Keir Bastion has been assigned to train a new gifted, rescued from New Earth, to bring fresh power to Jasta. With Jace and Aria’s blessing, Keir has a brief affair with Mayon, but when Aria, Keir, and Jace decide to have another child, the encounters are quickly ended.
The three have great hope Mayon will bring light into their son Oran’s life as a budding love seems to be blooming between the two gifted.
Mayon, however, is determined to spread her religious beliefs to the inhabitants of Jasta. With a fear of what consequences the alien concepts of Mayon’s words will have on the fabric of Jasta’s society, Mayon is forbidden to do so. This seemingly innocuous mandate starts a chain of dark events that threaten not only Jasta, but Aria, Keir, and Jace’s very lives.
Will the strength of Oran’s love for Mayon destroy Aria, Keir, and Jace before they can stop the malevolence of Mayan’s lust for power and revenge for Keir’s rejection?
Fantam considered his cards and set a yellow C on the pile. “Magic! Completed work, five points,” he said triumphantly.
“Excellent!” said Aria.
Illusan set down a red H and looked at his father. Jace set down a green I and waited to see what Keir would follow with. He flipped over the obvious red L and Aria followed with a green D having the feeling her sons were setting her up. “Child, four points.”
Fantam grinned. “So when are you having another one? We have decided we want a sister. It will teach us responsibility and to be more helpful.”
Aria sighed. “Don’t you think caring for you two little imps is enough?”
“We are not that bad,” replied Illusan. “We have been talking and we really want a sister. We don’t care if she is conceived by Daddy Keir or Daddy Jace, but we think it is the whens to have another child.”
“Oh. You think so?” asked Jace in a teasing tone. “Don’t you think that should be our decision?”
“I suppose that is a good point,” replied Illusan, “But we are also aware the assembly deemed you and Aria should have children. You have not yet answered the call of their request, and it is the reason you, Daddy Jace, were originally matched up with our mother. With half of the Bastion bloodlines gone, Daddy Keir also needs to bring fresh life onto Jasta. If the child doesn’t know who her father is, she can legitimately call you both Daddy with no reservations. We love you both as our fathers, but we know where our blood came from.”
“I gather he told you,” said Aria with a teasing smile. “I suppose if you two want a sister, you wouldn’t mind going to spend a sun or two with your uncle Bolt.”
Fantam narrowed his eyes at her. They hated to be outwitted. “Mother!” he said in a whiney, childish tone. “Not fair. You know we get really bored at Bolt’s. He is our uncle and he is smart, but... well... he doesn’t understand us like you three do.”
“I am not forcing you to go, but a moon or two alone would do a lot in the effort for us to conceive. It has been forever since you two gave us any time alone. You are always waking us up in the middle of the moon or barging in on us when we are alone. We adore the two of you, but a little privacy without wondering what you two are getting into would help.”
“We know you love us, Mommy,” said Illusan. “You don’t have to appear so guilty for asking us to go to Bolt’s. It won’t kill us, Fantam. We can keep ourselves busy for a few suns. We were the ones who brought it up.”
“I suppose,” replied Fantam. “Contact him and we will go.”
Aria closed her eyes, breaking the mental seal that kept her separate from Bolt’s mind. She pushed energy into a call to him and waited.
* * * *
Bolt felt the warm glow of Aria’s gift urging in his brain. It washed over him like a silky massage of radiant energy. He released the seal and let her mind flow into his. Yes, my love.
Bolt, my sweet, how are you?
I’m well. I just dropped off a shipment of wooden storage cabinets. What’s up?
I was wondering if you would mind taking care of the boys for a moon or two. They have requested a sister and in all honesty, Keir, Jace, and I have been discussing it for a while now. We kind of have everything planned, but we need to be alone to do what we have in mind. Among other things, I think I may be too tired to deal with the twins when it is over.
Bolt grunted softly in her thoughts. If you want to do this, we need to make it soon. Merceed is getting larger and is a bit testy. Did you have a specific moon in mind?
No, whenever you are not busy.
I’m not busy now. If you want, I’ll pick them up before I go home. I don’t know if they will appreciate a ride in a wagon, but such is life.
I adore you, Bolt. We will finish our game and get their things packed. Thank you.
I should say you are welcome before I get them. I may not be in a mood to say it later. I will be there in a while.
I look forward to seeing you.
You too. I miss you. I love Merceed, but she is not you. Alas, those suns and moons are gone. I keep reminding myself of that.”
Oh, Bolt, don’t get sentimental on me. I have enough to do with two men and the twins. You know that.
Yes, I do. I still long to have a moon with you now and then. I live in reality, not fantasy. Good sun.