A Slave to the Servants Ch. 29byDoctorWolf©
Welcome back, loyal Lit!
This chapter is all plot (no sex) and it isn't really a pick me upper - fair warning. We're about to make some real progress in the story, though!
Many thanks to Steve150177 for his tireless efforts to keep me consistent and readable. The proofreading has been invaluable for all of us.
Please read and vote! If you weren't able to vote last time...you could always vote now (hint, hint!). I know the system was up and down.
Thank you and please enjoy - DW.
Next installment should be out March 21
We washed little Jonathan the same way we had washed Kennedy.
I was fascinated by the light markings on the baby's skin. Unlike the men, who wore their stripes all the time, Jonathan's only appeared when he became upset. Now as we bathed and he was relaxed in the warm water, they were invisible and he was as pale as me.
Evan held Jonathan as his Brothers cleaned his baby's body thoroughly. They handled him so carefully, but Evan was still protective. He demanded Kein be the one to clean his hair.
"It is matted and stuck together. You have the best hands, Brother. Clean it without causing him pain," Evan instructed Kein solemnly.
After our bath our baby was diapered in an absorbent towel. He was then dressed in an outfit that Nu-reeh had sent for him. It was like a bag with arms. The men told me once he started to move around small pants would be brought for him. For now, this was warmer and safer.
"This leather," I said touching the smooth brown of the outfit, "it feels like..."
It felt like the coat Nu-reeh had made for me.
I was surprised when Damien answered the unasked question. "It is like your coat," he said putting mittens of similar consistency on Jonathan's tiny hands. "Tosu told us the men that make his clothes will always beat the material until it is soft. Still it will give him great protection against sharp things."
Small lashes were tugged to secure the little mittens to his hands. Evan made sure they weren't too tight. A cord was present under his feet and when it was tied it encased his legs in the outfit. A small hood was attached and fitted over his head. One of the large soft blankets I had made was handed to me and we wrapped him tightly for warmth.
Clean, dry, and secure Jonathan looked up at me with those strange blue eyes.
"It is Evan's line," Kein said looking down into the baby's face as I held him. "All males born to it have eyes that look this way. It is a dominate trait, like the hair."
Little Jonathan started to fuss, so Evan took him and let him suck on his finger. Big eyes drifted shut and the infant was back asleep.
"Come, little Sister," Bane said happily, "take a meal with us."
My form was draped in a warm blue dress and we walked slowly out into the main room. I saw a table and chairs had been added so we could eat in here.
"We are not to travel in the caves with Jonathan," Damien informed me. "The women want him in a safe place at all times."
That was fine for me. I was just as glad not to have to drag an infant all over the mountain. It had been difficult enough with Hannah and Kennedy.
The men were beyond excited as they sat and uncovered the feast that had been brought to us. The table was laden with platters. We would eat very well tonight.
As soon as they started to remove the lids I smelled the pungent aroma of the leaves.
"Eight days," Evan said excitedly, "this mountain receives the bounty of the tami for eight days. All the men get this treat. It is a celebration."
"Strange," I commented taking a seat beside Evan, "we've never had a feast like this before."
"No sons were born when we were here before," Damien said pulling the meat apart and laying a large serving in front of me.
I sat silently in shock. We'd spent many moons in the mountains. Long enough to raise two girls. No sons had been born that entire time? The men had sex with women daily, how was it no children were born to these women?
The race would cease to exist if this kept up.
It made sense now, the need to mix genes with a weak human. At least I was making children. The women here did not seem to manage it.
Our first night with Jonathan was interesting, to say the least. He got fussy after we had dinner, so I fed and changed him. He was fine for a little while and then he got fussy again. The men soon learned how nice it had been with Hannah and Kennedy, the girls could at least tell us what was wrong.
Jonathan cried and screamed for no reason. He didn't want the breast, he wasn't wet, and we were keeping him warm. Just like a human infant, he was irritable.
In the middle of his wailing Nu-reeh appeared, which frightened my family and me. Damien and his Brothers stood between Nu-reeh and our son, until she promised not to hurt me or the babe.
