"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: Three
“A Marriage of Minds and Hearts”
Author: D. Sanders
Several curious eyes turned toward the pair as they entered the mess and Adrik steered Danya to a seat and they sat side by side. Adrik taking it upon himself to reach for the various bowls on the table to help Danya fix his plate so he didn’t aggravate his shoulder. Danya’s appreciative smiles where bright and warm and it was obvious in Adrik’s eyes he was more than smitten with the young botanist.
Several whispered conversations began out of their earshot and speculations began. Even though neither of them was wearing red which stated quite clearly they hadn’t been intimate physically, their behavior and body language toward each other was very much as if intimacy of a deeper nature had indeed transpired between them.
Danya seemed like an entirely different person that morning seeing as normally he ate alone off in a corner efficiently and then immediately went to work. This morning he was attentive and cheerful and whatever Adrik was grinning and talking about had Danya’s full attention. When Adrik leaned over and made a private whispered comment in Danya’s ear and Danya actually laughed as he blushed and hid his face with his hands and Adrik grinned devilishly at the reaction everyone paused. Something was definitely going on between the two of them.
Most of the older Priests smiled and just continued on with their own meals. The younger brothers were having mixed reactions. Adrik was always a popular conquest. Tall, excessively intelligent, witty, gregarious, handsome and perfectly fit and trim, he was a healer that always practiced what he preached where eating healthy and exercising was concerned. He was the picture of vivacious and virile male youth and health. His dark sable, near black hair hung in thick waves down his back which he usually braided or pulled back into a tail at the nape of his neck to keep out of his way while he worked. His remaining good eye was a crystal clear sky blue and his smile was bright and kind and animated his entire face. The patch over his bad eye added a mysterious and roguish look about him that just added to his overall physical appeal. Seeing him with the pretty but timid and mousy Danya was a shock to most.
Adrik tended to gravitate to outgoing and bold personalities, Danya was the extreme opposite of all the others Adrik had ever been attached to previously, some speculated another failed romance considering Adrik’s track record, others that knew Danya from working with him speculated a good match for the healer and one that would more than likely last, which was what everyone knew Adrik wanted more than anything.
There were others though harboring sparks of jealousy, Adrik had been suspiciously absent from the festivities the night before and several cups that would have been offered had not been given and several other invitations from would be lovers vying for the healer’s attentions went undelivered. Danya was receiving some cold looks that neither he or Adrik noticed wrapped up in their own conversation over breakfast.
One person did notice, the head Priest Lukyan was watching the pair favorably where he sat over his own breakfast. The aged Lunar had said many prayers on Adrik’s behalf. Seeing him seek a soul to love and never connecting the way every lunar wished to connect to another was something Lukyan understood well. He leaned over to his own soul connection, together nearly sixty years and he grinned. “That is a good match. I foresee vows eventually.” He muttered and Father Jovan nodded, his smile wrinkled face cheerful.
“Aye. They have much in common in their interests. Danya was my best student in chemistry even Adrik didn’t do that well and he is no slouch either. Adrik focused more on known applications for medical uses and Danya was far more experimental with theory and trying new things just for the sake of discovery. That pair, if nothing else, is a marriage of like minds.” Jovan said watching his favorite pupils in heavy discussion, Adrik was making a diagram of sorts with grapes on the table and Danya kept tossing in his two cents with a few stray bits of toast crusts. Jovan recognized the chemical symbols they were constructing and for a moment was drawn into the conversation from across the room seeing a complex symbol form on the table that looked like a variation of potassium nitrates.
“What are they making?” Lukyan asked and Jovan chuckled.
“Some vile concoction that I’m sure Adrik will make you drink eventually.” Jovan chuckled and Lukyan shivered.
“I don’t want to know anymore. Chemists and healers, you all make me feel dumb and assault my taste buds with potions.”
“Hardly dumb beloved and we fill you full of medicine to keep you around as long as we can.” Jovan patted Lukyan’s hand as he noticed a group of young solar brothers nearby talking hushed and animated.
