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
The Rest of this un-proofread BS can be Found here:
“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.
Xan was sitting on the balcony watching Eran make preparations in the garden and assign several men guard duties at strategic points in the garden, the man was highly efficient and was taking great precautions to orchestrate a flawless press conference and ensure tight security measures all around. Beau was with Kivi going through Devapa’s vast wardrobe and making Kivi try on dozens of robes finally settling on a virgin white robe with sheer sleeves and sapphire blue embroidery around the neck and gathered cuffs.
It made Kivi’s necklace really stand out against his chest as the v-neck robe framed the jewelry. Beau was currently trimming the rough edges of Kivi’s hair and styling it up and away from his face with hair jewels with just a few strategic wisps falling free. A diamond and silver circlet sat on his brow to complete the picture.
“Cinderella, eat your heart out.” Beau remarked with a grin standing back to admire his handiwork.
“I feel overly festooned.” Kivi sighed as Xan walked in and smiled.
“You look beautiful. The whole idea is to showcase your beauty today and I have never seen you look more divine. White makes you look quite, pure.”
“Good thing I’m not really then. Huh?” Kivi grinned waggling his eyebrows at Xan.
“You are pure, just not in our bed. Thank the Gods.” Xan chuckled leaning over to kiss Kivi’s cheek before rummaging in the closet for something to wear himself.
“I already picked yours out too Xan. There on the bed, the Red and Black one. It will look fabulous next to Kivi’s. Not to mention you look Hot in bright dark colors.” Beau winked and Xan chuckled.
“You are enjoying this far too much Mr. Shannon.”
“Of course dah-lings. It’s not everyday I get to be Tinkerbell here. I’m such a predicable twinkle-toes. I get off on this shit; I’m the perfect stereotype fag here. It’s pathetic. Cris is really the only one who lets me do this shit to him. He’s my poor guinea pig ninety-nine percent of the time. But give me handsome boys and pretty girls and let me loose I’m really a happy boy.” Beau grinned as Xan pulled his robe selection on just as Manju brought in a light lunch.
“The great room is already full of people. It’s so exciting downstairs and it’s so weird I had to walk through there and I was very nervous since Sanjay threw my Ounta clothes away and not one of them even noticed. Sanjay kept saying no one would and to hold my head up and he was right. Lord Kivi don’t you be worried a minute no one will know, it’s amazing how people only notice the surface.” Manju said his voice excited Kivi sighed and sat back in his chair.
“I told you ki.” Xan grinned as Manju passed him a plate of cold meats and cheese and sparkling juice.
“I know, I know. I can’t help being nervous Xan. I’m going to be under the microscope in a few minutes, my stomach is in knots. I have never liked being the center of attention. I am much happier being the observer not the observed.” Kivi said taking the plate Manju passed to him.
“I know Ki. Once the circus is over and we get a chance to breathe again. I promise to let you sequester yourself in here and be as serene as you please.”
“I think serenity is a long way off. But I am happy so I will not quibble over this moment of chaos.” Kivi smiled just nibbling at his food, his stomach was protesting due to nerves.
“Kivi one day you’ll have to come to Pirotaine for a vacation. You can run around being serene all you want there, well if you stay away from our “Homestead” that is. There are a lot of noisy kids around these days.”
“I love children. Joy is infectious.” Kivi smiled and Xan looked smug.
“That’s true.” Beau said as Eran walked in looking pleased with himself with a mug of coffee in his hand. He leaned over and kissed Beau’s cheek.
“I love you, thank you for my coffee. I needed this.”
“I know you did. I put your cigarettes in the drawer in the bureau under the big mirror in the main room.”
“I am going to thank you in such a way later I’ll smoke a whole carton after.”
“Oh goodie. Are we ready?”
“Pretty much. Sanjay is ready for you out in the garden. Once you’re down there just play while they settle in and get seated. Tanvir will open the doors to the garden in twenty minutes. We’ll give them twenty minutes to seat themselves then it’s Showtime.” Eran winked turning and noticing Kivi. “Beau you’ve outdone yourself. Perfect. Kivi you look fabulous.”
“Thank you. I feel nervous, I hope I don’t look it.”
“You don’t. I’ll let you guys eat, I’m gonna grab a bite myself and I’ll come up and get you both when we’re ready. Don’t forget, if anyone asks about the oddball humans, we’re old family friends of Kivi’s and hired by his father to look after him. Another half truth eh?” Eran winked and Xan chuckled.
