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FOLLOWING TIDES -- PART EIGHT



You know the drill -- I'm posting unproofread drivel as I write it... Well, only *I* proofread it.... I'm sure I missed a TON of Mistakes


TO READ THE FIRST SERIES FOLLOWING TIDES PART I "ILYA and VAN" Go here:

PART I ** PART II ** PART III ** PART IV ** PART V **  PART VI ** PART VII ** PART VIII ** PART IX ** PART X




FOLLOWING TIDES PART II "SASCHA and YURI" Go Here:

PART I ** PART II ** PART III ** PART IV ** PART V ** PART VI ** PART VII **




FOLLOWING TIDES PART III "TOMAS and LEIF" Go Here:

PART I ** PART II ** PART III ** PART IV ** PART V ** PART VI **



Series Title: Following Tides
Chapter Number: Six
“Ilya’s Ordeal”
Author: D. Sanders
=============================



The months seemed to fly by and Ilya grew to love Safe Harbor Isle like a true home. He and Van shared a small cabin in a pine grove and the smell was divine coming in their open windows. Ilya was sitting by a roaring fire, snug and content, Oksana’s cat Sneak had seemed to have taken a liking to him and was sitting on Ilya’s lap, or what was left of his lap, purring. Ilya felt bloated as a soaked sponge. He couldn’t see his feet anymore, he couldn’t get up out of a chair without assistance, his back ached, but he was happy. “Goodness gracious but I think your children are using my spine as a jump rope tonight.” Ilya chuckled looking over to Van who was dozing in a chair over a book.

Van got up to lay a hand on Ilya’s stomach. “S’truth. We’re having acrobats!”

“Tell me about it.” Ilya chuckled shooing the cat off his lap and gripping Van’s arm to pull himself off the chair. “I’m going to lie down love, I’m having dreadful lower back pain tonight. Will you go get your mam? This is one of the signs of labor and I want her opinion.”

“What? You mean like Labor, labor?”

“Van don’t get in a state. It might be nothing at all. Right now its just back pain.”

“But you might be in labor right now?”

“Yes, I might. I don’t know yet.”

“But you’re only eight months!”

“And carrying twins, early is not uncommon with twins, they run out of room eventually love. Can you please go and get your mam?”

“Aye! AYE!” Van was running hell bent for leather down the mountain trail.

Ilya chuckled and shook his head. “What a fool.” Ilya chuckled turning down the covers.

“Aye, a great fool.” A voice from behind made Ilya whip around and a man with dark narrow eyes and a sneer on his face stood there.

“Who the hell are you?” Ilya demanded.

“Your worst nightmare Lass. My name is Raskin and I have been waiting for just this moment!”

Ilya paled. “VAN!” He screamed and then grabbed the dagger from off the side table and centered all his gifts within to protect the children and faced the bastard across the room.

“Oh, yes, do call him, I do so want him to see you die for what will seem to be no reason at all. You are about ready to birth two wizards, it can be… dangerous on a mother.”

“Go to hell you bastard, touch my children and so help me I’ll haunt you and all your descendants for all eternity!” Ilya growled.

“So the wench has spirit.”

“And a set of big hairy balls when I feel like it or haven’t you snooped enough as a cat to figure out I’m not a woman.”

“Close enough healer boy. You certainly always take it as woman, that’s close enough.”

“God no wonder Van wants to murder you. You’re a pig.” Ilya stood and then almost dropped the dagger as he doubled over in pain as a contraction hit and his water broke. Gripping the table to stay on his feet, he could not fail now, he closed his eyes and stretched himself out farther than he ever had before and screamed for help with his powers.

Every wizard in the entire encampment heard the silent plea and Ilya felt invisible hands at his throat.

“What did you do?” Raskin was furious, the lad’s power had shot through him like a dart.

Ilya opened his eyes and hatred filled them as he looked into Raskin’s. “Wouldn’t you like to know?” Ilya sneered right back and then he heard the shouts and the rushing of many feet coming up the trail. Van’s voice shouting his name over them all. Raskin flew into a rage and Ilya felt the shifting of his body and he fought against it, for every bit Raskin pulled, Ilya used his healing gifts on them to pull back and heal. It seemed to last forever as time slowed to a crawl when suddenly Raskin let go, shifted back into his cat form and fled. Ilya was panting on the floor when Van burst in.

“ILYA! Oh god!” Ilya was bloody and tattered gasping for air.

“The cat! Get the cat! RASKIN!” Ilya sobbed as another contraction hit and this time blood poured from between his legs. The wizards ran off in search of the cat and every healer converged on Ilya shoving Van out of the way.

“You’ll do no good here boy! How he survived a Wizard trying to tear him apart I’ll never know.” The first said wringing her hands in worry, moving to grab clean towel and linens.

“No time Elena! He was trying to shift Ilya! Dear God Ilya how?” Sonja cried, cradling Ilya in her lap on the floor.

“Healed as he tore. Oh GOD!” Ilya cried out in agony.

