Friday, August 2, 2013

Knightley Guard, Orb's Year 929-932

Orb's Year 929
Camelot arrived at their family's run down castle at the out-skirts of the Nobles' Landing.   Memories of Bradshaw and himself running around as young boys assailed Camelot and for a moment, the magnitude of all that was lost hit him...
Deanna Farmer grinned and clasped her hand on Camelot's shoulder.  "Oh Camelot! Thank you so much! Did you see their faces when we left?  I swear your mother's jaw had dropped to the floor!"  Deanna had been so happy to get away from Arthur and Breena's apparent disapproval!
Camelot shrugged her hand off of him, grumpily replying, "Deanna! They're my parents! It did not give me pleasure to hurt them!"
Deanna dropped her hand.  "Of course not.  Look, I didn't ask you to say anything!" she said hotly.  "You made your own decision!  I just followed!"
Camelot shook his head and headed inside, feeling lost and alone.  He was only 17 years old and he'd just made sure he that he was dead from his family.

Orb's truth, what have I done? he wondered as he gazed around the drafty castle.  He'd seen his brother about to forsake the King's daughter to choose the serving girl and he'd snapped.  He'd known that it would bring dishonor and shame to his family.

He had done it to protect his brother!
Yeah right, he thought sadly as he watched her putter around the kitchen.  You did it because you love her...
As they sat down to lunch, Deanna toasted Camelot cheerfully, "To our freedom!"

 ***

But Deanna wasn't as carefree as she tried to pretend.  Inside, her stomach roiled when she thought about Bradshaw marrying Daphne instead of her.  She secretly wondered what Bradshaw would have said had Camelot not taken the decision from him.

Oh, she could've sworn up and down that Camelot had lied, but there always would've been doubt - especially from his parents.

But, she felt awful for taking advantage of Camelot.  He'd given up his family and friends to live in exile with her and her unborn child.

A soft knock at the door had her vigorously rubbing the tears from her eyes.  "Come in," she called out in what she hoped was a cheery voice.
Apparently she hadn't fooled Camelot.  In a low voice he asked if she was okay to entertain company.
Camelot had greeted new neighbors, Angus Laird and his fiance, Crystal Swan.  As Deanna took a seat across from Camelot, Angus looked at her quizzically.

"Umm.. does your serving girl usually eat with you?" he asked with surprise.  "She's quite comely to look at, but shouldn't she wait until we're done?"

Camelot glared at the impertinent man and tersely informed him that she did eat with them.
Crystal turned towards Deanna and whispered her apologies.  "Sometimes he doesn't know what he says can be cruel," she said softly in hopes that Angus did not overhear.
Deanna pushed her food away, "I would hate to disrupt your meal," she said snidely before stalking away.

As she left, she heard Angus asking incredulously, "What? What'd I say?"

 ***

Late in the night, Deanna jumped from bed and called out to Camelot in the other room.  "The labor has begun!" she cried out.

Camelot raced into the room and fidgeted nervously, wishing he knew what to do to help her.
And when she delivered the smiling baby girl, he thought that he had never seen a more beautiful, remarkable woman.

"I'm an uncle!" he said with amazement.

Deanna looked up at him and smiled, "Remember, you're a father..."
Camelot was stunned a moment.  That's right, he thought.  He'd told everyone that he was this baby's father... and how he wished it were true!
Suddenly the weight of the world seemed to crash on Camelot's shoulders.  This was Bradshaw's baby and he had done his brother a huge disservice keeping him from his child!

His brother would never thank him should he ever discover the truth...

***

Deanna laid Fatima down to sleep and turned to gaze at Camelot, lying in the bed.
"Are you awake?" she whispered to him.

"Yes." he responded quietly.
Hesitantly she got in bed beside him, feeling bold.  "I do not wish to sleep alone tonight, Camelot."

Camelot looked at her blankly, not understanding.

Living together as they had, she had forgotten that he had never known another woman's touch.  Slowly, she lifted her hand up to his cheek and repeated herself slowly, leaning forward to kiss him.

This time he caught her meaning...

 Orb's Year 930
Camelot couldn't believe how lucky he was!  Deanna was his woman and she loved him often, and fiercely!

"I love you so much," he professed to her one day, stroking her cheek.

Deanna lightly smacked his arm and giggled.  "That's what all the boys say after they've been well loved!"
Deciding it was too soon to proclaim his love, Camelot instead tried to show her.  He pulled her into her arms and kissed her romantically.

Deanna pulled back and playfully pushed him to the door.  "Off to work with you, then!" she said.  "I've got to tend to the baby and you've got work to do!"

