Thursday, December 19, 2013

Noble, Orb's Year 941-944


Orb's Year 941
Trent Noble was so thankful he had Esther in his life!  He'd thought that their life would be over once they'd settled down to have children, but amazingly - life just kept getting better!
She didn't mind at all when he invited a number of people over for parties and get-togethers!
Thankfully Farrah Farmer... er.... Abbess Farrah... was able to come all the time.  She was literally his best friend! 
"And as I was saying..." Farrah paused as she was telling Esther about the Abbey.  "Trent! You have your own cake!" she laughed.

Trent grinned cheekily at Farrah.  "Yes but, that bite had extra chocolate.  I could tell!"

The friends shared a grin as Farrah leaned over and elbowed him.
Esther watched with a frown.  "I think I hear Chaz crying.  I should go check on him," she said getting up.

"See that?" Trent asked.  "She's such a wonderful mother!"
As Esther took Chaz to ready him for bed, Esther tried very hard to bury her jealousy of Farrah.  She was married to Blaze, had born his heir, and enjoyed a lovely marriage with him.  Farrah had nothing!
Hours later when Trent stumbled in to go to bed, he discovered Cecelie lying in his bed.  Sighing, he turned to leave.  He thought he'd asked Esther to make sure Cecelie fell asleep in the basket so that he had a space to sleep.

Oh well, he thought.  Looks like another night on the bench!

Orb's Year 942
"Blasted Orb!" Esther ranted when she'd awaken yet another morning when little Chaz awoke from his nightly slumber.  All she wanted was to crawl back into bed and sleep a little longer!
Blaze hurried in, scooped up his son and snuggled him.  "Sounds like we should have a father-son day!" he said cheerfully before leading him away.
"Is mama mad at me?" Chaz asked worriedly.

"No, of course not!" Trent said.  "She just needs extra sleep right now!"
"After all, she's going to have your little brother or sister!"
Chaz lovingly patted his mama's belly.  "Can I name the baby?" he asked, looking up at his mother.

"You can help us pick," Esther hedged.

"Wonderful!" Chaz cried.   "I can't wait for my brother to be born!"
Esther could certainly wait! There was nothing wonderful about the birthing process!
But, it was quite special to hold her newborn daughter in her arms.

"We should call her blanket!" Chaz said excitedly.

Trent smiled down at his son.  "What about Dezi?"

Chaz shrugged.  "That's okay, too."

Orb's Year 943
"Have you made a new friend?" Esther asked her noble companion, Cecelie.  The dog did not have a collar & looked remarkably like the Knowles breed.
She was just puzzling over this mystery when she heard someone call out a greeting, "Lady Esther!"

Esther turned around and saw Prince Berjes Faust fast approaching. 
"It seems you have found the little scamp!" Berjes said, almost breathlessly.  "I've been running around the blasted kingdom attempting to find this bit of baggage!"

Esther laughed.  "Well it seems that he's found my fair Cecelie.  It's hard not to fall in love with her, I know!"

Berjes joined in her laughter, but leaned in a little closer.  "I can see how he would want to stay close to such beauty."

"Oh you!" Esther said, scuffing him lightly on the shoulder.  "You're incorrigible.  You attempt to turn this happily married woman's head with all those petty compliments!"

"Tis not petty!" Berjes grumbled.  "Pretty is more like it!"

Esther shook her head with laughter at the prince's sulk.  "Perhaps it's best if you gather up the prince's companion and... well... where did he run off to?"
Just then they heard a sound coming from the side of the castle and they hurried over to see what was the matter.
With her voice full of laughter, Esther suggested, "Perhaps in a few months, I shall give the king the pick of the litter!"

"You scamp!" Berjes said playfully, slipping a leash around Rex's neck.  "Although I understand your need to procreate, we should get you home before we discover the kingdom populated with your progeny!"

Turning to Esther, he bowed low with a smile.  "Good day to you, mi'lady!"

