then went out to the inn yard. The horses were already to go and Rekinu was already mounted and waiting. She mounted up and they left the village. It had been interesting for Taia to say the least. The long trek back to the White Tower could be interesting too.

 

Taia didn't like to travel in silence and so after the morning had passed to afternoon she asked Rekinu to talk to her. "Tell me about your family? Your training, anything?"

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  • 3 weeks later...

After the execution, Rekinu was restless. He was however VERY glad to have it over with. For him, killing a man in heated battle was one thing, but as terrible as it might be, watching that same man's life almost twitch away helplessly due to poison was another. That would be a terrible way to go he decided rather quickly. After thinking about it this man was worthy of such a helpless death due to the comments that this particular man had said about Taia. Rekinu would NOT repeat them, but they were vile. Add the things that he had been doing to so many other innocent people, it was too good of a way for him to die.

 

Rekinu slept lightly. He was slightly bothered by the evening activity, yet still felt at peace to have made a difference in these people's lives. Yesterday had been an exhilarating day. The only other time that he had felt close to that was when he had assisted in saving some people's homes in a fire that had interrupted some training that they had done in Tar Valon.

 

When he woke, it was still quite dark. He quickly gathered his things, saddled their horses, and went to Taia's room. She was still asleep, so he gathered her things up, excluding her clothing. According to the stories some of the other Tower Guard told, women were very particular about their clothing, and they had many things that no man would ever understand... stick of some sort that they would apply to their faces. Rekinu doubted the existence of such an item. Well, better safe than sorry he mused to himself. In a short while, Taia woke, and Rekinu reported that everything was ready to go. She sent him away, and he went down to the main hall to grab some food now that the cook was up. Afterwards, he procured food for their traveling, and then went back to their horses, to await her.

 

As they were leaving, Taia was quiet. Taia seems to be in her thoughts, so I'll, I'll think of something to think of thought Rekinu. However, after an hour of little luck, he gave up. So, he settled into listening to the world around them as they traveled. After some time, Taia surprised him by asking a question. "Tell me about your family? Your training, anything?"

 

He was a little taken back, but since she asked, and he was feeling much more secure about trusting her, he decided to lay it all out there. "Hmm. The better question is where to start. Well, if you remember, a couple of years ago we talked a little, and I told you a small bit of my life, but there really isn't a whole lot to tell, and it is about as interesting as watching a wool headed lummox make yet another stupid decision, but since you asked, I will tell. My father was a son of a noble in Shol Arbela, and he... ermm... well, ahhh..." he cleared his throat, looking away "he spent a night... or perhaps several... with a serving woman in his favorite tavern. She became with child with me, and that shamed him. He began to volunteer for every campaign against the Trollocs, and it was only a matter of time until he died." Rekinu shrugged, the feelings were still a bit raw, despite him having not known his father the man's inability to fess up to the responsibilities to his child made him feel confused, angry, and depressed all in one. "As I am sure you know all Arafallins have honor, yet my father denied me even that by refusing to acknowledge me. I was seven when he died. His father, refused to honor me either to honor his son's wishes. However, he sent one of my father's swords to my mother, for her to give to me after the mourning period had passed" He drew his largest blade, his hand and a half sword that was on the longer side. When he had first met Taia, it had taken much of his control to wield it in a single sword form with two hands, and yet now, he could use it with ease. Odd about what the passage of a few years could do. He showed her the scarred hilt where the family crest was all but burned out of existence. "It is marked with shame. Yet, I have sworn an oath on this blade that I will regain the honor my father has denied me."

 

