[This story was written in 1998]
What would happen if Rand and Elayne would meet each other in Tal'aran'rhiod? Here is the answer, as always, I hope you will enjoy it.
Rand let go of saidin, and the gateway behind him winked out. He wished he knew more about this reflection of the world. He knew some of its rules, most of them came from Lews Therin's memories, but his ignorance bothered him. It was important. He didn't have to look at himself to know that he had changed. He was still at the same height, but dark brown hair replaced his reddish, and his eyes were almost black, the skin were much darker and the body was older, much older, though only twenty more years had shown on it. Lews Therin's body, it happened to him before, when the man had tried to take control on him, it happened more often whenever he came here, and he didn't try to fight it anymore. He was what he was; denying what he was wouldn't change it. Before, when Lews Therin had tried to take over him, he could see the internal fight between them. Here thoughts could change things, could kill you. Two incidents had thought him that. After those incidences he had avoid this place as much as he could. And tried not to think at all as long as he was in this strange world.
The first was when he tried to think about the taint, saidin pulsed in him, and the taint twisted his stomach. He wondered how much he had before he would go mad, how long before he would start to rot. He was ready to return to the real world, in his rooms in Caemlyn, when he passed near a mirror. The shock had cause him to loose control on saidin, and for a heartbeat that last forever the power tried to destroyed him, it was a war he nearly lost at, and the fight was won only by hair width. And left him as weak as a baby.
He left that world as fast as he could. But still had nightmares for days about the face he saw in the mirror. Rotting flesh with red, angry gaps that showed the bones. Only the eyes were saved from the rotting, almost all his face had surrendered to the corruption of the taint. Nightmares that had sent him awake with screams that he could barely stop more than once.
The second incident had happened the next time he had to visit this place. He had kept his thought strictly on one course, finding how many soldiers Sammael had added to his army. He had tried to anyway; he tried not to think at all. But an acid comment Aviendha had long time ago had floated to his mind; that he never seemed to think at all. That was all he thought about, that acid comment, he was sure of it. But he found himself in that snow hut in Seanchan again, Aviendha in his arms, both of them naked.
Light, but it was tempting, he thought, half with regret, half with determination never to let it happen again. He almost stayed there, almost. It wasn't as if she would ever know, or that someone could be hurt from it. But he would know, and he couldn't do it. He hated himself for not surrendering for the temptation, but it would be much worse if he would have. He signed regretfully at the thought, he wished for it more than anything else did. But in his mind, what he did was worse than a rape. No matter if the woman had been real, or a creator of his imagination. She said she would not, and he wouldn't even think of it.
It had changed, now. Min claimed that Aviendha loved him; and Elayne too. And there was only one way she could be so sure of it; she had never met Aviendha in her life. She must have seen it in a viewing. And Min's viewings always came true. Even when you didn't want it to happen. He did want Aviendha and Elayne and Min to love him. But he knew it is a weakness, he knew it would cause him troubles. Many troubles, but his heart was one thing he couldn't order about, and he loved those women with all his heart. Not that he would ever tell this to Min or Elayne or Aviendha, already Min always had her way with him. If he would ever let her know how deeply he loved her she would use it, she wouldn't be able to not use it. Women were all the same about it, and he knew it more than from his memories alone.
A pretty woman is a partner in a dance; two pretty women mean trouble at home, three pretty women are a reason enough to run. It was an old saying in the Two Rivers, but it didn't sound right for him. Maybe it blended with a saying from the Age of Legends. He sometimes had hard time separating Lews Therin's memories from his. And sometimes, like now, they blend together. Elayne's image, for example, he couldn't think of her without remembering Ilyena, they looked so much alike each other that it was a reason enough by itself. But not the sharp, deep pain that followed the other woman's image in his mind. Lews Therin was Kinslayer, not him. Never me, he thought, but the body he used now, the body he took almost anytime he was now in this world, remind him other wise.
I - Lews Therin, had no choice, not one bit more than I do. It happened again, it was as if he started to think about Lews Therin as himself. Maybe they were the same; he was the Dragon Reborn, no doubts about it. And Lews Therin was the Dragon. But he wouldn't follow Lews Therin's fate for the world or the wheel. Nothing worth this price, light burns me, nothing worth all this pain again.
He remembered the pain, remembered so much he didn't want to. But there was knowledge in those memories. Knowledge he had to have, had to use. He had to face the Forsakens, and they had all the knowledge of the Age of Legends. All he had was a pile of memories; sometimes something seemed to alert them, to make him aware of them. But most of the time he wasn't even aware of it. The other day he woke up knowing, knowing that he - Lews Therin, had always love to see Ilyena in green.
And it happened to him again and again ever since Lews Therin appeared in his mind. What was so important in a single yellow rose that he had once gave to a woman her face or name he couldn't remember anymore. But this had slipped to his memories together with knowledge about shadowspawn, and the Forsakens, and the Dark One and the One Power. There was no order in the memories he acquired from Lews Therin, not that he noticed. The memories of battles and a dinner he couldn't eat because he was supposed to be tested tomorrow, to know whatever he could channel. The sense of failure when he was told, at the age of ten, that they couldn't be sure about it. He could dimly remember other tests, other failures, until he stopped coming, he was sure he couldn't channel. And how surprise he was when a man arrived to his house, saying that he sensed someone channeling closely. He was tested and passed that day, and had taken away from home to learn about the power, how he could use it.
So much memories, so much pain, and joy and sorrow and happiness. But there were holes in all those memories, he could remember how he learn to channel, some of it, he was sure that he didn't remember the tenth of it. But in all those memories that slipped by the bar between him and Lews Therin there wasn't a single time he could remember touching saidin while it was still clean. And he searched his mind for this particular memory more than once. And it didn't matter that there were times he remember channeling, he couldn't remember the touch of saidin without the taint.
Rand shook his head in anger; thinking about those memories often led him that way. And he had a target coming here, if he was right he might find Elayne and Aviendha. He had only the slightest clue about where they were now, somewhere in Gehalden by now, he thought, but now there was no reason he wouldn't pick them himself. And, knowing Mat, the man would be grateful for this. Mat didn't like noblewomen, or nobles in general. And ever since Malindra's death he tried to stay clear of Aiels too.
It was a memory he was suddenly aware of, he thought of ways to find Elayne when this came to his mind. A way to use this world to find things you need. He closed his eyes and concentrated on Elayne.
Elayne, I want to be where Elayne is, He ordered, focusing on Aviendha's face as he added her to the order.
