On Love’s Wings

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

Part Twenty-Two-

Miataga eyed Ari’s father. He couldn’t say he was surprised by the whole subterfuge Ari’s family was putting on. People lied all the time, putting on airs and attitudes. Making themselves more important than they were. Impressing people who didn’t really matter in the long run. Miataga wrinkled his nose.

“Well, we all try to be something other than what we really are,” he murmured and smiled when Ari chuckled.

“That’s true, but I hate it when people involve me in their lies,” Ari spoke softly into Miataga’s ear. “Without my permission that is.”

At least Ari qualified that. Not quite a hypocrite, considering how they were technically lying about Miataga’s profession. Or not getting into details about what kind of entertainment he did.

“You said you’d sing for us, Miataga.” Ari’s mother grabbed his arm to drag him to the middle of the square where there was a small dais. She handed him a guitar and he stared at it for a moment.

Singing wasn’t his best way to entertain someone, but it wasn’t like he could what he was best at. Not in public anyway. Not with anyone except Ari. He strummed a few chords then cleared his throat.

“All right. Let’s get started. Please dance if you feel like it.” He met Ari’s gaze. “Maybe someone else would like to play with me. I’m sure some of you can sing and play as well.”

A few other people came up on the dais then he consulted with them about what songs they knew. Once they were on the same page, he started playing. The rest of the band joined in and he began to sing.

The melodies and lyrics were simple. Folk songs he’d learned as a child. None of the other songs he knew were appropriate for children. Gathering around, people danced, laughing and enjoying themselves.

He played for an hour before his throat got too dry and his fingers began to cramp. Even though the crowd protested, he set his guitar down, but gestured for the others to keep playing.

Ari helped Miataga down from the dais then handed him a mug of ale. “You did a wonderful job, love. I guess I didn’t realize just how well you could play. I knew you’d learned how to do that for your job, but I never thought you would be that good.”

“Are you saying you didn’t think a whore would enjoy playing for fun?” He kept his voice low.

A shocked expression crossed Ari’s face and he looked worried. “NO! That’s not what I mean at all.”

Miataga laughed. “I know, honey.” He winked. “I was just joking. Singing isn’t the thing I do best, but I enjoy it once in a while. Sometimes the other workers and I get together for a music afternoon. Those who aren’t on call at the time.”

Ari leaned down to steal a kiss from him. “I’d love to sit in on that.”

“Maybe when we’re back in the city and you have a free day, you can come to the House for a concert.” Miataga liked the idea of Ari visiting him once this whole journey was over.

“I’m sure that could be arranged,” Ari agreed.

“You were marvelous, Miataga. Thank you so much.” Mrs. Dosterta gushed as she joined them. She threw her arms around his waist and hugged him tight.

Miataga tensed before hugging her back. It wasn’t often people touched him for any other reason beside sex. Getting a hug from her felt good, even though he wasn’t entirely sure he liked her.

“Thank you. I’m glad you liked it.” He glanced around. “It looks like the party’s winding down.”

“It does.” Ari sighed then looked at his father. “Gather all the elders at the village hall. We need to have a discussion about how things are going to go from now on.”

Miataga saw the look of fear in Mr. Dosterta’s eyes. A little thrill of anticipation raced through Miataga. He couldn’t wait to see how Ari took the elders to task for not doing what their government asked of them.

“Right. I’ll get on that.” Mr. Dosterta edged away, but Ari took a hold of his arm.

“I mean it, Father. The elders and Barke’s parents are to be there. If I find out you didn’t gather them all, I’ll be forced to call in the officials who take care of this.”

Inhaling sharply, his father nodded. After Mr. and Mrs. Dosterta left, Miataga turned to look at Ari.

“I think I’ll go back to the farm house and wander around. I’ve never see an actual cow or sheep. I’m fascinated by the whole idea of raising them.” He cradled Ari’s face and kissed him. “I’ll see you when you get back.”

“Oh no. You’re coming with me. I’m going to need you to make sure I don’t strangle one of them. They’re going to whine and moan about this whole thing, even after I mention the stipend they’ll be receiving for each child that gets taken into the military.” Ari curled his lip as he stared at the elders being ushered into the hall. “I should’ve known something like this was going on. But I’m always in such a hurry to leave that I don’t listen to people when I’m here.”

Miataga shook his head. “This isn’t your fault. They’re adults and know the laws. I’m pretty sure they know the punishment if they get caught doing something like this. Don’t you dare beat yourself up over this. Let’s just straighten it out. If you want, when we get back to Sendler, you can let the right people know to keep an eye on your village.”

Ari swept him up in a rough hug. “Thank you.”

“For what?”

“For everything you’ve done so far. I’m not sure I’d be able to deal with my family if you weren’t here to keep me focused.” Ari set him down. “As you can see, they can drive me crazy.”

“Only if you let them, love,” Miataga muttered as they walked toward the gathering crowd.

3 Responses “On Love’s Wings”

  1. Bobbi says:

    This is getting really good can’t wait for the rest.

  2. Truth in fiction: Only if you let them


  3. josexpressions says:

    so cool!

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