Monday, December 6, 2010

396 - Chevenga and His Escort left Early

Chevenga and his escort left early next morning but I wasn’t awake to see him off.  Gannara said he wasn’t going to see me force myself out of bed to do the work-out that I could with Kallijas.  Between the broken bone and the stress I was under, and not sleeping... he sent a note up and by the time my bed had been made up again.
Then he and... and... Farasha... came to bed with me.  Just to sleep.  They climbed into the bed with me on either side and the big white cat came back as well.  I was so warm... and everytime I started to slide into another nightmare I would somehow hear a sigh in my ear or a shift and they’d put an arm over me... or my arms around them.  The more shifting that we did to stay comfortable in our sleep the more it kept my nightmares at bay.
I woke up with my nose buried in Farasha’s hair and Gannara wrapped around my back.  I was tucked into him like one spoon in another.  He was shooting up taller than I and his arms were folded around Farasha and I both.
I… had my vile organs unbound and… I was hard but it had nothing to do with wanting Farasha or Gannara… and I could feel his penis firm against my back.  It was just… there… it was like listening to Surya say “It’s just doing what a body does.  Don’t hate it.”
I lay, drifting on the edge of sleep, cradled by two amazing people and considered the idea that my body might not be the filthy cesspool I’d thought.  The Haians certainly didn’t.  Zinchaer had told me that.  He and I had talked more than once about it.  After the horrific start to the night it had certainly finished better.
“Psst…. Minis?”
I managed to raise my head up and peer at the door.  Ili hissed at me again.  I nodded at him and began working my way out from between Gan and Fara.  It was a good thing he'd woken me because I realized I needed to visit the garderobe.
“Morning little brother,” I smiled at him once I closed the bedroom door.  His hair was everywhere like a bird’snest and Jia clung to his back, one of his eyes showing at Ili’s neck as his free tentacles waved at me.  I was so glad to see my little brother alive I went down on one knee and caught him in a hug; my bladder could wait.
He hugged me carefully – on the side away from my shoulder --- and then struggled loose.  “Min!  Let go! You just saw me last night!  I wanna eat breakfast with you so I came to get you an’---“
“Shush, Blob!  I need to go to the garderobe first, then changed clothes and gloves and I’ll be ready… you need to comb your hair first….”
“Aw, Stinky!”
“Stinky?  When did you start calling me Stinky?”
“Well… you’re a big poop and you call me Blob so I can call you Stinky!”
“Fair enough.”  I tousled his hair, just so happy to feel his heat under my fingers.  “You want to come riding with me today?  I’ll ask your teacher to give you some free time with me.”
“Shush, wait wait slow down!  Let me empty my bladder at least!”  I slipped into the garderobe and heard him dancing and singing outside, apparently addressing every third word or so to JiaKlem.  As I stepped out again, I found Ili lying upside down, with his feet on the back of a chair and his head hanging over the edge of the seat, Jia balanced on his feet. The big white cat sat underneath the seat and stared through Ili’s hanging curtain of hair.  It got up and stalked over and sat down between my feet as I stopped.  It had to be the crazy kitten that had insisted on loving me.  I dared scoop him up and he oozed around and over the back of my neck, draping himself around my neck like a shawl.
“We brought Nasty back and we should see if we can find another Mahid horse that isn’t totally crazy, just for you.”
“WHEEEEEEEEEEE!” I plugged my fingers into my ears and went to struggle into my day clothing before Ili burst my eardrums. I need to start reminding him that he should not shout indoors.
The Head Groom was very happy today.  He’d been able to use the commands to keep his staff safe from the Mahid man-eaters and they had Nasty tacked up for me… for us… right after breakfast.  I took Ili up in front of me and they let us out the stable gate onto the ramp from the roof.  I headed us out into the woods around the city, away from the lake, where a brand-new festival was going on, inspired by a Tor Enchian boat festival.
I had bits of sugar for Nasty and Ili rode by himself all the way around the edge of the grass faib field.  Nasty had his ears back and his head down, rolling his eyes at me, lipping the long grass on the edges.  He flinched every time Ili squealed but I whistled at him and he shook his head and plodded on as if he were an old plow horse.
“Hey!  Min!  Is he being good?  Think he’d do some of the fancy kicks for you?”  Ili twisted around in the saddle and Nasty stopped in his tracks, his head bobbing all the way up and down.  He really, really didn’t want to be good.  I could see it.  “He knows you aren’t going to beat him or stick him…”
“Let me see your dismount then!”  
He grinned at me and put both hands on the pommel, kicked his feet out of the stirrups and flung his legs straight back and jumped down as though someone had picked him up by the heels and neck and lifted him straight off the horse.  He peeked at me under Nasty’s head, the reins in his fist, grinning at me like a maniac.
“Very flashy.” I offered Nasty a chip of sugar for being so good and he shoved me with his nose angling for more.  I shoved his nose off, glad I wasn’t punching him behind the jaw to keep him from biting me. My muscles screamed at me because I hadn’t been riding.  In the city I’d been skating… though I had been keeping up the stretches as part of my war training.
Once on his back I took him through some basic signals… he and I really getting to know one another again.  We circled the faib field… keeping to the rough so we not scar things up.  He hesitated a few times when I asked him to change leads, left, right, left, but then he listened to me smoothly, with Ili pretending to instruct from the centre.
I rode him over to the open space next to the groomed field and asked him to caper.  It was not so light-hearted a motion as the name implied, given that the horse was leaping into the air and kicking fore and back simultaneously, to hit men on the ground before and behind.
He hesitated as I tapped him just in front of his spur-scars with my bare bootheels and did a little crow-hop.  Ili laughed and I did as well.  He was so afraid of what I would do.  He was so afraid of me touching where his scars were sensitive on his soft belly. I rode him in another smooth circle, brought him back to the centre and asked him once more.
This time he snorted and lunged into the air as if I’d cut him with my quirt, his hooves lashing out. It was ragged but it was willing and my form was terrible but I was laughing because when he came down he was dancing and snorting as if he’d won a battle all by himself with the one kick.
I patted his neck, got down and found myself with an armful of horse-face.  He was breathing heavily as if waiting to be struck.  Mahid training was just terrible.  Ili came up, quietly, and grinned. “He did it for you.”
“He did.”  I fed him the rest of the sugar in my pockets and wiped nervous foam off his neck as he crunched and slobbered and calmed.  “I think we need a slow walk around the woods.  And then I will be bringing the noon meal to Inensa.  I owe her a visit.”
“She never talks to you.”  We started walking back with Nasty trailing quietly behind us.
“That’s all right.  You can close your lips but there are no flaps to close your ears.  She hears me.”  He giggled a bit at that.


