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:
“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.
By morning, while feeling more himself Kivi avoided anything even remotely resembling a dairy product for his breakfast, opting for simple fruit and granola grains with his juice. He and Xan ate in Xan’s office as Kivi helped him address his letters and sort through the various dallies that had the news of their union on the front of every one.
“Goodness gracious I feel a spectacle.” Kivi groaned looking at his face on page after page.
“You are. But you’re beautiful, not an unflattering image to be found. You are very photogenic.” Xan grinned over his tea looking at a particularly flattering image of the couple looking at each other. He’d have loved a copy of that photo actually, he made note to contact the news agency for copies for his own personal collection.
“I can see why you became a hermit while at school. I don’t blame you for trying to avoid this sort of attention.” Kivi sighed setting the papers aside to seal more envelopes.
“You will get used to it love and after the newness wears off they will stop being so prevalent.” Xan reassured as his communicator buzzed and he turned on his private Vid to see Xartobin was on the other end of the transmission.
“Good morning Xar. I take it you’ve just gotten a call telling you to contact me?”
“I have. Do you want me there or is our Sipa just being commanding as always?”
“A little of both. I’ve staved him off coming himself for the time being. If you’re free I would like the chance to talk with you, and any help you can offer will be most appreciated.”
“It’s summer session, I’m free until Council resumes I would enjoy having some time with you before you and Kivi-ka unite. We’ve not spent any decent time together since well before our Hopa passed.”
“How soon can you come?”
“I can come immediately. Parth however is off with his friends at the seaside and isn’t scheduled back until week after next, he’ll join us after.” Xar said and Xan raised an eyebrow.
“Not off enjoying the sea yourself?”
“Xan we’ll talk when I get there.” Kivi nodded when Xan looked at him.
“Understood. How long is your journey?”
“I can be there by midday.”
“Then I’ll make sure to have lunch waiting for you, be blessed and I’ll see you later brother.”
“In a few hours then.” Xar cut transmission and Kivi set letters aside for Xan’s seal.
“I told you. Something is there.”
“I always suspected he and Parth had been forced to unite. They never did look happy.”
“They are not. Your brother certainly isn’t.” Kivi said finishing his juice as he munched on what was left of his granola. “These are finished, you just have to seal them and Manju can have them delivered.”
Xan nodded and placed the hot paraffin wax seal on each envelope and stamped them with his crest and Kivi took them out to Manju to get sent out to their respective recipients.
When Kivi walked back into the office Xan was sitting with his arms folded on the desk, his face turned to the window in thought. “Xan-ki you will know soon enough.” Kivi smiled walking over to run his hands through Xan’s thick hair from where he stood behind the chair.
“I suppose, but I am curious by nature, I am intrigued.”
“As am I, all my senses are telling me today will be a great turning point for you and your brother.”
“Me too and my intuition pales in comparison to yours. We shall see won’t we?” Xan asked tipping his head back to smile up at Kivi.
“We shall.” Kivi leaned over to kiss Xan’s brow before moving to collect their used breakfast dishes and clear them off the desk and set them out in the main room out of the way for Manju to take downstairs later.
Xan followed him out of the room stretching; he was still dressed in his morning robe, as was Kivi as he headed into the bathroom. “Care to join me for a bath?” Xan asked undoing his robe and smiling suggestively.
Kivi nodded returning Xan’s smile as his robe joined Xan’s on the floor and they took a nice long bath together and they would have done more had Kivi not been feeling still out of sorts and when Xan touched him they noticed he was tender and he felt discomfort. They chalked up Kivi’s physical distress due to a week of high-strung nerves and seasonal excessive mating. So they opted for simple affections and sincere kisses and caresses before bathing properly and returning to their duties.
Mid-day arrived and with it a single transport. Kivi and Xan were standing on the stairs as Xartobin emerged from the back without the aide of an Ounta to open his door. Xan thought that was suspicious behavior and then stood there gaping when a toddler no more than two and dressed in Ounta black was helped out of the transport by Xartobin and the Ounta driving the transport followed scooping up toddler in his arms and following Xar up the stairs. Kivi just smiled knowingly at Xan as Xar stopped on the stairs before them.
“Don’t look so shocked little brother. You yourself are about to unite with an Ounta are you not?”
“Xar! How did you know? For that matter when?”
“I presume it's safe to talk here?” Xar asked and Xan nodded.
