Recognized Again

                                        By Scott Long (c) 2001



Mistwalker slowly followed the others through the dense woods with Sunrise seated in fron tof him on Darkcloud's back. It was only yesterday that they had been found by another tribe of Wolfrider's led by one called Snow and now they were finally headed for a new home - a new life. He reached out to take Fernglade's hand as she rode next to him and smiled at her. 
There was a celebration the next night to welcome the wanderers to their new home. Mistwalker was sitting with Fernglade and Howldance; the three of them were watching as Sunrise mingled and played with the cubs of this new tribe. Suddenly there was music and elves were getting up to dance. "Dance with me, beloved." Fernglade laughed as she took her lifemate's hand and together they whirled around and around the circle. Mistwalker laughed - it had been a long time since any of them had been this happy. Exhausted after a while, he and Fernglade collapsed at the edge of the circle and sat with their arms aboiut each other and watched the rest of the dancers. The rest of the music stopped as a lone flute's music cut through the air, playing a lively tune. Fernglade nudged Mistwalker. **You should play, too, Trae.**
Mistwalker was too happy to argue about playing for such a large group of elves, and soon was playing along, trying to keep up as the two flutes wove their music about and around each other. As he played, Mistwalker walked around to where the other player was. He heard the name Sweetflute mentioned as he passed some other elves and considered how well the name fit. 
Soon he was standing in front of an elfess with auburn hair. She was looking down, concentrating on her song. Sensing someone standing in front of her, she looked up.
The music from both flutes stopped abruptly.
Fernglade gasped as she felt Recognition strike her lifemate through their own connection. Tears welled up in her eyes and she sat, frozen in place, watching her lifemate.
Trae. The sound echoed in Sweetflute's head. She sat staring at the stunned elf in front of her. 
Mistwalker stood, the flute dangling in useless hands. Slowly, realization of what happened hit him and he screamed. "NO!! NOT AGAIN!!" He tore his eyes away from Sweetflute, desperately fighting against the urges that Recognition imposed, and looked over to Fernglade. **Tyr, belovedů** He had no idea what to say, what to do. **Help me.**
Sunrise stood next to Howldance. "What's the matter with father?" he asked his aunt.
Howldance's eyes never left Fernglade. She didn't know what to say to the cub. Instead she reached down and lifted him. "There's nothing wrong with him, sweetling. And there won't be if he does what he should." Howldance was remembering how difficult Fernglade and Mistwalker's Recognition had been.
Finally Fernglade stood, tears streaming down her cheeks, and she walked over to Mistwalker. Gripping him tight, she sent to him. **You can't fight Recognition, Trae. We both know that.**
Mistwalker nodded. He lifted Fernglade's chin until their eyes met. He could see the pain there, a pain he knew was mirrored in his own eyes. **The two of you may share my soul, but only you have my heart, Tyr.** Slowly, shaking, he turned back to where Sweetflute still sat, and reached out his hand.
**We have no choice, Leya. Come with me and we can set each other free.**