Thursday, December 19, 2013

Laird, Orb's Year 941-944


Orb's Year 941
"Who gave you the authority to send my son... my heir...  away?" Angus Laird stormed.

His wife, Crystal, crossed her arms and glared.  "Someone had to see to the boy's well-being!  You only cared about punishing his mother, Evelyn!  You didn't even see the boy in front of you!"

"So! He was my first born son! Now what will I do?" Angus slammed his fist into his palm.  He'd been livid to come home and discover that Crystal had secreted his eldest son, Brock, away.  Crystal was right.  He'd kept Brock to punish Evelyn for her faithless ways!  And there wasn't a damn thing wrong with that!
Crystal waved her hand in dismissal.  "You have two other sons. One of them can be the heir you crave so much!"

"Ah! I see now! Well done, lady wife. Well done," Angus said, slowly clapping.  "You couldn't stand having my first wife's son as heir, so you've removed the competition for your children!  Tell me, did you ever even care for the boy? Or did you do it all to take away his heirship?"

Crystal reared back as though slapped. "That is disgusting! I would never stoop to that level!  Brock is yet a boy, but is still ten-times the man you could ever wish to be!"  Sickened by her husband's accusation, and his levity, Crystal stormed from the room.  Even now, she fiercely missed Brock and hoped every day for some word from him on how he was settling in with his birth mother. 

***

Now that Angus had time to consider it, he was actually quite pleased with the steps his wife had taken to rid him of his strange eldest son.  The boy had pointy ears, for goodness sake! 

Now Callum, there's a boy after his own heart!
Already Angus could see Callum shaping up to follow his lead admirably.  He had a strong right-hand and was eager to please his father.  He didn't mind getting dirty and he abhorred reading.
He would surely make a fine heir to make Angus proud.

Orb's Year 942
Angus missed the days when Chandler followed him around, eager for a kind word.  Now that Chandler was happily married & settled, Angus had to find new friends to drink with and carouse with.
Keev Massey and young Edrick Taveryn seemed eager to follow Angus' lead.  But, they didn't know him like Chandler had...

***

Crystal laid out the supper plates and smiled when the boys walked in.  "Dinner is ready, boys" she said, pointedly ignoring her husband.
"I'm taking the boys out.  Time they learned how to have a good time.  Don't wait up for us!" Angus said as he lead the boys from the house.  He imagined the boys would love going to Taveryn's Kitchen!
Angus made his way back and forth between the bar and the boys.  When they became hungry, he motioned to the waitress to serve them some food.  Then he turned his attention back to the barmaid he'd been flirting with...

When the boys came to whine that they wanted to go home, Angus slipped the woman his address and told her to come after dark.

***

Angus was quite pleased when he saw the woman had followed him home. 
He could tell she was smitten from all the heroic tales that were told about him on the jousting field.  He was a prime example of athletic excellence!
How easy it was to convince her to enjoy a roll in the hay with him!

Orb's Year 943
"No, Mom," Callum sneered when Crystal tried to hug him.  "I'm not a baby anymore! Dad says to quit treating me like a wee one!
Crystal's face fell.  The more time that Angus spent with her sons, the more they became like him...

***

"Come on, Duncan.  Leave off," Callum complained. "I'm waiting for da!"

Duncan put his hands on his hip and frowned.  "But I want to talk to da, too!"
Callum rolled his eyes. "Go on before I give you a noogie you won't soon forget!"

Duncan stomped his foot and then trudged off.  He couldn't wait until he was bigger and stronger than his stupid brother!
Finally, Angus came home.  Callum brought him an ale and then sat down to chat with him about his day.   He especially liked hearing about how the girls fawned over his da! 

He knew his parents didn't have a love marriage.  His da had explained that mama had kicked him from her bed and refused him the marital bed.  She only cared about having the money that da brought home from the tournaments and turned a blind eye to his female fans. 

It was precisely the type of marriage that Callum wanted!  A wife to breed him heirs and mind her own business and the adoration of all the other females!  It sounded wonderful!

***

And already he had quite a way with the ladies - just like his da!

Orb's Year 944
Angus rubbed at the wrinkle on the side of his face and winced at his full head of grey-hair.  Aging was taking it's toll on him!  He wasn't as agile on the tournament field and the ladies were enamored with the next young crop of men. 

Angus' shining star seemed to be burning out...

***

He thought it fortunate when he'd run into Chandler at Taveryn's Kitchen.  It could be like old times again!  Somehow, he managed to talk the man into sharing a drink with him! 
But, it certainly wasn't the same.  They searched for things to talk about...
"How's your wife?" Chandler inquired.

"Eh," Angus said.  "A shrew as ever!"

Chandler chuckled.  "Only you could have such an intelligent and beautiful wife and think her a shrew!  You probably deserve every sharp word she's given you!"

"What do you know of it?" Angus snapped.  Chandler had never spoken to him this way.  He'd always smiled whenever Angus joked about his shrewish wife.  Marriage had changed Chandler irretrievably!  Annoyed, Angus turned away.
After a moment's silence, Chandler spoke up again.  "Angus, have you ever thought about being faithful to your wife?  Perhaps it's not too late for her to forgive you..."

Angus scoffed.

Chandler shrugged.  "It's none of my business."

"You're right!" Angus snapped.  "It's none of your business!"

They sat a few more moments in silence before Chandler got up and bid Angus farewell.  Angus stared in the bottom of his glass a moment, fuming over Chandler's lecture. 

So this was the sad state he would live out his remaining years.  Alone...

But... perhaps it didn't have to be that way... Angus thought hesitantly.  Perhaps...
 
***

When Crystal saw Angus come home from the tavern, she immediately closed her book and headed to the room.  She couldn't stand to be in the same room as her husband anymore!  Over the years he had hurt her in too many different ways.  The only thing that kept her tethered to this drafty castle was her sons.  She knew if she left, Angus would never let her see them again...

"Wait." Angus said from behind her.

She stopped, surprised.  Hesitantly she turned around.  "What is it?"
Angus approached slowly and seemed to consider his words.  "I... I'm sorry," he finally managed to say softly.  "I never thought..."  Angus was overcome with grief and bowed his head, unable to finish his sentence. 

Crystal waited, worried what had wrought this change in her husband. 

Glancing up, he continued, "I want you to forgive me.  To be a true family.  I've changed! I swear it!"

Crystal hesitated.  "Forgiveness cannot be bought.  You must show me that you have changed."

Angus grasped her hands and squeezed.  "I will. I be the husband you've always wanted!"

***

And he was.  Over the rest of the year, Angus spoke kinder, spent more nights at home and showered her with attention.  He had miraculously turned into the husband she'd always wanted.. had thought he could be!
Callum watched his father fawn over his mother and fought the urge to roll his eyes.  His da had told him that he was courting his mother again.  Hmph!  Callum thought he wasted precious time courting his mother's good graces when she should have given her forgiveness as her wifely duty! 

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