Bloodlines, p.43
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       Bloodlines, p.43

           Trisha Lynn
Chapter Thirty-Nine

  “In the human world people are able to mask and manipulate the way they feel. They can do it so often that sometimes they even believe that is actually how they feel. Humans can make you believe things you know aren't true. It is a trait humans know well. They can lie, steal and manipulate each other.” He pursed his lips. “Also how society says they should feel is often times shadowing ones true emotion. Whether you should feel one way or another is now more about how society would perceive that situation and not entirely upon ones true feelings, or integrity. That is why humans are so easy to manipulate into thinking situations involving the Fae or magic are indeed normal or completely different then what actually happened. Humans like to be manipulated, and managed. It has been so for many years.” He paused, taking a breath.

  “Like the human realm, the Fae have some bad people, but in general, as a whole, a Fae community is made up of people seeking to help each other, be there for each other and live out their days in peace and serenity. Our society thrives upon honesty, integrity, camaraderie but also on individuality. Each individual has something to give. If each Fae possessed the same attributes and abilities our realm would fall to ruin. Each individual magic and skill set makes up our community. There are those that can help control the weather, those that can heal and those that can help guide a rose bush into a blueberry bush. The Fae have long overlooked the bridge into the modern society, not only because we cannot come into contact with too much iron or technological devices, but because it is unnecessary. We have no media. No televisions. Nothing that would take away from our magic or ourselves. We are who we are and we are grateful for each Fae born to us. Did you know that it is almost unheard of for the Fae to commit suicide? We've had only two documented cases in two thousand years?”

  Adeila was shocked but not entirely surprised. With so much positive energy buzzing around it would be hard to have something so hard in your life to want to end it.

  She nodded to Loki. “So you've said before about not being surprised that I have a hard time lying, and you said again of how humans lie so often. So can the Fae not lie?”

  He pursed his lips. “Fae cannot tell a blatant, outright lie. Like if you asked 'Is the sky blue?' I could not say 'No', but I could say, well, it is a mixture of colors cascading during different hours of the day, it is not always blue. So the sky is not exactly blue, it is swirls of pinks, grays and whites and yes sometimes blues. The Fae have learned to dance around a truth. They can easily manipulate the truth, twisting it so it's just as close to being an outright lie. To someone not entirely accustomed to the Fae world it would be harder to discern the speech of some Fae. I do not proceed to say that Fae are better than humans in any means. And yes, they are sometimes as cruel and vile as the humans can be. It is just more unheard of. The Fae live with nature in a way that binds them to it. The energies of nature seep into us, making our magic whole. If we industrialized and became what humans are, we would in turn ruin our own lives. Everything is a cycle. Everything is energy.”

  She blew out a breath and filed it away. Adeila only hoped that she could remember all of these things. It made her feel better that lying outright was something she had always had a hard time with, that lying, even briefly to Marissa was so difficult. And she realized that she never did outright, blatantly lie to her. She just danced around the truth, as Loki described, or was vague about what it was she did. When asked a direct question she always primarily replied with a truth.

  Loki plucked at a blade of grass next to his knee and waited for her mind to cease it's filing before continuing with his initial point. This was magical energy. With each question she fired at him, it made him get off-track. Which was fine with her, the more she learned the better.

  “Each Fae gives off their own power, their own energy. Like an aura. You are in-tune to that power if you look into yourself and feel it. It is something that comes with time, but can be a useful tool when gauging someone’s mood, emotion or intentions. My first lesson is for you to seek out and feel my power. Tell me what you feel.”

  She gulped. She had the distinct feeling that this was a terrible idea. But she closed her eyes as instructed and felt her power pulse there within her, then she sent out her mind and energy to feel for Loki's power. Within seconds she felt it, swirling against her own; a warming, electrical current. It was intoxicating and welcoming, so unlike his facade of indifference he showed on the surface.

