Thursday, September 19, 2013

Farrier, Orb's Year 933-936

Orb's Year 933
Evelyn was shocked when Juan slipped to one knee and held out a ring.  "I know it's not much," he began, "But I want to do right by you.  Marry me and I'll take care of you."

Evelyn hesitated.  She'd been so alone in her first marriage.  It had turned out that Angus had never thought to honor his vows to her and treated her as a toy to play with whenever he wanted.

But Juan wasn't like that, was he?  And if he was, what choice did she have?
Biting her lip, she nodded.

Juan sighed with relief and slipped the ring on her finger, meeting her eyes intensely.  "You'll never have to be alone again.  I swear this to you," Juan vowed.

*** 
Juan held his Baby Boy in his arms and stood in awe of the child's perfection.  "What's his name?" he asked.

Evelyn hung her head.  "I haven't named him yet.  As soon as he was born Angus knew that he wasn't his child and threw me out in the street."  She was so ashamed, she couldn't quite meet Juan's eye.  She was scared she would see pity.

Juan kept his anger in check.  "I always knew he was a blasted fool! But I can't say I'm not glad it led you to my door. I only wish I could've spared you the pain.." he trailed off, looking in his son's eyes.  "How does the name Andre sound to you?" he asked Evelyn.

Evelyn smiled.  "It sounds wonderful."

"Good! I'll go put him to bed and then we'll talk.  I'm sure we have much to discuss!"

***

"Perhaps if you speak with him, he would relent!" Evelyn tried again, desperately trying to convince her new husband to petition for her guardianship of Brock, the son she'd had to leave behind.
"Evelyn, I would do it in a moment if I thought we had some chance of success.  But, he's Angus' heir.  The King would never agree to it!"

Evelyn fought her rising panic.  "But, he's never cared about Brock! He only cares about hurting me!  I've nursed him, clothed him and soothed him!  He's my child!"

Juan knelt at Evelyn's feet and clasped her hands in his own.  "I would bring him to  you in a moment if it were possible.  But, for the time we must give it time..."

Evelyn gripped his hands tightly.  "Perhaps I could talk to Angus.."

"No!" Juan said.  "Do not give him more opportunity to hurt you! Give me time.  I will try to bring your boy home."  Standing up, Juan held his hand out to her.  "For now, come to bed?" He left it as a question, allowing Evelyn to say no if she wanted.

But looking up at her strong, tender husband, Evelyn found that she was actually looking forward to a night with him.  Shyly, she placed her hand in his own.

***

Evelyn woke up and found herself alone in the bed.  Juan must wake before the sun rises, she thought as she smoothed the sheets and made the bed. 

As she hurried from the room, she saw breakfast already laid out on the table. 
She gasped with delight.  "You made breakfast?" she asked, her stomach rumbling.

Juan grinned, "A man's got to eat somehow!"

"Angus never would have made breakfast!" she blurted, then glanced worriedly at Juan.  She was sure he would soon grow tired of hearing of her broken marriage.
Juan winked and reached across to caress her hand.  "We've well established what a fool Angus is!" he said.  "Most of all because he let you go."

Evelyn flushed.

Orb's Year 934
Juan worked hard to provide for his new family.  He stayed up late in the night, hammering metal into wheels or horse shoes or caring for horses.
The large bulk of his earnings came from the smaller, less expensive items because he demanded quite a sum for the honor of owning his well-bred horses.  There were not many in the Kingdom of Celestia that could afford his horses!
 King Barron nodded at him and then went back to gazing at the horse.  "You have good horses here.  I thought perhaps I could use a new horse at the castle."

"I would be greatly honored, your Majesty!" Juan said. 

King Barron tapped a finger against his lips and began to bargain.  Juan hid a smile as he began to haggle with the King of Celestia.  Wait until I tell Evelyn, he thought.

***

Oh Blessed Orb, Evelyn thought, not again!