“Everyone here already knows yes. How long? Good Gods does anyone know? Parth?”
“Parth has always known yes. I knew about Kivi the minute I shook his hand, he has rough hands and you certainly remember Ramda yes?”
“Yes, but then the last I saw you was years ago. Is this?”
“Our son, Tanjir. He just turned two a few days ago.” Xar said proudly taking his son from Ramda and propping him on a hip.
“We definitely have to talk then Brother. Come inside.” Xan said shaken and Kivi just smiled and took Ramda’s hand.
“Your pearl is beautiful.” Kivi remarked eyeing the child and smiling. He looked exactly like his Sipa. Kivi couldn’t wait to get his hands on him - he adored the little ones.
“He is proving to be much like his Sipa.” Ramda chuckled and Xar snorted.
“You always blame me. You are no saint Ram-ki.”
“Where is the fun in that?” Ramda grinned as the group made it to the garden where lunch was set out on a table.
Once seated Kivi held his arms open for the child. “Please may I?”
“Of course.” Xar smiled handing the child to Kivi who bounced him on a knee.
“He is beautiful. Goodness he looks like you Xar-ka. He will be so handsome when he is older.” Kivi smiled making faces at the child who laughed at him.
“He is the most beautiful thing to me, next to his Hopa naturally.”
“You’d better say that.” Ramda laughed pouring juice into a cup with a sipper lid for Tanjir and handing it to Kivi who gave it to the toddler in his lap.
“I am speechless. I never knew this.” Xan said still stunned and Xar smiled at him.
“No one does, especially our brother. Xan do be careful Xed has never liked either of us, it’s dangerous what you are doing.”
“I know, but I do this to change what we hate Xar. Tell me you don’t want to take your son out and claim him as your own.”
“Everyday Xan. But I would kill him if I said anything.”
“Then stand with me, and we’ll shape change together. I am going to run for council against Xed.”
“That in and of itself is dangerous. He already hates you, he be looking for slander.”
“Well I have a whopper in my pocket. I know something you don’t.” Xan said handing Xar a glass of wine. “You’re going to need that.”
“What do you know?” Xar asked his interest piqued.
“Xartova is not our Sipa. None of us are his.”
“I’m not. We are Indivar, but our Sipa was like your son. An unclaimed Indivar, he is Xartova’s half-sibling.”
“Me.” Tanvir walked into the garden smiling, having been witness to the entire exchange his mood was overjoyed. Xar stood, seeing his true Sipa in front him, he was the mirror image of the man before him, even more than Xan was.
“I know you. Dear God Tanvir? Hopa’s Ounta?” Xar asked and Tanvir nodded.
“Yes. Your Great-Sipa Xanvir is my Sipa and Xartova’s. I was with your Hopa years before he was forced to unite with Xartova, much as you were forced to unite with Parth.”
“Sipa.” Xartova bowed and then stood and hugged the man before him. “I never knew.”
“We could not tell you for obvious reasons. I am so pleased to see even with Xartova’s influence you take after your Hopa. You have a good heart my son.”
“I am weak in the knees suddenly.” Xar sat back down his head spinning.
“As am I? Honestly Xar you didn’t know? Every Ounta in that house knew the truth.” Ramda asked and Xar looked at his long time lover in shock.
“Of course I did, I thought you did too.”
“Where’s my wine?”
Xan laughed as he passed the glass over. “I told you, you’d need that Brother.”
Xar drained it in one go and sat back rubbing his tired eyes. “Xed will break a vein in his head when he learns this.”
“Probably, won’t that be incredibly fun to watch?” Xan chuckled and Xar shook his head.
“No, it will be messy. Not to mention our Sipa – Xartova, will not be pleased either. Do you have a plan? Please tell me you have something brewing up your sleeves. Regardless I will stand with you, I’m just wondering how you plan to change things.” Xar asked as Kivi fed bits of cheese to the toddler smiling at the scene, he knew he’d felt something in Xar. The fear was still there, but the pain was lessening.
Xan explained their tentative plans and Xar sat there in the garden with his eyes wide. “That’s it? Just up and unite, run for council and hope for the best. That’s not very solid. Not only will you have Xedapa doing every nasty thing he can think of to sabotage you, the minute Xartova finds out Kivi is Ounta he’ll FIND a way to have him executed. Heir of Ameretat or not.”
