Orb's Year 945
Especially since this was to be such an important day!
Garth sheepishly laid down his compost bag on the ground and walked over to greet his wife-to-be. "I was only going to work until noon-time."
Lydia laughed. "Mm-hm, a likely excuse!" she teased. "I wouldn't be surprised if we married in the fields!"
His decision to marry Lydia had been impulsive, but during their betrothal, he'd come to realize what a funny, smart and incredibly lovely woman she had become. He'd intended to have a long engagement period, but found himself eager to get married and start the next generation of Farmers.
Harlow glanced up at her beautiful cousin. "No!" She frowned. "But it's always been my room!" she protested.
Helga laughed. "And mine before that, and your papa's before that, and probably even Grandpa Able's before that!"
"Enough girls," Cade admonished finally. "There is always room in this household for family!"
Helga turned aside, muttering, "Except when we girls are sent off!"
"What was that?" Uncle Cade asked sharply.
"Nothing!" Helga said, fluttering her eyelashes. Her sisters Gia and Ingrid had each been sent to the royal court as servants this generation. She wanted more from life than that!
Cade narrowed his eyes at his flippant niece, knowing exactly what she'd said, but had no time to respond as Garth came in with his bride-to-be.
"She'll make a wonderful wife," Cade told his son, clasping his arm. "And you will make a wonderful husband."
"Thank you, father," Garth said. "I had two wonderful examples!"
"Hmph!" Shanna snorted in disagreement.
Able and Cade laughed as Garth hurried past them and shut the door to his room. "Ah, to be young!" they chuckled to themselves, casting smiles towards their wives.
They spent the remainder of the afternoon making love until at last their stomachs protested their empty state.
Cade chuckled. "Very well. And how does married life settle with the two of you?"
Lydia blushed as she met Garth's parents all-too-knowing gazes.
Garth reached across the table and held her hand. "Yes, excuse us Mother. I seem to have worn my wife out!" he joked lightly.
Shanna frowned slightly, "It didn't escape my notice that you still worked in the fields this morning!" she pressed, ignoring Cade's disapproving look.
Garth seemed oblivious to his mother's censure. He joked, "You'll have to excuse her on the morrow, as well!" Grinning, he grabbed Lydia's hand and pulled her to their room, the only one laughing.
Garth patted his wife's hand. "She didn't mean it like that," he said, defending his mother. "I'm sure she's just used to taking care of everything on her own."
Lydia scoffed. "On her own?" There were more people in the Farmer household with helping hands than in the house where she'd grown up!
Again, Lydia scoffed. "She's shared her work with your Aunt Uma for years, but she's threatened by me?!"
"I don't know, Lydia! But, it can't help that you seem to be looking for slights! Just get to know her! Give her time to get to know you!" He kissed his wife's cheek and headed out to the fields.
Lydia sighed. Why couldn't her husband see how his mother treated her?!
Orb's Year 947
Uma crossed her arms. She had a strong suspicion that dancing was not all that Helga was doing down at the Grotto. "I cannot continue to cover for you!" she whispered. "If you father hears, you know he'll be angry."
"Don't worry, mama!" Helga called as she skipped from the room.
Casey glanced towards the darkened cottage to make sure there was no one watching. "Perhaps you could do that thing you did earlier tonight..." he suggested huskily.
Casey groaned, "You naughty, naughty girl!"
"Oh, Auntie Shanna, leave off!" Helga groaned. "She's pregnant! I don't mind making breakfast for her!"
"Just wonderful!" Shanna said brightly. "I was just instructing your wife on her duties once the baby comes!"
"Let me see my sweet grandbaby!" Shanna announced, reaching out to hold the newborn in her arms.
Lydia felt bereft as Shanna began to rock and croon as though it was actually her own daughter. Tears pricked her eyes as she imagined spending another twenty years locked in this constant battle with her husband's mother.
When she ran to her room and threw herself on her bed weeping, she heard Shanna informing the rest of the family that it was just a new mother's tears.
Orb's Year 948
She was sure Lydia would thank her, leaving her free to do.. well.. whatever it was that Lydia did all day!
Shanna glanced up. "There's no need to trouble yourself. I have her," she said, shooing her daughter-in-law from the room.
Shrugging, Helga responded, "Then get used to being treated like this..."
Garth worked in the fields, proud of how well the plants were all thriving. It should be a good harvest this year! Stretching his sore muscles, he headed inside to find his wife.
The look on her face stopped him cold. He sighed. "What's the matter?" he asked. He had a feeling his mother was at the root of his wife's unhappiness.
"She doesn't respect me!" Lydia said angrily. "I'm sure she wishes you'd picked anyone but me! Nothing I do is right!"
He proceeded to show her all the reasons that he loved her.
Garth turned his head in horror and grabbed the blankets to cover himself. "MAMA!" Lydia reached for her nightgown since Garth seemed more concerned with covering his own nudity than hers.
Shanna turned and hurried from the room, shutting the door behind her.
Taking a deep breath, he strode from the room to find his mama.
"Of course," Lydia answered, hurrying to her side. "What's the matter?"
Casey tugged at his neckline. He enjoyed making love with Helga, but he wasn't ready to settle down! Variety was the spice of life!
"Pregnant?" Alejandro echoed. He glanced at the other two men seated beside him. He'd had no clue that Helga had been seeing anybody else...
When all was said and done, she left her father's home with a ring on her finger and a father for her unborn child.
Lydia smiled kindly at her. "What is it, dear?" she asked.
"How am I supposed to meet boys?" Harlow asked.