The second Blue Flame novel –
There is a wiki database to reference names, although you can certainly ask me questions as well.The Other Side of Life
Chapter Seventeen: Part One
Vefillaya felt that she could use some rest as well, but knew that her husband would not register her presence. The embrace she usually experienced in lying with him would not occur. His time in becoming comfortable in the unusual surroundings of her family, then having to deal with a completely alien environment, had completely worn out his endurance. Vefillaya thus decided to rest later, checked her appearance, then returned to the reunion.
As she left, her grandmother came to her and said, “Greg does seem as nice as all the reports about him claim.”
More than willing to support that statement, Vefillaya supplied some data. “Even from my first meeting with him, he was very kind.”
“From listening to your Uncle Wenelsa, I expected a little different personality. I however can see why you are so devoted to Greg. I want you to know that I approve of him, and I feel that your parents would as well.”
“Thank you, Grandmother.”
“Now, why aren’t you with your husband?”
Vefillaya felt that was a strange thing for the elder to say, but quickly came up with an honest reply. “He is so exhausted that he would not know that I was with him. I like being with him, as he will hold me. Right now however, he is just a limp doll.”
“Hold you? I do see that you put a lot of lotion on your skin.”
“He claims that he does not find me rough, but I don’t want to be rough either.”
“No. No woman does. How does he find… other parts of you?”
Vefillaya had to look around to check on the presence of any other listeners before saying, “We are not that different there. At least, not enough to prevent our enjoyment of each other.”
“Good, then I must say that things have worked out very well for you, Vefillaya. Keep coming back.”
“Coming back is completely dependent upon our schedule. If we can, we will.”
She looked at me, and seeing a serious expression I waited to hear what she would say. “Greg does seem to work hard.”
“Yes, Grandmother, at being a good diplomat overseeing the Apostle, and at things that no man was meant to see or do.”
“And he finds time for you?”
“Yes, Grandmother; he finds time to be with me. I am making friends, or learning who I really have as friends, but I do not feel that Greg is absent from my life. The stories that he tells when he returns are really amazing, but I can sense that he really is glad to be back and spending time with me.”
She nodded before moving a hand to touch me while saying, “That was why I was mad at Tebel. I felt that he was sending you off to where you would be alone.”
“I am sorry, Grandmother, but we both felt that I would live a life alone had I been made the consort of Uncle Wenelsa. I believe that more now. While Tebel could not have known what type of person Greg was, he felt that my place could not be worse. I believe that he was right. Of course, Greg has proved himself to be a fantastic choice, but I believe that had he been any less of a man he still would have provided more for me than Uncle Wenelsa.”
Vefillaya turned her head to look into the elder’s eyes. While her grandmother displayed no resistance to meeting her gaze, Vefillaya could not help but notice the eyes that were as gray as hers. The common heredity had revealed itself in more than just physical traits, as the elder lady and her husband had been there to support the orphans. Vefillaya had actually considered her grandparents as a blessing in her life, until it came out that they were pushing to have her given to Uncle Wenelsa. She thus really did not trust what she would do now. While the eyes continued to stayed locked upon each other, Vefillaya saw her grandmother’s head nod as she spoke.
“You and Tebel called it properly. Both of you deserve your respect. Take care of Greg, and see that he is able to rejoin our reunion, Vefillaya. I want to learn more about him.”
She could not help but smile while saying, “Yes, Grandmother. I will visit through dinner, then check on Greg. He should be able to come back out for our evening activities.”
As the elderly lady move off, another one only a few years older than Vefillaya came from where she had been sitting and sipping a glass of wine. “I don’t know what you told Grandmother, but I want you to know that you have my support.”
It was Eshalara, the wife of Vefillaya’s brother. The two did know each other, but Vefillaya’s relationship with Tebel was so close that she did tend to focus on him. Still, Eshalara had never stood in the way of her husband spending time and money on his sisters, so Vefillaya met her more than willing to share her company.
“Thank you. Tebel would tell me that he met resistance in sending me to try and become the wife for Greg, but it seems that whatever family politics were against it are turning in his favor.”
