It was a heavy load to carry alone...
Thankfully his brother hadn't said anything, but Dresden saw the question in his eyes...
...And yes, everything was quite alright...
Orb's Year 934
Not that her husband was aware of her heartache! He just thought he melodramatic over the birth of a fourth child.
She knew that he felt it was his fault for impregnating her for a third time. Ha, she thought bitterly. I wonder what he would say if he knew the twins were fathered by another man.
Faelyn glanced over at her mother, wishing that she would speak up. But, her mother just stared past them with a glazed eye Faelyn had come to hate.
Orb's Year 935
Holden smiled and talked about looking for butterflies.
When he asked the girls, they grinned at each other and dissolved into giggles. Dresden rolled his eyes. Who knew what those girls were up to! They plotted and schemed daily! Gwenivieve always talked Gwendolyn into doing outrageous pranks - like the time they'd put a frog in Faelyn's bed... or the time they'd put dye in their mother's cleanser. Gwen's hands had been green for a fortnight!
He glanced sharply at Faelyn and she nodded her head. She would watch them extra diligently today.
She paused as her husband asked, "What has L'Adventurer done?"
Cirdon scowled, "What hasn't the man done? I've never trusted him! Sneaky as a snake!"
Dresden smiled at his wife, surprised to see her downstairs. "Cirdon and I are discussing work."
Gwen pasted a smile on her face, "Whatever were you talking about?"
Dresden opened his mouth to answer, but Cirdon shook his head. "Sorry, Sister. The King would like this information to remain privileged." Looking at his brother, Cirdon clapped his brother's shoulder. "We'll talk more of it tomorrow."
But how else could she get a message to him?
Think! she thought furiously. Think!
Angus raised an eyebrow. "And why can you not send a message yourself?" he asked.
Gwen glanced down. "I believe it will be easier for you to give the message to him."
Angus crossed his arms. "And what will I get if I do this favor for you?" he asked, drawing out the word favor until it sounded dirty.
Orb's Year 936
Faith L'Adventurer smiled shyly. "I'm sure it's not much different."
Gwenivieve rolled her eyes. "We never see our mother. She says she has a delicate constitution and spends all her time lounging in her bed."
Faith gasped, "That's terrible! She doesn't play games with you or read with you?"
The twins shook their heads sadly.
Just then the door opened and Dresden walked in the door.
"Father!" the twins shouted, leaping up. "Meet our new friend, Faith!"
Gwen's eyes widened. "How did you find out?" she asked before realizing that she'd damned herself.
Dresden felt his shoulders sag. "Why?" he asked gruffly. "Cursed Orb, why?"
She ignored him, quietly slipping through the front door. And after years of put-downs, he couldn't find it in him to go after her...