tagGroup SexA Shade of the Past Ch. 01

A Shade of the Past Ch. 01

byNymzanSusauren©

(This is the second chapter of 'A Simple Shadow' started in the Gay Male category for obvious reasons...In the second edition, many more characters are introduced, and it evolves into bi-sexual and group encounters as well as the original gay male material.)

*

She smiled when she woke. She felt warm from the pool of sunlight she was lying in, and damp from the morning dew...Birds were singing the day away peacefully as she slept. Listening, she didn't immediately realize that anything was wrong. When she didn't hear her brother Gracie nearby, her heart slowed in warning. She lay still. This wasn't one of their normal camping expeditions, she realized. He wasn't waiting close by for her to wake up and romp through the forest. Gray had abandoned her months ago...Had she come into the forest alone, she wondered. She had never been brave enough to try it before he left. Why would she now? She vaguely remembered a party. Just thinking about all of the drugs she had consumed to keep a mild blur, made her head ache in repulsion. Alcohol alone couldn't do it. Her body rejected most toxins automatically. Sighing, she sat up to look around.

The usual feeling of melancholy was already settling heavily upon her shoulders. Until she saw a fuzzy image watching her, and realized she wasn't entirely alone! Her body raced with sudden energy as her mind stated 'ghost'. Yet her eyes saw something else, even as adrenaline shot through her! It was the same image that Gracie spoke to a hundred times. He had once told her that an ancient had gasped the man's name just before he died, but the man simply could not exist! It was the name of a very old, very wise, and very powerful legend, not a real person. To be real, he would be like the humans' God, Christ: the son of the first man to exist of their race. Femurin: The Phoenix, as old as the lands he had shaped for others to walk upon, perhaps he was real after all. She could nearly believe it looking at this creature!

"What", she whispered. It sounded like a squeak of fear more than a question to her ears. The dark, gray-green eyes creased in concern. Surely he knew how confused she was as she sat there trying to remember what had happened. Her eyes widened as the man's true form filled out the ghostly image. He had never done that before! She had never seen him quite as clearly as she did now, and neither had Gray!

Even studying him like this, she had trouble believing he could be real. His long hair brushed the back of his calves in a thick, living mass of energy like a living flame. It was strawberry-blonde, but unlike any shade she had seen before. Darker, richer, pure red ran beneath it and an even darker, blood red beneath even that! As he walked forward, it shifted and moved like an aura of crackling fire. His pale, white flesh seemed to be permanently tinted with fire light from the glorious, burning mane. Her eyes burned just from looking at him! The man was tall and lithe like an elfin god. Power moved around him like a shield, buffering him from the natural world. It was a thick mantle of magic too heavy to penetrate unless he, himself, allowed it. She shivered as he looked down at her solemnly.

"Sam'hain, you disappoint me." She ducked her head at his soft words. Who was she to disappoint a god? Why would he care? "Get up", he ordered harshly. He held out one hand to lift her to her feet. She swayed dizzily. Standing at near six foot, he still dwarfed her. She backed up feeling nervous so close to him. "How would your mother feel if she saw you like this", he asked dangerously. Sam's head snapped up! She loved her mom! Gray had searched the worlds several times to find her, only to keep losing her again. Kane always tore her away. This time when they had found her, she hadn't even recognized them! She believed she was human and young! She didn't remember her children. She didn't remember what she was, either. It was too cruel!

Femurin stepped into her comfort zone once more forcing her to look up into his face. "I know what it is to have her, and feel the pain of separation. I miss her, too. I have searched for a way to regain her, and failed. Unlike you, I cannot dance in the face of Kane's wrath." He touched her cheek and smiled at the picture he had painted of her bravery. She smiled, too. It was a lovely thought. It was Grae'cien she saw in that image, not her. "You have Jenna's passion inside of you, little one. Until now, Gracie has guided and protected you. He has stood between you and the worlds. Do you have the courage to face it yourself? Are you truly Jenna's child", he asked bringing her angry eyes back into focus. "If you wish to see your mother again, you will have to fight your way back to her side. Kane has her rather completely to himself, except for a boy that plagues him." She frowned. "Your mother remembers your father. She loved him while he lived. She loved Kane once; she remains confused because of this. They are much alike. I hope she leads Kane on a merry chase; he deserves it."

