A Thousand Lifetimes
Rated M++ for language and themes
Once again--If you recognize it, IT AIN'T MINE!!
Sorry for any OOC ness. I got as close to accurate as I could.
Hoseok walked calmly across the room, but by the look in his eyes, he was anything but happy to be there. When he saw who was sitting there, His visage grew imperceptably darker.
"What did you do this time, Girlie?"
She sighed, 'Joey wanted Min to take a look, Min got Ate, who called you, Watcher.'
As he crouched in front of her, he picked up her foot and delicately laid it over his knee, to get a closer look at the band on her ankle. After toying with it for a few minutes, he asked, 'When did you bargain with Spirit, and what was it?'
'I agreed to be Posted if my town wasn't hit by bad storms.'
'Hmm. Has it been?'
'That would explain the fraying. So where,' he trailed off. 'Ahh, there,' right before he cringed. 'It should actually be gold, not black. I can either renew it, or I can remove it completely.'
'You should check with your Guard first. It will mean that you can't leave your post,' he said while looking at me. 'You will need to go to her. There will be absolutely no way for her to come to Seoul.'
'Remove it,' I said. 'I can't stand to see her caged.'
He nodded and handed me a bowl. 'Piss in this.' then, he set to removing the gunk off of it to reach the clasp. Then, he turned to Ate and asked for a bowl of salt water. When he then poured the pee into it and added a packet of herbs to it, I was a little more apprehensive. He had it off in ten seconds and wiped her ankle down with that stuff before saying, "Kihyun, can I speak to you outside," as he stood up.
Nodding, I followed him out into the hallway. Before I could get the door closed all the way, I was against the opposite wall.
"Some fucking Guard you are. Do you know what was in that thing?"
Over his shoulder, I could see her, her hand reaching to his shoulder. 'Watcher. He doesn't know.'
'What don't I know?'
Hoseok seemed to be trying desperately to hang on to some shred of calm, 'Did he ever dabble in the dark arts,' He asked as he turned to her.
"Who," I asked.
"Son of a bitch," He growled as he threw himself off of the wall. "Now, I got a reason for beating the hell out of him. He cursed you. You would never be happy, every relationship would be worse than the last, and in the end, you would always let him do whatever he wanted, with your body or mind. I couldn't break it, so I transferred it to Kihyun. You literally belong to him now."
'But,' She trailed off.
"This is no mere soul tie, Ghost. He tried to turn you into a thrall," Hoseok replied, his voice thick.
It took a minute for my brain to catch up. A thrall was someone who was, more or less, a zombie with no free will. Someone who had to give over their free will to their Master's whims, be it money, their life, or... My brain stopped and I saw red.
'Was he the same one who,' Hoseok started but then trailed off.
"Fucking Ricky, wasn't it?"
Again, she nodded, tears pooling in her eyes.
"Who is Ricky?"
Hoseok ran a hand down his face and slid down the wall. "Her ex-husband. Abusive motherfucker, extraordinaire. Did every thing but hit her, and I mean ev-er-y thing. And I think the only reason he didn't hit her; he knew she'd hit him back."
It took half a second for my brain to catch up. Aww Hell No!
As tears poured down her face, 'I understand if you don't.'
It was all I let her get out before I wrapped my arms around her, 'I will never do that to you. I would never hurt you like that. I promise you, Ghost, you will never hurt like that again.' I held her as close but as gently as I could. I could almost feel her tears on my shoulder as I whispered, 'Let it out, Mami. Let it go. I've got you. I won't leave you.'
A few moments later, she had calmed down enough to whisper, 'That wore me out. I am going back to bed.'
I nodded, 'Same. After all this tonight, I think maybe I should come cuddle with you for a bit.'
She looked up at me, a curious look on her face.
'Just to hold you. After what you have been through, you deserve it. Kids with their dad?'
She nodded right before her spirit left.
Turning to Hoseok, I asked, "What did he do?"
He sighed, "I promised not to tell you. But, since I won't have any backlash from telling you, now...coercion is considered rape in some places. You may notice that your left wrist burns in four days. Sometime between this next new moon and the fourth full moon, it will become like a tattoo, but easily hidden under a watch. This is your Masters mark. It will fade with time."
"So why did you need my fluids? That was kind of gross."
He sighed, "Until you can get there to mark her, which you need to do between those moons, she is essentially a master-less thrall. She will be attracting every dumbass in a 5000 mile radius that wants to own her. Having your smell on her means she is marked as yours, temporarily. It's akin to a dog marking his territory."
"How do I mark her?"
He tossed me a bag of herbs. "Lick the spot you have chosen. somewhere accessible in an emergency but not likely to be bumped accidentally. I recommend either under her chin or behind her ear. While the saliva is still wet, press your thumb into it and then blow out a lung-full of that," he said as he pointed at the bag, "on the spot. And make sure you don't move your print until it's dried."
