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Aug 26 08 9:36 AM
Keeper of the KiltedKinsmen
Aug 26 08 11:57 AM
Yes I am an agent of Satan but it's largely a ceremonial position.
Aug 26 08 12:21 PM
Lady GigglesFluffernutter to the Sun King
Aug 26 08 12:52 PM
Any time - jump in as you always know. Now to find that light of inspiration again... ;)
Aug 27 08 5:10 AM
Aug 27 08 1:58 PM
Fayde waffled between contentment and that worried 'mommy' feeling as she walked to the infirmary for
her night shift. She was leaving her girls - but they were tucked in nice and tight, daddy was home reading another
letter from his shipping company.
"Evening Cort - all's quiet?"
"Just sewed up Zelda's elbow she's still leaping from tall structures and when her father caught
her she scraped her elbow on the barn door. I don't know who was more upset Zelda or East. Little Robert was in before dinner, his mum said he wasn't taking to her breast much - she actually showed me."
Fayde laughed as Cort blushed, 'you're a healer!"
"And I don't need to see her breast to check the child."
"What did you tell her?"
"That he'd eat when he was hungry and to express her milk"
Fayde nodded, "go home, and since Snug is on bed rest - there are lots of goodies, John's been baking."
Cort nodded and headed home, by way of the cooking fries, and was delighted in the homecoming he received from
a waiting, willing, wanton wife.
Fayde knew there wasn't really a need to have a healer in the infirmary overnight, but between her and
Cort they always managed to be there until the wee hours of the morning. With so many small children now in the village
they both agreed it was better to have a healer on site than have panicked parents waking the entire village looking for someone. She checked the supplies and smiled at her now familiar working knowledge of the roots, herbs and berries that stocked their
shelves but also tucked away in strong boxes and shelves were those supplies she had shipped in with Charlie.
She was lucky, her girls so active and busy were so rarely sick. There
was the occasional sniffle they shared, and the fever a few days ago that had her staying close to home. Then the next
morning they were up and running toward the cooking fires asking John for extra eggs. Shaking her head over foolish
musings Fayde settled in with the latest medical journal Charlie had brought and the promise of a quiet evening…
About midnight Fayde heard the wails of children before they entered the infirmary, she was on her feet and
shocked to see Jack holding both girls looking both frightened and jostled by their father's quick steps. Fayde
shouted over the rising wails of her daughters, "What happened?"
Jack passed Eden to her mother as she was the one bleeding and El clung to her father like a sticky vine,
"Not sure" he shouted, "we were all sleeping they I heard a yelp, then a slap then a thud and lots of wailing and screaming."
Fayde cleaned up Eden and stopped her bloody nose, she looked over the little girl whose cries were slowing
under mum's tender touch. She kissed her nose and told her to sit still; she looked over Elysia and noticed the
bump on her head and the blood on her elbow. She cleaned up El, was satisfied the bumps and scraps were minor and held
her daughters close. "I think it's time for separate beds."
Eden nodded as Elysia shook her head, "tell you what why don't we all stay here with mum tonight, and
we'll talk to Uncle Colin and Uncle Arthur in the morning about building special big girl beds."
Fayde fussed and tucked and watched as heavy lids finally stayed closed, Jack sat with his head in his hands,
"I missed that."
Fayde moved her way into his lap and tenderly cupped his worried features, "in the middle of the night,
woken out of a dead sleep with crying daughters, blood - I can't imagine how you missed it."
Jack closed his eyes and held his wife close, "my heart stopped when I heard them wail - I couldn't
think I just got to them then the blood and the crying. Their bed torn apart."
Fayde stopped him with a tender kiss, "Elysia is an active sleeper while Eden is very still. Based on what I saw this started with an elbow to the nose and two startled little girls.
They need their own space and Arthur and Colin can fashion something up. Its past time but generally they slept well
together and wanted to - I read it's a twins thing. SB said the same thing about her two boys but being boys - they
wanted space sooner."
Jack just sighed and rested his head on his wife's shoulder "can I stay too mummy?"
Fayde laughed and went to tuck in her husband as well only to be pulled into bed with him his hands and mouth
busy to block away the panic and fear he'd kept at bay with his daughter's cries. With practiced ease Fayde
eased her body down her husband's and groaned at the feel, "I love you Jack,"
"Then love me" he grunted as she proceeded to enjoy every inch of his body.
