Saturday, October 17, 2015

Star hits the ground laughing as Wolf knocks her over and tickles her with his whiskers. Erik smiles at their play, it was an old game and one that the big cats seemed to enjoy too with certain people. His eyes move towards Panther, seeming to lay nonchalantly in the shade. But Erik knew better. Tara was just on the other side of the big cat and Erik knew if an enemy approached the cat would rip them to shreds before ever getting close to the little girl.

Star sits up and her eyes follow her husbands. The question she is about to ask is suddenly silenced by Alises raised voice.

“I have not berated anyone....”

Worried glances are exchanged between Star, Erik and Stoney. Stoney starts to rise but is stopped by Stars hand on his arm.

“Let them be..... Alise needs to get this out......”

Stoney slowly resumes his seat. “I hope the Sorcerer does not see fit to turn us all into frogs if she kicks him...”

The argument was heated, neither Alise nor Mortuis willing to give an inch. While Mortuis seemed quite unruffled his raised voice the only indication of his anger Alise's face was red and her lapsing into French was a sign to those that knew her of how frustrated she really was.

Across the yard Tara sits up straight, revealing her hiding spot near the big cat. Her eyes go wide and dark at hearing her mothers anger. She stands slowly and moves towards Mortuis.

By this time Alise was out of arguments, and fear has replaced the anger and frustration she had been feeling at this plan. Her voice was choked now, throat tight from holding back tears that now could not be stopped and her head bowed.

“I cannot believe you would speak to me like this... after everything we have been through.... these are my children, my life, how could you possibly understand?”

Mortuis sighs and takes Alises hands in his own, lifting his hood slightly to kiss each of her small hands in turn. No one knew that he understood all too well. "Milady, it is because of our friendship that I feel I can be honest with you. I have sworn my life, my protection to you and your offspring. Can you not trust in that if nothing else?" His voice changes; it seems charged with venom. "The bitch-priestess must be taught a lasting lesson, preferably one that insures she never makes another attempt on any of the children again."

Neither adult has noticed Tara until she reaches up and takes two of Mortuis' fingers in her tiny hand. Mortuis startles slightly not that anyone would have noticed except Alise who was close enough to see the very slight change in his eyes. He looks down at the dark haired girl who looks up with serious large violet eyes.

Tara opens her mind the way tante Raina has taught her and lets the sorcerer's feelings wash through her. Urgency, regret, love and protectiveness... and a deep, deep sorrow, very buried and hidden from the light.

The little girl gives the fingers in her hand a squeeze and the sad smile she gives Mortuis makes him pause. I would think she found my deepest secrets... How could she possibly..... If so, that would make her a more powerful empath than even Raina.... and maybe more than an empath... A feeling of absolute trust washes over the sorcerer, for some reason unknown to him he feels this small child can be trusted to keep his secrets.

Tara then turns to her mother who immediately goes to her knees to embrace her daughter. Tara speaks in French, an attempt to keep her words private.

“Maman, Uncle Mortuis really does understand about the children, he really does... please dont fight anymore...”

The simple heartfelt words from a child have more impact on Alise than all the eloquence Mortuis can muster. She sees the earnestness in Taras eyes as tears slip down her cheeks again. Rising she offers her hand to Mortuis who does not hesitate in helping her stand.

“My apologies my friend. I cannot let my fear continue to control my actions...”

"Alise... no apology is necessary. Gratefully accepted, nonetheless. My life will stand surety for the safety of your children - mine, aye, and more besides."  The cold eyes lock briefly with that of each parent, and each feels as if his or her will and determination have been strengthened by that brief contact. What he sees must satisfy him, for he suddenly raises his voice. "This must end, and I say that it shall. If we must depopulate Underdark to do it, then let it be done." A fierce light burns in his eyes now.

"Are you with me, then? Shall we take down this bitch-priestesss and her odious followers for good and all?"

The response is like living thunder. "AYE!"

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