Second Coming

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Chapter 3

The smell of food awakens him. Sam sets up and wonders where Leiyana is, as he remembers her lying next to him throughout the night. She is moving around in the food area. Sam joins her.

“Good morning Doc.” He smiles.

She stops her preparations and says, “Good morning Sam, how are you feeling?”

“Not that bad, surprisingly. Martark’s wine has quite a kick, but I did sleep very well last night.”

“As I did, thank you for allowing me to stay with you. I am comforted by your presence.”

He is a bit embarrassed, “I am so sorry that I insulted you. Yes, I was intoxicated, but I remember my words. I should be thanking you for putting up with me.”

“Your well-being is my utmost concern.” Leiyana says. “I am preparing our morning meal, you are free to clean up and dress for the day.” She lifts a small clear container of an orange liquid substance,

“Drink this, it should help with any symptoms that are left of Martark’s wine.”

He enters the food area fresh and clean. Leiyana is seated and looks up to catch his eyes. Her stare makes Sam smile, “I feel better now, hey thanks for that little drink. It worked wonders for my head.”

“I am glad you are feeling well.” She motions for him to join her at the table. Two plates and two cups of tea are set before them. He immediately taste the tea. It taste better than his version. He will have to ask her how to make it properly. Leiyana closes her eyes. He does the same. He does not open them until he can hear her moving around. When he opens his eyes, she is smiling at him.

“You honor my custom Sam, thank you. But it is not necessary. Not everyone follows the same customs.” Leiyana explains. He nods and begins eating.

As they clear away the morning dishes, Sam ask, “Oh, I wanted to hear about the excitement that happened yesterday. Is everything okay?”

Leiyana’s eyes brighten, “Something very exciting is occurring involving three citizens. It is something that has not occurred among the Shi’ann for several generations. We will monitor this situation closely, it is a very promising development.”

“Promising? What exactly has happened?” He is a bit confused as it is clear that Leiyana is happy about whatever is occurring.

“Sam, three females are ovulating!” Leiyana announces.

He waits for the punch line, then ask, “not to be rude, but why is this a promising development?”

“Oh! Of course you could not yet know, you are just beginning to understand our culture. Sam, the Shi’ann have become a sterile race. We have been unable to conceive naturally and give birth to offspring for several generations now.” Leiyana explains.

“So, if you all are sterile, how did you get here? How did all of these people get here?” Sam waves his arms out as if to point to others beyond the walls.

Leiyana seems eager to explain. She adds to the history that he has heard in bits and pieces. She tells that since the time of emergence the ability to reproduce has been a growing crisis. The weapons used during the Great War have left lasting effects, some of which continue to this day. The Shi’ann have developed the technology to reproduce offspring. All Shi’ann are conceived and grown to the time of normal birth, in the biological centers. The technology developed slowly over many years. It was evident that what was left of humanity would eventually become sterile. No one currently living, has been born naturally, with one exception. Leiyana speaks respectfully of Zoejara, the last person conceived and born naturally. Also, she is the oldest living Shi’ann. Zoejara is one hundred and thirty -three cycles old.

“So if this Zoejara is over one hundred and thirty years, or cycles old, then what is the average life span of a person in this society?” He is excited to know.

Leiyana thinks about it, her face growing slightly sad, and then tells to him “The average age at the time of a natural death is one hundred and twenty-five cycles.”

“You people have really improved the human condition. Very impressive.” He wonders how much time will pass before he stops being surprised. He does not wonder for long, as Leiyana shares her theory of the cause of these females’ situation. Sam hears her, thinks it is a joke, and then says, “Wait a minute, can you repeat that?”

“I believe that your presence here in our society has affected these women.” Leiyana nods as she explains.

“How can that be?” He laughs, “I haven’t done anything.”

Leiyana has apparently has been working on her theory for some time, and she begins to share the details of her idea with him. All three women work in the biological center and attended to him during his early days after awaking. The life force pattern that he was reconstructed from came from a time before the Great War. The remains had been sealed in ice, long before the biological weapons were used. Sam’s body did not carry any of the effects of those ancient weapons.

“I still don’t get it. How could I be affecting these women?”

“I hope to discover the answer soon. I have been looking at samples of your life force pattern, from the records of your reconstruction. I have an idea and I would like you to join me today at the center. I would like to perform a few procedures. Will you accompany me?” Leiyana’s eyes show her eagerness.

He agrees and they prepare to leave for the center.

