The Cleansing Springs were a series of hot springs, each separated by a large hut to shield it from view. Wraith went up to the farthest one, disrobed and immersed himself in the water. He was at the topmost hill on their mountains and nothing obstructed a moonlit view of the valleys below.
The water sucked away all the fatigue and worries until he felt at peace. He felt one with the world and with the Force. It was a feeling he would cherish forever.
Amidst his peace he heard her approach. He could read her intentions clearly but couldn’t help open his eyes and see for himself. Fully nude, Elara sat on the ledge of the hot spring and gently eased herself into the water next to him.
“What are you doing?” he whispered huskily.
Her eyes burned with passion. “I’m done pretending. I have tried everything I could to convince myself otherwise but I feel attracted to you. I know you reciprocate my feelings wholeheartedly. Mother saw this as well earlier.” She pressed her body against his and his hands wrapped around her. Beneath the full moon her purple eyes shone like fireflies. Her pale skin glistened with the same silvery hue of the water crests and her obsidian hair, plastered gently across her back did not obscure a vision of beauty. She touched his rugged face, mesmerized by his grey eyes. They had a slight golden tinge in them. Not the sulphuric yellow of the Dark Side but a pure gold, like an early sun. His dark hair was long but enough to give him rugged charm as did his slight stubble.
“From this moment onwards I have nothing restricting me from being with you,” she said as she moved closer. “Let go, Wraith. Let go of it all.” Their lips met and Wraith’s mind cleared.
Their kiss deepened as their hands gently traced across their bodies. A shy, gentle touch soon became a deep, intense motion and they let their instincts take reign. As their bodies exploded each other their minds connected, sharing in each other’s passion and feeling. And finally, under the full moon’s clear light, they became one.
Their lovemaking only began in the hot springs. Wraith had picked her up, causing Elara to yelp and giggle, and carried her to the hut where they resumed their passionate activities in a more comfortable place. It was well into the night when they fell asleep in each other’s’ arms.
She woke him from his sleep by calling him through the Force. Wraith pulled his pants on and reluctantly left Elara’s warm embrace. The Matriarch waited for him. She leaned against the railing, overseeing the vast lands beneath. Wraith leaned next to her.
“I see that you finally consummated your feelings for each other,” she said. “Good. I haven’t seen Elara this happy. I am glad that you have found each other.”
“I am honoured to have met her,” he replied.
“Outsider, Wraith,” she said. Her head was lowered in his direction. Wraith was taken back. “You came before me with a request. Now I must request something of you,” she said. Wraith placed a hand on her shoulder and pulled her up gently.
“Anything for you Matriarch,” he said.
“Please take care of my daughter,” she begged. Wraith sensed the genuine care in her and realized something.
“Your daughter,” he said. “I thought you were using the term generically but this care; this is something only a parent can feel. Elara is your actual daughter is she not?”
The elder witch nodded. “Yes. I am Clan Mother to all the Singing Mountain Clan but Elara is my flesh.” Wraith began to panic: he had slept with the Matriarch’s daughter.
“Don’t fret,” replied the old witch. “I can see that what you two have is genuine. That is the reason I set you up together. Very rarely does one achieve what you have, Wraith: Love.”
“May I ask you something, then?” he replied. She nodded. “The Sith teach in favour for strong emotion and allow themselves to be slaves to passion. I have felt that and it leads to destruction and despair. The Jedi, on the other hand, preach detachment. They forgo emotion completely and that leads to emptiness. I do not want to let go of what I feel but I do not wish it to overtake me.”
The Matriarch chuckled. “I understand. My dear boy, that is the very essence of balance. You must feel but control what you feel as well. The love you feel is too pure to become destruction unless you taint it. Therefore you must control your passions but never your love. That love gives you purpose and hope. Never let go of it.”
Wraith nodded. “Thank you.” He gazed at the hut. “Will Elara take your place someday?”
“No,” she replied. “She should, but my daughter’s destiny is far greater than just the Clan. Your destinies are intertwined now. Do not worry about us, Outside. We will be just fine. Focus on your business.”
“Yes, Matriarch,” replied Wraith as he turned to leave.
“And Wraith?” she called. He turned. “Please take care of my daughter.”
“I will,” he replied. “With all my heart.”
“I have faith in you,” said the Matriarch. “May the Force be with you.”