"Thuruk said something that I'm wondering about," Jeremy said. They were lying in Growler's bed, a bowl shaped mattress in the floor. It was surprisingly comfortable to curl up together in it. Growler was behind him, arms wrapped around Jeremy's chest.
They were still mostly clothed, being simply bare chested. They had been this way since they'd entered the room, quite some time ago, and Jeremy was happy things hadn't progressed further, he wasn't sure he was ready for more.
"What did he say?" Growler rubbed his muzzle in his hair.
"It was just before I ran after you. He said that I was letting my heart walk away from me. I got that he referred to you, but what did he mean?"
Growler was silent for a moment, just resting his head on his. "In the beginning of times, Thuruksamian, the father God, created us, and for a time everything was fine. We functioned as he had made us. We survived, we saw to the land, saw to the beasts, and procreated, but eventually he felt that something wasn't right. We did all those things he had made us to do, but we didn't take joy in what we did. We survived, but we didn't seem to truly live.
"He pondered that do to for a time. He considered wiping the slate clean and starting anew, but he didn't. He cared for us. If there had been a fault, it was his, not ours. So, he set to work repairing his error. He made Hearts, enough for all of us, those he had created and those who were then born of his creations.
"When he was done, he gave them to Salmialie, the messenger God, to bring them to us. Salmialie was normally reliable, but this time, he was distracted by Gezbiliam. Gezbiliam is the Goddess of inspiration, but she isn't always the most . . . lets say, stable of the Gods. Thuruksamian had been locked in his workshop, so she didn't know what he had made, and she wanted to know.
"It was an easy task for her to distract Salmialie. The messenger had a thing for her, which she normally ignored, but this time she took full advantage of it. She drew him to her bed and plied him with food, wine and sex. When he was fully sated, and sleeping. She opened the package he had been carrying, and saw the Hearts.
"They were precious things, not very big, and fragile, but beautiful. She had a flash of anger that Thuruksamian had been able to make something of such beauty without her help. She almost broke them, but she stopped herself. Gezbiliam is devious. She through, why destroy them, when she could tinker with them, maybe add some confusion to the lot.
"And tinker with them she did. And then, feeling that it wouldn't be enough, she shuffled the Hearts in the package, so that none of them would end up with the person it was destined for. When Salmialie woke, alone, he grab the package, unaware of what had been done to its content, and made his deliveries.
"What Thuruksamian had put in the heart was happiness, joy, life. What Gezbiliam added was passion, rage, sorrows, envy. And the Hearts being given to the wrong person gave us longing. We can feel that something is missing, and we spend our life looking for our Heart. And when we find it, if we find it, we truly become alive."
Jeremy took in the story silently. "We have something similar," he eventually said. "I guess. We call it, being soul mates. They say that when souls are made they are connected to another one, and if we meet the person that has that soul, we can feel it."
"You don't sound like you believe it." Growler ran a finger down his chest.
"Until I met you, I didn't. I'd never really thought about it. I didn't have any plan on finding someone to spend my life with."
"You were planing on being alone?" there was dismay in Growler's voice.
"Considering what was done to me, is that so surprising? Every time I thought about what I might want in a mate, I became sick, 'cause they'd programmed me to be sick if I thought about other men this way, and even if I didn't realize it, that's what I wanted. Women never interested me, so I just stopped thinking about it." He felt Growler's arms tighten around him, and they were silent for some time.
"Thuruksamian," Jeremey said, mangling the name, as he mangled every kelsirian names. "That sounds a lot like Thuruk's name."
"He's named after him. His full name is Thurukselminial. It's a mix of the name for the father God, and the God of work, Lalminuial."
Jeremy had had a few session with the kelsirian linguist, so he now understood the language enough to understand that the 'sel' meant 'of both' that it linked both names as one.
"I'm named after the Gods of the hunt, and the God of protection."
"You're well named. "Jeremy smiled. "Is everyone one named after Gods?" Jeremy asked.
"No, not anymore. His family and mine are rather traditional."
"Won't they have a problem with you loving me then?"
Growler laughed. "No. What we have is tradition. You have my Heart and I have yours. They would never fight against that."
"Your Thuruksamian certainly sent the Hearts far."
"His reach is infinite, but I think my heart being misplaced so far is more Gezbiliam's work. The Hunter and her aren't on the best of terms. I can easily see her sending my heart so far, to hurt him, through me. But a hunter never stops hunting until he catches his quarry." He nibbled on Jeremy's neck, who squirmed in his arms.