He re-sheathed his weapon, pausing in his narrative, lost in thought for almost a half hour. Thankfully Taia kept silent, allowing him to gather his thoughts and organize his feelings. After he felt he was ready, he continued. "A few years later, during a drought, my mother became ill, and died as well. For some years I begged on the streets, sleeping where I could. A baker took pity on me, and let me run errands for him in exchange of bread, it was around that time that I saw my first Aes Sedai. I was very small for my age, and was the... object of sport among other such homeless urchins. In a situation like that, being occupied with staying away from the current 'hunters' is paramount. Anyway, I was more worried about running from those behind me when I ran into her." He smiled at the thought. "I wonder why she did not snap at me, but she bent down to help me up from the paving-stones, and offered me some bread with a warm smile. Ha, it is a wonder she did not tie me up, or give me a sound spanking, but she set into motion my being here. Sadly, I do not remember anything about her today, all the details that a 13 or 14-year-old would have noticed are now gone. That same year I taught myself how to track and hunt, with lots of help from other locals. One day I had the opportunity to join a merchant train as a guard in training, and I took it. After a couple of years, our travels took us past Tar Valon, and one of the guards, knowing my promise to serve others and desire regain my honor suggested that I join the Tower Guard. I believe his wording was that 'If someone wants to make a difference, that would be the place to be able to do it.' So far, he has been right. Yesterday, with the people thanking us for helping them..." He blushed again thinking of the woman who had given him a kiss as he continued "I felt like I am in the right place, and that with time, I might be able to gain honor of my own. That encouragement and my remembrances of the Aes Sedai made up my mind about what I was going to do with my life."

 

After that, he continued, talking about the training he had received in the Bow, Sword, and mace; disliking blunt weapons except the staff. He spoke of his goals, of training with one of the masters of the staff, as he had yet to be officially trained with it. Oh, he could twirl it very fast, and move it in some pretty cool ways, but surely fighting with it would be different.

 

after a time, he trailed off, and looked kind of sheepishly to Taia. "I kind of rambled there... ha. Do you have any questions?"

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Taia was glad when Reki started talking, it was about his past she was startled that he would start there but she listened as he talked. He had not known his father not really and then the sword had come. What must that have been like for a child? He showed her the sword and said

 

"It is marked with shame. Yet, I have sworn an oath on this blade that I will regain the honor my father has denied me." She stared at it for awhile, someday he would realize honor was more then acknowledgement of a past or the present. Honor was whatever anyone made of it. Maybe she had as odd ideas about honor as his people. It would have made her smile to think that if she wasn't being watched by Reki as he rode. He was probably waiting for her to say something or give him some kind of other reaction. She would have said "you will regain your honor someday." If she thought it would help, however she didn't think it would. He had to figure things out on his own, and someday he would see all the qualities he had which made him an honorable person. She left him to his thoughts as he left her to hers.

 

After awhile he continued talking, she liked this side of him, talking to her and not worrying about her status as an Aes Sedai. When he was her warder she hoped he would continue to do this and become more at ease with her. She learned about his reasons for joining the tower gaurd and she could well imagine one of her sisters helping him as a boy. She could imagine most of the yellows helping as well, the yellows were healers and it would not do to cause pain. Her sisters well they just liked helping people out especially if the boy was cute. She did smile at the thought, yes she could see her sisters helping out. She did wonder now who had helped him. Her expression turned thoughtful and she missed a few sentences of Reki's narrative. She wondered if the sister who had helped him was still in the tower? If she was would she try and come back for Reki? He had turned into a handsome man and his skill with weapons was improving in a short amount of time, he would be a good warder for anyone. Reki was giving her an odd look and she realized her expression had turned fierce, she tried to smooth her expression but she wasn't sure how successful she was. If this other Aes Sedai returned to the tower she couldn't have Reki he was HERS! Taia would not share him with anyone. Reki interrupted her thoughts then asking if she had any questions.

 

She smiled over at him. "Not at the moment. You have told me a good deal about yourself thank you. I am surprised you want to learn how to use a staff I know those from Arafell are mostly swordsmen." Edvar had been from Arafel he had used both swords Aekold had been from Shienar both had been excellent swordsmen. Although Edvar had been a little slower with his two then Aekold had with his one. Duel swords seemed to cause a few problems. She didn't know too much about it as weapons were not as interesting to her as using the one power. She said "Look for somewhere to camp we will need to stop soon." She left him to his thoughts and her to hers. She had to tell Reki the pitfalls of a bond and what it would mean for him would he accept her. She glanced at him again and wondered if he would accept her now? She wouldn't have any other option then to ask and she would after they talked about the dangers of it. This was not a conversation that she would relish but it had to be done. It could wait till they stopped though.

