-15- Taking Measure

I had enough time to get everything in order that I wanted to.

I managed to get ahead of the cookie baking, and I even made a few blueberry muffins which I will have the children taste after they eat the spaghetti I’m currently making. They haven’t come home yet, but there’s still the last little bit of daylight out, so it’s fine. This world is nothing like my past. Most of the children back then were all glued to computer screens or smartphones and hardly went outside to play on their own.

Every single time Nefe and Trev go out to play, they come back head-to-toe covered in some kind of dirt, and I completely approve of that lifestyle.

Various jams were kept in the numerous lidded iron pots I had ordered from Zedron, and I could finally begin to relax. Starting again tomorrow morning, we could resume bread production without falling behind in production of anything. There was plenty of almond butter again, and the only thing I had left to do was take some time to begin the next project to improve the finances of this family.

I had to begin creating the collectable card game that would put us on the map.

The noodles I planned for the children and I to eat, I had made from scratch. While it wasn’t the first time I’d made them, it also sort of was. I had a noodle making appliance that did all the work back home on Earth, and making them by hand was a bit of a challenge.

The children returned home once the sun set, but also looked a bit wary as they entered, quiet as could be. They looked all around the bakery floor, checking for something before eventually coming over to me.

“Daddy… Where’s mommy?” Nefe was asking me in a whispering voice.

I pointed up.

“In her bedroom?”

I nodded, whispering back, because it seemed important that I should, “She’s asleep in her bed.”

Though both of them somehow seemed quite relieved by this fact. I continued to speak in my whispering voice.

“Do you two want to eat some noodles?”

Both of them looked at each other and then back to me, nodding positively.

“Have a seat at the table. I’ll serve you both up a plate. If you manage to eat it all, you have seconds if you want, but you’ll also be able to have a special treat.”

“A treat?” Trev was the first to ask. “What kind of treat?”

“That… is something you can only find out if you finish your plate of noodles, but I’m confident if you like cookies, you’ll like what I made while you two were outside playing.”

Both of them nodded their understanding, and the three of us ate together. Now, most of the food we ate which wasn’t soup, was eaten by hand. I had put some forks out, since forks did exist, and Zedron had plenty of them in stock at a cheap enough price for me to convince Tally that it was a good deal. I spent a few moments showing the children how to use them to eat the buttery mushroom pasta with grated cheese on top in a fun way by twirling the noodles around before taking a bite.

It worked for exactly one bite.

Then it became a slurp fest, as god intended. I was also a participant, and it became a bit of a competition to see who could inhale a bite of noodles in the silliest, messy way.

We were laughing softly at each other until Trevorkane sneezed and then a noodle ended up dangling out of his nose, then all hope at keeping the volume down was right out the window.

“Teek is a noodlenose!” Nefe pointed at him and giggled.

“Hehehehe!” Teek was owning it up, trying to lick the dangling noodle with his tongue. I guess everything tasted better to a five year old with a dash of boogie-flavoring.

Both of the children finished their plate of food, and rather than a second, they wanted the bounty I offered for doing so.

I put a blueberry muffin made from a mixture of regular flour and cornmeal. The top had some melted sugar added as a frosting substitute. Both of the kids ravaged it.

“So, what do you think?” I asked.

Both of them were quick to say it was yummy.

Now, I don’t actually have a muffin pan here exactly, so it was really just a sort of blueberry muffin brownie-cornbread kind of thing. But it was first run test fire of the batter, and I needed guinea pigs. In my opinion it didn’t rise enough, so I need to work out the kinks there a bit more.

It became time to send the children to bed and for me to do the dishes.

“Alright, kiddos. Go change into your pajamas and get ready for bed. If you want to stay up a little later, that’s fine, but if your whispering was because you didn’t want to disturb your mother, remember to keep it down, okay?”

Both of them immediately nodded with emphasis on their understanding. I smiled and patted their heads, after which they practically tiptoed upstairs to their room.

Again, a huge red flag was present, but I couldn’t imagine Tally being violent when drunk. I wondered what it was all about? With the dishes done, the bakery door locked, and a small dingy doily having about six pieces of my makeshift blueberry muffins on them, I went upstairs and decided to have a snack prepared for Mrs. Thalica, while I got started with the card game mockups; Mostly rules, and sample layouts to begin with.

I based it off of an internationally popular monster catching, taming, and battling franchise, though with a few adjustments from other card games I’ve played over the years. I was probably scratching away at the paper with a feather quill and ink bottle for a while before realization hit me that I wasn’t writing in this world’s language. I still illiterate with these weird blocky letters.

My wife began to moan and stir a bit from over in bed, so I decided to take a break to not overstrain my eyes, and joined her in bed. My body firmly planted against hers, I stroked her hair softly, as her body gave off an excessive feeling of heat.


“Yes, my love, I’m here…”


Was she talking while asleep?


I held her tightly.


“I won’t go anywhere, Tally. You can rest easy, my angel.”


“That’s right, I’m here… right next to you.”


Like that, I spooned her until drifting off to sleep with her. When I woke a bit later, it was to the sounds of her weeping into my chest. My hand moved to stroke her back, causing her to be surprised.


“You’ve awoken, my love. Are you feeling alright?”

She was clutching my shirt.

“I’m… fine.” She lied. “It’s been a while since I’ve been able to enjoy a drink.”

“Yes, you certainly seemed to enjoy it.”

“It’s late, isn’t it?” She inquired.

“Most likely. If you are worried about the children, I ate with them, and sent them to bed long ago.”

I felt her let out a sigh into my chest.

“Thank you.”

“You don’t need to thank me. It’s my job to support you, and that means taking care of things while you take a rest for a change.”