Elayne, Aviendha! One woman with blue-green eyes and red hair that fitted to her temper, a second with blue eyes and golden curls. So like another woman he remembered. All his longing to them, all the craving he felt, all the yearning his felt for them. He hadn't seen Aviendha for more than a month and a half by now, Elayne he hadn't seen for more than half a year. And he had missed them so much.
The world moved around him, and he stood in the shadow, unobserved. And stared directly at Elayne's face.
He didn't move, and for long time, very long time, all he could do was to stare at Elayne. Oval face surrounded by golden hair, blue eyes that were now tired and worried, but could be softer than he could ever believe. A mouth that he yearned to kiss and a nose that she usually pulled up at people complete the image. She was so beautiful, so perfect that his heart tried to explode. He thought that his heart might break out of his rib cage. After a moment or ten, when he could see anything beside her face he scanned the place he was in.
A room filled only with old plain chair and shaky table, Egwene was there too, dark hair and eyes, in blue and green dress, and some kind of a vest in red and blue and yellow and green and white and brown and gray.
The amyrlin stole! He thought in shock, wishes could became true here, but he never thought that Egwene wanted to be the Amyrlin Seat, or that Elayne would let her play at being the Amyralin. All it could mean was that she was truly the Amiralyn Seat, how could she-?
Any guess would probably be wrong, and Elayne could tell him how later. He gave a start, and then froze, Elayne didn't notice him, when he saw that Nynaeve was in the room too. His face burned, concentrating on Elayne so much that he didn't even noticed her. Nynaeve wore yellow dress, and had a shawl on her, a yellow shawl, not surprising; really, Nynaeve always wanted to heal anything. But her hair was with ribbons and flowers, as if she had married not long ago. He pushed curiosity away from him again. Elayne could answer everything. But something warned him from appearing in front of the two other women, he returned his look to Elayne. Searching for the changes that must have been there. He found what he looked for.
She wore red and white dress, with the lions of Andor on the sleeves. A dress fitting to a queen, he smiled at the thought. She was a queen, after all, or would be, soon. Though it showed more of her breasts that a queen would show. She was ever prettier than he remembered, if this was possible. But her eyes were red, as if she hadn't got enough sleep, and she was worried. He had no idea how long he observed her, it could have been an hour or a heartbeat.
But now Egwene talked for the first time, though he might have heard her before and ignored the sound. All he cared about was Elayne. "Are you sure, Nynaeve? Mat could just be at some inn, drinking all the ale and wine they had." Even her voice was different, more confident, more commanding. She had an air around herself, an air of command; she could easily match Amys. Though not Sorilea, or Cadsuane, the Aes Sedai's name brought bad taste to his mouth, like the faintest brush of saidin.
Elayne flashed, "Of course we are sure, Egwene! Do you think we would have been so worried just because we thought he might be drinking? And he wouldn't, I know he wouldn't! He should have been at the farm two days ago, and he isn't. All the other men have already returned. And would have been gone searching for him if we wouldn't have stopped them. Mat knows how much this is important, we told him. And he would have returned. The only reason not to return is..." She stopped and swallowed, but continued; though in a voice that was considerably smaller, "The only reason for him not to return is that he can't! Can't you see it? You have grown up with the man!"
Rand titled his head, thinking; Mat wouldn't have left Elayne's side even if he had two broken legs, but where was this farm? And why they weren't on their way to Caemlyn? And who was this Brigitte? He met the woman once, long ago, at Falme, and Lews Therin's memories showed him a woman that looked much like her, a woman that could hit a fly two hundred paces away with a bow. Teadra? Was that was her name? Never mind that, Elayne must be meaning another woman that took the name.
He reached a decision, and stepped out of the shadows, none of the women noticed him at first, Elayne and Nynaeve was staring at Egwene, glaring at her would be more exactly. And she was staring at them with a stubborn look on her face. When they saw him their reaction was nothing he expected...
Elayne glared at Egwene with fury she barely controlled, Amyrlin or not Amyrlin, Mat had saved Egwene's life too, in the Stone. How could the woman be so blind about Mat? She admitted that she herself was as blind before they went to take the bowl. That conversation she had with Mat, when he had given her his medallion, had changed her view on him. She thought much about him the last couple of days; it wasn't like him to disappear in the air like that. It wasn't a thought she would have a week ago, but it was true, Mat wouldn't just abandon them. And he should have come to the farm long ago. Egwene had grown on the same village with Mat, how she could be so blind about it? Glancing at Nynaeve, she thought she had the answer, Nynaeve had grown with him too, but she still had hard time accepting that Mat could be responsible man when he wanted. But she had been as worried as she herself was, and she also didn't think that Mat stop for drinking, the other men returned almost a day and a half ago, and they brought back Olver, Mat might search for Olver in the city. But Thom said that he had set a point for all of them to gather every hour or so. He was the only one who weren't there, they waited for half a day before taking Olver to the farm and they meant to go right back to search Mat if she and Nynaeve wouldn't have... Her thought stopped on their track when Egwene's eyes widen and she gasped. The light of saidar surrounded her and Nynaeve, and Elayne embraced saidar before she had even started to turn the power rushed in her, until the sweetness became so strong in was painful. Until she thought she might burst. Nynaeve did the same, but she wasn't the one using the original ter'angreal, and any novice could have overcome her easily in her condition. Moghedien, that was her first thought. Moghedien would to get back at them, and even thinking of what she might do to them cause her nightmares.
But it wasn't Moghedien she saw when she turned around, it was a man, and Moghedien wouldn't disguise herself if she had no need to. And she could have taken the three of them easily, when Nynaeve wasn't fully in here. The relief almost make her release saidar, but she hold on to the power, it help her to stabilize her knees, she almost fainted in that first moment.
It was a man, one of the tallest she had ever seen, as tall as Rand, even the thought of him made her heart miss a beat, but he wasn't Rand. The man was in his mid forties, maybe a year or two more. There were white streaks in dark brown hair, and his eyes were dark pools that seemed to shine in his face. He had big nose, but everything in this man seemed to be bigger than normal, and a mouth that now held the faintest smile possible, and a skin that was almost as dark as the Sea Folk's. The eyes, more than everything else, draw her attention, there was something there that was almost familiar, but it was buried underneath all the sadness that had been engraved into that face. He wore plain black coat and breech, though they looked like silk, in Andorian cut. But this man never came from Andor, nor from any other country she knew about. A man that was more than handsome, in his middle years, standing in tel'aran'rhiod where even the Wise Ones never met a man. The only man that she had ever heard of that was here was Gaidal Cain, Birgitte's lover. And any other of the heroes of the horn wouldn't reveal himself like this. Or Rand who came here by the flesh, but this man wasn't Rand.
