Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Stormiest Weather

1032, Spring

“He hasn’t touched you? Not even on the night?”
Nolia had her back to Ancel, and faced the fireplace. “He got himself so drunk he passed out,” she said. “He didn’t even make it to the bed.”

Ancel sighed loudly; his son had avoided his new wife quite skilfully since the wedding. And Ancel had been too occupied with courtly business to deal with Miklos. His days had been shrouded by the heavy thoughts in his head, brought on by the fear that something sinister was approaching.
“I apologize for that,” he said sadly.
“Don’t be,” Nolia turned to face him. “I know what’s at stake, as it is any woman’s duty to provide able children for her husband.”
Although he could hear the sarcasm tainting her voice, he nodded. “I’ll speak with him.”

Ancel had brought Nolia back to court in the hopes of catching Miklos, who was so often travelling and hardly ever at their estate. He had received word that Damek Fiala had been summoned to serve the king, so the chance of Miklos arriving sometime soon was good. The downside to having her at court was the watchful gaze of his brother, who had eagerly offered his opinion at the first sight of her. Ancel tried to shrug it off, but Soren had always had a way of getting to him.
The door opened, “Aren’t you two a sad sight.”
Emelle entered, wearing her usual smile. People had questioned him when he had chosen to stay unmarried, but her smile had always kept him afloat, even in the stormiest weather.

He grunted openly as he stood to greet her, reaching in to kiss her smile. “What news?”
She looked nervously at Nolia for a moment, but Ancel waved a hand to show that it was okay. “The physician confirmed it, Jaslyn is with child.”
“Gives my brother all the more reason to continue seeing the Tiernan girl,” Ancel said. “The king has ordered me to assign her a maidservant to wait on her, so I assume he intends for her stay to lengthen.”

“How about Glyn’s daughter, Bonnibel?” Emelle suggested, “Jaslyn is refusing to see anyone beside the physician, and I think Bonnie struggles in the company of so many men.”
He nodded, “Why is Jaslyn refusing her servants though?”
“Well I suppose she’s fearful of losing the child,” his lover shrugged.
Ancel thought for a moment, “Does Jaslyn know about the Tiernan girl?”
Emelle shrugged again.
“The Tiernan girl,” Nolia piped in. “She’s not related to Shonn Tiernan is she? My sister’s husband?”
“She is,” Ancel looked at her for a second and nodded again, “Perhaps you could make friendly with her while you’re here, and keep your ears wide.”
Nolia nodded her understanding and cracked a knowing grin.
“My love,” Emelle said gently. “Another Ridere wouldn’t be so bad to have around, you know.”

He knew what she was implying, and he had been fighting her wish to have another child since their last daughter had caused her so much hardship. He wasn’t well acquainted with the inner workings of the female body, but he would not risk the life of his love for any reason.
“I don’t think so,” he told her frankly.


  1. My brain hurts. Sorry if this is really bland. I haven't been sleeping (It's impossible in this weather) and have been having the worst headaches for no reason! Anyway, here's a post. You can imagine Nolia is not pregnant yet, and still a virgin... The question is for how much longer!

  2. Not bland at all! Though I hope you can get some sleep (and better weather) soon.

    Emelle really does bring out Ancel's best side. I can understand his reservations, but it is Emelle's body, so it's really up to her whether she deems the reward to be worth the risks, and Ancel doesn't sound like he has any other objections to another child apart from the risk to Emelle's health; hopefully they can sort things out soon.

    And I am relieved to see that Ancel has noticed Miklos's lack of interest in Nolia. Hopefully he will remember this if things continue to take a while on the son front in the other timeline; if Nolia's son is Damek's because Miklos can only get it up for her if Damek is involved, then I should hope Ancel will realize that that's not Nolia's fault (though I hope he won't shift the blame to Miklos either--only the system is to blame, not anyone involved).