Sunday, September 14, 2014

Taveryn, Orb's Year 945-948


Orb's Year 945
Deanna Farmer snapped her wrist, quickly and viciously slicing the vegetables for Connor and his family's meal.  Just thinking about him made her sad, though. She'd been so insulted that he had seemed ashamed to admit to his girls that they were lovers!  (Taveryn, Orb's Year 944 ) They shared a bed, a child, a life! But it meant absolutely nothing to him, she fumed.

He'd chased after her the afternoon she'd announced to his girls that they'd been lovers, yelling at her for speaking so candidly in front of them.

It was clear to see that relationship was at an end. And good riddance!  Men had given her nothing but misery!

This time she wasn't going to make the same mistake... she was going to focus on Imogene.
Blast! She'd been so distracted by thinking about Connor that she'd burned the meal...
...again!

***

"I think she's burning your food on purpose," Ferguson said defiantly.  "It's time to get rid of her!"

Connor glared at his son.  "Just eat your food," he said as he shoveled the burnt meat into his mouth.  "This isn't up for discussion."

***

After a long day's work, Deanna sighed and took a deep breath.  He handed Imogene her bottle, grabbed a sandwich and sat down at the bar to enjoy her lunch in solitude. 
No longer did she take her meals with the family, preferring to keep herself as far from the Taveryns as possible!  She hurriedly ate her meal, knowing that soon Connor would be in to open the pub.  She wanted to be in her quarters by that time!

***

Connor wiped down the bar after closing, surprised when his girls hurried into the pub giggling.  "What are you two girls doing up?" he asked sternly.   Now that he'd had the falling out with Deanna, she no longer minded his children.  Deanna cooked, cleaned and refused to speak to him.

"Will you read us a bedtime story?" little Heaven asked.
And how could he turn her down? he thought, thinking that she was the spitting image of her mother, by Orb's light.

Without hesitation, Connor found himself seated in his daughter's room, reading them a tale about princesses and dragons.

***
 
But another daughter lay in the servant's quarters, curled up against the cool draft.
Deanna wasn't sure if she heard him approaching or just sensed him, but her eyes popped open instantly as Connor tip-toed into her room.
"What do you think you're doing in here?" she snapped quietly, trying not to wake up Imogene.
"Please, Deanna.  She's my daughter..." Connor said softly.  "You can't keep my daughter from me."
"Oh no you don't, Connor Taveryn!" she hissed.  "We already agreed it was for the best that she doesn't know you're her no-good-father!  Your children already look their noses down on us.  She doesn't need to know that you don't care enough to stand up for your half-class daughter!"
Connor dropped his hands and his shoulders sagged.  "You're a hard woman, Deanna Farmer," he said bitterly.  "I'm just trying to do what's best for my children..."

Deanna crossed her arms.  "Well, I'm just trying to do what's best for my daughter."
"Very well," he said, but cast a longing look over his shoulder as he slipped away.


 Orb's Year 946
Life fell into an easy routine.  At the crack of dawn, Deanna and Imogene enjoyed a meal together in the pub early in the morning.
Then they worked together on the chores that needed to be done around the place.
By the time Deanna prepared Connor and his children their breakfast, much of the work for the day had already been accomplished.

 ***

Ferguson always helped his Da out with the pub once he came home from school.  And boy was he glad!

Bianca Farrier was the loveliest girl he'd ever seen!
"I could let you in for free," he leaned in and whispered.  "But you have to promise not to tell anyone.  They might get jealous!"

Bianca giggled.

 ***

Heaven skipped into the bathroom to tell her sister about Ferguson flirting with the Farrier girl. 
"HEAVEN! What are you doing in here?" Giselle screeched, crossing her arms over her nudity. "Get out! I'm taking a bath!"

Heaven scoffed.  "But we've always shared baths before Giselle!" she pouted.

"OUT!" Giselle fumed, pointing to the door.  "AND CLOSE THE DOOR!" she screamed when Heaven scurried out and left the door wide open.
A growing girl needed privacy, after all...

