Torshael and Tayne's Story: A New God for a New Mission
Written in Collaboration with Dragonflight
"Well, that explains a few things," Tayne said dryly after Haiiro explained what just happened. "I have a feeling neither one of them is going to be good for much anytime soon."
"Probably not," Haiiro agreed unhappily, and stood up. "I'm going to keep an eye on Tekas...."
"Which means if anyone's going to get anything done, it'll be me," Tayne commented. At Haiiro's pointed look, he held up his hands peaceably. "I'll let Tor' mull for a while and talk to Ixin. You want to come, Irithin?"
The seer nodded and followed them up the stairs. Haiiro waved after them, staying behind at the second-floor landing to settle on the stair and watch Tekasynos's door. Presumably he could keep track of Tekasynos from there. Tayne and Irithin continued up to the third floor, where Ixin's door swung open for them, revealing the mage himself, once again sitting at his desk. This time he looked rested and properly groomed.
"Good morning," Tayne said amiably, grinning. "Or afternoon, by now, I'm not sure what time it is."
"Somewhere in between," Ixin chuckled.
"I hope the rest of your night went well?" Tayne asked, brows raised.
"My night was restful, thank you. And I do apologize if I offended any of you last night. It was not my intent to do so." Tayne waved the apology off affably; there had been more rudeness on his part than Ixin's, really. "I trust you all slept well?"
"As far as I know, certainly," Tayne nodded. "I slept like a baby. You have some truly wonderful beds." That earned him another chuckle. "There's a bit of drama going on at the moment, I'm afraid. I hope you don't mind only getting me and Irithin for now."
"Drama, eh? Let me know if there's anything I can do to help sort it out."
"No, probably not, I'm afraid."
"Ah, well," Ixin shrugged. "In the mean time, the two of you will do. I contacted some assistance for you earlier; they're on their way now, and should be here inside a few hours."
"With luck, we'll all be able to meet them by then," Tayne nodded. "Thank you. Who did you contact?"
"A man by the name of Jaliath," Ixin answered. "He's on his way with his guardian."
Tayne remembered Jaliath from the journal. By the time the excursion was over, Ishtar really hadn't liked him, and he'd gotten the impression that the feeling was mutual. She'd considered him "eccentric", though what exactly that meant in relation to Jaliath Tayne had no idea, and he'd been obsessed with ships and the ocean. Ugh, what a terrible preoccupation. He had a guardian, whatever that meant, a "Tahrim" woman named Soul Catcher, and was rarely far from her. "Well, from what I know about him, he won't have any reason to be nice about Ishtar," he commented. "Apparently they didn't much like each other. Let me know when he gets here? I'll be available, no matter what, and I can get the others if they're done being dramatic."
"If course," Ixin nodded. "Is there anything else I can do for you, then?"
"Accept our apologies for barging in last night, and our thanks for the hospitality?" Tayne suggested with a grin. "Other than that, no, I don't think so."
That got him a smile and an "Apology accepted," and he left feeling much better about the mage than he had the night before. One less problem to worry about-- and half a dozen new ones, what with Torshael's little revelation. After bidding Irithin a friendly farewell for the moment, he headed off to find his brother. He found him in a back corner of the library, pacing up and down one row of books. It looked like he'd been at it ever since he'd left Tekas's room.
"Hey," Tayne said. Torshael glanced at him, then went back to pacing. Tayne watched him a minute, then tossed himself down into the nearest chair. "Spill it, brother," he prodded, because he knew it would help for the Favored to talk it out.
"Haiiro says he--"
Torshael broke off. Tayne finished. "Wants you."
Torshael blushed, but didn't deny it, and kept pacing. He simply didn't sit still well when he was confused or agitated. "Something like that. And he's upset. Thinks I've-- I don't know, rejected him, without meaning to."
"Would I what, Tayne?"
"Reject what he wants."
"Of course I would!"
Torshael stopped and stared at him. "Because--" There was a pause before he came up with a reason. "He's an infernal."
"That didn't stop you from wanting to be friends with him," Tayne pointed out. "For that matter, didn't stop you mooning over Ahraosa."
"I did not!" That was so blatant a lie-- he'd spent a lot of time in Myrror's realm fishing for information on her, and then mentioned her at least once a day for the next several months-- that Tayne just raised his brows at his brother, eliciting another flush and a change of tactics. "He's male."
"You know supernals don't-- I mean, we just don't do that."
Tayne shrugged. "It's not impossible, just really frowned upon. It happens every now and then-- even in the City. Even among you precious Favored."
Torshael looked dubious, and rather like he expected Tayne to explain, but Tayne had no intention of doing so. That was private. When he didn't say more, Torshael shook his head. "If it does, it's secret. If it ever got out--"
"There would be trouble," Tayne finished. "And you don't want trouble."
He looked a little guilty and shrugged. "I don't know. But I don't know that I'd... want him, even if there wasn't trouble. I've never even considered.... It's always been just a wife, and a family, when I thought about it at all."
Tayne thought, actually, that Torshael didn't think about love much at all, much less sex. Ahraosa had been as much stunned amazement and admiration as it was anything else, and that had been the most evidence of romantic feelings he'd ever seen in his brother. Which probably meant that Tekasynos was out of luck, because if Torshael barely looked at women, he wasn't about to look at men. "So what about Tekas?" he asked, bringing his brother back to the immediate problem-- the immediate person. It was one thing for Tayne to recognize the foregone conclusion, but Torshael needed to, too.
The guilty expression only intensified. "He's nice, but...." He gave another shrug, but rather than going back to pacing, he half-sat, half-fell back into the other chair. It looked like he'd resolved his confusion, unhappy though he was with the result. "He'll hate me...."
"He'll get over it," Tayne said, though he did spare a moment of sympathy for the poor guy.
And another to think that Torshael was missing out.