Character Gauntlet Challenge Day Fifteen
|Haru stood outside of his home shielding his eyes from the midday sun. The corners of his mouth turned up as he saw two figures approaching on horse back. One he recognized as his son, Hitaru. The other he had to do a double take. She was a grown woman, who was the image of Kairi. Haru stepped down onto the ground in a daze. His eyes were fixated on the young woman his son assisted from her saddle.
She wore a black silk kimono that had been let out to make room for a small swell in her abdomen. As Hitaru led the woman forward she smiled in recognition.
"Hello, Haru," Onyx embraced the older man. "It is good to see you again."
Haru embraced her gently careful not to crush her belly between them. He eyed Hitaru over her shoulder. Hitaru nodded in silent confirmation. Haru held Onyx at arms-length to examine her. She had grown quite a bit in twenty years. Her green eyes showed the wisdom of her mother and father now. She had come so far with so much against her.
"Welcome my dear," Haru smiled. Damn it, if Kairi hadn't been right with her prediction, Haru thought as he escorted Onyx inside. Kairi had predicted their children would find each other, and marry. At the time Haru had dismissed it as wishful thinking, but now here they were; Onyx and Hitaru plus one. Haru could not help but laugh out loud.
"Is something amusing father?" Hitaru asked as he closed the door behind him.
"Just fate my boy," Haru laughed. "She certainly does enjoy amusing herself at our expense." He eased Onyx into a chair as his wife Suki rushed over with a cup of water. "Suki this is Lady Onyx, the daughter of Kairi and Kyo."
"I'm honored to meet you." Onyx took the cup of water, and blue a soft cool breath into it to turn it from tepid to cold. She did the same for Hitaru and Haru when they offered their cups.
"You truly have become an elemental master," Haru observed after taking a drink off the cold water. "Your parents would be proud. How does the council feel about it?"
"They are coping," Onyx smiled up at him.
"They have offered her the lead position," Hitaru boasted.
"Will you accept?" Haru asked.
"I am considering it," Onyx sighed. "I guess I can not avoid the politics forever if they keep bringing it to my door."
"I heard they are having trouble reaching consensus since there is still only four and no tie breaker," Haru sipped his water. "I think you would be in a good position to help others like yourself, Onyx."
"You mean the other dire panther casters?" Onyx inquired.
"Not just them," Haru stated. "All shape changers who are casters could benefit from you taking a position on the council."
"That is the same argument Hitaru made when I was about to reject the council outright," Onyx observed. "You have taught him well."
"He gets his ability to persuade from his mother," Haru smiled at Suki as she satbeside him. "All he got from me were his good looks, and skill with that ax he carries."
"Don't forget you way with the ladies," Suki teased.
"Ah, yes," Haru laughed. "And he sure knows how to pick a good one. So, when are you to going to take your vows?"
"On the eve of the spring equinox," Onyx stated. "That will be in a few short months, and we would like you and Suki to join us."
"Of course," Haru agreed.
The door burst open, and a young woman who could not be more than fifteen ran in. She lept straight into Hitaru's arms, squealing with excitement.
"Brother! You are home!"
"Yes, Kisa," Hitaru gave her a gentle squeeze and set her on the floor. "I want you to meet my betrothed, Lady Onyx."
Kisa rushed to Onyx and hugged her. " I have always wanted a sister," she spared her brother an apologetic look. Her hands moved immediately to Onyx's belly. "It is healthy."
"You are a cleric?" Onyx inquired.
"An apprentice," Kisa clarified. "I am not supposed to do that without a cleric present, but I was just so curious. Would you like to know what it is?"
"Sure," Onyx smiled indulgently. She recalled what it was like to be an impetuous fifteen-year-old girl.
"It is male," Kisa stated.
"Then we know what his name will be," Hitaru stated.
"Hitaru?" Kisa inquired.
"No, Kyo," Hitaru smiled lovingly at Onyx, "after your father."
Onyx returned his smile. After they had the evening meal Haitaru and Onyx settled into his old bed for the night. Onyx lay on her back with the kimono open. She sighed as Hitaru rubbed a type of oil on her stomach that promoted skin elasticity.
"Is everything alright, my love?" Hitaru asked.
"Oh, yes," Onyx answered uncertainly. Part of her was still wondering if all of this was a dream created by another dark cleric. Don't be silly, she scolded herself. Ido was just released from his imprisonment he would not start trouble so soon. She smiled as Hitaru lay beside her and rested his large hand over her belly. The child inside moved to his father's hand and tried to curl up there. "He knows you."
"He knows my touch," Hitaru sighed. "My father's hand would probably produce the same result."
"He seemed to enjoy your sister's touch," Onyx smiled. "He did not stop squirming for a while afterwards. I think she tickled him."
"That's not surprising," Hitauru laughed. "Kisa loves babies. She is also one of the few that can make delving seem fun. If she was not so far down the line she could be our citadel's next grand cleric."
"I have a grand cleric who needs an apprentice," Onyx stated. "Perhaps she should come home with us, and study under him."
"You always beat me to asking you for a favor," Hitaru laughed. "Would you mind if she accompanied us?"
"Not at all," Onyx smiled, "as long as your parents do not mind."
"That is tomorrow's hurdle," Hitaru sighed.
Word Count: 1,030