Here is the last part of Kaled's story. I intend to keep going with it, but this is all I have written so far, and I think I need a break. heh
Kaled moved his things back into his old room so Khaotic could have as much quiet as possible, but he usually stayed near her, sitting next to the bed, holding her hand if she was awake or just watching her while she slept. He cared for her meticulously, changing her bandages as needed, feeding her, and bathing her. He was very careful to handle her gently, touching her as little as possible, always afraid of waking memories of the terrible things she had endured.
Under his care, Khaotic soon was well enough to sit up, staying awake for longer periods of time. The first day she managed to feed herself was treated as a celebration. However, as she became more alert, Kaled began seeing the signs he feared. She still needed assistance to bathe or dress, and while he kept contact as brief as possible, she would still become very agitated until he was finished and stood away. At times she couldn’t stand his presence in the same room as her, and would ask him to leave her be for awhile, with an almost manic look lurking deep in her eyes. When this happened Kaled would leave the room immediately, waiting to return until she called. After weeks of this, just when he thought his sanity was slipping, Khaotic began to be more relaxed around him. Soon she stopped asking him to leave her, and they spent hours just sitting and talking together.
Kaled told her of some of the adventures he had had after she had left, and she laughed as he made them more and more wild and outrageous. And finally, one afternoon as they sat outside enjoying the last hours of sun, she reached out and took his hand, pulling him close until they were leaning on each other. They sat with their arms around each other, while Khaotic laid her head on his chest, and Kaled wept silently in relief as he held her. That night after helping her into bed, more out of habit than need, she grabbed his hand as he turned to leave. “Stay with me, tonight?” she asked softly. As she fell asleep in his arms, he was finally able to release all his fears.
Khaotic had been struggling with herself while she recovered. At times when Kaled had been close, his worried, kind face had been replaced by a rough, leering one, the face of one of her captors. She tried each time to banish the memories, reminding herself that this was Kaled, her Kaled, and he would never harm her. It took weeks for her to find the nerve to ask him to stay. The loneliness during her healing, when he could hardly touch her for the pain it caused her, had almost driven her mad. Finally being in his arms was like returning home at last. He only held her, nothing more, and for now, that was enough.
It was still several days before she was ready for anything more, but when she was ready, she managed to surprise them both. She didn’t go to sleep, after, but snuggled at his side, gently tracing the new scars on his chest with her fingers. Kaled captured her hand in his, intertwining his fingers with hers. “I thought you were dead,” he murmured. “I didn’t want to go on with my life. But now I’m glad I did.” She felt his smile more than saw it, and smiled in return. “I knew you’d come after me, even at the worst. That’s what helped me stay alive, through all the pain, fear and anger,” she replied softly.
“They came just before dawn, when we were breaking our camp and setting out. I remember I was about to call the sentries in, when it seemed these humans were everywhere. They had come right in the middle of camp and we never noticed in the dark. I saw two of my lieutenants struck down right before me, then I killed their murderers.” Her voice had turned hard, flat. “We fought them to the last. Vhid was run through by two men with spears while trying to defend me. I think they cooked and ate him that first night. When there were only maybe ten of us left standing, something struck my head. I awoke hours later trussed like a pig for slaughter. Then the real nightmare began.”
Kaled felt her shudder as she brought up the painful memories. He didn't stop her, even though he wanted to; he knew she had to talk about it, to complete her healing. “At first they just questioned us, but none of us could or would answer. Then the torture started. I think after that, they enjoyed it so much they just forgot the questions. The first human forced me on the third day, after beating me almost senseless; the second one came that night. After that it seemed they just stood in line, for me and the others. It went on for weeks. Then it just stopped. I think I remember short men with wild beards coming and chasing the humans off. Some of them cleaned me up and moved me to a wagon, and everything after that is just a haze, I was in so much pain. But I kept thinking of you, love, and watching for you to come.” Kaled didn’t answer, except to hug her closer.