As they travel towards the center, Leiyana explains that a few council members will be present. Again she surprises him when he hears that they will be there to speak with him. He feels nervous about this, “Leiyana! Tell me what this is all about. What do they need to speak to me about?”

“I am sure that you must be curious as to why we reconstructed you. The Chief Council has waited for the appropriate time to speak with you about such matters.” Leiyana explains, “This development makes it necessary that they speak with you now, before I proceed with testing my theory.”

“It almost seems like I’m in trouble. Like I’m to be questioned by the authorities.” He looks seriously at her.

Leiyana senses his apprehension, “Sam, you have nothing to fear. I am very glad this time has arrived. I cannot speak for the Council, but you have nothing to worry about. You will understand better, after meeting with them.” She reaches out and places her hand on his.

He smiles at her display of affection. He looks at her, but she continues to look forward maneuvering the vehicle. Her warmth and attention towards him makes him feel at home. Sam relaxes and enjoys the rest of the trip.

As soon as they walk into the biological center, all faces turn towards them. Leiyana greets several people as the make their way through the building. Leiyana leads Sam into a large room. There are seating arrangements and tables there, and more than a few people already seated. Everyone rises from their seats except one. An elderly woman, perhaps the oldest citizen that Sam has seen among the Shi’ann. She remains seated in a hovering chair device. She appears to be frail. Her eyes are alert and she is examining Sam. All of the others are staring at him as well, and smiling. Sam thinks that this society has to be the happiest one he’s ever known. A profound thought hits him. He thinks about the Great War, and wonders what type of events could have happened that produced a society where everyone smiles.

Leiyana spreads her arms and says, “I present you, Sam Smith.” She turns to Sam. “I must go and make preparations. Sit here, Jerdon will direct you.” She points to a seat nearby and leaves the room.

As Sam takes his seat, all the others sit down as well. The Councilors are seated in a section that resembles a half circle, with Sam positioned in front of their view, facing them. He feels nervous but, the warm and happy faces of the Council, help him to relax.

Jerdon begins the meeting, “Sam Smith, those of us gathered here represent the Chief Council and all Shi’ann. We welcome you in peace with open arms.” Jerdon spreads his arms as the greeting is spoken.

Sam returns the greeting and adds, “I would like to thank all of you, and all Shi’ann for the care and concern that you have given me.” He wants to say more, but is not sure what is expected of him in the meeting, and refrains, allowing Jerdon to continue.

Jerdon begins introducing the other council members, announcing names that Sam is not sure that he will remember later. With each introduction a city is named, as if this was the credentials for the person serving as a Counselor. Each member speaks a greeting to him. Finally Jerdon introduces the last member present, “Zoejara, honorary Councilor of City One.” The old woman does not speak, but places her hands together as if to pray and raises them in front of her face. She makes a slight bow towards Sam.

He places his hands together in the same manner and returns the honor. As he rises back up, Zoejara is staring in his eyes. The expression on her face is one of respect. Her eyes smile at Sam.

Jerdon addresses everyone, “Let us begin. Sam Smith, we have all followed your development here. Leiyana, Chief Physician, has made us aware of some of your experiences among us, and what you have learned of your presence here. It is my intention, that after this meeting, that you will better understand what has happened to you, what our reasons were for your reconstruction, and the possibility of living your life among us.” Jerdon pauses and reaches for a drink that is set in front of him. Sam looks to the table beside him, and sees that a drink has been set there for him as well. He thinks that the drinks are a sign of a long meeting.

Jerdon continues his speech. He explains the Shi’ann’s inability to naturally continue the species. When the biological centers first began their work to assist with reproduction, a similar technology already existed and was being used to continue, even bring back into existence, different species of animals and plants. This technology was adapted and utilized towards to continuing the human race. During earlier cycles, some citizen could still reproduce. As time passed, fewer citizens were able to conceive naturally. Presently, all Shi’ann are conceived and born in the biological centers.

Jerdon ask another Councilor, to explain the hope that led to Sam’s reconstruction. Charia, Chief Councilor of City Four, explains.

She had directed the excavations into the ancient storage vault, in which the remains were found. The human remains were determined to be older than the Great War. When the life force pattern was discovered in the remains, many began to consider the possibilities of locating a cure for their infertility. Much research was performed, but nothing produced the answer that was sought. The decision to reconstruct a human was obvious to all. To have a better chance at locating a cure, a mature human specimen was required. This was a serious and very complicated matter, as the Chief Council at that time, struggled with the ethical implications. Finally, all agreed, that this was a chance that they could not forfeit. They had to attempt it, as the future of their species was at threat.

