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Old 09-12-2006, 03:59 AM   #47
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Yes Hk will play babysitter. Believe it of not, the kids like him.

Chapter 12
Kirabaros and Atton had eased the pace of their stallions as they came over the last set of hills that led towards the villa. T3 warbled a grateful statement to the change of pace. The poor droid had been forced to keep up a rapid pace with the energetic stallions and had nearly tripped over obstructions along the path. His warbles were met by a response from Atton, “You aren’t wimping out on us huh ya trash compactor.”

T3’s response brought a response from Kirabaros, “Whoa there T3. I know you’ve called Atton a lot of things but that is a little extreme don’t you think? I don’t think being called a Hutt…”

“Hey! We’ve got a kid here,” Atton interrupted.

“One that you’ve put to sleep for the ride,” Kirabaros pointed out.

“Only for a little while. He should be waking right now,” Atton retorted. As if on cue, Morgan yawned and woke up.

At the same time, Kirabaros caught sight of his son pointing a little finger in his direction while facing his mother, aunt and uncle, and Dustil. He urged the stallion into a trot and headed towards the group who stood waiting. Atton followed suit and T3 gave what could be considered a groan and followed. When they were close enough, Kirabaros dismounted and asked, “Where is my Kanamoto?”

Upon hearing his pet name, Tulre ran forward and engulfed his father into a hug he said, “The Four Winds have brought you home.”

Atton had managed to dismount with the strange contraption still on his back. He was about to struggle out of it by himself but was helped by Kirabaros who disentangled himself from his son to lift Morgan out. Tulre got ecstatic and nearly shouted his greeting, which was in Avalonian. Morgan responded in the same language much to Atton’s surprise. The two went running only stopping to look at Lilah who nodded and followed and they headed towards more likely Lilah’s room. The adults watched, two of them in surprise, until Atton broke the silence, “Well I guess we don’t have to worry about keeping them amused.”

The table was cleared and the Kirabaros had lit the fire in the common room. HK and T3 were minding the children and there was a relative calm about the house. Michaela and Revan were in the kitchen making some tea while the men were talking quietly. Kirabaros was near whispering, “This is a dangerous situation Carth. You and I both know that she will say yes and go to Coruscant.”

“Well you have to convince her not to. You’re the diplomat,” Carth responded in a heated whisper.

“You know I can’t do that. The best I can do is to make sure that she is under Avalonian guard. Hell, I’ll do it,” Kirabaros responded solemnly. “I gave you my solemn oath the day you two wedded.”

Carth was reminded of a promise that a younger version of the man standing before him made. He had asked Kirabaros to stand up beside him and Kirabaros made the oath customary of that honor. Carth sighed at the memory and said, “I trust you. I always did and still do. I…I just…”

“Hey, he knows, we know,” Atton interrupted. “You do what you can for those you love.”

“Well said,” Kirabaros replied raising his left brow at Atton, “In order for this to work, it depends on total trust, secrecy and synchronization. Karas has a special place lined up but I’ll tell you three later.” Just then Michaela and Revan came from the kitchen with the tea. Settling down in the chairs, Kirabaros gave the rundown on what happened in the Senate.

“Well, there is little choice but for me to go back to Coruscant,” Revan said in that determined way of hers. “Of course Kirabaros will play bodyguard and there’s the council to speak to at Tyan-yu and the matter with the children…”

“Council of Lords will be easy enough,” Kirabaros began but got strangely nervous as he continued, “The kids can come with. They will be fine at the Temple and it will be easier to keep an eye on them.”

Under other circumstances, Carth would have exploded at the thought. After what Kirabaros revealed, he figured that it was his way of trying to keep them safe. Knowing this, he managed to keep his temper down as he asked, “You feel that it’s safer to keep the kids close?”

“Only if HK guards them,” Revan answered firmly. “I’m sure Atton will agree.”

“Uh, yeah,” Atton replied. Kirabaros had already asked him if he trusted him. Apparently he meant the walking tin can with homicidal tendencies. True he was worried at what he was going to do with his son. He didn’t want to leave him again but then he realized that part of the reason for this absurd suggestion was because of him. He cast a look at Kirabaros who, for the briefest of moments, looked tired and a lot older than his 25 years. He said, “I think that it would wok. The ship will be full of Avalonians and they are more willful than a Corellian. Anyway, our fearless leader knows what he’s doing.”

Kirabaros cast a grateful smile at Atton. He said tiredly, “The reason I suggest this and, I’m not gonna lie, insist on this is that it is the best way to protect them. For now.”

“You’ve never let us down before so we’ll play it your way,” Carth agreed. Until they knew what they were dealing with, it was probably best that the kids were with them. “Perhaps we should get some sleep if we are to get to Tyan-yu in the morning.”

Everyone else muttered an agreement and went to pick up their various sprats and put them to bed. Kirabaros was the only one who didn’t leave with them but instead trailed behind and watched as the sprats were put to bed by their respective parents. Michaela was waiting for him in one of the guest rooms, staring out the window, looking at the stars. He came up behind and wrapped his arms around her waist and hugged her while kissing her right temple gently. She leaned into his embrace and asked softly, “You sure about everything?”

“Not everything. This is different,” he replied, equally soft. He then changed direction by saying, “Something will happen more likely to me.” Her silence allowed him to continue, “I need you to take the reins, be that strong woman that I first met.”

Michaela didn’t face her husband but responded by pressing her body harder into his. She had noticed his tiredness and guessed that he had been having nightmares again. She didn’t expect that he would say that he might not make it but he didn’t need to be reminded that the future is always in motion. It was just one of possible futures. She replied, “By the spirit of my sisters, I will protect our little sprats.”


“Lilah, Morgan, and Tulre. I love them all.” Michaela heard the chuckle deep from his chest. She then said, “I suppose you want to do a few things before coming to bed. You better do them now. I’ll be waiting.” She then turned around and gave her husband a kiss. He responded with his love poured into the kiss. They hadn’t had that many tender moments together but whenever they did, he always showed her his love for her and their son.

After she broke the kiss, Michaela watched as he left for more likely the communications room. She looked down at her right wrist at the draigon pearl bracelet he had given her. The years against her skin had polished the pearls to a smooth and shiny surface that gleamed in the moonlight. She wondered if the woman who wore this before her had the courage to face anything, even the death of her loved ones. Will I be strong enough to face what comes? Can I protect that which is precious to me? She sat thinking of this while waiting.

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