“He killed our Hopa, I will not let him kill another I love.”
“He killed Hopa?” Again Xar was flabbergasted and then infuriated.
“Yes. Trust me Xar we’ll let you in on all we have learned, I won’t let this continue, if it takes an all out war we’re prepared for that event too. We’re hoping the current course will be enough, but if I have to over-throw the council I’ll do that too. We have the society behind us, not to mention every Ounta out there once the news breaks. Ounta’s are no longer un-talented, just untrained. How many Prima’s are out there with little to no talents? It’s because the blood is mixed, we are one race with a caste system of enforced slavery. I will break it if it kills me.”
“It will not kill you.” Ramda smiled and looked at Xar. “I told you for years to wait for this moment. Xan is the path.”
“Are you gifted?” Xan asked and Ramda nodded.
“Foresight. Waking dreams. I get visions in my dreams. They have always come to pass.” Ramda said and Xan nodded.
“I do not have visions, but my intuition has always been my guide. From the moment I met Xan it has told me to stay by his side no matter the path. I loved him the moment we met.” Kivi smiled, as the toddler grew bored on Kivi’s lap and squirmed down to go crawl up into his Sipa’s lap.
Xar kissed his son’s brow and held him close. “I will do anything for him. I want so much to give him a life where he is free.”
“Me too. It is for the children in the long run. So they do not have to live as we did. My Sipa was like you Xar. He loved me and it killed him to see me go into servitude. That hurt most. I could handle the work, it was seeing my Sipa cry that hurt.” Kivi said reaching out a hand to Xar who took it to hold affectionately.
“He must be proud of you.”
“I try to make him proud of me. Believe me, given the choice of taking the easy path and avoiding the things that scare me or taking the difficult path and facing my fears. I want to choose the easy one. I lost my breakfast to the privy yesterday from nerves after the interview. I am terrified of being discovered too soon. But I think of the children, like yours and the others I’ve met and they are my inspiration. I think of my own children someday. I will face any fear for them.” Kivi said smiling fondly at the babe and running fingers through his dark hair.
“I could watch you all day like this Kivi. Xar I am so jealous right now. May I hold my nephew a moment?”
“I thought the desire to be a Sipa had bitten you.” Xar laughed as he handed over his son.
“In a very large way. He does look like us. The Indivar blood runs strong, we get that from our Sipa.” Xan smiled at Tanvir who smiled in return.
“Facially. Last I looked my hair was dark brown. That black hair and those golden eyes come from your Hopa, not I.” Tanvir said leaning over to look at his Grandson proudly.
“I named him after you. I had no idea you were my Sipa when I did it. I just remembered when I was little how kind you were to me. Life is certainly ironic.” Xar said and Tanvir looked up touched.
“It killed me that my firstborn was denied contact with us. The moment you emerged from your pouch, they only let Devapa feed you until his milk was gone and you grew too big for the pouch. Everything else that you needed was done by your infant attendants, I had more access to you as a servant than he did and he was your Hopa. Devapa cried constantly. Xartova said he didn’t want his firstborn influenced by Devapa’s flights of fancy.” Tanvir snorted.
“I hardly remember him. Every time I tried to see him I was stopped. Now I know why. Hopa began the society didn’t he?”
“He did. And yes, Devapa may have been whimsical in personality, but he was deadly smart and highly gifted and Xartova underestimated him and then killed him when he realized how much influence Devapa really had over people.”
Tanvir smiled when his grandson crawled from Xan to him and he held him on his knee and bounced him as they talked. “Tell me how does Parth take Tanjir’s emergence?”
“He encouraged it actually. He was forced into this as much as I was and even before the union we talked and he knew how much I loved Ramda. He felt badly that we were stuck in a position where we had to deny our partnership and we came to an agreement. In public we would play the happily mated couple, behind closed doors we would take to our beds those we loved. It’s been ten years now and he really still does not have anyone to love. Not for lack of me trying to help him either.”
“I pity Parth. He has a heart of gold, he really does. He makes it easier for Xar and I but he has no one for himself. He took me aside once and told me that I should stop preventing a pearl, that we were all growing older and that Xar deserved a son. Parth was the one to help me in my passing of Tanjir as a pearl. After he emerged he is always stopping by to see him. We both love Parth very much.” Ramda sighed, speaking of Parth always made him sad.