“Always the way. There is always someone who seeks discordance with harmony.” Lukyan sighed having had years of experience under his belt. He was grateful to no longer be young at times.
“Adrik is popular, Danya is not. He’s just usurped everyone’s favorite conquest, there will be many roughed feathers.” Jovan stated simple fact.
“Let’s hope they weather the hen pecking and I’m not forced to dole out punishments.”
“If it’s meant to be, they will. You’ll have to dole out punishments, that’s a given love. It happens every time Adrik fancies a new one.”
“Bugger.” Was Lukyan’s only reply as he settled back into his seat and rubbed his eyes, he detested when people acted like idiots out of jealousy.
“Ah that’s BRILLIANT!” Adrik exclaimed rather loudly and excitedly and began waving at father Jovan at the head table. “Father, you’ve got to come see this!” Adrik beamed and Jovan thrilled to be invited into what had looked like a stimulating discourse hurried over to get a better look at the breakfast food chemical model.
Jovan eyed the symbols on the table and collapsed into an empty bench. “What an unorthodox combination, but there is nothing there I can see that will conflict. Amazing.”
“It’s all Danya’s idea father, I would have never thought of combining these like this. I can’t find a single flaw in this and if this works like it should, this could actually help restore lost cartilage to joints while at the same time easing the arthritic pain and slow the deterioration.” Adrik was almost dancing with joy as he leaned over the table with Jovan.
“I was teasing Lukyan not five minutes ago that you were making some vile concoction for him to drink when I caught sight of the potassium strain. Looks like I was right.” Jovan laughed his eyes following the series of symbols over and over with delight.
“Danya, you never cease to amaze me child with your mind’s clarity and originality. I’m glad to see you two working together, you were always my two best pupils you make your teacher proud of you.”
“Thank you Father.” Danya smiled and blushed with the compliment and Adrik just lightly touched his cheek with the backs of his fingers.
“You’re amazing love, absolutely amazing. Father Jovan has he shown you his research notes? This is nothing compared to some of the things he’s done and come up with. I think I spent hours last night enthralled with his notes. He’s just saved hundreds if not thousands of lives for years to come. I’m going to insist on the scribes making copies to send to all the orders immediately.”
“I knew you were working on medicinal alternatives and standards, I had no idea how much you’ve accomplished.” Jovan smiled and Danya looked almost guilty.
“I really didn’t think it would be all that useful. But then my calling isn’t in the healing arts; I was just seeing plants broken down into properties, sub-properties and the elemental table. It was all simply clinical analysis to me - basic conjecture and theory only. It was Adrik who made me see the potential of the research through a healer’s eyes. I am suddenly inspired to work harder.” Danya smiled up at Adrik who leaned over and planted a rather large kiss on stunned lips.
“Beautiful, you work hard enough and you’re still under orders not to work for a few days still. Unless of course we’re playing with our food and not eating it like children over studies.” Adrik grinned picking up one of the grapes off the diagram and popping it into his mouth.
“Ah, that’s right. How is your arm this morning Danya dear?” Jovan asked hearing of the incident the previous day.
“Sore, but manageable. I’ll live, I have a good healer taking care of me.” Danya smiled up at Adrik adoringly. Adrik was lost and falling in love all over again as he ran a hand over Danya’s hair.
“Taking care of you will never be a chore my lovely.” Adrik replied and Jovan smiled. This was more than a marriage of like-minds; there was sincere affection and love in abundance fueling the partnership. He agreed silently with Lukyan’s earlier observation, the vows would not be long in coming. Adrik had finally found his perfect match, and Danya was coming alive and blossoming into his own with Adrik’s encouragement and support.
“Well, then. I shall inform my beloved to prepare his pallet for assault later and I will leave you two to enjoy the day shall I?” Jovan stood with a wink and Danya smiled charmingly and Adrik returned the wink.
