It's time for another annual event. Not Santa either! "Damn it, Janet!" I love that MOVIE!! Rocky Horror? Meatloaf!! And not the kind you eat! You remember. I love movies!! I LOVE THAT ONE, TOO!!! Happy Halloween!!
Seth knew what to do to divert my thoughts. We were really a married couple. Not just to sound poetic, but we knew each other so well that speaking wasn’t always necessary. We were going through life together. Anyone that couldn’t understand how there’s a romance between two men works need to hang their heads in shame. Two Human males can be romantic. There are times we can be rough. We can be tender. No words needed to be said by either of us. Spontaneous sex was great. The novelty of someone new is exciting. Seth and I had passed that years ago. There was still the discovery when something new is added, but there was comfort and security in knowing that we both knew what the other needed. We had excitement and passion. We also had a comfortable familiarity I felt so comfortable in.
With our ceiling open to let what little reflected sunlight there was now, I was guessing it was dinner time soon. The sun was out, yes, but it was almost always overcasted here. Learning to judge the time of day in the Northwest was a little challenging.
The Rain Shower Room we had wasn’t big enough for both of us. The Rain Shower Room was what one of the Natives called it. I suppose it was, if it was a heavy downpour. You got clean. That was the important thing.
“These Rain Shower Rooms are great,” Seth said under the warm water. “It’s great if you’re in a hurry,” then whined a bit, “but I miss our bath time.”
I chuckled, “They have tubs here.” I was putting a deerskin shirt on. It was warmer than anything I brought!
“That’s not the same,” Seth pouted sourly. “It’s a whole floor down and we’d have to watch if people came in...”
“I know,” I said as he came out. “It’s an Our Time moment.”
Seth nodded as he dried his hair with a drying cloth. “It is! We don’t just get clean. It’s a bonding time for you and me. There are times we can’t share a bath.”
I came up to him, “And we will bath together again, I promise. From ancient Roma and Athenia, baths were more than just to get clean. It was very social. I love our private time together. I think it’s one of the reasons we get along so well.” I kissed him gently, “Thank you, Seth. I was not handling the situation well and…”
Seth’s eyes grew, “What are you talking about!?” He shook his head. “I think you handled it the best you can and you’re taking it damned seriously. If anything, I’d say you were frightened of it. Why?”
“It’s a scary ability to have,” I said. “And so simple to use.”
Seth nodded, “You’ve said that, What’s wrong with it being easy to use?” He held a finger up about a point he was going to make, “That’s something I’ll address soon, but,” he shrugged, “why would there be something hard to use? Whatever or whoever put it there to use wouldn’t make it as easy as breathing? When I hear about the Garden, frankly, I can’t imagine a life more...boring!” He saw the surprise on my face and his smile grew. “You would be bored to tears in a day! You know that! You love challenges. Mentally,” he tapped my forehead and raised my right arm, “and physically.” Seth let my arm drop. “Living a life where all you do is lounge around and eat whatever, whenever...you would be looking for a way out in LESS than a week!” He gave me a nod and look that told he didn’t need me to confirm anything. He knew he was right. “You know how I feel about those three Children of Lilith now. Lukus took…” he thought a few moments, “...a little more time. I love them! Ceto, Martha, and Eabha are coming, but…” He shook his head. “If it had been anyone to suddenly be able to do it, I know I’d
be practising using it. Seeing what I could and couldn’t do. Demetrius is…” he grinned, “special. Do you think he would be weaving spells and using ancient words? I sort of doubt he could do complicated things.”
“Hey!” Demetrius’ voice of objection came from nowhere.
Seth chuckled, saying as he looked at me, “You know I love you, Demetrius.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Demetrius’ voice faded with each yeah.
“And while we’re on the subject,” Seth asked indignantly, “If it’s so easy to do, why are you the only one that can? Hum? And another thing.” Seth gave me an intensive look, “When you faced Wahkooha, how did you know what to do? You got rid of that Druid stuff that had the power. How’d you know what to do?”
I smiled and chuckled, “I did it with a lot of help from all of you.”
Seth nodded, “Okay, but you did something specifically. How did you KNOW? What were you thinking?”
I had to think a few minutes. I shrugged, “I wasn’t really thinking anything. I wasn’t letting anyone touch Toby, you, or Thomas.”
“That’s when they got burned by touching,” Seth nodded. “You did speak a word I didn’t know. Bratha-something.”
“Brathachadh,” I grinned, “It’s an old form of Irish telling Wahkooha he insulted his father and ancestors. I knew that one when I used it.”
“Because you’ve used it before?” Seth asked but suspected differently.
