As promised, here is chapter two! There will be no chapter next week, as I will be in Disneyworld! However, I will try to post the night I return. Meanwhile, enjoy!
Chapter 2 ~ Reunion
Dabria watched the shoreline intently. Captain Justin had told her yesterday they would be reaching the main land sometime today and Dabria didn’t want to miss a thing. She bounced excitedly as she watched. It had been so long since she had seen her sister and she couldn’t wait to get a great big hug from her. She wondered briefly what it was like to be pregnant and then she wondered if Tommy, her new brother, had changed her a lot. She had sounded okay in her letter, but you could put anything on paper and make it sound good. Dabria knew that for a fact. Her thoughts moved on to the problem of Evyn next. He was Kiliki’s real brother. Kiliki had said that just because Evyn and her were blood sister and brother, didn’t mean she loved Dabria any less, but what if she kinda did?
“What are you thinking?” Salena asked from her right side.
“About Evyn,” Dabria answered.
Salena nodded solemnly. She had been the first one to tell Dabria that Kiliki was not really her sister. It had slipped out by accident. Dabria’s parents had taken Kiliki in when she was one and had raised her as their own, never telling either girl of that fact. When Kiliki had been forced to run away or marry against her will, she had met Evyn, who had been searching for her. Evyn proved that they were siblings and when Kiliki had finally returned to Waverton, Dabria’s world had been thrown upside down. Her parents had never even adopted Kiliki as their own and greatly favored their own daughter above the girl they had taken in. But that had mattered little to Kiliki and Dabria who shared a close sisterly bond.
“We were always so close. Do you think Evyn will change that, Salena?” Dabria asked quietly.
Salena shook her head. “No way, Bree. Kiliki came back to help you when you were so sick, even though it meant she’d have to marry stupid Thanos. If Evyn had changed something, she never would have come back.”
Dabria nodded slowly, staring out at the sea.
Salena put a hand on her friend’s shoulder, “Besides, she sent for you just like she promised, didn’t she? And she wants your help with her baby. She has to still love you lots, Bree, she has too.”
Dabria took a deep breath and let it out. “Yeah, you’re right. I get to help with the new baby.”
Salena grinned at her.
“You too Salena, and we get to see Emalia again too!” Dabria said, speaking of Kiliki’s maid and a big sister to both girls.
“Land ho!” The call came down from high above them.
Dabria squealed and looked out, but she couldn’t see anything but more ocean.
“Don’t worry, Dabria, you’ll be able to see it soon,” Captain Justin’s voice said from behind them.
Dabria turned to him. “How much longer now?”
“Not too much. A few hours at most.”
“A few hours!” Dabria exclaimed. “But that’s forever!”
Captain Justin laughed. “No, it just seems that way. Promise, you’ll see the shore and then Kiliki real soon.”
Dabria huffed and turned around to watch again.
When the shoreline did come into view, Dabria stood at the rail, ready and waiting to get off. Behind her, her luggage as well as Salena’s was waiting for a quick off loading. Dabria bounced high and would move up and down the rail to make sure she didn’t miss seeing a single thing. Salena stood in one place, but her quick moving eyes brought all to her attention. It was she who called out first and pointed to a carriage waiting at the dock. Dabria’s high squeal brought many of the crewmembers to a stand still, but most shook their heads a second later, and went back to work bring in the ship to dock.
A half hour later, the gangplank was lowered. Captain Justin had to grab Dabria’s hand to hold her on the deck until it sat firmly on land. Only then, did he release her to go flying down it and towards the carriage. A man was helping her sister down from it as she ran up.
“Dabria!” Kiliki called at the exact moment Dabria hit her full force.
“Sissy! Sissy! I’m here! I made it! It was so much fun! And Salena’s here too! And Captain Justin was so nice! And are you really pregnant?” Dabria’s tirade stopped as she stepped back to examine Kiliki’s belly. “Yep, you sure are!”
Kiliki laughed. “Yes, I’m very much pregnant, Bree. Oh, it is so good to see you!” She wrapped her sister in another hug, much to Dabria’s delight. “Welcome to Triger, Dabria.” She paused and Dabria looked up to see her looking over her shoulder. “And you too, Salena.”
Dabria turned to see her friend standing off to the side with the luggage. She gave her a strange look, but Salena ignored it. Kiliki released Dabria, to put her hands on her hips.
“What? No hi?”
“Hi, Miss Kiliki. It’s so good to see you again,” Salena said softly with a smile.
