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..."

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stoneoftear

September 2017

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