Website The Lost Chapter 40: Restored in Armah's Love
Raoul looked at the bottle of wine, and sat down in the middle of the arboretum. There were many comfortable seats, and even a beautifully decorated divan. His thoughts wondered off to Yui, wishing he was in his arms at that very moment enjoying the gardens.
Riki looked at Yui, as he was picking a few flowers that appealed to him. He now worked his part of the plan. "Yui, I think I hear Iason calling me, let's get to the arboretum."
"Yes my Lord." Yui looked attentive, and quickly fell in next to Riki. As they turned into the arboretum, Riki quickly turned around and disappeared behind several large planters. Yui turned to see where he had gone to, and then heard Raoul's quiet laughter.
"So this was their plan." Raoul smiled, as Yui walked into the gardens, "I thought it was odd for Iason to have gone on a servant's errand. I would wager that the young Prince was in on it too?" Raoul could not help but laugh again at Yui's surprised look.
"Riki told me to come with him to help you and Iason, because he was afraid he would get lost." Yui now laughed along with Raoul. "And what is that?" Yui pointed to the dusty bottle of wine.
"A present from Iason. It's Red Emperor, and it's nearly a century old. I think we were meant to share it here." Raoul walked up to Yui, and kissed him gently. "I will not waste their efforts and this wonderful wine, as I believe we were led here for this reason."
"But we can't...not here." Yui whispered, "What if someone comes?"
"I doubt that will happen if I know Iason and Riki. I'm sure his attendant is aware of this by now."
Yui listened to the conversations in the estate, and found two particular voices laughing as his name and Raoul's were being spoken.
"Yes, I can hear them both." Yui smiled, "I guess you are right."
Raoul kissed Yui once again, this time pressing his body against his, and holding him tight. The sun was beginning to set, and the light in the arboretum was fading. Soft colored lights began to flicker on and the gardens became a beautiful background. Romantic in its simplicity.
"I have wanted you all day my love." Raoul spoke. "We've not had too much privacy these past few days on board the ship, and I've wanted to tell you how happy I am that we are together."
Raoul led Yui to the large, and quite inviting divan. He sat comfortably on it, and pulled Yui onto his lap. Yui smiled as a familiar warmth began to rise beneath him. Raoul kissed him once again, tenderly and with great care. Yui returned the kiss with open eyes, as he took in Raoul's beauty. His long blond hair was adorned with one braid down the right side of his face. The color of his hair was now beginning to mirror his father's as Yui recalled the images of Lord Rene. He had one long braid of golden, almost white hair neatly braided and adorned with a leather strap. Raoul's beautiful green eyes softened whenever he was near him, and oh how he loved his kiss.
"I have also wanted to be with you Raoul. I think my heart finds new ways to remind me of how much I desire you."
Raoul smiled, "Oh? And how does your heart remind you of this desire now my dearest?" Raoul caressed Yui's face, and then opened his mouth to taste Yui once again. Raoul gently pulled on Yui's hair making his head tilt back. Raoul moaned, as he kissed his lips, and nibbled on his neck. His one hand held Yui close, while the other began to unbutton his silk green tunic exposing his chest, and lean abdomen. Raoul continued down to his black leather pants as he pulled the ties that held the prize Raoul was aching for.
"I recall a night not too long ago, where we enjoyed the wine that flowed between us..I felt your heart beating against mine, and waves of ecstasy that made my body respond to your every touch."
"We've shared much Yui, but only now in our present lives, have I've come to appreciate all you've done for me...which pales in comparison to what you did in the past. You have never wavered in your love. I've been a fool to keep you at arms length while you suffered in silence."
Yui closed his eyes as Raoul caressed his ass with his hand.
Raoul swung around and stood with Yui in his arms. He kissed him passionately, as he now lay Yui on the divan. He removed his cloak, and placed it next to the bottle of Red Emperor. He returned with the wine, and began to open it with great care.
Yui watched, as Raoul took a large gulp, and savored the perfect wine. Then a second, as he knelt down and shared it with Yui. The sweet wine dripped down the side of Yui's lips, but that only gave Raoul an opportunity to lick his face. Yui reached behind and tugged at the zipper down Raoul's back.