When Cort arrived in the morning and saw the pair together, naked and
sleeping he went back into the outer room and made a great deal of noise until he heard, "Yeah Yeah sorry"
Jack came out and apologized he had both girls sleepily resting on his shoulders, "we - ah had an
incident - ah never mind."
Both men let it go…
Lewis sat up and watched the late night comings and goings, "there they are" He watched as the two men went into the small inn and an hour later returned, "Thought you were clever boys, but Mary will do
as she's told."
Sep 1 08 9:31 PM
Hopefully I'm not horning in here. Just stopped in to read up on Saturday
and left with the urge to write. :)
Sweet Biscuit wandered slowly through her garden ignoring the light patter of a
cool February rain, admiring the verdant bounty prospering there once again. She had spent most of the season cleaning and tending to her beloved plants that
had fallen into neglect. Well, that wasn't an entirely accurate statement. A good deal of the credit also belonged to the men of her family whose eager
hands under her supervision had served as a fine work crew. They stepped in toward the later stages when the physical limitations of pregnancy began to hinder
her. She smiled with pride at how the project had become a true family affair. Hence there was nowhere more apt to be while preparing to welcome the newest
member into their household.
She paused as the pressure of another contraction rippled through her heavily
distended womb. Biscuit had forgotten much in the years following Hayden's birth, but this was one sensation she recalled with less than enthusiastic
nostalgia. Fortunately this pregnancy hadn't been plagued by complications like her previous two. All the worrying early on about the trip to Belem had
proved overly cautious. Once they returned home, she remained healthy and active throughout. Of course she was conscious not to tempt fate either. Biscuit
heeded both the healers and her body's advice. She was just happy to finally have a pleasant experience. Not only for herself, but Maximus as well. It
seemed a fitting way to end the renewal of their relationship and her childbearing years. She sensed in her heart that this would be their last biological
When she woke that morning to the familiar pangs, Maximus already knew what was
transpiring. His hands hadn't strayed far from her growing belly since they learned about the pregnancy. Thus he herded the boys off to the mess hut for
breakfast with a kiss and soft spoken promise to return shortly. Her darling husband perceived that she could use a little quiet to mentally adjust. Word
hadn't taken long to circulate through the village though as Kaspi and Mateo arrived to begin preparations. Fayde checked in to determine her progress.
Then the good doctor sent her on the walk about the garden, hoping it would speed the breaking of her waters. She was rounding the far end of the path when
Maximus reappeared. He no more than reached her side only to have his sandaled feet splattered with amniotic fluid.
"Well, I don't have to ask that question anymore," he chuckled
with a bright smile.
"No worries. How are the contractions?"
"They're still rolling along. I think we have some time yet. Who is
watching the boys?"
"Crichton was taking Asher and the twins out for a ride while Giggles is
watching Hayden. Tobey refused to be distracted though. Last I saw, Kaspi had him fetching towels."
"He is becoming quite the little man."
"Yes he is. Would you like to finish the walk or should I carry you back
"If you stick with me, I think I can make it."
"Love, I have been sticking with you for years. I'm certainly not going
She smiled at the maudlin sentiment while his supportive arm slipped round her
back. They continued slow and steadily toward the house, ceasing only for the next contraction. He would tick off the duration while she squeezed his hand
against the increasing discomfort. Before stepping onto the back porch, Maximus picked a wine colored daylily and nested it upon her delicate ear. Silently she
mused about his choice, its symbolic meaning often being defined as enthusiasm. Then she settled onto her birthing stool with an anxious sigh to
Several hours later with the light of day waning outside, the event was drawing
to a close. Biscuit fought with her tired body to bear down once more as Maximus spoke encouraging words and Fayde's steady hands guided the baby. She
closed her eyes for a brief moment to see a vivid image appear like a painter fills in their canvas. A young woman stood at the rail of a steamer headed
somewhere distant. She was a willowy beauty whose dark hair fanned behind her head in the sea breezes and with eyes the color of tropical waters. Judging by
the bright smile, traveling suited her immensely. She was not alone either as a companion stepped into frame to wrap his arms about her lovingly. Turning to
gaze into his wise hazel eyes while her fingertips raked through his equally dark tresses highlighted by silver, she softly declared her feelings for this man.
