Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Taveryn, Orb's Year 933-936


Orb's Year 933
After the uncomfortable visit with Caira Flowers when she'd confessed her love for him.  (Flowers, Orb's Year 929-932Why now? he thought bitterly.  If only she had realized her feelings before he'd moved on with Suzie...

But, Dirk knew that he couldn't abandon Suzie and their unborn child.  What kind of man would he be if he didn't?  No worse than his half-brother, Brand Taveryn, who had left behind a string of illegitimate children without any remorse.  No, any feelings that he had for Caira belonged in the past... his future was with Suzie and their unborn child. 

With little hesitation, he slipped the ring on Suzie's finger and held her hands in his own.

Caira belongs in the past now, he reminded himself.

***

I love this pub, Connor Taveryn thought happily as he gazed happily around the room, sipping his ale.  His Pop, Brand Taveryn, played a lively tune on the piano and everyone was chatting amiably and laughing.  Yes, he thought, leaning back against the bar.  Life didn't get any better than this!

Glancing over at his younger brother, Edrick, Connor elbowed him.  "Why don't you go over and talk to her?" he asked, nodding towards the red-head.

Edrick flushed and shrugged his shoulder nonchalantly.  "Nah," he said, "She's got too much noble blood in her.  Wouldn't know what to say!"

Connor laughed, "Now there's a first!  A Taveryn not knowing what to say to the ladies!"

Behind the bar, Connor's wife reached across and playfully swatted him.  "And what ladies have you been talking to, Connor Taveryn?!"

Connor leaned across the bar and kissed his wife soundly.  "Nobody but you, my lady."

Edrick elbowed his brother back and left the love-birds to their cooing, widely side-stepping the lovely Faelyn Consul. 
Outside, he sighed.  He could hardly tell his brother that he had a thing for Addison Taylor, even though her parents forbid them to see each other after she'd snuck out to meet him one night.  No amount of smooth-talking would change their minds.

"Edrick?"
Edrick whirled in surprise.  It was almost as if thinking about had made her appear.   "Addison!" he said, hurrying to her.  "What are you doing here? Won't your father wonder where you are?" he asked.  It was getting late and she would probably be missed.
"I don't care. I had to come see you!" she cried.  "I have to go away! I may never see you again!"

Edrick's heart plummeted.  "But why? You're not in trouble, are you?" he asked.

Addison shook her head as a tear slipped down her cheeks.  "No," she said, hedging.  "I can't explain now.  I have to go home now.  I just... I just wanted to say good-bye."
Edrick pulled Addison into his arms and kissed her pent-up passion and desperation.   Slowly, she pulled herself out his arms and gave him a watery smile.  What did she mean she might never see me again? he thought worriedly.  Before he could ask again what was going on, she hurried off.

Orb's Year 934
Suzie had the ring on her finger that committed her to Dirk, but she couldn't help the feelings that she had for his half-brother, Brand.   There was something wild and daring about him that she longed to sample.
Feeling her baby kick, she closed her eyes in shame.  She should spend less time lusting after her husband's brother and more time thinking about her unborn child...

***

In the last year, Addison and Edrick's relationship had changed irretrievably.  It was no use pining over something that could never be.  But, Edrick still considered her a good friend.  He'd been chatting with her about something silly when out of the corner of his eye, he saw a beautiful girl.

"Who is she?" he asked Addison under his breath.

Addison glanced over and tried to place her.  "I think her name is Stephanie," she said.  "Why?"
 But Edrick wasn't even listening.  He'd already moved off to chat with the new girl. 
Addison's eyes narrowed.  It was one thing for their relationship to change due to life's changes, but certainly something else entirely for him to flirt with someone else!

***

"Business is up!" Connor said excitedly, discussing Taveryn's Kitchen with Christa.  "I had doubted Keith Cook when he came to me with his idea, but the Kitchen has really flourished!"

Christa smiled, loving to see Connor so enthusiastic and passionate. 
Finishing dinner, Connor scooped up Ferguson for bed.  "One day," he told his son, "this will all be yours, the pub AND the Kitchen!"

***

Suzie wished someone would have told her more about what to expect during delivery.  She'd never felt more alone in her life!  Gritting her teeth, she grimaced through the pain.
And then he came and made everything better.  Aidan pressed his palm on the small of her back and softly coached her through the contractions. 

"Just breath in gently," he counseled, "You're almost there..."

