tagSci-Fi & FantasyHealer's Touch Ch. 08

Healer's Touch Ch. 08

bydragontatto©

Kat opened her eyes then next morning with a smile. Every muscle in her body still was filled with pleasure. Rolling onto her side, she stared down at the sleeping man next to her. Even sleeping his attractiveness was still apparent. The pleasure that she had experienced the night before was more than she could have ever imagined. Surely he had given her the same pleasure in the past! Why couldn't she remember!

"Good Morning, Katrina."

She glanced up quickly to see his eyes open. Although he had just awakened, they were alert and focused on her. She watched as they darkened with emotion. She leaned closer when she saw him wet his lips. In the early morning light, they glistened. Just before she joined their mouths, he pulled back.

"Charlie?"

"Come on, Kitty-kat. It's time to get going. If we're lucky we will arrive in Kartic later today. You will be seeing Arianna today if all goes well."

"Arianna?" Kat frowned as if something tugged on her memory. When it flitted away, she cursed softly. '"Damn, I almost remembered something."

"Don't rush it. It will come in time." Charles rolled to his feet and offered her a hand. She smiled as she took it. Effortlessly he lifted her from their bedroll and set her on her feet next to the banked fire. Turning he led her to the campfire. As she sat down next to it, she watched him make the coffee.

As it brewed, she watched him gather up the bedroll and other various belongs and shove them back into the saddlebag that would be slung over the zephti. When she felt a tug on her sleeve she turned and saw the smaller zephti that had been tagging after her. She smiled and ran a hand over its' hairless skin. She was amazed at how soft its' skin was. She laughed when he arched under her hand and pressed closer to her.

* * *

Charles stopped when he heard Kat's laughter. He couldn't help but smile in response. He glanced over to see the young zephti demanding attention from his favorite person. During the night he had wakened to find the little rascal curled up next to them, his muzzle in Kat's hair. The little fellow had it bad.

After he finished securing their belongings, he wandered back to the fire, then took his canteen and filled it up with the strong brew. Kat watched in envy as he screwed the cap back on the canteen.

"Come on Kitty-kat, let's get going. You can have your coffee while we ride."

She nodded as she stood and walked over to the zephti and waited for him to climb on. Once he was settled, she took the hand that he offered and let him pull her on in front of him. He handed her the canteen as they headed out. The young zephti was following closely behind them.

* * *

Rand cursed softly as he found the site where the zephti carrying his wife had gone down at. From the scuff marks in the ash he could tell that his wife had not fallen off of her mount. It looked as if someone had simply decided to rest their zephti.

Scanning the surrounding area, he looked for traces of magic that had been used. As his gaze traveled over the area, he stopped as he noticed the shimmer of used magic. Walking over to it, he opened his senses and encountered a cloaking spell. As he touched it, he was drawn into another more potent spell. This one was an entrapment spell. He cursed softly as an image shimmered in front of him. As the man became more defined, Rand sucked in a breath.

"You're dead!"

"Obviously not." The whisper came as if from a distance. Rand realized that what he was actually seeing was a communication spell. The man wasn't actually there.

"Where's my wife!"

"Relax, Prince Randall. I haven't harmed a hair on her precious head. But that could change in a moment unless you give me what I want."

"What?" Anger was evident in Rand's voice.

"I want to claim my rightful place."

"And "where" is that?"

"Sandova. My family ruled on the throne for hundreds of years until your father took over. He stripped my grandfather of his reign. There was treachery afoot. My grandfather was framed and made out to be guilty. He never would have dishonored the girl like they said he did. He had been drugged and placed in the chamber with her. But it's a lie."

"So you think taking my wife will give me the incentive to help you reclaim your throne?"

"I'm sure of it. It's well known that you love your wife. So much love that you'll do anything for her. Especially now that she is carrying the heir to your throne. So what's going to be, Prince Randall? Do you help me or do I have to hurt her?" The man pulled Gracie in front of him. She was still out of it and swaying on her feet. Rand tensed as anger flooded his system.

"Brett, I don't know who you think you are dealing with but I'm not a man to mess with."

"I know exactly who I'm dealing with. Think it over, Prince Rand. Or I'll just have to give her over to your enemy. I'm sure that he will give me what I want."

