Darkness Calling Ch. 14bymadam_noe©
She opened her eyes, groaning. Her body felt like icy fire pulsed through with every heartbeat, yet it was foreign magic in her bones.
"What?" was all she could think to say.
"Selene, it's your father."
She opened her eyes all the way to find she was in a room with stone walls, very medieval-looking, but the bed was modern and comfortable, so was the chandelier, if a bit dusty.
Turning her head she saw him in the doorway, wearing the loose robes of a priest but open over black pants and a white shirt. He looked more tired than she had ever seen.
"Is this a dream?"
He shook his head and stood from leaning against the doorway. Quickly Bram sat beside her and helped her to sit up, adjusting the pillows. "You are in my home. I sensed what was happening, and brought you here, for safety."
"What did happen?" She asked as he handed her a glass of water. "Thank you."
"In the shortest plainest speech, your mother-in-law tried to kill you. Soren took the bolt and would have died, but his sister and her husband helped take some of the blow. Being in such close-quarters it spread to you."
"Resting. The Whiteblooms have been admirable students. Healing with white magic would take too long. As Sigrid was born to the dark side of magic she and Jonathon are healing in that traditional way.
"I'll send you to your husband in a moment, but I wanted to speak to you first."
"He has taken a lot of damage. Your magic alone will not be enough. You must take some of mine."
"Thank you?" she imagined peeling it from him in combat as she'd been taught. Her father, despite his rumored age, was still the scariest most impressive man she had ever met and thought of fighting him sent her heart racing.
He patted her hand and set the glass down on the nightstand for her. "Nothing like you think, child. As you are of my flesh and blood I may easily gift it to you. But I must entrust you with a secret. When I do so, the balance between light and dark within me tips, and I will not be immortal until you return it. Do take care with it."
Before she could reply a burning heat grew where their hands touched. It spread through, chasing away the icy chill, and felt filled with it. It was similar to her magic but different, so much easier to hold than any she'd taken in fighting practice.
"Go now to your husband. I will show you the way."
"Will you be safe?"
"I must talk with Sigrid and Jonathon. I will be safe enough I believe. I have wards here, no one can enter without my permission."
She was feeling better but not 100% yet, but still she could stand with his help. Bram led her through the archaic hallway to the room next to hers and opened it. "I will see you later."
He blushed darkly and so did she, so Selene slipped quickly into the room. It was dark but for a small lamp by the bed. Soren slept there, very pale. She sat next to him and he was cool to the touch. At her fingers he moaned and shifted but did not wake.
"Quite like sleeping beauty," she murmured, stroking his face. He was truly beautiful, and it hit her that here she was the prince, the valiant knight rescuer. The thought made her smile.
His jacket and tie were off so she unbuttoned his shirt and kissed his muscular chest. His breathing went from ragged to steady, but fast. Selene undid his belt and opened his fly, licking and nipping at the skin there.
Already she felt stronger and he felt warmer too.
His penis was soft and she pulled it free, luxuriating in the soft texture. Unable to resist, the closed her mouth around it, happy that for once she could fit it all. Immediately his cock began to harden, and she licked it, feeling her arousal growing with his, and their bodies coming to full life.
At last he was fully hard and she began to suck, moving her hand, locked to her mouth, up and down. He moaned in his sleep and shifted and so she went faster. He panted now, stirring more, and just when precum lubricated the tip Soren jerked awake.
"What th- oh!" he fell back but his hands gripped her head, increasing the touch between them and the dark healing.
Selene stopped despite his cry and moved to straddle him. Lifting the skirt of her dress she forgot about magic and just shoved her panties aside. Slamming down onto him she took him deep inside in a single stroke and they both cried out.
Without waiting she began to move on him, relishing the power, the feel of all his strength beneath her. She moved faster and faster, panting, focused, but felt him tighten too fast. There was no stopping, she wanted his pleasure, demanded it forcefully, and he gave it all up to her, exploding into orgasm, gripping her hands tight and pumping his hips up to spear Selene deep as Soren came.
At last it passed and she remained seated, panting, on the shimmering edge of orgasm.
"What is going on?" Soren finally asked.
