Emma was a bit nervous as she stood at the bow of the ship and stared out over the sea. She was finally going to see where her husband had grown up and meet his family. It had seemed like it had taken them forever to make time for this trip. She felt arms slip around her and smiled when he rested his chin on her head. “I can feel how nervous you are my love.” Siavash said softly.
“I’m not nervous.” She felt his amusement as pressed a kiss to her cheek then turned her, trapping her against the ship railing with his hands on either side of her. His eyes looked into hers, those violet orbs seeing everything.
“I can see what you’re thinking. Will they like me? Will I fit in? How will the desert be? What will they say when they see we haven’t had children? Let me answer them for you. I am sure my parents will like you just fine, you’re smart and beautiful and most of all you make me happy. As far as fitting in, you don’t need to fit in. I was raised very different than you, I worked horses all my life, I’m used to the heat and dryness of the desert so I don’t expect you to fit in, I expect you to be you, the woman I love. If they make a fuss about babies, then I’ll tell them it’s not like we haven’t been trying and not everyone gets pregnant at the same rate, I’ve also been busy which I am sorry for. I plan on spending every alone moment making up for my neglect.”
“I don’t feel neglected, horses are a lot of work.” She replied with a blush.
“But they are not as important as you. I love them, but I love you so much more.” He wrapped her in a hug. “You don’t have to worry about my family, I will love you no matter what their opinion.”
“I still care. I can’t help it. I love you so much and I want them to like me. If they don’t it might make things hard for you with them. I know you still won’t care but I will care. You’re an amazing man and have been patient with my occasinal bitchiness while I learn how to be a bit more down to earth. That in itself worries me. When I’m rude I hardly ever realize it and I don’t want to come across as rude to them”
“You’ve gotten so much better though baby”
“I know but I still worry” He gave her a long, heart felt kiss. “It’s going to go amazing. They’ll love you because you make me happy”
They stood there a bit longer, enjoying the breeze coming off the sea and the he lifted her, taking her down to their room and cuddling with her on the bed. She couldn’t believe how that simple act had her heart racing. There was just something about him, from his intense violet eyes to the way he held himself. He had such presence, other people’s heads turned when he walked by and he commanded attention without even trying. “You’re very quiet.” He said as he tipped her head back to look in her eyes. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, just thinking.” She felt a blush creeping up her neck.
“It’s hard not too.”
He smiled and her heart felt about ready to burst. “It’s better than being stressed isn’t it?” He brushed a kiss over her lips. “Happy thoughts?”
“Good, keep thinking them and rest, we’ll be there soon and I’m sure my parents have told everyone.”
She slowly nodded off to sleep there in his arms as the sea moved their ship along. He smiled, kissing her again and whispering “Much better my love. No more stressing. I know they will love you” He laid there a while longer before carefully getting up and leaving their room. He wanted to arrive with no incidents and felt the best way to do so was to stay alert of what the captain and crew were doing. Emma stayed resting until they docked and Siavash kissed her awake “we’re here beautiful”
“yes, lets go and see everyone”
“I’ve been sleeping, let me fix myself first”
“You’re gorgeous. They don’t expect you to look perfect after sailing across the sea”
“But you already look so beautiful my love.” He stroked her cheek and she could feel his love warming her.
“At least my hair?”
He smiled, amusement dancing in his eyes. “Allow me.” He got her brush and quickly, but gently brushed and braided her hair. “There, radiant as always my shy little princess.”
He lifted their luggage in one hand and laced the fingers of the other through hers and lead her up into the warm, desert sun. He thanked the captain before they disembarked then lead her down to the dock. There weren’t many people, mostly workers, so it was easy to spot the young man leaning against a stack of crates, his hair, eyes and skin identical to Siavash’s. He stood up straight as soon as he saw them and Emma looked between them, amazed. “Ossian.” He let go of her long enough to embrace the young man. “How have you been?”
“Good, it seems like it’s been ages.” His eyes dropped to Emma. “This is her then? She’s more beautiful than you let on brother.”
“There is no way words could do her justice.” Siavash looked down at her and she blushed. “Emma this is my little brother, Ossian.”
Ossian held out his hand. “It’s nice to finally meet you, our parents are excited.” Emma shook his hand and she finally noticed something different about them. Ossian’s eyes didn’t hold the same intensity as Siavash’s, they had an immediate softness about them.
