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The sum of his day started out badly and ended with his brother walking away from him. Kuro was furious, which gave him plenty of reasons not to approach Tationy. He showered, changed, struggled with whether or not he should have stopped his brother. Could he take him? It was a question he asked himself often.

Nao, Togore, and Bak were powerful chaltas, but even with their skills they would be unable to hold off Mikio forever. Kuro on the other hand wielded none of the forces of nature. He could not bend it to his will no matter how many lifetimes he lived. Still, he could feel it and in some ways he was skilled enough to combat it.

With a sigh he stepped into his room and was disappointed when he realized Tationy was not there. Of course she would not be. It should not come as any surprise, but there he was disappointed that he would have to seek her out. It was not even worth knocking on the door as he stepped into her room, placed his hands to his hips, and stared at her.

She had taken off with Mikio against his wishes. Not to mention it turned out he was right. Tationy was pregnant. The timing could not be worse; it was one thing when he thought her protesting too much it was another thing to find out that she had went off into a dangerous situation with his brother while she was with child; regardless of how far along she was or was not.

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Her arms crossed over her chest, but she offered no words. That almost annoyed him more than the fact that she went off with his brother into danger. Kuro sighed as he sat himself down on her bed and eventually said, “Were you going to tell me?”

“What did you want me to say exactly? Oh, by the way Kuro that night we shared your bed, your sperm swam its way to my egg and within a few hours one of five hundred million managed to penetrate my ovum where our two genetic codes merged together to create something that is not quite a baby yet?”

“When you put it that way it does sound a bit foolish, but you should have told me.”

“I would have, but when I left, the egg had not even moved into the womb to nest. It is a bit difficult to tell a man there is a baby when…” She had stopped talking and allowed her eyes to scrutinize him, “You seem far too happy about this.”

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Kuro reached out and took her hand in his, “I am angry and irritated regarding a lot of things right now. The timing could not be worse, but we have never been very good at picking the right moments for things.” Kuro placed his other hand on top of hers, “Are you alright?”

“I think maybe I should be asking you that question,” She responded.

He sighed deeply. It was clear he was resigning himself to a conversation he did not particularly want to have, “I am the Elder of the Ishi and you went against my orders. Now, before you try to defend your actions, I want you to know I get it. I understand why you chose to go, but ….”

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“It won’t happen again,” Tationy interrupted.

“Why are you suddenly being so agreeable,” Kuro questioned.

“There was no certainty how the task Mikio undertook would go without me at his side. It was the only reason I went. Never was it about standing against the Elder of the Ishi or showing him disrespect. Nor did I choose to go with Mikio because he is the vessel of Rin. The power of Soti did not belong to that sin. If left unchecked he could do plenty of damage before being stopped. We were simply lucky he did not resist, but even with these eyes there is no way Mikio or I could know the outcome. Moving beyond the veil makes monsters out of men and demons into gods.”

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Kuro opened his mouth to respond, but forced himself not to speak when her hand rested upon his. “There are a lot of things we need to discuss, but if you would not mind. Could we save it for tomorrow?”

Concern knitted across his features, “Did something happen?”

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Her response was a simple kiss. Nothing overly passionate; very tentative and sweet. It felt similar to their first kiss many lifetimes ago. Mere moments passed before she broke it and rested her head to his chest, “Can we spend the remainder of our night in bed?”

“We can spend the rest of our lives there if you want,” He responded while his fingers teased her bare shoulder. Kuro felt as though there was something wrong. He tried desperately not to think too much into it, but the part of him that was always taking it all in and considering it could not let the feeling go.

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