Sunday, December 1, 2013

Diebin, Orb's Year 937-940


Orb's Year 937
Henna Diebin wished she wasn't always required to watch the little ones.  She was starting to chafe under her father's rules!

The twins were old enough to watch after themselves! After all, she'd practically raised herself!
Feeling naughty, she hurriedly penned a note to Stuart Forrester and waited for a response.
As soon as father and Rebecca were bedded down for the night, she could put her plans into action!

 ***

Staring from behind the trees, Henna waited for Stuart to show up.  Once she saw his horse and carriage, she hurried over and leapt in.  "Let's go!" she whispered excitedly.
"I couldn't wait to see you," Henna said, grabbing Stuart's hands.

"I've been dying to see you, too."
They shared a kiss under the lamplight in front of Taveryn's Kitchen.  "Come on, let's go sample so food."
Dinner was not all Henna had dreamed of.  Stuart was talking about marriage again.  And whenever he talked about marriage - he talked about her leaving her home.  Again, he pressed her for directions to her home to speak to her father.

"No!" she said a little more loudly than she'd intended.  "I will not have my life dictated by another!"

"What do you mean?" Stuart asked.  "I love you!"

"I know. But, I don't want to marry. I don't want to bear children! I want to be the best... swordswoman... in the kingdom! I want to have action and adventure!"

"You don't want children?" Stuart asked dumbly, "You don't want... to marry me?"

Henna shook her head sadly.  "Not now.  I'm too young."

Stuart stood angrily and headed for the door.
Henna hurried after him.  "I'm not saying no forever... just... no right now," she said sadly, stroking his cheek.

Stuart made a face.  "Well, I'm not going to wait for you to make up your mind," he said stubbornly.  "What do you think of that?!"
"Then I shall miss your friendship," Henna said sadly.  "Perhaps it's time you begin to look for someone that can give you what you want.  For, I know that I cannot."

Stuart opened his mouth to say something, then shook his head angrily and stalked away.

Henna watched him go with a sinking heart.  She'd never meant to hurt him...

 Orb's Year 938
Across the tavern, Earl Royale listened as Berjes Furst regaled him with stories about gypsies and woman made for loving.  Earl rolled his eyes and laughed at his friend's contrived romances.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw her...
He propelled the girl up the stairs, keeping a tight grip on her arm.  "We need to talk," he said.
"It's you, isn't it?" he asked somewhat sluggishly from the amount of ale he'd consumed. 
"What are you talking about?" she demanded, pushing his hands off of her.

Shaking his head, Prince Earl tried to clear his mind.  Could this beautiful woman before him be the pixie girl that had captured his attention all those years ago?  "It is you.  I touched you at the castle when you ran" he said, gazing in her eyes.  "I've dreamed of you," he whispered with a voice full of wonder.
The need in his voice swept Henna away.  Before her was a real man... not a young boy like Stuart.  And he'd dreamed of her!  And secretly, she'd dreamed of him, even though she knew it had been wrong.  The Prince dreamed of her...
She wasn't sure how it had happened, but somehow they fell into each other's arms.  She was swept away with his kisses and caresses...

This is what I want! she thought with amazement.  Passion! Adventure!
The Prince kicked the door to the nearest room open and followed her in, kissing her and stroking her hair.

When they reached the bed, she stumbled on top of him, pressing him down. not even breaking their kisses.
The passionate fever carried them both away and neither one thought to stop it.
But afterwards... afterwards the awkwardness came...
"I'm sorry," Earl said, stepping closer to her.  "I didn't mean to..."

"No, it was my fault," Henna interrupted.  "I'm sorry."
"Well, then we're both sorry, aren't we?" Earl said, shaking his head mournfully.

Henna took a deep breath, "It would appear so."
"I want to see you again," Earl started to say as he caressed her cheek.

Henna grinned and stepped closer.

"But..." he said so sadly that Henna stopped mid-step.

"I'm to be married. I cannot dishonor my wife.  This," he said, motioning towards the bed. "It never should've happened.  I... I'm sor..."

"Don't say it!" Henna said sharply, stepping away.  "Don't say you're sorry one more time."  Taking a breath to steady her emotions, she attempted a careless shrug.  "It was all just a lark to me."

Earl stepped closer once more.  "If you find you have need of me, please do not hesitate."

Henna scoffed sharply, "And why should I have need of you since you've so kindly announced that you could not dishonor your wife!"

Earl motioned towards her stomach nervously, "You know," he insisted.  "If you become pregnant..." he trailed off with some embarrassment.   

Henna scoffed again.  "That will not happen.  I assure you.  You are free to take your leave from me now, guilt-free."

Earl nodded, torn between thankfulness and sadness that it was not possible to have sired a child with her...  Shaking his head once more, he turned and left before he said anything he might regret.  Like offering to throw aside his throne for the pleasure of being with her again.
Henna headed home in the dark, surprised by how different she felt.  She'd seen at once that the Prince had believed her denial had been rooted in her inability to have children, not her desire to never contact him should she become pregnant.
Slipping into the bath to soothe her muscles, she toyed with the bubbles.  It was amazing how his touch had affected her more than Stuart's ever had.  Perhaps it was the element of danger and adventure that had stirred her...

