November 13, 2009

In Which Eilyssa Has a Talk with Her Brother

September 23, 1163

"...and that, little sister, is why I am going to be king one day," Ietrin finished, a smug grin on his face and his nose pointed to the ceiling.

Eilyssa yawned; she got the exact same talk every time her brother came to visit her. She probably could have recited it with him, word for word. "Because your father is king now?" she pressed coyly, just to bother him.

"No--well, yes, but that's not the only reason. I will be king because--in addition to being the eldest son of the current king--I am strong, intelligent, possess excellent leadership skills, and have an undeniable way with the ladies."

Indeed, she had guessed the reply word for word as well. If she knew him so well without even living with him, she could only marvel at how precisely Leara and Camaline must have come to predict his speech and behavior. Her brother sure was silly!

"Oh, and how could I forget to mention my dashing good looks? I'm handsome too."

Eilyssa giggled. "I knew you'd say that."

"Then why did you ask?" he demanded of her.

She shrugged. "I dunno. To annoy you, I guess."

"Well, if that's the case, congratulations; I am sufficiently annoyed," Ietrin groaned in self-important exasperation. "Good Lord, where do you get the nerve? Oh well, I suppose I can't blame you; it's probably just some unfortunate symptom of being a bastard."

Confused, Eilyssa frowned; she had to admit, she wasn't familiar with that term. "What's a bastard?"

"What you are, stupid."

She was the stupid one? At least she gave clear answers when people asked her questions. "And that is...?"

Her brother sighed as he turned his violet eyes on hers. They were her mother's eyes, she'd been told, but try as she might, she could not remember seeing those eyes on anyone but her siblings; she was too young. "You're a baby who wasn't supposed to be born," he informed her; his words left a burning sensation in her ears. "You're the reason our mother isn't here any more--that's what you are."

He didn't even give her a chance to defend herself. As soon as he had said his piece, he had turned on his heel and strode out of the room, more of a prince with every step and less of a brother likewise.

She managed to contain herself with fluttering lashes and a quivering lip as he made his exit, but once the door clicked shut, the tears and sobs would no longer be dammed. He hadn't really meant all those horrible things... had he? And even if he had, they weren't really true... were they?

But now that she thought about it... her mother had only disappeared after her birth, not any of her siblings' births. And why didn't she get to live with her siblings? And why did the king seem to dislike her so much? It didn't make any sense! Unless...

Was it possibly... true?

"Lyssie?"

She looked up to see the duke's son, Lorn, approaching. She hadn't even noticed him enter, just as she had never noticed her mother leaving. Perhaps this was yet another of her flaws.

"Lyssie, why are you crying?"

"I'm not c-crying," she protested immediately, though her tears were quick to betray her.

A thoughtful haze misted over Lorn's honey-brown eyes as he leaned toward her, placing his hand on her shoulder and brushing her forehead with his lips. "Was Ietrin in here just now?"

Eilyssa saw no reason to lie; she nodded.

"I see. Lyssie... look at me?"

She did as he asked. She was surprised to see a smile on his face; was he laughing at her? She wouldn't have thought Lorn would do something like that, but then again, if her own brother could mock her...

"Lyssie, don't listen to Ietrin, all right? He's an idiot."

"He's my brother," she grumbled.

"So? That just means you got all the smart genes yourself."

Eilyssa rocked backward slightly, her gaze falling to the floor. "He says I'm a bastard."

"And I say he's an ass-rag," declared Lorn, pulling her in for a quick embrace; she couldn't help but smile as the naughty word escaped his mouth. "Seriously, Lyssie... don't worry about Ietrin. And don't believe him when he tells you things like that, promise?"

"I promise," she sighed; it was difficult to refuse him when he asked so nicely.

"Good girl. Now, let's go down to the table--supper's in a few minutes, and I'll be damned if Ietrin gets any of the best meat!"

NEXT CHAPTER:

9 comments:

Dinuriel said...

Sorry about the hurried ending :(

Penelope said...

Aww, Lorn is a mini Dalston. Is Lyssie going to go home to dad with interesting questions?

*hehe* Ok Van, it's 1163 and you're mentioning genes. What are your worries about being anachronistic again? :p

Dinuriel said...

Lorn got the best of both his parents, I think :)

If she does, she probably won't get any interesting answers. Aldhein will probably just awkwardly change the subject, knowing how he hates to think about the whole Geneva thing (despite the fact that he's always dwelling on it--he's a rather miserable guy right now).

Hehehehe... I'm totally fine with being anachronistic to some degree. I do kind of think of a lot of these characters as modern people trapped in a medieval setting anyway, so I think the occasional anachronism fits to some degree :)

Gayl said...

Poor Lyssie...what did they tell her about her mother when she was old enough to wonder? Ietrin was true to his future kingly form though. Someone should smack that boy...before he is king, that is.

Lorn is a sweetheart of a boy though.

Dinuriel said...

Ietrin could definitely use a good smacking. Fortunately, when he's king, Lorn's going to be duke, so at least there will be some heart in the upper ranks.

They probably just told her that she disappeared shortly after she was born, and then died. Same sort of thing they told Ietrin, Leara, and Camaline. I doubt Leara blames Eilyssa, though, and if Camaline does, she'd probably only mention it if someone brought it up first. The girls were probably too young to really remember their mother anyway.

Verity said...

Lorn is such a little sweetie. He is the Dunstan to Dalston's Alred (if that made any sense whatsoever). Just that he seems to be a better version of his father. And his father is pretty ace despite his mistakes.

Dinuriel said...

Yeah, I can see that. Dalston is a good guy for the most part, but I think Lorn will grow up to be even better. Leara is a lucky little lady.

Phoenix said...

Wait! How did I MISS this update Van? Why didn't you poke me!!?

Ugh! I can not believe Ietrin said that to her. Well, I guess I can but Lorn is made of awesome! And that last shot is just so cute!:D

Dinuriel said...

Sorry Phoenix :(

Ietrin's ego is such that he walks around saying absolutely whatever pops into his head--and not in a good way, like Florian. If Lorn is the a better version of Dalston, then Ietrin is a worse version of Roderick, which is saying a lot. The boy has no tact whatsoever, and to some extent, I think he enjoys being cruel.

Lorn, on the other hand, is a sweetheart :)