Crossbreeds Part 2: Chapter 27 You'll Never Guess by RedPhantom ()
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The flight back was a little difficult. Nim was still having trouble breathing, although it wasn’t as bad as it had been that morning. Joanne wanted to tell Ann the news, but Nim needed to lie down. He assured her he would be fine and encouraged her to go without him. He contacted Pt’this and asked him to come see him when he was free.
Pt’this grew concerned when he saw Nim.
“Mating is almost as hard on my lungs as breathing fire,” Nim explained.
“I told you to get that checked out.”
“I did, several years ago. He said the same thing as Tor did and the healer that I saw when it happened. There’s nothing to be done. I just need to take it easy until I can breathe again.”
“Try talking was Shunati. He can do quite a bit more than most.”
“He’s got his hands full with Vaila,” Nim said. He didn’t bother mentioning the healer had been Thailyn who was stronger than Shunati. “I’ve had this almost all my life.”
“But now, you’ve got Joanne.”
“It’s no worse than when I go hunting.”
“But no one else could feel it. You know what I went through with Mirimar’s injuries. Don’t do that to Joanne.”
“When Vaila is old enough that he doesn’t need Shunati’s constant help, and Shunati has had a chance to recover, I’ll talk with him,” Nim finally relented. He didn’t want Jo to suffer needlessly.
Pt’this nodded. “What did you need to see me about?”
“I need advice. What do you do to plan a wedding?”
“Well, first you need to find a woman gullible enough to marry you,” Pt’this said with a grin.
“Oh, do you mean Joanne? Do you think you can convince her?”
“I’ve already proposed,” Nim said.
“You’re serious aren’t you?” Pt’this asked, surprised. He’d have never guessed Nim would even think about doing something as human as getting married. Of course, before two years ago, who would’ve thought he’d even find a woman. He figured the guy would stay single forever.
Nim shrugged. “She’s human. Humans marry their mates. It’s just something to make it official where they don’t bond.”
Pt’this was surprised again. He had needed Ann to spell that out for him before he understood it and he was the one who’d lived among humans most of his life.
“Are you planning on getting married here?” Pt’this asked.
“I can’t go there anymore. You know that,” Nim said.
“I can officiate for you. The girls did most of the planning for our wedding, so I’m not sure what needs to be done. I can ask Sapphire tonight. Do you want a big wedding or small one? I’m more familiar with the simple ceremony, but I have done the formal one.”
“The simple one will be fine. We decided on a small wedding. I don’t know if I could handle a big one.”
Pt’this nodded. “I’ll ask around. Jo is staying this time, isn’t she?”
“She said she has a few things to take care of back there, and then she’ll be back in a few days.”
“Okay, you get some rest. Take it easy, if you need help, contact me or have a page summon Shunati.” Pt’this said and left.
Joanne went to find Ann. So much had happened and she had to share it with someone. She had to ask the steward on duty where she was. The steward informed her Ann was either in her study or her lab. The study was at the end of the hall of her rooms and the lab was accessed through the study, although the steward strongly recommended she not disturb Ann if she was in her lab.
Joanne knocked on the door of the study. She heard the door unlock and Andy opened it. He greeted her as he left.
“Jo, come in, sit,” Ann said. She was at her desk.
“Do you want the door still locked?” Joanne asked.
“Nah. That’s okay.” Ann waved it off. “Andy was using my lab to mix potions.”
“Andy mixes potions?” Joanne asked.
Ann nodded. “He’s quite good to. It’s similar to cooking.”
“You don’t, do you?” She asked cautiously. Ann was a terrible cook.
Ann laughed. “They won’t license me. Master Thorgrey wouldn’t even test me. He said he would consider it when he saw a white dragon.”
“Um, aren’t you a white dragon?” Joanne asked.
“This is before I knew I was a dragon. But, afterward I reminded him of it and he did consider it, for about two minutes.”
“You weren’t serious were you?”
