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Cursed By The Gods | Chapter Two
I woke from my alcohol fueled stupor to a vastly different temple than the one that I had fallen asleep in. I reflected on the crazy dreams I'd had and chuckled to myself as I realized I was sleeping on the altar. As I sat up and swung my legs over the edge I realized that I was dressed in unfamiliar clothes and that at least part of my dream had been true as I winced at the well used feeling of soreness in my ass. Sliding off the altar and standing on my own two feet I looked around and rubbed my eyes with…both hands.
A feeling of dread overcame me as I stared down at the hand at the end of my right arm. The right arm that the night before had only been a stump for the past five years since a barbarian Karcek had removed it for me with an ax in the last battle I'd fought in. This hand was visibly different from the left in that it had none of the scars and calluses I'd earned and it was greenish brown the exact color of the god Jeaza's hair. I began to shake in reaction as I recalled a bit of the conversation I had thought to be a hallucination last night. I remembered each god and goddess laying their hands on me and whispering to me and Jeaza telling me that I would have that which was lost returned to me. I had no clue at the time what he'd meant and now, now I was utterly stupefied.
A loud knock at the door broke me out of the reverie I had fallen into as I tried to wrap my mind around the fact that what I had thought was a hallucination was nothing of the sort. I walked to the doors of the transformed temple to answer the knock when it occurred to me to wonder why they just didn't open the door?
I laid a hand on the door to open it only to be forced to quickly step back as the doors opened towards me in a rush. The town's council of elders had apparently been trying to push open the doors and had fallen at my feet when they opened.
“What are you doing here Lokan?” came the voice of the man least wanted to see, the town's peacekeeper and my former captain, Ateas.
“Ateas” I acknowledged him inwardly cringing at the look of disappointment and disapproval he habitually wore on his face whenever he saw me. As I watched his expression changed to disbelief and astonishment.
He stepped over and around the elders who were intent on untangling themselves and getting back to their feet and grabbed my new hand. Shoving my sleeve up to examine where it joined seamlessly to the rest of my arm its greenish brown coloration fading in to my normal skin tone. “How…” he began before being interrupted by the chief elder.
“Young man what in the name of the five is going on here?” the chief elder Hakem demanded his face getting red.
I answered intelligently. “Huh…”
“Come, come now answer me or face charges.”
“Charges…for what? I asked bewildered at this turn of events.
Hakem grasped the edges of his robes of office and stuck out his chest importantly. “You've obviously been consorting with spirits or devils or some such to have made all these changes over night.” He said waving a hand around vaguely.
Ateas spoke up. “Chief Elder perhaps this is not the best place for this discussion.” He indicated the crowd of onlookers who had gathered and were blatantly listening to their words.
Hakem looked around at the crowd glared and swept out the door calling back to Ateas. “Bring the prisoner to the council chambers and set guards on the doors to keep out the riff raff while we get to the bottom of this.” He strode off without pause the rest of the elders scurrying to catch up with him.
“You've really done it this time Lokan.” He said quietly. Raising his voice Ateas directed four of the guards from the squad waiting outside to take up positions at the doors as he closed shackles around my wrists and dragged me out shutting the temple doors behind us.
Once outside I began to understand why Hakem had accused me of consorting with spirits and devils. The formerly abandoned and crumbling temple had been made with the local gray stone commonly used for buildings. It was now blindingly white in perfect shape and covered in highly polished marble. To say I was surprised was and understatement. My jaw dropped and I crane my head around trying to take in all the details as Ateas dragged me away his grasp secure around my upper arm.
“Lokan” Ateas shook me to get my attention. “What in the name of the five happened last night?”
“Well I was at the drunken Maid and …”
“Wait a moment.” Ateas interrupted and addressed one of the guards. “Go to the Drunken Maid and gather up any witnesses who remember seeing Lokan last night and bring them to the council chambers.” Turning back to me he said. “Continue…no wait. You'd better just tell it once.” He finished a little grimly.
Lowering his voice he said. “I don't know if I can get you out of this, this time Lokan. A few charges of brawling and drunk and disorderly are no problem. But I never figured you'd be the type to call up demons or devils or what ever it is you did just to get your arm back.”
“I didn't.” I hissed back offend and hurt that he thought I would do something like that. Ateas was always a bit of a stuck up prick which was why we hadn't lasted as lovers but I couldn't believe that he thought I'd sunk that low. “Kurtah's balls Ateas you should know better that that.”
I felt a warm tingle rush through me as the confident and sexy voice from last night spoke in my mind.
“Now what brought those particular parts of my anatomy to you mind hmm?”
I looked around wildly hoping against hope that someone had spoken out loud. Have I mentioned that my luck is bad? All bad, every bit of it.
“I wouldn't say that.” I heard the voice again.
I mentally groaned I'm cursed to myself and heard delighted laughter. I groaned again thinking that not only am I cursed and crazy even the voices in my head are laughing at me and causing the laughter I heard in my head to redouble and pick up echoes both feminine and masculine.
I was pulled out of my musings by Ateas' hand on my arm pulling me to a stop in front of the council chambers.