Monday, July 1, 2013

Baker, Orb's Year 925-928


Orb's Year 925
"Keith!" Fanny squealed as Keith wrapped her in a bear hug and squeezed.  Laughing, she got on her tiptoes and kissed him quick.  "I've got to go! I have to help Fancy with the baking!"

Keith held on tight to Fanny.  "Just five more minutes... Fancy won't even notice you're not there!"
Fancy was working hard in the kitchen.  She noticed that Fanny was missing.  Again.  She was spending more and more time with Keith, fooling around, and less and less time in the kitchen baking.
Which meant Fancy worked even harder to make sure they could put food on the table...

***

Fancy wasn't sure what had woken her up.  A sound.  Intuition. All she knew was that when she went down to see what had woken her, she'd seen someone rifling through their kitchen.
Gasping, she let out a strangled call for help.  Turning, the female thief threw a basket of bread at her and then ran from the house.
Fancy hadn't been sure her voice had alerted anyone, but a night watchman had come running through the door shortly after the thief had fled.   After a quick search, he came back to ask Fancy questions.

She somehow managed to tell Sebastian Waite about her encounter through hitching hiccups and half sobs.  She'd been so scared!

"Are your parents at home?" Sebastian asked kindly, attempting to soothe her fears.

But, it made her cry all the harder.  "No! It's just me and my sister! Our mother left us and I've been trying to hold us together!" she sobbed.  "And I'm not doing a very good job!"

Sebastian awkwardly patted Fancy on the back.  "Come on now, it will look better in the morning.  Why not go wake your sister and talk it over with her.  You'll see. You'll feel better tomorrow."

Fancy struggled to take a deep breath and nodded.  "Yes, thank you.  I will. Thank you."

After telling her he'd increase patrols in the area for awhile, Sebastian was on his way.
After he left, Fancy felt like the biggest fool crying in front of him.  She normally was so much more in control of her emotions.  How embarrassing! she thought.

He did have a point though.  She would go crawl in bed with Fanny so she didn't feel quite so alone.
She held back a gasp when she crept into her sister's room.  Oh my, she thought, as she hurriedly back-tracked.  She hadn't been aware that Keith had been sleeping overnight!

Orb's Year 926
"Look, I said I was sorry that I didn't tell you Keith was staying over, okay?" Fanny said, irritated that her sister was bringing it up once again.

"It's not just that, Fanny.  You haven't been helping bake like you used to.  You're spending all your time with him!"
"But, Fancy! You're so much better at it than I am! I can't bake the lovely pies and cakes like you! Sandwiches don't sell the same!"

"Well, you could try and practice! That's how I got good at it!"

"Fine!" Fanny huffed. "I'll tell Keith he can't come over today.  Does that make you happy?"

Fancy sighed.
Fanny had barely finished her first dessert when she made a nearly fatal mistake.  Turning around to place the crepes on the table, her skirts hovered over the fire.

Yelping when the fire flared up her dress, she called to Fancy to help.

Fancy wrung her hands and screamed, "Take your dress off!"  She felt powerless to save her sister.
Suddenly Sebastian ran through the door and grabbed a bucket of water and threw it on Fanny's dress.  "Get me another bucket!" he yelled at Fancy.

Fancy was stunned and slow to react until Sebastian yelled once more.  Hurrying into action, she grabbed a pot behind her and filled it with water and threw it on her sister as well.
Finally the flames at her skirts were doused. Fancy shakily hugged her sister.  "You scared me!" she accused.

Fanny nodded tearfully.  "Fancy," she whispered. "I have something to tell you."

"What is it? Are you okay?" Fancy asked, looking over her sister for burns.

"I don't like to bake!" Fanny said miserably.  "And I want Keith!"

Giving another quick hug, Fanny hurried over to Keith's house to be consoled.

Still quite shaken up, Fancy noticed that Sebastian was still there.  "That makes two times  you've saved us!" she said.  "How did you know we needed help?"

Sebastian smiled ruefully.  "I've increased the patrols in this area to try to uncover the thieves ring.  I just happened to be going by and heard you screaming."

Fancy closed her eyes.  Sebastian must think she was an utter ninny! "Thank you for that," she said, "Things aren't normally so out of control here"!

Sebastian clapped her on the arm, "Do not worry.  That's what I'm here for.  Never be afraid to call for help!"
***

Fancy didn't wait for Fanny to come home before beginning baking again.  In some ways she enjoyed baking by herself, anyways.  She had her routine down pat.

Soon it was time to call Baji over to haggle over prices.  She'd been sorely disappointed when Baji had told her that he could not afford to give such a generous price anymore.  Now that she was older, she understood that Baji had attempted to step in after her mother had abandoned them.  He still gave her a price that was more than fair and she assured him she was still glad to do business with him.
But, the cut in the prices hurt.  She was barely able to purchase enough ingredients for her next round of cooking.  She wondered when things would get easier...
Sighing, she just continued to do what she did best.  She baked.
Just as she was cleaning up for the night, she heard a knock at the door.  Glancing back, she peered through the glass, wondering who it could be.  She wished that Fanny had stayed the night at home rather than leaving her alone here!

