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For a long moment, I thought I had forgotten the English language.
A voice had pulled me out of a deep sleep, and I wasn't sure what it was saying, where I was or who was coiled against me. After a few seconds, I was able to figure out that it was Kaitlyn and we were sharing my bed, but I wasn't having any more luck with the voice.
Before I could panic, Kaitlyn replied to the voice in the same gravel-gargling language. The lights began to slowly brighten as she shifted to look at me. We had slept in a tangle of sheets, blankets and limbs, so she had to pull away from me in order to focus on my face.
"Good morning," she said, obviously fighting a dry mouth and a still-booting brain.
"Hi. That wasn't Jeeves," I added, stating the obvious.
"That was Shabhac."
"And you were speaking Gaelic?"
"I'm always speaking Gaelic. It's the only language I know, other than a few words of Mandarin. I'm speaking it right now."
"You aren't speaking English?"
"But I don't speak Gaelic."
"That doesn't surprise me. There aren't many people who do."
I thought my brain had mostly come out of sleep mode, but I wasn't getting much traction on the conversation.
"You're speaking Gaelic, which I don't speak, but I'm hearing you in English, which you don't speak."
"So how do you understand what I'm saying?"
"I hear it in Gaelic."
It finally dawned on me.
"We aren't human any more."
She smiled brightly.
"No, darling, we aren't. Did you think we all took English lessons just for the few American gods we get?"
I shook my head.
"I guess I hadn't thought about it. It makes sense, but if I'm just hearing you in my language, why do you have a Irish accent?"
That caused a giggling spell that took her voice away for a few seconds.
"Because you've seen too many Irish Spring commercials, you dolt. You think I should talk like a female leprechaun, so that's what you hear. It probably gets stronger when I'm more emotional, right?"
"Well, yes," I mumbled.
"Of course it does. I hope my accent isn't the only reason you find me attractive!"
I looked down at our intertwined bodies and assured her that it wasn't. She laughed again, shaking her head.
"You are such a typical man. Haven't you noticed that everyone here is built like a statue in a Greek temple? Or did you think that every one of us was a professional athlete, and that's why we are all in perfect shape?"
I started to say something about knowing they only picked attractive people, but she laughed again and pressed herself tightly against me.
"It's true that we tend to pick apprentices that we think are hot, but come on, Michael. Do you really think a poor 19th-century peasant farmer had a body like this? After having multiple children?"
I was having trouble concentrating on the question, which caused more giggling, which caused Kaitlyn's body to shake in ways that made it even harder to focus.
"You probably didn't notice, because you are used to being in fantastic physical condition, and you were already sooooo handsome that you didn't need any help."
I could feel myself blushing, and I tried to save my dignity by sticking my tongue out at her.
"Very mature," she said with a grin. "For those of us that were mere mortals on Earth, though, being a god is a cosmetic dream come true. Immortality has a lot of extra privileges."
"It certainly does," I agreed, tightening my grip on her.
She leaned her face forward and kissed me deeply, then rolled away.
"Trust me, we'll have plenty of chances to continue what we started last night - but right now, we've got an hour to get ready for work."
I started and looked hurriedly at the grandfather clock in the corner. A couple minutes after eight.
She saw the look on my face and laughed again.
"Don't worry. The first session of a new year starts with a big breakfast, so we don't have to worry about eating. That's why I had Shabhac wake us at 8 instead of my usual 7."
"That's good, since 7:00 would have meant two hours of sleep instead of three."
"You're a god. Suck it up."
She got out of bed and scooped up her negligee, but she didn't bother to put it on. Instead, she walked over to my closet as I tried not to stare. She dug around for a second, then pulled out a silky black robe and slipped it on.
"That fits you surprisingly well, given that I'm eight inches taller than you."
She winked at me.
"I had Shabhac put it there before I showed up last night."
I started to say something, but she cut me off as she tied the robe.
"There's nothing you can say at this point that isn't going to sound silly, so just be quiet. Go take a shower, get dressed and meet me outside the Chamber at 8:45. Oh, and don't wear anything too sexy. You'll distract me."
"But I'll be wearing a robe."
"Not in my imagination, you won't."
She turned and headed for the door, but I stopped her with a question.
"Kaitlyn, are we ready?"
She looked back over her shoulder. Her face had gone serious, but there was no sign of last night's fear.
"Yeah, baby. We are. A very wise man taught me that last night."
She walked out the door.
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