"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: Six
“The Shared Path”
Author: D. Sanders
Adrik awoke just a few hours later, he never slept well when he had a patient in the infirmary, and his need to constantly be aware of their state of health always induced a state of cat napping in him. An hour or two of heavy deep sleep, he’d awake in an instant with the nagging urge to get up and check on them.
Danya was fast asleep, his small frame almost lost in the thick mattress where he lay on his side, securely snuggled into his pillow and blankets. Adrik smiled fondly at him where he lay illuminated in a patch of moonlight as if Mane himself was watching over Danya in his sleep. Adrik gently kissed a sleeping cheek as he carefully crawled out of bed as to not wake up his new spouse and he tip toed across the room, pulling on his robe as he went and then carefully closed the door behind him with a soft click as he entered the infirmary and walked over to where Fletcher was reading Danya’s journals on the low sofa by Kara’s side.
“You never can keep away can you? Not even with a beautiful new spouse in your bed.” Fletcher chuckled, his voice hushed in tones.
“You heal hearts and minds, you leave bodies to me. Besides, Danya’s sleeping I’d just wake him up, you know me.” Adrik said sitting on the stool and checking Kara’s pulse. “No change?”
“None, just sleeping still.”
“Pulse is stronger than it was, thank goodness Danya knew what to give him, he was far too close to death than I care for.” Adrik said taking a small blood sample and studying it, it looked almost normal, but not quite enough for Adrik’s liking so he prepared another injection and administered it carefully before joining Fletcher on the sofa.
“He was close, and I’ve been reading these journals. I am amazed; I might have actually liked Chemistry more had we had books like these to work from. Danya is brilliant.”
“Don’t let Jovan hear you say you hated Chemistry, he’ll make you take it again.”
“I barely passed the first time.” Fletcher chuckled.
“You copied my notes all the time. Had Danya been in our class I’d have copied his.” Adrik grinned flipping open the red journal to look at the works still in progress.
“If he’d have let you. You have an frightfully honest spouse, he’d have made you do your own work.” Fletcher teased and Adrik laughed.
“Aye. You’re right there.” Adrik chuckled toying with the ring on his finger.
“I’m thrilled for you Adrik, he’s exactly what you needed.” Fletcher said patting Adrik’s arm as he stood and stretched. “And I am off to find a spare bed. Goodnight.”
“Thank you. Sleep well.”
“Probably like the dead, I’m bloody knackered.” Fletcher said through a yawn as he flopped down on a spare bed and was lightly snoring a few minutes later.
Adrik lost himself in Danya’s journals listening to the sounds of sleep around him while he read and kept vigil on his patient.
Danya awoke with the sun as it slowly crept over the horizon. It was still exceedingly early, but judging from the coolness of the sheets beside him, Adrik had already been up a long time. Danya sleepily wandered out into the infirmary to find Adrik absorbed in his journals and everyone else still fast asleep.
“What are you doing up beloved?” Adrik asked softly setting the book down as Danya curled up against him on the couch.
“Finding my wayward spouse.” Danya yawned as he cuddled up beside Adrik still groggy with sleep.
“Found him you have. I was just about to wake Brody to take a shift and come back to bed myself, you’re still half asleep, go on back to bed and I’ll be there in a minute or two.” Adrik kissed Danya’s brow as Danya just yawned and nodded and wandered back to bed. Adrik was touched that Danya had come out just to be near him, this was indeed the kind of love he’d always dreamed of having.
Adrik gently nudged Brody awake who got up looking quite rested and began his shift without complaint. Adrik went back to bed and curled up against a warm body and went back to sleep.
It was much later that morning, when father Jovan woke them to the smell of fresh coffee and what smelled like fresh bacon, eggs, ham and bread wafting in from the outer rooms.
“Breakfast you two, come eat while it’s still hot. Everyone’s up, there’s still no changes.” Jovan smiled as Danya and Adrik slowly came to wakefulness and joined the others around the large table in the infirmary to share the morning meal.
Everyone was chattering around the table when Danya froze, the toast in his hand falling to the table as he stood. “Kara!” He exclaimed and Adrik and Fletcher rushed over to Kara who was lying there silently, just looking at everyone his eyes wide open.
