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FOLLOWING TIDES -- PART FIVE



You know the drill -- I'm posting unproofread drivel as I write it... Well, only *I* proofread it.... I'm sure I missed a TON of Mistakes


TO READ THE FIRST SERIES FOLLOWING TIDES PART I "ILYA and VAN" Go here:

PART I ** PART II ** PART III ** PART IV ** PART V **  PART VI ** PART VII ** PART VIII ** PART IX ** PART X




FOLLOWING TIDES PART II "SASCHA and YURI" Go Here:

PART I ** PART II ** PART III ** PART IV ** PART V ** PART VI ** PART VII **




FOLLOWING TIDES PART III "TOMAS and LEIF" Go Here:

PART I ** PART II ** PART III ** PART IV ** PART V ** PART VI **



Series Title: Following Tides
Chapter Number: Four
“Treading New Waters”
Author: D. Sanders
=============================


Ilya fell into bed the minute they reached the cabin and threw an arm over his eyes. Van crawled in beside him a meek expression on his face. “Don’t worry love, I’m not angry at you.”

“I didn’t think you were, I am sorry though that this was forced upon you so suddenly.”

“Don’t be Van. It’s as much my fault as yours. I am a healer, the minute we realized we were too tired to change me back I should have thought about Maiden’s Breath. I just made a batch the other day. I know what happens when precautions aren’t taken. However, I’m not about to go near the stuff now. We made our bed and we’ll sleep in it.” Ilya said turning his huge green eyes toward Van. “I did and do want this. I love them already, I can feel them all the time. That’s why I went to see your mother. I didn’t expect to feel like this. Most women can’t and don’t feel anything, that’s why most don’t even realize they are pregnant until a month or two down the road when moons stop, it’s because I’m a healer I feel them at all and because I am the one pregnant I feel them intensely. They flared to life and brought me out of a sound sleep like trumpets blaring. I thought I’d gone off the deep-end.”

Van chuckled. “Tell me what it’s like, please.”

“Well, when I’m dealing with pregnant women, it’s like they carry around a little extra glow about them. That’s how healers always know immediately when a lass is pregnant; we see it plain as day. For me, it was like the sun didn’t rise, it exploded. A big, great, screaming cosmic boom. Twice in rapid succession. I knew the very instant it happened, not even a second after. It was instantaneous and blinding on my senses. It still is blinding. They are all over my senses. I can feel my body feeding them power like a funnel. I can still feel everything else, it’s not distorting my normal senses toward others. But my self-awareness just went into over-drive and then some.”

“Fascinating.”

“Disconcerting, it will take getting used to. I nearly fell ass over tip just trying to walk. A woman’s body has a different center of gravity. I just spent the last twenty years balancing myself in my chest. I have to learn how to use hips I’ve never had in order to keep from falling over. I’m lucky I didn’t tumble myself over the gangplank trying to get across.”

“Mercy! That different?”

“Switch yourself and find out.”

“That’s a good idea.” Van said and the next moment Van was there in all his female glory. A Handsome sharp edged woman. Not beautiful, but comely and stately regal. He stood and wobbled. “Wow, I see what you mean.”

“You have a nice ass.” Ilya chuckled from his view from behind and Van turned and winked.

“Why thank you.” He said looking at himself in the mirror and his rather large breasts. “These are bloody deformed.”

“Not to some men love. You’d turn a lot of heads with that figure. Beautiful hourglass you’ve got going on there.”

“You do realize if people knew what we were doing in here, they’d all have coronaries?”

“Probably. Only YOU get to change back with only me seeing you like this. None of my clothes are going to fit right. But at least I don’t have boobs like yours.”

“S’truth! Amen to that.” Van said as he tried walking around the room getting used to the shift in gravity. “I must say in all honesty never being a boob man, I could get used to yours. Perfect little handfuls.”

“You can stop that train of thought right there. Once your little ones are weaned I want them gone.”

Van turned and grinned. “I’m only teasing.” He said with a wink as he shifted back into his male aspect.

