On Love’s Wings

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

Part Twenty-One-

The party was in full swing and Miataga spent most of his time mingling with the villagers. They all wanted to know what Sendler was like since a majority of them had never been out of the mountains. It was something he was used to while working at the Loving House. He often had to make small talk with the clients while they waited for their appointments.

Also, he did his best to keep Ari from getting angry with his parents. It wasn’t time for them to deal with all the issues. Not while everyone else was around and could watch.

“Miataga,” Barke called from the other side of the square. “Come here.”

Rolling his eyes, Miataga excused himself from the group he’d been talking with then headed toward Barke. He smiled at others who tried to get him to stop, but kept moving.

“What do you want, Barke?” Miataga asked, taking a mug from the young man and sipping. He grimaced at the bitter taste of the ale. It wasn’t his favorite drink in the world. Sweet wines were what he usually had while working.

“Is Ariste going to talk to my parents about going with you guys?” Barke kept his voice low, but there was urgency in his tone.

Miataga sighed. “Yes, he will, but you have to let him to do it on his own time. Discussing it in the middle of your aunt’s party isn’t that.”

Barke curled his upper lip and Miataga slapped his cheek lightly. Shaking his head, Miataga told Barke. “Don’t. You’re young and impatient. I understand you want to start your life, but you need to trust that Ari knows what he’s doing. Enjoy this time. Go dance with the girl your parents want you to marry. Spend time with her because you won’t be here much longer.”

“But I want to leave now. I’ve waited long enough.” Barke whined and Miataga smacked him again—still not hard, but enough to get Barke’s attention.

“Stop acting like a child. Once you get to the city and enlist in the military, you won’t be able to throw a temper tantrum without getting your ass kicked. Trust me. Those soldiers won’t take it easy on you. You’re nothing special to them. Just another man putting his butt on the line for the government.” Miataga set his mug down. “Now go out and have fun because it’ll be the last you get for a while.”

Spinning around, he glanced over the crowd to see if he could find Ari. Miataga spotted his lover standing next to his father, head tilted as though he were listening to the man talk. Yet Ari’s gaze was on Miataga and when their eyes met, Ari grinned. That was the only signal Miataga needed to see. He slipped his way through the dancers and musicians, the party-goers and Ari’s family. There was no hesitation as he went up and wrapped his arms around Ari’s waist then brushed a quick kiss over his lips. Ari stayed relaxed, not acknowledging the sneer of disgust that crossed his father’s face, which Miataga saw.

“Mr. Dosterta, this is a marvelous party. It looks like everyone is enjoying themselves.” Miataga held out the figurative olive branch. It wasn’t for him. He didn’t want Ari to be estranged from his family, though he had a feeling if it happened, it wouldn’t be because of him.

“Thank you, Miataga.” Ari’s father accepted the compliment in an icy tone. “My daughters-in-law were in charge. I merely paid the bills.”

More like Ari’s money paid for this. Miataga wasn’t going to give voice to that thought. He leaned into Ari’s side, choosing to keep his mouth shut. No point in antagonizing him further. Ari held Miataga close, obviously not caring who saw them together like that. Miataga enjoyed it. Not ever leaving the House made him feel like an object to be coveted and hidden away. No more rehashing that. It’s different with Ari and I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

“Father, I need to talk to you and the elders of the village after the party is over,” Ari said.

“It’ll be late when this is done. I think your mother planned on it being all day and night,” Ari’s father muttered.

“Then once a majority of the people have left, I want you to gather the elders at the town hall. What I have to say is important and they all need to hear it.” Ari’s grip tightened around Miataga’s waist. “Also, you have to make sure Barke’s parents are there as well.”

“Did that child talk to you about those silly dreams he says he’s been having?” Mr. Dosterta shook his head. “He’s so hung up on getting out of here, he’ll make anything up.”

Ari exhaled and Miataga squeezed him, silently reminding him to watch his mouth at the moment. “Yes, he did, Father. That’s what we’ll be discussing. I’ve told you before what the government will do if they find out you aren’t allowing the youngsters to come to the city. Every one who dreams must be giving the chance to bond with what he dreams. That is the law.”

“No. We need Barke here to help with the harvest and the planting. Why should we give up our children? No one gives us anything.” Mr. Dosterta waved his hands around at all the people standing in the village square.

“That’s not true.”

Miataga glanced up to see Ari glaring at his father. Ari lifted his chin to gesture at the tavern where the drinks were coming from.

“All the property you own now is from the money I send you. Plus you do get a stipend because the government knows you need every able body to help with the harvest. They don’t just take people and not compensate their families.” Ari shook his head.

“The government pays the families?” Miataga asked, having never heard that before.

“Yes.” Ari shrugged. “Did you really they could buy and build everything they have with just the money I send them? Not possible. I don’t make that much to begin with, so it’s only a small percentage.”

2 Responses “On Love’s Wings”

  1. selfish, close-minded. . . love this! I’ve only got to wait until tomorrow but it’s early, early morning here and tomorrow is too far away 😉

  2. josexpressions says:

    loved this!

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