Time in the compound passed as usual and little Akemi grew to be a beautiful child. Her eyes were a strange bright amber and her hair was as dark as her mother’s.
The children of the compound had such carefree lives that it didn’t matter how Akemi looked or acted but she still did her best to look as pretty as her mother. She made flower necklaces, wore jeweled earrings, and sometimes even sneaked into her mother’s room to put on lip paint. She hadn’t been taught the rules of their community yet and had no idea she would some day be in charge of their clan.
Rigel, on the other hand, was familiar with the rules. He also knew he was lucky to be born into the clan he was. Boys and men were treated very well within the walls of their compound and he and Magnus enjoyed a vast amount of freedom.
Of course, the rules for children and teenage boys were less strict than for adults but they still held consequences. Rigel often met other boys his age when they came with messages or deliveries. They usually dressed like the attendants in their clan. Rigel was allowed to wear sandals and clothing that covered him well.
Rigel was also allowed to interact with the young women of the community. Lady Caliente’s granddaughter, Hana, visited often. As a child she and Rigel had been good friends. She seemed to hold a torch for him but he did not like her quite as much. He found her to be abrasive in personality
and appearance, sorry to say.
When young ladies came to call he did his best to be polite and charming. It came naturally, of course.
Unbeknownst to him he was very popular.
On the more innocent side of the children, Yela and Magnus were good friends already. Yela shared none of her mother’s bad personality traits and Magnus was polite and helpful.
Now that Akemi was old enough to play with them they would have to learn to accept her into their circle. Hopefully the children would get along well.
Suzu knew that the time would come sooner rather than later for Rigel to become interested in someone else in that way. She tried not to think about it; he was her little boy after all. Still, she knew she had to say something to explain why he might feel… things…
It went as well as one would expect.
In other areas of his life, she knew that the best way to protect him from the rules of the community was to keep him close. Therefore, if she wanted him to be protected they would need to find a suitable sister for the clan that he liked. She knew, of course, that he could choose to just live as a son of the clan and remain unattached but she figured he would probably meet someone and fall in love. Love… It would be better for her to help him along and pick someone out for him, she thought.
Did that mean she wanted to set up a relationship for him? Wasn’t that something of an arranged marriage? Had she not run away from this exact situation? Perhaps she would need to rethink her plan…