They kissed with the passion of soul mates before the scene faded to black.
"It's a girl," Fayde announced and Biscuit opened her eyes to see
her daughter for the first time.
She looked so delicate compared to the boys, being much slender and lighter of
frame. Her mewing cry was somehow sweeter too as they filled the room. Mateo briefly took her to bathe while the birth process finished up. Maximus'
reaction could only be described as delighted awe. He kissed her temple several times with a beaming grin. Biscuit had not told him about her premonitions from
Deka, allowing him to believe what he would about the child's gender. She knew he would be overjoyed to finally have a daughter and the surprise would make
her arrival that much more memorable. When the girl was brought back to them, she gestured for her to be laid in Maximus' arms first. He just stared
breathlessly for the first few seconds, at a loss for words.
"Do you have any ideas for a name? My choices won't work since
they're all for boys," he sheepishly admitted upon finding his voice again.
"Luckily, I do. Marin. It means of the sea."
"Pretty. We don't live by the sea though, love."
"No, but she loves water. The mere sound of it instantly calms her. I also
had a dream that she will take an important journey by boat when she's older."
"She is to be an explorer like her mother, hmm?"
"It appeared so. I probably shouldn't mention the man who was
accompanying her either."
"Oh! Only minutes old and already I have to worry about suitors,"
Maximus teased the baby girl who drowsily smacked her rosy cupid bow lips in reaction.
"Seriously though, do you approve?"
"Yes. It is a lovely name."
"Ok. You pick out her middle one then."
"I need a minute to think about it. Shall we have a look at her in the
Biscuit nodded and he laid the babe in his lap to unswaddle. They counted ten
dainty fingers and toes with their perfectly formed little nails. They gently unfurled her slender arms and legs to gauge their length. They tenderly caressed
her silky, peaches 'n cream skin. They lovingly brushed at her mop of fine, dark tresses. That's when they noticed the small birthmark nestled in her
hairline and slightly beyond the right ear. It was oval in shape with an uncommon purplish tint.
"Amethyst," Maximus pronounced suddenly.
"For her middle name?"
"Sure. My mother had a birthmark and she told me they were like jewels
bestowed by the gods."
"That's a beautiful way of explaining it."
"I thought so and we can tell her the same if she ever
"Welcome to the world then, our darling Marin Amethyst Meridas,"
Biscuit said while receiving a loving hug from her proud husband.
Right on cue, their daughter began to fuss for her first meal. Maximus set her
down in the worn handmade cradle briefly so he could carry Biscuit over to their own bed. Settled among cool sheets and fluffed pillows, she took the newborn
in her arms to nurse. Marin needed little coaxing, her diminutive mouth latching on hungrily. Last thing she recalled was Maximus stretching alongside to keep
his protective vigil before Biscuit succumbed to exhaustion and fell to sleep.
Sep 2 08 5:47 PM
Sep 2 08 6:24 PM
Sep 3 08 6:57 AM
Sep 3 08 12:00 PM
Sep 4 08 3:55 AM
Maybe we should also get together to recalculate the age of the kids
Sep 8 08 10:58 AM
There are legends surrounding the jungle tribes, the one so few have been able to prove or disprove is the
legend surround Paden Crowe his female mate Zelda, and the tribe he sired.
The legends are held with this tribe's elders, they hold the secret to the long life and fertility of their women.
Based upon research completed by several well know scholars and other less reputable sources each woman who is mated to a descendant of Paden is made
to drink the Elder Essence and therefore can continue the line with as many children as possible.
The true marvel of the Elder wisdom is the location of Paden's stolen wealth and the secret of longevity.
These tribal elders live well into old age, most seeing ages past 90 years, and only until the very last days are infirmed.
Lewis Lyns sipped his morning tea and thought more about his quest, he was already a wealthy man, but he had a family history of dying far too
young. He wanted it all, health, wealth and all the bastards he could sire oh yes; he would have it all, including
redemption of his family name. He watched Emily she was certainly in much better health than the last time he saw
"Lewis - oh dear I'm so sorry you startled me."
"You were staring at the trees my darling, what has you so enraptured?"
"Just noticing how green, after several weeks on the sea you forget trees. So tell me what are our plans
"I think today we wander the shops a bit, you did mention Grandchildren, and I'm waiting for work on the next leg of our journey."
