Thursday, May 2, 2013

Taveryn, Orb's Year 909-912

Orb's Year 909
Deb couldn't believe the stack of dirty dishes sitting on the table.  Bless the Orb, these men were so slovenly!  And with a live-in servant, there was no excuse!  It seemed that Miss Baker thought herself to be higher than her station allowed, Deb thought rudely.
Why, when Deb had called the boys for dinner, Carrie had waltzed over and sat down to join them for the meal!  Deb had asked Brand if there was a servant's table available.  Brand had just shrugged and said Carrie had always eaten with them. 

Carrie had put her fork down and informed Deb that perhaps she'd like to take the matter up with Aidan.

Deb couldn't believe her ears! Servants from where she lived never spoke back!  Oh, she knew that Aidan was carrying on with the servant, as evidenced by the baby lying on the floor and the swelling of her belly with pregnancy again.  

But that didn't mean Carrie should be allowed free reign!
Brand left the two women to their own devices.  He knew that from experience that when two women started warring, the best thing to do was find somewhere else to be!

He stopped in his tracks.  "Debbie, is that you?" he asked.

Debbie giggled, "Well who else would it be?"

"Well, I'll say you've grown up quite fetching!"

"Whatever did you expect, you rogue?"  Debbie lightly swatted at him.  "I should mad at you, you know."

Brand clutched his heart.  "Whatever for?" he asked, leaning closer.

"You snuck into my bedroom and stole a kiss and then never showed up again."  Flirtatiously, she lowered her eyes.  "I dreamt of you every night..."

Brand felt everything in his body heat up.  "Well that's something I can rectify immediately.  Go back to your place..."

Debbie laughed and swatted at him again.  "You rogue! I'm here for my sister!  You wasted too many years and you'll just have to wait."
Although Debbie, bless her heart, didn't make him wait long.
Brand brushed the hay off his clothes, goosed Debbie on the rear and waved her off.  It was time to check in with his dad to see what needed doing.  Their pub was certainly a hot spot now! Lots of people coming and going.
Carrie ate her kasha in silence, ignoring Deb.  Which, was just fine by Deb because she didn't want to have a conversation with the dim-wit anyways!

Finally, annoyed by the tension, Carrie slammed her spoon down on the table.   "Just because Aidan didn't marry me does not lessen what he feels for me!  I have lived her for far longer than you and my place is more settled!  I will still be here long after Brand has tired of you!"

Deb shrugged as she set aside her dish.  "Perhaps. Perhaps not.  The important thing is that no matter where I go, I will still be a class above you, peasant."  Deb walked to her room, stopping to wave at the dishes.  "Do clean up before bed."

If looks could have killed, Deb would have dropped in the spot she stood.
In the thick of the night, Deb registered that Caitlyn was crying again. "I suppose Carrie is too occupied to do anything about it!" she said snarkily.  Quite put out, she threw the bedcovers off and went in search of the elusive toddler.  Once Caitlyn had eaten again, she'd crawled towards the table and curled around in a ball to go back to sleep.

Deb sighed.  The poor child didn't even have a blanket to her name.  That was no way to treat any child, she thought sadly.  She would see to it that the child had at least a sleeping mat.

Orb's  Year 910
Deb had to cover her mouth to keep from giggling.  She'd just told Brand that she was pregnant and he had fainted away like a little girl.  Well, what did he expect would happen if they lived together this way?!
Carrie was near tears, "Aidan, I'm telling you, she hates my very existence! Perhaps it's time that Brand moved out."

Aidan shook his head firmly.  "No, he's my heir.  This is his home, his heritage."

"What of your children with me?! What of Caitlyn? Of this unborn child?  Are they nothing to you?"

Aidan sighed.  "Of course not.  They are precious to me.  But I have nothing to give them.  I will arrange for Caitlyn to enter either the service or join the abbey when she's of an age."

"And this unborn child? What if it's a boy? What will you do then?" she persisted.

Aidan snapped, "Well then, why don't I just set him up as the king?!  I tell you, Carrie.  I will take care of my children, according to their station in life!  That is all I can do!  Just because I care for you and the children doesn't mean that I can paint their hair brown and give them a different life!  Now cease your arguments!"