Ilya grinned right back. “I know. I’m just giving you hell for knocking me up.” Ilya said getting up and heading for the bathroom. “Now the real test. The first piss. Wish me luck!” He said as he shut the door. Coming out not looking happy “That is going to take getting used to as well. Wiping every bloody time, what a mess it is and I don’t want to know what moons are like. The minute these babes are here I’m taking Maiden’s Breath with a vengeance. I do not want a moon!”

Van was trying hard not to laugh and failing miserably as Ilya ripped open his wardrobe only to find his clothes fit horribly. Too tight in the hips and posterior and too loose in the crotch. The shirts were fine, but he’d need knew pants before these gave him fits of frustration. He was hungry though and eventually he was going to have to debut in this new body. Better sooner than later he reckoned and he ended up wearing a pair of Van’s pants in the end since they were slightly bigger and fit his hips better. “We’ll hit the stores after breakfast.” Van said as they headed up the stairs to face the world.

---

The galley was already full and Ilya shocked even Van when he just hoped up on a table and clanged a serving spoon against a pewter plate to get everyone’s attention.

“Don’t ask, just accept the fact I’m gonna look like this for the time being and if anyone of ye dare call me a lassie or ask me to flash my tits you’re gonna loose a wanker the old fashioned way, I’ll rip it off. Got it? I’m pregnant and in a foul humor and those of ye with children and wives you’ll understand. Those of ye that don’t ask someone who does. Thank you, end of announcement, Carry on.” Ilya said jumping off the table and not a single person moved. Everyone sat there like stunned turkeys about to be beheaded. Van followed Ilya’s wake just grinning and shaking his head.

“Captain?”

“Don’t ask Mikhail, don’t ask.”

“Did he say pregnant?”

“Aye.”

“No!”

“Aye.”

“But I thought ye both, ye know, couldn’t with a lassie.”

“Yeah, well. Just don’t ask how it happened. Please, I don’t want to explain it and he’ll murder me if I do.”

“Point taken Van mate.” Mikhail just patted Van’s arm in sympathy. He had a pregnant wife too, and just as unexpectedly and she was making him feel as much of a dog as Van was likely feeling at the moment. Perhaps even more so, Olga was a female naturally, he certainly was never gonna ask how in one night Ilya went to bed a man and came to breakfast as a woman. Although looking at him, it was Ilya all over, HE was still the same where it mattered, he was as feisty as ever no matter what shape he was wearing.

Ivana however was a different matter and a law onto herself. “At least you have decent looking hair this morning.”

“Ivana.” Ilya’s tone was warning. She took no notice.

“Don’t you Ivana me. I know perfectly well how grouchy you are this morning and how grouchy you’ll be every morning for the next nine months. It’s part of the price boy-o. You won’t get no sympathy here.”

“I don’t want it.”

“Good. You’ll need new clothes won’t ya?”

“Aye. Nothing bloody fits this morning. Men’s pants are not cut for women’s asses.”

“Aye, ride right on up don’t they?” Ivana winked and Ilya semi-smiled.

“And then some.”

“Wait until you’re around eight months and about ready to pop. Even your skin feels like it doesn’t fit.”

“Spare me until I get used to this body first. I was a bloke yesterday remember?”

“Aye, too true. Eat up love and we’ll go hit the stores after while everyone else is restocking. We’ll have some private time to get you outfitted.”

“I refuse to wear a dress.”

“Give me a little credit boy-o.” Ivana winked, ruffed his hair and went back to the kitchen. Van was staring into his food trying to avoid setting Ilya’s temper off.

----

Petra stood and gaped at her son turned temporary daughter as he explained what had happened, looking quite beautiful in a pale green sleeveless tunic gathered and belted at the waist and light airy knee length trousers. Still barefoot and his longer hair simply braided down his back. He looked the atypical ‘tomboy’ girl on the outside. And seeing as he was indeed male on the inside, he wore the new look extremely well and was turning quite a few heads from people in Nanta who didn’t know who “the pretty blonde lass” really was.