Emily nodded; "shopping sounds nice" and she hoped against hope that someone got her letters, her message and would put a stop to his gun running
or at least take her away from the danger of capture on the high seas.
All morning Emily shopped like a woman possessed and wondered how she was going to get all her treasures to her Laura and Mary. As she sat down with her packages, Lewis set down the drinks and smiled, "lunch will be here shortly, I'm impressed at
your skills with the merchants."
"I love to bargain after you taught me how to do it properly - remember Morocco?"
Lewis smiled and kissed her hand, "Fondly. And then we had to get home you were so ill, tell me dear what has
"Ah, well, as you know I thought I was dying and went to find Laura. She's still buried in her books but
now it's in the jungle."
"All you've told me that she's married and now expecting twins! How long did you manage in those awful
Emily hesitated, she was warned not to give many details of her life in the jungle it was a security and life decision that the tribes made. Those who traded more openly were more open but several like the Weymess wanted to keep their lives quiet. She sipped her tea then gave her usual statements, "well you miss hot water regularly and cooking was sparse I think all that
fresh air and fruit helped and of course spending time with my daughter. We drifted so far apart after her father's
death and well when I thought it was my end…"
"What changed your mind on your condition?"
"The village healer she spoke to me about what was happening, and suggested some things."
"Did she give you anything?"
"Like a pill? OH my no - roots, berries such silliness but the children are well. I worry about my daughter and the grandchildren not exposed to life outside of those trees."
"And you can't talk her into coming home?"
Emily smiled, "my daughter is strong and stubborn, she is actually happy in her current situation. I will go
back and see her when our journey is complete."
"You wouldn't consider taking me with you?"
Emily hesitated when she saw Mary and the red hair warrior entered the café, "I --- um ---well," she smiled, "I don't know the rules but
I guess it would be all right."
Lewis smiled almost too easy
Sep 8 08 11:12 AM
Snug was awake, in the middle of the night, listening to the world around her.
She hated bed rest, she hated to be sick she hated being awake in the middle of the night. Tenderly she mapped
her tummy, the twins weren't very active at the moment and she placed her hands over her swell and smiled at the small swish. "Rest now little ones."
"Snug" came the sleepy questions
"Go back to sleep John I'm fine."
John grunted and gathered his wife close; his hands also mapped the home of their latest prodigies. "Quiet
tonight" he whispered into her ear.
"How are you?"
"Fine, honestly I'm just not sleepy; I've been in this bed for almost two days now."
"Doctors orders and I am NOT going to get her now."
Snug smiled, "There is no need I'm fine." John grunted and let his hands roam freely over his
wife's body, "I never tire of this feeling"
"Fat and squishy?"
"Round, soft and tender. If you repeat this to another soul I swear I won't touch you again."
"With Alish, it was all so new and different, you were so sick, then you changed, your body, your glow-"
"I was sweaty."
"You glowed inside and out - seeing the woman you love change in such a way knowing that your child was safe and protected inside her
body. It does something to a man, it makes him stronger, more willing to take on more to give to his
family. Then with Nodin knowing on the very day you pledged yourself to me, took my name we created another child, I
knew better what to expect but he surprised us both. So busy and active."
"Oh yeah that was a good time" quipped Snug unsure of this mood of her husband's.
"You don't realize how much your tummy moves when you sleep. These two - I lost an hour today watching
things shift around."
"They don't have much room."
John just kissed his wife's ear, their hands joined over the home of the twins, "Jeffery has been researching twins running through our tribal
lore. With SB's boys and now these two he's positive there is something somewhere to say this is good or
bad. I forgot to tell you-"
"John you're going to be too exhausted to cook tomorrow."
"I've gone without sleep before sweetheart, besides now this is back in my head so I might as well tell you."
"Ok what?" She snuggled into his body wrapped around hers and tenderly cupped those large hands holding
Jeffery was laughing so hard he barely got it out, it was a journal written by one of the first travelers to this region about a generation after Paden and
Zelda had founded us. There was only one brother remaining and he was quiet old, Gethyn
ironically. But he spoke of his brothers with affection, he spoke of his sister haltingly it said. Anyway, this trader must have been a first class fool."
