CB2:Ch37 Why Don't I Have Grandkids? by RedPhantom ()
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Thailyn needed to find Ann next. He wasn’t sure where she’d be but he remembered the steward on duty was supposed to know. He was usually down near the main entrance. On the way, he passed a man carrying a young child and stopped. He turned. “Rejenn?”
Rejenn turned. “Thailyn? When did you get back to Menthanla?”
“A few days ago. When did you have a child?” Thailyn asked.
He didn’t know what surprised him more, Rejenn at the palace or Rejenn with a child. Rejenn was an orphan at one of the orphanages Thailyn and Darkham treated, although, he spent more time away from the place then there, usually only returning often enough to not be reported as a runaway. Because the orphanage was funded by the king, Rejenn blamed him for the terrible conditions there. Though to be honest, it was the fault of the people running the place and they had been reported and dealt with.
Thailyn also knew Rejenn couldn’t have any children of his own due to an illness he’d had as a child. Rejenn used this to his advantage later. Some women were attracted to him by his looks, others because they thought a musician was romantic. Rejenn didn’t care as long as he could get them to talk. Many times he also got them into bed. Thailyn was fairly sure he wasn’t as bad as his reputation made him out to be but he had no problems sleeping with almost any woman he found attractive. His one rule was no kids. Not that he wouldn’t sleep with a woman with kids, but if he had at all thought she’d start thinking of him as father material, he’d end it. So now, seeing him with a little girl was quite the surprise.
“This is my daughter, Leavon. Her mother and I were married a couple years ago.” Rejenn grinned.
“We all have to settle down sometime. I met her at Dragon Castle after they evacuated Resdelk.”
“What were you doing in Resdelk?”
“Looking for you. Ann had just returned. I promised I’d let you know if I’d found anything new.”
“You came in person?”
“Not too many people going that way at that time. I knew it was important to you. Unfortunately, you had left.”
“I went back to Tricon shortly after you stopped taking my money. I needed to get away from here.”
“I’m assuming since you’re back and at the palace, you know Ann’s back.”
Thailyn smiled. “I do.”
“And that she’s married, and is the White Wyrm, and she’s killed two immortals, and let’s see, what else?” He turned to Leavon. “What do we know about Princess Ann?” He asked her.
“Pony!” Leavon said.
Rejenn laughed. “Yes, she gives pony rides.”
“Yes, she flies with us too.”
“I knew all that, but thanks,” Thailyn said, chuckling at the girl.
“There’s something else, we can’t talk about it here.” Rejenn said. “Maybe we can use Ann’s lab.”
“Yucky lab.” Vonni blew raspberries.
“Yeah, you don’t like the lab, do you?” Rejenn said.
“What’s wrong with Ann’s lab? Or she just sensitive?”
“She’s sensitive. Ann keeps her lab very nice. Vonni doesn’t like it or any of the spelled rooms.”
“That’s odd. How is she around other magic?”
Rejenn rolled his eyes. “She’s fine. She’s not fond of charmed objects but casting is fine and so is healing. Shunati said some kids are like that. You should’ve seen her when the shades were here though.”
“She didn’t like it?”
“You kidding? She loved them.”
“Really? You’re lucky. Most little ones who are sensitive can’t stand them.”
“We are lucky,” Rejenn agreed.
“Lucky, no Papa,” Vonnie said.
“Shh, don’t say that. Be nice,” Rejenn scolded.
“Problems with the birth father?” Thailyn asked.
“I’d tell you, but the little one repeats everything and Cesni will skin me if she picks up anymore bad language. Let’s just say he’s not an issue any longer.”
“I need to get going. I’ll talk with Ann when I’ve got time and will work something out.”
“Okay. I’ll be here for a while,” Thailyn said and continued on his way.
Thailyn still had no idea where Ann was. He couldn’t find the steward on duty to ask. Then he remembered, she was telepathic. He’d spent too much time away from other dragons over the past five hundred years. He wasn’t used to it anymore.
Ann? He sent.
Please, softly. She sent back. I’m only half dragon.
Sorry. I was looking for you.
I’m in the library. Did you need something?
I was wondering when you’d have some free time. I thought I’d see if I could figure out why I don’t have any grandkids yet.
Give me about fifteen minutes to finish up here. I’ll meet you in my room.
Okay. Andy should be there too.
Nobody thinks it’s Andy’s problem.
Because he’s already fathered a child.
He what? His heart felt that surprise.
Thailyn, softly. A woman took advantage of him when he was drunk and got pregnant. She and the baby died a short time later.
That doesn’t mean he isn’t having a problem now. Thailyn was starting to wonder if he should’ve come back to Menthanla. One shock after another wasn’t good for his heart. But, he wasn’t going to use that as an excuse not to see Ann or his parents or even his new sister. His heart was fine and should be for a long time.
I’ll send a page to have him meet us.
Okay. I’ll let you get back to work.
