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Are You Willing? (Part 1)

Writers: Avery, Eimi
Date Posted: 31st December 2017

Characters: Xeladrie, Kiomo, Cikara
Description: Xeladrie reaches out to Kiomo for help with her plan.
Location: Elsewhere on Pern
Date: month 1, day 23 of Turn 9
Notes: Mentioned: Bryvin, K'dee
Notes: part 1 of 2

Xeladrie had been so tired after the baby was born. She'd been
physically exhausted. The midwife had sat down with her several
candlemarks after she'd re-awakened, and told her that the labor had
been hard on her body, that there'd been some serious bleeding, that
the Healer had fixed her up but that she would be weak for a few days.

She'd spent the rest of the day in a daze of pain that felt
disconnected from her body, and blurred senses and thoughts, thanks to
the pain relievers they'd given her. She'd been aware enough to know
that her daughter was being nursed by someone else. The midwife
explained it very carefully to her, giving her good reasons. Cikara
probably thought that Xeladrie cared and would want her daughter

She didn't want to see the baby. She didn't want to think about her at
all. Certainly she didn't want to hold her or nurse her, no matter how
her breasts ached. She'd been asked a few questions and had pretended
to be asleep or mumbled nonsensical things to get everyone to go away,
and leave her be.

It was the middle of the next day before she had everything she
needed: a clearer head, access to some writing materials, and a few
moments alone. She scrawled a quick note to Kiomo, then tied the note
to Glimmer. With a mental thought, she sent her firelizard back
to Sunstone to seek out Kiomo and deliver it. Then she lay back on the
bed and tried to calm her racing mind.

Kiomo was surprised to see a green flit suddenly pop up in front of
him while he was reaching for a pen on his desk. It was not, however,
completely unusual that he would receive messages in this way. As the
Lord's assistant, he would from time to time be sent messages via
firelizard for expediency's sake, and so he reached down into his draw
and pulled out a treat to coax the little green closer. Something
about it was familiar...

Taking the message he read it's contents: "Kiomo, I need your help
with the matter we discussed. Xel," with the words 'need your help'
underlined for emphasis.

"Shards..." he breathed, leaning back in his chair. They had received
news the day before that she had given birth to a healthy girl, and
while he remembered the Lady's threat to make the child disappear, he
had hoped that as soon as she looked down into that tiny face, she
would realize she could never let the little baby go. But, it seems,
he would not be that lucky.

Bryvin most certainly would think something was up if he just
disappeared in the middle of the day, and so he made the excuse that
it seemed an old aunt had had a stroke in order to quietly slip away
from the Hold. Calling on a favor from a friend at the Weyr, within
two candlemarks he was in the sky above Turquiose Bay Hold. Luckily he
had visited not long before, so he was both recognized as a friend of
the Hold and knew the way to where he needed to go so as to draw as
little attention to his presence as possible.

"Good afternoon, madam," he said to Cikara when she opened the door to
Xeladrie's chambers. "I am here from Sunstone on behalf of my Lord to
check on the Lady Xeladrie and her babe, if I might be allowed to
speak with her a moment."

The midwife bobbed a curtsey to the handsome assistant. "Of course you
may. She's been sleeping most of the day. The birthing tired her out
and she seems sad. I hope your visit will cheer her up," she said, and
waved him in.

Xeladrie had opened her eyes and adjusted her sitting posture when she
heard the door open. She expected it to be the midwife again. Instead
Kiomo was the person who stepped through.

"You came," she breathed in a happy tone. She'd thought he might take
longer to come by and was delighted to see him here so fast.

"Yes, m'lady. I have come to inquire after your healthy and bring a
message from my Lord Bryvin, your husband. I... don't suppose I could
deliver it in private," asked the midwife with a sheepish smile.

The midwife thought for a moment. She wasn't supposed to leave the
Lady alone for long, and Kiomo wasn't a Healer or the Lady's own maid.
But he was bringing a message from the husband who was of course a
busy Lord, so, could it be trouble? She decided not and curtsied
again. "I can give you both a few minutes," she said, withdrawing and
shutting the door.

When she'd gone away, Xeladrie got to her feet and took a few steps
over to Kiomo, throwing her arms around him. She was clad in only a
flowing light-colored shift so the Healers could easily spot blood and
be able to examine her, so it was perhaps immodest of her, but she was
so happy to see him she wasn't thinking through.

Last updated on the January 1st 2018

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All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey's fiction are © Anne McCaffrey 1967, 2013, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author. The Dragonriders of Pern© is registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by Anne McCaffrey, used here with permission. Use or reproduction without a license is strictly prohibited.