Cupid up an elephant's ass?
I love you! AHAHAHAH
and the next part of this....
You know the drill -- I'm posting unproofread drivel as I write it...
T H E I N F I N I T Y S E R I E S
* III *
Author: D. Sanders
T H E I N F I N I T Y S E R I E S
* III *
Author: D. Sanders
The Rest of this un-proofread BS can be Found here:
“Good. Then let’s enjoy the evening and not waste it going over what we already know, it's pointless now, we have to just take the steps now was they happen. I hear music outside, Sanjay you are a bard are you not?” Xan asked and Sanjay nodded.
“So is Beau, I’m sure his talents will interest you greatly and perhaps you can show him how to use his gifts properly.”
“That would be an honor, I did notice he was talented the same as I. Mr. Shannon will you give me the honor of playing with me?”
“Absolutely.” Beau grinned standing.
Xan helped Kivi up off the floor. “I would dance with you. That is one joy we’ve yet to have the pleasure to indulge in.” Xan said and Kivi smiled taking Xan’s arm.
“I would like that too.”
“Then let’s go mingle.” Eran said holding the door open for everyone to make their way outside to join the festivities happening on the lawn.
The lawns were alive with merriment, lanterns in a rainbow of colors were lit, the aroma of cooking food permeated the air, wine was flowing freely, music, singing and laughter rang loud and strong and almost the moment Xan and Kivi set foot in the crowd Kivi was swarmed by a group of children and he laughed with joy as they pulled him into their little group. He indulged them as they danced in a ring holding hands.
Xan stood back with a fond smile as Kivi positively glowed surrounded by children, he was indeed Ameretat, First Hopa, even if he did deny it still. Beau and Sanjay joined the group of musicians set up by a large paved path that was perfect for an impromptu dance floor and Xan moved to a convenient boulder near the players to watch the dancers and children, his eyes mainly watching Kivi lose himself to joy. His fear and reticence evaporated in the jubilant setting as the music changed and a group of young men, all obviously Hopas laughed and took Kivi’s hands. The dance was the dance of silks, a traditional dance for Hopas. Kivi smiled at Xan as he was handed a sheer veil of white silk and he joined the other Hopas in dancing for their mates in a rather seductive dance of teasing with eyes and movements around colorful silken veils. Xan sat transfixed as Kivi danced, their eyes locked and Kivi’s smirk occasionally was reviled from behind the silk as it swirled around him as he moved.
Xan had noticed how graceful Kivi was right from the beginning, seeing him dance, truly dance freely, Xan couldn’t tear his eyes away and he certainly was not going to be standing up any time soon either.
The song ended with Kivi wrapping the silk around Xan’s neck and the other Hopa’s doing the same around their own mate’s and more than one Hopa got kissed within an inch of his life, Kivi included, as everyone else cheered and clapped and Kivi sat back from Xan’s kiss with a huge grin on his face.
“I gather you were pleased?” Kivi waggled his eyebrows and Xan laughed.
“I could devour you. Incredible.”
“I love to dance. It makes me happy.”
“I can tell. Dance with me?” Xan asked as the music began again, a couples dance traditionally and Kivi nodded and took Xan’s hand and they took center of the floor as the lively tune began and Xan proved he was quite a good dancer himself as he steered Kivi around the floor in a quick pace. Kivi was out of breath as the song ended and Xan stood there smiling, hardly a strand of hair out of place, Xan had incredible prowess and stamina, Kivi should have known dancing would be easy for Xan.
“I need to breathe.” Kivi laughed as he fluidly sank onto the boulder Xan had been sitting on and almost immediately there were men there offering cool drinks to him.
Kivi accepted a small glass of juice from one with a thankful smile as Xan walked over and had Kivi stand a moment. He sat on the boulder and pulled Kivi onto his lap. “Sit on me, I am far more comfortable than a rock.”
“You’re lumpy and you can put that evil thing away Xan-ki.” Kivi grinned squirming on Xan’s lap.
