jUST A QUICK CHAPTER TO. GET THINGS GOING. i'M TYPING IT NO'W, DANIEL,
No Magic Needed
I hugged Dennis again, “How did you do this?”
Dennis shrugged. “He can make sounds. I coached him to make controlled sounds. He's still deaf. I worked with him to know the A in "take" and the A in "tap" are pronounced differently.”
“I got tired of meeting people who can't sign,” Toby said, He said! “This way they can understand me better.”
His words were pronounced carefully. There was a tone he had. Dennis had taught him to stop enunciating between the words. Glutted stops are what they were called. When he said a word, he didn't use syllables and the word was said in one. It would be an ongoing process. He'd learn.
Keith Davidson, our mayor, held up his goblet. “This has been great and will continue to be here. I propose the first of many toasts.” He turned to me. “To Erik, in his time with us in Royal Valley. We were turned from employees of Arthur Thorne in Thorne Valley to citizens of Royal Valley. We prosper under him and Seth. He brought treatments here He broke down walls between us and A'Dore and with our new friends in Cried!” He held his goblet out. “To Erik. I can't wait for what you'll do next. To Erik!”
There were many that drank to that.
I looked at one young man and my eyes widened. I turned to Garth and Bent. “Is that Ely!? He has to be, he looks so much like you.” I meant young man. He had Garth's height, not the bulk yet but it would come. In his late teens, he was a heart breaker now. His daughters were lovely. His eldest daughter was a young woman and attracting the attention of many men here offering to get her punch, The youngest was a teenager now and would be a beautiful woman.
“Yep,” Garth chuckled. “He's at the age where my growth spurt," He did air quotes, “thank God, Cassie's mother explained that time of the month and wnat to do to her. She told her sister.”
Gabe and Zeke were there with their parents, David and Curt...many people we had formed friendships with.
Now the conversations were to me or Seth. I took extra time watching Seth. For any sign that he was tired or pain. Other than twice I escorted him to the downstairs bathroom, he did well. I told Ryan how his neck survived being wrung.
Grace doted on Seth. The offers to bring him anything she could bring him to make him more comfortable. He didn't mind.
This was the beginning for many to regret. To wonder what he took the other job, or hadn't married that one they had. A lot of men didn't have choices. If if it was in A'Dore, it would have been some nobleman's daughter or another princess from a kingdom. I had no regrets. I married the one I could love and loved me. We changed customs and law because of our lives. We changed many lives. We changed our world. No regrets!
The party was ending, children needed to go to bed and those that began a work day just before dawn had to go home.
Seth smiled. “I hope you enjoyed your day.”
I got him on the bed and took his boots off being careful of his right foot. His right foot still had a little bruising. I finished helping out of his clothes and in a nightshirt. Putting mine on. “I did. Toby's and Dennis' surprise floored me.”
Seth nodded. ”And kept it secret!” He gave a grin and rolled to me. “I want you.”
I chuckled. “You have me.”
We began our day, as usual, our day was loud. The best noise were our boys.
“Good morning!” Dennis greeted as Kitty jumped on the bed, purring started.
“Good morning, Dads,” Toby said.
“How did you hide you were trying to talk?” Seth asked,
“There are parts of Royal Valley the gives privacy,” Toby shrugged. “He would hear someone coming.”
“We wanted to surprise! Your birthday was coming and we decided we would do it then!” Dennis said. “And Kitty has a lot of energy. It's like he's a kitten!”
“He practically is!” Seth said. “Now, let us bathe, shave and dress.” Kissed the cat and waved them out.
We did our morning routines. Seth said he had no pain now except when he put his weight on his foot. He insisted on using the crutch.
“Okay, Mister Independent.” I chuckled as I patted him on the back.
Grace smiled seeing us. I didn't fool myself. She knew him almost his whole
life. She was his mother. She loved me. I wasn't jealous. Well, maybe a little.
“Good morning,” Grace said pointing to the pot. “Coffee is ready.”
Seth kissed her in the cheek.
“You're her favorite.” I shrugged.
