During the ceremony, there wasn’t a word spoken. Nobody was allowed to speak during the moment when Dia was being placed in the Great Fire by two Maurea Warriors. Her body laid on the table with a white sheet to cover her body and all the items were given to her around her. At the corner of the table was longer handles so they could place her in the flames without getting burned themselves.
Everyone who has a glass jar in their hands opened them at that moment as the flames consumed her body. Clara and Kito were holding one and opened it to allow the Firebug’s free. The bugs reminded her of fireflies really, flying out and scattering in the air. It mixed in well with the view of the stars glittering in the sky and the three moons shining.
The air was quiet with only the faint sounds of the crackling fire burning wood and the burning of Dia wrapped within her blanket. She could feel his sadness beside him and decided to lean against him, she used herself as a way to calm him. She knew it worked when he moved in and placed his head on her and shut his eyes.
He was affected by the loss of Dia. She was such a nice woman and too young to have faced the death she had. If he could go back to the moment he would have never told her to return the dress to her. If he would have known that she would dare do something like this he would never send her to her. She could still be alive right now.
He knew that there was no way to return to that moment. What is done is done. He couldn’t afford to feel horrible about it when he had his heart’s attention on Clara. One day in the afterlife he will apologize. It was all he knew how to do.
He whispers to her so that nobody else around them could hear. “You should sing me a song later, my Clara,” he purrs to try to lighten the sorrow in his chest. His mind went back to the cave when they were stuck in that small hidden section. “I never heard your voice. We have very few here that can make beautiful noises with their voice.”
She smiles, “You would like to hear me sing? I haven’t done it in a while. I will be shaky.”
“After Dia is sent to the stars we will return to the hut and you will sing to me,” he opens his eyes. “I would like to hear from you.”
They continued to watch. She could hear Dia’s family crying, especially her mother that made her heartache. It must be a horrible feeling to lose a young daughter.
After a while, Kito looks over to his brother and watch him turn and walk in another direction with Mia towards Ruro and Zeta. Caji seemed to have left because there was no sight of him anywhere. “We can go back to the hut now,” he waited for her to start walking before he did to head back to his hut. He always made sure she was the first to climb the stairs before him and make it to the door before he did so he could always keep his eyes on her. Especially with the creature out there lurking. And he opened his hut and waited for her to step inside.
He felt significantly better once she was inside. A new familiar scent hit his nose once he steps inside and his head perked, but there was no danger.
Sitting in the hut was only two other familiar faces. Caji and Kane.
Kane was sitting near the fireplace next to Caji. The little boy reminded Kito of a Maurea Kit except he didn’t have the ears like one. His clothing and accessories are what they would wear, but he did notice some Xutashi touches like beads and colorful feathers. It was a nice blend of the Maurea’s darker colors.
He was sitting across from Caji with each of their legs crossed. It seemed like the two were eating slices of bread that he was cutting apart with his dagger for both of them. Each of them looked up to see the two and smiled. Especially Kane who held up his small slice of bread kindly. “Here, Clara. Have some. It’s sweet bread.”
She didn’t find any reason to object to his gift. She took the small piece and put it in her mouth. She crouched down while chewing the small piece, smiling after she swallowed. “Thank you, buddy. Now I thought you were with Zeta?”
“I came here so I can see you two,” he admits with a down face. “I haven’t seen you in a while.”
He yawns big afterward. It seems he won’t be awake for the time they were here. She could see it in his eyes and the way his body seemed down to the ground. She looked at Caji and saw him smiling while he chewed on another slice. He must have been coming around keeping watch on him to make sure that he didn’t hurt himself.
She knew he looked like he was a good guy.
Kane was blinking slowly with low shoulders. He looked at Clara, “I made some friends here. They are cool,” he allows her to pick him up from the ground and put him on her waist so she could take him to Caji’s bed. He was getting almost too heavy to hold now, that small thought crossed her mind and saddened her.
It was obvious that he had waited here for a while for them and tired himself doing so. She made sure to put him on the bed and didn’t hear Kito’s footsteps when he approached the bed.
“You made new friends?” She made sure to sound excited about this. She was inside knowing how much Kane did like having friends when everyone at his school was mean. “Tell me who they are?”
“There is Aarn. He’s nine and his hair looks like fire and I think it’s cool. Then there is Impy,” Clara grabs a blanket and waited for him to lay down and place his head on a pillow. He looked at Clara and Kito standing close around her as she covered him to his neck. “He has long ears like a bunny and his daddy’s the Chief. He has a lot of siblings though.”
Once he was tucked in she sat beside him, “How old is he?”
“He’s six,” he moved the covers so he could count them on his fingers. “Yup. I also made some other friends too with tails like Cheeto. They’re so cool.”
Kane’s innocent mind didn’t fully understand the reason he saw Kito’s eyes focused on Clara a lot. He even sat on the bed beside her and moved her hair off her shoulder to make room for his head so he could hold her. The little boy blinked. “You’re not supposed to hug her from beside, silly. The best hugs are from the front.”
Kito raised his eyes and smiled, “You’re right, Shi. The best hugs are from the front.”
She physically tried to push him away with one of her arms so Kane wouldn’t be asking any more questions. She was not looking forward to answering any kind of curious question with him at this age. She noticed that she couldn’t even manage to lean him away as she pushed his shoulder and that he moved when he felt like moving. Which he didn’t.
The furthest moving he did was three inches away with his hands still on her. She turned her head and gave him an angry puff but that didn’t intimidate him. He made a noise centering between humor and a purr. Kane watched his face soften and the smile on his face made him wonder if he was insane. Clara was quite scary when she was mad.
