Orion feels uneasy…
Over the next week Suzu observed Orion in all he did, speaking to him little. Orion didn’t know what to make of her sudden change but he worried that something was bothering her. Of course, he could do nothing about it until she spoke to him. Her silence was almost maddening to him but he did not know why.
Luckily for him, Suzu finally called for him one afternoon after her workout.
“Orion.. I wanted to tell you that you do wonderful things for the clan. I am very pleased with you.” A large smile came to his lips and he bowed his head in appreciation.
“Thank you, Lady.” He felt her eyes burning into his head and lifted his own to meet hers. She looked so interesting to him in that moment, as if she had something more important to say. They stayed like that until she suddenly shook her head and looked towards the tree, clearing her throat in embarrassment.
“Well… anyway… I would like to play you in chess later today,” her cheeks were pink, “Please meet me there following dinner.” Orion bowed his head again.
“Of course, Lady.”
Suzu pursed her lips, still looking towards the tree; she then nodded and briskly walked away from him and towards her chambers. Orion stood there in confusion. How strange she had acted. He didn’t know what to make of her behavior. Just a short while ago she would have asked him to play chess as casually as she asked him to prepare a meal. Something seemed off…
They met later that evening by the cherry blossom tree. Suzu seemed to be more at ease than she had earlier in the day; Orion was relieved. She was in a very good mood, actually, so much so that Orion wondered if she had drank too much at dinner.
She laughed throughout the evening, pressing him for information about his life. Orion gladly told her about his childhood and how he was brought up in a nearby village. His mother had been a well respected scholar in his childhood clan. He believed that was why he had such a gifted mind. Suzu felt herself warm even more towards Orion from all she learned about him and she knew it was time to discuss her plans.
After their game, Orion came around to her side and helped her to her feet, waiting for her to walk ahead of him. She walked away a little and then turned towards him.
“Orion, I actually have something to discuss with you.” She took his hand and leaned up to speak softly into his ear. “I would like you to father my heir.”
Orion was speechless. This was why she had been acting so strangely. He looked back at her, trying keeping his face blank. She continued to smile at him, color in her cheeks again.
“Walk with me.”
She led him into the garden and stopped between the fruit trees. She took his hand again and spoke in a low voice.
“I have chosen you not only because I find you handsome but because you have so many good qualities.” Orion held back a smile and she went on. “In other clans they would not give you a choice but I do not feel it would be fair to force this upon you. If you would rather not, I will understand…”
Orion’s mind was shouting. He never thought that he would be chosen to father a potential heir yet here he was. He felt pride, excitement, attraction, and then suddenly fear. Would Lady Suzu have him sacrificed after?! Suzu’s soft voice brought him back to the present.
“You should know that once my heir is born you will have to move away. I do not believe in the old ways.”
Orion felt his body relax at the news. Had she read his mind? He knew that there was always a chance that he would be killed but he wasn’t sure he was quite ready yet. He was still a young man.
“Lady, I would be honored.”
Suzu grinned and stepped up to kiss him suddenly.
“Please come to my room when the moon is high in the sky. I will be waiting.”