Greetings to all of you past readers…I am sure that you will enjoy this book as much as the others. To those of you just joining us, don't be picky because this is a third in the series, jump right in! Though I do recommend reading the other two first, you can begin this one and still understand. Without further ado, I present…Clear Waters! Enjoy!
(Married with children)
"Aimee?" Zelda wearily collapsed into a chair, putting a hand to her head in frustration. "Where is she?" Taking a deep breath, she pursed her lips and got up, resuming her frantic search. "Aimee! You come to mommy this instant!" Sadly, Zelda's shouting was to no avail, and she decided to go get Liam instead. If Aimee didn't want to come to her own party, leave her out.
She smiled gently as she entered the twin's playroom. "Liam, honey…time to go for your party…"
The toddler looked up from his involvement with a toy soldier. "Mommy!" he exclaimed happily, waddling over to her with his big blue eyes aglow.
Zelda noticed the soldier, and secretly frowned. Quickly, she scooped the child up into her arms and tucked his blonde hair back behind his ears. "Let's go to the party now, Liam!" She tickled his stomach, and took him with her to the conference room, where all the castle staff awaited patiently. She placed Liam in his highchair, and then pursed her lips again. Her eyes flitted about the room, but she didn't see him. "Where is Link?" she asked, before she felt something pull on her dress.
"Here, Mommy!" Aimee exclaimed, looking quite pleased with herself.
"Aimee!" Zelda promptly plopped her next to her brother and narrowed her eyes. "You shouldn't have run off, young lady. I told you to stay with your brother!" she scolded.
"Sowy Mommy." Aimee seemed to ponder this, but soon a gleeful expression replaced her look of repentance. "Yay!" she cheered, clapping her chubby hands in pure bliss at the sight of a cake.
Kafei and Anju smiled, and the soldier slowly moved a hand to feel the gently swollen belly of his wife. "Soon…" he reminded himself. "Soon…one of our own."
Liam soon followed his sister's example, and also clapped his hands, squealing with excitement.
After the first few presents were opened, a very frenzied Link burst into the room. "Did I miss anything?" He glanced towards Zelda. "Tell me I didn't!" he panted, out of breath.
Zelda stared at her husband with lowered eyebrows and simply shook her head. "No. You didn't miss anything. Just like you didn't yesterday…or the day before…"
Link, who was now in his mid-twenties, could see Zelda's point. "I'm really sorry, I had to see someone about a problem." Motioning to Zelda that he would tell her later, he pasted on a huge smile. "How are my little prince and princess?" He bent over the twins, and ruffled Liam's hair. Turning to Aimee, he simply let her hand rest on his. "So? Tell me! What did you get? Did you eat all the cake yet?" he chuckled.
Liam tried to move his father's hand, but Link was much too strong. "Daddy!" he giggled as Link's hand slipped down to block the two-year old's view. Liam dragged out a gift he had received, a sweater. "Ta-da!" He proudly held the clothing up. Link's smiled broadened as Aimee pulled out a matching sweater.
"Me!" she exclaimed. "Mine!"
Link removed his grin, a sly look entering his expression. "Ah, but did you open your gifts from me?" With this, he whipped out two brightly wrapped packages from behind his back.
Liam's eye grew two times their size as he accepted his gift, and slowly began to remove the bow. Aimee, however, dove into the gift with a flourish. Liam was absolutely thrilled with his gift, a pull-along army horse, and Aimee discovered a beautiful baby doll.
Of course, the two twins were treated with a delicious cake, baked with love by Anju. All the castle staff stayed for a bite, say for a few soldiers and Saria. Liam tried to use a fork, getting few crumbs on himself. Aimee, however, had soon decorated herself with the icing.
After the party, the children were both dead tired. Soon, they fell asleep, and each one was taken to bed, Aimee by Impa, and Liam by Kafei. The servants slowly began to clean up, and Zelda pulled Link towards her. Her eyes sparked, and she hissed angrily.
"Now, first of all, tell me this. What in your deranged mind makes you think that Liam, our two-year old son, can play with toy soldiers?" she growled.
Link raised an eyebrow. "It's not that bad, is it? Why do you consider it life-threatening?"
Zelda put on a shocked expression. "It's not life-threatening!" she snapped. "I just don't want Liam to be playing with war-related items."
"I enjoy it when our kids have a little fun!" Link snapped back. "It's not going to kill them!"
Zelda crossed her arms and huffed. "Fine…but have you noticed, Liam doesn't seem to guard Aimee, and she…" Zelda softly giggled. "I think we named them wrong…" With another glare, she resumed her angry tone. "So tell me, why on earth were you late again?" she asked.
"It's a long story, Zel." Link used her nickname, and sighed, collapsing in a nearby chair and placing a hand on his forehead. "I…"
"You were off doing some 'business' and were late to your children's birthday party, just like when you were last year, and when Aimee said her first word, and when Liam learned how to walk…" she trailed off.
"Zelda!" Link took a deep breath. "Listen to me." He closed his eyes, and his tone sounded far-off. "There's been problems lately."
"Problems?" Zelda asked, tilting her head. "What sort of problems?"
"I'm getting to it…problems in the marketplace. There's a lot of illegal activity going on." Link stated. Kinru was now beside Link, joining his king for a moment. "Saria, Kinru, and some others have been gossip-searching for me." He nodded to his advisor in a weary state.
"Yes?" Zelda blinked, very interested. "Has there been any…pirating?"
"Pirating, robbing, smuggling, attempted murders, the whole deal." Link interrupted.
"Wow. They must be a good group, to have not been caught." Zelda marveled, chewing on a gloved finger thoughtfully.
"Not they…he." Link corrected. "And he's not 'good', he's sensational…this is what we know…He's a black market worker, and he's rarely seen. He calls himself 'The one-way shadow'. It's said he gives you a set price, and you pay it. There's not negotiating, it's all 'one-way'. The 'shadow' comes in due to the fact that no one ever sees him."
"Strange. I wonder when he plans to give it up." Zelda pondered out loud.
"I don't know, but we'll continue on his trail." Link massaged his temples. "The number of offences are increasing…"
"Oh…Link. Don't worry…I'm sorry for yelling." Zelda gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. "I only insist that we keep the promise of not telling the children about your past…"
Link nodded in agreement. "I'm going in to say goodnight to them. My next meeting will have to wait." He thoughtfully smiled, and made his way to the twin's room, dismissing his soldiers and advisors for a while. As he entered, he saw Liam and Aimee together, the younger brother had left his bed to join his sister, though both were wide-awake.
"Daddy!" They jinxed one another, a common thing to happen.
"Read?" Aimee picked out a book from under her covers, and held it up.
Link chuckled softly. "Nope. Sorry, not tonight kiddo." Taking the book, he tucked them in, and gave each a loving kiss on the forehead. "Goodnight…I love you."
"Love you too, daddy." The reply came almost instantly.
Link silently clicked the door shut behind him. "Phew…"
"They're a handful, aren't they?" Kafei asked, revealing himself from the shadows.
"Yeah…they surely are…" Link thoughtfully fingered the book. "Hm?" He glanced at the cover. "Treasure Island…" He shook his head, a genuine smile on his face. "Aimee, Aimee, Aimee…"