Disclaimers:  These characters are mine.  Please don't take them or borrow them without permission.

Notes:  Nacisse settles in to his new home.  Cahir acquires a concubine and is warned away from keeping the child he brought
home.



Family Adjustments



Nacisse followed closely behind Cahir.  He was nervous about what his place in the palace would be.  With the exception of
Cahira, the princesses had all seemed to like him.  They had just left the main area of the nursery, and Cahir had mentioned
showing Nacisse to what would be his room.

"Your belongings should already be there.  Before you get settled in, however, there is one more Nagi you should meet."  Cahir
gently nudged Nacisse out into the open.  "Nacisse ... this is Voani, Cahira's bearer."

The Nagi in question was delicate and slim.  She had short dark hair and a gentle-seeming disposition.  "Ah ... so this is the
Golden-scaled child I've heard so much about.  Such a pleasure to meet you, Nacisse."

Nacisse bowed awkwardly.  He turned to look up at Cahir and pouted.  "Are you giving me to her?"

Cahir's fingers caressed his cheek softly.  "Of course not, child.  You will be as a son to me.  Voani will see to your care when
I am not here."

"Ohhhhh," Nacisse nodded.  "Okay."  He turned to face the beautiful young Nagi.  "Do you know where Kola berries grow?"

With a chuckle, Voani nodded.  The slim Nagi shifted lower on her tail, tucking gentle fingers beneath the child's chin.  "Why
yes, I do.  I'm sad to say there are none growing at this time of year.  Would you like to see the bushes they grow on in the
garden?"

Nacisse nodded eagerly.  "Yes, oh yes!"  He greatly admired the Nagi's tail, trying to trace the delicate and colorful swirls with
his eyes.  Such a bright shade of green, with flushes of reds and golds and even blues thrown in across the mostly jade color.  
Nacisse had never seen such vivid colors on another before.  At least not altogether.  His father had been a duller shade of
green and his mother a vibrant aquamarine, but this was different, far more bold.  Voani was like a rainbow of gentle scrolling
swirls and abstract designs.  It was soft though, never clashing together.  He shook his head and looked up to Cahir for
permission.  Voani's scales were distracting.

Cahir's hand landed gently atop his head, a comforting weight.  "Maybe later.  You've had a long day and I'd like to get you
settled in before I attend to some business."  He patted the boy's head.  "I just wanted to introduce you to Voani before bringing
you to your room.  After all, she will be looking after you when I'm not in residence."  He smiled up at the adult female.  "I'll
see you later, Voani."

Voani bowed with a smile.  "A pleasure, as always, my liege."

Nacisse smiled shyly back at Voani as Cahir led him away.  He liked Voani and got nothing but good feelings from the Nagi.  A
sense of security spread out from her being.  She would take good care of him.

"Here we are, Nacisse.  It's rather simple in decor, but I'm sure your things are already here."  Cahir nodded to the young
guard who had been placed at the door and who opened the door for them.  He motioned Nacisse in.

Nacisse peeked in as Mr. Jingles leaped from his arms to run ahead.  The room was painted a beautiful shade of green.  It was
the color of new plants.  There were touches of color here and there.  A splash of red, a sprinkle of gold and silver, and other
colors.  In the middle of the room was a cushion the color of a pine tree that was covered with many colorful pillows.  In the
center of this nest-like bed was his favorite doll and the blanket that his mother had made for him.  "Ohhhh!"  He turned in a
circle and was delighted to see all of his beloved treasures placed, neatly, around the room.  The box containing the book and
necklace from his mother was on a shelf within easy reach should he want or need it.  Various toys were scattered around, all
neatly tucked away in places.

Without a second thought, he moved quickly to throw his arms around Cahir.  "This is all for ME?  It's bigger than my whole
house!"

Chuckling, Cahir swept him up and returned the hug, obviously pleased with Nacisse's reaction.  "This is all for you, dear one.  
Now, get into bed so I can tuck you in."

