Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Consul Intel, Orb's Year 941-944

Orb's Year 941
Dresden Consul poured through the population rolls to compile a report for Prince Earl regarding the royal Thief.  It kept him busy night and day, studying the census and tax rolls.

It didn't seem to make a bit of difference... he didn't see any patterns yet...

Dresden's distraction left his children to fend for themselves, which had largely been the case their entire lives. Only now he no longer had sweet Faelyn to watch over them.


Hearing his stomach rumble, Dresden headed downstairs for dinner.  He was quite surprised to see the table was not set.

"What are you doing, father?" Holden asked when he spotted his father sitting at the table, as though dinner would magically appear.

Dresden glanced back.  "Isn't dinner ready?" he asked, confused.
Holden made a face, "Um, we usually just find something to snack on."

"No meals?" he asked, "Why not?"

Holden shrugged, "Faelyn was always the one to cook. None of us know how to cook yet."

Dresden was surprised.  His children had been surviving on snacks and leftovers!  This wasn't a proper way to live!
"Gwenevieve! Gwendolyn!" he called out.  "Come! We're going to dinner!"  Orb's truth, his children would have a decent meal!
The walk to Taveryn's Kitchen took awhile, but Dresden was certain that the wait would be well worth it.
As they sat down, Dresden thought about what to talk about with the children.  They had grown so much and he wasn't entirely certain what they were interested in anymore.  
But as the food was delivered, none of them seemed very interested in talking to him, either.
Gwenevieve hoped no one she knew caught her here with her family. It was so embarrassing!  When her brother told another corny joke, she rolled her eyes and glanced to her right.

"Hello," the man said, staring at her intensely.

Gwenevieve frowned, "What are you looking at?" she hissed. 

The man shook his head. "I'm sorry. I... I knew your mother..."

Gwenevieve shrugged.  "Do you know where she went to?"

When the man shook his head, Gwenevieve turned her back to him. Useless man!

Orb's Year 942
Dresden greeted his daughter, Faelyn, and her betrothed, Earnest Royale.  "I'm so glad you could drop by for a visit," he told them.  "We have sorely missed Faelyn around the house!"  Dresden hugged his daughter close.

Faelyn couldn't help but wonder whether it was truly her that he missed... or someone to do the chores around the house.
Inside, she saw Gwendolyn serving a simple kasha dinner.  It seemed that Gwendolyn had inherited her old duties.
"So, how is everything going at the Royale household?" Dresden asked.

"Very well," Earnest answered at the same time Faelyn exclaimed "Wonderful!"  They glanced at each over at smiled half-heartedly.  The truth was things were a trifle awkward as they learned to feel each other out.

"And plans on the big wedding ceremony?" he asked.  Again, Earnest and Faelyn shared a glance as they mumbled something.
As soon as dinner was over, the men retired to the benches to discuss the state of the kingdom.  Gwendolyn hopped up and began gathering the dishes.
Faelyn had never been extremely close to her younger sister.  Gwendolyn had always been firmly under Gwenevieve's mean-spirited thumb.  But, it made her sad to see her sister rushing around.  Is that what I looked like? she wondered.

"Gwendolyn?" she said softly, following her into the kitchen.

"Yes?" Gwendolyn asked, turning towards Faelyn. 

Faelyn sighed and fumbled for the right thing to say.  Finally, she just said, "Dinner was wonderful, thank you."

Gwendolyn smiled.
Saddened by her visit home, Faelyn hugged her father goodbye.  "Take care of my siblings," Faelyn told him.  "Come out from your books every once and awhile!"

Dresden nodded, but Faelyn already noticed the far-away look in his eye that he got when he was about to spend hours before his scrolls, scratching away on the parchment.

Orb's Year 943
Gwenevieve swayed side from side, checking herself out in the mirror.  Really, she considered herself one of the most beautiful maidens in the kingdom of Celestia! 
She knew that one day when she married, she would have the pick of the litter!  She only wanted to richest, most handsome, most royal man to marry! After all, who would be able to resist her?!
But right, she was particularly interested in DJ Rodiek.  Oh, she would never marry him - he was far too common for that!  But, she had to admit that he was something to look at...
...and quite nice to kiss!
Smiling, she checked her reflection in the mirror.  "Mirror, mirror, tell me true: Who's the most beautiful in the land?" Gwenevieve grinned.  "Why, ME!" she answered herself with a giggle.


Gwendolyn hugged Abbott Haydin goodbye.  "Thank you for bringing me home," she said.  "I had fun today."

"I did, too." Haydin said.  "Let me know when you'd like to come visit the abbey again.  I'll come get you."

"I will!" Gwendolyn grinned.
As she watched him leave, she felt a twinge of guilt.
Dresden had not told the girls that he was not actually their father yet.  The kingdom believed that Gwenevieve and Gwendolyn were true Consuls - but they were not. 

That knowledge would have saved Gwendolyn a good deal of guilt and agony, believing that she held a tendre for her dear cousin.


Holden had met her. The girl of his dreams.  Now he only needed to get her away from Sheldon Langernak!
"Hi! I'm Holden!" he said brightly, trying to think of something witty to say. Sheldon took the interruption with grace, ambling over to Gwenevieve to chat.
Gwenevieve fawned under all the attention the boys were giving her.  It was so cute to watch them compete for her attention!
She was thoroughly disgusted when the boys drifted over to talk to Jade Phillips.  Stomping her foot, she silently fumed.  Eyes narrowed, she swore she was going to make that girl's life miserable!


The problem with Gwenevieve was that when she was in a bad mood, she took it out on everyone!  After everyone left, she grabbed her brother and tormented him.
He promptly broke free and hooked an arm around her neck, ruffling her own hair.   "Stop it, Gwenevieve! Swear it!" he said as she struggled.

"Fine! Fine!" she screeched. "Let me go!"

Holden strutted to his room and shut the door.
Gwenevieve worried that she was losing her edge...

Orb's Year 944
Holden sighed as he completed his work.  This was so boring...

"Holden?" he heard whispered from across the yard.

Glancing up he saw Samantha.
"Samantha!" he said, hurrying over to her.  "I've missed you!"  Leaning in, he kissed her sweetly. 

"I can't stay long.  Father will wonder where I've gone."

Holden wished he could gaze into her eyes all night.  "Promise you'll come see me as soon as you're able!"

Samantha stroked his cheek. "I promise, Holden!"
Holden sighed as he watched his love hurry away.  Some day he was going to marry her!


Gwenevieve returned from her midnight outing with her 'cousin' Gaius Consul.  He'd taken her down to the Gypsy Grotto and danced with her around the fire.  He'd told her as they lounged around the fire talking that night that he'd given up the constraints of being proper.  He was going to live for pleasure alone!  She silently thought he must be crazy - giving up comforts like a roof over their head! She could never live there! she mused as she quickly said goodbye.
On her way inside, she found a scroll left by the front door.

What an interesting place to leave a missive, she thought absently and she leaned down to pick it up.  Not recognizing the seal, she'd pried it open.  She absolutely adored secrets!  Her father was certainly privy to many secrets in his position on the intelligence council. 
As she unfurled the scroll, she realized that the letter was from her mother.  She begged forgiveness and said that her lover had abandoned her shortly after she left.  She thanked him for watching over her lover's children, although they did not belong to him, and finally asked him for a obscenely large sum of money.

Her children... ? Gwenevieve wondered.  And then it hit her.  She was not Dresden's child!  No wonder she had always felt so different! She and Gwendolyn were half-class children that Dresden tried to pass off as his own to avoid looking like a fool! It explained so much!
Smirking, Gwenevieve started to plan how she could use this information to her benefit...

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