Shelter Here With Me…
Walking the Old Ones’ track and planning our future was comforting. A new phase of my life was beginning. My mother would say to me on dark, stormy nights, “Come in and shelter with me, Gael,” and I would snuggle in beside her in a chair, or a couch or in her bed where everything smelled of lavender and then I would drift off to sleep while she read to me. When mornings were so cold you could see your breath, we would shelter with a cup of hot cocoa. There were moments when we sheltered with a laugh, or when we drew water from the well.
I realized that when Aed said “Shelter with me,” he was talking about more than sex. He was talking about sharing a life. The ins-and-outs of day-to-day living. The good, the bad, and the average my mother would say. Because not every moment of your life is filled with signs and wonders. At times, your mind needs to be at peace and your body at rest.
I think with Aed I can achieve those things. Be at peace and find rest. Walking here beside him, I have a small taste of that and I feel the desire to have it for the rest of my days.
The Old One’s trek is comforting. Familiar. I am beginning a new journey with an old friend. We walk through dark and light, clouds and moons, time and events shifting as we walk. A burst of sunlight shines through the clouds, lighting our path. With Aed, my path shall always have light.
As we walk along, past frozen fields and streams and up into the mountains, he explains to me to how a dragon family comes to be. I am completely engaged in his every word, his every breath…I am his…and for the first time, I admit to myself that he is mine…mine to shelter with…
“When a male dragon desires a mate, he builds a henge of snow and fire. Fire, because we are dragons. Snow, because our passion is so great that we will spontaneously combust if our body temperatures are not kept cool during the time of mating.
Although I do not shift, my father shared this with me. And he said, no matter who I did choose, that she must find me and my work acceptable. There is a dragon’s fang moon in the sky, which portends a son made from our union. And also the burn and flash across the night sky are the blue and green lights of our house, the Heart of the Sun.“
“The same colors as Eitilt’s hair and eyes,” Gael said watching the blazing fire waltz across the velvet of the night.
“Yes, I have heard tales of these lights in the sky done in the colors of my family, but I have never been so blessed.” What could have been forever she stood with him and watched the ballet of colors move gracefully through the stars. Gael thought she heard singing. The colors moving through the stars…the stars strumming the colors like a harp…she thought they were the echoes of their love… were they not?
Aed’s voice became part of the song of the night sky. “Am I acceptable to you?” He said turning to face her, his face full of hope. “Do you find my work acceptable to you? Do you find my child acceptable to you?”
“Yes,” she pulled his face down to hers and rested her forehead against his. “Yes. I find all that you are acceptable.”
There was a small sigh that escaped Aed’s pursed lips. He had been holding his breath without realizing it. Kissing her lightly on the lips, he continued on. “In the center of our henge, we shall lie on my cloak and I shall shelter you and you shall shelter me. There we shall cast aside all contrivance and call home this child that lurks in the dragon’s fang moon.”
“How will we know tonight is the night?” Gael asked, staring at the brilliant colors that seemed to be talking with the stars.
Aed shrugged. “I do not know. But Father said the moon will center the lights, just as our son shall center in your body. That around the moon will dance the colors of our house, just as our son shall dance around your skirts.”
“It is so beautiful and peaceful, Aed,” she smiled, her heart full and finding the tempo that now strummed along with the wind. Then she saw the flames dancing in the sky as well. “You did this for me? A henge of fire?” she asked, wonder in her voice.
“From this moment on,” he kissed her softly on the lips, “all that I do is for you. Those are the lights of my house, Il Cuore del Sole, The Heart of the Sun.
No longer,” he nuzzled her neck as he began to unfasten her dress, “will I depend only on the lights of nature to feed me, but now, the glow of my mate shall surpass all other and in her I will dwell and find strength to renew my shattered body and mind.
Shelter with me,” he smiled at her as he lay down his cloak and picking her up, lay down with her in his arms and covered them both in the warmth of his body and love.
As he moved within her, the starlight danced upon her as well. She could feel each shade of blue and green and the white light of the stars that echoed the blaze that she felt in her body with each breath.
There was no sound except the echo of the screams that surround them. Her voice and his, calling out in passion! The sky blazed brighter when she closed her eyes and it felt like she was being pelted with the finest of snowflakes. Each pore of her skin was alive and took nourishment from the colors that offered their all so that she might be.
In gratitude she smiled her thanks and felt Aed pull her gently into his side. Slowly she ran her hands across his body and tilting her head, she could see the night sky. “A son, Aed,” she smiled. “Our joy and laughter has been captured by the moon. Look, a son.”
“He is a jewel shinning in the night,” he smiled as he held her that much closer and then she was asleep.
“Momma,” her heart lit up at the sound of her newest name and turned to the small one that was squatting beside her, dressed like his father in his breeches, tall boots and chain mail.
“Our little man,” she kissed him on the nose, “come back to sleepy time. Shelter here with your family. Poppa is still sleeping. The old dark is still upon us and you are dressed for battle.”
“Momma,” he patted her on the face as she again opened her eyes. “Wake Poppa, bad ones are coming. Wake him now!”
“Aed!” it was dark and the sound of her own voice startled her. No lights, no moon, no stars. Just dreams.It was both good and held evil portent. She realized she was still snuggled into his arms. The snow was gone and the ground was warm and dry. “Mer’lyn was here, with us, he said bad ones were coming! Now!”