The process took over five cycles to complete. The body was matured to the level of a healthy reproductive age. Because they had performed a similar process on animals, they thought that knew what to expect. Basic instinct would be present in the reconstructed human. It was understood, that they must offer the best care and training to this individual, once awakened. Because they had brought this person into existence, they were responsible for his development and his ability to experience a full life. No one expected this reconstructed human to possess the memories of a life lived so long ago. This discovery has caused a sensation in the medical, scientific and philosophical groups throughout society. Sam’s memories challenges everything they thought they knew about the brain, memory and consciousness.

Jerdon assumes control of the meeting by asking, “Sam, do you have any questions so far?”

Sam is eager to speak, “I believe that I understand. I was reconstructed in your hopes of finding a cure for your infertility. But now, I’ve only been here for a short while, and it appears, the problem may have already taken care of itself.”

Jerdon continues, “This recent occurrence is promising. As Leiyana has made known to you, we would like to further investigate this situation, and your cooperation is greatly appreciated.”

Sam smiles, “Certainly, I believe the proper answer should be, to progress the path of the people.”

There are cheers and laughter from the Council.

Jerdon then proposes a plan of training and education, to better help Sam assimilate into the culture and society in which he is now a member. The training can begin at any time that he wishes. Sam is pleased to hear of this offer.

After the tests and procedures, and a quick, late meal at a nearby dietary center, Leiyana and Sam leave the day’s activities behind. Traveling back to Sam’s little box, Leiyana attempts to explain the different procedures and test that had been performed on him.

“When will we know something?”

“By morning.” Leiyana says with a yawn. She apologizes.

“You’ve had a long and full day, Doc.” Sam reaches out and places his hand on her shoulder, giving it a light squeeze.

“Yes, the day has been full and exciting. Oh, to think that we may finally be fruitful again, it is wonderful. All of my work has been for this purpose.”

“Then I am very glad to be a part of this,” Sam says. “Certainly, I am grateful to all of you for my life, but especially to you. To think that I might contribute to this great society, something of such importance, has me excited as well.”

Once home, Sam ask Leiyana if she would like some tea. She does. Sam uses this opportunity for her to teach him the proper way to make tea. Together, in the food area, they begin the tea and set down to visit, as it is making.

He ask, “So, a Shi’ann is born in the biological center. At what point do the parents come into the picture, after the child is born?”

“The parents are involved from conception to birth. All parents visit the center daily until the child is born. After birth, the child usually goes to be with the parents within a day or two.”

“And you were born in this manner, and now you serve to see others come into the world. As you did for me.” Sam laughs, “In a way, you’re my mother.”

Leiyana laughs as well. “You may call me Doc, but not mother.”

He laughs even more. He realizes that Leiyana is becoming more comfortable and relaxed when they are together.

“And your parents, are they...” he pauses, not wanting to ask a question that might have a sad answer.

“Yes Sam, of course I have parents.” Leiyana says with a warm expression.

“I would like to meet them, if that’s permitted? They must be wonderful folks to have produced such a brilliant and beautiful daughter”, Sam says with his sly smile.

“But you have already met my parents.” Leiyana says.

“Who are they? You didn’t introduce them to me.” His mind is racing back through the last few days, thinking of who he has spoken with and been around.

“Jerdon and Martark are my parents.” Leiyana speaks proudly.

“” He is not sure what to say next, but it comes out anyway. “So you were adopted, or are you going to tell me how two men can make a baby?”

Leiyana smiles, understanding that this did not occur during Sam’s era, “Both are my biological parents. My parents conceived me just as any other couple conceives a child. The life force patterns of both parents are combined. It is very similar to the process that allowed your reconstruction.”

Shaking his head, “Unbelievable! I continue to be amazed by this society. You know, when I first met Jerdon, I thought that he reminded me of you.” He pours their tea and continues, “You have his eyes.”

“Thank you, Sam.” Leiyana sips her tea, “You have done well adapting to being here among us. I know that our culture is strange and foreign to you. Whether we find a cure or not, your presence here honors us all. As we have much to teach you, you also shall teach us.”

The two continue their conversation until the tea is gone. Suddenly Sam realizes how late it has become. Leiyana will probably have another full day tomorrow, reviewing the results of all the tests that were performed. He feels guilty for keeping her here so late, but he is enjoying her company.

