Alana was still trying to live down the shame of having children out of wedlock. It was common knowledge that she'd had an affair with Brand Taveryn and had little Eryka. It made people look at Darius differently, and even little Caira. People whispered that perhaps the youngest children weren't Amar's, citing his old age.
Hearing bits of the gossip infuriated her!
The first time she'd seen him in her kitchen, she had stomped her foot and glared. "What are you doing here?" she'd raged. He had insulted her by refusing to leave his wife for her and then thought to come whenever he wanted?!
It was unheard of!
But, Brand had merely glanced up and smiled, cooing about what a darling girl Eryka was. Angered beyond belief, she'd insisted he leave immediately and never return.
She'd expected him to fuss about seeing his child, but he'd shrugged and walked away, as though she were nothing to him.
She had never told Darius that another man other than Amar was his father, but she always wondered if he somehow sensed it. She knew that Baji & Barika suspected, although they never treated him different. They seemed to think that they knew more than her and could live better than her.
She scoffed. Let them live their live and have their hopes crushed and see what decisions they make then, she thought bitterly. Then instantly she'd felt guilt for wishing any hardship upon her own children. She was truly an awful women, she thought.
"What's wrong with Mother?" Darius asked Barika.
Barika stood by and quietly looped her arm around his shoulders and led him away. "She'd just frustrated right now."
Caira smiled. How like Barika to gently guide attention from their mother to something else. She would make a natural mother, unlike the woman that birthed them!
Orb's Year 914
It didn't seem enough to Alana. She had dreamed that they would run away from the shackles keeping them in Celestia and escape together.
But, their attraction and pleasure had not been enough reason for him to give up a stable home and inheritance.
Perhaps next time she would set her sights lower...
Orb's Year 915
Or that he had enough time in the day to flirt with them...
Then after getting home from school, he was open immediately and tend to the money. Barika would make sure the place was spotless & clean and then set to work restocking items that had been purchased.
Together they made a great team!
It had warmed his heart.
Caira frowned. That didn't sound very fun. "Well, but it's such a small shop! Perhaps it would be best if I watched the children!"
Baji turned to her and frowned. "That is what mother does!"
Barika rolled her eyes. "You know as well as I do that she entertains men throughout the day and ignores the children. It would be best for the children if they had someone responsible watching them." Barika fixed her eyes on Caira, emphasizing the need for responsibility.
It certainly beat working in the stuffy shop at all hours of the evening!
Maybe this way she'd be able to meet more cute boys!
Orb's Year 916
Baji watched his twin sister say goodbye to the children and felt his heart breaking. How lucky Barika was to have found her true love and to be going off to build something new.
Sometimes he worried about the pressure of keeping his father's dream alive at the expense of his own. He had dreamed of being a famous architect, building castles and battlements for the King. But, he supposed in his own way, he was helping to build a better Celestia by providing everyday items that the villagers needed.
He just wished he had someone to build with...