And then as if to prove him correct, she delivered her baby boy!  She cuddled the child to her chest and smiled.  "I'll name you Eddie," she said with a smile and a kiss to the boy's nose.  "Welcome to the Baker family!"

Brand smiled widely at mother and child, stepping back to resist the impulse to smooth a hand down the baby's soft forehead or his mother's soft cheek.

Turning, he left the room.

Orb's Year 935
What a precious little boy, Brand thought as he leaned over to settle the baby in the crib.

Suzie stopped abruptly when she saw Brand in her room, soothing Eddie. 

He glanced up and smiled at her and she couldn't help feeling a fluttering in her belly.
"You really are wonderful with children," she told him, for lack of anything else to say.

Brand smiled widely, "With as many children as I've had, I suppose I picked up a knack for it!" he joked.  "Although, I wish I'd had more contact with illegitimate children.  Most of them hate my guts and I can't say that I blame them much..." he added sadly.

"Oh! I'm sure they don't hate you," Suzie said earnestly.  It was far too hard to hate Brand when he was so congenial!

He merely shrugged.  "It is what it is," he said simply.  "I only wish I hadn't let my harridan wife make my life and theirs a living hell.  I should've acknowledged them when they were young."
Dirk headed to check on Eddie and stopped short when he saw Aidan and Suzie standing close. 
"What's going on?" he demanded as he hurried in. 

Suzie turned towards her husband with wide-eyes.  "Nothing, we were just talking!"
Brand leaned forward and clapped his half-brother on the shoulder.  "Nothing to worry about, Dirk.  I was just running her ear about my illegitimates," he said with a grimace. 
"I'll leave you two alone," Brand said.

Dirk glanced at his wife and his half-brother and felt a pinch  of jealousy.  He couldn't help but fear that Brand was seducing his wife.  He wouldn't put it past him!  Brand knew no boundaries when it came to romance and passion!

It had been quick, but Dirk had caught a look between Brand and Suzie.

Just what was going on, he wondered with a sick feeling.

 ***

"For the hundredth time," Suzie began, "there's nothing going on with Brand!  We were just talking," Suzie snapped.  It had been hours since they'd laid in bed, but Dirk didn't seem able to let it go.  Feeling perturbed, she rolled over to her side, fluffed her pillow, and ignored him.  Let him stew all night long, she thought sadly.  Nothing I say is going to change his mind!

***

Connor grinned when he saw his younger brother and his girl hold hands.  Atta boy! Connor silently cheered his brother's luck.
Edrick was head over heels for Stephanie.  She was so easy to talk to and so beautiful!  They'd been seeing each other for about a year now and nothing picked him up quite like a visit from Stephanie!  "See you tomorrow?" he asked as he leaned in for a kiss.

"Of course," she promised.

Orb's Year 936
Brand ran from the breakfast table to find Suzie.  He'd just heard the most alarming news.  He found her in her room, packing...

"You're leaving?" he asked dully, looking for confirmation.

Suzie glanced up and nodded sadly.  "Yes, Dirk just told me today. He made some sort of arrangement with Connor." 

"So this is it?" Brand asked, stunned.  

Suzie nodded once again.  "Dirk says he wants a fresh start, but I think he just doesn't trust me," she said ruefully.  "He's never believed that there is nothing between you and I."
Brand gave into temptation and traced her cheek.  "That's not true.  There is something between us," Brand said intensely.  "We might never have acted on it, but don't lie to yourself... there is something between us."

Suzie bit her lip.  "But I'm married."

Brand dropped his hand and stepped back.  "Hasn't stopped me before," he said with a shrug, as he walked away.

Suzie went back to folding their clothes, her hands shaking...

 ***

Dirk lifted Eddie from the crib and looked around the room.  It was time to go, he thought sadly.  This had always been his home, but it was time for a fresh start. 

He believed Suzie when she said nothing happened with Brand... but he could see that there was something between them.

"Time to go, bud," Dirk said as he slipped their bags over his shoulder.  The change would be good for them!

***

"Dad! Dad!" Ferguson called as he ran towards Connor, tripping at the last minute on slightly unsteady legs.  "Oof!"

"Be careful Ferguson!"
Ferguson popped back up, resilient in his youth.  "I'm okay, Dad!" Ferguson said.  "Come quick, I wanna show you my headstand!  Come watch!"

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