“I got word from him just after I called you. He’s cutting his trip to the seaside short and we’ll be here to help us in a few days.”
“He always struck me as introverted and complacent, again I was mistaken.” Xan said and Xar nodded.
“We all were. Times are certainly changing. Perhaps Parth will find happiness too. That is something to fight for as well, he deserves it.” Xar said and Ramda nodded in agreement.
“What about Tabi? Xed’s mate? I have never seen him since the union.” Xan asked and Xar groaned.
“Tabi is in hell. They’ve been united five years and Tabi can’t be social, Xed keeps his pouch full. The moment he passes a pearl and it’s emerged from his pouch, Xed is forcing another on him. I have never seen Tabi not hosting. They have four children already and Tabi is hosting the fifth. He looks old and he’s only thirty. He’s miserable, the children, while he loves them, are causing his body grief and aging him beyond his years. His body has not been able to have a break since he united with Xed; he’s constantly supporting another life with it. Believe me, he’d take the kids and leave Xedapa in a heartbeat if given the opportunity. He’s just plain exhausted.” Xar said and Xan nodded.
“We’ve got potential help there then too.” Tanvir said and Xan agreed.
“Perhaps. My head is beginning to ache thinking about this.” Xar rubbed a temple and Kivi stood and walked behind him and rubbed temples soothing the headache almost immediately.
“We all are walking turbulent times and one misstep can be fatal. But I have faith in Xan and in you. We can do this if we try. I believe it.” Kivi said stepping back and returning to his seat.
“I pray to the Gods that is so.” Xar said as Manju entered the garden bringing more wine and juice, Eran and Beau behind him.
“Sorry we’re late, I was getting more information and lost track of time.” Eran said as Xar stood and they shook hands.
“I remember you, you have not changed since you came to visit my Hopa when I was a boy.”
“I don’t change. But apparently you do. What did I miss?” Eran said taking up a seat and he was filled in on current events.
“Interesting. Just how many other Council members do you suspect are in similar situations? We can use all the support we can get Xar.” Eran asked and Xar scratched his chin, a trait Xan also exhibited when thinking. They were certainly brothers.
“Let me ponder it, let me look at it through different eyes. I will make a list, and we’ll make sure they get invites to Xan’s union.” Xar smiled and Eran nodded.
“Fair enough. I’ll let you be in-charge of the personal guest list. You are already on the council, you have insight we lack there.”
“I’ll give you all the inside information I have. I’ll work on Xan’s public relations and I’ll get him strong backing. Xartova seems to think I have no influence. I do and I’ll use it to help Xan. I want him in Xed’s chair. Once he’s there it’s a short path to Xartova’s.” Xar began and their conversation in the garden continued and soon everyone of import was there. Sipa-Juhi and Lalam came first, followed by Val and Cris and then Sanjay soon joined the meeting and they talked well until late afternoon and early evening when Manju and several others brought them out dinner so they would not have to cease their plans to fill their bellies.
The following week was full of small private luncheons or dinners for Kivi and Xan, their time was mostly spent making preparations for the union and it also saw Cris and Val beginning installation of a state of the art surveillance system all throughout the palace. Inconspicuous high-resolution cameras were installed everywhere. Cris was a stickler for aesthetic integration, not a single camera was visible to the untrained eye and tucked into every corner in practically every room. Thousands of cameras, sending their remote information wirelessly to the main CPU system installed up in Xan’s office. A fly couldn’t land on a wall without Xan or more specifically Eran and the Psi-Fighters knowing about it immediately. Xan’s office CPU sent duplicate imagery to the security room for the on-staff security Psi-fighters and an early warning system would scan every person that came in and out of the palace. If they were not recorded in the security database, remote silent alarms would sound notifying the security staff instantly.
“He does think like a criminal.” Xan remarked to Eran as he demonstrated Cris’ system.
“I told you, he’s a genius. Nothing is getting in here, you have the tightest security on the planet.” Eran grinned as Kivi walked into the office, Tanjir on his hip. He was on baby-sitting duty while Ramda helped Cris and Val tweak the remaining system checks and while Xar was attending to the guest list roster.
“You look in your element.” Xan smiled at Kivi as he bounced the toddler on his hip.
