I have to give my friend Kerry a shoutout. I was stuck like you wouldn't believe and she helped me brainstorm!
Hope you enjoy!
Jorrin’s eyes swept the room one last time. He smiled to himself as memories flitted through his mind so real it was almost like he’d flashed back in time. No other place would ever be home. But he had to leave.“Jorrin?” Her lilting voice put a smile on his face.“I’m almost ready.” He turned to face his mother, looking down onto her upturned face. She reached for him and he took her hand.Her smile was sad. His magic tingled. He could feel her emotions, as was the nature of his empathic magic, and his heart stuttered. She didn’t want him to go, had even begged him not to, but Jorrin had to find his father.“I wish you wouldn’t do this.” She spoke Aramourian, the language of the elves, and Jorrin had the urge to wince. He would not feel guilty for leaving.He didn’t answer. They’d gone over it plenty of times, and the last thing he wanted before he left was to argue with her. So Jorrin pulled her into his arms. She didn’t fight him, just wrapped her arms around his waist and squeezed him almost too tight.He smiled as he caught a whiff of the floral soap she always used. He held her for a moment. Perhaps he needed it as much as she did.His mother tucked her head against him, barely coming to his chest even at her full height of just past four feet. Her tapered ears were much longer than his and her silken hair flaxen where his was as black as coal. Just like his father, Braedon. Or so he’d been told. He didn’t remember the human father that had left when he was an infant.“Humans not of Aramour will not accept you,” she murmured.“I have to leave, Mother,” Jorrin answered, deliberately not speaking his childhood language.She lifted her head and looked up at him, her delicate brows furrowed. “Nothing will change your mind?”“No.” Again he answered in the common human tongue.Her sapphire eyes welled with tears and Jorrin’s heart clenched. “First I lost your father. Then I lost Hadrian. I can’t lose you, too.”Jorrin rested his hands on her slight shoulders and held her out from his body. “Mother, you won’t lose me.” Her tears spilled over and his emotions swirled. His magic—feeling what she felt—was making this even harder.“You can’t know what will happen. Humans not of this place will not accept you,” she repeated. Her tone was laced with sorrow. Jorrin took a deep breath.“I’ll be fine. I’m going to find Braedon and bring him back.” His mother frowned as she always did when he referred to his father by name.“He will come home when it is safe to do so.” Her mouth was set in a hard line and Jorrin arched a brow. The phrase was not uncommon, but he’d never heard her tone have such an edge. Almost angry.“Mother…I…” He took another breath. “I have to do this. I can’t explain why.”“These people…this…magic took my soul mate away and now they are taking my heart.”Jorrin took both her hands in his and lead her to the small table in the kitchen. The place where they had shared so many meals together—the two of them, family. He slid into the seat across from her, still holding her hands.“I will find him. I promise you that.” His mother swallowed hard at his vow. It looked wrong to see her so unsure, so upset. Her blue eyes, a match to his own, were still misty. Her pale skin flushed pink with emotion he felt as well as saw.“I wish you did not have to leave me to do so.”“Me too, but I will come home.”“I still love him.” Jorrin gave a small smile. Her emotions shifted and he could feel her deep love for his father. He didn’t understand how someone could love so blindly. The man had left—abandoned them—almost twenty turns ago.So why did he have this odd drive to find him? He barely thought about his father. As a child he’d gone from sorrow to bitterness when he’d come to realize that life was about choices, and Braedon had chosen to leave them. Reasons didn’t—or hadn’t—mattered.His mother had never spoken ill of him, either. Jorrin’s feelings regarding Braedon were all self-imposed, self-discovered.“I know,” he whispered. He didn’t have to tell her he didn’t share her feelings. But what did he feel for his father anyway?She patted his hand and flashed a genuine smile. “You will know, truly know someday, love. When you find the one meant for you. Your own soul mate.” He resisted the urge to roll his eyes only because she sounded so sincere. Experience didn’t speak well of matters of the heart and soul.“I should go.”She nodded and caressed his cheek, then brushed his hair from his forehead. “It’s hard for me…you’re not a child anymore. Before me sits a man,” she paused. “You look like him, you know. So much like him.”Jorrin swallowed hard. He’d heard it many times before, from friends, family, everyone in their clan. He didn’t want to hear it from her. He stood and hugged her again.“I love you, Jorrin.”“I love you, too.”They separated without a word and he lifted his leather bag, slinging it over his shoulder. It had everything he’d take with him in it. Not only things he needed, but several belongings he couldn’t leave behind. He headed for the door. He couldn’t be there anymore. It was now or never. He had to go.“Jorrin?”“Yes?” He glanced at her over his shoulder, his hand on the doorknob.His mother stood in the small kitchen as she always had when he’d gotten home, a smile on her ethereal face. His heart stuttered as he felt her acceptance, her understanding of what he had to do.“Man or not, you’ll always be my child.”Jorrin smiled and gave a curt nod. Grayna, his mare, was waiting for him in the courtyard. It was time to ride.
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