A Heavy Destiny, Part 2

Happy Tuesday, threes of fans! I hope all is well in your corner of the Interwebz. Up here in North Idaho, the snow is melting, and it practically feels like spring outside. I’m not ready to say winter is over–we have a couple more months before we’re in the clear, I’m sure–but I’m not sad about this early warmth.

As promised, here’s part two of the backstory I started last week. This week, Maeve and Culain have a “discussion” about Connor‘s future.

If you like this little peek into the background of The Taurin Chronicles, a share would be greatly appreciated!

Enjoy!


Rhiannon’s eyes narrowed. “You cannot control his destiny, Maeve. The earth will call him no matter what you do.”

It was the first time she’d addressed Maeve as an equal. Maeve squared her shoulders. “I may not be able to control the earth, but I can control the elemental talents. And more than that, I am the queen of the Brae Sidh; it is my position and station to control them.”

“What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to put blocks on his magic. I will let him have enough air talent to satisfy the curiosity of the other Sidh–it’s the strongest talent I have, so no one will question it–but I will block the other two from quickening in his blood.”

“Maeve–”

“Do not question me, Rhiannon.”

The midwife took a deep breath. “You are weak. Your magic is barely restored. Attempting to weave those kinds of braids now would send you to your bed for another week at best. At worst, it might kill you.” She paused to let the words sink in. “It is true that I don’t know all there is to know about the Sidh magic, but I do know a weak woman when I see one. You need rest.”

Maeve shook her head. “No. I need to do this now.”

The door to her hut opened, and Culain’s voice cracked the air. “Maeve, stop.”

Maeve looked up. She hadn’t noticed him, hadn’t even felt him in the village, and she wondered how he had managed to get through the boundary. He walked over to her bed and sat next to her. “Whatever you want to do to him, you need to stop. He’s my son, too. You need to tell me.”

“I told you when I carried him–he has all three talents. I thought he would be a girl.” Tears welled again, and her voice cracked. “He shouldn’t have been born.” Rhiannon reached out and took the baby, and Maeve turned and buried her face in Culain’s tunic and let him hold her. “How is he even possible?”

“What do you mean?”

She sat up. “He has all three talents, but he doesn’t have the codagha–the binding magic. He can’t be connected to the Sidh like I am. The codagha limits my magic. It would make the braids rebound on me if I used too much magic.”

Culain nodded slowly. “And you think without the binding magic that Connor would be able to draw limitless elemental magic?”

“I don’t know, but is that a risk I should take?” She took a deep breath. “What kind of limits would there be, Culain?” And if he’s to be ravenmarked, what will he become?

He rubbed her back and turned her face to meet his eyes. “Do you think I can’t teach him to be a man?”

The simple question stopped her short. “Culain, I–”

“Do you think I’m not man enough to raise your son? To teach him how to lead without being a tyrant?”

“That’s not what I meant.”

Culain looked at Rhiannon. “Can you take the boy outside for a while? Her majesty and I need some privacy.” Rhiannon nodded, picked up an extra blanket and shawl, and left the hut. Culain looked back to Maeve. “It’s true that I don’t understand everything about the Sidh magic. And it’s true that having a son was unexpected. I also expected you to have a girl.” He grinned. “Having a child with you at all was unexpected, Maeve. I never thought we would even be together. This is all more than I could have wished for.”

She smiled. “Me, too,” she admitted. “I’ve loved you–gods, Culain. I can’t remember how long.”

He put his hand on her cheek. “And now we have a son together. And you want to bind him? Keep him from realizing his full potential?” He paused. “Don’t you think we can raise him to be a good man whatever magic he has in his veins?”

Even the ravenmark? She drew a deep breath again. “I don’t know. I have to keep my people safe, though. Can I risk that he would become something monstrous?”

He watched her carefully. “This is a line I cannot cross,” he said finally. “Not even where my son is concerned. You are sovereign, Maeve. I have no sway over how you run the affairs of your people. All I can do is ask that you would consider that if you trust me, you will trust me to raise our son to make wise choices and temper his magic with his humanity.” He brushed her hair back from her face. “And, I ask you, as a man who loves you and nearly lost you–please, don’t risk yourself further. If you must bind his magic, please wait until you are healed.” His eyes glistened again. “I couldn’t bear to lose you–not when we have this boy to raise.”

She looked down, considering his words. Finally, she nodded. “All right. I will wait. I won’t do it until I have healed.”

“Just consider–” He bit off the words. “Consider this, Maeve. The stories say that the earliest Sidh all had the three talents, but it drove some of them mad with bloodlust, power, and too much strength, so Alshada put the codagha in place as a safeguard–a way to limit the power of the Sidh and make them dependent on one another and keep their queens bound to them. But then he created man. Isn’t it possible that Connor’s humanity could temper his magic? Could his humanity make him immune to the poisoning of the magic?”

She closed her eyes. The ravenmark–I can’t tell him. He’s so hopeful. “I can’t risk it, Culain. I can’t risk my people, and I can’t risk Connor.” She opened her eyes again. “Just holding him for those few moments–I’m already devoted to him. Bonded to him, and not just through the magic.”

“Of course you are. So am I. He’s our son.”

“And if the Sidh found out that he has all the talents, he would be in danger.” She paused. “Binding the talents would protect him.”

Culain sighed. “Can he use the talents now? Is he in any danger at the moment?”

“No. I can sense them in his blood, but everything is dormant. I didn’t quicken until I was eleven, and girls usually quicken earlier than boys.”

Culain nodded. “Then we have some time to discuss this, to think about it.”

“Yes. I suppose so.”

Culain tipped his face up to look into her eyes and smiled. “He is beautiful, Maeve. Your people–they all say he looks like me, but I see only you in his face. He has your eyes and your skin and your hair. The Sidh blood runs true.”

“And all I saw was you in his face–your jaw and nose and chin.” She smiled. “It’s a shame he will be our only one. We seem to make beautiful babies.”

He pulled her close and sighed. “There’s time. Perhaps you will heal more than Rhiannon believes possible.”

“Rhiannon–she said you told her she could stay here to nurse him.”

“Unless you wish to come to the estate for a time. I would welcome you.” His arms tightened around her. “I would marry you, Maeve. If you would have me. I would give you everything a Taurin duchess deserves. More. My girls would take you in as stepmother. They grieve their mother, but they like you, and they are kind girls.”

“I know,” she said, gentle. “But Culain, I have to be here. I have to be with my people.” She sat up and looked at him. “The magic curses us. I need this village, and these people need me. I thought I would have a girl and I could do this all on my own, but this boy–he’ll need a father. And he’ll need a father who knows more than just elemental magic. He needs a man who can teach him to hunt, the gods slay me, and a man who can train him to be a warrior.” She paused. “If I had to have a half-human son, I’m glad he is your son. You will raise him well.”

He smile. “We will raise him well together,” he said as he leaned forward to kiss her forehead. “I promise you. We will raise him well together.”


I hope you enjoyed this snippet of backstory. Many things happened after this, obviously, and I may share more of those later… Check this space, as they say.

Next week, I think I’ll have a few updates for you. I hope. Pray that all the stars align…

See you next week!

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