It made her want to do something for all of her children. Something that they would love...
Cirdon smiled. "Then Zoe it is, he announced," feeling too old and proper to get down on one knee and play with the dog as he wished.
Orb's Year 914
But what she would do with it, she did not know.
"You look lovely tonight, Princess Catherine," Cirdon said affectionately. He'd been amazed by how Princess Catherine had grown from a gangly-armed childhood friend into a beautiful lady.
If only he were a higher station...
Orb's Year 915
Dresden shook his head. "No. Cirdon is counting on me to teach you your numbers."
Evelyn sighed, "But if I'm to marry someone rich and important, why do I need to know my numbers! I'll never use it!"
Dresden laughed. "That's the silliest statement in the world! Mother uses numbers all the time - for running the household and for correspondence. Every one should know how to read and write."
"Yeah, but some people don't... like the peasants! Some of them don't know how to read or write!"
"What do you know of peasants?" Dresden asked, intrigued.
Evelyn shrugged. "I have spoken to some people at the instructional school. That's what they said."
"Well, don't fill your head with tall tales. Instead fill it with useful knowledge - like your math. Now try again. Farmer has 10 apples...."
Evelyn groaned and began writing the numbers as Dresden spoke them.
Cirdon laughed. "Oh, I'm sure that's what she wishes. I remember when Father taught me my letters. I hated every minute of it!"
Dresden smiled wistfully. "I don't really remember Father. I wish I did."
Cirdon nodded. "You were too young. I was a young boy, but you were a toddler. Poor Evelyn had just been born! It was very hard on Mother."
Dresden nodded. "And you."
Cirdon shrugged, "I've done what needs doing."
Orb's Year 916
Cirdon smiled, eager to see Princess Catherine smile again. "Really, I thought of Barron when the litter came with a boy and a girl. I'm sure he'd love to have a royal pet befitting the King. And that the son is from Sire makes it all the more special!"
Princess Catherine smiled shyly. "You are truly considerate and thoughtful." Ducking her head down, she asked, "But why then did you ask me to come over instead of Barron?"
In a well-practiced move, King Alexander stretched and yawned rather loudly, announced that he was getting too old for these late night visits and bid Cassidy farewell.
"Did... Did you plan that?" she asked, shocked.
Trent smiled and inclined his head. "Indeed I did. I begged a favor from the King.
"But why?" she asked, feeling as though she already knew the answer.
Cassidy scoffed, "Smitten? Unlikley!"
"Ah, but I have been!" He said, placing his hand to his heart. "I have been dying for just one sign that you might feel the same. I have been yearning from a kind word to flow from your lips."
Cassidy's eyes dropped to his lips. It made her think of kissing and all sorts of things that she'd thought dead and buried with her husband.
"May I have one?"
Cassidy jerked back, still thinking of kissing. "One what?"
Trent smiled again, as though he knew what she'd been thinking. Quietly, he leaned forward and whispered to her ear, "A kind word or two..."
Feeling daring, Cassidy leaned forward closer to Trent and flirted with the man, "I have been thinking of a few words..."
Interest flared in Trent's eyes, "Oh... and what type of words would they be?"
"Very, very kind words," she whispered in his ear.