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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20. 20

All thoughts and images went through Ronon's mind within a span of micro-seconds. Time itself seemed to coast to an agonizing crawl as he assessed the situation unfolding before him.

Ronon witnessed Dusana holding the gun with both hands. The muzzle of the weapon positioned under her chin while tears fell from her soulful eyes.

He witnessed her whole body tremble as her slender finger slipped off the trigger guard and come to curl around the trigger itself.

He witnessed her take in a shaky breath – a breath to summon the courage and strength to finish her purpose. A shaky breath to still her nerves and try to bury the fear that he knew she felt. The fear of desperation - of hopelessness – of that pivotal moment in one's life when there is no other way out.

Ronon remembered during his seven year ordeal as a runner when he had been in that same exact position of hopelessness - seeing no way out. Wanting to give up; wanting to end it all just to have some sort of peace. But he never went through with it, of course.

Because during those dire moments, unbeknownst to Ronon, his newly acquired inner beast would always come to the forefront and take control. The beast would not allow the warrior to end both their lives; no matter how hopeless things seemed at the time.

Knowing Dusana harbored no such entity to stop her, Ronon took it upon himself to act as her protective beast for the moment.

Pure adrenaline kicked in and instinct took over. He acted without thought. Within an instant, Ronon was standing before the distraught woman, close enough now to grab the barrel of the gun.

Just mere seconds before she pulled the trigger to end her own life, he managed to redirect the weapon's aim.

Having been set to kill, the gun's discharge blasted a rather large hole in the thatched roof instead of the intended mortal target of the witch's pretty little head. Debris lightly rained down from the roof; dusting them both with bits of dry grass and slivers of wood.

Sensing its assistance was no longer needed, the beast slowly sank into the darkness of Ronon's soul. But before curling in upon itself – becoming once again dormant – it gave a dissatisfied-snort at the outcome. The witch still lived.

Dusana was still gripping the gun while Ronon held fast to the barrel. He disarmed her by roughly twisting the gun from her grasp.

His hand hurt like hell! It stung from having contact with the barrel of the large powerful weapon when Dusana got a shot off. While rubbing the palm of his hand against his thigh, Ronon forcefully slammed the gun back into its holster with his other hand.

Standing facing Ronon, Dusana's eyes were wide with shock and disbelief. The great warrior that she had planned to seduce for her own selfish reasons had just saved her life. From the time she positioned the gun under her chin to when Ronon holstered the weapon, no more than a few seconds had passed, but for Dusana it felt like an eternity.

Uttering a few choice colorful words under his breath, Ronon glared down at the witch from his towering height.

At the look he gave her, the young woman crumpled to the floor at his feet much like a marionette when the puppeteer would let loose of the doll's controlling strings.

In whimpering tones, Dusana begged him for mercy.

Ronon frowned down at her. What the hell was going on. First she was going to kill herself. And when he prevented it, she's begging for mercy.

Maybe he should had let her complete her task.

Getting frustrated by the whole ordeal, Ronon reached down and none to gently hauled her to her feet. She was shaking so badly that he could literally hear her teeth rattled in her head. Was she upset from the failed suicide attempt or was it something totally different.

Determined to get some answers, he guided her over to the table and commanded her to sit in the chair she had occupied earlier. Dusana instantly obeyed. Her hands were folded in her lap, her head bowed.

Long strands of her copper hair shielded her face from his view, however, he could hear her sniffling and on occasion she would raise a trembling hand to wipe away tears from her cheeks.

Ronon started to pace back and forth in front of Dusana.

His mind raced. There were questions to be asked and answered, but glancing at the woman now sitting so docile, he knew that his former tactics would be of no use. She would just become hysterical all over again.

Ronon took a step back and examined the situation in a more calm manner instead of a military strategic one.

Stopping to stand in front of the witch, who still visibly shook, Ronon slowly knelt down on one knee. He rested his tattooed forearm upon his left leg. He didn't want to frighten her so he moved cautiously.

There were forces at work here that was beyond his understanding, and this woman was the key to unlocking the mystery.

He raised his hand to place over her trembling ones. She instantly pulled back from his touch. Understandable, not but a few minutes ago his hand was wrapped around her throat choking the life out of her.

"Shhhh...I will not harm you. My word as a warrior. On my honor." He said in his soothing, gravelly voice.

Her honey-colored eyes peered up at him through a thin curtain of copper hair, then quickly back down.

"I am sorry...so sorry...if I had known." she softly whispered.

Again he tried to gently place his hand upon both hers.

A small gasp escaped her lips, but she did not jerk away this time. His large hand - warm and callused - covered both her hands which were ice cold.

Taking a few steady breaths, Ronon asked "I need to know what Ti'La Dhulsa - Sacred Soul - is and what that has to do with me."

Silence.

Carefully he reached up to brush her hair from her face so that he could see her expression. Eyes still downcast she was biting her bottom lip. Ronon tucked a few strands of hair behind her ear so that he could keep an eye on her face.

She stiffened.

"Shhhh...It's okay. I will not harm you."

He swore she gave a little snort at that statement.

Ronon looked at the bruises upon her neck. They had already started turning a deep purple. And on her arms he saw the imprints of his fingers.

He was beginning to feel guilty about being so rough with her. He felt bad about nearly choking her to death. He had let the beast have more control over him than ever before. Ronon had nearly lost all control. He had needed Jennifer's presence to calm him - to calm and control the beast. He had needed her.

With the thought of Jennifer, a slight pain centered in his chest. Ronon grimaced and placed his hand over the slight pain.

The witch looked up seeing this and whispered, "You have already found the other."

Seeing his confused look as he continued to rub his chest, she continued, "I saw her in your dream. The woman with hair the color of gold and eyes as blue and clear as a mountain lake."

"She is your other. She is your Ti'La Arccusi. Your Sacred Heart.

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