Orb's Year 944
"Come on Cecelie! Roll over!" Chaz cheered.  "Good girl! Wait until I show father what a good girl you are!  Then he'll stop calling you a mutt! I know it!"
Cecelie stretched with a loud yawn and then nestled down to the floor.
To Chaz's surprise, moments later, Cecelie had delivered three little pups.
"Mother! Father! Cecelie had babies!" Chaz called excitedly.   "Can I name them?!"

***

"My lady, may I introduce Prince Earl," Prince Berjes said gallantly.
"Your majesty," Esther said with reverence.  "It's so nice to meet you!"

"I hear my royal companion made quite an impression on your Cecelie!"

"Quite, I'm afraid!" Esther said with a smile.  "Would you like to take your pick?"

Prince Earl considered the three lively pups romping around in the grass. 
The decision was easy, though.  Prince Earl began the walk home with Caesar, the fourth generation royal companion!
***

"Happy Orb's Day, Dezi!" Family and friends cheered.
Abbess Farrah bent down to pick up her friend's daughter. 
"Aren't you a dear?" Farrah asked, jiggling the little toddler.

Immediately Dezi began to struggle and howl.  Abbess Farrah glanced over at Esther in embarrassment.  "I don't know what the matter is, usually I'm so good with children!" she said with apology, handing Dezi to Esther.
Esther smothered a grin as she nestled her daughter to her chest.  She was secretly pleased Dezi couldn't stand Abbess Farrah! 

Knightley Guard, Orb's Year 941-944


Orb's Year 941
"I just don't understand why we must bring them into our household!" Eryka Knightley argued hotly.  "What will people think?!"

Camelot shook his head.  "Let them think what they will! I am tired of my life being dictated by this mysterious 'them' and what they may think!"

Eryka crossed her arms and pouted.  "You care for these half-class children more than Elyana... more than Felysha!"

Camelot sighed.  "You know that's not true. I love all of my children! Look, I already explained.  Their mother was going to send them away.  She is pregnant again and claims to not have the energy to deal with their rambunctious ways."

"Oh, so I must deal with the mess you made all those years ago with that peasant-stock!"

Camelot shrugged.  "You must love my children as you love your own.  It is not up for discussion."  Now in a foul mood, Camelot walked away to greet his sons.

***

Guy and Hugh Farmer, Camelot's illegitimate boys with Deanna Farmer sat sullenly at the table.  They'd been elated to hear that they were going to live with their father, but his wife had been glaring at them since they're arrived.

But, over the years, they had learned one or two ways of getting rid of their father's wife.  With a grin, Guy looked over at Hugh and let out a long, loud burp.  Hugh giggled in response. 

"Really!" Eryka muttered, throwing down her napkin.  "Must I be exposed to this rude behavior!  You would think their sad excuse for a mother would have taught them better!"
Camelot turned quickly to his wife and glared.  "You will curb your tongue around them... or curb your presence.  It is your choice," he snapped quietly.

Eryka defiantly stood up, smoothed her dress out and sailed from the room with her head held high.
Camelot looked back over at his sons.  "Don't worry, boys.  She just takes some getting used to.  I'm glad you've come to stay with me."

Guy and Hugh grinned at each other. 

***

Later that night, upstairs...
Guy laughed.  "Did you see the look on her face when I burped? It was priceless!"
Hugh returned his brother's grin.  "It certainly was.  But you can't antagonize her too much, Guy.  We're going to live here now, not just visit.  We have to get on her good side!"

Guy scoffed.  "She'll always hate us, no matter what we do.  I'd prefer to have play and have fun, rather than waste useless time trying to make her like us!"

Hugh sighed.  "You're probably right," he reluctantly conceded.

Orb's Year 942
"You cannot mean it!" Eryka raged.  "You are wasting good money on them for what reason - for their education? Why? Whatever will they do with your fancy education when they are cleaning the waste from someone's stables!"

"Enough, Eryka!" Camelot growled.  "They are my sons! As such, I will fight to see them raised above the station Deanna cursed them to with her stubborn nature!"

Eryka gasped. "You mean to make them your heir?" she demanded.

Camelot shrugged.  "We do not yet have a son.  I have toyed with the thought of approaching the King with my request."

"I won't stand for it, Camelot! I won't! What will happen if we do have a son! What then?!"