Khaotic returned to her former self in good time, but she was still missing something very badly. Her pets were gone, Gulhalrathn to the tauren Toorambar and Vhid butchered by the human mercs. She loved Kaled with all her being, but she missed having an animal companion. Kaled was aware of this, so when he found a yearling dragonhawk with a torn wing, he immediately thought of her and took it home. Khaotic quickly joined him in the stable while he tended to the wound, with Ashke laying on the small body and gently licking its ear. They both looked up and moved away when she entered. She looked at the young thing, something intensely powerful shining in her eyes, then crouched down next to it and began crooning softly. The frightened ‘hawk lay very still for several minutes, then wriggled closer to her, stuck its head under her hand, and sighed and went to sleep. Kaled, smiling to himself, knelt down next to her, and she looked at him with brimming eyes. “Her name is Maelthra,” she said softly, and he nodded, then reached out and hugged them both.
The winter passed quietly and spring came again. One warm spring day, Khaotic came out of the house to find Kaled out at the creek near the house, cleaning up some dishes. Maelthra was sunning herself nearby, with Ashke, who had become mildly obsessed with her, lying next to her licking her head. Khaotic walked past them to stand and watch Kaled. He wasn't wearing a shirt, and the scars he had gotten fighting in Alterac were clearly visible. She still could hardly believe he had come after her, despite his dislike of war. She thought the scars just made him more handsome. He soon noticed her and left what he was doing to walk up to her, smiling as he saw the expression on her face. “A copper for your thoughts, love,” he said. Khaotic just smiled wider, then grew serious for a moment. “Would you want to get married?” she asked. Kaled blinked, then his eyes searched her face carefully. “What brought this on?” he asked. Khaotic just shook her head, still waiting for an answer. Kaled moved behind her and wrapped his arms around her. “Yes, yes, and yes again. When?” he said. “As soon as possible,” she replied immediately. “This spring?” He nodded into her hair. “As soon as it can be arranged.” She turned around in his arms, hugging him tight and kissing him quick and hard. Then she pulled back, with a mischievous grin, and gestured back to the house. He laughed, then chased her as she ran back inside.
They held the ceremony two months later. They kept it small and private, since it was held at their house. Kaled finally got to meet Khaotic’s parents. All of their friends from Silvermoon were there as well. And the young hunter Toorambar came, though he wisely left Gulhalrathn at home, bringing instead a smallish hyena that he introduced as Ahanu. The party after the ceremony went on all afternoon and well into the night. The celebrants never even noticed when Kaled and Khaotic slipped into the house by themselves. When they exited the next morning, they found a couple of their friends and one inebriated tauren still in their yard, passed out.
Late in the afternoon they finally had the grounds cleaned up and all the celebrants gone back to their homes. All but one, that is. As Kaled and Khaotic let the animals out for one last run, Toorambar approached them. Kaled motioned for him to say what was on his mind. Tooram fidgeted a bit, the blurted out, "Kaledain, would you possibly mentor me? You've become my hero, and I want to learn from you." Kaled stared at him in surprise as Khaotic grinned and squeezed his arm. "Well, yeah, sure, if you're sure that's what you want to do," he replied when he had recovered. Tooram grinned back and said, "By the Earthmother, I do! I already brought everything I need, do you have a place for me or should I find a room in the city?" Khaotic butted in. "We have a room, though it might seem small to you." "Great!" replied the tauren. "I'll send for Gul then, if you don't mind, and gather my gear." As he trudged off, Khaotic wrapped her arms around Kaled's waist, laying her head on his shoulder. "I think you've come full circle now, love," she said softly. "Once a shy student, and now the teacher. I am so proud of you." And as the sun set on the beach, she pulled his head down and kissed him.
And now, did anyone see this coming?
Yep, I remade Khaotic. She's on my second account, so Kaled will be running her thru stuff to help her level. Just got her to 10 and tamed her pet, so I might do Ragefire for awhile. Already planning out a MM/Surv build for her, I want to see how that goes with a full BM hunter like Kaled.
Just what I needed, another hunter. ;)
P.S. Why, oh why does Blizzard feel the need to make all chest armor look like bikini-tops on female toons? :P