On Love’s Wings

On Love’s Wings copyright c. 2016 T.A. Chase

Part Sixteen-

Something in the tone of his voice must have struck Mr. Dosterta because the man finally looked at Miataga who bowed. There was no reason not to show respect to Ari’s parents. Miataga didn’t mined being overlooked. Being invisible meant he avoided a lot of uncomfortable situations. He had a feeling though that if Ari’s parents did figure out how he made a living, the situation would be far more than uncomfortable.

Mr. Dosterta nodded, but didn’t speak to him. “You are the oldest, Ariste. You should be here learning how to do all of this. After I die, you’ll take over the farm.”

“No, Father. We discuss this every time I come home. I’m not taking over the farm. Give it to Jemsel. He’s been your right hand man since I left. He deserves it.” Ari gestured to one of the men following them.

Miataga studied Jemsel, who gave Ari a quick tilt of the head at his acknowledgement. Again, the family resemblance was strong. Jemsel was weathered by the elements on the mountain and the hard life farming in the village. Yet Miataga still liked Ari’s hardened warrior body and rather sad eyes. Ari’s experiences had marked him in intriguing ways and Miataga looked forward to discovering them all.

Stumbling along in the wake of Ari and his father, Miataga tried to check out the rest of the village, but all he got were glimpses of stone huts in grays and blacks with faded red roofs. He’d have time to explore since they were staying more than one night. Just as he managed to get in stride with the others, they stopped in front of a large stone house.

This was not a one-room hut. Compared to the ones they’d passed along the path, this was a mansion, on par with the houses in the Upper City of Sendler. Miataga gave a soft snort. Okay, so it wasn’t quite as opulent as those houses, but for a mountain village, it was quite impressive. It was only one story, but it sprawled, looming over Miataga like a disapproving master.

“This is impressive,” he muttered low enough that only Ari could hear him.

“It’s what the money I send home every month pays for. They might not be happy about me going, or that the money is Emimenian, but they’ll take it because it lets them lord it over the rest,” Ari explained before stepping through the gate and onto the stone walkway leading to the front door.

“Is that glass?” Miataga pointed to the window in the wooden door. He hadn’t expected to see anything like that so far away from the city.

“Yes.” Mrs. Dosterta sounded so proud. “We had it made shortly after Ariste left for the army. We wanted to show our pride in our son.”

“That was nice of you.” How does a stain glass window depicting a sheaf of wheat and a tree prove pride in Ari? I would think they’d have had a phoenix created. It would be far more impressive. More than likely, Ari felt the same. Yet considering how they treated Vikex, it probably made more sense that they didn’t have the bird on their door. He took a deep breath then motioned for Ari’s mother to walk in front of him.

“After you, ma’am.” He fell in step behind her. “How many children do you have? Ariste is the oldest, right?”

“Yes, he is. We have seven children. Four boys and three girls. All the girls have married and moved to their husband’s homes. Two of the boys are married. Their families live with us, which is why our house is so big.”

Is she trying to convince me they aren’t rubbing their neighbors’ faces in the fact that they have more money then the others? Of course, they wouldn’t do that. He mentally rolled his eyes, but nodded.

“Right. Even so, with all those people, it has to be crowded.” He smiled at Ari, walking past as Ari held the door open for them. “But it must be nice to have your daughters-in law here to help with cleaning and cooking.”

“It is, which is why our sons stay with their parents while our girls go to live with their husbands’ families,” Mr. Dosterta commented. “It ensures that each family has enough hands to harvest the crops and help around the house.” Miataga pursed his lips. “Seems logical.”

It didn’t really, but Miataga was from the city where the people didn’t have to grow their own food, so there was no reason to have that many people in one house. What did he know though? It wasn’t like he got a chance to wander Sendler and spy on the lives of the other city dwellers. There could be places where more than one family lived in a house—or apartment.

“Barke, take their bags to Ari’s room,” Mrs. Dosterta ordered the young man carrying their packs. “You’ll have to share a room, I’m afraid. There just isn’t a free space in this house.”

Ari slid off his helmet and Miataga caught how everyone in the vicinity winced at the sight of his scarred skin. He entwined his fingers with Ari’s, pressing their palms together then pushed up on his toes to brush a kiss over Ari’s damaged cheek. He wanted his lover to remember that not everyone pitied—or found him disgusting. Ari gave him a small grateful smile before turning to his mother. “Do we have time to wash up before the meal?”

Mrs. Dosterta wiped the shocked look off her face and nodded. “Yes. The girls and I just have a few little things to finish up. We can all meet at the table in ten minutes.”

“Thank you.” Ari dragged Miataga away down one of the long hallways angling off the front entry. Once they were out of earshot, Ari stopped then bent to crush their lips together. After he stole Miataga’s breath, he started walking again.

Miataga laughed. “What was that for?”

“For being you and for showing them there’s nothing to fear about my scars. For trying to make me feel better.” Ari waved his hand in a vague motion. “For a lot of reasons.”

“Okay.” He cleared his throat. “Your family seems like an interesting bunch.”

Ari shot a glance over his shoulder. “You haven’t even met all of them—or talked to them yet. Just wait.”

3 Responses “On Love’s Wings”

  1. Bobbi says:

    I’m really liking this story it is a nice way to start the day.

  2. josexpressions says:

    Duuuuuude…is it Thursday yet???

  3. I don’t think Ari heard the sarcasm no “interesting bunch”.

    Tapping my toes, waiting for Thursday

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