Telling Her Mate
When I think back on it, I suppose my craving moaghos was the start of it all. I wasn’t able to eat anything without the tangy-sweet taste accompanying it, even if it were something that would normally not be a very good mix. At first, Satel indulged me, bringing me as much of the fruit as I wanted, but soon he became worried and decided to cut me off.
Since we were currently living on our island, I could go out and get them myself from our personal grove, but I was getting too tired to make the trek. It wasn’t until I started asking Cegil to get my fix that the giant quickly honed in on what my problem was. All it took after that was a quick visit to Didra to confirm his suspicions.
It was shocking at first to learn what was wrong with me, since I had believed Satel would know long before I did. But since I was still human, there were some things that were going to manifest faster than what falucite were looking for. The only reason Cegil caught on was because he had a human mate too.
But, as for the overall feeling of the news, I wasn’t as overwhelmed as I thought I’d be. There were a few parts to it that had my mind reeling, but other than that, I felt… ready. I had no doubt that I could handle it, based on my past experiences.
So now all I had to do was break the news to Satel. He did, after all, have a right to know. I busied myself with sweeping the floors of our home as I waited for his return.
We had housekeepers that would visit every once in a while and tidy things up for me – Satel’s suggestion, so I didn’t have to lift a finger – but I had my moments. I still used cleaning as a means to calm down or quiet my mind. Satel knew this, of course, so he was well aware that not all was right in our world when he came home to find me working on the living room.
“Oh-no, yer doin’ chores,” he muttered dryly, hiding an amused smile before he adopted a serious expression.
“Is something the matter ‘Tia-dear?” he asked, concern coloring his voice.
“Ah’ve had a long day,” I said, avoiding his gaze as he crossed the room to sit in his armchair.
“Oh?” my mate prodded, waiting to hear more.
“Those dumbasses were at it again,” I started, knowingly misleading him. Satel wanted to know the reason I felt the need to sweep, but he unknowingly prompted me to talk about my day- to which I was more than glad to take advantage of and mess with him. “They got drunk before noon an’ ended up breakin’ a table at the bar.”
I then gave a sheepish smile. “Ah suppose ah shouldn’t have hit ’em so hard in the first place,” I added, holding in a laugh.
The blond man shared in my amusement, thankfully not upset that he’d have to order a new table for us. “Pirates will be pirates,” he replied with a sigh, still grinning at what I’d done to them, “So wot did they say ta ye that earned them yer wrath, me sirsa?”
“Nothin’. Ah jus’ didn’t like their faces, told them that, an’ they took offense ta it. Had ta defend me opinion,” I told him as I used the broom to help prop me up. I had been getting worried over the fact that lately I was losing my temper far too quickly, but at least now I had an explanation for it.
And while Satel seemed to derive entertainment from my antagonizing ways, he picked up on that tiny detail and furrowed his brows at me, confused. “Wait, so it was yer fault? Then why are ye so upset?” he asked.
I shrugged. “Who said ah was upset?”
“Ye usually clean the house when yer upset,” he pointed out, nodding to the broom I was leaning against.
I scoffed in amusement. “Oh, wot ah told ye ain’t the reason. That was jus’ the beginnin’ o’ me day,” I replied with a smirk.
“Oh ah see, so it builds up from there,” he commented as he settled back into his seat. I was delighted to hear that he misinterpreted my words to mean that my tale was supposed to eventually answer his question. Perfect.
I continued to regale him with more tales of minor irritants and tasks, each one that had the potential of making him think it was why I resorted to cleaning the floors. He grew more and more frustrated when at the end of each story, he’d ask why that made me upset and I would tell him that, oh, no, that wasn’t the problem at all.
“Oh!” I suddenly called out, acting as though a thought had just come to me. I had gone back to sweeping slowly as I continued to annoy him with my stories, but I stopped again to give him a false guilty look. “Ah should prob’ly tell ye this before ye learn it from Cegil, but…”
Satel raised an eyebrow, already wary of what I was going to tell him this time. “Aye?”
“Ah been… eatin’ more moaghos behind yer back, an’ Cegil ended up takin’ me ta see Didra today…” I trailed off, leaving him to think up the rest. I didn’t tell him the whole truth, as there was more to the reason to see the clan’s doctor than just the moaghos, but I just couldn’t make it easy for my mate, now could I?
