Well………. Here is a new chapter for those that are still around…….. Guys?... I seriously wouldn't blame anyone if this new chapter received absolutely no reviews, I know I haven't updated in months. Uni has been so hectic.

IF anyone is still there… IF. I hope you enjoy this new chapter, and I really hope to have another one up soon.

SORRY!

Disclaimer: we all know I don't own them!


-Chapter Twenty One-

Feet pounded along the dark alley, shadows concealing every niche and cranny. Heart pounded along with her footsteps as the Wildmage raced down an empty street, eyes searching for a place to rest for a minute. A voice called her name, a voice so frightening the woman couldn't help but scream in terror as she raced for her life.

"Why are you so scared Veralidaine?" the voice asked now, coming from no where yet everywhere. Daine stopped at a T-section in the road, her breath coming in ragged gasps. Left she decided, and ran a short distance before a man in elaborate robes stepped out from the shadows, hair braided, gold jewelry glimmering. Screaming again, the young woman turned on her heals and fled in the opposite direction.

"NUMAIR!" she sobbed breathlessly, her lungs burning for air. "Help me." Another intersection. Right. Pure terror ran through her slim frame as she ran into the shadows-and pulled up short. "No!" she sobbed, body weakening instantly. Dread seemed to seep into her bones, the shadows dripping with it. A dead end. Slow steps could be heard from behind. "NO!"

The voice laughed wickedly as out of the shadows Ozorne loomed.

"Oh, Veralidaine…" he called sickly as she flattened her back against the wall.

"No, no, no. NO!"

"Daine!" he called again, getting closer. She crouched down, covered her face and screamed. Fingers clamped on her shoulders and she writhed and tried to pull away from his horrible grip as her futile screams filled the empty streets.

"Daine!"

Her eyes opened as she flung her body away from the fingers that shook her awake, chest heaving, sucking in air in gasps. Fists pounded on the door and a voice called through.

"Whats happening, is everything alright?"

"A dream only." Numair called back, his eyes filled with concern as Daine shivered in the corner of the bed as she struggled into the waking world. Knees were drawn to her chest, arms wrapped around them tightly as she shook in the aftermath of the fear. Her eyes were empty, still struggling to comprehend.

"Magelet?" the mage asked soothingly, watching with a sore heart as she shook violently. His fingers brushed across her knee and she seemed to come around. Her body slumped in exhaustion and relief and Numair moved quickly to embrace her in warm arms, holding her to his chest. Her fingers gripped his shirt as he cradled the young woman, rocking her soothingly on the bed, stroking her hair and murmuring softly to her. It was an hour before dawn that Daine finally stopped her bursts of convulsions and fell into an exhausted sleep, curled into Numair.

The man kept vigil for the next hour, until the sun rose, the start of a new day. Moving slowly, he unfolded Daine from his chest and laid her gently on the bed, wrapping the blanket around her tightly. Dressing quietly, the mage watched the young woman on the bed, tying his hair back loosely and bending to pull on his boots. Before he left the room, he bent over Daine's sleeping form and brushed a soft kiss against her brow, and turned to the door

"N'mair?" a sleep filled voice called, causing him to turn back.

"I'm sorry Sweet, I didn't mean to wake you." He replied, reaching the bed and crouching beside her.

"Where are you going?" she was horrified as to how pitiful and weak that had sounded.

"Shh Sweet, I was just going to get you some breakfast."

"Breakfast in bed?" she asked quietly with a smile. The mage bent over and brushed a kiss against her forehead.

"I'll be right back." The door closed behind his smile and a sudden shiver raced through Daine's body. By the time Numair had returned from the kitchen, Daine had already replaced the disguise into place, a veil around her neck ready to be drawn once outside.

"Sweet I think you are missing the main concept of 'breakfast in bed'" the mage muttered as he set their meal down before turning to face her. She grinned in response and leaned over to the plate to pluck a piece of steaming, golden brown fruit loaf from the plate, butter melting into the toasted bread.

"The quicker we get this done, the quicker we are home." She replied and took a bite of the toast. "Dis dastes goood." She mumbled into the bite.

"Pardon?" her mage asked.

"Here, you hab do dry dis." Leaning forward, Daine swiped another piece from the plate and held it before Numair, who took it with a smile, before the Wildmage reached for some sliced peach. They ate in silence, exchanging smiles and soft touches. Daine had just bitten into the last piece of fruit when the mage turned to her, a look of mock hurt on his face.

"Was that the last piece?" he asked, leaning closer to the piece that was stuck between her lips.

"I gan sphare." She answered around the fruiy, eyes sparkling mischievously. Leaning towards her lover, Daine wrapped hands around his neck and brought his lips to the fruit, feeling their warmth as they pressed against her own, his tongue working to break the piece in half.

When he had the piece, he leaned away, taking a moment to savor the taste.

"Tastey?" she asked with a smile.

"Oh very much so." Was the reply, his hands moving to gently cradle her head. "But I would have to declare that you tasted much sweeter." His lips covered her chuckle with a soft yet hungry kiss, his need to help her forget her nightmares racing through him. When they pulled apart, breathless and lips slightly swollen, Daine reached to stroke Numair's cheek.

"I've said it before and I'll say it again Love, flattery gets you everywhere."

A knock on the door pulled them apart.

"Onua? Kel and I are heading to the market for some bread and cheese. Will you be joining us?"

"I'm coming right now." She replied, and moved to her things to retrieve a small bag.

Flicking a glance in the Mage's direction, she saw the worry etched into his face.

"Numair I'll be fine. Really I will." His fingers reached over to draw her veil over her head.

"I'll be close by." He murmured, eyes latching onto her eyes. "Be safe." She smiled confidently back.

"You too Numair."


The city square looked as it always had. Busy with city dwellers, all trying to sell their wares. Daine held a hand over her fake belly, watching guards from the corner of her eyes, all of which stood on the outside of city square, watching silently from the dark alleys. Dark alleys which made the Wildmage shudder in remembrance from her nightmare. She had a basket over one arm, looking the busy house wife with her companions. Daine's eyes smiled as strangers looked towards her, one woman even coming up to pat her fake belly her eyes sympathetic as she spoke in fluent Gallan.

"My poor child." The woman started, her hand moving to pat the Wildmage's cheek, before moving to gently pat her "belly". "My heart goes to you and your unborn babe, I will pray for you both." And with those words, the woman walked away. Daine called out in Gallan to ask what she meant but it was Connors wife Ellan that replied.

"She is praying for both of you because you are here in the city." The older woman answered, her hand gripping Daine's elbow and leading her to a fountain. "She grieves that a child has to be born in such a ruined place. A place of little happiness."

Together they sat on the edge of the fountain, Daine with the move of a heavily pregnant woman. She had spent hours with Alanna and Thayet before leaving the camp. Ellan's hand still gripping Daine's arm.

"Are things so bad here?" Daine whispered, moving Ellan's hand from her arm into her own palm.

"It's our loss of freedom, and the introduction of fear." She replied. "We don't know whats to become of us. How long will we be imprisoned in our own homes?" Ellan gripped Daine's hand tighter as her Kel skipped towards them, her own basket full of food from various stalls.

"It wont be long mistress Ellan. We'll be free again soon."


Ok, well, if anyone has stuck around for this fic, you have much more patients that I will ever have. I really want to apologise for my lack of contribution to this fic. I still love it, and I LOVE ALL OF THOSE WHO ARE STILL AROUND WAITING FOR ME TO WRITE MORE!

Uni has really tied me down. But I am still writing this fic, though chapters are coming every couple of months. I TRULY APOLOGISE! If any one is still out there…. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Hidden Fairy