Nacisse giggled and strained to touch the floor with his tail as Cahir slowly lowered him.  Once he was on the ground, he
slithered to his bed.  It was really low to the ground, so it was easy for him to get in.  He circled the large cushion a couple of
times to get comfortable and reclined.  He'd never had a more comfortable surface to rest on and was positive he would have
sweet dreams in the beautiful room he had been given.  He smiled up at Cahir as the older Naga shook out his blanket and
tucked it around him.

"Sleep well," Cahir said, running his hand along Nacisse's body.

Nacisse giggled again, curling his arms around the doll his mother had made.  It looked like his Mama, with an aqua tail and her
dark hair.  He treasured it greatly, perhaps more so now than he ever had before.  It was the last gift she had given him.



*****



Cahir left the room smiling.  The guard standing beside the door stood at attention and Cahir nodded toward him.  "You will be
Nacisse's personal guardian," he said.  This was the same male who had almost been struck by the fair child during the
carriage ride, the one who had assured Nacisse that his kitten would be found.  He was worthy candidate for this duty.

"Yes, sir.  I will guard him with my life."

No further instructions were needed, so Cahir departed the nursery, bidding kind farewells to his daughters along the way.  In
the hall, he was stopped by several members of the Elders' Council.  "We have heard you have taken an oddity from the despot
king," one said, his voice a serpent's hiss.

Another continued.  "You must kill the little beast, sire."

"I most assuredly, will not do such a thing!" Cahir bellowed.  "That child will be a son to me."

"Foolish words," the first said.  "We have looked into the future and we see only death so long as this child breathes."

"How can that be?  He is a mere babe."

They circled him like vultures.  "Time will change that, Majesty.  He will grow and his offspring will take the throne.  There
will be blood and death upon that day, the last day of your reign."

Cahir didn't want to hear any more of this.  He decided to change the subject.  "Tell me what has happened in my absence."  
He pushed through the members of his Council and continued on his way to the Royal Court.

The highest-ranking Elder, a male by the name of Estu, kept pace just behind him.  "Ah, Elder Gryava took ill shortly into your
journey and passed quietly in his sleep just days prior to your return."

"A shame.  He was the youngest of your ranks, was he not?"

"Yes, my lord."

Cahir nodded.  He gestured vaguely with one hand.  "Have condolences sent to his family as well as a sizable monetary gift to
handle any expenses relating to the funeral services and anything else they might need."  

"It shall be done."  Estu snapped his bony fingers and the smallest of their group darted away to accomplish this task.

"Anything else?"

Cahir was certain Estu was grinning with his next words, but he didn't bother to slow his pace.  "A Concubine has been sent
from the Province of Alpatia.  They border the lands you have just returned from."

Cahir was amused by this news.  "So they decided to win my favor with a gift?"  He gave a brief glance to the male just behind
him.

The Elder inclined his head.  "They fear you will attack their lands next.  And being a much smaller kingdom, see that they will
not be of much opposition to your armies."

"Did they hold any alliances with that beast who took a child as concubine?"

"No, my liege.  They admit that there were business dealings between their lands, but only because of necessity.  Alpatia is a
remote land high in a mountainous region.  The winters are quite harsh there and sometimes they require aid to survive through
the isolation they endure in their ancestral caverns."

"Ah, a respectable and devout sect."  There were Nagas who still dwelled in the mountains, in small communities.  However,
when winter came their villages were cleared out and the entirety of their population would take nest underground, or in
caverns depending on their location.  The Alpatians obviously were such.  It wasn't due to the cold that they hid - Cahir himself
detested the cold - but due to old beliefs and ancient rituals.  Cahir respected those that kept to the old ways.  It wasn't seen so
much anymore.

As he approached the Hall, the guards spread open the doors before him.  He and the Elders entered and Cahir took his place on
the mound of cushions that was his throne.  The Elder's fanned out behind him, reclining on much smaller cushions.  A
number of onlookers lined the sides of the expansive room.  Their reasons for being here varied.  Some came with business,
others to just watch the proceedings either for education or for the fun.  Cahir didn't find attending Court to be fun at all.  It
was almost always a tedious exercise, except of course when a new concubine was presented to him.

"Let me see this new concubine then," Cahir called out.

