Firebird-Part Twenty-Six

Firebird copyright (c) 2006 TA Chase

Part Twenty-Six:

Later that night—

Something drew Vlatko to the clearing where the firebird had her nest. The darkness didn’t bother him. He could see just as well in the blackness as he could during the day. A step into the clearing and he knew things weren’t the same. Something was different. A person stood under the firebird’s tree. He went on guard.

Rue had been curled up in their bed when he left. None of the planet’s inhabitants would dare to enter the clearing without some sort of offering. It was a woman. She turned, her hair sweeping behind her. Flames of orange, yellow and red flickered around her. She gestured for him to come closer.

“This is a dream, isn’t it?” He moved to kneel in front of her.

Why would you think that? Her head tilted to look at him in a movement he’d seen the firebird make a hundred times.

“Because I would never imagine you as a human if I was awake.”

Her body was covered with veils marked like her feathers. It’s possible I guess. I like your young friend.

“You would. He bares your mark.” He thought about the birthmark on Rue’s back.

He does. Strange, I thought I was the last of my kind. But he doesn’t know the power that lives within him. The expression on her face looked like a frown. It is better that he never knows. The burden of fire is hard and only those born to the knowledge can use it without being consumed by it.

“Why are you showing yourself to me now? I’ve lived on this gods-forsaken planet for years and you’ve never let me know you were more than a bird.” He sat down, careful not to look directly at her. It was like looking at the sun.

The time comes when your friend must leave. His journey is not meant to end here. When he leaves, you must decide whether to stay here or to go with him. Her hand hovered over his head and he could feel the heat wave off her.

“Will I live longer by staying or going?”

A flinch of her shoulders served as a shrug. I don’t know that. My sight is limited by distance and I can’t see all that is to come for you and your love.

“My love?” He had never said those words out loud and certainly not to Rue.

Your voice may be silent, but your heart is not. Not saying the words won’t make it hurt less if something happens to him. She stepped away from the tree, staring up at the bright stars hanging in the night sky. It has been so long since I came here. My tree was just a sapling then and the people who live here were far more primitive than they are now. I miss my world. I miss my people. Her burning eyes glanced back at him. I don’t think you understand how I feel.

He shook his head. “No. I have no people and no home to miss. He’s the first thing I’ve ever thought of as mine in my entire life.” He stood up and joined her out under the stars. “But I do understand feeling alone.”

Without warning, she touched his shoulder with her hand. Fiery pain shot through him. Something told him she was marking him and his healing capabilities wouldn’t stop this from scarring. He fell to his knees, clenching his teeth to stop from crying out, the stench of burning flesh filling his nose. He closed his eyes.

Now you will never be alone, my guardian. You’ll be linked with me no matter where you are in the universe. This place will call you back. Go back to your love. Her hand disappeared.

“Vlatko?” A cool hand touched his forehead.

He opened his eyes to find himself slumped against the bed. Rue was leaning over the side of the bed, staring at him in concern.

“What the hell happened to you?” Rue’s amber eyes studied the burn mark on his shoulder.

“Now I know why I don’t sleep. My dreams are too realistic for my taste.” He winced as he climbed up on the bed.

4 Responses “Firebird-Part Twenty-Six”

  1. Yvonne says:

    You are keeping me on my toes with this one. Is nothing what is seems? Great chapter

  2. Bridget Laine says:

    Another great chapter TA! Happy Thursday!

  3. T.A.Chase says:

    lol..nothing is as it seems in this story, Paige.

  4. Paige Burns says:

    *double take* What? Wow?!

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