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An Apprentice's Adventures

by Mark Friedman

Chapter 9

The next day went relatively quietly. I introduced Denali to Jovana, and they seemed polite enough to each other, though they also seemed to not quite know what to make of each other, not that I could blame them.

I had a small audience at breakfast and lunch both when I told about what had gone on while I was in Jaana. Perrin said he was surprised that so much could happen to one person in such a short amount of time.

"You're not the only one," I assured him.

That evening, Denali and I decided to take a bath together to get some of the dust off of us. We began stripping, and naked, I got down onto my hands and knees at the end of the bed to put my boots under the bed. Suddenly a pair or arms went around my waist, and a hard object began sliding into my butthole. I looked over my shoulder to see Denali behind me, pushing his dick into my butthole. Grinning at me, he made a kissing motion with his lips.

"You're never content to take just a bath with me, are you?" I grunted out.

"Nope," he said with a grin.

Then he started thrusting into me, and I was amazed when my body actually started rocking back and forth in time to his thrusting. My dick and balls flopped around as my dick started getting hard. Denali's balls flopped against mine with each inward thrust of his hips. The room was soon filled with the sounds of our panting and groaning and the smacking of his hips against my butt as I willingly slid along his shaft. I was incredibly horny by that point, and it didn't take long for me to start ejaculating. Shot after shot blasted out of the end of my dick, one even hitting me in the nose.

My arms felt weak, and as I sagged down Denali tightened his hold on my waist as he continued to plow my butt. His thrusting soon became frantic, and he eventually gave a final big thrust and cried out as he blew his load into me. We stayed there for a few moments, joined like that until Denali withdrew his now-soft dick out of me. I somewhat slowly got up, feeling a bit wobbly at the somewhat open feeling in my rear end, and Denali gave me a kiss. We took a bath and went back into the bedroom, where we climbed into bed and curled up together.

I don't know how long we were asleep before there came a knocking at the door. "Who is it?" I called out a bit groggily.

Someone who I vaguely remembered from last time opened the door and poked their head into the room, holding a candle. "Kala just wanted you to know that Jovana has gone into labor."

"Uh, thanks," I said. "I'll be right there."

The person closed the door, and I got out of bed and fumbled around for a few moments for some clothes. Quickly dressing, I opened the door again to find the person who'd knocked earlier still waiting for me, and we headed to where Jovana was.

Entering, I found Jovana laying naked on a bed, with her legs spread apart, the soles of her feet on the bed, and her knees pointed up towards the ceiling. Kala was bustling about, while Deyanira and Adamaris were by Jovana's side.

"A little overdressed, aren't you, Aidan?" Adamaris said.


"Now you have to remember," Kala said, "Aidan isn't from here, and probably doesn't know our more…unique customs." Glancing at me, she said, "What Adamaris means, Aidan, is that as a part of our beliefs, it's customary for both the expectant mother and the father of the child to be naked during the delivery."

"Oh," I said a bit weakly, and I couldn't help but blush a bit.

"But we realize you don't share our beliefs," Kala added, "so we don't expect you to do things the way we do. Now, I have just a couple of things to quickly get done here, and then we can get down to the business of getting this kid delivered."

I moved over to Jovana. "How are you doing?" I asked.

"Well, I'm ready to get this over with," she said.

"I'll bet," I replied. She didn't look comfortable at all. "Hey, I'll be right back," I told her.

I quickly stepped outside, a puzzled look on Jovana's face as I left. I found another door that, as I suspected, led to an empty room. Going inside and shutting the door, I took a deep breath and did what I had to do.

Heading back in to the room Jovana was in, I tried to ignore the stares from Deyanira and Adamaris as I moved over to Jovana's side. She took in the sight and smiled. "You really didn't have to, you know."

"I know," I said. "But it seemed like the right thing to do."

Kala came over. Glancing at me, she said, "Huh, you're a bit bigger down there than I thought you'd be."

I blushed, and I remembered that it was also what Jovana had said to me that fateful evening 9 months before. I was glad when Kala turned her attention to Jovana, getting down into position by the business end of things.

"All right," Kala said, "it looks like you're fully dilated, Jovana. Now, I want you to start pushing, just like I taught you."

