New Day, New Term
I wake up in her arms this morning. It only takes an instant now for me to recognize the difference between my sister’s hold and my beloved. “Good morning, nettinya,” I whisper, bringing my hand up to caress her arm.
“I could set a watch to when you sleep.” She replies, squeezing me. “Four hours on the dot. How do you do it?”
I shrug. “I just wake up exactly four hours after I start my trance. Like a timed meditation.” I smile.
“Timed meditation? What do you dream of in such a short period?” She queries.
“I no longer dream nettinya,” I say in a serious tone. “Ever since becoming an Elf, sleep is just four hours of silence. I can fill the void with thoughts, recalling my day, or slip into Mother’s Dream Realm to learn something. I don’t dream, not like when I was human.”
“Sounds almost lonely,” she says sadly.
“Do you sleep?” I query. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t.
She shakes her head. “I’ve not slept since the start of my puberty, when I was taught the dark meditation ritual to keep my youth. Two hours of trance, and I can often go two days with no rest. I slipped into bed with you about an hour ago after I was done with my research. You just looked so adorable. I couldn’t resist holding you,” she says affectionately. She’s thoughtful for a moment. “Are you completely unaware of your environment when you trance?” I moved you and pull you against me. Like some rag doll, you didn’t resist or react at all.”
“I sense people around me. If I extend my mind, I can pick up surface thoughts.” I reply. “I could respond to something if I were ever in danger.” I feel her relax. “I’m not as vulnerable as you think.” I tease. “I knew it was you and offered you no resistance. In my trance, my whole body is relaxed. I have no control over it. I’d have to become conscious to do something.”
“Elves are so complex,” she grumbles.
“Says the Drow holding me.” I tease, causing us both to giggle.
“I was never truly Drow, nettinya,” Luna replies. “I was born with demonic blood running through my veins, it… changes how my body works compared to yours.”
“Now who’s complex?” I tease, causing us to giggle again. A thought surfaces... “Do you draw energy from me somehow, nettinya?”
“What do you mean?” Her voice laced in confusion.
“Emmë once told me she’s glad for my appetite, as you don’t eat as much as you used to. She thought it’s 'cause you’re no longer growing. It’s led me to wonder if you feed on me somehow.” I can feel her body stiffen. “Not feed as in physical, but how my energy fuels you somehow,” I explain. “You don’t meditate as much, eat as much, or as dependent on the blood fruit. Since I moved in, you seem to draw energy from something else. I think it’s me.”
“I’m still not getting it,” she frowns.
“Your body is warmer this morning than when we first met,” I explain. “Close your eyes,” I instruct. “Now reach out to me. Now that I’m awake, this should work better.”
“What?” she asks, confused.
“Focus, love.” I use the term of endearment to push our connection. “Close your eyes, and reach out to me, feel us connect,” I whisper. “Match your heartbeat to mine, take a deep breath, let our bodies and minds connect.”
She takes a deep breath, and I feel her trying. I reach out and I meet her halfway. She gasps. “Relax,” I say in her mind. “That’s it. Just let the connection form.” Our vision slips into a void of swirling mists. All I see is her aura: a dark purple featureless form, swirling with her arcane abilities. My body is equally featureless, but glows like a firefly — like it did in Shadowfell. I take her hands in mine and our fingers interlace. I focus on extending my life energy to hers. This pulsing light, matching our heartbeats, extends through our connection, slowly filling her with light. I draw some mist in as well, so as not to completely drain my energy. The mists change colours and glow as they touch our bodies.
I don’t know how long we were connected, but when we open our eyes, Luna’s body is warm and comforting. I, on the other hand, am now starving. “Wow!” she sighs and squeezes me. “How?”
“You’re my soul mate, love.” I smile, feeling the energy between us balance. “We connect on a different level than anyone else. This is why I’ve told you repeatedly that I will always love you. I can’t help it. We are connected. Our very life energy is something we can share.”
“How did you get so smart?” She smiles.
“Between Mother’s knowledge of life magic and my research through my tablet, I figured we were doing this subconsciously. This is the first time I’ve tried to purposely share my life essence with you.”
“I didn’t hurt you, did I?” Luna suddenly gets worried.
“No, but I’ll need to eat breakfast soon. I’m starving.” I smile. “That felt so good.” I relax in her hold. “You’re all nice, warm and cozy now,” I say affectionately.
“At least you get something out of this,” she teases playfully. “That was almost as satisfying as sex, possibly better.”
“Oh?” I try to look up at her.
“We connected on a level I’ve never felt with anyone before.” She replies, trying to sort her thoughts. “I could feel everything! Your thoughts, your emotions, it’s as if every question I had about you has been answered!” she says, amazed. “Including your past,” she says sadly.
“Sorry, when we connect on that level, I can’t control what I share. You get all or nothing.” I apologize.
“So much pain.” I feel her cry. She brings up a hand and caresses my hair. “I wish I had met you sooner.”
