The Shadowlands were so barren and bare that the very air Donella and the EGS were breathing was heavy and close to being toxic. “How can those Mages live here?” An EGS said. “That poor little girl- - -”
“Shut up!” Donella snapped. “We need to hurry!”
Invisible they made their way to where Donella knew Nightshade had Arabella. She knew he would never lead her and the EGS to his palace, instead it was to Gihen prison they were headed. ’My daughter sealed her fate behind those walls.
’ Donella thought bitterly. I will not fail you Arabella.
Up the walls they scaled and any Mage guards they immobilized on sight. Donella focused all her power on finding Arabella by tapping into her energy. Elves could always find a family member by their energy patterns, colors, or strength. Donella saw coming out of the cracks in a doorway a faint yellow energy. Arabella!
She thought in relief.
Donella opened the door, still invisible and saw Arabella tucked in tight in a large bed. Nightshade sat on the edge and gazed down at her. Donella recognized the look on his face, the same one she had the first time she held Arya. He gently reached out and stroked Arabella’s long black hair and moved it away from her face. He suddenly turned and stared to where invisible Donella stood.
“So you came? Where is my daughter? Did she not come as well?” He asked, almost hopefully.
“No you sick bastard. I made her stay behind. Your daughter? BULLSHIT! I’ve raised her from the day she was born. I’ve sat by her side when she got sick, instructed her, trained her, I was there when she took her first steps, babbled Mama
for the first time, I’ve had to tell her why she has no father, when she lost that baby girl I was there to help her and now she knows you’re her father! I’ll never tell her I’m not her mother, she’d be so disturbed and she’d be so hurt. She’s my daughter Nightshade because I love her.”
“YOU?! You made her life Hell for centuries! I had every intention of taking care of your daughter and our child. I wanted them, they were my family and I loved them. We planned to move away, live on our own away from Elves and Mages and raise our daughter until she was able to rule as a just and wise queen over Elves and Mages alike. But you ruined it!!”
"I had no choice!" Donella screamed, already visible again she stormed to the bed and would have killed Nightshade but a tiny voice said, "Grammy!"
Nightshade and Donella both stopped and stared at Arabella. Nightshade leaned down and asked, "Hey kiddo. Are you okay? That vision really upset you didn't it?"
"I'm okay...Grandfather." Arabella said. She saw the pain in Donella's face at that, pushed back her covers and went over and embraced Donella. "Na'Atara, can we go home now?"
"You can, I'm staying to end this." Donella said sadly and hugged Arabella tightly.
"No, you're coming too." Arabella said firmly.
Suddenly there was a brilliant flash of light and once more the Goddess revealed herself. Nightshade starred wide eyed in awe. Donella dropped to her knees and bowed. Only little Arabella was not afraid. "Milady." She said formally.
Goddess Aventis smiled sadly at Arabella and looked at Nightshade and then at Donella. "Huilome, I offer you a trade. Arabella's future second born, Arianna for the life of Donella Undomna."
“WHAT!?” Donella screeched, “HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT?”
“Because without Arabella following her predestined path the future that Aries knows will cease to exist, and for that to happen Donella you must continue to live your life and Arabella must live in the Elvin lands not here. I’m sorry Huilome, but Arabella cannot stay with you.”
“All I ever wanted was a family and because of this woman” he said pointing to Donella, “I will never have that now. I loved Arya, my daughter, and my grandkids, but because of that bitch over there I never got that chance with them.” Nightshade was almost in tears while saying this, but he held them back.
“I know and I’m sorry Huilome, but you would have lost Arya whether she stayed with you or not.” Aventis said to the stunned Nightshade
“Wha-what do you mean I would have lost her anyway?”
“Arya was a Fire Tongue.”
“She was! But that’s impossible there hasn’t been a Fire Tongue in our family for over a hundred years how is it that she ended up being one.” Donella was flabbergasted
“It was her destiny; I had no control over it.”
“Wait a minute, wait a minute.” Everyone looked at Nightshade, “What is a Fire Tongue?”
Donella glared at him, “I thought you knew everything about our history Nightshade I guess I was wrong.” She said smugly, Nightshade glared right back at her
“A Fire Tongue is an elf that has ultimate control over Fire. It is their heart and soul and gives them great power. But it is much different than normal Fire Speaking.” Aventis explained
“What’s the difference?” Nightshade asked eager to learn why he couldn’t save his beloved
“If a Fire Tongue has sex she will crave it until she becomes pregnant and if she gets pregnant there is a very high chance that her child will die as well as the mother who is 100% certain to die in birth, but Arya was a special baby and it was a miracle that she lived.”
“You mean because we did- you know- that she died and my daughter could have died as well.”
“That’s right you no good pig you killed my daughter and almost killed my granddaughter.”
“But without me your granddaughter wouldn’t have been born in the first place.”
“ENOUGH!” Aventis yelled at the two bickering magical beings, “Stop this meaningless fighting, neither of you could have done anything for her. Now stop bickering like children. Now Huilome do except this offer?” Aventis looked at Nightshade, her eyes bore into him.
He sighed knowing that there was no way out of this deal whether he liked it or not. Even if he didn’t agree to this transaction the Goddess had the power to make him agree.
“WHAT!” Donella turned to Aventis, “Goddess don’t do this please my life is not worth the life of a child’s.”
“Donella for the future to stay exactly as it is you must live; besides it is not your time.”
“BUT I CAN’T LIVE ANOTHER DAY WITHOUT MELOC I NEED TO BE WITH HIM AGAIN!” It was now that Donella broke down in tears, Arabella rushed to her side and held her great grandmother gently rocking her back in forth in an attempt to sooth her.
Aventis walked over to Donella and Arabella, she crouched down so she was at eye level with the two Elvin women. Aventis lifted Donella’s face up so she could see her tear stricken face.
“Hush now my child you will see your mate again, but you are still needed here with your family.” The Goddess stood up and looked at Nightshade, “Huilome I know this is all so unfair to you, but do not fret you will see Arya again soon and if it’s any consolation to you she misses you too.”
“Yes, she is with me in the stars and speaks of you quite often. When she was alive Arya was exceedingly fond of you despite what her Mother thinks, and Donella” Donella looked up at Aventis, “Meloc misses you too and wishes me to tell you to stop living in the past and live your life and that he loves you very much.”
“So he is also with you and Arya in the stars.”
“Yes, and he is always watching over you as well as me and Arya” Aventis turns toward Nightshade, “Huilome you will grant them safe passage back to their lands and in return you will receive the life of Arianna Undomna.”
“As agreed Goddess” he said with a bow, he knew better then to anger a Goddess
“Good- bye my children remember we will always be with you.” And in a bright white light Aventis disappeared back to her home in the stars.