Healer's Touch Ch. 17bydragontatto©
Kat sat down in the chair next to Charlie and waited for the meeting to begin. She was becoming accustomed to being at his side for the endless meetings. This meeting was to discuss the newest outbreak of the chicken pox. She wished she had more answers to give the Tribunal.
Stephan called the meeting to order before turning to her.
"Your Highness, could you please update the Tribunal about the current status of the outbreak." Stephan asked.
"Yes. So far four villages have been affected by the chicken pox spore. We are still trying to determine how it's being spread but I have a feeling that it was released into the atomsphere. According to the leading medical opinions from the Earth's Disease Control Center, the most likely way to spread the spore this quickly is through an aerosol. Which leads us to believe that some one released it into the atmosphere. We are still questioning all the pilots of spacecraft that landed or departed prior to the first outbreak."
"And this disease has killed how many of our people?" Councilor Whetman asked.
"Too many." Kat said softly. "So far the death count is twenty eight. All except for two were adults. It seems that the spore is more fatal to adults than children. Just as it is on Earth. Many earthly children contract chicken pox between the ages of five and seven." Kat explained to the elder councilor.
"And have you had this virus?" He asked coldly.
"Yes. I contracted it when I was eight."
"So, the person that released this aerosol knew that you wouldn't be affected?"
"I don't know if the culprit knew that I had it or not." Kat replied.
"Are you accusing my chosen of something, Councilor Whetman?" Charlie asked softly.
Councilor Whetman's face turned red with anger.
"It just seems odd, that this is the first outbreak of any type of Earth disease. Since we've started communicating with Earth this is the first time we've had any problems. It stands to reason that who ever is behind this is trying to strike at us; but is doing it in such a way that SHE won't be affected."
"That sounds like you are accusing her of plotting against Areseric." Charlie said coldly.
"If you have issue with me taking an Earthling for my chosen, Whitman, you take it up with me." Charlie locked eyes with the man.
"This is the first time in our history that an Earthling has been the King's chosen. You have to expect there will be resistance to it. We rejected Aric's suit for the crown because he was a bastard...what makes you think that we will let you put an alien on the throne?" Whitman demanded as he stood up. Charlie growled and surged to his feet.
Kat stood and faced the man. She loved that Charlie was standing up for her; but she could handle one misguided old councilor by herself.
"Look at me!" she ordered as she faced Whetman. "I didn't ask to be his chosen. In fact I offered to be his consort, so don't be taking your grievance against me out on him. True - I am an Earthling. I can't change that fact..."
"No, you're not, Kitty."
* * * *
Kat froze. She knew that voice. She hadn't heard it since she had left Earth. She turned towards the door and saw her grandfather standing in the open doorway.
"Gramps?" she whispered.
"Master Iason?" Charlie exclaimed before dropping to his knees in the classic pose of respect that a student showed his Condocefacio.
"Kitty, I know I should have explained before you left but..." Jason swallowed roughly. "Explained what?" she asked.
"You're not an Earthling, sweetheart. You are a healer descended from the Vindexicis class."
"You mean to tell me I'm not human? That you could have brought me back here at anytime? That I didn't have to go to ITS? That you could have simply sent me home?" she squeaked.
"Let me explain..." he pleaded as she started trembling.
"I...." she stopped and wiped furiously at the tears that had started to run down her cheeks. "I can't do this...." she cried before she darted out the same doors that she had used the first day when she had fled from Charlie.
"Let me go after her," Charlie commanded from his prone position. As tradition required, he had to remain in his position until his master acknowledged him.
"What?" Jason asked in a daze.
"Let me go after her!" He growled. "She's my chosen, Master Iason." He added.
"Go." Jason said. Charlie nodded his thanks before hurrying after his chosen.
* * * *
Jason faced the Tribunial with solemn look on his face. Then he turned towards Councilor Whetman. His face hardened.
"Am I to understand, Councilor, that you are questioning the right of my granddaughter to be the King's chosen?"
"Yes or no!"
