Deck the Djinn
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Marek is stranded on Earth during the Yule season to find himself and be healed. Or face expulsion from his position among the Chakera of Djinn. He knows that he’s flawed, injured by a past he’d rather not face…but perhaps among the people of Earth, Marek will learn that those who face their emotions are the ones who truly learn to master them.Behind Marek’s exile is Tahra Balhan, his beloved. His One. She loves him with a whole heart. Needs a man who can love her through her mortal outburst, and wants that man to be Marek. But she needs to see him healed before she plays that old classic: Deck the Djinn.
“I’m going home.”
Marek spun around at the voice, his gaze resting on the one woman who had the power to destroy him with those words. There, before him, stood the dark-haired beauty that he had hoped would help him find a way to stop the pain within himself. Her cerulean eyes were teary, showing him the depth of her emotions. His body mirrored her pain. “You’re leaving?”
“I’m going home through the portal.” Her voice sounded harsh, but then, somehow he had known that one day this would come. His one, his Tahra, was leaving him. He watched her pick up a packed bag. “Sebastian and Mayri are going back to handle her business and hire more help for the Christmas holidays. I have a deadline to make, and since we’re not getting anywhere, it’s time I go back to my life.”
He bit back the words he wanted to say. “You know, I warned you that I wasn’t easy to understand, and it’d take time.”
“No, Marek. You just need to stop wallowing in the pain and heal thyself. Get over it.” Tahra poked him in the center of his chest. “I’m not Mayri, only her sister, who knows about pain and suffering. Until you free yourself from that pain, you’ll be no good to anyone, even lowly me.”
As she grabbed another small bag, filling it with some small trinkets, he struggled with a response and touched her shoulder.
Without even a glance backwards, Tahra took the two bags and headed out the doors to his suite of rooms. Emptiness and rejection soared within him, clenching his soul and heart. What peace he had found in the last five months was shattered with her exit. Leaning against a dresser, Marek inhaled deeply, fighting for control and failing to stop the worst of emotions from filling his body and soul.
“I’m such an asshole,” he ground out as his body shook with the emotional energy buildup.
“Yes, you are.”
Marek’s gaze sought out Siraen as her voice filled the large bedroom. Did she feel my emotional outburst? Did she sense my lack of control over my emotions? “I mean more than normal, sister mine.”
“I know. She leaves and yet you stand here alone. Instead of going after her, you remain here in your negativity and do nothing to fix what’s happened. Don’t you care about your one?”
“She doesn’t have the pendant.”
“Doesn’t she?” Nadja, his other sister, came through one of the secret doors to his rooms. Her walk held menace and contained anger. “How do you know?”
Marek glared at his sisters, stopping any comment with an upturned hand. “Tahra would’ve said something. She’s never kept secrets from me while she’s been here, and all know the pendant vanished during Bast and Mayri’s wedding.”
“You know for a fact that it vanished? Or are you letting your emotions sway you from logic?” Logron stepped into the room, his short blond hair creating a halo effect around his head.
“Tahra would’ve said.” Marek crossed his arms whilst shooting a glare at Logron.
“She didn’t — to you. She wanted what we all wanted, well, all of us except you,” Siraen continued. Placing a hand on Marek’s arm, she waited until his gaze met hers. “You’ve lost your path, brother mine. You’ve failed your path as the chakera of emotion.”
“Thus, you are to be dealt with in such a way to force you to do your job, or to find your replacement, if such can be found.” Logron’s voice rang clear and strong.
Marek trembled at the words. There is no way Logron can mean what he says. Can he?
“What do you mean?”
Geraint, another brother, sat on the bed, his gaze full of compassion. “On Earth, it’s Yule. You have two weeks to get over yourself and your pain. Today is the last day the portal is open, until the New Year. You are going to Earth, and you’ll either find your path to being the chakera, or you will abdicate.”
“There is no other option anymore. For too long, we’ve pandered to your pain and your slow healing. We know you feel much, Marek,” Nadja explained, resting her head on Geraint’s shoulder. “But this is too long. What’s past is gone; now it’s time to do your job. You’ve let harmful emotions rule you and others in Djinn, and if you don’t heal yourself and others, you’ll lose everything, including Tahra.”
“You can’t mean to banish me from Djinn!” Marek shrugged out of his sister’s grip and turned to face most of his siblings. “That’s not fair. I’m djinn, not genie or jinn!”
“Your behaviour belies that fact. A djinn would never have wallowed like you have,” countered Logron. “You aren’t banished until the time is up. If you’ve not made the right steps to recovery, then we will strip you of your power and find a new chakera of emotion. You have fourteen days.”