The Secret of Trebond
By Jaelawyn Noble
This is dedicated to my friends, again. This might be the last part of The Secret. I want to thank Lunar Bard, Star, Sparrow, Daine, Rita, Lexi, Mage Melery, Lady Alijan, and to MerlayneQ for reviewing the first part so eagerly. If I get such energetic reviews for this part, I might continue this further. Though, I dunno how much I can twist Alanna and her childhood up. Though, she does strike me as the type who has a wicked past.
Alanna looked out, over the ocean and the cove. Dark clouds were moving in swiftly, carrying either rain or snow. Most likely the latter, as it was getting so cold.
George came over to her and wrapped his arms around her waist, kissing her neck softly. "What's wrong, my love?"
Alanna smiled, her hands on his hands, and head tilted to the side as so he could continue to kiss her. "Nothing is wrong, dearest. Should there be something wrong?"
George raised an eyebrow and kissed her neck softly. "Why are you brooding, then?"
"Whoever said I was brooding?" Alanna muttered, pulling away.
"I call looking off into nothingness brooding. What do you call it?" George asked, not quite snapping at her.
"I call it thinking!" Alanna said, temper coming close to snapping.
"What has been with you lately?" George demanded. "Every time I ask if something's wrong or try and get close to you, you shove me away!"
Alanna half wilted at his harsh words. "George..." she whispered.
"What?" George asked bitterly.
"I was thinking about my past, all right?" Alanna said softly.
"I don't know. I just have so many questions... And not near enough answers." She went over to him and kissed him. "Please, George. Let's forget about this," she begged.
George nodded, relenting.
Thom sat in the window in Alanna's room, playing his pipe while his sister worked on some embroidery stitching. He had begun to notice her becoming very unhappy. Whatever he did seemed not to cheer her up at all. Not a single thing. Not playing pranks on the servants, or aggravating Father....
He stopped playing and Alanna looked up, extreme sadness in her eyes.
"Why'd you stop playing?" Alanna asked, placing in another stitch and stopping.
"Are you all right?" asked Thom bluntly.
Alanna stiffened. "I'm fine, Thom. Only tired."
"Are you sure?" he asked, worried.
Thom watched her, knowing she was lying. He sighed, knowing he wouldn't get anything else out of her, and began to play again.
Alanna looked at the latest letter from Jon out of Corus. He just wouldn't give up, would he?
Her hand clenched around the paper and she hurled it into the fire, furious with him. How dare he think that just because the girl was in, settled, and doing well that Alanna would come back up to Corus. She sighed and turned to the rest of her mail. Most of it was from her friends at Court and her family. Two were from Trebond - the monthly report on the fief's progress.
Alanna turned, intending to leave, when her arm hit a dusty leather-bound book that fell to the floor with a thump. She turned, and looked down at the thick book. It was well worn, and looked very much used. She frowned, and picked it up. Somehow, the book looked familiar.
She opened it up, and flipped through the pages. She began to read the pages, and cried out. Tears began to flow freely down her face as she fell to her knees, the book landing with a firm thwap on the stone floor as Alanna sat sprawled on the floor, hair falling into her face, weeping.
She didn't see her son walk into the room, and didn't feel him there until he touched her shoulder lightly.
Alanna looked up, trying to get rid of her tears. Thom bit his lip and knelt down next to his mother, holding her hand.
"Why are you crying, Ma?" he asked, watching her with those innocent eyes of his.
"It's nothing," Alanna murmured, holding her son. He snuggled closer to her, murmuring something. Alanna smiled sadly, thinking of her "perfect" life as her son fell asleep in her lap.
Here she was, living - vibrantly living - while the one who had always loved her, no matter what she did, or who she was, laid in a tomb and had been laying in a tomb for thirteen years. Alanna didn't try to stop the tears that began to flow freely, she let them flow in a fast flood. She didn't care much about anything, except about not waking her son. She didn't want him to worry about her.
Alanna gasped as Thom rubbed a Healing salve on to her shoulder. It was one large bruise. She had been caught be her father doing something she was forbidden and ended up getting slapped. Thom wondered how Alanna's face could be red from the smack, but her shoulder was one big bruise, and blood was trailing lightly down her back.
"`Anna, you have to stop."
"Stop what?" Alanna asked, gasping.
Thom shook his head and left. Three hours later, he heard her begin to weep. He was worried, very worried. Something deep inside himself told him that Alanna was not "all there" or "all sound" in her mind. He opened the door that connected their rooms and froze.
Alanna had a dagger. And that dagger was close to her skin - too close for Thom's liking. And almost before his eyes, she drove the dagger closer to her wrists, crying the whole time. He stood there in shock as he saw crimson liquid drip down over her wrists and dibble onto the floor. Alanna was crying now, as much from pain as from fear and anguish.
