Monday, July 29, 2013

L'Adventurer, Orb's Year 929-932

Orb's Year 929
Princess Celeste awoke with a pain in her belly yet again. 
The mild cramping twisted her gut painfully.  Quietly, so as not to wake Geoffrey, she rushed to the kitchen to see if eating something would make the pain go away. 
"What are you doing up at this ungodly hour?" Geoffrey ranted.  "And why have you only made breakfast for yourself? What about me?"

Celeste began to explain the stomach pains, but knew it would do no good. 

Resigned, she went to prepare his breakfast while he prepared for the day.  She'd served his meal close to an hour ago and he had yet to show his face.  With patience, she sat and waited because she knew that was what he liked.
Finally, he came out from the bedroom, looking fresh from the shower.  He sat before her and gave her a snide smile. "That's better.  You're to think of your husband first and foremost."

Celeste fought against rolling her eyes.  

Geoffrey took a bite of the food that had been sitting out and spit it back out.  "What is this?" he thundered at her.  "I asked you to make me breakfast and you serve me this? Are you trying to poison me?"

Celeste nervously clasped her hands together, "No! It must be because it sat out here while you were..."

"So it's my fault?" Geoffrey asked incredulously.  Shaking his head with disbelief, he snapped, "If this is the kind of welcome I get, it's no wonder I must travel the world looking for hospitality!"  Jumping up from his bench, he slammed out the front door.

After he was gone, Celeste sighed with relief.
Picking up Elyssa, she cuddled the little girl close to her chest.  She hoped he stayed away for longer this time.

***

It had seemed a million  years ago when she'd thought that Geoffrey had softened in his feelings for her.  It seemed she would have a reminder of her naivety for years to come...

Orb's Year 930
Prince Geoffrey was admiring himself in the mirror when he heard Celeste calling for him.  Scowling, he went to see why she had decided to interrupt him.
"A message for you, sire," the man said.  "From your Uncle."

Celeste hung back, interested in what news Geoffrey would have from his home.

Geoffrey took the scroll and stepped away.
"Who is it from?" she asked curiously.

Geoffrey looked at her with annoyance.  "If you were meant to know, then your name would have appeared on the scroll, as well. Wouldn't it have?  Cease your prattle and leave me be to read my message!"
Geoffrey sat down and was pleased to see Celeste scurry from the room.  Opening the scroll, he began to read news from home...
The paper felt heavy in Geoffrey's fingers.  His father was dead. Struck down by the plague. And his Uncle had claimed the throne that should have been rightly his.  Geoffrey fumed.  Abruptly he stood and threw the scroll in the fire.   

Apparently his Uncle had decided that it made more sense to unite with Celestia rather than take it and to that end had sent his youngest daughter to court for the little prince.  So that's what his brat of a cousin was doing in Celestia!  Attempting to woo the favor of the future king!

Blast the Royale family!  He'd leave them all behind and take his place as rightful heir of his homeland!
Celeste didn't know what news Geoffrey had from home before he rushed from the house in anger.  She only hoped it kept him away longer than it had last time...

Orb's Year 931
Geoffrey had returned quickly and in an unusually bad mood.  He'd slammed about the house for days, ranting about backstabbing family and purgatory.  She'd attempted to find out what ailed him, but it only made him turn on her. 
"Look at this pigsty!" Geoffrey yelled.  "This is no way a future king should be living!"

Celeste's fists tightened by her side, "I'm trying, Geoffrey.  Perhaps you haven't noticed, but I am 9 months pregnant!"

Geoffrey glared at his wife and pointed his finger in her face.  "You'd better hope it's a boy!"
"You understand your position?" Geoffrey asked the comely serving girl.

"Yes, sir.  I'm to come in once a day to clean for the Princess Celeste." 

Geoffrey nodded, "Very good."  My, but she was quite fetching, he thought.  It was too bad business called him away.  Otherwise, he might've stayed to see if he could woo her under his wife's nose.
But, this was no time to let a slip of a girl distract him.  Initial reports had indicated that his people were happy with their new King. But, perhaps he would be able to gather a small force to claim his heritage by force.

