Content warnings: mild sexual references.

Bonded (part 3)

The forest was quiet as Marielle walked through the trees, her hand linked with Ricardo's. Though the sun had set, the sweltering heat was still enough to make Marielle sweat, despite the fact that she was only wearing her chemise. The foliage was thick, their surroundings dark but for the small ball of light formed of saidar that hovered in front of the couple as they made their way along the faintly marked trail that led away from the cottage. Along the path, pieces of stonework rose from the undergrowth, covered in moss, the legacy of a kingdom long forgotten, perhaps Farashelle or Manetheren. Their location was remote, north of Andor and west of the Black Hills, near the river Arinelle. Ricardo had told Marielle the story of how he had happened across the cottage during his travels, before he had become an asha'man. The cottage had been abandoned at that stage. Ricardo had repaired it, turning it into a kind of shelter, using it as a retreat from civilisation.

Marielle looked up at Ricardo as she felt his arm slip around her waist. Through the bond she could feel the warmth of his love for her, amidst the rest of his emotions. It was true that the taint on saidin had been removed, but Marielle could sense that Ricardo still carried the pain of his past. Channeling came so naturally to her, she could only imagine what it would have been like to be a male channeler before saidin was cleansed, forced to endure the Dark One's taint in order to wield the One Power, the threat of madness ever present. Even now, Marielle had noticed that Ricardo still had nightmares occasionally, although they seemed to be lessening.

The sound of running water indicated that they were nearly at their destination. Soon enough, a clearing in the trees appeared, revealing a pool of water. Ricardo pulled Marielle close to him, her breasts pressing against the solid mass of his chest as he kissed her. His kiss was slow and tender, deepening as his lips lingered on hers. Marielle's stomach quickened as Ricardo held her in his embrace, their proximity allowing her to feel Ricardo's body respond in kind. Taking a pace back, Marielle pulled her chemise over her head, sensing Ricardo's desire ignite as she turned around and stepped naked into the pond, immersing herself in the water before returning to face him, the pool's surface just above her waist as she stood.

Now coated with water, Marielle's nipples stiffened with the cooling effect of the evening breeze. As she watched Ricardo undress, it rapidly became clear that he was very nicely stiffened at this point as well, a fact that became the focus of Marielle's attention as he joined her in the forest pool ...
Second entry in my WoT fanfic.

Bonded (part 2)

Marielle's cheeks blushed as she exited the pavilion, walking swiftly towards the Travelling grounds. When she had been summoned to the Hall of Sitters she had not anticipated their line of questioning to be so ... penetrating. In the way that only a member of the White Ajah could, Berana had interrogated Marielle on every intimate detail of her relationship with Ricardo. Marielle had struggled to maintain her composure as her privy experiences were revealed in front of all eighteen Sitters, Berana probing her with question after question, all the while remaining completely calm as if they were discussing whether or not she would like some milk with her tea.

She understood that there were many Sitters who wanted to verify the claims that saidin had been cleansed. The Hall had been particularly interested in what Marielle had to say because of the nature her bond with Ricardo. Of course, Aes Sedai had bonded Warders for millennia, and even though the Black Tower had only been founded relatively recently there were other Aes Sedai who had bonded an asha'man, or vice-versa. What was unique about Marielle and Ricardo was that they had bonded each other, forming a link created with a weave of both saidin and saidar, combining the male and female halves of the One Power.

Right at this moment Ricardo was far away, so Marielle was able to sense that he was alive and well and in what direction he was but not much more than that. The closer they were to each other the more intense the link became, able to sense each other's thoughts and emotions. Marielle blushed again as she recalled her response to one of Berena's more pointed inquiries. The entire Hall was silent at first as Marielle described how the bond let her experience the intense burning flame of desire that Ricardo felt for her as they made love, before they erupted into a barrage of questions. Precisely how the specific details that the Sitters were so curious about related to the primary thrust of their inquiry, Marielle wasn't sure, but what she did know was that she had not felt so embarrassed since she was a novice and had been sent to Sheriam to be disciplined for channeling without permission. The switching she had received had left her unable to sit comfortably for days.

The Hall eventually got around to a more relevant detail, namely that Marielle could relay what Ricardo experienced as he channeled, and as they had bonded each other before the cleansing, she could confirm that the Taint on saidin was gone. It was around that point when the atmosphere in the Hall became rather heated as a free-for-all debate between the Sitters broke out, and Marielle had departed the large tent that served as the Hall in Exile. As she walked, Marielle observed Demira instructing the new novices, including the Two Rivers girls, the glow of saidar enveloping the Domani woman. Unlike some other Aes Sedai who hailed from Arad Doman, Demira continued to wear the traditional Domani style of clothing. Her dress covered her from neck to toe but was barely opaque, clinging to every curve. Marielle was from Cairhien, where such a dress would have been considered scandalous, but as she thought about how Ricardo would react if he saw her wearing that style of clothing Marielle blushed yet again, her Cairhienin sensibilities quickly evaporating.

