Monday, May 20, 2013

Marchant, Orb's Year 917-920

Orb's Year 917
Baji had wished for a lot of things in his life and had not received.

So, he'd been quite surprised when Alicia Howe had come into his life.
She was everything he could have hoped for - and more!  She was beautiful, fun, vivacious, and had a quick mind.  She didn't mind helping in the mercantile store and was wonderful with his brother and sisters!

It seemed that dreams did come true!
Caira would rather be doing anything than helping in the mercantile store - but every now and then there were fringe benefits.  Such as the time Connor Taveryn came shopping and flirted with her in the empty store.
They had the best time playing together all afternoon.
But, when she'd attempted to steal a kiss, he'd pulled back. 
Baji said that she shouldn't worry about boys so much and that it was more important to work hard and make your way in life that to flit about all day.

She told him that all work and no play made Baji a very full boy!

Orb's Year 918
Baji knew that his sister thought he was crazy for investing so much time into the store.  But, this was his father's legacy and he meant to see it succeed.  Sometimes he wished he could just sell it and be done with it...
...especially when he manned the store himself.  Barika had married and moved off, Caira was flighty and little help and Darius and Eryka were just children who fought all the time!
But then he'd met Alicia.  And she'd taken right to it.  She stocked while he manned the money.
She even made sure dinner was waiting for him when he'd finished work for the day.
He knew she was the best thing that had ever happened to him in his life!
And wasn't shy about dropping to one knee to pledge himself to her.
Baji's heart had stood in his stomach as he waited for Alicia to accept his proposal.  And when she did, he had handfasted himself to her and solemnly repeated the vows binding them together in matrimony.
Baji was proud to say that Alicia was now his wife!
And soon with child!

Orb's Year 919
Darius soon was a teen and even less interested in manning the shop than Caira.  He wasn't the eldest son, so why did it matter? he thought. 
Besides, he needed every minute to spare practicing his moves on Christa!
Alicia struggled to maintain her pregnancy and help Baji in the store.  She was learning slowly, but quickly.
But soon, she was too far pregnant to help even the littlest bit.  Baji bid her rest, but she felt restless and would wander, cleaning the home until it shined.
The proudest moment in her life had been the moment she held her daughter, Farha up to introduce her to her father. 
Since he'd raised his siblings from a young age, Baji had thought that he'd be an old-hand at raising a child.  But, when it was your own child, it felt so different.  He wondered how his mother couldn't feel that sense of wonder every time she held her child.  Not for the first time, he'd wondered exactly what gene was missing in Alana that made her so cold and selfish!

Orb's Year 920
Alana couldn't believe how her children had grown in such a short time.  It didn't help her vanity to see that Eryka was far more beautiful than she had been.
Just looking at her daughter made her feel old and dowdy.  Old feelings of resentment bubbled up in Alana's chest just thinking about Taveryn and how he'd abandoned her.
Then, across the room, she spied Caira kissing the Taveryn peasant boy.
Enraged, she flew over and pushed Caira from him.
"Mother! What are you doing?" Caira had cried as she rubbed her chest where Alana had pushed her.
"Get out of her!" Alana had screeched at the unsuspecting boy! "And take your brother with you! No Taveryn is welcome in MY home!"  Blood told, Alana thought sourly.  Any child of Taveryn was likely to be as selfish and horrid as Brand!

Caira had fled to her room in embarrassment and anger as Alana watched to make sure both boys left her house.
Alana grabbed Baji's arms.  "Go. Talk to her. Make her understand.  The Taveryns' blood is all tainted.  They're promise-breakers and heart-breakers."  Glancing across the room at Eryka, she added.  "Even her..."

Baji patted his mother's hand and promised to talk to Caira.
Awkwardly, Baji hugged Caira.  "She's an old, confused woman, Caira.  I'm sorry she did that to you."

"I really like him, Baji.  Is that so wrong?"

Baji sighed. "I wish I knew how to counsel you.  He is the illegitimate off-spring between Aidan Taveryn and Carrie Baker, so he must make his way in the world as a peasant, even though he has the burnished hair of a merchant.  To marry him, you would take on great shame."

Baji paused a moment.  "But, if he makes you happy, then I wish you to follow your heart.  You would not love him if he were not a kind, gentle man."

Caira wrapped her arms around Baji's waste and hugged him tight.  "Thank you for being the best brother in the world, Baji!"
None of Alana's children were talking to her these days.  That was fine... she had a grandbaby to dote on....

Alana was beginning to realize all that she'd missed living in her own dream-land and how each of her children had suffered because of her inattention... 

Perhaps Farha was a chance to set things right...

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