tagSci-Fi & FantasyHealer's Touch Ch. 10

Healer's Touch Ch. 10

bydragontatto©

A little bit longer than usual but hopefully just a good as the other chapters in this series. All feedback is welcome.

Kat stirred before opening her eyes. The last thing that she remembered was watching a presentation for the Renewal Festival. Oh no! The meeting! She looked around wildly. She had fallen asleep during Charlie's council meeting! What an idiot she was!

"Calm down, Kitty-kat." Charlie's voice was sleep roughened. She realized then that she was snuggled into his lap like a small puppy.

"I fell asleep."

"Yes, you did," he agreed as he pulled her closer. "Are you still tired?"

"Ah..." she looked around the room nervously, noting the dimly lit surroundings.

"Well, I could use another hour of sleep, myself." He rested his head on top of hers.

"I have things to do!" she squeaked as she wiggled off his lap. She winced when she felt the cool floor under her bare feet. She looked around frantically for her missing shoes. She finally saw them resting on the floor next to his chair. "My shoes!"

"Yes. I took them off. I assumed you would be more comfortable without them." Charlie explained. "Come back here. We don't have anything that is pressing." He held his hand out, his posture relaxed and his eyes sleepy as he reclined in the huge chair. Evidently she wasn't the only one that had dozed off.

"My lessons!" she protested as she slid her shoes on and backed towards the door.

"I've been meaning to speak to you about that, Katrina," he sighed before rising.

"What about it?" she twisted her fingers nervously.

"I know that you need to take these lessons before you can be registered; and as our future queen, you have to be registered but once these lessons are done, I don't want to ever see you using magic."

"What?" she growled as her back stiffened.

"You don't understand, Katrina. I won't have a wife that has uses her power against me. My first wife was a master at using her power to her advantage and my disadvantage. But not this time! This time I will be the dominant one in our marriage."

"So you are judging me because your first wife was a bitch. I won't even go into how unfair that is, Charlie. But no one said that we had to get married. In fact, I never planned on marrying any man, let alone a king from another world. I guess being a king's mistress is more than most women could hope for." She laughed bitterly. "Believe it or not, Charlie, I came here to escape this very thing on Earth. Did you know that they lock up children that have "powers" on Earth?"

Charles paled.

"You mean that you were..." Emotion flared in his eyes.

"It doesn't matter, Charlie. Forget I said anything. The last thing I want from you is pity. I'll be your chosen, since Rand left us no option on that score. I'll do my duties as such but other than that I believe that we would best be suited to live separate lives." Kat turned to leave the meeting hall.

"I don't think you understand, Katrina. There is no such thing as living separate lives, when you have a chosen. Once we bond, Kat, and believe me we will, there is no going back. I won't be able to survive without you."

"Find a way because I won't marry a man that refuses to accept all of me." Kat opened the suite's door and left closing it firmly.

* * * * * * * *

Charles stood by the table as he watched the door close behind his chosen. In frustration, he slammed his hand against the table. He barely felt the pain in his knuckles as he broke the skin. It had definitely not gone as he had hoped. In fact, he was in a worse position than he had been earlier.

Turning, he hit a button on the communications console. Immediately Councilor Dean's voice filled the room.

"I need to talk to you, Dean."

"I'll be right there, Charles."

A few minutes later, Stephan walked back into the meeting hall. He noticed that the king was standing at the window by himself.

"What is it?"

"What do you know about Kat's background?" he finally asked without turning around.

"Not much. I know she came back with Prince Randall. She lived in North America, the United States, I believe."

"I need you to do some digging, Stephan. Find out everything you can about her. I want to know where she grew up and her family."

"If I'm not out of line here, Charles, wouldn't it be better to just ask her?" Stephan offered. It seemed like a sure recipe for disaster.

"She won't speak of it. Plus I want you to find out Earth's customs on Magic."

"All right. Give me a couple of days and I'll have everything you want."

"Thank you, Stephan. But before you leave, I want to talk to you about something else." He turned around and walked towards Stephan.

"What?" Stephan asked as he observed the tension in the other man.

"My mother. I want to know your intentions, Councilor."

"I was wondering when you would notice." Stephan sighed and rubbed the back of his neck.