“Not once,” I said. “I knew, like I knew how to get rid of that ring and the other thing. It was a strong compulsion of what to do.”
“You felt it?” Seth asked pointedly.
“Yeah,” I said carefully. “I did feel it, just...more.”
“You’re smarter than this!” Seth said. “You know what Demetrius, Dara...all of them said about communicating with The Big Guy! This could be what they meant!”
Seth was certainly smart enough, but I hadn’t seen that. Sometimes, I look so hard for a tree and overlook the forest. Until, someone points me at the right tree that no one else ever had been there the whole time!
Oh, and I guess that never happened to anyone else.
“I know you,” Seth stated. “This show-me thing is fine, but He’s been with you then and won’t abandon you. We need a sense of accomplishment and pride in what we do,” Seth sneered. “An immortality of doing nothing? I’ll pass on that. Even in Heaven! We need to do SOMETHING! An eternity sitting on a cloud and strumming a harp is NOT my idea of a good time. THAT would be absolute Hell. You can’t even escape by suicide! You’re already dead!”
“Thank you,” I kissed him. “You often see things a lot clearer than I do.”
“Nah,” Seth shook his head. “You would have figured it out eventually.” He kissed me again, “I just gave you a push in the right direction.”
There were many things I needed to learn. I really overreacted. I will also say that if God said to do something or not to do something, that compulsion would be hard to not follow through with it. When Demetrius appeared to me about Deena Thorne, he explained that he couldn’t come to help us. I now had empathy for that as I knew first hand just how strong the feeling and compulsion was. I had the feeling once THAT time. Lukus was right, I did need to practise it more. And I would.
The main...room, where Wahkooha met with others when he was alive was the preferred place to gather. It could be around a table or on the floor with the pillows. I realized every time I sat on the polished stone floor I was never cold! Everybody knew that heat rises.
I looked around. They couldn’t have heated floors. Could they? I read about Baking Floors, but I just read it. Never had I seen one. I flattened my hand on the floor. It was warm!!
Seth was watching me warily, “Why did you do that?” It was a non-stressed, slightly amused look he gave me.
Seth looked at me and shook his head, “So?”
“It’s warm!” I repeated. “It should NOT be warm!” I pointed toward the outside. It’s freezing out there! The reason it’s not solid is because it’s too wet.” I shrugged, “Whatever that means. I grew up with cold stone floors, Even our home in Royal Valley has cold floors and they’re wood! That’s why we have those great rugs to cover those spots.” I grabbed his arm and forced him to touch the floor like I did. “It’s warm!”
Seth’s almost flippant look on his face vanished and was replaced by surprise. “It is!”
“Hence the statement of surprise when I said, it’s warm.” I ground out. I waved and said, “So, how?”
“There are these long pipes under the floor,” Ceto stated softly as she appeared. “Truly, if it had been anyone else but Wahkooha it would be cold.” She chuckled, “He didn’t want a cold floor. It’s really a fusion of two cultures. Native and Japanese. The work would have taken longer, if Wahkooha hadn’t been more cooperative in the beginning. The pipes were placed before the marble was put there.”
“Hot water?” Seth smiled.
“Our friends in Creid,” I chuckled. “They have these tubs they use for hot baths.”
Ceto looked at me startled, “That water is probably scalding!”
“It is!” I nodded, “Even after that icy mountain water is added you take it slowly. You can’t just dive in.”
“And it smells,” Seth chuckled. “A little like rotten eggs.”
“Ah,” Ceto nodded, “Sulphur. I think they did more than cool the water down. Too much sulphur can burn skin, but if it’s diluted enough to stand the heat, it dilutes the sulfur.” She stomped a foot. “There are plenty of vents in this part of the world, but those are Natural Gas.”
“Yes, but a lot of them are Methane. Methane gas is dangerous! It’s odorless and colorless.” I said. “People die simply breathing it. You become dizzy and sick...eating it or touching it…”
Ceto touched my shoulder, “Yes, but these wonderful people have dealt with it for three thousand years. They know what to do. No one has died for hundreds of years. It’s a sealed system and checked often.”
Seth was grinning now, “I guess we should feel like the poor dumb cousin now.”
“Bite your tongue!” I waved at the room. “We,” I pointed at him and I, “didn’t make this our homes up here. We would have come up with something if we needed to.” I looked at Ceto and she wasn’t hurrying to do anything. Then again, when she made dinner before...no, I couldn’t say it wasn’t labor intensive because I didn’t know.