***

Celeste was alone in the house the night she went into labor. 
Staring into her new daughter's beautiful brown eyes, she felt such a connection.
"Meet your new sister, Faith," Celeste said to Elyssa as she fed her newborn.  "You'll be the very best of friends, I'm sure!"

***

"Mother?" Elyssa asked when she heard the baby wailing. She glanced over and saw her mother sound asleep, despite the baby's cries.
Elyssa quietly sang the little baby a lullaby, hoping to settle her to sleep.
She smiled when Faith closed her eyes and ceased wailing.  Perhaps it wouldn't be all that hard to be a big sister, after all!

Orb's Year 932
Celeste was awakened by Geoffrey calling her name and pulling her from the bed. 

"Stop!" she cried groggily.  "What are you doing?"

Geoffrey was not in the mood to listen to her complaints.  "A man is king of his own damn castle! Your duty is to care for me above all others!  I sent a messenger home to let you know that I was on my way. You should have been waiting for me with food and water!"

Celeste's eyes widened as she looked at her husband.  Tentatively she reached out to touch the cut on his cheek.  "What happened Geoffrey?" she asked, concerned.

Geoffrey shrugged from her touch.  "Nothing you need to concern yourself with!  Just get downstairs and make me breakfast," he said, pushing her from the room.  "Why in the world do I bother with your incompetence! I never should have married you!"
Celeste stumbled down the stairs and started to prepare the food.
When the food became blurry, she laid the knife down and covered her eyes to sob.  She wasn't sure how she never seemed to meet her husband's expectations.  Sometimes she thought that he might even despise her!  How she wished that he had never married her and that her dear departed father had let her live at the Abbey!
While Geoffrey ate, Celeste busied herself taking care of Faith and tidying the Great Hall.  Finally, he stalked off to sleep and requested to be left alone.

With pleasure, she thought grumpily, wincing when the bedroom door slammed.
"Is father mad again?" little Elyssa asked when she came down stairs sleepily.

Celeste attempted to sugarcoat it, "I think he's just sleepy. He's just returned.."

Elyssa yawned and said, "He's always in a bad mood! I hate it when he's home!"

I do too, Celeste thought sadly.  Pasting on a smile, Celeste got up and cleared the dishes from the table, "Come now, that's no way to talk about your father."
"I'm sorry mama," Elyssa said as she washed her dishes.
"Never you mind," Celeste said cheerfully, dancing with her daughter.  "We're going to have a splendid day! But, we need to be extra quiet today to let your father get his rest."

Blessed Orb, please let him sleep!

***

The weeks drifted by and Geoffrey remained in a sour mood.  Celeste had pieced together from the his ranting that he'd lost his throne to his Uncle.  And that his attempt to take the throne by force had failed epically.  Apparently when met by his Uncle much larger force, his rag-tag army of mercenaries had bolted.  The battle had left him with a scar on one cheek that he often moaned ruined his good looks. 

By all accounts, the throne was lost to him.
Celeste and Elyssa spent the afternoon downstairs as Geoffrey stomped around upstairs.  It was generally best for them to be on the opposite end of the castle than him.

Cocking her head, she listened to the quiet.  She wondered why the stomping and slamming had ceased...

***

Geoffrey handed over a tip to the beautiful maid.  He'd thought of her occasionally on his travels and agonizing over the lost opportunity.  He'd dream of having her in every room in the castle, with his wife oblivious to his infidelity.

Perhaps a romp around with the maid would help ease his wounded pride!

"Oh thank you, Prince Geoffrey! That's most kind of you!" she gushed.
Geoffrey smiled crookedly, assured of victory.  Females were always more forthcoming when they were thankful!  He leaned forward and moved her hair behind her ear.  "A lovely tip for a lovely maiden," he said suavely.

