The voice stops me dead in my tracks, bringing Gloria, who has not let go of me since we’d hugged, to a halt.
Thalion notices we are no long with him. He turns to us, adding his gaze to Gloria’s.
The voice cuts me to the bone and though I thought I could cry no more, tears begin to poor again. I turn around, my feat retracing their steps. Following that voice.
“Morgan wait!” Gloria and Thalion are not far behind me.
I slow. His has stopped calling my name, but I hear his sobs.
“We can come back for him later,” Thalion tries reason.
“No,” I snap, more viciously than intended. “No,” I whisper. “It’s now or never.” The
Earth trembles around me as I reach his door. Though it is my weakest link to nature, I can feel it crying out to be released from the enchantments that hold this place. This evil, evil place. The elements aren’t meant to be evil, they are meant to simply be.
“Can you open the door?” I look to Thalion. “Like you did mine?”
I can barely see his frown in the dim light.
“Please?” my voice cracks and the tears flow again. How much water can I hold?
Enough to bring the fortress down, something whispers in my soul. I blink.
Thalion’s voice makes me jump. I turn and place a hand on the door. A flame flares for a moment from my palm.
“Stand back, Ash” I speak mentally and physically, before I too move away as Gloria’s flashlight, so strangely mundane in this magic drenched place, lights the knob.
Shivering I wait, watching elvish magic work. So different from Faerie magic. I wonder if one can know both, or if one must be one or the other. The door is gone.
A snarl of rage emits as the beast Ash is pelts towards us. My wall of air is up in an instant. Then he curls on the ground, a mound, wracked with emotions.
“Ash” I step forward, keeping my barrier between us.
He snarls, then cries. “Don’t leave me.” Then backs further into the room “Leave me.”
I kneel before him, eye to eye, if he would only look at me. My fist clenches around my pendant trying to see the truth.
“He’s torn,” Gloria’s hand rests upon my shoulder as she confirms what my pendant is trying to tell me.
I look up to her. “I can’t leave him...” I’m sobbing again. “I can’t leave him, I have to try to heal him,” my eyes go back to Ash, who is alternately cowering and lashing out in the corner, pinned in my by air and his split personality, beast versus human. Please, let the human win...
“I can’t leave you. I have to try to heal you.”
My hand reaches out. My energy flows from it to him. I am his life line...