“Of course I love you. Why would you even doubt that? I’m crazy about you baby.” He responded. I bent carefully and kissed him softly.
“I don’t doubt it,” I spoke with my lips on his, feather light. “I just need to hear it sometimes.” He grinned, a slow spreading of lips against my mouth and murmured back.
“I love you Sirona, and I am going to show you just how much.” He lifted me easily, muscles in his chest and arms barely straining as he placed me gently on my back in our bed and made good on his promise.
It was the rainy season in Elysea, the drops pattered on the outside of our bedroom windowpane as we made love that morning. When we managed to raise ourselves out of bed for the day a new set of orders rested on the floor inside our dwelling’s door. Aalairius stooped and picked the envelopes with the Destiny Legion seal done in wax on the outside. He sat at our small dining table in comfortable Sobi cloth pants and open robe as he first opened his.
“The spirits of the fallen are restless outside Jeiaparan village again. Sin wants us to go lay them to rest for the humans there. I need to talk to the guard there it seems and aide in training a couple of the greener recruits in shield tactics.” He looked up and smiled.
“What about mine? Say anything different?” I stirred the Qooqoo eggs in the skillet in our small kitchen and waited expectantly as he broke the seal on my orders. He frowned slightly and made a face.
“You’re free to do what you wish this morning, you don’t have the order to teach the greenlings.” He leaned back in his chair as I served our breakfast. I set the skillet in the sink and used the pump to pour water in it before returning to the table. Aalairius pulled me into his lap before I could take my seat. I smiled and took a piece of his toast.
“So what are you going to do with your morning beautiful?” he asked voice husky as he kissed my throat. I chewed carefully, and swallowed.
“I need to go to the Temple; I’ve been negligent in my duties as His cleric.” I felt a twinge of guilt; it had been a while since I had gone to temple to meditate, to bring myself closer to Him. Aalairius rocked me in his lap, silent and thoughtful.
“Meet me at the village when you’re done?” he asked. He had never once come between me and Aion. Though he had not once been to the temple either. We simply agreed to disagree when it came to religion and quietly avoided the subject when it came up.
I kissed him deeply and agreed, slipping from his embrace. I left him to his breakfast and gathered what I would need for a short trip to the bath house. Once clean, and armored in my chain I went to the Temple and prayed. When I emerged from my meditations I went at once to the teleport and paid my kinah for a port to Heiron.
The sun was shining and it was warm there, I paid the smaller fee and took flight for Jeiaparan village. I could tell something was very wrong before I even landed. Screams wafted up from the ground borne on the winds to my ears, making my chest squeeze tight with dread.
I landed and hefted my mace, checking my shield was secure on my arm when I heard my lover bellow with rage from behind the village proper, near the water’s edge. An explosion of light and sound arced into the sky from behind the town hall. Spells… Asmodians.
I strode with purpose and haste through the village and rounded the short bluff afraid of what I would find. Aalairius tall and fierce raised his shield to fend off the downward arc of a Gladiator’s battle axe. Aalairius is not a small man, easily a head and shoulders above my height he carried his plate armor with ease, but the Asmodian he faced now… he was a brute of a man. The set of his shoulders almost as wide as he was tall, though shorter than my beloved he was solid.
I did not think, the prayer left my lips unbidden in a desperate cry as Aion’s light filled me and sprang from my fingertips to heal the damage my beloved sustained. I threw prayer after prayer and revived my man’s strength and fervor, the Asmodian sorceress gone unnoticed by me…
It was a costly and foolhardy mistake.
The sorceress spun, eyes flashing and flung what had to be one of her strongest offensive spells when I was at my weakest point, shield lowered, as I myself was mid-cast in a healing prayer meant for my beloved. The spell hit me, full in the chest and I was knocked back, the breath depleted from my lungs, the fiery agony biting along my skin. Before I could recover or even draw breath the sorceress hit me twice more, and as I slipped to my knees, vision swimming and world gone gray she smiled, the most evil little grin to I’d ever seen cross anyone’s lips. She shouted something to the Gladiator, who disengaged from my beloved; she then launched a flaming volley at Aalairius who went to his knees, wings folding around him in defeat. I watched his body waver and disappear as it was pulled through the ether to the obelisk his soul was bound to. I was not so fortunate.
The Gladiator spoke to the sorceress in the rough Asmodian tongue as he approached me, and the sorceress responded with what sounded like instructions. The Gladiator came to my prone body and ripped the mace from my numb fingers and the shield from my lax arm. They disarmed me and took my armor, leaving it in a heap on the beach. The humans of Jeiaparan locked themselves away in their houses as I was flung over the Gladiator’s shoulder in just my cloth breeches and shirt, too hurt to resist. The sorceress, my Legion cloak over her arm opened a portal. The world went black for me before the Glad stepped through.