For clare_dragonfly‘s Prompt.
Tir na Cali has a landing page here.
Thanks for @KissofJudas for picking the season and @shutsumon for the names, and kc_obrien for the title.
“So what do I do?” He couldn’t help but betray his common roots, she knew, or his American upbringing, but here and now, it rankled.
“Stand there, and hold my hand.” Mairi gestured shortly at the space next to her. It was clear Sean was nervous; she was nervous, too, but the big, bluff angry slave getting twitching and shoulders-hunched was so foreign as to be both amusing and unnerving. When she’d first bought him, it had just been fun.
“This isn’t anything like the summer festival.” He glanced at the six-month swell of Mairi’s belly. “Or the spring festival.”
“Of course not.” The spring festal had freaked him out quite a bit, but she’d owned him for all of three weeks then. “The spring festival is for planting, the summer for celebrating life.”
“And this one?” His hand enveloped hers tightly.
“Blessing the harvests, of course. All the harvests. When the priestess comes, Sean, try not to offend her. This is important.”
“I’m not sure I like my daughter being a harvest.” He scooted closer to her protectively. “Or anyone else touching you, or her.”
“Your possessiveness is more endearing in the bedroom than it is in public.” She kept her voice as low as his was, and her tone mild, but it was enough to make him, just for a moment, glower.
“Yes, ma’am, sorry, ma’am.” Sean was the only man she knew who could make a whisper sound that angry.
“Sean.” She, on the other hand, was getting very good at pleading while keeping on a public smile. If it hadn’t been for the Spring tradition… “This is important.”
“A fully belly at Autumn Equinox is a blessing indeed.” The priestess was suddenly in front of them. “And such a strong father, such a noble mother.” Polite way of putting it, Mairi thought. Only Sean’s name and his black curly hair were Irish, the rest of him common as dirt. She set her ancient hands over Mairi’s belly.
“Bless our child, Lady of the Lady?” A baby with a common father would need all the help she could get. “See her route clear for us?”
“Aaah.” It was a moan, an exultation, a song in and of itself, the old woman’s eyes going milky and white with the sight. “There are other powers than the Power. Other strengths than the Strength. Other blessings than Her hand. This child will hold power, and strength. This child will be blessed. But her road will never be clear.” Her eyes were royal grey again as she looked up at Mairi. And at Sean. “You carved this route, but the Goddess gave set your feet to walking it. Remember that, both of you.” She bent down to kiss the curve of Mairi’s stomach. “You will need that, and Her, where you’re going.”
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