"Who are you? How did you reached here?" Nynaeve's voice sound harsh and dry. The man ignored her entirely, focusing all his attention on her; she didn't like the way he stared at her. He had a hungry look in his eyes.
"Stop this, it's itching." The man said pleasantly, it still sound like an order. He rubbed his forearms, maybe because it was itching, maybe to make sure they would know what he was feeling, and more importantly, how.
A Forsaken, a male Forsaken. Fear hit her like a hammer. But she held on to saidar and was ready to fight him, even if it was useless, she would not go down without a fight. That was the only answer, even if one of Rand's men was a dreamer he wouldn't in such control on himself. Or be so peaceful around Aes Sedai. And there was the accent too, she had heard such accent from one mouth only, Moghedien's. If she needed any more confirmation. She did nothing, though; she knew that if she would try to leave the dream she would stay here, he knew enough to block anything she would do. And there was no use to try to attack him when he was stronger than both herself and Egwene together. She didn't count Nynaeve, at the state she was; she was no good with the power.
The man ignored their reaction, he looked at Nynaeve closely, and, the only way to describe it was that one moment Nynaeve was foggy, and the next the other woman was here as much as she and Egwene were. And the power blazed around her like the sun itself. They linked; Egwene was the one in control they didn't even have to think about it. And a shield strong enough to bind anyone, anyone at all, had reached to block the man off saidin. She felt the victory in her. And in the other women too, and wonder too. He wouldn't have brought Nynaeve here, it had to be him; there was no other explanation.
Once, when she was a child, Elayne once fell of a window to the garden below, a fall of ten or fifteen feet, Eladia was there before she finished to fall, or so it seem. And the red Aes Sedai had said that without healing she would have probably dead, she had landed on a rock, and it broke every rib in her body. She was healed, and was fine, but she remembered how landing felt, what happened was four or five times that. The shield broke apart, and the link broke when the light of saidar faded from Egwene and Nynaeve. The man hadn't shielded her, and she felt cold fingers around her heart for this. She still held to saidar, but it was useless against him, not while he could shield Nynaeve and Egwene while they were holding saidar, and linked to boot. She was sure that he's strong enough to shield her too, but he hadn't, why?
"Take it as a lesson, Aes Sedai." The man growled in anger, "If you will try to do this again I will make both of you beg to be stilled." He looked at her when he said it, and the hunger in his look tightened the hold of those cold fingers on her heart. "Now, we're going to go to a more comfortable place. And I want you to promise me that you wouldn't try to escape." His face hardened to stone, and suddenly he had a presence around him. An air of command, and not even Suian had such a commanding presence. "If you will not promise this I will simply tie those shield and send both of you out of this place. The shield are too strong for you to break, even while they are tied," A smile appeared at the man face, and he glanced at Nynaeve before returning his gaze to her, "and you can stop trying to break this. You are stronger than I thought, maybe even as strong as Moghedien," hate crossed his face and gone in a flash, "but, Nynaeve, nor you nor Lanfear would ever break this shield. Not in my lifetime." Nynaeve stood rigid, staring at him as if he was the Dark One himself, but he ignored her. "Now, do I have your promises?"
What choices they had? They promised, at least, Nynaeve and Egwene promised. When she tried to promise the world of dreams shift around them. Nynaeve and Egwene looked at her with fear, for her, why did she get this special treatment? The only answers she had were too horrible to think about.
She looked around, she thought she recognized this place. There was a small river flowing near by, and it was the middle of the night, trees grew all over the place, hundred paces high or more. They were standing near two huge doors; the sign of the door were nine golden bees. Illian, where Sammael rules. She cursed under her breath, the man heard her, and rose an eyebrow mockingly.
Nynaeve hissed, and Egwene gasped, "You're Sammael, aren't you? Or one of the other, Sammael rules here, and he can enter tel'aran'rhiod as much as you can."
Anger burned in the man's eyes for a moment and died in another. "I killed Sammael, and this is one place where I rule, little Amyrlin. Sit, we have much to talk about."
"Who are you?" Nynaeve asked as soon as they were all sitting. "What do you want from us?" The man had removed the shield from her, Elayne could see her touching for a heartbeat in the True Source and releasing it, that gaze... She barely stopped a shiver.
"You can call me Carniera, Nynaeve." The man said quietly, but she had heard warders talking that way, just before they attacked. Nynaeve must have heard this in his voice; she became sullen all of a sudden. Glaring at the man. Carniera, the meaning of the word in the Old Tongue was the first. None of the Forsakens was named Carniera, but it could be a title as easily. "And I want her," he pointed at her, and her stomach became ice. "And some information. What happened to Mat?"
"What do you want from me?" She asked, she was proud in her voice, a bit dry, but not at all like the squeak she thought it would come.
"You will have to kill us to have her." Egwene said, her voice left not doubt that she meant it exactly the way it sounded. She would force this Carniera - was it really his name? - To kill her and Nynaeve before she would let him have her. Even though she knew it's foolish, the man would probably kill them and have her anyway, but she was still cheered up by the thought. Her friends hadn't abandoned her.
Carniera rose an eyebrow lazily, "I doubt that you would want to kill me, at the end, we want the same thing. Now tell me about Mat, what happened to him?"
"He disappeared in Ebou Dar - " The last words came out as an order, and she began to answer before she could close her mouth. She didn't mean to say even this, she would give him nothing without understanding why he wanted it.
"How under the light did you reach Ebou Dar, This city is a vipers nest, and it only become worse as time passes?" Carniera asked, he had tensed.
"Why do you want to know?" Nynaeve snapped at him, she looked like she want to go there and box his ears so they would ring till Tarmon Gai'don. He just looked at her, not glaring, or even staring hard, but she was the first to turn her eyes. And she started arranging her skirts carefully around her nervously.
"Pawh!" The man jumped to his feet in blinding speed, he seemed to flow from one stance to another, as it he had no bones in his body. And the world had shift again. She was in the garden where she first met Rand, despite the heat wave the plants were still green, and the grass was soft beneath her.
"They would give me nothing," Said a familiar male voice behind her, "but you will." She whirled around, embracing saidar. And saw what she thought she would see. A man with reddish hair and blue gray eyes, as tall as Carniera, and dressed the same way. Rand! Carniera pretending to be Rand!
She didn't realize that she had moved before her hand landed on his cheek, with all her strength behind it. "How do you dare?" She all but screamed, she slapped him again, his head barely moved, she thought it hurt her more than it did to him. She kicked him. Cursed him. Slapped him. She even tried to use the Power against him, but every time she tried to weave something her flows were cleanly sliced. The man just stood there, until she exhausted herself. Finally she moved away, searching for a curse she hadn't used yet. The man, she refused to think about him as Rand. She didn't know or care how he had found out that she loved Rand, but he will not use that to pry information out of her.