Aed sat up, pulling on his clothes. “Mer’lyn,” he said standing and helping her to her feet, pulling on her dress and wrapping her in his cloak.
“Our son,” she smiled and then tears, “our son, Mer’lyn, he appeared to me in a dream. Danger is not far off!”
Roughly he pulled her up to him, kissed her, and then placed his hand on her stomach.
“Let them come. His father stands guard,” he kissed her again and tucked her into the shadows. “You should portal…” he began.
“No,” he heard the resolve in her voice. “I am your mate. I shall be here. I am wrapped in your cloak and your love. If there is danger, a portal will take me.”
He closed his being to everything but the fight. Danger was coming! Something that could harm his Gael and Mer’lyn! Stretching out with his force of will, he could feel the vibrations of a dragon shifting the air currents, attempting to smooth a path. Far off, he could hear the dying song of the dragon. The pure sounds of the dragon’s refrain pierced him!
“Father,” Aed whispered and his rich ringing note penetrated the darkness. Aed sounded the call, again. In the far distance, the music was echoed back, with an urgency about it, and a touch of despair and the acceptance of death.
Aed called again and above them you could hear the sound of dragon wings faltering and then the weight of something large plummeting to earth.
On the ground was a great, bloody dragon. Torn and bleeding from multiple hideous wounds, one wing crumpled by the fall. Another scorched and blistered.
“Father,” Aed rushed to him. “Father, I am here. All shall be well, who did this to you?”
Gael was running, rushing to this being who was her husband’s father! Now her father as well! She knelt down beside the head of the great beast, death not far off. “For me to heal you,” she said gently stroking his head, “I need you in a smaller form. Can you shift to human? I know the human form is far more fragile but I can hold the healing stream while you shift.”
There were a series of sounds that passed between the dragon and his son. Tears were running down Aed’s face as he kissed the beast on the bloodied forehead.
The eyes of the dragon focused on her and she heard the painful intake of breath. “Lady Gael, I am Albie,” came out slowly and she knew she had been given consent to begin the healing.
As she focused with her hands the greens and blues of the house of Heart of the Sun, she watched the dragon slide away and there lay a man. Tall, with black hair and green eyes, like his son. Those eyes now held her own.
“They are coming,” he was able to get out, gasping for air. “Your mother and Pigg. They poisoned my mead with pink heather. Then came looking for me.”
“I have this, Father,” he ran his hand down his face. With care he carried him into the woods, Gael’s hands in constant contact making the stars and colors that she had seen earlier, vibrant and beckoning beneath her hands.
“If they compromise me,” Aed said to her, “you leave Father and portal out.”
“No,” she responded. “I have my blade. To the bloody end,” her eyes held his.
He wanted to remind her of the babe, but on her face was death! The 7th lurked there in her eyes. All would be well with her and his child. With a quick nod, his attention was back on the night sky.
“Dragons on the wind, searching,” Ailbe said, tilting his head.
“Dead beasts,” Aed growled.
“They will smell my blood and take human form. This will give you an advantage. Plan well, my son. I will draw them over here. Come in from their blind side. Lady Gael shall shelter in your cape.”
Aed kissed his father and went out of the trees to watch the night sky.
“Lady Gael,” he managed a smile as watched Aed walk away on a path of light, stars lighting his footsteps, the wind ruffling the stars. He forgot what he was going to say. What were words? He momentarily closed his eyes and felt the colors from her hands envelop him.
Well yes…just whose backstory do you think this turned out to be…h-m-m-m-m-m…
When I started this, it was going to be a photo of Ireland everyday or so along with a century story. Just a 100 word snapshot in time, a small writing exercise. And there was going to be a very loose, central theme. And there for a bit I thought I was handling that with flair and finesse! Please…just give me the moment. I love writing century stories…they just don’t stay century stories.
When I started getting “wordy”, well yes, that was when I knew I was writing Mer’lyn’s backstory. So to feel better about myself, I include the 100 in the title plus however many I am over. “See,” I told myself, “100 words times 19 or so of his good friends. Still a century story…” (Yes I know, just ½ of that pill will take the edge off…)
Spoiler Alert! And yes, his sidekick and best bud, Arthur, will be along eventually. Seriously, you cannot have one without the other. That is like having a PB&J without the J…what would be the point…?
And! How often do I get to knock out two backstories at once. (No snickering please and no references to past stories. And I thank you.)
I must also offer my sincere thanks for you indulging me with not only my photos but my poor “photo-shop” abilities. Actually, I use Pixelmator but that does not make me any better.
From the heart: I thought Gael and Aed’s first mating was best conveyed with what Aed held in his heart and not a lot of panting descriptions. If you have read any of my stories, you have all read my panting descriptions, before….I wanted something a little more special for these two.
Then, just when things are going well for our hero and heroine, well, fuck…then the family shows up…uninvited…seriously…!(On the other hand, the in-laws are not going to be that much of a problem)
Now his brother, Eitilt, there will probably be a sex scene or two.
As always, thanks for reading!
The spirit transcends the body!
P.S. If anyone out there was giving odds on this being a backstory, I think I am entitled to a piece of that action…just say’n…xoxo…Carroll