Chapter Thirty One
Chapter Thirty One
Element Of Spirit
I looked up to his face, my eyes wet from crying. Conall’s face was wracked with anguish, sweat pouring down his temple and cheeks. I nodded once to him and settled my face back into the crook of his neck wet with sweat and tears. I felt him nod, no doubt to Dougall that I was ready.
I felt hands on my back, not those of the Druid but of Dougall. Then the blade as it cut a circular path. I bit my bottom lip tasting blood and tightened my grip around Conall. Once again Conall cooed to me.
“Lass ye can bite me again if ye need to.”
Pain gripped me a second time, not the same as it had with the incantation of the Druid. This was like having a blade dig into my skin, which is exactly what Dougall was doing.
“Milady hold really still now.” Dougall whispered. I didn’t think I could move even if I wanted to. The hold Conall had on me was blindingly tight. I felt his intake of breath again matching my own with each wave of torture.
My body jerked as if an electrical bolt zapped my back causing my legs to twitch awkwardly. The feeling was like my spine was being detached from my body. As Dougall pulled from the back, Conall held me steadfast against him. I tried not to make a sound, but that was impossible as once again I cried Conall’s name into his neck. He continued his cooing. The pain seemed to go on for hours though I am sure it was only a matter of minutes. Then it ceased leaving me with a dull ache and panting hard.
“It’s out. Lass I just need ta tend yer wound, just hold still fer a minute more.” Dougall said sounding relieved. The Druid had produced some leaves which he pressed against my back for a few moments. They felt damp and cold but what pain there was now began to subside.
“Dougall lad did ye get it all?” Conall asked still panting.
“Aye I did, I wasnae sure it was going ta come out in one piece. We were lucky that it did. Ye were brave milady. I ken many a man that could no have gone through what you just did.”
I was hoping to see the beast that had been removed but the Druid had already wrapped it in the leaves that he had placed only moments ago on my back. The package disappeared between the folds of his robe. Conall released the pressure of his hold, but still sat with his arms around me. My body soaked with perspiration as was Conall’s.
“Bràthair I be takin the Druid fer a wee bit of fresh air so milady can dress.” With that Dougall escorted the old man outside tentatively side stepping the wolf.
Conall took hold of my shoulders and moved me back so he could look at my face.
“Are ye hale lass.”
“I think so.” I was still panting from the exertion as beads of sweat and tears ran down my face, neck and body. I should have probably hidden my breasts which were now bare and wet, but I was too tired to do so, my arms felt like lead weights. Conall’s eyes roamed down my body then back up to my face. As he stood up he took me with him still straddled. He had one arm underneath me and the other around my shoulders.
He moved to sit on the ground next to the waterfall basin. Dipping his hands in the cold water and brought the water with them up to my face. Gently he continued to sweep water over my neck and body. It was refreshing and cool, washing away the perspiration. He did the same to himself then he pulled me close and kissed me. Not the passionate kiss as before but gentle, and soft, while running his finger down my cheek.
He carried me to the blanket then turned me to look at my back. “Ye have healed already lass but ye will scar, tis only a small round one, bear it with pride a sign that ye fought a great battle and won.” I could only smile at him, I was totally exhausted.
Retrieving my shirt, he helped me to put it on. When he bent down to grab his own shirt where it had fallen on the ground my breath hitched seeing his back. “Conall you have a scar on your back, a round one just like mine in the same place.” He looked confused and shouted for Dougall, who came running the Druid shuffling behind him.
“Dougall look.” he said turning his back to his brother.
I got up and went to stand beside Conall even though my legs wobbled from tiredness. Dougall turned me and lifted my shirt up from the back not bothering to ask if it was alright, showing the Druid to compare the marks side by side.
“God’s blood.” murmured Dougall as he let my shirt fall back down. The Druid spoke to him in his language, then turned and bowed first to Conall and then to a confused me. I looked at Dougall for an explanation.
“The Druid said two souls are now one.”
“So you did feel my pain.” I gasped.
“Aye lass I did.” Conall still looked as confused as I was.
The Druid shook his head then spoke to Dougall again.
“He says only with love can two hearts become one. Through pain two souls have become one. Ha I think I understand.” Dougall exclaimed as if reaching an epiphany. “Pain can be a fear of losing yer love, it can also be sharing tha pain of yer loved one.” he continued looking from me to Conall. “Do ye understand?”
Conall took hold of my hand. “Aye bràthair I think I do.” I am glad he did because I didn’t have a clue, but then again I was shattered and would rather not use my brain for anything other than sleeping.
Dougal led the Druid back outside the cave. Conall ushered me to my blanket kissed me on my brow and told me to lay down and sleep. Sleep was all I wanted to do, I think I could sleep for a whole year I was so tired.
Conall left Morgan to sleep. It had torn his insides when the pain started until he felt it too. It shocked him when it did, but he could only focus on the pain she was going through, so he bit through his own. He had held her so tight against his body that he felt as if they were one being. If the Druid was right they had become one , one soul through pain.
He remembered the feel of her, her softness before Dougall and the Druid arrived. He could have kissed her forever without stopping. He could not though, take her maidenhead. It wasn’t because he didn’t want to, he was close to losing himself. He now wondered whether he would have had the strength or the conviction to have stopped before he did so, he was not so sure.
He had lain with others but never a virgin, and never with the idea of marriage. God’s blood am I actually thinking about marrying her. He believed he wasn’t the marrying type, that’s what he had told himself all these years. Even when his father had suggested he get married, he was determined he wasn’t going to. Things were different now Morgan and his souls were joined, he knew that as soon as he heard Dougall translate the Druid’s words. He asked himself what he wanted. If he was being truthful. What did he want, how did he feel about her, God’s blood he loved her and wanted to join their hearts in marriage.
