Friday, January 31, 2014

Farrier, Orb's Year 941-944


Orb's Year 941
"So what now, Ev... Mother?" Brock asked.  It was still hard for Brock to call this woman he vaguely remembered Mother.  He thought sadly of the woman he called Mother - his step-mother, Crystal.

"Whatever you want," Evelyn said patting his arm.  "Just let me know if you need or want anything and I'll see if we can get it for you! I want you to be happy here!"

Brock felt awkward when faced with her fierce attention.  "I'm quite alright, thank you... Mother," he tacked on.
That night in bed, Evelyn was over-the-moon.  "Oh, Juan! I can't believe I have my baby boy again! Isn't he wonderful? So smart and handsome!"

Juan chuckled when Evelyn looped her arms around his neck.  "That his is, wife. But, try not to smother him!"

"Smother him?" Evelyn said with surprise, bolting upright.  "Why would you say that?"

Juan shrugged.  "He's almost a man and you are the mother..."

"I certainly am his mother!" Evelyn protested angrily.

Juan pulled his indignant wife back into his arms.  "I wasn't going to say that. We both know you're his mother.  But you're not THE mother who raised him.  Let him work it out in his head before you drown him with your attentions!"

Evelyn pursed her lips, angry at her husband's insight.  Could he be right?

***

"I thought about what you said and you're right," Evelyn admitted with some difficulty.

"About?" Juan prodded.  Sometimes the oddest things popped out of his wife's mouth.  He could only imagine what she was referring to this time!

She sent him a disgruntled look.  "About giving Brock time to get used to the family."
Juan reached across the table and patted her hand.  "I know it's hard.  You were fighting for him for years, but all during that time, Crystal was raising him as her own child."

A tear gathered in Evelyn's eye.  "I know that," she said testily.  "That doesn't mean I have to like it."  She paused a moment.  "So, what am I supposed to do?"

"Make him feel at home here as best we can," Juan replied.

***

Andre Farrier was busy in the shop.  While his da worked the iron, Andre had begun answering questions about the horseflesh...
...and managing the coin box. 

It made for long, hot, sweaty days and sometimes Andre resented it.  He was young! He should be wooing females or enjoying himself!
"Why doesn't Brock have to work in the shop, Da?" he asked one night at dinner.
Before Juan could answer, Brock looked up nervously.  "I wouldn't mind helping in the shop," he said quickly.  "I want to earn my keep!"

"Your mother and I don't want you to feel as though you have to earn your place.  This is your home for as long as you want," Juan informed his step-son.

Gratitude flashed in Brock's eyes before he lowered his head quickly.

Andre frowned.  "Well then, why do I..." he started to complain when a swift kick and a warning glance from his father had him shutting his mouth.

Orb's Year 942
Andre never brought up how unfair it was that he needed to work in the shop when Brock didn't.  He guessed it was because the boy had never done a hard day's work in his life - always with a book in his hand.  Probably had lily-soft girly hands, Andre thought ungraciously as he attempted to sell their newest horse to Sir Bradshaw Knightley.

But this shop - it wasn't Brock's heritage.  It was his heritage.  So maybe he should make the best of it!
"Camilla, run out to the shop and fetch your Da and Andre in for dinner," Evelyn said as she set the table.

Camilla grinned and hurried to the shop.  She loved any excuse to go in there with her father! The smell! The horses! She loved it!
The family was seated and began to eat.  Evelyn glanced around and noticed her boys were missing.  She saw Brock behind them, engrossed in a book and knew better than to interrupt.  He loved his reading.

But, where was Andre?

"Did you tell Andre that dinner was ready?" she asked Camilla.

Juan answered for his daughter, "He said he wanted to practice his iron-smithing. He'll be in later."
"Oh, he is going to be smelly!" Bianca said, wrinkling her nose.  "Hopefully he dunks himself before coming inside!"