“Always better to tell at least a partial truth than to lie outright.” Xan replied and Eran gave a whimsical half salute before taking his husband downstairs and finding himself a sandwich from the kitchen from an obliging older Hopa in charge of the new kitchen staff.
“Indira! Indira Come in here!” Kadala howled from the living area of the small apartment he shared with his longtime mate.
“What?” Indira asked setting down the books he’d been packing to go into the other room.
“The vid screen! There’s a press conference about to start. They just said Xan was going to make an announcement!” Kadala was on pins and needles as settled down to watch. Currently Sanjay and Beau were sitting under a tree playing music beside a small table with two draped chairs. On either side of the larger chairs were two rather intimidating looking Sipa psi-fighter males. Very large, very mean looking, and they wore psi amplifier headpieces. They meant business and they were obviously personal guards for Xan and Kivi that Tanvir or Eran must have chosen. Every high-ranking Prima had several psi-fighters in their employ. Men with very honed powers who had been trained as personal protection for the higher class.
“Look there’s Eran!” Kadala smiled as Eran walked into the garden and up to the voice amplification box sitting on the table where Xan and Kivi would be sitting, he made sure it was on then took up a place next to one of the Psi-fighters. He looked impressive dressed in full military dress uniform, a rather large blaster strapped to his hip. Cris and Val joined him, also looking extremely dangerous in black leather and fully armed and all three wearing Psi-limiters. Invented during the Tsionic wars to protect against psychic powers. They were electronic devices worn on the temples that protected the person wearing the unit from any wayward attempts at trying to hurt the brainwaves with psychic abilities.
“Impressive. Eran certainly means to show he’ll tolerate nothing but good behavior.” Indira said as Eran stepped forward.
“My lords, I am Captain Eran Callum and I would like to thank you all for coming here today. I am personally overjoyed at being able to present to you this afternoon Lord Xan Indivar and the son of a very dear friend I’ve known for years. I hope you forgive my over indulgence in security, however I take Lord Kivi’s welfare personally, his Sipa would kill me if I allowed harm to come to something so precious. Not to mention his Hopa’s foot up my backside after having express orders to keep his pearl safe.” Here Eran winked and the crowd laughed. The tense atmosphere vanished. The security was addressed, it was clear it was there but it was no longer quite as terrifying.
“Eran you’d better fear my foot.” Kadala laughed at the screen as Eran continued.
“So without further wait, I am proud to present to you Lord Xantarun Indivar and my dear, dear friend Kivi.”
Eran stepped aside and the crowd stood as Xan and Kivi appeared at the back of the room arm in arm and the camera turned to zoom in on the smiling couple that walked arm in arm up the center aisle, escorted by two more Psi-fighters on either side.
“Oh my word. Kivi looks beautiful!” Kadala almost cried seeing his son on the vid-screen.
“He certainly does. Look how he carries himself Ki. He makes me so proud.” Indira was smiling ear to ear as he watched all the reporters and attendees sink to their knees in reverence as Kivi passed. Showing him the time honored respect given to those born with the touch of the gods.
The camera followed the couple and was trained on Kivi specifically. “Remarkable.” You could hear the man behind the camera gasp forgetting he could be heard as he filmed.
Everything across Sansun came to an abrupt halt as men, Prima and Ounta alike stopped whatever they were doing to watch the press conference. Every vid screen was displaying the news and people clamored and gasped and stared transfixed at the image of Ameretat on the screen before them.
“Lord Tibiae is that the man you saw?” One asked as the tavern quieted to watch.
“That’s him! Yes! By the gods is he not the most beautiful creature on the planet? You should have smelled his scent. Perfection. Xan you lucky bastard!” Tibiae held up his drink. “To your beauty.” Tibiae spoke to the screen as Kivi reached his seat and sank gracefully into it. His white robes pooling around him as he sat and folded his hands in his lap.
“He is ravishing. Those eyes, I cannot get over it, Ameretat’s eyes! He’s truly touched.”
“Shut up you goons! Xan is going to speak!” The bartender threw a towel at one of his patrons as Xan smiled and held up his hand.
“Please rise and be seated. We welcome you to our home today so I may shed some light on some rumors and make a formal announcement.” Xan said and the garden’s occupants returned to their bench seats and Xan took up his chair beside Kivi and took Kivi’s hand in his where they sat side by side.