Camelot sighed at the truth.  He was no longer a soldier, as he would have been directly under his brother's command, and had joined the castle guard.  He hoped one day to prove his worth.  That meant not getting lost in kissing Deanna before work!
As Camelot hurried to the waiting horse, Deanna sighed and glanced around the castle.  This was a shade better than life at the Abbey, she was sure!  A handsome man warming her bed, a beautiful little girl and forbidden from lifting a finger around the house!

 ***
"You naughty girl," Ryker laughingly said as he shook a finger at Deanna.

"What?" Deanna laughed, "I didn't do anything wrong!"

"You're lucky I'm not heart-broken like poor Bradshaw!  Left him for his little brother!"  When Camelot had told her to hire some help around the house, she'd immediately thought of Ryker since she'd worked with him at the Knightley castle.

However, she could see how this might be a problem.  She had lost her virginity to him and he delighted in reminding her!

Even worse, he reminded her of Bradshaw!
Popping her hands on her hips, she attempted to look her nose down at him.  "What do you know of it?" she demanded.
Ryker caressed her cheek, "I know plenty, love."

Deanna immediately stepped away from his touch, but at the same time, wished she hadn't been so sensitive to his caress. "You know nothing!" she said before turning and leaving the room, not wanting to hear how Bradshaw was doing.

 ***

Oh no, Deanna thought when she saw Angus walking towards her.  He's here to "visit" with Camelot again.  Although, if he really wanted to see Camelot, she thought he might've come when he knew Camelot would be home.

She'd told him a million times that Camelot was at work during this hour.
Orb's truth, he was so handsome!

"Is Camelot at home?" Angus asked cheerfully.

"Of course not, I told you last time..."

"Ah," Angus interrupted her, "Perhaps I could come inside to wait for him?"

"Of course," Deanna said, inviting him in.
 As Angus followed her in, she heard his whistle of appreciation.  "My, but you're a bonny lass.  Camelot has the right of getting such a beautiful serving girl! Perhaps I'd be able to steal you away?"

Deanna rolled her eyes, "I doubt Crystal would appreciate that!" she said tartly.

Angus leaned forward and whispered in her ear, "What she doesn't know won't kill her, isn't that right?"

Deanna's toes curled at the romantic gesture.  She shouldn't allow him such liberties, but my, it felt so good!

***

Camelot returned home and grinned when he saw Deanna by the door.  He loved that she greeted him by the front door, ready and willing for another round of kisses.
Let the outside world stay away!  Here, in this castle, they were equals!  It didn't matter that he was a noble and it didn't matter that she was a peasant!
They were in love, and that was all that mattered!

 Orb's Year 931
Time flew by and Fatima was growing so quickly!
She was the spitting image of her beautiful mother! 
Because Orb's truth, he'd come to love his niece just as much as a true father would.

"Papa!" Fatima cooed as he tickled her.

It felt as though an arrow pierced his heart. At times like these, his guilt ate at him, telling him that he wasn't a true father...
Standing up quickly to face Deanna, he pleaded, "We have to tell him. Bradshaw should know that he has a daughter!" 
"No! Just because you feel guilty doesn't mean you get to ruin our life!" Deanna said hotly.  "No good will ever come of it!"
Camelot watched Deanna hurry away with Fatima in tow.  She was right.  Knowing the truth would only hurt more people...

...but in the meantime, Camelot lived with guilt eating a hole in his heart...

 ***

Camelot's schedule took him away more and more often.  Most nights she spent alone - she wasn't invited to polite society events because she'd been branded a harlot for sharing a home and a child with Camelot.

So she'd been pleased and surprised when her family members came to see her!
"Did Mother come?" Deanna asked, looking around.

Braden Farmer shook his head sadly, "No, she wouldn't come.  She doesn't know that Farrah or Fiona are here, either.  She would be upset."
Deanna nodded her head sadly.  "I guess I understand."

Braden motioned her into the other room.  "Are you well, Deanna.  Does Camelot take good care of you?"

"Of course!" Deanna replied with surprise.  "Why?"

"You look tired.  Has he been working you too hard?"
Deanna smiled, putting a hand on her belly.  "I live a lady's life here - no lifting a finger for me!  In truth, I am pregnant again," she whispered, "But do not tell anyone!"
Camelot smiled when he walked in and saw Deanna's family gathered around.  He had known how much she missed them!  He only wished his family would be just as forgiving...
"Come, meet my brother, Braden," Deanna said as she introduced the two men. 
Smiling, she turned her back to let them chat.
Feeling eyes on her, she glanced back.  "What?" she asked.  "Do I have something on my face."  Braden mouthed 'I'm sorry."
But, Camelot crouched down and put his hand on her belly.  "I'm to be a father? Truly?"  Camelot felt himself overcome with love for this woman.
Dropping to one knee, he asked her to marry him with a shaking voice.
"No! Camelot, what are you doing? Get up! Get up!" Deanna said, pulling at his arm.
Camelot's shoulder's slumped.  She'd turned him down...
"I think it's best that we take our leave," Braden said, having watched his sister turn down Camelot's proposal.  Shaking his head, he left, wondering if his sister had any brains in her head at all.
"Why will you not marry me? Why will you not let me love you?" Camelot demanded hotly.
"It will never work, Camelot! You can put a ring on me, but I'll never be a lady!  I'll never be asked to join the ladies' circle! I'll never be look upon as anything other than a serving girl who took advantage of a young boy to better her class!"