  The smell of the forest engulfed her. Balsam fir, pine, rich soil and autumn leaves. She felt a breeze pick up her hair, and she had the sense that she was flying for a small second. She felt deeper and was slammed with a powerful feeling of desire; it caused her skin to heat and her lips to part.

  Abruptly, he broke her concentration, the deep timbre of his voice slightly shaky. “Ah, maybe we should try this on someone else.”

  His power slammed at hers, pushing her out. She reeled her ties to him back, and refocused her bearings. Then opened her eyes. What the heck?

  Heat crept up her neck and cheeks, and she sorely hoped that he had not picked up on her emotions and how her magic responded to his. Holy cow. She was most certainly never trying that again on him.

  The Fae had rented a small house about two miles from her home and it was in the backyard that they sat under a large sycamore tree. She relished in the sunshine heating her skin, and closed her eyes to try to chase away any of the odd feelings that searching within Loki had left her with. She enjoyed looking within him. His power and magic were strong, exhilarating and almost painfully intoxicating to her. If not a little scary. She desperately wanted to try it on someone else to see how it would be with them. If each person felt like that, then she couldn't imagine people not doing it to each other all time. It was such an odd feeling. And clearly invasive, which is likely why people probably ward against allowing others to sense too much from them.

  She had a feeling that Loki had let his barriers drop so that it would be easier for her to enter. She'd felt walls there; walls that were strong and tall and barred with nails but he'd pushed them away for her to enter, and then when he'd begun pushing her out she'd felt those walls slam closed on her. That is what it must feel like to try to read on a Fae that had walls built up. She was quite sure that most Fae didn't put up walls. But warriors, like Loki, probably knew well how to put them up and keep them erected when needed.

  Loki called Ahern to them and had asked his permission for Adeila to experiment her seeking of energy upon him. She assumed it was a silent question of Ahern to allow his own walls to be opened to her.

  Ahern was tall and muscular like most of the Guardian's. He had short brown hair, and gentle, soft greenish brown eyes. She noticed that one of his eyes had more brown then the other, the effect was beautiful and made his appearance even gentler. He had a very nice voice, and an easy smile.

  She closed her eyes and pushed her magic towards him just as she'd done with Loki. This time it took a little more effort, her magic just kind of waded towards his. With Loki it had rushed to his, a primal urge to mingle and blend. With Ahern it was a gentler coaxing. He had an Earth affinity like her, and she could smell fresh cut grass and practically see a mirage of a peaceful meadow. His magic felt like soft, rich soil beneath her feet. It was an incredibly docile feeling, but there was strength there, and unshakable honor and loyalty. He would die for his Kingdom, his rulers and her, if need be. It was nowhere near an intoxicating feeling like Loki's, more like a pleasant creek on a sunny day. Whereas Loki's was like an ocean tide lapping at the sides of a small ship. If she wasn't careful she'd be taken down into its deepest depths. With Ahern an endless abundance of loyalty and trust brushed over her. She felt at peace.

  “What do you feel?” Loki's deep voice pulled her out of herself and she opened her eyes, breaking the concentration and her magical energy slowly seeped back into herself.

  “I feel warm soil beneath my feet, the smell of fresh cut grass, a shallow creek on a sunny day. I feel his
honor, his loyalty towards the realm, my parents and me. I feel like I can trust him with my life and he will never betray me. He would die to save, and protect me.”

  Loki nodded and smiled faintly. “Good. That is really good.”

  Ahern bowed and turn to leave but Adeila grabbed his large, callused hand. “Thank you, Ahern, for letting me use you as an experiment, and for the loyalty you feel for my family. I can never thank you enough.”

  He looked so flattered and smiled broadly, turning his gentle handsome face into something more beautiful. “I swore an oath with not only blood but my heart, my lady. It is not something I take lightly.”

  She dropped his hand and nodded. Loki gestured a dismissal.

  She blew out a breath. “So that's what it's like to feel someone's powers, energy, and essence?”

