Crossbreeds Part 2: Chapter 44 Congratulations by RedPhantom ()
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Nim ran into the receiving room. Jaidu was out on the balcony with Remtani, Ti and Dae. He went out there. “What’s going on?” He asked. When he had heard Jaidu scream, he had assumed Remtani had done something but that didn’t appear to be the case.
Jaidu smiled. “You’re getting married,” she said. Then, she and Remtani went inside. Nim started to follow but Ti stopped him.
“On their world, it’s bad luck to see the bride,” he explained.
“What? We aren’t getting married now.”
Dae smiled. “Sure you are.”
“Ladies and gentlemen,” Pt’this said inside. “I would like to thank you for coming to celebrate the wedding of Lady Joanne Cora Thompson to Emissary Dentrias va Sharzita Cormeliona Nimitinas Entista Chapado.”
Nim froze. They were serious. This was really happening. The surprise and joy he felt was echoed through the bond from Joanne.
“Are you my escorts?” He whispered.
Ti nodded. “You said you had no family but we’re all related somewhere in history.”
They started forward. He reached Pt’this before Jo did so he turned to watch her.
She had on the most beautiful dress Nim had ever seen. He wondered where it had come from. Andy and Ann were her escorts. She smiled at him.
In addition to Jaidu and Remtani, Sapphire with Bre, Thailyn, Shay, and Mishtali with Vaila were also there.
Joanne reached him and he took her hand.
Pt’this used the simple, informal ceremony so it only lasted a short time. They didn’t have to say much, just that they agreed they wanted to be married. Then, like at Ann’s and Andy’s wedding, Pt’this added, “I now pronounce you husband and wife, you may kiss the bride.”
Nim did. And then, he was married. He could no longer claim to be a hermit.
“Congratulations you guys,” Pt’this said hugging them. “I hope you don’t mind a surprise wedding. When I talked to Sapphire and Ann, they decided to start the initial planning and got carried away.”
“It’s perfect. Back home, I had no skill in planning events. It used to drive my mother crazy. Where neither of us knew anything about weddings, I was almost dreading it,” Joanne admitted.
“What about you, Nim?” He asked.
“If Joanne’s happy, I’m happy. In my mind, we were married when we mated.” It was true. He had thought of her as his wife since then. Most dragons felt similarly. He had refrained from calling her that because he knew she viewed things differently.
“Good.” Pt’this nodded. When he heard what the girls had done, he worried, but not so much about Nim. Nim was a dragon. Pt’this had figured Nim would feel just the way he did. It was Joanne that had worried him. When they had been planning their own wedding, Andy told him how some women were quite controlling about their weddings. Andy had said not to worry though. He had known Jo the longest so Pt’this trusted him.
“I told you that you should brush your hair.” He whispered to Nim as they turned to greet the others.
“Shut up. His hair looks fine,” Joanne said.
“Besides, the way he flew down the stairs, it would’ve needed it again,” Andy said coming up to greet them.
“Congratulations,” he said and hugged them.
“I hope we didn’t get too carried away,” Ann said.
“This was wonderful,” Joanne said. “Thank you.” She hugged Ann.
“Congratulations,” Ann said.
The others all congratulated them too.
“What was the scream for?” Jo asked Jaidu.
Jaidu looked bashful. “Ann said the only way she could think to get you down here in your dress would be in an emergency, so when Ti told me to, I was to scream.”
“They had everything planned,” Remtani said. “You met Pt’this on the stairs? He was waiting for you. They wanted a telepath with you to let them know when you were changed.”
“So this was just for tonight?” Nim asked indicating his new outfit
“No, you do need more court clothes. It just worked out well for tonight too. Come on, they have dinner across the hall.”
They went to one of the guest rooms where dinner was waiting. Each plate had been made with a specific person in mind. Nim had roasted bear meat. Joanne had veal parmesan. Pt’this had a raw steak while Sapphire’s was cooked. Ann and Andy both had spaghetti. Joanne didn’t know what the others were eating and had found that sometimes she preferred not knowing.
There was much drinking and joking around.
“Andy, what are you drinking?” Jo asked. She knew Andy didn’t drink but he had a wine glass.
“Pear juice,” Andy said.