"Yes, I was. How was I to know that she was your granddaughter? We were told that she was a healer that returned with Prince Randall. We assumed that she was an Earthling. Her petite stature is also not one of our people." Whetman explained arrogantly.
"She is a throwback to the great healer Amaterasu. My grandmother was no bigger than she. Believe me, Katrina's blood is as Areserican as Charles's is. And I see that you have also decided to forget the prophesy that was spoken of when Charles was a boy. The prophesy that I warned this very council about before I left with my own daughter for Earth. You, Councilor Whetman are a very narrow minded fool. I hope that Charles is a better warrior than I." Jason said angrily.
"Why's that?" Whetman asked from under his bushy white eyebrows.
"Because if I were in his shoes, I would relieve you of your position and office." Jason replied before turning to the rest of the council.
"Is there anyone else here who questions the validity of my granddaughter becoming the next Queen of Areseric?"
The murmurs of 'No' seemed to satisfy Jason. He turned to Stephan.
"When she calms down I need to speak to her. And I'll need some private time with the King when he is available."
"Of course, Master Iason." Stephan assured him. Jason shook his head as he left. It seemed odd to hear anyone call him by his Vindexicisian title. It had been many years since it had crossed anybody's lips.
* * * *
Kat stood in front of the fire in Charlie's private solar. She knew that no one would disturb her here. The only ones that knew of his solar were Stephan and Charlie. And they were both back at the council meeting.
She was still in shock at what her grandfather had revealed.
She turned towards the door and saw her chosen kneeling in the same position that he had dropped into earlier.
"Charlie?" She approached him when he didn't move. When he continued to kneel, she frowned.
"May I rise, Mistress?" He asked.
"What? Charlie, what the hell is going on? And why are you kneeling?"
"It's tradition Mistress."
"Okay. I've had enough of this. Get up!"
Charlie nodded and slowly rose to his feet. When she walked over to him, he stood his ground, keeping his eyes averted from hers.
"May I sit?" he asked.
"I don't know. Can you?" she asked sarcastically.
"Yes." he said as he sat down on one of the pillows across from her. Kat walked over and crawled onto his lap. When his arms didn't wrap around her as was their custom, she frowned. She looked up at him and saw that he was holding himself stiffly and his jaw was clenched.
"Okay. I think I need an explanation. What the hell is going on with you? First you drop to your knees when you meet my grandfather and now you won't even touch me."
"I..." he started but was interrupted by a knocking on the door. She scrambled off his lap in surprise. She walked over and jerked the door open.
"Mistress Katrina." Stephan said nodding to her. "Is Charlie here?"
"Yes. He's by the fire." She said but realized that he wasn't looking at her either. He was staring at Charlie. What the hell is going on, she wondered, as he stepped around her and headed towards the fireplace.
"Well, am I going to get any answers out of either of you?" she asked the men. When they looked at her with blank looks, she sighed. "Forget it!" she said before she stormed out of the solar. * * * * "Stephan, what am I going to do?" Charlie asked his advisor.
"She's my chosen. She's a Vindexicisian healer."
"And you are a Vindexicis warrior. You couldn't ask for a better mate, Charlie." Stephan assured him as he watched him pace back and forth across the solar.
"You just don't understand. Our healers are to be revered. They are the holiest of healers. How am I supposed to bond with her? She is meant for better things than me. I have to let her go. But how?" Charlie asked as he stopped at the bar and poured himself a drink.
"Who says that you have to?" Stephan asked.
"It's tradition. She needs to complete her training and take her place in the Vindexicis holy sect. If I bind her to me, she'll never be able to go there. She has to remain pure."
"Have you spoken to her about this?" Stephan asked as he watched Charlie start to pace again.
"No. But it's her destiny. There are only a small handful of healers born to our people every generation. We cannot squander a single one of them. Even if the healer in question happens to have the unfortunate luck of being the King's chosen."
"I think you need to ask her what she wants, Charlie. Don't assume that you know what's best for her. She needs to be able to make her own choice."