Walking cautiously to the door, she finally recognized the face...
"Sebastian!" she said happily, hurrying to fling the door open.  "Whatever brings you this way?"

The night watchman smiled.  "It has been some time. I was wondering how you were doing.  Any crisis this week?"

Fancy laughed.  "Only if you consider the price of wheat going up a crisis!"

"I will go arrest the bags of wheat this instant!" he joked.

Fancy smiled as she bantered with the handsome watchman a few more moments.  It felt nice to have someone looking out for her for a change...

Orb's Year 927
Fancy came down to prepare breakfast and grimaced.  "Oh for goodness sake! Stop kissing all the time!" she grumbled.  "At least wait until I've had breakfast.  I'm not sure I can hold it all down now!"

Keith laughed as he looped an arm around Fanny.  "Would you like me to make a plate of omelets? I'm told I serve the best eggs this side of Celestia!"

Fanny giggled, "Yes, please! I can't wait for her to try your eggs! They're so delicious," she told Fancy.
After the dishes were cleared, Fancy began baking and Keith and Fanny retreated from the heat outside.  Besides, Fanny loved to play chess.  Although, it was hard to take the game seriously when Keith's nose was buried in the paper.

"Keith!" she whined.  "You said you'd play with me!"
"I know, love," he replied.  "You know there's nothing I'd rather do.  But, it's time for me to get to work."
Keith kissed her cheek.  "I'll see you tonight," he said as he headed down the dirt path.
"Do you need any help?" Fanny asked as she headed inside.
"After the muck you made of it last time? No thank you!" Fancy teased.  "Besides, I have it under control!"
"I know you do," Fanny sighed.  "You always have everything under control!  I just wish I could be of more help!"

"You are!" Fancy assured her sister.  "You clean, which makes it much easier for to focus on my baking!"

Fanny scowled, "It's actually Keith that cleans."

Fancy grinned, "Well, then you help by enticing Keith to stay at our house enough to clean! That's a noble contribution."

At the mention of Keith, Fanny stopped frowning and smiled wistfully.  "I can't wait until he returns tonight!  He promised we would be hand-fasted tonight!"
It's not that she was jealous, Fancy thought.  She was so incredibly happy for her sister and the love that she had found with Keith.
But, sometimes she felt like she was outside, looking in.  What would it be like to love that deeply?

Orb's Year 928
Sebastian smiled when he saw Fancy outside in the grass, gazing at the stars.  From what he had seen, she had shouldered a large amount of responsibility at a young age.  He thought it did her good to frolic in the fields a bit!

"Have you any dragons to slay tonight, mi'lady?" Sebastian teased.
Fancy started at the sound of his voice, jerking upright.  "You scared me!" she accused him.  Embarrassed that he always seemed to catch her unawares.  Reaching up, she attempted to smooth her hair down after lying in the grass.
"I didn't mean to scare you!" Glancing up at the stars, he added, "It's a nice night out, isn't it?"

Fancy blushed prettily.  "It is a beautiful night! I haven't sat out and gazed as the stars since I was a little girl!"

Searching for something to say, he asked, "Did you see the Celestial Star?"

Fancy glanced at him. "You're kidding right? There's no Celestial Star!"

Sebastian eagerly nodded. "There is! It always to the North! It shines brighter than all the other stars!"

"Where?" Fancy asked, looking up.

Sebastian stepped up behind her and squinted up at the sky, pointing over her shoulder to the bright Celestial Star.  "There!" he said.

Fancy found herself having difficulty concentrating with Sebastian so close to her.  Reaching up to tuck a stray hair behind her ear, she nervously laughed.  "Oh, there it is! How wonderful! I shall have to wish upon the Celestial Star more often!"

Sebastian hovered behind her a moment, wishing that he was bold enough to take her in his arms.  "Perhaps if you wish on the Celestial Star, your wish will come true...."

Fancy looked up and wished hard to have her first kiss under this very night sky...
Groaning slightly, Sebastian tugged on Fancy's braid as he stepped away.  "I'm afraid I must get going," he said reluctantly.  "Until we meet again," he said, bowing slightly before hurrying away.
Fancy walked inside and clasped her hands to her chest.  So this is what love felt like!

***

Fancy was getting used to all the displays of affection from her new brother-in-law and her sister.  They seemed to always have their arms wrapped around each other.
So it was no surprise to Fancy when Fanny excitedly told her that she would soon be an auntie.
Leaning over her sister's belly, she told her little niece or nephew to take their time growing healthy and strong.

Suddenly, a strong wave of sadness came over her.  Her sister was married and with child.  She wouldn't stay here forever.  Soon they were likely to leave her alone to start their own family!  
Feeling heated, she went outside and took a deep breath after sinking to the ground.  When she glanced up, her eyes immediately went to the Celestial Star and she smiled, thinking of Sebastian.

Closing her eyes tightly, she wished to see Sebastian again...

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