As Kala began walking Jovana through giving birth, I hesitantly reached out and took Jovana's hand in mine. I felt a little embarrassed to be staring at the pussy of a naked girl (especially while standing there naked myself, and I was glad Denali and I'd had sex earlier; otherwise I might have gotten an erection and really embarrassed myself). Sure, the girl in question was someone I'd had sex with, and I wasn't there for any sort of sexual reason, so there shouldn't have been any reason for my embarrassment, but in some ways it still didn't seem really polite to be doing so.

Jovana pushed and relaxed, pushed and relaxed. After a while, I was beginning to wonder if Jovana was actually in labor at all. I'd heard about something that pregnant women sometimes experience that was called "false labor" (in which it seemed for a while that the woman was in labor, but wasn't really), and wondered if this was one of those times. But then I mentally kicked myself. Kala was a trained healer, and if she said that Jovana was in labor, then Jovana was in labor.

Then Kala said, "All right, I see the head coming out."

I snapped my attention back to Jovana's pussy to find that sure enough, a head was emerging from it. I watched in almost morbid fascination as the baby continued to slide out of Jovana. Jovana gripped my hand so tightly that I was almost afraid she'd crush it. When the baby's shoulders exited Jovana's pussy, Kala reached out and took a hold of the baby, pulling it out the rest of the way. Kala did a bit of work on the baby, and moments later the baby's cries filled the room.

"Aidan, Jovana, congratulations. It's a boy," Kala said.

Jovana released my hand and propped herself up, joining me in staring at our son as Kala cut the umbilical cord. Kala cleaned the baby up, and handed him to Jovana, who cradled him against her.

"Hey there, little guy," she said gently to him. "It's all right. Mommy's got you." The baby settled down and stopped crying. She continued to talk to him for a bit, and then said, "Hey, here's your daddy. Say hi to him." My son actually seemed to understand her as he looked up at me, and I stared back in fascination.

"I'm going to take the placenta out now," Kala said.

"Would you like to hold him?" Jovana asked me.

"Sure," I said.

Kala helped to transfer him to me, showing me how to hold him. I gently sat down on the bed next to Jovana, holding our son against my bare chest as we stared at each other. (I was glad I was sitting down and that I wasn't directly watching Kala take the placenta out of Jovana – it's not the most pleasant thing to see.)

After a while, Kala gently said, "I hate to end this little family gathering, but Jovana and the baby should get some rest."

"Right," I reluctantly said, glancing out the window and seeing the first signs of dawn. I gave the baby back to Kala, who put him in a nearby crib and covered him up. "I'll see you later," I told Jovana. "You did a great job."

"Thanks," she replied wearily.

For some reason, I gave her a kiss on the lips before heading out. Just after I closed the door, I turned around to find Perrin and Keion coming down the hallway. I didn't have a chance to do anything before they spotted me.

"Whoa, I never took you for a streaker, Aidan," Perrin said with a grin.

"I'm not," I said, blushing furiously. "It's just that Jovana just had the baby."

"Congratulations," he said.

"Cool," Keion added.

"I hope both of them are doing well," Perrin said.

"Yes," I replied. "Now, if you'll excuse me…"

"See you later," Perrin said with a big grin.

I left with as much dignity as I could muster and went and pulled my clothes back on before heading back to my room. Stripping yet again, I crawled back into bed, and Denali stirred.

"Well?" he said drowsily.

"It's a boy," I told him.

"Congratulations, daddy," he said, giving me a kiss.

Later that day, after I'd gotten a bit more sleep, Denali and I went and (after checking with Kala) looked in on Jovana and the baby. We found Jovana holding the baby in bed. We all cooed over the baby for a while.

Kala came in at one point to check on them. "So, have you decided on a name yet?" she asked us.

Jovana and I glanced at each other. "I haven't," I said. Picking a name for the baby hadn't even occurred to me before, as strange as that might sound.

"Neither have I," Jovana said. When I looked at her, she said, "Honestly, I was kind of waiting for you. Strange, I know, since I had no idea whether or not you were even coming back."

I looked at the baby nestled in her arms. For some reason, one name kept popping up in my head. "Haakon," I finally said.

"It's an interesting name," Denali said. "Any particular reason for suggesting it?"

"Well, it was the name of one of my great-grandfathers," I said. "My mother's mother's father. I've always kind of liked it. I don't really know why."