“The evil thing will hardly go away if you keep fidgeting.” Xan chuckled as his hands loosely held Kivi around his waist as they sat and watched other dancers for a few more songs before joining them again.
Sanjay had a beautiful rich baritone and he brought Kivi to tears with the mournful ballad he sang for the dancers to wind down a bit. Beau accompanied him with a lyrical counterpoint on his guitar. There were no shortages of offered strips of cloth for Kivi to dry his eyes with as the song faded. He smiled and laughed at himself for being so emotional as he accepted the nearest bit of cloth.
“Don’t apologize Lord Kivi. You are who you are and we would have you no other way.” The young Hopa, whose own eyes were damp smiled and bowed as he stepped away again.
“I agree naturally. You charm me more and more every day Ki.” Xan said taking Kivi’s hand and kissing the back of it as an uncomfortable hush fell and Xan’s and Kivi both snapped to attention and turned to see a man walking through the crowd.
Xan took a step forward as the man stopped before him. “Xartobin. What brings you here brother?” Xan asked blocking Kivi from his eldest brother.
“I would ask that of you. Rumors have you at death’s door and here I find you in our Hopa’s palace obviously quite in good health. Our Sipa has been trying to reach you since this morning.”
“I was just suffering the madness, hardly life threatening. I am just here enjoying my home and my friends in celebration of my good fortune.”
Here Eran moved within earshot and Xar quirked an eyebrow. He was a good ten years older than his youngest sibling, but they were quite obviously brothers. They both looked exactly like Tanvir with Devapa’s coloring. “Good fortune?”
“Xar, I will make the news public soon enough, but I have found my chosen mate and I intend to announce my intentions of making a formal union with him as soon as possible. Our friends here just helped us make ready the palace for us to move into immediately. Seeing as it is also my love’s emergence day we decided to celebrate before quitting back to our lives again.”
Eran smiled, Xan was very quick on his feet a very good thing.
“So I also hear if rumors are true. I would meet him.” Xartobin said as Kivi stepped from behind Xan, his eyes alive. Xartobin visibly stepped back and to Xan’s surprise he bowed.
“Ameretat’s eyes, I see the rumors are true indeed.” Xartobin’s signs of respect were not so reverent but no less acknowledged. He was after all a very high-ranking Prima; only Lord Xartova out-ranked him as head council. Kivi was astonished the man bowed at all.
“Please, there is no need to bow my Lord. I am just Kivi. I am pleased to meet the elder brother of my beloved Xan.” Kivi’s voice was gracious and soft and Xartobin actually smiled as he took Kivi’s hand and laid his forehead against it in a sign of acceptance. If Eran could have crowed he would have.
“Xan, an absolutely stunning creature. Our Sipa will be pleased I’ve no doubt. His choice for you pales in comparison. Where have you been Lord Kivi? I am amazed a man such as you has been missed so readily by society. Surely your lineage is impressive to hold the eyes of Ameretat still.”
“We met at the University. Kivi is rather quiet and is easy to miss if you are not looking. It was a matter of I was in the right place at the right time to cross his path brother, it is as simple as that.” Xan neatly danced around the topic and he knew Xartobin was taking notes for Xartova, he would feed his brother the information he needed to know, all of it technically the truth, and just missing the crucial details. Xan was no fool.
“Fascinating. I would hear more.”
“There really is not much more sadly. A tragically boring reality, nothing nearly as fantastic as you can read in the dailies.” Xan laughed and Xar along with him.
“True, true. I daresay our Sipa had heart failure thinking you had succumbed to a great devastating illness of mind. I came to appease him, I see you are quite well and I am shocked my little brother is actually settling down. We thought you’d never find someone you actually liked let alone were compatible with.”
“Kivi is very much my match. Please tell Our Sipa he should cease making matches for me, I will refuse them.”
“He already knows that Xan. He will be quite pleased with you bringing such a pure-lineage into our household. He will want to meet Kivi soon you realize.”
“I do, tell him later please. We have much to arrange for now and naturally there will be a social obligation when we announce our union dates. I must tie up my affairs too; I cannot stay a student forever, not if I am to begin a family of my own. There is much to do.”
