A Healing touch

She struggled to keep her mind clear of memories, the spell she used could only do so much. He was large, he stretched her but it never hurt, in fact it sent fire through her. She moaned the sound was not friendly to her fragile mind but she couldn't help it, he felt good, he felt right and she wanted and needed more and it frustrated her knowing now was not the time for it. That neither of them would be able to enjoy this like they wanted. But she was determined to make sure he got as much happiness and pleasure she could give him in this moment. So long in darkness without anyone she said as she reached up and wrapped her arms around him, one gripped his hair and the other his back I won't remember this....if I do it will be a broken memory...so please let me make this all about you she said and began touching him where ever she could, gentle touches with her hands, she linked their minds as much as she could. He had not be touched or heard or anything for so long

Little temptress, he gasped. It's alright if you don't remember. I will enjoy reminding you. This is for both of us. You remind my body what it's like to feel. I'm reminding yours that it's alive and free.

save such lessons for when I'm me, as it stands right now I'm not even me..magic is sometimes a hard thing to explain and understand, so please, take what you need from me, it's what I want, save everything else for later

That's not a problem, he said, as they both reached the pentacle far to fast for their liking. The problem is that I want to feel everything now and you need it, but both of us... we have a lack of patience right now. We will work on it when you are healed, kont o sívanak. I promise you that lesson you will enjoy very much.

She cried as they both came, they both felt like it wasn't enough, deprived because they couldn't take their time I'm glad I won't remember this....I refuse to count this as out bonding so you better not count it either, I refuse to take less then what we both deserve.... she said and for some reason he could smell the cave he had been trapped in sorry the magic is wearing off... dracul she said his name like it was a goodbye. He felt the shift in the air as the ward went down, luckily Anya laid sleeping under him and he no longer smelled the cave. He wondered what spell she had used and he would ask her later when she was healed. She seemed healthier the long he looked at her, she was in a human sleep, her face looked peaceful something he was sure was rare these days "what the hell do you mean lifemate! Are you telling you are allowing him to claim her in her condition!? It might as well be rape then since she is so broken!" Yelled gregori outside the door "move aside or I swear I will..."

Dracul separated their bodies and clothed himself with a thought. He held Anya to him protectively, in case her father's temper caused farther problems. He wrapped her in a blanket to hide her body. He just sat there and watched the entrance as he said, "Come on in. And careful of your words and temper. They may bring back memories best left alone at this time."

Gregori was not the first to come in but the hunter who he had by the shirt and was lifted off the ground, once int he room he threw the hunter out the door and shut the door. He looked beyond stressed"I'm going to put aside something's for a moment so I don't lose my composure so I suggest you answer my question quickly " he said pitching the bridge of his nose "one, was she aware or conscious during the binding?"

"Yes," he said, looking Gregori in the eye. "We both agreed to think of it as a healing session and nothing more."

"So she was coherent and understood what was going on?" He asked

"Yes, healer," said Dracul. "It was because she asked it of me that I did it at all. I wanted to wait, but she deemed it necessary to heal her mind so that she had a better chance at life later."

He sighed " it was still wrong , as old as you are you should know a broken mind cannot make such decisions but whats done is done but until she is fully healed, lifemate or noti am in charge of her care and if you wish to fight me on that I promise you I know things that would make your cell look like a vacation" he said in a threatening tone "and if you think you being her lifemate will stop me think again, even if she would never forgive me I will do it" he said in a serious tone "now pick her up and take her to my house I have a de la Cruz that I need to talk too" he said with a low growl and left the room, slamming the door behind him. Anya stirred but didn't awaken

Dracul flew Anya to Gregori's home. He didn't need to be told where her private room was. He knew by the scent. He laid her in the bed and covered her. The sun would not rise for many hours, and since she was in a human sleep, a bed seemed more appropriate than the ground.

