Chapter 8 Becoming the Handmaiden
Ryanne woke with a start when something crashed into her side. “Ouch! What the hell?” Ryanne yelled as she flinched away from the pain.
“Oh I’m sorry, Mommy.” Those soft feminine words came from a tiny little brunette who was still bouncing up and down on the bed. Ryanne looked around the room and had no idea were she was.
“It’s OK, sweetie. Mommy is still a little sore from her trip.” Tylander stated as he sat up in the bed next to Ryanne. Wait Mommy? Ryanne’s brain started spinning, I’m no one’s Mommy. “Um Tylander, I think we need to talk before you speak with your children.” Ryanne tried to sound calm afraid she would upset this little girl.
“I missed you so much, Mommy.” The little girl was up on her feet and she threw her arms around Ryanne’s neck and held her tight. Ryanne couldn’t believe Tylander was going to make her tell his kids that she wasn’t their long lost mother. “Gabriela dear, Mommy has had a long trip you need to be gentle with her.” Tylander stated as he leaned over and made eye contact with Ryanne. She was giving him a look that could kill. He didn’t know what he had done wrong but she was clearly unhappy with him.
“Can I see mommy too?” A very soft voice came from the doorway. Ryanne looked up to see a little boy who was the spitting image of her little brother Isaac back home.
“Of course you can Isaac.” Tylander said to the boy. His name is also Isaac. Ryanne thought, she was too stunned to reply. The small boy entered the room and gently got up on the bed with his parents. After pushing past his sister Isaac wrapped his arms around Ryanne. “I missed you so much mommy, but I knew you’d come back. Lunester told me you would.” Isaac whispered in Ryanne’s ear. This isn’t happening Ryanne was going to lose it again, but this time Tylander seemed notice that she was upset. “Hey kids why don’t you head downstairs and see if Surietta has breakfast ready.” Tylander escorted the kids out of the room and turned back to Ryanne. She had tears streaming down her face.
“What’s wrong, baby?” Tylander asked as he rushed to her side. The look on Ryanne’s face changed from upset to angry in a instant.
“What’s wrong? You ask. How can you not know. Are you really that dense?” Ryanne yelled. Tylander froze, he had only seen Ryanne this angry once and that time it wasn’t directed at him. This time it was. Tylander tried to think about what he could have possibly done but he came up blank.
“I’m sorry, Baby. I really don’t know, but if you tell me I will do my best to make it up to you.”
“So you see nothing wrong with telling your children that I’m their dead mother brought back to life? Even if that were possible, I have already told you, and everyone else here, repeatedly that I’m not your wife come back to save you all. Why the hell won’t you people listen to me?” Ryanne’s rant ended with another flood of tears.
Tylander was speechless, how could he possibly make this better for her. She was not accepting anything they were telling her. They were as certain that she was the Ryanne they knew as much as she was certain that she was not. Tylander did the only thing he could think of to comfort her. He crawled up into bed with her and held her while she cried. “Look I know this is tough on you and I’m going to do everything I can to help you through it. I wish I could make it all better.” The one thing he couldn’t give her was the only thing she wanted. To have someone to believe she was not his. He would die before he gave her up again.
* * *
Several hours had passed. Tylander was forced to leave Ryanne in bed as his duties called him away. Now Yelillya stood at the foot of Ryanne’s bed. She did not look happy. “Get out of bed, Ryanne. Right now. We have much to do and I will not let you delude yourself any longer.” Yelillya pulled the covers off Ryanne and started throwing various cloths in her direction. “Surietta has the kids, and we are needed at the temple. You need to reacquire the skills you lost while you were away. Their is no time to dawdle.”
The startled Ryanne began to dress as the hurricane that was Yelillya blew through the room shouting commands. The High Priestess was not used to anyone telling her no, and she was not about to let Ryanne be the first to start. With no other option open to her Ryanne finished dressing and followed Yelillya back to the Temple of Lunester.
Once again they were seated in Yelillya’s office. “OK, Ryanne, Endi tells me that he believes you are the Handmaiden of Lunester. Based on his information and my knowledge of you I’d say he is correct. I have seen you grant gifts from Lunester on several occasions. While I’m not entirely sure how you did it I think I know enough to at least guide you in the right direction.” Yelillya stated, once again holding the rock the other Ryanne had given her.