Evelyn glanced at her husband.  "Are you sure that's wise? He puts in a full day at classes, then helps you during the afternoon.  Surely the evenings should be his to spend freely!"
"I didn't order him to do it,"  Juan said mildly. "He expressed an interest in his Farrier heritage,"

***

Although it seemed a relationship between Brock and Andre was slow to form, the girls adored having another older brother.  If he was honest, Brock could admit that he was quite pleased to have two younger sisters.
"You've been tossing the ball with Bianca for hours, Brock! It's my turn!" Camilla begged prettily.

"Oh is it now?" Brock asked the impatient young girl. 

"He has not, you fibber!" Bianca said, stomping her foot.  "It's only been five minutes!"

"Now, now, girls. No need to fight.  We can take turns."  He tossed the ball to Camilla and grinned as she fumbled to catch it.
Bianca put her hands on her hip and waited for her next turn, tapping her toe with impatience.

***

While Andre and the girls played, Andre was in the shop.  Although, to be honest, work was the furthest thing from his mind.

Juan glanced over at his son and shook his head.  The boy was far too taken with that young girl.  "Andre! Go run over and grab a few more horseshoes for Sheldon!"
"I'll be right back," Andrew said, boldly stroking Gena's hand.  "Wait here," he whispered.

Gena giggled as he hurried away to do as his father said.

"And when you're done with that, help the young lady check out!"  his father called out to his back.

Andre glanced over and saw the beautiful blonde waiting at the coin box.  He wondered absently how long she'd been standing there.  Enough to look pissed, he thought with some guilt.

A few more hours spent scurrying around and finally Andre was done.  He locked the coin box and glanced up. 
"You're still here!" he said with pleasure. 

Gena shrugged her shoulder delicately.  "I wanted to finish our conversation."

Andre grinned.  "I believe we were talking about how beautiful your eyes were," he said, stepping closer.  "And how silky your skin was."

Gena grinned and pretended to fan herself.  "I'm already glad I hung around to speak to you! Such pretty compliments!"
Andre leaned forward and kissed her gently on the lips.  "And now?" he asked boldly.
"Now I'm incredibly glad," Gena said as she launched herself into his arms, kissing him patiently.  Andre ran his hands up and down her back, then crushed her against him.  Gor! He never wanted to let her go!  It was with extreme reluctance that he let her slip away into the night. 
Juan was waiting for him when he came inside.

"I think it's time we had a chat about girls and the way of life," his Da said, pulling him into his room.


Orb's Year 943
"Are you still reading that book?" Bianca asked as she hurried in from the cold.  She rubbed her hands together to warm them up.

Brock glanced up at his half-sister.  "I've almost finished.  Did you want to toss the ball a few rounds?"
Bianca laughed.  "I'm a little too old to be tossing a ball around," she teased before hurrying away into her room.
Camilla glanced up at Brock.  "I'm not too old to toss around the ball.  Do you want to throw it with me?"

Brock smiled down at his youngest sister. "I would be happy to throw the ball with you, dearest Camilla.  Go dress warmly!"

Camilla scampered off giddily.

***

"Can I help you find something?" Andre asked the girl absently as he went about his day. He had a few moments before he needed to bring out more horseshoes for the table.

"Andre? It's me..." the girl said softly.

His head whipped around.  "Gabriella?" he asked with surprise.

She smiled shyly in response.
"Gor! Look at you - all grown up!" he exclaimed, raking his gaze up and down her body.  She was beautiful!
Gabriella glanced up shyly.  "Well I'm not a child anymore," she teased softly.  She was so overwhelmed, especially since he was staring at her with that look in his eye...
"No, not a child anymore," he said slowly, then he quickly wrapped his arms around her and kissed her passionately.

For Gabriella, it was a dream come true!  She'd dreamed of this moment for years!

It was the most wonderful afternoon of her life as he taught her feelings she'd never felt before!  When evening fell, she reluctantly pulled herself away from his caresses and hurried home, secure in their budding relationship.

***

"Table for two," Andre said as he greeted Gena's aunt Fanny. 

Fanny winked, "I'll get you two love-birds the best spot."
At the bar, with their backs to the the door, Andre didn't even notice Gabriella walk in.

