Thursday, May 16, 2013

Taveryn, Orb's Year 913-916

Orb's Year 913
Aidan's small family was growing by leaps and bounds.  What had worked for a small family of two had become increasingly cramped as women and children were added to the family.  Perhaps it would be time to remodel the tavern, he mused.
Deb caught sight of that Debbie Baker tart walking by slowly, as though willing Brand to materialize.  Stalking outside, she shooed the horrid woman away.

Debbie had been startled, but had boldly stated that if Deb couldn't keep her man happy at home, then who was she to turn him from her bed.  She saw in Debbie's eyes that she wanted to surprise Deb with the news that her husband was unfaithful.

Deb had laughed scornfully.  "I'm his wife, not his keeper.  If my husband wishes to roll around with the filth every now and then, I'll just insist he bathe before he comes to my chamber," she replied acidly.

Debbie had looked down and hurried away before Deb had a chance to say anything else.

Oh she knew about her husband's infidelities and it bothered her.  She should have listened to her father and stayed far away from the Taveryns!  It seemed they all had a weakness for those raven-haired Baker girls.
Although, to be honest, Brand's infidelities were not contained to the Baker girls.  Manning the bar, Brand came across every sort of female...
...some that were looking for a good time...
...and some that didn't mind a few moments of stolen pleasure.
Her husband was certainly a virile man, Deb thought bitterly when it became apparent that she was pregnant again.  To date, she knew that he had fathered at least three bastard children.  He sent money to the Marchant girl, what was her name... Eryka or some such nonsense.  Thankfully, she had been the only one to bear him a boy - his heir!

She loved Connor with all her heart and fervently hoped this next child would be another boy - to prove that the sanctity of marriage helped produce male heirs instead of bastard girls!

Orb's Year 914
Connor & Dirk didn't know why such a big fuss was made about them being so close!
"It's just unseemly, Dirk.  He's a station above you, and Lady Deb is not likely to let him forget it.  He might not know any better now, but soon he will and I will not see your heart broken!"

"But, Mom, he's my best friend!"

Carrie shook her head sadly, ashamed of herself for the sins of hers that would lead her son to heartbreak.
"But, Mother, I don't understand why I can't play with him.  It's silly to pretend he's not in the room with me when he is!"

Deb smiled patiently.  "Because he is a peasant," she instructed.  "Your lives are destined to go down different paths."

Aidan clenched his jaw, annoyed at hearing Deb speak so glibly about Carrie and his children.  He knew that they assumed their mother's station in life since he had not married her, but that didn't lessen the love that he felt for them.

All the reasons he'd had for not marrying for back then seemed silly. 

But still, he said nothing, biding time to put his plans for his children in motion.  He was surprised to hear Brand speak up.

"Really, what does it matter if they want to wrestle and rough-house together?  They're boys!  They care not for the lines between stations like we do."

Deb clenched her jaw and sent her husband a deathly glare.  She knew all too well that he disrespected the lines between stations, quite often dallying with peasants. 
Instead of outright keeping them apart, Deb just made sure all of Connor's time was taken up with other activities.

She saw to his instructional work each day and encouraged the improvement of his skills.
She arranged proper play dates with other children, never really comprehending that when a noble child came to plan with Connor, he was crossing the very line she refused to let him cross with Dirk. 
She had also encouraged daily lessons at the piano with Grandpa Aidan.  Aidan had never wished for earplugs as much as he had the first few lessons.
"No, no, Connor.  You've got to feel it as you play."  Aidan sat at the piano and began playing a lively tune that had Connor dancing in no time.  "It's not enough to play the correct notes, you've got to feel the music inside you.  Do you understand?"

"I think so, Grandpa!" Connor said, eagerly trying to please his grandpa.
Soon, time had flown by and Deb now had a darling daughter, Devon.  But, even better, the boys had gotten in the habit of spending time apart.

She had won that battle.

Orb's Year 915
Carrie watched her children play, amazed by how big they were getting.  Soon Caitlyn would be a teenager and decisions would need to be made/
"I've told you that you've got to trust me, Carrie." Aidan said as she brought up the children again.  "I am going to provide for them and I'm not knocking on death's door quite yet!"

Carrie sighed.

"Do I need to take you back to the bedroom to show you how robust I am?"