Fletcher took his hand. “Kara, are you aware? Do you know where you are?” Fletcher asked, trying to get Kara’s attention while Adrik checked his pulse and vitals.
Kara didn’t say anything; it was like he was still asleep with just his eyes open until Danya walked into his field of vision. His eyes narrowed and his pulse under Adrik’s hand quickened.
“Hate you.” Kara hissed, his voice strained and frantic.
Danya sighed as he stood at the foot of the bed.
“Hate you! Your fault! Get out!”
“Think what you will Kara, I am sorry you were hurt.” Danya said moving back to the table with Father Jovan.
“GET OUT! GET OUT!” Kara wailed and Fletcher grabbed Kara’s chin and forced him to make eye contact.
“Kara, stop this. Danya saved your life; you would have died had he not known the cure to the toxins in your body. It is not his fault you hurt yourself. You entered his rooms and violated them of your own free will. He did not make you touch the plant that wounded you and you cannot tell a man to leave his own home in which you are a guest and being tended. Brother Kara you shame yourself as a priest of Sol.” Fletcher said, knowing the best way to heal Kara was not to be tender, but honest. Danya cringed at the harshness of Fletcher’s words.
“Adrik! Help me!” Kara whimpered and Adrik stood and crossed the floor back to Danya and stood behind him, a hand on his shoulder.
It was Fletcher who answered before Adrik could. “He did help you. Would you ask a man to aide you further when you have been more than cruel to his spouse?”
Kara’s eyes went wide and threw accusatory and rage filled looks at Danya where Adrik stood behind him, a hand resting gently on his shoulder, noticing the golden ring on Adrik’s finger and the silver one on Danya’s as Danya laid his hand atop Adrik’s. “You took everything from me! I hate you! I HATE YOU! Get out! GET OUT!”
“KARA!” Fletcher smacked a hysterical Kara into stunned silence. Both Adrik and Danya winced but remained silent. Fletcher knew his calling well; they would not interfere when he was working. “As your counselor, I will keep you sedated if you cannot hold your misplaced anger. If there is blame here, it lies firmly on your own shoulders Kara. You made your choices, and by Sol’s own words, were punished by the Father for your actions. Yet, Danya chose to save you, even after you destroyed what meant most to him in this world next to Adrik. Adrik chose to save you, even though you had been cruel to the one he loved. Would you dishonor them further for showing you forgiveness and kindness? Are you or are you not a Priest of Sol, sworn to love and honor your brothers and those who would come to you in need?”
Kara turned rage filled eyes to Fletcher and Fletcher stared back without flinching, without bending. “Look at me! I’m mutilated!”
“No. You have lost a limb and will carry a scar on your cheek. You are far from mutilated and again I stress that your injuries are purely the result of your own choices. I will not allow you to shirk accepting responsibility for your own actions. That would be a disservice to not only Adrik and Danya, but to you and the brotherhood of the order.”
“Leave me alone!” Kara spat and Fletcher nodded.
“As you wish.” Fletcher said standing and moving back to the table to his breakfast. He indicated that everyone should sit back down and basically ignore Kara.
Danya wanted to cry, it seemed so cruel and he ached to comfort. “Danya, just eat. He asked to be left alone, so ALONE we will leave him.” Fletcher said passing a basket of pastries over to Adrik, carrying on as if Kara was not in the room fuming.
Adrik whispered, “Are you sure?”
“Aye. Leave Minds to me and I’ll leave you bodies. This won’t last long trust me, it’s a battle of wills, I will win.” Fletcher answered solemnly and Adrik only nodded and carried on as Fletcher, who knew best, instructed. It indeed lasted only a minute or two.
“STOP! STOP!” Kara began to sob and Fletcher walked back over and took up his chair, but did not offer comfort. It was too soon.
“Are you ready to accept? Or are you and I just going to argue more?”
“You’re cruel!” Kara sobbed and Fletcher nodded.
