Friday, June 14, 2013

Consul, Orb's Year 925-928

Orb's Year 925

Princess Cassidy still struggled with the loss of her husband, Trent.  It hurt so much to lose not one, but two wonderful husbands. 
But, her son told her that he needed her help caring for his newborn son, Finn.  His wife, Princess Catherine, had told her that she was happy for the help.

In fact, Catherine had arranged for more help with cooking and cleaning. 
Farrah Farmer was still in awe of the castle that she'd come to serve.  Her whole family could fit into one of the small rooms!

Sighing, she got to work scrubbing and cleaning.
Blaze sighed.  He hated doing homework!  And Evelyn wouldn't help him with his homework.

"I have my own work to do," she'd grumbled as she began practicing the sums on the sheet.

From downstairs, Mother called up, "Hurry, the carriage is almost here!"

Hurriedly, Evelyn just started writing down numbers, hoping that she would be right!
She couldn't wait to be grown up and not have to go to school!

***

"How was your day?" Cirdon asked his sister, Evelyn, smiling when she grimaced.

Turning towards her Mother, she asked, "Do I really have to continue with the lessons?  I abhor them!"

Cassidy gently patted Evelyn's hand.  "Yes dear, but soon enough you will be done."

"What about me, Mother? Am I almost done?"

Cassidy smiled fondly at her youngest, Blaze Noble.  "No dear.  You still have quite a few years left!"

Both children's shoulders slumped.

Cassidy clapped, "Come now, let us get ready for Finn's birthday party!"
As she left the table, Evelyn squatted low and petted Zoe's head.  There was gray in her muzzle now.  It made Evelyn sad to think that one day soon she might lose her beloved pet.
Soon, the dining hall was crowded with family members and friends, eagerly awaiting little Finn's birthday.  King Alexander seemed especially excited for his first grandson's birthday.
"Happy birthday!" they all cheered as Cirdon blew the candles out for little Finn.
Cassidy smiled at her grandson.  "He looks just like Cirdon did when he was young!" 
Farrah sighed as she washed more cake plates in the sink.  They were a noisy bunch, weren't they, she thought.  And wasteful!  Glancing around the corner, she saw more cake plates littering the table with half-eaten cake.

Long after the party goers had ambled home, Farrah stayed up cleaning up after the party.
At last, retiring to her own room.  Now this was made being a servant worth it! she thought, smiling.  Her own bed, her own clothes, her own room!  In the cottage she grew up in, everyone was always sharing beds and making due with what they had available.  But here... she had something that was hers alone!
Evelyn kept all of the rose bouquets that boys dropped off at her door begging for another dream date.  She dreamed of having a dresser-full of flowers with boys begging for dates and fighting for the honor of escorting her to parties and galas!

But, she needed to meet someone new...
Perhaps the matchmaker knew of someone perfect for her...
"Angus Laird, meet Lady Evelyn Consul," the gypsy performed the introductions. 
It didn't take long for Angus to fall for her charms!  They stayed up all night talking and flirting...
...until at last, when the first rays of the sun were coming up, Evelyn took pity on him and bestowed him with his first kiss!

Orb's Year 926
"How did you know you were in love?" Evelyn asked her sister-in-law. It was something that had been bugging her.  She liked Angus, but she wasn't sure she loved him.
Catherine thought about Evelyn's question.  "Well, I guess I knew I loved him when I couldn't stop thinking about him!"

Evelyn scowled.  She thought about Angus all the time.  "What else?" she pushed.  Surely there must be more to love than thinking about them.

Catherine blushed.  "Well, when he held my hand, my heart fluttered," she admitted.  Delicately she cleared her throat, worried about providing too much information to the suddenly inquisitive teenager.  "Why do you ask?"

