He'd had to borrow money for the last tax collection. He'd been short 9,000 gold pieces! It seemed that no matter how hard he worked, he never got ahead...
He wasn't sure how much longer he could hold it all together...
"Make it quick. I don't want your Mother to see me here," she scowled, crossing her arms.
Darius smiled. "It is. I would battle all the Mothers in the world for your hand in marriage!"
Darius tucked Devon behind him as he turned to face his Mother. "No."
Alana gasped. She was incensed! "How dare you! You illegitimate half-class!" she shrieked. Sputtering outrage, she whirled around and ran back inside.
Darius couldn't help it, he let out a laugh and tugged Devon tighter. "I love you Devon Taveryn."
Alana pressed on, "But..."
Baji wouldn't hear it. "No! We will not have this discussion. If you continue to act like a harpy, then I will send you to the Abbey! This family has never fared well under your decision making!"
Alana crossed her arms and glowered, "Fine! I won't say a word! My own children turning on me in my old age!" Huffing, she walked to the spare bedroom and slammed the door.
"Daddy? Is Grandma alright?" Farha asked timidly behind him.
Baji hugged his daughter. "Everything's okay. Sometimes your grandma is just not well..." Baji attempted to explain.
Orb's Year 926
Baji, Barika & Caira were the spitting image of their father, Amar Marchant, a man twice her age that she was forced to marry when she was young. Darius had the look of his father, Trent Noble, the young rake that had piqued her desire. Then there was Eryka, the child of Brand Taveryn, the reprobate that stole her heart and callously set her aside for his wife!
Turning her head, she glanced at the wall, ignoring their laughter and cheer.
Orb's Year 927
Devon rolled her eyes and motioned towards the walkway. "Over there. He seems to have lost the way to the house."
"Lost the way?" Darius asked, confused. Glancing over, he saw Brand kissing his love, Christa. "Ah! I see. Well perhaps we should go inside and hope they find their way inside!"
"Some chaperons!" Devon grumbled cheerfully.
Eryka was enjoying the experience as well!
"Let's cut to the chase," Brand blurted out as they sat down. "You want to marry my Devon."
"Yes sir," Darius answered. "I love her very much."
"Well...you'll treat her well and be faithful to her?" Brand asked.
"Of course!" Darius said, annoyed that Brand had the gall to talk about respecting a woman. As far as he knew, Brand hadn't been faithful to any woman a day in his life!
"Truly?" he asked, awed that it had been so simple!
"Of course! My daughter loves you. And she told me how you fought your shrew of a mother for her hand. Seems to me that you'll do fine by her!" Brand said, pleased with his decision. Hesitating a moment, he added, "Do not make the same mistakes that I have made."
Darius cleared his throat, feeling awkward.
Brand laughed heartily at his discomfort, "Well, I decided one day that if I couldn't be a good example, I might as well be a down-right dastardly one!"
The family circled around Darius to offer him and Devon their congratulations. All except one...
Standing up quickly, Baji saw his daughter behind him. He hadn't heard her coming. She must think him silly for talking to the cold stone, but to him...
"Don't worry. I come out and talk to her, too," Farha leaned forward to whisper.
Baji hugged his daughter tightly.