“I know, dear. Try not to linger on my pain. Push further,” I encourage her. After learning how to parse Mother’s memories, I can at least guide her through the connection we still share, as I’m in her arms.
I feel her mind move forward, past the pain. “Oh, so that’s why you love them so much?” She comes across my memories of Kevin and Ruby. “I could never figure out how you three formed such a strong, loving relationship…” she whispers. “It’s always been there… for years now!” She says, surprised.
“We just no longer hide it. As a girl, I’ve given us everything we’ve wanted since puberty. It’s why I love them nearly as much as I love you.” I say affectionately.
“Thank you for sharing, nettinya.” She smiles and kisses the top of my head. “Will we have moments like this again? I’m not sure I understand half of the memories you just shared with me.” She gasps. “Does that mean I shared mine?”
“It does,” I smile. “You’ve had a strange past,” I reply. “After sharing Mother’s memories, I’m better at sorting this out than you are.” I boast. “Expect me to have a few questions,” I say playfully, leaving her to giggle.
“Okay. This hunger has to be you. I can feel it, but it’s not mine.” Luna says, letting me go. “As much as I don’t want to end this connection, you need to eat.”
I slide out of her arms, turn, and kiss her. “Thank you for this indulgence. What I can’t give you intimately, I will share with you in other ways.”
“You are amazing.” She says affectionately. “I never thought this type of connection was possible.”
“Rose, Cassi, Melody and Penny have hinted that they have a connection that’s beyond telepathy with their soulmates. I wanted to see if it would work for us.” I grin. “The more we work on this, the better it’ll get.”
“It gets better than what we just shared?” Luna gasps.
“Later.” I sense her curiosity. “I need to eat, remember?”
“Okay,” she says with a knowing smile. “You just took loving you to a whole new level, you know that?”
“It’s why I did it.” I grin playfully and leave another small kiss before sauntering off to the bathroom. I feel her gaze on my body. I was hoping our shared connection would lessen her physical desire. Will I be able to work on that?
After my shower, I wear the ring detail top I purchased this weekend. Hoping that it’s not too low cut for school. I’m pretty sure the lace collar shirt I wore for my ‘concert’ isn’t school appropriate. I’m not used to having a chest to show or hide, so it's hard to discern between fashion and school dress code. I’m wearing my favourite side-laced black leather pants with it, and my knee-length boots.
“Those pants look like they were painted on. I thought I was bad for wearing skin-tight clothing.” Luna teases me as she holds the phone for the picture.
“Too much?” I ask worriedly, combing my hair back and then moving into Luna’s favourite pose.
“Nettinya, you’d look sexy in a paper bag.” Luna continues. “There’s nothing in your wardrobe that doesn’t promote your figure.”
“And whose fault is that?” I ask playfully, leaning forward as she crouches a little.
“Put your hands on your knees, love, hold that pose. Perfect!” She snaps the shot.
“Did you just make me lean over for a cleavage shot?” I gasp, catching on.
“It was a beautiful sight,” Luna smiles appreciatively.
“You’re incorrigible!” I scold her.
“Oh, tut, tut, hun.” She giggles. “Come nettinya, you are beyond gorgeous. Don’t be ashamed to show the world your charms. Now, before you lecture me, don’t forget to post your song this morning.”
“Oh, right!” I gasp. I take my belt and pouches off the chair and slide them around my waist. Luna hands me my tablet, then takes my hand as we head downstairs. “Wait, did you just change my mood there?” I gasp.
“You can be such a blonde.” Luna giggles. “I think Sala’s rubbing off on you.” I gasp and Luna locks our fingers so I can’t physically retort. So I huff at her in annoyance. “Oh, nettinya, don’t give me that face. I’m sorry.” My sister pleads.
“I’ll forgive you this time,” I say smugly, and kiss her cheek, sliding my hand out from hers, to sit at the table. My aides are already serving breakfast as we sit down.
“I have to say, I had my reservations when you two said you were going to be her permanent aides, but I appreciate the help you provide around the house.” Ashanna smiles at them. We all sit down together and eat.
I post my image on both Grid and the Internet. Since my ear reveal last week, I see no point in hiding my Elven features from my human fan base. My follower list has nearly doubled since I revealed them. There’s an ongoing debate about if they are real, if I’m wearing plastic, cosmetic, prosthetic, or if I may even have had surgery. They quickly shot the last rumour down when close-ups show no scars. There are also no signs of seams, or lines, and the skin tone is so perfectly matched that the “She’s the Real Deal” camp of followers is gaining a stronger voice.
“Are you going to admit to the world that you’re an actual Elf?” Hrivë queries as she reads the news.
“I’m still not sure if it’s wise.” I frown as I munch on my cereal. “It’s one thing for people to admire that I ‘look’ like an Elf. I’m not sure how accepting the public would be to find out I’m not even human.” I finish in a worried tone.
