After arriving at Atlantis late the evening, Ian had gathered his family together. Each time he came home it was with a renewed sense of relief that he had made it back and love for his family.
The comfort and affection his parents gave him were always welcoming, and Ian found that he was even glad to see his younger sisters, Cascadia and Talise when his usual response was to jet away from them as fast as a shark from an unwanted pilot fish.
Of course, all this family bonding reminded him of the hardship it would be for Sonora to leave her family, but for now, he shoved that into the back of his mind. Instead, he enjoyed the fact that his mother and sister's had taken over his kitchen. His rumbling stomach reminded Ian he hadn't eaten since the middle of the day, and for him, that was an eternity.
Ian and Jorah sat at Ian's dining room table. The Artifact lay before them, the details in the woodgrain brightened by the hanging light above the table, and the multi-colored jewels shining.
Jorah ran his hand over the top of the box's smooth surface. "It looks just as it did the last time I saw it. At least the humans treated it well."
Ian agreed. "It would seem so. It was in a museum, a place they keep all their treasured items, I am sure that contributed to its safekeeping." Ian changed the subject. "Thank you for keeping my arrival with the Artifact secret tonight. There is no doubt our people will greatly rejoice over its return, as they should. But a quiet evening with all of you, celebrating the end of such a long mission, is what I needed."
"Of course it is, my son," said Aleena as she breezed in carrying the first of the many dishes she and her daughters had prepared. "Family is everything to Atlantians. It is only fitting our personal celebration come first. We rejoice not only over the Artifact but also our only son's safe return."
Aleena placed the plate on the table and wrapped her arms around Ian. Then she looked down at him and pushed his hair back. "Now you can stay down here in the safe warm waves, and out of that harsh poisonous sun. You know, your Aunt Coral was just telling me that that sun kills people! Can you believe that? I am glad you can now stay out of its scorching rays." She pushed at his forehead. "I hope that is not a wrinkle I see forming there."
Ian scoffed and gently pushed her away. "Mother, stop. It would hardly be the case." But it didn't escape his parents notice that he ran his hand over his forehead before pulling his hair back over it.
After another trip to the kitchen, and once the table was fully loaded with an array of colorful salads, steaming fish, and even a dessert of strawberries, Aleena, Cascadia, and Talise joined Ian and Jorah at the table. After thanking the Creator of All Things for the safe return of their son and the bounty that laid upon the table, the family began to eat.
After a few bites of his favorite salad, Ian said, "Thank you, Mother and Sisters, for providing tonight's delicious meal. I will be sure to offer one in return tomorrow night."
"We prepared all of your favorites," Talise said, "At least the ones we had ingredients for, so you must do the same." She then proceeded to list her preferences which included a difficult meal of puffer fish, scallops and a salted cod that needed soaking for one to three days before cooking.
Ian laughed. "Of course those are your favorite. As you know, I can cook a perfect scallop, and if a puffer fish is available, that will also be on your plate. But your cod is another matter and for another day."
Cascadia giggled before saying, "And I want—"
Ian held up his hand. "It seems, Sisters, that my hospitality will take more than one evening to repay. We will start with Talise, and then Cascadia, you will be next."
YOU ARE READING
Sea Bound (A Sanctuary's Aggression Novel)Science Fiction
#159 on Scifi Hot List. A Golden Pen, Pen and Ink, and Rose Award Winner. In this sci-fi fantasy, Sonora yearns for more than life has given her until the day a shadow becomes a guide to a world she could never have imagined. A new world that offers...