tagSci-Fi & FantasyThe Bonding Chronicles Ch. 09

The Bonding Chronicles Ch. 09

byPantherParabola©

***** For Future Consideration *****

The trip to confront Sara's father had turned their world upside down.

Andrew was still disturbed by the notion that he was like her father. He wondered if he was destined to keep drawing powerful women into his life. The frequency with which Karen invaded his thoughts had been growing narrower, and he was beginning to wonder how much longer he would be able to keep his feelings for her at bay. Every shuffling step brought more questions to Andrew who for the first time found himself wondering, "What do I want?"

Exiting the Drexel house, Andrew saw Sara sitting atop a stone wall a short distance away. She was watching the community while trying to ignore a group of boys who were out in a field making a spectacle of themselves. Sara was framed in the warm glow of the late afternoon sun, her hair set afire by the intensity of its light. The cloud which had followed Andrew outside was rendered mute by the pure joy that swelled up within him at the sight of his mate.

Sara was struggling with demons of her own. The revelation that her father perhaps was not the tyrant she had thought him to be threatened a fundamental part of her identity. Could they have had a relationship these last few years if she had stayed and listened to him as a child? As she watched these magnificent people move with unnatural grace she knew that she did not belong here. Her blemished complexion standing out among these pictures of perfection.

Andrew walked around the wall and wrapped his arms around her waist while resting his head against her firm yet yielding abdomen. She ran her fingers through his hair and felt peace descend as they both sighed, their worries melting away.

"Did you get your answers?" Sara asked with a gentle tone.

"As best as your father and Miranda could manage. Though I don't think I really understand what they were trying to tell me. Not yet anyways."

The uncertainty in Andrew's voice was refreshing for Sara, who had become used to his indignant resolution when it came to the topic of his bond with Karen. She was hopeful that perhaps her father and stepmother had planted a seed which would grow and yield the fruits that would allow Andrew to accept Karen into their life. She squeezed him with her legs and whispered, "You will figure it out, prince. I have faith in you."

Andrew had sensed her conflicted emotions as he approached, and was happy to feel her mood improve with their embrace. He smiled at her words, and took joy in knowing that she had helped him forget some of his anxiety as well. Whatever concerns he held for his bond with Karen, he knew that Sara was his mate and he was beginning to realize that nothing would ever make him love her less.

"Do you want to go see him?"

Sara took a deep breath, having already considered whether she should take the chance to speak with her father while they were at The Clowder. "No, I'm not ready for that yet."

Andrew ran his hands along her lower back and vocalized his understanding with a rumbling, "Mmmmm, hmmmm." into her belly. He pulled back and looked into her eyes, "Your father is not the man I expected."

She gave him a pensive smile and rubbed the back of her fingers against his cheek, savoring the sensation as he leaned into her touch slightly. "I know, baby." Her eyes misted up a little as she said, "I think we both have to reconsider how we think of certain people we thought we knew."

Andrew kissed her tummy and said, "But not today, kitten."

Sara dropped from the wall and they embraced, attempting to shake free from their confused emotions.

Andrew knew he would need to have a heart to heart with Karen, but he first needed to sort through these troubling thoughts. Whether he would push her away forever or welcome her into his life was still unknown to him. He had arrived nearly prepared to remove her from his life, but now he was confused by how close the race had become. Whatever was going to happen, he needed to figure out what his subconscious was working on before he settled on a decision.

Mercedes watched the young couple as they made their way out of the community. She wanted to run to them, to warn them, but the command from her alpha forbid her from doing anything but watch. She shuddered at the thought of Brandon, fearing the man she had once loved. She trailed the couple as they jogged along the path to their cars. Sara moved with a familiar ease that reminded Mercedes of the woman's parentage.

Andrew on the other hand lacked the speed or surefootedness of their kind. Mercedes had been raised in The Clowder, and had little experience with humans. He seemed weak and clumsy, even by the standards of his own people. Despite his shortcomings Mercedes admired the love and devotion that he possessed for Sara. Their light hearted jokes and jabs carrying them through the forest until they arrived at their vehicles with a caring hug and salacious kiss.

