Copyright: This story is copyrighted to the author Ó 1999 by T.Novan. Do not use any part of this story without my written permission. I may be contacted at TNOVAN@aol.com
Sex: This story contains scenes of two women making love. <smile> If this offends you, please dont read my story. There are plenty of other wonderful stories out there.
Violence: There are scene of violence in this piece. If that offends please move on.
Comments: As always welcomed at TNOVAN@aol.com
The Claiming of Ford
Ford tended the scratches on her shoulder, before slipping into her tunic. "Gotta get that woman to cut her nails." She mumbled, fastening up the shirt. It always felt really good when she got scratched, but taking care of them after was painful.
The tall woman continued around their bedchamber preparing to go to the ship and check equipment and cargo being loaded. She considered wearing her weapons, then decided against it. "Youre a diplomat now." She snorted, re-hanging her weapons rig. "Try to remember that."
She looked in the mirror. Trading a military jumpsuit for clothing she hadnt worn in a long time she felt somewhat off her mark. The non-combative attire did not agree with her own vision of self-being.
"Do you know what you need?"
She smiled, never turning around to face Marra. It seemed that her spouse always knew when she was needed most. "No. Tell me, my love. What do I need?"
"You need to meditate and spend some time with Capri. You havent been to worship since we got here."
"You," Ford turned, raising a brow. "Are very correct. I think it may be time for a meditation walk as well. I dont feel centered. My balance and concentration are off."
"Then, now might not be the best time for a meditation walk." Marra half grinned, remembering the first time she had prepared those coals and watched Ford walk over them. "Maybe just the meditation and worship for the moment." She paused, moving to her spouse and caressing her cheek. "You look tired."
Ford nodded, then sighed, closing her eyes and leaning into the palm that warmed her face. "I am tired my love."
"Youll make yourself sick if you dont "
A dark brow went up, eyes narrowed, Marra dropped the subject. "I promise to be in bed early tonight."
"And I promise to let you sleep." Marra chuckled.
That brow went up again. "Ill sleep better if Im properly relaxed, you know." Ford wrapped her arm around Marras waist, turning her for the door. They strolled out of their room and down the hall toward the staircase.
"By the time we get back, youll be so tired Im sure you will manage just fine without my help.
"Well see." She huffed a bit in a mock tone. "So, how are the hatchlings?"
"They are fine, but I think the little gold one misses you. It is eating, but not like it does when you feed it. The black one has a voracious appetite and has almost doubled in size in just a few days."
"Ill feed the little gold one tonight before I go to bed."
"Thank you darling. I was hoping you would volunteer for that."
"Well, you and Judith have done a tremendous job of taking care of them. I can at least offer to help once in a while." Ford gave Marra a little nudge with her hip as they descended the staircase.
As they stopped in the landing Ford watched out the window as the transport landed on the pad, waiting to take her to the ship. She kissed Marras temple. "Would you like to go with me and see what will shortly become our home for the next several months?"
"Id like that very much." She smiled at her spouse, noticing for the first time the small lines that seemed to have formed around her eyes almost over night. This only served to enhance the look of fatigue she had noticed earlier. "Ford, are you feeling all right?" The blonde was becoming increasingly worried about her partner.
"Im fine darling. As you said before, just a little tired and in need of an early bedtime tonight." She pulled Marras cloak down from the hook near the door, draping it over her shoulders. "Shall we? Our ride is here." She winked at her spouse, pulling the door open for her.
* * *
While Ford checked the cargo and the rest of the ship, Marra checked their living quarters. She was happy to find them large and well appointed. She was pleased that the entire deck had been designed as living quarters for them and the staff they would bring aboard. She wondered if any of Fords other wives would be joining them.
Realizing, that as First Wife, it was her responsibility to know these things without asking, she sat down at the desk in the office of their personal quarters and pulled up the passenger list on the data link. Indeed, the entire family would be traveling with them. She made a mental note that it was time to get to know some of Fords other wives.
It was going to be a long trip and they would expect to interact with Ford during the journey. She would make sure that Ford had nothing to be ashamed of by choosing her as First Wife. So far, she had fulfilled all of her obligations to the royal house. She was grateful to have such a remarkable and trustworthy assistant in Judith. The woman had the answers to all of Marras questions and if she didnt know them, she certainly knew where to find them.
"Lord Kurrathian to Lady Kurrathian." Fords voice over the com panel nearly startled her out of her skin.
She tapped the com link. "Yes?"
"Would you please join me in the cargo hold?"
"Of course. Ill be there in a few moments."
* * *
"And this is?" Ford waved her hand at a stack of cargo containers, marked Lady Kurrathian Personal
Marra scratched her throat, pursed her lips and tried to think of a really good explanation. "Umm, furnishings for our quarters."
"Our quarters are furnished."
"Yeah, but these are things meant to just make us more comfortable and to "
Ford held up her hand. "Dont. When you were brought to me as a slave I told you I always expected you to tell me the truth. Why would you lie to me now that you are my wife? Ive had members of my own society try to tell me you were here to sabotage and hurt me and Ive refused to believe them and I have defended you at every turn, and now you lie to me?"
Marra took a deep breath. Fords words, hitting her squarely in the chest, made her heart hurt.
"Its not like that. I swear to you."
"Then what is it? Dont make me open the containers."
"Its furniture for the baby."
"What baby?" Fords voice was strong, thick and frightening to Marra.
"The baby that Im carrying."
"That cant be. You were pure when you came to me. I took that gift myself after we were married." She took a step back when Marra stepped forward. "Have you been with someone else? Garron Richards perhaps?"
"No! Ford, by Capri, no! Never. This is your baby."
"I am capable of many things Marra, but impregnating you, isnt one of them."