“I’m only going to say this one more time so I’ll make this as clear as I can. I AM NOT THE HANDMAIDEN. I am also not the ‘Saint Ryanne’ that all you people loved and adored. Do you understand me?” Ryanne stated speaking very clearly to ensure that the High Priestess fully understood what she was saying.
“I hear you and I understand you perfectly. Let me just say I’m so happy you are putting this to rest, we most certainly no longer need to talk about who you are not. Now we can get back to the mater at hand with out all this ‘I’m not the woman you knew’ junk and get back to restoring your lost skills. As the Hand Maiden we have so much we need to do to get you ready.” Yelillya said purposefully misunderstanding Ryanne’s statements. Ryanne sat their staring at Yelillya in complete disbelief. The High Priestess continued as if they were both now on the same page.
“Wait. Yelillya. I just said I’m not the Hand Maiden.”
“I know I heard you. I also thought we were done with this.” Yelillya gave Ryanne an amused smile, “I’ll tell you what, I’ll make a deal with you. You work with me today to try to unlock your abilities. If we discover you have no abilities I will help convince everyone that you are not the Hand Maiden of Lunester. However if we do discover that you have gifts from Lunester, you will have to admit that you are not only the the Hand Maiden but that you are also Tylander’s wife even if you don’t believe it. Do we have a deal?” Yelillya was grinning like a Cheshire Cat as she laid out her deal to Ryanne.
“OK, Yelillya you have a deal.” Ryanne knew she was making a mistake, but Yelillya was offering her a deal she could not refuse. In less than an hour Ryanne was already regretting making her deal with The High Priestess.
* * *
“Your not trying hard enough.” Yelillya scolded. Ryanne was standing in front of a tiny pink haired priestess named Rosheeta.
“I am trying. Its not working” Ryanne was exhausted they had been at this for several hours and her head was pounding.
“Lets try this again. Ryanne I want you to take Rosheeta’s hand and close you eyes.” When Yelillya was certain Ryanne was following her instructions she continued. “Now I want you to clear your mind of everything except Rosheeta. Feel her heartbeat through her fingers. Focus on her heartbeat as if it was your own. Can you feel it.” Yelillya was now standing directly behind Ryanne as she whispered in Ryanne’s ear.
“Yes I feel it.”
“Now ask for Lunester to bless Rosheeta so that she can bring his blessings to others.” Yelillya’s whisper helped the words appear in Ryanne’s head with crystal like clarity. Just before Ryanne could ask for Lunester’s blessings on Rosheeta a wave of dizziness washed over her.
“Lunester,” Ryanne started as she swayed slightly but was able to stay on her feet. “Please bestow your blessings upon Rosheeta so that she might share your blessings with the world.” The dizziness inside Ryanne morphed into invisible streaks of lightning running up and down her whole body. Then suddenly the lightning streaks shot out through Ryanne’s fingertips and into Rosheeta. Once the transfer of power was complete Ryanne let go of Rosheeta’s hand and promptly passed out. Yelillya was barely able to keep her from hitting her head as Ryanne went down.
Yelillya sat on the floor holding Ryanne as she turned her face up to speak to Rosheeta. “So did it work?” She asked. Rosheeta smiled down at the High Priestess. “I think so.” The tiny pink haired woman said. “I feel different. I feel really warm inside.” Rosheeta closed her eyes and searched inside herself for what was different. Suddenly she smiled, and snapped her fingers and opened her palm. Hovering just above her hand was a small ball of flames. “I can create and control fire. I’ve never been able to use fire magic before.” Rosheeta informed Yelillya just as Ryanne opened her eyes.
Yelillya looked down into Ryanne’s eyes. “You know what this mean don’t you?” Yelillya asked Ryanne.
“I means that I’m the Hand Maiden of Lunester.” Ryanne admitted grudgingly.
“And?” Yelillya prompted. Ryanne gave her a dirty look and shook her head in disbelief.
“I guess regardless of what I believe I’m also now Tylander’s wife.” Ryanne buried her face in her hands. She wasn’t sure if she was upset or elated with how this turned out. Yelillya had just gifted her with a reason to stop fighting her attraction to the man claiming to be her husband.
Yelillya helped Ryanne up off the floor before the three of them left the temple to deliver the news to the King.