"He doesn't have it to give." Rand retorted.

"Once he claims your throne, he will." The man smiled evilly. "And you know in a way I'm hoping that he does. It ought to be interesting to see what kind of ruler Aric will make."

"Aric! He is taking his life into his own hands if he comes back here. If I don't kill him, Gracie will. She hasn't forgotten what he has done to her sister. He's a fool if returns to Venus."

"We will just have to see, Prince Rand. I'll will contact you later to see what you have decided." The man disappeared in front of him.

"Damnit!" Rand turned back to the zephti. "It's time to go scouting," he told the zephti as he climbed back onto it.

* * *

Phillip sighed in relief as the spell winked out and he carried the unconscious princess back over to the pallet that he had made for her. As he went to cover her up, he saw her stomach move under the blanket. He pulled it back down and watched in amazement as it twitched and rolled. Hesitantly he reached out and placed his hand over it. When a small foot kicked his palm, he jerked back in surprise.

"You really aren't a bad man are you?" Gracie's voice broke the quiet. Phillip fell on his ass as he tried to back away from the princess.

"You're awake!"

"Yes. That sleeping spell you used wasn't potent enough to keep me out. You know you do look remarkably like your brother. So close that one would confuse you with him. If I hadn't actually seen your brother's body, I would think I'm seeing a ghost." Gracie grunted as she tried to swing her body into an upright position. Phillip rushed over to aid her.

Gracie smiled in gratitude as she finally became upright.

"I wouldn't hurt an expectant mother. My mother taught me better than that."

"How did it go with my husband?" Gracie asked as she watched him sit down next to the fire.

"You heard?" he asked.

"No. But I assume that the first thing you did was contact my husband. I assume that you want something that he can give you? I can't see any other reason that you would kidnap me."

"I've asked him to help restore my family to the crown."

"Which crown do you seek?" Gracie finally asked as she studied him.

"Sandova."

"You expect my husband to trade me for this help?"

"I'm hoping to, or I'll go the other route. I'll turn you over to Aric."

"Aric? He's on Earth. If he dares to return here, he will die." Gracie's voice turned frosty.

"He must have done something hideous if you want him dead." Phillip walked away from Gracie and returned with a blanket. Draping it around his shoulders he sat back down.

"He did more than try to take over the crown. What's your name?"

"Phillip."

"And you are Brett's brother. Well, Phillip, I would think twice before dealing with Aric. He did more than just try to take the crown from my husband. He is an evil man. He deliberately gave an order to have my sister injected with raz-ice and an aphrodisiac. The two combined in her system. Do you know what that does to a woman that has just bonded with her chosen and then deprives her of him? Aric is lucky that I didn't kill him outright. Her chosen, Jonathan gave the order to have your brother, the man responsible for injecting her, the same treatment that he gave Pati. He didn't survive six months with the two drugs fighting in his system."

"Well, Brett wasn't the smartest man." Phillip said tersely.

"Well, lets hope that you are smarter than him. Or you won't live long enough to regret it. Because if Aric EVER sets foot on this planet he is dead."

"You seem certain of that."

"Yes. I will kill him myself." She watched as the color drained out of Phillip's face.

* * *

Charles sighed when the gates of Kartic came into view. The day had passed pleasantly enough all considering. On his lap, Kat had slept off and on. He knew that she still wasn't fully recovered from her injury.

As they approached the gates, he took a deep breath to fortify himself for the inevitable commotion that was bound to happen at his return. He gently nudged Kat.

"Kitty-kat, It's about to get a bit crazy. Wake up, sweetheart. We're gonna have company." He slowly stroked down her arm.

"It's the king!" A man's voice rang out from atop the gatehouse. "Make way, it's the king!"

Charles groaned as he heard the feet scurrying and the shouts of his people. At the same time, Kat stretched and rubbed her bottom against his groin. Charles inhaled sharply as she rubbed against his obvious erection.

"Katrina! Stop that!" he pleaded as she settled back down and wiggled closer to him.

"Hmmm...you smell so good. And you're nice and warm." Her voice was drowsy.

"Please, sweetheart." His chest was tight as need pounded in his veins.

