Sunday, September 15, 2013

Consul Intel, Orb's Year 933-936

Orb's Year 933
Dresden wondered how he had the time for anything!  He never slept well, tossing and turning on the hard bench.  And between the twin toddlers and a newborn baby, he was stretched to the very limit.

It was a heavy load to carry alone...
Although, he supposed he should not say he carried it totally alone.  His eldest daughter, Faelyn helped in whatever small ways she could.
And she never complained when he said he was busy with her siblings.
In fact, she tried to help teach them as much as she was able.  "Hush, don't cry, Gwenivieve," Faelyn said.  "Let's play pat-a-cake again!"
However, his wife, Gwen, remained oblivious to everyone in the house.  Sometimes Dresden worried for her.  It just didn't seem right... the listlessness that she exhibited.
He'd come home, alarmed by the number of filthy bottles littering the floor.  His brother, Cirdon, had come home to discuss work and had raised one eyebrow.

Thankfully his brother hadn't said anything, but Dresden saw the question in his eyes...

...And yes, everything was quite alright...
Especially when he held his children in his arms!

 Orb's Year 934

Gwen had taken to locking the door and lounging in her bed all day.  She couldn't bear to see any of the children, but especially not the twins.  It hurt too much to look into little miniature faces of the lover that had spurned her. 

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.
"Ouch!" Faelyn gasped as Gwenivieve shocked her with static electricity.  "Why did you do that?" she demanded.
The twins dissolved into giggles.

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.
Hurrying away, Faelyn glanced over her shoulder as the twins began playing some game. How she wished she had someone by her side as they did... a best friend for all times.
Sighing, she heard Holden crying from the nursery.  Swooping down, she hauled him into her arms.
"Come now, Holden.  There's no need for tears.  Let's play pat-a-cake!" Faelyn said, trying to force cheer into her voice.

 Orb's Year 935
Dresden woke up, scrubbing at his eyes.  Cursed Orb, this bench was uncomfortable!  He was getting too old to treat his body like this!

"Come now, it's breakfast time," Faelyn said, helping Holden button his jacket.

Dresden smiled as his children hurried over to breakfast.  "And what are your plans for the day?" he asked each one. 


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.



***

The hour was late when Dresden returned home with his brother.  "King Barron merely wants him followed as a precaution," Cirdon told him.  "They suspect that he is hiding something."
Gwen slowed on the stairs and listened.  Who were they talking about?  

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!"
Gwen must have gasped because Dresden and Cirdon both turned to face her.  Weakly she smiled.  "I did not know you had company, husband," she said tightly as her mind whirled.  What reason would the King have for watching Geoffrey?

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."

 ***

Gwen paced in front of the scroll and thought furiously.  She could not summon Geoffrey through his wife.  The last time, Geoffrey's wife, Princess Celeste, had arrived at her doorstep.

But how else could she get a message to him?

Think! she thought furiously.  Think!
 
 ***

Gwen glanced down when she saw the open appreciation in Angus Laird's eyes. Where once she would have thought nothing of toying with him... it only made her feel dirty right now.
"I have a favor," she said without pretense.  "I need you to get a message to Geoffrey L'Adventurer."

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.
Gwen forced herself to smile as she stroked Angus' cheek.  "I will be most appreciative..."

 Orb's Year 936
Gwenivieve and Gwendolyn chatted with the girl who'd come home with them.  "What's it like having a princess for a mother?" Gwenivieve asked.

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!"
Dresden smiled in welcome at the little girl and then felt his stomach pitch.  Proof that his wife had cuckolded him stood only a few feet in front of him. 
Numbly he made it up the steps and into a room he had not stepped into for some time.  Gwen seemed just as surprised to find him there as he was.  She had ceased locking the door, secure in the knowledge that he had no wish to burden her with his physical advances.
"Tell me it's not true," he said softly.

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?"
"Why?" Gwen demanded.  "I only married you for your name and protection!  I love Geoffrey L'Adventurer!" she said, lifting her head high.  "I loathed every time you touched me!"  Turning her nose up at him, she lifted her skirts and sailed from the room.
Dresden rested his head in his hand.  How had he not seen this? he wondered.  He'd known Gwen had been unhappy... but had not suspected this level of malcontent!
Belatedly, Dresden followed her.  "Where are you going?" he demanded.

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...
Slipping into the twins' room, he stared at the girls he'd raised as his own flesh and blood.  How selfish Gwen had been not to think of anyone else but herself...

***

 
Gwen hurried from the house and began heading towards the Royale castle.  She'd heard that Geoffrey had been taken and she was going to save her love!

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