Tarek’s healing


“Bekaleth? Dad?” Tarek looked very serious as he finished hugging her, “Can we talk privately?”

“Ford of,” She shrugged her shoulders and looked embarrased, “I wiffin, woo top”

“Tellek said you had a lisp,” he tried hard to hold in his shock, “but I just wanted to talk with you. It was kinda hard with you away in the city.”

BeKaleth motioned to the tent and the three of them went in and sat down in the end of the bed.

‘You okay?’ BeKaleth signed to him, not wishing to have to use her voice.

“Yeah,” he looked at her and not wanting to look like a little kid, “sort of. Etherek told Tellek what I did.”

“Wab Dib Twellek fay?” Now she understood.

“He said he was upset with you this morning,” he didn’t know what to say about his brother and avoided eye contact with his Father.

“What did he say about you,” Tarreth knew the boys would be protective of each other.

“He said Etherek had said I wasn’t much better. I – I don’t know how I’m gonna walk into the workshops next year. They share everything when they work, whatever Tellek thinks of me everyone is gonna know.”

<Tareth, help me speak to Tarek, he needs to hear this> BeKaleth knew that beyond his father’s reassurance he needed first the unconditional love that mother’s bring.

“Tarek,” She lifted his face up and stared into his eyes as she spoke to his mind, “when you walk into the workshops next year you will do so with your head held high. Your father’s thoughts are also shared in those rooms, and his pride in you – not your work, but you – that is what your brothers will share. If they are anything like their father, when they find out what happened to you only their protective sides will show. You are TAR, you are strong – and they will see that.”

“Tarek,” Tarreth focused his thoughts knowing he had avoided this long enough, “I know I wasn’t in the best of moods while BeKaleth was away, everyone seems to have caught my mood not just you. Tellek wanted to talk with me on the road about what happened to you, I knew I was in no mood to discuss it. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to openly discuss what BeValeth did to you, and you don’t have to either. Yes, when we work together a lot of thoughts are shared, but it is only what we want shared. It is no different than a regular conversation. Yes, Etherek spoke out of turn and I will talk with him about that. I told Tellek to take you as you are, and I will ensure that only what you want spoke of goes back with him.”

“I don’t know what I want him to say,” Tarek looked with pleading eyes at his father, “and what if Etherek said anything to Lorek?”

“I doubt it,” Tarreth cocooned his son instinctively. “Etherek was answering his brother, and I can’t imagine any reason why Lorek would have been concerned about how you treated BeKaleth. Your line is rather known for act first, think later – or more aptly – deal with the mess later and trust me, there have been a lot of consequences to your brothers’ actions! If Tellek ever pushes you on your actions with BeKaleth, ask him why he got banned from the workshops for a year. When he feels ready to share his shame, then he can tease you about this.”

“So I’m not the only one to screw up?” Tarek visibly relaxed.

“By the Ancients, oh yes!” Tarreth shook his head and continued with the air of boyhood pranks gone bad, “Every single one of you has at least one major incident to their credit – some many, many more. For your age you are only slightly ahead of the majority of them, but that has more to do with the fact that in the city many more eyes were watching them. After Leitek, I think everyone knew your line was going to be a handful. For months we only worked in stone form around Leitek, and the women were never allowed near him when he had a tool in his hand. I’m sure BeKaleth would have only half of her left if he was in your shoes.”

“What did he do?” Tarek’s curiousity was replacing his fears.

“For starters,” Tarreth had told these stories so many times, Leitek’s mishaps were great teaching material, “it took him years to learn how not to set everything on fire when doing decorative burning. He kept getting distracted as he’d work on the design and poof! Up it would go in smoke usually along with what ever flamable materials that were in the area. I didn’t let him use the acids till after he was grown enough that if his stone system engaged he would be close enough to full stature – and I’m very glad I did. The first day, he picks it up and tries to levitate it so he can spread a thin enough layer. He’d seen the others doing it and had no idea how much control was needed for that – acid goes everywhere as the droplets explode from the pressure he was using to flatten them out. The reaction you had from Ticailek when you told him about BeKaleth falling in to the fire – that is the reaction you can expect from your brothers. You are not the only one to have tried to avoid stirring that pot. It won’t take much to keep Tellek from spreading tales, and if you need I will take care of it, but it might help to talk to him yourself if you’re ready for it.”

“Maybe,” Tarek knew his father was right, it would be best if he spoke for himself. Knowing Tellek could have a few confessions of his own gave him a bit of courage. “What about Lorek? I don’t know how I’m going to face him.”

“I will speak with Lorek myself before you go back to the city,” Tarreth knew Lorek would understand and tried to reassure Tarek, “He saw the change in his mother, and I know he would not want any more getting out than you.”

“Did she ever hurt him?” Tarek had only one memory of her hurting Etherek, but he’d never told anyone.

“That is for Lorek to share,” Tarreth took a deep breath as he put his arm around Tarek. “He warned me before she returned to the camp and I wish I had listened. Knowing what I now know – things could have been different. She was not always like that.”

“I know,” Tarek wondered if he should tell his Dad what she’d said and decided to risk it. “She kept going on about how BeDaneth was going to kill us all, how she would stop us stealing souls one way or another. She kept saying the same things over and over, like it had been imprinted on her the way some of our temple lessons are.”

“I am sorry,” Tarreth knew the governor’s powers well enough to know what Tarek was describing. “If only I hadn’t been so naive. I am sorry Tarek, forgive me?”

“You didn’t do anything -” Tarek was confused. In the past his father had acted like it was impossible for it to have even happened, almost calling him a liar.

“Yes I did,” Tarreth looked deeply into his son’s eyes, hoping to transmit more than his words would convey, “I let BeDaneth do that to my wife, I did not protect her. Just as the first carver failed to protect his wife, I did not protect BeValeth. Like Etherek, BeValeth focused on the most intricate of details and would get lost in her work. She was not a poet, or a thinker – she was all hands on. Her mind would have been easy prey for BeDaneth, and I never once protected her. When she came back from the city, she was so openly hostile to me – Tarek, I, I did not see beyond my own guilt, my own pain. I thought we deserved it, but it was not her nature. I should have seen the change in her, and I didn’t. The other wives did, but I refused to listen.”

“Didn’t our priest remind you?” Tarek had never taken it back beyond BeValeth, but his father was right.

“He and Tari tried,” Tarreth tried to keep his feelings controlled, but the time apart had been so hard on him. “I wouldn’t listen to anything but my own guilt. Pay attention to your Maral lessons, learn from your father’s mistakes.”

“They’re kinda boring,” Tarek looked at the floor, “Watching you and BeKaleth is easy, but when Dineth starts going on about a husband’s duties I kinda fall asleep.”

BeKaleth started giggling and spoke to Tarreth’s mind, “Are any of us good students?”

“Yes,” Tarreth swatted playfully at his wife, “some of my sons are excellent students! Yurcailek, in your line Tarek was top of his class as were many others in that line. Tarek, you need to pay better attention to your temple lessons, or else I’ll find a way to keep you awake.”

“I will,” Tarek stifled a laugh and wondered what she said to his father, “and Thank you.”




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