"Why?" asked Snug as entertained as Alish with this story
"He wrote of an Elder Essense that kept Gethyn living and the tribe growing, Jeffery noted that at that point of time there
was no less than 6 wives visibly with child. Anyway this traveler was convinced
that Gethyn being the tribal elder held the key to immortality and fertility. He stayed for 9 months, and saw babies
born, and conceived but didn't see an elder death. There were 2 deaths due to accident and tribal infraction during
that time but that was it. But the thing that had Jeffery laughing so hard? A
letter dated a year later from the same trader stating he would bring an invading army into the village unless the Elder gave him the Elder Elixir for both
long life and fertility of the women. Gethyn wrote the mix he sent the man, the baby fruit juice we give the children,
mixed with Bande root and chopped banana leaves."
Snug giggled, "oh Bande root smells awful and tastes worse and banana leaves? To
"Probably to make it the most foul thing imaginable." John chuckled, then sobered, "Problem is that idiot made
himself into a snake oil salesman until several years went by and someone finally proved his Life Elixir from the secrets of the jungle savages was just that
fruit juice and foolishness-"
"My word, that's John Douglas Lyns."
"Yeah, how did you know that name?"
"Lyns - Lyns - why is that name so in the front of my mind?"
"I don't know but probably 3 AM isn't the time for heavy thinking. I was
trying to get us back to sleep."
Snug settled back down and sighed, "You're right, no good thoughts occur at three in the morning."
"Well" John nuzzled her neck and tenderly mapped her body, Snug slid along his
body then stopped, "You can't-we - I"
"We can do a little" John whispered, "I checked in with the doc."
The couple tenderly, carefully fulfilled each other's needs and wrapped within her husband's arms and warm, regular
breath Snug finally nodded with two thoughts, how am I going to bless that new baby girl from this bed, and why does that last name ring such a
Sep 9 08 6:22 AM
Sep 9 08 7:20 AM
My internet connection at home has been down since Sunday evening and dear sweet Comcast has given no time frame for how long it will take to be resolved so
I have to peek in now and then from work for now. Of course there's only two of us in the office for the rest of the week so peeking shouldn't be too
Sep 9 08 7:44 AM
Twisty Brain at your service... or more like hormone
We'll see where it takes me...
Sep 9 08 6:47 PM
Sep 10 08 5:09 AM
Lewis smiled almost too easy
Oct 20 08 7:24 PM
Slowly I figure out a piece then change it then move thing around... so I posted what I had before I went
completely bonkers (short trip yes I know... ) Bur for now we'll see where the drunk muse takes me...
Mary and viz spotted Emily and her companion, they made no move toward her but ate a quick lunch and sat sipping tea until the pair left. "Don't get excited, we'll watch and wait" said viz. Mary nodded but
wanted desperately to make sure that Emily was not being mistreated. "She looks all right, what trouble could
there be? Goodness you should have heard her gush over the man after she came home from Morocco. And the trinkets she bought - taught her to horse trade, apparently she liked it."
The pair took their own small parcels and quietly followed Emily and her friend back to their inn. "That's easy, only one building from our own. We'll move tonight."
"I better pack."
"yeah" viz spied all those packages of Emily's again, "we need to get a message to her to
Mary let a laugh giggle, "Sorry but Emily ma'am packing light isn't much of an option."
viz frowned and steered Mary back to their own room, to think through the problem, then looking out the window
she saw the small balcony, she knew she had a way…
Mary lay on her bed and sighed, her stomach wasn't well, but it wasn't as bad as it had been in the
past. She asked the innkeeper for tea and crackers, when she heard the knock she made her way to the door only to hear
the knock again behind her. She turned toward the balcony and opened the window and nearly screamed when invizi popped
up and in. "Quiet, listen you need to pack up and limit the number of bags you bring along. Sid and Russ will be by after midnight to come and get you. Be ready."
"I will - but where - how is - "
"Later" but viz softened her tone, "when we are away from the village all your questions can be
answered. Please just be ready."
Emily nodded she then heard the knock on the door she turned to answer it, when she paused to suggest to
invizi to hide she realized she was alone.
Mary hugged Emily and whispered, "Are you all right ma'am?"
"Fine now, I was so worried he's running guns and heaven knows.
I swear to you Mary I think he's even trading women."
"Enough gab get moving." Snapped Sid
They were saddled up and moving out of the stable when a shifting shadow caused everyone to stop. Russ shifted in front of Mary as Lewis stepped out of the shadows, "and where are
you going my dear in the middle of the night?"