Ceto chuckled, “No, I won’t be making dinner.” She nodded quickly in a direction, “Eabha wanted to and don’t ask, because she won’t tell you what it will be.”
“Okay,” Seth smiled.
“Where’s Beau?” I asked casually. I don’t really need to tell you how I feel about Beau or Ceto. Who did I think I was!? Beau was an adult and Ceto...well. “I’m sorry.” I almost never got that illness where you put your own foot in your mouth. I held my hands up to stop a probable irate tirade. “It’s not my business, but you encourage Beau to spend time with you. You like that.”
Ceto’s face did change into one of a delighted smile and she nodded, “Very much. He’s very refreshing!”
Was she not understanding where this was coming from? “He’s got Common Sense and he can think…”
Ceto started laughing. She wasn’t offended at all. “That has to be the nicest thing a person can say about another! It’s coming from a real place of love for Beau. You are watching out for his feelings.” She waved at the other Creid. “They do it, too! Well, he is A LOT younger than I am.” Then she smiled at me and Seth. “I hear him speak and he talks about what fascinates him. How he became this walking contradiction is amazing! He does some pretty scary things as a job, yet he steps away from that job and becomes someone that’s innocent. He loves art, flowers and sees things I haven’t in…” she chuckled, “in a while.”
“He’s a grown man, but…”
“He’s a Human Being,” Ceto nodded. “I know he could get hurt and I will do my very best not to do that. You’re protective. He’s one of you.”
Ceto was happy to see Beau come over to her. She greeted him with a kiss on the cheek and they walked off together. Then I spotted Toby in an interesting conversation he was having with Kohona of the Samish Tribe. Kohona spoke something, Toby repeated what he thought Kohona said. Twice, Kohona nodded with a smile and signed something in the language Natives used, which Toby signed back in the language he used. Once, Kohona threw his head back and laughed, shaking his head. There really wasn’t that many years difference between Kohona and Toby. Then again, when they find out their birthday is a week away; that was just FOREVER!! It would NEVER get there.
“Our Native hosts have to love this.” Seth said. “I assume none of the Children of Lilith use anything the Natives had stored.”
I hadn’t thought of it. “I don’t think so, but I know Ceto used what she had in her garden to cure my muscle cramp.”
“Either our hosts provide or not,” Seth chuckled. “Our hosts aren’t being bothered in prepping, preparing or cleaning up.” He shrugged, “Of course the Natives would allow the Children of Lilith to cook! No plates, bowls, napkins either!”
I looked for people and found one missing. Thomas. I looked all around for the young woman who he had grown attached to. She had gotten and held Thomas’s attention. I know what it’s like to have a world fixed in your mind suddenly ripped away. These tribes were not the first. No. Between Blethos and the Western Ocean is the Zuni. They were Japanese. That’s right. And they had been here longer than the Europeans had been. The proof was they simply didn’t go down the same road the Natives did for their people. Some of the words they used in their language are clearly the same words. To a lesser degree the further you go and find the Hopi Language, Pima, and Kesesan have similar words, but they had mixed a lot more than the Zuni.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I felt the Earth move when I understood the world wasn’t what I thought. Just when you think you understand, sometimes something happens to prove you don’t.
“Over there,” Seth chuckled as he jutted his head in a direction.
Oh, yeah. This was becoming very serious. They were both “strolling.” She was carrying or seemed to be doing nothing but walking with Thomas. I bring this one part up because it almost never EVER happens in Japanese Culture. Not the few I’ve known about. A woman that was outspoken and…(gasp!) had ideas! She was confident in her speaking voice and the expectation was Thomas would listen!! He did as he commented occasionally with a comment.
No, I’m sure no one knows about that. Christian was Thomas’s father, but more importantly, his mother was Ella!! Don’t forget that part.
Thomas glanced up and his smile lit up his face at seeing us. He smiled at her and said something she commented back about.
You know I often give appearances a good comment. You won’t be surprised when I say, she was stunning. I could tell by her manner of dress, she wasn’t there to work as an employee. The dress were deerskins, but a light color. There were objects on the deerskins that were decorative only. She wore an eagle feather that hung from her right ear and a small coin-sized dreamcatcher on her left earlobe. She was the perfect age! Old enough to marry and still young enough to just be pretty because of that youth. Long dark and straight brown hair cascaded below her shoulders. Clear skin that wasn’t as dark as other Natives. Personally, I’d feel better if we blended into one ethnic group. We need to get busy.
I know, I’m not saying to set any date aside for a royal wedding in Spring for A’Dore. It’s waddling and I just needed one quack to confirm and call it a duck.