Whatever the cause... she was now a woman...

Orb's Year 939
"Are you sure you're feeling okay?" Rebecca asked worriedly.  "You haven't seemed yourself lately."
"I'm perfectly fine," Henna said, turning towards her step-mother.  "Never better!"

"Well, if there's anything I can do to help you... any questions you might have... Perhaps about Stuart or..."

"Actually," Henna interrupted.  "There is something.  I want to practice sword fighting now! Father always promised he would.  It's time.  Talk to him for me."

"I will," Rebecca said cautiously. 
"I'm telling you, Alibaba.  There's something going on with her.  Something's not right."

Alibaba shook his head.  "She's fine.  I'm her father! I would see if there was something wrong! My girl has always been interested in the swordplay.  I think perhaps it is time to teach her.  I want her to be able to protect herself."

"If you say so," Rebecca said, not entirely convinced.  It seemed that there was something else troubling Henna.
But, soon she was too distracted to pay attention.
She delivered sweet, little Indie Diebin to a beaming papa.
Ugh, Henna thought disgustingly.  Her father and Rebecca had practically tossed her sister Indie into her arms while they went out together for an adventure.

What about her? They still saw her as a biddable little girl instead of the woman that she was. 

Narrowing her eyes, she determined that she would prove to them that she was an adult one way or another!

***

"Papa," Henna said cautiously, well aware the news she had to share would not be welcome. 

"What is it, Henna? Rebecca said you were interested in sword-play."

Henna swallowed nervously.  "I... I'm pregnant..."

Alibaba's face turned mean.  "Stuart?" he asked with barely restrained anger.

Henna shook her head.  "No."

"Then who?" Alibaba asked, confused.

Henna just shook her head again, unwilling to name the father, no matter how her father railed at her.  And yell, he did.  But, stubbornly, she kept her mouth shut despite the threats and accusations cast her way.

No one would ever know that she carried the Prince's half-class child.

***

Henna watched Stuart slowly approach and felt her heart sink.  He'd sent a note asking her to meet him.
When he moved to hug her, she stepped back, unwilling to give him any false hope.

"I'm sorry about the things I said in anger," Stuart said in a rush before she could stop him.  "I'm willing to wait for you, you know that.  I love you and I want to make you happy."

"Stuart, don't," Henna protested.  "Don't make this more difficult than it is."

"What do you mean?" he asked.  "Why did you agree to meet me then?"
"I'm pregnant," she said simple.  "I want you to move on."
Pain slashed across Stuart's face.  "Pregnant," he whispered.  "Who's the father?" he demanded. 

Henna shook her head again.  If her father could not get the name from her lips, then surely Stuart had no hope.

A sigh escaped from his lips.  "Are... are you to marry?" he asked gruffly.

She bit her lip and shook her head again.

Curses flew from Stuart's mouth.  "He would dishonor you so! Tell me who he is so that I can see justice done!"

Henna placed her hand on Stuart's shoulder. "No. I do not wish it. It was my fault as much as his."

Stuart looked ready to deny her fault and launch to her defense until her words penetrated his rage.  Bleakly he looked in her eyes.  "I'll still marry you, Henna. I... well... I still love you. Let me be this child's father.  I'll love the child as my own."
Henna sadly shook her head.  "I can't, Stuart.  I want you to move on."

Stuart gazed in her eyes and saw that she meant it and no amount of pleading would change her mind. 

It was over, he thought, walking away slowly.

Orb's Year 940
Rebecca glanced around the small bunker and knew it was time to have a serious talk with Alibaba.  Their twins were now teens...
...Indie was a growing toddler...
...and Henna... well she was a grown woman...
...with two children of her own to care for.  The family had been shocked when Henna had delivered two babies, a squalling little boy, Jace, with blonde-hair and light-brown eyes and a little girl, Jade, with her mother's coal black-hair and brown-eyes. 

***

"It's time to face the hard facts, Alibaba.  It's time for us to move on. We're thieves - we're drifters!  There's no more for us to gain here...  The King will recognize you if you are caught again.  He did not look for you too hard when he let you go because of the scoundrel prince.  But, if you are caught again, he will not go so easy on you!"
"What would you have me do?" Alibaba asked.  "We must make a living!"
"I cannot lose you again," Rebecca said, her voice full of emotion.  "We will go to another land where they will not know us."
"What are the two of you talking about so cozily?" Henna asked as she came in.
Alibaba stood up and hesitantly told his daughter the news.  "It's time to leave Celestia..."
"No!" Henna said with tears in her eyes.  "My place is here. This is my home!"

Alibaba implored her to see the reason.  "They will know your mother and I.  We have stayed far too long.  We must go."

"Then go!" she said softly.  "But I cannot join you.  They might recognize you... but they will not recognize me."

Stepping back, she pulled out a large golden statue that she had grabbed from the King's caravan. 

"You? You stole that?" Alibaba asked with surprise.  "How? I'm so proud of my little girl!"

Henna laughed as she hugged her father.  "I have nimble fingers!"  
Henna watched her family walk away as she held Jace in her arms.  She knew that it was their destiny to go to other kingdoms together...

...but her destiny was here.
Her children's destiny was here.

In Celestia.

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