“It’s nice to meet you too.”
He smiled and let her go. “I only brought two horses since I wasn’t sure how good she was at riding.”
“I’ve given her lessons, but we often ride together. I enjoy the closeness.”
“In this heat?” Emma asked and he grinned. “You’re not even sweating, how is that possible?”
“That’s why I insisted on light colored, thin material my love.”
Siavash helped Emma up on the horse then hopped on behind her. Once Ossian saw his brother was ready he urged his horse on. The breeze caused by the horses running was a pleasant relief to Emma. Despite knowing Siavash was a desert elf she hadn’t thought about his home being so hot. Emma knew she was on her way now to see Siavash and Ossians parents but she couldn’t help but ponder what they looked like. She bet their father also looked extremely similar to them. Obviously the male genes were strong with them and produced almost copies when they had sons. That made Emma happy though. It told her she would have incredibly handsome sons one day.
“Ossian, I bet I can make it there even with us and our luggage.” Siavash yelled.
“You’re on.” Ossian kicked his horse and it pulled ahead.
“Trust me, okay?” He whispered in Emma’s ear.
“I always do.”
He tightened his arm around her waist and squeezed his knees into the horse’s side as he veered off the path they had been taking across the dunes. The ground sloped down and at the bottom of the hill, he pulled the horse to the right, giving it a light kick so it went faster. Emma didn’t understand what he was doing until they made it past the dune and she could see Ossian climbing a hill. “The ground is flatter this way.” Siavash said. “He always forgets.” When she finally saw his parents home in the distance, she became nervous again. She knew she was going to look like a windblown, sweaty mess. Ossian was in the middle of the down slope of the dune when Siavash brought their horse to a stop in front of the stables. A young man, no more than fifteen years old, ran out and took the horse from them once they were down. He had the same dark skin as Siavash, but didn’t look related. She figured it must be the region.
“I always forget.” Ossian said when he finally made it to them.
“You should know there’s a reason I’m the smart older brother.”
“Shut up and come on.”
Siavash took Emma’s hand and she took a deep breath as they approached the beautifully crafted house. “You look beautiful my love, like a desert angel.” He said and she felt butterflies. He smiled knowingly and she was glad her cheeks were red from the sun.
Once inside they were greeted by his parents. They both hugged Siavash at the same time and then her, surprising Emma “welcome! Oh my goodness look at you. So beautiful and small” Emma knew none of the women here were under 5’6 and most were around 5’8. The desert elves were tall, tall and beautiful and she truly thought her looks couldn’t compare to theirs. “Thank you, you’re gorgeous too” Emma guessed Savash’s mother was 5’8 or 5’9. “My name is Eleftheria and my husband is Helarion. Did Siavash properly introduce our younger son?”
“sort of, I know his name” She hoped she was doing okay. Just the stress of wanting to make a good impression was making her sweat. “come in and sit down. I’ll get you water. I know it must be scorching to you here”
“I’ll get it mom. You go sit with her” Siavash offered.
“He’s always so sweet, both of my boys are.” She said as she sat next to her husband.
Emma was staring at Helarion with her mouth hanging part way open and Eleftheria noticed because she laughed. “Sorry.” Emma said, embarrassed. “It’s just he and Siavash look like twins, just like Ossian.”
“Don’t say that.” Ossian said. “I look nothing like my brother.”
“Oh hush dear, your father’s genes clearly took over.”
“I mean he even has that same look, like…”
“He can see everything?” Eleftheria finished.
“Yeah, it’s uncanny.”
“I’ve been told it’s a bit unnerving at first.” Helarion replied. “The reactions I get are pretty amusing at times.”
“I’d have to agree.” Siavash said as he brought Emma a glass of water and sat down next to her. “They already don’t know what to think with how strange I look.” He grinned. “Though it seems to have a far different effect on my sweet Emma.”
She blushed and Eleftheria laughed saying “be nice to her honey, she’s obviously nervous” He put his arm around Emma “she knows I adore her. How have things been here?”
“good, we’ve missed you”
“I’ve missed you too. You should visit me sometime”
“we’ll try to come soon. How’s life there?”
“Perfect now that I have her. I’m very happy.”
“How is your brother taking to ruling? I’ve heard good things about your kingdom” Eleftheria asked Emma “he’s a natural, he really was born for it.”