But she saw him right away and gasped with displeasure.

Andre hopped off the stool and hurried to her.  "Gabriella, it's not what it looks like!" he said quickly, attempting to calm her.

Gena followed more slowly, amused to see how upset Andre had gotten when the girl had noticed them holding hands. 
"You dirty, rotten, no-good tramp!" Gabriella said, slapping Andre's face as he attempted to explain his date with Gena. 

"Now, now, Andre," Gena said, walking up and looped her arm with his.   "Aren't you going to introduce me to your friend?"

Gabriella paled.  Then, with tears in her eyes, she whirled around and ran from the pub.

Andre shot Gena a disgruntled look and shook his arm from Gena's clutch.
He took off after Gabriella.  "Gabriella, wait! Let me explain!" he called out.

Gabriella didn't even slow down.
"Blasted Orb!" Andre cursed.  Why did he feel like he'd been kicked in the chest by a damn horse?! 
Gena sauntered up behind him and sniffed.  "Well, she was certainly full of drama and flair! Come on, let's go back in," she said, reaching for his arm.

Andre pulled his arm away angrily.  "What was that about, Gena? You know good and well we're not exclusive!"

Gena rolled her eyes and put her hand on hip hip.  "I might know that, but apparently your sweetheart didn't!"
Andre glared, chest heaving.  He might've been able to explain to Gabriella had it not been for Gena hanging all over him.  "I'm suddenly feeling tired. I'm going home."

Gena shrugged, "Whatever. You know how to reach me if you ever want to foll around again."

"Like that'll ever happen," Andrew muttered under his breath.

Orb's Year 944
Andre read the missive from Gabriella with a sinking heart.  She'd requested that he cease sending her correspondence.

He sighed as he crumpled the letter and threw it across the room.

"You really messed that up," Bianca noted shrewdly. 

"Oh what do you know of it?" Andre snapped.

Bianca shrugged delicately and casually inspected her cuticles.  "Just that everyone knows Gabriella caught you on a date at the pub with your hands all over Gena Baker!"

"My hands weren't all over her!" Andre protested.  "And it wasn't a date! We had an understanding."

Bianca wrinkled her nose.  "Guess you should've made sure Gabriella understood, too."

Andre slammed from the house angrily.

***

"Mother... Juan..." Brock considered his new family wearily, unsure of how they would react.  He was worried his Mother would get over-emotional.  "I've decided that I want to became an Abbott at the Celestial Abbey."

He noticed Juan's hand quickly was braced against his Mother's back, offering comfort before stepping away to give her room to speak in privacy.
"But, why? Do you not like it here?" Evelyn asked with tears in her eyes.

"No!" Brock answered truthfully.  "I've loved living here.  I'm so glad I got the chance to know my other family!  But, I have a calling..."
"I only just got you back, though," she said pulling him to her in a fierce hug.

"I will still come to visit," Brock promised.  "But, I want to follow the Path to Enlightenment."

Evelyn wiped the tears from her eyes quickly, smiling a watery-smile.  "You're so much like your Grandfather Aragon Consul!" she announced.  "So serious and studious!"

Brock nodded solemnly, kissed her cheek and said the rest of his goodbyes.  Then he was gone.

***

Evelyn stood, staring at the door for quite some time after Brock had left.  She had fought so many years to see her son and now he was gone again.  The thought brought fresh tears bubbling to the surface.
"Mama, you still have us," Bianca said, giving her mother a sad hug. 

Evelyn rested her cheek against her daughter's head.  "Oh, I know sweetheart.  And I'll cry just as hard when you marry and move away from me!" 

***

Juan kissed Evelyn gently on the lips when she came in the room, tears still clinging to her eyelashes.  "He's gone?" he asked knowingly. 

Evelyn nodded her head as she moved into her husband's waiting arms. 

Juan ran his hands up and down Evelyn's back, attempting to comfort her.  "He'll make a fine Abbott," he said proudly. 

Evelyn glanced up at her husband and smiled.  "Yes, yes he will."

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