There was a soft knock on the door and he could tell it was savannah, he opened the door and the moment he did he was surprised by a sudden hug "thank you..." She said releasing him "thank you so much for finding her...for claiming her, I know the time was not good but I think she has a better chance now...is there anything I can get you ?" She asked as she went to the bed where Anya rested

"Your lifemate to remove his threat?" he asked teasingly. "Honestly, I real just wanted better timing. I was raised by human nannies while a captive of Xaviero as a child. I heard of our people from Carpathians he managed to capture and learned my skill from them. But the humans told me of weddings and the nights after them. I wanted to give her something similar to that, a day to feel beautiful and loved. I feel I robbed her of that, but she felt she robbed me of our first bonding." He raked a hand through his hair. "I feel silly, wanting a human wedding when I've already wedded her, but they sounded beautiful to me in a world of cruelty." He looked at Savannah. "You raised her. If I knew what to do, I would do it myself, but would you plan the event for me? One she would approve of?"

Savannah looked like she was trying not to laugh "oh my dear boy you are in for a ride, Anya is not like most women of our kind, women like ivory and such were made into what they by one thing or another, Anya was born that way, since day one and even in my belly she was wilde natured" she said with a chuckle sitting on the bed and soft stroking her hair " ana followed her around like a baby dear, letting her he there in trouble, but I was happy for it, otherwise I don't think ana would have left the house" she said with a chuckle "ana would be the one who would enjoy such a thing as you described, she is kind and soft hearted, my girls are like a rose, ana is the petals and Anya the thorns" she said looking at him "I will try and think of something she would like but if you want her in a dress that's a fight you will be doing on your own, trust me after a while I even gave up " she said with a smile but there was sadness in her eyes "and yest I'd go back to those days right now in a heartbeat" she said with a sad sigh

He laughed and said, "I wasn't thinking a dress. More like a white hunting outfit she would like. But really, the color doesn't matter. Just the event. She could wear a clown costume and I'd still find her beautiful. No, it's the event I want more. One that shows her my adoration to my warrior woman."

She was silent for a moment "if that's still who she is...I know how drastic the change can be" she said standing up "I'm sure the event will be lovely, please let me know if you need anything, though I do think going into the study and reading about our people would do you some good as well as some training, I'm sure your a little rust and it's a great stress reliever for you makes"

"I'll wait to get your lifemate's permission before wandering the house," said Dracul. "He is in charge here and I seemed to have already stepped on his toes. He all but called me a rapist in the healing caves."

She frowned "now you listen to me dracul, gregori might be in charge when it comes to protecting my father and healing people but in this house and with my children I am charge, and I say you can go to the study and are a precious guest here" she said in a stern tone "you let me worry about my lifemate and you focus on bettering yourself and helping Anya, nothing else matters, you have had far to much time stolen from you and have every right to start living again" she said sincerely "and if anyone gives you trouble them I will take care of them"

"Yes, ma'am," said Dracul.

He kissed Anya's forehead and went to the study. He picked out The Art of War by Sun Tzu and sat by the fire to read. It wasn't long before he heard the front door open. He didn't look up, but knew Gregori was about to come talk to him.

He sat a crossed from him "I won't apologize because what I said is true, it shouldn't have happened, that doesn't mean I don't understand why it did" he said and when dracul put the book down and looked at him he continued "I can understand how you went from being caged for years to all of this can be more then overwhelming, so I will help you readjust, I have already started to make arrangements for tutors, but I will allow you to decide when to go to them, I do hope though you understand the importance that you do, it would be best for you and Anya that you do so, that being said since you are now fully bonded she will need you and I work work together on her healing"

"That would be appreciated," he said. "I do not wish to fail her before we had a chance to get to know each other. I seem to be able to stable her mind a bit, but I don't know how much or how long. The first step I want to make is this, however." He leaned in close to Gregori. "Everyone, including you, should not think of it as a bonding. We were healing each other. Until that moment, I didn't believe I was truly out of the cave. She knew that. She had enough clarity to know what I needed, and to know it would speed up her healing. What she needs now is peace to rest. I will admit, I am rusty in my hunting skills after so long, and my movements are jerky at best. I will train beside the children, to reacquaint my body with the necessary methods. I'll start tomorrow. Tonight, we have another issue to discuss."