  Loki nodded, but for once seemed slightly lost for words. He was saved when Sorryn sauntered his way over to them, tousled blonde hair, shining purple blue eyes and the sunny energy he always portrayed. She wondered a moment if he would let her read him, or if she even needed to ask permission?

  “I will take a small leave of you. Sorryn will show you some defense moves.” Loki nodded to Sorryn and then without a glance in her direction left in a hurry.

  Both of them watched him walk away. A hint of confusion swept over Sorryn's face but she just shrugged. No way was she telling Sorryn what her magic made her feel when she sought out Loki's.

  “Alright, Princess. Ever thrown a punch? Gotten into a fight? Pulled some hair?”

  She laughed at his ridiculousness and shook her head.

  “Oooh, well this should be fun then.”

  For two hours Sorryn ran her through defensive moves. She'd never even considered taking self-defense in her life, but when sweat dripped down her back, as he taught her how to use the heel of her hand on pressure points, and how to effectively kick in the groin, she realized she probably should have. It was not only kind of fun, well anything to do with Sorryn was fun, but it was exhilarating and empowering to be able to best someone double her size. Not that she was besting this opponent any time soon. Sorryn may be a complete goofball jokester, but he took her safety very seriously.

  “The most effectively aimed places are the eyes, nose, ears, neck, groin, knee and legs. If you can reach one of those without stepping in closer to your attacker, do so. Never step in to shove your hand to his nose, when you can easily get a kick to his knee instead, and gain your own upper hand instead of possibly giving him the chance to gain it.”

  She learned. She retained. She moved. She took in everything he said, and the moves he taught her. He made sure she could effectively execute five different moves before calling it quits for the day. They went inside and got bottles of water. Loki still hadn't returned.

  “You really are something, Princess, you know that.” Sorryn smiled that cocky grin at her.

  She laughed. “You think?”

  “Yes, your determination and will is matched by none. You will make an amazing ruler one day.”

  She scoffed, but took the compliment. Saibol entered the kitchen and greeted them.

  “What have you two been up to?” Her brows rose as she went and got a water bottle for herself. Obviously the sweat marks on their clothes, and flushed skin gave away some kind of exuberant activity. Sorryn plucked a leaf from Adeila's hair, and she couldn't even begin to suppress the giggle.

  “I've been showing the Princess some self-defense moves.”

  Saibol's eye brows continued to rise higher, but finally she nodded then turned to Adeila. “The biggest misconception about self-defense is that you don't want to cause pain, you want to cause injury. Causing pain is just going to infuriate your attacker. You need to execute a move with enough technical precision that it will cripple or injure them at the very least.”

  Adeila gawked at her, but Sorryn grinned. “Yes, my baby sister is a hell of a fighter. You could learn more things from her than me, Princess. Next self-defense lesson she can be your teacher.”

  Adeila had the uneasy feeling that Saibol would not be quite as easy on her as her brother was, but she would love to hear more from a female warrior. So she smiled and began asking Saibol some questions. The Fae female opened right up and gave her insight and tips on fighting as a much smaller female opponent.

  After another hour of the three of them talking about fighting, defense moves and Saibol and Sorryn demonstrating some fancy footwork for her, Sorryn received a mirror vibration from Loki. Adeila still wasn't entirely sure about the whole mirror conversation thing, but apparently when someone was trying to get a hold of you, the tiny magical mirror vibrated much like a phone would do on vibration setting. The mirror never made any noise, at least that she knew of, so you must always have the small thing on or very close to you.

  Sorryn's mirror was golden and had antlers, flames and ancient Celtic looking music horns etched along the sides. She later discovered the horns were called Dords.

  Apparently Loki was held up and wanted Sorryn to bring Adeila back to her house. A small part of Adeila felt disappointment but she stamped it down and began finding Loki to be just as mysterious as she had in the beginning. She felt as though any headway they had made on a friendship or bond was slowly beginning to slip away.

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