“Tell father Lukyan he has until tomorrow before I will have this ready for him to ingest. I do intend on being just slightly lazy today myself with my favorite patient at the moment.” Adrik smiled sitting back down and taking Danya’s hand in his.
“Have a wonderful day dears.” Jovan chuckled to himself as he returned to his own breakfast.
“Well?” Lukyan asked as curious as a cat.
“That was a vile potion for your joints that will work wonders if Danya’s calculations are correct and I’ve never known that child to ever be wrong and yes you old nanny-goat, they are indeed more than smitten with each other. Adrik reminded me of you when we first met. He’s well and truly in love with Danya, as Danya is with him. This is a very good match.”
Lukyan just smiled, nodded and finished his breakfast.
“That’s so beautiful.” Endymion sighed were he was sitting on the statue in the mess, Mane leaning up against it beside him nodding agreement.
“Aye. Indeed all it took was getting them to talk and the rest sorted itself out all on it’s own.” Mane replied, watching the couple finish their breakfast.
“Look at my lovely little sprite this morning. Still a bloody virgin, but I don’t think that is going to last much longer considering the looks of that boy beside him. What did you say to him Endymion?” Sol cackled as he sauntered into the room himself.
“Nothing really. Just told him about Endys and how sometimes confidence needs to be nurtured in order to bloom. I told him to open his eyes basically. That’s all.” Endymion said grinning as a cough came from behind them.
All three simultaneously froze and uttered, “Good morning Mother” in unison.
“I’ll not scold because you really didn’t meddle much and this pair was meant to be eventually. But honestly you three are a test to my patience.” The Goddess mother rolled her eyes and Endymion just grinned.
“Deny it’s romantic mother and look at their path, look at all the good things they will achieve together now.” Endymion said and the Mother Goddess nodded.
“Many lives will be saved yes and sooner rather than later, just refrain from pushing mortals too much, no matter how frustrated they make you.” She said and vanished without further discourse.
“I didn’t push! I just suggested.” Endymion grinned with a chuckle as he stood and stretched. “I’m tired, Yoru you exhausted me last night and I am off to rest.” Endymion stated and vanished just as quickly as the goddess Mother.
Mane just grinned and waggled his eyebrows at his brother. “You bastard, rub it in why don’t you. I’m the one with the promiscuous following and reputation, but you have the great sex holiday. I want a sex festival holiday damn it.” Sol grumbled as Mane vanished leaving only his laughter behind.
Sol made a rather rude gesture to empty air as he walked the mess and settled beside Danya proudly. He just adored his little sprite and that smile was wonderful to see at last.
After breakfast as the pair stood to leave Danya moved to walk around a cluster of solar when one turned and slammed Danya’s shoulder with his. “That was deliberate you little shit!” Sol growled as Danya crumpled in pain. Adrik had had his back turned and was immediately by Danya’s side.
“Danya! What happened?” Adrik asked concerned as Danya fought crying in pain.
“I’m sorry Brother Danya, I didn’t see you there.” The culprit half-heartedly apologized.
“You little liar! Oh please Father, let me smack him or put spiders in his bed or something!” Sol hated having his hands tied when he wanted to punish idiots.
“It’s alright Brother Kara. It was an accident.” Danya whimpered as Adrik helped him back to his feet and glared at the young Solar.
“Come on love, Let’s get out of here so I can look at this properly.” Adrik steered Danya out of the mess, tossing an accusatory look over his shoulder. He was no fool, he knew Brother Kara well considering Kara had been shamelessly flirting with him for weeks and was having a hard time taking ‘no’ for an answer. The look in his eyes spoke volumes as he smiled at Adrik; that had definitely not been an accident.
“Honestly, what does he see in Danya? Danya can’t put two words together without stumbling over his tongue in fright and what could they possibly have to discuss? Adrik will get bored quickly with that no doubt. And really, Danya’s still a virgin, there’s going to be little fun there for Adrik. That is if Danya will ever give it up willingly. It’s the morning after a lover’s moon and as always, Danya is still no closer to wearing red. I swear he should have taken lunar vows he’s so afraid of his own body. Not that there’s much there. All those freckles, I’d not want someone to see me naked either.” Kara complained, teased, belittled and laughed insultingly to his cronies who agreed with him.
