Monday, November 23, 2009

Shayna and Daniel Thanksgiving by Alix Richards

I was challenged to write a short and failed the first time out of the gate. However, I am not the type of person to let something like that get the better of me. So because Stephanie Becken is a dear friend and swore I could do it, I tried (again!). This is it. The one little piece of Thanksgiving I can give two very dear family members of mine. If there was one thing I could do I would give them what I gave my characters. Enjoy! And Happy Thanksgiving!

****
"You're making it out to be worse than it really is, Daniel." Shayna continued cutting the potatoes at the sink. "My family has always celebrated Thanksgiving. It's a tradition. You have yours, we have ours. We're not so different."
"It's how you celebrate that is strange, my heart." Out of the corner of her eye she saw him staring at the spiced turkey she had to put in the oven. She smiled. "My people rejoice at the harvest, but you give thanks to a god that is not mine. This I do not understand. You know the Ancient Creators are real, you have to or the human cancer would have taken your life. I saved you, yet you still worship this lesser god."
He shook his head and she turned to him. Smiling she touched his forearm. "Tradition, Daniel. Until I met you and your family I had no others beliefs than what had been taught to me. Now I have to tread carefully between the two. Until I have to stop seeing my Mortal family and friends I want to spend as many of these holidays with them." She laid her head against his chest, and closed her eyes. "My parents are old, soon they will be gone. I am between two worlds where I belong to both, yet one more than the other. I am no longer Mortal because you saved my life. But I am still human in my thoughts and feelings."
"I understand." He wrapped his arms around her and kissed the top of her head. "I will do this for you. I was willing to let you live out your life as long as we were together. I didn't want to bring you into my world, but I couldn't let you die from that disease. I wish I could save others, like I saved you. I cannot and for that I am eternally sorry."
"Please don't be," She held him closer to her, pressing her body to his. "There was a reason for my breast cancer, and another for it occurring during a time when you were undecided. Eventually we will find a cure for it. Until then we just pray and be thankful to whosever god that we survive. It's all we can do."
She felt his arms tighten around her more, and his nose brush the top of her head. Even at 5'6" he was still over a head taller than her. But she loved him just the same. It made her feel dainty, his height and strength compared to hers.
"I will give thanks to your human god, Shayna, because that is what you want and what your family believes. I have no wish for them to think I have no belief system." She could feel the rumble of laughter echoing through his chest against her check and her smile grew. "Besides, it wouldn't be good for your religious family to think you married, a- what are they called again? Oh yes, a Satanist."
That made her laugh, he was right though. Her step-mother and father would automatically assume he was a Satan worshipper if he refused to partake of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Then her chuckle grew as she thought of Christmas.
"I do not think that is funny, my love." Daniel's voice rumbled in her ear through his chest. "I was being serious when I said that. I wasn't joking. I made a vow to Tarrinaysa to appear human while here. I must keep my word."
"It's not that, dear heart." She giggled then tipped her head back to look up into his face. "I was thinking of Christmas next month. It's a bigger celebration then Thanksgiving."
"Urgh!"
"It will be fine. You'll live. Besides, I have many things to be thankful this year. I'm alive, Daniel. And I'm married to a wonderfully Immortal male who thinks the world revolves around me. What more can I ask for?" The tears she had been holding back blurred her vision. She didn't want to cry, but her emotions were high at this time of the year. "According to the specialists I shouldn't be here, and because of your Creators I am. And for that they will have my eternal gratitude."
She let them fall this time when he wrapped her in his arms again. It was alright to cry. She could and would now.
And she did.
She couldn't tell her family and friends what saved her life, nor could the doctors find anything to explain why she was knocking on death's door one moment only to be completely healthy the next.
Healthy right down to being able to carry the child she wanted to give Daniel more than anything. She was able to now, and as the tears rolled down her cheeks she could feel that new life move inside her. An event she hadn't shared with her Immortal husband.
She would soon, before her family arrived.
Family! Oh geez! I got to get this dinner done!
Stop, Shayna, it will be fine. You're family loves you, they'll love your dinner.
His whispered voice tickled her mind, making her tears halt and her smile grow. Stepping up on tip toe to kissed him on the mouth.
"It will be alright, but it won't be ready if we keep stopping. Put the bird in the oven. Set the timer too, please? Thank you."
"Yes, the bossy female is back."
"Ha-ha, very funny! Now scoot! This is the first Thanksgiving family dinner we are hosting, I can't make any mistakes." She slapped at his hands and laughed as he tried to pull her back to him. "I mean, it Daniel. Move! The turkey takes the longest, everything else is easier."
"Yes ma'am." He saluted then turned to the pan setting on the counter. "I will do as thee commands."
"Yeah, right!" She laughed her mood returning to the happiness she felt before the tears. "Right now you'll do as I command, but not later tonight."
"Well, no, ofcourse not." He grinned as he set the pan in the oven then straightened to look at her, closing the door with a bang. He wiggled his eyebrows. "I've heard you like it when I'm in charge then."