“No. I never expected to be tested in the first place. I was just with some classmates who wanted to be tested.”
“Ann, I wanted to show you something.” She held out her hand to show Ann the ring.
Ann’s eyes grew wide. “He proposed? Oh, congratulations.” She hugged her friend. “Tell me about it.”
“After we went to Bisfip, we went back to Baj-tisk and he took me to his home and he was showing me some of his drawings. Then he showed me one where he was kneeling before me like he was proposing and when I turned to him he really was kneeling.”
“Oh that is so sweet,” Ann said.
“I totally didn’t expect it. I mean, he’s never once mentioned getting married. Did you know anything about it?”
“No. He’s never said a word to me. Does this mean he’ll let you stay? Or is he going to try to go back to Earth again?”
“I’m staying. He said he wasn’t trying to keep me from staying, he just wanted it to be my decision. I do need to go back for a few days. I can’t just disappear.”
Ann nodded. “I’ll need to go back too soon, make arrangements for the house.”
“Why don’t you just sell it?”
“In case we need someplace to go when Remmy becomes king.”
“You don’t think he’d go that far do you?”
“I don’t know. Nothing I said yesterday was made up and he’s done a lot more too. It would be nice if we could get that spell removed. I worry about Jaidu.”
“So do I.” Joanne nodded.
“Oh, I forgot. Sapphire wants to talk to you.”
“Where is she?”
“At the home.”
“Where’s that again?” Joanne asked.
Ann smiled. “I’ll show you. It’s not far.”
Sapphire noticed the ring almost as soon as they walked in the door. She squealed with delight which brought the whole house running. Joanne told them all what happened. The kids all congratulated her and then Sapphire sent them all out of the room.
“Where will you be living?” Sapphire asked.
“Here, Nim can’t go back to Earth,” Joanne said.
“No, I mean where here, Baj-tisk, Bisfip, Sen-gan?”
“I haven’t decided. Nim suggested here in Sen-gan since I know people here and he’s here as much as anywhere.”
“That works out well,” Sapphire said, nodding. “Pt’this and I were talking and we want to hire you. In one afternoon, you did more for Jaidu than the four of us have done for these kids in months.”
“You mean you want me as a counselor? Here?” Joanne asked, surprised.
Sapphire nodded. “It wouldn’t be a live-in position like Dae and Ti, but if you needed to spend the night occasionally, we have the room. But, you’ll probably want to stay with Nim anyhow.”
“This would be great. Thank you,” Joanne said.
“Don’t thank us yet. You don’t know these kids,” Sapphire warned.
“No, but I’ve known others like them,” Joanne said.
They talked for a while longer discussing the details of what they needed Jo to do and what she needed to do that.
They heard Pt’this come in. “Sapphire, you’ll never guess what Nim did,” he called as he came back to where they were. He stopped when he saw Joanne and Ann. “Well, maybe you will guess.” He grinned. “Congratulations.”
“Thank you,” Joanne said.
“Did you ask her?” Pt’this asked.
“I’ll take the job when I get back,” Joanne said.
“Great. How’s he doing?” Pt’this asked sobering some.
“He’s doing better. The pain’s almost gone, and he’s sleeping,” Joanne said. It was strange being able to know that.
“What happened?” Sapphire asked.
“Apparently mating is as hard on his lungs as breathing fire,” Pt’this said.
“Mating? Jo, you didn’t tell me that part.”
“I don’t kiss and tell,” Joanne said.
“Since when?” Ann asked, laughing.
“Shut up. I do not. Besides, Nim said he saw you guys at breakfast and told you then. I didn’t realize Sapphire wasn’t there,” Joanne explained.
“It’s okay. I’m not one for talking about it either,” Sapphire said.
When it was time to leave, Pt’this offered to walk them back since it was getting dark. They said it wasn’t necessary but he insisted, saying he wasn’t dealing with Nim and Andy if something happened to them.