“Heading back, but into what?”… Chapter 15 (1st draft)…
Horus and His Companions The Sun The Light & The Moon…
After the flash of white light, and all that it made me feel, I found appearing around us a large expanse of lawn, near water and a two story stone house a head.
“Welcome to Adeer.” Mark said, with a sweeping pass of a hand in front of himself.
“Adeer, I finally am here.” I said, I could smell the scent of distant rain, as I stood on the fine gravel path leading to the house across the lawn.
“This house was built by Alec, after he finally was able to connect consciously again with Lucia. He consulted her about the colors and materials… right down to the long portico running out into a rose garden near the ponds. This was to replace our home destroyed during the war. Up until then we lived on the grounds of one of the main lyceums, which had been heavily fortified. You, still have a room there too, from when you taught there, Gemma.” Brad said, with a slight smile.
Him smiling, we must have had some history there? Again betrayed by my thoughts, but right now it did not matter. I needed for all of them to be reading me. I needed the help to sort things out, the real from what I imagined. I thought. I felt Brad scoop up my hand into his with a squeeze.
Brian grabbed Brad by the shoulders appearing to push him ahead toward the house.
“We should use the front door.. since well humm… the way we usually go through the kitchen maybe in use about now.” Mark said, with a side glance at Brad.
I picked up on the remark. “Hey, I am always up to seeing the kitchen and grabbing something.” I said, just wanting to see their response, trying to figure out what they met.
Brad said, turning me toward him, “Lucia and Alec are probably busy, I should say are busy, since I can feel that right now. Remember our kitchen counter situation? Alec had promised Lucia to use the steps to the door with her.”
“I heard, Paul would be the look out for them too.” Brian said, looking down at his bare feet, then back up into my eyes to make the point. I felt right then a very warm almost intoxicating feeling lay over my body… was I feeling what they felt? Were they or Alec sharing it with me at this moment?
“Ok,” I said, “Guess that would not be such a good idea right now. Would not want to interrupt a moment between them.” I looked over to the house, taking in its details and feeling the mist of the early morning touch my face.
Brad grabbed my hand, pulling me slowly along the gravel path to the front portico and up its few wide steps to the double doors there. I was taking it all in, the sights and the smells… some of it was even familiar to me. I had never been there, so it must be the scent of the place that felt like home. I felt suddenly tired, I just remembered I had not had a chance to sleep yet.
“Gemma, we will be needing to get you a nap before the events of the day.” Mark said as he addressed the group. Yes, he was always one as I remember to keep us organized. There another memory popping up, when needed. Mark looking directly at me, gave me a knowing smile. Yes, I was remembering, finally.
We entered a spacious white entryway with an at least 12 foot tall floor to ceiling mirror on the wall to the right. The house felt both elegant and practical, a place many come to with a purpose and many live within. I actually was feeling this, why?
A head of me were several adjoining french doors looking out on to some water and trees out another room. There was a curved staircase to one side and a wide columned opening into a light green room filled with furniture to the other. Pieces from different eras, all of it as elegant as the huge living room, that contained these. Again tall windows up to the ceiling framed by open long brocade green curtains.
I was still curious as to why I would know so much about what went on within this place. “Why do I feel at home here, when I have never set foot in this house?”
“Because,” Mark turned back to me from talking with Brad. Brad then heading up the stairs we had passed by. “You are experiencing the ‘unity’ feeling all who come to our world feel. It is a knowing, a shared knowledge of the thoughts around you. Yes, the robes you previously wore, not only shielded you from people, it had shielded people from you… you did not need the distraction at the time.”
“Unity,” I said, I touched the chair in front of me, feeling its smooth fabric under my fingertips. “So I am becoming able to feel others’ thoughts?”
Mark took a breath in, saying, “It is hard to explain in English to you, but you are not able to read individual thoughts… yet. But you are able to feel what the general consensus is from those around you. You are also able to feel, partially what happened within the walls of a structure or within a surrounding area. Humans find this unity feeling both welcoming and disturbing at first. But your feel will be mixed in with memories floating back to you when the situation arises.”
I looked at Mark with the feeling I needed to ask something important, that just had come to me. I could not remember what it was. I saw Mark looking at me, waiting. Then he walked over to me. I suddenly found myself getting all emotional… choked up, for no reason, I could see.
“Gemma, you are tired. You will remember. You will be feeling it all and reading it all, soon. We will not let you miss out on that part of our life. You will be one with us. I will explain it all, as we go along here. Here in your transformation. There is a word for it… what you will experience… what you must do when you must go back… in English it is simply called a ‘mission’. You will have all the tools to complete it that you will be needing. The guidance and the protections too.” Mark said, then pulling me close to him, my face resting on his neck. I could smell him. All I wanted to do was to be lost within his scent, his being, to rest, to be home.