Orb's Year 935
Evelyn had been scared to death when she discovered she was pregnant again.  She was still leery of Juan and whether or not his good will would last.  Would he grow tired of her soon? she wondered.
But he'd proven to be a solid husband.  He helped feed, bathe and comfort Andre whenever he could spare a moment, which said a lot of much as he worked to provide them with food and shelter! 
And he was so excited to hear that they would soon have another child.  Tenderly, he ran his hand over her burgeoning belly and grinned. 

If only I had married Juan instead of Angus so many years ago, she thought, knowing it never would've happened.  Juan was a merchant and she never would've been able to overlook that in your youth.  A merchant was fine to have an affair with - but never  marry!  Only a hard life had taught her to look past a man's station in life to the man underneath.  And underneath it all, Juan was golden!

***

How fast Andre was growing! Evelyn thought as she held her growing son in her arms.  She'd been delighted to see Andre had inherited the Consul ears!  At first, she'd been worried about Juan's reaction since Angus had been so displeased.  She should know better to compare her ex-husband to her paragon of a husband!
Juan scarfed his meal down and stretched.  "I'm sorry to leave you mid-meal, but I am exhausted, wife.  It was a long day."

Evelyn smiled tenderly.  "Go, rest! I'll join you in a bit."  Would she ever grow used to his thoughtfulness? she thought as he walked away.
As she got up to carry the dishes to the kitchen, she doubled over as the contraction hit her. 
Soon she held a smiling baby girl in her arms with dark brown hair and her father's beautiful grey eyes.  She cuddled Bianca to her chest and grinned.  A little girl! she thought happily.  Wait until Juan meets this precious girl!  She knew Bianca would have him wrapped around her little finger soon enough!
"Time for bed," Evelyn said as she laid her children in their cribs. 
As she tucked her darlings in, she allowed herself a moment of pity for the loss of her eldest son.  The few times she'd snuck over to try to catch a glimpse of Brock, he'd seemed happy with his new mother.  She wondered if his new mother knew what songs to sing to him or how he liked to be tucked in...

Although, now that Brock was a child, perhaps he liked to be tucked in differently...

Evelyn wearily buried her face in her hand, trying to force the thoughts from her mind.  It was torture to play the 'what if' game. 

Orb's Year 936
"Please Juan! You must try! Brock has been away from me too long!  Soon he will have forgotten who I even am!  His own mother!"
Juan shook his head.  "I'm sorry, Evelyn.  I know it pains you and it pains me to see you hurt this way.  But, I cannot change the fact that he has declared Brock his heir!"

"But he has a new son with his new wife," Evelyn argued.  "Maybe we could convince him to give Brock up."

Juan sighed.  "I don't want you to get your hopes up.  He fully intends to keep Brock as his heir in order to hurt you.  When he's older, I will find a way to pass the boy a message."

"When he's older?" she gasped with dismay.  "If he even remembers me, he'll hate me for abandoning him for so long!"

Juan reached across to take Evelyn's hand, but she pulled away, too upset to be comforted.   Juan's shoulders sagged as he headed to work. 

***

"Pardon me for saying, my lady, but I couldn't help buy overhear," the maid said, coming to stand by Evelyn.

Evelyn glanced sharply at the servant, causing him to clear his throat.  "It's just that I think I might be able to help..."
Evelyn grasped his hands.  "You can help me get my son back? But how?"

"Ah, ah, ah," Ryker said.  "First we need to discuss what's in it for me..."

***

Evelyn's disappointment weighed heavily on Juan's mind.  He knew that it was a blessing that Evelyn even returned his love, thanks to the difference in their stations.  She'd taken a step down marrying him and given up her family.  He'd loved her for as long as he could remember!  If only he could do this for her - bring her son back.  But, no matter how many times he ran it through his head, there remained no actionable course.  It was impossible!
Juan was glad for the constant stream of customers that kept him from ruminating on his failure for very long. 
But, as he closed the shop and attempted to bend the metal to his will, the thoughts crept in again.  When Evelyn had turned from him, it had cut him more than he'd thought possible.  In the back of his mind he harbored a fear that she might leave him if he ever disappointed her.  And certainly, his inability to bring Brock back disappointed her...

***
..And Juan just didn't know what he would do without her or the kids in his life!

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