Chapter 174: Jamian
Jamian and Ty, as the only members of their crew invited to the wedding, ended up sharing a table with Mabina, Cassidy, Vlad, Lisha, and Conrad. It was, to say the least, a little uncomfortable. Jamian kept expecting Mabina to grill him about his so-called misbehavior with Kendra, or Kai's odd situation with Anatoliy.
"So," he tried, to forestall any of that, "how are the babies, Mabina?"
She smiled joyfully. "Oh, they're wonderful! Hadassah has figured out rolling over on her own, and Meriwether is burbling and smiling. They're lovely little babies, and I can't wait until school is out so I can spend more time with them."
She turned her gaze on Jamian's still-flat stomach. "And how is yours coming along?"
"Oh!" Jamian folded his hands over his stomach and focused on staying male. "Dr. Caitrin says they're both doing fine so far. I can't really feel it much yet, though." His breasts kept swelling, but he didn't think that was dinner-table talk.
"They?" Cassidy asked. "Going the twin route?"
"Ah." Jamian squirmed a little, but Tya got him off the hook.
"As only two hermaphrodites can do," she smiled proudly, her hands over her own flat belly. "We're each carrying one."
"Very practical," Mabina smiled. "And you're enjoying being pregnant again, Tya?"
The sweet malice was palpable; Jamian couldn't help but wonder if Tya had been whiny through carrying Siriana. But Ty just smiled as if she didn't notice the barbs.
"Jamian's worth it."
Across the table, Alisha smiled. "I know the feeling," she murmured. "Vlad is worth it, too." Indeed, the merman was blushing, his Mask making it blotchy and red instead of his normal puce.
Jamian felt himself blushing, too. "Worth it..." wasn't how he thought about having had to negotiate for the honor, but it still made him feel warm and fuzzy inside to hear her say it.
"You know," Mabina mused, "I can't say that, given the choice, this is how I would have planned my life, if you follow me? To be having children so young and so far from my own designs, it wasn't what I would have chosen. But Meri and Hada are so dear and so lovely, and my Cassidy is everything I've ever dreamed of." She smiled warmly at her partner. "It seems those things that we didn't plan have worked out beautifully for us."
There were so many things Jamian wanted to say to that: and what about those who weren't so lucky? And what about those who won't have a partner to help them with their unplanned teenage babies? And what about all the kids whose parents didn't want them? He swallowed, wondering how to say any of that nicely, or at all without starting a fight in the middle of his friend's wedding.
He was saved by the delivery of the first course and, for four courses of delicious food, they managed to make light small talk. Tya won his undying gratitude around the main course by starting to gossip with Vlad, lightly and good-naturedly, about the people of the Village. There was, like with any small town, Jamian supposed, quite a bit of gossip to be had, and Ty and Vlad, between the two of them (through, it seemed, their mothers), knew it all.
Just as they seemed to be running out of rumors - their stories had gone from current events to remember-whens to ancient history, dredging up things from their early childhood - the music started, and, relieved and feeling chivalrous, Jamian asked Tya to dance with him.
"Quite the gentleman," she smiled, and let him lead her out on the floor. The music was slow and sweet and, as the bride and groom stared into each other's eyes, Jamian lost himself in Ty's for a while.
Marriage. Tya, Ty, wasn't the sort for marriage. Jamian knew that, Bond or no, baby or no. And, with her pressed against him, he really couldn't bring himself to mind. Not like Daeva are known for settling down.
Jamian imagined the two babies inside of them, pressed up against each other. He thought about Professor VanderLinden, not even letting his own Student know he was also his father. Was that just Mike, or was that being a Daeva? Was Jamian going to turn out like that?
No-one says I have to, he told himself firmly. I don't have to be like my mother, or my stepfather, or my unknown father. I don't have to be like my bloodline, either.
"Deep thoughts, lover?" Tya teased. She was smiling brightly at him, without a care in the world. He wondered how she did it.
"Just thinking about marriages," he admitted, probably not the best idea. She tensed up in his arms, her movements getting stiffer.
