“We have to report this, husband.”
“I know, Ginga.” Cam shook his head. “You know how I hate involving the Enhusa-Hutsyate in anything, but this is too big for me to cover with moss.”
Ginga fidgeted. No one particularly enjoyed dealing with the loose association of powerful beings that governed their world. The Enhusa usually left people to their own devices, except in the cases of major disputes, issues of customary behavior, or outright breaking laws. In those instances, they could be capricious, as well as extraordinarily precise in their judgments.
“We should have informed them about Etty’s marriage, too.”
“Big, hairy, spiders!” Cam yelled, and got up from his seat. “Did you have to mention that? They would have killed the boy, without a moment’s hesitation.”
“What?” Etty cried.
“Quiet, child.” Cam held up his hand. “They can’t do anything about it now… not that they could have, once they realized you’d married him. If it had been a simple proposal, then they would have acted.”
“Why haven’t you told them about John and me?”
He looked into his daughter’s tear-filled eyes, and felt the combined assault of every reason he’d come up with for not talking to the Enhusa. With a mighty sigh, he forced the chaos of thoughts into a box inside his mind. There wasn’t time to deal with them.
“Because I love you, child, and I worried that they’d do something unexpected. It doesn’t matter now, because there are larger issues at hand.”
Ginga spoke up.
“We should have Murra talk to her mentor. She’d have better luck getting a positive response than you or I would, darling.”
Cam nodded. His wife, thank goodness, was thinking clearly.
“Why Murra?” Lur asked.
“Her mentor is Three Ravens, as you know.”
Lur nodded at his father. He’d met Three Ravens on one or two occasions, and found him to be a fairly reasonable sort of person.
“Is he a member of the Enhusa?”
“Yes. As far as custom goes, he’s in charge of everything from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay to Manhattan Island, and as far west as the Appalachian mountains.” Cam explained to his only son. “He’s also Second Born, and hundreds of years older than me.”
“So, if I may ask, Papa… why would sister get better reactions than you or Mama?”
Cam cringed, and his wife covered her eyes with her hand. In order to answer their son’s question, they had to bring up uncomfortable memories.
“Because, Three Ravens holds grudges.” Ginga said, hoping that would be enough information to end the issue, but knowing it wouldn’t be.
“Mama, Papa, what did you do that annoyed him?” Etty asked, suddenly curious about what her well-respected parents could have done to vex one of their peers.
“I was,” Cam cleared his throat, “originally betrothed to his sister, Onna. I met your mother, and broke that agreement in order to marry her.”
Lur and Etty hissed in unison. Breaking betrothals was not small thing. Feuds had begun for lesser things, and it begged the question of how their parents got out of retribution from Three Ravens’ family.
“Before you ask,” Ginga said, “the price we paid to soothe their family was to apprentice one of our children to Three Ravens. We chose Murra, rather than you two, or Kassa, or Shoal. Her personality fits his much better.”