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FOLLOWING TIDES -- PART SEVEN



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: Five
“Safe Harbor Isle”
Author: D. Sanders
=============================


Van was sitting in the alcove watching Ilya pad about the room, from the bath to their bedroom. Gloriously nude and at four and a half months pregnant, starting to really begin showing in earnest. It seemed overnight he’d gone from a flat stomach to a rounded firm dome. Van couldn’t resist and Ilya would punch him for it… again. But he snuck up behind him anyway and began rubbing the bulge growing in his middle.

“Van.” Ilya’s tone was irritated. “I am trying to get dressed. Will you please stop rubbing my stomach every time I walk by?”

“I can’t help it love. It’s too tempting.”

“Shall I gouge out your eyes so you aren’t so tempted?” Ilya asked trying in vain to find something in his wardrobe that fit. Nothing did anymore and he was at last going to have to cave in and start wearing the maternity clothes. It stuck in his craw, like sour milk stuck to the bottom of a glass. Because up until this point at least the clothes he’d worn looked like men’s clothes for the most part. These were definitely designed for women, complete with embroidery that Ilya had tried picking out to no avail.

“Ouch. Sour puss.”

“Look, I feel rotten. I throw up my guts every dang-blasted morning, every day without fail for three months in a row. I can’t even stand downwind in the greenhouse without catching a whiff of something that has me leaning over the railing yakking like I healed five hundred sailors with scurvy. I have to take a piss every five minutes, none of my clothes fit anymore and I’m having to resort to the frilly maternity crap and I have a husband who obsessively tries to polish my stomach to a nice sheen every time I walk by. You stay bloody cheerful.”

Van just opened and shut his mouth with an audible click of his teeth. Anything, he said at this point would put him in the doghouse. He did manage to look sheepish and Ilya sighed. “I’m sorry I snapped. God I am glad I don’t have these hormones normally.”

“Don’t apologize love, It’s okay.”

“No, it’s not. They’re your children too, you can’t help but be excited and I know that. Logically. Mentally right now I’m a coiled spring about to snap. One minute I’m high as a kite over a bowl of frozen berried ice. The next I’m wanting to give everyone a case of the runs in a sadistic rage. There is no happy medium like there used to be I’m up and down like a ship in a tempest.”

“I do believe you’re allowed love. It’s your body going through all these changes. It’s normal.”

“Yes but I shouldn’t take my temper out on you either. I’m sorry.”

Van just stepped forward, wrapped Ilya in his arms and kissed his brow. “Beloved, you rant at me whenever you feel like it. Better vent it that swallow it, I know you don’t really mean any of it.” Ilya nodded into his chest, in tears again. He was crying at the drop of a hat these days, again, normal behavior during pregnancy. He just let Ilya cry and then took up Ilya’s discarded shirt and pulled it over his beloved’s head. “Alright now love?”

“Aye.” Ilya wiped his cheeks.

“Good. We should be seeing Safe Harbor Isle by mid-day. You can rest properly on dry land for the first time in your life and have the babes before we set off again. I’d rather you there with other healers for that.”

“Aye, me too. At least we timed our little ‘accidents’ to coincide with the reunion.” Ilya chuckled.

“That I think was just dumb luck.” Van winked as he knelt to help Ilya on with his sandals. Van hated the functionality of them, but he couldn’t deny they looked divine on Ilya. They framed his ankles and foot quite nicely. Ilya had a beautiful shape to his feet in both forms. It was why Van wanted him to take care of them they were too pretty to mess up. Feet were normally not so nice to look at, Ilya’s were. But then, Van was admittedly biased on anything concerning Ilya and his looks.

“Probably.” Ilya agreed wiggling his toes. He knew Van would react by kissing each toe. “You’re so bloody predictable. You have a foot fetish.”

“I have an Ilya fetish.” Van grinned standing and pulling Ilya up with him. “Shall we go up top?”

“Aye, I want fresh air. Badly.” Ilya said allowing Van to lead him to the greenhouse deck where they watched the horizon and any land breaking the horizon.