Emily hesitated until she saw the young warrior begin to defend Mary she stepped forward, "to see my
daughter and my grandchildren, Lewis I know about the guns and I don't approve."
Lewis frowned, "so you were just going to slip out without a word to me?
Em-darling why didn't you say something I could have explained it all." He looked at Mary, "but
you --lass - aren't you her gal Friday?"
"So what if I am!" stiffened Mary
Lewis's eyes swept up and down her body as Russ moved closer and all but shoved her behind him, his smile
was knowing, feral, then very kind, "You are mated? Tell me did you taste the Essence? You are already with child - how marvelous - tell me how did he bind you to the tribe?"
Emily moved forward, "Lewis what in heaven's name are you babbling about? Mary fell in love, and married this man. They conceived on their honeymoon."
Lewis caught the surprised look on Mary's face, the turned and looked at Emily, "I - "he
hesitated, "I ah, read something jungle herbs and such, you yourself even spoke of the healers."
Emily hesitated she had spoke of Fayde, "Oh well, of course"
"Emily, sweetheart I thought you were going to permit to meet your daughter. See her home."
"But what about the guns the other things?" she whispered
"Funds are very tight my darling, it was a foolish but highly profitable risk I took. I should have told
you but I figured if something awful happened you would be permitted to go along if you knew nothing."
Russ looked at Mary who shrugged, "Mrs. Croft are you coming we've got to get home."
She looked at Mary then to Lewis, "you want to go with me to the village?"
Lewis tenderly kissed Emily's hand, "More than you can imagine."
The group headed out of the town they were the only movement in the town and on the one final turn the jungle
swallowed them up.
Two days later the group arrived at the village, Lewis was fascinated and didn't at all try to control his
emotions. He was after all an outsider and never in his wildest musing did the think he'd find such a well run
operation. He watched as the horses were taken to what was obviously a large arena and barn, his luggage was being
moved as he stood still it wasn't until Emily touched his arm, "Lewis?"
"Oh Emily darling terribly sorry - it's all so - busy."
She smiled, "I too was shell shocked the first time I looked closely at all that this little village
does, they were nice enough to put your things with me. I hope you don't mind the children, I've missed them
Just then Alish and Nodin came running yelling, "Gamma!
Gam-ma!!" She leaned down and accepted the hugs and kissed of the two small children. She took their hands and then introduced the children, who were a bit shy but warmed as soon as Lewis asked where they might share
a meal. Emily explained that her son-in-law was the tribal cook, "and while initially I was not sure it ended soon
after my first week of watching this one man tend to his family, and feed this entire village. And wait until you taste
his wares - I'm amazed my dresses still fit. Ah John, I'd like you to meet Lewis Lyn."
The shook hands, John without thought herded his children and kissed his mother-in-law, "I'll warn
you now she's been on best rest for a week, the twins are making life tough, Fayde is in with her."
Emily nodded, "then I'll enjoy your cooking and visit when she's free."
Lewis again watched in complete fascination as this one man managed actual fire! While cooking, baking and looking after children! Then a plate appeared before him and he
inhaled deeply, "oh" he looked at Emily, "taste it Lewis"
And he did and was shocked to his core - the meats were tender, flavorful, the vegetables were fresh and
wonderful, the bread - a French baker could do no better! "Emily!"
She just smiled and enjoyed her small lunch, as she finished Snug and Fayde came out the door, John was next to her and helped her to sit next to her
mother. She looked at the man sitting next to her, "Mother?"
"It's fine sweetheart we chatted before we came here. He
needed the funds and kept me in the dark to protect me. Does John have any more of my tea?"
Lewis watched with interest as Snug asked her mate for the 'tea' and while the preparation appeared to
be just that, Lewis just knew there had to be more. He would watch and learn, then he would find the Essence, it would
be his. "Mr. Lyns?"
"Lewis please my dear" he smiled unhappy he was caught day dreaming.
"Ah yes Lewis" smiled Snug, "I'm afraid my movements are a bit limited but I'm sure
Mother or Mary or any member of our village would be most accommodating during your visit. Mum said you're a bit of
"Ah yes, not quite the high brow of academia of you and your father, but I enjoy a treasure hunt and
seeking out things for wealthy clients. I have quite the reputation for getting what I want."
"And the issue that send us to mum?" she asked unapologetically.