"Later. If you hold still and I can just move I think I can-"
He snorted, cutting her off. Grabbing her hips he scooted back to recline against the pillows and then began to move heron his still-stiff cock. "I don't believe in holding still."
Her laugh died on her moan.
"Thank you for rescuing us," Sigrid said nervously.
The great Bram Darkwind, the boogey-man himself, had shown her and Jonathon to a small sitting room. He produced tea most domestically and sat across from them on an old leather couch. Any surface that could be was covered with books, adding to the image of ancient sorcerer he seemed to fill.
"I felt my daughter take the blow. It is I who owe you thanks. Through your quick actions you saved her and her husband. I am eternally in your debt."
Jonathon took his cup of tea and stirred in the milk, staring at Bram. "Forgive me for saying this, but we've been raised to believe you are evil, dark and evil, and yet...you seem so kind."
"I am a man," he replied simply and at back with his own mug. "I have lived away from accepted society for so long I know not all they say. I know enough to know it was best I stay away for many years."
"Why contact Selene now?" Sigrid asked.
"Why abandon her at all?" Jonathon said, his voice strong but flat.
"She was hidden from me. I did not know she was alive until I felt her awaken to her power. I believe I owe you two some debt of thanks for that as well."
"It was more Soren than anyone," Sigrid said with a slight flush. "Are you immortal?" She blurted out.
He nodded slowly. "That I am, as all witches once were."
"When was this?"
"Over two thousand years ago. Before you ask, I am older than that."
"What makes you so special? Are there other immortal witches around?"
Bram gazed at Jonathon pensively for a moment. He sat forward and set down his mug atop a stack of spell books in Greek on the coffee table.
"Sigrid, you were born a dark witch. Jonathon, you were born a white witch. Long ago you were told that your soul mate would determine if you must switch allegiance. If you were of different orientations, you would both become of the path of whoever was stronger."
Though this was knowledge all witches had since birth, the couple nodded and did not interrupt.
"It's not just your blood, it is a religion, much like the human Tribes of Israel. Have you noticed, despite this, pairing are almost always between light and dark? Almost never are two soul mates of the same path?"
They thought of every couple they knew and glanced at each other, both surprised by this realization they had never stumbled upon before.
"Why is that?" Jonathon asked.
"I best go back to the way it was before." Bram glanced at his daughter and her husband who had arrived at the doorway but stopped. Raising his voice so they could both hear, he continued. "When I was born witches lived very long lives. Immortal if they chose, but eventually everyone chose to let themselves fade. As such, children were rare.
"We all of us embodied light and dark in a specific balance within ourselves. To follow both paths simultaneously was the secret to long life. Your soul mate was the exact opposite balance. For me I was mostly dark with a small bit of light in me. Selene's mother was mostly light with a small bit of dark.
"Children in my day and age before the split into two religions and paths were rare. They would only come about when an older witch chose to fade.
"However, by the time I was born, something happened. There were less and less of us being born for every witch who faded. Many of the eldest thought it was because human populations were exploding.
"In their wisdom, the eldest chose to fade, leaving us without a High Council of Magic. The young in their place were threatened by the humans. Once we lived together but then we decided to split. Smaller groups had their own leaders, who followed the path of their strongest portion.
"Over time enclaves of light and dark formed, but more children did not come. And then one day soul mates found each other from light and dark camps. By then they had become mortal, and their children also mortal.
"Those of us still clinging to the old ways faded from hope and life until I was the last. For thousands of years I lived without a soul mate and I kept to myself. I became a priest of the Dark Church to seek solace, and as time went on and more and more of my bosses died, I rose through the ranks until I was the head.
"And then I met Selene's mother. I had felt a calling for some time, a need to change. The humans had tried to undergo a revolution of peace and love and it had failed, so I thought perhaps our time had come.
"I gathered as many leading minds as I could, all couples, and brought them together. I told my tale and they agreed to foster the mix in their children.
"However, I lost focus when I met my soul mate. The joy of the end of my aching loneliness was indescribable. Before I knew it we had the only child of the experiment and it was broken up by the council.
