Astila finally wakes up around noon. Having been up most of the night following Daniel. Then when he got back before entering the house he made use of the smoldering coals in the fire pit. He picked some sage, rosemary, basil, and yarrow. Sprinkled the leaves on the hot coals to cleanse away the bad energy from earlier. He will need to ask Aisling if she minds him building a sweat hut. He needs a proper cleansing of his spirit. After letting the smoke from the fire to completely envelope his body while meditating and praying. He takes a few sprigs of rosemary, lavender along with chamomile to bathe in. Once inside the house he quietly brings a pot of water to boil and lets the flowers and herbs steep in the water while he runs a hot bath filling the tub with the water and herbs he soaks till the water turns cold. Getting out of the tub he wearily crawls into bed. His spirit and energy are drained and need to be replenished.
After Terry leaves Aisling goes outside to finish cleaning the yard from the party the day before. As she walks through the back yard near the fire pit she smells the herbs from the early morning. Deciding to let the smoke continue to cleanse the area she adds a few pieces of kindling to relight the coals some. Going to the garden she picks more sage and rosemary along with sweetgrass to add to the fire. The smoke rising from the fire pit smells Devine to her. She breathes in the sweet-smelling smoke. Letting it cleanse her of all negativity and replenish her energy. She hears a noise behind her is Astila coming out of the house. He comes to sit next to her on the ground.
" What are you doing?" Looking amused at her.
" I saw where you put some herbs on the coals. So since there were still some hot coals I decided to add some small wood to restart the fire. Then I thought it might be good to cleanse the area of all the negativity. Especially here where Daniel was on that day I hope it's ok to do this. That I'm not making things worse." She looks at him wondering what he really thinks of her.
" it's fine it's not going to hurt anything. When my sister arrives she will tell you what you're doing right and what you are doing wrong. Don't worry" he takes her hand in his and begins to sing in his native tongue. Not knowing what he is saying Aisling just closes her eyes to listen. The smoke and warmth of his voice surrounded them eloping them in a cloud of peace. Aisling feels like she is one with this man sitting beside her. Though she knows very little about him she feels safe with him. It's hard to believe that she has known him only a week and that he just showed up. It even more amazing that he is connected to her uncle. She knows that this is fated and that God sent him to guide her. Without thinking, Aisling lays her head on his shoulder.
Astila looks at the women beside him. He is amazed at how drawn he is to her. He feels like he could be by her side forever. Neither of them realizes that they met before.
The commander looks out the window of the kitchen watching them. A big grin crosses his face when he sees Aisling lay her head on Astila shoulder. It reminded him of their first meeting. He wonders if the two will remember. He Jin puts her arms around him from the back. He turns around so she is fully in his arms.
"Do you remember when Aisling came to Texas for the summer. That man out there holding her hand. Is the man who stopped the snake from biting her at the picnic. He had just gotten assigned to my unit. He hasn't even finished training yet. He came to me and told me we needed to look around the picnic area that there were signs of poisonous snakes. That they had found some newly shed skins. So I told him not to start a panic but to look around. Aisling stumbled across the den. Not realizing they were dangerous she tried to pick one up to move it. He was able to stop her and get rid of the snakes. They are destined to be together . " the commander kisses his wife's forehead sighing.
"Wow! My hard-assed commander who allows no room for such things. Must be getting soft or is it that you hope they are destined so you can stop worrying about her." She looks closely at his face wondering what he really is thinking.
" A little of both I think. " he winks at her as they go outside to join the other couple.