They watched her carefully as she checked him over. Huge, taloned fingers examined his soft flesh and touched him delicately. I feared for myself and for my family, but Nu-reeh did not wish to harm any of us. She just wanted to be sure Jonathan was well. The screaming she expected, to some extent.
"He will be a difficult young man," she said handing him back to me. "Walk him," she instructed the men. "It should calm the child."
The men were shaking they were so angry after Nu-reeh left. Evan leaned over and passed a gentle hand across his wailing child's face. His other hand cupped my cheek. With utter tenderness he kissed me and then kissed his son. Nu-reeh had no right to touch us as she had.
"She is correct," I grudgingly admitted to them. "Babies on Earth are often soothed by movement. Walking and rocking him may calm him."
The men took turns the first night walking Jonathan. I was ordered to stay in bed and rest. Exhausted as I was, I complied easily with the edict.
Jonathan stayed calmer as they paced the interior of our cave. I'd sleep until they determined it was time to feed him. After I was done, I was tucked back in to sleep while another of them walked the baby for a while. Moving around was the only thing that kept him calm.
The night passed fitfully, but at some point it got quiet and I felt myself fade into a complete sleep.
"Damn it!" Bane cursed and jumped out of bed.
I was startled awake and looked for my son. He and Evan were gone. I tried not to panic as I followed the men out of our living area. There was no one walking by the pool.
"She's going to skin us," Damien ranted walking faster.
The men had not bothered to dress and still wore their simple sleeping shifts. I wore my crumpled blue sleeping gown and no foot covers or boots. We were half dressed at best.
"Where is Jonathan? Where is Evan?" I asked in a slightly frantic voice.
"He told us he was walking the boy," Kein grumbled. "He told us to rest and let him take the last shift."
Bane growled and answered the question, "He won't listen to us. Evan wants to show his boy the moons. He's taken him to an opening in the mountain."
The men ran and I tried to keep up. It was obvious that I was not going to be able to. Christof waited until I caught up, then scooped me up and ran with me in his arms.
We rounded a bend and there stood Evan at a large opening in the rock wall. He turned when he heard us and smiled. Evan was dressed and Jonathan was wrapped and laying in his arms. The little one sucked contentedly at Evan's finger.
"Hiding things," Damien said coming to stand beside Evan, "is not good, Brother. You knew we would not want you to do this. Nu-reeh does not want the child out of our section."
Evan shrugged and grinned back at his Brother. "He needs to see the moonset," Evan explained simply.
I wanted to reach out and grab the baby to take him back to the warm safety of our apartments. The contented look on Evan's face as he looked down at Jonathan stopped me.
It made sense suddenly. Of course Evan would want to show his son his first full day. This was important to Evan. His life revolved around the pattern of the moons.
Damien leaned on one wall as Bane and Kein leaned on the other side. Christof set me down and then he bounded back the way we'd come.
I shivered and stepped close to Damien who wrapped me in his arms.
"My Brother will bring your warm outfit," he murmured into my hair.
Cold morning air whipped into the cave and I looked over at my son. He was warm and covered, not at all bothered by the weather. The cold wind immediately made me miserable. Damien's warm arms helped, but it felt as though my bare feet would freeze and drop off.
The world's moons took the pattern they always did before they set. I stood and watched with Damien as the first and smallest dipped below the horizon. Evan watched and spoke to the baby the entire time. He explained to the infant how the moons worked.
Jonathan's attention never wavered off of Evan. I assumed his eyes weren't developed enough to distinguish anything other than light and dark. He seemed to like the gentle, murmuring voice of his male breeder, though. Evan held his entire attention.
Christof ran up to us a moment later. He pulled my boots up my legs as Damien pulled the long jacket around me. The warm gloves were dragged up my arms and I sighed with relief. This time the bitter cold in the mountains was unbearable for me.
The second moon had started to set and the sky was becoming lighter when the rustle of wings interrupted us. Tosu had dropped from above and stepped into the cave next to Bane. Nu-reeh approached from behind us.
The women stood silently for a moment before Tosu spoke.
"You see, Nu-reeh," she said quietly, "this is how the women with beads say it is."
Nu-reeh made a sound like someone that had already had this argument to exhaustion.
