Friday, March 28, 2014

Diebin' Orb's Year 941-944


Orb's Year 941
The twins crying woke Henna up from a deep slumber.  "I'm coming..." she said wearily.  It seemed every two hours they needed something.

Knowing she could trust no one, she chose to stay home with her babies and enjoy every moment of their childhood.



But sometimes, late at night, the doubt came creeping in.  Could she be a good mother?


After all, what kind of example had her mother been? she worried. Debbie Baker had been too caught up in pleasing herself to ever consider anyone else's needs.  Is that what she was doing?  So far, she'd pushed her childhood love, Stuart, away because she wasn't ready for marriage and babies - and yet here she was - mother to Prince Earl's love-children and a rusty sword waiting on the wall until she could wield it again...
Would she give everything to follow her dream?  Slowly she sank to her knees by the twins.  Was she as selfish as her mother?

Orb's Year 942
The delivery maiden looked around the woods and felt a shiver go down her spine.  She fervently sent a plea to the Celestial Orb and hurried away, leaving the basket where she'd been instructed.  Not for all the gold in the world would she ever come back here!
Henna stopped suddenly when she saw the basket in the snow bank so close to her home.  Worriedly, she glanced around, reaching down to grab her sword.

She didn't have it...
 She cursed as she bent down to inspect the basket.  It looked like it had food stuff packed into it.
She knew without the letter attached who it was from.  Stuart.
She supposed this meant that he hadn't given up hope for them, she thought sadly.  She'd told him to move on when she'd found out that she was pregnant by the Prince.  What kind of wife would she have been anyway? 

She scoffed.  Stuart just loved the idea of her - he didn't know the real Henna Diebin!
But that didn't stop her from sending him a note of thanks...
...and requesting an audience...

***

 "Stuart, I thought you understood when I asked you to move on.  You can't keep doing things like this - sending food or groceries!" Henna said impatiently.  "Move on! Find a good wife!"
 "I made the mistake of telling you that I wouldn't wait for you once before.  And I won't make that mistake again.  I will wait for you," Stuart promised as he lifted his hand to her cheek.

Henna gave herself a moment to enjoy the feel of his fingers against her skin before she steeled herself against him.
 She pulled his hand away with a frown.  "I can't, Stuart.  I can't be with you. Find another woman."
She turned around and paced away from him, distraught to feel all the old feelings spring alive.  She thought she'd buried them deep enough.

Stuart walked up behind her and wrapped his arms around her, resting his cheek against her own.  "I can't, Henna.  We belong together. I feel a connection with you that I haven't felt with any other woman." He scoffed, "And Cursed Orb, I've tried.  I've tried to get over you."

Henna leaned back against him, absorbing his strength.  Blasted Orb! Why did life have to be so complicated, she wondered.  Angrily, she spun in his arms, "You don't under..."

Stuart didn't give her a chance to argue, he leaned down and kissed her.  "This... This is how I know we belong together," he said, rubbing his lips against hers.  "Admit it! Admit you feel it, too!"
Henna almost lost herself in his kiss.  He was right.  She did feel the connection, but it wasn't meant to be!  She pulled from him, shoving him away.  "I will admit to no such thing, Stuart Forester!"

Stuart sighed.  "I meant what I said, Henna.  I'll wait for you.  In the meantime, I'll send groceries, and flowers, and anything else I think you might need."
 And then he walked away...


 ***

Henna hurried inside once he was gone.  "Up already!" she said with surprise when Jade and Jace came scurrying from the bedroom.  "What mischief have the two of you been up to?" she asked.
"Mama! Mama!" Jace called for attention as Jade giggled and darted between her mother's legs.  Henna sighed as she reached down to lift up her little prince.  Ever since they'd begun crawling, she'd had little time for herself because the little scamps got into everything!

But she wouldn't trade a moment of it....

Orb's Year 943
Caring for her growing children took all of Henna's attention.  She pushed thoughts of Stuart to the back of her mind, trying to bury her feelings deeper than before.
She spent every moment watching the children, making sure they weren't getting into mischief...
...teaching them to walk...
...and teaching them to talk...
But at night, when the lights were out and the little dears were asleep...
...that's when the doubts came creeping out...
Henna stepped outside and found a solitary rose waiting for her.  And just like that, it felt like the ice around her heart cracked...

"I was hoping you would like it," she heard from behind her.
Henna spun around and saw Stuart there, waiting nearby.   She rushed into his arms and sought his lips. 

Stuart groaned, "Blessed Orb, Henna.  Please don't send me away."

Henna traced her fingers over his face.  "I won't... I won't..." she promised.  "This way..."
Stuart hurried after Henna, careful not to lose her in the forest.  His nimble fairy darted through the woods gracefully and quietly. 
When he was closer, he stared at the cottage with amazement.  It was so well-hidden that it just blended into the scenery.  Lunging, he caught up with her and swept Henna into his arms.  He hoped she couldn't feel his shaking hands.
He carried her to the door before kissing her again.  Henna pulled and put her finger to her lips.  They crept into the house like sneaking thieves or eager teenagers trying not to waken their parents.
Stuart didn't have much time to look around her little cottage before she'd tumbled them back onto the couch.  Then he couldn't focus on anything other than Henna.
"It will be morning soon, it's time for you to leave," Henna said as they cuddled on the couch. 

Stuart got up slowly, then turned back to Henna.  Grabbing her hand, he kissed her palm.  "I... I'm not sure what changed your mind... but I want you to know... I love you Henna.  I want to be your husband and be a father to your child..."

"Children," Henna corrected automatically.

Stuart blinked. "Children? You... you have more than one... with him?" he asked lowly.

"No!" Henna said.  "No! I had twins... Jade and Jace..."

Stuart squeezed his eyes shut in relief.  "But you... you're not involved with him anymore?"

Henna shook her head. 
Stuart nodded, his throat working as though he had more to say.  Silently, he left, pinning her with his ardent gaze before he walked out the door.   He had offered for her twice now - this time it was up to her to grasp what she wanted...  if she wanted it...

Orb's Year 944
Henna gazed at the beautiful bouquet of roses that had appeared at her front door.  No longer did he leave things in the woods in their special spot - he brought them as close to her as he thought she would allow him. 

She had almost caved before he left and asked him to stay - but she still hadn't told him all about her past... 

She never should've given into the passion that swept through her! Hadn't she learned the hard way that recklessness was paid with folly!  She wiped a stray tear.  But, oh, how she wished things had been different between them...

***

"Now blow the candles out..."
"Happy birthday, babies!" Henna said excitedly. 
When the sun began it's descent from the sky, Henna kissed her children.  "Bar the door and don't let anyone in but me.  I will be back after you're asleep.
"Where do you think mama went?" Jade asked her brother.  "Why does she have to leave at night?"
"Don't worry, Jade. If there's any monsters, I'll smite them using that sword on the..."

Both children's gaze lifted to the place where the sword rested...

...it was gone...

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