“He does seem to be a good man. Ignoring the reality of biology, how do you think your children would look?”
Taking time to think did not mean that Vefillaya had not considered the topic. A basic reply would however not support a longer conversation. She thus considered something to say that would enable the two to spend some quality time with each other.
“I doubt they would ever slow down enough for us to see what they look like.” After a short chuckle, Vefillaya added information. “I was always doing pranks, and Greg seems rather active as well.”
“Yes, I remember a number telling you that you were going to get hurt.” Things went quiet for only a moment before Eshalara asked, “How well has your body healed?”
“It had finished healing when I went to the Apostle. Greg has since used his power to clean up some of the mess left inside me. I don’t need any medicine now.”
“That is what Tebel told me, but I wanted to know just how much your husband could do.”
Vefillaya felt the topic was actually a safe one for conversation. She thus directed her sister-in-law back to where the lady had been sitting. Gaining a glass of wine for herself, she felt able to relax while answering the question.
“He cannot change reality. There are times when he is given the opportunity to direct the progress of life forms, but he comes back speaking of those periods knowing that he will not be around to see the actual results of his actions. It seems that most who gain a divine persona do not hold the position for long with few having the status for over a century.”
“So, the immortals are not immortal.”
Thinking about her own conversations with Greg, Vefillaya cheerfully replied, “The fact that things change seems to be a rule.”
Eshalara smiled in a manner that implied she also saw the humor before saying, “Well, the change to you seems to have been positive.”
“And we are grateful for your support. I believe that Greg is repaying Tebel.”
“I believe that our husbands are conspiring with their money to improve their financial situation. There are areas that Tebel cannot really be seen to influence, and the same with your husband, but the two areas do not overlap.”
“Yes, I know, but Greg does not really play in financial markets. He authorizes certain payments telling me that he is simply paying Tebel back for sending me to him.”
The expression from Eshalara indicated that she expected that it was Vefillaya that was not interested in finances, which she would not deny. “Well, Tebel is trusting Greg’s knowledge of certain sciences.”
“I know that they talk.”
“And I know that they are not talking during the reunion in order to not be seen as really being so close with each other.”
Vefillaya felt a need to put the topic more on something with which she did feel a concern. “Still, Tebel and I are close, so we should spend more time with each other. I guess that we need to visit.”
“Your nephews and niece would also love to spend time with the both of you.”
That put the conversation on something Vefillaya did care about. She not only talked about Tebel and Eshalara’s children, but asked about those of her older sister. She was glad for the topic upon seeing her Uncle Wenelsa’s wife, Aunt Negarell, approach.
The lady joined in the discussion of children, mentioning her own, until finding her opening to ask, “Vefillaya, how often do you and your husband speak with the emperor?”
“The emperor? As an official ambassador for the union, I know that some matters are brought to his attention, but I cannot say that they actually speak.”
“You have spoken to the emperor.”
No, that had not been a question, but Vefillaya knew that certain matters around her gaining the position as Greg’s wife had forced some major interactions. “Yes, and Greg and I like the man. The cladastians, who work for Greg and are considered friends, do not however. There are others about the ship who have had their own dealings with the emperor, so discussions of the man can get rather entertaining.”
The fact that the lady took the answer as a general ‘yes’ was understood by her saying, “So you should know that he is having difficulty in the polls due to a belief that he is moving too slow in demonstrating power to certain parties.”
“Emperor Hastitat promised Calliope that he would resign his office and devote his time to his family. What contact I have had with him indicated that he was determined to keep that promise, since it was originally spoken to his deceased father. It is thus my belief that the emperor is simply hoping to keep things subdued until after the election, then whoever gains his office will be not have to deal with a serious situation.”
Eshalara took up for me by saying things in support of my position. I did speak to my brother, so knew that he had heard and agreed with my conclusions concerning our ultimate political leaders. What my sister-in-law said indicated that she spoke to Tebel as well, and also formed a similar viewpoint.
Aunt Negarell listened to the commentary, then replied, “Well, I believe some things cannot wait. As with the Offlanians, waiting only gives them time to prepare. We have power available to us, so should take advantage of it and set things right.”