“It’s lousy but it’s better than the cherry juice he usually drinks,” Ann said, making a face.
“Which is still better than the whiskey you usually drink,” was Andy’s reply.
“Why aren’t you drinking whiskey?” Joanne asked. Back when Ann had lived on Earth, she drank often enough Joanne wondered if she had a problem. Later, Nim had explained that it helped with nightmares caused by Ann’s time as a prisoner of the evil half immortal woman, Lyra.
“I’ve been told to abstain,” Ann said, glancing at Thailyn.
“Oh, that’s right. Congratulations. I’m sorry. It’s been a busy day and I forgot. Nim told me this morning, sort of.”
“Thanks,” Ann said.
“What do you mean sort of?” Nim asked. “I told you.”
“Yeah, as you walked out the door and no details.”
“Details? It’s too little to have details,” Nim said.
“How about how far along she is?”
“I didn’t hear. Just that Ann was pregnant.”
“You could’ve said so.”
“You’re too nosy,” Nim said but he was smiling. It wasn’t a real fight, just playing around. She rubbed her nose against his.
“How are you doing?” Jo asked Jaidu when they could talk privately.
“I’m fine. Why?”
“You came here expecting to get married and become a mother. Now, not only is that not happening, you’re surrounded by others who are.”
“I’m a little disappointed, but I can’t expect that no one else will get married before I do. Really, I’m happy for you.”
“And Ann being pregnant?”
“I’m a little jealous. I really wanted to have kids. But, perhaps we’ll adopt. I can love a child who didn’t come from me just as easily as I can one who did. And I’m happy for Ann. I know she and Andy have wanted a baby for a while.” Then Remtani called her over and she excused herself and left.
Jo noticed Shay had been watching the conversation. “Did you tell her to say that?” Jo asked.
Shay shook her head. “No. We haven’t really talked about it. We only found out about Ann last night and this wedding this morning.
“She makes me proud. She’s so kind and compassionate. She could be bitter but she’s not. She sees the good wherever she can. I’m so glad she’s away from her father. I was so afraid he would crush her. Before this treaty, I was trying to figure out how to get her away from him and out of Yarba. I was so afraid of what kind of man she’d end up with.”
“Things may not be ideal, but it does seem to be an improvement,” Jo observed.
“Yes, it is. And, she’s with family.” Shay agreed.
“It’s getting to be that every time I see two women talking off in a corner, I start to worry,” Nim said coming up to them. He put his arm around Jo.
“We were just talking about Jaidu,” Jo said.
“She seems like a great girl,” Nim nodded.
“Thank you,” Shay said. The three went to sit with the others.
“Where’s Ann and Andy?” Nim asked, sitting on the couch.
“I bet I can guess,” Jo said sitting next to him.
“Oh, come on. Not even I’m that bad,” Pt’this said.
“Are you sure?” Nim asked.
“I’m here aren’t I?”
“That’s because your wife’s here. I do seem to remember hearing about a certain birthday party you spent looking down someone’s dress.”
“How many times did you look down her dress tonight?” Jo asked.
Pt’this shrugged. “No more than usual.”
“I heard that,” Sapphire said.
“But did you see it?” Pt’this grinned.
“I’m going get all high collared clothes,” Sapphire threatened.
“I can feel my way.” Pt’this put his arm around her.
“Get a room you two,” Jo said.
“You want to watch Bremul for us?” Pt’this asked.
“Babysit on my wedding night? You’re kidding right?” Jo laughed.
She kicked off her shoes and tucked her feet under her and curled against Nim.
“Jo, may I see those shoes?” Jaidu asked. “I’ve never seen anything like them.”
“What shoes is she wearing?” Nim asked. He leaned forward to look. “Oh, those,” he said seeing her heels.
Jaidu had put them on and was trying to stand. Thailyn was holding her up.
“How do you walk in these?” He asked.
“She doesn’t,” Nim said.
“I walked down the aisle, didn’t I?” Jo grinned.
“She also ran down the hall. You should’ve seen her,” Sapphire added.
“You do that on your toes. Wearing heels takes practice and you start with a shorter pair and work up.”
“Is this how you broke your ankle?” Thailyn asked.
“No, I fell out of a tree.”
