Finding Home

Ronon has to decide where his home truly lies - with a blue-eyed doctor or a village claiming to be his people.

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14. 14

Ronon unholstered his gun and checked to make sure the weapon was set to stun before following the narrow path. Being ever vigilant, he slowly weaved his way through the dark forest heading towards the faint duet of wind chimes and singing that his keen hearing had picked up.

After a half mile or so, the trail became a bit easier for Ronon's hulking frame to navigate. The trees and underbrush gradually thinned out. Pale shafts of sunlight gently caressed the rough peeling bark of the ancient living sentinels as it filtered down to the forest floor. Where darkness had loomed, brightness now governed – gone was the dreary feeling and stench of decay. To Ronon the forest once again offered a far more welcoming tone.

A little over a mile later, the path finally ended at the edge of a somewhat secluded clearing. As a precaution, Ronon stayed in the shadows while surveying the area.

Timber-land encircled the glen. Lush grass and wildflowers swayed gracefully back and forth in the gentle wind. Bees made their way from flower to flower gathering sweet nectar. While birds dipped, zigged and zagged through the air performing aerial acrobatics. Hundreds of dragon flies and other insects swarmed the area, darting all about, trying to avoid being snatched up by the ravenous dive bombing birds.

Just a few yards from Ronon, a shallow brook cut a winding track through the small narrow valley and disappeared further down the tree line. The unhurried movement of the brook was only hampered by the smooth river stones that unsuccessfully tried to block its determined path. The sound was a relaxing one. The water's pacifying song seemed to meld perfectly with the sporadic pings of the silver-toned wind chimes and the sweet-sounding voice of a woman.

Ronon felt a sense of inner peace wash over him, which had the beast within baring its teeth and growling softly. Closing his eyes, he mentally shook off the feeling. Focusing once again on the task at hand, he continued scanning the area.

Ronon noticed on the opposite side of the stream, further back, was nestled a tiny cottage. The exterior was a hodge-podge color of stone – light greys and dark browns with a few pale yellows peppered throughout for good measure. The roof was in need of some repair though. Ronon had spotted several holes in the thatched roof that required some type of container to catch the leaks whenever it rained. The cottage shutters and door were painted a brilliant red. The latter was swung wide open – giving the impression that any and all may enter.

Dark green ivy crept up the south side of the house – the side closest to the stream. The foliage clung to the stone wall, as if trying to consume the structure - trying to make the cottage its own. A stone walkway trailed from the stream to the open door. Wisps of smoke came from a blackened chimney on the opposite side of the house. He could smell food cooking. Someone definitely lived here.

Behind the cottage, Ronon caught sight of a rather large garden. A primitive fence - made up of saplings - surrounded it. The six foot poles crisscrossed each other and seemed to be used for an ornamental purpose rather than a functional one. The fence barely, if at all, protected the garden.

Turning his attention to locating the source of the singing, Ronon's hand gripped the handle of his gun a bit tighter. His brows knitted into a scowl. The late summer breeze played with two wind chimes. One hung from the eaves of the cottage and the other from a branch of a shade tree that grew near the cottage.

Those freaking chimes! He wanted nothing more than to shoot those damn hollow clanging tubes. Such an annoying sound, Ronon thought. He was still debating whether or not to flip his gun from stun to blast, when the source of the singing - which had now dwindled down to a soft hum - appeared.

A young woman, close to his sister's age, walked from behind the cottage. A produce laden basket was braced upon her shapely hip. The warrior watched as her dainty bare feet carried her and her burden to a weathered work bench situated under the shade tree.

Still hidden from sight, Ronon watched closely as she went about her business sorting through the vegetables, oblivious of being watched.

He regarded her with care - wondering if this was the Vi'denus his sister mentioned this morning. This woman was unlike any Satedan witch he had heard of and definitely was not the one he had visited all those years ago.

She wore a sleeveless dress that barely fell to her slim ankles and absolutely left nothing to the imagination. The pale blue material gently hugged her curves while the low-cut neckline – which fell open slightly – had her top-half nearly spilling out of the damn dress. A leather belt - which sported a small sheathed dagger - was cinched around her waist.

