I don't own anything Christine Feehan. I don't even own the other race here, they are ancient, and some say, still alive within our world today. All I know for sure, I woke up with this tale of tragedy and woe in my brain and had to put it on paper.

Dark Tides

Mikhail stood with his arm around Raven. Jacques, with his arm around Shae, stood at their side.

"What is the surprise, Brother?" Jacques asked.

"I don't really know. Razvan and Ivory said they had a surprise for us this year. Something they had been working on. Whatever it was it even got Razvan and Natalya talking again."

"That is a pleasant surprise for Christmas." Raven said, watching as things were set up. She knew it was a story, the eldest of them had started telling tales to the children, so that they knew the legends, the stories of their ancient past. This was different, and she couldn't wait to see what story was going to be told.

"Dominic is involved in this one as well." Shea said, "I'm not sure how far back they went for this one. They did say it was important that all of us heard it, and that was why they wanted to do it at Christmas, when everyone was here."

There were so many this year that they had to build a special hall, they wouldn't all fit in the Inn.

It seemed like it took forever for the stage to be set up, but in reality it took very little time, and then everyone was taking a seat, all of the children surrounding the edge of the stage, anticipation thick in the room.

It had actually been a peaceful year, their enemies were regrouping, and even the humans, the Morrison Group seemed to be quiet.

A strange sound, like the call of an seal or sea lion startled the crowd, and the lights dimmed. Savannah took the stage, and sat quietly in a single chair. The loud barking noise came again, and she looked up at the crowd around them.

"This is a tale of our beginnings, beyond the time that even our oldest can remember...a tragic tale of woe and loss, a reminder of our very nature, of our long traditions and laws. We have, in our recent history, broken many of those laws. It is time to remember why they were there, and that not all laws are there forever." Her voice was strong, what she called her stage voice.

She started to build the illusion, as the other players took their places.

"Long ago, a warrior, a hunter. We do not even know his name, what family he was from, all we know is he struggled long against the darkness, never succumbing, seeking always that which would bring him back to the light. One night he walked along a cliff over the sea."

The image built behind her, and Julian Savage walked across, dressed in ancient clothing, looking far out to sea.

"Below him, on the sand of a sheltered beach, he heard a sound full of such longing, and need, that he couldn't resist its call." Again that strange barking noise filled the room, but under it, the soft voice of Desari rose in a song of longing and purity. Julian walked down a path in the cliff to find a pod of seals resting on the sand, and a beautiful woman, wearing nothing but her long sable locks, standing among them.

"The warrior was stunned by her beauty, and the deep colors of the night that assaulted his eyes, the emotions that drove him to his knees. He didn't stop, he didn't think, he took the woman into his arms, tasting her sweet blood, and giving her his. He could feel the words of binding in his mind, but waited, wanting to know more, wanting to know who she was. She never spoke, and he could not resist her beauty."

On the stage, Julian embraced Desari, taking her to the cool sand, his hands stroking her soft skin. Several of the adults in the audience shifted uncomfortably, but the scene went black.

"He stayed with her there on the beach for many weeks, teaching her to speak, learning the strange pathways of her mind. She was there every night waiting for him, and he took his time, not claiming her completely until he could learn everything he could."

The scene rose again, the couple, both clothed in ancient clothing, their voices low and loving. The man moved slightly, and the audience gasped at the woman's swollen belly.

"She stayed with him until she could resist the call of the sea no longer. Her belly swollen with his child, she tried to tell him she couldn't stay, but she didn't have the words and he wouldn't listen. One night he returned to the beach, determined to finish the bond between them...but she was gone. He searched the world for her, coming back to that beach a hundred times over the passing centuries, but he never found her."

Julian sat quietly on the beach, watching the sea.

"One night, the body of a seal washed ashore, it's body pierced by the teeth of a an animal, its blood lost into the sea, but even in that form, even without life in her chocolate eyes, he recognized his love. He held her, realizing at last what she was, and waited for the dawn...his Selkie lifemate in his arms."

The lights came up on the stage, and everyone sat stunned. Savannah's low voice spoke to them all.

"It was this tale of woe which was used to impress, especially on the young, that once a lifemate is found, the words of binding must be spoken as quickly as possible, the magic of our people must be used to save the soul of a lifemated pair, and all else could wait. It was also this tale which causes us to avoid the sea. No one knows what happened to the child."

The room was silent, and then the soft murmur of voices, and all eyes seemed to glance at two couples, then slip away. Skyler glared at the stage, but looked at Dimitri with tears in her still human eyes. Gabrielle wept openly, Gary Jansen resting his arm around her shoulders.

"This was a cautionary tale..." Savannah whispered. "To remind us what happens if a soul is lost. There are still many males suffering without their light, and we must be the ones to encourage them to continue their search."

The crowd moved slowly away from the stage, each person lost in his and her own thoughts. One male, Radu Florescu, stiffened his shoulders. There was a Selkie, one who was half Carpathian, out there...she was female, and she was his lifemate, now he just had to find her.