"And that is?" Gregori asked.

"It's simple. I want to formally state that your daughter is my lifemate. When she rises, I want her to learn to hunt, as is her nature. More over, I would like you and your lifemate to prepare her for becoming a lifemate. I know it usually takes several years, but we do not have that time. When we go to heal her, you pass your knowledge of battle and magic to her, your woman passes information of lifemates and of her friends' health, and I hold her steady, telling her of the gifts she has given me. As her mind becomes more stable, she will begin to soak up this knowledge. At first, she will shy away. It will be a lot to take in. And we must be gentle and encouraging. Rage seems to trigger memories. I can tell you when something is said that is sending her into a panic attack, and we switch course. But rest assured, this triangle will be powerful enough to save her."

"I will think about what you have said but I make no commitment to it now" he said "we first need to see the extent of the damage done in her mind and how it will fare under such pressure, what you want and what she needs may not be the same right now" he said "and do not forget I have two daughters I need to heal so I need to be able to trust that you will not doing more damage, so unless she is having a break again, I ask you do not touch her mind unless I am present"

"I can agree to that," said Dracul. "That is, until she is healed enough to need to touch my mind more. I can't control her, so you can't hold me accountable for her needs."

"you know the difference between touching her mind and manipulating it" He said in a stern tone standing up "she is stirring go to her, we will talk next rising" he said and left the room

Dracul went to the door as he said, "I never said I would manipulate her mind. I agreed that I wouldn't touch her mind unless it was to stabilize and comfort her. I understand, as her father, you want to protect her from further trauma. Rest assured, it will not be I who will cause the problem. People like De La Cruz, who can't watch their tempers, will be the ones to harm her mind." With that, he walked to Anya's room and held her hand. He kissed it and began whispering to her. "It's alright, kont o sívanak. I am here. Rest now. Let the memories go and dream of better things. Tall waterfalls and crystal blue waters, caves nearly encased with gemstones so that it's like living in a kaleidoscope, and skies so vast, it's like there are no boundaries to hinder us."

He found she was not comforted by those things, he would have to learn more about his woman if he was to comfort her, what she liked and disliked, the fact hat he couldn't weighed on him in a way he didn't understand. He was upset he knew so little about her he could not comfort her, the only memories he had seen from her were of her torture. She slowly opened her eyes, they had a sliver ring around them making them seem like the glowed in the dark. She was not attacking or getting defensive, she was numb and could hold no thoughts, which somehow seemed worse

"Anya, I wish I could be of use to you," he said. "I have not had time to learn what I should know about you to make you happy. I pray that the universe gives me a way to aid you. Please, stay strong, kont o sívanak. Wait for this bumbler to find his way to you."

She just stared, her eyes empty of emotion, its like her brain had finally had enough "its the magic" said savannahs voice behind him as she brought him in a bottle of blood "the mind can only handle so much" she said setting it down next to him on the nightstand "I had feared this would happen, when they told she was coherent at the caves and then when gregori told me just now she was for your binding..." she said stoking anya hair "it would have been like breaking her mind all over again when the spells wore off....how many times can a mind break before there is nothing left" she said as tears started to roll down her face

"I will not let her mind break," said Dracul. "Still... I am at a loss as to how to care for her. Even if I did touch her mind, I would only find what she suffered, not her likes or dislikes. I feel inept in so many ways. I cannot hunt as an ancient of our race should and I cannot aid my young lifemate." He cupped her hand against his cheek, feeling her cold, limp fingers. "My admiration and growing love for her can only do so much, yet, it's all I have."