 

When they found a camp site Taia waited till the camp had been prepared, her wards were set, dinner was done, and it was getting on with the night. Taia spoke then. "You asked me sometime ago what a bond was like. I should answer your question, and I will now." She looked across the fire at him seriously. "A bond is not to be taken lightly Rekinu Alasayaar" She said using a more formal address. "It will give you the ability to go longer without rest then other people, it will give you the ability to sense creatures of the dark one when they are near. Both things are very good in helping you protect your chosen Aes Sedai but," She took a breath to bring up what happened later after one of the bondeds died. "when the bond is broken in death it is unpleasant." She paused and shook her head. "No that is the wrong word it is horrible. I have already endured it twice and horrible is a better word." She sighed she hated talking about this but she continued. "When a sister dies and her warder is left alive he usually seeks death the pain of losing your Aes Sedai is too much for most. When a warder dies the sister usually grieves for a long time. If you have a wish to see a woman cry for long periods of time you only have to look for a sister who has recently lost her warder." She shuddered remembering her time of pain with that.

 

"It can be worse a sister could compel you to do what she wishes with the bond. Most Aes Sedai do not tell there warders this, but I believe you should know it is possible. You would have little say in the matter if you picked a sister who was more interested in your obedience then anything else." She took another breath and said "To answer a question you asked awhile ago about being bonded to a Green it is not easy. The Greens are the battle Ajah you could die protecting your sister at any time. We cannot channel to kill unless it is in defense of our life or that of our warder, so we are sometimes considered reckless as we rush into battle. It might be prudent for you to think of that before agreeing to serve." She knew he had already said he would serve the tower and her in particular but she continued as though he hadn't. He looked a little surprised by her telling him all this.

 

"You would have to meet the Ajah head of the Greens she would take your measure if you were found wanting your bond might be transferred to another sister in a different Ajah." Mentally Taia knew she would never allow that. Rekinu was hers till the day he died unless he denied her when she asked him the question she had to ask. "So," she said as she stood up and walked to his side and sat next to him. "Would you Rekinu Alasayaar consent to allowing me to bond you now here and protect me till such time as one of us dies?" She was very formal about it, but she prayed he would say yes. She could tell he was thinking over everything she had said. "If you would like some time to think or ask a question you have it. However, not to long please." She stood again and walked toward her horse she would leave him for awhile to think.

Edited by Rasheta Ardashir
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When she answered, she smiled over at him. "Not at the moment. You have told me a good deal about yourself thank you. I am surprised you want to learn how to use a staff I know those from Arafell are mostly swordsmen." After pausing, he could tell she was deep in thought, she said "Look for somewhere to camp we will need to stop soon."

 

She was silent then, and he did his job. He scanned the area, for another hour or so before he found one that he liked. There was a large rock to the side of the trail, and they would be able to be snug up against it, allowing for one side to be protected from any attack. When they got there, Rekinu silently helped her down from her horse, before caring for them first. He took off the saddles, rubbing the horses down quickly, before moving on to the fire. From his classes he knew what kind of kindling to make a fire that would have no smoke for the remaining light that there was. As he set up her tent, Taia walked the perimeter, Rekinu assumed that she was setting wards. Wielding a power such as what she did was a bit different to think of. He had seem the One Power used often enough, but he always wondered about what they felt, how it truly worked. He loved learning about the world around him... perhaps some day he would have to ask her. It always seemed too personal of a question to ask just any Aes Sedai.

 

As the night got closer, shortly after dinner was finished, Taia spoke up again. She was sitting across the fire from him, and she pierced him with her eyes as she spoke. "You asked me sometime ago what a bond was like. I should answer your question, and I will now." She looked across the fire at him seriously. "A bond is not to be taken lightly Rekinu Alasayaar" He started at that a little, as far as he could remember, she had not used his full name before. He wasn't even sure that she even knew it! She continued; "It will give you the ability to go longer without rest then other people, it will give you the ability to sense creatures of the dark one when they are near. Both things are very good in helping you protect your chosen Aes Sedai but," She paused again, she seemed to not like the direction that the conversation was going, but she pushed on. "When the bond is broken in death it is unpleasant." She hesitated again,and shook her head. "No that is the wrong word it is horrible. I have already endured it twice and horrible is a better word." She sighed, a deep sigh, full of emotion. "When a sister dies and her warder is left alive, he usually seeks death. The pain of losing your Aes Sedai is too much for most. When a warder dies, the sister usually grieves for a long time. If you have a wish to see a woman cry for long periods of time you only have to look for a sister who has recently lost her warder." She shuddered again, and Rekinu felt bad about her talking about these memories.