“Why were you in a tree?” Jaidu asked, sitting down and taking off the shoes.
“We were trying to see how high we could get.”
“I’ve never climbed a tree. Father didn’t let me go outside much.”
“Nim and I will teach you,” Joanne promise.
“You will. I’m an old man. I don’t climb trees.”
Mishtali laughed. “Old? Twelve hundred is not old.”
“I told you so,” Jo said to him.
“You told me what?”
“You said twelve hundred was old in anyone’s book. I said not to someone who was twenty-five hundred.”
Nim smiled. “You did say that. I’m still too old to be climbing. Besides, trees and I don’t get along.”
“Okay, Jaidu and I will climb. You watch and catch us with a spell if we fall.”
“Who’s climbing what?” Andy asked, returning.
“Jo and I are going to climb trees,” Jaidu said.
“Jo fell out of a tree. You’re better off having Sapphire climb with you,” Andy said.
“Me?” Sapphire’s eyes grew wide.
“If you can scale wall, surely you could climb a tree,” Andy said.
“Me? Scale wall? I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Sapphire feigned innocence.
“Oh, of course not. She climbs a wall naked and then denies it,” Andy said.
“I was not naked. I took off my shirt to fit through the window.”
“But you did scale the wall.”
“Yes, I scaled the wall. The whole world knows I scaled the wall. I’ve scaled many walls. And, I can climb trees.” Sapphire rolled her eyes.
Ann returned. “Who’s climbing trees? Are you finally trying to get over your fear of trees, Nim?
“I don’t fear trees. I’d just rather not get impaled again. That hurt.”
“Yeah, that wouldn’t be good.” Thailyn agreed.
“How did you get impaled by a tree?” Jaidu asked.
“I fell on it while flying. It was one of the first times I flew.”
“Is it hard to fly?” Jaidu asked.
“Not really,” Nim said. “I was too young and my wings weren’t developed yet. Ann was able to fly the first time she changed.”
“I had no choice. I was falling and so was Andy.”
“What happened?” Mishtali asked.
“We fell into the fissure under the skyway at Dragon Castle,” Ann said.
“It’s supposed to be a bottomless fissure,” Andy explained for those unfamiliar with the area. “The skyway is a bridge over it. I fell off when the rail crumbled and Ann fell trying to help me. I didn’t even know she had fallen or that she was the one who caught me until she put me down.”
“Flying is easy. But apparently landing is hard,” Nim said.
“It doesn’t landing just mean to stop flying?” Jaidu asked.
“One would think so. I had to fly under Ann so she could change on my back,” Nim said.
“The only place to land was on the skyway. You wouldn’t even land there.”
“I would have broken the bridge. But, I’m a lot bigger than you.”
“And could you do it when you were first learning to fly?”
“Shades no. I was way too young. Like I said, my wings weren’t developed.”
“When will I be old enough to fly?” Jaidu asked.
“You’re probably old enough now,” Thailyn said.
“Tomorrow, Ann and I will make you a vial and then you can change and we could see,” Nim said.
“Not tomorrow. Thailyn wants to reinforce my patch,” Ann said.
“Did you rip yourself again?” Nim asked.
“No, but you almost ripped me last night,” Ann said.
“How almost?” Nim frowned.
“About as bad as you,” Thailyn said.
“Nim! You’re trying to give me a hard time and you’re ripped too?” Ann cried.
“I’m not ripped anymore than you,” Nim insisted.
“How did it happen?”
“Helping Pt’this hold Mishtali so Shunati could put him to sleep.”
“That was two years ago. You went two years with the rip?”
“I’m not ripped. Just close. I can’t feel it. Can you?”
“No,” Ann admitted.
“You said I almost ripped. What’s ripping?” Jo asked.
“When a mage draws in too much magic too quickly they can do damage,” Thailyn explained. “People have bodies of flesh, bones, blood, muscles, nerves, and organs. Mages have secondary bodies of magic. They have paths to draw in magic. They have an organ to create their own magic. And there is a reservoir to hold magic. That reservoir is what determines the strength of a mage. And that reservoir is what gets ripped. There’s nothing physical about any of it. It’s all magical but it’s just as painful as if you tear a muscle and if you don’t get it patched, it makes it more difficult and painful to draw in magic to cast properly.”
