Hello! It`s time for Tuesday Tales again. This week I`ll be sharing an excerpt from my new adult WIP (Work In Progress) Love of the Hunter, an M/M mythological romance.
In today`s excerpt we see what happens after Helios refuses to help another child of a god as Apollo attempts to heal Orion`s wounds.
This week our word prompt is ‘Rough’. Since this is a rough draft there may be some mistakes. I do apologize for any boo-boo you may find.
Please do check out the other wonderful writers after you`re done reading by clicking on the Tuesday Tales link at the bottom. Thanks for stopping in!
“So the king of Chios took his wrath out upon you for soiling his daughter when it was not you?” I ask, rubbing my fingertips over the clotted blood to loosen the strands one by one.
“He did, Apollo. He had his men hold me and he blinded me with his eating dagger. I was cast from the keep into the night. I stumbled to the shore. There I rinsed my face and tore strips from my chiton for bandages. I then left the isle of Chios and walked to Lemnos.”
“Where you encountered Hephaestus.” I roll his head, placing his nose into my neck. His shuddering breaths are moist and hot on my jugular. Orion nods. I draw a few strands of dried material from a thick mass of gelatinous yellow. My nose wrinkles as the final strip lifts upward. I inhale at the sight of his eyes. A blade had been plunged into each eye: vile gore and pus leaks from beneath the swollen lids. Dread and sympathy for what this handsome young male had suffered overtakes me.
“Is it bad, Apollo?” Orion inquires. I shake my head and throw a glower at Kedalion. The servant nods in understanding and begins dribbling water once again.
“It is not the worst wound I have seen,” I lie, nudging his dark curls with my chin. He moves his head back. I do not know what to do for him. I hold him for a few moments, using my own chiton to gently wash his eyes clean. When that is done I call the servant closer. “Go fetch me more water. Make sure it is clean and that the bucket does not scrape the walls of the well,” I warn. He bows out silently, the weathered bucket under his arm. “I shall wash it more since it brings you comfort. Then I shall lay my hands on your eyes. I am skilled at healing minor wounds and so with my touch and a cleansing agent, perhaps we can bring your vision back to you.”
His chapped lips break into a brief smile that makes me long to see him smile again. The shock of that sensation in my chest is startling. It causes my breathing to hitch roughly in my chest. We do not speak. I hold him and he allows me to cradle him. The servant returns too quickly. I push the son of Poseidon into a sitting position. Moving around Orion to face him, I then kneel before him in the hay as I instruct Kedalion to hand me rags torn from his clothing. He eyes me with unease but does as bid. Dipping the tatters into the cold water I then bathe the hot, puffy sockets as gently as I can. Orion winces and bites down upon his bottom lip until red blood dribbles down his chin, but he does not cry out, not once.
“I vow this part shall be much easier,” I coo, tossing the wet rags back into the bucket. I shift my sight from Orion to Kedalion. “I will need more swaddling. In the tack room you will find my belongings. Rip a chiton into strips. Keep them clean! Wash your hands before you touch my robe. Do not allow them to drop into the dung. If I smell shit upon them or your hands you shall find yourself cursed to a thousand eternities of shoveling dung from Hades` stables.”
“Yes, yes, I will be clean, mighty Apollo!” the servant cries, tripping over his large bare feet to escape.
“You are a fearsome young god, Apollo,” Orion chuckles, his lips quivering a small bit as he works to keep the pain contained. “Kedalion is a good slave. He has been pleasant company for me.”
“And so he shall continue to prove himself if he does as I tell him to do.” I reach out to grasp his chin in my fingers. I lift his head, turn it right and left, my face furrowed in worry and distaste. What a vile man Oenopion was to mar such a beautiful face. I look over my shoulder when Kedalion runs back to us, a ball of shredded linen tightly held to his lean chest.
“It is as clean as it was when I removed it from your bag, Phoebus Apollo.” Kedalion bows numerous times. When the servant is seated beside me my hands come up to rest lightly on Orion`s cheeks.
“Breathe when I do, Orion,” I tell him. He licks his lips then bobs his head. My eyelids drift shut. I imagine a ball of sunlight appearing in my palms. I hear Kedalion gasp. The heat in my palms spreads out into my fingers. It climbs up my arms. Orion twitches violently when I slide my hands from his cheeks and place them flatly over the mangled remains of his eyes. Imagining the tissues of his eyes healing, I will the light to cure him. The warmth is now running down my thighs and streaming up my neck. I push more of the sun`s glory into his wounds. Kedalion shouts.
I do not hear what he says; I am too absorbed in the creation of healing light. It thrums through my body. From my hairline to my bare toes, my powers throb intensely. A burst of light appears behind my closed eyelids. It expands out from my core, engulfing the barn. Orion screams. Kedalion shrieks. I convulse as if bound in the most intense pleasure a man can feel, then I fall back into the hay, tremors rumbling though my body. I open my eyes and the barn is brilliantly illuminated. I feel proud. I have called forth a bit of the sun and made it do my bidding. My head rolls to the left. I view Orion laying at my side, unconscious, his dark curls falling over his brow and his body glowing from within. I then slip into the darkness of dreamless sleep.
Copyright 2013 ©by V.L. Locey
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