He walked to Dougall and the Druid not far from the cave entrance.
“How’s the lass doing?” Dougall asked.
“She’s sleeping now.”
“Aye, so ye have joined with her soul bràthair?” Dougall smiled as if he knew it was destined to be so.
The Druid spoke to Conall as if he could understand every word he was saying. Dougall interpreted.
“Conall the Druid wishes to stay the night just ta make sure the lass is ok. He says that only one in three recovered from having the Seadán removed.”
Conall knew how strong Morgan was and the fact was, she could heal her own body. He refused to believe that he would lose her now. They were soul joined, he intended to keep her and join their hearts as well.
“Dougall wi ye ask the Druid a question fer me?”
“Aye, what’s ye question bràthair?”
“Will ye ask him if at dawn he will marry the lass and I?”
Dougall spun around to face his brother, a gleam in his eye. “Conall has tha lass agreed to this?”
Conall raked his fingers through his hair. He hadn’t asked Morgan to marry him. He was hoping she would say yes when he did. “Nay no yet. I will when she awakens.”
“Ye seem a wee bit over confident bràthair. What if’n she says nay?” Dougall eyebrow raised, as a smile turning up the corners of his mouth.
Conall didn’t answer him deciding to check on Morgan. When he entered the cave, the wolf was lying up against her back on the blanket. Raising one yellow eye in Conall’s direction. He sat down next to the wolf cross legged stroking the fur on his head and neck. Any fear that he had had of the wolf had long since disappeared.
“I think ye love her as much as I do boy.” he whispered to the wolf.
Conall sat watching the lass sleep. When she twitched in slumber he placed his hand on her thigh to calm her. Recalling now that when he held her during the removal he told the lass that he loved her. When did he begin to do so? There was no specific moment that he could think of. She had travelled into his heart without him noticing. Now she was there he could not let her go.
He feared that should he ask her to marry him she would say nay. What would he do? If their souls were joined how could they separate, that he did not want to happen. He just hoped that she felt the same about him as he felt about her.
Dougall and the Druid entered the cave. Dougall sat next to Conall, the Druid however, hovered over Morgan watching her with creased eyebrows. The wolf had departed when the two entered.
I woke to an odd sensation that someone was staring at me. When I looked up the Druid was standing over me mumbling to himself in his strange language, eyeing me with intensity.
“Ye are awake lass. How do ye feel?” Conall asked helping me to sit up. The Druid would like ta see yer back” he continued.
I bent over and Conall pulled my shirt up so the Druid could see. He spoke to Dougall nodding as he did.
“Milady ye back has healed, yer scar though has turned blue. Dougall uttered surprised. “Conall can we see yer back?”
Conall sat next to me and pulled his shirt off. His scar I could see for myself was blue with what looked to be a halo of light above it.
The Druid spoke to Dougall, he had a lot to say.
Dougall took a deep breath before he translated. “He says there are five elements. Four are Earth elements. Water is white, fire is red, earth is yellow, air is green. The fifth element spirit, is blue. Water, fire, earth and air are of this world, spirit is the region of the universe, and the energy of the Gods. It is the prime element, the bond that holds the four earthly elements together.
“Conall you are the element of fire, the red Dragon Blade, Morgan you are the element of earth, the yellow Sun of the Tuatha de Danann, together you are the spirit, the blue that extends beyond to the universe. When the four elements are brought together with the element of spirit, Divine Light is released and the great evil is destroyed.
Conall and I stared at each other stunned at the words. What could we say to that. I wanted to write it down but I had no pen and paper, or in this time no quill and parchment.
Conall pulled my shirt back down before putting his own back on. Did Dougall tell the Druid that Conall was called the Dragon Blade by his brothers, and that it was the red dragon that he had flown. “So, what does that mean Dougall?” Dougall just shrugged.
“Conall am starving what have ye ta eat?” Dougall said scanning the cave interior as if looking for supper to just suddenly appear, my question ignored.
“I’ve no had time ta go and hunt have I the noo?” Conall snapped.
“Ah well ye were a might busy when we arrived. I thought at least ye would ha sorted something ta eat before-”
“Dougall!” Conall bit giving Dougall a stern look.
Dougall gave Conall back a mirth smile. “Well ye best get to it then bràthair so we can all eat. Yer hospitality is sorely lacking.”
Conall raised his eyebrows “So when did ye lose tha use of yer legs. Do ye no remember how ta hunt. Perhaps ye need ta go back to old Graham fer training.”
I looked from one to the other. The first time I had witnessed brotherly banting was in Ula’s kitchen between Sloan and Conall. This time I smiled, the bantering was a welcome relief after the intense pain I had felt at the removal of the parasite in my back.
I glanced at the Druid who rolled his eyes to the ceiling and sighed. It would seem he had some notion of brotherly love and squabbles. I was still in awe at his words. Words I would need time to think about and hopefully remember.
Just then there was a noise just outside the cave entrance. With a flash both boys were up on their feet, swords in hand. The wolf came dragging a young deceased deer clenched in his jaws. He dragged it towards me then dropped it and sat beside his kill. I broke into a laugh. While Dougall and Conall had been bantering with one another the wolf had sought out supper. The two stood there with surprised looks on their faces, as was the Druid’s.
“Well it would appear Silver has sorted dinner out while you two squabble like young girls.” I laughed shaking my head. The Druid looked impressed. “I would appreciate it though if you would take it outside to cut up. After today I don’t wish to see any more blood at the present.”
They each grabbed a leg of the deer and dragged it back outside and into the small meadow. Arguing with each other that they could have done just as good a job of catching a deer as the wolf did. I shrugged my shoulders at the Druid. For the first time, I saw the corners of his mouth lift in a toothless smile. He was amused by the entertainment as I was.