“He’s a joy. He’s also a handful, he’s so curious about everything. I’m afraid one of your shirts succumbed to a spill. He figured out how to take the lid off his cup and purple juice does not come out of white shirt very well.” Kivi chuckled sitting in a chair and letting Tanjir walk over to crawl up into his uncle’s lap.
“Shirts can be replaced. I can’t get over how much he looks like Xar and I.” Xan said letting Tanjir scribble on his desk mat paper with a pen where he sat on Xan’s knee at the desk.
“I know.” Kivi smiled noticing how well Xan handled the child; he’d be a marvelous Sipa himself one day. “And I hate to interrupt, but don’t forget we have to leave in an hour if we’re going to make it to that festival you said we’d attend.”
“Time already? I’ll go get ready I did forget the time.” Xan said standing and handing the toddler back to Kivi who already seemed ready save for changing his robes.
“I should go get ready myself, Beau and I will also be going to watch your backs.” Eran winked going to find Beau so they too could get ready.
In no time, Eran was flying the transport across the valley to the nearest town. There was a summer festival being hosted by the local lord in charge of the district and this was one of the invitations they’d accepted.
The festival was packed with people and a great cheer arose when Kivi and Xan walked up to the platform and Xan waved to the crowd. “My new friends and neighbors, thank you so very much for your warm welcome. Kivi and I are thrilled to be here today. Since we’ve taken up residence in Tantawood, this is our home and we’re proud to share today with all of you. You made us feel most welcome.” Xan spoke and people clapped and cheered as Xan turned to shake the local Baron’s hand.
“My Lord Farinmaj, thank you for the invitation to join you today.”
“Tantawood is part of this district, it’s a great joy to see it occupied again My Lord Indivar. These were your Hopa’s lands, and yours now in his place. As steward of your inheritance I hope I have honored you and your Hopa.”
“You have Lord Farinmaj, my Hopa’s faith and trust in you was not misplaced.” Xan said shaking the man’s hand, a hand that also bore the Sansui insignia ring. This particular festival was for show and publicity and Lord Farinmaj had taken great pains to ensure Kivi and Xan’s protection.
The open-air festival began with dancing and food and market stall after stall filled with jewels and produce, clothes and crafts, baked goods and pastries, fresh fruit and chilled ice treats.
Xan escorted Kivi through the market, followed by a throng of photographers. Every stall they stopped at together they were surrounded by people and flashing cameras. Kivi’s stomach was once again in knots as he tried to ignore them and carry on as if they weren’t there like Xan had instructed. He did all right with people directly, small groups of people were not a problem and he was comfortable, it was the media that made him nervous and even though Xan told him to pretend they weren’t there, it was easier said than done. Their emotions were strong, they all wanted something, and tuning them all out was difficult.
They were surrounded and Kivi never one to be truly self conscious before was suffering the affliction and moved silently beside Xan afraid to make any move at all, afraid to show favoritism over items in fear of offending someone. Xan sighed he could feel Kivi’s trepidation and he leaned close. “Ignore them Ki. I can feel you, you’re stomach is churning again.”
“It’s been churning for a week. I’ll be okay Xan-ki. It’s just I’m afraid of offending someone and it’s making me more nervous than I should be.” Kivi said as Xan paused at an ice vendor and bought Kivi a small cup of berry flavored ice and handed it over hoping it would help soothe his protesting digestive system.
“Is that better Ki?”
“No, but I’ll get used to it I suppose. This does taste lovely, and the cold helps a little, I’m just more afraid of offending a market keeper than the photographers.”
“Pride bruises easily. I don’t wish to favor one artisan over another. There are so many beautiful things here.”
Xan laughed. “Kivi, you’ll never win that argument. There will always be someone offended, you cannot please everyone no matter how hard you try to be magnanimous. What did you see you liked?” Xan asked curious now what had caught Kivi’s eye he didn’t mention.
“The robe stall we passed back that way.” Kivi pointed. “The embroidery and fabric was lovely, I thought you would look nice in some of his works is all.”
“Then take me back, I need clothes anyway.” Xan said and Kivi took Xan’s hand and led him back to the stall. “Which one did you like?” Xan asked as they stopped and the stall keeper beamed at seeing the couple back at his stall.
“This red one with the gold and black trim. It’s beautiful.” Kivi said showing Xan the garment with an embroidered dragon motif around the collar and sleeves.
“Lord Kivi you honor me with your praise.” The Elderly prima with gnarled and arthritic hands bowed.