Kiliki shook her head and grinned. “That is not the greeting I wanted Salena. Come here, I want my hug.” She held open her arms and within seconds Salena was in them. Kiliki held her close and whispered something in her ear that Dabria couldn’t hear. She’d have to ask her friend about it later. Kiliki let go of Salena with one arm to bring Dabria close to her again. “Now, you two listen, things may have changed a lot, but the one thing that will never change is how much I love the two of you. That goes for Emalia too. You both understand?” She waited until the girls nodded. “Good, now stop all that worrying. This is a fun trip! And now there is someone I want you to meet.”
Kiliki stood up and the man that had helped her out of the carriage came to her side. “Dabria, Salena, this is my husband Tommy.”
Salena curtsied and Dabria took a moment to study him as she followed suit. He was big. Taller than Kiliki and he had long brown hair. Dabria didn’t think anyone but pirates had that long of hair. Justin had long black hair. Tommy’s eyes were sharp too. They were gray, she didn’t think she had ever seen that color of eyes before, but then she didn’t always pay attention to that stuff either. He had a nice face and he was smiling. Dabria decided he had lots of stories to tell.
“Welcome, Dabria and Salena. It is good to finally meet both of you. Did you enjoy sailing on the Guardian Star?” Tommy asked as he put an arm around Kiliki’s waist.
Dabria nodded. “It was lots of fun. It’s so big too!”
Tommy laughed. “Yes, it is that. Are you both ready to go home now?”
“I haven’t seen Justin!” Kiliki protested before either girl could speak.
“I’ll ask him to drop by later, if he wasn’t already planning to. You have been standing for too long now, and I want you in that carriage and resting.” Tommy replied calmly, but firmly.
Kiliki stuck her tongue out at him, making both girls laugh. Tommy just shook his head and helped his wife to get into the carriage. She went without another word. Once seated, she called back out, “Come on girls! We have lots more chatting to do!”
Dabria grinned at Salena and Tommy quickly helped both girls inside. They sat next to each other on the bench across from Kiliki.
“So, tell me all about your trip!” Kiliki demanded with a grin.
Dabria immediately launched into a full description of the ship. She was just getting to the cannons when Tommy reappeared and climbed in. A few seconds later the carriage started to roll. Kiliki looked at her husband, who smiled at her and promised Justin would be by as soon as he finished a few things on the ship. Satisfied, Kiliki turned back to Dabria, who continued her description, with Salena filling in whenever she was needed.
She had managed to describe all but the final two days when they pulled to a stop. Dabria and Salena looked out the window and then at Kiliki who smiled.
“We have been staying at Aunt Jada’s townhouse until the baby is born. We want to be closer to the doctor in case something happens. But maybe Evyn could take you girls on a trip out to see the estates while you’re here. Next time you come up, we will be living out there again.”
Dabria shared a glance with Salena, then smiled at her sister and nodded. She was still nervous about meeting Evyn.
Tommy helped the girls climb down then led the procession up the steps. Dabria had to admit the house was pretty. The outside had lots of decorative woodwork and the color was mostly white with a blue trim. It also had two large bay windows and a large stained glass window above the double front door, behind which the chandelier could be seen. Three steps led up to a small white front porch. Tommy opened the door and ushered them all inside. The parlor was on the right and Tommy led them into it.
Dabria and Salena took a moment to look around. Two couples sat waiting and talking. Sitting on a couch to their left was an older woman and man. Across from them were a younger man and Emalia.
“Girls!” Emalia cried as soon as she saw them, jumping up.
The two younger girls raced towards her and threw their arms around her waist. She gave them both long hugs. “I have missed you both so much!”
“We missed you too,” they both said at the same time, which caused some of the others in the room too laugh.
Kiliki came up to stand next to them. “It feels so good for us all to be together again,” she said with a smile.
The other three nodded their agreement.
“Why don’t I introduce you to the rest of the people in the room, okay? Later, we’ll find some time for just the four of us,” Kiliki promised.
Dabria nodded and took her sister’s hand possessively. Kiliki gave it a squeeze and then led her over to the older gentleman with Salena right behind.
“Dabria, Salena, this is Sahen. He was Tommy’s first mate on the Guardian Star, but agreed to stay with us when we came to the estates. He lives on the Brent estate with Evyn now.”
The older man took their hands one at a time and gave them a warm smile. “I have heard much about the two of you girls. I am looking forward to spending time with you both.”
