Chapter 23: Invitation✔️

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Above is a beautiful cover made for me by @forevermorelast
Thank you so much it is lovely.

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I hardly have any time with Rhovan as I pick up the skills of a healer. I hang herbs to dry, I crush them and use them to their fullest extent at the hands of Nel, kept far from her medicine room.

The only joy I've found is Nyna. She is quiet, but a welcoming presence, even if she is my new watcher, making sure that I am integrating into this life, reporting back to the people that I do not carry darkness within me, still I have come to enjoy the way she stitches and weaves clothing beside me, making garments for the little one she has on the way.

"Do you have other children?" I ask. We do not make much conversation, but today I find that my curiosity has taken the better of me.

"A daughter, Ameria." Her lips rise for a small moment.

I frown faintly, thinking of what may come to them, to many of these women and children, if we do not get a rise on our enemy. They are innocents that deserve to live full lives.

"I bet she's happy to know she is to be a big sister." I reply a while later.

"She is actually not too keen for the attention to leave her." Nyna's teeth are showing a glowing smile as she thinks about her daughter.

"My brothers had it hard when I was born. The only girl and the youngest." I forget myself for a blip in time, thinking of how hard it was for Filarion especially. He was not too keen either, when I was suddenly the youngest, the attention grabber.

Nyna is staring at me, placing her weaving to the side. "Would you like to see a claiming ceremony this night?" She must have known I needed the distraction and this is not one, but two firsts for me. The first kind invitation to join in with the festivities and the first time I will ever see a claiming ceremony.

I do not ponder long as I nod my head and again begin my work, focusing on my task like a good little pet, trying so hard to fit in, to not bring attention to myself.

Not long after my invitation, Petra walks into the room, an occasional visitor, her chest bare, sweat rolling down her torso from training. Lately she has been more bloodied than usual, training becoming tougher as the impending threat has yet to make a move. We can only be thankful that they have yet to find these lands.

She glares in my direction. She clearly hasn't been happy of my spending time with her partner, but I would clearly rather be on the training field than churning potions that we already have an abundance of stock for.

Nel glides across the floor, immediately throwing herself in her lover's arms. "You are quite early today. Is something amiss?" I have noticed that with Petra, Nel seems to be the most clear minded in her thoughts and sentences.

"Rhovan told me to leave, that I had more important things to do for today." She grins fiercely before pecking Nel on the forehead. They can promptly be heard making some very loud noises in the next room and I leave soon after, trying to get the sound of Nel calling Petra's name over and over again as the expecting women calmly sip their tea as if this is a common occurrence.

If it were I, there would be no way I would make it so loudly known what I was doing with my mate, but to each their own I suppose.

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It is not until later in the evening do I see Rhovan. He looks a bit more tired than usual, but he is home early, so I do not complain as he kisses me on the forehead, pulling his fingers through the braids that he gives me each and every morning. It is a practice that I have come to love. I feel cared for when his fingers are combing through my locks, grooming me, making me presentable.

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