***

"But, Mama, why don't I have a daddy?" Imogene asked before bed.
Deanna snorted. "Quit with your endless questions and get to sleep. We have to wake up early tomorrow," she snapped.  Imogene was full of questions these days.  Who was her papa? Why didn't they live in the main house? Why couldn't she go to school? 

Imogene sighed and laid her head down on the pillow.  Why didn't mama ever want to answer her questions? They were good ones!

 ***

Connor crept into the room, careful not to disturb Deanna's sleep, then leaned over to kiss Imogene on the forehead.  A stolen moment here and there were all the contact he was allowed with his daughter....

Unfortunately, it was also the only time he could gaze upon her without her spitting fire at him...

Orb's Year 947
Ferguson's attention wandered away from who was coming into the pub when he saw Bianca had returned.  "I see you couldn't get enough of me!" he grinned cockily.

BJ glanced over towards Ferguson and saw that he wouldn't know whether he slipped a silver coin into the slot or not, so he dropped his coin back in his purse and ambled over to the pub.

***

"BJ!" a young girl called out, hurrying up to him.  "What a treat it is to see you here!" she said breathlessly.  "I hear you're going to be setting sail soon!"
BJ grinned.  Ladies, old and young, always swooned over him.  He flirted shamelessly with the young lass.

He regaled her with stories of pirates and sunken treasure and adventure before announcing that he needed a drink.

***

Bianca hurriedly served BJ his ale, her pulse fluttering as she gazed at him.
But it soon became apparent that his interest was piqued by the hussy Gladys Flowers.  Everyone knew she was a woman of loose morals!
She watched over Andre Farrier's shoulder as Gladys' male friend took exception to her flirtatious ways.

At least someone appreciated her!
Nearby, Ferguson was trying his best to work his way into Bianca Farrier's good graces.  He joked and teased, stepping closer to accidentally let his hand brush across her arm.  He was just about to suggest they find someplace private to talk when he heard someone shriek his name...
"FERGIE!" Tiffani McArthur called out, racing towards Ferguson and throwing herself into his arms. "I've missed you!" she announced loud and clear, quite publicly claiming her man.

Bianca worried her lip and sighed.  It seemed that everyone was taken. 
She glanced around and saw her old friend Mayhew Baker nearby and smiled, then turned to look at who else was near.
"Gabriella!" she called out, hurrying over to see her friend.  "Where have you been hiding yourself!" she asked with a grin.

Mayhew watched Bianca Farrier from afar...

 Orb's Year 948

"Woman, this has gone on long enough," Connor said one morning after cornering Deanna by herself. 

Deanna scoffed and attempted to push him away.  "Says you!" she huffed indignantly.

"That's right! Says me! It's utterly senseless for us to continue at cross purposes.  We would have made up ages ago if you weren't so damn stubborn!"

"So this is MY fault?!" she shrieked with outrage.
"Oh... blessed Orb," he cursed as he pulled her into his arms and kissed her with all the longing he'd bottled up during their separation. "Tell me you've missed me, too," he whispered in her hair.  "Tell me I'm not alone."

Deanna remained stiff in his arms, waging a war within herself for so long that he almost released her.  But then he felt her arms wrap around his neck and she returned his kiss.  "You're not alone," she said, her voice thickened with desire.
Unable to keep their hands off of each other, they raced to her quarters for privacy.

 ***

That was were Imogene found them...  "Mama!" she gasped, then turned to flee.

"Cursed orb," Connor swore as he leaped from the bed and hurriedly threw his clothes on, chasing after her. "I'm telling her," he said, daring Deanna to argue.
She hadn't gone far, but was weeping in the Hall.  He crouched down before her and attempted to console her as Deanna watched from behind the curtain.

"Don't cry, little one," he told her.

"But... you... my mama..." Imogene dissolved into tears again.
"I have something very important to tell you.  Something that we were keeping secret..." he started, feeling incredibly silly.

Imogene wiped at her eyes to dry them. "What is it?" she asked, intrigued.

"I am your papa," he announced.

"You're my papa?" she asked. "Oh, I always hoped you were my papa!" she said, hugging his legs. 
But then she stepped away, her face scrunched with confusion.  "But why was it a secret?" she asked slowly.