"Why don't you simply take her", she demanded. The question was one she had been dying to ask for a hundred years, or more. Only after uttering it did she realized how young and stupid she sounded. His eyes grew angry and cold, but even more...they grew old and sad. She couldn't imagine watching someone she loved without trying to get them back if they left. "You know she still wants to be with you. Dont you", she asked.

He let out a tired sound. "Imagine how you think of me. She is my mate, little one. She doesn't know what she is, or who I am. What would she do if I took her away", he asked softly.

"So", she muttered thinking. "You are saying she is as powerful as you? Only she doesn't know that, yet?" Or again; she had known it once long ago. Gray had told her stories of the legendary thirteen who had walked together of the two forbidden bloodlines. "Taking her unaware would be very bad, wouldnt it?" He nodded. "So this other guy, you are allowing it to keep her from getting too attached to Kane?" Again, he nodded, but more warily. "Why don't you simply play like you are young and bump into her? Oh, Kane", she answered herself. "I forgot. He is your companion! I heard he doesn't remember you, either. What the hell happened?" The phoenix looked down. "I mean...the thirteen split, I know. You and Kane, Jenna and your brother, Dorian...all stayed together in one house. You had a child, too, right?" He looked up stopping her with the amount of pain in his eyes, but she was a talker and too curious to shut up for long! "There was a riot of some kind. People were trying to kill you. Or did, you died, didn't you? That was why you couldn't help them escape. The baby disappeared entirely. He was only an infant, so I would imagine he was your primary concern. Jenna, she would have been too dazed at the mere sight of violence to react. Especially, once she saw and felt you go down. What happened after that?"

He smiled but it looked strained. "I have more respect for you at this moment than I have ever had before", he whispered softly. "It took Gracie much longer to figure it all out, and never, not once, has he asked the question of me!" Her eyes danced as she realized she had finally managed to do something that even her beloved brother feared. "Maybe if you prove to me that it wasn't a one-time-only moment, I will answer, too." He began to fade away promptly.

"Wait," she called out. "Where am I? How do I prove it to you?"

"You are on the same planet your mother is on. It is the one she was born into this life cycle. She isn't far. If you look, you will find her. Be careful", he paused to warn. "You have no idea how deadly this place can be to strangers. Despite your age, you have never been alone before, Sam'ain Faye. People will expect you to be independent, even if you are not." The last of ghostly image faded away. She felt abandoned once again, even knowing he would not stay. Then, she grinned. She had stood in the man's presence. His actual, physical presence had been here! Wait until her brother heard that one! All of the centuries spent chasing their mother down had built up a healthy amount of idolatry around her first husband. Gray had been shocked to rather accidentally discover that Juis Ic'ceare was actually the much older legend, once called Ifristice Femurin. It had begun the flickering visitations of his awareness. No one knew that Femurin still lived. They all thought Juis and Pandorian were younger brothers.

She grinned harder and calmly closed here eyes, doing as he had instructed. She focused on the young mind her mother now possessed. It was miles away. She marked the general location in her mind, and thought about Kane. He wasn't here. She smirked. So her mom was already replacing the ancient trickster! She thought of Femurin, and found nothing, but she knew he dealt in technicalities. She concentrated on his younger personality of Juis and still found dead air. She knew the ancient would have a cover nearby to watch his woman's safety. Doubtless it would have been created much the same time that her mom was born here, and kept in case of needing to return. On a whim, she sought out Justin McKeinly, the dragon Lairds son. It was his most recent pseudonym. He was the Earth Guardians best friend and McLaird of McKeinly castle where Andomiere now lived. They said he had a house in another world that he would visit from time to time, perhaps this was it. She felt a tiny flash of awareness, quickly concealed. She got her bearing on it just before it was erased. She knew he was still there, but had hidden himself. He could do it better than anyone she knew. By now, it was an automatic and unconscious action that he did without noticing. She was stunned to have even caught the momentary flicker.

