“What I’ve come to learn is that the world is never saved in grand messianic gestures, but in the simple accumulation of gentle, soft, almost invisible acts of compassion.” ― Chris Abani
A Rising Tide
Waves rolled to the rocky shore rising to angry heights before exploding on the rocks in showers of spray and foam. Clouds hung to the horizon in ripples that looked like black sand poured over lighted glass. The wind blew across the bluffs into the garden, rustling the leaves of trees and border shrubs.
Dominika rested her head on Ivan’s chest as Ivan looked across the pool at his teenage children watching the birds rush from branch to ground and back again. It occurred to Ivan; he was among the most fortunate men on the planet. The beauty he saw in his life and family could fill a museum with art imagined in his mind.
Domi’s son looked back at his parents and wondered why his mother was so exhausted. He nudged his sister and glanced at the two in the recliner by the pool.
“Do you think mom busted another nut last night?”
“Peter!” Screeched Alexa.
“What?” Peter seemed confused by his sister’s apparent aggravation.
“Girls don’t bust a nut, dumbass.”
“My buddy, Ping, is always talking about girls and busting a nut.” Peter felt defensive. It aggravated him when his little sister got the best of him.
“Dragon Sisters don’t bust a nut. Dumbass boys bust a nut. We feel waves of joy and love, something a dumbass boy wouldn’t understand.”
“Alexa, you better be careful. Girls look stupid with hairy palms.”
Peter’s sister slapped him across the back as he dodged the blow that would rearrange his face like abused Play-Doh. Alexa chased after him in a rage, hell-bent on punishing him for insulting her and her mother’s ability to feel intense passion.
Domi stirred. The noise of her son screaming for help as Alexa chased him in the yard broke her soporific spell. She luxuriated in the feel of Ivan’s chest, not wanting to break the warm contact with her husband. Ivan rubbed her back as she kissed him.
“What were you dreaming about?” Ivan asked.
“You and what you do to me,” Domi spoke through the haze in her mind.
“Last night I thought of something relevant to this mystery.”
“Everything you think of at 3:00 in the morning is important, Ivan.” Domi mused with a smile.
“This could be an answer to Lee’s seeming deficiency in maintaining her energy balance.”
“What is it, Ivan?” Domi’s interest peaked.
Ivan looked out over the trees through the breaks in the cloud blanket to azure heavens and let his mind play his thoughts across his vision as he spoke.
“I’m going to assume this phenomenon of bonding isn’t unique to the four of us. But, I am only concerned with you and what all this means to our relationship and the Black Dragons.”
“I don’t believe we met by accident. I came to the diner through my contact with another Russian, an old physicist that wanted to help me out until I could find meaningful work. Then Lee comes to the diner for several years with Master Ong before she comes to work there. You knew Lee through the Dragon Sisters while you were at the Korean school. It was Lee that wanted me to meet you. Then Master Ong brought Hue to meet us. It just seems too well planned.”
Domi tracked Ivan’s conversation and knew where it led. It was time to work together to resolve the conflict she felt in her heart. Domi spoke as the memory replayed in her mind.
“It was almost instant for me. As soon as I saw Lee that first day at the school, I felt like we were genetic sisters. Those thoughts confused me. She was so sweet to me. Every time we were together at school, I was unclear about what I was feeling. I couldn’t understand why the other girls and Lee wanted so much intimate contact with me. In a way, I believe they did it because they knew something about me I didn’t know myself. I believe they did it to help me trust my feelings and accept the bond of the Dragon’s blood.”
Ivan recalled how he and Domi had experienced their first release together. Ivan saw its intensity was because they both explored each other neurologically in the end. His bond to Domi was almost identical to the description of closeness the sisters felt. The mysterious call of the Dragon seemed embedded in their subconscious.
“Domi, sweetheart, your release is very intense with me. You seem able to recover and release many times. More times than I have the energy to take you there. Do you think Lee can experience multiple releases too?”
“I don’t know. We’ve never talked about it. Lee is very private about that part of her life.”
“Domi, what I am going to say may offend you, but I want you to consider it. I think it’s possibly the answer.”
“Okay. I’ll hear it.” Domi spoke with a precise understanding of Ivan’s point. She still didn’t know all he was thinking. She trusted him.
Ivan spoke in a measured voice. Each word considered before he uttered it.
“If you were to discuss her relationship with Hue, do you think she would accept it?
“She would accept it. I don’t know if she would do it thinking she pleased me, pleased herself, or both. Lee and Hue don’t see things like we do. Their lifelong exposure in the Dragon society gives them a different perspective than we have.”
Domi continued “They don’t see sexuality or the absence of it as wrong or as a threat to their marriage and relationship. To them, discretion is more important than one’s sexual appetite. Discretion allows them to keep their dignity.” Domi’s observation seemed the answer to Lee and Hue’s distance from each other after their son was born. It wasn’t about her inclinations at love-making. It was far beyond that.
Ivan and Domi agreed. If Lee and her family were going to survive, They needed to reconnect their bonds. First, they had to discover what broke the relationship. Then they could work on a solution.
Ivan took his wife’s hand and came to the point. “We need to urge them to reconnect. Hue needs to get over his guilt for Lee’s suffering a difficult birth and heal her with his love for her.”
“You talk to Hue, and I’ll talk to Lee. I think we can get those two lovebirds back in the sheets again,” Domi smiled and hugged her husband. A few minutes later, Ivan was distressing their sheets with Domi.
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