On Love’s Wings

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

Part Eighteen-

Ari growled at the thought that his parents and the villagers were stopping the youngsters from following their destinies. Miataga and Barke stared at him, but he ignored them as he paced around the room. He clenched his hands and heat flared up his arms to settle in his chest.

“I warned them what would happen if they kept others from following their visions. The government in Sendler takes a dim view on obstacles being thrown up in front of future soldiers.”

He caught the glance Barke shot Miataga and heard his cousin say, “What is he talking about?”

Miataga shrugged. “I’m not sure. I work in the city, not in the military or government. Ari knows exactly what needs to be done. If he says you’re coming with us, that’s what will happen.”

Barke didn’t look convinced, but Ari had met what he said. He would make sure Barke came with them, even if it meant threatening the adults with governmental interference. He knew his parents wouldn’t like that.

“Are you ready for dinner?” Ari’s mother called.

“Yes, Mother.” Ari looked at Barke. “Don’t say anything. I’ll talk to them in the morning.”

“All right.” Barke bowed slightly then lead the way to the dining room where the rest of the family waited.

Ari saw Miataga winced when they walked in and silence filled the room. Everyone’s gaze had gone to Miataga who stood next to him. As much as Ari wanted to grab Miataga and drag him close, he didn’t. He didn’t think Miataga would appreciate him protecting him like that. Besides, Miataga was an adult and had probably faced worse while in the city.

“Please sit.” Mother gestured to two empty chairs close to his father. “Barke, you’re done here next to your sister.”

Barke looked at Ari who nodded. Then he escorted Miataga to his chair. Once they were seated, everyone started in on the food. It wasn’t until all the dishes were passed around and every plate was full that Father spoke.

“Miataga, You’re a friend of Ariste’s. Did you meet in the army?”

Ari gave Miataga a side-ways glance, but didn’t say anything. It was up to Miataga to tell them what he wanted them to know. Ari didn’t really care if his parents knew that Miataga was a whore. He just didn’t want Miataga to get annoyed and demand to go back to the city.

“No, sir. We met in Lower City. I’m in the entertainment business and he happened to see me perform. We became friends and I was ready for a vacation when he asked me if I’d like to come on this journey with him.” Miataga’s face was so innocent that Ari believed what he said.

Honestly, most of it was true. Ari hadn’t seen Miataga perform since Ari wasn’t into voyeurism. Yet what Miataga did could be considered entertainment.

“And your boss was okay with you taking off for however long this trip will take?” Father seemed skeptical.

“Yes, he was. He has other entertainers who can take my place until I get back.” Miataga smiled then took a bite of his salad.

“Do you sing?” Ari’s mother’s gaze was intense as she stared at Miataga.

He nodded and Ari chuckled. Of course, Miataga could sing. The whores in the Loving Houses did more than have sex with the clients. They had to be experts on all kinds of pleasurable things, not just sex.

Her eyes lit up. “Maybe you could sing for us at the party tomorrow.”

Ah. Ari got it then. Miataga was someone different, unknown and exotic in his way. He could sing new songs that the villagers hadn’t heard before. It would make her party memorable and show the others how important Ari’s family can become. There would be entertainment all the way from the city.

“Mother, Miataga is on vacation. He might not feel like singing,” he admonished her.

Miataga nodded graciously. “I would be delighted.”

She smiled. “Wonderful. I look forward to that.”

Father’s gaze narrowed as he looked from Ari to Miataga and back. Ari could tell something was brewing in his father’s brain. It would hit him at some point and Ari would deal with it when it happens.

“This is very good, Mrs. Dosterta. Did you make everything?” Miataga was doing his best at small talk.

“Thank you, but no. Rayme did most of it. I wasn’t feeling well today.” Mother nodded toward Rayme. “She’s Jemsel’s wife. My first daughter-in-law.”

Rayme smiled at Miataga who bowed his head.

“You’re quite talented in the kitchen, ma’am. I’ve never had anything that tastes this good. Not even in the city.” Miataga turned to look at Ari. “Are your meals on the base as good as this?”

Ari laughed. “Oh no. Only the superior officers and commanders get food this good. The meals the regular soldiers are served don’t have that much flavor.”

“I thought you were a commander and an important one because of your bond with the phoenix?” His father frowned.

“I usually eat with the regular soldiers, Father. There’s no need for me to separate myself from them. I’m no more special than they are just because I’ve bonded with Vikex. I don’t see the point in rubbing their noses in it.” He snorted. “Unfortunately my superiors don’t feel the same way.”

Miataga touched his knee under the table and Ari relaxed. I can’t talk about my disappointment in the men who lead the military I’m in. I need to keep my mouth shut around other people. He knew any unhappy talk could be seen as treasonous and it was dangerous if the wrong people overheard him.

“Besides, I like hanging out with the other soldiers. At heart, I’m still a simple boy from the mountains. What do I know about the fancy manners needed to eat at the Supreme Commander’s table?”

“Have you ever met the Supreme Commander?” Jemsel asked from further down the table.

Ari grimaced. “Once after a rather large battle that Vikex and I helped win. He awarded us a medal for our bravery.”

2 Responses “On Love’s Wings”

  1. josexpressions says:

    Loving this story!

  2. Bobbi says:

    Better and better love Tuesdays and Thursdays

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