“Who’s assisting?” Nim asked.
“Pt’this,” Thailyn said.
“He doesn’t know how to do it,” Nim protested.
“Well, it’s about time he learned. Besides, none of you know how to do this, not the procedure I’m using.” Thailyn insisted.
“A new procedure?”
Thailyn nodded. “It’s a stronger patch, less likely to get damaged if you rip again.”
“How does it vary as far as discomfort?” Nim asked.
“I’ve been told it’s worse, but the procedure is shorter.”
“Make sure Andy is nearby,” Nim said.
“He’s going to be helping me repair Shay’s magic,” Mishtali said.
“While Ann’s being patched? That’s a bad idea,” Pt’this said. “You didn’t see him the last time.”
“Plus, Ann had, um, a bad reaction last time. You might need him to help with that,” Nim added.
“What kind of reaction?” Thailyn asked.
“Flashbacks to her time as a prisoner,” Andy said.
Thailyn’s eyes grew wide.
“Up until he said it was worse, I would’ve said there should be no problem. But now, I’m not sure,” Ann said. “It would be better if Andy is able to come.”
“Since this is a new procedure, maybe I should be the one to help,” Andy said.
Thailyn shook his head. “Your magic isn’t fully recovered. Until that time, this isn’t something you can help with.”
“If we think there might be complications, we should reschedule helping Shay until Andy’s available,” Mishtali said.
“I can help with that,” Nim offered.
“You’re going to be with your new bride,” Shay said. “I won’t take you away from her. I haven’t had use of my magic in centuries. I can wait a few hours or even a few days if necessary”
“Speaking of new brides,” Pt’this grinned. “I think we should let these two have some time alone.”
“We should get back to the kids anyhow,” Sapphire said.
“Who’s watching them?” Andy asked.
“No one. We decided to see how they’d be if we left them alone for a bit,” Sapphire said.
“Why do you think we brought Bre?” Dae asked.
“Jaidu shouldn’t stay up much later,” Shay said. “She has class tomorrow.”
Soon, they were all saying good night. Andy reminded Nim to carry Joanne over the threshold of their room for good luck. Jo laughed and called him superstitious but up in the hall, Nim did pick her up. “Just in case,” he said and stepped through the door and they found themselves not in their room, but in a tent.
“What the?” Joanne said as he put her down.
“A gate,” Nim said. Cautiously, he looked out the tent flap and saw sand and mountains.
“There’s a note,” Joanne said. She read:
-Congratulations, we thought you’d like a few days to yourself, so we arranged a trip. We’ll take care of any responsibilities until you get back. Thailyn says Nim needs to be back in five days to have the block removed. Just bring back the clothes when you come back. Everything else is spelled. Have fun.
Nim smiled. “That’s where Ann and Andy disappeared to, setting up the gate.”
“It’s sweet. How did we end up with such great friends?”
“Luck?” Nim guessed.
“Do you know where we are?”
“Either the desert or Baj-tisk Beach.” They went outside. The door of the tent faced the mountains and behind them was the ocean. “The beach,” Nim said.
“Is that okay?” Jo asked, remembering his dislike of water.
He nodded. “We’re good distance from it. And, it’s peaceful here. A good place to be alone with a beautiful woman.” He pulled her close and kissed her.
Image Comments (7)
RedPhantom () 8:35AM | Fri, 21 May 2021
This is the end of part 2. Part 3 will start after a short break
Leije () Online Now! 9:39AM | Fri, 21 May 2021
What a marvellous scene, I like especially the babies and the superb outfits !
zaqxsw () 11:04AM | Fri, 21 May 2021
Not what I was expecting! Fantastic twist and excellent image! I said the whole shopping thing was a set up, now I understand how. Can't wait for the next chapter!
DarkAngel612 () 1:26PM | Fri, 21 May 2021
Very interesting this is. I love the image and the storyline too, keep up the great work!
ikke.evc () Online Now! 6:34AM | Sun, 23 May 2021
Excellent! Great story and illustration, RP. Well done!
LevKornowska () 2:32PM | Sun, 23 May 2021
She's such a beautiful bride! You posed all these people excellently!! This must have taken ages! Superb!