The Court erupted into a flurry of activity and rabid whispering.  Cahir ignored them all.  His eyes were trained on the
ceiling-high doors at the end of the Hall.  When the doors opened, he restrained himself from leaning forward.  Instead, he
extended his claws and smirked, letting his coils slide over each other all for the sake of appearance.  Most outside of his
kingdom saw him as a fierce conqueror.  It amused him to frighten those meeting him for the first time.

A pair of guards flanked the concubine as it was brought in.  There was nothing much Cahir could tell about the youth, not
even gender as there were veils obscuring anything worth seeing.  The serpent had an interesting color to its tail.  It seemed to
be silver with a rainbow-like pattern at first glance.  However, one movement shifted all of the colors.  It was eye-catching.  It
was like it changed depending on how the light touched him.

The question as to gender was answered when the three of them stopped only feet from Cahir's throne.  The guards yanked
away all of the veils, leaving the obviously frightened serpent completely bare.  There wasn't even any jewelry to adorn the
attractive form.

Male, Cahir noted, letting his eyes roam.  That tail was not the only captivating facet.  His features were quite lovely.  He was
pale in skin tone.  His bone structure was immaculate and his body slim.  His lips were a faint rose shade.  Eyes the color of
stone stared nervously at the floor while a frame of deep reddish hair washed down his back like a waterfall.

"Your name," Cahir demanded.

"I-I am called Iyasu, S-Sire.  B-But you may change that if you wish to."  The frightened thing only seemed to bow his head
lower, his shoulders slumping.  Everything about him spoke volumes.  He was terrified to be here.

Cahir rose and began circling the Naga.  He purposely brushed against the very tip of the youth's tail with his own, finding
amusement in the way the other drew his tail in close to himself.  "I see no reason why I should change your name."  He ran a
hand down along Iyasu's arm and frowned a little.  This youth was quite slim, perhaps too much so.  "How old are you?"

Iyasu swallowed and shied away from Cahir.  "I-I turned eighteen this past thaw, Sire.  This upcoming frost was to be my
first time-"

So, the lad was of a legal age for mating.  Barely, but still an acceptable age.  "And why were you sent to me?"

He again swallowed nervously, his adam's apple bobbing beneath his skin.  "Umm, I am the youngest of five sons to my father,
the King.  Any property or titles are going to be granted to my brothers.  And my sisters are to be married off to other lords.  I
have no special skills.  And my father never cared for me much anyway."  He lowered his head further, his hair falling around
his shoulders to obscure his face.  "My bearer ... died birthing my egg.  My sire would have killed me then, but for my bearer's
last request which pleaded for my life."

Cahir felt sorrow for the youth's hardship, but still had to go through the motions of claiming.  He stopped his circling and
grabbed the boy by the chin, forcefully tilting his head up to get a good look at him.  The action was more for show than for
desire, but he did also want to see his features better.

Iyasu gasped sharply, his tail jerking as his body broke into fearful shudders.  Those gray eyes widened and his hands twitched
at his sides.  He obviously wanted to reach up and grasp Cahir's arm in some way but he restrained himself.  Cahir was pleased
at this show of complete submission.  Iyasu stilled his tail and allowed his body to go limp.  Cahir's taloned hand was all that
held up up now.  With a feral grin, the Naga king ran his clawed fingers down along the slim body.  He swept across skin, then
scale, briefly pressing his palm against the smooth mound of scales that concealed his penis.  Iyasu whimpered feebly.  Cahir
passed his hand lower, fingertips stroking over the softest of his scales in preparation of the final act of this public display.  He
would much rather take this youth in a more private area, than force him to submit in front of so many eager onlookers.  But
the laws of his land demanded a first joining to be viewed in front of the Elder's Council.



*****



It was well into the night when Cahir snapped awake.  The voices of the Elders echoed in his mind, their warnings of a bloody
future haunting his dreams.  If it were true, he would have to do something about it.

A slight moan snatched his attention from his problems momentarily and he looked down at the sinewy body he was sharing
his nest with tonight.  Iyasu was deeply asleep, one pale arm thrown carelessly across Cahir's abdomen.  The youth was
thoroughly debauched, his hair a violently tangled mass around his head.  Vibrant hickeys marked his pale throat, his shoulders
and just about anywhere else that Cahir had been able to suck at his delicious skin.  A fine set of finger-sized bruises marked
the flesh just above where scales faded into skin, from where Cahir had perhaps held him a little too roughly.

