Sweet Betrayal

Chapter Two

Disclaimer: I don't own the Wheel of Time

~

Moiraine came, delicate and elegant, to her tent most nights, if not all, since they had left Fal Dara.

She wondered if this was normal goings-on. Did Aes Sedai frequently take advantage of their young pupils? Was it, perhaps, a payment for education?

It was a pleasant payment, Egwene admitted to herself, when she was alone, shivering under the blankets, memories playing inside her head.

Memories were the worst. She could not shake them - could not make herself forget the night before, making her smoulder with anticipation of the night to come. She watched Moiraine Sedai during the day, every elegant, slender movement, imagining the pale skin that lay below the layer of clothes and cloaks.

Verin had left and Nynaeve had made herself scarce, as she had done since the start, something Egwene silently thanked her for, though they never did discuss it.

She waited in the half light, already undressed.

Moiraine came on silent feet, looking pale and thoughtful. She pulled up the flap without announcing herself and slipped inside. Egwene looked up at her. "Moiraine Sedai,"

"Good evening," Moiraine's voice was cool, as it always was.

Egwene's fingers clenched around the top of the blankets, as Moiraine took down her hair, letting the pins fall from her fingers. She always found them again. "Come, girl," She said smoothly. "I cannot get this dress off by myself,"

~

Siuan Sanche considered herself unflappable. She was, after all, the Amyrlin Seat. Years had taught her not to be easily shocked, to expect the unexpected.

Except - except - Siuan thought, those years had not taught her to deal with Moiraine Damodred making love to a Novice. Moiraine had hinted, in her anger, only moments earlier, about something new, someone else, someone who would serve in Siuan's absence - though that absence had been twenty years or so.

Anger had made her follow Moiraine, anger, ready to confront her again, not to let the argument die...until she had seen Moiraine enter the Novice's tent. Moiraine had no great love of teaching.

Still. She had waited, watching, creeping closer, until she could hear the soft words murmured inside. She bit her lip angrily. This she would not have expected from Moiraine. Moiraine was cool, collected, considering - this was probably the first foolish thing she had done in her life.

And it was Siuan's duty, as a friend and superior, to correct her. Taking a deep breath, she pulled on the canvas and ducked inside.

~

Moiraine's back was soaked with sweat, arching above the girl, whose left hand was clutched in Moiraine's hair and the other under the blankets, out of sight - evidently the source of Moiraine's moans.

Siuan stood unobserved, watching silently, aware of how highly inappropriate it was. She could just turn away now, duck out, no one would notice, and walk away, act as if all was fine.

But only if all was fine. "Moiraine," Her voice cut the air.

Moiraine's head flung around, staring at Siuan, a juxtaposition of delight and horror. Her dark hair hung around her face in ringlets, her breasts unashamedly bared in the light, their nipples hardened. She glanced down at Egwene al'Vere, who was making attempts to pull the blankets about herself. "Siuan," She returned, her voice cool.

One of Siuan's eyebrows arched. "Busy?"

"A little,"

"Not too busy for an audience with the Amyrlin Seat, I presume,"

"Never,"

"Good - two minutes, preferably dressed,"

~

Siuan held on to her elbows. Had she not, her fists would be balled.

She heard the canvas sweep back and Moiraine enter on soft feet. "Mother," Came the crystalline voice.

"Daughter," Siuan replied, voice tight with anger.

There was a pause, rife with tension, that neither of the two women was eager to break.

“So you’ve taken to perversion,” Siuan said in a conversational tone.

“I wouldn’t call it perversion –”

“Then what would you call it?” Torrid anger flared in Siuan’s voice. She turned to stare at Moiraine, who stood frozen in place, face neutral.

Finally, slowly, “I don’t know,”

“She is your student, Moiraine,” Siuan said softly. “A student of the White Tower – eighteen at best, yes? And you’re…what? Forty two?”

“Around about,”

“Don’t play coy,” Siuan took a deep breath. “Does anyone know?”

“Nynaeve,”

“The other one, who so desperately desires the attention of your warder?”

“Yes,”

Siuan snorted. “By the light, does that village breed amorous young women?”

A small smile tugged at Moiraine’s lips.

“Don’t smile at me,” Siuan warned. “Blood and ashes, did you not think of the scandal?”

“Well, its happened before –”

“And look what happened to those Aes Sedai!” Siuan snapped. “All in ‘voluntary’ exile, their young partners made to wait years for the Shawl…by the light, if your job wasn’t so bloody important, I’d have you for a private penance and a voluntary exile of your own,” Moiraine was still immaculately composed. That enraged Siuan further. “Well?”

“Well what?”

Siuan stopped short of throwing her hands in the air. “I don’t know what we’re going to do –”

“Nothing need be done,” Moiraine broke in abruptly. “I’m leaving. Going to Tifen's Well,”

“To see Vandene and Adeleas?”

“Yes,”

“What about the girl?”

“What about her?” Moiraine shrugged elegantly. “She’s young – she’ll get over it,”

Siuan considered. “I’ll want you gone by tomorrow morning,” She said finally.

“Of course,”

“And stay away for awhile. The girl doesn’t need you distracting her from her studies,”

“As long as you see fit,” Moiraine’s voice wasn’t quite mocking.

Siuan made a noise in her throat, half-warning.

Moiraine curtseyed. “Good evening, Mother,”

“Good evening, Moiraine,” She nodded as Moiraine let the tent flap close after her.

~

The End

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