 ***

"She burned breakfast again. You should fire her, Daddy!" Heaven said when Deanna came to the table to serve breakfast.

"You know he pities her, Heaven," Giselle said pleasantly from across the table, batting her eyelashes at Deanna. 
Deanna laid down a plate in front of Heaven and them slammed the platter down.  "That's enough!" she snapped, hurrying away with tears in her eyes.
Connor growled as he jumped from his chair and chased after her.
"I might only be a serving wench, but I should not be so disrespected by your children!" Deanna cried.  "I can't stay here... it won't work..."
Connor gripped her hands in his.  "No. Don't leave me. I've only just won you back," he said.

"Well, you've lost me!" Deanna snapped back.  "You let your children speak ill of me and never stand up for me! All you seem to want from me is a good meal and a quick tumble every now and again."
She turned to leave, but Connor pulled her back.  "Wait! No! That's not all I want from you!" He pulled off his ring and slid it on her finger.  "I want all of you.  And I'm ashamed of how I've let my children treat you.  I've been so worried about how their mother's death affected them, that I'm afraid I've spoiled them terribly.  But with this ring, I vow to you that I will love you, cherish you, and protect you."

Deanna looked at the over-sized ring on her small finger and felt hope start to bloom in her heart.  "Do you mean it, Connor? You really mean it?"

He nodded gravely.  "I don't know what I'd do without you, Deanna."

 ***

Together, Connor led Deanna back into the house to give his children the news.

"I'd like you to greet your new mother," he told them without preamble. 

Stony silence met his announcement.
"You're not my mother!" Giselle shouted, leaping up once she'd gained her voice. 
"That's enough of that!" Connor boomed.  "Go to your room!"
"I hate you!" Giselle cried as she ran into her room and slammed the door.
"Well that went well," Ferguson said caustically, glaring at his father and the servant that had beguiled him. 

"Ferguson, I'd like you to be happy for me," Connor said, reaching out.
"I've got to go check on the pub," Ferguson snapped, stepping out of the reach of his father and storming through the house.

The door slammed shut.
Connor dropped to his knee beside Heaven.  "Heaven? Are you mad?  After all, Deanna's  practically raised you."

Heaven just wailed.

 ***

Of course she would find the half-class brat in the dog kennel, Heaven thought nastily.  She glared at her half-sister.
"Your mother might have married my papa, but you're still a half-class peasant!" Heaven said, poking Imogene in the chest.
Imogene backed up and stumbled into Ballard.  "I.. I don't know what you're talking about..." she stuttered. 

"Papa will never love you like he loves us!  And as soon as he grows tired of your mother, Ferguson will send you away!"
Tears pricked her eyes as Imogene hurried away.  All she'd wanted was a papa to love her...
 
 ***

Ferguson glanced around the remodeled pub.  They'd connected the barn to the pub to expand the area.  Now guests wouldn't have to venture into the freezing cold to have a spot of fun.
They could drink, play and be merry all in the same Great Room.

***

"Heaven! Look at how you've grown! The boys will be noticing you now!" Giselle teased her little sister.
Heaven had heard all her life how beautiful she was.  She couldn't wait to have her first taste of romance!
 ***
Ferguson leaned over and whispered in Gladys' ear.  "I hear you're quite adventurous.  I thought you might perhaps want to do some exploring with me..."
She slipped from the room with him, unnoticed.

 ***

Imogene stroked Gypsy's head.  She loved being with the dogs. Sometimes she thought that they understood her better than anyone else... and they never judged her...
"Look, she's in the dog kennel again," Giselle teased and she slid the gate closed and latched it.

"Perhaps she sleeps with the dogs, too!" Heaven giggled. 

Imogene was furious.  She'd never done anything to them before!  Why were they so mean.  Balling up her fists, she shouted, "I would rather sleep with my dogs over sleeping under the same roof as either of you!"

"Hmph!" Giselle and Heaven's skirts swished as they walked away in a cloud of indignation.

"Stupid girls," Imogene said, burying her face in Gypsy's soft fur.

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