“It’s late Doc. I’m sure that you need to get some rest.” He places the empty tea cups on the food counter.

“I should go to my apartment. Thank you for your cooperation today. I am pleased to sense your excitement over this development. I also thank you for the tea, and our conversation this evening.”

He can see a look in her eyes, she really does not want to leave. She needs to rest, she has had a long day, but Sam realizes, he does not want her to leave, either.

“So Doc, you are sensing me again. How’s my blood pressure?” He gives her his sly smile once more.

“Your systems seem to be functioning very well.” Leiyana says, with a look in her eye that Sam has not seen before.

“What is it Doc? Something’s on your mind.” He feels the attraction between them.

Leiyana reaches for him. He embraces her, then pulls her in closer. Her face brushes against his neck. He hopes that he does not smell like sweat. She sighs, breathes in and pulls away from him. “I need to leave now Sam, thank you for a wonderful day, and evening.”

He takes her face in his hands and kisses her. She returns the kiss. Sam whispers, “Since you stayed at my place last night, I was thinking that maybe tonight, I could stay at yours.”

She kisses him again, “We should gather some of your things, clothes for tomorrow. You can accompany me to the center in the morn...” Leiyana doesn’t finish the sentence as his lips silence her.

He lays waiting for her. She enters the room and began to undress. He watches her but feels nervous and begins to think that maybe this society has different customs regarding intimate unions. Perhaps in their advanced and civilized culture, they do things differently. What if he does it all wrong? As she lay next to him, their skin touches. He feels the warmth of her body. Sam forgets his nervousness in their embrace. A passion flows between them that is as old as humanity.

Later, lying awake, with Leiyana sleeping, curled up next to him, he realizes that some things are the same no matter what century one finds oneself. He wishes he had a cigarette, and then realizes, he gave up that habit, a very long time ago.

The next morning begins with love making, again, and then breakfast. As much as Sam and Leiyana are enjoying each other’s company, both are eager to get to the Center. They talk about the possible results as they prepare to leave. Leiyana uses terms and phrases that baffle Sam, but he is enjoying the excitement of her mood.

At the center, Hontel intercepts the couple to announce that the Chief Council has called for a meeting immediately after Leiyana’s review of yesterday’s research and test results. She ask Sam to stay with Hontel as she attends to her work in the lab. She assures Sam that he will attend the Council meeting with her. She hugs him before leaving. Sam can feel her excitement. He is also aware of the emotions that she is stirring in him.

Hontel and Sam enter a lounge room of sorts and engage in conversation. Sam enjoys Hontel’s company. He is a bright and intelligent young man, who sees the world in a very hopeful view. Sam considers that thought. All the people here seem to have this positive attitude about life.

He notices that this Biological Center is where he was born. His first memories in this life are of this place. Sam ask Hontel, “So, the maturation chamber that I was grown in, is here, in this facility?”

“Yes Sam, this is where the reconstruction process took place.” Hontel stares at him, wondering what Sam is thinking.

“Since I’m waiting on Leiyana’s report, would it be possible for me to see it?”

Hontel stood to the side to allow Sam full view of the chamber. The structure reminded Sam of a coffin. A very high tech coffin. The clear red tinted glass makes up for the majority of the apparatus. Tubes and metallic lines run throughout the machine. Sam vaguely remembers his first awakening. He was inside this machine. There was a glare from the lights on the chamber’s dome that hurt his eyes. He glides his hands across its smooth surface. This is where he became alive. His deep thoughts are interrupted by a voice.

“What answers do you seek here?” The voice is dry and weak.

Startled, Sam turns around to see Zoejara setting in her hovering chair. Immediately he places his hands together and bows, “I am honored by your presence, Counselor.”

She returns the greeting, coughs and laughs, “You are honored by my presence? Do you still not understand the place that you hold among us?” Her voice seems tired, but her eyes shine with the radiance of youth. He does not know how to answer the question.

“Sam your presence here among us is remarkable. Do you not see this fact?” Zoejara speaks more with her eyes, than her words. “We can only imagine what it must be like for you. For us, you are a living, breathing artifact from the distant past, with memories that shall provide us fantastic stories of our history. Of our present dilemma, I am confident, that you hold the answer.”

“I certainly hope so, Councilor,” Sam feels as if he is addressing a royal family member.