“Sing him a song,” Kito decided to bring this up to her again. He felt like this moment was perfect to finally hear what her voice sounded like. He didn’t hear her even hum before and he was eager to hear if her voice was as beautiful as he could imagine. There were very few singers in this world too. Not many would focus their talents on their voice.
Kane’s eyes widen and he sat up excitedly, “You haven’t singed me a song in forever! Please, don’t say no again,” he crosses his arms. “Caji would like to hear it too. ”
One of his ears perks at the sound of his name and the Kikera looks their way, his attention was more focused on his small snack than what they were doing. His head tilts and he blinks. Kito could tell he was confused.
He just went with it, “Of course Caji would like to hear. He listens to everything all the time,” he would like to know what went through his mind most of the time of what he knew about others that nobody would think he would know. “Sing us something from your world.”
She put Kane back into the bed and moved the covers over him a second time. “Hmmm...” she thinks for a moment.
Luckily Kane already had one thought out for her. “Sing mama’s song, Clara. I like that song,” he smiles at Kito. “You will like it too.”
She knew what song he was talking about. It wasn’t her mother’s but it was one that she knew well because of her. She knew how to sing the song so beautifully. She didn’t know if she could match it quite as her mother did. “Are you sure about that song? There are others that I know.”
“No, it has to be that one. I want them to hear it,” he curled up in the bed and made himself comfortable. The blankets wrapped around him and his head laid on the softest pillow he could lay his head-on. He liked this place and its soft blankets and pillows. They were big believers in being comfortable.
“You can sing it, my Clara,” assures Kito. He had to force himself to stand and put distance between them and to his bed. One that he hoped to share with her son when they finally slept. “I will be over here listening. ”
She never really had to sing in front of anyone else other than her brother and the showerhead before. Especially with someone that she was now intimate with listening. Caji somehow didn’t mind so much since he didn’t speak his opinions. He did look at her with his yellow-green gaze and listened in his anticipation.
She closes her eyes for a moment to let the lyrics of the song come back to her after so long of not singing them. Kane hasn’t heard their mother's song in months and had asked her many times to do it again. It was always Richard that was listening around the corner with dirty thoughts that made her sick of singing it. Now after being with Kito it seemed all of those past worries melted away. She took in a deep breath and let the song come to her naturally.
“Once there was a way,
To get back homeward.
Once there was a way,
To get back home.
Sleep pretty darling,
Do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby.”
Her voice was just as beautiful as Kane said it would be. Her voice is soft and calm, the words weren't forced but mellow, it made the entire hut feel cozier than it did before. Caji leaned against the table in the center of the hut and Kito sat on the edge of the bed with his ears and tail unmoving. Caji noticed that he looked like he was in a trance or that he had too much Ikna’s. The golden Xutashi seemed to be focused on nothing else but her and her voice.
Fill your eyes,
Smiles await you when you rise,
Sleep pretty darling
do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby.”
The song was a lullaby. It would sound better with instruments but she would make it work with only her voice. Which seemed to work on everyone who was listening. Kane was listening with a much-tired face as the words sent him on his journey to his dreams. That was why he liked the song. She knew how to sing it so well and it was so calming.
“Once there was a way,
To get back homeward.
once there was a way,
To get back home.
Sleep, pretty darling
do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby.”
She sat up from the edge of the bed and moved a section of Kane’s hair from his forehead so she could give him a small kiss. It sent him off to his peaceful dreams, his breathing slowed and his heartbeat slowing down from a run to a slow walk.
She turned and saw Caji and Kito staring with their own calmed expressions. Caji’s seemed more like an innocent boy when Kito’s look had something more mischievous under the surface. She knew she wouldn’t have that happen with her brother under the same roof as them so he better loses those thoughts quickly. She didn’t say anything about it. She crouched next to Caji who had an equally tired glint in his eyes. “You can sleep next to Kane, Caji. He wouldn’t mind and I don’t want you sleeping on the table.”
Kito’s grin faded when he saw Caji move closer to Clara with a friendly rub of the side of his head against her head when she reached out to touch him. He couldn’t control the low growl that tore from his throat that made the Kikera turn his head back at him with wicked speed and slide away to keep the peace and head straight to the bed with Kane.
Clara gasped and looked at him and put a hand on her waist. She made her noise of irritation that was still low enough for Kane to not wake up hearing. “I was only petting him, Kito. And I thought the head butting thing was friendly because it was behind my head. You didn’t have to growl at him like that.”
“It happened before I could think,” he took off his dagger and belt and put them to the side. “Come here so I can have you next to me while I sleep. I like having you by my side.”
“If having me by your side keeps me from being nice to others then I don’t know if I want to,” she crossed her arms over her chest.
He lifted his head and placed it on the hand of his bent arm and his eyes immediately went to how her arms lifted her breasts. His tail curled at the sight and he managed to contain his purr this time. “Trust me. Unless you want to make the walk back to the washrooms with me there I would come to lay by me,” he patted the open spot where she should be. “Caji is used to this already because of my brother. He never takes any of it to heart. Like I said before he is like a cub until a mate for him is found.”
She turns her head and saw him already laying on the other end of the large bed next to Kane. He didn’t seem to be heartbroken by Kito’s previous cautious growls. She walked forward into the bed and laid down next to him. When she did it took no time for him to cover them in blankets and hold her to him. He even gives her a small kiss on her lips. Just a brief one. He had all of his energy spent on the washrooms. “I enjoy hearing your voice. It would be nice if you sing more often to me,” he laid down on his back. “The tribe would also like to hear your voice. You should try it around the village.”
“I don’t think anyone would listen to me randomly singing in the village,” she giggles quietly. “Now stop talking. I want to finally get some sleep that’s not the washroom floor.”