Raoul continued down Yui's body, and with gentle tugs, pulled the leather pants down and off his lover's body, exposing his aroused state.
"You are perfect my love," Raoul whispered, as Yui peeled Raoul's black bodysuit off his shoulders, and down to his waist.
"Come Raoul, join me." Yui spoke, as he pulled Raoul down for a deep kiss. "My heart now desires your warmth, aches for your touch, and the sound of your pleasure." Yui spoke as he gave Raoul a drop dead gorgeous smile.
Raoul nearly tripped as he tugged the bodysuit down his body and pulled his boots off.
Yui smiled, and took a drink of wine from the bottle. He had to admit it was an excellent wine, unaffected by time which drove home the point of Raoul's words.
Before Raoul could join him on the divan, Yui reached out for his cock which was just waiting for him to caress, and sat up placing it in his mouth.
Raoul froze, as Yui's warm tongue eagerly devoured Raoul's member.
The young Lord, now placed his hands around Raoul's body, and pulled his hips towards his face. He relaxed his throat to allow Raoul to thrust deeper, and by the time he heard Raoul moan, Yui peered into his thoughts.
"I love you more than life itself..." Raoul whispered in his mind, "I will never leave your side in death or eternity...if you'll have me."
The touching declaration in Raoul's mind, made Yui stop and look up. Raoul had his eyes half closed as he was enjoying his lover's ministrations.
"What is is my love?" Raoul looked down with concern, "Why have you stopped?"
"I feel the same my love. I have and always will love you more than life itself...and we have both proven that death and eternity have no hold on our love."
Raoul knew that Yui had heard his thoughts. He tilted his head, and wondered if he would always be reading his mind, and didn't know if the liked that. But he didn't care at the moment, as his cock was throbbing before Yui's eyes, and he wanted more than anything to take his young lover in earnest.
"Will your gifts always know what I think?" Raoul whispered, as he touched Yui's hair, and caressed his cheek.
Yui smiled as he kissed Raoul's hip, and nuzzled his cock with his nose. The wonderful scent of Raoul's aroused state was more than sexual. His newly awakened empathic abilities could feel the hunger and the desire of Raoul's body. It was an incredible charge to feel the raw love coming from Raoul meant only for him. He felt drunk, and had only tasted the wine.
"No.." Yui moaned, as he once again began to lick and taste Raoul's cock. "I will respect your privacy, but I am a novice in this awakened state, so please forgive me if I do once an a while poke my head into your mind..especially when you are in such an aroused state. I find those thoughts impossible to resists, and love that I am the reason for your excitement." Yui spoke only above a whisper.
"Yes, you are..." Raoul now pushed Yui back onto the divan. "I am found to be in such a state because of you...because you love me, and because I desire none other than you." Raoul purred.
Raoul reached for the bottle of wine, and once again shared a lovers kiss with Yui, loving the taste of his sex mixed with the wine. Raoul laid over Yui, caressing his body and loving how his cock pulsed against his own.
Yui held Raoul's face in his hands, "You are the reason my heart beats Raoul, and I will love you forever." Yui placed his hands around Raoul's neck as they now gave in to passion.
Raoul took one of Yui's legs raised it up, so that he could position his cock at his entrance. He lowered his head to kiss his neck, and loved that Yui turned his face to make his neck easily accessible.
"Mm..you are as sweet as this wine..and I love to hear your moans.." Raoul's voice was low and seductive. "I will enjoy making you cry out."
Raoul slowly penetrated as Yui raised his hips and opened his body to Raoul. With gentle thrusts, Raoul filled Yui, until at last, he was all the way in.
Yui loved the warmth of Raoul's body, and the care he took until he adjusted to his length. It began with low moans, and then gasps of excitement, as Raoul now thrust against Yui with more force, enjoying the tight embrace of Yui's inner sanctum.
"...Yui" Raoul spoke, "I love you.." and then after a few more moments, "You are mine forever."
Yui thought back to the final moments before he took his life. The one image in his mind was the thought of Raoul's face when he would find him. He prayed to all that was sacred that Raoul would not be the one to discover him, yet when he awakened, there was Raoul in his mind. All this would now become a far and distant memory.