“Zoey, call me Zoey, all of my friends do, both of them.” She laughs with the strength of a much younger person. Sam and Hontel both laugh as well. Many of Sam’s jokes will be repeated for some time throughout all Shi’ann society.

“Tell me Sam,” Zoejara speaks with a serious tone, “What is it like for you? You awaken in a strange and alien world, all from your life before is gone, and here among us now, how do you view your existence?”

“Well, Zoey, that’s a very heavy question. I’m not sure that I know how to answer it. I am very grateful to be alive, but I also still grieve for those who I’ve lost.” He breaks eye contact with hers and cast his gaze downward. The chair hovers closer to Sam. Zoejara takes his hand. He looks in her face and is overwhelmed by her compassionate expression. She speaks softly, “One cannot know great pain of loss, unless one has first known great joy and love.”

“Thank you Zoey.” Sam dwells on her words and mentally tucks them away for later review. She has wisdom, great age and experience. The many years of her life have not stolen her love and compassion, but rather, have enhanced them.

“Leiyana told me that you have kind eyes. I can see that you are a peaceful and loving soul. Tell me, were there others like yourself, in your time, before?”

He smiles at the complement, “In my day, we had our troubles. There were wars. Hatred and prejudice existed, but there were some good people as well.”

“You say that there were good people in your time, and yet your culture ended as the result of a war.

How sad that humanity was so violent, so brutal to each other. It is comforting to know that even in those ancient times, something of virtue was alive.” Zoejara nods, “There were others as yourself, with the ability to love, and who desired peace.”

Sam explains, “We had groups and organizations that worked for peace. There were events that were used to bring focus to wars, disease, and suffering. But we also had our war mongers, rulers and leaders who were out of touch with humanity. There were those who saw the world and its resources as something to be acquired, to be ruled over and exploited. But, I also remember more than a few groups whose awareness was to the fact, that we are all connected, to each other and to the planet.”

“Ah, the interconnection of all. This too was known by a few, before the Great War, but their voices were not loud enough to bring change, to stop the divisions, to stop the extinctions.” Zoejara says.

“So much has been lost, I see.” Sam’s mind drifts to the past, to events in his life. Maybe he never took a firm enough stance against hatred and war. Perhaps if a few more in his day would have spoken up, stood up, would there have not been a conflict that ended his civilization?

“We look at it from different perspectives. You focus on what the past has taken from you. We see what it has given us.” Zoejara looks at a small monitor that is displayed on the arm of the hovering chair. “It is time for the Council to hear the report.”

As they journey down the winding halls, Sam engages Zoejara more on the topic of civilization.

“So Zoey, do you ever fear that humanity will someday revert back to less civilized ways? In the future, might humanity become barbaric and violent again?”

Zoejara smiles, “The future is coming, but we are here now. Let the future be, Sam, and live now.”

“I am honored that you spoke with me. You have warmed my heart, made me feel welcome here, and opened my eyes to a few things. Thank you. You are a fine example of this wonderful society.”

Looking into the meeting room Sam pauses, “I am hoping for a positive report, shall we?” Sam allows Zoejara’s chair to enter the meeting room, in front of him.

Just inside the door, Zoejara turns to face Sam. She takes his hand, “Perhaps, Sam Smith, are you but a figment of our imagination? We desired a cure, for so long and with such passion, maybe we just imagined you?” The philosopher speaks solemnly, but with a twinkle in her eye.

“Or maybe, I’m imagining all of you, to fill my loneliness?” He winks at her.

She smiles and nods, Leiyana was right about his humor, it is very charming. The old woman kisses his hand.

As soon as Leiyana sees Sam in the room, she moves toward him. The look on her face has him excited. She does not even have to tell him, he knows by that look, the results are positive. She embraces him, kisses him and clings to him. Sam is a bit embarrassed, with all the others being in the room, but for just a second, he forgets everyone else is there. Their kiss is broken when they both hear Martark greeting someone from across the room. Sam pulls away, and sees Leiyana’s father walking towards them.

“We shall all celebrate, if the physician would hurry up and make her important announcement.” Martark opens his arms to her. She rushes to his bear like hug.

“Yes, yes, Oh Martark it is so.” Leiyana is almost crying in her excitement.

Martark looks at Sam, “Do not get excited about Leiyana’s infatuation with you, young man. She just loves her work.” He burst into laughter and pulls Sam into the hug.