"And what do I do if she chooses to stay with me?" He growled.
"Is that what you are worried about? That she might stay with you? Or that she might leave you?" Stephan asked him.
* * * *
Kat found Arianna getting ready to leave for the main clinic.
"Off to the clinic again?" She asked as Arianna as they walked towards the front gate of the palace.
"Yes. After I take a walk to clear my head. That man has me tied up in knots."
"None other. If he's not sleeping beside me, he thinks he has every right to invade my dreams."
"I wish I could be so lucky. Since my grandfather showed up two days ago, every time I try to talk to your son, he drops to his knees. And he hasn't so much as touched me, let alone kissed me since that horrible morning. Do you have any idea what the hell his problem is?"
"I see that your grandfather hasn't explained anything to you yet?" Arianna asked.
"No. I haven't even seen him since he showed up at the Tribunal meeting."
"Why?" Arianna asked as they started walking towards the clinic.
"Because I am angry at him."
"Tell me about it. I thought you would be happy to see him."
"I was. I've missed him. But it was the bomb that he dropped on me. He really yanked the rug out from under me. And I never thought that he would hurt me that way. He has been the one constant in my life. And now I don't know how I can trust him."
"Explain, Kat. I'm not a mind reader. What's happened that has made you feel this way?"
"I'm not an Earthling, Arianna. I'm actually an Areserican. My grandfather is also "Master Iason." What ever that is. Christ they can't even get his name right." She laughed bitterly.
"So you feel betrayed that he didn't tell you before about your true heritage?"
"Not just that, Arianna. It has to do with my childhood. He knew that I was different. He could have sent me back here but instead he chose to have me imprisoned because I remained on Earth. I was locked up like an animal and treated even worse. And with a simple call, he could have sent me back here. I don't know if I can forgive him for that."
"Maybe he has his reasons, Kat. Tell me honestly, do you think you would be a better person if you had come back here as a child? Or did your experiences on Earth shape you into a stronger person?"
"I don't know. Maybe not? I don't know if I'm strong enough for this?"
"Think about it before you judge your grandfather. As far as my son is concerned...well, I need to tell you a little story. Come, let's rest here before we continue on to the clinic." Arianna said as she motioned to a small bench set off the path. After they settled down onto the bench, Arianna started.
"This happened when I was but a young girl. Your great-grandmother Amaterasu was still alive. She came before the council with a prophesy. It involved one of her descendants. She foretold of a young girl. A healer, who would take after her and who would one day wed a warrior king. The council just laughed at her. In our culture, the Vindexicis warriors were protectors of the king and other royalty. They had never held the throne. And with the monarchy as it was, they assumed that a warrior would never rise to the position of King."
"And then came Charlie." Kat whispered.
"Yes. Many years passed and Amaterasu passed on. I grew up and married my husband. We had Charles. He showed a great deal of power even as a toddler."
"Wait, I thought that Vindexicis warriors had to go through a ceremony to..."
"When a child exhibits the traits of the warrior - a Master is called to place bindings on their power - until they complete their training. Then during the ritual ceremony - the Master removes their bindings and their power is freed."
"No wonder Charlie said he wouldn't be performing the ritual. He needed his Master there to release his bindings."
"Yes. As Charlie grew, he trained with Maser Iason. At that time I was training his daughter, Elenora. She was a talented healer. The only problems I had was that she was both headstrong and very promiscuous. For a healer to learn the healing arts, she needs to be pure and patient. Sadly Elenora was lacking in these qualities. The more I tried to rein her in, the wilder she became. Eventually she was banished. But not before she became pregnant. She claimed that it was the King of Sandova's child. But no one was certain. She was banished from Areseric and Venus. She was sent to Earth to live for the rest of her life. Your grandfather chose to go with her. You were born on Earth but you are Venusian."
"So that is why Grandpa has stayed on Earth."