Xan allowed them a moment to be seated before he continued. “First, I would like to put any fears to rest about my health, I am in quite good health, I was just suffering some mild fatigue due to seasonal maladies. I’m sure I need not go into intimate details.” Here Xan laughed and the room with him, they understood.
“Secondly, I would confirm the rumors of my relationship with this divine creature. I am indeed taken by his charms and wish you all to share in my joy as I announce my intention of making a formal union with him as soon as we can make the necessary arrangements.” Xan smiled and kissed the back of Kivi’s hand as camera flashes went wild.
Xan called on a reporter who had his hand raised. He stood with a bow. “Lord Indivar, I offer my sincere congratulations and I am sure I and many other would like to hear how this came about, it has taken us all as quite sudden.”
“It is sudden we know. It is really rather boring, I am rather a boring man myself. I was just blessed to cross his path at the right moment. Had I not had my eyes open, I would have missed him myself.”
Another held up a hand and Xan gave him the floor. “Lord Kivi, all of Sansun is clamoring to know where you are from. The sheer magnitude of your talents and the obvious touch of the gods on you are mystifying. Where have you been? Why have we never heard of you before? Ameretat shines in you and it’s baffling how an entire planet has seemed to have missed you.”
“I am of little consequence. I have never been one to be seen much is all.” Kivi replied, his hands severely shaking as Xan took hold of them in comfort.
“Are you alright Ki?” Xan asked concerned with the severity of his trembling hands.
“I’m alright.” Kivi smiled and Xan turned to the gathering.
“Forgive my beloved. He is unaccustomed to such attention.” Xan said and the crowd softened in sympathy. “Allow me to answer for him. Talent such as his is taxing when having to face large numbers of men. Kivi is not usually found in a social setting, it’s why none of us have heard of him before. He’s been in the background all along, we just never noticed. I was fortunate enough to find myself in a setting alone with him.”
Eran smiled to himself Xan knew precisely what to say and how much to say. He could tease a crowd and make them think they were getting the whole truth.
“I am the fortunate one.” Kivi said, his eyes soft with affection and gratitude. He found if he looked at Xan and not the crowd he wasn’t nearly as nervous.
The crowd found his attentiveness to Xan charming and romantic and the cameras had not stopped flashing since the interview began.
“What is your family name? We know so little, please enlighten us.”
“Jui. Kivi Jui.” Kivi responded smiling. Jui was a common last name, Eran had commented that the surname Jui on Sansun was about as common as the surname Smith was on Earth. It was safe to give Kivi’s full name.
“Lord Jui, we hate to impose when we can easily tell you are being gracious even in your nervousness. So we thank you for indulging our queries. What are your talents? Are they truly Ameretat’s?”
“I have mind gifts, yes.”
“He is modest. I’ve seen him do remarkable things instinctually. He disagrees with my romantic notions he is Ameretat reborn.” Xan grinned and Kivi rolled his eyes.
“I’m just Kivi. Xan you are outrageous.”
“You love that.”
“I do.” Kivi smiled and for a moment the crowd got a real glimpse of the couple they were. If there had been any doubt of their affection and compatibility it had been removed.
The interview continued much the same with various questions and Xartova sat in his office watching and smiling. At least for once his wayward youngest son was doing something good for the family. Kivi was the talk of the entire planet, his soon to be son by union. Any fool could see the power dripping off him in waves. He would be a good asset to the family and with Xan’s gifts and Kivi’s combined in their offspring the Indivar name would continue to be the highest and most notable of them all, ensuring continued dominance on the planet. Xartova switched off the vid and called over a servant.
“Take a message to my son. I approve of his union and wish to have them united as soon as possible. Send to them as a gift a tailor to make their uniting robes and send the jewelers with selections for Kivi and Xan to choose their uniting bracelets. My gift to them. I would want them here in a fortnight for a celebration in their honor so I may meet my future son.” The servant bowed and took the message out as Xedapa stormed in.
“Did you see that?” Xedapa asked and Xartova nodded.
“Of course, you’re not pleased?”
“Xan makes a mockery of us. You had him a mate chosen.”
“But he chose one on his own much better. Ameretat himself. I see Ameretat returns to an Indivar. Jamari was our bloodline, it’s obvious he is in your brother.”
“You’re not following that fantastic hype are you Sipa?”
“It’s good for politics. It’s good for our family’s standing. You will honor your brother’s choice. Think of the pure blood he’s bringing into our family. The powers their children will have will ensure the Indivar name will continue strong.”
