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Delta - 21.4

by LordWolf


Warning: This work has been rated 18+.

“What are you thinking about, dear?”

“How long it’s been since I had children running around.”

At first, it was a series of sweet thoughts crossing Jud’s mind, thinking back to Lea and Bhat.  Each of his children had been named for a close friend either from a pool of long-standing enemies or long-standing allies.  Bhat had taken after xyr god parent, producing a fine military career but not the grandchildren Amarea had hoped for.

But as always, his memories turned sour.  There was no way to get around the certain points in the timeline that would always be there and bothersome.

“Then why do you look so sad?”

“Ah Ria, I do not know.  It’s just all rushing back onto me, all of the good but with it all of the bad.”

The car stopped just in front of the garage and Ria collected their belongings from the back seat.  There were some signs of shopping done that Jud hadn’t noticed before as he helped Ria get everything out.  Whether they had needed the supplies or not was blank from his mind, Jud hadn’t kept a proper eye on the inventory for over a century.

“How old is your youngest child?”

“My youngest child was born nearly five hundred years ago.  It’s been the same distance of time since Amarea died and I was left with no children in my home, for they had all already moved on with their lives.  I already grandchildren by the time Zurr was born.”

He saw his husband’s eyes flicker as the vague response slipped off of his lips.  Jud could have simply skipped to the next living child in line or said that Zurr would have been four hundred and ninety-eight.  If Jud was still counting birthdays – as he said he wasn’t – but obviously still was.  So many descendants to keep track of at this point but he wasn’t going to give up on that now.

“That’s not an age so what do you mean by that?”

Jud felt the key click in the lock and pushed the door open while quickly turning on the lights.  When they had first moved into this house, Amarea had chided him every single day for not applying labels to the switches.  And to this day each time he messed up and turned on the porch instead of the dining room he could hear her voice ringing in the hallways.

“Ria, my youngest child and my wife died on the same date,” he stopped to put the bags down in the kitchen and turned to see the grim look on Ria’s face.  There was a need to offer some explanation to xem, so that dark thoughts did not grow darker.  “Not in childbirth but it was enough to signal a career change.”

“Do you mind if I ask you for details or would you care for us to drop the matter?”

They kept a silence between them after the question was asked.  After five centuries, Jud should have been perfectly capable to talk about that night.  All that mattered in this case, in this careful explanation, was that he couldn’t show how attached he was to Amarea.

“You don’t let your current spouse know how you still love your past one.”

The wicked thought ran through his mind while Jud pushed the last box of cereal onto the shelf.

“No, it’s okay to talk about it.I just need to find some case files first, love.”

Jud tacked the term of endearment onto the very end, hoping it was quick enough to flow with the rest of the statement.  Ria was more acquainted to such loving terms than he was – always being kind to him even when he didn’t deserve their love.

“I’ll make us some tea while you hunt around in the attic?”

“Yes.  Very good.  Thank you,” Jud paused to lean up and kiss xer, nearly laughing at how much taller his husband was.

As he climbed the steps to the second story and began taking down the ladder for the attic, Jud heard words from the kitchen.

“I thought you might have needed a step stool to do that.”

“Not quite dear.  And I don’t need a step stool at night.”

The last line wasn’t very clear, probably not enough for Ria to grab ahold of and take the full meaning to heart.  If someone like Harry were on the receiving end of such a quip, it surely would have gone differently.

Jud pushed the thought out of his mind, slowly digging through the piles in front of him and cursing himself for not having a better organization system.  This would all need to be dealt with on one day when he found energy again.  And brought a face mask.

The dust in the attic was probably toxic.

A glimmer from the label from the bottom box of the fifth pile caught his eye, the script was from Sare versus the Federation style dates on the others.  If one was to go by the times of Sare, Jud would be slightly older than the Federation liked to say he was and Jud was fine with being a young man of seven hundred.

“And of course, the box I need is on the bottom of the stack.  As always.”

Lifting the box caused a slight strain to his back.It wasn’t much – just enough for him to audibly voice the pain it was causing and bring the possible thought of a pulled muscle.  As Jud made it back down the slight stairs, he groaned more and hoped that it would not bring the attention of Ria.

It was enough to get jokes from his business partner.

He didn’t care to get them from his lover.  But yet there xe stood at the base of the main step, wooden spoon in hand and a disappointed look across xyr face.

“Why didn’t you ask for my help, dear?”

“Because I didn’t need it.”

Or maybe he had needed his husband’s help but couldn’t face xem when taking the box from among the others.  Jud didn’t want to deal with the possibility of the questions that might be asked about the other files he chose to hang on to.  No matter the stories that he might have denied in the past, everyone knew that Jud picked his cases very particularly.  Every box represented a different point in his career – his life – and he continued to add to the collection.  Not every piece of content was something he was involved in as Jud often found himself being a sort of groupie.  He liked to follow the work that other people did, the more exciting assignments that other people were stationed at.

“Have you considered organizing the attic yet?”

“No and I don’t plan on doing it anytime soon.  And you won’t be able to meddle either as soon as you’re visibly pregnant.”

A soft “Why?” crept across Ria’s face.  They didn’t have to say it for Jud to know the thoughts that might be crossing xyr mind.J  ud’s emotion counter was now evidently thrown by a change in person and he relied upon interrogation skills from the past.

The peaceful ones.

“Ria, you know I don’t like you climbing those steps and certainly don’t want you doing it now.”

“You just don’t like me meddling into your past life.”

“That too.”

“Then why did you agree to tell me about this portion?”

