"La Luna ed il suo Amante" (The Moon God and his Lover)
Chapter One || Chapter Two || Chapter Three || Chapter Four || Chapter Five (END) ||
"I Servi Fedeli Del Dio Della Luna" (The Faithful Servants of the Moon God)
Chapter One || Chapter Two || Chapter Three || Chapter Four (END) ||
Series Title: "Le Storie Del Sole e Dalla Luna"
(Stories of the Sun and the Moon)
Book II: "Chiaro di Luna e Sole"
(Moonlight and Sunshine)
Posting Completed Story in Six Chapters - This is back into a futuristic timeline, after book one & two, however I do reccommend you read them in order as written. Please Forgive the Barest of Proofreading
Series Title: Le Storie Del Sole e Dalla Luna
(Stories of the Sun and the Moon)
Book III: Chiaro di Luna e Sole
(Moonlight and Sunshine)
Chapter Number: Two
“The Botanist and The Apothecary”
Author: D. Sanders
Danya was in miserable spirits, his whole body hurt from the impact of the cart now and his shoulder was on fire just like Adrik had said it would be as he tried to get comfortable against some pillows propped up in his bed. He thought working on some of his sketches of the various plants he was growing in boxes all over his small room would have helped take his mind off his pain, both physical and mental, but just holding his stick of charcoal was painful so his sketches lay abandoned around him as the music from the festival outside drifted in his open windows. He felt utterly alone and dejected when a firm knock on his door jarred him from his senses. “Come in.” He called out softly, too tired to try and get up and answer the door, Danya’s eyes widened in shock when a familiar and handsome dark-haired head poked around the edge of the door.
“Don’t get up. I’ve come to see how you’re fairing.” Adrik said setting his bag on the corner of the bed and dragging a chair over to the bedside where Danya lay looking like he’d been run over by a wild cart. Appropriate considering the situation.
“Thank you. I am most sore like you said I would be.” Danya answered, modestly trying to pull the blanket over his bare torso. He had taken off his robes and was wearing nothing more than loose trousers. He flinched with every movement and his hand could barely grasp the blanket.
“I thought as much.” Adrik said noticing the lack of grip in Danya’s hand. He frowned taking that hand in his and turning it palm upward. “Flex your fingers for me. Does it hurt?”
“Yes.” Danya said flushing again involuntarily. Adrik had never been in his room before.
“I don’t like to hear that at all. You might have a pinched nerve. Scoot over here and let me look at that shoulder again.” Adrik ordered as he stood. Danya slipped his legs out of bed and sat perched on the edge and almost fainted dead away when Adrik crawled into bed to sit behind him removing the now useless slave compress and running tender fingers over abused muscle. He gently lifted and moved Danya’s arm testing range of motion and when Danya flinched, he took it in a different direction.
“Definitely something pinched in here.” Adrik hummed as he reached for his bag and pulled out a better smelling, but no less potent concoction.
“Mavryn’s Weed.” Danya said softly recognizing the aroma.
“Aye, and some Fever’s Bane and Willow root for the pain. Good nose.” Adrik chuckled, Mavryn’s Weed as not a common growing plant.
“I’ve found that Stinnus Leaves if boiled into a pulp and then dried and powdered have higher concentrations of the chemical acetyl derivative of salicylic acid which is what fever’s bane is basically. Stinnus leaves are easier to come by and yield more per volume.” Danya said absently and Adrik paused, interest immediately piqued.
“Aye. I’ve been researching medicinal alternatives as my course of higher studies.”
“I’m about to beg to look at your notes Danya.” Adrik was like a child with a new toy suddenly as he rubbed the ointment into Danya’s shoulder and testing range of motion again. That nerve was still pinched and Adrik began pressing pressure points, finding the culprit in Danya’s neck when he crumpled like a leaf in pain.
“Sorry! Sorry! But I found that nerve giving you woes. The impact jarred your shoulder into your neck. This is only going to hurt a minute I promise.” Adrik said taking Danya’s head in his hands and giving a quick jerk, making a popping noise in Danya’s neck.
Danya made the loudest sound Adrik had ever heard him utter as he whimpered. Still quiet in comparison to some of his other patients, but to get Danya to cry out it really must have been hurting him more than he’d been letting on.
“I’m sorry, I know that hurt, but move your arm now, it shouldn’t be catching as much.”
“I just want to die at the moment.” Danya whimpered but moved his arm anyway. “Thank you, that does move better now, and my fingers aren’t tingling anymore.”
“Good. Now let’s get you comfortable or a close approximation thereof.” Adrik smiled as he moved off the bed again and fluffed Danya’s pillows for him before he helped settle him back in bed. Adrik pulled the light cover over Danya’s legs before he settled back into the chair he’d dragged over toward the bed.
“Now then, healer duties seen to for the moment, I’m bringing myself and my own natural curiosity out to play. What do I, your humble apothecary, need in order to bribe you with to get look at your research notes my fine botanist?” Adrik smiled winsomely and Danya bashfully returned the smile.
