Force of Wills: The Ties that Bind
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09.17.2012 , 09:56 AM |
IA Voss story spoilers.
Shiloh breathed in the crisp Voss air, it was cool without being cold, a perpetual autumn. In the twenty five years since she had been here nothing had changed. Despite peace talks among the Voss and Gormack, factions on both sides continued to fan the flames of war. She wound her way through the streets, the cube was still in orbit, there was no reason for Kianna to bring it down. Vector and Malavai trailed behind her stopping at small shops to look over their wares, walking through the Voss shop keepers, the two ghosts, hallucinations, spoke amiably to one another. Shiloh did her best to ignore them, look past them and not speak to them. The responsibility on her shoulders was too great to give in to fantasy and delusions. Shiloh finally came to a halt in front of a familiar building, small smile on her lips remembering.
“The tea house, we remember. The hive enjoyed the many flavors, and we discovered that certain brews had healing properties.” Vector came and stood beside her, Shiloh simply nodded her head absently, the only recognition she gave her long dead lover.
“We also remember your wedding to Phi-ton, a beautiful ceremony.” Vector smiled broadly.
“You’re married? To a Voss? You never told me.” Malavai looked at her both hurt and quizzically. Shiloh didn’t answer him.
“Yes, she never consummated the relationship, the Voss do not believe in annulments or divorce, Phi-ton has not been able to re-marry. Voss emotions of love and desire, sexual maturity if you will, are awakened with the marriage ritual. Shiloh has not seen him since their wedding day. It is a cruel fate Phi-ton agreed to.” Vector spoke in his melodic monotone, the words cutting her heart, guilt flaring.
She wanted to argue, it had been necessary, she did not consummate the relationship out of love for Vector, and it wasn’t fair for him to throw it back in her face, though it had been cruel to Phi-ton. Instead she ignored the judgmental stares of her hallucinations and entered the tea house. She took a seat and gave her order to the young boy who came running, a blend to sooth the mind.
“Wife.” Whispered the tall Voss with the cyan patterned skin and the kind honeycomb eyes. His voice was quiet, disbelieving. He was holding the cup and saucer, his hands were shaking only slightly, the only indication of the emotions he was feeling under the calm and controlled Voss exterior.
“Husband.” Shiloh stood when she saw him, out of respect, or of fear. In their years apart Phi-ton had not changed, she could not spy any of the normal signs of aging, she was suddenly aware of the grey in her hair and the lines and scars in her face. Time had not been kind to her.
“I thought never to see you again. There have been no visions, even though I have prayed for them.” He struggled with the words, his face pained his strange eyes shone with unshed tears.
Shiloh had not expected this kind of reaction, the joy and pain and longing, they had known each other so briefly. She reached out and took the cup of tea, and indicated for him to sit. She suddenly didn’t want to ask anything of him, wished she hadn’t come to cause this pain.
“What purpose brings you back to Voss, wife?” He asked quietly.
Shiloh wanted to tell him it was to come home, to be with him, to live out the rest of her days in peace helping him brew and serve tea, and in that moment it was true. “I’m searching for my sister.” She saw a glimmer of hope die and her gut twisted in knots for inflicting the pain. “She is a Jedi, and a Chiss like me, there are not many, if any, others like her. Have you, or anyone seen her or heard from her? Her name is Kianna.”
“I have not, but I will send my nephew to learn what he can at the Republic embassy.” He called over the little boy who had taken her order and sent him on his way. “Will you stay with me, in my home, while you search for your sister?” He asked with the faintest glimmer of hope returning.
“I would be honored Phi-ton.” He smiled then, broadly.
She sipped her tea and Vector walked away, she took another sip and Malavai’s accusing face dissipated. She drank as Phi-ton told her of his families coming and goings, his pride in his nieces and nephews. She could close her eyes and listen to him speak, it was a soothing balm, instead she smiled and nodded and took his hand, and held it while he spoke. Perhaps one day, if she survives her plans and the trials of the greater Galaxy , she would return to Voss and live out the rest of her life, in fact she vowed she would survive so that she could.
Phi-ton’s nephew returned with word that her sister had gone to the wilderness with a great red Sith, that she sought wisdom at the shrine of healing, that she had plans of entering the Dark Heart. It was getting late, so pursuing her would have to wait until morning. It had grown dark, and she waited for Phi-ton to close his tea house. She walked hand in hand with him under a moonless night sky, the stars shining brilliantly. They arrived at a small but comfortable home, he led her around indicating where things were, he showed her the bedroom, it was the only one having no need for more.
“I will sleep in the main room, you sleep here. The bed is comfortable.” He made to leave, Shiloh grabbed his hand.
“Phi-ton, have you ever…I mean after we married did you ever find someone…” The guilt she felt for robbing him of that pleasure, of loving someone wholly begged an answer.
“No, it is not the Voss way.” He answered simply, guarding his feelings well.
“I’m so sorry. How can you be so gracious and kind to me, when I’ve robbed you of so much.” She hated torturing him like this, but she had to know, had to know why he didn’t hate her.
“I knew what was being asked of me when I agreed to marry you, I understood what it meant. I do admit that after, when I had fully awoken and felt the needs of a husband, it was difficult. I love you wife, I would not harm you, or cause you pain.” His voice was soft his honeycomb eyes gentle.
“How can you love me, you don’t know me at all, how can you…” Shiloh felt her voice crack, it was too much, and she feared for him, the last two men to have declared their love for her were dead and gone.
“A husband loves his wife, it is decreed, it is the Voss way.” He sensed her conflict and he pulled her to him in a strong hug. He rested his chin on the top of her head and stroked her back as she started to cry. It wasn’t for him she cried, Phi-ton knew that much, she was damaged and broken, and it was good she would be going to the shrine. He gathered her soft blue hair streaked with grey in his hand, enjoying the alien feel of it. She finally turned her scared and tear streaked face up to his. He traced a finger along a particularly angry gash.
“In the morning I will contact the mystics so that you can be healed.” He said softly.
“It’s old scars Phi-ton, long past healing.” She gave him a sad smile, such a kind heart.
“It is for your soul.” He said simply, running fingers through hair, the closeness and the intimacy of touch felt right to him, in a way he could not explain.
Shiloh pulled him down to her and kissed him, he felt a thrill he had never hoped to feel and he returned her ardor, his heart pounding finally feeling what it felt like to be a husband and mate. She continued to cry, he tasted the saltiness in their kiss, he wiped them away with his hands, cupping her face, not breaking the seal their lips made. Shiloh gave herself to him, it was the only way she could show her thanks and gratitude, and she needed him, needed his kindness to keep the nightmares at bay. Vector and Malavai stayed mercifully away, as this sweet and gentle man caressed her body, not cringing or shying away from the bevy of scars that riddled her body. Her tears refused to stop as they made love, it was cleansing and pure and she would have died in that moment content. She fell asleep wrapped in his arms, wishing she could promise never to leave him again.
Force of Wills
Force of Wills: The Ties that Bind