Coming home to the Pink House really felt like coming home! There were cats — our six-toed cat had had kittens — and Tylse was there, and the house was full with our friends and people. The kitchen was warm, full of the scent of good food, and full with life and laughter. (Tylse’s cooking certainly has improved in the past nine months!)
The next day, doctor Khora and I did the rounds of the brothels, together with Maile, while Moyri dove into the stacks and stacks of paperwork with Halla and Vauri. I could‘ve gone down to the Guard House first, and read the reports or things like that, but I firmly believe that the best way to get a feel for the town is to go whoring, or at least, talk to the madams.
Khora agreed with me, and called me very sensible and said I had my priorities straight.
We didn’t uncover any problems, but I got a lot of thanks for sending so many apprentices to the Temple of Naigha and making them help out in the hospital. Maile was also told, chatting to the girls in each brothel’s kitchen, that Selday was much healthier these days.
In the afternoon, I learned that Selday was also much wealthier: a ship had arrived in our absence from Kushesh and the City, carrying several chests of gold from the old emperor’s treasure rooms. This had made our friend Merain quite happy, though most of the happiness was from his wife giving birth to a healthy baby.
Moyri and I had dinner with them, and I started believing that we could somehow get back to normal.
That was just before we had a long, long and tedious discussing with Captain, sorry, Major Aidan. He proposed to take his troops and travel through the country, showing the flag and the King’s authority…
Not a good idea, Aidan! We have just given Idanyas a baroness, mixed up everyone and made everyone believe this is one barony again, and a Valdyan barony, and then you want to go tramp about with a bunch of soldiers!
Well, after that life became quiet. We visited our friends, our friends visited us. We gave semsin classes, and I had my two days a week hospital duty. The Midwives’ Guild assigned us a midwife, and her apprentice was Aine, whom we had sent to Selday from Brookside. I carried on teaching Sabeh and Maile how to make sweets, cream fillings for pastry, candies and candied fruit, but I couldn’t do the shop myself any more, of course. I also had to patrol the town, sit in on banquets, preside over courts and fuck Moyri silly.
And Moyri, she had paperwork to delegate, delegations to receive, letters to write, people to meet and — of course — spend time fucking me silly.
Sometimes, we were very silly and took some time off away from the public eye, to be silly together.
And before we knew, we were settled again, in the Pink House, now extended at the back with old Doctor Jilan’s house, were part of our household lived. We’d thrown out the kitchen into the yard, and put the pig, goat and outhouse in the other house’s yard. Anyway, by the time the Feast of Naigha arrived, our kitchen/eating/praying/lessoning room was twice as large.
And it was needed!
We had priestess Cynla over again for the Feast of Naigha, so she and Coran had our bedroom, with clean sheets, fresh towels, dishes with nice nibble food, cream to spread on each other, wine to drink, as well as cider and milk — and a nice sound-proof seal so they could enjoy themselves.
At breakfast, it was quite apparent that neither had slept! Pity that Cynla hadn’t gotten pregnant last year, and I couldn’t really walk up and feel her belly with my fingers and my spirit to see if she had gotten pregnant this year.
Cynla told us that there were two three-months old babies in the Temple, one of them from one of the priestesses we had sent out to Selday, Venla from Tal-Rayen.
After breakfast we went to the Temple of Naigha, too, to distribute our gifts, and ask what the Temple needed most for the next year. The answer surprised me, because it was lamp oil, but we could manage a year’s supply. I immediately reached out to Merain, the no-longer-acting-but-for-real Mighty Servant to ask him to make it happen, with my mind.
And afterwards, we went out in town. Moyri and I tried something new: we’re now so close to the town and the people living here that we tried to figure out where there were people feeling unhappy or desperate, and we spent the rest of the afternoon visiting those houses.
Here we found a widow whose adult son had gone to sea. The signing bonus was gone, and she was trying to earn money by walking around in the harbour quarter after nightfall. Her, we made keeper and cook for a to-be-created children’s house in this quarter, a place where working people who don’t have grannies to look after the children when they were at work. She had five little ones, all looking as well-cared for as possible, under the circumstances.
I guess what we did that afternoon was creating another small legend around the First Baroness of Selday (and maybe her wife…)
Some time later, we decided to visit the Sea Beings again. It was raining, which always makes it easier to be with them, and we went to a quiet stretch of the beach, where we put our clothes in a basket and then waded in.
Pretty soon, I had a very insistent little being sloshing around my belly. It had much more individuality than most of the Sea Beings, who merge into each other and splash apart pretty much all the time, unless they really focus on having thoughts for us to hear.
“Why are you now two beings?” it asked.
“Because I am going to have a child, soon.”
“Is your child a Sea Being” — well it said, “Is it like me?”
“No, it’s like me”
“But it’s all the time in water!” it countered, incontrovertibly.
“So it is, because it’s too small to be out of the water — that’s why I have a small sea in my belly.”
I sensed its wistfulness, so I asked, “Do you want to join my child? Come and be for a while in my belly? Until it’s born.”
It expressed eagerness, but also a doubt… “Sustenance?”
Since these beings are living Anea, it could live off my strength, and when I said that, before I knew, to Moyri’s astonishment, it had — well, not gone up my cunt because there is no opening between that and my womb at the moment — but it was inside me.
And I not only felt curiosity and content coming from it — but also from what is growing in my belly. I knelt in the water, and cried a bit, but it was a happy feeling that made me overflow.
Moyri was a bit more wary, I guess, and besides, there had been only one Sea Being with this question around this time.
But, yes, it was five who went home to the Pink House, not four, that was clear to every semte who cared to look at us.
Maile gave birth to a son today. She and Jeran now feel they are much more adult than Moyri and me, who still have some time to go! He’s very cute — Athal is his name!
Around the Feast of Anshen was our time; but I felt that — or rather, I was warned by the Sea Being that it was time to fetch a bucket, a week before the Feast. When Maile had brought the bucket, and I squatted over it, my waters broke, and it all, including the Sea Being splashed into the bucket.
I made sure everyone was really careful not to spill that bucket! But the Sea Being wanted to be in on the birth, so I didn’t have it brought back to the sea immediately.
One of our housemates was Aine, the apprentice of our midwife, and she helped me with the birth, as did Moyri, and Tylse — and it was all so easy! Certainly, it hurt a bit, or rather, a lot, but my cunt is flexible, and experienced in stretching, and nothing got torn.
And then I had my little daughter in my arms, crying, so I gave her milk, and I went to sleep, next to Moyri, who couldn’t keep kissing us.
(The Sea Being was brought to the sea that evening by Coran.)
Right after the Feast, Moyri gave birth, too. Another daughter! Moyri had been hurt a bit more than me, so it was some days before we could do the namegiving. We decided to do that in public, on the beach, with all of Selday and the Sea Beings present. And so many people witnessed the Sea Beings being present!
I named my daughter Khora and Moyri named her daughter Raisse.
I wish I could be around in a hundred years to listen to the stories people will be telling of us.