“Did you do these?” Kivi asked and he nodded.
“They are wonderfully intricate. You deserve the praise for your craftsmanship.” Kivi bowed back and Xan agreed.
“Kivi is right, I’ve never seen anything so finely tailored. I would see more, I am in need of a decent wardrobe. I will have this one that Kivi chose. He has a fine eye. Ki will you choose more for me?”
“Of course.” Kivi smiled moving through the racks of robes while the old man measured Xan for fit. He’d adjust the purchases to Xan’s build.
“Oh, this one matches the red one only in Blue and silver. I like this too.” Kivi held out the sleeve and Xan nodded.
“Pick whatever you like Kivi. I am usually a poor choice for myself. You’ve seen my sea of black clothes, well worn and nearly threadbare no less. I have no fashion sense.”
“Where is Beau?” Kivi asked and Beau whistled from another rack.
“Kivi I am way ahead of you. I’m looking too.”
Kivi laughed and joined Beau as Eran moved in beside Xan. “You’re gonna be sorry. Beau is HARD on a purse.”
“I think I can manage. Let them shop, I don’t have to then.” Xan chuckled and Eran lit up a cigarette.
“We do think alike. I like you more and more every day Xan.”
“Same here.” Xan winked settling down on a bench to wait for Kivi and Beau to finish going through the clothes on display.
Kivi paused for a moment a look of discomfort on his face. “You alright Kivi?” Beau asked seeing the look on Kivi’s face.
“It’s my stomach again. I’ve not been able to shake this since the press conference. It comes and goes. Small cramps.” Kivi said still looking in pain, Beau walked over and took his pulse.
“Your heart is fast and why didn’t you tell Lalam or I you’ve been suffering? We thought it had passed that first night.” Beau asked looking into Kivi’s eyes, which were dilated slightly.
“Because it’s really not important. It’s only been mild discomfort and the peppermint you gave me helped. Today it’s just churning again since we got here. I’m sure it’s just my nerves around so many people.” Kivi began then winced a little from a cramp before turning back to shopping for his mate. Xan was right by his side.
“I felt that. Kivi, are you alright?” Xan asked and Kivi nodded.
“I was just a cramp, I’m sure.” Kivi smiled holding up a green sleeve to Xan’s face. “This one too, green is good for you.
“Just tell me if you want to leave. If you’re feeling poorly we’ll go home.”
I will live Xan-ki. A little stomach acid troubles I can live with. But I promise if they get worse I’ll tell you.” Xan nodded as went back out to wait with Eran.
After Kivi was satisfied he’d looked over all the garments and picked out a myriad of choices that would compliment Xan and Beau gave his stamp of approval. They made arrangements for the garments to be altered for Xan’s body and delivered to Tantawood as soon as they were finished.
From there the group continued down the market stalls, it was Xan’s turn next to pause to admire a booth. Xan did have an eye for jewels; more specifically pieces he thought would look nice on Kivi. “Xan my necklace and hair jewels are more than enough. You’ve already spoiled me.”
“I’ve hardly even begun Ki.” Xan winked as he pointed to a tray in the display case and the Jeweler eagerly brought out the set. Emeralds and diamonds in a matching set. Seven hair jewels in a flower motif, the emerald centers surrounded by diamond petals. A matching necklace that formed a collar of flowers, a bracelet that mimicked the necklace, and a ring in the same flower pattern rounded out the set.
“You like soft settings don’t you?” Kivi asked peering over Xan’s shoulder.
“You have soft features, they compliment you.” Xan said holding up the necklace to Kivi’s neck.
“Xan I’m not going to let you spend money on me here today. I like what I have already, I don’t need more.” Kivi grinned as Xan studied a ruby set in the same pattern as the emeralds.
“I know you don’t need them. But you’re going to have them anyway. I spoil my mate as I see fit.” Xan grinned right back and turned to the Jeweler. “I cannot decide which suits him more, so I will take both.”
Xan just laughed and handed the jeweler back the purchase for wrapping when something else entirely arrested Xan’s attention he whipped around to see Kivi holding his side as a cramp washed over him again.
“Kivi those are not gas cramps. I felt that.” Xan said moving to support Kivi where he stood.
“That really hurt.” Kivi said moving to sit on a nearby bench, suddenly weak kneed. He barely made it to the bench before another pain struck and doubled him over. Xan was right by his side supporting him.