Jerdon moves through the room to his seat in front of the gathered audience. There are many more people in the room than the first time Sam met with the Council. Monitor screen panels open on the walls around the room displaying faces. Council members from all of the cities will witness this important meeting. In apartments, homes, and various public facility buildings, people are gathered around viewing screens, waiting to hear the report. Sam senses that all the world is watching, waiting to hear if their hopes have come true.

Jerdon begins his introduction “I welcome all of you in peace with open arms.” The warmth on the councilor’s face seems fatherly. He seems more emotional than the other times that Sam has been in his presence.

“We, the Shi’ann, are the fruit of the labor, sacrifices and love of the Ones Before. We honor them today, for all that they accomplished for us. They gave us a way, a journey, and the ability to progress the path of the people. Today, may we continue to support this path. May we, as the ones before us, establish a path for our descendants. May the articles and sacred words given to us by them, continue to lead and guide us on this path. ”

Many in the crowd raise their hands and arms in celebration. There are voices calling out honors to the Ones Before. There are cheers and laughter. Sam understands that this is the Shi’ann form of applause.

The excitement in the room can be felt as if it were a cloud filled with thunder and lightning. Jerdon calls Leiyana to join him. As she makes her way through the room, Sam watches her. She is about to make an announcement that will affect this society for generations to come, but his mind drifts back to their special time together. He is excited to think of how they will celebrate tonight.

Leiyana begins her report, “I am happy to announce that we have found a cure for our infertility, or rather, the cure has found us.”

There is a roar of excitement. Sam is shocked by the noise. People all around the room are hugging, some even crying. Those closest to Sam are reaching out to touch him, patting his back, and thanking him. Leiyana continues, “We are already working now to create a medicine that can be given to those who desire it.” Again, there is an overwhelming roar from the people. Even the faces on the wall monitor screens are celebrating the news. After a few more minutes of hugging and crying, Leiyana is able to complete her report.

Her explanation is technical, and difficult for Sam to follow. He looks around the room. Everyone else seems to understand what she is explaining. Many of the terms are foreign to him, but he seems to be getting it. As she closes her speech, it hits Sam, he understands. His body produces pheromones that are affecting the women here. Sam is not sure of the biological process involved in ovulation. Can something as simple as his personal odor, really be the cure for the Shi’ann’s infertility? Later, in private, Leiyana will explain it to him in simpler terms. Sam wonders how his pheromones are affecting her, as she has spent more time with him than anyone else.

The meal to celebrate is held at Martark and Jerdon’s home. Sam is impressed to discover that a Councilor lives no differently than a physician or any other citizen. Their home is basic and simple. Martark has prepared the meal, which was enjoyed outside, overlooking a large garden area. There are numerous toast throughout the evening.

Many people have come to meet Sam. There is laughter, conversation, many hugs and embraces. The festivities will continue until late. Jerdon is able to catch Sam’s attention long enough to cover the details of the education and training that has been offered to him. Sam feels as if this society is truly welcoming him, in peace with open arms. He feels honored, respected, even loved. It almost feels like home. Later as several guest are leaving, Leiyana motions to Sam that they should also leave. The smile that she gives him, reveals the words she did not speak aloud. She desires him. The feeling is mutual.

They decide to walk to Sam’s apartment, as the distance is not that far. With their arms entwined, they make their departure from the crowded and noisy celebration.

As soon as they are inside the apartment, Leiyana kisses Sam. Her desire for him is strong. They move into the bedroom. Leiyana pulls away and whispers, “We should cleanse ourselves before becoming intimate.”

Sam understands, it’s been a busy day, they both could use a refreshing. “You know, the sound bath stall is big enough for the two of us.”

She smiles, and begins undressing. Sam undresses and she takes him by the hand and leads him to the bathroom. Inside the bath stall their passion flows again. They make love several times during the night, no longer just celebrating the great announcement. They are two lovers celebrating each other.

The next morning, over breakfast, they discuss living arrangements. Leiyana states her desire for Sam to move in with her. He ask, “how will this be viewed by the others, your fathers?′

She is puzzled, “No one would object, Sam. Every person is free to live their life as they choose. If you wish to continue to live in your own apartment, I will honor your wish.”

Sam looks into her eyes and sees that she is sincere, “I would love to move in with you. You know, I’ve been falling in love with you for some time now.”

She reaches across the table and pulls his face to hers. After a few kisses, they make their way back to the bedroom. She is falling in love with him, as well.

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