"It's quite obvious to anyone that is in the same room with the both of you."

"Charles, I won't lie to you. Your mother is a special woman and I've ignored the need to claim her for many years. First, I was married and then she was grieving for your father. But I think back now and realize that I let a good thing slip away. And I'm trying to recapture it."

"So you are trying to make up for lost time?"

"Yes and no. I'm definitely trying to make up for the time that we've lost but that's not all that's involved. You know that I never bonded with my wife? It was because I knew that she wasn't my chosen. "My other half." The first time I laid eyes on your mother was at my wedding reception. It was then that I realized who my chosen really was – because the first time I touched her - I knew I had made a horrible mistake. But I had given my oath to Hope and I am a man of honor."

"So you stayed in a marriage that was a sham?" Charles looked at him with a look of disbelief. Divorce wasn't common on Venus but it did happen.

"No not a sham. Hope did everything she could to be a wonderful wife to me. And I tried to be the best husband I could be. But I knew that something was missing. I was content and I'm sure that I made Hope happy. Then came her death in the accident. Now finally your mother has come out of her own grieving and I'm not going to wait any longer. She's my chosen and I can't, no, I won't let her walk away again."

"So you intend on bonding with my mother."

"Yes I do, just as soon as I can convince her." Stephan said determinedly.

"I wish you the best, Stephan. I know my mother. She is a stubborn woman."

"No more stubborn than your soon-to-be wife."

"If I can get the ring on her finger. She just informed me that we aren't getting married. She'll be my mistress, though, if I want. And she's prepared to fulfill the duties of chosen but thinks that we are going to live separate lives."

"What! Has anyone explained to her what being a chosen entails?" Stephan stared at him in shock.

"I doubt it. She has seen Rand and Gracie together, along with Jonathan and Patience but I don't believe anyone has gone in depth with her about exactly what it means. I tried to tell her about the real meaning of 'bonding' but I don't think she understood."

"Then show her." Stephan advised.

"I plan on it." Charles smiled in anticipation.

* * * * * * * *

Gracie studied the man that was kneeling in front of the fire, coaxing it to life. They had been moving around every day. She assumed that it was to keep Rand from tracking them. Philip seemed to be a decent enough wizard. He was constantly making sure that she was comfortable; but the fact that he had kidnapped her was a 'sore spot' between them. She knew that if she weren't so far along in her pregnancy, she would have escaped the first night. She had more than ample ability and power to overpower the young wizard. But in her advanced state, she figured it would be better to stay with Philip until her husband came.

"I'm surprised that you don't have a spell to start the fire."

"I don't ever use fire spells." Philip said harshly, pain evident in his eyes as the fire flared in front of him.

"Why?"

"I just don't. Leave it at that!" He turned away from her, picking up the trail food. Placing the tinned meat in the small pan, he moved it over the flickering fire.

Gracie sighed and tried to find a more comfortable position as she sat awkwardly on the ground. Philip looked over at her. He walked over to the zephti and pulled off his bedroll and hers. He knelt down next to her and spread them out.

"Lie down!" he growled before turning back to the cooking meat. She watched as he flipped the meat with ease. It was obvious that he had done this many times. It made her curious to know more about her captor.

"It's obvious that you have done this before..."

He looked up at her quickly. Confusion was apparent on his lean face.

"Kidnap the Princess? Not to my knowledge."

Gracie chuckled.

"I would hope not. I was referring to the cooking. You must enjoy cooking over an open fire."

"I've spent my share of time traveling. Nothing tastes better at the end of the day than a nice hot meal."

"Then you must spend quite a bit of time in Areseric."\

"Princess, I've been exiled from my home. I'm not allowed back in Sandova. Until your husband lifts the ban, I'm a wanted man. An outcast. So don't expect me to apologize for my actions because I have nothing left to lose. My brother is dead and my family is gone. I have nothing and no one." he said as he took the meat out of the pan and placed it on two tin plates.

"I wish I could say that I am sorry about your brother, Philip but I can't. He injected my sister with raz-ice and a powerful aphrodisiac. She is pregnant and she still is battling both of the addictions. I find it hard to not hate him."