“How much flour you have mam? We’re gonna ration it out since Daa and Sergei wanna stock up to.” Ilya said moving onto business at hand.

“We already split it three ways in the warehouse, we had quite an excess last year and a good thing too, there’s plenty for all three ships and Nanta. Same for the sugar crop. We’ll be able to stock all three vessels to last you until next harvest. That is if the person taking over for us knows what he’s doing.”

Ilya froze. “What?”

“Oh dear I forgot, you’d already gone off! I was sittin’ with Anya all night, wonderful woman! It seems “The Nightwind” is short a healer and you know yer Gran is getting on in years and this is a perfect retirement for her not to mention a dream you can’t let pass especially at her stage of life. We got two other healers in Nanta, she shant be missed. And well what with Yuri also bein’ like you, she’ll have more time to train him proper to take over for her when she just can’t go on and then she can retire on the waves in a wonderful ship! Besides, he and that adorable little Sascha of Anya’s really hit it off like two peas in a pod and Yuri don’t make friends easy, he’s shy, and that life is so much better for him than this place. So we’re going too. Aunt Preda and I will work the greenhouse on “the Nightwind” and Anya’s already seeing some of our seedlings transplanted and I’m taking the small hand mill so I can probably produce enough flour daily to feed a crew in between stock stops and keep the stores topped up. Same with yer aunt.”

“Oh Mam! That’s wonderful news!” Ilya cried and hugged his mother fiercely laughing his mood exceedingly bright.

“Aye. Anya was telling me that the whole family fleet meets every two years for a reunion so we’ll see each other more often than if I stayed here. That there is the best news right there. I guess they have a secret island all their own.”

“Aye they do. Van told me about it. It’s magic shielded so it can’t be mapped, only the red ships and a few select others even know it exist. It’s only small but big enough for them all to meet and have their reunion and trade crew around. Van said it keeps the blood from getting to inbred that way.”

“Very true. That is a danger when you’ve limited space and bedfellows. Anya told me that the elderly crew folk retire to the island to live out their days. She says the greenhouses on the ships are peanuts to the island, one huge greenhouse of eternal summer. Great on old bones.”

“Aye, that’s what Van told me too. It’s nice to know eventually Gran will get to live her end days peaceful like that one day. Van also said they keep their larger livestock herds there to graze on the mountain grasses and such. He can’t wait to show it to me. He said he has a little one-room cabin right in the middle of a pine grove there and he said they have a vineyard there where all the wine they carry is made by their craftsmen and caretakers who live on the island. Not all of them are retired hands. I learned that when I asked where all the wine onboard came from since I couldn’t find where they’d make it. Same with the beer, I never saw hops or barley on the greenhouse decks.”

“Anya told me that too. They also keep their overflow bounty there. Silly to carry it all about all the time when they don’t need it. It goes into mutual coffers for the entire family to use. They’ve worked out a very functional honor system that seems beneficial for all involved.”

“Aye. They do, and any man stupid enough to break their honor and trust deserves to be throttled. I sure wouldn’t want to piss off an army of wizards, would you?”

Petra laughed. “Nay. And it explains why they always overpay when they use stocking islands. They dole out their excess wealth to folks who really need it. Never a kinder lot of folks I ever met. I feel so damn honored and proud to be movin’ to help them in their work. I now know how you felt when you told me.”

“Aye. It’s like serving the gods own chosen. They do so much good in this forsaken world. I’d give my life for them all.”

“Let’s do hope it never comes to that love.” Van said as he caught the tail end of their conversation. Ilya smiled up at his husband.

“It’s true love. I’d die for you if I had to.”

“I know beloved. As I would you, and again I Pray it NEVER comes to that. I want to retire to that island with you someday too you realize. Old and gray and crotchety and saying things like ‘when I was a boy we didn’t do this and that’ and ‘what are the youngin’s of today thinking?’ and things every old dotard spouts.” Van grinned and Ilya laughed.

“You’re going to be one amusing old fart.”

“Aye, and you too my feisty one.” Van winked as Yuri and Sascha came out from the dome dwelling.