Kat finally opened her eyes when she heard the men that came running up to them. She looked around and couldn't believe her eyes. This almost reminded her of a village that was set in early England. The men were dressed in dryla breeches and tops. She gave a bit of shriek when she was lifted off of Charles' lap by one of them.

"Charlie!"

"Relax, Kitty-kat. I'm coming down. I'll be right with you." He swung one leg over the zephti and slid to the ground. Then he tossed the reins to the closest man.

"Take her and her baby to the stables. Both deserve a double ration of feed." The man nodded and led away the mother, her baby followed closely behind after taking a last look at Kat.

"You'll have to make sure you visit the stables frequently." She nodded her head in agreement, as he took her hand and led her through the gate. She took in his village with greedy eyes. The small and quaint houses lined the cobbled streets. From the signs hanging in front of some of them, she could tell that the town boasted a bakery, a livery, a dry goods store and a clinic. As they passed many people yelled out greetings to Charles.

He took the time to wave to each of them. He even went as far as brushing the head of one brave little girl that darted out to tug on his shirt and pat at the pocket of his pants. She giggled and ran back to her mother's side gripping the small piece of candy that he had offered her.

"She seems to know where to come," she said softly at his side.

"Oh, yes. All the kids know that King Charles always has a pocket full of candy. All they have to do is ask and he'll give them a piece." the tall man next to her responded. She smiled at the thought of Charlie being swamped by children every time he went out.

* * *

Arianna was sitting in the drawing room, when a maid came in, accompanied by Stephan.

"Arianna, he's returned," Stephan said as he offered her his arm. "Shall we go and greet him?"

"I....No. I'll wait until he comes to find me. We had harsh words the last time he was here."

"Arianna. He's your son. He loves you. He surely will want to see his own mother."

"I may be his mother but he is a grown man. If he doesn't want to see me there is not a thing I can do about it."

Stephen looked at her carefully. A thought struck him.

"You are afraid that he is going to turn you away! His own mother!"

"Which is silly, Mom. I have brought a present for you." Charles said from the open doorway. He pulled a petite woman from behind him. She barely came up to his waist. Her ebony hair was loose around her oval face. If Arianna had not been expecting her, she would have thought the woman was a child.

"Charles?" Arianna whispered as she stood up slowly.

"Mom, this is Katrina. She is my chosen." He said the latter part low enough that she would be the only one to hear him. She looked up at him with surprise and tears in her eyes.

"Chosen?" she whispered as she took in the changes that had taken place in the last six months that he had been gone. He looked fit enough but she could tell that he was lighter than he had been when he had left. The last few months looked like they had been as hard on him as they had been difficult for her.

"Katrina?"

"Yes. Katrina or Kat if you like. We ran into some trouble on the way back. A man attacked us and in the process Kat lost her memory. She has a nasty bump on the back of her head. Would you take a look at it?"

"Katrina. My mother is a special kind of healer. She can help you."

* * *

Arianna walked briskly to towards Kat. She was nearly as tall as Charlie, so Kat had to look up to see her. Were all the Aresericans this tall, she wondered. She held perfectly still as Arianna reached down and slowly smoothed her fingers over her scalp. Kat winced when she found the knot and the abraded skin that surrounded it.

"Ah, I found the problem. Just relax, child, and it will be better in moments." Arianna smiled at Kat. Kat drew a deep breath when she felt the warm coming off of Arianna's hands. She sighed as the pain slowly subsided. When Arianna finally removed her hands, it seemed to signal the completion of her healing. She turned to look at Charlie. When she did everything that happened between them hit her hard as her memories returned in an instant. She recalled the way that she had chased him and his constant rejection of her. Then came the memories of the attack and his attitude afterwards. Anger surged through her system hot and heavy.

"You asshole!" Kat doubled up her fist and hit Charles square in the stomach. Much to the shock and dismay of everyone present; she then turned and ran out of the large double doors that were on the other side of the library.

* * *

The guards started to follow her and detain her. Charles held up a hand as he attempted to catch his breath.

"No, let her go. I'll deal with her. She's my chosen." He straightened slowly.

"I..." his mother started.