“Oh Gods, Xan.” Kivi panted as he was blindsided with a pain that ripped the air from his lungs.
“Eran, please get the transport, we have to get him home. Now.” Xan said picking up Kivi and carrying him toward their transport.
Kivi was on the verge of frantic tears and his face was distorted in pain as his hand was holding his stomach in agony. Xan looked white as a sheet as Eran ran off to get the transport and Beau helped push a way through the crowd wondering what was suddenly wrong with Kivi. The cameras were going crazy.
“What’s wrong?” Beau asked as they waited at the edge of the square for Eran.
“It can’t be! Xan, We were so careful.” Kivi was crying now, he looked panic stricken.
“Not careful enough. Don’t cry Kivi, please don’t cry. We’ll get through this.” Xan held Kivi in his arms and kissed his brow as yet another pain washed over Kivi making him cry out.
“Don’t tell me, he’s?” Beau asked eyes wide.
“Passing our Pearl, yes.” Xan said, the crowd gasping and then clapping and cheering as Eran pulled the transport over quickly for Xan and Kivi to make their escape. The News would be all over the globe in minutes.
Even before the union, Lord Xan and Lord Kivi would be blessed with a pearl. It was a good Omen, for any union that had already been blessed with a pearl it was a sign of good luck and fortune. It showed the gods favored the union and had given their blessings on the couple.
Eran had the transport to them in no time and Beau helped load Kivi into the back and the door was barely shut before Eran had them racing back.
Kivi was panting and squeezing Xan’s hand so tight Xan’s knuckles were white. “I’m sorry. Xan I’m sorry.”
“Don’t you apologize for this. Please don’t say you’re sorry for giving me a son. Kivi I love you, I wanted this. Please don’t say you’re sorry.” Xan was crying too, but his face was happy. He was scared, but the smile was genuine.
“No Xan-ki. I meant your hand.” Kivi chuckled and regretted it as he felt another pain rip through him.
“Oh.” Xan laughed and leaned over and kissed Kivi’s brow. “I thought…”
“I know what you thought. Xan, I wanted this too. Just didn’t quite this soon is all. I want our son, he just could have chosen better timing.” Kivi smiled as the pain shone in his eyes.
“I think it’s perfect timing actually. The Heir of Ameretat, First Hopa, passing a pearl before the union with Jamari was a sign of good fortune. You two are repeating history even when you were trying to prevent it. Kivi if you continue to deny you are Ameretat, I’ll knock you one for being purposefully skeptical.” Eran grinned as he pulled into the courtyard and Lalam came rushing out to greet them.
“I knew it. His skin has been glowing for a week.” Lalam smiled as he helped Kivi out of the transport.
“Eran, can you please contact Indira? His Hopa should be here for this.” Xan said, his face drawn and worried.
“I’ll take care of it, go with Kivi and just worry about him right now.” Eran shooed him off as he followed behind, he’d call from Xan’s office. It wasn’t everyday one was witness to a pearl passing. He had always been a little curious about it himself if he was honest about it.
The entire front room was full of the inner council and Xar was pacing a hole in the floor while they waited. Lalam, Beau and Xan were in the bedroom with Kivi, they too waiting and feeling horrible that there was nothing they could give to help Kivi’s pain. They could just be with him and offer comfort.
The room doors flew open a few hours later and a man who was obviously relation to Kivi ignored everyone in the room and raced across it. “Eran! Kivi!”
“He’s through there Kadala.” Eran pointed and Kadala was a blur across the room.
“I take it that was Kivi’s Hopa?” Xar asked and Eran smiled.
“Got it in one Xar. He’s really quite amiable when not panicked over his only pearl.” Eran winked as Indira came in a few moments later.
“Kadala runs too damn fast. Is my son okay?” Indira was out of breath.
“As far as we know. He’s through there,” Eran pointed and Indira smiled and made his way into the other room.
“And Sipa I presume.” Xar chuckled as he continued his pacing.
“Kivi!” Kadala cried as he raced over and dropped kisses all over Kivi’s face where he lay looking brutally tired in bed.
“Hopa. I’m okay so far.” Kivi smiled as Kadala crawled into bed beside his son and let Kivi use him as a pillow as he finger combed Kivi’s hair.
“My pearl having a pearl. I could cry.” Kadala smiled at his son as Indira made it into the room and opted to stand by Xan next to the bed.