"Laura - really I explained"
"It's alright Em-love, with the state of the world monies were tight I needed a quick infusion of
ready cash. I guess I should have trusted darling Emily. She traveled with me
to Morocco and we had a grand time. She was even in the room while I made deal with that Bedouin chief, they too keep
to tribes, similar to the jungles here."
"Study the tribes much?"
Emily frowned at her daughter but Lewis just took her hand and answered, "You have to understand how the
power structure of those you are dealing with works in order to at least be invited in, then you have to understand the egos and politics in order to get what
you want out. You of all persons should have a very good working knowledge of that information."
Snug smiled, "More than you know." She paused and rubbed her
tummy then her children came over quietly, "what's wrong?"
"Can you swim mummy? Zelma is too and No-no goes."
"What is your brother's name?"
Alish frowned then carefully formed the word, "No-din" then she smiled at her Grandmother,
"mama make it practice, Nono get mad."
"Alish" warned Snug
"No-Din" she said again smiling the innocent, snarky way only a 4 year old can pull off. "Aunt Fayde said mum can go swimming but only if we take a nap this afternoon."
Alish frowned but all her son heard was swimming and went running toward their hut. Snug smiled, "I am with twins" she explained to her mother's friend, "They are giving me a bit of trouble so my
day is very short. I hate it. You're welcome to join us."
Lewis rose and stretched, "No that was a fine meal and after the trek here I think I'd like to lay
about until I get my legs back under me. Em?"
"I thought I'd go with the children, I'll see you at dinner then?"
Lewis nodded tenderly kissed her cheek and did the same for Snug, "Your daughter is going to be a stunner
with all this beauty in her line."
Emily preened while Snug fought for a polite smile. With John's
frown and careful packing the family went off swimming and didn't discuss the newest visitor to their village.
Lewis walked about the village making notes in his head of who resided where.
He asked careful questions and was quite intimidated when Bud frowned at him and wondered why he was so interested in the village security. "We keep our home safe - what more do you need to know?"
"I just was asking is all, haven't seen such diligence since my last visit to Buckingham
"And where is that?"
Velvet stepped in seeing the frustrated and unhappy face of her beloved, "Snug's home, there is a
great big palace, guard with funny hats and uniforms. Its' something to see Bud."
He grunted and went about his day; Lewis asked if he could tap her brain. "Sure, what would you like to
"Can you tell me about the patrols without upsetting the apple cart?"
Velvet smiled, "I can give you the short version, there are hostile tribes, mostly the Hyra we are aware
of their movements, they take only young men and boys and kill everyone else. They are awful to the women they find -
strangers sometimes can be equally cruel. We've learned to keep our eyes open.
Bud is basically in charge of that part of our village, he takes it very seriously, especially since the children starting arriving."
"You are not mated to him?"
"Not formally - it works for us."
"And the Elder has allowed this?"
"Jeffery? I think he'd like to see his wards tucked away and making the village strong again, but
he's pleased with lives as we see fit. It was only through Jeffery that the boys were found, we literally stumbled
on top of them, gathered a few here and there its working."
"All the men here are direct from Paden?"
"You know the history?"
"Only from Emily, she told such wonderful stories while we sailed" he lied smoothly.
"Oh, frankly I'm amazed she didn't praddle on about Alish and Nodin. From absent mom to Granny from the vine family… that was unkind. She has a very tender
heart for those children and was so thrilled when Snug said she was carrying again. Frankly after she birthed Alish I
thought for sure she'd quit."
"She gave birth in stream, no healer just John. On the run from -
well that's old news. But Snug's our resident priestess so she's having a great time."
"Deka's consort right?"
"Well yeah, but mostly we just call her Snug. We're reminded
of Deka's influence when the meals are late or she tosses up a cool trick, mostly she's cool about things. You
ought to hear her and Fayde on some lazy afternoon - argue worse than two old men over baseball."
"You're an American?"
"Accent didn't give it away?"
Lewis smiled, "It did, but only the American's reference baseball.
Why did you stay?"
Velvet's smile was wide and happy, "Bud"
Lewis moved on with more questions than answers but figured if he pressed she'd start to wonder, plus he
wasn't entirely sure she wasn't impacted by something the elder or her 'mate' had done to bind her to this life. That smile was too wide, too much not to have something under the surface.
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