They acted as if they would not see each other for years, and that this kiss would need to sustain them for all that time. She found the gasping passion that shook them as they parted adorable. Mercedes hated knowing that she was being forced to take part in what would likely be the death of a sweet young man, and the subjugation of Sara Drexel.

***** The Drive *****

Andrew had convinced Sara to take their new car for a spin, and to just enjoy the drive home. So it was with a steady pulse and adrenaline fueled grin that she found herself swerving through traffic as she made fast progress north through Oregon. The SUV with her boyfriend had long since vanished in her rearview mirror and all Sara saw was the open road filled with tactical decisions to be made.

Her phone chimed with a loud buzz as Sara rode up on a slow moving sedan that was failing to pass an eighteen wheeler. She looked at the phone, realizing her service had just been re-established for the first time since leaving The Clowder. Sara was surprised to see several messages from Karen scroll by on her screen. She backed off of the frustrating sedan and scanned the messages.

"S, wts gng on? Is A OK?"

"S, save Andrew."

"OK, I guess you two are fine now."

"Call me as soon as you get this."

As she scrolled through her contacts she realized that Karen must have sensed Andrew's danger. She studied the traffic while waiting for the phone to connect, and after half a ring Karen answered.

"Ohh thank goodness. What happened?" Karen sounded frantic.

Sara remembered how it felt when Andrew was being ran ragged in PE that first day of school, and their bond had compelled her to come to him. She had driven even crazier than normal knowing that something was happening to Andrew. Sara was grateful that she did not hear the sounds of driving on the other end of the phone.

"I'm so sorry. I should have known you would've sensed what happened. Andrew is fine and we are heading back now."

Karen released a loud exhale, that single breath contained all the worry and concern she had built up since the attack. As her body relaxed she chuckled and asked, "Does that boy ever stay out of trouble?

It was Sara's turn to laugh before responding, "No, honestly he doesn't. Though I don't think we can blame this one on him."

"How about you? How are you doing?"

Sara smiled at her phone, appreciative of the question. "I was able to save him this time. I wish you could have seen me, I was amazing. You would've been proud."

The phone was quiet for a few seconds, and just as Sara was thinking that their connection had been interrupted Karen spoke, "I'm sure I would have. It would please me to invite the both of you over, I am eager to hear all about what happened, but I fear I'm not ready for that. My feelings are becoming more confusing and I fear it would just make things more difficult."

The multi-colored Mini Cooper was again darting its way through traffic while Sara listened to her friend. She wondered why it was so difficult for Andrew and Karen to embrace these feelings. Sara knew they were causing themselves more grief than was necessary.

"Would you like his number? He would love to hear from you, and I bet he would appreciate your concern. He could even fill you in on what happened, if you like." Sara hoped that her friend would take the bait.

Karen considered Sara's offer, finding it all the more tempting due to the lingering sense of satisfaction that radiated within her loins. A reminder of when Andrew had overwhelmed her with his passion shortly after the attack. She bit her lower lip at the memory of her masterbatory frenzy, and responded before she was tempted any further to accept.

"No, I really should go. It's a relief to know the two of you are safe."

With that fleeting response the phone call ended and Sara shook her head while navigating through traffic. She was worried about her friend, but knew that Andrew was in no place to help right now. Sara released a frustrated sigh before a grin overtook her face and she settled into her journey home.

Andrew enjoyed the sight of Sara taking off like a jet ahead of him. Their small car darting around slower moving vehicles on the two lane highway. The last he saw of her she had used the shoulder to pass someone, which caused him to smile and laugh.

He used his gift to scan through his contacts, trying to decide when he would tell Sara that he had her father's cell phone number. A smile cracked his face as he considered what her father would say. Andrew had never asked if he could have the number, and had instead used his gift to fetch it out of the older man's shut off device.

Andrew was startled out of his thoughts as another vehicle passed him going the opposite direction. It was not the vehicle itself that surprised him, but the assault of information that confronted him for the brief moment that the car had passed. While he reeled from the oddity of that sensation it happened again when a truck blew by.