Evelyn scowled even more.  She loved it when Angus kissed her.  It felt different from all the other boys that she had known.  "No reason," she replied glumly.  Certain now that she was in love with a boy.  How inconvenient!
Despite her best efforts to stay away from Angus, Evelyn made excuses for reasons he should come over.  Some days she convinced herself he wasn't any different from any other boy she had known...
...but then she saw him and she acted a fool!
She allowed him too many liberties with her!  She knew that she should tell him to stop before things got too heated, but she was enjoying herself too much!

Finally, she pushed him away.  "We must stop!"

Angus frowned, "Why? I'm enjoying myself.  Are you enjoying yourself?" he asked, stroking her cheek.

Evelyn flicked his hand away.  "Of course! But I must save myself for marriage!"

"Psh!" Angus grumbled.  "What does marriage do anyways? Why can't we just enjoy our experiences together!"
"Easy for you to say! You're a man! The rules are different for you!"  Disgruntled, she stood up and paced away.

Angus watched her pace and figured there was no hope of convincing her tonight.  Angry, he jumped up.  "You're just using that as an excuse to get my ring on your finger!" he accused.

Enraged, Evelyn whirled around.  "Who says I want a ring on my finger?!" she demanded.  "Marriage is not my dream!" she cried passionately.

Angus reached for her, "Then perhaps..." he started to try to seduce her back to the couch until she jerked her arm from his.

"I said marriage was not my dream, but I am not fool enough to allow you liberties!  Perhaps I will be an old maid!"

Angus rolled his eyes.  "An old tease is more like it," he grumbled heatedly.  "Perhaps when you decide what you want, you would be so good as to let me know.  Until then..." he hurriedly bowed and strode from the castle.

Evelyn sighed as she watched him go.  She'd have liked nothing more than to have continued on the course they were on, but something held her back.  How in the world would she live a life of romance without marriage?!

***

"Cirdon, I'm telling you that you need to speak with your sister.  She's been extremely agitated lately.  And just the other day she was asking me about how to know when you were in love..." Catherine said.
Cirdon scowled.  "Evelyn?! No! She couldn't have! What boys has she been seeing?"

Catherine couldn't believe how blind her husband was.  "Well, lately, there's been the Laird lad, Angus.  They've become rather close.  I'm actually worried that she might..."

Cirdon cut Catherine off.  "Not Evelyn! You don't know her like I know her!"

Catherine fought against rolling her eyes.  "Very well. Nevertheless, I think it would be prudent to begin arranging a match... and very soon!"

Cirdon nodded.  "I'll speak with Mother about it soon."
But, arranged matches were the furthest thing from Cassidy's mind.  She spent most of her free time with little Finn, teaching him to talk and to sing nursery rhymes.
He looked so much like Cirdon and Dresden when they were little.  It made her feel like a young woman again....

Orb's Year 927
Evelyn was determined to put Angus far behind her.  There were other boys just waiting for a bit of her attention!  And none of them would dare accuse her of being a tease!  The utter gall of him!

"Are you listening, Evelyn?" Conrad asked her.

"What?" she blinked the prince back into focus. "Oh yes, of course," she smiled gamely.  "It is all so fascinating!  Please go on!"

Conrad smiled and began prattling on about the weather in Simbridge.  As if she cared, she silently huffed.
Finally Conrad took his leave and Evelyn was left to herself and her thoughts.  Staring at the flowers lining her dresser, she wondered why she was pushing Angus away when her heart called for him.
Perhaps the best way to live a life of romance without marriage was to become a fallen woman!  She knew her family might be disappointed, but then she would be free to live the life she chose!

Why hadn't she thought of that sooner?!
Eagerly she fixed her hair and pinched her cheeks for color.  Next, she hurriedly sent a dispatch for Angus to meet her in the dead of the night...
Angus couldn't believe the missive he'd received from Evelyn.  She'd asked him to come quickly and wait for her out by the barn by the moonlight.

He'd paced back and forth in the shadows for a few minutes and was about to leave when she stepped forward.