"I don't care about all that!" Camelot yelled.  "Cursed Orb, I love you! I'd gladly give up the castle and my nobility to be with you!"

Deanna stepped close and rested her head on his shoulder, "Let us not fight about this tonight.  Let's not worry about class or titles... let us just be..."
Camelot kissed Deanna deeply, desperately trying to show her how much he truly loved her.

 Orb's Year 932

Following Deanna's lead, Camelot hadn't asked her to marry him again.  He still held out hope that he could change her mind, though!

In his dreams, Deanna married him and they raised their family together happily.  His parents and his brother would come around and accept their love.  Maybe even Bradshaw would even see how much more Camelot had loved her...

***

Fatima's birthday had the Farmer's gathered around their kitchen again.
Camelot had the honor of helping her blow out her birthday candles!
Fatima glanced around the room at all her family and smiled.  Her red-haired papa certainly stood out!

"Happy birthday, sweetie," Camelot said bending down to hug Fatima tight.

"Thanks Papa!" she said happily.
Bradshaw stood paralyzed at the door at the sight of Camelot hugging Fatima.  Closing his eyes briefly, he blocked out the brief sting of betrayal.  He'd come to prove to Daphne that his past was firmly in the past. He didn't yearn for Deanna anymore.

But, he certainly mourned the loss of a child he thought he would be having.

And he missed his brother. 

Glancing across the room, he saw Deanna approaching him.
Hurriedly, he made his way over to Camelot, leaving her behind him.  "I came to offer you a belated congratulations," he said lamely.  He could tell Camelot was shocked to see him.
Dropping to one knee, he looked at his niece.  "And you must be the birthday girl," he said offering her a firm handshake.  Once again, he felt a small pang.  A voice seemed to say, could've been yours.  Looking in her eyes, he saw much of Deanna in her.
As he stood, little Fatima looked between the two brothers.  "Who is he?" she asked her papa, edging closer to Camelot.

Camelot opened his mouth and looked at Deanna.  Horrified, she choked out that he was her uncle.

Bradshaw cleared his throat suspiciously and clasped his brother on the arm again before leaving the party.
"I have an uncle!" Fatima exclaimed in surprise.  "And he looked just like papa!"
Camelot's jaw hardened and he stalked away.

Fatima worriedly looked at her mother, "What's wrong with Papa?" she asked.  "Did his brother make him sad?"
Deanna sternly told Fatima to stop asking so many questions before hurrying to see Camelot.

 ***

"Are you okay?" Deanna asked cautiously as she walked into the room.  Seeing brought all their past indiscretions to the surface.
Camelot jumped up.  "Am I okay? Of course I'm not okay!" he chided.  "Nothing about this is okay!"
Deanna had enough of his pity party, "It was your decision to claim the child as your own!  You didn't do it to protect your brother! You did it because you wanted to have me! Well now you do! You have me! Why aren't you satisfied?"
"Fine! I lied because I loved you! Because I could give you a better life than Bradshaw! But don't try to fool me into believing I have you! If I had your love, you would marry me rather than hiding behind some weak excuse that the world won't accept our love!  The rest of the world be damned!"
Deanna scowled in response and Camelot felt powerless.

"Would you have married Bradshaw?" he asked quietly.

Deanna paused, "What does it matter, what's done is done!"

"If he had asked, would you have married him?"

"But he didn't ask!" Deanna replied in tears.  "It doesn't matter!"
"That was answer enough," Camelot said sadly.  With a sinking heart he realized two things:  that Deanna would never love him the way he loved her, and that she would never love him as much as she had loved Bradshaw.
Quietly, reeling with emotion, Camelot flatly told Deanna, "We're done, here.  No more.  I cannot take anymore.  I will sleep in the Great Hall tonight."

As he walked from the door, Deanna buried her face in her hands.  Why could she not have given Camelot what he so desperately wanted?

2 comments:

  1. "Bradshaw returned home and grinned when he saw Deanna by the door. He loved that she greeted him by the front door, ready and willing for another round of kisses."

    I think you meant Camelot there. :-)

    LOVING this story line!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ack! Thanks for catching that! They look so much alike that it can be tricky! :)

      Delete

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