Addison gazed around, further in shock. Alec lived in a veritable mansion! "What did you say you did again?" she asked.
She was surprised to see a slight smile lift the corner of Alec's mouth. He bowed in front of her and announced, "I am the Merchant's Reeve, appointed as manager and overseer of the merchant's by the King himself."
Addison's mouth gaped open.
Addison had impressed him with her regal bearing and her veritable wit. When he'd encountered her throughout the years, she'd always been well-spoken, kind, and calm, despite her young age. She was exactly what he was looking for in a spouse.
He'd simply made her father an offer he couldn't refuse.
Laying aside the newspaper, Alec checked the hour-glass. It was time for dinner, he thought. Right on schedule.
He would give her time to settle.
Addison pushed the food around on her plate and mumbled a reply.
Alec sighed. He supposed she just needed more time. Glancing at his hour-glass, he realized time had flown by faster than he'd assumed. It was past time for bed. Grimacing, Alec hurriedly collected the plates and washed them, annoyed that he was running late.
Orb's Year 934
Addison glanced up from her paper. "Um, yes... I forgot to do it earlier."
Frowning, Alec glanced at his hour-glass. "It's always best to do things right away."
Addison raised an eyebrow and watched Alec hurry away. What an odd, little man, she thought.
An image of Alec checking his hour-glass and informing the King that he didn't have any more time to talk made Addison giggled.
Behind her, Alec cleared his throat.
Alec nodded, "Perfectly alright." He hesitated a moment, "Have you done your assignments?" he asked, almost pained.
Addison raised her eyebrow, "Yes, I did it first thing after returning home."
Alec sighed. "Oh thank goodness." Straightening, he motioned Addison to the entry way. "Please come with me."
Intrigued, Addison followed.
He knew that Addison missed her parents greatly.
Trying to resist the urge to check his hour-glass, Alec already knew that he was late. His fingers twitched and he snuck a look at the-hour glass, sighing when he saw how unscheduled he was. How disorganized, he thought.
Feathers flew everywhere and a vein throbbed painfully behind Alec's eye, but when he saw Addison look towards him, he attempted to smile. Excusing himself, he headed upstairs to lay down.
She had seen Alec flustered as he checked his hour-glass and knew the sacrifice he'd made for her. What a sweet, funny, little man, she thought more fondly.
Orb's Year 935
Addison plopped down next to him and her elbow jostled his arm. "I'm just so bored!" she said. "Do you think I might invite a few friends over for dinner?" she asked.
Alec looked at his hour-glass, and grimaced as he imagined all the rowdy shrieking and pillow-tossing. "I don't know..." he hedged.
Addison smiled, "What if I have everyone gone by the time you get home?" she offered. She knew he hated it when his schedule was out of place.
Alec hedged again, "Well, if you really want to," he offered. "I suppose it should be okay."
Flustered, Alec bent to pick up his book and put it away. "Yes, well. I'll see you this evening," he said, kissing her cheek good-bye. "Enjoy your get-together."
Orb's Year 936
Thomas Taylor gazed at his daughter and her soon-to-be-husband. Years ago, he'd thought that betrothing Addison to Alec had destined his daughter for great sadness. He'd been pleasantly surprised to find that the man doted on his daughter and seemed to care a great deal for her. Even more surprising was how apparent it was that Addison cared for him, as well.
Life, he mused, You never can tell.
Life, he mused, You never can tell.
Addison smiled, "I am ready."
Alec hesitated a moment. "And do you have any regrets?" he asked, worried.
Addison reached out and grabbed his hand. "Not in the least."
Alec's heart raced when Addison's hand touched his own and he wondered at the feeling. Perhaps this was love, he thought absently.
Meeting his eyes, she announced to family and friends that it was time to retire for the night.
"Are we on time, husband?" she teased gently.