Philip looked at her with a weary grin as he added some of the fried potatoes that he had started earlier.

"I never claimed that he was a nice guy, Princess. Just that he was my brother."

"So what's the plan? We keep moving around until you get what you want? I hate to burst your bubble but I'm at the end of my endurance here. If you keep pushing you are going to be delivering my babies. Then I would hate to be in your shoes when Rand catches up with us. He wants to be at my side when our children come into the world. I wouldn't want to be the one that denies him that." She shifted uneasily as she tried to find a more comfortable position to stretch out and ease her back. It seemed to be an impossible feat as of late.

"Well let us hope that Rand makes the correct choice." Philip reached across the fire and handed her the plate.

"One can only hope," Gracie responded softly as she accepted the plate.

* * * * * * * *

The following morning, Arianna watched as Katrina poured over the text in front of her. When she looked up to find her staring, Kat colored.

"What? Is something wrong?" she asked Arianna.

"There's something familiar about you." Arianna said as she came closer. Sitting down across the table from her, she picked Kat's hand up. Immediately she felt the familiar surge of power. She turned the hand over and lightly traced the lines on Kat's palm.

"Going to read my future?" Kat teased.

Arianna chuckled.

"Oh, child, if I could predict the future, I'd predict my own first. Can I ask you something?"

"I guess," Kat replied, startled.

"Your mother, was she a healer also?"

"No." Kat said flatly as she looked down at the paper in front of her.

"I hate to pry, Katrina, but it seems to me that you and your mother have a strained relationship?"

Kat didn't reply at first – pulling back on her hand – she rose and walked over to the windows.

"Strained relationship? My mother turned her back on me a long time ago, Arianna. We have no relationship - we have nothing." Kat paced back and forth next to the windows. Staring outside, she seemed lost in thought. Arianna joined her looking out at the gardens below.

"I'm sorry if I struck a nerve, Katrina. Each person who has power, whether it be healing or magic, leaves a signature. Your signature is very similar to an apprentice I once had. I thought maybe she might be related to you. I taught her about twenty five years ago. I had just passed my master's test. She was my first student." Arianna watched Kat carefully. She didn't bother to add that Eleanora had also been her first failure. She had almost given up her teaching robes. If it hadn't been for the support of her husband, she would have.

Kat turned back to face her. Kat's expression was like reading a closed book – nothing was revealed. "I'm sorry I was so defensive, Arianna. As far as I know I am the only healer in my family. If there were any others, it was a long time ago and no one has ever told me about it. My family is not even the stereotypical broken home."

"Broken home?"

"My parents were never married, Arianna. I lived with my mother and grandfather until I was six and then I lived at the ITS until I graduated. I did not have an idyllic childhood."

"How sad," Arianna replied, her empathy showing on her face.

"Don't pity me, Arianna. I survived. That's what I do best." Kat said with a rueful smile.

* * * * * * * *

Stephan sat behind his desk and looked down bleakly at the paperwork in front of him. He had just received the report that he had asked for. The attache to Earth had prepared this report at his request. If he wasn't mistaken, Charles was going to be truly angry when he gave it to him. It was hard to believe that an advanced race such as the humans condoned what he was reading.

Now he had to find out if Katrina had suffered any of the injustices that he had just read. He tapped his chin thoughtfully. It might be better to go to her first and ask a few questions. Maybe she would be willing to speak to him about it.

Reaching over, he pressed the buttons on the communication console. He waited patiently for Arianna to pick up. He had promised himself that he wouldn't use his telepathic ability for anything other than erotic thoughts. He wanted to keep her on her toes. When she finally picked up, she sounded a bit frustrated.

"Ari, can you meet me in my office?" he asked vaguely, not wanting to say anything incriminating if Kat happened to be with in ear shot of the console.

"After I finish Katrina's lesson," Arianna's voice sounded irritated at the interruption. Or maybe she was just irritated with him.

"Good," he replied as he heard the click of Arianna shutting off the console on the other end.

A few minutes later there was a knock on his door. He glanced at the clock on the wall. Surely she hadn't finished already. He bid the person to enter. He was surprised when King Mica walked into his office.

"Your Majesty!" he quickly scrambled out of his chair before bowing quickly.