She decided to snoop on the ancient before going on to find her wayward mother. Changing into a cat form the way she changed her clothing, with a mere thought, she stretched the length of her body. It was the one she preferred when traveling the Earth with her brother. Her heavy muscles eased and she stared down at the enormous, white paws. The tiger would mark her as a stranger to anyone who saw it, but she didn't feel like going back to her more natural, black leopard form just yet. Besides, this one traveled faster! She loped off into the trees knowing the ancient was nearby and he wouldn't care what cat she used. It took longer than she had planned to get closer to the location she had marked. Once, when she had been high in a tree, something had tried to attack her. She hadn't gotten a look at it, but had chosen to stay on the ground afterwards.

A long clearing was just ahead. Past it was a castle. It was an exact replica of the one that he owned in Ireland. Two females were playing on the grass with a tiny boy. Justin lay on the ground pretending to sleep among them. A human male stood nearby watching the castle gates, while more milled about aimlessly. Who were the two women, she wondered. Carelessly, she stalked closer. Intending to leap upon the unsuspecting male, she used her feline 'stop and go' crouch. He was closer to the forest than the others and fair game. She was nearly hidden in the high grass.

Forgetting the aerial attacker, she remembered only when she saw the shadow bearing down upon her. It was too late to retreat! She screamed in fear as the dragonet sliced a wound along her back in passing. She raced forward seeking Justin's aid against the creature. Even a mere hatchling was fast and deadly to an untried female. The ancient caught hold of her as she barreled into him and rolled. He tensed and she saw the image of a dragon tail sweep up at the tiny creature as it dove for her again. It darted out of the way in surprise! Sam heard a child crying and looked up. The older of the two women held the boy and the other held a knife.

Justin stood, releasing her. He called out to the dragon. It turned and soared closer. As it neared the aura of power surrounding the ancient shifted to catch it. Before it reached his waiting arms, it changed into a young boy. Startled, Sam looked into the older woman's angry eyes. The younger one looked amused.

"Now, what do we have here," the lady asked, "a pussy from Earth? How nice, love. You didn't tell me you had a pet there", she snarled eyes flashing dangerously.

"She isn't a pet, Dina." Justin drew close with his son. "Dagan, how would you like to go with Tony to get some ice cream?" The girl with the knife put the weapon away. A human male was coming to take the children inside. A female parted out of the crowd to gather up the youngest one, too. "Don't let Hunter have too much", he warned as they left. Then, he glared at the other girl. She stalked off with a vicious smile enjoying his predicament.

"Give me one reason to not kill her on the spot," Dina snarled the second they were alone. "Why would you have a female follow you here, love, if you are not sleeping with her there?" Sam's eyes widened. She hadn't even considered that anyone would think that! Ewww! She looked at Justin in horror. He looked both amused and offended by her reaction.

"Nadiana, please, you have shocked her and embarrassed me. I have never even thought about her in such a way! She is too young."

"Who is she? Don't give me that young crap; she is older than I am!" Startled, Sam searched to see if she was telling the truth. The woman was only a handful of years younger, but she was honest. Sam's scandalized eyes turned on Justin. My Gods, she thought. She knew it happened all of the time, and was easy to do if you were old enough that anyone seemed like robbing the cradle, but still...

Justin ignored her thoughts and pretended to be innocent. She wouldn't believe any answer that came out of his mouth, so he stopped trying to appease her. "Perhaps you should ask her, honey," he said softly. Sam's eyes widened even more at the affection used on the last word of that sentence, even his eyes had warmed! It occurred to her that she had just met the major reason Juis wasn't currently pursuing his amnesiatic wife. He was involved with someone he had grown fond of during his stay. He had even had children with her! A woman of their own race who should have a mate somewhere! That rarely happened without anywhere from four to eight peoples' consent. The married couples, and sometimes even the married companions, had to agree; complicated by any twins or other kinds of bonding. It was a complex relationship. Then, there was Justin himself, the universal man of tricky situations! Were the woman's mate and companion dead? Someone should be protesting the match! Power stung her arms as she continued to stare at the woman.

"Yes, I know," the lovely witch proclaimed. "I am being rude to our guest, but darling, I saw her! So did our son, but he thinks differently than I do! He thought she was attacking you! I saw it otherwise," she said darkly. "The girl was being playful! She knows you; so you know her." He narrowed his eyes at her and nodded. "Talk," she demanded, "explain this to me!"

