tagSci-Fi & FantasyHealer's Song Ch. 06

Healer's Song Ch. 06


"Are you coming?"

She wouldn't pass out again. She already felt such a ninny for passing out the first time, and for letting herself lose so much blood. Some healer she was! But a combination of that and shock was making her dizzy again. She grabbed a branch and waited for her head to clear.

"Come, it's not much farther. There are city lights through those trees ahead!"

She decided it wouldn't be too wimpish for her to take the arm he offered. They made it out of the forest and through the outskirts of the city, sticking to the shadows and avoiding the sound of rhythmic footsteps when they heard it. The palace guards were currently searching the city.

When they reached a part of town where the lights were brighter and the goings on much seedier, he relaxed somewhat. It would be much easier to blend in with the crowds here. An innkeeper with shifty little eyes called out to them, asking if they needed a room for the night.

It occurred to him to glance down at the woman. Her cloak had apparently fallen off back in the woods somewhere, and under the lights of this part of town, even costly jewels looked cheap and fake. And she was decidedly naked underneath that joke of a gown; he could plainly see two perky little nipples staring up at him. And two slightly narrowed green eyes. Oops. Lift the gaze...

They had neared the edge of that part of town when approaching footsteps made them pause. They looked back to see a bevy of guards marching straight towards them. All he could think of was, he must hide her from their view.

Lisanne saw the guards and readied herself to sing. She was exhausted, but her voice would still have effect. A simple song of sleep should suffice. She opened her mouth but her voice died in her throat when her own lips were covered with a pair of warm and surprisingly soft male ones.

He had intended it just be a kiss for the benefit of any guard that happened to glance their way. The easiest way to hide her from view was with his own body. In this part of town, they would just appear to be another prostitute with a customer. But he hadn't counted on her response. Nearly the instant his lips touched hers her arms went around his neck to pull him closer and her tongue started exploring...

Lisanne felt as though she had entered one of her dreams. Part of her fully expected him to pull her into an alley and make passionate love to her right there in the street; another part of her just kept mindlessly thinking, Oh gods! This is real! She couldn't help her response. She'd responded to his touch so many times already that it was an automatic reaction.

And in real life he was capable of wreaking so much more havoc on her body. She didn't remember breathing quite this heavily in any of her dreams, didn't remember her heart rate increasing like this, most certainly didn't remember getting quite this wet so quickly. When he pulled away she actually whimpered.

"They've gone," he said. No, he didn't miss the whimper or the look of longing in her eyes. He was definitely curious about this woman, and would fully satisfy his curiosity at a later date. Now, however, was neither the time nor the place. Even if she weren't injured, he needed to get her back to the Mermaid's Revenge so he could ensure the safety of the other Siren he'd promised to protect.

"Derek? ... Lisanne!" They had reached the waterside, and Alex was standing on the dock. It was she who had called out to the two of them.

Lisanne, upon finally seeing a familiar face and the outline of the ship that would take her away from this place, felt the blackness closing in again, welcome this time. She slumped against the man, then a moment later dimly registered that she was being carried somewhere. She felt something soft beneath her and knew no more.

"How on earth did you get involved in all of this?" Alex asked Derek. They had left Lisanne sleeping peacefully in Alex's own bed, and now were on the deck of the ship.

"It's a very long story, but I should be the one asking that question."

"Another long story. And we're out of time." She motioned to the dock where Daina and the three sirens could be seen approaching the vessel. "Shall we agree to meet at a later date and discuss it over a bottle of rum?"

He grinned. Nope. Alex hadn't changed a bit. "Sounds like a plan." He was glad the Sirens were finally safe, and his duties were finished. He would prefer to get off the ship without any extended meeting with Kali and the others, however.

"So long then," he said, leaving the vessel and passing by the four on his way to his own ship.

Alex watched him go, trying to define the emotion she was feeling. Deja vu? Definitely. Unrequited love? No, nothing quite that dramatic. She could have quite easily fallen in love with that man, nearly had on several occasions, but he was closed to her. She didn't know why, or whether it would ever be different with any woman, but she hoped, for his sake, that he found someone that could get underneath his shell.

"Captain!" Daina called out. "We couldn't find her."

"She is here."

"What?!" Daina had never before climbed over the side quite that quickly. "Oh no, we've got to get her off of here! The guards are coming to search the ship!"

Lisanne awoke in a strange room. Her first thought was to be nervous, but there was nothing unsettling about her surroundings. Barebones definitely - the bed was sheeted with simple unbleached muslin, the walls were baked clay, the ceiling wooden. Her eyes searched the room for a second, then she saw her. Kali!

"Lisanne, you're awake!"

"Where am I?"

"At an inn. The guards were searching the ship and we had to sneak you off! It was so exciting. But we paid the innkeeper a hefty sum to keep his mouth and eyes shut and you're safe here for the time being. This place was already searched earlier."

"I'm so happy to see you again."

"Me too! Oh, we cleaned your shoulder and wrapped it in new bandages, but we weren't sure what else to do."

"Thank you, Kali."

"Well, of course! You are my best friend, what do you expect?"


"Oh, and you're wearing some of my robes, so they're probably too short, but I imagine they're better than that thing you had on..."

"I broke his mind. I didn't mean to originally, but when he tried to kill me, I lost it."

Silence for a moment. "We noticed. I - wouldn't think on it too much if I were you. He wasn't a nice man. It's hard to say if he deserved it, it's hard to say if anyone deserves it, but at least we're safe now. No one will try to mess with us again now that they know what we can do. Just... try to forget if you can. Oh can I get anything for you, are you hungry? You do need to get your strength back."

Actually, yes, she was starving. Kali left to go warm up some of the soup that she was sure was left over from dinner. While waiting for her to return, Lisanne thought over the events of the previous evening. Everything was so blurred, but she was certain a man had helped her through the forest and the city. Was he really the man from her dreams? Was he really impervious to her powers? Would she ever even get to see him again to have these questions answered?

"Soup!" announced Kali on entering the room. "It's simple, but it should do the trick."

Simple, but perfectly adequate given the situation. There were a couple small rolls of crusty bread too. Lisanne made short work of all of it.

"Lisanne, will you be okay here for a few minutes by yourself? I know Captain Alex wants to leave before dawn's first light if possible. I want to tell her you are awake and feeling better, and see if we can figure out how to sneak you back on."

"I'll be fine." She really was feeling nearly completely back to normal.

Kali had been gone for probably about 5 minutes when there was a knock on the door.

"Yes?" she said.

"The lady who was with you has requested that you meet her downstairs."

"Yes, of course. Tell her I'll be right down." Lisanne should have thought to scan the voice for telltale emotions, especially with all she'd been through the past few days. But she was so excited to finally be leaving this accursed place and on her way home that she only heard the words.

She jumped out of bed and looked around the room. The jewels the others had apparently removed were all on a small table by the bed. The dress, torn and bloody, was draped over the foot of the bed. It was ruined, but it seemed foolish to leave behind the jewels. She tore a square of somewhat clean fabric from the sheer dress and piled the jewels in the center. With the corners tied, it made a nice little carrying bag.

She left the room, noting the robes swishing about her calves instead of her ankles. Yes, they were about 6 inches too short...

Her musings were interrupted by a sharp sting in her neck, and almost immediately the room started spinning. She looked up, noticing the inn keeper standing in the hall for the first time. Dishonesty, Greed, Deviousness. It was written all over his face. Why hadn't she heard it in his voice? She gripped the door jam and tried to stay on her feet.

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