Here is a little bit of the story of what takes place between "Turning of the wheel" and "Life Singer" Its Called "Tam Lin" because it leads up to the birth of their son Tam Lin ap Nuada (Ap means son of in welsh) or as most of you know him Tam Lin Silverlance...I don't want it to turn Mary Sue, and would love some constructive advice. I hope to post more as the muse visits this plot bunny in its cage...as always Read and review to feed cookies to my muse...
On the outskirts of a Sidhe enclave nestled within a mountain valley...
Wink frowned as he met the king's messenger in the woods outside the latest enclave he and the prince were staying. It had been little more than a month since they had left the Singer at the edge of the wood.
"...She is pregnant." The messenger said. "The healers have confirmed it, so there is no doubt about it. The prince's seed grows within her, perhaps even an heir..."
The Ogre frowned, this was not good news, at least not on top of what he'd told the prince two weeks ago.
"I know he'll demand the child's death, you must make sure..." The messanger said. "The king wishes his son close for the child's birth...
The Ogre nodded, he'd heard this admonishment enough times in the last year. He would keep his prince from murdering the girl and the child.
"If he attempts to harm her, I'm sure you know what to do."
Wink's frown was answer enough, he'd bring the prince back to the enclave even if he'd have to break him into pieces.
In a clearing not far from where Wink was meeting with Balor's messenger...
Nuada worked his hands bloody again. Stout linen still wrapped his hands from taking his anger out upon ancient oak when he'd been told about the girl he had so eagerly bedded. The revulsion had taken hold in the last two weeks as he tried again and again to purge her memory from him. Now his breath came in gasps and his chest hurt over where she'd touched him that night.
The memory of their union in the barren field played in his mind as he spun, thrust and worked. He could still feel her teeth buried in his flesh from their last moments. He thrust with his lance again, gutting an invisible enemy. He turned and skillfully stabbed another in the throat before extending the lance to slaughter enemies before and behind him.
The routine brought him no peace, his hands leaving bloody marks along the haft despite the heavy linen wrappings. He came to rest upon his heels, his head bowed. He looked up to see Wink standing there.
"..."What do you want." He hissed. "Have you not brought enough misery into my life."
The Ogre quietly, and with few words told the prince the news he received not but minutes ago.
"...She...Mine..." Nuada said, as he felt another blow to his heart.
For a moment there was hesitation as if some internal conflict was raging. The ogre had seen this hesitation more often since they had left the enclave. The madness was slowly taking hold, and destroying the one hope the Sidhe had to stop their own destruction.
"...It must not live...I will not let a half breed taint my father's blood."
Wink frowned, advancing toward the prince, this was not going to be a pleasant night.
The next morning...
Nuada rolled over onto his bruised ribs and nearly vomited. Wink had tossed him around like a rag doll during their sparing session the night before. He'd made the mistake of taking his rage out upon the Ogre, their sparing session had devolved into a beating he'd not soon forget. He noticed they were not in the enclave anymore, but several miles distant. The Ogre could move at a good pace despite his size. He heard the three boggles chattering about how fast they had traveled.
"...I have not changed my mind, Wink..." He hissed rolling back to lay looking up at the trees. "...The child will die..."
The ogre's foot made contact with his side, sending a spasm of pain running through him. He tasted blood, slightly sweet against his tongue.
"Even if it does not die...I'll denigh..."
Wink's foot came down on his shoulder, he could hear the crack of bone. The last thing he heard before the darkness took him was Wink swearing about how stubborn he was.
The next time he awakened, the ogre was wrapping his ribs and shoulder in heavy linen strips. They had moved again, again closer to the enclave where the girl was living. He had to wonder why Wink was so insistent they return, knowing his feelings about the girl and now the child. He vaguely heard the Ogre snarling about how much dead weight he'd been carrying. He would have laughed about that, but it could easily be true. The Ogre must have given him something in his sleep, his body felt heavy. Somewhere distant he swore he heard hounds...
Wink cursed, they had someone on their tail. It wasn't until he saw the pair of red eared hounds that he breathed a soft sigh. It was only one of the local court out hunting. A few moments later a rider on a tall midnight stallion rode up, hood of a cloak hiding the features. It was late in the year for a proper hunt, but the hounds must have been pursuing something or perhaps someone.
"You're a long way from your tunnels master Ogre..." The rider said. "Best be moving on, even if you serve Balor, your kind isn't welcomed in these woods. You'll find no shelter here, not tonight. Take your burden and go..."
The ogre nodded and and picked up the prince, now wrapped in a red and black cloak to ward off the early fall chill. With a slight nod of his head, he turned toward the enclave.
A short journey outside the enclave...
When Nuada awakened a third time, they were two days outside the enclave. Wink did not say anything when he offered the mug of warm chocolate that morning. There was a chill in the air he knew signaled snow. The ogre's ground eating stride would get them to the enclave in a day or two, by then perhaps he could think rationally. The boggles were fluttering about the came when the sharp scent of horses made both he and Wink turn toward the north.