“The man is as meek as a kitten.”
“All the better to do as he’s told. An obedient Hopa is a good thing to have, Xan has chosen well. Besides, it’s quite obvious the lad is young and is not used to being in such a position. Comfort with media attention comes in time. Not everyone is like us who are born in the public eye. He did fine and was gracious and composed at least.”
“I don’t trust Xan at all.”
“You never did. We are done arguing I have sent my blessings and you will keep your opinions to yourself.” Xartova said standing and quitting the room. Xedapa fumed, Xan once again was proving to be a thorn in his side. Perfect and annoying, spoiled Xan, always getting away with murder ever since he was a child. Xartova’s obsession with Xan’s talent infuriated Xedapa. Both Xartobin and Xan were much more powerful and always more in favor with Xartova. Xedapa stormed out of the room he’d watch and wait and the moment he found fault, he’d make sure Xartova would be the first to hear about it.
After the reporters left Kivi made a mad dash back to his room and into the bathroom. Xan had to chase him up the stairs; he could feel the sheer urgency and the overwhelming feelings of illness. Xan was there with a towel the moment Kivi finished purging.
“I’m sorry Xan. I feel awful.” Kivi almost whimpered going to wash his face in the sink.
“I knew you were nervous, I am sorry this made you so ill, it will get easier.”
“It’s not that Xan. I really don’t feel well all of a sudden. I thought it was nerves at first, maybe they just made my meals sit badly today.” Kivi leaned against the counter to dry his face with the towel.
“Could be. Why don’t you lie down a while?” Xan’s voice was full of concern as he ran his knuckles over one of Kivi’s soft cheekbones. “You look pale.”
“I feel queasy still. I think I would take a bath first, maybe that will help.” Kivi started to head for the tub and Xan stopped him.
“I’ll fix it for you, just change I don’t want you bending over you’re light headed I can feel it.” Kivi just nodded and sat at the vanity in the bathroom and removed his jewelry and then slipped from his robe. Xan held his hand for support as he stepped down into the tub and let the heat of the water soak into his muscles. Xan leaned over the side of the tub and washed Kivi’s hair for him silently. Kivi really did feel ill and the bath was not helping much.
“Will you be alright a moment? I would like to call Lalam in to see you, just in case.”
Kivi nodded, his eyes closed as he rested his head against the side of the tub and Xan left to find the body healer.
Thankfully Lalam was only just down the hall in his own room and he was immediately by Kivi’s side.
“You’re right Xan he has gone too pale. Out of the hot tub, you’ll make it worse. Xan you get him to bed and I’ll go grab my bag.” Lalam said as Xan carried Kivi to bed.
Beau returned with Lalam and Beau took Kivi’s pulse as Lalam too his temperature, his pulse and vitals were fine, but he was slightly warm. “I think your suspicions are correct I think he has been a nervous wreck all day and it’s taken its toll on his digestive system. I’m not overly worried, this does happen. You ate a lot of dairy it can sour in a stomach when you’re in such an aggravated state.” Lalam said and Beau agreed.
Beau handed Kivi his mints out oh his pocket. “Peppermint can also help calm a queasy stomach. Keep those and I’ll go make you some of my peppermint herb tea and get you some soda crackers. Those will help.” Beau said heading into his room to raid the supplies he’d brought out of the Infinity that morning.
Kivi never one to like tea, did find the peppermint to his liking and it did help settle his stomach. He managed a light dinner of soup and crackers before everyone sent him to bed early.
Xan was sitting in his office with Eran going over invitations when a call came in from Xartova, he couldn’t ignore the man today so he answered it.
“Xan, I’ve been trying to reach you for days.”
“I know. Forgive me as you are probably well aware, I’ve been preoccupied.”
“I saw. Congratulations.”
“Thank you Sipa. I am most happy.”
“That I could see. He is charming, I find myself reading the evening dailies as if I am hungry for gossip myself.” Xartova laughed and Xan caught Eran’s grin out of eyeshot from the vid monitor.
“Really Sipa. There is not much to tell. We met at school and he is a beautiful soul.”
“Jamari once again wins the fair Ameretat. It’s in your blood, you are Indivar through and through.”
Xan laughed. “Sipa do not let Kivi hear you say that. He balks at romantic notions of fancy.”
“You need a level headed Hopa who’s not apt or prone to excessive vanity. That pleases me greatly his humility.”
“He has that in abundance.”
“I would like very much to speak with him.”