“Well, Brad should have your room open and ready, Gemma. Let’s get up stairs and get you into bed for some sleep right away.” Brian said, coming over to take my arm with Mark guiding me with the other.
I was feeling so tired, almost numb… though I had not lost my sense of humor apparently. I thought ‘sleep’ with these three around? I had always wondered why people called sex, ‘sleeping together’… when sleep had nothing to do with it? Damn, I must be far gone here… giddy or silly.
Once up stairs and down the hallway a ways we three halted at a door. A door that did not look any different from all the other light green doors in the wide almost hotel like hallway. I then thought, wow, why did Alec plan such a huge place for he and Lucia to live? When they could have had anything they had wanted?
Brad opened the door for us. It was as if he knew we were there. Of course he would know. The room was amazing. And it wasn’t green. It was, well all the colors I gravitate toward. Eggshell walls, brown and orange fabrics and dark reddish wood. I said, “Who decorated this? It is like what I would have done. This is crazy.” I walked over to the couch and flopped my tired self down on the thick cushions.
Brad with his hand to his chin and taking a look around said, “It is like your old room at the Lyceum. Some of the pieces come from there, since you had brought them with you from your world, Gemma. Monica also gave Gretchen some of your things she had taken for safe keeping for you. These are here too. Alec and Lucia wanted it to be your place. A place to trigger memories and to rest.”
Mark came over to stand in front of me. He had a slight smile on his face. OMG, he had heard what I was thinking….
“Gemma, you will have to get used to the idea of never sleeping or being alone for that matter… not for a long while at least. We as males, generally, let things take their course when it comes to sleeping arrangements… and we do get some sleep, when we do.” Mark said.
“Now get yourself into the shower, girl. Relax. You are home. You will need some sleep too. Mark will be here over at the desk doing some work, so if you have questions, he will be here. If he has to leave, he will take you with him, so expect that too.” Brad said, looking around the room smiling. “I and Brian have a ritual to prepare for… for two females we happen to know.”
As Brad walked over to Brian there was a flash of white light that contained them and then they were gone. “Gods, I will need to get use to that.” I said. I felt Mark behind me. He placed each of his hands upon my upper arms, giving a reassuring squeeze to them.
“Hey, go on ahead. The shower is over there behind that door. I think you will enjoy it, plenty of towels and soaps. If you should need me, just yell, or for that matter think it! I will hear you, Gemma.” Mark said, then releasing my arms and walking over to the desk near the window. He leaned over the desk, then lit the oil lamp sitting on the corner. I thought that odd, since there was an elaborate electric lamp there too. He must have picked up again on my thoughts, answering, “call me a bit eccentrically arcane, but I like the energy and light given off by an oil lamp. Must be the mage in me…. I would have used a candle if there had been one here.” He pulled the straight backed chair a little closer to the desk and began to push through the papers there, next to these was what looked like a lap top too.
“You have lap tops here? Like computers or the internet?” I said, now walking closer to the desk. I also found sitting atop of a pile of stained papers a tablet… like one I would have had, but it looked thinner.
Mark looked up at me, with those eyes of his, ok this would lead somewhere, I thought.
Mark said unfazed, surprisingly with my reaction to him, “Yes, you could call what we have a computer and the internet, as you know it, but it is more than that. With time you will use this too. And you will remember what it is all about. Let’s say for now, it is like a sentient artificial intelligence that interconnects those who wish to participate in communications. Before the war, the AI provided warnings of impending conflict. The AI could not be used to inflict harm, but only protect. It also could discern the meaning and intentions of those in conflict. Needless to say, we are alive because of its work with those involved in magic. It did not discern light against dark, only intent and outcome… harm and resulting lack of freedom of choice. But when you can discuss this in more than English and do some reading on your own – your memories will help you understand.”
I stood there, again amazed by what he said. I felt as if I knew also what he had met. Lucia, had spoken of a thing she called, for better lack of a term, the defense computer. She even had spoke of it in affectionate terms, as if it had been both like a parent, teacher and friend to her. I picked up the tablet. The screen lit up completely to the edges with a bluish background, then there was a spinning of symbols with these forming into words across the screen. Written there was… “Good to see you home again, Gemma.” I was dumb founded, the thing, it, knew me! “Yes, I am.” I heard myself say to the tablet.
Mark smiled, saying,”You took that well, better than I had anticipated. Yes, it knows you. You will find many who know you. Some with much love and others not so in much love. I will be there for you Gemma. Just don’t over think it. Ok?” Mark looked long and hard at me.