"Well, it's a good, strong sounding name," Jovana told me. "So Haakon it is." Looking down at our son, she said, "Hello, Haakon Marsatal."

Little Haakon's response was to hiccup.

Kala insisted that Jovana wait for a few days before traveling. Fortunately, it took that long to get the wagons ready (a cursory inspection found a couple of other wagons that needed fixing as well).

Jovana and Haakon traveled in the same wagon as Denali and me. At night I slept between Denali and Jovana. It was a bit of a tight fit in the wagon, but it worked out. Talise made sure to stay nearby to help out with Haakon if needed.

At long last we rolled into Toskel, and man, was it a sight for sore eyes! I hadn't really realized how much I'd come to miss it until we got there. The destination of the caravan was well before my home, but the caravan master was kind enough to make sure one of the wagons was unloaded quickly so that it could take us to my house.

Talise suggested that she and Halian be dropped off at an inn for them to stay ay while they arranged permanent lodging, but I protested, insisting that my parents would want to meet them and that accommodations could be made at our house. She finally relented when I agreed that we'd take them to the nearest inn if it proved to be too many people for our house to hold.

As we arrived home in the evening (I wondered how we always managed to reach our intended destination in the evening…), my mother came out to see what the commotion was about, and cried out "Aidan!" in delight when she saw me. We rushed to each other and embraced. My father and Rhys, who apparently heard the commotion as well, were not far behind, and to say that it was a joyful reunion indeed would be an understatement.

The others, who'd hung back, came forward at my beckoning. I quickly rattled off everyone's name to each other, and just after I introduced Jovana Haakon let out a little sound, and my parents looked down at him.

"Why, what an adorable baby," my mom exclaimed, reaching out to touch Haakon's hand. "Why, he looks just like Aidan did at that age…" Her voice trailed off as things began to click in her mind, and she looked up at me with a bit of a stunned expression on her face. My father's startled gaze joined hers as comprehension began to dawn on him as well.

"Uh, we'd better go inside and sit down," I said. "We need to talk…"

Admittedly, it was a bit much for my parents to take in at first, not that I could blame them. Almost a year before, they'd sent their 13-year-old son off on a seemingly ordinary assignment to be a diplomat's aide in a neighboring country, only to have him return with a teenage girl, a baby he'd fathered by said teenage girl, a lifebonded lover, and the lifebonded lover's mother and brother. Not only that, but that son had gotten involved in saving a foreign king's life (twice) from pirates and nearly been killed by said pirates in the process. It's not something a parent would normally expect would happen to one of their kids (heck, it's not even something said kid would have ever expected to have happen to him).

I was allowed a few days off to settle back in before returning to work in the palace archives with Master Grendan. During that time, I introduced Jovana to Kavon. Any fears I about whether or not they'd like each other at all quickly went out the window, as they hit it off amazingly well. Kavon quite smitten (to borrow a word from my dad) with her, and didn't seem to mind that she'd made out with other guys and had a kid by one of them (his own cousin, no less). I mentally heaved a huge sigh of relief.

Camryn was surprised and astounded (his dad's word) at what I'd been through when I finally got a chance to go see him. He was worried at first that between Denali and Haakon I wouldn't have any time left for him, but I assured him that I wouldn't forget him. When he met Denali, the two hit it off, and by the end of the evening were acting as if they'd been friends for years. Camryn was particularly pleased when he learned that Denali liked holden ball (a game we'd played often with our other friends when we were younger, and still did sometimes when we could find the time), and insisted that with him on our team, we'd be unstoppable.

When I finally returned to working with Master Grendan, it seemed a bit quiet compared to what I'd been through – but then, it's not like I was complaining. At least no one was trying to kill anyone else.

A couple of days after I went back to work in the archives, Master Grendan told me at the end of the day to come in the next day in my more formal clothes, since we would be meeting with the king. I was a bit surprised, but did as instructed.

When we were ushered into King Quillan's presence, we knelt, and he bid us to rise and take seats. "Apprentice Marsatal," he said to me, "I recently had Ambassador Forseth deliver a letter to me from King Osvaldo. It seems you were quite busy while you were Ambassador Kroaswell's aide."

"I can see how it would seem so, Your Majesty," I replied, feeling embarrassed under the attention.

"In fact, it seems that King Osvaldo is so impressed that he's being a lot more willing to communicate that I thought he would be on certain issues, and he says we have you to thank for that."