 

She continued, putting the hard part of the conversation behind her. "It can be worse. A sister could compel you to do what she wishes with the bond. Most Aes Sedai do not tell there warders this, but I believe you should know it is possible. You would have little say in the matter if you picked a sister who was more interested in your obedience then anything else. To answer a question you asked awhile ago about being bonded to a Green it is not easy. The Greens are the battle Ajah you could die protecting your sister at any time. We cannot channel to kill unless it is in defense of our life or that of our warder, so we are sometimes considered reckless as we rush into battle. It might be prudent for you to think of that before agreeing to serve." It was all a little fast. Usually Rekinu liked to think about things before going on to the next thought, but she just pressed onward, leaving him in a whirl. He soaked it all up though, so that he would be able to think about it later, and dissect it to better understand all the angles.

 

"You would have to meet the Ajah head of the Greens she would take your measure if you were found wanting your bond might be transferred to another sister in a different Ajah. So," Transferred? They could do that? His thoughts were a jumble. What would he do if that were to happen? He gritted his teeth a little, no, he would not let that happen. She stood up and walked to his side, sitting next to him. "Would you Rekinu Alasayaar consent to allowing me to bond you now here and protect me till such time as one of us dies? If you would like some time to think or ask a question you have it. However, not to long please." She stood again and walked toward her horse.

 

His mind was in a whirlwind. He had not expected an invitation to bond so soon. The few minutes she was gone gave him the time that he desperately needed to work through his thoughts. He pulled out the figurine that he had started doing the last time he was with Taia when they were hunting Darkfriends. He turned it in his hands absentmindedly, as his thoughts ran. By this time, it was very detailed. He had worked out the face, while it might not be master work, it was still good... or he thought so at least. Where to start... well. The bond itself was a perfect place to start. He was not against the idea of being bonded, but he was worried about what it was like to feel someone else in his head. The perks were definitively important, the one that gave him the ability to sense shadow spawn would have been useful just three weeks ago! He frowned, deep in thought. Breaking of the bond seemed to be a pretty serious thing. But that made sense. If Taia died now, he would die avenging her, Bond or no Bond. She was his friend, as much as, if not more so than any of the trainees, Torvus included. There were only two questions that he could think of that needed to be answered.

 

"What is in your hand?" Rekinu nearly jumped. His heart pounded so much that he was sure that Taia could hear it as well! He felt a little ashamed. He had been so deep in thought that he had not paid attention to Taia aproaching. She had sat down beside him, and seen the figure in his hands. He hesitated, not wanting to show off, but if they were considering being bonded, there would be no secrets from his end. She looked over it for a moment, before he spoke up. "I always like working with wood. I just love the way it can come to life some times. That there," he nodded to the statue "is my third or fourth try."

 

He looked at the fire, letting her examine it in its light. He took in a huge breath, before mentioning the first question that truly bothered him.

 

"You mentioned that you can compel a warder... err... that it can be done anyways. Could a darkfriend Aes Sedai, no do not look at me like that, even I know that evil people can be found as easily within royalty as well as within the impoverished. Could a darkfriend Aes Sedai compel a warder to do evil?" Taia clearly had much to say about the subject, but she responded with a clear and simple "No. They can push you a little, but they cannot FORCE you to become who you are not."

 

"Hmmm. That makes sense." Rekinu said. The hard question was over, and he went on to the other one. "You... mentioned having someone in your mind the other day... what is that like? I mean, them being able to know what you are feeling." She thought about that one for a time, before answering. "You are able to share their thoughts, but you can... close yourself off for some privacy whenever you want. Other than that, you just need to experience it to understand."

 

Now that the preliminary things were over, Rekinu was ready. They discussed many other things for almost an hour, and he was prepared. Or, at least he was as prepared as he was going to be! He stood up, and paced around the fire two times, coming to a stop before Taia. He was ready. He knelt down, placing his right fist over his heart, and looked directly into her eyes. It was the moment of truth, and he still had time to say no, until he actually did it. No, yes is the only answer that would make sense.