“How long so far?” Indira asked and Lalam looked at the wall clock.
“About four hours, we’ve got a long way to go yet. He’s got a tilted Chamber this will be a rocky road I’m afraid.”
“I’m the same. It took a very long time to pass Kivi. I think I was in passing pains for almost thirty-two hours.”
“I really don’t want to hear that right now Hopa. And forgive me, I had no idea it hurt this much.”
“Then you also don’t want to hear how long it took Xan to pass. It was closer to fifty hours worth of passing time. He was a large pearl.”
“If Kivi doesn’t want to hear it I don’t.” Xan shuddered his whole system one anxious knot of worry.
Kivi held up a hand to Xan which he took as he sat on the edge of their bed. “Don’t worry so Xan-ki. Yes it may take a while, but I am not the first Hopa, nor will I be the last.”
“I want to stop your pain and I can’t.”
“It’s a part of life Xan-ki. I am lucky if things go awry we have help, I will be fine.”
“We should give you some privacy Kivi, try resting a while. We’ll leave the door open and we’ll be in the other room if you need us.” Lalam said ushering out everyone but Xan from the room.
“I love you Ki. Is there anything at all I can get for you?” Xan asked kissing every fingertip on Kivi’s hand.
“I am a little thirsty. Some water would be nice.” Kivi asked and Xan held out a hand as calling the pitcher to him from across the room and he held the glass for Kivi to sip from. Kivi smiled in thanks as he lay back and let another sharp pain hit him and he tried to tune it out and focus on anything but the severe pain.
“What do you want to call him?” Xan asked getting the glass aside and smoothing the hair away from Kivi’s sweaty brow.
“Oh goodness I don’t know. It’s traditional to combine our names for the firstborn.”
“Oh I like that.” Kivi smiled at Xan who nodded, he’d been considering names for a long time, he favored that one himself and was glad Kivi agreed.
“Then Xavi he is.” Xan smiled as he stroked Kivi’s hair and watched Kivi drift into a semi-sleep. It would soon be over when the next wave of pains hit, but any rest was good rest and Xan left him for just a moment to sleep as he went to go get more ice and water for when Kivi woke up.
Kivi was able to sleep about half an hour before the pains woke him again and everyone took shifts sitting with him, waiting for the arrival of the pearl everyone had begun referring to as Xavi already.
It was a long afternoon and a very long night. It was mid-morning the following day before Xan was holding the jagged hard casing of his pearl as he wept with joy and he held Kivi close as they looked at the ugliest yet simultaneously the most beautiful thing they’d ever seen. Their son’s pearl casing, he was large like Xan had been, and Kivi would need medical attention to take care of the extra bleeding, but right now, they only noticed the joy.
Xan held the small casing in his hands and gently placed it in Kivi’s pouch, kissing both the pearl and Kivi’s pouch as he did so. “I love you already Xavi. Grow strong, I will always protect you both.” Xan whispered to the pearl in Kivi’s pouch and Kivi ran his fingers through Xan’s unkempt hair.
“You’re a Sipa now, how does it feel?” Kivi smiled, his eyes heavy with exhaustion.
“I am thrilled. How about you Hopa?” Xan grinned; laying his hand over Kivi’s pouch and the small bump that was the pearl.
“I am overjoyed. I am so scared right now, but so happy.”
“Well Xan go give the news, Beau and I need to clean Kivi up a little.” Lalam said and Xan nodded and went out to share the news with everyone waiting in the living area.
It was afternoon before Xan and Kivi managed any decent sleep and while they slept, Xar and Eran issued a statement on Xan’s behalf announcing the healthy and successful pearl passing.
Kivi’s popularity while already high, soared to new heights with this single event and news of the Heir of Ameretat was everywhere, he was even being referred to as Second Hopa by everyone, he was according to every paper and every person on the entire planet the second coming of a legend.
Only one person doubted him and that was just out of spite. Xedapa heard the news about the pearl passing and snorted turning off his vid screen. “Like it’s news an Indivar is fertile? Please.”
Xed rolled his eyes after his sarcastic comment and went off to find lunch, he was hungry and not in the mood for more news on his little brother's sex life.
And I won't be on-line tomorrow at all, I can already feel the withdrawl!!
But I get a new desk tomorrow, it's worth it! FWEEEEE!