Dabria and Salena smiled at him. Dabria felt more at ease. He seemed like a nice grandfather type.
Next, Kiliki took them to the older woman. “This is my Aunt Jada.”
Aunt Jada smiled at them. “I’m Tommy’s aunt. So, that means I am your aunt too. I have got great plans for us! I was thinking a tour around town, shopping, of course we must go horseback riding, and I can’t wait to hear all your stories about Kiliki. I’m sure you both have some great ones to tell!”
Dabria and Salena laughed, while Kiliki groaned. “Let them settle in first!” She exclaimed.
“Nonsense, settling in is boring. Exploring, now that is fun!” Aunt Jada exclaimed.
Dabria grinned. Her new favorite person was Aunt Jada. She saw Salena cast her a look and realized her friend knew trouble was on the way. Dabria decided to ignore her for now.
She tightened her grip on her sister’s hand when they turned to the last person. There was only one person in the world this could be and Dabria was still unsure she wanted to meet him. This time Kiliki sat on the sofa, next to him and smiled at her sister.
“Bree, Salena, this is my brother, Evyn.”
Dabria gave him a small smile, behind her she felt Salena take a step closer to her.
“So this is the infamous Dabria and her sidekick Salena. It is indeed a great honor to meet two people as famous as yourselves. Would you mind sharing some of your trade secrets with me? I understand you are excellent eavesdroppers and I really need to brush up on my skills. Please, please help me!” Evyn put his hands together in a pleading motion.
Dabria couldn’t help laughing at him. She could feel Selena behind her shaking slightly and knew she was giggling too. Kiliki smacked her brother on his arm, but he ignored her and kept looking at Dabria with lost puppy dog eyes.
Dabria grinned at him. “I’ll help you if you tell me your trade secrets too.”
Evyn gave her a huge smile. “You’ve got a deal!”
He held out his hand and the two shook, firmly sealing a great new friendship.
Over the next few hours and milk and cookies everyone caught up on what they had missed. Kiliki told her sister what had happened after they had parted ways and both girls were sworn never to tell anyone that Tommy had been the Black Panther before Justin. Dabria rather liked being in on such a large secret. Dabria and Salena returned the favor of news by informing them on everything they had overheard at the latest parties. Their descriptions kept everyone laughing.
Dabria was surprised when a boy about her age came into the room to announce that dinner was ready.
“Thank you, but where is Aradon?” Aunt Jada asked.
“Calming the cook down, Milady,” the boy said sheepishly.
“And what did you do?” Tommy asked the question.
“It wasn’t my fault!” He replied quickly. “I didn’t know the mouse was under that barrel.”
Evyn laughed out loud as the boy scurried out the door. Aunt Jada shook her head smiling and quickly ordered everyone into dinner.
“Who was that?” Dabria asked Salena, but her friend shook her head.
The two followed everyone into the dinning room directly across the hall. Tommy sat at the head with Aunt Jada on the left and Kiliki on his right. Next to Aunt Jada sat Sahen and then Evyn, and finally Salena. Emalia had the spot next to Kiliki and Dabria sat next to her. As soon as they were seated and Tommy had said grace, Dabria turned to Emalia.
“Who was the boy?”
Emalia smiled fondly. “That was Tadi. Aradon, the butler, is his father. He can almost be as big of a handful as the two of you,” she said, smiling across the table to Salena.
“We are going to have to meet this kid,” Dabria decided out loud.
Salena nodded her agreement, but she didn’t say anything because she was busy chewing on her food. Dabria decided to follow her example, now that her curiosity had been appeased, she was starving.
They were almost halfway through dinner when Captain Justin appeared in the doorway protesting, “I tried to leave them behind. But they flat out refused! Sorry.”
Dabria looked behind him and saw a grinning Maath and Namid. Jada promptly clapped her hands together and called out, “Oh, goody, more people for dinner! Aradon, we need three more places!”
Aradon and Tadi came into the room and within seconds three more places had been set. Dabria watched it happen amazed. Everything moved so quickly that she realized it must be a normal thing for them.
“Sit, sit! Tell us all about your trip!” Aunt Jada exclaimed waving them to their seats.
Captain Justin ended up next to Dabria and he grinned at her. “So, how are you enjoying your trip so far?”
“It’s amazing!” Dabria replied happily.
“Good, pass the chicken please,” Captain Justin smiled.
