Inspired by: Crystallize – Lindsey Stirling
Courtesy of: The Figment Writers
Author’s note: This is a follow up to a previous blog I wrote concerning Alex. If you wish to read the what happened prior, check out this blog post before you continue reading. Also, if you have not read Hope’s Child, read on at your own risk.
I feel the lack of you. Alexandra watched the tide roll in as Marc’s words returned to her. His words prompted her to look long and hard at the actions of her loved ones since the war’s end. This was often her place of solace. The tide soothed her spirit when it was aflame with whatever stress or worry troubled her. Her dreams began all those years ago with this very shore line. After all this time, was she bitter that her dreams did not bring what she felt she was promised? Perhaps. The road was so much harder than she could have imagined in her youth. Yet, when she paused to reflect, Alexandra Jade wondered if she would have all the blessings that surrounded her now without the hardship and loss.
“The answer, beloved, would likely be no.” His words prompted a warm smile to drift across her lips. Since her implosion, the nightmares were becoming less frequent. Nearly a week passed since they warded her skills. The panic attacks slowed and for the first time in months she could rest. “You know Fate chooses the path before us—both the blessings and what feel like curses at the time.” Nicholas Taltos looked her over from the top of her platinum hair to the tips of her toes. His life was forever altered by her presence. He would trade none of his past heartache for this moment. Of that, he could be certain. He lowered himself beside her and slid an arm around her. She leaned against him as though she were born to be there. At times, he wondered if that was precisely Fate’s design.
“Wishful thinking.” Her lips thinned to a line as she rested against him. The conclusion she was coming to was not pleasant but needed discussed with the one person who may be able to advise her in some capacity. “Things have been easier since you both sealed my powers for a time.” The truth was the seal remained on her powers only because she allowed it and both men knew that. She could remove their protections at any time with her own hand and, truth be told, she was afraid that the panic and fear and nightmares would return full force if she allowed a return to normalcy.
“You have allowed yourself to feel more.” Nicholas explained on quiet, compassionate tones. “Due to the nature of your skills, you contain your emotions as much as you can so you do not burn the palace down around our ears.” A small smile tugged at the corners of is mouth as he hugged her again. “We appreciate that more than you know, Alexandra.” The teasing brought another smile he would trade his existence for. For a few minutes, he was thoughtful. Nicholas had debated for days how to address this issue with her. He had a suspicion and it was not a good one. His father’s old records spoke of warriors who returned to normal life with scars of the mind. Magic users were often the hardest hit due the nature of their skills and Fate’s blessings. “I am going to remove the bonds, Alexandra.”
With force, she pushed away from him and he noted with approval the emerald shine that shot into her sea shaded eyes. He saw the fear that came with her anger. Before she could rush off in a splendid display of temper, Nicholas held his hands up in an offering of peace. “Hear me, little one, please.” The term of endearment got her attention as it was one that he never used in anger against her. “These terrors, these dreams, I believe they are tied to your skills. My father wrote at some length about war survivors and you are that, my love. This too shall pass if you trust the people that love you.”
“If that is your wish, Nicholas, I will see to the matter myself.” Alexandra shot back and a moment later her skills came flowing back into her body. With it came the images of that final battle, that push of her will and all the dead. The color left her face and she nearly fainted with the emotional force those images brought. “Light damn it.” If she were standing, her legs would not have held her weight. The world felt as though it fell upon her dainty shoulders. Fire’s heat poured through her veins as the wall between her skills and her carefully controlled emotions collapsed. The heat radiating from her spread south into the sand beneath her feet.
Her breath came in short, panicked gasps as her element came to life within her. The images subsided leaving her alone with her body and the fire that burned within her. “Damn you Taltos, why did you need to know?!” She hissed as she tried to slow her pounding heartbeat before the temperature beneath them became too much for either one of them to stand. Light knew she could turn every grain of sand to glass beneath them but the fires involved would kill them both. Did he not understand that her skills could destroy the realm at large? The world was starting to spin before her eyes. How much could she stand before she begged them to take her skills from her? To remove all that Fate blessed her with?
“Calm, my love. “ His soothing voice gained her attention. Steady fingers grasped her chin and tilted her face up until their eyes met. “Breath with me Alexandra.” Nicholas held her gaze to bring her mind back to the present and the now. He took slow deep breaths until her breathing mirrored his own. Fate could only hope his father’s writings were accurate. This was the only hope he had for not only her but them. “Slowly. You’re here. Not there. The past cannot hurt you.” As he spoke, he felt the fires within her recede to embers. The reaction was as he expected. He had waited until she was near enough to the discovery herself to bring it to light. “We will fight this together, I promise you.”