"The first time we met was here." The man said in a quiet voice, he didn't seemed to be bothered by her attack on him. "I wanted to watch Logain, so I climb on this wall, and fell into the garden. You took care of the wound, and probably saved me from Elaida." she didn't believe him, he could have learned as much from any guard that was there that day. He saw that she wasn't convinced and continued, "the next time we met was in Falme, I got this wound on my side." his hand dart to his side and fell off. "But I was unconscious that time. The next time was in the Stone of Tear. Where you gave me two letters. In one you said that you loves me, the exact words were, 'my heart belongs to you only', in the other you said you never want to see the sight of me again." She suddenly had no air to breathe, there was no way he could have known this.
"You're lying, Rand would have never behaved as you did! Never!" But she had wanted to believe him. Light, it would be so good to see him again.
"One day after the bubble of evil tried to kill me you and Egwene came to my room. I had lost my temper and ruined the entire room." He smiled suddenly, fire blazed in his hand and he handed her a flower. It was cold fire in her hand, a perfect golden red rose. "I promised you a flower that day."
"You're him." She whispered, "But why all this... masks and all this behavior?" She wasn't aware of crossing the space between them before she was in his embrace.
"Necessary, Elayne. I don't do such thing because I enjoy them, never for fun, never for glory. Duty is all what I've left." He whispered to her hair, his arms around her; that was all she was aware of, nothing more. She rose her face to him and kissed him, as thoroughly as she had ever kissed him before. Rand's hand moved over her bare back as he pressed her even closer to him. Her bare back, she was standing there naked! She knew she had to pull away, to fix her mind on a dress. But with Rand kissing her all she could think about was how much she loved him. She barely noticed when Rand's cloths were gone too. But as he lied her on the soft grass in the she was sure in one thing, even embracing saidar didn't make her feel half as alive as being in Rand's embrace.
Aviendha had been awaken when Birgitte rushed in the room she shared with Elayne, the woman was fully dressed, in those strangely cut cloths. And she held a bare dagger in her hand. She stopped near Elayne's bed and started cursing.
"What happened, something happened to Elayne?" Aviendha asked, fear striking through her. Elayne had gone to tel'aran'rhiod and it could be dangerous. It could be more than dangerous, and Elayne never knew how to be careful.
"She is afraid, Aviendha. And I never felt such fear in her before." The woman growled between curses. Aviendha had never seen Elayne's warder like that. "And she would have stepped out of the dream if she could. Someone is holding her there, someone who terrified her."
"Moghedien?" Aviendha asked, she had rose from the bed and moved to kneel near Elayne's, it had taken Elayne long time before she convinced her to sleep in a bed.
"I don't know, but who else it could be?" The warder sounded desperate, and afraid. Aviendha knew that Elayne and Nynaeve had held Moghedien captive, and that she escaped them and seek for revenged. She had tried before to kill Nynaeve, and she would try again. "And I can't wake her. If Moghedien hold her she will never let her wake."
"Is there anything we can do?" She asked, she didn't think so, but if there was any hope...
"Nothing!" The growl can from deep in Birgitte throat. "All we can do is wait." Aviendha fist tightened on her shift. She could never accept such times where there was nothing for her to do but to wait. But ever since meeting Rand she had been forced to learn this lesson. In the battle over the Tree-killers City, when he almost died, she had sat there all night long. Watching his chest stir. All those night when she barely stopped herself from walking to him. All the time after they went to Caemlyn, when he was so cold and distance. She had to learn how to wait. She sat on the floor, and put her hands firmly on the floor. She thought she might start shaking any moment. Elayne tried to pretend that she wasn't afraid of Moghedien, but she admitted, on one of the nights when they lied in the dark, telling each other secret they shared with no other, how much she was afraid from the woman. Moghedien was stronger then Elayne or she herself was. And she had more than enough reasons to want to revenge Elayne.
She had no idea for how long she was sitting there, her thoughts rambling, she want to have Rand to herself, all of him to herself alone. But she didn't want Elayne to die. She was ready to share Rand, she already agreed to share him with Elayne. And she would accept almost any woman at all just to have some part of Rand. The other possibility, have nothing of him, was worse by far. She sat there, her thought spinning, for a time that looked like eternity. When the door was open, and Nynaeve hurried on, her face paled.
"Is she ?" She asked, her voice full of urgent and fear.
"She is fine, for now. She is angry, very angry. But she hadn't been hurt." Birgitte said. "What happened? Did Moghedien...? How you returned, Moghedien would have never let you escape?"
"It wasn't Moghedien, Birgitte. A man -" That was all she had time to say before Birgitte was near her, her eyes blazing.
"Tall, black hair, with hawk nose? Or blonde, not very tall, with a big scar on his face? " She sounded so like Sulin that Aviendha almost expected to see the maiden standing near the warder.
"No, he was tall, but with brown hair, and he didn't have a hawk nose. Or a scar" Nynaeve answered immediately.
"At least it isn't Demandred." Birgitte signed with relief. "Demandred always wanted anything Lews Therin had. Do you know who he was?" Demandred always wanted what Lews Therin wanted? How the woman could have knew that?
"He said his name is Carniera, do you know him?" At Nynaeve's words Birgitte slide slowly to the floor. As if her knees couldn't hold her anymore, her face was pale. "What happened? You know him, don't you? Who he is? He had Elayne, and he said he is going to pry whatever he wanted to know from her. Who is he?"
"Carniera, don't you know what it's mean? It stand for carniera a'sedai." She looked at them expectantly, Aviendha knew the Old Tongue when she heard it, but she knew the meaning of few words only.
"It mean the first servant, isn't it?" Nynaeve said hesitatingly, "Hardly a name for a Forsaken."
Birgitte look like she was about to explode, "He is not a Forsaken. The First of the Servant, the Lord of Morning, Prince of Dawn, Lews Therin Telamon! It must be him, none of the Forsaken would do such thing, they could do to you whatever they want."
"Lews Therin? He's dead, Birgitte! Dead for three thousands years -" Nynaeve all but shouted, but she stopped with her mouth hanged open when she realized what Aviendha understood as soon as Lews Therin's name was said. Lews Therin, it was easy to think about it that way, Lews Therin was the one who was alone with Elayne. Rand wasn't alone with Elayne, Lews Therin was. "Rand? I know him, he would never behave half as arrogant as that man was."
Birgitte suddenly granted sourly, and Aviendha turned her look to at Elayne. She was still breathing, with no sign on her, she had a tiny smile on her face. Aviendha didn't doubt why, she would have smiled too, had she been with Rand.
