Ailsie slipped her circlet off her head and set it on the low table in her sitting room. I did the same with the combs in my hair and took another sip of my wine. We sat on the floor between her sofa and table and drank our wine and talked. I had just finished telling her of Elethor in great detail and we were in a bit of a comfortable silence when it dawned on me to ask her,
“You said you had news for me, what was it?” She sipped her wine and hastily set her glass down and took my hands smiling in her excitement.
“Well, my old Legion is through, too many have transferred to other Legions or are carrying out the will of the Seraphim Lords on secret assignment. So, I transferred to Destiny!” I lit up; my heart lighter than it had been in days and squealed my delight wrapping my friend’s thin shoulders in a deep hug. We talked excitedly late into the night until finally succumbing to the wine and the exhaustion from my emotional turmoil I begged sleep. Ailsie, ever the good hostess, allowed me the use of her guest room and as I lay down I swear my eyes closed and I was fast asleep before my head touched the pillow. Of course, I dreamed…
The crickets chirped and the Sparkles fluttered near a lake I had no name for. The waters were still and though they did not look deep, they were rich and dark in hue and reflected perfectly the things that glowed, it was balmy the weather crisp and on the cool side but not cold. It was so beautiful, my eyes had never seen anything like it… the closest my recollection could bring was the great tree at Arbolu’s Haven but this was not a place that I was familiar with at all. It was so foreign to me, so alien but all at once familiar. It felt like home deep in my soul and I just couldn’t understand how this was possible. The mists of the lake swirled and coalesced on the surface spinning and slowly rising into a pillar that took on a familiar hooded shape. I rested my hands on the railing of the dock and watched Aion step lightly along the water’s surface, ripples spreading slowly and lazily out from His light tread as He approached me.
“Father.” I smiled warmly and knelt reaching my hands out. He took them and though I could not see below his cowl I knew he smiled at me too.
“Sirona, my child. Walk with me, I would speak with you.” I rose to my feet and stepped lightly off the dock hand and hand with my Father and the water felt as solid beneath my feet as earth. I watched fascinated as a fish swam beneath me and startled a little as Aion chuckled his amusement.
“What is it you would ask of me Father?” I watched the water beneath our feet as we circled the great tree at the center of the lake and waited quietly for Aion to answer.
“Can a Father not simply dote on his daughter?” he asked teasingly. I stopped and studied the darkness that hid Him from me.
“Yes, but you are very busy and a Father to us all. Forgive me my insolence but I do not suspect that you make social calls to every one of your children, and I do not see how I would be any kind of exception to that.” He patted my hand where it rested on his arm and we continued walking.
“You are correct my daughter, but you sell yourself short… you are special.” I looked at Him rather flatly and he chuckled and got to the meat of the matter. “You love them both as I have instructed you to, though you are not happy. I fear that there will be more pain before your happiness can be complete. The fifth day of the month is but a few short days away, and though your people do not control Asteria, I want you to go to him, and wait in the cave as he instructed you.” I nodded then.
“Is that all Father?” I asked him.
“I want you to be true to yourself and both your men daughter, follow your heart. It will guide you true, listen to it and follow it. That is what I ask of you now and that is what I have always asked of any of my children. Now off you go. It’s time to wake up.”
I opened my eyes to light streaming through the lace curtains in an unfamiliar room. My head ached and I said a little prayer to stop the pounding. I sat up and remembered I was in Ailsie’s guest bedroom. Aalairius would be home tomorrow, and the day after we would see… but the day after that I had somewhere I would need to be. I felt as if there was so much I needed to do and so little time I had to do it in but that wasn’t right, there really wasn’t a lot that needed doing. I got up and dressed and went into Ailsie’s galley and began to cook. If anything the simple task allowed me to clear my head and ruminate on what Aion had said to me in my dream.
“…though your people do not control Asteria, I want you to go to him, and wait in the cave as he instructed you.”
I took a deep breath and let it out slowly… I would see him again. Far sooner than I had expected, at least that is what I hoped Aion had meant by sending me into enemy territory despite Elethor’s insistence I wait.
I cooked a lovely breakfast for me and my friend and waited for the smells to entice her from her bed, which it did. We talked and ate and set a date to go shopping with one another that afternoon and I left her to her work for the day whatever it may be and returned to Miriamonyerk’s bath house for the chain she had promised to have mended by this morning…
The day was promising to be an agonizingly slow one…