"The man in charge of arresting my followers was your father, Sigrid. I know not why he hated me so, but he seemed bound and determined on a most personal level to stop things.
"We scattered and one by one were hunted down. I sent my pregnant wife into hiding and I myself turned to the council to beg our cause.
"The world turned a deaf ear. Out of fear or a refusal to change, I do not know. I only know all the records of the witches who came before, of whom I am the last, were burned.
"When I heard my wife had been killed I went mad. I am not proud of that time, but I had thought my wife and child were dead, and so I lashed out.
"The rift between me and the Nightraven clan grew deeper and my reputation as a dark madman only grew. After I survived an assassination attempt, I withdrew here."
"And where are we?" Soren finally asked, stepping down into the room holding Selene's hand.
"There are many different dimensions, many earths. There is a bridge between them all, and I well in this bridge." Bram stood and held his hand out. "I am sorry we had to meet like this, but I wish most of all to thank you for protecting my daughter."
The younger man looked at Bram's hand. "I was protecting my wife," he tersely said, but took the man's hand.
Selene sniffled. Hearing her father speak of her other and all his time alone tugged at her heart. She hugged him while Soren frowned at her back.
"So, is my wife truly immortal?" Soren asked.
Bram held her back and to her surprise winked at her. Hands still on her arms he took back his own magic through the burning touch of flesh.
"Yes and no."
Raising an eyebrow, Selene stepped back to put an arm around Soren's waist. "What do you mean 'yes and no'?"
"You are tied to your soul mate. As long as he is mortal, so you will be too."
"Why didn't you...when mother died?" She nearly whispered to her father.
He sat back down and stared at the stack of books in the corner. "I am from a different time. By the current system we have levels. Jonathon and Soren, you are tens; Sigrid, you are a nine, and my dearest daughter, you are a twelve. By this system, I am a twenty."
The women gasped in unison and the men stared. "I could survive her death. For many years, I wished it were not so, but now that I have found you, daughter, I wish to live."
"So I am the weak link?" Soren asked, gazing at Selene as if truly seeing her. She bushed under his gaze, stunned by this revelation.
"But I recorded her as a ten!" Sigrid claimed, standing. "No one is above a level ten!"
"Just as no one is immortal," Bram said, slightly bemused.
"How do I become...immortal?" Soren asked quietly.
The dark elder turned his hawk-like gaze on Soren. "It means following me. It means turning your back on your religion, on your family, possibly on your standing with the Council. Would you give all that up for my daughter?"
Soren kept his eyes on Selene, and turned, raising the back of her hand to brush it with a kiss. "I would do anything for her."
Bram stood again. "Then you are worthy. Sigrid, Jonathon, can you do this? Knowing you may lose your jobs, family connections, your reputation?"
"I don't honestly know," Jonathon said, even as Sigrid said "Yes." He turned to her. "Honey-"
"Soren is the only family I have aside from you, my love, and now Selene. If we don't stand with them, who will?"
After a long pause of reflection he nodded.
Bram smiled, but without warmth. "Then come with me, there is not much time. I sense great danger following you, Selene, danger not yet known, a presence armed with great power of concealment and glamour. It is a witch, and to hide from my gaze this witch must be draining or borrowing power from one very powerful. There is not much time.
"Come with me now, and know that when we are done nothing will be the same."
Selene looked at her husband and nodded. "As long as you are with me, I think I can bear a new path."
They filed out the door into the hall but Bram stepped aside and stopped Soren. "Do you truly understand what you are giving up? I have followed your career with great interest. You are poised to rule our world. Would you give that up for a woman?"
"No," Soren replied. "I would give that up for love."
Bram smiled, his dark eyes warm. "Love is the only truly eternal thing in this world or any other. You will need plenty of it. Let us cross into another world for safety, and I will show you all the secrets many men have died for."
Selene took her father's hand in one of hers, Soren's with the other, and for the first time in her life, it felt right. She felt confident she was on the right path.
Without knowing what faced or what lurked behind them, they watched as Bram conjured a portal of all colors and amazing power, and stepped through. Selene felt a painful snap in her magic, like a broken line of fate that had been floating connect to a new path. And there was darkness there.
The darkness was calling.