Dabria did so and then let the conversation flow around her as she observed everyone at the newly enlarged table. Maath had been seated next to Justin. She liked him. He was fun and teased her, but he let her do anything she wanted on the ship and she’d learned a lot from him. Namid seemed wiser to her, but she knew he could tease as well and she had seen him have fun on the ship. Both were helpful and kind to her and they both seemed to know what to do in any situation on board.
She glanced at Justin who sat next to her. He was okay too. She was glad he had come to get her to bring her too Kiliki’s. She had had so much fun on his ship and she couldn’t wait to get back on it, except that meant she was going home, and she could wait for that part. Still, Justin was too serious a lot of the time. She wondered if there was a way she could make him smile more. She decided to think about it later.
She smiled across the table at Salena, who sat directly across from Justin. She was so glad her friend was with her. It made everything more special and fun to be together. Movement next to Salena caused her to turn and look at Evyn.
He was concentrating hard. He had claimed everyone’s glasses who had finished and was attempting to make a tower out of them. He winked at her when he noticed she was watching and she smiled back.
“Evyn!” Kiliki called suddenly. “You are going to break something!”
“Only if you startle me,” Evyn said calmly, putting another glass on top.
Dabria glanced at her sister, who as shaking her head. She grinned and went back to watching Evyn. He couldn’t be in that much trouble if he was going to continue.
“You know, it’d be sturdier if you made a pyramid instead of a tower,” Kiliki pointed out a few minutes later.
Evyn cocked his head to the side and examined his creation. “You’re right. Thanks.” He promptly started to disassemble it.
Dabria looked at her sister in surprise, but Kiliki just shrugged.
“He’s not going to stop. At least this way there is less of a chance of them breaking,” Kiliki said softly.
Dabria laughed and watched Evyn begin to reassemble it. Emalia pointed out that it looked better with pink tinted glass on top and Evyn gave her a smooth grin. Dabria watched Emalia blush and grinned herself. She quickly got Salena’s attention and pointed out Emilia’s face. Salena’s eyes got wide for a second before she glanced quickly down at her plate to smother a giggle. They were going to have fun with that later on.
Dabria’s thoughts where interrupted when the peach pie was set in front of her. Evyn’s tower was quickly abandoned as he dug in. Dabria noticed Emalia watched him for a second before beginning on her own piece. She smiled. She was glad Emalia was here. Emalia had always been another sister to her, especially when Kiliki was gone. It wouldn’t have seemed right if she wasn’t with them too.
Evyn covered a burp and muttered excuse me as he want back to his tower, this time with Justin and Maath adding their own cups and helping hands. Dabria watched for a few more seconds, before turning to watch Sahen. He was older, and Dabria got the feeling everything he said was treated with respect. He was serious too, but in a grandfather way, and it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. During the course of the evening, Dabria had recognized a few Bible verses he used without really trying. She wondered if she could stump him on one.
Aunt Jada laughed at something he said then and Dabria grinned. She had a feeling there was more going on between them. And even at ten, she usually wasn’t wrong when she guessed that. A fact she was proud of. Aunt Jada was the best. She was funny, and active, and neat. Dabria wondered if she really went horseback riding or if she was going to watch. Dabria didn’t really care as long as she could go. Aunt Jada called a question down to Namid, who smiled and answered. Aunt Jada hadn’t stopped smiling since Justin and the others had come in. She had quickly realized that Aunt Jada was the happiest when there was a large rowdy crowd for dinner.
Dabria smiled as her gaze past her sister and fastened on Tommy. Of all the people she had met so far, he was the only one she still didn’t know what to think about. He could put expressions on his face at will. Sometimes he looked happy or something, and then his face would be totally blank. She wished she could figure him out more, but it was obvious he loved Kiliki. And that was the most important thing, that and getting the last piece of pie before Evyn noticed there was one.
She was just reaching for it, when a hand shot out and took it away. She looked at Justin in surprise.
He grinned at her and asked, “Do you want to split it with me?”
She nodded her agreement and accepted her half of the juicy peach fruit pie. She was defiantly going to like being a part of this family.
Dabria motioned for the already silent Salena to be quite. She nodded her head anyway. The two sneaked out of their room at the front of the house and quietly passed the doors to Emalia and Kiliki and Tommy’s rooms before gaining the stairs.