He'd been surprised when  stepped back and shook her head.  "I'm sorry, mi'lord," she said.  "I'm not that kind of girl."  Hesitantly, she offered him his money back.  "If that's the only reason you tipped me..."

When Geoffrey made no move for the coins, she let them drop to the floor.  "Perhaps it would be best to find another cleaning servant, mi'lord," she said as she back from the room. 
Geoffrey made no move to go after the girl or to pick up the fallen coins.  She'd turned him down.  Turned him down! Reaching up he felt the bumpy scar on his cheek.. courtesy of his Uncle.  The bounder had had the nerve to say that perhaps it would teach him a little humility! 

He'd been certain he'd paid enough gold for his men to stay and fight.  But at the first sniff of trouble, they'd all run off, with their gold firmly attached to their sides.  He'd tried to find fighters to rally behind his cause, but most people loved his Uncle.  They said his rule was more benevolent than his father's reign.  Nobody would support his claim to the throne!  That's why he'd resorted to mercenaries.

But he needed some other type of army... but who?

***

Celeste glanced up as the maid hurried from the house.  "Is everything finished?" Celeste asked kindly.

But, Tracy only smiled wanly and hurried from the house with a blush staining her cheeks.

Celeste watched her go and felt her heart drop to her stomach.  She wasn't sure what had happened, but she was certain they would not be seeing Tracy again...
"Mama, did I get the right answer?"

Celeste broke eye contact with Tracy and glanced down at her daughter.  "I'm sorry, dear. I didn't hear.... what did you say?"

Elyssa sighed heavily.  "I said that two plus two is four, right?"

"Yes, dear. That's right." Celeste pushed her worries to the side and attempted to focus Elyssa.

Upstairs the stomping and slamming had begun again.

***

Celeste was overjoyed that her entire family had made it out for little Faith's birthday.  She'd not been surprised to see Geoffrey heading upstairs in the middle of the birthday cheer.  She didn't call him back, for celebrations were more pleasant when he was not around.

But, his cousin, Suzanne Hart called out to him, "Aren't you going to stay for the birthday cake?"
Geoffrey turned around and mumbled, "Bloody thing should've been a boy." 

Everyone had stopped cheering to turn and look at him. It was unfathomable that a father should react so at his daughter's birthday. 

"Cousin Geoffrey!" Suzanne gasped, "What an absolutely horrid thing to say!"
King Barron's voice cut through the silence as he announced, "Cheers to the birthday girl!"
Celeste smiled wanly as she picked up Faith.  Tears threatened to spill over her lashes as she excused herself and rushed up the stairs.

The party was over.

And perhaps her marriage...
In the room, Celeste confronted her husband angrily.  "Why do you treat your own children this way?  What is wrong with you?" she demanded.

"There's nothing wrong with me!" Geoffrey yelled.  "You were supposed to give me sons and all you gave me was daughters!  What kind of king would I be without heirs to the throne!"

Celeste snapped, "Well apparently you will not be any kind of king! Your people are happy with your Uncle.  You must make peace with it!"

Geoffrey glared at her harshly, "My throne was stolen from me by my Uncle while I was here doing my Father's bidding!  It's your fault I have lost me crown!"

For a moment, Celeste worried that Geoffrey might hit her or the wall and she took a step back.
Shaking his head, he scowled.  "What do you know about anything, anyways.  Go back to your ugly paintings," Geoffrey said.  "I'm leaving.  Don't wait up."

Tears fell from Celeste's eyes as she watched him storm from the room. 

***

Over the years, she had watched her siblings find love and happiness in their marriages and wondered what she was missing that wouldn't allow Geoffrey to love her.
But now she knew the truth.  There was nothing wrong with her.  Geoffrey was just incapable of loving anyone except himself.

Now she just needed to figure out what she could do about it...

2 comments:

  1. Wow, great story! Geoffrey is the worst. I hope that Celeste will find a way get away from him.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This makes me so sad! Poor Celeste!!!

    ReplyDelete

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