Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Marchant, Orb's Year 933-936


Orb's Year 933
Devon found herself with so much empty time on her hands now that she was pregnant!  Sinking to the floor, she continued reading an enchanting story about Robin Hood.  She was biting her nails, worrying over whether he would be discovered at the archery competition when Farha came home.

Smiling up at her sister-in-law, she held her hand up.  "Help me up!" she said.  "I'm getting too pregnant to stay on the floor for very long!"
Farha helped her aunt up and laughed.  "Then you should probably stop lounging around on the floor!"
"Are you okay?" Baji asked worriedly. He'd come in to watch Farha help pull Devon to her feet.  "Did you fall?"

Devon smiled kindly at her brother-in-law.  "I'm perfectly fine.  I just needed help getting up after reading all afternoon!"  Poor Baji, she thought.  He'd lost his wife and unborn child years ago and he'd been on pins and needles, worrying about her.  She thought he just might be more anxious than either herself or Darius!
Baji sighed.  "Thank God," he said.  "But be sure to tell me if you need help.  I don't want anything to happen to you," he said seriously.
Sinking down into a nearby chair, Baji attempted to still his racing heart.  He felt like such an old man, now.  But, he liked to think that Alicia's spirit somehow looked out for him.  A guardian angel, he thought with a wry smile.
"You're not forgotten, my love," Baji said as he placed flowers at her grave, as was his custom.

***

The labor pains had caught Devon off-guard.  Thank goodness her brother-in-law, Baji, was at work, she thought absently.  He'd probably be beside himself with worry if he were!
Cooing softly to the little boy she held in her arms, Devon smiled.  "Fabian Marchant! A fine, strong name for my fine, strong little man!"

Orb's Year 934
Baji had been quite pleased to see the Royale prince in his humble establishment! 
Baji smiled as the Prince and his lady checked out.  Perhaps this young lady here would be the next queen of Celestia one day!  The children certainly looked to be in love, he mused to himself.

 ***

Business sky-rocketed after the Prince had been sighted at the Marchant's store.  Everyone seemed to want to know what Prince Earl had purchased. 
Farha looked over the lists and checked off the items that would need to be replaced.  The bell on the door tingled.  "I'm sorry, we're closed," Farha called out, not glancing up.

"Do you need any help?" Gemma asked.

Farha looked up and saw her friend in the doorway.  Hurrying over to her, she hugged her.  "No! For you, I can take a break! What brings you here?"
"You've been so busy, I haven't seen you in so long!" Farha complained as she grabbed Gemma's hands.

Gemma laughed lightly, "Oh please. I saw you just the other, you goose!"

Farha shrugged, "Well, then I haven't seen you nearly enough."  She wasn't quite sure how to tell Gemma how much she'd missed her.  It surely felt stronger than she felt with any other friend.  

Gemma smiled sadly, "I know. I've missed you, too. Perhaps if your father will let you, you can come move in with me! I could use your help, you know! And I love spending time with you!"

Farha hesitated.  She couldn't leave her, could she?  This was her heritage...

But, at the same time... she longed to be with Gemma...
Leaning forward, she kissed Gemma lightly.  "I'll talk to Father and see what he says, I promise."

Orb's Year 935
"Daddy, I'd like to hold a family meeting," Farha said anxiously.

Baji smiled indulgently.  "Of course.  I'll father everyone," he said.
Sometime later, everyone sat at the table and Farha took a deep breath.

"What is it, Farha? Why the family meeting?" Baji asked with concern.  "Is everything okay?"

Farha smiled.  "I've made a decision, Daddy.  I know you spoke with Darius about me inheriting the store..."

"But I don't mind," Darius broke in, "You were raised in that store! Of course you should inherit it!"

"I know, but..." Farha hesitated.  When she glanced around the table at all the expectant faces, she felt a twinge of guilt.  Perhaps this wouldn't be as easy as she thought it would be.

"Go on, what is it?" Devon encouraged her, reaching across to squeeze her hand.

Farha took another deep breath.  "I'm going to move in with Gemma," she blurted.  "I love her!"  Keeping her gaze on the table, she asked her father, "Are you very disappointed?" she asked sadly.
Baji got up quietly and at first, Farha was worried he would leave without saying a word.  But, Baji pulled Farha to her feet and hugged her tightly.  "Your future is wherever you are happiest," he said with a kiss to her cheek.

Farha grinned at her father and threw her arms around him.

"Your mother would be so proud of you," he said wistfully.

***

"Is this what you want?" Baji asked Darius.  "You've never spent much time in the store before unless I twisted your arm."
"I've grown since then, you know, big brother," he said.  "And now I have Fabian..."  Pausing, Darius grinned, "Not only am I going to enjoy the challenge, but I have some ideas..."

Orb's Year 936
Baji had to admit it was a blow to lose Farha.  He missed his daughter, but he always knew that one day she might long to be married and move away. 
How swiftly things change, he mused to himself.  In the blink of an eye, Farha was gone and the Marchants had a new heir - Darius and his son Fabian.
And Devon proudly told them that there might be a new Marchant on the way, as well!

Suddenly Baji felt like an intruder in his family home...

***

Baji had been proud when Darius took more interest in the shop. 
He milled the room and helped make sales and learned to man the register.

***

Darius glanced up and felt his fingers still at the register.  An odd feeling swiftly passed through his body when he looked into the face staring back at him.
"Are you?..." the man asked, blinking.  "Are you somehow related to Trent Noble?"

Darius shook his head.  "I've never heard of him before."

"Curious," Blaze Noble mumbled under his breath.  With another questioning gaze at Darius, he turned away.
It had been a shock seeing the noble-man.  They looked almost like brothers... but that couldn't be... could it?

***

The morning had arrived.  It was time to tell Baji about all of his plans.  "I was hoping you would come with me this morning," Darius said over breakfast, trying to appear nonchalant.

Baji glanced sharply at his younger brother.  "We need to open the shop, though," he said sternly.  Could his brother already be boring of the hard work necessary for providing for a family?

"Trust me," Darius said, quietly adding, "Please..."

***

Darius could hardly contain his excitement when he led Baji into a new lot he'd purchased, Marchant Decor.  "Ta da!"  he said with evident delight.

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