On Love’s Wings

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

Part Nineteen-

“I’m sure he’s a wonderful man,” Father commented.

Miataga squeezed his knee. Ari knew better than to say anything. Not that he thought his family would turn him in, but the Supreme Commander had ears everywhere and anyone overheard saying bad things about him could get in trouble.

“He is,” Ari muttered then swallowed every thing else he wanted to say about the Supreme Commander. The man’s reputation out in society was a brave loyal man who loved his country, but to the men who served under him, he was known as selfish, reckless, and dangerous. He didn’t care about anyone except himself.

“Ari said you own a farm, Mr. Dosterta. How many acres do you harvest? What do you harvest?” Miataga asked, drawing the attention away from Ari.

Flashing him an understanding smile, Ari let the conversation move in a different direction. Miataga had asked the right question to get his father off the topic of the Supreme Commander. He took another scoop of potatoes then covered it in gravy.

“We own about a hundred acres that we plant with wheat and corn. Aside from my sons and sons-in-law who work for me, I also have about ten other hands who help with the harvest. Our farm raises cattle and goats for their meat and milk. One would think it would be hard to grow anything this far up the mountains, but in our valley, the weather is rather mild and the crops flourish here.” Father puffed his chest out in pride. “Our family owns the majority of farm land in the village.”

“You allow the other farmers to rent land from you?” Miataga looked impressed, though Ari caught a hint of amusement in his eyes.

Father nodded. “Of course, they give me a percentage of their yield and I let them keep the rest.” Miataga shot Ari a smirk then said, “That’s very generous of you. Do you own some of the stores in town as well?”

“Yes. The shopkeepers rent the space from me.” Father reached over and slapped Ari on the shoulder. “The money my son sends me has helped us insure the future for our grandchildren.”

“Hmm…” Miataga hummed.

Ari glanced over to Jemsel and Rayme. Both of them looked unhappy, not proud of what Father had done. Ari made a mental note to get his brother and sister-in-law alone tomorrow during his mother’s party and find out what was going on in the village. As much as his parents complained about the money coming from Sendler, they were obviously using it to further their own standing in society. Barke rolled his eyes. “Nice of you to buy their property out from under them then let them rent it to make a living.”

Mother smacked him on the back of the head. “You should be grateful. That money keeps you in food and lodging. If we didn’t do that, we’d be just as poor as the rest of the people in this village.”

“They’re only poor because of you,” Barke muttered.

Ari caught his gaze and shook his head slightly. Now was not the time to air his grievances. Not if Barke wanted to get out of the village, though if he kept it up, they might throw him out instead of dealing with him being so disgruntled.

Barke pouted, but shut up. Miataga continued to direct the conversation so that Ari’s parents could brag about what they’d done. Ari grew ill as they talked and it was only Miataga’s hand on his knee to keep him from leaving the table.

Miataga managed to get them all talking about things in their lives that they were happy about. The women told him about their children and the textiles they created. The men bragged about the crops they grew and the animals they hunted.

Ari knew Miataga didn’t really care about all of that. Well, maybe he did care about the kids, but the rest of it wasn’t important to him. Miataga understood wealth and power. He knew what made most people happy, which was to have both of those. Miataga got it because that was the world he lived in. He played the pawn for the wealthy and powerful. Living the way Miataga did, he related more with the people who were powerless. Yet he knew how to make small talk, making him good at dinner parties.

Chuckling, Ari relaxed. There was no point in getting worked up tonight. Miataga would keep the others from digging into things Ari didn’t want to talk about. He covered Miataga’s hand with his, entwining their fingers and resting them higher up on his thigh. Miataga leaned closer and Ari absorbed his warmth.

Twenty minutes later, dinner was over and Ari couldn’t wait to get out of the house. He wanted to go fly with Vikex, but that wasn’t possible. His phoenix was up higher in the mountains, soaring on the air currents and chasing the eagles that nested up there.

Instead he’d take Miataga for a walk to show him the stars and stare up at them as he explained again which constellation was which. Miataga had told him he liked learning about those lights. It was something Miataga had never gotten the chance to discover because whores didn’t need to know about stars and the night sky. They just needed to know how make a person come.

He offered to wash the dishes, but his mother told him the women would take care of it. His father asked if he and Miataga would like to have a drink in the study with the others. Ari declined. Neither he nor Miataga were the after dinner drinking kind of guys.

“I think I’m going to take Miataga out to my favorite spot on the farm,” Ari told his parents. “He’s never been up this far in the mountains. I want him to see my home.”

“All right. You both have heavy coats, right? It gets cold up here when the sun goes down.” Mother patted his shoulder.

“Yes, Mother.” He didn’t think they’d need them once they were out away from his family.

2 Responses “On Love’s Wings”

  1. Bobbi says:

    Don’t ya just love Ma and Pa.

  2. josexpressions says:

    Miataga kept Ari from busting a cap in somebody’s butt. 🙂 Loved it, T.A. Thank you. Enjoy your weekend!

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