Camelot raised an eyebrow with disdain. "Dear wife, I believe that we must share the same bed in order to beget that miracle.  And through your actions, I have no desire to join you there.  So, I believe the likelihood of us ever having a son together is near impossible!"

***

Eryka stalked to the bar and poured herself a liberal glass of spirits and swallowed it down, glorying in the sting that led down.  Sometimes that stubborn man drove her to drink!

Was it not enough that he paraded his half-class sons in front of her as though they were equal to her daughters.  But now he told her that he intended to see one of those half-class fools as his heir.  It wasn't to be born! Really! she thought with exasperation.  If only she could lure him back to her bed...
"A lovely lady as yourself should not be drinking alone.  Shall I join you?" Prince Berjes asked coyly.  He often came home with her husband now to discuss matters of state and safety. 

Eryka considered him above the rim of her glass.  Now there was an example of a virile, young man. 
"Why I absolutely insist you join me! I have been dying for your handsome company," Eryka said. 
After all, he was a prince! Who was she to tell him no?

Orb's Year 943
"There's something I've been meaning to talk to you about," Camelot said when he'd gathered his sons to his side.  "I've thought long and hard..."
"Daddy! Daddy! Mommy sent me to see you!" Elyana called, throwing herself into his arms.  "She said that I am to have a pony for my birthday! Can I? Can I have a pony?!"

Camelot laughed as he hugged his sweet daughter tight.  "If it's a pony you want, then it is a pony you shall get!"

"Mommy said we can go to Farrier's right now.  Can we, daddy? Can we go right now?"  Elyana asked in a rush, anxiously jumping from foot to foot.

Camelot looked back to his sons with a grin.  "Let's talk later this evening when we're alone," he said, motioning his head to his daughter.  It was clear he wouldn't be able to get a word in edge-wise as the little girl chattered on blithely about her birthday and ponies. 

Guy and Hugh shared a smile and then hurried back upstairs to wait. 
"I wonder what he was going to say!" Hugh said, nervously awaiting their father's visit. 

Guy shrugged.  "Who knows.  Maybe Eryka finally talked him into sending us away."

"Or making us join the Night's Guard," Hugh added unhappily.

Both boy's shoulders slumped with dismay.  It felt like hours that they waited for Camelot to return to talk to them...

But Camelot had seemed to forget...

***

"It's good to see you, brother!" Camelot said as he hugged his brother.

Bradshaw shrugged.  "It could be better."

Camelot frowned when he noted how far ahead Bradshaw's wife had entered.  "Are things still strained between you and Daphne?" he asked quietly.

"There always seems to be something," Bradshaw said quietly.  "I keep hoping..." his brother trailed off.

Camelot pressed no more.  He understood all too well the regrets that plagued his brother.  He suffered much the same in his own marriage!  Clapping his brother on the back, he added cheerfully, "Come, it is time to celebrate my sweet Felysha's Orb's Day!"
Felysha was growing faster than Bradshaw was ready for.  Soon he would have a small little girl on his hands, not this sweet, little baby.  "Come on then," Camelot said softly.  "Let's go see your Uncle Bradshaw!"
Downstairs, Elyana was getting to know her cousin, Florence.  "My daddy got me a pony for my birthday!" Elyana said proudly.  "Did your daddy get you a pony?"

Florence bit her lip. "No, my mommy got me a dolly, though.  A pretty dolly with a pink dress and blonde hair."

"Oh!" Elyana said in awe.  "I've always wanted a dolly!"

"I'll let you play with mine, if you want to," Florence said shyly.

With that grin and following hug, the girls seemed destined to be friends forever...
Camelot spent the evening ignoring her, Eryka thought sullenly.  However was she supposed to have a son to usurp those half-class boys if he never gave her a chance.  He hadn't even seemed to notice how meek and obedient she was pretending to be!
Tapping the glass, she smiled widely at the table.  "I'd like to propose a toast," she said cheerfully.  Down the table, she heard Guy mumble something to his brother.  Gritting her teeth while holding her smile was near impossible, but she somehow managed to do it!  "Not only are we here to celebrate my dear daughter's 2nd Orb's Day..."