"I imagine so, Kat. If she was as headstrong there as she was here, he couldn't leave her there unattended. When he left Venus, Charlie still had not completed his training. He was a fierce and protective warrior. He made up for what he lacked in power with his sheer physical prowess. Then Deanna got a hold of him. Even as a toddler she could wrap him around her little finger. I thought my heart would break when he came and told me that they were going to bond."
"In the prophesy, Amaterasu told of the pain that the warrior king would go through before he found his true mate. It spoke of his binding himself to a lesser witch that would make him wary. And that after she was gone, his true mate would come from far away. She would be a great healer. She would be a true descendant of Amaterasu and more than his equal to the warrior king's power. She would seduce him into forgetting his pain. She would tempt him to love once again. And from that great love would come a great healing warrior."
"A healing warrior. Isn't that an oxymoron?"
"In a way. The great healing warrior will be one that places healing above warring. This warrior will fight to protect the right to heal and be able to heal."
"Okay. So you are saying that Charlie is the warrior king?"
"I believe so."
"Then that makes me....the great healer? You've got to be kidding me. It has to be someone else."
"No, she isn't, Kitty-kat. My grandmother told me that my granddaughter would be the one." Jason said from behind her.
Kat stiffened in pain. She loved her grandfather but she was SO angry with him. "Kitty-kat please..." Jason whispered as she stood and started to walk away from him. She walked away and never looked back.
"Let her go, Jason." Arianna advised.
"I've hurt her." Jason groaned as he sat down next to Arianna.
"She'll come around." She assured him. * * * *
Kat slid into Charlie's solar through the window. She smirked as she realized that she had never once entered it through the door. She had left through the door once but never entered it.
She walked over to where Charlie was dozing stretched out next to the fire. She knelt down next to him and watched his relaxed features. Even in sleep he was an imposing man. She longed to touch him; but was afraid that if she did, he would withdraw from her once again. Her talk with Arianna had explained a few things; but it had not answered her questions about why he was keeping himself distant.
The dreams that she was having nightly were not easing and she longed for his arms to be wrapped around her. She felt as if she had come into heat and there was no relief in sight. What was she going to do?
Seduce him. Remember the prophesy!
Did she dare? She stared at him hungrily; and then she nodded. Lifting her hands, she gently placed them on his and drew his arms above his head. When he mumbled in his sleep, she held her breath. When his breath deepened again, she took one of the ties off her apprentice robe. She gently wrapped it around his wrists before attaching the other end to the leg of the chaise lounge that was above his head. She then swung her leg over his hips and settled on his waist. She waited but not for long.
When he awoke and tried to buck her off him, she was glad that she had tied his arms.
"Relax, Charlie," she whispered in his ear.
"Let me go!" he growled as he bucked one more time.
"No. You'll just drop to your knees and won't touch me." She said as they locked eyes for the first time since that fateful morning when her grandfather had shown up at the meeting.
"Mistress Katrina, please don't do this." Charlie pleaded. She slowly shook her head.
"I'm Kitty-kat to you Charlie -- NOT Mistress Katrina!"
* * * *
Charles cringed as he heard the need in his voice. It was probably a good thing that she had tied him, he thought. Because sure as Hell was hot, he would have his hands all over her lush curves if they had been free.
He groaned when she leaned down and fastened her mouth to his. He tried desperately not to respond to her darting tongue. He should be shot, he thought as he fought his body's natural response to his chosen.
"Why are you resisting?" Kat whispered against his lips. "Doesn't this feel good?"
"Mistress Katr..." he groaned. She took advantage of his lapse and slid her tongue in to tangle with his. When she finally lifted her head, they were both panting.
"Much better." she told him as she continued to sit on top of him.
"Please Mistress..." He pleaded again.
"Relax, Charlie, we're not going anywhere until we get one thing straight."
"And what's that?" He growled as he tried to buck her off again.
"That I am your chosen and expect to be treated as such. This distance thing that you are trying to pull is driving me crazy. And it's going to stop."
"Really? What are you planning on doing, Mistress Katrina?" He taunted.
"Seducing you." She told him happily as she leaned down and captured his shocked and open mouth.