"I don't smoke."
"For this, you will. Don't worry, it's not habit forming. It is a mix of several different smoking blends; one for balance, one for reclaiming, one to relax, and the last two are gender based fertility blends."
"Fertility blends," I said as my eyebrow shot up.
"Not for what you think. They deepen the already present connection. She won't glow with creation if you look at her. You two would have to be a whole lot closer for a whole lot longer for that to happen," He laughed.
I hadn't told them that was one of my good dreams; seeing the dew of creation dancing under her skin and the pride in knowing that I put that there.
We did not know that the others had heard us.
After that, I rushed back down the hall to my room and slid into my meditation. She was curled up under blankets and half asleep when I snuggled up next to her.
'I will always keep you safe. No one will ever hurt you like that again.'
She relaxed into me and was asleep in minutes. It was all I could do just to hold her. I really wanted to find that guy, but I knew she needed me more. It made me soo mad, to find out he did and was trying to do; to turn her into a slave, more or less. No man has the right to my Sweet Ghost. I saw how close I had almost come to losing her for good.
But, now, I had a chance to tie up all the frayed ends of our connection. Now, I had the chance to fix all of the damage done by time, distance, and broken promises.
The next morning was quiet. With the kids at their dads, I set about to doing some housework. I felt lighter than I had in quite a while. Without that thing around my ankle, I felt like a million bucks. All of the work I had been doing on my inner self was working now that I could see it. That asshole had even stopped me from loving myself, from coming fully into my own.
I settled into my morning meditation, and sent Haka off a quick message.
'Morning, Sweet Pea. Hope you had a great day!'
I felt her wake up. There was a new pep in her step, a new vigor that hadn't been there in a long time. It did my heart good to see her like that. Her peace was seeping through our thread and filled me with calmness.
I stayed in our connection longer than I meant to.
She must have felt me, because she whispered, 'Morning, Sweet Pea. Hope you had a great day.'
In all, it hadn't been too crazy today. Everyone had been off doing their own stuff for the company and we all met up at supper. After we ate, we went back to the dorms and settled in for the night. However, some uncomfortable revelations were made. Changkyun and HyungWon had returned to the dorms before us, and as we walked in, we heard them arguing.
"She's my Ina. How could he hurt her like that?"
"Mahipiya! It will do no good to go off in a rush over a slight to a past life parent. Your Lekshi has already transferred it to your father, there is nothing more to be done. Plus, you don't know where she is."
"How can you say that! She's my parent."
"And I say this as her parent. Child, there isn't anything more to do. Let it go."
The next thing we heard was I.M. shriek and sob, while HyungWon whispered softly.
"That's it, let it out and let it go."
There was no way I could sleep now.
A/N: Lekshi (leK SHE) Honored Uncle--The children of Ghost, Guard, or Watcher ALWAYS assign a special designation to the others--Generally Lekshi or Auntie. This extends to spouses.
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A Thousand Lifetimes
Rated M++ for themes and language
If you recognize it--IT AIN'T MINE
Sorry for any OOC-ness.
After the stunning revelations of the night before, I was having a slow day at work. It wasn't that I was off by much, but that I was exhausted, so I was a little slow on the uptake.
It was nearing three when we wrapped up recording for the day. Generally, we have more stuff to do, but today was an easy day. We were released to the dorm, and I went to go grab a nap. Sadly, though, all I could do was twist and turn. I decided to get up and read the next chapter.
It had been a few weeks since I talked to anyone. I had sent Kihyun's money back the very next day, slightly afraid it wouldn't make it. But seeing his face on my phone three hours later had me smiling.
"Hey! What's up," I asked.
He sighed. "Did you seriously send it back already?"
"Why," He asked. "Anyone else would have kept it."
"But I'm not anyone else. I hate asking for help. If I ask for anything, I never ask for money."
"Why," he asked.
"I make enough to be comfortable."
"Comfortable, huh? What's comfortable?"
"Pay the bills and have a little left over. Out of curiosity, why do you ask?"
"Just wondered. There is so much more I want to ask, but I-I'm not quite sure how to ask."
I laughed. "It's always been my experience, that it's better to just get it out there."
He swallowed, thickly, "Umm. Ok. Uh. What do you do?"
After taking a deep breath, I answered, "I own a yarn shop and I am a Natural Health Consultant."
"Wow," He whispered. "What does a Natural Health Consultant do?"
I chuckled. Most people wanted to know about the shop, not my degree. "I-um-I work with peoples primary care physician to get folks the best healing possible. It's generally in the cases of heart disease, diabetes, and stubborn skin rashes," I laughed.
