“Protect? You wiped out the whole damned army and the town! This was supposed to be a discreet operation and you turned it into a full blown killing field!”
“If I hadn’t your precious progeny would be strewn across the Four Ranges and you know it!”
Seff shook his head – he knew Jack thought with her emotion, not with the common sense he knew she had. “You almost killed her.”
“But I didn’t, and that’s the point, right?” Jack had had the opportunity, and the slightest inkling to do so, however, and that in itself frightened her, but she wouldn’t let Seff see that. Chara was the thorn in her side, her veritable hero-worship of the Master, Seff, who’d taken her under his wing after she’d blundered her first Casting was like bile in Jack’s throat, and she was sick of the taste.
“I need you to fix this.”
“I’m not donating a shred of my powers to these louts! They knowingly sheltered a Blight and I will not – “
“Let me in or I’ll force it, you know I will.”
Jack sighed. “Fine.”
Seff opened his hands and the Fae snaked from the center of his palms, all white and mist, not suffocating like the black ocher that had come from Jack not an hour before. Jack exhaled as she did the same, the Fae coming from her palms almost a light grey as she fought back her anger and disgust, the very food the Dark Fae relished. The folks of Glynnerwield looked on in awe as brick and mortar reconstructed like puzzle pieces, board and tile wiped clean of their scars of fire and storm. Soon the town was rebuilt, leaving Seff serene as if he’d barely lifted a finger, Jack breathless from her effort to fight off the Dark.
“I’ll never love you any less. You know that, deep down you know.”
Jack’s eyes filled with tears at his declaration, suddenly shamed for the harm she’d caused not only to the people, but also to herself, and wondered why Seff withstood her so well.
“I withstand you because I would be adrift without you, Jack.” Seff took her hands, smiling. “I will not lose you to this, no matter what.”
“The Dark Fae in her is exponential in its strength and influence, Master Seff.”
Seff and Jack blinked as Master Uriel winked into existence before them, his long tan and black robes flowing in a breeze not felt by either.
“Niall had a hold on her, still has a hold. It will not be easy to root it out,” Uriel sighed.
“I have forgiven her for her discretion, Master, how could he still have that hold?”
“Because she has yet to forgive herself.”
“How can I forgive myself for hurting the one who loved me the most?”
Seff caressed her cheek gently. “You can work through this, I believe in you.”
“It will take a pugilistic effort on her part,” Uriel smiled, “but if you are in her corner, she has a chance.”
“Jack, we must channel the Dark Fae into something, someone who can hold it and then release it back into the Gorge.”
Jack shook her head. “No, Seff, I cannot let you take this!”
“He is the only one who can, child – I have the ability but not the connection that you two have.”
“Niall will fight you – I even now feel him boiling, gathering his Fae against you, Seff.”
“I am strong.”
“He might be stronger.”
“I will not lose you.”
“And should I lose you, Niall will not need his influence for the Dark Fae to burst forth in all its fury. Matter of fact, his little scheme to claim me will be his undoing.”
“Let us begin, then.”
Master Uriel recited the incantations, creating the Cast so that there was a Circle of impenetrable energy protecting the two as they sat across from each other, Seff on his knees, Jack cross-legged, the apprehension already showing on her face.
“Allow the Dark Fae to seep through, Jack,” Seff said, closing his eyes and opening his hands toward her.
“I – I can’t….. it’s too hard….. it hurts.” Like needles jabbing my skin.
That did it – the wave of Dark Fae rushed forth, rocking Seff back as it slammed into him. Don’t hold back, let me have it, all your anger, your sorrow, all of it!
for the Seven Day Story Challenge