Guy let out a loud laugh.  "It's her 3rd Orb's Day!"

Eryka turned and smiled ferrally at the impertinent boy.  "Quite right. We are celebrating Felysha's third Orb's Day."
"But," she added, "We are also celebrating our 10th Orb's Anniversary Day.  10 years ago, my dear husband and I were married and I must say we are as much in love now as we were back then." She finished with a smile as she gently placed her hand over Camelot's.

Camelot smiled and raised his glass, but as soon as he was able, he quietly removed his hand from beneath Eryka's. 

Orb's Year 944
"But I've changed Camelot, I swear it!" Eryka argued, annoyed that Camelot so flatly declined to have any sort of relations with her. 

Camelot shook his head.  "I won't risk it," he said.  "You do not handle pregnancies well.  I will not risk our happy home for yet another child."

"But.. I long for another baby," Eryka said with tears in her eyes.  "Would you deny me another child?"

Camelot refused to budge.  He had seen the antipathy she had towards her children and towards the boys.  It just didn't make sense. Why couldn't she understand that he did this for her health as much as he did it for the children?

***

At wit's end, Eryka approached the cleaning servant.  "I hear you are a man that can get things done," she said after pulling him into a darkened corner.

The servant appraised her from head to toe in an effort to make her blush.  Eryka let him look his fill.  Finally, the servant shrugged, "I've been known to work a miracle or two."

"Well, I am in need of a miracle and a child..."

Ryker grinned saucily.  "Well I can certainly help you with that, mi'lady," he said.

Eryka rolled her eyes.  "I do not need you for that.  What I need is this..." Eryka began to whisper.

***

"Come, join me in a toast," Eryka said brightly after Camelot had come home. 

At first Camelot hedged and grumbled, but Eryka was insistent.  It had been far too long since they'd had a moment to themselves.  Finally, grudgingly, Camelot had downed the glass that Eryka had given him.

As she chattered on about her day, Camelot found himself having to blink to stay focused.  Her face swam before his eyes.
"Are you feeling okay?" Eryka asked with a smile, stepping forward to stroke his cheek.   He appeared rather flushed.

"I feel a bit... strange..." Camelot said slowly.  "Hot... definitely hot..." he murmured.
Then suddenly, Camelot pulled her into his arms and kissed her roughly.  It was almost as if he couldn't control himself...

***

Hours later, Eryka sauntered from the room after fussing with her hair.  Camelot had been an animal!  It had been altogether thrilling!

Spotting Ryker still cleaning around the house, she'd approached with a grin. 

"From the grin on your face, I gather your miracle was performed?" Ryker said.

"Your herbs worked magically, Ryker.  I am very, very thankful!"

Ryker stepped a little closer, crowding Eryka against the wall.  "If you'll forgive me for saying so, with you as my wife, I would never leave you to take such drastic measures," he said, leaning forward to whisper against her ear.

Eryka grinned as she toyed with the hair that curled around his ear.  "Pity," she said.  "I am trying to have a child with my husband otherwise I would love to toy with you."

Ryker stepped back and bowed before her.  "I am at your humble service whenever you should need me."
"In the meantime, here is the compensation promised.  You have worked a miracle for me and I shall not forget it!  But, remember, this is our little secret!"

Ryker grinned.  "Of course, mi'lady.  I deal in secrets..."

***

Camelot awoke with bits of memories from the prior morning.  Had he really acted that way towards Eryka?  She must be appalled with his lack of control! Nervously, Camelot sought out his wife in hopes of assuring her that he was most sorry.  It had been some time since he'd had such strong spirits... perhaps that was why he'd so thoroughly lost control.
But when he'd found her, he discovered that no apologies were necessary.

"I won't pretend that I was not shocked by your behavior, Camelot," Eryka said coyly.  "But I will freely admit that I have missed your... attentions."
Stepping closer, she stroked his cheek.  "Perhaps this has shown you that we should not abstain!  There are other steps we can take if you really wish to prevent a child.  There is no need to deny ourselves the pleasure that we can give each other!"