“I promise to always ask you.” I felt I should say just then. Ok, well I think I will head to the shower. That makes sense about now. I put the tablet down, carefully, as not to hurt it.
“Gemma, I love you, you know that, right?” Mark said, as he watched me head to the bathroom door.
I looked back as I opened the door into the bathroom, saying, “I am counting on it Mark. Truly I am. I love you beyond what you know too… I think.”
The bathroom… well the bathroom was fabulous. Most appropriate for an aquatic species. It had a stool to rinse off on before a soak in a tub, similar to Japanese setups I had experienced in my travels. Travels… I was trans-dimensional right now and no where near Japan. There was a makeup table with a comfortable looking chair. But the thing I wanted at was the shower and those soaps. I was not disappointed, there was a whole glass case of soaps. Some labeled in English, while others in script I could not even make out. I picked up these and smelled their scents. One in particular was intoxicating and very familiar, so I picked that one. The label lettering on it was elaborate, again, familiar.
With the bar in my hand and a huge thick tan towel in my other, I headed for what I thought was the shower. It was indeed a shower. One of those environment showers. I may have to be a rocket scientist to run it. But so far I had found things to be pretty intuitive when I had to figure something out here in this world, or was that memory kicking in?
I got into the glass shower, my towel safe on the crystal bar out side the glass. My bar of soap in hand, there was an evident ledge up slightly above eye level, so I placed my soap there. Now to turn this thing on and not have it too hot or well, not flooding the area. Lighting was good, since it popped on when I came into the room. Unfortunately the water did not do the same. I stood there and not trying to think out loud to attract embarrassing attention. There was a light tap on the bathroom door.
“Yes…” I said. Damn my loud thoughts, when I get excited or frustrated.
“Ummm, Gemma, just say what you want in the shower, it will do what you ask. Be as specific as possible. Got that?” Mark said, through the door, without opening it.
“Ok… yeah, will do…” I said, to Mark, now I felt in control… of everything. Good for me.
Ok, what do I want this thing to do? Yeah, keep it simple I thought.
“Hey shower. I want a normal shower stream from a shower head that is not too warm… I will tell you how warm after it is on, ok?” I said, into the air, since I did not see a speaker to talk into. A speaker in a shower? Well that wouldn’t be as weird as what I had done just now… talking to a shower.
“Gemma, usually it is not necessary to speak directly, but I will help you. And yes it is me or ‘it’, as you term it.” The disembodied voice said in a female voice.
“Ummm, are you. Are you the defense computer that Lucia told me about?” I said, slightly embarrassed. I appreciated that it still wanted to help me. I felt a little chilly standing there nude. And well Mark, I am sure, was either going to come in here or was sitting out there laughing at me about now.
“Yes, exactly. You are also wondering about Lucia? She is resting comfortably and very safe, Gemma.” The well modulated voice said.
“Good,” I said, “I was hoping so. I am not sure what to do with this shower.”
“Yes, the shower. It can be operated as any other shower, manually by selection of environment on the panel out side the unit on the wall over there,” she said, with red lights flashing from a panel across from me on the wall.
“Or as Mark stated, you can just say what you want. I will attempt to do what it was I think that you want now, to make you comfortable. You are chilled right now,” she said.
Suddenly warm water poured on to my body from the many faucet sprayer devices around me. It was luxuriance, the warm water coursed over my body. I grabbed the soap and a wash cloth from the pile up on the shelf high behind me. The foam produced from the soap was heavenly, making me relaxed then very suddenly tired. After about ten minutes I was done, from the washing of my thick long hair to the total body rinse. I smelled fantastic. The room was steamy warm. Now I wondered how to shut this thing off. I gave it a try, I just asked.
“I am finished, thank you.” I said, out into the air. The shower turned off slowly. I was glad it did, I would never have thought how comfortable and considerate that was to my cooling body.
“Gemma, again I do not usually speak to people, since that is invasive to life, but if you are in need of anything, please say or ask what is on your mind out loud. If I am in range to hear your request I will acknowledge you and attempt to help you.” She said.
“I will do that. You said you would let me know right away, if you hear me?” I said, kind of testing this new ability.
“Yes, Gemma, I will not leave you hanging talking to yourself. If you want my response private, or quiet, adjust the location where you place your communication or the tone of voice you use for our communication. I will accommodate accordingly.” She said.
I nodded, then said, “Yes.”
“Gemma, I have the feeling you will do fine. You will remember.” She said.
“Thanks. You are as Lucia said you were. Kind and very helpful.” I said. I heard no response back. I guess she was allowing me to live life… or had this been another of those lessons I had needed to learn about being back?
