Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Marchant, Orb's Year 929-932


Orb's Year 929
The girls came home from school giggling.  "Well, I should get into the shop to see if Dad needs me," Farha said, giving Devon a quick hug and then trotting off.

Devon looked around and saw that she was alone.  Eryka had disappeared somewhere with the page.  Suddenly the front door open and Alana Marchant loomed in the doorway. 
"Filth!" Alana spat as she lunged towards Devon.  Devon stepped back, scared of the light in Alana's eye.
Without warning, Alana slapped Devon in the face.  "You are not welcome in my home!" she said cruelly before stalking back inside.
Devon hovered outside the doorway and cried, too scared to go inside.
That was how Darius found her when he returned home some hours later, huddled by the front door and sobbing. 
Racing to her, he pulled her into his arms, "What's wrong, Devon?" he asked worriedly.

"She... she... hit me!" Devon managed to say through sobs.  "And she said I'm not welcome here.  I was so scared to go inside!"

"Why didn't you go get Baji?" Darius asked, upset that Devon had been denied entry to the home they would share.

"I didn't think of it.  I just wanted you to get home!"

Darius squeezed her tight and wiped the tears from her eyes.  "I'll take care of this," he said with a hard edge to his voice.  Oh, he would most certainly take care of this!
Slamming the door open, he wasn't surprised to find Alana lounging on the couch.
"How could you?" he demanded.  "She is under our protection and you dared to lay a finger on her?!"

Alana scowled and waved her arm in the air, prepared to launch into a tirade about the Taveryns and deceit.
But, she never had the chance.  Clutching her chest, she fell back onto the couch, staring up at her son with wide eyes.

Rest in Peace Alana Marchant, Orb's Years 881-929
 
Dinner was solemn as everyone struggled with the loss.  Although she had been unpleasant to live with, she was still their mother, after all.
Eryka wiped a tear from her eye as she stared at the urn left behind.  She'd never gotten a chance to prove to her mother that she was more than she assumed...

***

Eryka arranged her curls just so and smiled into the looking glass.  Hearing of Alana's death, her father had sent her a request to meet. 
"Hello, father," she said, shaking his hand.  "It feels weird to greet you so openly here," she admitted.

Brand looked quite uncomfortable himself.  "I haven't been a great father to you, I know that.  I've passed you some gold here and there when we've been able, but I could've done more."

Eryka shrugged.  "What's done is done," she said.
"The thing is," Brand began, "I just recently learned some information that I think will put you in a mighty fine position!"

"What is it?"

"A nobleman looking for a bride!  And the noble class won't have naught to do with him because he crossed his brother."

"And you want me to marry him?" she asked, confused.  "He doesn't sound very nice."

"Ah, the things a man will do for love," Brand said sadly.
"And he would marry me, a merchant girl?" Eryka asked, trying to make sense of what her father's story.

Brand nodded eagerly,  "I'm sure of it.  I'll arrange it all.  Think of it, my daughter... a noblewoman!"

Eryka smiled.  Her?! A noblewoman!  The thought it made her practically giddy!  "Arrange it.  I will marry him!"

***

"It's not right," Baji said.  "The head of the household should arrange the marriage."

Eryka rolled her eyes, "Or a daughter's father!  He's not trying to undermine you! He just learned some information that will make me a noblewoman!" Eryka said excitedly.
"No man marries below his class unless there's a very good reason," Baji cautioned.  "I think we should find out more."

"What more do you need to know?! I will be well cared for and will want for nothing!  I'm doing it, Baji!" Eryka replied mutinously.

Baji sighed.  "I will withhold my approval until I meet the man."

Orb's Year 930
With the house bursting with people, Baji slept on the couch.  He had given Darius and Devon the master bedroom, after all, it's not like he would use it.  Eryka and Farha shared the other room since they were both young ladies.

And that left Baji alone... in the livingroom... on the couch... 
In the perfect position to hear the rustling as someone crept in and began rifling through their possessions!
"Stop!" he cried out loudly and the thief whirled around to face him.
He was struck by her beauty until she sneered at him as she ran away into the night. 

***

"Barika!" Baji called out and hurried after his sister, grabbing her arm.  "Why didn't you stop?" he asked, irritated.
The woman before him yanked her arm back and sneered.  "I'm not your sister!" she said nastily. 
Embarrassed, Baji attempted to apologize, but the young woman just looked at him in disgust before hurrying away.