"That I am my love...and more." Yui gazed into Raoul's eyes, "We have forever before us, and it is a new day. Let us embrace this new life."
Raoul pulled out, as he now turned Yui onto his side, embracing him from behind. He raised Yui's left leg and penetrated once more.
Yui turned his head back and found Raoul's lips waiting for him to drink. The wonderful scent of the flowers and the gentle sounds of the many fountains fed their excitement, in the dimly lit arboretum.
Raoul felt his essence rise, and with gentle strokes found Yui's cock erect and near release.
Internal energies merged as their bodies slowly transformed, giving the gardens a beautiful glow.
Raoul pressed against Yui's back, and now pulled against his raised leg.
"Raoul..." Yui began to cry out, "I...I can't hold back, I'm going to..."
"Yess..." Raoul hissed, as he now could feel his body become tense, and prepare to release his own sex.
In the next moment, the lovers cried out, and ejaculated. Their bodies began to dim, and recede in strength, as their energy dissipated.
Raoul held Yui tight as they breathed hard. Raoul's eyes filled with tears, as they have been since they were first reunited on Yasuo. He didn't have any control over this yet, and even though Yui had his back to him, he knew Raoul was crying.
Raoul pulled out, and before he cold wipe his tears away, Yui turned around and kissed his tears.
"You must move forward my love.." Yui began, "I am here, feel me.."Yui took Raoul's hand, and clutched it to his chest. "This is my heart that is pounding against you...we have nothing to look for in the past now...because we are here. I love you, and you must rejoice in this."
Raoul kissed Yui softly. He caressed his face, and pulled him tight. He as right. There was only sadness in the past and the future was alive and beautiful. The twelve years he's had Yui with him in the present were more than enough to erase the past. In the present there was no war, no enemy and certainly not the evil that robbed him of his one true love.
"Forgive this emotional fool Yui. I find every moment that we share a miracle. We have an incredible future ahead, and I for one can't wait to share with you."
"And with your family. I know Monique is your twin. I know also that you are a bit of an empath but your mind is only open towards your sister. We have many tears of joy to prepare for, so we might as well just plan for them. But Raoul, it will be a good thing."
"Indeed my love, it will be a good thing."
The two lovers enjoyed quiet conversation, as the stars began to shine above. They sipped on wine and spoke of plans to build a life around their families, and the many friends they would welcome back. The west wing was quiet for several hours, as Iason and Riki indeed kept the lovers secluded. Eventually they found their way back to their room.
Raoul noticed a tray with fresh fruit, sweet pastries, and a chilled bottle of wine on a table lit with candles. Jathan was indeed an excellent attendant. The Estate was still full of activity, and the two lovers would be joining them. But once they entered their suite, they shared a bath and began anew with another round of lovemaking. They would be delayed.
Back at the grand hall...
"This has to be the most wonderful glass of wine I have ever tasted!" Erin smiled, as she raised her glass towards Iason. "You said you found a whole crate of it?"
"Yes my Queen, the cellar was just filled with hundreds of different varieties, and all incredibly old." Iason smiled proudly. "The cellar beneath my penthouse pales in comparison."
"Everyone seems to be enjoying it, but I don't see Raoul, or Yui. I think they are missing out on a wonderful vintage." Erin gave Iason and Riki a sideways glance. "Have you seen either one? I find it strange that you left with Raoul, and Riki left with Yui, and neither one is here but you two are?"
Riki's face broke into a slight smile, as he looked at Iason who was trying to think of something quick, but was failing to hide his blushing face.
"I think you know where they are mother," Riki spoke within her mind. "why are you grilling Iason over it?"
Erin spoke back, "Because I love seeing your handsome lover squirm and blush ever so sweetly my dear..." Erin grinned from her seat next to the fireplace. "He is a wonderful blend of naughty and nice, and I think I'm going to enjoy you both immensely."
Iason was listening to the conversation in his mind, and began to laugh quietly despite himself. He shook his head as he looked at Omaki teasing Argent with a bottle of wine, and his own father dancing with Yuri to the delight of all who joined in. Kai was making new friends in King Vasnya who was eager to see Iason and Riki in the hot springs.