Thailyn waited in Ann’s room. From the balcony, he could see his parents out in the garden. It was odd to see them sitting so far apart. They’d always been quite physical. But, he understood. Both had been through a lot. He was happy to see them. He had thought he never would. They would work things out. Their bond damaged when they had stopped Mishtali’s heart to free him from Nor’than, but it was still there and it would help. Theirs had always been a strong one.
Andy arrived first. Thailyn explained what he planned and Andy agreed. He was still checking Andy went Ann arrived. She knew to keep her distance.
“He appears to be healthy. I see no problem here,” Thailyn said.
“So it’s me,” Ann said. The look reminded him of when she first showed him her coloring as a dragon.
“Don’t get all upset. Let’s see. Maybe it’s something I can fix.” He had her lay on the bed and started to examine her.
“Ann, you’re pregnant now. Just few days along, but you are pregnant.”
Thailyn nodded. “From what I see, you’ve been pregnant a few times but have had miscarriages.”
“What?” Ann started to sit up. Thailyn pushed her back down.
“That explains some of your health problems you wouldn’t see Shunati for,” Andy reasoned, glaring at her. She ignored his look.
“Hold still. It doesn’t do you any good to get pregnant if you can’t stay pregnant. Let me figure out why.”
Ann lay still. He continued checking.
“It’s Nim’s fault. He keeps making me change,” she claimed.
“It’s not that. This early, changing won’t hurt anything. Andy, would you drain her for me? Slowly. Ann, stop drawing more in. I need you drained.”
“Okay Andy, you can stop.”
“I can see it now. The baby’s glowing. Ann’s always so bright, she overpowers it,” Andy said.
“You can see the baby’s magic?”
“Yeah, I could see Bremul and Vaila’s magic too.”
“Interesting. Even most Augmenters can’t.”
Thailyn continued the examination. Because Ann was an unreadable, it took longer. Things didn’t jump out at him like they did with most people. He actually had to look.
“Did you know your eyes are starting to deteriorate?” He asked.
“Thailyn!” Ann shouted.
“Sorry,” Thailyn said.
“She knows,” Andy informed him.
“I’ll fix that too,” Thailyn offered.
“Later,” Ann said.
“Of course,” Thailyn nodded.
“You’re also ripped,” Thailyn observed.
“Ann, you were warned,” Andy scolded.
“I’m not ripped,” Ann insisted. “I have no pain. You know that.”
“Almost ripped,” Thailyn amended. “I should repair that too.”
“Thailyn, why do I keep miscarrying?”
“I’m looking. Oh, here. This is odd. It’s your magic. When it gets too high, it’s causing you to miscarriage.”
“So what do I do?”
“Keep your magic low. Have Andy drain you as needed. And, limit your transforming. Of course, you should do that anyhow.”
“I can’t cast?”
“You can, but you need to only draw in what you need at the time. Don’t hold it.
“You also need to avoid a trance at all cost. If you go into a wizard’s trance, you’ll drain the baby’s magic and kill him or her too.”
Ann nodded. “Understood. I’ve learned how to avoid them.”
“Good. No drinking. Limit your fire breathing to short bursts. Don’t keep your bellyfire warm for long. Also, transporting isn’t a good idea either. If someone else casts, you’ll be okay, but if you cast, you’ll have a harder and harder time hitting your target as the baby grows.”
“So, that’s what’s been happening,” Andy said. “She’s been having that problem on and off but no one could figure out why.”
“You’ve been having trouble and you didn’t tell me?” Thailyn asked.
“I didn’t think it was a big deal,” Ann said.
“Her aim is bad anyhow. How do you think she ended up in my homeland?”
Thailyn raised an eyebrow.
“It can be off a little sometimes. I am improving,” Ann said.
“I’d like to hear the story sometime,” Thailyn said.
“I’d say we could tell you over lunch, but it’s too public of a place,” Ann suggested.
“Is at that time already?” Thailyn asked.
Ann shrugged. “Close enough, I know I’m hungry.”
Andy laughed. “You’re always hungry.” He turned to Thailyn. “I don’t suppose you could solve that mystery. Why this girl can eat all the time, never gain any weight and still be hungry.” They went to the dining hall.
“She is half dragon. We need more food. And there’s her magic. The stronger the mage, the more food needed. It gets worse if you don’t have an addiction, which I’ll bet she doesn’t have.”
Andy shook his head. “Nope.”
“Maybe you should take up cooking. It’s not a common addiction but it takes a lot of time so…” He trailed off seeing Ann’s and Andy’s faces. “What?”
“You’ve never tasted her cooking,” Andy said.
“The cook won’t even let me near the stove,” Ann said.
“You take after your mother. In the time we’re together, I think she made one meal that was edible. Oatmeal, if I remember correctly.”
“I burnt the oatmeal and caught my hair on fire,” Ann said, glumly.
Thailyn smiled sympathetically. “Don’t feel bad. Not everyone could do what you do.”
Ann frowned. “What do I do?”
“The way you handle the petitioners you get and Kamlia.
Ann shrugged. “I only help them understand the law.”
“I may have avoided Sen-gan and the palace in recent years, but I lived at Dragon Castle before the war. The rulers of the four kingdoms all ruled from there. I learned a lot about politics when we were there. And, I have to say, I don’t think I ever saw anyone handle someone like Kamlia anywhere near as well as you did.