"I explained the rules to them," she said directing the comment to Tosu.
"There was no danger," Tosu argued. "I have sat and watched the entire time they have been here. I will do it each time the male wishes to bring his young to see the sky. I knew what he was doing when he left their quarters."
The women had a staring contest as the sky got brighter and brighter.
"Wait for my Sister," Nu-reeh begrudgingly told us finally, "and she will take you to see moons rise and set. I forbid you to go alone, Evan."
"Yes, Mistress," the men answered her and she turned and left.
Tosu stood at the entrance to the cave, off to the side. I recognized the slightly defensive position and realized she was alert for danger. My young boy meant a great deal to these women.
The sky became much lighter and Jonathan gurgled and cooed reaching for the light. The sound absolutely melted my heart. I put a gloved hand on Evan's arm and looked at our little boy. He made the noise a second time and yawned big.
"It is not time for sleeping," Evan said softly. "Wake and see the morning."
"New children sleep at odd times," Tosu told him gently. "The little one will sleep when he is ready and wake when he is done. As he gets older he will follow the moons as you do. They often do not feel the pull until they begin to walk."
Interesting information and it seemed to calm Evan's nerves. He could not understand how his child wanted to sleep in the day. I was glad Tosu had taken the time to explain.
We took breakfast in our rooms once Evan was satisfied with Jonathan's introduction to the day. I fed the littlest member of the family as the men passed out plates of food to each other. Much to Evan's dismay Jonathan fell sound asleep after he nursed.
"The moons are set," Evan said sounding upset, "the sun is in the sky. He should not wish to sleep now."
Damien and Christof soothed him and reminded him what Tosu had said. They also remembered Hannah and Kennedy. It was normal for a baby to sleep after feeding. Jonathan had also been awake most of the night being cranky. Of course he would rest.
The family calmed Evan's fears and we had a very pleasant breakfast.
While Jonathan slept I took a chance to use the pad Kennedy had given me. I wanted to send both my girls a note about their birth brother. It seemed important they should know.
I should have known nothing about me was a secret on this world. I had three messages on the pad. Kennedy sent love and congratulations and so did Hannah. They'd heard of the successful birth while they traveled. A boy with Evan's talent made a strong family. Jonathan was already quite celebrated.
The third message was under Kennedy's account, but it was not from my girls.
Damien and his Brothers crowded around the pad to read the message. Tyle and his Brothers had escaped. Bane's son was living free beyond the mountains.
The young men thanked Damien and his Brothers for the education they had been given. Living outside the compound was very difficult. It would have been harder if they had known less.
"Men approached us," Tyle wrote, "as we were on one of our first solo patrols. They told us Hannah had sent them. We remembered what you had told us and we went with them willingly. They made it looked like we had fought them, though. The men ruined our transport from the compound, so it appeared we had battled."
My men were shocked how close to the compound the bandits came. Young Warriors were never sent very far. Tyle explained how the bandits used a series of underground tunnels to reach them. They had transports built that ran in the hidden spaces. The transports that ran underground were different from the ones above. Tyle told us they ran on something called ore. It was a harrowing ride to freedom deep beneath the surface of the planet.
Aryn sent his thanks to Bane and stated he wished to see him again. He told us his family missed the instruction from Damien's family. The boys had never met men that treated them as Damien and his Brother's did. Aryn looked forward to being together with us again.
Jonathan started to fuss after we'd read the message through for at least the fifth time. Evan handed me the tiny bundle and stroked his back.
"We will save you, too," he promised the baby. "You will not die this way."
Jonathan grew quickly sequestered in our mountain home. The first lunar cycle was the worst, because he had no order to his sleep and wake cycles. He slept a great deal in the day and wanted to be awake at night.
To be honest, I got the feeling Jonathan liked to be around Evan. He was always more lively and animated when his male breeder held him. My little boy knew exactly who he belonged to.
Despite understanding Jonathan, his schedule was still frustrating. My family's devotion was something I was unfailingly grateful for. The men had no issue taking turns at night to rock and hold the infant. When I'd had all I could take and needed to rest, they took over his care.