There wasn’t a real answer to this outside of Jud realizing they needed to start talking.  This baby meant that they would have to communicate with the connections of Ria’s family, lines left dead for a long, long time.  And it wasn’t out of xyr family wanting to be overjoyed by a grandchild.  Jud remembered the policies necessary for separated children of ambassadors and council officials of Zinnia.Ria, while a native of the modern Nerot, had grown up in the capital city of Zinnia – Auno.  That was what he often heard them call their ‘home town’, even though the thought of living in such a place scared Jud.

He took xyr hand, kissing it while saying, “Because I trust you.  And I need you to trust me.”

“Of course I trust you, Jud.  Are you sure you want to tell me this?”

“Yes.”

It was only a one-word answer to a complicated question as Jud fussed with the papers on his lap.  The ghostly photo of Amarea on the top of the pile played tricks with his mind, and Jud quickly slid it into the stack.  There wasn’t a need to look at it when recounting such simple facts about just an old case.

“Let’s begin.”


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1705 Reviews


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Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:36 pm
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BlueAfrica wrote a review...



Each of his children had been named for a close friend either from a pool of long-standing enemies or long-standing allies.


Should I feel bad for the kids who were named after his enemies?

Jud could have simply skipped to the next living child in line or said that Zurr would have been four hundred and ninety-eight. If Jud was still counting birthdays – as he said he wasn’t – but obviously still was.


I'm such a sucker for parent-has-lost-a-child-but-knows-exactly-how-old-they'd-be.

When they had first moved into this house, Amarea had chided him every single day for not applying labels to the switches. And to this day each time he messed up and turned on the porch instead of the dining room he could hear her voice ringing in the hallways.


Is it weird for Ria that they're living in the house Jud lived in with his previous spouse?

After five centuries, Jud should have been perfectly capable to talk about that night. All that mattered in this case, in this careful explanation, was that he couldn’t show how attached he was to Amarea.


This is making me feel better about the things I still have difficulty talking about. But also I'm a bit sad for Ria. But also I'm totally a sucker for spouse-has-been-dead-for-a-long-time-but-I'm-still-in-love-with-them, especially when it's the source of couples-drama. It's almost the only couples-drama I like.

This would all need to be dealt with on one day when he found energy again.


What a mood. But I could just be feeling this because I just deep-cleaned the kitchen and the bathroom and I'm all cleaned-out now.

I continue to feel a bit bad for Ria, but I've known all along that they're Jud's trophy husband. I'm honestly not sure if that's actually come up in the story or if you've told me that and that's it.

I feel like Harry hasn't been around much for a while, certainly not as a viewpoint character, which isn't necessarily a problem but feels like something I should mention, especially she was pretty much the viewpoint character in the early parts of the book. Although at the same time you've always had sort of an omniscient thing going on. But we haven't really been with any other characters for as long as we've been with Jud, iirc.




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Sat May 04, 2019 5:51 pm
fraey wrote a review...



Hey, I'm finally back. I keep rereading this thinking I'll get back to it, but I have to just push myself back in the reviewing chair. I'm ready for more from Jud, to learn about his backstory, and getting to know even more about the dynamics between him and Ria. A couple of things to discuss here, as I'm out of review shape, so I'll just go over random details like I think I do normally.

From all the reader has seen from Jud, they probably have to assume that any characters who lived for hundreds of years were going to have some baggage, in whatever forms it might be. I will pretty much instantly feel bad for anyone who's lost somebody, as I wouldn't wish that on strangers let alone drawn-out characters. Here, it works well with Jud reflecting on his previous significant other so clearly because it carries over that he had cared so much about Amarea and his lost child, that it's relatable for anyone who's tried/had to move on from loss even while they're dearly in love with someone else who's currently alive.

I appreciate Ria in wanting to know more about Jud's backstory, but only for what he deems he can actually discuss, as that's another great little detail of xem caring for xir husband. Even with Ria's own backstory too, of xe being of royalty of some kind as well. I think they can both appreciate secrets and maybe not wanting to reveal everything, but they love each other either way.

Some chapter endings I think can be abrupt, which is understandable if you're writing 1000 words a week and wanting to get through the material, and it leaves the reader wanting for more, which I guess works out in the end.

Jud is great as ever, I love learning more and reading more about his backstory and Ria entirely, so I'm liking this arc from Jud.




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Sun Mar 31, 2019 10:49 pm
kostia wrote a review...



Hello there LordWolf!

This is Kostia, here to give you a review on this chapter, it is still after all review day!

I haven't read the previous chapter so I am not so familiarized with the characters and I am a bit confused story wise. So I will not to comment on your plot.


Your structure was pretty good. However some of your paragraphs were too long. It didn't bother me much because I didn't feel like they contained unneeded information (even though I haven't read the whole thing to be sure.) As far as I know you didn't get repetitive.

If you could go through the formatting or narrow them down a bit I think it will be flawless.

Other than that you were very descriptive and from what I read, your storyline is very interesting and imaginative, very engaging to the readers interest! Good job!

Your dialogues were great and I really got to know a lot of the background of your characters through them. They don't seem forced or awkward I thing they bonded very well with the overall content.

I really enjoyed your choice of names! Very rare and interesting!

Your vocabulary was great! Your choice of words was exceptional! You didn't use too complicated or too simple words. It was easy to understand and pleasant to read!

Now I can't say much about the plot, but it was quite emotional which was an element I enjoyed. Also I absolutely loved your closing paragraph in the end of the chapter!

I don't think you need to change anything apart from the formatting even though there weren't any major issues with that either.

So overall I think that was a great read and I m really happy I got to read it and review it!

Keep up the good work!

Best regards
Kostia





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