"It is not your fault, Mom. It's mine and I am the one who has to correct it." He leaned in and gave her a kiss on the cheek. "It is wonderful to see you. We'll talk after I have dealt with Katrina." She nodded solemnly and watched as he exited the library through the door where they had entered.

* * *

Charles exited the library and headed directly to his solar. When he entered the room, he was not surprised to see it in the same state it had been when he had left. This was his private sanctuary. It was "His place" to escape from the daily rigors of being the King. He had never shared this place with anyone. Not even Deanna. It was his and his alone. He had asked Councilor Dean to ward it for him. And his ward had held. The only thing that was different was the layer of dust that had covered most of the furniture. Evidently not even the maids had been allowed to come in here during his absence.

There was a knock on the door. He looked up in surprise. Who had dared follow him?

"Charles?" He immediately recognized the voice. Councilor Dean!

"Come in," he said as he dropped into the leather chair behind the desk. The door opened and Stephan walked in. After shutting the door behind him, he made his way over to the desk. Sitting down on the edge of it, he stared at Charles.

"You claim that the young healer is your chosen? What about the tribunal council?"

"This is such a mess! I never planned to bond or marry again. After the fiasco with Deanna, I've had enough of women and their ways." Charles leaned back and stared at the ceiling.

"So what happened?"

"After I went to Trila, the prince showed up with this earthling. She was a healer that had helped him while he was stranded on Earth. The first time I met her, I realized she was the one that Clara had foreseen. I, of course, wanted nothing to do with her. It had only been days since Deanna had pasted away. When she walked up to me, I was rude even obnoxious and I left."

"And that obviously wasn't the end of it was it?" Stephen leaned in closer as Charles continued his story.

"No. She was a persistent brat. She followed me around and kept telling me how I was the only one for her. She had never even met me! How did she know this? Well, Rand convinced her to be tested and she was ordered to train with Mom. So guess who, the princess decided should escort Kat."

"You, of course."

"Yes. I didn't want to but how could I tell the crown princess no?"

"You couldn't"

"Right. On our way here, only two days ago, we were attacked by a wizard. In the process, Kat was hurt. She hit her head and lost her memory. She more than likely would have been dead if Prince Rand hadn't showed up at the right time. The attacking wizard caught one glimpse of the prince and took off. But the damage had already been done. The prince decided that someone was trying to hurt Kat. He felt that she needed protection. Protection that he couldn't provide."

"Really?" Charles looked back at Stephan.

"Yes. He asked me to not fight him. I thought he was going to place her under my protection. Maybe make it out to be a betrothal. One that I could break at a latter date after the danger had passed. But instead he told her that we were Chosens."


"Shit!"

"Yeah, that was my thought too. Since he, as a member of the high royalty, has declared that we are Chosens, there is no escape for either of us."

"Well, we will just have to make the best of it." Stephan stood and walked over to Charles. Placing a hand on his shoulder, he offered reassurance to the young king.

"I wish I had your optimism and trust. After Deanna, I cannot bring myself to trust another woman with power. Even though Kat's power's are healing, it's still could be used against me."

"What Deanna did to you was wrong, Charles. If I had even an inkling that my niece was capable of such things, I would have never allowed your bonding to take place. I would have made sure that she was locked in a sanatorium and was never able to hurt another being." Stephan began to pace.

"She was a very powerful witch, Stephan. She fooled all of us. But it has left it's mark on me. I'm afraid I haven't treated Kat with much kindness. I've been fighting this since I first met her. I've said and done some things that I am not proud of. I did anything and everything I could do to drive her away from me. Finally the night before the attack, I finally managed to do just that."

"So this afternoon when your mother healed her..." Understanding lit up Stephan's face.

"She remembered everything – our journey – the attack and what happened after it. And she is mighty pissed off at me. Now, I have to go and explain to her that even though her memory has returned there is no way out of this dilemma for either of us. That we will indeed be stuck together for the rest of our lives."

* * *

Charles finally found Kat sitting on a stone bench that overlooked the village. Like most castles, his home was elevated above the village. From most of the rooms in the castle one could see different parts of the village.

"Katrina?"

"Go away, Charles," she whispered without looking at him.

"Let me explain...."

"There's nothing to explain. I'll do my training with your mother and then be gone." She stood and walked towards him without even looking at him..

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