“Aye. How does it feel? This is how you made Adrik and Danya feel being cruel to them. One must recognize the effects of a behavior to fully appreciate the depth. The world does not and never has revolved around you and your desires Kara. You must grow up and see that there are people around you who feel, who love, who anger and who fear too. It is not about what you want Kara, it is about what we ALL want. Your selfishness and jealousy has cost you dearly, and we can sympathize with your pain and struggle to heal. We will not however allow you to place blame on others. Do you understand?”
Kara nodded as he wept hysterically.
“Good.” Fletcher said handing Kara a scrap of cloth to wipe his eyes with his good hand and when his strength faltered, Fletcher did it for him. “Now, then. The next step toward healing is remorse. Is there something you wish to say to Danya?”
“I’m sorry.” Kara whimpered pathetically, his voice almost lost in his weeping. Danya moved to sit on the edge of the bed beside Kara.
“I had already forgiven you Kara. But thank you.” Danya said tenderly tearing up himself as Kara broke down like a frightened child.
Adrik brought over a bowl of oatmeal and set it on the table next to Kara. “Enough for the moment. You need to eat Kara, you need to gain strength, we almost lost you last night and I don’t want you to weaken further. Please try to eat.” Adrik said handing the spoon to Fletcher who placed it in Kara’s left hand.
“Take control. This will only be a weakness and handicap if you allow it to be.” Fletcher said as Adrik helped prop Kara into a semi sitting position and moved the unique shaped table over in front of Kara in bed. It was designed for patients forced to remain in bed for ease in eating without trying to balance a tray in their laps.
Adrik had specifically chosen oatmeal because it would not fall off the utensil as Kara tried to adjust using a hand he was unaccustomed to using to eat with.
Danya brought over a large glass of orange fruit juice and set it near his left hand on the table. “Sol’s fruit not only tastes divine, it is full of vitamins and nutrients that will help too.” Danya smiled tenderly before stepping back, he felt Adrik step up behind him and lay a loving hand against the small of Danya’s back.
“Thank you.” Kara said taking the glass and draining it almost entirely. “I am quite thirsty.”
“With all the benzene we used on you, I’m not surprised. There’s plenty more.” Adrik said moving to fill the glass again from the pitcher off the main table. Kara’s eyes fixated on the ring on Adrik’s hand as he poured.
“A beautiful ring. Sol’s light shines eternal.” Kara said quietly, a meek sadness falling over the once vibrant, bold and vivacious youth.
“Aye. Thank you.” Adrik said moving back to Danya’s side.
“May I see yours?” Kara asked and Danya nodded and held out his hand for Kara to see.
“Mane’s protection. These were not crafted by mortal hands.”
“Nay, they were not. Adrik and I were wed unexpectedly by Mane and Sol last night.” Danya said quietly.
“I thought I dreamed that. I must have heard it in my sleep.” Kara said soberly, looking into his meal and not at Danya, picking up his spoon and finishing his meal and juice silently.
Adrik and Danya merely stayed quiet and stood beside the bed, Adrik’s arm draped loosely about Danya’s waist.
“Perhaps, and sleep again you should when you are finished eating. You need much rest still. I can see how tired you are Kara.” Fletcher said taking away the nearly empty bowl and glass. Kara said nothing else and just lay back down, looking spiritually broken.
“Now the healing can begin.” Fletcher said draping a blanket over Kara while everyone else returned to their duties.
“Just drink it you old goat.” Jovan said handing the glass to Lukyan.
“Trust me, this time it won’t taste so bad. Danya spent hours making a flavor mixture to mask the taste but not conflict with the active ingredients.” Adrik said as Danya came out of the workroom and wiping off his hands.
“It should taste like apples. I hope.” Danya grinned coming to sit beside Adrik at the table.
Lukyan just steeled his resolve and drank his medicine. He had to admit over the past week it was working remarkably well, it just tasted foul. It was better this time, he could still taste the chemicals, but the apple flavor addition did kill the taste a little, but only a little. “I’d refuse to take this if it wasn’t working so well on my joints. It still tastes like urine mixed with cider.” Lukyan shivered setting down the empty glass.
“I’ll add more flavor next time. I’ll keep trying father.” Danya said taking the empty glass away and rinsing it in the washbasin.