"Is something wrong?" Nynaeve asked, all the anger in her voice melted away.
"Something," Birgitte gasped, "everything would be more exact. Light, I knew it's going to make us troubles."
"What are you talking about?" Aviendha asked, she had to take a hold on herself, she very much wanted to grab the other woman by the shoulders and shake everything out of her.
"What do you think, Aviendha? I feel everything Elayne feel. Everything! What do you think I feel now?" Aviendha's face became pale, she couldn't find enough air to breathe. She stared at the sleeping woman, that smile on her lips seemed to widen a bit. Jealously surged in her in waves that threatened to drown her. With one last look at Elayne she brushed roughly against Birgitte as she trotted out. Out of the room, out of the farmhouse.
He is as much her as he's mines, she thought darkly when she breathed the night's air. Cool only compare to the day's heat. She wondered how hot it was in the three-fold land, if in the wetlands it was almost as it was at home.
Birgitte followed her, her face fixed in a strange expression. Controlled pleasure and sympathy. "The Wheel weaves, Aviendha. And its weaving must be accepted."
Aviendha nodded, she had to accept the weaving of the Wheel, and she had already learned that fighting the Wheel is useless. "It still don't mean that I must like it." She murmured, then she blushed; she didn't meant to say it aloud. "I mean..."
"I know," Birgitte laid a hand on her shoulder, "neither one of you are going to like it. But you have no choice about it. No more than he has. And it's much easier for you than Elayne."
Aviendha just stood there, she could see the reason in Birgitte's words, and wasn't surprised that Birgitte knew about her and Elayne both in love with Rand. There was little that a woman could keep secret from her warder, but Birgitte didn't know about Min.
"Now, if you don't need me anymore, I think I will go and find myself something to drink, something strong." Birgitte said lightly and left. Leaving her hugging herself.
I agree to share him, the light burn me, I agreed, but how could I know how hard it would be. She thought bitterly, did Elayne felt the same when she told her that she had lied with Rand? Aviendha in her place would have killed any woman that would have said to her that she slept with Rand. She couldn't understand why Elayne hadn't killed her, the other woman couldn't possibly like it. She sighed tiredly, and turned to search Birgitte, she felt the need of some strong drink herself.
Elayne drew away from Rand slowly, she didn't want to leave him, never. He touched with one finger in her cheek and stepped through the gateway, it closed behind him, leaving her alone in the World of Dreams. She waned him to go back, want him to kiss her again, and ... She flushed, her cheeks must be on fire. It must be morning already in Ebou Dar. Not that they had... she stopped again, and felt her cheeks becoming even warmer, if this was possible. Most of the time they talked; just talked. There was nothing wrong talking with a man you were in love with. Even if you sat in his lap all that time. She sighed, and left the dream.
She was lying on her bed, and for a moment she didn't open her eyes. She had to rise up, to calm down Nynaeve, the woman must be going mad of worry. But she didn't thought she could find the will to rise. It was all too easy to just lie there, and remember this night event.
"Enjoying yourself?" Birgitte's voice interrupted her just as she remembered how Rand... Light, am I going to blush the rest of my life thinking about it? She opened her eyes, Birgitte was seating on a chair, her eyes red, but there was a slight smile on her lips. A knowing smile. The red on her face deepened, and she groaned, the woman knew. She forgot that Birgitte could feel what ever she felt, even when she was in tel'aran'rhiod. "What happened? After that, I mean, I know most of it, but the last three hours I didn't felt anything that..." She seemed to search the right word for it, but kept her mouth shut when she glared at the warder.
"Where is Aviendha?" Her bed was empty, and she expected that Nynaeve would be here too.
"She had gone for a walk. And I'm sure you wouldn't blame her for it." Birgitte rose one eyebrow, not even bothering to hide her amusement, and Elayne blushed again, would she live the rest of her life with her cheeks red?
"Would you find her for me please, Birgitte? We need to talk." She thought she might be able to control her blushing this time, but her cheeks heated again when Birgitte laughed and left the room.
She rose from the bed and changed her shift, then she took the finest dress she could find. Rand said that he would come here as fast as he could, and she meant to be dressed before he will even come close.
The dress she had chosen finally was green and blue. A dress that looked much like the dresses she wore in Caemlyn, after what happened, she didn't think she could face him with an Ebou Dari dress without blushing.
"You wanted me?" Aviendha stood on the doorway, her hands clutching her dress so hard that the knuckles were white. Her voice was absolutely clear of all emotions. Elayne understood her fully, she remembered how she had felt when Aviendha told her that she had lied with Rand.
She smiled at the woman, she had some news that would make Aviendha happy. Aviendha's hand only tighten more on the dress, "Do you mind helping me with the dress? Rand is coming and I don't want to..." That was all she got. Aviendha was on her side in a heartbeat, and all the anger seemed to melt away from her.
"Rand? How? When he is supposed to be here?" The words came on top of one another, and the other woman already started buttoning her dress.
"You already know that we met in Tal'aran'rhiod, we talked - "
"Between other things." Aviendha murmured quietly, but not too quietly for her to hear it. She ignored the comment, she thought that the red in her cheeks had lessened, just a bit.
"We talked, and he said that he would come here as soon as he can." She turned to look at the other woman, Aviendha smiled, "And he said he had Illian, he killed Sammael and became the king." She didn't really believe that the crown was offered to him, such things could happen only in stories, but she would find out the truth later.
Aviendha just nodded, "He wanted to go after Sammael ever since he tried to kill us." Elayne remembered it, Egwene had told them about it. "He almost got himself killed that day." Anger entered to Aviendha's voice."He never once took care of himself."
"Then it'll be our job to make sure that he would." Elayne said lightly, Aviendha laughed at that, she finished buttoning the dress and move back. She had a strange look in her eyes.
"It might be harder then you can expect, Elayne. I don't think he understands the meaning of taking care for himself." Elayne could believe that easily, she loved Rand with all her heart, but sometimes he was so stubborn she wanted to box his ears. "He does take care for others, more than he should have." Aviendha continued, "Much more."
"There is one other thing, Aviendha." She said quietly, she didn't really like what she was about to say. "Min is with him, she had told him that she love him. That we all love him." Aviendha fell silent, And Elayne shifted her feet uncomfortably, both of them understood what it must mean.
Aviendha shocked her head, "It doesn't matter, First Sister. What must be will be." Elayne couldn't understand how the other woman could take it so peacefully.