"Indeed my dear Queen," Iason finally spoke in Erin's mind, "It will be an interesting future."
It was now quite late, and the Estate continued in it's festivities as the Royal Families were set to visit the now famed hot springs. The Elders had all kept their drinking to a minimum, since they would take the bulk of the healing ceremonies, wanting to keep Iason and Riki's power limited to only a few people.
But as they all changed into their robes, Jathan was running from suite to suite, trying to find Iason and Riki. He had not heard from them since the announcement was made for all to change, and as he walked towards the entrance to the lower stairwells, Ayuda and Odi smiled and nodded as Jathan approached.
"Yes, they are both down there," Ayuda spoke, to the relief of Jathan. "They wanted to meditate in private before everyone goes down to the springs."
"Thank you Sir Stone, I hope you and Odi enjoyed tonight's festivities?" Jathan looked at Odi who smiled, he knew the tall bodyguard did have some private time with Tai. And Ayuda had pulled Toma away from the main hall for an earlier reunion, thanks to Iason's suggestion that he enjoy himself.
"Yes Jathan, I must compliment you on your excellent staff and your impeccable service to Lord Mink and the Royals." Ayuda spoke, making Jathan blush. He did agree that his staff was on their toes, and it was almost as if the evening were a theatrical performance, and the staff were the cast to a musical.
"They truly love their Master, even though we don't see him on a daily basis as you and your households." Jathan said with a bittersweet tone. "But now that the Royal parents are with us, we hope to see them more often."
"You can count on that," Odi spoke, as he looked past Jathan to see the group of Royals coming from across the grand hall. "I believe this Estate will be quite busier than you can imagine, so be careful what you wish for." Odi winked at Jathan, "They can be quite the handful."
The three men laughed quietly, as Erin and Yuri walked ahead of Kai and Raimen who were chatting with King Vasnya. The group of five were all dressed in robes, and eager to find Iason and Riki. King Vasnya was so excited, the Elders had a hard time getting him undressed, and into the bathing robes.
Petros' face beamed with pride, even though he was not too pleased that Iason and Riki were already below. He was hoping the Elders would be able to take the large group into the springs, but now would take the wait and see approach, and follow their lead.
By now there was a gaggle of people approaching the entrance. Ayuda was surprised to have Erin take his arm. "Now don't think you will be standing in the sidelines all night Sir Stone, you and Odi need to partake of this wonderful event."
Ayuda looked down at the young Queen, and smiled, "As you wish my Lady." Ayuda gave a slight bow. Yuri had Odi by the arm already, and both men began to lead the queens down the long path to the springs.
The soft glow of the scented candles gave the long path a serene appearance. The long procession of Lords and Ladies, Elders and Specialist; households and attendants made their way to the lower level. When they turned the corner there was a collective gasp, as the large cavern was filled with hundreds of candles of all shapes and sizes. The area around the springs had several stone benches with towels, and extra robes.
Kai and Raimen were awed with the large cavern, and the huge opening that let in the moonlight. The sea was beginning to stir, as the waves began to rise and crash against the island estate. Erin could not believe the beauty of the underground hot springs. She stopped to take in all the energy that began to rise in Riki and Iason. The two Lords were both sitting on the footsteps of the springs, and as the large group approached, a reverent hush came over them all. Petros stood before them, and spoke.
"My Lords, and Ladies, the springs before you are believed to be where Armah washed the dust from his hands after creating the universe. It has been said that all who bathe in these mineral rich springs while meditating in union with the heavens, are blessed with it's healing when coupled with love." Petros turned to the royal parents, "We have a prophesy that states, 'The Flame within will burn if held too tight' with the corresponding, 'The Tempest within will fan the Flame.'
The Flame and Tempest true were depicted in ancient paintings, and in the archives of many worlds in our sector. The Elders who first sought refuge on Aristia knew of Lord Iason and Lord Riki. Their travels were well documented as you, their parents would know. Their love was considered magical, unique, and undying."
As Petros continued speaking, the candles began to flicker in unison, as Iason removed his robe, and began to transform. This was carefully observed by Yuri and Raimen. Then as a tempest wind stirred around Riki, his eyes turned black as night. Erin felt her son's power before any of the other empaths. His hair swayed about his head, and his face took on a serene look, as his gaze turned to Iason.