"Now, that is cool," he smiled. "So, is it just a side hustle?"
"No," I laughed, "But most people don't see a Traditional Naturopath, they see an N.M.D. However, most integrated medicine places here have at least one natural health professional they work with, depending on the clients needs."
"Wow. You really are more than just a pretty face."
"Who told you I have a pretty face?"
"Joey let me see pics. You're beautiful, by the way."
I could not help the blush that slowly spread across my face. "Thank you. I think you are pretty handsome, yourself."
"Aww," he gushed, "No, I'm not."
"Agree to disagree, there, Sweet Pea."
"Joey," he asked.
"Joey," I agreed.
He chuckled, "Do you get the feeling he's trying to set us up?"
Laughing, I answered, "I do. But I think he may be right. You know he sees stuff, right?"
"Yeah, I know. I was the first person in our group he told. Oh God. Umm. I need to be honest. I'm not sure how to say it, so I will just lay my hand down here. I-uh-I-um-I have dreamed about you since I was a kid."
I could tell he was biting his lip.
"Tell me something no one else would know.
"Ok," he started. "Um-You have nightmares where you are lost in the woods and screaming for someone."
"How did you," I started.
"I have them, too; but from the other side. I can hear you screaming but I can't seem to find you."
"Haka," I asked, softly, tentatively.
"Hey," He answered.
If I hadn't been sitting at my desk, I would have been on the floor. "Oh, God," I whispered. After a pause, I said, "I don't know whether to scream, cry, or throw up."
He laughed. "Well, hopefully none of those things. Please don't scream, hearing it in dreams is bad enough. Please, don't cry, because I'm not there to fix it. And Please, God, Please, don't throw up."
"Yes," He answered. "I want to see you."
"Not a good idea. Not with what is going on in the world, right now."
"True. A year from now? I hate to try to plan that far ahead, but maybe, just maybe, things will work out."
"Well, there is normally a convention in Hawaii in early summer."
"I will try to save as much PTO time as I can between now and then. Cross your fingers and hope."
"Fingers crossed," I said.
"I've got stuff to do, so I will talk more later, Ok?"
"Sure, I answered.
"I'm gonna say this, and please don't freak out, but I have felt it for a long time and," He rambled.
"Haka," I yelled, cutting him off. "I know. I already know," I said before I bit my lip. "I know how you feel, trust me, I do. I feel it, too. You aren't crazy, nor are you alone." I swear I could feel his smile and his relief. "But, my dear, I am nothing to write home about."
"Are you kidding me," He started, "I have been in love with you since I was 15. Woman, I could write volumes about you, and still have several lifetimes worth to say. You, Woman, You are amazing."
Blushing, I replied, "I don't see how."
I could feel her blushing. "Then I will keep telling you until you have no doubts. You are amazing, you are awesome, and I," I stopped.
"I know," she whispered.
"Good," I replied.
I started to nod off so I set the story off to the side for the night, and got ready for bed. She curled up behind me and snuggled into the back of my neck.
'Night, Haka. Rest well, my King.'
I was so focused on sleep, I did not notice the slight tickle in my chest that happens with her sometimes. If I had, I would have felt the slight sorrow and could have held off the nightmare that night.
As it sat, she came and tucked me in as usual, but a few hours after I had fallen asleep in her arms, I had the worst nightmare.
I was, again, in those woods, and this time I was the Elk. She was there and that band around her ankle had her trapped. She was screaming as the band and rope that had her hobbled became razor wire cutting into her skin. I could not do a thing to help her.
But, my blind panic and pain must have ruffled the thread between us because in that moment, as I made my decision to lay down with her for support and comfort, I felt her spirit beside me, soothing me and telling me, 'It's just a dream, Love. I am here. Wake up, Haka, it's just a dream.'
In my state of half asleep and still with the residual images in my head, I rolled to where I felt her, and curled around her.
Her touch was both soothing and calming. 'Tell me what you saw?'
I shook my head as echo's of the images assaulted me again. I could still smell her blood in the air. I could still feel her fingers scramble for purchase on my pelt as she struggled to stand, could still hear the echo of her screams as the razors went deeper into her skin.
'I'm going after Joey. I'll be right back, my love. Hold on,' I heard her whisper in my hair.
In less that 20 seconds, a firm hand was on my arm. I had no more than sat up.
I was sound asleep when I felt a small but strong hand on my arm. 'Joey, Wake Up,' was all but shouted in my ear. I knew that voice. My sister. The fog stubbornly refused to lift.
'C'mon. Get up, Red! Kik needs you,' was shouted as an outer presence shook my arm.
I was up and off like a rocket at that. She is the only person I will EVER allow to call me that. And I know that her calling me that in the middle of the night means right now. I took off down the hall, following the sobs.