“The magical community accepts you whole-heartedly.” Lairë replies.
“Most of the magical community know that non-human races exist in the world. Of course, they accept me. I’m probably the most beautiful mystical creature they’ve met.” I argue.
“More beautiful than any Fae I’ve ever met.” Our mother replies. “I thought Melody was beautiful.”
“Emya, I’m not prettier than Melody.” I defend my aunt’s Faeborn beauty.
“You are, my child. I’m so proud that my daughter is the most beautiful creature on Earth.” I go to argue. “Your parents don’t count. While born of this world, they’re not here now, are they?” I shake my head. “I stand my ground,” she beams.
“Emmë, how can I be more beautiful than you and Luna? You’re both Drow, you have the same racial beauty as surface Elves.” I continue to find arguments.
She takes a deep breath and gives me a motherly smile. “I thank the stars that you are not vain, child. You capture the hearts of everyone you meet. Can you not see the beauty and influence you carry with you?” I reply with a blank look. “Know that you are a wonder that few will ever match. That you don’t flaunt your beauty is refreshing.”
I stop arguing. I don’t want to be seen simply as a creature of beauty. I need to promote Gaia’s plea. For that, I need people to see me as a serious, intelligent leader. Not just a sex symbol. I’m posting Vantaya Laica Restannar when my sending stone sings.
“Did we call late enough to speak with the whole family?” Father asks after we trade morning greetings.
“We’re sitting for breakfast.” I smile.
“Can we video call then?” he asks, insistently.
I smile and agree. My data device is still sitting on the table after having posted my song this morning. I have time to stretch out the display and pull up the holo when the call comes through.
“Greetings from Arvandor.” Mother smiles as their faces come into focus. My heart aches. I miss her so much. I see the sky and foliage moving in the background.
“You’re on the Alcar.” I smile, recognizing the surrounding deck.
“I thought you’d pick up on that.” Mother smiles. “Someone wants to say hello.”
“By the Heavens, you are living with Drow!” Captain Elerrina gasps as her face comes into view. “Why are your eyes black instead of white?” I tilt my head. “Most Drow have eyes like ours, just that, without sunlight, they are white or pinkish, like an albino.”
Ashanna smiles, showing her fangs. “Being a witch of Demonic blood means I look different from the rest of my people.”
The captain’s eyes grow wide. “And I thought our Arch Druids here had amazing stories! Were you born like that?”
“I was,” Luna replies.
“My late husband forced the blood pact on me as a condition of our betrothal.” Our mother answers, and I feel the resentment coming from my sister. She hated her father as much as I hate the Greenwoods.
“Oh. That is incredible!” The captain replies. “Are there many others like you?”
“A few, but most of them simply have bloodshot eyes, leading them to be mistaken for afflicted vampires. It’s only in using our warlock powers do the eyes turn black like mine.” She looks at the captain curiously. “You seem to know a lot about Dark Magic.”
“Call it a passing curiosity.” The captain smiles. “Before I forget, and the reason I asked to be included in this call. I have a few gifts from our kin for you, my High Druid. I just need your permission to use a storage device to send them back with your parents.”
I smile. “I give you my permission to borrow a storage unit,” I say clearly in Elvish.
“And recorded.” She smiles. “Thank you milady, you’re going to love what your mother brings home to you.” She bows. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, we need to change course.” I nod and she wanders out of focus.
“Your bringing gifts for me?” I look at Father.
“It was none of my doing, child, honest. You keep posting music and fashion on the Grid and our people have fallen in love with your voice and your face.” He replies.
“They won’t make another statue of me, will they?” I grow anxious.
“Not till your birthday at least.” Father teases. My anxiety turns to panic. “Daughter, our people love you. Let their adoration not surprise you. You’ve earned your fame among our kin. It’s been none of my doing.”
Luna puts her arm around me and the connection calms me down. I lean against her for comfort. “The way your fame is growing, nettinya, please stop freaking out every time you realize you’re a celebrity now?”
“I’m trying,” I reply. “I don’t know why the thought of statues freaks me out so much. I guess they just feel so permanent, and I don’t think I’m that special to deserve one.” I frown.
“What did the Spring Fae call you?” Emya asks, having seen the videos that Ruby took of my speeches at Palladium.
“The Voice of Gaia.” I frown further. “Like I’m sort of prophetic saviour.” I look at my parents, all three of them. “Mother, they’re already praising me for being here, and I’ve not done anything yet!”
“Oh, but you will, my child.” She smiles at me through the holo. “Has Ashanna not told you?”
I feel her more than see her blush with her dark skin. “My visions don’t always come true, Lairelindë. She wasn’t to know what I suspect.”
“Well, visions or prophecies can wait.,” Luna says, squeezing me. “We need to get off to class.”
“Very well girls, we’ll talk tomorrow.” Father smiles. “Have a good first day of class.”