“I never thought I’d hear you say that. Kivi you are a good influence on my brother.” Xar said and Kivi just smiled and lowered his chin. Xar was quite taken by Kivi’s gentleness and smiled.
“Stunning creature. A perfect match indeed.” Xar remarked noting that Xartova would be pleased that Xan’s choice was such a refined and elegantly silent Hopa. The perfect political match in Xartova’s eyes, he always did favor the demure, Xar had no doubt Xartova would approve of the union sight unseen once he brought back the news.
“He is my perfect match, I am pleased you agree with me brother. Please share a drink with us before you go, I would have you celebrate Kivi’s emergence day with us and drink his good health with me.”
“I would be honored. Kivi-ka Happy day to you.” Xar said and Eran smiled a truly feral grin. The honorific added to Kivi’s name did not go unobserved. One family member down, two left.
“Thank you My Lord Indivar. I am already most blessed.”
“Please, Xar-Ka you will be my brother by union, there is no need for more. To your health.” Xar rose a glass and Xan smiled into his drink as his brother toasted the health of Kivi.
He left not long after and Xan was positive he was heading straight to Xartova for the gossip. Eran leaned over Xan’s shoulder as Xar’s transport sped away.
“You are a smooth bastard.”
“Xar has no sentient thought. He is easy to manipulate. I have played him a fool since I was a child. Xedapa is the skeptic and Xartova trusts only his first-born. They have weaknesses I have long learned how to play against.”
“You’re still brilliantly smooth and not a single lie.”
“Half truths work best on them, they are not inclined to seek details. How are you fairing Ki?”
“Fine actually. He really has no malice.” Kivi said and Xan nodded.
“No. Xar is a good man, just not very bright. Xedapa however can be cruel maliciously. You will not likely see him turn up here. He’s crawled up Xartova’s ass too far.”
“He is the most like Xartova. That always broke my heart.” Tanvir sighed as he walked forward.
“It must crush you to know they too are your sons.” Xan said laying a hand to Tanvir’s arm.
“I have long come to terms with my lack of influence. I always said they were born with the potential to be like their Hopa. Had we been given the chance to influence them, they might have turned out like you. They are the products of many years of Xartova shaping them into his own image. He gave in with you because he had his heir and his spare. You were an afterthought to him. Until you started showing incredible talent, then he became interested too little too late.” Tanvir smiled and winked.
“Sipa, you are wicked.” Xan laughed as the music started up again.
“I am tame compared to your Hopa. You take after him more than you know.” Tanvir said as he filled wine glasses and they all drank heartily.
Xar picked up his communicator and dialed as his Ounta drove the transport home.
“Well?” Xartova asked and Xar smiled.
“Sipa, I would not worry. Xan is fine, he was in season I could smell it, that’s all. I met his chosen mate, you will be pleased.”
“I have never in my life seen such eyes. They are mystic eyes truly. Ameretat’s lineage is quite evident. Xan is bringing in very pure blood into the family. I could find no fault in the man at all. Quiet, elegant, noble, gracious and beautiful. Xan has exquisite taste.”
“Interesting. Did you find out where he came from?”
“Just they met at University, Kivi-ka is quite shy. I can see how he has been missed; he’s not the type to stand out in a crowd. It is no wonder Xan chose him, they suit each other.”
“Did you get his family name?”
“I don’t think he mentioned it and I did forget to ask. But Sipa is it really important? Minor nobility or not, the blood is obviously pure and the portent of Ameretat’s talents alone will grace our house. Xan honors you and our family in his choosing.”
“We’ll see. Xan honors himself first and foremost. I understand he has taken his inheritance of Tantawood?”
“Yes, I do believe he is earnest to settle as quickly as possible. I get the impression Xan is anxious to be a Sipa, but he is in season you know what it's like.”
“I do. Then I will not trouble over it for now. I will see for myself soon enough I suppose. Goodnight Xar.”
“Goodnight Sipa.” Xar turned off his communicator and sighed.