“There on the desk, that green journal contains my finished notes. The Red one are experiments I’m working on, and the blue one is a list of plants I’ve only broken down into chemical components.” Danya said, his shyness fleeing for the moment as he spoke about something he was passionate about. Adrik got up to retrieve the books and cringed.
“What is this nightmare of a plant on your desk?” He asked looking at the hellish spiked plant.
Danya laughed softly. “Careful, don’t touch the spines, it’s as poisonous as a toadstool.”
“Quite. See that jar beside it?”
“The one with the dead grasshoppers in it?” Adrik asked his stomach churning almost.
“Use those tongs beside it and drop one of those onto the head of that plant and watch.” Danya smiled and watched Adrik comply. The moment the grasshopper touched the bloom it snapped shut like a poacher’s mantrap and Adrik jumped clear out of his skin.
“WOW! By Mane’s crown! That is positively gruesome! What plant eats flesh?”
“That one does. Fascinating isn’t it?” Danya chuckled watching Adrik’s skin crawl.
“Where on earth did that come from?” Adrik asked fascinated as he watched the plant slowly swallow the insect.
“Those visiting Brothers we had last year from the Order near the western desert brought it with them. It’s good for nothing medicinal but it sure is a wonder.”
“You have a decidedly morbid sense of delight Danya. But I can see the fascination in it.” Adrik smiled as he finished collecting the books off the desk and took up his seat again. Flipping open the green journal first.
Each page started with a highly detailed and immaculate sketch of the plant itself, each part labeled in small concise script. Next to it was a listing of the chemical breakdown of the plant and the best way to achieve the purest compounds. Boiling, stewing, simple drying or fresh use and below that was the common uses for said compounds from fevers, to hives, to upset stomachs to even cleaning solutions. Adrik was enthralled.
“Danya, this is perhaps the best and most concise dictionary of botanical properties and applications I’ve ever seen. And I’ve read every scroll in our archive on medicinal properties we have. There are things in here I’ve never heard of, let alone seen. By Mane’s crown! You’ve found a compound for plague sores!”
“It doesn’t cure them and I’ve never applied them in anything but theory based on what we did have in the archive records. Its just conjecture based on properties and chemical compositions.” Danya replied, the reticence gone replaced by keen intellect on common shared interest and subject matter.
“It would work. Your conjecture is based on proven facts. I’ve been making a similar compound, but with your addition of waxweed and it’s skin wound uses, on top of the drying properties of the Anges seeds and the infection reducing Sol’s Breath this would really work. Danya! Your mind is incredible! I must have a copy of this, please. You have no idea what a wonder and joy this is to me just thinking how many lives you can save!”
Danya blushed with the compliment. “I will make you a copy if you wish and in future as I make my finished notes, I’ll make two. I’m so glad these can be of use.”
“Not just of use Danya, you’ve just saved hundreds of lives for years to come. There needs to be copies done by the scribes. This book should be sent to all orders. There is nothing even in the Capitol Archives that comes even remotely close to this sort of immaculate detail and composition and I’m serious. You are perhaps the most brilliant chemical botanist I’ve ever had the joy of reading in my studies. This is laid out like a dictionary; any apothecary can just look up the sickness or ailment, find the list of ingredients and make the compound. I don’t know how many times I’ve had a patient suffering for days while I searched through dozens of mismatched scrolls on various symptoms trying to come up with mixtures to help. With this book at hand, the symptoms are all laid out with mixtures already measured and in most cases variations and alternatives. You’ve saved me and any healer literally days and days of research.” Adrik was utterly amazed that quiet little Danya had done something so wonderfully incredible.
“I never knew it could be so helpful.”
“Ah Danya, bless you and your modesty. Aye, more than helpful I am positively in love with your mind and I will become your shadow if I must just to peek over your shoulder and spy on your new experiments.” Adrik laughed and Danya smiled.
“I tend to make this room rather smelly. You might want to wait to peek until the fumes dissipate.”
“Your neighbors must love you.” Adrik chuckled knowing himself how pungent some concoctions were to make.
“Hardly.” Danya chuckled, coming alive with confidence as they discussed his research.
“Why don’t you work in my rooms? I have a room set aside for potions and such. Well ventilated and keeps the smell from killing my patients when in residence. Not to mention the ease it will give me to spy on your progress.” Adrik grinned waggling his eyebrows.
Danya laughed. “I’d love to, it would make things easier. I’m always worried when I have to leave a fire burning in here and I’m called away.”
“Done. I’ll bring you in a desk. Although I’m going back into healer mode and ordering you not to work for the next few days and give that shoulder a rest. By Mane, I’m shivering now thinking that we could have lost you today and that beautiful mind. Avoid dangerous wild carts in future.”
“I’ll try.” Danya smiled sweetly and Adrik was struck again at how beautiful he was to look upon when he wasn’t trying to hide his face and look away in shyness. Danya was transformed and alive. Endymion’s words echoed in Adrik’s head and he said a silent thank you for the advice.