Mother sat, by herself, in the solar with the sun shining through the glass, almost bright enough to be blinding. She was working a tapestry of a Solar Phoenix.  I set the tray on a table, pulled the napkin off and set out her cultlery. 

“I realize I don’t need to do this but I want to.  I don’t know what you like to eat, or if you were ever allowed to develop tastes for things.  I know. I know.  Food is fuel, but I’ve learned that in a sense you dishonor the chef or the cook by ignoring their art and skill.  In that sense Mikas is dishonoured if we shame the work.

I would think,” I said as I stepped back and she set her needle into the holding cushion and sat back away from the tapestry frame with her hands folded in her lap, staring past me.  “That Muunas wouldn’t be terribly happy with any of the Ten being dishonoured.  That kind of arrogance eludes me.”  

I pulled a chair around and sat on it backwards, gazing vaguely in her direction, looking past her as she gazed past me, but I didn’t shut up.  I just leaned on the back and kept talking.“There’s Black-stripe fish soup. Twice fried potatoes with salt-cream and smoked bacon pieces. The meat is a stuffed coronet of roast lamb and roasted honey/cumin garlic carrots and parsnips.  The fragrant scents of the food wafted out into the room.  Was that a twitch in her face?  Was she appreciating the magnificent aroma?  Please, don’t wait.  The soup won’t be nearly as good cold.

I took Ilesias out with me for a ride today.  Sinister Malevolent Glory –” That was Nasty’s official name. “—is working well with me.  

I shall be announcing my candidacy for the Imperatorship when the current Son of the Sun returns from Yeola-e.  I am going to be consulting with the High Chamberlain about what would be appropriate wear for a campaign… then I shall be removing to a manor house in the city if I may rent one since continuing to live in the Marble Palace will certainly be seen as partisan.”  Was that the faintest shadow of a nod?  

“As you know.  I am considering renting the Liren manor if that would be appropriate since the former Mirror is well known for her abilities as a hostess and I hope to ask her for her assistance with the social aspect of the campaign.” I turned to look at the stack of Pages on another table.  Mother was certainly reading now that she was allowed. 

“I will be bringing more of your meals for the next few days, Mother.”  I got up. “I hope you like something here.  I’m going to be talking to the chef to see if we can figure out what you actually like.”  I was still getting used to even having a mother… I was stopped by my thought.  

I needed to buy her a mother stone.  Every son normally bought his mother one on his first threshold and I had had no idea who she was then.  I nodded to myself.  Tomorrow.  I would buy her her mother stone tomorrow. 

“Until tomorrow.”  I bowed properly to her silence and left her alone to eat.


  1. I like this - much needed recovery time for everyone, in small bites.

    this does not quite work - "The more shifting that we did to stay comfortable in our sleep kept my nightmares at bay."

    I would either drop 'more' altogether, or add a matching one 'the more it kept my nightmares at bay.'

  2. Thanks Cat! I think I shall do that fix with the 'mores'.

    And recovery time... yes. Everything is in flux.

  3. Beautiful slices of how he is coping with the wait. I must admit that I was especially touched by the three youngsters sleeping together.

  4. Aww... I hoped so, thanks. Minis needs a lot of recovery time with all that...