Crossbreeds Part 2: Chapter 26 I don't need everyt by RedPhantom ()
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Joanne was thrilled to go along with Nim to help chaperone the kids. She was a curiosity to the children.
After they returned to Baj-tisk, Nim offered to show her his home. Before this, anytime she had come to Torthoc, they had either gone to Sen-gan or stayed in Paosij.
Baj-tisk was a lot of things, Joanne had learned. It was the mountain range that made up the western border of Menthanla. It was the clan of dragons who live there, and it was a series of caves that made up the city in which the dragons lived. The city of Baj-tisk was, technically, part of the kingdom of Menthanla since it was inside Menthanla’s borders, however, rather than being governed by Menthanla’s king, the Dragon High Council governed them. The two kingdoms worked diligently to get along. This was why the treaties between the dragons and Menthanla were so important.
Nim’s home was outside of the city, although it was still part of the same system of caves. It was simply a cave with three rooms. There wasn’t much there, a shelf to store drawing stuff and his spell books, a wardrobe for his clothes and a bed. What made the place fascinating were the walls. They and the ceilings were covered entirely in drawings. He had lived there for five hundred years and spent much of that time creating these drawings. Jo saw several pictures of his parents and mentor. There were some of Kartonesh and Areantor. She found Pt’this, Sapphire, Ann, and Andy. He pointed out Kithmar and Mirimar. There were animals and plants, things he had seen while out hunting.
He led her to another room and brought her before a picture of him down on one knee before her holding her hand. Surprised, she turned and looked at him. He was down on one knee mirroring the picture. He took her hand. “Joanne, will you marry me?” He asked.
Speechless, she nodded. She hadn’t expected him to propose. Dragons didn’t marry. They simply took a mate and that was their spouse. She had accepted that. She had decided just being together would be enough. “Yes,” she finally said as he stood. He kissed her and pulled a ring from his pocket. It had a large diamond and four smaller ones.
“Does this mean you’ll finally let me stay?” She asked.
“I never said you couldn’t stay.”
“But you said…”
“I said I wasn’t going to ask you to give up your life there. I’m not. It’s got to be your choice.”
“Good, because I already decided to stay.” Joanne smiled.
“Yesterday. Actually, Jaidu talked me into it. She wanted to know why I would let you tell me where to live when I thought she shouldn’t let anyone tell her who to marry.
“I honestly thought you didn’t want me here. I can’t take being apart anymore. A few days at a time is one thing but not seeing each other for months is getting to be too much. And, I worry you’ll try to come back there and get sick again.”
“I had hoped I could go back again, eventually,” he admitted. “I wasn’t going to sneak back and I was going to wait a while still. I just want you to have everything.”
“But I don’t need everything, just you.” She kissed him.
“But your family…”
“My family doesn’t want me. And what about our family? I know you want kids. If we lived there, they’ll never be able to use their magic, never be with other dragons, never even take dragon form. Is that what you want?”
Nim paused a moment. He hadn’t thought about kids. He loved working with the young ones, both in Baj-tisk and at the home Sapphire ran. He loved helping watch the kids at the palace too. But he had never thought about being a dad. He had spent twelve hundred years alone. He had never expected to find a mate much less have kids. Joanne had once mentioned it, asking if he wanted to have kids, but he hadn’t taken the question seriously. They had just met and he was still doubting that she really wanted to be with him.
“I hadn’t thought about that,” he admitted. “You’re right.”
“You just don’t think ahead.”
“Five hundred years of living alone will do that. I am trying to get better.
“I do have one question though, what will you do? I have more than enough money for the both of us to live on but you’ve always said you needed to do something.”
Jo smiled. “Ann said they were looking for a maid at the palace.”
“She said you’d say that too. I’ll find something. The question is where? I want to be where I’ll see you the most. You’re never in the same place long it seems though. You’re supposed to be in Sen-gan keeping an eye on the king, but it seems half the time you’re in Baj-tisk working with the young ones.”
“It doesn’t matter where. I can transport to anywhere in the kingdom. I can always come home. Maybe look in Sen-gan. You already have friends there.”
“That was my original plan, but I do want to see you too.”
“I’ll be home, unless we have to travel to a far-off kingdom. Then, if I can, I’m taking you with. I never want to be away from you again.”
“I have to go back to Earth for a few days. I have to put my things in order. And I want to give the shelter a chance to hire a replacement.”
“How long will you be gone?”
“Maybe a week or so.”
“Do you want me to come with?” Nim offered.
“No. I don’t what you getting sick. Besides, you need to help with the treaty. It’s only a few more days. You can scry me.”
“You can come back each night and we can stay in Paosij.”
“The gate is too far from the city. You need to be in Sen-gan. That’s too much travel for you. It’s only a few days. You can start planning the wedding.”
“I don’t know how to plan a wedding. I don’t know anything about weddings. I’ve only been to one and the only reason I went was to chaperone the young ones.”
“Hey!” Joanne protested. Ann and Andy’s wedding was their first date.
“I asked you to come with me so I would have some decent company. I’m not saying I didn’t have a good time or anything. I just hadn’t planned on attending.”
“But they’re your friends.”
“I know, but there were also a lot of people.”
“I was a hermit for five hundred years. I’m not comfortable in crowds. You remember how nervous Sapphire was? I wouldn’t be so relaxed.”
“So you want a small wedding?”
“Okay. First decision made.” Jo smiled. “I have no idea how weddings are done here either. You ask around and find out how we start planning.”
Nim nodded. “Okay, I’ll do that, and I’ll scry you every day to let you know how things are going and see if you’re ready to come back.”
“You will not. You don’t have that kind of strength. You’ll know when I’m back.”
“But what if I’m busy?”
“I’ll head to Paosij.”
“By yourself? On foot? That’s dangerous.”
“I’ve done it before.” She had too. About a month or so after she had brought a very sick Nim back she hadn’t heard how he was doing and grew worried. She came back through the gate to find him. She hitched a ride with one of the soldiers to Paosij where she joined a caravan of merchants heading south, hoping to get to Baj-tisk. She had made it as far as Bisfip before she had trouble. There were no roads to Baj-tisk. The only ones that went there flew. Sapphire’s sister, Ria recognized her from the wedding. They had met then and she knew Jo was with Nim. She talked with the tavern owner where the young dragons frequented. He had a way to contact the dragons who in turn contacted Nim for her.
Nim, it turned out, hadn’t even been in Baj-tisk, but was in Sen-gan. Ann brought him to see her. He was still quite weak and unable to even fly by himself. He had been quite upset that she had tried to travel alone, saying that it was too dangerous.
“How about you scry me on the same schedule as always,” she suggested. “I’ll let you know when I’m ready to come back. Then you can plan to pick me up when you’re free.”
Nim sighed. “I suppose that’s the best idea.”
She kissed him. “You’re looking sad again.”
“That’s because you’re leaving,” Nim said, not understanding.
“Not yet I’m not,” she said and kissed him again.
“When do you have to go back?”
“Nim, stop talking,” she said. She kept kissing him. “But don’t close your eyes this time.” Finally, he understood.
Image Comments (5)
zaqxsw () 9:31AM | Thu, 25 March 2021
Excellent! Delightful chapter. The image threw me for a moment... Great concept.
LevKornowska () 7:36AM | Fri, 26 March 2021
I was wondering whether there was any spying going on when I looked at the thumbnail. It looked like seen through a surveillance camera. This gets five stars for being intriguing! Well done!