“…you’re really good at spoiling me, Gar.”

“And I’ll continue to do so… In fact, I seem to remember you wanting me to massage those sore legs of yours.”

“Mm… but where you’re massaging now is nice too.”

My hands were gently rubbing a place lower on her body, but it was still an arm’s length before I reached her calves.

“I was just loosening up from the top down, that’s all.”

“Mmhmm. Not even the wine would make be believe that, dear husband."

"May I undress you, so that I may keep my honor?”

“Is that how you gentleman operate these days?”

“I am going to give you that massage, my love, and you are going to melt into this bed. I’ve even prepared something that will help.”

“Mmm… I am listening.”

I climbed out of bed and brought back the doily stacked with blueberry muffin… squares.

“Are these…?”

“They are. The children said they were, and I will quote them here, yummy.”

Picking up a blueberry muffin-square, I fed her a bite, and let her decide for herself if it was acceptable or not. It took little effort after that to get her pesky clothing out of the way, and for my newly strengthened fingers to knead all the knots out of her supple body, beginning with her lower back, and working my way down to her calves.

“Mmmhhh… sogood…!”

Of course she was talking about the muffins.

The moaning I had her doing later only came when the muffins, and even the crumbs, were long gone into her belly, but not the only thing, either.

I lay exhausted next to her, and she, sitting up and gently combing her hand through my hair, looked down at me with a sweet smirk. I enjoyed the calming sensation of her touch, and let the night take me back to oblivion under her watchful gaze.

When I woke up again, it was to my wife swearing.

Her prediction was accurate. It was her moon, and the sheets were dyed in red to prove it.

“I’m sorry my husband, but for the next few days…”

I sat up and rubbed her back.

“I understand. If you feel tired or sore and need me to attend to you, just say so.”

She looked at me strangely.

“You’ll attend to me?”

“Yes. With plenty more massages, or whatever you need.”

“You are aware it is my moon?”

“Am… I not supposed to touch you at all during this time? If there is a custom, I’m sorry, but I’m not aware of it.”

She slumped forward a little and shook her head.

“What do you know of a woman’s moon, Gar?”

“It’s something women who come of age get when their bodies are ready to prepare for insemination. Eggs come down from the fallopian tubes and sit in the uterus where they wait for a man’s spermatozoa to fertilize it. Should the egg go unfertilized, the body, building up a blood reserve to help form a placenta instead discharges, and it comes out so as to not be rotting and septic within the female body.”

“…I understood half of that, Gardavan. What are you describing exactly?”

“It was taught to all children in my homeland when preparing to enter the teenage years, that it’s a natural biological process and nothing to find disgusting or to be ashamed of.”

“Truly? You are not disgusted by it?”

I shook my head. “Why should I be. Rather, I’m quite relieved it came!”

“Why ever for?”

“It means that with as much as we have done, you don’t have to be worried about how plump you will find yourself months from now.”

“You… do not want a child?”

“You have two children already, and good ones at that. Isn’t it rather fortunate that you don’t need to mind the burden of a third one coming so soon?”

“You think my having a child is burdensome?”

“For me, no. But I’m not the one who has to carry it, suffer the morning sickness, and the aches and pains for nine months until going into painful labor, then being worn out from the constant attention a baby requires. Of course I would help every step of the way that I can when I can should something like that come to pass, it’s just… I have been irresponsible enough already not even consulting you on the matter.”

“Consulting me… about having a child?”

I nodded.

“Isn’t it a matter of course? You vowed to take me as your wife, and for me you as a husband. Is it… not the expectation that I bear you a child? I did not enter into this marriage to cuckold you or turn you down. I did think this matter through before I even considered letting you warm my bed!”

There was a hint of anger in her voice.

“Tally. There is no need to rush it, is there? Let us enjoy our time together as a husband and wife without such distractions. Let us leave it to heaven to decide whether or not you will conceive. Until then, let your moons come without worry, and I will pamper you and feed you sweet things during them, and massage all your aches away. We can make love again when it is over, as much as you want. I’ll just have to do my best and settle for your sweet kisses alone until then.”

She laid back in our bed, confusion in her voice.

“You… won’t visit the spinstery during my moon?”

“What is a spinstery?”

“Gar, since we cannot embrace as such while my moon has arrived, normally it is the case that a wife makes an allowance for her husband to…”

“To what?” I got a very weird vibe from what she wasn’t saying.

“…to find… succor.”

Was she serious? What kind of a man can make a vow to love his wife, but every time she has her period he uses it as an excuse to go whet his whistle with a damn floozy!?

Were the middle ages on Earth like this too?

“You think I would visit someone else when you have to endure your moon!?”

“It’s a common practice, Gar. The women of the spinstery all have lost their moons, so if it’s with them…”

“No.” I said firmly. “I’m not so weak between the legs that I need to ever do such a thing to you. You are my wife, the only woman I will ever need or want to embrace.”

“You… truly mean that?”

“I do. When I gave you my vow, that was a part of it. Whether at the peak of health or the valley of infirmity, to love, and to forever cherish you, Tally.”

She wept.


Snot came out of her nose and she was still cute.

“Can you… go get started. I… would like some privacy to take care of this mess…”

“But I think this mess is beautiful just the way she is!” I said teasingly as I kissed her cheek.

I was rewarded with a backhand to the shoulder.

“Gar, you cad!”

I chuckled.

“I will begin the morning preparations my queen, join me only when you feel up to it.”

I escaped the room, but not before she expressed her vexation of me. Cracking my knuckles, I laughed inwardly for a moment before heading downstairs.

“As they say in the ‘hood back home, Let’s get this bread!