The Travelling grounds were clear. Marielle opened herself to saidar, allowing the One Power to fill her as she formed the weave to create a Gateway. She was strong enough in the Power to form a Gateway that could fit a person through, which placed her in the upper ranks of the Aes Sedai despite only being raised to the shawl recently. In her mind she sought an image of the yard outside the cottage where she and Ricardo were living together. The Gateway snapped into place and she stepped through. Instantly, Ricardo's emotions intensified in her head. He was inside, making dinner, and she could sense that he was very pleased to see her. Entering the kitchen, Marielle pushed herself up on her toes to kiss him as he wrapped his arms around her.

"Excellent timing," Ricardo smiled as he touched his palm to Marielle's cheek, "Dinner is almost ready..."
Here's my first fanfic entry. Wheel of Time (canon), set just after the end of Winter's Heart (Book 9). No content warnings at this stage, but that may change.

Bonded

Chips of wood flew everywhere as Ricardo wove Air and Earth to cut up the log into more manageable pieces, enjoying the sensation of saidin coursing through him. Marielle would probably have disapproved of his use of the One Power for this mundane task, but she was an Aes Sedai, trained at the White Tower where novices were forbidden from using the One Power without permission, and required to do all their chores by hand. Ricardo fingered the gold dragon pinned to his collar. He had achieved the rank of Asha'man recently, rapidly rising from the starting rank of Soldier assigned to new channelers. The Asha'man were trained for battle, and from the moment they joined the Black Tower they were expected to do everything with saidin, the male half of the One Power. It was a part of the training, designed to quickly prepare the Asha'man to fight darkspawn and the Forsaken at the Last Battle.

The Black Tower's training methods were harsh, and many men did not survive, but the life of a male channeler was never expected to be lengthy since the Breaking. Three thousand years ago, Lews Therin Telamon and the Hundred Companions, the most powerful male channelers of the Age of Legends, imprisoned the Dark One at Shayol Ghul to end the War of Power. What Lews Therin, known as the Dragon, had not anticipated was the Dark One's counter stroke, tainting saidin and dooming all men who channeled the One Power to eventually go mad. The destruction wrought by the now-insane male channelers resulted in the Breaking of the World, ending the Age of Legends. After the Breaking ended, the Third Age began, and the White Tower was formed, a place where women could learn to channel if they had the ability. The White Tower was the seat of power of the Aes Sedai, who were now exclusively female. For three thousand years male channelers had been outlawed, feared, reviled, hunted, and even awed. Until now.

Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, had created an amnesty, inviting all men who could channel to the Black Tower. When Ricardo first heard of the amnesty, he had immediately answered the Dragon Reborn's call. He was young, only a teenager when he learned that he could channel. Outcast from his family, he had fled his native home of Tear, never settling too long in one place. Before he came to the Black Tower he had a block, and was only able to channel when he was very afraid. In a way it had saved him, minimising his exposure to the Dark One's taint, preserving enough of his sanity so that he could live to become an Asha'man, a word which translated to guardian in the Old Tongue.

Ricardo wielded Air to lift the newly cut logs, adding them to the neat pile of wood that was the result of his efforts. He had probably cut more wood than was needed for him to prepare dinner tonight, but these days he channeled whenever he could. Marveling at the pure feeling flowing through him, Ricardo was reluctant to release the One Power. The taint was gone! Every time time he thought about it he was filled with wonder. It was true. Al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, really had cleansed saidin, removing the Dark One's taint.

The event had only happened recently, but when it did every male channeler knew instantly. No longer were men who could wield the One Power doomed to madness. For the first time in his life, Ricardo could think about having a future. His thoughts turned to Marielle, whose emotions formed a knot in the corner of his mind. Ricardo was still getting use to their bond, the fact that he could always sense what she was feeling. She was far away at the moment, which reduced the intensity, but he could point out her direction in a heart beat.

Ricardo picked up an armful of wood with flows of Air and headed towards the cottage. The weave was simple enough that it was no effort to form. The male half of the One Power was like a raging torrent of pure energy, and the larger the weave the harder saidin became to wield. Placing the logs into the stove, Ricardo wove Fire to ignite them. He began preparing the food, slicing the meat and vegetables with a knife. It's true that he could have used the One Power to cut and cook the food, but it didn't taste as good as when he did it by hand. He had worked the kitchen of many inns during the years he had spent as a wanderer, and he enjoyed cooking, especially when there was somebody to share the meal. Sliding the ingredients into the pot, he grabbed some Tairen spices and sprinkled a small amount over the food.

As he replaced the spice jars onto the shelf, goosebumps formed on Ricardo's skin, a sign that a woman was channeling nearby. The bundle of Marielle's emotions in Ricardo's head suddenly increased in intensity and detail, in the way that the morning landscape shifts from the muted grey shades before the dawn to the full colours illuminated by the first light of day. Ricardo smiled as he looked out the window, observing Marielle step through a gateway that formed outside the cottage. She was just in time for dinner...

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