There was Kihyun, sitting on his bed, tears pouring down his face. I recognized the panicky look on his face as one I had seen on my own several times. I felt the presence of my soul sister, her spirit sweeping past me to settle next to him. He seemed to sag against her spirit, drawing strength and serenity from her. I couldn't hear the conversation, but I knew, somehow, she was soothing him.
It hit me then, just how perfect they are together. I could almost see his head resting against her shoulder as her arm was around him, petting him, in a fashion.
He suddenly shook his head and said, "No. I don't even want to think about it or what it means. Cause if it means that they are gonna hurt you before you get away..." he trailed off, as he shook his head. Then he near shouted, "No. It's a chance I won't take. I won't allow you to sacrifice yourself like that. Not for me, not again."
Then, I heard her again, 'Then tell him or I will.'
He sighed and whispered, "Alright, my love. I'll tell him." Looking at me, he said, "Best get everyone up, I only want to tell this story once. Seeing it once was enough."
Everyone got woken up and gathered in the living room as Kihyun settled into an easy chair with a pillow and a blanket.
From the far end of the couch, Min growled, "What happened, and why are we all awake?"
From his chair, Kihyun answered, "Another nightmare. She thinks I should share this one with you."
As they all sat back, Kik seemed to turn his head slightly and nod then whisper, "Love you, Ghost."
The unseen presence in the room swept off and left us.
I looked at him curiously.
"She went back to her place to handle some things there with the kids," he sighed and started, "Tonight, as I laid down to sleep, I cuddled with my Queen like I normally do. There is a thin silver thread that connects our souls, much like the red thread, but far older. I didn't notice the small flutter of her sorrow, and somehow, unconsciously, it became a nightmare.
"I have had nightmares before of her being trapped in the woods. This time, I was an elk. And while the normal vines were gone this time, there was this black band around her right ankle that attached to a rope and had her more or less hobbled to that bit of earth.
"As I came up on her, she was fighting to get it off. I leaned forwards to help her but the second I got within, I'd say a foot or so, it turned into razor wire and was cutting her foot off.
"I couldn't do anything to help her, and she could not get loose. The more she fought to loosen it, the tighter it got. Then, as she scrambled to hold on to me, I could smell her blood. She wrapped her hands in my pelt and was trying to stand, but the razors cut her deep. I could hear and feel her screaming. As I settled in next to her to offer what comfort I could, Her spirit woke me up. When it became obvious, I needed a bit more help, she woke up Honey. I have never been so afraid for her."
Min stood up and directed him back to bed, saying, "Go get a bit more sleep," as he left the room. When Min returned, he asked me, "What did you see about her?"
"Other than the way she sat? Not much. She is damned good at cloaking. So good she is damned near a chameleon."
"Do you think she would come back and let us see," asked HyunWoo, his brow knotted with worry.
I nodded, "She might."
Min sat down on the rug, between the coffee table and the entertainment center. "If we are going to help our soul sister, we had best get comfy, it may be harder than we think to fix it."
About that time, a presence entered the room.
'He's back to sleep. I figured you would want to talk to me.'
I nodded. 'Let Min see your ankle.'
I have never seen Min turn that exact shade of green before turning that shade of red. When he does, it generally means it is BAD.
'What the hell, Sis! Are you actively trying to make yourself lame,' Min shouted. 'There is a curse here. This is beyond my help. Stay here, I need to go get Ate,' Min said as he stood up.
Ten seconds later, He and HyungWon were walking into the room.
A second after that, Kihyun was scrambling back down the hall.
HyungWon was looking at Sis's ankle when Kiki opened his eyes enough to see what was going on.
'Baby, what's wrong?'
'Joey wanted Min to check out my ankle. Min went after Ate,' she said.
'This curse is very powerful. It will take all of us, together, to break it. Boys, get ahold of it. Kihyun, hang on to her,' he said before yelling for Changkyun.
When he rounded the corner at a run, HyungWon said, 'Mahipiya. Washte. IkiyA nitha Ate kichi Ina.'
Changkyun gathered the woman in his arms and nodded at her whisper, before growling at Kihyun.
"What?" asked HyunWoo.
"That is your nephew."
"Of course he is," HyunWoo grumbled as he sat up, only to be cuffed in the back of the head by HyungWon.
"We have bigger things than your sister's descendants to handle. Unfortunately, I fear this will be too much for us to handle,' He said as he sat back and grabbed his phone, sending out a quick text.
In less than 15 minutes, Hoseok was knocking on the door.
'Ahh. Glad you could make it on such short notice," HyungWon said as he opened the door.
Once again....I tried with the Lakota.
Mahipiya. Washte. IkiyA nitha Ate kichi Ina.--Cloud. Good. Help your father with your mother.