"My Lords, please do not disturb the water, as you enter the springs, but let it absorb you. These springs are not the same as those found on Rhea, where our Lords met a darkness hell bent on revenge. Nor on Yasuo, where innocence and freedom, were only a distant dream.
I believe the reason Lord Iason and Prince Riki resonate with the minerals of this particular spring, is due to the love they share. This, coupled with the very poison that opened the window in Lord Iason's mind, forever linked his life with Lord Riki. It was the catalyst that set their path to where we find ourselves today. Many of us witnessed incredible events that led to their awakening, and now we stand in awe, to see the Lost restored, and the return of a golden age."
There were many who nodded their heads, having been part of the rescue team that escorted the awakened Warrior to Rhea. Kai could sense the pride growing around him, so much so that Erin looked up at her Lord Husband, and gave him a sweet smile. Raimen looked at his transformed son, and recalled the Lord's dance, and the admiration his heir commanded with humble eyes. He was far more than that, and the answer to his evolved and heightened intelligence was gazing into those beautiful sapphire eyes.
"We hope you will share the healing of your heart, as you join us." Iason spoke. It was not his regular voice, but one that sounded like the roar of the sea. This surprised all who had not yet heard Iason this way, including his parents. "Riki and I have discovered many new and fascinating things with this connection we have with Aristia and Armah's Love." Iason now lowered his voice, "It is the link Riki and I have shared in life, and in death. But the overwhelming evidence is that it is as this loyal Sage, and dear friend spoke. It is governed by love."
Iason looked over at Riki's transformed appearance, and loved the gentle smile he was giving his parents. Kai was shaking his head, almost unable to believe the surge of power he felt coming from his son, and Riki had yet to power up. As he spoke, Kai felt a warm wave of energy coming from both Iason and Riki.
"We have found this link from one end of the Path of the Ancients to the other." Riki spoke, his voice was serene, and controlled. "That we resonate with Aristia's springs was both a frightening discovery and a most welcomed ally. When Iason and I were dying, we found healing of both our physical and emotional scars. Most if not all of you have felt this healing. It has been channeled through Iason and I, or by the spiritual members of this Elder's Clan. We believe this will trigger a chain of events in the next stage of our evolution. A return to what was once, the most peaceful era of our existence. The echoes in time we've experienced have lead us to our Lost, and now they will lead us back home."
Iason looked at his father, and then at Kai. "The path of which we were diverted from has now once again been set before us. The Renaissance Jupiter so diligently worked for, has begun. Riki and I felt you would all benefit from Armah's Love. To those who share the love of another, you may experience something altogether new."
With those words Iason and Riki powered up slowly. Their faces glowed as as they stepped into the warm springs careful not to disturb the water. Then the waters began to glow and a tempest wind danced above the water and around the two lovers. Everyone watched the candles flicker in unison, and the many flower pedals that Jathan had in baskets began to slowly swirl above them, before they slowly rained down over their heads.
King Vasnya had never seen anything like it in his whole life. He'd bathed in the springs since birth, yet he never saw the waters glow, nor the candles flicker in any of his meditation exercises held between him and the Elders. His excitement was not loss on Riki and Iason, and he would be the first to join them.
"My Lord," Iason whispered. His voice had now returned to normal, "Please, enter the springs, and join us." Iason extended his hand, as King Vasnya slowly stepped into the warm springs, careful not to disturb the waters.
"There is an aching in your heart is this not so? Riki spoke, "One we were directly involved with." Riki's voice was low and comforting, "We can never fully heal from the loss of so many souls on the day we entered your atmosphere. But we can grow stronger for all that we gained."
Iason and Riki released a wave of energy from their hearts, and King Vasnya began to glow. He felt every cell in his body come alive, and moaned softly as it washed over him. The ache that weighed heavily over his heart was lifted, and he was overcome with tears. Petros and the Elders were surprised by the reaction, as the King had not outwardly expressed any emotion over the loss of life that day. He was a private man, who preferred to roll up his sleeves and help his world to move forward, than to sulk about things he could not change.