“You have a sister too right?”
“Yeah, Keltie, she’s wild and I’ve come to admire her. We haven’t always gotten along which was my fault in the past but we do now.”
“siblings relationships can be hard. My boys have the competitive thing going on but I’m glad they’ve always loved eachother”
“How are the horses?” Siavash asked.
“Good, our mares gave birth last week so we have a few new foals. Castor sired them.” Helarion said.
“And he still won’t let anyone ride him but you.” Ossian added. “I tried and he threw me off. It was the first time in years.”
Siavash looked down at Emma. “Want to meet him, my love?”
“Is he safe?”
“Of course, he’s mine.”
“Mother, father, baby brother, would you excuse us?”
“Of course sweetie, give her a full tour of the grounds, I’ll make sure your room is set up and your brother and father can take your luggage up.” Eleftheria replied.
“You don’t have to trouble yourself.” Emma said, not wanting to look lazy or incompetent.
“Emma, my sweet, you don’t have to worry.” He tipped her head up so she was looking into his eyes. “They won’t think you’re slacking and we take any opportunity we get to show off the horses.”
“You’re our guest, Emma, please go and have a look around. Our home is your home.”
When they were outside and out of earshot of his family he hugged her “you’re doing great Emma. You can breathe. I hate how nervous you seem.”
“Be honest, am I really doing okay?’
‘Yes, they like you. I promise” Emma pulled Siavash down to kiss him and he smiled against her lips before kissing her back. “Just relax now okay” he said sweetly and she nodded. Taking her hand he guided Emma to the horses and took her inside, eager to show her his. He missed his stallion but Castor’s home was here, he belonged here in the desert.
Emma was amazed at the size of their barn and even more so by each horse living in the stalls. They were beautiful, lean of build, but muscular. They all had white hair and long white manes, some of them braided to keep them from touching the stall floors. It was the beast at the end that really caught her attention. He was much larger than the others, his mane streaks with black and a black patch of hair in the shape of a diamond on his chest. The sign on his stall read Castor. “There’s my boy.” Siavash said as he opened the door and the horse moved closer, pressing his head into his chest. “I missed you too.” He patted Castor’s neck then turned and held out his hand to Emma. “Don’t worry, he won’t hurt you.”
Emma swallowed as she moved closer and Siavash placed her hand on his nose. “He’s huge.” She said.
“Castor, I would like you to meet my wife and treat her as you would me.” He ran Emma’s hand over the horses’s jaw and down to his neck. “I love her more than life.”
Castor bumped his head into Emma’s chest, moving her a back a bit. Siavash chuckled. “He likes me.”
“Of course he does. Would you like to ride him?”
She looked up at him. “Will you be with me?”
“Of course.” He lifted her onto the horses’s bare back then hopped up behind her, his arms wrapping around her waist. She had seen him ride bare back many times, but she had never been with him, afraid she would fall off. He gently nudged Castor with his heels and the horse walked from his stall and outside. Castor turned as he left the barn, moving around to the back where the new babies were playing.
“How cute.” Emma said as they went along the fence line. “They all have his mark.”
“Most of them will probably have his size as well and his brains.”
They admired and talked about the foals for awhile longer before Siavash moved Castor along so he could show Emma the rest of the grounds. All of Emmas nerves fell away while she was up on the horse with him. It was one of those moments where it felt like she and Siavash were the only people in the world. Even when she came back to reality upon leading Castor back into the barn and Siavash helping her off she felt a lot more relaxed. “did you enjoy yourself Emma?” Eleftheria asked as they walked back inside. “Your horses are beautiful and the babies are adorable”
“Siavash raised Castor himself, the poor thing was small and underweight. You could say the horse is his baby.”
“It shows, he’s such a sweet creature and he seems to really love your son.”
“And you as well my love, you’re the only other person who he’ll allow to ride him.” Siavash said.
Eleftheria smiled. “Well your room is ready if you feel like resting, you had a long journey so I’m sure you’re tired. Besides, we told almost everyone you were coming, so you’ll be getting plenty of visitors.”
“I couldn’t, I’m so excited and there’s still so much to see and it’s so hot.”
Siavash chuckled. “I don’t think I’ve met someone quite as cute as you.” He kissed her cheek, making her blush. “How about we all take her swimming.”