“Breathe Ilya, breathe love.” Sonja said sitting at Ilya’s head stroking his brow and feeding him her strength, he hand none in him at all, he’d spent everything calling for help and to protect his children, he’d hurt himself right down to his very core, he was charred from the inside out. No healer had this kind of power, Ilya had tried using his gifts the way a wizard did. His own children must have helped him send out the plea for help and they were all dying if they didn’t get these babies into the world immediately.

“Just cut me! CUT ME! They’re dying!” Ilya sobbed as Elena rushed over with a scalpel and another put a leather wrapped stick in his mouth and Ilya bit down as Elena cut his abdomen open and Van stood in numbed horror watching his husband literally be gutted and torn open and his children dying and Van powerless to help.

Ilya howled in pain as Elena literally reached inside to pull out the first babe, handing it quickly to Marlena who rubbed it fiercely with a towel and holding the babe upside-down to shake gently the fluid from it’s lungs. The second babe was pulled and the scene repeated. Ilya wailing in pain and torment.

Then first one and then a second cry came and Ilya sobbed for joy as he heard his children take their first breath of life and cried. He clung to Sonja sobbing. “Safe, they’re safe. Merciful Gods thank you!” Ilya sobbed, his voice ragged and gasping.

“And now you Ilya, don’t you dare give up on me boy!” Sonja ordered glowing white-hot as she poured her strength into Ilya. “Van! Now come help me now! I’m losing him!” Sonja ordered and at last he could help and Van dove behind his mother holding her with one arm and finding and clasping Ilya’s hand with the other.

“Ilya beloved hold on please!” He sobbed opening the floodgates to his immense stores of power and giving everything he had. A small spark was added and Van felt small hands encase his where he held Ilya’s.

“Hold on big brother.” Yuri’s small voice spoke, sounding tearful, serene and quiet adding his love for his brother into the mix. Ilya’s Grandmother taking hold around Yuri’s. Silent and focused. Old strength came from her and they all pulled from Van, taking his energy and transmuting it into their healing talents. They pulled and pulled from him until he passed out from total exhaustion never knowing if they’d succeeded or not.

----

“Van? Van love, wake up beloved.” Came Ilya’s voice. Van woke up from the worst nightmare he’d ever had only to realize it was no nightmare, the room was filled with healers all sleeping on the floor or silently working. Van lay beside Ilya who was propped up in their bed looking bedraggled and beaten, but whole.

“Ilya!” Van sobbed sitting up and was about to crush Ilya in a hug when he realized there was something in Ilya’s arms. Van reached out with shaking hands and pulled back the blankets to see two tiny babes, one attached to each of Ilya’s swelling breasts. “Oh gods.” He breathed.

“Say hello Daa.” Ilya’s voice was exhausted but happy. He gently disengaged one from his breast and passed it to Van who carefully moved to cradle it, pulling back the cover to inspect the newborn. This one was definitely his son, Van was weeping as he ran a finger over blond hair and fair skin. “Your firstborn.” Ilya whispered resting his chin on Van’s shoulder.

“Hello Danil.” Van breathed in wonderment. They’d already chosen the names, but he was the first to speak it out loud to the babe, naming him for the world to hear and the spirits to mark it for all time.

“And your daughter.” Ilya laid the other babe in Van’s arms and taking back their son.

“My precious Danica, oh so beautiful.” Van was sobbing with joy. His daughter had his coloring, his hands were trembling as he stroked her tiny round cheeks and thick black hair soft as down. “Ilya, oh Ilya.” Van choked and just turned his head to kiss his beloved who had given him the world at almost the cost of his life.

“Beloved, what happened?” Van asked and Ilya shook his head.

“I’ll tell you later love. Enjoy your little ones right now. That’s all I want to do right now. It took too much to get them here and I am just going to relish them at the moment. I’m even beginning to really like my breasts. This feels fascinating. I’m positively giddy.”

Van chuckled, Ilya’s sense of humor was never far from the surface, even when he looked and felt like death warmed over. Van looked from his Daughter to his Son and back again, drinking them in, memorizing every tiny, wrinkled feature. Danil was huge compared to his sister, and neither of them much bigger than Van’s hand. “So small, Gods I feel like I’ll break them.”

“You won’t Daa.” Ilya ginned, “Gods, what are they gonna call me? Mam? I never even thought about that. That is going to break brains seeing a bloke called ‘mam’. But I technically AM their mam aren’t I?”

“Aye. But you’re also their Daa too. You ARE a bloke. Mamdaa?”

”That sounds like a disease or a great bloody snake. And Daamam is even worse, people will think my children are swearing at me all the time.”

Van laughed. “Mam or Daa it doesn’t really matter does it?”

“Mam. It’ll keep us straight and we’ll know which one of us they want at least. If I can deal being in a woman’s body, I think I can deal being called Mam. There’s always DaaDaa too. Ah hell. I give up for now. We’ve time.” Ilya smiled leaning over to nuzzle his son’s hair. “Gods they smell so good. I love how a newborn smells.”

“For now. Stinking nappies aren’t so nice.” Van retorted and Ilya grinned evilly at him.

“You’d better help change them. No running off and hiding like most fathers I’ve known.”

Van looked already guilty as charged.