Adrik chuckled; Danya was very creative when it came to trying different alternatives. He’d already managed to make a mixture for the cold symptom reducer that even children wouldn’t turn their noses up against just in time for winter cold season. Adrik had tested it on himself and it tasted like cherries now instead of bitter herbs. The past six months had flown by and when both were not teaching their respective classes, they were in the workrooms experimenting on several projects.
Adrik hardly recognized his private rooms anymore. Danya had swept into his life like a pleasant garden sprite and there was greenery on every available surface in their private rooms. It looked like an indoor jungle and smelled divine. Not to mention, evenings had become a predictable series of sensual events. The moment Adrik returned from his patients for the night, he had to wonder when and where Danya was going to surprise him with a physical manifestation of affection.
Having a sun priest for a lover had definite benefits, they were remarkably creative lovers and practically insatiable once they got started. Adrik didn’t think there was a surface left in the entire infirmary that he hadn’t made love to Danya on or under within the past six months.
Lukyan and Jovan bid the pair goodnight and Adrik chuckled when warm hands appeared over his shoulders and slid down his chest. The door was barely closed before Adrik found himself with his robe open still sitting in the chair and Danya, naked in his lap, kissing him for all he was worth and practically impaling himself on Adrik’s instantly responsive sex. Sun priests were definitely amazing lovers, Adrik wasn’t about to complain in the slightest and just groaned in pleasure.
They didn’t see the door open and then quickly shut again. “They’re, um. Busy.” Fletcher said blushing and rubbing his neck.
“Oh not again! Out in the middle of the infirmary again?” Kara asked, but grinned as he cracked open the door to take a look.
“Yup.” Fletcher coughed as Adrik let out a particularly loud moan.
“Wow, Danya really is quite flexible. Look at that, unbelievable! We’ve got to try this Fletch.”
“Kara, shut the door for goodness sakes.”
“Oh hell no, I’m taking notes. That’s hot stuff. Look!” Kara laughed and Fletcher just shook his head. Some things about Kara were never going to change, He had mellowed and he was no where near as vain and self centered as he had been, his hatefulness gone, but sun priests were sun priests for a reason and a handful in the bedroom, even missing an arm hadn’t slowed Kara down in the slightest and somewhere along the line he and Fletcher had become more than counselor and patient, but lovers.
“Kara I am not look-oh-my! By Mane’s Crown!” Fletcher gasped at the view when curiosity got the better of him.
“I know. We are so trying that later love.” Kara grinned and Fletcher could only nod dumbly, guiltily enthralled as he watched Adrik and Danya with morbid fascination.
Kara grinned up at his lover, Fletcher was a wonderful man, who didn’t let Kara act like a petulant, spoiled brat and called him on it when he was being rotten and also supported him when he was having doubts about his self-worth. Kara had never thought he’d ever truly fall in love with someone, but he had unexpectedly with his sexually repressed Lunar Counselor and he just thrilled making Fletcher’s toes curls at night. Fletcher wasn’t so bad reciprocating those curling toes either, what he lacked in experience, he certainly made up for with stamina and power. Kara teased “Come on you great Bull. We’ll come back later and I am suddenly in the mood.” Kara pulled Fletcher back to their shared rooms; they never made it back until morning.
“We’ve got four more requests for copies of the Apothecary Manuals and maybe a dozen more requests from orders who already have the book asking if there have been additions produced.” Kara said reading the mail sitting on the table. I just shipped off all the page additions to the orders that have the book already, I’ll get these copies finished and include the additions and add them to the update list. I have scribes working around the clock in shifts now, we can’t keep up and our paper shipment from the capitol is delayed due to weather.” Kara sighed, rubbing that spot between his eyes again. Adrik walked over and massaged temples.
“I told you to take a break Kara. Your eyes are not what they used to be and these headaches won’t stop if you refuse to use enough light to work.” Adrik said as Danya came in with a glass of water and some small pebble shaped white stones.
“What are those?” Kara asked curious.
