Binding War, Saving Peace

Author’s Note: This is the last War and Peace saga “installment.” My husband has suggested I work on putting meat on its bones and trying to publish an e-novella. Do you think my guy rocks?!?

Crippling dizziness floored her. Whenever the constellations and moon were in that alignment, she left the present, flying to the past. She could only watch, changing nothing.

**********

Her mind was absent. She prominently displayed her dagger. Flowers in her hair gave a deception of peace. She both wanted and detested this lifebinding. He seemed a minor archer, but might just be an unworthy brawler. However, this deal would enact lasting peace for her people.

She would be composed provided she didn’t see green eyes. The brawler clan politicians made sure she knew the friends that would be eliminated if she failed; her scholar’s name led the list.

She snapped to reality, the binding leathers weighing heavily on her sword hand. She shook it; the leathers shifted, but not enough. That awful leather was burdensome.

Her breath stopped… she thought she saw his green eyes. Her heart sank. With everything inside, she didn’t want him at the ceremony. But then, she didn’t see him, so she came back. She kissed her lifebound mate, so she must have given proper ceremonial responses.

The ceremonial dinner was passable. Options for feeding large groups were limited that moon cycle. Seeing laughing, dancing children was good medicine… strong and healthy children are supremely good because warriors don’t live forever.

The traditional binding pole dance began. Her parents led her out. They all took ribbons and circled the pole. Her mate led his father out. They too took ribbons and began to circle.

The next part of his clan’s tradition confused her. People paid small coins to dance with the lifebound of the opposite sex. That was immensely foolish. Raiding parties could easily steal partners for ransom.

Her mate finished. It was her turn. She led all the men in this dance. She wove in and out, graceful as most skilled warriors.

Then she turned… his green eyes… he really was there. With everything she had, she breathed and went into that zone that protected her during battle. She remembered so little, just that twice she touched his arm, trying to find what she needed to say, yet denying the words again.

As he left the floor, her War God connection snapped dead.

********

Her bones ached with weariness. Her new outlander lifebound kissed her forehead and wiped her tears. This moon cycle wasn’t so bad. She rested in the arms of her brown-eyed warrior.

Years after the first lifebinding dissolved, the War God restored his connection to her. Battles became flawless, more fulfilling. Her daughters served the temple dormitories of the Goddess of Peace. Her only son’s grave was on their path to work; he delivered too early in a heavy skirmish.

The empty hole those green eyes filled no longer brought pain. Her scholar should be teaching his children and grandchildren proper scroll care. If he died, she hoped he was in his paradise studying for all eternity. Just as long as he didn’t serve the Chaos God…

 

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