Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Taveryn, Orb's Year 937-940


Orb's Year 937
Christa smiled as she ran a hand over her slightly protruding belly.  It was still too soon to tell her husband Connor, but soon little Ferguson would have a little brother or sister to play with!

***

"I don't know what that scoundrel uncle of yours told you, but I never touched his wife!" Brand told his son angrily.

Connor crossed his arms and glared at his father.  "He didn't say anything.  He just said he needed to move out.  It's apparent to everyone why..."

Brand furiously waved his arms in the air, "And you'd believe it? You'd believe the worst of your own father!"
Connor sighed.  "You just make it so difficult to believe, dad.  There's never been a woman you'd never tried to flirt with... you even flirted with my own wife when she first came to live with us."

Brand's anger dissipated at once and the fight went out of him.  This was the low he'd sunk to - not even his own son believed he hadn't shamed his brother's wife.  "I'm sorry you feel that way," Brand said with sloping shoulders as he walked from the room.

***

"You should come back," Connor said over drinks with his uncle, Dirk Baker.  Awkwardly, he added, "He says he never did anything..."

There was no mistaking who he was.  Dirk sighed heavily.  "I believe him, but I can't come back. You know, I could still hear the echo of your Mother saying I wasn't worthy of being here, that I wasn't a true heir.  I'm happier where I am now."

Connor clinked his glass against Dirk's.  "Then let us toast to new starts!"

***

Sometimes it was hard on Ferguson being the youngest on in the family!  All the adults would talk about things that he didn't understand.  And if he asked them what they were talking about, most times they exchanged looks and said they'd explain later.

He just wanted someone to talk to him!
But most times, everyone was too busy...
Too busy with their own lives to pay attention to him!
What did he care anyways, he thought bitterly.  He had Balin!

Orb's Year 938
"You look beautiful tonight," Connor said as he pressed a kiss upon his wife's hand.  He'd spent the evening flirting with her since returning home from Taveryn's Kitchen and was hoping for an enjoyable evening.  "Would you care to retire to our bedroom?"
Christa smiled as she followed behind Connor.  She was eager for some alone time with him before the baby was born!
However, it seemed the baby had other plans!
Hours later, sweet Giselle Taveryn was born.

***
"So where were we?" Christa said as she scooted into bed with Connor.

***

Some time later, they were awakened by the smells and the cries from the wee baby.  Unused to the hours a newborn kept, they groggily complained and moaned over the rude awakening.

"You get her," Christa said, wishing to pull the covers over her head and elbowing Connor.

"No, you," he argued pushing her with his foot.

"I gave birth to her, the least you can do is see to her!" Christa mumbled sleepily.

Connor sighed heavily as he pulled his protesting from the warmth of the bed, grumbling about women and babies.

***

Ever since Edrick had given up on ever making Stephanie fall in love with him, he'd started dating around. 

Dagmar was a nice girl & he'd been spending a lot of time with her at Gemma Grocer's parties.  But, his heart wasn't in it.  He just wasn't ready to fall in love again...
But when the crimson-haired gypsy walked by, tinkling as she went, he couldn't help but swivel around to appreciate her form.  Hurrying over, he introduced himself.

"Nice to meet you Velma," he said, shaking her hand for a moment longer than polite.  He was just entranced!  Perhaps she'd cast some gypsy magic over him!
Dagmar watched as Edrick spoke to the older woman and knew she was sunk.  How could she even hope to compete?!

It's a good thing she'd only agreed to go on this silly date to get someone else's attention!

Which was just as well, because Velma the gypsy had Edrick eating out of her hand!

***

"Christa, I was going to head over to the Kitchen.  Are you ready yet?" Connor called out as he entered the room, only to find his dear wife fast asleep at the table.  Gently, he lead her back to the room and helped her into bed.  Poor thing, he thought.  The baby was wearing her out!

Orb's Year 939
Brand knew that he was approaching the end of his life.  He knew he had made mistakes in his life and hurt people - but he wanted everyone to know how much he truly loved them.
His youngest son, Edrick.  "You're a free-spirit, a little like I was! Don't let it rule you and  you'll get a long fine!  Try to follow your brother Connor's example!"
His beautiful daughter, Devon Marchant.  She'd followed her heart and married the man of her dreams!
His half-class daughters by the troubled Debbie Baker, Fannie and Fancy.
His half-class brother, Dirk Baker.  "I've always loved you as a true brother," Brand said as he pulled his brother into his arms affectionately.

Dirk clasped his brother on the back and gruffly replied, "I know. And I, you."

***

Brand had said for Edrick to follow Connor's example, but Connor was feeling quite a bit of temptation when the lovely Evelyn Farrier came over.  It was a good thing they were both happily married...  he felt for sure he could've loved her if their lives had been different!

***

Brand sighed as he mixed a few drinks to bring back to the party.  He had made the decision earlier in the day to avoid Suzie like the plague.
"What about me, Brand?" Suzie asked softly as she came into the empty room.  "Do I get a good-bye token?"

Brand squeezed his eyes shut.  "I wish you and my brother a long and happy marriage," he said tightly, hoping fervently that she would stop in her tracks outside his reach.

But still she came closer.

