A/N: A Very Happy Christmas to all my readers!
“I take it I can’t feed her enough?” Andrew said.
“In these circumstances, no,” Ystelyan said. “Because the connection between our physical selves and our essence is damaged, it takes far more energy than it should for us to recover from injuries. She’ll need to feed a great deal to recover from this – and I’ll have to restrain her from killing them.” He paused and gave Andrew a smile. “But if you’re willing to let her feed on you, it would help. You’ll have to trust me to stop her, though, as she isn’t able to restrain herself without my help at the moment.”
Andrew swallowed nervously. “Naria trusts you and I trust her judgement.” He reached down, took Naria’s hand and gently began pouring energy into her.
Naria gave a gasp and he felt her begin to tear at his energy again, trying to pull it in faster. He blocked her resolutely and continued his controlled flow as Ystelyan took her other hand.
“No, Naria,” Ystelyan said firmly. “Control yourself. You don’t want to hurt Andrew.”
“I can’t,” she whimpered. “I’m trying, my mirian, but I need more.”
“You can,” he said. “You’ve got more control than anyone I’ve ever met. And there will be more soon but you have to control yourself. You don’t want to kill anyone.” He smiled over at Andrew. “And you have a knack for energy manipulation, it seems.”
“What do you mean?”
“Feeding her and blocking her from taking more at the same time is not an easy feat.”
Andrew frowned at him before turning back to Naria and closing his eyes to concentrate on the threads of energy between him and Naria. After a moment he realised that most of it was being lost before it even reached her. “Hey! She’s leaking!”
“I know,” Ystelyan said. “It’s because you’re feeding her rather than her taking it.”
“It’s easier for you to take energy than retain energy that’s given?” Andrew asked. “That sucks.” He laid his forehead against the fingers of her hand and stopped trying to push his energy into her while allowing her to take some of energy.
The difference in the amount of energy reaching her was immediately obvious, but it was a little harder to control how much she was taking. After a few moments, Naria managed to get herself under control with Ystelyan’s help and stopped trying to tear at his energy. Andrew let her keep taking energy until his head went woozy and began to shake, at which point he gently pinched the connection closed. “I think that’s all I can afford to give you, Nari. Sorry.”
“I think you’re right.” She gave him a tremulous smile. “But you gave me more than I expected. Thank you.” She laid her head on his shoulder. “Are you sure you’re ok?”
“I’ll be fine.”
Just then, Lyrrekka and Kyle returned with her daughters and dragons. Mia immediately ran over to Ystelyan and bowed.
“Ystelyan-mirian, I believe Naria needs feeding. I am at your disposal.”
Ystelyan looked at her in surprise, then turned to Lyrrekka questioningly. She was staring at her adopted daughter in surprise as well.
“Mia is old enough to make her own decisions about such things,” she said. “Though I do approve.”
“Good.” Ystelyan gave Mia a thoughtful look. “You’re not mature yet, young lady, so we’ll channel your energy through me to be double sure that Nari doesn’t take too much.” He held out his hand to her and she took it without hesitation.
Andrew was still watching the energy flows as Ystelyan gently siphoned away Mia’s energy while allowing Naria to take it from him. After only a few moments, the goblin girl started swaying on her feet and he released her hand.
“That’s enough, I think,” he said. “Thank you.”
“Yes, thank you,” Naria said. “I owe you.” She looked over at Ystelyan. “I still need more.”
“I know,” he said. “Rill is gathering volunteers and will be here soon.”