Blessed Orb, she was so beautiful!
Immediately, they fell into each other's arms and began kissing each other eagerly.  Angus knew he should have been curious over her change of heart, but he couldn't bring himself to pull away from her enough to ask.
"Hurry," she'd said as he led her into the barn to a pile of hay.
Then they were in each other's arms again.  He wasn't sure what divine intervention had occurred.  All he knew was that his dreams were coming true!  Evelyn was in his arms and loving him as he had dreamed so often!

Nothing could ruin this night! he thought happily.

In the morning, he'd kissed her brow and promised to see her soon.  She'd snuck into the bath and cleaned up, relieved that she was now a fallen woman.  Everything else would fall into place exactly as she wished! she thought smugly.

***

Late one night a yell brought the house running. 
Evelyn frantically paced as Cirdon railed against the Orb for the pain his wife endured.
But soon, they were rewarded when Catherine and Cirdon held two happy, healthy little boys in their arms.  Gaius was pale as Catherine with green-eyes that were traced back to his grandfather, Aragon Consul.  Haydin was as dark as Cirdon with dark blue-eyes like his father.
Blaze was the last to come offer his congratulations.  "They're beautiful sons!" he said proudly.  "I can't wait to spoil my nephews!"

Orb's Year 928
"Oh Cursed Orb!" Evelyn moaned.  This was not part of her plan!

***

It had not been part of Cirdon's plan, either.  "Who is the father?" Cirdon demanded.  

Evelyn stubbornly refused to admit anything.  She did not want Angus to know!  He would either insist she marry him or insist that he have nothing to do with the child.  She didn't want either of those! She wanted to live in her own home and live her own life!
 "Why can't you just leave me be?" she cried.  "What does it matter? I know! I've disgraced the family name!  I'll go live on the outskirts of town and live on my own!"

Cirdon stared at his naive sister and shook his head.  "Is that how you thought it would play out? Where will you get money?  How will you care for your babe?  Where will you live?"

Evelyn stammered, "I'm not sure.. I don't know! This isn't the way it was supposed to be!" she cried.  "I was going to threw lavish parties and date princes and be courted!  I wasn't supposed to become pregnant!"

Cirdon clenched his jaw. "Let me tell you how this will play out.  You will tell me the name of the rogue that took advantage of you or you will go live at the Abbey and raise your child."

"I won't! And I won't stay at the abbey! You can't control me!"

Cirdon was glad when his guest strode through the front door so that he could take his anger out on a more appropriate target.
Evelyn's knees literally gave way when she saw Angus stride through the door.  She sat heavily in the chair. 

"You dishonored my sister, Laird!" Cirdon said through clenched teeth.  "Give me one reason why I should not wipe you from this kingdom!"

Angus folded his arms and met the angry brother.  "I did not force her to do anything she did not want to do."

"And what are your intentions?  Do you intend she raise her child alone? Or will you marry her and make this right?"

"Child?" Angus said, paling.  "She's with child?" 

Evelyn was sick of the two of them acting as though she wasn't there.  "For Orb's sake! I will not be marrying anyone! I already told you, that's not my plan!"
Well, she had their attention, she thought sourly when both men turned to stare at her incredulously.

"You won't marry me when you are pregnant with my child?" Angus raged.  "That is the most absurd notion I have ever heard!"

Angus met Cirdon's eyes and announced, "She will marry me and be my wife."
"Cirdon, don't make me do this!" Evelyn pleaded.  "I don't wish to be married!"

Cirdon scowled.  "You should have thought of that before you played at being an adult when you still thought like a child!  Only a child would not consider the repercussions!" 
Evelyn trailed after a scowling Angus.  Her complaints and arguments had fallen on deaf ears.  It seemed that she would be marrying Angus after all.

***

It was a subdued gathering for the boys' birthday party.  Everyone had heard about the shame that Evelyn had brought onto the family.

His mother assured him that the scandalous news would pass fast, especially since Angus was making it right by marrying Evelyn.
Being so young, Finn knew nothing of the scandal.  He simply wished his Aunt had been present for his birthday!
But, like any child, Finn was quick to become interested in something else and soon thoughts of Aunt Evelyn were wiped away.

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