Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Gypsy Grotto, Orb's Year 937-940


 Orb's Year 937
The beautiful stranger approached the man at the campsite, tending the fire.  Smiling widely, she introduced herself.  "Greetings!" she said cheerfully, "My name is Velma Gypsy and I've been travelling through Celestia.  This looks like the perfect place to rest for a time!"

Dirk Baker grinned. "Welcome to our home," he said, throwing his arms wide to ___.

"As way of thanks, I'd like you accept this gift..." Velma said, pulling down a large, brightly colored  vase from her cart."
"This is amazing!" Dirk said with wonder as he breathed in the bubbles.  "Orb's truth, it makes me feel as light as a kite!  Where did you find it?"

Velma winked at him.  "I have traveled the world and seen many strange things!"

"Well, I cannot wait to hear your stories," Dirk said, pulling in another bubble-breath. 

 ***

"You just let a woman move into our campsite without asking me? A beautiful woman?!" Suzie Baker added, thoroughly displeased with her husband.

"Why not? We don't own the land! We've just arranged some tents and tables around some trees!  She's safer here than alone!"

"I thought the whole reason we moved out here was to punish me and avoid people!"

"Suzie, it wasn't to punish you," Dirk said reasonably.  "It was to get out from under the Taveryn-thumb and to live freely - without restrictions and ridiculous family expectations!  To make music and to make friends - no matter their class!"

"Well, I hate it! I hate sleeping in a tent! I hate grilling over a fire! I hate it!" Suzie said shrilly before stomping away to the tent.  It only added to her anger when she had to slap the tent flaps from her face before entering the tent.  I hate it, she fumed angrily.

Orb's Year 938
Velma learned to ignore Suzie's sharp tongue.  After all, a woman like that would not be happy with anything that happened in her life.

Velma was exactly the opposite... extremely happy!
She was free-spirited, vibrant, and charming...
It was no wonder men fell under her spell so easily!

 ***

Dirk grinned at his sister, Caitlyn, as he helped his son Eddie blow out the candles.  
It was hard to believe how fast his little boy was growing up!

***

"She hates it here, Caitlyn.  What am I supposed to do?" Dirk asked despondently.

"Are you happy here?" Caitlyn Potter asked.  Orb's truth, if anyone deserved happiness in this world, her brother did!

Dirk took in the laughter, the music and the happiness from all around him.  Smiling, he nodded, "I am.  I just wish Suzie did, as well."

Caitlyn was quiet a moment and added cautiously, "Sometimes when you've been married for years, you need a moment to recapture the magic of your relationship.  Perhaps she just needs to know you still love her!"

"That's an excellent idea!" Dirk said enthusiastically.  "Thanks sister!"

***
 
 "Get away! I'm sweaty and tired!" Suzie said, pushing Dirk's hand from her shoulder.
Dirk reared back with surprise.  He hadn't expected Suzie to be quite so antagonistic!  "I just thought perhaps you might like to spend the evening with me," he offered cautiously.

Suzie snorted with displeasure.  "Perhaps when we have running water I'll be more willing to be intimate with you! As it is, cold showers from the rain barrels does not inspire passion!" 
Dirk watched with disappointment as Suzie scurried into the tent and closed the flaps.  It was clear he'd be sleeping in the hammock again...

Orb's Year 939
Dirk glanced up and grinned when he saw Velma dancing with the prince's friend.  With a knowing smirk, he knew that soon Velma would have another love-sick admirer!
Suzie was sick and tired of Velma!  "Keep it down in there!" she yelled.  The woman stayed up at all hours, giggling and making love!

Turning to her husband, she put her hands on her hips.  "It's disgusting!" she snapped.

Dirk shrugged, "Just because you've chosen not to make love does not mean that everyone will follow suit."

Suzie sputtered.  Her husband was defending that gypsy?  Suspicion crept into her heart.  "Have you been with her, too?" she accused.

Dirk shrugged, "Perhaps you wouldn't worry so much if you acted as a real wife would."  He turned and walked into their tent.