"ALANNA!" Thom cried, snapping out of it.
Alanna sat there, shaking and crying as blood began to flow out of the wide horizontal cuts on her wrists and arms. The cuts were long, going the same way the big vein in her arm was going.
"Oh gods, no..." Thom cried in horror as he tried to stop the blood flow and couldn't. His weak Gift at Healing wasn't enough. "Help!" he cried out, trying to stop the blood with his own hands. "Coram!" Thom cried, hating himself for needing anyone's help with his sister. "CORAM!" he cried again.
In a few seconds, Coram burst into the room, looking cross. "What?" he snapped, seeing the boy, but not Alanna, who was hidden by the chest she had hidden behind.
"Get Maude, now!"
"Why?" Coram asked crossly. "What are you hiding?" Only now did he notice that blood was spreading around the chest. He heard soft weeping and walker over, horrified to see Alanna and the blood that was pouring from her wrists. "Oh gods..." he whispered. He ran out at almost a breakneck speed and pounded on Maude's door.
The Healer didn't answer quick enough for Coram's tastes. When she finally opened the door, Coram grabbed her hand and ran - half dragging her. He explained why he was dragging her out in the "middle of the night" and heard her gasp and run as fast as she could.
They burst into the room, and didn't hear anything except Thom's cries. Maude pushed Coram aside and went to Alanna, magic surrounding her hands. She Healed Alanna's wrists first, and then began to try and wake her. The girl didn't move. Thom cried out in agony.
"NO!" he cried out, tears falling heavily. The cry sounded like it had been ripped out of his raw throat. "No...." he cried. "NO!" he practically shrieked, pounding on Alanna's chest. "No! I won't have you leave me! No! No... no.... no..." he cried.
Maude sympathized for the lad. He had lost his mother, his father never even showed him love, and the only one who had loved him - and who he loved with all his being - was dying. And the poor lad most likely blamed himself.
Maude grabbed his hand. "Give me your strength," she hissed at him. He sniffed, not understanding. His hand shook in her tight hold. "Give me your strength and we might be able to save her!"
That was all the prompting Thom needed. He shoved his magic and strength into Maude. She, in turn, began to blast Alanna's heart into restarting. Maude blasted her a second time, and heard a weak gasp from the almost lifeless form in Thom's lap.
"Alanna?" Thom gasped. Her eyes fluttered open, though she was very weak. The puddle of blood was wide and very dark.
"Thom...." she murmured weakly, and then drifted off.
"No..." he whispered. "No... 'Anna, come back..."
"She's fine," Maude said, getting up. "She just needs to rest. Give her here, boy."
Thom looked at her with deep mistrust. He stood up, carrying Alanna's frail, thin body.
"Give her to me," Maude said.
"No," Thom snapped, beginning to become like ice. "Where ever you're putting her, I'll take her there. I'm not leaving her ever again!"
Maude sighed, and nodded. She pointed to Alanna's bed, and Thom placed her there carefully, then climbed into her bed with her.
"Don't you think you should change your clothes?" Maude asked. Thom looked down and blushed. "I'll change Alanna. Go into your room and change."
"No," Thom snapped. "I'm not leaving her."
Maude sighed. "Coram, go get Thom something to sleep in. Please," she added softly. Coram sighed and did as he was bid. Maude went over to Alanna's wardrobe and got out a large shirt. She began to undress Alanna's limp form as Thom ducked behind Alanna's changing screen to change his blood-soaked clothes. He came back, and glared at Maude, then made sure Alanna was still there.
"Leave," he hissed at the two servants. They stared at him. "I issued an order. Leave." The two stared at each other, then back at Thom and left, in benumbed shock. Thom crawled into Alanna's bed, and hugged his sister's cold body. "I'll never leave you, Alanna. Never...."
Alanna watched her sons and daughter play. She had found out only yesterday that she and George were expecting another baby - more accurately, twins. Alanna rubbed her arms, and felt the scars she still had on her arms. She traced the scar on her left wrist with the tip of an ice cold finger.
George came up to her and held her. "Are you sure your all right?" George asked, worried.
Alanna nodded. "I think I will be."
Alanna smiled sadly at her husband. "Who ever is completely okay? After all... We're only mortal. We're never happy with our lives."
George held her. "Oh, Alanna," he whispered and kissed her, a hand on her stomach. "Please stop being so sad."
Alanna smiled as Thom ran over to them. His hazel eyes were bright with joy. "Mama! Come join us!"
Alanna laughed and enveloped Thom in a hug. "Oh, my dear. What ever would I do without you?"
"I dunno. Come play!" he giggled as Alanna began to tickle him. "Hey!" he laughed the laugh of a joyous child. "No fair!" he squealed and laughed as Alan and Alianne caught onto the game and tried to even the score against their parents....