“I found a way to compress the headache powder into these little tablet cakes. Just swallow them whole, no more dissolving Adrik’s nasty powder in water and then chugging it as fast as you can so you don’t taste it.” Danya grinned as Kara gratefully swallowed the little stones.
Fletcher stamped snow off his boots as he entered the infirmary common room and frowned. “Headache again?” He asked hanging up his coat before coming over to the table.
“Aye love. My eyes aren’t what they used to be. Oh to be twenty again.”
“Goodness, Kara you talk like you’re ancient.” Danya rolled his eyes, grabbing the mulled wine off the hearth where it had been warming.
“He just doesn’t like turning forty, he has issues.” Fletcher teased, having had similar issues a few years earlier when he had turned forty.
“I’ll give you issues.” Kara grumbled sorting through the files he kept regarding the production of books and updates.
Fletcher just laughed as the group settled around the table sharing a bottle of wine and friendship, making Kara put his files away for the night and take a break and celebrate his fortieth birthing day.
“Welcome first terms to Apothecary theory and application, I am Father Parrish and I am about to introduce you to the text that will become your life long counterpart. Brother Pavel, please pass out the texts.” The elder Priest said to his classroom full of older teenagers, training to become healers. Brother Pavel passed out to everyone a crisp, green covered leather bound books off a cart that groaned under the weight of the rather large books.
“I want you to protect your books, these volumes contain sixty years worth of research that has revolutionized our field. Father Danya and Father Adrik spent their entire adult lives making our jobs easier. I had the joy of meeting them when I was a student myself years ago. I trained under Father Adrik before coming to the capitol to teach here. I was in his last class before he passed and what a loss to the healing community it was, father Danya passed not long after but they have left a legacy that will continue to push the envelope of discovery for years and years to come.” Father Parrish continued as he paced the aisles looking at all the fresh new faces this term.
“Father Danya was perhaps the most brilliant chemical botanist I’ve ever met. You’ll note that these same books are used in advanced chemistry and I urge you all to make sure to associate with those brilliant students. Their work goes hand in hand with yours. Father Danya’s experimentation with botanical compounds and elements and Father Adrik’s application and usage refinement of those discoveries Father Danya made have saved hundreds of thousands of lives over the years and as you become familiar with your books you will see why rather quickly. Before you lies the remedies for countless ailments from the common cold, to Sidra’s Trap anti-toxin serum.” Father Parrish tapped a student’s book where it sat on the desk.
“This is life and death and treat it as such.” Parrish said and the student nodded.
“It’s got the seal of Mane and Sol!” One student said in awe and Parrish nodded.
“Aye. I heard from an eyewitness of the event itself. Father Fletcher, whose text on mental health counseling you will study in your second term, told me how Mane and Sol appeared when these books were no more than simple personal journals that had almost been lost. They restored the journals and bade Adrik and Danya to continue their research and laid their dual protections on the original books. All copies carry the seals in honor of the originals. These are not impervious to fire or food stains like the originals, these are just copies. So mind your books lads, these texts are not cheap to replace!” Parrish chuckled as he pointed to a student who had his hand raised.
“I heard Mane and Sol also married Danya and Adrik that night too, is that true?”
“Aye, they were married too. But this is class time, not romance gossip time.” Father Parrish winked at the young lunar novice; lunar’s were such incurable romantics.
The student smiled and blushed as Parrish continued his lecture. “So I have stressed the importance this book will have for you literally for the rest of your careers as healers. I myself have been a healer for forty years, and I was just your age when I received my first copy. I have had to replace mine four times I’ve worn them out with use. We now share a path with those that came before us. Father Adrik and Father Danya forged that path for us and it is up to us to make sure it continues to grow. I will expect you all to do your very best, and do not be afraid to question the norm. Father Adrik once told me that ‘the only bad question is the one not asked’ he was correct. True knowledge lies not in what you already know, but what you have yet to learn. We as healers must never stop learning, lives count on us every day, we help them, by expanding our minds and taking nothing for granted.” Father Parrish said as he sat at his desk at the front of the room.
“Now then, open your books to chapter one and read. There will be a test at the end of the hour on common colds and the variations of treatments available. You may all begin.”