Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Knightley, Orb's Year 925-928

Orb's Year 925

"I love you, fair Breena!" Arthur Knightley said reverently as he hugged his wife in his arms, so thankful for his family.  Blessed Orb, he thought humbly, counting his blessings.  He couldn't imagine loving any other woman as much as he loved Breena!
Breena smiled sadly, "Ay, but will you still love me now that my hair is graying?"
Arthur held his dear wife's hands and squeezed them tight.  "I will love you to the end of my days, Breena.  My heart belongs to you!"

Breena wiped a tear from her eye and threw herself into Arthur's arms.  For such a fierce warrior, he had such a way with words!

***

Breena saw the way her boys both turned to stare at the serving girl as she walked by.
Breena didn't want to say that she didn't trust sweet Deanna Farmer, but... well... she didn't trust her!  She knew that Deanna had led both of her sons on, to what gain, Breena wasn't sure.  She didn't know whether Deanna was angling for a potential marriage or if she was just a girl with loose morals! 
Deanna had been shocked when Lady Knightley had cornered her in the kitchen and warned her off the boys.

"But, Lady Knightley! I haven't encouraged them! I promise!" she said nervously, her cheeks flaming.  What must Lady Knightley think of her?!

Breena nodded, satisfied that Deanna was being truthful, patted her shoulder and went upstairs to retire.

With Lady Knightley's back to her, Deanna sighed a huge sigh of relief.  If she were sent home, everyone would assume it was because of her character!  She'd probably be sent off to the Abbey to atone for any transgressions.

But, she was being honest! She hadn't had anything to do with the brothers since her mother struck fear into her heart by reminding her of Aunt Debbie.  And Aunt Carrie, destined to live as her love's serving wench without the benefit of his name.

Since then, she'd resisted the urge to even speak to the brothers!
But, she hadn't given up romance altogether...
...in fact there were a number of boys that turned her fancy!
But, the key was that they were all peasants like her!
And if every once in awhile Deanna stole into Bradshaw's room to watch him sleep, or to admire his bare chest, or to read him to sleep....

...it was her little secret...

Orb's Year 926
Breena often accused Arthur of having his nose buried in a book, especially as of late.  He was getting too old to train as he used to.  Now, his weapon of choice was knowledge.  There wasn't much he didn't see.

He knew that Bradshaw was still infatuated with the serving girl.  And he knew that she was still enamored with him.

There was one certain way to end it immediately.

Arthur pulled his heir aside and led him outside to give him the news.
"What?" he demanded.  "I'm to marry Princess Daphne?" he asked, shocked.  "But she's a princess!"

Arthur nodded.  "King Alexander would like to see our family line linked to his own.  It's a privilege and an honor."

Bradshaw gulped.  He knew how important his marriage to Princess Daphne would be!  The dowry alone would be impressive! 

But... marriage... to Daphne?

***

"And then Reign ran out from the kitchen with a link of sausage and Emily chased after him with the pan!  Oh, you should've seen it!" Princess Daphne laughed as she recounted her story.
Bradshaw smiled wanly. It wasn't that he didn't like her, he did! But it was also hard to see himself married to her! There was no spark between them... he thought of her as little more than a sister...

...not like Deanna...

Shaking his head, he tried to rid his mind of the traitorous thought.  Deanna was not meant for his future.  He had an obligation to his family.  And he knew it would be in his best interest to accept that as quickly as possible!

Deanna prepared the dinner and served it to the family.
Blessed Orb, Deanna thought, as she cleaned the dishes.  She was so glad that Princess Daphne had not consented to stay for dinner!  Just seeing her there smiling up at Bradshaw and looking so innocent made her want to rip the Princess Daphne's hair from her head! 

Scowling, Deanna threw the rag in the sink basin and headed upstairs.  Perhaps the Abbey would be a blessing compared to serving her love's new wife!

Orb's Year 927
In a desperate attempt to drown her feelings, Deanna attempted to seduce Ryker, a manservant at the castle.  He'd been more than game after noticing her new curves.  When he'd left her room, she'd felt sick to her stomach with grief and guilt.
Bradshaw struggled with feelings of grief and guilt, as well.  He went about his day, preparing missives, training and being the dutiful son.  But, it was a hollow victory...
That night, he happened to be alone at the table when Deanna bent forward to pick up his empty plate.

Suddenly, he couldn't stand it anymore...
He abruptly stood up and wrapped his arms around her.  Distantly, he heard the plate crash to the ground. 
"Are you sure about this, Bradshaw?" she asked hesitantly.  She knew what was at stake for him... and for her...

"Right now it's just you and me... nothing else matters," Bradshaw said, kissing her again.
Creeping through the halls, Bradshaw and Deanna snuck upstairs and into the master room that now belonged to him. 

When Deanna fell on top of him, Bradshaw felt as though he'd died and gone to heaven.  Stroking her hair from her cheek, he said, "I can't promise you any more than tonight."

Deanna smiled sadly down at him. "I know.  I'll treasure tonight more than you'll ever know!"
Then the time for talking and promises were over...

***

"This is the last time," Bradshaw said when he'd found Deanna alone in the room and swept her into his arms. 

Deanna giggled and pushed on his chest.  "That's what you said last time, Bradshaw!"

Bradshaw rested his forehead against hers and sighed.  "I know!  But, we need to stop! I'm bound to Princess Daphne!"
"It is good to see that you actually do remember that!" Arthur said from the doorway, startling both Bradshaw and Deanna.  "I had begun to think you had forgotten your duty with all your carrying on!"

"It's not his fault! It's my fault!" Deanna interjected, worried that Lord Knightley would disown his son. 

Arthur's gaze went straight to Deanna.  "I promised your father that no harm would come to you in my house.  This is how you repay our kindness?!"  Arthur's voice raised.

Bradshaw stepped in front of Deanna, he saw her hands on her hips and he attempted to intercede.  "I'm sorry Father!  I fully intend to marry Princess Daphne.  This liaison with the serving girl is over.  Come, let us retire to the study and make plans." 

Bradshaw left Deanna standing there alone, fuming with shame and anger.

Orb's  Year 928

Bradshaw's plans were in place, he had petitioned King Alexander for his intended to come stay at their castle and he was making every effort to oversee the preparations.
Arthur had plans of his own. He pulled aside his trusted squire, Hyun Knowles, to discuss the matter.

***

Breena was glad that Bradshaw had brought his future bride to the castle.  That should put a stop to any foolishness he had been getting into with the serving girl.

Princess Daphne was such a sweet soul!  "And, as I was saying, if you need anything, feel free to let me know!  I'm sure you will love it here as much as I have!  I've set you up in Danica's old room until the wedding!"

"Oh thank you, Breena!  When can we begin planning the wedding? I would love it to be a grand celebration!" Daphne asked excitedly.
Just then, Daphne glanced across the room at a servant that was staring straight at her.
As the servant walked past to the kitchen, Daphne watched her go, then whispered to Breena, "Who was that? She looked so sad!"

Breena glanced over as Deanna walked from the room and paled.  "I...I'll be right back, dear..." she said faintly before following the servant.

***

Deanna hated seeing Bradshaw and Daphne together.  He didn't spare a glance for her anymore, but why should he!  He was set to marry a princess!  He'd made it clear he was just dallying with her until his intended could come to live with him! 

Fighting back a sob, Deanna hurriedly gathered the dishes in hopes that she could rush from the room to avoid seeing them together. 

All of a sudden, there was another reason altogether that she had to hurry from the room!  A wave of nausea caught her off-guard and she quickly set the plates down on the table before gagging and running from the room.

She never saw Bradshaw turn to worriedly watch her as she went.  

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