"Relax, Stephan." Mica said as he approached the man.

"I wasn't expecting to see you. I would have had the welcoming committee prepare a luncheon for you." Stephan stood back up after Mica acknowledged his bow.

"I know. I needed to speak to you. I believe young Charles has asked you to look into Kat's background." Mica sat down in the plush chair facing Stephan's desk.

"Yes. I haven't gotten very far yet. I just finished reading a report from the attache about the customs on Earth regarding magic. I haven't gotten any direct information on Kat yet," Stephan said as he sat back down behind his desk. Gathering the report up, he handed it across the desk to Mica. Mica took it from him and for the next several minutes scanned it. When he finally looked up from it there was a frown on his face.

"This is rather disturbing. Do you think that she was treated this way? If so I can see why she jumped at the chance to come here."

"I can't imagine living in a world like this. How can they treat their own people like this?" Stephan added, not seeing Kat who was standing in the doorway behind the King' chair.

"It seems like such a harsh judgement." Mica admitted.

"They say "It's for the protection' of the better good." Kat said as she strode into the room.

"Katrina!" Stephan scrambled to his feet for the second time in the last five minutes.

"Don't worry about standing, Councilor." Kat turned back to Stephan. "I see that Charlie has you digging into my background. Unbelievable. If there was anything he wanted to know about Earth's customs, he should have come to me. I would have told him."

"Would you have told me everything, Kitty-Kat?"

All three of them spun towards the door. Charles stood a few feet behind Kat. He had a serious expression on his face.

"Charlie, this is ridiculous. I don't have a problem talking about my planet. I will answer any questions that you have about Earth's customs."

"And my questions about you?" he asked as she walked up to him.

"Me?" she squeaked.

"Yes. You are a closed book, Katrina. You won't give an inch. There are certain things that a man should know about his future wife, don't you think?" he asked as she stopped in front of him.

"I thought we already had this discussion, Charlie," she said pleasantly as she stepped around him.

"I tried to have this conversation with you. You refused to finish it." He caught her arm as she walked by him.

"Let go of me," she said coldly as she looked up at him.

"Or what?" he asked.

"Don't push me, Charles. You won't like the results. I don't have to use any magic to hurt you." She tugged on her arm. In response, he tightened his grip.

"I will only ask one more time. Let go!"

"Or what?" Charlie repeated as he smiled down at her.

She growled softly before turning her body to bring her back against his front. With a quick move of her hips, she bent over and used leverage to toss her surprised chosen over her head. Charles landed on his butt and hip with a hard thud and a shocked look on his face. He rolled to his feet just in time to see Kat dart out the door.

"Katrina!" he growled as he surged to his feet and followed her, leaving both Mica and Stephan staring in disbelief.

Mica turned back to Stephan with a small but deep chuckle.

"That's my girl," he laughed. Stephan eyed him with confusion.

"Your girl?"

"Yeah, we've adopted her into the royal family after what she did to help Rand."

"Do you think that he'll hurt her?" Stephan asked after a moment.

"Only in the best ways." Mica laughed again as they turned back to the report in front of them.

* * * * * * * *

Kat slammed the bedroom door and threw the lock. She couldn't believe the nerve of that man. He thought he had the right to manhandle her. She would soon disabuse him of that notion. She was her own woman and he was going to learn to accept that. Or she would simply leave!

"Katrina, open this door!" Charles voice boomed through the thick wood.

"GO AWAY!"

"Open it now!" he ordered as he tried the door knob.

"No. I don't want to see you," she said as she watched the door carefully. When nothing but silence met her response, she walked cautiously towards the door. Had he left?

"But I want to see you!" He growled from behind her, before yanking her into his arms. She landed against his chest hard enough to make her catch her breath. She tried to protest his actions; but whatever she had been ready to say was swallowed by his mouth. He sealed his lips over hers before thrusting his tongue inside her mouth to tangle with hers. She moaned softly as pleasure rippled through her body followed by an intense need for more. In response she lifted her arms and wrapped them around his neck.

Charles moaned deeply and pulled her closer, plastering her against his hard body. When he ripped his mouth away from hers, they were both breathing harshly.

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