Having returned from their honeymoon, Kevyl and Maikaj settled into the daily routine of being the Sovereign and Consort of Talija.
Trevyl was first to notice the changes in the routine. Maikaj was always up early with the sunrise and in the den by 7 am. Kevyl had started out on that schedule, but of late, he had been staying in bed later and later in the morning. At first, Trevyl thought that Kevyl was just getting a bit fatter and a bit lazier. As the days went by, he noticed that Kevyl was getting quite a bit larger. It wasn’t until Kevyl started throwing up in the morning that Trevyl realized that something very peculiar was going on in the Lodge.
If Kevyl was a woman, I’d say she was pregnant. Trevyl thought to himself and he shuffled off to get Benjyl. Benjyl would know what was ailing Kevyl. Meanwhile, Maikaj had a pretty good idea of what was happening to Kevyl. The little kicks from his belly told him all he needed to know. Kevyl wasn’t nearly as pleased at what was happening to him. At first, it was a source of amusement for him and Maikaj but now with the morning sickness and the weight gain, Kevyl wasn’t as happy. His appetite was getting to be out of control as well. The kitchen staff was having to bring food up to him every three hours to keep him well fed.
Maikyl was sitting in his den reading over a trade proposal from Hospren when Benjyl knocked on the door as he walked into the den.
Maikyl looked up, stunned that someone would have just walked into his den unannounced but the look on Benjyl’s face told him that this was not a normal visit.
“Most Revered Elpa Maikaj, you must already know but Honored Consort Kevyl is pregnant.” Benjyl’s dulcet voice calmly delivering the news, “How this happened, I do not know nor do I know how your Honored Consort will give birth. We can only pray that the Great Wolf will accommodate such an auspicious birth.”
“I know Benjyl. I know. I have been praying to the Great Wolf daily about this. I can’t lose Kevyl. I’ve waited my whole life for someone who makes me feel like he does.” Maikaj said with a pained expression on his face.
Benjyl looked at his Sovereign’s pained expression and felt the anguish in his heart. As an elder of the Lodge, he had seen many seasons come and go and had lost his own mate Crilia several seasons ago.
Benjyl, throwing aside all traditions and rules, reached out and put his hand on Maikaj’s shoulder, “My liege, if the Great Wolf means for you and Kevyl to be mated, then it will be. If not, Kevyl’s noble sacrifice will be sung for generations.”
“Benjyl, you are about to cross a line there… I know that Kevyl’s pregnancy could be an ultimate act of sacrifice, but he did not choose to make that sacrifice. We mated on our wedding night and a few times afterwards. How could we know that it was possible for him to be with young?”
“Maikaj, I don’t know. In all the lore of the Elder Healers, there is nothing about pregnant men. I am going to check the records of the Revered Elpas today as well. There has to be a record of this occurring before today.”
Maikaj stopped for a moment and locked eyes with Benjyl, “I hope so Benjyl. I don’t know what I would do if Kevyl wasn’t here with me.” said Maikaj who didn’t so much stop speaking, but for a moment, stopped living.
Benjyl watched the wave of grief sweep over Maikaj and saw tears starting to stream down his face. Kevyl must be protected at all costs. Maikaj will not be able to lead if he loses him. “Maikaj, my lord.” Benjyl said as he took his hand back off Maikaj’s shoulder, “I must go and commune with the Great Wolf for guidance on how best to care for Kevyl. How he will give birth concerns me greatly.”
“It does me as well Benjyl. Go, speak with the Great Wolf. I should return to Lodge matters so that I am able to be at home with Kevyl by nightfall.”
“Indeed. Likewise, I will need time to pour over the records of the Elpas and also the Elder Healers between mediatating with the Great Wolf.”
Maikaj returned to his desk as Benjyl left, but his mind stayed on Kevyl for longer than he wanted. Soon he was back into reading scrolls and replying to treaty negotiations with Hospren and Brobe.
He was so intent on trying to wrap up his work for the week that he didn’t notice Kevyl coming into the den or how late it had gotten to be. Kevyl scuffed his foot along the floor briefly and gave Maikaj a start.
“Kevyl, my love! What are you doing here? How late is it?” Maikaj said as he looked around and saw that it was now dark outside. Someone would have had to have set lamps out for him to still be able to see.
“Kevyl, do I need to declare a regent to manage Talija while you carry my child? I can have one named this night if necessary.” Maikaj worried about how much time he had already spent away from him.
“Not yet my love. That time may come sooner than we both think. No one knows how long my pregnancy will be nor how I will give birth.”
“I know Kevyl. I know. I have asked the Great Wolf for guidance, but for now, all I have is silence. Perhaps I need to put my faith in you and in the Great Wolf.”
Kevyl stepped forward and gave Maikaj a tight hug, causing a flurry of kicks from his belly.
“Why hello there!” Maikyl said to Kevyl’s belly, “We’ll know you soon enough.”
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