“I am sorry Sipa. Kivi has already gone to bed. His nerves got the better of his breakfast and he is feeling a little poorly.”
“He’ll get used to it, I do hope he feels better soon. I would like to throw you both a proper union party to celebrate the news. Can you manage me in a fortnight?”
Eran held up three fingers and Xan turned to the screen. “Can we make it three weeks? I’m buried in preparations Sipa. Not to mention I have dozens of party offers lying here I have to sort through and let some people down eloquently.”
”Three is fine. What day are you planning the union?”
“We’re hoping in four weeks if I can manage it. We’d like to join in the garden here and I have a limited staff here.”
“Then allow me instead of two parties since your schedule is so full, to be the patron of the celebration. I care not if the celebration is here or there. I would like to come a few days before if I may.”
“It would be an honor Sipa. Thank you. I’ve already received the news that the tailor will be here tomorrow and the Jewel selection you sent is stunning. I will let Kivi choose his bracelet in the morning when he is feeling more himself.”
“Unions are always trying and turbulent to plan. I will leave you be then to make the preparations and I’ll arrive in three weeks to help with the last minute planning. I can wait to meet your mate until then. Xartobin gave him high praise indeed, although Xedapa is of mixed emotions.”
“Xed is hateful, I know better Sipa.”
“You know your brother.”
“Too well. I do not expect him to attend, but the invitation is already on its way.”
“He’ll come. He would dishonor our family if he did not. The council is on summer session leave, shall I ask Xartobin to come help you?”
Eran shook his head no but Xan held up a finger “Absolutely if he wishes it, he is always welcome in my home.”
“I’ll send him word. Good night Xan.”
“Goodnight Sipa.” Xan cut the transmission.
“Are you nuts?” Eran gasped and Xan smiled.
“Kivi made me promise to hold my hand out to him. He senses something about Xar. He feels very strongly we’d have a good ally in him.”
“Is he sure?”
“Very. I trust Kivi’s predictions. He may deny Ameretat, but you and I know better. I will not doubt the gifts of his intuition.”
“Nor will I then. What does he suspect?”
“Just feelings, Xar hides something and he is fearful.”
“We’ll see I suppose. So it looks like Xartova is taken.”
“He is easily seduced by Hopas like Kivi. He is too wrapped up in Kivi’s gifts and his handsome face to notice much else. He’s seeing our children and the Indivar name growing stronger with our union.”
“Be careful what you wish for eh Xan?”
“I am just taking one day at a time right now. I just want the union over with so we can stop playing society and get to business.”
“You are not a party man are you?”
“I detest pageantry. It’s a necessary evil I know. But I’d much rather be working or being industrious at home.”
“I hear you. Give me a good book any day and Beau naked looking saucy and I’m content.”
“We think alike.” Xan chuckled as he heard Kivi get up and wander to the bathroom before coming into the office.
“How are you feeling?” Xan asked holding out a hand for Kivi to walk over and sit on his lap.
“All right, the worst is over. It was the cheese, it had to be, I will resist in the future.” Kivi sighed looking tired.
“It will be easier, now it’s just smaller parties until the union itself. Eran called Romi; she’s going to perform at the celebration. She will sing during the ceremony itself.”
“Oh I adore her voice. Thank you Eran.”
“She’s excited. Beau’s writing you both a song for it, he does write wonderful lyrics. Sanjay is helping with the music and Romi will be here in two weeks to learn it and practice. This will not be as frenzied, the union itself will be quiet and refined. We are limiting attendance to one hundred people. Cris will have cameras everywhere for it to be broadcast outside. You won’t be swarmed in your own home.” Eran said and Kivi nodded sleepily.
“Go back to bed Ki. Eran and I are almost finished I’ll join you shortly.” Xan said kissing Kivi’s cheek before urging Kivi back to bed.
“Rest well Eran. Thank you for everything.”
“Kivi, anytime. Just think of me as your crazy uncle, we take care of family.” Eran winked and Kivi chuckled and bowed.
“Then goodnight Uncle Eran, sleep well and do let Beau rest tonight.”
“Much later perhaps.” Eran winked and Kivi smiled and chuckled his way back to bed.
Xan and Eran spent the next quarter hour making two piles of invitations, the accepted pile and the “write a nice declination letter” pile.
Xan would tackle those in the morning.
Eran excused himself and found his bed and Xan did the same. Kivi was well asleep and didn’t even stir when Xan crawled under the covers and extinguished the lights.