Ronon heard a soft jingling sound as she walked. He narrowed his eyes when he realized more damn chimes. This time though the annoyance was created by countless little sea shells sewn onto the dress. Strands of tiny shells also adorned her loose rich-copper tresses. Her thick hair cascaded in waves about her slender shoulders and down her back.

As she worked, the woman softly hummed a melody that was both soothing and haunting to Ronon. A melody that seemed to brush across his soul. And as she hummed, the gentle wind accompanied her by touching the wind chimes and urging them to sing along. The melody and mood of the tinkling ornaments seemed to match that of the woman – alluring, serene, and beautiful.

After her task was complete, she placed both hands on her hips; then, leaning backwards, she stretched trying to relieve the stiffness in her back. Her rich-copper hair slid well past her ass as she tilted her heart-shaped face up to the sky - arching her slender neck gracefully. Ronon shook his head and looked down at the ground – pissed at himself for getting sucked in by her beauty.

It certainly did not go unnoticed to Ronon how beautiful this woman was. This Vi'denus. This witch. He looked back up at where she stood. It was the way she carried herself – regal and self-assured – that gave her an air of power. And that, to Ronon, seemed more dangerous than the dagger she possessed.

The anger, the fear, his instinct - that which was Ronon's inner beast - rumbled its disdain for the Vi'denus. The beast felt something the man did not quite yet understand and was loath to share.

Deciding enough was enough, Ronon left the shadows and silently walked up behind the young woman. Standing no more than a few feet from her he was about to make his presence known when she unexpectedly turned to face him. Staring right at him, she did not seem frightened at all.

The woman's warm honey-colored eyes peered at him through long dark lashes. Tiny black swirls were tattooed near the corners of her eyes. The twin designs started at the corner of her eyes and ended just below the apples of her cheeks. The black tattoos along with her coppery red hair contrasted to her flawless porcelain skin.

Fearlessly standing in front of the towering Satedan warrior, the young witch raised a brow when Ronon growled his annoyance at the wind chimes hanging in the tree.

Her soft laughter had him quickly looking back at her. The coldness in his stare did not phase her a bit.

In a silky voice she pointed out, "The tones of the chimes call to those who are in need of my services." - her voice completed her beauty, he thought as she went on.

"They also help keep darkness and evil at bay." Turning back to her work she continued, "I believe, however, the chimes call and annoy you at the same time." She laughed again, "What an absolutely wonderful conundrum that makes for you!"

When she had turned once again to face him, she held up to her mouth a perfect red apple. Looking at him, she hesitated for a moment. It was as if she were trying to figure out a complex puzzle in record time. Finally she asked, "May I help you in some way warrior or did you just come here to stare at me?" The witch took a bite of the sweet fruit and waited.

Ronon narrowed his eyes, he did not know what to make of this woman. He wanted to ask her about the dream, get whatever answers he could and then be gone from here. Be gone from this non-existent planet. To go back home. Back to Jennifer.

"I'm here to seek advice from the Vi'denus.", he said looking towards the open door of the cottage, expecting any minute now for an older woman to appear.

"I am Vi'denus", she informed.

"No...the one I seek is older...much older", he said shaking his head.

She frowned.

Looking away, she replied, "That would be my mother or would had been. She left for the next realm a summer past. She is dead."

Running his hand over his face, Ronon turned to look out at the forest. He had hoped that this was the same Vi'denus from years past. It might well have been, but there was no way to know now. No way for him to get absolution for not listening to her prophecy. For not keeping Melena from getting killed. Guilt weighed on him even more.

Getting ready to leave, he felt a gentle touch on his arm. Turning, the young woman stood at his side. With a genuine smile upon her lovely face she said, "I can help you with your dream if you will let me, Ronon."

With that said, she turned and walked into the cottage. She did not glance back to see if he followed her. Of course he did.

If not to get to sort out his dream she thought then to find out how the hell she knew his name.

A sly smile pulled at the corners of her mouth. Soon they would each get what they both were in search of.

Night was soon coming.

And soon all would be as it should.

Would love to hear from you. And thanks for reading!

~DW~

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