I had completed towel drying my body, now my hair. It was thick and would take sometime to do. I got out another towel and started to wrap my hair, when I heard another light tap on the door.
“Yes.. hey.” I said, hoping it was Mark and that it was time to sleep… I felt I could do that any where, even in here on this bathroom floor.
“May I come in to help you?” Mark said, through the door.
I went over to the door and opened it.
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“I am pretty good with hair. I am not sure you remember that, yet.” Mark said. Then took me by the hand and led me over to the makeup chair in front of the well lit mirror.
“Why? May I ask are you good with hair.” I said, this was puzzling to me. Was he a hair dresser in a previous life?
“No I am not a hair dresser.” He said with a grin, as he took off the towel from my hair and unwound it to its full length with both of his hands.
Mark went on, saying, “Aquaeous males always take care of their lover’s hair. The females do the same for the males. We are accustom to grooming each other, we find it sensual, a part of sex.”
I looked at him using the mirror.
Mark said, “But of course I am here right now to only do your hair, so you can get to bed and get some sleep, Gemma!”
Again I looked at him using the mirror… I was too tired to argue.
“Not that I would not like to have sex with you, I hope you understand.” Mark said.
I smiled… sex… I was so tired I don’t think it would turn out well for either of us. Again I was in no position to argue.
He was very good at hair. I was amazed at how pain free his plaiting of my hair into an intricate braid had been. He even placed oils, rubbing my scalp, out to the ends of my hair. He would lean close to me and smell my head and neck, then continue with his work on my hair.
“Hey, come on now to bed, Gemma.” Mark said, as he helped me off the chair. The towel fell from my body and I was totally too tired to care. Mark wore a robe of some kind, I figured it was for his magic or something. He held me close as he guided me to the bed he had turned back. He laid me down on the left side of the huge bed, pulling over me the soft sheets and puffy quilt. I settled in on my left side. Then I felt him get in the other side and pull himself over to my back. Nude, he spooned me and lay very still with his arm around my waist. I thought well if this is it then I will not be able to respond as I had hoped to for our first time together. Then though I was very tired I could not sleep. I just lay there, my eyes wide open and my body dead tired. I began to fidget trying to get comfortable.
Mark said, “I don’t remember when it was the last time I could not sleep. It only happened to me the night before I knew I was about to go into battle. I would give up and check equipment. Then check on Lucia, she would pull me into their bed and make love to me. Being awake was important, I wanted to savor what I may not have much longer.”
“Mark, I wanted our first time together to be different….” I said.
“Hey, Gemma, I wish you could read my thoughts, know what I met. I am not asking to have sex with you right now. I want to help. Help you get some sleep. I am cherishing what we are doing right now. I am so fortunate to have you in my arms right now. Here, at home. I know you do not like it… what I did to Lucia back in Brashaw, but would you consent to me calming you, to get you to sleep, right now?” Mark said, into my ear in a low whisper.
“Ummm, Mark what does that entail, like what does it do?” I said, now both worried and feeling too, that is exactly what I needed.
“It is a spell of calming, but it is more than that. I am not relying on magic alone, but upon our relationship as mates. It is also something I can do to my mate. It is an Aquaeous thing, something mates consent to as equals.” He said.
I knew about consenting. Lucia told me about it. It was precious to her, because of the trusting involved and it being a two-way-street between her and her mate. Ok, I thought, I want to show I trust him even if I do not totally understand. I gotta get some damn sleep, and he wants to desperately help me.
“Ok, Mark, I consent to you.” I said, back to him in a whisper.
“You what? Consent? Oh Gemma. My dear, let me make sure. I know you don’t understand what I am about to do to you. But I will protect you and I will have helps too in doing this. But please promise me that you never ever consent to anyone who is not one of the promise, that you absolutely know who the person is you are consenting to… ok? It would be a hard thing to rescind, though Alec and Marta are expert at it. Oh, do you really consent, Gemma?” Mark said, in a low hurried voice, now speaking to my right cheek as I attempt to turn my face toward his to convince him I am sure.
“Yes, Mark, you know how I feel about it… I do consent to what ever you need to do for me. As my mate.” I said, adding, ‘as my mate’ to reassure him. I hoped I had done that right for him.
Mark whispered, as he placed his hand on my forehead, “aequus animus dilectus meus somnus”.
Before his hand passed my chin, I was asleep, still aware of his reassuring presence, still able to hear, but in a restful peaceful sleep. I then heard a familiar voice clearly, a male voice, saying “I am here Mark.” Then I heard Mark whisper back, “Thanks, Greg.” Who is Greg my sleepy mind said? Was that the help he said he asked for? At this point I was near my lover – in his arms – and getting some precious sleep for the first time, again in my world.