The information was intense, and despite focusing on it Andrew was only capable of catching the tiniest bits of detail. A few random words, and a phone number came into focus in the storm of data before it all poofed out of his thoughts. Traffic was light and Andrew was pleased with the speed the car in front of him had settled into. Setting his cruise control he spared some of his attention to look within his mind, and was surprised by what he saw.

The azure dome which had shielded their electronics at Mr. Drexel's house was no longer there. In its place were floating ghosts of his phone, and SUV. The ease with which he could study his mindscape while still focusing on driving the car came as a relief to Andrew, who had entered his mind with great trepidation.

He studied the car more closely, finding the silhouette of the vehicle startling in its ethereal beauty. While his phone appeared as a semi-transparent block of pulsing white, his car was mostly transparent with glowing pathways that ran like arteries throughout the vehicle. The engine compartment was a spectacle of glowing veins and arteries that seemed to all flow into or out of a couple of complex blocks of undulating white. A sedan with two cell phones appeared within his mind, distracting him just as he was beginning to piece together the nature of what he saw.

Andrew could feel his gift working to link and categorize these unfamiliar devices as their data popped into his thoughts. As quickly as these new tools solidified within his mindscape they vanished, leaving behind a sense of startled confusion for the young man who was forced to shake the disorienting feeling off.

He returned to his study of his SUV, confirming that the arteries of light were the electrical pathways that ran between all of its electronics. He suspected that the complex centers of radiant light were the computers that monitored and regulated everything. He was forced to shake off another passing vehicle before studying the car more closely. Focusing on the main bundle of vibrant light he was amazed as his perception zoomed in and what had seemed so undefinable a moment before became ordered and beautiful.

The simple computer received information from the numerous sensors and used basic logic patterns to determine its course of action. He began to understand the various readings and track the logic, realizing at what point different tasks would be performed.

His head began to hurt as another car passed. "Three cell phones this time." Andrew mumbled to himself as he blinked away the sharp pain in his head. Whatever this gift was, having manifested devices within his mind was becoming a problem that Andrew knew he would need to solve.

As the miles ticked by Andrew was growing nervous with every car that passed him in the opposite lane. He was thankful every time the passing vehicle had no cell phone, but he found that for every luddite that crossed his path he would be forced to deal with a family vehicle full of tablets, DVD players and cell phones. His headache had grown and he stopped trying to understand the devices in his head, instead focusing his will on blocking out these passing vehicles.

Andrew wondered why his gift was compelled to make contact with every piece of electronics that crossed his path. Deciding that he needed to try something, he focused his will and attempted to craft a barrier like the one he had used to protect his cell phone earlier that day. He was pleased by the speed with which the azure dome was formed within his mind. A moment later the screaming presence of a wagon and cell phone appeared within the iridescent barrier, dashing the elation that had swelled up at the formation of the dome.

He studied the barrier, sensing that it was drawing energy from his core as if it was a particularly greedy magical device. The light blue shield was designed to protect electronics from the dangers that his magical energy posed, so he was forced to laugh at the realization that it was draining him so hungrily. He shook his head at the irony of it all. The barrier was not draining him nearly as fast as Sara had during the peak of her anger, but it was more greedy than both the hourglass and moonstone combined. Andrew sighed and dropped the spell, realizing that its purpose was for protecting devices when he fed and nothing else.

I-5 proved to be far worse; the plentiful cars and bumper to bumper traffic causing Andrew's gift to work over time. Each new device appearing within his mind's eye flooded him with data. The silver lining to the slow moving traffic was that it gave his ability the chance to establish a stable connection with the electronics, and while the initial flood of information was intense he found that the feed of data would subside as he focused on what was being presented and dismissed it.

As Andrew approached Portland he feared what his gift was going to do. A few cars were bad enough, but he had become aware that the reach of his gift had been growing at the same rate as his headache. There was a tremendous pressure behind his eyes, and the amount of information that was presented to him with each passing vehicle was compounded by the number of vehicles that were contained within his now twenty yard range.

