This is part 11 of Hugo and Amadahy’s story. For parts 1-10, please see my Endeavor Side Stories. For those of you who are new, these are first drafty stories. I will most likely flesh them out later on, but for now it’s just for fun. Plus, sometimes they give me inspiration for the books I’m writing now.
She followed him along the emerging path he took each day. The sky lightened between the trees that gently shook their branches each time a crisp gust of wind rushed by. She shifted the blanket she had warmed with magic before leaving around her shoulders and sighed at his back. His eyes had been busy and distracted that morning. She knew that the damage of the storm was weighing on his mind, but it wasn’t a heavy load. He had already planned how to repair the damage and continue on.
There was something else on his mind, and maybe on his heart. He hadn’t met her eyes this morning, and his words had been short and soft. She continued her walk behind him, studying him and thinking as she went. She did not go to his side, for she did not want to disturb his deep thoughts, and her own were still churning inside.
Did he miss her, the one they forced him to give up? She knew more of the story now, as he had whispered it to her by the light of the moon. Did making love to her merely remind him of what he really wanted?
She knew his hands better now, their smell and warmth and soft ways they touched her as they lay together. She had thought that his touches were for her, but now she wondered who he thought of when he made love to her. Was she merely a distraction?
Even now he didn’t notice her behind him, even though she purposely made noise with her feet and she knew that he could feel her through their magics if he paid attention. He stopped outside the clearing he had made and slipped the blanket off his shoulders and laid it down on the log he used to sit on when he took rests.
She watched him from the edge of the trees as he started his work of sorting through trees and cleaning the cleared area. The ground was littered with leaves and twigs and branches. His magic was strong, and orderly. It did as he asked, though his lips rarely moved when he spoke his spells. She still wondered over the books of spells. Her magic was not like his, but she wondered what they would look like in a book of their own.
“Amadahy.” His voice broke through her thoughts. He was standing in front of her now, a frown on his lips and confusion in his eyes.
“You need help.” She said out loud. I need to know you, she said within. I need to be near you while I think of you.
He nodded and took a look around the clearing before turning back to her. “I want to make the clearing larger. Can you take care of the roots and branches while I fill the holes and prepare the ground for the next tree?”
He looked down at his feet before meeting her eyes. “I can do one first and teach you the spells.” His words were soft and uncertain.
She considered that, but their magics were so different, and she didn’t feel comfortable using a foreign magic for a job so large and important. She shook her head no and gripped his arm gently as she walked past him.
When the sun was nearly overhead, she headed back home the way that would take her by the deeper part of a stream near berry bushes. She liked to fish without magic, but today she whispered spells to ease the process. The insides and outsides of the fish took care of themselves as she walked home. She waved her hand to open her bucket for the scraps of food she saved for the soil, and built up the fire outside with another wave.
“There you are.” Hugo stepped out from the side of the house. “I would have left with you and helped.”
“Why didn’t you follow me?” She set the fish down on the large, flat stone near the fire. “You could have followed my magic.”
His eyes focused on hers and he took a deep breath. “Ama. I want to sever the tie. I’ve been thinking of how to do it, and I think we should try tonight.”
“Why?” She couldn’t hide the hurt in her voice, and she knew he felt it.
“Because I want to know how to speak to you without magic.” He words rushed out. “I want us to work together each day so we can learn each other and learn each other’s language.”
“No.” Her response was harsh.
He turned his face away from hers and the magic between them quieted. She sorted through the berries while he cooked the fish and they ate while they sat shoulder to shoulder against a large tree. The magic that lay between them itched. They napped side by side under that tree, and then went their separate ways afterwards.
Fire burned within her, and she knew she must spend it physically before she went back home. She followed the stream, learning new parts until she knew she had to turn around and head home before it got dark. There were ways to get home faster, of course, but she needed the ache of her legs.
She felt him before she saw the light from their home. She smelled the cooking long before she saw it spread out on the table. He was not there, but their home was as neat and tidy as she liked it. She set her basket down by the front door, relaxed her magic, and then followed the trail to the pond.
He was bathing with his back to her. He did not turn around to her, but she knew that he felt her presence. She followed the shore line around to a point that curved into the water near where he was. She wanted to say something, but he had stolen her words earlier that day. She did not dare use them now. How could he not see that she needed this right now? Would he ask again tonight? Tomorrow? In a season?
Hugo looked up at her. Their magics twisted and turned between them.
She shook her head at him.
He got that look that she imagined he had used when his sisters annoyed him. But she was not his sister, and she intended to remind him of that. She grabbed for her magic, willing it to separate from his. Her magic started to loosen from the mysterious grip. She pulled harder. Hugo lurched forward, falling into the pond face first. She released her grip of the magic and hurried to him. He coughed and and wiped the water from his nose, and then he laughed.
He kissed her midway through the word.
“Is that how you try to solve everything?”
He interrupted her with another kiss.
“Are you going to separate us?”
His kiss was gentle that time. “No, Amadahy. Not if it’s something you don’t want. Maybe we can try learning with the connection in place.” He lifted an eyebrow. “Besides, I think I’d miss you too much.” He sighed and took her hand as he lead her back to his clothes. “I don’t know this magic, and I was nervous.” He picked up his clothes and slung them over his shoulder. “And I want,” He paused and looked at her deeper than he ever had before. “I need you to know that I want to know you. That I would know you even if we didn’t have this between us to make it easier.”
She wanted to ask him if he wanted her in other ways, but she couldn’t.
“Amadahy. Say something.”
She placed a hand on his chest. “I don’t want to be lonely with somebody next to me.”
“I don’t want that, either.” He placed his hand over hers. “Let’s go home.”
Until next time!