“I know you think you’re a freak, but you are a special young lady. I’m proud of you even if I didn’t have a hand in your life.”
“You may not have had a hand, but you had something in it.” Andy grinned.
“Andy!” Ann cried shocked.
“Well, he did. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here.”
Thailyn blushed realizing what he meant. “It takes more than that to be a father.”
“I know. That’s what I was really referring to. You did that too,” Andy said. “I read your journal. You may not have lived with her, but you were part of her life and you were there for her when she needed it.”
“Not always,” Thailyn said.
“No, and neither was the man you insist is her father. No one can be there always. It’s part of life. It’s part of growing.
“Shunati is always there for Vaila. He needs to be. But, because of that, Vaila isn’t learning the things he needs to. He’ll catch up once he doesn’t need to be kept warm but until then, he won’t advance.”
Thailyn nodded. Andy was right. There were other reasons why he never came forward as Ann’s father. His heart had been one of them. But, he didn’t want them to know about that. They’d only worry. His dad knew of course. But none of them knew what happened since.
“I need to get back to work,” Ann said.
“Before you go…” Thailyn beckoned her forward. He put his hands on her eyes. “Don’t move.” He healed her eyes.
Ann looked around when he was done. “Wow. Quite a difference. Thank you.”
Thailyn nodded as she left.
“I have a karate class to teach,” Andy said.
“May I watch?” Thailyn asked.
“You can join us. It’s a new class.”
“That’s okay. Dragons have a tendency to be stronger than humans. I don’t want to risk an accident.” Like him being hit in the chest. That was all he needed.
“We won’t be sparring yet.” Andy assured him. Thailyn still hesitated. Too much exertion wasn’t good either.
“How about I watch you today and see how it goes?” Thailyn suggested.
Andy nodded. “Can I ask how long you’re staying?”
“My whole family is here. Why would I leave? I can set up shop in town. Heal people. A good healer can always find work.”
Andy smiled. “Ann will be happy to hear this. I can’t tell you how devastated she was when she learned you’d left and didn’t say where you were going.”
“Had there been any indication she was still alive, I never would have gone. Every report I received said she was dead. It got to be Rejenn wouldn’t even take my money. He promised if he ever found anything new he’d let me know.”
“A boy I met in Thager. He has the biggest information network of the four kingdoms. I know he took it over from someone else, but he’s increased the size immensely.”
“It’s even bigger now. He sort of combined it with Remtani’s.”
“I saw. That boy will know everything there is to know about the four kingdoms before he dies.”
“You sure you don’t want to join us?” Andy asked as they entered the class.
“Not today,” Thailyn said.
The karate class was in the barracks so, afterward, Thailyn decided to stop in to see an old friend.
“I’ll be right with you,” Darkham called as Thailyn entered barracks healing rooms. “What’s that blasted general got you doing this time?”
“Rescuing six hundred year captives,” Thailyn called back.
“What?” Darkham looked out frowning. His eyes widened in recognition. “Lyni?”
“It’s Thailyn now.”
Darkham raised an eyebrow. “You take care of whoever you’re hiding from?”
Thailyn shook his head. “No, but I’m done hiding. If they want me, they can come after me. I almost lost my daughter twice. First, she disappeared. Then she was poisoned. You don’t know how close she came to dying. I thought I’d have to induce fire death to kill the spores.”
“If you even mentioned that, Pt’this would have gone mad dragon. Even now, I’d be careful about saying it,” Darkham warned. “That man is not right.”
“Sapphire’s stabilized him. He’ll be ok, I think.
“How’re the hags? They like Sen-gan?” The hags were what everyone called Darkham’s wives, Wench and Minx.
“They aren’t here. They’re in Grywell.”
“And you still can’t go back?” Thailyn never heard the whole story. All he knew was Darkham’s clan chieftain had banished him for “inappropriate behavior” with Minx. None of them would truly talk about it, but he’d been Darkham’s partner for seventeen years. He caught bits and pieces and put them together.
“The chieftain’s dead. I can go back anytime. I prefer Menthanla.”
“So you’re no longer with your wives?” Thailyn made it sound speculative.
“We’re still married. You stay away from Minx,” Darkham warned.
Thailyn laughed. “She proposed to me. And I’ll tell you what I told her. I’m not getting involved with a married woman.”
“You still kissed her.”
“She kissed me before she proposed. I’m not going to pursue either of your wives. I’m here to see Ann and my family.”
“And my mom and little sister.”
“Your what?” If Darkham’s eyebrows rose any higher, they’d be above his head.
“You didn’t hear? Pull up a chair and I’ll tell you about my last few days here.”
Image Comments (6)
RedPhantom () Online Now! 8:43AM | Wed, 28 April 2021
This image was originally for another scene that got cut from the story, but it fit with thailyn watching his parents while waiting for Ann so I decided to use it.
Wolfenshire () 9:01AM | Wed, 05 May 2021
I'm always so impressed with your dialog. It flows naturally and builds a grand story.