Four riders, two of which had their hoods thrown back to enjoy the early winter sunshine. One he knew for the chamberlain's herald, a most distasteful fellow. The other wore their hair in a style that had faded centuries ago, he resembled Nuada in almost every other detail. The resemblance to the prince wasn't lost upon Wink, who ever this fey was he was very old. The two behind wore the armor of the raven guard, their helms fastened behind them on their saddles.
"Hail the camp..." the Herald said.
"Hail." Nuada said. "What brings one of Balor's court so far from home?"
"An invitation to a very special young lady." The herald said. "His Majesty wants to hear the Blue pearl sing, for the yule celebration."
Nuada frowned, it was almost a year ago that he'd first met the girl. He had not known her for human then, only a maiden who blushed at his attention.
"If you're going in the same direction, you may travel with us." The other said. "The guild will be extending its congratulations to her...her child should be born shortly before Lamas."
Wink made a noise, the child must have been conceived only hours before their departure.
"Is the sire known?" Nuada asked.
If no one knew it was he who had sired the child, there would be no worry.
"From what I have heard she has not divulged the name of the man who was stag lord..." The Herald said. "Though I have heard rumors..."
The other frowned. "I will not shame the girl with such things, it is the guild's business as to who sired the child. Isn't it, Prince..."
Nuada frowned, his fingers flexed wanting to strike.
"...Peace, " said the Herald said. "If we wish to make the enclave before Yule passes..."
Wink clasped a hand on Nuada's bad shoulder and squeezed before the prince could make some retort.
"We shall be grateful for your company..." the other said.
Nuada winced, Wink's grip grinding healing bone.
A day later...
They were welcomed at the edge of Enclave lands, Pen was waiting for them. She was wrapped tightly in a great cloak to ward off the cold. She took one look at Nuada and turned her head. Nuada prepared to deliver one swift blow, she'd miscarry and he'd be done with the girl. Wink grabbed a hand full of the Prince's sash, he wasn't going to let his prince anywhere near the girl right now.
"Hello Prince Nuada..." She said softly. "The healers were kind enough to tell me who you were when my moon times stopped."
Wink shook his head, keeping a tight grip on Nuada. The three boggles made chittering noises and went to tug on her cloak, happy to see her.
"Stay away from me...Human." Nuada hissed.
She hung her head, she had hoped he would be more cordial toward her. She knew he would not be, but she had hoped. She knelt to acknowledge the creatures. They climbed upon her as she rose.
"...I thought the news of our child would delight you." She said and went to join the two riders. "But it appears I was a dalliance...nothing more."
Nuada stood there with his jaw hanging open. He pressed a hand over his heart, it was beating so hard his chest hurt.
"...Wink..." Nuada said, much too softly. "Do not let me harm her..."
The other came and stood between him and Pen. Having his view of her blocked did nothing to ease the ache or the conflicted feelings rolling through his blood.
"She is your bond mate, yet you denigh it..."
Nuada made a noise, his hands trembled.
"The bond is nothing like what binds you to Nuala...it is stronger, deeper...and cuts to the heart."
Pen turned again to look at him moving so he could just see her, then began talking to the Herald.
"It is likely she will accept the offer, to sing for the king is a privilege few would turn down."
They both watched her shake her head. The Herald said something and produced an object. Again she shook her head, refusing the offer. She turned away, a third offer. She paused, more words. Her agreement was terse and to the point.
She moved past them, heading into the woods. The herald made to follow, the other caught him. He did not wish the girl to be pursued.
"I'm surprised she agreed, but as the head of her guild..."
The other growled low, like many he was rapidly coming to hate the herald.
"You already have my agreement, I came to insure her safety."
"What of him...his majesty would be delighted to see his son."
Nuada frowned, shaking his head. He couldn't go home, would not step into the throne room that was a pale reflection of the court's former glory.
"As you wish," The Herald said. "The girl will be transported in four days."
The other nodded, looking at Wink.
"Let your prince go Lord Wink, she is safely away."
Wink let Nuada go, the prince stumbled and fell to his knees.
"Get him inside, his injuries will not stand the chill..."
Wink made an agreement noise and picked the prince up again, cradling him.
The healers gently tended to Nuada, putting the prince into a deep sleep. Pen came, to stand beside the bed. She took his hand, holding it gently. He did not stir when she bent down to whisper in his ear.
"...Our child." She whispered softly, laying the hand upon her belly. "Know, and remember."
She held his hand there for a few moments, letting his senses absorb what she wished for him to know. She placed his hand back upon the blanket and gave a gentle kiss to the scar on his temple.
"Sleep, dear prince..." She whispered softly.
She turned, allowing the healers to continue hovering around him.