Camelot considered this and asked slowly, "And you would be okay if we did not have another child?"

Eryka glanced down, "If it is not your will to have another child, then I must humbly agree."  Smiling, she fervently hoped that a child had already been sired.  She added somewhat hesitantly, "But if there is already a child..."

Camelot closed his eyes.  If they had another child, it would be all his fault and he would do everything in his power to protect his wife and his children!

Orb's Year 944
Eryka was elated.  She was pregnant!  And it was all due to Ryker's wily ways!  "As I am safely pregnant and feeling eternally grateful, perhaps you have a boon that you would ask of me?" Eryka suggested.

Ryker grinned as he pulled her into his arms.

***

"I told you to be sure to mop the floors! This place is a pigsty because of you and your brother!  Always trodding in with dirt and sweat!  Disgusting!"
"Lady Eryka! I have mopped all the floors!" Hugh protested. 

Eryka scoffed and turned on her heel.  "Do it again! And polish the wood while you're at it! I want to see my face shine in the reflection!"
"She's gone mad since she became pregnant!" Guy whispered over lunch.  "Just today I overheard her telling Elyana that she should prepare for us to be gone."

Hugh gulped.  "What do you think she has planned?"

Guy shook his head sadly. "I don't know, but you should've heard the fuss that Elyana pitched.  She stomped and raved and screamed that we were not to go."

Hugh smiled.  "She's a sweet girl.  I'm not sure how she managed it with that mother of hers!"

"Well I say we need to start making our own plans.  I don't want to be caught off-guard with nowhere to go!"

Hugh shook his head.  "Father won't let anything happen to us!"

Guy sighed. "I'm not so sure anymore.  He actually dotes on the woman now!"

 ***

And Camelot did pamper Eryka terribly.  After all, she wouldn't be in this position if it weren't for his baser desires that had gotten the best of him!
He did everything he knew to keep Eryka happy and his children happy.  He would hire a hundred nannies to watch over the children if need be! 

***

Camelot couldn't believe how fast little Felysha was growing.
And she was the spitting image of her mother!  One could only hope that she did not receive her mother's temperament!

***

"Why do you hate us so?" Guy demanded after Eryka had cornered him outside, pinching his arm painfully when he had tried to walk past her.  He rubbed the sore spot, glaring at her.

"You and your brother sought to take advantage of your father and rise above your place.  I'm sure you were the one that suggested he make you heirs! Well, when my son is born, he'll have you thrown out of here so fast, your head will spin!"

Guy's mouth dropped open.  Father was making them heir? Was it even possible.  Slowly he shook his head.  "I didn't know..." he whispered.

"Well it doesn't matter," Eryka snapped.  "The only reason he wanted you here was for the heirship and soon that won't be an issue.  He'll discard you like the trash you are!"

Eryka turned and stormed inside.

Guy had never hated anyone more at that moment.
"I hate her," Guy snapped to Hugh upstairs.  "How could father have married her?"
Hugh shook his head.  "I don't know. It doesn't make any sense. If she has a boy..."

Guy hung his head.  "Do you really think Father will make us leave?'

"No," Hugh said, shaking his head.  "He loves us, regardless of the heirship.  He loves us!"

Guy sighed. "I wish I could be as sure as you are," he said sadly.

***

"Elyana, Hugh does not have time to play with you this afternoon.  Besides, it's unseemly!  He's practically a peasant!"

Hugh was tired of Eryka talking about him as if he wasn't there.  It took more and more effort not to snap back at her. 

"Why would you want to play with him anyway? He's stinky and smelly!" Felysha added. 

Elyana nodded sadly, watching her brother storm from the room.  Her mother didn't like it when Elyana spent time with her brothers, so she'd started sneaking in to see them after bedtime.  They would usually tell her a bedtime story and then send her back to her room.  It was getting harder and harder now that Felysha was older.   All Elyana needed was for Felysha to tattle on her again...
So dutifully, she'd gone upstairs and played a silly game of patty-cake with Felysha and listened to her gossip about her dear brothers.  Everything Felysha spouted came directly from her mother's lips.  She just didn't know why her mother hated them so much!

It made her so sad.