“Okay, give me my Grandbabies, you need much more rest Ilya. That’s enough for now.” Sonja said and Ilya nodded he knew he was pushing it and smiled as Sonja leaned over to take Danil and Petra appeared to take Danica.

“Besides, it’s Gran’s turn to love on her grandbabies.” Petra cooed rubbing her nose against the babes. “She looks like Van head to toe.”

“She’s got good genes.” Sonja grinned, her granddaughter looked like her too. “And this big brute is Ilya all over. He’s gonna be a handful.” Sonja chuckled as the babies were carried off and Ilya sighed and sank bone weary into his pillows.

Van moved to cradle him and wept into Ilya’s hair. Ilya reaching up to lay a hand on Van’s hair. “I’ll be alright love. I will. The worst is over.”

“Tell me what happened, I’m going crazy beloved.”

“Aye.” Ilya sighed moving to lay cradled in Van’s arms, looking up into Van’s tormented eyes.

“The cat was Raskin. The moment you left he shifted. He had every intention of making it look like I’d died giving birth I think. He’s a pig bastard of a man. We argued. And I don’t know what I did. I just knew I had to do something to get your attention. Screaming wouldn’t help, you’d never have heard me. So I just focused everything I had, like I do when I’m healing a really serious wound. And rather than feeding it gently, I pushed it out as hard I could, thinking of only one word. Help.”

“You sent up the biggest damn signal flare I’ve ever felt love. It literally knocked me clean off my feet and I rolled about twenty feet down the hill I was running down a moment before.  That’s one hell of a push you have. I’ve never known a healer with that kind of strength. You used a wizard’s spell. Only you shifted thought and not matter. The word ‘help’ was ringing in my ears and everyone else’s. Even the crew heard you.”

“Raskin went ballistic. He began tearing at me then and again I just reacted, I had no time to think about it. Every time he pulled, I pulled back. Like when I’m healing torn tissue, it’s what it felt like so that’s what I reacted too. And then he suddenly stopped and ran and not a moment later you burst in.”

“It’s your reactions that saved you and the children. He was trying to shift your matter apart and every time he grabbed a piece of you, you snatched it right back from him. Again, you were using a wizard’s spell, shifting matter, you shouldn’t be able to do that.” Van was trembling at the thought of how close Ilya had come to death.

“I felt strange. I felt Danil and Danica in the back of my senses like I always did during the pregnancy. I told you how I could feel their emotions, what limited ones they had. I can do that with everyone and they were angry, not scared, but angry. Extremely angry, it was like a rage. I think perhaps we can thank our children for helping me do things I can’t normally do. I do believe they were helping me pull back what he was trying to take while I was healing what he hurt. It’s the only explanation I can come up with.”

“That’s probably exactly true. They were only aware of you, your rage and your need and like you just reacted to the stimulus. You wanted to pull so they pulled. I have heard of Newborn wizards reacting to the mother’s stress and literally killing her by reacting to it. But you didn’t panic, you kept focus and told them what to do and they did it.”

“Now what Raskin intended makes sense. I thought it strange. And you were gonna tell me about wizard babies reacting to stress when?”

“Um, never. Like you needed that sort of stress? I was going to be there, monitoring, it’s RARE.”

“Nice bloody secret to keep Vangel Dmitri Alexandrevich!” Everyone in the room winced. Ilya was fit to be tied and letting his husband have an earful.

“It’s RARE, why worry you over nothing?”

“Nothing my ass! Where were you during our last conversation? Did we not just agree our children took on a full-grown wizard while still in my bloody womb?! That I, in my STRESS, was directing a full blown wizard duel like an orchestra conductor?!”

“Okay, you have a point. But under NORMAL situations it’s RARE.”

“You had better be thankful I’m weak as a kitten or I’d bloody throttle you, you bastard! Don’t you DARE keep secrets like that from me again!”

“Can you two stop arguing already, you’re upsetting your children. Do you want another explosion in here?” Sonja said from her chair and Van and Ilya shut up immediately.

Ilya tried rolling out of Van’s arms in a huff and only proceed to pull his stitches across his middle and sobbed in pain and anger. Van threw back the cover, the bandage wrapping Ilya was red with blood. “Ilya!”

“Don’t touch me!” Ilya slapped his hands away sobbing.

“Get out Van. Give him time to calm down. He’s right, you should have told him. He’s a healer he knows how to handle stress. That is what saved his and your children’s lives.” Sonja said, her face angry as she moved to help Ilya. Van fled and went to go take out his anger on something else. Preferably out of Raskin’s hide.


TO READ THE FIRST SERIES FOLLOWING TIDES PART I "ILYA and VAN" Go here:

PART I ** PART II ** PART III ** PART IV ** PART V **  PART VI ** PART VII ** PART VIII ** PART IX ** PART X




FOLLOWING TIDES PART II "SASCHA and YURI" Go Here:

PART I ** PART II ** PART III ** PART IV ** PART V ** PART VI ** PART VII **




FOLLOWING TIDES PART III "TOMAS and LEIF" Go Here:

PART I ** PART II ** PART III ** PART IV ** PART V ** PART VI **


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