“Swimming? It’s all sand.”
“There’s an oasis close, it’s beautiful, you’ll love it.”
“I’ll pack food.” Eleftheria said.
“Can I help you?”
“If you really want to. I can teach you how to make some of my sons favorites” Emma was actually excited to learn. Cooking was something she could do well so she could bond with his mother and not have to worry about looking like an idiot. “I’ll go hangout with my little brother then while you and mom take care of things”
“I’ll come with you son” Helarion said, walking over to his wife and kissing her head before he and Siavash walked out of the room. Emma listened attentively as Eleftheria spoke and did precisely what she was told. When the basket was packed with food and plenty to drink they gathered the men back up then went out to the barn to get the horses.
“Sorry if I’m complaining too much.” Emma said when they arrived at oasis.
Siavash lifted her off of Castro’s back. “You mean about the heat. It’s understandable my love, I was raised in it, I’m used to it. Anyone who came here from another land would have trouble at first.” He kissed her forehead. “Come, I’ll make you feel better.”
She knew he hadn’t meant anything by what he said, but she blushed anyway and he chuckled at the sudden rush of embarrassment that ran through her. “You’re such a jerk.” She said.
“My beautiful princess is a bit of a pervert.”
“I am not, it…it’s the way you say things and the way you look at me, it’s not fair.”
He lifted her into his arms. “I can’t help it, you know that.”
“Go back to the house if you’re going to be doing that.” Ossian said.
“You’re just jealous, brother, maybe find a lover.”
“I would but none of the women here interest me” He shrugged “I could take you home with me brother, maybe you’ll meet someone there. You wouldn’t mind, right Emma?” Before she could answer Eleftheria said “it’s hardly fair to ask her that in front of us Siavash. I know you realize we wouldn’t fault her if she said no but she’s just met us.”
“sorry mother” he looked at Emma “sorry”
“don’t be, I wouldn’t mind”
“we’ll talk about it later”
Emma didn’t want him thinking he was guilting her into taking his brother back and she was sure it would make him happy to have Ossian with them. “Siavash, I love you.”
“I love you too, so please stop making that face. I shouldn’t get so ahead of myself.” He kissed her forehead and let all the love he had for her fill him. Emma’s eyes got wide when they walked past strange trees and up to the beautiful lake. There were so many plants she didn’t recognize, brightly colored and fragrant, she just wanted to touch them. “I’m glad you like it my love.”
“Your home is amazing Siavash”
“It is, I always enjoyed it but I appreciate it’s unique beauty more now that I don’t live here.”
“Can we come more?”
“Of course my love, as often as you wish” Once they made it to the water Helarion set their basket down by the water and got in with his wife, soon followed by Ossian. “you ready gorgeous?” Siavash asked and Emma nodded. He took her hand and got in with her “This feels so nice” Emma was relieved to finally not be quite so hot. She was proud of herself for being so sweaty and not be horrified about it. Sometimes it felt weird for Emma to remember how she was before Siavash. She was almost a completely different person at this point, far from the prissy, full of herself brat she had once been.
They had fun playing around, Emma finding herself giggling and becoming more relaxed in the presence of Siavash’s family. She could feel how happy and proud he was of her and it helped her be more confident with them. When they had exhausted themselves they sat on the edge of the lake and ate. “You did an amazing job, my love.” Siavash said.
“Thank you, but your mom taught me.” She replied.
“Siavash is right, you really did amazing. You’re a natural.”
“See, you’re amazing.” Siavash pressed a kiss to her cheek then turned her head and kissed her lips. He pulled back and she was immediately lost in his eyes. She hoped their children got them, they were so beautiful. “I think I’ll be bringing you back here tonight. You’ll love the stars.”
“Okay, sounds good.” He smiled and went back to eating and she did her best to calm her thundering heart.
They enjoyed the rest of the day with his family then Siavash took Emma back out as he said he would that night. “so I really don’t mind if you want to bring your brother home with us” Emma said as they rode through the desert. “truly?”
“yeah, he seems nice”
“Good, I’m glad to hear that baby”
“I’m just glad this is all going so well. I knew I’d like your family, I just didn’t know if they’d like me”
“well now you know, they think you’re great and are happy for me” When they arrived back at the oasis Siavash laid a blanket down then settled on it with Emma. The stars truly were gorgeous out here but she didn’t know anywhere they weren’t amazing to gaze at.