“I’m all packed Mam. Sascha helped me!” Yuri beamed and Sascha looked pleased with himself. It really was like looking at miniature versions of himself and Ilya, Van noted and just met Ilya’s eyes with a smile. One day those two would be saying vows similar to the one Van and Ilya had spoken the day before. Van would bet money on it. Hell, he’d bet his ship on it! Everyone it seemed would begin treading new waters in the morning when they all left Nanta.

----

Ilya bid his family a teary-eyed farewell the following morning. “the Nightwind” was going to head North to pick off a raid on a supply station in three weeks. “the Handmaiden” would follow “the Crimson Lady” to help against Raskin in four days and then set herself due south for a rendezvous with a deep sea fishing fleet that would be raided by none other than Yvan who had nothing to lose at this point. He was going to be soundly thrashed again he’d hopefully learn his lesson this time around, but probably not, men like him never learned.

After that Alexandre would head to the island. Dmitri was finally retiring after nearly ninety years at sea. “The Lark” would be overhauled and little Did Sergei’s oldest son know, but in less than a year, when he turned thirteen, the ship would become his and he’d spend the next two years making it his own before casting off. Most of the time new ships were built in that time period. But Dmitri wanted to retire and wasting a perfectly good ship when there was a new wizard about to come of age was folly. The family wasted nothing, and by the time Andre was finished tweaking her, “the Lark” would be different enough to be wholly his anyway. It was also tradition that every new son of age got something from his senior wizards to add luck to his ship. Van already knew what he was going to give his nephew. He’d already purchased it, a beautifully carved stone bowl made out of rose quartz. He’d found it on a little supply island that had a quarry and he’d commissioned the bowl right then and there. Quartz made excellent scrying bowls. Van knew, his was quartz too.

Van was checking his own bowl up in the observatory to see if anything had changed in their plans when Ilya knocked and entered.

“You sure you should be climbing up this high when you’re still wobbly down low?” Van asked and Ilya grinned as he sat on the corner of the table.

“I’m getting the hang of it now. I’ve a couple of days practice in me.” He winked as he set a flask of wine in front of his husband. “You’ve been up here all morning, I thought you might be thirsty round about now.”

“I am and thank you for looking out for my health.”

“That is my job is it not?” Ilya quipped right back, uncorking his own flask and taking a nice long drink. “And no I’m not daft enough to drink wine in my state, it’s just apple juice, don’t give me that look. Who’s the healer on board?”

“Point taken. If anyone knows how to take care of a pregnant body, you do. Scolding accepted beloved.”

“Good.” Ilya smiled taking the small sack slung off his shoulder and setting it down on the table. “I brought you some fruit for you to stash up here too, you forget to eat when you lock yourself up here to go snooping about the ocean.”

“I do. I do. Pull up a chair and I’ll take a break with my lovely spouse. Toss us that dagger there love and I’ll slice up these apples.” Van said as Ilya took a dagger in its sheath off the peg on the wall and handed it to Van. He flopped into a comfortable chair across the table from Van and just took in the view from the large open windows that spanned the small circular room at the very top of the main mast. One really felt the sway of the ship at this apex, it was almost enough to make Ilya queasy in his new state of body. In a few months he’d not be able to come up here at all until the babies arrived.

Van handed him a few of the cut segments and watched Ilya eat them absently as he admired the view from the observatory. The sunlight in his hair was almost mesmerizing and Van was getting hot under the collar. How he wished there was more room in the observatory.

“I could lean over the table if you’d like.” Ilya purred catching Van’s gaze with a smirk on his lips.

“Reading my mind now?”

“Van love, you can’t hide it when you’re turned on. Your eyes give you away.”

“Do they?”

“Aye.” Ilya said slipping from his chair to sit on the table in front of Van. “It’s perfectly safe you know. You won’t hurt our babes any. I can see that in your face too.”

“You’re positive?”

“Van, just who do you think you’re talking to here?”

“Stupid question. Come here gorgeous.”