"So you had finally decided to wake up." Nynaeve's voice made her start, and even Aviendha looked startled, "Do you have any idea how much you've worried me? And Egwene? Do you? Did you even care?" Nynaeve was always furious when she was afraid. "Are you fine? He didn't hurt you, did he?"
"I'm fine, Nynaeve." If she divert Nynaeve's thought to another direction she might escape the lecture the woman was about to give her. "It was Rand, the man we saw." She stopped as the woman made a sound more a snort than a sniff. Lan leaned on the wall near Nynaeve, his face blank. In the color shifting cloak that made him look like a part of the wall.
"Birgitte told us that." And other things, apparently, things that she shouldn't have. Nynaeve had very strong ideas about modesty. "Why he was so... arrogant?"
For a moment Elayne wondered if Nynaeve was afraid only for her, or was it that a man could outmatch all three of them linked. It was disturbing, Rand was by far stronger than she thought. "He said it was a joke." He saw the look on Nynaeve face, and Aviendha, Nynaeve must have told her what happened, the parts when they were together, anyway. "Don't ask me, he thought it funny, maybe he learnt some Aiel humor." Aviendha straightened up, and began arranging her skirts carefully, she seemed to think that the strangest things are funny. What under the light is so funny about a man that had asked to kiss a maiden? She had no idea, but Aviendha almost broke her ribs laughing. Birgitte understood it, she was the one who told the joke. But both Birgitte and Aviendha gave up finally, Aiel humor was simply too strange to understand.
"A joke, I will show him jokes." Nynaeve muttered, "He thinks that frightening us half way to death is funny? I will box his ears till he will hear rings from now to next Sunday."
Aviendha smiled at the dark woman, but kept her mouth shut. Elayne remembered how Rand was, even after he had taken her to the garden where they had first met, he was harder than any man she ever saw save Lan. She felt Birgitte coming closer, running closer, and turned to face the tall woman. Birgitte was... excited, that was the word that came to her mind.
"He is here, Elayne." Birgitte panted as soon as she saw her, "Rand is here."
Aviendha tilted her head, she could hear footsteps, but they were to light to be Rand's. It took another moment before she saw him. He looked tired, tired to death, he made no sound as he walked toward them. There was a small smile on his lips, and his gray blue eyes shined, as if he had found something funny. He had changed since she had last saw him, changed more than he should have, it was almost as if he was another man entirely. The way he moved, as quiet as the night, he seemed to flow from one position to another. And he carried the sword she gave him on his side as if it was part of him. He was clad in death black, it made her wince, she had never mentioned to him the d'tsang, why should she? He would never be a despised one. There was a small sign on the left side of his breast, a dragon in red and gold, it shined as if it was metallic. And the light almost caused her to believe that it moved.
The greatest changes, however, was in his expression, he was never weak, ever since the beginning. And with every passing day he became harder and harder. She never minded it, the harder he was the better. Weak people died in the three-fold land, and elsewhere. When she left him he was harder than any man she had ever saw, harder than rock or steel. Now he made the man she saw when she left him look like an innocent boy of five. He carried himself with an air of power. A power that hadn't come from the One Power, but from will. Only the old Wise One, Sorilea, and the Mistress of the Ships could match him, and maybe even these not. The idea of Sorilea pulling back from anyone was one she had a hard time to picture in her mind. But seeing the man in front of her, she could believe it. It didn't matter, she still loved him, loved him so much that her heart raced the moment she saw him, she felt as if she was about to explode any moment. Light, it's not fair for a man to be so beautiful, She thought, he was the most beautiful man she had ever saw. Her heart ached, she longed to be in his arms for so long, she had... she stopped thinking about him. Tried to, anyway, the best she could do is to push him to a corner of her mind.
She was so focused on Rand she didn't noticed at first the woman on his side, she was short, barely reaching Rand's shoulders. With brown eyes and dark hair. She had a glint of amusement in her eyes, and she looked as if she always found the funny side in anything. It was her cloths that make Aviendha stare at her, she wore breaches and coat in pale blue, almost azure. Aviendha didn't knew that wetlander woman wore men's cloths. The strange woman stared directly at her, and her eyes widen slightly, in recognition, Aviendha thought. But she had never seen this woman before.
"You're Aviendha, aren't you?" The woman asked, in a soft voice and an accent she didn't recognized. She didn't wait for her nod, "I'm Min."
So this is Min, this is the third woman she had to share Rand with. Elayne had described her, but not enough, apparently. Aviendha had to admit that the woman was more than pretty. She could understand how a man could fall in love with her. She was also few years older than Rand. And -
"You!" Rand's cry had shocked her off her thoughts. "Teadra, what under the light you are doing here? You are dead! I saw you dying!" He was staring directly at Birgitte, and there was no sign for the calmness he usually surrounded himself with, he was obviously shaken. Min looked startled and afraid. Aviendha felt the hold of fear in her too, if he was going mad... There was nothing she could do about it, nothing! It was so frustrating she wanted to scream. Elayne and Nynaeve shared one glance, and turned to Rand, their face mixed between stupefaction and horror. Birgitte's face drained of blood, she looked like death.
"Lews Therin," She said with a bow, then continued in the Old Tongue, Aviendha knew only few words in the Old Tongue, and she knew that Rand know no more than she did. But he seemed to have no problem. Birgitte talked for a moment or two, with Rand listening to her with face like thunderstorm. No one save Birgitte and Rand made a move, or a sound. Rand sometimes ask a question or two. But most of the time he listened, and Birgitte became even paler. Elayne looked sick, and Lan was supporting Nynaeve, she looked like she would collapse on the ground. She heard Moghedien mentioned few times, but that was all she understood. Birgitte was in midword when Rand throw back his head and laughed. The stillness that had held every one else seemed to break.
He had tears in his eyes when he finished laughing, and he had to lean on the wall to stay standing. Rand rarely laughed, sometimes she thought he had no sense of humor, "The light burn my soul," He said finally, wearing a grin as wide as she ever saw at him, "you didn't tell me about Moghedien, Elayne. You thought I would be angry?" He found Moghedien amusing? There was nothing to be amused about in Moghedien, wetlanders' humor was beyond her, but none save he was even slightly amused. He raised a hand to stop Elayne, "Never mind that." With a shake of his head he turned to Birgitte, "I will talk with you later Teadra, we have much to talk about. Caution, for instance." Birgitte nodded and all but run away. Elayne looked at her in amazement.
"What under the light you did to her?" She asked, her voice required answer. Rand ignore her, he was observing Lan.
"It's good to see you too, Lan." He said, "But I think that Nynaeve could use some fresh air." Nynaeve moved mechanically, supported by Lan.
"Is there any place where we can talk, privately?" He asked her, and she jumped.