Iason gave the older Lord a slight bow, as he and Riki took him to the steps where Jathan and his attendants would cover him up and dry him off. They were all smiles, as King Vasnya beamed with joy. Riki then extended his arm to his mother, and Kai.
"Come father," Riki whispered, "You will feel wonderful." He smiled. Kai looked around, finding everyone smiling at the Warrior Lord. Of all the Ancients awakened thus far, only he and Raimen had yet to experienced the hot springs. Though he was nearly bathed in the mineral lotions on several occasions, he had yet to feel the living pools where the minerals originated from.
"Go on Kai," Raimen whispered. Unlike Kai, he was already moving towards the springs with Yuri. Iason gave his parents a big smile, knowing it was more than scientific research that made them move, it was the transformation of their son, and the immediate reaction by King Vasnya.
Kai felt Erin tug on his robe, and he followed behind. Riki was at the steps, to take his mother's hand, as she slowly stepped in. Kai noticed this spring was more than just a body of mysterious minerals. His empathic mind could pick up the incredible feeling of love radiating from Riki, and he knew it was something he had never seen or felt from anyone from Amoi.
"Oh my," Erin gasped, "This water feels thick and heavy...but it also feels alive, and powerful." Once Erin let the water envelope her small frame, her body transformed and she began to glow. Kai looked at his young Queen, as his love for her came into his mind, he too transformed. It was something he did not do on his own.
"Incredible," Kai whispered, as he pulled Riki in between them. "You may be the catalyst my son, but to us, you are the result of our great and undying love." Kai's words nearly made the group break out in tears.
"Father..." Riki whispered, "I am home.."
A few feet away, Iason was being embraced by Yuri, as Raimen slowly dipped his entire body into the springs. And when he emerged, his body was transformed, and quite beautiful. Yuri gasped to see Raimen's incredible appearance. Not to be left out, she too dipped her body underwater, leaving Iason standing in awe to find his parents become as living angels. Their eyes were the deepest blue he'd ever seen, and when they pulled him into their embrace, the combined brilliance of the Royal Family nearly blinded all in the cavern.
"Whoa..." Omaki spoke, as he and Argent watched from behind Raoul and Yui. "Have you ever seen anything like this in your life?" Omaki whispered to Argent.
"No, not even in the archives. There is nothing to even describe such an event. The Lord's Dance certainly never had such a transformation, however, Lord Raimen's transformation was noted to have been incredibly enchanting."
The Elders were stunned to silence, while Tai, and all of the Aristian household, were giving silent prayers to the sight they were witnessing. King Vasnya who was sitting on one of the benches, could feel the energy radiating from the springs.
"Magnificent..." He whispered.
The Royal family finally powered down from their emotionally charged reunion. It was now the starting point in their journey back to Amoi. They slowly exit the springs, to the waiting arms of the attendants.
Iason gave Elder Petros a nod, and with that, the Elders all disrobed, and entered the springs. They held out their hands, to those first to enter the springs. The Elders channeled their Sage's powers and once again the hot springs glowed serenely. Iason and Riki were being dried off, as they sat together on the benches, watching their friends, and fellow Ancients glow with their lover in their arms.
When Omaki and Argent stepped in, there was a wave of cold air, that mixed with the hot air Omaki was radiating. As in any atmosphere when the two collided, an amazing thing occurred. A small cloud formed over them and Elders Wyl and Way. A small rumble was heard, and they covered their heads thinking they were going to be struck by lightning.
"You better watch yourself Elders," Riki spoke, "Those two might singe your beards if you aren't careful." His words were met with gentle laughter, as Omaki and Argent looked above their heads. It was the same with Raoul and Yui. Kai watched with great interest to see the two lovers reunited. But wondered now if it was a good idea to have so many Ancients enter the powerful springs at one time.
Iason watched his household standing by, almost afraid to partake in the event, perhaps afraid of the power being released. "Enter the springs my friends," he spoke to Ayuda, and Odi. "Go on Martin, Jake, and yes..even you Jathan. You certainly could use a good soaking. I believe Armah, or the powers that be will not mind it just his once..."