Van didn’t get any further work done before the mid-day meal and they both looked happily rumpled as they climbed down to eat.

----


Ilya was curled up in the alcove with a book, dressed in a night shirt, his hair unbound and drying from his bath and his long legs curled up under him as Van came in looking worried, “Van?” Ilya instantly set down his book and padded over to take Van’s discarded garments as he shed them and started to fill the bath for himself.

“It’s that bastard Raskin. I think he knows we’re coming to head him off. One minute the ship was there in my bowl and the next gone. He’s cloaked himself somehow from my seeking. Daa confirmed it, he can’t see him either. I don’t like not knowing where my enemies are so Daa and I are pushing wind for speed now, we want to beat him to the fleet. He’ll only be able to go as fast as Smirnov’s ship will allow. We do have the bonus of speed and we know he can’t see us. But he felt us somehow. I don’t like that, that’s a new trick he’s learned.” Van said as he climbed into the bath and let Ilya scrub his back for him.

“You’re tight as a anything, relax love. One day at a time.” Ilya said having Van shift positions so he could grip his shoulders. Ilya poured some scented oil on his back and worked Van’s shoulders. Within minutes Van was purring like a kitten.

“Love you have forever to do that. Magic hands you have.”

“No magic. Simple good old fashioned massage.” Ilya grinned, moving to wash off the oil before beginning to wash Van’s hair. Van was totally relaxed by the time Ilya finished and allowed him out of the tub to dry off.

“You spoil me.” Van said planting a kiss on Ilya’s shoulder as he toweled off.

“Absolutely I do. I like you in good humor. You spoil me then.” Ilya winked moving out of the bathroom in an almost swagger. Van just chuckled and hung up the towel to dry as he pulled on his own nightshirt and fell into bed beside Ilya.

“Love, don’t ever lose your sense of humor. I don’t think I could live without it now.” Van said as they snuggled down under the covers and blew out the candles.

“You big soft hearted romantic fool. I love you.” Ilya said using Van’s chest as a pillow.

“I love you too. Goodnight love.”

“Goodnight my lovely Dark Angel.”

“Now who’s the romantic fool?”

Ilya just chuckled as they fell into relaxed silence until morning.

----


By the following morning they had reached the fishing fleet, seven small ships dwarfed by the massive galleons “the Handmaiden” and “the Crimson Lady”. Van and Petr easily swung themselves over to one of the ships with swing lines and were welcomed by the Commodore of the small fleet, “I met “the Lark” years ago. Great old Chap Dmitri Anastasovich was ‘er Captain.”

The old Commodore said shaking Van’s Hand. “My Grandfather.” Van smiled and the old man nodded.

“My father and I have come to warn you. You’ve got Smirnov on your tail last we looked and according to our calculations, they’ll be hitting you midday tomorrow if nothing changes.”

“What on Earth would HE want with our poxy fishing fleet. We port on the Isle of Candok about fifty leagues of here. We’re just food supply for the folk, a small supply island. We only grow tuber vegetables for the most part. We taint got nothing worth the trouble it takes to attack.”

“We know. There’s something else they’re after but for the life of us we can’t figure it out.” Van began just as his Father and his first mate, Petr’s eldest son, Nikolai managed to get close enough to swing over themselves and join in at this part of the conversation.

“Father, I do wish you’d stop swinging over. You’re sixty.”

“The day I can’t hold a bloody rope is the day I retire boy.”  Alexandre shot right back with a glare. But Van was right, he wasn’t as young as he used to be, but damned if he’d tell the boy that!

At this point both he and his father sensed a presence and both heads whipped around. This was no doubt what Raskin was after. A girl of about fourteen came up on deck, dripping with untrained power. She was carrying netting baskets she’d just mended below up on deck.

“S’truth! That lass needs to be trained!” Alexandre gasped “One panicked reaction and the whole fleet can sink.” He added and the old man’s eyes widened.

“Oksana? Me granddaughter, best fingers with a needle since her Gran. Why? What’s wrong?”

“Power and a lot of it. Does magic run in your family?” Van asked watching the girl stack her netting.

