Thursday, January 9, 2014

Forced to Feign Pleasure

1031, Winter

Diona Peredur was to be married. Married. She’d never nourished the thought of marriage even as a child.  She’d found her dream, in the arms of an unmarried lord, who promised her all the riches she could dream if only she could give him a son. The morning she awoke to bloody sheets was the morning she lost that dream. Now no man in Marlowe would touch her, and she was being sent, in disgrace, to Iridia. It disgusted her that she had failed so miserably. Yet here she was, seated with the woman who her brother would soon marry, forced to feign pleasure at her presence. 

“Your mother wrote a lovely letter, asking that a marriage take place, in honour of her last wishes.” She said blankly. “I was sad to hear she had fallen ill at the news of your sister.”
Diona watched painfully as Nyssa attempted a graceful response, wincing at the girl’s squeak of a voice.
“I am grateful,” Nyssa said.
Diona sighed, glancing at her younger sister Tanaia. If only she had the looks of Tanaia, who despite being adopted practically owned their parents affections. Tanaia was seated to the left of Nyssa, book in hand. She had always been the favourite daughter, the perfect daughter.
“Tanaia, do you have to do that here?”

Her sister did not look up from her book, “Yes.”
Diona sighed again, she was so tired of playing the happy, doting sister.
“Tanaia, did you read that paragraph I circled yet?” Taren had entered the room, twin to Tavis, who sat playing nearby. 

Tanaia, Tanaia, Tanaia. Diona glared at her little brother. Taren was a studious little boy, with half-moon glasses and crooked front teeth. Their father had forgiven him this, deciding he did have at least two sons eligible to stand as his heir. 
“Not yet, don’t rush me.” Tanaia grinned.
Diona looked to Nyssa. She was such a strange person; she seemed deflated and uninteresting one moment and then overly stimulated the next. 
“Hello Taren,” Nyssa cooed, smiling.

Taren smiled shyly, and Diona got the feeling he was more than fond of their new sister.
Tavis called out across the room, “Taren, I can smell you from here. Go away.”
The twins had never got along.
“Be careful Tavis, you’ll make Taren’s ghost angry.”
Diona had to blink a few times before she realised what Nyssa had said. She looked from Nyssa to Taren and back again, the room was silent. Normally Tavis would reply with some dismissive remark, but it seemed there were no words to express the mutual shock going around.

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