“You’re worried.” The Ounta in the front spoke and Xar nodded moving to sit beside the Ounta driving now that his obligations were taken care of and he could relax.
“I am. Kivi is an Ounta.”
“No! How can you tell?”
“I have loved you long enough, you should know. He had the hands of a servant. Rough, used to work. I pray Xan pulls this off, I do not wish him the life we have.”
“Xar-ki. I know you would have united with me if you could have. I do wish you would stop. My pity is reserved for the one you were forced to unite with. He is truly unhappy. He wants what I have, I am blessed with your love.”
“Ramda, I just fear my brother is getting into something that will break his heart. Although Kivi may just be able to pull this off, it’s evident he’s talented, perhaps my Sipa will not look past the surface.”
“Just support Xan. I always told you he would be a good choice. Don’t fear making him your ally.”
“I trust your instincts Ram-ki. You have never been wrong.”
“Changes will happen Xar. Just be standing on the right side.”
“I will ki. How is Tanjir?”
“Being a little terror as always. Your pearl has learned the joys of tantrums I wonder where he gets that from?”
“Not from me.” Xar chuckled.
“You liar. I heard tales and I do remember you as a boy I know better.”
“Shall I scold him?”
“No, he just wants you, I can’t blame him most of the time.”
“I wish I could see him more.”
“I know. Someday Xar, someday.”
Xan was already under the covers as he watched Kivi get ready for bed. “You’ve something on your mind.” Xan said watching Kivi undress distracted.
“Your brother. Xan you should talk to him more. I sense something. He is hiding something that hurts him. The more I think about what I felt the more I am sure he is more complex than you give him credit for.” Kivi said as he crawled into bed beside Xan.
“What did you sense?”
“Feelings. Shock when he took my hand and what I would almost call fear. He hid his pain well. Xan I think he knows.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. But there is no malice in him. His words were sincere. I think you would have strong support from him if you held out your hand.”
“He’s Xartova’s puppet.”
“By will or by design? I think Xartobin is just afraid. Trust him.”
“You feel that strongly about it?” Xan asked as he curled up and around Kivi to lie pressed close in the darkness of their bedroom.
“I do Xan. He is good; he is more like you than you think. I feel it deep down.”
“Then I will trust your instincts. I will make a point of seeking him out to talk if you wish.” Xan said through a yawn.
“That’s all I ask. Goodnight Dear Xan-ki. I love you.” Kivi rolled to face Xan, his head tucked under Xan’s chin.
Xan kissed his brow as they finally settled into soft pillows exhausted. “I love you too Ki. Rest well.”
“And you.” Kivi replied in kind as they went to sleep with the windows open to the night and the sound of crickets from the garden below was their lullaby.
The sun was already shining brightly before Xan awoke and found Kivi already up and sitting out on the balcony off their bedroom. The sun shining through his light linen robe illuminating his slender frame in silhouette as he stood with a small glass of juice in one hand, sipping from it as he looked out over the garden. Xan smiled as he pulled on his own morning robe and slipped through the curtains to join Kivi.
Kivi’s smile and affectionate gaze greeted Xan as he slipped his arms around his mate. “You look radiant in the morning.”
“You flatter. Manju brought us breakfast it is there on the table for you.” Kivi nodded his head toward the small wrought iron table on the balcony.
Xan nodded and selected a piece of sliced green melon fruit and savored the juicy flesh as Kivi poured Xan a cup of tea and handed it to him. “Your scent is gone this morning too.” Kivi added and Xan nodded he was out of his cycle this morning a feeling much better for it, the blind lust was gone, it was a relief to be able to gaze at his beautiful mate without seeing red.
“I know. I feel wonderful this morning. You?”
“The same. Not that I don’t find you desirable Xan-ki, quite the opposite. It is nice however not to be totally wanton the first thing in the morning.” Kivi laughed and Xan grinned.
“Evil man. Drink you tea.” Kivi scolded as Manju knocked on the doorframe to get their attention.