"Well, I was just doing my job, Your Majesty," I told him.

"Actually, you were doing more than just your job," he replied. "Far more. I've been speaking with Master Grendan about you, and I realize that while you've asked that your only reward for saving King Osvaldo's life – twice, as incredible as it sounds – is that he continue peaceful negotiations with us, it is felt that you should deserve an acknowledgement of the gratitude that he – and I, I might add – have towards you."

"No further thanks is needed, Your Majesty," I said, feeling really embarrassed by what the king was saying. "Really."

"Perhaps, but never the less, you shall have one anyway. The first part is that you are hereby advanced to journeyman status, effective immediately."

I was floored. Practically no apprentice archivist (heck, practically no apprentice in any field of work) was ever elevated to journeyman status under most circumstances prior to their 16th birthday, and most had to wait longer than that for that particular advancement.

Master Grendan rose from his chair and reached into a pocket of his robe, withdrawing something. He moved over to me and removed my apprentice pendant and in its place put a journeyman's pendant. Giving me a pat on the shoulder, he returned to his seat.

"Now, I do understand that you've actually lifebonded, and also have a son," King Quillan continued, "and I realize you may not wish to travel far from either. That is why, as a journeyman, you will be traveling around to the various branch archives in and around Toskel, working on certain specific assignments that Master Grendan has always intended to have handled but have simply never been dealt with before. He has also indicated that when the day finally arrives for him to retire, he would like you to succeed him, and I completely agree. Though, of course, we certainly hope he will not retire for a good many years to come."

My jaw just about hit the floor. To be a full archivist in an archive anywhere near Toskel to begin with was a coveted position indeed, and to be given a permanent position in the palace archives itself was a major deal indeed, but to be the master archivist of the palace archives was something few apprentices even dared dream of even getting considered for.

"Thank you, Your Majesty," I managed to get out.

"You are quite welcome," he replied. "Though I admit my approving his request was for a bit of a personal reason. While I am not a superstitious individual by nature, you seem to have developed an ability to flush out those who would readily kill even a king to achieve their goals, while surviving the encounter. While I have no reason to believe anyone would wish me dead, that is an ability I would not mind keeping around me."

"Let us hope, then, that no one will ever want you dead, Your Majesty," I said. "Honestly, and please take this the way I mean it, rather than the way it might sound, I've had enough of that kind of adventure to last me the rest of my life."

King Quillan laughed. "I'm sure you have," he said. "Hopefully there will never be a reason for you to have another such adventure."

Traveling to the various archives keeps me busy, though not quite as much now as at first. It was certainly an interesting task set before me, and I am learning a lot.

Talise was able to find a nice place for herself and Halian near what she felt was a good location for a shop. When she finally opened her shop up, she suddenly had almost more business than she knew what to do with after one of her designs caught the eye of one of the court baronesses, and Talise brought on several new apprentices in the following weeks.

Halian was able to quickly find a position at a cabinet shop, and is becoming quite the ladies' man. One particular girl seems to have caught his eye, though nothing seems to have happened yet (at least that I'm aware of, anyway).

Denali found a position with one of the inns (interestingly the very same inn Camryn is apprenticed to) helping out with their stable. My family and friends warmed to him pretty quickly, though a few of them were surprised to learn that I had romantic feelings towards guys in the first place.

Six months after meeting, Kavon and Jovana got married. Haakon was with me during the wedding ceremony, and he was very well behaved the entire time. Haakon is living with them, though I get to see him a lot, too

Denali and I live with my parents. It will probably be a few years before we get a place of our own, just because we really can't afford to have our own place right now. We did, however, get a bigger bed, one that can actually accommodate both of us more comfortably (and one that doesn't make quite as much noise when we have sex) that the one I used to sleep in prior to meeting Denali (Denali once commented with a grin that the new bed allows me to sleep with him, rather than on him).

The peace process between Skronina and Andares is, from what little I hear, going very well. While I'm certainly glad I could help with that, I don't ever want to have to go through what I did to give that help ever again. (I don't know why anyone says such things cause "excitement." Having personally been through them, excitement is hardly one of the emotions I felt, during or after.) In the future, I will leave such adventures to other people and stick to being an archivist. After all, nobody ever tries to kill an archivist.


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