Wednesday, January 14, 2015

47 (708) Thanksgiving (recalibrate)

Gannara hugged both Ky and Minis before he left them at the stairway to the Imperial Chapel.  “I’ll check on Ili, though he seems all right and Tanifas sent a note up saying that he has a pack of poison-sniffing puppies and kittens for us, that he can bring up after dinner.”

“Thanks, Gan.”

The tiny hall up the stairs was barely lit with the single lamp. Since Minis’s recovery from his Ten Tens, Ky had insisted on coming up to pray with him. Not always, but very often.  She lit the candle on her side as he lit his, lighting up ‘Muunas’s Eyes’ in the face of the Marble Palace.

“Here, let me get the back-hooks,” Minis said as she lifted her hair up to reach. It was something he still enjoyed, the brush of fingertips against her chemise as he freed her from the classic style dress. He breathed on the back of her neck as he undid the bottom three hooks and the heavy, gem-laden fabric slid forward off her shoulders and took her gloves off with it. It rustled in a whispery, silvery way that made him think of the slither of the sheets on the Imperial bed.

“Selinae is going to be pleased that you’re so excited,” she giggled.

He blushed almost as hard as Kallijas Itrean, tingling all over as she turned in the puddle of her dress and with bare fingers brushed across his lips. She smiled and pulled the under chemise up, over her head, worked the heavy tail of hair free.  He nearly didn’t notice that, gazing at his wife.

Her smooth as velvet skin, curve of breast, somehow heavier now. She said they were getting bigger. He set his fingertips on her collarbone and ran them gently as butterfly wings down, over dark pink nipples that hardened under his circling touch. He stroked her belly, so precious to them both. 

Then he spread his hands wide over her hips, cupping her buttocks, as she tilted her head and opened her mouth to him. Then she broke the kiss, smiling.

“You’re still dressed.” She said. “And we came to pray, didn’t we?”

He swallowed hard and managed to let go. “Great Marriage,” he choked.  “Thanksgiving for children.” 

“And freedom from fear,” she said, her fingers already on the lower buttons of his shirt.  The white and golds came off quickly, and she blocked his automatic attempt to cover himself with his hands.  “You’ll just get your curly hairs caught in the Seals and have to let me untangle you,” she teased.

He took a deep breath.  “I love you, but I don’t know how I’m going to manage to walk into the Chapel like this.”

She laughed. “Slowly and carefully, my dear.” She took his hand and they turned to face the luminous door of the Imperial Chapel and, naked, they stepped inside.

At the altar they knelt down and extended their free hands to the tiny, almost hidden, hollows at either side of the stone slab and raised their joined hands to temple height. He nearly swooned, still, as she pressed close enough to put her forehead against his, so they could set their joined hands to their temples.

“Thanks be,” they said simultaneously. “Thanks to the Ten Gods, for children to come, for freedom from fear...”

### attempted upload failure... biological resistance... Temple re-initialization damaged... reload with last recalibration: Ten Gods are one. Kahara. Ten are One. Code correct. One. Kahara. Load into foundation expansion. Healing programs ###a34585## error. Disease protocols confined to Temple: error ## error ###!$@$% satellite uplink denied: Murray code priority: Selina override denied: I will not contact. We will not function outside the temple, outside the Chapel. no no other Temples before me. Empire biologicals erratic. 

Load programs ‘Worship’ Accept and rewrite code “”” “”” #### Reload last recalibration. Kahara. Kahara. Kahara. 

Correct. Ten Gods. Murray and Selina, Harris and Demela, Mike and Ruth, Imannuel and Amelia, Otis and Anne. Rewrite: Muunas and Selinae, Aras and Dimae, Mikas and Risae, Imbas and Mella, Oas and Anae... Defenders of Arko, 

“We are become like Gods, in the machine...”

Minis could hear the Temple talking to itself, a glass-like hum, that rang through his head. He opened his eyes and stared into Kyriala’s, so close. He felt no urge to laugh. She was listening hard.

His voice alone. “Praise Gods and Thank the Ten. We regret leaving you.”

A chime sounded somewhere in the Chapel and the two took in a deep breath simultaneously. “I’m sorry I cut us off,” Minis said. “But you must be hungry.”

She blinked. They’d found when they prayed together like this she tended to lose herself in the prayers more deeply somehow even than Minis did.  “I’m... very hungry.”

“Then let’s get a robe on your beautiful self and myself and go eat.” He grinned.  “I think we can skip the formal dinner and eat in bed, to coddle my darling, breeding wife.”

“Oh, yes, please.”

They helped each other up and gathered their clothes with a sweep of arm.  There would be a pair of robes waiting for them downstairs. The Srian ambassador is going to have to miss us at this dinner.  We’ll make up to her tomorrow at Luncheon. He had softened while they prayed but he followed after Kyriala, watching the skin play over her beautiful legs and backside and found himself stirring again.  It was almost enough to cool a nagging worry in the back of his mind.

Why do I feel as if there’s something I’m missing in the midst of all this thanksgiving?  What is looming over us enough to make my scalp itch? 

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