Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Knightley Guard, Orb's Year 937-940


Orb's Year 937
It seemed that just as Eryka was getting used to being spoiled by Camelot, everything had to change.  He insisted on acknowledging his sons with his ex-lover, the serving hussy!  She was a noblewoman now! She shouldn't have to deal with this!
"Hurry, my boys will be over soon.  I'd like everything to be ready when they get here!" Camelot Knightley said excitedly.

Eryka grimaced.  "Toddlers are just so difficult to care for! I don't see why you need to invite them into our home as often as you do!" she protested.  "Can't we just send them money and be done with it?"
Camelot winced.  It was clear that his wife didn't have any love for his half-class children, but he kept hoping that she might grow to love them once she got to know them.  "I love them, just as I will love any children that we have,"  he said, gazing longingly into her eyes.

Eryka winced when Camelot mentioned children.  She wanted some, just not any time soon!  She was having too much fun living in the lap of luxury!  But, she knew that Camelot craved more children, so she smiled and nodded.

"Besides," Camelot added.  "The boys are no longer toddlers. They're strong little boys! I know with time, you'll care for them just as much!"

As least the seductress Deanna never came with them, Eryka thought silently.  Or his niece, Fatima.  Oh, he'd invited Fatima numerous times, but the ungrateful girl never showed her face.  She knew Camelot felt horrible about it, but she hoped with time, he would stop trying so hard to please the little urchins...
"Ah there you are!" Camelot called happily when the boys hurried inside.  Eryka pasted on a smile and greeted the boys.  They were so smelly! Didn't their mother clean them? she thought uncharitably.
"Guy!" Camelot said as he bent down to kiss his eldest twin's cheek.  "You're looking well!"

Eryka shared an awkward glance with Hugh.  When she bent down to hug him, he quickly pulled away and glanced towards his father. 
Already at wits end, Eryka made her apologies and scurried from the room.  They wouldn't need her this afternoon, anyway! They'd be able to do all sorts of manly things without her!

***

Camelot sighed as Eryka hurried from the room, but grinned at his two little men.  "So," he announced, clasping his hands, "Who is up for a sword fight?"

"Alright!" the boys called as they hurried to their father.

***

Hours later, Camelot bid his boys goodbye. "Promise to come again soon," he said as he hugged them tight and kissed their cheeks.  "Tell your sister I love her."

Hugh nodded, even as Guy shrugged. 

Camelot grinned. 

His boys.

***

"You can come out now, they've gone," Camelot said with more annoyance in his voice than he'd intended.

Eryka winced.  "I'm sorry, Camelot.  I just wasn't feeling well," she apologized.  Shyly she glanced down.  "Perhaps when I have our son, you can teach him the same things."
Camelot glanced at her sharply.  "Are you saying...?" he asked without daring to hope.

Eryka nodded.

Camelot reached for her hands and squeezed.  "We will have fine children!" he announced happily.

Orb's Year 938
Eryka supposed she should be thankful that Princess Daphne still came over to visit after she'd made a fool of herself at Daphne's ladies group (Knightley, Orb's Year 937).  I suppose that's what sister-in-law's do, she thought bitterly.  She was certain that Camelot had asked his sister's wife to look out for his poor, underprivileged wife. 
"Maybe if you didn't try so hard," Daphne suggested.
"I don't know what you mean," Eryka said.  "It's just that everyone holds my class against me!" Besides, she never seemed to have a problem when talking with noblemen!  It was only around noblewomen that she was treated coldly!

Daphne cocked her head to the side, "Maybe a confidence boost," she said, slowly considering Eryka's hair.
"What do you think?" Princess Daphne asked when Eryka came back in the room.
"I love it! Thank you! I feel so regal and pretty!" Eryka gushed.

"Good!" Daphne said, hugging her sister-in-law.  "Now you must promise to come to my ladies group this week!  Everyone will love you!"
Eryka glanced in her mirror and smoothed her hair.  Well, who wouldn't be impressed? she wondered happily.

***

Eryka was certain she had wowed everyone at the ladies social. Daphne had told her that she'd made a definite impression.  Eryka couldn't help but feel a little like a belle at a ball!
She couldn't wait to invite people over to enjoy her company! 
Especially the handsome noblemen...

***

Although she happened to be completely alone when her labor pains began in earnest.  In that moment, she would've traded all the friends in the world for her family...

...But it had been necessary to put them behind her ...in a past life.  She was a noblewoman now.  She consorted with princesses and noblewomen!  Her family were merely merchants, struggling to survive.  She was better than them now.
Just as her sweet daughter, Elyana Knightley, would be better than them, as well.

Orb's Year 939
"I'm sorry that I did not give you an heir," Eryka said with some disappointment.  She had been hoping that once she gave Camelot his male heir that he would stop spending so much time with his half-class children at the Abbey!

Camelot grinned at her, "It will be nice to have a little girl in the house again!"

Eryka's face fell.  He dared mention his half-class niece that he'd pretended to father.  To her?! His wife! "Well, I had wanted to gift you with your first son!" she said sharply.

Camelot stared at his wife, confused.  "Are you feeling well, wife? You know I already have two sons, Guy and..."

Eryka ground her teeth.  "Yes," she interrupted, dismissing the half-class brats, "But my son will be your heir," she insisted.