“I used to do this all the time as a boy, I’d ride one of the horses out if I’d had a particularly bad day and just sit here.”
“It’s truly beautiful.”
“I’m really happy I get to share it with you.” He reached up and gently stroked her cheek. “You’re so beautiful.” His voice softened as he leaned down and kissed her. All of his love and lust washed over her, his complete adoration and pride in her. He pushed her gently down, his hands already pushing at her clothes.
He explored every inch of her under the stars, so consumed in one another they didn’t worry about somebody stumbling upon them. “Oh Siavash” she said weakly as she neared sleep. He chuckled “I’ve been wanting you so badly. It was hard to wait” She smiled and moments later she was away in dreamland. Siavash kissed her head then covered them up before allowing himself to rest. Over the following days Emma got to meet Aunts, Cousins, Uncles and even just childhood friends of Siavash and Emma had a good time with all of them.
“I can’t believe this trip has whizzed by so fast” Emma said and Siavash answered “We still have two more days before we go back home”
“still, this has been amazing baby”
“Emma, Siavash, we have something for you two.” Helarion said over dinner. “Since we were not able to come to the wedding, we have decided to gift you one of Castor’s foals.”
“Really?” Emma said. “Are you sure, they’re still just babies.”
“We’ll keep her here until she’s weaned and then we’ll bring her over. I think it would be good to have one of his stock among your horses.”
“Thank you.” Siavash said with a smile. “She’ll definitely add something to the horses there when she’s old enough to breed.”
“Do you think she could be my horse?” Emma asked.
“Of course baby, we’ll even get you a saddle made for her.”
“Then when we have kids, I can take them on rides.”
He chuckled. “They’ll be riding way before they’re born.”
“Are you pregnant?” Ossian asked with and arched eyebrow.
“I don’t think so.” Emma said. “I mean, I wouldn’t know if I was. What? Afraid to ride on a ship with a pregnant woman?” She teased.
“You might toss me overboard if I say the wrong thing.”
She laughed “well then be nice to me and you wont have to worry, pregnant or not” Siavash laughed aswell, he was happy at this point she was comfortable enough to play with his family like that. “You two should start trying soon. I’d love to be a grandmother. I mean, do it when it feels right but I can see you two have a strong relationship and babies bring so much happiness. I will also assure you ahead of time you will survive the sleep deprivation of the first year. Somtimes it will feel like you might not but I survived twice”
“and Ossian there was the loudest baby”
“You’re not one to talk Siavash”
“I was the good baby right mother?”
“Ossian never bit me while eating.”
“See? You were just as bad.”
Emma laughed at them and rested her hands on her belly. She hoped she would get pregnant soon. There was a time when having children wasn’t really something she ever thought of. She had nieces and nephews, but she never wanted any for herself, not until Siavash had walked into her life. He had changed her so much and she was so much happier. When the day came for them to leave, she joined him for one last ride on Castor while Ossian made sure he had everything he’d need. She could feel that he would miss his horse immensely and she promised herself she would make sure they would come back. “Be a good boy, Castor.” Siavash said when he had the horse back in his stall. “But not too good okay?” Castor bumped him with his head and Siavash smiled. “That’s my boy and maybe next time we come back, we’ll have a little one you can give rides.”
Emma took her turn with the horse and he nuzzled her belly, making her laugh. “Silly boy, I don’t have any carrots.” She stroked his head. “I’ll see you again, thank you for letting me ride you.”
It was only a couple hours later when they were on a ship again and waving goodbye to his parents and a few relatives that came to wave them off. It was only when they could no longer even see land that they showed Ossian where he could call his room until they made it back then settled in their own. “That was wonderful, I feel so foolish for worrying as much as I did Siavash” He kissed her “well now that that;s over and we have a long trip back why don’t we start trying to make our own little family” Emma blushed and he chuckled before leaning down to kiss and lick her neck “Siavash” Emma moaned as she gave in to him.
He so easily made her weak and needy. They made love most the voyage home and the two hoped that they had managed to conceive a child. Regardless they were starting an amazing new chapter in their lives. She had met his parents and they were now going to have his brother around. He had already shown himself to be a lot like Siavash so Emma knew that was going to make life a whole new level of interesting for her and the people of her brothers kingdom.
~ The End