October 5, 2015

In Which Roddie Wants No One Else

November 24, 1194

"Roddie!" The youngest of Roddie's brothers--and the second to show up--stepped in for a hug. "How does it feel, knowing this is your last day of freedom?"

Roddie didn't have to turn around to know that Falidor was smirking from his seat on the couch. Donnie was not yet nineteen and involved in a not-yet-serious, not-yet-exclusive semi-courtship with their cousin Laveria. In his young and stupid mind, it was still natural--charming, even, or funny--to talk about marriage as if it were a lifelong prison sentence. It hadn't occurred to him just yet that a marriage to the right person at the right time and for the right reasons was precisely the opposite.

"Freedom from what? The knowledge that Riona and Isidro know for a fact that I've seen their daughter naked?" Even that seemed a stretch. Riona and Isidro weren't exceptionally strict parents, nor were they prone to self-delusion about such matters, and Alya had spent more than enough of her time off at Roddie's place unchaperoned that it would take a severe case of denial to think that all their shared hours had been spent fully clothed.

In any case, if they somehow thought that Alya and Roddie were still virgins, Alya's not-white dress would waste no time in correcting them. "Just sit down, you silly little ankle-biter. And you'd better take the desk chair; couches are for bridegrooms."

Rolling his eyes, Donnie did as he was told. Roddie returned to the couch, only half-sorry about not having to push Donnie off of it, and turned to Falidor. "So, what do you think is taking Searle and Lonriad so long? I know everyone else is meeting us at Seoth's later, but I thought all of us brothers were meeting up sooner."

"Beats me." Dismissive, Falidor waved a hand to the side. "I know Melria wants a baby, so maybe she and Searle are working on that."

Roddie cringed. He knew full well that his siblings were sexual beings, and for the most part, he was as used to the fact as he would ever get. But, there was a distinct ickiness about the thought of Searle and Melria. Or, really, Searle and anyone who wasn't his beloved, belated, worst-kept secret in the world. "I didn't need that mental image."

"Too bad." Falidor stuck out his tongue. "Meanwhile, Morgan's not nearly so fussed about babies, so maybe she and Lonriad are just doing it for fun."

"I didn't need that mental image either." Granted, his sister-in-law Morgan was not unattractive. "The Lonriad part of it, anyway."

"Facts of life, brother," Donnie insisted, as if he'd had a meaningful encounter in his life. "Best get over your squeamishness now, before they get here and we all head to the brothel."

Really? Roddie frowned. "That's what we're doing?"

"Of course! I managed to get Lonriad to agree, even though he said he's not about to be an active participant with his wife in the same country. Searle was good for it, though--and Falidor here needs to practice up a bit before his own last day of freedom."

Well... good for them, Roddie guessed. And good for Donnie, if that was what he wanted--which, he was eighteen, so of course it was.

But, it had been quite some time since Roddie had wanted anyone but Alya.

"I think I'll keep Lonriad company as a fellow non-participant. And maybe I'll keep an eye out on you lot too, just to make sure you tip well; any woman willing to endure any of you deserves ample compensation."