“Be glad I can’t give you hives, warts, and plague sores you little bastard.” Sol growled angrily. “You’re just jealous that Danya’s pretty on the inside and outside and you’ve just got it on the surface and that healer lunar has been shutting your advances down for weeks. Goodness, why are so many of my priests and followers vain, narcissistic, cruel hearted little prigs? Don’t answer that mom, I know, because I am, but still, I’m not that bad anymore! I learned, eventually. Damn it. I’m begging here Father, just a nice fat hairy wart on the end of his nose for a while?” Sol turned his eyes upward and as usual, his father was blissfully silent and ignoring his son’s request for punishment.
Adrik hurried Danya to his vast rooms that doubled as his infirmary and workrooms. Adrik had private quarters in the back and that’s where he directed Danya to sit on the large bed while he rummaged for his salves. “Danya, I’m sorry. Kara is…”
“He likes you, it’s alright.” Danya replied quietly and resigned and Adrik knelt at Danya’s knees and placed a hand on Danya’s cheek.
“No, it’s not alright. I finally find what I’ve been looking for and I’ll be damned if I let jealousy hurt him out of spite. Danya believe me, I love you very much, and I’ve made many mistakes before looking for a love like I feel when I look at you. Those mistakes have consequences that I’m afraid will reflect on you. Unlike Kara, I have no desire for meaningless liaisons, I never have. For a long time I confused love with affection and that just seemed to make every one think I was open to casual partnerships. Kara is one of those people and I’ve said ‘no’ more times than I can count but he still tries. Whatever he does or says, trust that I love you and I would never do anything to hurt you. I am a lunar for a reason, I believed with my whole being that there was one perfect person out there for me, and I finally found him. You.” Adrik said honestly and Danya’s joyful tears rolled down his sun-speckled cheeks.
“I love you too Adrik. With all my heart.” He replied softly sniffling.
“I know you do love. Your eyes speak to me in ways that make me weak in the knees with joy. You’re a treasure to me and I would speak vows with you this very minute to prove it if I could. I love you that very much.”
Danya lost his composure entirely and broke down in happiness sobbing. Adrik collected him in a tender embrace and kissed his moist cheeks. “I can’t tell you how happy that makes me to hear Adrik. I would return your vows with all my heart. You are all I have ever wanted.” Danya sobbed and laughed simultaneously with joy.
“When you are healed, would you walk the aisle and share vows with me?” Adrik asked formally cupping Danya’s cheeks in his hands.
“Aye, I will with all my heart and soul.” Danya answered with eyes shining and a smile so full of love and affection it was blindingly bright. Adrik’s heart soared as he devoured Danya’s lips in a jubilant kiss.
Adrik didn’t allow himself to get too swept away in the moment; they had come back to his rooms for a reason. He smiled as he broke the kiss and leaned back. “Now then, let me see that beautiful shoulder.” Adrik said tugging Danya’s belt lightly until his robes slipped off his slender torso.
“Not so beautiful at the moment. Unless of course you like purple and chartreuse mottled skin.” Danya said flinching at the nasty bruise that looked horrific this morning as it spread like a spider down part of his chest and arm.
“I don’t like it on anyone, least of all you. This is perhaps the nastiest bruise I’ve ever seen. No wonder you’re still so tender. He didn’t jar it too badly did he?” Adrik asked gingerly rubbing in ointments to dull the pain and help reduce further spreading.
“No, just hard enough to hurt not damage anything further. I can still move somewhat normally. So long as I don’t have to lift my arm higher than my chest.”
“But you can lift it that high, that’s what is important. It just smarts correct?”
“Aye, I can lift it if I have to, I just have absolutely no desire to at the moment. Whatever you did to my neck last night fixed whatever was keeping me from moving it at all.”