“Good morning. I’ve come to let you know that Val and Cris are back and are heading to sleep for a while, and most of the society has returned home. Tanvir and Sanjay are getting the staff settled into rooms, Captain Callum wishes a word when you’re awake and refreshed and last but not least the invitations from the local families are already arriving and I have put the invitations on your desk Lord Xan.”
“Efficient lad. Thank you. Please tell Eran I’ll see him anytime, we can talk over my breakfast and I’ll let him go through the invitations and select which ones to accept.”
“Right away Lord Xan.” Manju smiled and dashed off to find Eran and deliver Xan’s reply.
“He feels important. He is exceedingly happy.” Kivi smiled as he finished his juice and nibbled on red fruit slices and of course cheese.
“He is important, he has our communication in his hands and my belly in mind. The melon is wonderful.”
“I know, but the cheese is very fresh and you know I cannot resist.” Kivi chuckled as Eran and Beau made they way out on the balcony.
“Have you eaten?” Kivi asked as they took up the remaining two chairs at the small round table.
“I have, Beau hasn’t he just fell out of bed a few minutes ago.” Eran grinned as Kivi passed Beau a small plate.
“Someone didn’t wake me. Thank you.” Beau accepted the plate after scolding Eran and chose a variety of fresh fruit and cheese from the tray and a small buttery roll, he loved fresh bread in the morning.
“You were tired.” Eran replied wishing desperately Sansui drank more coffee, finding coffee in the palace was a chore.
“And you’re cranky without coffee. Val and Cris are back, I’ll bring out your brewer from the galley and set it up in our room for you later.”
“I love you. I’m gonna show you how much later.” Eran grinned and Beau winked.
“I thought you did that last night. Dog.”
Kivi laughed wiping his eyes. Xan chuckled into his tea and rolled his eyes. They may have looked young, it was obvious they had been together for many years and it was comforting.
“Laugh all you want Xan, You’re gonna be a busy boy today. We’ve got invites falling out of our Asses from all over the region. You’ve had half a dozen or more dallies calling begging for interviews. You’re going to be giving one in three hours. You’ll be holding a press conference in the garden just after lunch, I wrote you a few suggestions down, but you are a natural, I trust you can wing an engagement announcement.”
“Goodness things move fast.” Kivi said eyes wide.
“They have to right now. Kivi just be charming and Xan you run interference when they start asking the really personal questions.”
“Naturally. Our story is simple, we met at school, one of my tutors was Kivi’s Sipa. The truth without details. I felt fatigue from my cycle and Kivi took care of me and here we are. Boring reality.”
“They’ll ask who my Sipa is.”
“We wish to respect the privacy of the family from unaccustomed media attention. Your family origins and relations will remain anonymous until after the union, they’ll respect that for a first interview.”
“Xan you seem not to need my help at all.”
“I will. This is the easy part, the difficult task will be the council and the Gods forbid anything more. All your advice is welcome at all times.”
“It’ll be given. I’ll keep my eyes open and listen to the winds. Who knows how they’ll shift.”
“Precisely. But first things first, take it easy this morning, relax, and take your time getting ready. I’m going to head downstairs and set up the area and secure it so we don’t get wandering reporters into private areas. Just come down looking gorgeous, this will be a Kivi photo opportunity we cannot pass up. His face will be on every vid screen and article for weeks.”
Kivi looked positively green. “I hope I don’t lose my breakfast with nerves.”
“You won’t Ki, you’ll be fine.” Xan winked pushing the tray closer. “And eat a lot now, because lunch will be rushed and the gods know when we’ll get a chance to eat after. These can run long.”
“Very true. I’ve already given Manju duties for after, your dinner will be served in here and there will be plenty.” With that Eran stood as Beau wiped his fingers on a napkin to rid himself of fruit residue.
“When you’re ready to look like a god, call me. I get dibs on dolling you up.” Beau winked as he left leaving Eran to do his business and he was off for a trek through the woods to retrieve Eran’s coffee maker and cigarettes, he was getting low on those too. A cranky Eran was never fun to play with after all.