That got a smile from Carrie. "It's broad daylight!" she protested.

Aidan wiggled his eyebrows and put his food aside.  He was hungry for something else altogether this morning!
Caitlyn came home from school and looked around for her mama.  Lady Deb had been looking for her.  Since her mama and Aidan were nowhere around, that meant they were probably shut up in the bedroom.

Sighing, she realized that the baby crying was coming from the same room as the hushed giggles.
She knocked on the door and waited for the giggles to subside.  "I'm just going to come in to get the baby.  Make sure you're decent."  She waited a beat more while she heard rustling and more giggling.

When she entered the room, she saw Aidan in the bed with a suspicious lump under the blankets.  Caitlyn rolled her eyes.  "Perhaps if you happen to see my mom, you'll tell her that Lady Deb is looking for her."

There, that should douse whatever games had been underfoot.  Just the mention of Lady Deb was enough to cause Mama's back to straighten.
"Why, you two fine ladies are plenty company for me on this fine afternoon," Brand said.  It was always nice to find a pair of ladies that didn't mind a little kindly competition.
Although, this young merchant lass had caught his fancy.  He'd set out to seduce her and had succeed.
"Wait, but when will you be returning?" she hurried after him before he headed off to carouse the town. 

"Don't wait up love!" he called from the horse.  "I'll send a missive for you when I've returned!"

He watched the young, naive chit wring her hands and felt a pang of guilt.  Perhaps he'd become too jaded.

"But I love you!" she called out, catching the eye of several patrons at the pub.

Jauntily, he saluted her and then he was gone, ready for a night on the town, drumming up business for their tavern & sampling other establishments.  Research is what he called it when Deb started in on him.
He shouldn't have been surprised when Deb was waiting for him.  Pinched between her fingers was the maid's ear, bent over and stooped, begging for Deb to let go.

When she saw Brand, she slapped him.  "Have you no decency?  To fraternize at my home with a peasant!?"  Brand was actually quite glad that she hadn't heard any gossip about the merchant girl.    If you choose to take on mistresses, then do them the kindness of keeping them far from me!"

With that, she pushed the maid at him and stalked into the pub, uncaring for all the people that were following her every move.

Brand caught the girl before she could fall to the ground.  "Aw, now. I'm sorry you had to go through that."
Kindly, he led her out of the sight of the people in the front and back to a secluded hay pile.  "Perhaps you can show me just where she hurt you and I can do my best to make it up to you," he said saucily.

Nicole grinned when she caught his drift.  She lightly touched her cheek, "She slapped me here..."

Brand immediately leaned forward and nuzzled her cheek.  "And where else?"   He immediately began following the path that Nicole set out, thinking that this game was quite fun.  If his dear wife had any idea that her anger had led to such a naughty past-time, he was sure she would flip her lid.

Orb's Year 916
"Dad, are we really moving away?" Connor asked over breakfast one morning.

Brand's fork stopped mid-way to his mouth.  "What?" he asked, blindsided.  "What do you meant?"

"Mom said that she'd spoken to her Father and that we would be leaving soon."  Brand played with his food.  "But, I don't want to leave you and Grandpa Aidan and Carrie and Dirk and Caitlyn.  I want to stay!"

Brand put his fork down and reached across the table and patted Connor's hand.  "You're not going anywhere.  I'll speak with your Mother."
It was a small, family affair for Devon's birthday, which was fine with Deb.  She didn't particularly care for a big party with lots of people she didn't know. 
Just a few people to celebrate her darling daughter's birthday.
She had been packed and ready to leave, incensed at Brand's treatment of her.  Since the night she'd slapped him and shoved his floozy at him, he'd become even more brazen with the company he kept.  And she had enough of it!

If she would have to live unhappily, she might as well live unhappily at her Father's without the constant embarrassment!

But then Brand had stormed into the room, tipped off by Connor.  She shouldn't have told the boy, but she'd wanted to give him a chance to say goodbye to his friends.  Apparently he had not listened to her instructions to not speak a word of it to anyone in the house.

After a long, loud fight, Brand and Deb had finally come to an agreement.  Brand would quite stepping out and recommit himself to Deb and the children.  And Deb would stop her constant harping about class lines.
He had seemed so sincere to try again, that Deb couldn't help but be swayed.  He certainly did have a way with words!

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