They were both talking at once. She was saying she didn't have favorites and Seth was saying she loved me, too.
“Seth,” I grinned. “She's known you your entire life. She raised you. She is your mother!”
Seth grinned nodding. He kissed her on the cheek again. “He's right. Thanks, Mom.”
“I will confess something.” I sighed. "In the attic is a mirror...”
Grace smiled. “Are you going there or are they coming here?”
Seth and I were surprised.
“I'll give you what I know,” Grace said folding her arms across her chest to challenge us to deny it. “I know there were times you and a couple of others. One was Ryan and vanish and you were nowhere here for hours! Ryan goes up there and vanishes every day. He talks of Med School. He isn't going here. He's not in Blethos' Capitol.” She smiled. “So, I'll ask again are, are going there or are they coming here?” She smirked.
Seth and I weren't too surprised. She was an intelligent woman and observant.
“They are coming here.” Seth grinned.
“It's Christian and Ella,” I said. “They want to see Seth, they can't be seen They'll eat in our room.”
“Well, I'll make a good lunch and bring it to you.” She promised.
“Thanks, Mom,” I said kissing her cheek.
Toby and Dennis greeted, both said. “Good morning!”
Grace clasped her hands in front of her. “How about pancakes, hot maple syrup. and sausage?”
“Yes!” Dennis happily.
“Do we have juice?” Toby asked.
“We live on a vineyard!”
Toby smiled. “So, we don't have juice?”
I threw my napkin at my laughing son.
We went back to our bedroom, Seth said. “Do you have that nasty stuff and put it on me?”
“Are you in pain?”
“No,” he said. “Well, not really, it sort of started to ache.”
“Sure, I will unwrap it again.” Once I did that and pushed him back on the bed and propped his foot on the pillows again. “Don't move! I would like one dance with you on our anniversary.” I leaned in kissing him.
It was eleven o'clock when I walked in the attic. There was a time difference of one hour. A'dore had sunrise at, let's say six in the morning and we would, too. An hour later!
I brought Ella and Christian downstairs to the bedroom. I shook my head. Grace was in there arranging the table in a more central place and was using a nice tablecloth. She bowed at Christian and Ella. “Good afternoon, your Majesties.”
“Thank you, Grace.” Christian taking her hand and kissed a knuckle. “The guards that escorted Ella and our children raved about your cooking. I look forward to tasting some.”
Seth stood and I was right beside him.
Ella said what said. “Oh, you poor man. You don't have to get up, Seth.”
Seth chuckled. “I am sick of bed. I had Erik put the Aspri-willow and Opium he uses as a kind paste and rubs it in. I took the Opium day before yesterday. I'm never doing that again!” He hugged her and kissed her on the cheek.
I released Christian from his hug of me. “How are you?” I asked Ella and she knew why I asked. She had a miscarriage.
“I spoke with Dr. Warren, I wondered how I could have a miscarriage with the little warriors?” She smiled. “He said, they were keeping me alive. They don't interrupt nature. He said sometimes nature takes care of problems. My problem was not the pregnancy. He said God took care of a problem we didn't know about.”
“Could be,” Christian said. “She was just at the beginning of the second trimester.”
“We're trying again,” Ella said happily.
Grace came with a cart. I'd ask her later how she did that. She pilled the silver cover and delicious smells greeted use. Christian's and Ella's just wanted to see Seth was alright. We dined. We nice conversations and as we finished. I heard the boys return from school. The sound of feet coming toward us.
“Hi, Uncle Christian, Aunt Ella!” Dennis greeted.
“Hi, Uncle Kistian, Aunt Ella.” He pronounced Christian's name wrong.
Christian's jaw dropped open and his eyes widened. Shocked.
Ella rose from her chair gasping, holding her hands covering her mouth. “How...” she asked.
“What, how...” Christian stammered.
“He's still deaf.” Seth smiled. “They worked hard for this.”
“We didn't find out until they presented to surprise us last night.” I chuckled.
“So, no magic or something?” Ella asked hugging Toby,
I shook my head “Just determination by our sons. No magic needed.”