"there is someone you should talk to then, the only one left right now that truely knows her, Alexandru" she said "gregori may not fair well talking about her right now, he needs to keep busy , and ana....." she said shocking on her name "is resting" she said in a breaking tone

Dracul said, "The one who hurt them is gone now. Be thankful for that. I will wait until after training tomorrow to speak with the prince's heir. He should be allowed some respite. I heard my father is helping him cope with being controlled by an evil being. I... have not tried to get to know my parent."

"well you should, you will need their support and now our families are bonded more closely, anya is now also their daughter," she said "i think she would have tested your father patience" she said with a sad chuckle

"I did not have him in my life," he said, "so I am unsure how to proceed in forming a relationship."

"start slow, talk spend time together, you both have things you can bond over" she said in a soft tone. He felt Anya's hunger yet she made no sound or movement. It was like her body was still alive but she was not

Dracul bit open his wrist and put it to Anya's mouth as he said, "Ma'am, I do not even know where to begin, or even who should begin. On top of that, I don't know when I should meet with him."

"Now would be a good time," came Razvan's voice from behind him. "We can talk while you feed your woman."

Savannah left and shut the door to give them privacy. Razvan sat down a crossed from him and waited until he was ready to speak

"I don't remember my mother much, but if there is anything you wish to know, I will try to answer your questions," Dracul said.

"I have faced my questions and my demons, it's your turn, all I need to know I already know, you are alive and my son" he said

"I... see," said Dracul. "How did you cope, then? Being raised by one of the High Mages? I find, with my emotions returned, that it feels unsettling. Almost like a taint that will be used against me."

"It feels that way because it was easier to survive without them, the mages use emotions against their victims" he said looking at Anya "among other things when that doesn't work" he added

Dracul said, "That still doesn't make it go away. And... it makes me unsure of many things after so long, trapped by my tormentor. Centuries under his control simply because he didn't want to lose me to Xavier."

"Yes but you also went years without him, listening and feeling our people, do not forget those lessons too, emotions are not a weakness unless we let them be and they can also be our strengths , they are what make us different from our fallen brothers and those mages" he said as Anya stopped feeding and once again just laid there with empty eyes

"It hurt my confidence being captured by him," Dracul admitted, closing the wound before smoothing Anya's hair. "I'm not just rusty in my technique and mobility."

"As a dragonseeker we have a lot of pride, sometimes it hurts us more then helps us, there is no shame in what happened, you are here and alive and more importantly you have survived long enough to find her, it could have turned out much differently" he said in a sincere tone "right now you need to find yourself again, before you can help her find herself. You may find the man you once we're and the man you are now are different but that is ok, in fact it's normal you just need to learn who you are now"

"Right now, I'm a worrywart," said Dracul. "Anya's mind isn't healing fast enough to suit me. I lost any patience I had. Which is strange since I should have endless patience after centuries of laying around."

"It's actually quite the opposite, you went centuries without a voice, without touch or moonlight or emotions, now you hunger for them, and the person who can give you the world and all of that and much more is right there unable to move" he said gesturing to Anya "it's understandable you impatient, she is so close yet so far away"

"Father," Dracul said, "I don't know how to help her. That's the hardest part. I could live with everything else, but failing her..."

"How have you failed her?" He asked in a calm tone "your emotions are heightened son, you are sensitive right now so look at this situation at a distance, you have not failed, you are here, she is alive, imagine how worse it would be if you had not tied her soul to yours" he said "you only fail if you give up and I don't see you giving up, you are of my blood, we do not quit" he said

"But I can't heal her mind," he said. "I can't heal her fast enough. I should be able to hold her sanity for her, but it slips from me. I know that Jacques' lifemate holds his sanity, yet I cannot do the same for my woman. That is how I have failed her."

"Jacques also had to heal before she could help and she is not Jacques, you can't expect their situation to be the same, stop comparing them" he said and looked like he was about to talk again but Anya started to growl softly

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