"I-I couldn't my Lord...there's just so many that need.." Jathan began.
"C'mon Jathan," Riki spoke, "You probably need it more than anyone, considering all you have done for us."
Jathan looked around, to see the household waiting for him to make the first move. With the twins Marcus and Alexei looking on, Jathan stepped forward and placed the towels he was holding down on one of the benches. He had never bathed in the springs himself, at least nothing deeper than his knees. But seeing how excited everyone was, encouraged him to step into the water. To the household, this was a first, and they knew this opportunity would not come by again. The hot springs were sacred, and even the oldest housemaid could recall that only Royalty bathed in Armah's Love, as a right of passage.
She was joined by Katze and Darryl who did experience the springs once before, and felt the surge of their love overcome them, bringing them to tears. Katze's empathic mind seemed to reach out in all directions, but when Darryl kissed him tenderly, his mind locked on his mind and no one else.
Ayuda finally decided to do as Iason requested, and with Toma at his side, entered the springs. It was his first time, feeling the incredibly soothing minerals in their natural state. Toma recalled seeing Ayuda watching over Iason in the vision Riki gave him, and then felt Ayuda's love embrace him.
Of all those partaking of the springs, one remained standing by himself, and feeling out of place. Elder Simon watched the many reunions, but he had no lover to join him. He didn't even know why he bothered to change into his robes, but was urged by Petros to do so anyway. This was not lost to Riki. He stood up and walked towards the young Elder, and was followed closely by everyone who noticed the Prince walk towards the bottom of the stairwell.
"Come Simon." Riki spoke, "You are not alone. In fact you might be surprised to know, that you are cared for by the Elders of Aristia. You have healed much in the past few days, with therapy by the Elders and medics, is this not so?" Riki spoke, "Then you should be in the springs. Elder Theo was not lying when he said your body was near death before the battle, and I sense you have a ways to go. To show you that Iason and I are sincere in our acceptance of you joining us, I will take you in myself."
Simon was shocked to hear Riki's words. His eyes betrayed the emotions that were stirring within him like a storm about to erupt. He noticed Elder Bernard nodding at him to go on in with Riki, yet he was still rooted to the ground, afraid to move.
After a few moments, Simon took a step forward, and followed Riki who led him to the steps of the springs. With most of them already out of the springs, Simon was now alone with Riki. A hushed silence was again palpable, as all eyes were on Simon, who's cheeks blushed deeply to now be the center of attention.
"This may sting Simon, I sense you are not quite done in healing. However, it will be a good pain." Riki winked, as he stepped in, and immediately transformed once again. He watched the tall Elder tremble, as the water began to slowly bubble around him. And as he walked into the deeper part of the springs, he cried out, as Riki held him. "It's alright Simon," Riki whispered, "let yourself go, and trust me." With that, Riki dipped Simon into the water, and there remained with him for a few moments.
Everyone stopped when they noticed the water begin to glow softly, and as Riki rose with Simon, the redheaded Elder's eyes were a deep emerald shade of green. His face was serene, and he closed his eyes to feel the healing minerals reach deep into his bones, and remove the discomfort he had yet to be rid of. He smiled down at Riki who's black eyes, smiled back.
"Thank you my Lord..." Simon bowed his head slightly, "I count myself blessed." With that, Simon was led out of the springs, and found his body heavy when he exit. Elder Bernard caught the young man who nearly fainted, and was quickly taken to one of the benches. Riki grinned, feeling rather good about this even if Simon only spoke a few words.
He was once again dried off, to which Iason responded, "You are amazing my love." Iason kissed him tenderly on the lips. "I believe we are ready to go home."
"Yeah." Riki responded, "Jupiter has her own party planned I'm sure.
The days that followed were as a dream to most, who enjoyed the warm climate, and the beauty of Aristia. The meals shared with friends and family held many a lively conversation, that led to nightly festivities filled with music, dancing and many a bottle from Iason's private wine cellar. The couples paired off to chase private encounters and sensual activities that would forever bond hearts with renewed declarations of love. This Aristian Holiday went on for two weeks, before they boarded their ships to return to Amoi. Iason and Riki were looking forward to Jupiter's Renaissance, but that tale has yet to be written.