“You’d better or I’ll be forced to lock you away in safety.” Adrik winked as sudden noises from next door brought the debilitating shyness back over Danya like a suffocating shroud. The Lover’s in the next room were rather loud and the walls rather thin. Having been lost in conversation Adrik had forgotten that outside the Lover’s Moon was in full force and there were probably hundreds of couples now wandering off to enjoy each other’s company. Danya looked sad and lonely and suddenly vulnerable.
Adrik coughed trying to lighten the mood. “I was so enjoying myself here with you I forgot all about tonight. I do want to apologize for Gavril’s words earlier. They were quite insensitive and I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be.” Danya replied softly.
“Can’t help it. I like you a great deal Danya, I always have. I remember quite clearly how strong you were for me when I lost my eye. Most ten-year-olds would have panicked and fled, but you stayed by my side until help arrived and I appreciate that very much. The least I can do is stand by yours when you need strength. What you do or don’t do is nobody’s business but your own and I for one admire you for being true to yourself.” Adrik said reaching out to squeeze Danya’s hand. Danya squeezed back lightly a few tears slipping past long dark eyelashes.
“I’m just a coward.”
“No, you’re shy, there’s a difference.” Adrik said reaching over to lift Danya’s chin so their eyes would meet. “There is nothing wrong with you, please believe that. Not everyone is born with great confidence; it needs nurturing in order to grow. I see someone before me who has not had the nurturing of the soul that is required. I pray I can give you a little of what you need Danya. I hope you will let me at least try.”
Danya shivered and Adrik was suddenly lost in large hazel eyes that shimmered with tears. Nothing in the world had ever been more beautiful to Adrik’s eyes than the young man before him. So lost, so talented, so lovely, Adrik wanted to wrap around him and hold on for all he was worth. For the first time Adrik felt more than just attraction, his heart ached for this person right down to his core. This was what he’d been looking for his whole life, a soul to care about deeply, to connect to, to share with, to grow with. There was no denying they were highly compatible intellectually and that just added to the already swelling feelings in Adrik’s chest. Adrik leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss on Danya’s brow. “Such a beautiful person inside and out you are and I have been so utterly blind.” Adrik sighed resting his forehead against Danya’s, their eyes bare inches from each other.
“Adrik, I…” Danya stumbled, a secret long kept oft times took on a life of it’s own and demanded to remain kept.
“I know, I can see it in your eyes Danya. I’ve been a fool, a blind, oblivious, impetuous, twittering oaf. What wonders to be found that were right here under my nose all this time. I’d give anything right at this moment to be honored with your cup, I am more than infatuated with you.”
Danya blushed a bright red and tears welled in his eyes as he broke down and allowed Adrik to pull him lightly into his arms.
“Adrik, I… I’ve always, it breaks my heart to see you hurt. So long have I wanted to comfort you, I admire you so much your strength and kindness. It makes my heart ache when you are alone. But I was just some little nobody and you always have so many admirers, I thought… I couldn’t, you wouldn’t want somebody like me.”
Adrik smiled into Danya’s hair. He was such a tender soul. “Ah Danya. What a joy you are to my spirit and you are far from nobody. You spark my mind as well as my heart. I want you very much suddenly. To the point I’m feeling positively possessive in wanting to horde you all to myself. May I kiss you?”
Danya nodded against Adrik’s chest and Adrik leaned back and brought his lips tenderly against Danya’s. Heaven held less appeal at that moment than Danya’s trembling joy as Adrik slowly drank in the most meaningful kiss he’d ever experienced. His soul was suddenly ablaze with love and desire. The moment was gone far too soon as Adrik broke the kiss before it went too far. Danya was still injured and Adrik ran a loving hand over Danya’s shoulder.
“That was beautiful and before I hurt you I should stop. However, if you don’t mind, I’d like to stay here a while and hold you if I may.”
“I’d like that very much.” Danya said wiping his eyes and smiling sweetly.
Adrik stood and blew out the candles in the room and shed his outer robes as he crawled into bed beside Danya and settled him carefully against his bare chest, holding him lightly as not to agitate his sensitive shoulder. Danya seemed to melt against him, his body fitting perfectly against him. It was sublime comfort as they lay there together in silence, Adrik’s fingers trailing up and down Danya’s arm that lay against his waist. When they drifted off to sleep together neither would recall, but waking up still in each other’s arms brought smiles unbidden to both faces.
“I could get very used to waking up beside you.” Adrik smiled smoothing Danya’s hair back from his face. Danya smiled brightly.
“Aye. I have never slept so wonderfully before.” Danya replied as Adrik leaned over and brushed a gentle kiss against Danya’s lips.
“Neither have I love. Neither have I.” Adrik said in kind as he gently moved to inspect Danya’s shoulder. “How is it this morning?”
“Stiff, but not nearly as painful as before.” Danya answered truthfully as once again Adrik began moving his arm around.
“Good. Just a day or two and you should feel if not look right as rain. That bruise will linger a while.” Adrik said crawling out of bed to pull his robe on. “Care to join me for breakfast love?”
Danya nodded, getting up to pull his own robe on for the day. Adrik took his hand and entwined their fingers as they made their way together down stairs to mess.