“Hana,” Thomas touched me. “There are only these two men who are in any way as important to me as my father to me.” He chuckled, “I say they were part of a team of fathers that guided me as I grew up. This is His Royal Highness Prince Erik of A’Dore and Blethos and His Royal Highness Prince Seth of Blethos and A’Dore. He was also king of Blethos. But still my uncle.” He looked at Seth and me. “This is Hana of the Quinault tribe.”
I took her hand and...there was again that odd mixture of cultures. Assertive and submissive. Meek and bold!? On the social portion, Hana had learned to curtsy. That wasn’t either culture. That was from Europe! The confident and firm meeting of our eyes was Native. I LOVED HER!! (I am married to Seth and I wasn’t converted...oh, you know what I mean.) I knew she was going to be queen! I raised her hand, palm down and kissed her hand. “It’s my honor to meet you.”
Now, the Japanese culture surfaced as she shied her light giggle behind her other hand. I remember some delegates from Japan and the bold, outspoken just wasn’t done!
“I need speak you as…?”
“Hey, you,” Seth chuckled, “is fine.”
“Our names are fine,” I said as my smile grew. “I’ve had a few, but I really don’t care for all of the titles. What do we call you?”
“Hana,” she said simply. “My mother chose it because it fits with languages including Native and Japanese.”
Thomas was sort of impatient, but his eyes communicated a lot to me. I’ll say it again. When you know the source, words aren't always needed. Not by Thomas and certainly not between Seth and me. Thomas’s eyes widened a little in anticipation. I got the message, so I looked at Seth to help.
Seth smiled at Hana and he glanced around. “Has Thomas introduced everyone to you?”
“Not yet,” Hana smiled.
“We need to do that,” he stuck his left elbow out to her, “right now!”
She again hid a giggle, but stuck her hand in place where Seth held her hand in place as they went to do that. “Excuse us.”
“Well?” Thomas asked, his happy face almost splitting with excitement. “Isn’t she great!?”
I know I smiled a bit too much. I didn’t roll my eyes because it was important to him, “To be honest, our conversation wasn’t long enough for me to say. What’s more important is you think she’s great. After nearly two or three days you’ve spoken with her, you still think so!”
“She’s smart, she’s funny…” Thomas grinned. “She has a unique concept on nobility!”
I pointed over my shoulder at Seth and Hana. “You know what I married!”
Thomas nodded, “Yes, Uncle Seth.” He said in a tone that said Seth simply was. His face told me he knew what a struggle it had been. “I’m going to marry her.”
“No!!” I said in a clear voice of extremely exaggerated denial, “Say, it isn’t so.”
Again Thomas’s face was nearly split as he smiled. He threw his arms around me. “I love you, Uncle Erik.”
I laughed, “I know you do. What does she think about it?”
I swear. It was if the concept hadn’t even crossed his mind as his eyes widened. It probably hadn’t. He was the Crowned Prince of A’Dore. He was going to be king! And A’Dore was three thousand miles away!
I started nodding as I patted his chest, “She has to understand you can’t stay here.”
Thomas stood straighter, “I can, too!” He said a little angry.
“Stop!” I said sharply and held my hand up to stop him. I sighed and nodded, “First, take a breath.” I was really telling myself to do the same thing. “Be calm. Yes, you can stay here if you choose. There are things to consider if you abdicate, like Edward being king instead.” I waved at the sky, “I could NEVER have married Seth without higher powers to help me! It was against the Church and the law! But we did it! Have you even asked her?”
Thomas grinned a little embarrassed, “No.”
I let out a sigh of relief, “I think that is kind of important. She needs to agree.”
“You asked Uncle Seth?” Thomas asked. “Dad asked Mom?”
I grimaced, “Well, no.” I chuckled. “We had those fancy ball dances to choose someone to marry. Everyone at you Dad’s ball knew what was to happen and hoped he would pick them. Everyone knew in Blethos with that law on the books for joining for the purpose of a long term alliance, I might pick a man.” I cocked my head slightly. “He found out when I announced it to all the guests.” I grinned at Thomas. “I think your Dad and I did just fine. We’ve got a couple of weeks. Talk to her!” I stated.
We joined Seth and Hana as they spoke to Reese, Val, and Max. I was again impressed. She spoke English well. It wasn’t perfect. She did speak several languages! Some of the other languages for the many tribes, the hand language they all used, a little of the many in Asia and especially in Japanese! Languages diversified because of isolation and distance. As travel time decreased, meaning there weren't the seasonal migrations anymore for people. A common language was needed. Hana’s ability to charm everyone, (okay, the guys were charmed quicker) and even worked on Seth and me. And she used her lack of knowledge to charm even more!