However, the conclusion Satel had drawn wasn’t what I’d expected, and it only served to come bite me in the ass. An enlightened glimmer came to his eyes as his lips pulled back into a smirk. He then slammed a fist on the arm of his chair as he sat up excitedly and shouted, “Ah knew it! Eating all those moaghos must’ve finally caused ye intestinal distress. Ah told ye that they were ‘too much o’ a good thing’!”
Had he been human, he probably would’ve had an entirely different impression of my having to see a doctor after having strange cravings and unusual behavior. Instead, I strained to keep the smile on my face, despite knowing that he meant no harm by his statement. …He was damn lucky that we were currently five feet apart from each other. I would’ve hit him for that teasing or no teasing.
“That ain’t it, ye jackass!” I growled, dropping my smile and raising my fist anyway. I took a few breaths to calm myself, gripping the handle of the broom tightly. “Didra said ah was healthy in e’ery way, an’ that eatin’ even more moaghos wouldn’t hurt anythin’,” I told him hotly.
At first, my mate was dismayed – after his gloating, the bastard – to hear that I had gone to the pink-haired shrew lady, as she was the obvious answer for my sour mood. But then he apparently came to the conclusion that I only told him the story so he’d get off my back about wanting so much of the damned fruit. He let out a sigh as he shifted back in his seat again.
“…Yer not goin’ ta tell me why yer cleanin’ the house, are ye?” he muttered bitterly, crossing his arms in a huff.
“Ah didn’t say that. Ye ne’er asked,” I replied, pretending to be defensive. He stiffened for a few seconds and then relaxed with a defeated sigh.
“Ah get it,” he muttered with a defeated smile, “Yer getting back at me fer all the times ah did this ta ye. Fine. Why are ye sweeping the floor?”
Over the many years, when I wanted a report, or to find out something from my mate, he would diverge and annoy me with unrelated topics if I didn’t ask in a very specific way. But now that he saw through my plan, he wasn’t as bothered as before. He smirked after he spoke, thinking he had won. Now, that wouldn’t do at all. Too bad for him, I had one more trick up my sleeve.
I smiled brightly at him before I replied, “‘Cause ah feel like it.”
He stared incredulously at me, eyes wide and expression exasperated. “Ye told me all o’ that an’ got me worked up o’er nothin’!?” he yelled, very irritated. Yup, that’s how I felt every time he did that to me. Mission accomplished.
“Payback is a bitch,” I told him smugly before I turned my back on him and resumed my work. “Been waitin’ almost forty years fer this moment.”
“Ugh!” he exclaimed in disgust before he summoned a book, stuck his nose in it, and proceeded to ignore me for the next few minutes. Well, there was nothing I could do to make him truly ignore me. He was just going to pretend until he calmed down.
Over the years we’d toyed with one another, pranked each other, and sometimes even had real arguments that tested our bonds. We knew each other so well now that we had no reason not to believe what the other said, so I knew my next words would be taken seriously, despite what I had just done to him.
To any other couple this would’ve been a bad idea, and I would’ve been setting myself up for a moment that would end in tears, but I knew Satel would believe me. Furthermore, it would instantly cheer him up and make him forget about the counter prank that was likely brewing in his mind.
I let him stew for about five minutes in silence before I decided to throw the bomb.
“By the way…” I drawled, stopping to take a quick peek at him from over my shoulder. His narrowed eyes darted over the pages of his book, and I could see his lips pressing together to resist replying to me. I then softly finished my sentence, knowing his sensitive hearing would pick it up. “Didra confirmed it. We’re pregnant.”
There was no answer for a good minute or so, so I knew it was taking him a while to process that. We’d had a long time fear that I might not be able to conceive a child easily, so now that I was finally pregnant, it didn’t seem real. We could have had a real tender moment before I dropped the news on him, but our relationship demanded no less than teasing, or total chaos. That was just who we were.
I was only three months along in what was going to be a loooong twenty-six month pregnancy. I wasn’t going to start smelling like a pregnant woman until maybe the fourth or fifth month. Had Cegil not figured it out himself and had me tested, Satel would’ve no doubt informed me in a very similar way that I just did to him. Heh, I win this round, it seemed.
When I heard the thunk of the book falling to the floor, I knew it finally registered in his mind. A split second later, his arms were around me and the broom clattered to the ground.
All we could do was smile.