Carrie nodded, knowing he spoke the truth.  Absently, she stroked her belly.  She just wanted more for her children... 
Brand had been shocked at first when Deb had told him that she was pregnant, but he knew what had to be done.  One could walk away from a child from a lower station, but to get a woman from your own class pregnant and not do the honorable thing was considered a low and vile thing! Besides, he cared for Deb and she managed the home and pub well enough.  A finer wife he could not have found!

"Well it took you long enough to ask!" Deb had fumed.  "I was about to leave to return to my father's in shame.  For it would be better to live there in shame than to continue living here in sin!"

Brand massaged her hand.  "I had every intention of marrying you, woman.  I just had to find my mother's ring."

"Your mother's ring? Truly?"  Deb was touched by the romantic gesture.
Until he tried to slip it on her finger. 

"It's too small!" she complained.

Brand was exasperated.  "Well I can see that!  I hadn't thought that my mother was younger when she and dad were first married," he said lamely. 

"Why did she not have it re-sized?" Deb demanded.

Brand gazed at the little gold ring and frowned.  "Because she died in childbirth... with me..."

"Oh.." Deb muttered, momentarily speechless.

"Well, let's just handfast and get on with it," Brand said with jerky movements.  "The baby will soon be here and I want him to be a Taveryn."
Carrie's delivery came first, though...
And Carrie was blessed with a baby boy with brown hair and dark blue eyes... the spitting image of a merchant class.  Suddenly, she felt hope bloom in her chest.  Aidan might not be able to paint a child's hair brown... but what if the baby's hair was already brown!  What might Aidan be able to do for his son?

Carrie cuddled the baby to her chest and went in search of Aidan.
Not long after, Deb gave birth to the new Taveryn heir with little trouble.  She had to admit that she'd been worried every since she learned Brand's mother had died in childbirth!
They named the brown-haired, dark blue-eyed child Connor!

Orb's Year 911
Despite Carrie wishing there was no class division, there certainly was one.  Connor slept in a fine crib under the watchful eye of his mother.
While Caitlyn and baby Dirk slept out in the Hall on a sleeping mat that Deb had purchased.
Although, arrangements would need to be made now that Caitlyn was getting a little older.  Every little girl needed some privacy, Deb thought.  Besides, the little girl had definitely grown on her!

Carrie watched her daughter give Deb a huge hug without sparing her a glance before skipping away.  It was enough to cause her to boil over with anger.
The next time that Deb had made a remark, Carrie had been unable to contain herself.  She launched herself at the spiteful woman and attempted to make up for every mean remark the woman had made.
"That's enough of you two! Grown women acting like spoiled little boys!" Aidan had bellowed.  He handed Connor to Deb and shooed her from the room, focusing on Carrie.  "Have a care, Carrie.  Your place here is not as settled as you might wish.  One day I won't be here anymore and Deb will be your Lady."

Carrie fumed, "It's not fair! Oh how I wish I'd never agreed to come here! You've ruined my life!"

Aidan felt guilt and pity swirling in his chest.  Perhaps Carrie would have had an easier life elsewhere... with someone that could have loved her as she truly deserved.  "Posh, you've met tons of interesting people, lived in my home as an equal in most things.  Don't throw yourself a pity party just yet!"

Carrie swiped a tear from her eye.  "Promise me that you'll take care of me and the children before you pass, Aidan.  Promise!  I don't want her to be able to kick us out before your grave is even cold!"

Aidan nodded.  "I promise.  I'll talk to Brand about my wish for you and the children to stay here.  Now quit picking fights with Deb and go see about lunch.  I'm hungry!"

Orb's Year 912
Carrie felt such bitterness when Aidan threw such a huge party for his heir, Connor's birthday.  He hadn't even registered Dirk's birthday. 
Oh it was clear to her that he favored Connor, who seemed to be the spitting image of him.  If only Dirk had more of the look of a Taveryn, rather than the Bakers, she thought sadly.  Perhaps that would have changed the poor boy's life.
Not that Dirk knew the difference between Taveryn and Baker as well as everyone else in the house.  For that matter, class lines didn't matter very much to Connor, either.

They were just two boys... raised together... brothers!

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