The blonde nodded, knowing now was a time to employ her ability to soothe with words. "Ford, my love." She spoke slowly and quietly. "I am fulfilling my obligation to the Second House by providing you with an heir. This is one of your own children. I am merely doing my duty by carrying it and giving it life."
The tall woman straightened, glaring around the room refusing to let her eyes settle on her spouse. She was trying to control her anger before it blew up around them both. She took a deep breath before speaking. "Did I ask you to do that?"
"No. But as I understand it, I am required to do it."
"That custom is archaic. I had no intention of holding you to it. Its ridiculous to bring a child into this mess. We are at war. What kind of life can I offer a child on a military cruiser?"
"Ford, we can offer a child many things and you can teach a child anywhere."
"Id rather not teach my child how to abandon ship or kill those who would challenge you." She began pacing around the room. She ran a very irritated hand through her hair. "You have put me in a very difficult position Marra. I should make you stay behind now. Youll be safer here than on a ship."
"Safer here, without your protection, than with you on a ship flying a diplomatic banner?" Marras heart began to beat double time and her stomach lurched at the thought of being left behind. "I didnt mean to upset you. I thought you would be happy."
"I am decidedly unhappy right now." Ford growled.
"Yes Ford, I can see that. I can feel that. I am sorry Ive made you unhappy, but Im begging you not to leave me behind." She took a step forward, gently laying a hand on Fords arm. "Do you really not want to be here when your child is born?"
The tall woman closed her eyes, dropping her head. "I dont know what I want right now."
"Lets go back to the house. You sleep and rest tonight. Tomorrow you can go to temple and meditate. Maybe Capri will give you guidance."
"All right." She looked at her spouse, seeing the tears that Marra was desperate to holdback made her heart hurt too. She palmed the smaller womans cheek. "Well work it out." She offered softly. "Dont get upset. Its bad for the baby." She leaned in, placing a very soft kiss to Marras cheek.
* * *
Marra returned from feeding the hatchlings. Even though Ford had once again offered to feed the gold one, she declined the second offer and just asked Ford to go to bed and rest.
She changed her clothes then moved to the bed. A soft light from the window broke across the bed, allowing her to see Ford lying on her side, covers pulled firmly around her shoulders. Marra slipped into bed. She curled up against Fords back, when she didnt feel and resistance she put her arm around her spouses waist. "I love you. I only wanted to make you happy. Make the Second House stronger by giving you an heir. If something happens to you, your line ends, and thats just not right. There is too much nobility that would be lost. These are the things you can teach your child. It doesnt matter where you are." She snuggled closer. "Please dont leave me here. I need you. This baby will need you."
Ford closed her eyes, allowing a single tear to escape.
The tall woman woke a short time later. Marra was still tucked tightly against her, but listening told Ford that her spouse was indeed sound asleep. Slowly, so she wouldnt wake Marra, Ford rolled over and looked into the serene face that met her.
"You little fool." She offered in hushed tones. "Why would you do this to us? A baby will only make a difficult trip more so. Its going to be hard enough as it is, without having to be concerned about you and a child." She ran her hand through Marras hair, brushing it back from her face. "I love you so much, but I dont want children. I cant have them in my life. Im a warrior, not a mother. Ive regretted the day they took me to the clinic. I knew this would happen eventually, but I figured it would be after my death. I never thought I would be faced with a child of my own."
* * *
"Which of you did this!" Ford demanded, as she made her way into to the clinic.
The entire staff froze in place when the angry voice cut through the air. They all turned very slowly toward the tall angry woman. No one offered an answer. Of course, it was hard to give an answer if one did not know the question first.
"Which of you," Ford walked slowly past each person, looking them all directly in the eyes. "Took it upon yourself, to use the harvested material and impregnate the First Wife of the Second House, Lady Kurrathian?"
The senior doctor stepped forward. "As is required by custom Lord Kurrathian. Lady Kurrathian must give you an heir within a year. She came to me requesting my assistance and I performed the procedure. She carries your child within her. She is very healthy and in a few months Im sure she will present you with a fine heir."
"I do not want or need an heir!" Fords clenched fist slammed into an exam table, leaving the metal dented and sending instruments flying off to the floor.
The doctor backed up from the irate woman. "Lord Kurrathian, Lady Kurrathian was only doing what all the First Wives before her have done. She is doing what your own mother did. She is providing your house with fine heirs. They are your own children Lord Kurrathian. Your place as a warrior forbids you the chance to have children, your spouse is doing what is required of her to support you and your family."
"I didnt ask her to do this!" Ford growled.
"This is one of the few things that does not require your permission Lord Kurrathian, it is custom."
"It is an obsolete custom of a by gone era and Lady Kurrathian and I should not by bound by it."
"But you are." The doctor stepped forward. "The lines of the houses have been engineered to be leaders of the people. Lady Kurrathian carries the next Lord of the Second House, the child who will succeed you. Quite possibly the next Chancellor is growing within Lady Kurrathian. The next great leader of our people, is gaining strength and life from the woman you chose to be your First Wife. It is duty and for Lady Kurrathian it is also a great honor. She was very excited when she learned that the implant had been successful. She even went, as far to ask me if it would be considered her child too and was disappointed when I told her no. That it was your child and your child alone."
"She gives it life, carries it and gives birth to it and then is expected to give it up to me and have no say in how it is raised? Well, I may not be able to change the custom that has created this life, but I can certainly change a custom that would deprive it of the love and understanding of a soul as pure as Lady Kurrathians."
"How your heir is raised is entirely up to you Lord Kurrathian."
"Thank Capri for that small favor." She glared at the doctor then pointed a stern finger at him. "You! You prepare to leave with us when we depart. You will be solely responsible for the health of my wife and child. Capri help you if anything happens to them."
With that, she turned and left the clinic.
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