***

It was times like these that Baji missed his dear wife the most.  She'd been so full of love, laughter and sweetness!  The thought of marrying another woman caused his heart to quicken with fright! 

***

So, he threw himself into the mercantile store... attempting to pull the family out of the dire straights they had landed.
Farha had proved herself to be quite adept at handling the shop.  She was a breath of fresh air, much like her mother.  Customers who spoke with her wound up leaving with a smile on their face!

Orb's Year 931
"Are you ready for the wedding night?" Eryka asked Devon slyly.  "And the marital bed?!"

"Why? What would be different?" Devon asked.  After all, she had been sharing her soon-to-be-husband's bed since moving here.

Eryka snickered, "Don't be silly! It won't be like that forever!"

Devon rolled her eyes, "Oh come on, Eryka, don't act as though you know anything! You're just repeating old wives' tales!"

Eryka crossed her arms and huffed, "How do you know? I might've!"

Devon laughed.  "You wouldn't do anything to wreck your chances of becoming a grand noblewoman.  And besides, you're not that bad!"
Eryka giggled, giving up her look of affront, "Well, be sure to tell me all about what to expect so that can be prepared for my wedding night!"

Both girls dissolved into giggling about the unknown, which is exactly how Darius found them when he walked in.
Smiling, he came forward to greet his intended with a sweet kiss.  "Are you ready for the wedding?" he asked happily.

Devon looked at Eryka and smothered a laugh, "That is precisely what Eryka just asked me!" 

***

Eryka glanced around the room, glad of all the friends and family that had arrived to bless the wedding. There was such happiness and joy filling the room, it made her smile.  She couldn't wait for her wedding!  It would be a lavish affair with lace and ribbon and a buffet!
The family sat as Darius and Devon exchanged vows.  "I pledge to honor, respect and love you until the day I die," Darius swore.
Pulling Devon into his arms, he kissed her deeply and eagerly.
At the sound of clapping and cheering, he pulled away, slightly embarrassed. 
As they hurried into the master bedroom, Darius took his wife into his arms.  "I've been waiting for this day for a long time!"

"Me, too," Devon agreed eagerly.

Orb's Year 932
"Are you sure this is what you want?" Baji asked Devon.  "You do not have to do this."

"What kind of fool would I be to pass up this oppurtunity? He does not have to love me! I am not naive enough to believe that is necessary!  Besides, I will be a noblewoman!"

Baji sighed.  "Then we will meet your husband-to-be tomorrow."

***

Eryka watched as Baji and Camelot discussed terms.  Camelot made a small face and said, "I have already arranged this with her father.  What other terms would you have?"

Baji lowered his voice so only Camelot could hear, "I would have her honored and respected so that she knows her worth, regardless of whether or not she is of noble-birth."

Eryka strained to hear what was said, but could not hear.  She merely saw Camelot incline his head in agreement and shake her brother's hand.

This is it, she thought excitedly.  She was going to marry a Knightley!
Camelot walked over to Eryka and lifted her hand for a kiss.  "My lady, your father... and your brother... have agreed to the terms.  We are to be married.  Is this as you wish?"  Camelot asked, attempting to look into her eyes for any flicker of doubt.

Eryka was still reeling over the courtly gesture.  Simpering, she placed her hand on her chest and giggled, "Of course, my Lord.  I am in agreement."

"Then, it is time to depart.  Come with me."
Eryka kissed her brother on his cheek quickly before turning to leave.

"Wait! Eryka!" Farha called out as she hurried into the room. 

Eryka waved goodbye and hurried after her intended. She was going to be a noblewoman!

***

 "Have you told him about the pregnancy?" Devon asked. 

Darius pulled her close to him on the bed.  "Nay, he worries."  At Devon's perplexed look, he explained, "Do you remember that Baji was married once?"

"Well I assumed he'd been married because of Farha.  But, I hadn't heard anything."

Darius smiled sadly, "She collapsed to the floor one evening while Baji worked.  We lost her... and the babe she carried..."

Tears ran down Devon's face, "That's terrible!" she said sadly.  "But, you will have to tell him sometime.  I think he will be at peace with it..."

"You're right," Darius said with a sigh.  
 "That's wonderful!" Baji said.  "And she's feeling well? Any pain?"

"No, everything seems to be going well," Darius said.  "I have been so worried for her!"

Baji nodded.  "We will all watch her well!"  Pausing, he smiled, "It will be good to have a baby in the house again!"

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