Suzie narrowed her eyes.
"If you touch my husband, you will regret it!" Suzie threatened.

Velma laughed lightly, "Suzie, I have no need of your husband! We are just friends!"

Suzie scoffed, "Oh please, you pant after every man that walks by here!"

Velma looked down at the bitter woman.  "Two lovers in the same number of years does not mean I 'pant after every man'.  Look to your own troubles before coming to mine."

Suzie watched Velma walk off confidently.  I'll make him pay! she thought angrily.

 Orb's Year 940
Velma had spoken the honest truth when she'd told Suzie that Dirk was her friend. 

And it was clear to her that her dear friend was in store for serious heart-ache...


 ***

Velma was pleased that Edrick Taveryn had followed her home.  She could feel something strong between them.

 This was no ordinary love affair...
Edrick would have followed Velma anywhere!  Just a glance from her set his heart pounding!  And the kisses...
***

"Come on, rascal," Edrick told his young cousin.  "Time to wash up for dinner."

"No! I want to play!" Eddie grinned.  "And I don't want to wash!"
And apparently that was okay here in the Grotto!
 "You're looking well, Suzie.  A little fuller!" Edrick said, trying to think of something to say to his Uncle Dirk's wife.  She usually just snapped at him.
"Edrick!" Dirk snapped when Suzie jumped up and hurried away.  "Blasted Orb, are you trying to make my night unbearable?" he mumbled.

"Sorry, Uncle Dirk.  I was just trying to think of something to talk to her about.  She is looking bigger, though, isn't she?"

Dirk glanced back as Suzie stomped to the tent.  "You know, she is, isn't she?" Dirk said to himself.

 ***
Someone crying woke Dirk up instantly.  There had been many tears since they'd lost both his half-brother, Brand Taveryn, and his nephew's young wife, Christa Taveryn.  Coping with the loss was hard for everyone involved.

Scooting out of the tent, he looked around. 

It sounded like someone was hiding behind the tent...
"Suzie, sweetheart, what's the matter?" Dirk asked, wrapping his arm around his wife.  She especially had taken the deaths very hard.
"I can't believe he's gone.  Brand is gone," she sobbed into chest.  "And... and... I'm having his baby!"
Dirk backed away quickly, pushing her from his arms.  "Say that again? You're pregnant... with my half-brother's baby?"  How could he have been so blind?!  "When?" he gasped over his thundering heart. How could Brand have done this to him? 

Suzie sobbed fresh tears.  "Shortly before he died."

Dirk thumped his fist in his palm and pointed his finger at her.  "I knew it! I knew you lusted after my brother!"
Now, anger flashed in Suzie's teary-eyes.  "It's your own fault, Dirk! I hated it here and you didn't care!  You made all my decisions for me!  You made me leave my home when I didn't do anything wrong!  You let that woman stay here against my wishes!  You never listened to me!  Sleeping with Brand was my ONE decision to control!"
"That's sick, Suzie! Just sick!"

All the fight drained from Suzie.  "What do we do now?"

Dirk shook his head.  "I don't know.  Right now I can't even stand to look at you."
"Then that makes us even, doesn't it?" she snapped before walking away.

***

The day Dirk dreaded finally came.  His wife delivered his half-brother's child.  Words could not describe the devastation that he felt...

It was then that he knew that any semblance of a marriage he had with Suzie was over.  There was no recovering from this farce!
Moments after the birth of yet another half-class Taveryn offspring, Dirk ordered Suzie away, throwing his ring on the ground at her feet. 
She didn't even argue.

She just dropped her ring next to his and walked away.

***
 
Dirk held his half-sister, Eliza, in his arms and wondered what to tell the family.  Should he reveal his wife's devious sin or pretend the girl was his own blood?
It seemed that no matter what he did, someone would be hurt.

***

Gaius Consul walked across the street, leaving his brother behind at the Abbey without another word.  "Whoa," he said, whistling low under his breath.  "This place is amazing!"

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