"Here," Elayne answered, "this would fit." She pointed at the room she shared with her. Rand nodded, and followed her, Aviendha walked side by side with Min. And neither one of the women did any effort to hide that they were examining each other.
The room wasn't big, only two beds and a small wardrobe, hardly enough for her and Elayne's cloths. Rand took one look at the room and gave Elayne an accusing stare. Elayne stared right back at him, face blank.
At first Aviendha thought that her eyes was fooling her, but the walls were growing apart, the room was becoming larger. Rand stop whatever it was he was doing when there were enough room for all of them to seat comfortably on the floor. His grin held no mirth, but his eyes were locked on Elayne. The woman simply sat on the floor, without showing any expression.
"Are you going to do this always?" Min asked, she fold her hands and her foot began tapping on the floor, "Stop this right now, this is no contest. Light, you love each other. You're not rivals, or have you forgotten this." Min turn her gaze to Elayne, she seemed to forget that Rand was not three feet from her, "I don't care whatever he had surprised you before, it's no reason to behave like he had stabbed you. And this isn't a game to know who has more pride than the other." Rand tried to hide a smile, but failed, and Min turned to him.
"That is enough Min," He said, "seat down so we could talk comfortably." For some reason Min blushed like the sun. "You too, Aviendha. I don't want to break my neck." Aviendha sat down, and Min followed her.
"Teadra?" Elayne asked, she had spot of color on her cheeks.
"That is the name I remember her by." He rose a hand, Aviendha could easily see hundred questions in Elayne's eyes. "It's a very long story. And I will tell it all, in a moment." He looked at Min, "You saw something, what is it?"
Min straightened up, and began straightening her coat, her eyes not quite meeting Rand's. "Nothing of any help for you." He just continued to look at her. Aviendha smiled inwardly, it had happened to her too, sometimes. Rand just seem ed to know what she was thinking, sometimes before she even thought it fully. Min grimaced, "Only something I already told you, all the three of us love you." The grimace gone, and she grinned, "And that you love us. Among other things, Aviendha has a snow blizzard in her past, and a broken bracelet in her future." Rand blinked at Min and his gaze turned to her. She was surprised when she didn't felt heat in her cheeks. But she touched her belt pouch, where she kept the bracelet Rand had given her. It had never left her, since the day Rand had given it to her. She thought of it at first as a chain of slavery, now it was something she would carried proudly.
"You were about to tell us something, Rand." Elayne interrupted, "How do you know Birgitte?"
Rand took a long breath and lean on the wall. "If you want me to start at the beginning, I think it started in Tear, I began to remembers things that I shouldn't. That I couldn't have possibly know..." He barely stopped to breath, he told them everything that happened to him, from Lanfear's offer to him to his second time in Ruidhean. Aviendha was with him for all this time, she thought she knew everything about him, but now...
"You had captured Asmodean?" She asked unbelievingly, "Where were you hiding him all this time?"
Rand gave her a sad smile, "I'm sure you remember my gleeman." He said, with no sign of mockery in him. For a long time all she could do is stare at him, Elayne looked at him wide eyes. And Min looked like her eyes might just fall off her face. Jessain Naetal, Rand's gleeman, was a mystery for her. Rand had talked to him for hours sometimes, and always alone. Now she could understand why, but the idea that she had talked with one of the Forsakens horrified her, she even shouted on him. He was certainly different than she expected.
Elayne was the first one that recovered, "How did you held him?" She asked, "We put an a'dam on Moghedien and she still escaped us, how did you make sure he won't run away?"
"You let Moghedien escape." That wasn't a question, Rand voice held no emotions, and his face was blank mask.
"Someone freed her, a man that can channel, she couldn't have escaped on her own. And we didn't think that ... " Elayne spoke so fast that the words came on top of one another, but her voice faded.
"It doesn't matter anymore, she run. We will deal with this later." Rand said with a sigh.
"What did you do to Jessa - Asmodean?" Aviendha asked, she didn't saw him ever since the day they attacked Caemlyn. "You killed him?"
"He escaped," Rand said, his knuckle became white and he rose his head and stared right at her eyes. "he run away after I killed Rahvin, after ... what happened there." He closed his eyes for a moment, pain on his face.
"You can tell us about this later, Rand." Min said softly, she touched Rand's arm lightly, "What happened after you caught him?"
Rand gave her a thankful look and continued the story, Aviendha could see that Elayne wasn't satisfied, for that matter, she herself wasn't. But Min was right, he could tell them this later.
"In Ruidhean there are two statues, ter'angreals," Elayne's head whipped at him as soon as he mentioned ter'angreals, sometimes Aviendha thought that Elayne loved studying ter'angreals as much as she did Rand. "they were created in the Age of Legends to be use as a weapon against the Dark One. Two Sa'angreals were created, one for saidin, and one for saidar. With either one of those Sa'angreals one can draw enough to do anything." He looked at her and then at Elayne, "I have used callandor, and even callandor's power is nothing compare to the great Sa'angreal. And I touched only half of what it allowed you to draw, the other half was Asmodean's. We destroyed Ruidhean before I won the battle. We could have as easily destroyed half the world, or all of it." He shivered, Aviendha never saw him like this. So... human, he bared his heart and soul for them. She didn't know how he found the courage to do so. But she was more than delighted to know he trusted them so much.
"You have those statues?" Elayne asked "Both of them?"
"I have," Rand said, "I will give you the one you can use if you ask. Elayne, I know you're strong, but it can drive you mad. The sense of all the power you can draw. With a thought you can make a mountain or destroy a country. And it will not even make you breath hard. It's too powerful to play with." He had a note of fear in his voice. He was afraid of those Sa'angreals being used, Aviendha couldn't imagine him being afraid. But he would still give her, or Elayne, the statue if they would ask. How much his trust in them reached? Was there any limit to it?
"I will not ask you this, Rand." Elayne said, her voice sound very small suddenly. Aviendha understood it easily, if it could make Rand afraid... She had never seen him afraid, not even when Sammael attacked him, if this could shaken him enough to make him show his fear, she didn't want to think about it.
"Why don't we hear your story, Elayne?" Min suggested, her eyes were full of concern, Rand had his eyes close, but his knuckles were white around the belt of his sword. He was more than afraid of it, but he would give it to them. Her heart ached, she couldn't even begin to explain in words how much she loved him in that moment.
"Rand," Elayne rose from the floor and kneel near Rand, "I said I will never ask you this, what more do you want?" Neither one of them liked to see Rand like this.