Camelot nodded tersely and walked away so as not to upset his wife.  He'd heard that women could be particularly moody after birth.  
In the room, he stroked the soft skin on his daughter's head.  "Boy, girl - it does not matter to me.  Orb's truth, I'm glad to have a little girl in the house again," he told the sleeping angel.

 ***

Eryka was angry with Camelot.  She didn't know why he needed to throw his half-class children in her face all the time! It just wasn't done!  They should have the decency to stay at the Abbey where they belonged!

So, she decided not to give him another thought until he came and apologized to her!
Angus Laird, the noted jouster had come over with his competitor Keev. 
 A girl could definitely forget about her cares and woes with this lively group!
Keev stepped a smidgen closer than what was proper as he invited Eryka to see him joust on the morrow.  "Perhaps you can give me something of yours for luck?" he said suggestively.

Eryka was thoroughly enchanted.  Keev was so masculine and so strong! 
 Leaning forward, she gave him a quick kiss.  "There!" she announced.  "A kiss for good luck!"

Keev moved to pull her into his arms, but Eryka deftly skipped away.  "My Lord! You forget yourself!" she chastised with her heart thundering.  She couldn't believe she had done that!  Camelot would never forgive her!

But, oh, it was so thrilling to steal that simple little kiss! 

If only Keev wasn't looking like he wanted a lot more from her at the moment...
As Angus walked by, he noted the high color in Eryka's cheeks and the determined look in Keev's eye.  Interesting, he thought.  Grinning to himself, he made sure to file that information away. You never knew when something like that might come in handy!

 ***

Eryka greeted Camelot warmly when he returned from work.  "Here, husband, let me rub your back!" she announced, turning him around. 

Camelot glanced at her suspiciously.  "What brings this on?" he asked.
"I just missed you today!" she said, shrugging as she pulled him into her arms.  "Let me show you how much!"  She'd been on pins and needles waiting for Camelot to return.  Her brazen kiss with Keev had left her in state of agitation all day!  

Hurriedly, she pushed Camelot towards the bed.

Camelot grinned as his wife pulled the clothes from his body.  Wow, he thought.  He knew that the mood changes after birth could make a woman moody, but this was spectacular! 
 Elyana's cries woke them up sometime in the early morning.  

"Ugh," Eryka complained, "When will she sleep through the night? I'm sorely tired of missing sleep!"

Camelot kissed her cheek.  "I'll grab the little one, you go back to sleep."

Eryka nodded as she made a trip to the bathroom.
Camelot hoisted his sweet daughter up from the crib and snuggled her.  "Good morning, little princess.  We simply must do something about our sleeping arrangement! I agree with your mother! It will be nice to sleep through the night again!"
Eryka fought the morning nausea down after awakening and scowled.  Well, so much for sleep! she thought sourly.  

Orb's Year 940
Camelot was overjoyed that Eryka was having another child.  He'd been slightly worried about the spacing.  Perhaps it would have been better to have delayed another child's birth so closely to Elyana's.  Especially with the moodiness that Eryka had experienced. 

After this baby's birth, he would be sure to let more time pass before impregnating Eryka again.
But, oh, how he loved his little girl!

 ***

"What are you doing?" Eryka asked as she came downstairs. 

"Just going to put little Elyana up into bed."
Grinning at Elyana, Camelot said, "Come, let us give Mama a big kiss goodnight."

Eryka edged away.  "Oh, Camelot, not tonight," she said quickly, then noted the look of displeasure that crossed his face.  "The baby.  Little toddlers are so dirty and sickly.  I wouldn't want to catch anything!"

Camelot lifted Elyana into his arms and kissed her cheek, then swept past Eryka.  Perhaps he'd misjudged his wife from the very start.

He could only hope it was the pregnancy moodiness.  But, he was beginning to believe he was cursed in love...

 ***

Elyana hated waiting in the crib for her nanny or her daddy to come get her.  She'd learned that when she'd rattled the bars very hard, they sometimes dropped down.
Giggling, she glanced around to make sure the coast was clear.
 Then slowly she climbed up on the bars and swung her leg over.
 Piece of cake she thought happily.
 Now it was time to find Daddy to play!

 ***

"Want Daddy!" Elyana screamed at the top of her lungs. "No Mommy! NO MOMMY!"

Eryka stomped her foot.  "Stop it, you ungrateful child! Stop it!"

Camelot hurried inside when he heard the screaming from outside.  Taking in the situation, he grabbed Eryka and pushed her away from their crying child.  "Eryka! Get a hold of yourself!" he said sharply.

"Oh honestly! She's doing that just to make me mad!" Eryka yelled, near tears.  The nanny had not come in today and Eryka had been forced to care for the watering pot all day long.
Camelot picked Elyana up in his arms and she instantly quietened.  "You forget yourself, wife!" He snapped.  "She does not cry to make you angry.  She cries because you've left her sitting in a filthy diaper!"  He hurried upstairs, putting as much distance between Eryka and his sniffling daughter.
Eryka watched Camelot hurry away and fumed.  Of course he'd take her side, she thought bitterly.

 ***

The pain doubled her over as Eryka clutched her belly.  Not another one...  please let this one be a boy so she never had to go through this again!

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