“Your fingers are fine?”
“Aye. Just fine.”
Danya laughed. “Elbow fine too. You are utterly charming when you’re concerned. No wonder you have so many admirers. I should have gotten hurt more often.”
“Bite your tongue beloved.” Adrik pinched Danya’s nose as he sat back wiping his hands on a towel to rid himself of excess ointment. “Although, you sitting there half nude in my bed is quite nice.” Adrik winked as he got up to put his salves and ointments away in the cupboard he’d retrieved them from.
“Well you were half nude in mine last night, I suppose this is what they would call a fair turn.” Danya’s eyes crinkled when he smiled and Adrik chuckled as he returned to Danya’s side.
“True. Now then my lovely, I seem to have a day free now and I am at your beck and call. What would you like to do today?”
“Oh goodness I don’t know. I thought I’d be working today, I don’t tend to take much leisure time for myself, I’m at a loss.”
“Can you play chess?”
“In theory yes. I’ve never actually played before, just watched a time or two.”
“Love, your theory all by itself scares me with its brilliance. You’re probably going to destroy me but I won’t go down without a fight at least. Want to play?”
“Why not.” Danya grinned as he left his robe behind on the bed and padded over to the table in just his summer trousers as Adrik set up the board.
It was a warm early summer day and Adrik’s outer robe joined Danya’s on the bed as they sat together in just light trousers, sharing cool juice as they concentrated on the board between them.
Adrik mused to himself as he watched Danya, he had the adorable habit of poking a little of his tongue out of his teeth when he was lost in thought and he was caught up watching Danya and losing miserably when a tiny knock came to the open door and both heads turned to see a boy of about six standing there looking dejected and holding a sickly looking plant in a pot.
“Father Danya, they said you were here. It’s sick can you help me?” The child asked and once again Adrik noticed a transformed Danya. He smiled brightly and patted his lap.
“Aye, come here Osanna and let me see.” Danya said and the small boy crawled up on Danya’s lap and set the pot down on the table.
“What’s wrong with it?” He asked miserably and Danya patted his hair.
“Nothing that can’t be fixed dearest. Remember what I told you about too much water and not enough sun?”
The boy nodded.
“See the yellow in the leaves, that means you’re watering it too much dearest. Just a little every other day. You’ve been filling it every day haven’t you?”
The boy nodded again.
“Don’t water it for a few days, then remember only a little bit every other day after that. Make sure you put it where it gets sun all day. You’ve had this inside haven’t you?”
Again the boy nodded and Danya chuckled. “Ah, dearest you’re so like me at the same age. I always wanted my flowers inside too. But they need sunshine blossom to grow. Make sure you keep it on the windowsill at the very least and remember not to give it too much water. It will be fine in a few days, I promise, if you do as I say.” Danya said kissing the lad’s brow and handing him back the pot.
“If you can make this one bloom, I’ve got some new bulbs for you to try too, I just got them a few days ago. Such pretty bearded irises, the purple ones you said you liked.”
“Really?” The boy beamed and Danya smiled and nodded.
“Aye. So take care of them like I tell you and you’ll have a beautiful garden all your own.”
“I will father Danya, thank you!” The boy scampered off clutching his pot excited and Danya turned to see Adrik leaning back in his chair highly amused.
“You are wonderful with children.”
“I adore the little ones. I teach first and second years, Osanna was so like me at the same age. The joy of making something grow with your own hands with care is something that thrills early and stays with you all your life. His excitement is infectious.” Danya smiled and Adrik nodded.
“So I can see. And it’s still your turn.” Adrik nodded at the board and Danya moved his piece.
“Checkmate I believe.” Danya winked with a grin.
“Aw hell I didn’t even see that!” Adrik grumbled and Danya only laughed.
“Pay more attention to the game and not to me then.”
“Can’t help it beautiful, you’re a distraction.” Adrik chuckled setting up the board again.
Danya just smiled and as winner, made the first move in the new game.