 

"Taia, I, Rekinu Alasayaar of Arafel, Tower Guard of the White Tower, would be willing, no, honored to be bonded to an Aes Sedai such as yourself. My life before yours, my blood before yours in every situation. I will stand beside you, and if we can fight together, that is all I ask. You say that the Green Ajah is all about being ready to be at Shayol Ghul, to fight at the Dragon's side, well if you are there, then that is where I belong as well. Together we can protect the weak, and spit in the Lord of the Grave's eye together. I will bond myself to you, mentally as well as physically, and be there for you until the moment I draw my last breath." He spoke with clarity. Never stumbling, never hesitating, he spoke with the true conviction that he felt in his heart and soul. There was only one time before in his life that he had spoken with such conviction. His Raising ceremony had elicited similar feelings, but this time, it felt more... right. Set the way that it is supposed to be.

 

 

Rekinu Alasayaar

Ready for change

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Taia went to her horse and petting him on the nose. He snorted at her and she whispered. "I guess we'll soon see if I am accepted or not." She usually relied on her beauty to get her the things she wanted, or to manipulate the people she needed to sway in her favor. She knew doing so now wouldn't really give her the desired effect. He might say yes, but then he would resent her later. She petted her horse for a moment longer and then turned around and went back to Reki. He was holding something in his hand, she couldn't really get a good look at it so she asked "What is in your hand?" He started in surprise and then handed her the wood work he had been creating. She looked it over it was good, it examined it in the light and noticed that it looked very much like her. She wondered how long he'd been working on it. He said this was his third or fourth try. She hadn't ever met a person who wanted to carve her, well she had met people who wanted to carve her up into pieces, but never to preserve her likeness into anything. He really was a remarkable person, so different from the people she had met before. So different then Edvar and Aekold. She would need to relearn her skill with the new warder. She was looking forward to it. He asked her a question then.

 

"You mentioned that you can compel a warder... err... that it can be done anyways. Could a darkfriend Aes Sedai, no do not look at me like that, even I know that evil people can be found as easily within royalty as well as within the impoverished. Could a darkfriend Aes Sedai compel a warder to do evil?" Taia heard the hesitation in his voice, he was worried she would try and compel him at some point. She couldn't lie to him or herself she might try it. She never had too because most of the time things were done her way, or, she admitted, her way for about two seconds till her warders told her a better way. He told her to stop looking at him like that and she smoothed her features. She hadn't realized she had looked at him with anything other then Aes Sedai serenity, but she answered him that it was not possible as he could not be compelled to be something he was not. Of course that didn't include the circle of 13 where he COULD be compelled to do whatever they wanted him to do. She could explain more on that later. He seemed to be lost in through again then he asked her one more question.

 

"You... mentioned having someone in your mind the other day... what is that like? I mean, them being able to know what you are feeling." Taia tried to remember everything about feeling Edvar and Aekold in her head. The playtime in the bedroom was the most fun, the feelings through the bond there were sometimes enough for well, she stopped thinking about that he probably didn't want to know all about THAT! His question was more for the everyday stuff, she didn't know how to describe the feeling of sharing headspace with another person. You just had to experience it. She answered with he would just have to find out. She waited as he thought some more. She waited as paitenly as she could before he knelt in front of her and said,

 

"Taia, I, Rekinu Alasayaar of Arafel, Tower Guard of the White Tower, would be willing, no, honored to be bonded to an Aes Sedai such as yourself. My life before yours, my blood before yours in every situation. I will stand beside you, and if we can fight together, that is all I ask. You say that the Green Ajah is all about being ready to be at Shayol Ghul, to fight at the Dragon's side, well if you are there, then that is where I belong as well. Together we can protect the weak, and spit in the Lord of the Grave's eye together. I will bond myself to you, mentally as well as physically, and be there for you until the moment I draw my last breath." She simply looked at him for a moment he was very sure she could tell by the look on his face. He really believed in the words he spoke and in her. She hoped she could live up to it. She reached out and put both hands on his face. She embraced the power and wove the various weaves, as she placed them on him she kissed him. It seemed to be the best way to settle the bond without too much discomfort. Although she thought the Greens were the only ones who did a bond this way. She could feel him in her head a second after her lips touched his, and she let herself enjoy the kiss for awhile. He didn't seem to mind either, she broke away after a few moments. He didn't need to learn about how a bond reacted to shared pleasure just now. He was still new to the bonding process and they were outside not the best place for that either.