He almost thought that he could feel his brain pulsing against his skull as his intellect struggled against the onslaught of information. The deep penetrating ache of his mind pounding against his will as he struggled to fight back the relentless march of data. He clenched his teeth and spared a few ounces of thought on driving while the vast majority of his attention was focused on dismissing the numerous streams of data that were presented to him every second. The three lanes of oncoming traffic guaranteeing that he would always have more information to sort through.

It was in that moment of near hysteria when Andrew had an idea. If his gift was going to present him with every device it found, perhaps he needed to attack this less like a person, and more like the devices he was being forced to dismiss.

Andrew ignored the streams of information, allowing his gift to barrage him with the demands of countless nearby electronics. While the powerful thrum of data grew, he focused all of that willpower which had been devoted towards damage control and shifted it towards creating something new.

He knew he was on the right track when he felt his mind create a connection to his core. For a brief moment he remembered Karen's warning to him when discussing his creation of the ward within the glade; "A power you must learn to control before you attempt to use it in that way again. Like so many of your gifts you must learn to control it, otherwise you risk destroying those closest to you."

With an apology he ignored Karen's warning and gave himself over to his gift. Unlike the previous times his gift had guided him, Andrew felt in control. He knew what he wanted and felt the knowledge seep into consciousness just long enough for him to focus it into being. He channelled energy through his mind and shaped it, his amazing intellect forming it into the foundation for what he needed.

A vibrant purple circle faded into being within his mind, between him and the sea of screaming devices. Symbols and glyphs formed within the outer edge of the circle, oscillating in intensity as more of them appeared. The drain on his core was intense, and Andrew began wondering if he would have enough energy to complete this task. A ward Andrew had never seen before appeared within the center, drawn in steady sweeping violet lines of power by Andrew's will. The ley-lines of the ward connected the numerous symbols which pulsed with eldritch power as they were integrated into the forming ward.

Much like the glade, as the ward was completed Andrew fed a steady stream of power into the circle. He was nearing the limit of his reserves and knew that the amount of power he had available was a small fraction of what he had used to fully activate the ward in the glade. Andrew felt alive with magical potential as the intense glow of the circle finally smoothed out. He severed his connection to his core, gasping in astonishment at how close he had come to depleting himself completely.

He sighed and admired the circles beautiful design, its filigree patterning reminding him even more of the circle within the glade. The ringed design's glowing started to fade as a dazzling smoky black monolith began to rise from its center. The ward and symbols being drawn up the growing semi-transparent height of the large rectangular structure. The shape of the symbols within the circle shifting into luminous intricate pathways as they climbed up the growing monument. The glowing design that formed across the face of the object reminded Andrew of a complex circuit board. As the monolith grew, the circle shrank, feeding itself into the rectangular device which now stood within Andrew's mind. After a few moments the circle had vanished, leaving only the proud monument as a reminder of its existence.

Pulsing points of bright lilac light raced through the countless violet pathways that covered the tall construct. The sea of devices which had once stood behind it were gone, and all that remained was a dim swirling mass of lavender light that hummed weakly in the back of Andrew's mind. His core was almost depleted, and he could feel his exhaustion at what he had just done.

Panic struck Andrew as he realized what was missing. With tremendous speed born from his dread he scanned his mind until he spotted the cute little amber sprite of Sara darting and chasing after the smaller powder blue sprite of Karen. He laughed, his voice echoing through his mind and filling the vast open space with his joyous relief.

The two sprites danced around the monolith, bouncing off of its surface and sending pulses of lavender light across its transparent face. Andrew could feel pure joy from Sara, and was happy to know that she was enjoying her trip home. Karen was more troubling to the young man. He knew his connection to her was weak, but through that limited bridge he could sense her worry and anxiety. For a moment he thought that perhaps Sara's sprite was somehow influencing Karen's, but as he studied them he knew that if anything the sprites behavior was a reflection of the mental state of both woman. He wondered why Karen would be trying so hard to distance herself from Sara, and why Sara was taking such joy at chasing her.

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