< Prev Next ("Quest for Normality") >
^ Index ^ Home  
By Author (Danae Conrad):
  < Prev Next >
Keywords:  
Search index:

TRIALS IN LOVE

BY: DANAE CONRAD

Once they had returned to Furanose, Toltec led the group to Odina. Adena had insisted on walking into her palace unassisted. Toltec followed closely behind her; Eve and Iffley, who was in criminal custody, brought up the rear. The Council, that had been in a state of readiness since Adena's kidnapping, stood hastily as their ruler entered.

Lania thought that she had seen everything in her life until she laid eyes on Adena. Paling as she stood, Adena's long hair was tangled and she winced as it lightly brushed against the long wounds on her back. Her gown was tattered, but she held her head regally. Her voice quavered with emotion as well as pain. "Iffley is to be put in jail for attempts of treason and violence against Furanose, " she said haltingly and then collapsed into Toltec, who was expecting this event.

Iffley was read his rights; he demanded his legal right of judge. "I demand the Enchantress as my judge--I have that right."

"You'll be lucky if you see tomorrow," snarled Marc Pruitt in response. The Council seemed to mirror his hostility.

Lania spoke up, "The trial is set two days hence. Take him to maximum security." Iffley was hauled off to prison; he voluntarily gave his Keys--Tiara and Sceptre--to the guards, in hopes of swaying the Council to his pleas. He hoped for Adena's recovery--guilt lay heavy on his soul; he cried for her pain and love.

Adena was oblivious of everything but pain. She knew no one, not even Eve's presence helped. The doctors balked against administering a sedative; her vital signs were already dangerously low. The wounds had festered enough to infect. she was given large doses of antibiotics immediately. Hesitating slightly before beginning, the doctors began the task of cleaning the wounds. She screamed with the pain, begging them to stop. Her magic coalesced into delirium and her Amulet began to glow erratically, pushed to its limits by the Ring.

Toltec saw Eve wince with another of Adena's screams. He hurt with every noise as well; it had become a pattern--a scream followed by a lull of moans broken by another scream more pleading than the one preceeding. Suddenly, it was quiet; Toltec and Eve looked frantically at each other. Both hurriedly ran to the door where the doctor was coming out. He nodded an answer to their questioning faces.

"She pulled through, now she's unconscious--mercifully," he said wearily. "We had to have five people pin her down. "

"Can we see her?" Eve asked eagerly.

"She won't know you, but go ahead." The other doctors were filing out of the room. Eve pushed ahead to the inside. Her eyes filled with tears when she saw Adena; her torso was swathed in bandages tinged in blood. Adena's face was stained with tears and her breathing was coming in sobs. Eve knew that there would be no scars--Adena had eternal beauty through a gift--but the pain was still there.

Eve heard a choke behind her. Toltec had come into the room; he had been able to keep a pokerface for the crisis, but Eve now saw his pain as well. He went to Adena's side and picked up her limp hand. The doctors had cut her tangled hair to slightly longer than shoulder length. The emeralds in her Amulet pulsed slowly as her magic and mind healed. Toltec kissed her cool cheek and got up from the bedside. He turned to face Eve who ran to him in tears. They stood watching Adena breathe slowly--holding onto life desperately.

Iffley was doing the same. The Council had determined that they would be his judges, despite his pleas that Adena be his judge. He knew that his fate was sealed in doom if they judged him; they wouldn't five him any chance to defend himself, he feared. Adena, he knew, wasn't well; her wounds were healing though. The two day interim passed and Iffley was brought, fettered, before the Council in the Courtroom.

The ebony boxes were filled with stern-faced Council members and a pale Eve. The throne at the room's head stood empty, looking like a chest divested of its treasure. Toltec stood to the side of the room and upon seeing Iffley, raised a skeptical eyebrow. Iffley was taken to side where he was put in a chair to await the Court's beginning.

"Once more, I plead your consideration for my legal right." Iffley's request fell on deaf ears.

Toltec stood up and addressed the assembled, "The Court is now in session; any opening comments?"

"Yes, I demand Adena as my judge!"

"REQUEST..."

"Granted," came a faint voice. Toltec's denial had been cut off by this word. The Council leapt to its feet as Adena walked into the room. Her stride was measured, but stately. Her gown was cut low in the back to accomodate the bandages that still covered her wounds. Iffley's heart jumped to his throat; Adena had come to help. Adena looked completely calm as she approached her throne. Toltec came forward with her Crown, that Eve had retrieved from Adena's room; Adena slightly tossed her head as Toltec settled the Crown on their Enchantress.

She sat in her throne and everyone else retook their seats. "Any other comments?"

"Thank God you're here--alive and well," spoke on of the Council.

Adena smiled graciously. "Prosecution please begin." Toltec, as Chief Advisor served as prosecutor for Furanose, addressed the Council. "I will make a brief statement on crimes performed by defendant: thieving of the Furanose Crown using Keys, entering the palace unauthorized, threatening the Enchantress with death, kidnapping said ruler, taking the Ring that she possesed, leaving her to undue punishment with an enemy, and threatening Chief Advisor's and visiting dignatary's life."

"Please inform the Council how you reached a conclusion on the kidnapping perpetrator, " Adena requested.

