###ALERT! This is part 5 of a 6 part story. “In Whom You Trust” is a prequel to the Champion of the Sidhe series, an urban fantasy adventure. This prequel is free for you to enjoy, and has been posted on 6 websites as part of a blog hop to promote the series. Begin your journey at http://feycast.blogspot.com for part 1. Follow the links at the bottom of each section to go to the next part of the story. Check out the details posted with part 1 of the story to find out how to register for part of an awesome giveaway prize package.###
“He lied to you, Kaitlin,” Lugh finally revealed himself from behind the stone. “He told you what you wanted to hear, to make you do what he wanted.”
“We’re having a private conversation.” The anger in Riley’s voice rose, laced with righteous indignation. Lugh swept back his hood and leveled a glare at the man until realization dawned upon him. “Sidhe.”
“And not a youngling easily swayed by vain promises.” Lugh swept his gaze over the man, considering his appearance and mannerisms. “You ask for a blessing, but you have been blessed before, haven’t you?”
Riley stumbled a step back. The truth, so bluntly revealed, unnerved him, proving Lugh’s guess.
“What Sidhe Touched you, Riley? Who was it that captivated you?” Lugh circled the man, intent on having his answers and willing to do more than intimidate to have them. As he moved behind Riley, Lugh cut a glance at Kaitlin. Her expression was uncertain, fearful. She’d no idea. Too innocent to fully comprehend the magnitude of the lies she’d been told. Too innocent to probably understand what Lugh was about to do now. They would have to discuss the matter at great length later, for what she was to witness she’d never experienced before. It was a trauma he had hoped to spare her.
“You are a druid then, in truth.” Lugh lied as easily as he flattered. “None but a true druid could conceive of the wisdom with which you spoke.” He towered over Riley, very close to him, so he could see little else but Lugh. If the human ventured to glance at Kaitlin, her expression might give away the ruse. “The one who blessed you has neglected you. I can see it. You deserve so much more than abandonment. ‘Tis a cruel thing, the longing for the Touch. The absence of the magic that once filled you with life and power, dwindling. Unreplenished.”
“Please…” Riley’s eyes glistened with the rise of tears.
“Kneel before me, Druid.”
Riley dropped to his knees, face upturned in reverence and despair.
Lugh cupped Riley’s cheeks between his gentle hands. As the magic of the Touch began to slowly course from him into the human, he asked, “Who was it, Riley?” The magic of the Touch was a mere trickle. The barest taste. The warmth from a narrow shaft of sunlight.
“The god of magic,” Riley whispered, the first fleeting hints of elation beginning to shatter the pain of his longing. “Manannan.”
Even as Lugh lightly stroked Riley’s cheeks with false affection, he cast a glimpse over at Kaitlin. She truly needed to concentrate more effort in schooling her expression, for her utter shock and confusion was undisguised. Although Lugh could not yet conceive of the reasoning, nor fully was prepared to take this human at his word, he revealed no outward sign. To do so was to give power to one’s enemies.
“And to what purpose? What did Manannan task you to do?” Lugh’s voice was kind. The magic of his Touch continued to flow softly. He could feel the yearning void within this man. The gaping hole left after a Sidhe Touched a human burned a path for the magic into their very soul. What followed was a feeling of horrid emptiness, causing them to forever crave the Touch. Lugh could fill the vessel, and again the magic would Fade as it always did in a captivated human. It was why some humans called it a curse, for no matter how glorious it felt when the magic flowed within them, there was always the pain of longing that would follow. Even now, granting Riley this relief, this ‘blessing,’ was only a temporary respite.
“To distract,” Riley admitted, tears streaming down his face.
As he leaned over Riley and kissed him on the forehead, Lugh unleashed his magic. He cradled Riley’s face to keep him from swooning. The intake of breath that escaped Riley’s lips was followed by an aching cry as the magic burst through him. The full glory of it, laced with Lugh’s sunlight, illuminated the man’s skin to glow with a soft golden hue. Riley clasped his hands over Lugh’s as if afraid he might release him. He shivered with the violence of pleasure, gasping quick breaths before crying out once more in a long, heart-wrenching outburst as the Touch filled him to his capacity to endure it.
Lugh straightened. His hands slipped from Riley’s face as the man slumped, trembling and weeping. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”
Lugh turned toward Kaitlin. Toward the horror on her face that he could see, despite her hand pressed over her mouth. How often had she been warned to never Touch a human? The magic of the Touch, so natural and sustaining to the Sidhe, a form of sharing and bonding that was as vital as sleep, was devastating to a human. The practice of ‘blessing’ humans, and creating the captivated class of humans once known as druids, ceased when the Sidhe forsook the surface to live solely in the Mounds ages ago. That Manannan had callously Touched this man was something Lugh would never have believed had he not heard the confession with his own ears. Even now, he was not fully prepared to believe it. But whatever dismay Kaitlin felt about what Manannan had done, that surely paled in comparison to witnessing Lugh perform the act.
Lugh offered Kaitlin his hand. “You shall not return to him. Not ever.”
She nodded, and he believed that she would obey him in this. She slipped her hand into his. They walked together away from Riley. Away from the humans who had taken notice of them, and who had no concept of what they had witnessed other than Riley kneel and Lugh kiss his forehead. Once they were behind one of the standing stones, Lugh teleported them back to the Mounds.
##Before you move on to the next part of the story, make sure to place a comment below to enter into the giveaway! You have to comment on all 6 parts to be eligible to win. The next part of the story can be found here: http://sidhetouch.blogspot.com/2012/02/in-whom-you-trust-prequel-to-champion.html And THANK YOU for joining us on this blog hop!##