Monday, January 21, 2013
Mortal Goddess - Chapter 9
“Aira, where have you been?” Aira’s brothers asked simultaneously.
“I needed to go for a ride. Then, I needed a swim, and I have to tell you, I feel so much better now! I am happy once again,” Aira announced cheerfully.
“You could have endangered your child,” one of her brothers protested.
“When you men carry life within your bodies for nine months and push it out of your tiny privates, then you can talk to me about child endangerment! Until then, I am the one who is pregnant. I am the one who has cared for more pregnancies and attended more births than anyone within a 20-kilometer radius. If I want to do something, I can!” She yelled, ending in a shrill exasperation. Then she smiled, turned, and walked – or rather waddled – away. She laughed, shaking her head in amusement.
“Aira, you remember Emmaline?” Her mother asked as Aira entered the room.
“Of course,” Aira answered.
“Goodness gracious child! When did you get married?” Emmaline asked upon seeing her condition.
“I haven’t,” Aira answered sweetly.
“You must be ready to deliver any day now. Who’s the father?” Emmaline asked, trying not to be too disapproving.
“God. Can’t you tell?” Aira laughed cheekily.
“Emmaline, I should have warned you. Aira prefers not to talk about it,” Olivia said, casting a reproving frown at her daughter.
“That’s right!” Aira said cheerfully
“Aira, honestly! You don’t have to be rude!” Her mother admonished.
“I’m sorry mother, but I have to pee and my back hurts, and I don’t feel like being polite,” Aira stated as she waddled away.
“Gia, what is wrong with me? I never used to be like this,” she asked once she was alone.
“Hormones, honey, hormones,” Gia answered, laughing.
“What do you mean your breaking off our engagement?”
“I realized that I need to be with the woman I love,” Devius answered.
“Does she have more money? Can she give you a better title?”
“I have plenty of money, and I don’t need a loftier title. I already hold the title of Marquis. I’ve already sent a note to the papers calling the wedding off. I didn’t mention why. You can say that you decided that we didn’t suit, or you can say that I was a vicious brute to you. I don’t care. You can tell them whatever you need to in order to save face. I won’t disagree.”
“Who is she?”
“Nobody you know,” Devius replied.
“How can I not know her? I know everybody who’s anybody!”
“My point exactly,” Devius said, turning to leave.
“Devius wait! I understand. Really. It’s just that I’ve been told how to live my entire life and you were the first decision that I was allowed to make on my own. My mother kept telling me which men might make a good husband for me, and in a moment of exasperation, I chose you. We'd danced once at a party and you were the most handsome man I had ever seen. It took some time to convince my mother, and once I did, she took over, again. I don’t want to stop you from being happy, but I do want to remain friends. Possibly you know someone who would make a good Duke?”
“I don’t, but I’ll bet my Aira does, I’ll ask her,” he promised.
“Do you think she would mind if I came to your wedding?”
“It’ll most likely be very soon, but I promise to send you an invitation. I know Aira won’t mind,” Devius said, leaving.
Devius had just left the most expensive jewelers in London, he had returned the ring that he had given to Anne and gotten one he knew would suit Aira perfectly. He felt light and happier than he had in years, especially the last few months.
“Olivia, am I trying too hard? Devius has not been himself in almost a year. Well, since I last visited anyway. What if this marriage doesn’t make him happy?” Emmaline asked, worried.
“Emmaline, you have to just let his life happen. I can’t believe you arranged his marriage in the first place. If this marriage is right, then it’ll happen. If it’s not in God’s plan, then the marriage won’t take place,” Olivia advised, trying to be reassuring.
“I just want Devius to be happy! And grandchildren, lots and lots of grandchildren.” Emmaline sighed morosely.
“Oh Emmaline, you worry too much.” Olivia smiled. “Come now, it’s George’s birthday and every adult member of our family is here to celebrate. Let us go make certain the table is properly prepared.”
The two older women made their way to the large dining room, stopping in the main hall as they discovered Devius entering the house.
“Devius! What on earth are you doing here?” His mother asked.
“I had some business in the area,” he replied, kissing her on the cheek.
The family began to gather around, as they were a curious lot who loved company.
“You remember my children,” Olivia stated. Devius nodded.
Suddenly, Aira appeared in the crowd. Devius loved the way she looked carrying his child.
“Oh Devius, I forgot, I have one child that I don’t think you’ve met.” Olivia took Aira’s hand in hers. “This is my youngest, Aira. Aira, this is Emmaline’s son, Devius.”
Devius reached into his pocket, and pulled out the engagement ring he had recently acquired for her finger.
“Aira, will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?” He asked her.
“Oh Devius, of course I will!” She exclaimed, stepping into his arms and raising her head to receive his kiss.
Blissfully, the couple kissed as realization dawned on the entire family.
“Ahhhh!” They murmured knowingly.
“Oh my! Devius, you’re already engaged!” His mother exclaimed in slight confusion.
“No mother, I broke off my engagement with Anne. I just could not be away from Aira even one second more. Especially once I realized that she was carrying my child in her womb,” Devius explained.
“Your child! Oh Devius, this is so exciting! Oh my! Aira, could you sit down, I would love to listen to my grandchild... if you don’t mind?” Emmaline asked in an excited rush.
“I don’t mind.” Aira complied, sitting on a nearby settee.
“Goodness, you certainly are big,” Emmaline remarked, placing her head on Aira’s tummy.
“Yes, my son will certainly be strapping,” Devius agreed with a smile.
“Actually, not as much as you would think; you see, I’m carrying twins,” Aira informed them casually.
“Give the man heart failure!” Gia’s spirit exclaimed.
“Twins!” Everyone exclaimed – except Devius, who fainted.
“Are you certain?” Emmaline asked, positively delighted.
“Yes,” Aira confirmed.
“How can you tell?” Emmaline asked.
“She’s a midwife,” her two brothers – who had recently received an earful on the subject – answered.
“Didn’t I tell you it would all work out?” Olivia asked with a hint of pride.
“That you did,” Emmaline answered with a grin. “Although, I still think that it was rather naughty of them to be so intimately involved and let everyone believe that they had never even met one another.”
“I, for one, can’t believe that none of us even thought of Devius when we were speculating on who the father could be,” Olivia remarked.
“I can’t believe they’re having twins!” Emmaline exclaimed happily.
“My family took that rather well, I think. I was positive that my brothers were going to bring you out back and dismember you,” Aira confided that night, after they had managed to sneak off to bed.
“I’ve never had any siblings, but if I were your brothers, I think I would have brought me out back and shot me,” Devius admitted, kissing her neck.
“Well, then I’m glad that you aren’t one of my brothers,” Aira chuckled, basking in the simple cuddling that they were doing. Which was something she couldn’t recall them ever doing, at least not without any sex involved.
“I love you, you know,” she told him honestly, regretting all those times she had neglected to tell him.
“Aira, I worship the very ground you walk upon. My love for you is so unbelievably deep that I truly believe that I was made for you. I know that you love me, but I am amazed that you could! When I take a look at my life, I wonder how even my mother could love me. I promise to always live up to your love.” Devius held her tightly.
“AAAAH!” Aira gasped.
“Something wrong?” Devius asked.
“No, nothing’s wrong. Just cramps.”
“It’s time?” Devius felt his heart skip a beat.
“No, but soon.”
“A few hours. Long enough for me to get some rest,” Aira assured him, cuddling into a more comfortable position “Don’t worry, get some sleep.”