They had been sent to bed a half hour ago because of their long day, but they hadn’t had a chance to corner the Tadi kid and Dabria wanted that done before she could go to sleep. So, Dabria had decided to find him. They made their way downstairs without incident and paused at the bottom to listen for voices. Laughter came from both the parlor and the library, so Dabria motioned to the dining room. Salena squeezed her hand in response and the two skirted into the doorway. They crawled around the long table and poked their heads into the kitchen.
All was quite, and Dabria crept forward. A clang on the left caused both girls to freeze. A soft gasp made them glance at each other. Dabria stuck her head around the large table in the center and saw a dark head duck out of sight. Dabria looked at Salena with a grin.
She stood up and walked around the table. “Hello Tadi.”
The dark skinned boy whipped his head around. “Oh! Miss Dabria! I um, I didn’t know you were here.”
She grinned at him. “I could tell that. How old are you?”
“Um, eight and a half,” he replied slowly.
“You’re not sure?” Dabria asked smiling.
“No, I’m sure,” Tadi replied. He looked over her shoulder to Salena.
“Oh, this is my best friend Salena,” Dabria introduced her.
Salena gave him a smile and a small curtsy. Tadi’s eyes got wide.
“You’re a servant too?”
“I am Dabria’s personal maid,” she replied calmly.
“Oh,” Tadi finally replied.
“What are you doing?” Dabria asked, looking up to the top of the cabinet.
“Cook usually hides the leftover desert up there. And there are always leftovers. I wanted a snack,” came the explanation.
“Don’t you need a chair?” Dabria questioned.
Tadi shrugged. “I wouldn’t have if the empty pot was the one with the pie. She must have put it farther back.”
“Let’s get a chair and get it then,” Dabria said, already looking around.
It took her a moment to realize Tadi hadn’t moved.
“You’re going to help me?” Tadi asked, his eyes wide with surprise.
“Of course, we can’t have any pie if we don’t,” Dabria stated matter-of-factly.
Tadi swung his gaze to Salena, but she just offered a shrug. “This is normal, get use to it.”
“Wow,” Tadi commented, before going to get a nearby chair and placing it under the cabinet. “Okay, if one of you steadies it, I can climb up and get the pie.”
Salena grabbed onto the chair and Tadi climbed up. By standing on his tiptoes he was able to successfully reach the pie, but when he stepped back his foot slipped and he came crashing down. Dabria grabbed the pie out of harm’s way but it was Salena who broke Tadi’s fall when he landed on top of her.
“Oaf,” Salena head as the air was forced out of her body.
Tadi sat on top of her stunned for a second before scrambling off of her lap.
“I’m so sorry, Salena. I tripped. Are you okay?” He offered a hand and the girl stood up slowly.
When Salena finally smiled and nodded she was fine, Dabria declared, “Good, now let’s eat some of this pie.”
She laid it on the long table and Tadi brought a knife. He cut off three small sections and handed one to each of the girls before taking one himself. The three quickly enjoyed the pie of their labors.
“This is even better than what we had at supper,” Dabria decided out loud.
“That’s ‘cuz we had to work for this one. Least, that’s what my dad is always telling me,” Tadi replied, around his own mouthful of food.
“It is really good,” Salena agreed.
“Tadi, do you do this often?” Dabria asked suddenly.
Tadi swallowed and answered, “Whenever I get hungry. I have to be careful though or Cook gets mad at me. Then I’m not allowed in the kitchen for forever.”
“What are you thinking, Dabria?” Salena asked suspiciously.
“Nothing. Just that we should do this more often. Like once a week, or something.” Dabria answered thoughtfully.
“Once a week? Why?” Salena asked.
Dabria shrugged. “’Cuz its fun.”
Tadi grinned. “It’s okay with me. Then if we get caught Cook might not punish me with you two down here too.”
Dabria laughed. “Well, I don’t want to get punished, but I usually don’t get caught either.”
“Wish I didn’t,” Tadi muttered.
Dabria threw an arm around his shoulder. “We’ll teach you, Tadi. Just you wait.”
Tadi shrugged his shoulders with a grin. “Sounds good to me.”
Dabria looked at Salena, who just shook her head. “You know if you do it, I’ll be right with you.”
“It’s a deal then. We better put the trays back. Staying in one place too long gets you caught,” Dabria informed Tadi importantly.
Tadi nodded solemnly and with the girl’s help managed to put the kitchen back into shape. Dabria put her finger to her lips and whispered, “Until next week.” Then the three kids snuck back out of the room, all three looking forward already to next week’s late night snack.