They did indeed come within sight of land by mid-day. “You have excellent inner time keeping.” Ilya grinned up at Val who turned to smile at him.

“All my life.” Van winked as they both stood leaning against the railings watching the landmass in the horizon grow larger. Seven other Red-Sail ships in sight as well coming from all directions. Van dragging out his telescope and showing Ilya the ships and telling him the name of each one and which Aunt, Uncle, Cousin or Sibling was it’s Captain.

----

“The Crimson Lady” was the last of the ships to pull into her designated moorage. There would be no anchoring and dropping of Long boats this port of call. Each ship has it’s own dock that the pilots carefully guided their ladies into. Ropes swung out and the residents and already docked crews set about catching them to secure the ship in place.

The planks dropped and happy men and women began racing down to greet friends and family they hadn’t seen in almost two years.

The last down were Van and Ilya and they were swept off in a gaggle of dark haired siblings. All eight of Van’s brothers and sisters descended on Ilya eager to welcome him to the family. Thankfully Sonja had already appraised her offspring on Ilya’s unique situation and they all greeted their new Brother happily.

“God Ilya, you have the most gorgeous green eyes I’ve ever seen. Too bad my brother got you first.” Tanya, Van’s sister closest in age to her youngest brother gushed hooking her arm through Ilya’s as Van’s only other sister, Nicola grabbed the other one. Both women mind-numbingly beautiful and sharp edged. They both looked like Alexandre, extremely handsome women indeed. They both had black hair like all the rest of the siblings. Sonja’s blood gave all her children blue-black hair that just shone in whatever light was available. Both of Van’s sisters wore long braids down their backs and dressed like men. They were Captains and Sorceresses in their own rights and dresses were not functional for the jobs they held and wore proudly.

“Oi! Stop right there you two! Don’t you dare go carting off my spouse you wicked girls! I know what you’re up to!” Van shouted from amidst his brothers.

“Off to tell him all your deepest darkest secrets? But of course brother dearest!” Nicola cackled, just like Sonja.

Ilya grinned, he was going to adore Van’s sisters, he just knew it, especially if they were anything like Sonja, which appeared to be the case.

“Save some stories for us!” Rurik, the sixth brother called out and Nicola saluted as they dragged Ilya off, Van didn’t find him again until much later and the smirk Ilya wore made Van groan where he sat by a campfire with his father and mother.

“Glad to see your eyebrows grew back.” Ilya quipped.

“They didn’t tell you that!”

“Oh aye they did slick.”

“I was ten!”

“Poof.”

Alexandre was choking. “I forgot about that one.” He gasped laughing. “Did they tell you about the time Van thought it would be a good idea to make himself a hiding place in the storage rooms on the bottom level and managed to close himself in? When we finally realized the shit was missing and found him it took me seven hours to un-shift that door, he put such a tight protection spell on it, it locked it from shifting all together.”

“DAA! I was six! How was I supposed to know?” Van groaned flopping down in the sand pouting.

Ilya was laughing so hard he was crying. “Oh don’t you laugh Ilya!” Petra appeared with Yuri and surprise, surprise, Sascha attached to Yuri’s hip.

“Oh no.” Ilya knew he was in for it.

“Yes, yes ‘oh no’. Who mixed itch-weed instead of talcum into Old Man Olaf’s rash powder? I thought he’d like to kill you. Poor old man walking around with his groin on fire.”

“Oh that’s bad.” Van shuddered.

“It was white! And like you I was six. Gran never labeled anything back then. And I was itching up to my elbows too, that’s why I knew I messed up and I did run right over to tell him.”

“Too late by a half.”

“Aye too late.” Ilya shook his head. “He tanned my hide good and for good reason.”

Stories of their youthful exploits were parried back and forth from parent to parent and Van and Ilya just took it all in stride. It was funny looking back on it all.