Ah, but he had been such a delight to bed.  Their first time was rough, but that was what had been expected.  Cahir had to
show his dominance in front of a court of onlookers.  Iyasu had been crying by the end of it.  Cahir had cleared the court as
soon as it was over and soothed those tears away with far sweeter kisses.  He had brought Iyasu to his bed and loved him long
into the night.  Iyasu's pleasurable cries had been akin to music for Cahir.

Their tails were still entwined in an intimate embrace.  It was with a grunt of reluctance that Cahir unfurled himself from his
lover's warmth and rose.  He moved slowly across far-too cold flooring, looking back over his shoulder once he reached the
door.  He would much rather stay in bed with his delightful companion.

While passing his wardrobe, he had picked up a small ornamental dagger that was more for decoration than actual use, even
though he made sure to keep it sharp.  There was no telling when one would need to defend himself, or protect the lives of
loved ones.

He went towards the nursery with a heavy heart.  If Nacisse posed so much of a threat to his kingdom, he knew something
would have to be done now while the boy was still young and helpless.  He had his daughters to protect, and his various
concubines.  Though some left much to be desired.

The Guard standing watch over the door nodded respectfully to Cahir as he passed.  The door opened without so much as a
whisper, and Cahir made no noise as he approached the slumbering child.  The echoes of the Elders' words filled his ears as he
raised the dagger to do what he was told must be done.

However, he stopped his hand just short of piercing Nacisse's skin when the child turned in his sleep.  "I'll bear good, strong
sons for you," the child murmured in his slumber.  He smiled, curling his arms a little tighter around his doll.

His senses were screaming at him.  Nacisse was just an innocent child, asleep and cradling his treasured doll with a cat curled
up and asleep inside his coiled tail.  How could such a child bring about the disaster that the Elders foresaw?  What if killing
this boy would bring about an even greater disaster?  Real prophecies were never truly averted, no matter what someone tried.  
The outcomes of future-sight was often debatable though.  As Nacisse had said, not all of it was written in stone.

He leaned back against his tail with a thoughtful frown.  The Elders had said that blood and death would come if Nacisse were
to live.  Death was the natural result of life.  Nothing anyone did would prevent it.  As for the blood and death upon the day
that Nacisse's offspring took the throne, that was a disturbing thought.

Then it occurred to him ... invasions happened all the time.  Perhaps his land would be invaded.  If that were the case, then
nothing he did to Nacisse this day would stop it.  And as he was adopting Nacisse as his son, it would be only natural that the
boy would be named his heir - if no blood-related sons were borne to Cahir's concubines - should Cahir fall in battle.  

He bent and brushed the backs of his fingers along the child's temple and down his cheek.  "If that's the case, I'll just have to
raise you so that your children will be good leaders."  He felt more at ease with this vision the Elders' spoke of now.  "Besides,
prophecies and visions never reveal everything.  It is up to the seer to translate the truth."

Satisfied, he left Nacisse to his peaceful sleep and returned to his own chamber.  Iyasu blinked his eyes open at Cahir's return
to the nest and welcomed him with warm, though still faintly trembling arms.  Cahir smiled and crushed the boy to his chest.  
"Eager for another joining?" he inquired, his tail sliding around Iyasu's.

A pretty blush alighted on his pale face.  "If you wish it."

"No.  I asked, if you wanted to."  He tapped Iyasu lightly on the nose with one finger.  "I do not want to cause you harm.  And
I will never take you unwillingly ... from this day forward at least.  You can deny me your beautiful body."

"Then ... as much as I ..." he said, looking down.  "I am feeling sore, Sire."

"Then we will just sleep," Cahir nodded.  "Lie with me."  He urged the boy to recline and held him securely in his arms.  He
was looking forward to the days to come.  Not only for the pleasure he was sure he would find in this new concubine again
someday, but for seeing Nacisse grow into a fine young man.



The End