Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Yaoi Fantasy: Abraxas - the forgotten songs ... episode 7

Return to Episode 6
Start the whole story


Prolog: Martin has broken curfew and come out to the badlands to meet a guide who never showed. Instead, a trader called Yussan stepped out of the gloom, and suddenly Martin seemed to be on his way to a slave market on the spice road. And then Leon appeared, and everything in Martin's world changed in an instant...

A thousand memories Leon had though long forgotten return in the dawn light, like phantoms from the depths of his mind. Some are welcome -- many are not. Scenes of battles far away, lands where the language was strange and the people stranger. He watches the dawn dawn come up this morning ... the land bathed in pink and gold ... and he wonders what infamy is hidden in the glorious light.
Night always brings the ghosts closer, and being in these badlands brought the worst and darkest of them alive. The wilderness is beautiful in the dawn -- angels' wings kiss the mountains and the nearer hills. He has almost forgotten living here, where the spice road runs north and south through the mountain passes, and the ancient cities drowse at the heart of the old kingdoms.


He spent half the night watching Martin sleep -- and wondering where his own life vanished to. He has been a soldier for so long, he has forgotten any other way of living. Yet Roald left it all behind. Roald settled, found a woman, and according to Martin there are four little ones now. There were only two the last time Leon passed through...


The dawn light swiftly strengthens. It's bright enough to travel now, and time is wasting. With an effort Leon stirs and shakes the lad awake with the toe of one boot.

"Come on, kid. Martin! Time to move. Daybreak. Time's wasting. I want to get you back there you belong."


He wakes with a start. "Hunh? Where am -- oh." Memory hits him about the same moment as he sits up on the tanned rump. He's not hurt, just tender -- enough to remember, and also to remember all he felt when the remorse settled on him at last. "Do you have anything to eat?" he asks. "I'm hungry."

So is Leon. "There's some jerky left. We'll eat on the road -- I'm going to saddle the horse. Move it, Martin. Put out the fire and pack up here. Make yourself useful. We'll be back at Roald's house around noon. I'll talk to the sheriff, when he shows his face ... tell him it's done."

"Thank you. I owe you," Martin sighs. But ... you know I can't stay in the city. I have to make something of my life. You said you understood that."

"I understood. I still do. But if you refuse to do militia service your options don't extend very far," Leon warns. "You know what, boy."

"I know it -- that's why I can't stay in this city. There's nothing here for me here. Roald's been seeing it for years, I'm sure."

"Maybe he has," Leon admits. "He was out of his head worried about you, when I rode up to his gate last night ... but not surprised you'd taken off. Like he's been expecting you to do something like this."

"And ... you'll be gone soon, won't you?" Martin asks quietly.

"You know I will."


"When you leave, take me with you."

Leon's eyes widen in surprise. "You know what I am, kid, what I do? I'm a mercenary. You know what that means? It means I drag my boots from one battleground to another, fighting someone else's wars. If you won't do militia service, why would you want to attach yourself to me?"

"But don't you need an -- an apprentice or something?" Martin hears himself wheedling and kicks himself for it.

"Apprentices sign on to learn a trade. What would you be learning, if not how to be a solider? You already told me, the life is not for you. That's why you landed out here, looking for a guide to some great treasure, and wound up caught by my dear cousin, and ... tanned." Leon's eyes sparkle with rueful amusement. "Pack up, Martin. I'm going to see to the horse, and find you that jerky."
Martin's thoughts are a dark whirl. He knows he can't stay in the city -- he should have left months ago. He doesn't want the life of a militiaman, and he hears what Leon is saying. The life of a soldier of fortune would be little better. All this is the reason he came out to the badlands on a wild, insane risk, and he knows he's lucky that the worst of it was a tanned backside that still feels warm this morning!

The future mocks him as the dawn light brightens into a sultry morning, and he watches Leon saddle the bigGypsy horse for the ride back. It's been a disaster. He dreads facing Roald, because he knows his Guardian bears only affection for him.

Yet the truth is the truth. There's no future for Martin in the city. And none with Leon? Martin is still feeling both the smart of the warrior's leathery hand on his butt, and the softness of his lips afterward. Confusion torments him, and he is sure of only one thing. Something has to give ... and soon.

********

Join me for Episode 8, soon. Meet Roald, and enjoy a few surprises!

Jade, 17 November

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