The men became good at recognizing Jonathan's sounds. They would cajole and rock him pacing the area by the pool. When the noises meant hunger, they'd bring him to me straightaway.
Evan never had an issue with caring for Jonathan. If the boy kept him up all night, he didn't really care. He'd do whatever was necessary to keep his little one happy and well. We all noted Evan's devotion and the bond that seemed to form between he and his son. In my heart I loathed the day Jonathan would be taken from us.
Rose and Fuji helped to entertain the infant and keep him happy during the day, once he finally was more awake then. His happiness was Nu-reeh's most important goal. When he screamed more often than not she appeared to ensure he was treated well. I felt I was under a microscope.
The scrutiny worried me at first, but I soon relaxed. Nu-reeh had no desire to bring me any harm. I fed Jonathan from my body and was his sole source of nourishment. I was as important as the young boy she already claimed, at least while he needed me.
My health and well being were still a priority. She watched what I ate and what I did every day. The men still came and watched me swim every day. It was much like when I was pregnant.
Also like during the pregnancy, my contact with my daughters was limited after Jonathan's birth. The girls had to ask permission to see us and Jonathan could not go out into the mines. My girls visited in our area for specified amounts of time. I knew Nu-reeh monitored us.
Nu-reeh had given the girls instructions. Jonathan could touch them if he wanted, but they were never to lay a hand on him. He was virtual royalty in our little world.
Jonathan crawled over the girls and tasted their fur. When they sat Indian style he liked to settle in the warmth of their laps and sleep. My little son adored his birth sisters and squealed with joy whenever they came to visit.
Not surprisingly, my girls were still at it. When they physically came to see me, they couldn't say much. The messages on the pad I got from them told me what they were doing to help the freedom effort.
As they traveled around they did different jobs, usually reconnaissance, for the rebel leaders. Hannah was also involved in rescues from the compounds. Just from the way she told me stories I knew she protected the men fiercely.
I didn't know exactly how human children grew, but I knew about Paterians. Much like his sisters Jonathan started to try to walk after his first moon. By that time, he finally wanted to sleep when the men did and wanted to wake when the moons sat. It was relieving to sleep at night, but walking brought new challenges to us.
Nu-reeh kept him well dressed as his needs changed. The day he started to stand she had little pants sent for him. As soon as the clothing got tight on his growing body, the right size was sent. She was very attentive to his needs.
Those strange big eyes began to look slightly more normal as he grew. His face seemed to grow around them. The long blonde hair framed his face, making him look almost angelic. He was a markedly handsome little man.
There were issues, though, and things I would never have considered I could screw up. Inadvertently I slowed his ability to speak. I sang to him and spoke around him in English. I didn't do it to be rebellious, I was just used to Hannah and Kennedy, who knew both languages.
For instance, when I knitted Jonathan was enthralled by the movement of the needles. He'd watch them carefully for a time and then reach out to grab them. What usually happened after that was a tug of war as half a morning's worth of knitting fell apart.
"Gimme," I'd say in English, laughing at his antics, "mine, not yours."
Jonathan learned the words from me quickly. When he started to babble it was a blend. Some of the words were Paterian and some English. Only Rose and I could truly understand the strange mixture of words and phrases that he started to use.
Nu-reeh was displeased at his language, but gruffly informed me it would be fixed at the Child Keepers. I swallowed the tears I wanted to shed and merely thanked her. Hannah and Kennedy would free my baby boy. One day he could speak any language he wished.
By the time the child had passed three moons, he could have been termed a devil. He was curious and strong. Evan brought him toys and he dismantled them. He threw his blocks and bent his puzzle pieces. His favorite trick was to drop things into the pool and watch them sink. Shiny stones the men brought him to play with were perfect for that. All in all, I could barely keep up with him.
Evan feared for the boy around the water and taught him to swim. It wasn't so much a lesson as a way to alleviate our fears. As it turned out, Jonathan had no fear of water and swimming in it came naturally to him. As soon as he was allowed to swim he'd swim down to the bottom and collect the things he'd thrown into the pool. Of course all he did was toss them back in to retrieve again. He'd play that game all day if I allowed him.