"I know, I know," he assured her quickly. "Tya, I'm not thinking about, like, us getting married. I'm just, well, we're at a wedding."
Just like that, she relaxed. "We are," she agreed. "It was a very pretty wedding. The whole pomp-and-circumstance stuff might be fun, you know? The pretty dress, the nice music, the poetry..."
Jamian couldn't help but laugh. "Addergoole needs prom," he declared. "That's what you want, Tya, just a nice dance where you can be the center of attention."
"Well, yeah." She grinned, totally unabashed. "Doesn't everybody?"
"Could I cut in?" Melchior was looking very dapper in his suit, his hair slicked back, his Masked smile wide if a little faked. "You look lovely tonight, both of you."
Jamian smiled, trying not to look as uncomfortable as he felt when sandwiched between his two lovers. "Thanks, you too. So, ah, me or Tya?"
"You." He smiled more naturally now. "If your Keeper doesn't mind?"
"Not at all," Tya smiled brightly. "You two look scrumptious dancing together and, besides, I want a drink..."
"Tya..." Jamian warned.
"...of water," she finished, sulking. "You two have fun."
Melchior's tension relaxed even more once he had Jamian safely in his arms. "You looked like you were thinking deep thoughts?"
"Just thinking about Changes," Jamian admitted. "Living with Shiva and Magnolia, you know..."
"Rawr?" Melchior offered playfully.
"Something like that. Sometimes, they go from a little bit catlike to flat out terrifying tiger women in nothing flat. And Shiva said - in a calmer moment - that that was part of their Change."
"So you're at a wedding, dancing with a beautiful woman who's carrying your baby, wondering if your Change is fucking with your head." Melchior shook his head. "You worry too much, man. Relax and enjoy the party." He tilted his head at the bride and groom. "They make a pretty matched pair, don't they? Like 'Bina and Cass, like they were meant for each other."
Like they were bred for each other, more like it, Jamian thought, but didn't say. He wasn't going to risk that getting out, not today. Instead, he smiled. "They're always gorgeous. They're going to have pretty kids."
"So are you." Melchior nuzzles against Jamian's neck, one Masked tooth catching the necklace that was his collar and tugging on it. "You and Tya, you're going to have the prettiest babies ever. Not like my kids. If I ever have them."
"Hey..." He pulled his lover closer. "None of that, Mel. Don't be silly."
"I'm not being silly, Jame', I'm just being reasonable. I know what I look like."
"I know what you look like, too." Part of Jamian was very aware that, right now, he was a guy, dancing in the middle of the room with another guy, and that some people here would not get that, would not understand that sometimes he was a girl.
Fuck'em. He leaned in and brushed his lips against Mel's, first just a little buss, but the situation called for more than that, so he slid his hand up Melchior's neck to his hair and pulled the other boy close to him, kissing him back with every bit of technique he'd learned from Ty and Ivette.
Mel spiked surprise and lust all at once, pressing Jamian close against him as he responded. "Jame'…"
"If it comes to it, which it won't, I'll take care of you, Mel. You know I will."
"You've already got your two, though."
"And?" He kissed him again, suddenly wanting to drag him off the dance floor, back to his room. Tya would be all for it… if she got to come along. The thought dulled his ardor just a bit. What he wanted was to be alone with Mel. "Some things are worth it. You're worth it."
"Some things are worth it," the little goblin repeated, his lips against Jamian's neck. "Are you sure you don't want me to challenge for you?"
The thought filled him with a flood of confusing emotions, warmth that he was willing, panic at losing Ty, a confused sense of uncertainty. "No, no. It's okay, Mel. Tya is good to me. And besides," he added, pulling up a wicked smile and trying to make it believable, "we have two more years after this to do whatever we want."
"I would, you know." But Mel's shoulders had relaxed. "Like you said, some things are worth it."
Jamian caught sight of a mouse tail over Mel's shoulder: Kendra, with Ofir dragging her off. "Yeah," he agreed quietly. "Some things really are."
Copyright © 2009-2012 Lyn Thorne-Alder with Elasmo. All rights reserved.
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