She didn't know if she was blushing, but she could feel the heat rise in her cheeks. She knew exactly what he was talking about, and she hated the fact they didn't have time for it right now. They only had hours to get everything finished before their company arrived.
"Later, big boy," She tossed the hand towel at him her lips tilted upward. "After they leave."
"I'm holding you to that, my heart."
****
Finally, everything was complete. Shayna thought as she set the handcrafted center piece in the center of the large table. Hands on her hips she surveyed the picture before her.
"I think they will love it, my love." Daniel wrapped his arms around her pulling her back against his front, the evidence of his desire pressing into the rear of her jeans. "I do."
"You're just saying that because you know I'm nervous." She laid her hands on his forearms linked across her middle. "Daniel, we need to talk before everyone gets here."
"I already promised I wouldn't use any magik and I wouldn't shift. I even agreed to leave your brother alone. What more do I have to do?" His chuckled vibrated her back, making her giggle.
"It has nothing to do with my family, dear one. Well, at least not in the way you're thinking." She turned in his arms to face him. Telling herself it was now or never. Her parents and siblings would arrive soon, and she wanted him to know first. Before everyone else; he was the father after all, and the baby was real because of him and his saving her life. "There's a small matter that we never talked about because I was ill."
"What matter?"
"Children?"
"Oh, well-, um- children?"
"Yes, Daniel. Little miniatures of us, a testament of our love for each other."
"I do not know if the healing and conversion repaired the damage to that part of your body, honey. You are the first True Mate I know of that has been saved from death by cancer."
She giggled again. Wrapping her arms around his waist she hugged him, the tears were back. But this time for the happiness that flooded her system.
"We have nothing to worry about in that area, my love." She tilted her head back to look up at him, her smile bright she knew as were her eyes. "I am just over two months along, with a boy. I can feel him, he talks with me. I hear him!"
If she wasn't so overjoyed with her news she would have noticed that Daniel was silent, his eyes huge and his jaw slack. But she continued on with her goshing over the baby she had a relationship with that wasn't like the ones her friends' spoke of when they were expecting their children. This was so profound she had been speechless when she first heard the tiny voice.
"Daniel?" She stopped when she felt him sway. Her big Immortal never faltered. She had never seen him look pale before in her life, his skin tone always perfectly golden-bronze. "Daniel? Are you alright?
"A-a baby?"
"Yes," She nodded with a smile.
"A-a baby boy you said?"
"Yes, a boy. Like you."
"Um- um, I think I better sit. I don't feel so good."
Now she was concerned. Immortals weren't ever ill; they were perfectly healthy in all ways.
Assisting him to the sofa was hard, she became more worried when he dropped like a ball when let go out of a two-story window.
"Are you okay, Daniel?"
He just nodded; no sound came out of his mouth. Now she was terrified. She was new to this life he gave her in exchange for her old one. Connecting with other Immortals wasn't in her lesson plans. Calling on Tarrinaysa also wasn't her forte either.
"Wow! I'm going to be a daddy!"
At his loud exclamation she jumped, startled. She stepped back just as he bound to his feet, taking her in his arms and swinging her around.
She laughed, he laughed.
"Really?"
"Yeah, really."
"Wow!"
"You said that already."
"I know. I just can't find any other word to describe the sensations. Wow."
He kissed her then a long love and passion filled caress that robbed her of rational thought processes.
Then there was a knock on the door.
The troops had arrived.
****
Shayna decided clean up could wait until the following morning. Right now she just made sure the food was put away so she could cuddle up with her man, it was a wonderful dinner.
Her father and step-mother took the news of her baby very well. Considering the doctors told them she would never have children of her own. Radiation took care of that.
"You're quiet."
"Just thinking."
"About?"
"The little boy inside, he can't wait to play with his cousins. All of them, including the girls. He sounds a lot like you, Daniel."
"He is my son."
"Yes; that he is." She burrowed closer to his warmth. "Will he find his other half? Will the gods match him? Have they already matched him with her?"
"Don't worry about something that is still years off, my heart. I am certain they have, or they will. Remember, I roamed many lands and saw many centuries before I found you. Sometimes that is what happens. Be thankful, love. You and I and our son later in his life, will have something that no other can achieve. A love so profound the connection is on a level that isn't even understood by those of us who it happens too."
"I will try not to worry. But as a mother, I will."
"Yes and so will I." She felt his face brush the top of her head. "But know that she is out there waiting for him to find her. When the time is right they will meet, just as we did."
She didn't respond, for there were no words to describe the feelings that she knew her baby would one day feel for another.
Instead she smiled and relaxed against the broad chest of the man who saved her from death and gave her a child of her own.
What more could she be thankful for?
She has everything she ever wanted in life.
I'm right here, Momma. I love you and I can't wait to see you.
This time the tears that fell were those of happiness and joy. She had a husband who she loved and who loved her in return and a son who she could speak with often.
Life was beautiful.
****

35 comments:

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