"Do you all imagine your gods affecting your lives?" He asked, once his had caught his breath.
"Imagine? We don't imagine it, the Gods do intervene in our lives," Growler said.
Jeremy turned and faced him. "Come on. gods aren't real. Our ancestors made them up as a way to explain how to world worked, and they became part of our mythology. I really don't want to offend you, but you can't really think gods are real."
"Do you know why we docked at your station?"
"You needed to make repairs."
Growler shook his head. "No, that's just the excuse we fabricated. We are here to find out how advance human research is on anti matter technology."
"I've seen your generator, remember? That's no excuse. The damage is plenty real."
"It is, but it wasn't suppose to be. Alix, was just suppose to disable it, so that when the station scanned us they'd see we didn't have main power. While here we'd scan the station, access the computers and find out what we needed. Then our 'repairs' would be done and we'd leave."
"I thought you were a merchant," Jeremy said.
"And I thought Humans didn't have a working anti matter generator," Growler replied with a smile.
Jeremy looked away for a moment. "So what happened?" he looked back to him.
"Alix disabled the generator, and there was an explosion, it nearly killed him."
"So he made a mistake."
"No. Alix is my engineer. He's a master at his craft. He doesn't make mistake. Gralgriran intervened because he want me to meet you." Jeremy eyed hims suspiciously. "Consider this, my little hunter, if the explosion hadn't happened, or if Alix hadn't been gravely hurt, I probably wouldn't have left the ship, or maybe just to meet the station's commander, a courtesy. You certainly wouldn't have been there.
"Because Alix was hurt to the point he couldn't even direct the repairs, I had to contact the commander, via Querik, to let him know what had happen that we would be at the station for a long time, either until Alix was sufficiently healed, or another ship came to help with the repair. That's when he offered to have his anti matter expert help out. You. I couldn't refuse the offer, but I requested to be present. I wanted to see who I was going to have to let on my ship, and judge that person myself."
"You do realize you only got me, because our actual expert, Alison, wasn't here."
"Yeah. She left the day before you showed up."
Growler stared at him, his lips slowly tightening in a smile.
Jeremy suddenly realized the reason for the smile. "You can't be serious, it's just a coincidence that she left just before you arrived."
"What is a 'coincidence'?" He carefully pronounced the word.
"It's the word we use for a when a series of unrelated event can seem related."
Growler nodded. "Then coincidence, is the human word for when the Gods meddle." Jeremy rolled his eyes. "Think about it Jeremy. Look at the number of events that had to line up, so we would meet. If any one of them hadn't, we wouldn't be here right now."
Jeremy looked at him, having trouble believing he as serious. Coincidences were just that. Sure, it seemed extraordinary, but then so was life. That didn't mean some sort of extra dimensional being had a hand in creating it, right? He felt his confidence waver. Extra dimension were a scientific fact, they couldn't be breached from this side, but did that mean it couldn't happen from the other side? He shook his head. No, that was ridiculous. Their lives weren't guided by other beings. They couldn't be. He sighed. Okay, life could be a series of accidents, over millions and billions of years, but their circumstance was over a few days, a week at most. He had to admit that was a lot of coincidences in such a short amount of time.
"Are your g . . . Gods always interfering in your life?"
"No, just at important junctions."
"So at those times you have to do what they want?"
"Hardly. We aren't machines. When we realize one of Them is intervening, we can fight them. They don't all have our best interest in mind. Of course, most of the time, we don't realize what's happening until it's too late to do much about it. They can be very subtle. Then there's the problem of figuring out who is intervening, that will affect how you respond. When the explosion occurred, and Alix was injured, I knew someone was intervening, but I didn't start suspecting who, until I met you."
"You mean other than force myself not to grab you by the shoulders until you realized what you meant to me?" Jeremy chuckled. "What could I do? I made sure to be around you as much as I could, and not drive you away with the obvious problem you had being me around. Querik did tell me to be patient, that he as helping as best as he could, but ultimately, I could only hope that Gralgriran knew what he was doing, and that we could defeat what ever Gezbiliam's plan was."
Jeremy rested his head on his lover's chest. "You do realize that a lot of that sounds like justification after the fact."
Growler laughed. "Yes, I expect it does."
They were silent for some time.
"Tell me your full name, please," Jeremy whispered.
"My full name is Gralgiranselhelrarvnir"
Jeremy's bones rattled as the name washed over him, and his heart swelled. He looked into Gralgiranselhelrarvnir's eyes, and kissed him.
He was ready.