The Fires of Heaven: Chapter 4

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Author: Val a'Shain

Twilight


Chapter Icon: Spear and Shield

Point of View: Rand

Setting: Rhuidean, the Aiel Waste

Characters: Rand, Aviendha, Isendre

Summary

Rand and his escort go to the building that the Maidens have chosen for their society. Besides male gai'shain Rand is the only one who can enter. The Maidens have adopted him after a style after he said they carry his honor. Inside he is greeted with the usual mixture of fondness and concern for his well-being. He doesn't stop to talk to any of the Maidens but he does answer them with a smile. Rand had chosen this building to stay in because it was finished and kept the days heat and the night's cold out for the most part. One day he found the Maidens had just moved in with him and expected him to stay. At least he managed to convince them to keep the floor he was using for himself.

Rand goes to the room he has to himself. He is upset that he let Moiraine know about his plans. She has a way of getting him angry enough to give away stuff he didn't want anybody to know yet. In a way he can trust Asmodean more than he can trust her. Asmodean needs him, Moiraine sees him as means to an end.

Aviendha walks into the room with a pile of blankets. Rand asks where she has been the past ten days. He'd expected her to watch him more closely after he locked the Wise Ones out of his dreams. A useful trick Asmodean taught him. She tells him she had training to do. The Wise Ones were not pleased with what Rand did and even less pleased with Aviendha letting him know. Rand doesn't think she did anything wrong but Aviendha thinks she dishonored herself in some way. Ji'e'toh remains a mystery to Rand.

After Aviendha throws the blankets at him it becomes clear what she came to see him for. She has brought him a gift made from the weapons she has given up to become a Wise One. Bair told her to give the three men and three women she hated most such a gift and she hopes it will cancel out the debt she owns him for the gift he gave her. Rand will release her from having her teach him Aiel customs if she hates him that much but Aviendha says she owes it to Elayne to watch out for him. Not for the first time she reminds him he belongs to Elayne. Rand thinks about the two letters Elayne wrote him and doubts she still wants to have anything to do with him. He says as much to Aviendha.

At that moment, the worst possible timing Rand thinks, Isendre walks into his room. The Maidens caught her stealing and as a punishment they shaved her head and let her wear nothing but the jewels she stole. Aviendha tells her she has been warned about this. Rand tries to protect Isendre but Aviendha will have nothing of it. This is Maiden's business. She sends Isendre away to report to the first Maiden she sees. Then she turns on Rand and tells him to stop encouraging her. He belongs to Elayne. Isendre has been caught seven times already trying to sneak into Rand's bed. Rand says he didn't encourage her but Aviendha doesn't believe him. After another reminder he is Elayne's she leaves him. Rand goes to bed and shields his dreams. They are of Min, Aviendha and Elayne and mostly pleasant ones.

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