"I would have a good-bye hug as you have given the others," she said, stepping closer still.
Finally, the temptation was too great and Brand pulled her into his arms, cursing himself for being weak.
While the party raged next door, he lowered Suzie to the floor of the tavern.

***

It finally dawned on Christa why she'd been so tired and exhausted lately.  It had nothing to do with Giselle, her demanding newborn, and everything to do with the baby now growing in her belly.

Worriedly, she rubbed a hand on her stomach.  She'd heard there could be complications for getting pregnant again so soon after birthing.  She prayed everything would be well.

***

"It was nice seeing everyone, wasn't it?" Ferguson asked his brother Connor. 

Connor grinned, "It certainly was.  It's easy to forget how many families we have in our family tree."

"Ha, more like a family bush!" Ferguson joked.
"Speaking of which... have you seen Dad?" Connor asked.  "I haven't seen him for quite awhile."

Ferguson shrugged, "No, I haven't seen him since he came over here to bring out some drinks..."

***

"I have to go now," Suzie said, kissing Brand one last time.  "Dirk will be wondering where I slipped off to."  Quickly, she donned her dress and scurried from the room.
The guilt punched Brand in the chest and squeezed tightly.
Brand staggered a moment and then fell...

Rest in Peace Brand Taveryn, Orb's Years 891-939

There upon the hay was where Connor found him in the morning.  No one had known why he'd been in there or why he'd been in such a state of undress.

***

They say that there is a cycle to life.  One must pass on for a new life to be given. 

Connor waited anxiously as Christa labored with their child.  Another baby in the house would help lift the mourning gloom that had lingered since Brand's death.
Christa held her sweet daughter in her arms and smiled over at Connor.  "A little girl," she smiled weakly as she handed their daughter to Connor.
But then everything went wrong.  Christa collapsed to the ground.  Worriedly, Connor dropped beside his wife, their newborn daughter lying forgotten to the side.  "Christa, what is it, love?" he asked with concern.

Christa looked at him with tears in her eyes.  "Something's wrong, Connor," she whispered as she clutched her belly.
Connor sat by impotently as he watched the light leave his wife's body.
"No!" he bellowed coarsely as he pulled at his hair.  "You can't leave me Christa! I forbid it! Do you hear me, I forbid it!" 

But she was gone.

Rest in Peace Christa Taveryn, Orb's Years 912-939
 
"Dad?" Ferguson asked quietly as Edrick lifted the newborn girl into his arms.  "What are we going to do?"  Unshed tears shimmered in their eyes.
Connor pulled Ferguson roughly into his arms and squeezed him tight.  "I don't know, son.  I don't know.."

Orb's Year 940
"How are you doing?" Edrick asked his brother, unnecessarily.  It was was written all over Connor's face.  He wasn't handling his wife's death well at all.  It was all he could do to get him out of bed and eating.

Connor just shrugged, picking at the sandwiches Ferguson had made.  Christa had always cooked for them, he thought sadly.  Now they lived on sandwiches and cereal.
"Dad, come on," Ferguson pleaded.  "Think about Giselle and Heaven.  They need you healthy!"

Ferguson almost thought he'd reached his Dad, but then Connor had stood up and walked to his room.  Ferguson heaved a sigh.  He missed his mom.

"It'll be okay, kiddo," his uncle Edrick told him.  "It's just going to take some time." 
Absently, Edrick glanced down at the message he had in his hands.  Velma had sent him a message.  And he couldn't wait to see her again...
Edrick had never met a woman more beautiful or vivacious than Velma.
She was everything he could ever hope to find in a woman.
Edrick stroked Velma's face and smiled with sad eyes.  Losing his sister-in-law had really made him realize how precious life could be.  Christa hadn't even been 30 yet when she'd been taken from them. 

"Do you believe in love at first sight?" Edrick asked her.

Velma smiled coyly.  "I believe in the laws of attraction and I am pulled to you," she admitted.  "And I do not believe in denying oneself pleasures. We are only young once, no?"
Edrick didn't need to be told twice.  He pulled Velma into his arms.  Pulling away slightly, he worried over where to bring her.  Not inside where his brother was mourning his love... not to the lean-to where his father had passed...
Velma sensed his hesitation and grabbed his hand to lead him away.  "Come with me," she said.  "We'll go to my place..."

***

Connor stared off into space, not able to sleep.  He couldn't help but blame himself.  If he hadn't gotten Christa with child so soon after Giselle had been born, she would still be alive.  His randy nature had sentenced his love to death...

***

Ferguson gave up knocking on his Dad's door after a few minutes.  He wasn't answering again.  "Dad! I need your help!" he said desperately, hitting the door hard one last time.  "I don't know what to do!"  Angry and scared, he kicked the door and then jumped on one foot until the pain in his big toe disappeared.
He hurried to where he'd left Heaven and Giselle.  They'd both been crying for hours and he wasn't sure what they needed.  Edrick had usually helped with the babies, but now he was gone and Ferguson couldn't find him.

"Cursed Orb!" Ferguson ranted, raising his voice at the crying babies.  "What's the matter?"

Instantly, Giselle's face screwed up and she wailed pitifully as the puddle surrounding Heaven widened. 

Well, it was apparent what bothered Heaven, he thought.  A soiled diaper.
Ferguson reached down and grabbed up his little sister and took her to bathe.  Maybe after he'd cleaned the girls, they would stop crying...

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