“Not a drop of it. Although, her mam wouldn’t say who fathered her. Might be his stock.”

“Probably. And I can tell you now from experience with Raskin, he’s looking for her. He’ll use her power like a well to drink from, slave her and breed her. Magic is not usually quite so strong in women as men. Not in this lassies case though, she’d be a powerful sorceress with the proper teaching.” Van said as Alexandre nodded.

“Aye. It’s wise to let her come with us Old man. My wife and I will take care of and teach her. I taught seven sons and two daughters I have.” Alexandre said smiling at the pretty young girl.

“Take Oksana? Her mam will have heart failure.”

“Not forever old man, she’ll be allowed to come home AFTER we make sure she’s not a danger to herself or others anymore. It’s more than folly to let her go without teaching. There are more bastards out there like Raskin who’ll snap her up before you can blink. You have my word and honor I’ll protect her like me own daughter.” Alexandre said and the old man just waved it off.

“It’s not a question of yer Honor Captain. Everyone done know red-sails are always the ones ta trust. Can we leave the choice up to the girl? She’s a good-girl, as levelheaded as they come she is. We’ll let her decide her fate?”

“Fair enough.” Alexandre nodded as the Old man hailed the girl over. She smiled and bowed trying not to look intimidated. She had courage in her and Alexandre disarmed her with a brilliant smile. Van smiled to himself, his father had won over harder edged children with that smile of his. The epitome of grandfatherly charm.

“Oksana, the Captain Alexandre Dmitrivich here would like ta talk to ye.”

“Me?”

“Aye lass and a serious matter we’d like to discuss with you.”

“It about the things I do isn’t it?”

“What things child?”

“Ye gods all sorts of crazy things started happenin’ when I got me moons. I’d just wish fer something, oh like a sharper needle or something and it’d happen. Crazy nightmares started happenin’ and I’d wake up and my room would be in shambles. It’s right scary and I don’t know how I’m doin’ it! Mam said me Daa was a wizard and I never believed her, until now. I just always thought it was a story she told me since I never knew my daa and every little girl likes to think her Daa is powerful strong. I don’t know how to make it stop.”

“That girl is precisely why we want to talk to ye. Me son and I sensed you right when we came aboard.”

“Daa’s right lass. Power will come full strength to ye when you reach puberty if you have it in ye. Wizards always breed true, so if your daa was a wizard, and lookin’ at you I have no doubt he was. It’s important you learn how to use what you were born with so you don’t hurt yourself or others you love.” Van said and the girl nodded almost desperate.

“Please! How do I learn?” She pleaded and Alexandre took her hand.

“If you’ll come with me child, I promise to teach you everything I know. Ask Van, I’m not such a tyrant task master am I boy?”

“Do you really want me to answer that question truthfully daa?” Van grinned and winked at the girl who laughed.

“Cheeky boy. Don’t scare the girl!”

“Course not. She looks tough enough. It’s not easy lass, it’s powerful hard work and will take you quite a few years to learn properly, especially since you’re a lot older than most when we start learnin’. But me Daa is good, he’ll make sure you’re properly safe and protected while you learn. I strongly urge you to go with him. Me mam will help you too, you’ll like her and she’ll love you. My sisters are all gone with families of their own now, she’ll have fun with a new girl around for her to dote on.” Van winked and the girl was at ease.

“I’ll work hard I promise! I’ll earn my keep!”

“None of that child, no earning keeps. Just you concentrate on learnin’ what I teach you. You’ll earn your own merits out in the world one day. I just expect you to use your gifts for the betterment of mankind and not for selfish pursuits. That is why I teach you and for no other reason. You give back what you’ve been given, that is the will of the gods. I am just their servant as much as you are. They led me to you for a reason, I don’t argue with the will of the Gods.”

That statement right there won the girl and her grandfather over without any further reservations. That was the law of their world that any good, honest man lived by. Give without thought of reward, help when you can, love your fellow man, appreciate your good fortune and share it with others who need it too.