 

Taia pulled away and said "Now you are my bonded Rekinu, when I leave the tower you will leave. If I call you will come to me from whatever you are doing." She paused and added smiling "If you call I may come to you as well. You'll just have to try it sometime." She winked at him he turned red she would have to break him of that habit. She had just kissed him and he had responded. She would enjoy teasing him for awhile, as it was they should probably sleep. Although she could tell he probably wouldn't. She mentioned it anyway and said she would leave him with his thoughts.

 

Over the next weeks as they traveled Rekinu got used to being in her head, he knew where she was all the time. She was able to tell landlords she was traveling with her warder without bending the truth, she enjoyed the travel. She had forgotten what it was like to have a companion. He was pleasent company as well. He worked on his forms throughout the trip and she knew he would still have to stay in the barracks rather then stay with her as he still had much to learn. Although, she looked at him maybe she would give him the choice. He WAS her warder now he could stay with her.

 

On the day Tar Valon and the White Tower came into view she wondered what he would chose to do. She spoke then "When we return to the tower you will have the choice to stay in my rooms in the Green Ajah or remain as you are in the barracks." She paused and added "I know you will need to continue your studies so whichever you chose is alright with me. I will send you the fancloth if you chose to remain in the barracks. It is yours by right now." She smiled she could actually picture him with the cloak it would make him very handsome, if a bit hard on the eyes for anyone looking to close. She let them keep riding while he made his choice.

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  • 3 weeks later...

He knelt there, looking up at Taia for a little bit as she studied his face. She had that bloody mask on again, making it impossible to know what she was feeling or thinking, but then she nodded slightly, and took his head in her hands, and then she kissed him.

 

At first, Rekinu was lost in the kiss and then out of no where, wham. He felt a shiver though him, and then his head was a jumble of emotions. It was very different feeling both sides of something, and he felt her liking the kiss as well... this was very interesting.

 

Soon enough, too soon by Rekinu's estimation, she broke off the kiss, looking at him in his eyes for a minute. The mask was still there, but he could feel her happiness. It was contained, but there all the same. She was happy that they were bonded, and that made Rekinu's heart soar.

 

She then pulled away, and spoke; "Now you are my bonded Rekinu, when I leave the tower you will leave. If I call you will come to me from whatever you are doing." She paused and added smiling "If you call I may come to you as well. You'll just have to try it sometime." She winked at him. He blushed at the innuendo, momentarily distracted, before responding.

 

"ok, my Aes Sedai" That sounded so right, Rekinu grinned to himself as he went to gather a little more fire for the morning. It was good that they had several weeks to get back to the Tower because Rekinu needed lots of time to get used to having someone else in his mind.

 

Every day, as they rode, Rekinu worked on guessing what Taia wanted from specific impressions... but he was terrible. Women were hard to understand, and the bond only helped him marginally.

 

Irregardless, whenever they stopped he trained with his sword, working on his movements, and the positions. At a couple of places he would join in with stable hands in a couple of bouts, letting them have the odds of numbers. Once, against six of them he was even able to keep any hits from getting through for some time before loosing epicly. He smiled and thanked the men for the opportunity. Being a Warder made it more difficult to find people willing to spar on a one-one position, but multiple enemies was good practice. Most of them were not trained in any way, but he figured that it would keep his skills sharp enough that he would be able to throw himself into real sparring the minute they got back.

 

The rest of their time was spent talking, and Taia would talk about the trees and flowers that passed them, as well as the history of the lands that they passed through, at least what she knew. She told him that there were huge books in the library in Tar Valon that held volumes upon volumes of books, and that he would be more than welcome to borrow one when they were there in the Tower. Reki was excited, yet not. He could just read a little, with lots of time piecing together what was there.

 

 

When they finally arrived Near Tar Valon, Taia asked his a qeuestion. "When we return to the tower you will have the choice to stay in my rooms in the Green Ajah or remain as you are in the barracks. "I know you will need to continue your studies so whichever you chose is alright with me. I will send you the fancloth if you chose to remain in the barracks. It is yours by right now."

 

He did not needs to think about the choice. He would stay in her quarters, and be near her, ready at a moments notice. Out loud he said, "I will live in your quarters, I can still go to the grounds for training as often as we are there." Just then, they walked into Tar Valon, and everything was quiet between them, until they got to the Tower grounds....

 

 

Rekinu Alasayaar,

recently bonded

 

 

p.s. this thread is IMMEDIATELY followed by this one: http://www.dragonmou...eki-and-arinth/

Edited by Rekinu Alasayaar
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