Channelers and the Men Who Love Them
Episode Twelve – Open Your Eyes
Siuan couldn’t take it anymore. She had to ask. “What, exactly, happened that night…with…us?”
Cadsuane opened one eye briefly to glance at her. “You got drunk and thought you were a bumble bee. You proceeded to strip naked and pour honey all over yourself. Before anyone could stop you, you ran off into the night. Rand found you in his bed and we tried to get you to leave to no avail. Every time we touched you, you tried to throw a fireball at us. Eventually, we gave up and just went to sleep.”
The eye opened again. “What did you think happened?”
Moiraine almost didn’t recognize her: Elayne had waltzed onto the terrace as regal, and slender, as she had been pre-Rand. There was also a too tall, too dark, and too handsome young man escorting her. Moiraine stood in greeting.
“I’m glad you could come, Elayne. It has been a long time.”
Without saying a word, Elayne took a seat and motioned for the young man to stand beside her.
Forcing a smile, Moiraine poured some tea for them both. “How are the twins?”
“How would I know? They’re with their father,” Elayne made a grand showing of sniffing the tea. “Look, Raul and I-“
“Yes…Raul and I, only came to your tea party to make one thing clear: I shall have Cairhien back.”
“I told you before that Cairhien is not some doll you can play with.”
“I am not playing! If you don’t hand over-“
“Hand over? I’m sorry. But just because you lost weight and gained a lover, doesn’t mean you can go around conquering the world. Cairhien was in shambles when you pushed the crown on me: Rape and murder happening right on the Palace steps. If you think, for one tenth of a second, that I’m just going to “hand over” my country to you, you are very much mistaken. Now. If you would please return home.”
“You’ll live to regret this, Moiraine.”
“If you don’t leave my sight in five seconds, it is you who will be doing the regretting.”
Although Mat liked to think himself a genius, it didn’t take one to see that Moiraine was upset. His wife was pacing a hole in the carpets, and had burned several portraits. The few survivors looked to be that of Elayne.
“I had no idea you had so many images of your niece.”
“Her last gift to Cairhien; I found them in a cache. Matrim, sit down.”
Once seated, Moiraine began to tell Mat about the afternoon’s events. As Moiraine’s voice became higher, Mat’s mood became darker. He had decided to forgive Elayne for throwing him in jail, but this… To be rude and unkind to his wife, the mother of his child, was a different matter. This was not something he could easily forgive nor forget.
“I best get the Hand ready, don’t you think?”
“Where is Siuan?”
“She ain’t here.”
“I can see that, Cadsuane. I did not ask where she isn’t, I asked where she is.”
The elder Aes Sedai barely glanced at Moiraine, which infuriated her even more. She had come to the inn hoping a talk with Siuan would settle her nerves. Not to discover a scene from her nightmares: Rand, Cad, and Baby.
“Will you…please…tell me where she is?”
“Oh…all right,” Cadsuane gave an exaggerated sigh. “She has been sent to Tar Valon to face murder charges. I believe Elaida is already there. With any luck they’ll be dungeon mates. Ha, ain’t that right, Rand?” Rand was busy making cooing noises and seemed not to hear. “Yes, well. That’s where she is. Now leave.”
Moiraine did just that, and had all ready Traveled back to the Capitol before realizing the Queen of Cairhien had just been dismissed by a senile old woman.
She wasn’t sure if she should feel complimented or insulted at having an attractive gleeman point at her. After a little thought, she settled on insulted. “I beg your pardon? Just who are you to point at me?”
The man drew himself up. “Who am I? I am Joar Addam Nessosin! The greatest of great composers!”
“Funny. Never heard of you.”
“…Then you may call me…Asmodean! Mayhap you have heard of me now?”
“The Forsaken who got himself killed before the Last Battle even started? I wouldn’t go around admitting that if I were you.”
“Just a thought.”
“Well,” Asmodean gave his hair an unnecessary flourish. “I heard about how you died. Not quite heroic either, I must say.”
She was tempted to sniff, but stopped herself. “I wish not to speak of that incident with the likes of you. What do you know of being a hero?”
“I’ll have you to know both my Aes Sedai and lover call me that whenever I leave them.”
“Your Aes Sedai?”
“Yes, I refuse to call her Bond Mistress no matter how much she begs.” Asmodean seemed to realize he had said too much and turned purple. “Forget you just heard that.”
“Forget that I heard the ‘Great Asmodean‘ admit to being a Warder? Oh I think not.”