"Do you know how Ilyena died?" Rand asked suddenly, Elayne blinked, Aviendha didn't saw the connection. Rand rise a hand, a flame burn there for a heartbeat and gone. He turned his gaze to her, "And I've seen you die once, Aviendha. It drove me mad, more than saidin could ever do." He shifted his position against the wall, every sign of weakness in him gone.
"On Caemlyn, Rahvin killed you, you and Mat and Asmodean. I saw you dying. I used a... weapon, it's called balefire, that burned his deeds from the pattern. So he didn't killed you, but the memories remain, and I remember what I felt." He continued his story, voice and face smooth, she could read nothing in them. Aviendha stared at him, she could remember no such thing, but it explained much. If he wasn't going mad, if he wasn't she wouldn't think about it! She wouldn't!
"That is why you were so cold?" She asked, that coldness had caused her more pain than she could ever let him know.
Rand's eyes harden to gray crystal, "I have seen you die, I would do anything to avoid this again, next time there might be no balefire."
He continued talking, Elayne wanted to know every detail of his doing in Andor. Especially about Taim, and the Black Tower. At some point he fell quiet, he look almost... nervous, a man that don't know the ground he step on. "When Verin and Allana came to Caemlyn I went to visit them, to know what they are doing there. That time Allana had..." He stopped to take a breath, not meeting their eyes. He seemed unable to continue.
"You let her bond you?" Elayne voice was quiet, and dangerous. There was a glint in her eyes, and saidar filled her. Min turned her head to look at Rand, she didn't said much so far, but now she looked startled.
"Did you?" She asked, so far Aviendha thought her weak, but now her voice, and expression, was harder than stone. She could have been a good Wise One.
"I never let her do anything," Rand said defensively, "she did it on her own." He barely finished talking when Elayne jumped on her feet and he had been floating in the air on flows of air, a heartbeat later he was smashed against the wall. He grunted sourly when he was thrown against the stone wall.
"She bonded you!" Elayne almost scream, Aviendha touched saidar hastily and waved hastily Fire and Spirit to cut Elayne's flows, the woman was preferring weaves that could kill Rand. Rand eyes focused on them, and a stone wall seem to drop between her and saidar, the light of saidar were gone from Elayne too.
"Now listen to me," Rand said firmly, his eyes blue fire, he had a hand pressed to his side, where the old wound was "I was never asked if I want to be her warder, if I was I would have refuse. If there was any way to break the bond I would. Need I make myself clearer?"
Elayne ignored his words, she looked like she want to kill him with her bare hands. Min stood, leaning on the wall, her face so pale that Aviendha thought that she had fainted. "She, Allana, could feel whatever you feel, isn't it?" Aviendha barely recognized Min's voice, it was low and fierce, "That was how she knew about us, isn't it? She felt it." Her voice was frozen, and she held a dagger in her hand, "I will kill her, I will..."
"You won't," Elayne said suddenly, emotionlessly "if you will kill her Rand will die." She seemed to gain control on herself again, "I want your bond Rand, Allana will give me it if I have to skin her first."
"You can move the bond?" Rand asked, obviously surprised, "I didn't know that."
"She can move it, and will do it." Elayne stated, it was a statement of facts.
"Why didn't you told me, Rand?" Aviendha asked, "I could... do something." She regretted the hesitation, but she had no idea what she might have done.
Rand rubbed his side and turn to Min, "You can tell them what happen after you reached Caemlyn, you know all of this. I don't want to live it again, I will keep it in my nightmares." He turned suddenly and walked out of the room, stalked more exactly, if he had a tail he would have been lashing with it.
Birgitte knew it meant trouble when Lews Therin recognized her, he should have never been able to do so. Not while he's alive. It hinted about things that she preferred not to think about, she was always a soldier. Never a philosopher. She went outside, and went to her training area. Arrow after arrow hit the target, exactly where she aimed them. After so long she needn't even to think about it. She was good, better than anybody she ever met was. But even she needed the practice, as always, the bow reminded her of Gaidal. She fought the sadness in her, forcing it down. Moghedien promised her that she would cry as long as the Wheel turn, and sometimes she wanted to. Losing Gaidal had hurt her more than anything else the woman could have done had.
The sense of someone watching her made her turn back, Lews Therin, No! He's Rand al'Thor now, she thought, watched her. "What do you want, Lews Therin?" She asked coldly, she turned her back to him and continued practicing.
"Good as always, Teadra." He said quietly, "Tell me how you reached here, everything. I saw you dying in Rorn M'doi, I avenged you death that day. How did you come back here."
Birgitte grimace, she wasn't afraid of him knowing about her, not in the same way she fear other to know, it was different with him. He would never think about her as the heroin that can do everything, as other did. He would treat her as a girl he needed to take care for. It didn't matter to him that she could take care for herself, he did the same with the others. Maybe because he was the older, maybe because it was just the way he was.
She told him her story, talking in a voice that she kept as much emotionless as she could, he simply listen, at some point he took the bow from her and started shooting at the targets, he was as good as she was. Every arrow reached the target. When she finished, with Mat asking her to protect Elayne and Aviendha and Nynaeve, and then disappearing, he looked at her with a troubled look.
"I'm one of them, am I not? One of the heroes of the horn, I mean. You said so before, in Falme." She wasn't sure whatever it was a question or a statement of facts. But she nodded, there was no point in hiding what he already knew.
"Interesting." He murmured, "How is Elayne?" He asked suddenly.
"Elayne? What do you mean? You just talked with her for three hours." She smiled, "What did you do to anger her so? She was never that angry."
"I did nothing," He signed, "she would tell a different story, of course, but I did nothing." Birgitte shocked her head in wonder.
"You always seem to search the women that give you troubles, Lews Therin." She said, then blushed, she shouldn't have said it.
Pain and fury burn in his eyes for a moment, "That I do, Teadra, light help me, that I do." He whispered, "Where do they keep the Bowl of the Winds?" He asked in a louder voice.
"Come, I will show you." She said, and turned to the farmhouse, Lews Therin followed her, as so many times she had followed him.
I will not write anymore this story, this is how it ends, I've said it before, I'm not Robert Jordan, and have no intention pretending to be him. (Check the grammar or the spelling and you will understand why I can't pretend to be RJ. :-) ) Anyway, I feel the urge to write dozen more parts of this story, I probably can, but I learned to be careful of such things, it usually drives me mad. Anyway, don't worry, I already got the idea for a new story, WoT one, what else. And I mean to make it as long as I can. Considering that this story was supposed to be only one part and max of 5 or 6 pages, and that it end with 22 pages and three parts, you can see what happen to me. I hope you enjoy it, and even more so, I hope that you will contact me and tell me what things were wrong, what can be improve, what you want and so on.
Please tell me what you think about this story.