Thursday, May 2, 2013

Baker, Orb's Year 909-912

Orb's Year 909
"What... what do you mean?" Debbie asked, hesitantly.  She'd never seen that look on anyone's face before.  Mark was glaring at her as though he hoped she'd vaporize in an instant.

"I mean that you lost your chance, peasant!"  Mark started to storm out, ignoring both Debbie and her mother, Amy.

"I don't understand," Debbie pleaded.  "What happened? Why do you hate me so?"

Mark's back went rigid and he turned around, clenching his fists.  "I SAW you, Debbie."  Debbie heard her mother gasp as Mark continued,  "With Taveryn!  Perhaps next time you want to roll in the hay, you might take better care to look around!"

"But... but..."  Debbie tried to think quickly of something to say that would appease Mark.

"Save your pleading for Taveryn," he said harshly.  Then sadly, he looked at her.  "I was going to take you away from here.  I was going to make you my wife."  He shook his head.  "I wash my hands of you both!"

As Mark walked out the door, Amy stormed over to her spoiled daughter and put her hands on her hips.  "Well I hope you're happy now!"
Drastic times called for drastic measures.  Amy invited young Baji Marchant over to see if she might be able to haggle a deal with him.  He proved as firm and shrewd as his father, though. 
She wouldn't get the price that Grocer was giving her, and seducing him was out of the question.  Grudgingly, Amy agreed to the price of $60 baker's quid.  It was still a bit better than what his father had bought the goods for, but less than she'd come to expect from Grocer.

All that hard work with Grocer down the drain, Amy thought sourly.  All because Debbie got too hot for her britches!
Encouraging Debbie to get to know the young merchant, Amy excused herself.  Debbie found that she didn't have much to discuss with the teenager and soon bade him good night, faking a yawn that even a yearling could see through.

After all, why did it matter if she had a friendship with him if her mother was handling the business!

Orb's Year 910
"You'll remember what I told you, right?" Amy told young Cade affectionately.

"Of course, Grandma Amy!"  Cade replied eagerly.  "Always listen to my mama and dad and to make sure I don't pick a lazy wife!"

"Mother!" Beth Ann called out across the room in exasperation.

"Well, it's the truth, isn't it, Braden?" Amy asked.  "A lazy wife makes more work for the man of the house!"

Braden laughed.  "What if that makes the husband lazy?"

"Then he wasn't raised proper and his Grandmother never told him to not be lazy!"  She squinted at him sternly, "Do I need to tell you not to be a lazy husband?"

"Of course not, Grandma!  Ask dad, I'm a hard-worker!"

Able nodded in agreement.  "He is at that! I find I have to wake up much earlier to beat him to the fields!"

"Good. Good." Grandma Amy said, smiling at her family.  "Beth Ann, dear.  You've done a good job.  We've yet to see about that gal you have growing, but your boys are fine young men."

Beth Ann was touched by her mother's rare compliment.  "Thank you, mama!"
Amy felt her Celestial Orb dimming and fervently wished she had done all she could for her daughters. 

She knew they saw her gruffness as disapproval, but it was a tough world and they needed to be even tougher to handle the messes that would come there way.

Well, it was all out of her hands now...

Amy Baker, Celestial Orb Years' 866-910

Debbie couldn't believe her mother was gone.  What was she supposed to do in this empty house?  It was as though her mother took all the life with her when she went.

Debbie was alone...
But not for long....

Orb's Year 911
After a period of mourning, Debbie threw herself into baking and taking care of the home.  She didn't know how her mother could stand baking for so many hours in a day.  She'd gotten to the point that she could make 20 baker's quid before having to sit down or stretch her back.

And she'd called up Baji Marchant to sell him the baked goods.  He'd looked at her first attempts and offered her $40 per baker's quid.  She couldn't remember how much her mother had been making, but that had seemed fair.  She didn't know her numbers well enough to know if she was making money or not.  She just prayed it would be enough.
She'd been surprised when her older sister Carrie stopped by.  Carrie generally stayed away to distance herself from the peasants.  Now that she was the merchant-man's kept woman, she put on airs.

Good thing she knew where she stood with Brand, Debbie thought, or she'd make a fool of herself, trailing after him like Carrie did to his father.

"I came to encourage you to stop seeing Brand," Carrie said bluntly.  "Mother's not around to give you guidance anymore, so it's up to me.  Brand is a married man and is devoted to his heir."

Debbie liked how Carrie didn't say he was devoted to his wife.  She held in a snicker.  Well, he couldn't be all that devoted if he spent many a night here!

Debbie shrugged.  "He's a grown man and he can do as he like."

Carrie was gazing at her sister's belly.  "I came to tell you what a mess it can be when you tie yourself to an unavailable man.  But, perhaps you already know..."

Debbie's hand drifted to her belly.  Perhaps she hadn't been putting on weight from all the taste-testing she'd been doing.   She wondered if Brand had noticed...
One thing was for sure.  She needed to find a man that would take care of her, regardless of a pregnancy!

Mark Grocer was out of the question, so Debbie called up the gypsy who could conjure a match.
Sheldon Fischer was a kind man, but hesitant to start anything with a woman with a baby on the way.  He'd thanked her for her interest, but resisted any attempts at flattery or cajoling. 
When she gave birth, Debbie was utterly alone and despondent.
And to her despair, she had two little girls!  Maybe her mother was right... girls were trouble! 

Orb's Year 912
"Oh bless the Celestial Orb!" Debbie cried when Sheldon came over.  "It's been so hard taking care of the babies alone!  First Fay cries and then Fannie and soon I don't know what to do!"

Sheldon patted Debbie on the back.  He'd received her request for help and had felt honor-bound to come to her assistance.  It was a hard world for a woman alone with two young babes.
Gently he picked up the tiny tot and attempted to soothe her as he had seen his mama do all those years.  Amazingly, it worked.

Debbie stared in amazement.  Just 5 seconds alone with Fay and the girl was putty in his hands!  Tears sprang to her eyes.  "I can't believe it! I've been trying all morning!" she said.

Sheldon glanced over and quietly said, "Sometimes it takes a new face.  Go rest, I'll watch the girls for you."

Debbie gratefully trotted upstairs and laid down for a blessed nap. 
Late in the evening, with the babies sleeping soundly, Debbie grabbed Sheldon's hands.  "Thank you so much."  Then, nervously she added, "I know you're not their papa, but you were so amazing with them.  Perhaps you could... stay... and help me.  Just for a little while.  Just until I get used to it?"

Sheldon squeezed Debbie's hands that rested in his.  "I would be honored. Who could turn down such a damsel in distress?"

Debbie blushed.

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