"He knew only darkness. A heavy imposing darkness that weighted down upon his mind. Hammering with it's presence. threatening to crush him . He was an intruder in the dark, he didn't belong here. A spot of Awareness where there existed only Nothingness. Tendrils of pain probed deeper, constantly tugging, pressing, stabbing at him. He wanted to scream out, but the weariness he felt drowned any attempt to do so. He could barely gather the strength to think, even less to give voice to the pain. Was he alive? No, that couldn't be. The last clear image he remembered, the one that would always be imprinted in his mind told him so. His last image from life. Tears had been streaming down her face, anguish written all over it as darkness swallowed him. He had left her. Dying, as he gave up the last of his power, forcing her to take it so she could kill the remaining of their enemy, even though he knew losing that power would instantly kill him...

Sonea... The memory of her face lit up the emptiness in his mind, easing some of the pain. A feeling stirred deep within him, desperation and sorrow welling up, threatening to drown him. He would never see her again now, never again feel the soft touch of her skin or inhale her sweet scent. Never again hear her laugh or see her eyes alight with fierceness and determination. Never again touch her beautiful mind with his own and wonder at the strong feelings they shared. She was so courageous his love, but still so young and fragile beneath the surface. There was so much she had needed to know, so many things she needed to learn if she was to overcome their enemy. And now he wouldn't be there to be able to teach her or to protect her from the awaiting dangers.

He should never have let himself fallen so deep in love with her. A pain even worse then the one he experienced before pierced his heart and soul. He had shut himself out from others, carefully built up a wall solid and strong around himself that would hide his dark secrets. Protecting the others from a knowledge and a power that would destroy their deep trust for him, and with it undermining their own future. But Sonea had made it tumble and fall apart, for the first time in a decade he had dared open up and show his true self. She had seen the darkness in him and she still hadn't cringed away. Ah, how could he ever have loved her any less. He needed her, more then he ever thought he would need anything in life. And now, the thought of having lost her forever. Somewhere in the back of his mind he knew that it was that refusal of giving her up that anchored him to this place. As much as the darkness stabbed him with pain, willing him to let go and move on, it whispered honeysweet words of what awaited him on the other side. A new life, a new beginning. Now without any dark secrets, without painful memories… without Sonea.

No! To the darkest corners of Sachakan with it! How could they even suggest that he'd give her up so soon after they found each other. He wasn't ready to give up the future they should have had together. Not without a fight for her, for his life. Ignoring the pain he forced his way outwards with his mind, searching for the one thing he knew could lead him on the right way. The Tendrils instantly seemed to intensify, winding themselves around him, trying to block his mind. No it's forbidden! They screamed at him, a high pitched sound that seared his mind. Gathering the remaining of his strength he threw himself forward, struggling to get through. For what felt like an eternity he kept struggling against them, feeling ever so slightly how their tense grip started to slip. Pushing even further he started probing with his mind until… Ah! There! Hidden deep within the darkness he found a resonating power, echoing from somewhere far away. Stretching his mind even further he reached out towards it. It was there, but still he couldn't touch it! Cursing, he prepared himself for what was to come and slowly started to let down the barriers he had held tight around himself against the dark forces. Expecting the pain to overwhelm him again he was taken a back when instead the other power filled his mind, chasing away the void within him. Love, strong and unyielding surrounded him. Gently tugging at his essence it encouraged him to follow it back to the world, and back to the person that was its source. Joy and love greater then he had ever felt before swirled up inside of him as he felt her minds gentle, but sad touch. "Akkarin, my love, my strength. Why did you abandon me? Oh Gods, why did you take him from me so soon? Please don't leave me alone here, I need you…" Did she feel him? Did she know he wasn't truly lost? There was just one way to find out.. "Sonea..." "


Characters © to Trudi Canavan and her The Black Magician Trilogy. Loved those books, wasn't just overly happy with the ending as you might have guessed. Well again, who says the story ends with the last word.. :P .