“SMOKE TO THE WEST!” Came the bellow from up in the crow’s nest and all eyes turned west to see a cloud billowing up at the horizon.

“That’s Candok!” The old man gasped. Van and Alexandre gave each other grave looks. Raskin had changed course and attacked the island rather than the girl to draw her home and away from them.

Both men ran to shout orders to their men. “Go get your things child, hurry.” Alexandre said and the girl raced downstairs to gather her belongings. She was back up top in just a few minutes and Nikolai swung her over to “the Handmaiden” followed by Alexandre.

Van and Petr were back on “the Crimson Lady” in a flash and a strong east wind filled sails. They out paced the small fleet within moments, there was nothing the men on the fleet could do anyway and they wasted no time setting course to the island.

Sonja was immediately by the girl’s side. “Come on love, let’s get out of the way of the crew. You can tell me all about what my husband is doing bringing pretty young strangers onboard.” Sonja grinned, knowing perfectly well just by touching the girl ‘why’ but it would distract the child from worrying too much. She could see the smoke, she’d have to shut herself up inside her shielded cabin until she was needed to heal anyway. Ilya was doing the same thing on board his ship, sitting in seclusion, building up stores and drinking tea like there was no tomorrow, waiting.

Sonja but her own kettle of tea on as she sat with Oksana on the low sofa.

“Now child, my name is Sonja, but you can call me Gran if you’d like, lord I’m old enough for it now. I have grandchildren your age.” Sonja smiled, she was still a handsome and beautiful woman. A single patch of silver in her hair at her left temple the only sign of age.

“Captain Van looks like you.” Oksana remarked and Sonja chuckled.

“Aye, he does. Took me eight children to get one that looked like myself. He’s my youngest of nine, and about to make me a Gran again he is. Got twins on the way he does.” Sonja chattered as she poured tea for them both. “You should have seen Ilya when he realized, I thought Van was going to lose his manhood right then and there. That’ll teach those two from messing about without thinking.” Sonja laughed again and Oksana stared at her.

“Ilya is a boys name.”

“Aye, aye. It’s a long story love. Let’s just say my dear foolish son and his dear foolish spouse thought it would be a good idea to test a hair-brained theory out on themselves. On their wedding night no less. They thought that they might want children someday so they figured they’d see if they could switch Ilya’s aspect. He’s a healer, and is quite balanced and is equally female and male in spirit. So my son, whom is quite a powerful little cock-brained wizard, switched Ilya’s aspect into a female form rather than his male born one. They we’re worried that because neither of them were attracted to females in the physical sense they might not be able to have children. Needless to say, male or female, Ilya has my son well and truly wrapped around his little finger. By morning they both had a surprise waiting for them. Ilya was pregnant with twins. So there’s no changing him back now until the little ones come. So just mind you sweetness, he’s still getting used to being in a girl’s body, but he’s not a girl. He’s as sweet as they come, but a little touchy about his new looks.”

Oksana laughed. “I’d imagine so. Men do take pride in their bits and bobs don’t they?”

“Aye lassie!” Sonja cackled, loving the sharp girl. “So when you meet Ilya, make sure you talk to him as a boy and not a girl. It’ll make him feel better.” Sonja winked and Oksana nodded grinning.

They continued gossiping together over spelled tea and Sonja was thankful the shields in the cabin also kept out noise and commotion from up on decks. The girl didn’t need upset just yet and Sonja knew come nightfall there was probably going to be many tears shed.



TO READ THE FIRST SERIES FOLLOWING TIDES PART I "ILYA and VAN" Go here:

PART I ** PART II ** PART III ** PART IV ** PART V **  PART VI ** PART VII ** PART VIII ** PART IX ** PART X




FOLLOWING TIDES PART II "SASCHA and YURI" Go Here:

PART I ** PART II ** PART III ** PART IV ** PART V ** PART VI ** PART VII **




FOLLOWING TIDES PART III "TOMAS and LEIF" Go Here:

PART I ** PART II ** PART III ** PART IV ** PART V ** PART VI **


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