“Did you give Thomas the go ahead?” Seth asked me as we went toward the table.
I grinned, “He needs to ask her.”
Seth’s eyes widened, “Wait,” then he narrowed his left eye and his head went back at least a foot. “What!?” He gaped loud enough for those around us to look puzzled at us. He had done a signature move with his head.
I had to laugh and pushed him away slightly as I gave a shushing sound. I had to ask this time. “That move you do,” I pointed at his face. “Does that little change of perspective really help?” I shrugged, “It must, as often as you do it.”
Seth never answered that question, so, I still don’t know. Yes, we were often silly and joked with each other a lot! We are best friends so long we didn’t need to talk to know what the other was thinking. Remember? And I would make a lousy Puritan. Humor wasn’t even considered for them. One situation had three impressions. The Puritans and their people only saw the sin and evil. Others were just so...serious. They never smiled, even at a hilarious joke or story! Fortunately, my path with those kinds of people didn’t often cross. Everybody prefers to be happy! All of the Children of Lilith seemed to love that. Demetrius was a prime example! There was very little he took seriously. Why would he? How can anyone survive acting depressed and sad all the time? It isn’t possible for me or Seth. Be positive! It just feels better.
“He didn’t think about it,” I said in a chuckling whisper to Seth. “He never had to before. Everyone knew him, what he will become and probably wondering if he is dragging his feet to the altar like Christian did.” I held up the finger to make a point again, “Considering where we are, I’ll feel better if she verbally agrees.”
Seth looked up as they all laughed at something and the smile on Seth’s face relaxed. “She already agrees.”
I looked surprised, “You’re a man capable of many wonderful things. You read my mind, but can you read Hana’s?”
“It’s so...obvious!” Seth waved at them, “She’s here as a guest of Thomas’s, not to serve. She wouldn’t just string Thomas along. It is more obvious than when I knew what you were going to do.”
“When?” I asked, surprised. “You knew when I chose you.”
“No!” Seth waved that away, “Before that! When they announced you and you came down those stairs! It was...you! That magic ring didn’t work on me. When I saw you come down those stairs, the last thing you said to me as you ran out of that lake was that I was the next king of Blethos!” He saw disbelief in my eyes and began nodding right then. “Yes, you did.” He argued at a challenge I hadn’t spoken yet. “For a few hours afterward, I was thinking you were a mad man.” He was nodding again. “I did, but it didn’t make sense. I loved the time we spent together. You liked me!”
I chuckled, “And still do! I’m so totally in love with you now.”
“I know,” Seth grinned, “But Deena and Darius didn’t recognise you at the ball,” He shook his head. “Almost everyone there had been with us on the Hunt. They saw you as someone new! But I saw you.”
“Yeah,” I pulled him close and kissed him. “You did.”
Eabha smiled, “If everyone will take a seat.” She waved at what had been a clean, polished and bare table. Anybody that knows anyone from Ireland knows the color of choice for them is green. You know shamrocks, clovers, and St. Patrick. Except for one thing. Gaelic, Fae, and Druids were there first. They predated the Church and Christianty! No, the Celts incorporated Christianity and the Saints. These Fae loved green, too. The color of living. I had seen some impressive things when magic is used. But even I was overwhelmed. All over the table, that was now set with metal plates and bowls. Steam came from the bowls and no matter how it’s prepared, the chicken smelled like chicken. It was tempting me as I felt my mouth water. It did have a unique scent with the smell of onions and bacon! “This is a chicken dish with cabbage and pork.” She pointed to metal plates with a single thing of bread. Smaller than a loaf, but bigger than a bisquette or roll. “That’s a raisin soda bread.” Most recipes changed and evolved with time. When it came to feeding an entire family, stews and soups made it easier for everyone to get a little of everything! Meat cooked on a spit or oven is great. If you have enough. Getting children to eat vegetables was challenging and a stew covered that problem! I did with Dennis and...I confess. I was the problem at the palace in A’Dore. What I considered “good” was very different from what some people were telling me was good. It was a judgement I questioned when anyone told me that.
There were arranged on the table and walls a lot of greenery in bundles and just there. They had to have taken hours to get, bundle and then place them about. But, it hadn’t been but a few seconds ago when there was nothing! There were these green flowers! They were a light green. I would find out they were Bells of Ireland. Well, of course, they were!
I was smiling as Thomas helped Hana sit on her pillow. He was being polite!
“I hope she agrees to marry Thomas,” Seth chuckled as he said to me. “He can say he HAD to come! To meet HER!”