Sascha and Yuri were sitting in wet sand at the shoreline not far off wearing nothing but short pants making a mess of themselves, squishing the sand between toes and fingers, making little balls of it to throw at each other and laughing like a typical pair of five and six year olds. Several of the other children of the same age joining them, but it was Sascha that Yuri clung too, he was painfully shy of the others until Sascha showed him encouragement. Ilya was watching them as Petra spoke. “It’s nice to see him playing finally. He’s always so shy around any one other than Sascha.” She remarked and Ilya turned to her.

“You know why don’t you? You’ve got to see it. I saw within an hour tops that first day they met on Nanta.” He asked and she shook her head.

“It’s a bonding. Like Van and I have. Stronger even than ours, ours is only a very strong spiritual connection. Theirs is a true soul bond. Don’t ever try to separate them, it won’t happen. You’ll kill them if you do.”

“What?”

“Aye, I see it too.” Sonja said crossing her eyes to look at them.

“What?” Petra asked again.

“In Wizards and healers, we have a heightened spiritual awareness. That’s why for all those years I kept dreaming of Van and he kept finding me in his bowl when he wasn’t looking specifically for me. It was our sixth senses pointing us toward our soul mate for lack of a better term. We aren’t true soul bound, but damn close. If, the gods forbid, something happened to either of us, the other wouldn’t die. We’d grieve a long, very long time, and probably never re-bond. However, In a true soul bound? If one goes, the other will go soon after. The spirit dies, literally.” Ilya explained.

“Like Old Mother Tubbs? She and her husband were together, goodness sixty some odd years. She died last winter of the lung rot, gods rest her suffering soul and Old Man Tubbs just went from perfect health to naught. Dead for no reason, in a matter of a week. Gran said he’d lost the will to live.”

“Precisely mam. The soul withers. It’s too attached to the other to survive alone. Those two don’t realize it yet, they are only little, and only have the needs of any typical child, but the need to be together is evident already. Tell me, how often do you find Sascha curled up in Yuri’s bed in the morning or vice-versa?”

“S’truth, at least twice a week. They sleepwalk and neither of them ever suffered it before.”

“You hit the nail on the head mam. It’s like moths to flame, they can’t resist it, they touch all the time, they hold hands, they sit hip to hip, they can’t help it and they don’t even realize they’re doing it.” Ilya grinned.

“Well I’ll be.” Petra said watching the boys again. Ilya was right, hand in hand they played. Yuri stumbled and Sascha was right there brushing the sand of Yuri’s legs. Both laughing and then up again, hand in hand as they pelted across the beach.

“So I take it I’ll be seeing Yuri like you one day?”

“That I can’t say. Maybe. But you’ll see him bonded to Sascha no doubt. Whether they have children is up to them, but more than likely. And had it not been Sascha, it would have been another similar boy. You know male healers are all like us mam. Equally female and male and always bent to same gender lovers.”

“I knew that much.” Petra said still watching her youngest. “Well at least I like Sascha. He’s a real sweet boy. I bet you were too eh Van?”

“Me? Oh hell No. I was a right ornery shit.”

“But that’s why we match. I was no saint. Yuri and I are like night and day personality wise. I was really out-going, talk to anyone and everyone, apt to jump in shark infested waters just to ride a dolphin. A complete hellion. Yuri is totally my opposite there. So his match is going to be of similar temperament.”

“Very true.” Sonja remarked grinning at Ilya. “It took a hellion to tame one.” She winked.

“Whereas there we have a nice, sweet boy protecting a smaller, shy one. Simple as that, for now. When they hit puberty? Who knows?” Ilya smiled at his mother who groaned.

“There’s no point in worrying about it is there? And absolutely NO chance in keeping them apart either before they’re ready?”

“Not a hope in hell. You know what it’s like when you’re young, you’ll FIND a place if you want it badly enough. And the ready part? Leave it to them, they’ll be ready when it happens, the love is already there.”

“Enough. I don’t want to go down that conversation trail yet, he’s only five.”

“And your baby a while longer yet.” Sonja said passing out wine flasks and juice as they sat around the fire as evening fell.




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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