Sam'hain frowned asking, "Nadiana, right?" The woman nodded warily. "My name is Sam'ain Faye. I have been living on Earth for a short while and do know of Justin from there. My brother, Grae'cien, spoke to him often. He is a researcher tracking the history of the thirteen. Before he found his mate, he pursued Justin as often as he could for information." Justin frowned at the last part having not heard about her yet.

"Gray isn't mated," he protested vaguely. Obviously, he was checking as he spoke.

"Not yet," she stated irritably. "She is a hard one to catch and seems to be in a bit of trouble, or something." Justin winced. He rubbed his head like it was hurting. "Didn't you wonder why he would leave me alone?"

"I heard he left you with Jenna and you were separated. That isn't alone." The other woman grew spitting mad at the mention of her mother's name.

"What has that bitch got to do with this? You said you were through with her! That you only seduced her to get back at Jeremy for having me! Have you been seeing her all along? Don't lie to me! Have you?" Justin snarled and the woman grew unnaturally still. In fact, the entire world around them ground to a halt. How powerful was the man?

Sam paled when he turned his gaze back to her. "I'm sorry. I didn't realize she was baiting me. She is just looking for any excuse to be mad at you! I didn't do anything wrong..."

"Yes, I know...I brought you forward in time when I brought you here. You have missed several key events. Jeremy was married to Dina; they had a fight. Now, she is married to me, and the children are mine. I have brought you forward again. Kane has taken Jenna once more. You have nothing to fear from him, but I believe you just pissed off my wife. Don't ever return there. She will kill you."

"How far," Sam asked in distress. "How far did you bring me? What if Gracie has been looking for me?"

"I have been watching for him. Jenna has a new daughter by me and one with Jeremy, which has recently died. Two twin sons, slightly older than my girl, by Kane. I have been seeing her again since Dina has thrown me out." Sam paled at the words. "Jeremy is dead. The palace where she lived with him blew up with thousands of people there. Only she survived, so don't mention it, please." She nodded too dazed to question him. "It hasn't been so long on Earth...only here. Pretend you have only missed a moment in time. To Gracie, it has been just that. He is unaware of the events going on here. I have been erasing you from Dina's memory. She found you the first day you arrived and I had to save your life then. Both of you forgot that incident. I was hoping to keep things less complicated", he sighed.

"Where is my mother? I want to see her!"

He took her hand and faded away. She heard Nadiana snarl in anger as they disappeared. "You cannot remain here. It is Kane's world, but she comes to mine occasionally. I will let you see her and then take you there. Don't let go of my hand and no one will know you are here." She walked around the place swiftly seeing the children and her mom with the irritating Aidyn Kane. The house was next to a forest on a lake. It had tiered balconies out back. Jenna stood below them in Kane's arms. She felt a tiny tremor run through the ancient at her side. Down there stood the two most important people he knew, and neither one recognized him as a dear friend. He couldn't even reach out to them in his mind. It was completely against the natural order of their race for such a thing to happen. It must cause him pain to be without them both. Yet he never showed it. He simply looked at them. His gaze was patient and concerned, perhaps a touch sad, too. He would wait for them to return on their own terms, or not at all. But the longer she watched, the more convinced she became that he was tired of waiting. His powerful aura seethed with pent-up rage. Perhaps he grew tired of watching his own companion with his wife, she thought. He didn't like it; she knew that just by his tenseness. It was against the code of honor to steal your companions mate in such a fashion. Did it matter that the two didn't know she was not his to be kept? He felt bound to her through his ties to Justin, meaning the ancient allowed it. Where was Kane's wife? Did he have one?

"Come with me. You will be free to roam the Dragon Lands until she visits. Few of our kind are allowed such a chance. Dragons are loyal creatures. They will never turn their back upon a friend." The dragons were his pets much the way the humans were to Andomiere. He wasn't the only one of the original thirteen to protect the beasts. Andomiere's companion, Marrgar also claimed them as his own. "Jenna is forced to pretend she is my wife in the Dragon Lands to retain the girl's birthright. She will come there, in time."

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