Toltec nodded to Eve, who rose from her seat. "When the Enchantress did not come down for breakfast on that day," she began, "I became concerned for her safety. On entering her study, I couldn't find her; Advisor Toltec entered the room as well and instructed my to walk towards a painting on the wall with the Belt activated. I did so and phased through the painting to Adena's bedroom, which reeked of chloroform. The molecular structure of a pillow had been altered to this anesthesia and the only Key possible was the Sceptre, which was in Iffley's possession." Adena nodded her thanks to Eve who sat down.

"Before I allow the defense to speak, I must interject that he did help Miss Eden and Advisor Toltec locate me. Defense," Adena prompted Iffley.

Iffley was acting as his own lawyer. He knew that all he needed was Adena as his judge, which he had finally received. "If you recall Miss Eden, when I returned to seize the Belt--" Adena gasped slightly, she hadn't heard this "--I placed the Ring on my hand and then claimed to know nothing of what I was doing. I didn't know that I had kidnapped Adena, but I obviously had for I wore her Ring. Council, I do not deny that I committed these crimes; I do claim though that I was under other control and had no idea that I was performing them. Many of you I know, and I feel that you know that I could never commit such a heinous crime against Furanose--or Adena. Believe me, Enchantress." Iffley said, looking into her face, "I would have taken your place under that whip, if I had been capable of such an act."

Adena had been silent. She knew the Maelstrom's power--Iffley had obviously been under it. "The breaking of a spell was denoted by the Ring's effect, Council; the Staff was used on you I presume, Defendant?"

"Yes."

"This translates into living mindlessness, Council. I believe that he had no cognizant idea of what he was doing. I judge for his release." She then looked over the ebony boxes, and continued," You can stop this with one negative vote. If any of you are uncertain, please say so now and we'll destroy the menace that you feel."

Iffley stood quietly in the center of the pentagonal room. Everyone looked at his neighbors, she had done it again; if the Enchantress was willing to forgive, then so must they.

"By the power vested in me as sole ruler of Furanose, I free you from a death sentence. You still are bound by its laws as long as you remain here--which we hope that you will do often, Iffley." Adena was smiling slightly as she produced the Sceptre and Tiara and returned them. The Council stood and applauded Adena. "Where do you go now?"

"To explain myself--you helped me to determine what happened. I owe an explanation to Bronson and...Camille." Iffley gazed at Adena, but knew that he had to expiate himself before returning to Furanose himself before returning to Furanose. "Farewell, for now, I will return."

"I'm sure that you will," she said as he kissed her hand. Iffley then left for Alarius, leaving Furanose to quiet itself.

Eve came to Adena. "How can you do that? After all you have been through Adena, you should have welcomed a chance to rid yourself of him."

"Forgive and love always, Eve. That will get you farther than hate and revenge." She squeezed her young friend's hand. "Speaking of such, how is Bryant?" Eve flushed but smiled at Adena with happiness. "Excellent," responded the Enchantress, reading her expression.

They all took leave of the Courtroom and Toltec accompanied Adena upstairs. If You came after all, Adena," he began.

She nodded. "My absence could have been his doom, but by being there, I could save a big mistake."

They entered the study with the picture. Adena motioned for him to stop and she began to slip through to the other side. She stored the Crown and changed her gown for knickers and a loose shirt, that buttoned down the back. She couldn't reach the buttons though due to her injury. She knocked on the painting from within and Toltec came over.

"What? Are you okay?"

"Yes, just put your hand on the painting would you?" He did so and felt himself fade as he passed through it. "Hi. Would you please do these?" She gestured to the buttons on her shirt.

"With pleasure, my dear," he answered, trying to avoid brushing the wounds. "Nice place you have here."

"Thanks. I've got three rooms behind the picture, it makes for a nice hideaway apartment." He finished and she turned around. "Thanks, I hope that I won't need this help for much longer."

"And why not?"

"Because you've got cold hands." He raised an eyebrow as he tried to determine how sarcastic she was being. "Come on, let's go." She took his hand and stepped through to the study. They walked downstairs to the drawing room, where Eve had settled down with a roaring fire.

"Adena, did you need any help?"

"No, I managed just fine."

"Good. Bryant wanted to check out the garden again this evening--he's going to try and show me an owl--I've never seen one. I guess I'll be going then," she said, glancing at the clock.

Toltec had already taken over one corner of the couch. "ell, are you going to stand there all night?"

"I wasn't planning on it," she said, coming to sit next to him. She nervously drummed her fingers on the cushion.

"What's wrong?"

"Nervous of whips, I guess."

"No need to be it's all over, Adena. We won't let it happen again."

"I should hope not!"

"In the meanwhile, just in case it does happen..."

"Hush."

"Sounds good to me." he gently kissed her cheek, before he turned her head towards him. "Behave now, or I will give you a back scratch."

"I already have several, thanks," she joked. He drew her in to him, carefully avoiding her bandages. As he kissed her, he was slightly surprised when he felt her hands on his shoulders. She drew away, trying valiantly not to blush. "I'll challenge you to klitik."

I'll take you on in that. Just remember Adena, you were the one who always sad to love," he said setting up the board for play.


 © 1985, 

K. Blaire, L. Charles, D. Conrad, Enad the Great, A. Mann, J. Pierce, B. C. Randolf, and T. G. Taft

< Prev ^ Index ^ Home Next ("Quest for Normality") >

Add Comment:

Please use this form to add your own comments regarding this story. Your IP address will be logged.

Name:
Email:
Comment: