January 3, 2010

In Which Had Unloads a Heavy Burden

June 11, 1164

"Gotcha!" Raia declared as she pierced Had's abdomen with an imaginary throwing knife. Had stumbled backwards and fell to the floor as dramatically as he could; the two of them had decided that once they were nine, they would stop playing pretend unless they were entertaining younger children, and now that he only had six months and she only had four, they had an urgent need to take advantage of every opportunity they got. Had's father had suggested they give themselves an extra year if they felt they hadn't made the best of their time--he figured he might ask Raia about that in a few months.

"Oh..." he moaned as he writhed about on the floor in mock-pain. "Oh, God! My intestines..."

Behind Raia, Falidor rolled his eyes. "Your intestines? Judging by Raia's angle, you should be more worried about your spleen."

Had usually liked Falidor, but he had to admit that the steward had been rather cranky lately. Had's father blamed lack of sex. Raia's father also blamed lack of sex. Therefore, Had could only conclude that Falidor was grouchy because of a lack of sex.

Exchanging an annoyed glance with Had, Raia turned around and approached her father's steward, her hands clenched together as though wringing the neck of a small animal. "Oh, Falidor!" she addressed him in a snide sort of sing-song voice. "You're welcome to stay here if you're willing to shut up, but if you have bother someone with your nit-picky physics, I suggest seeking someone who actually gives a damn."

Falidor sprang into a sitting position, his attention rapt as that of a soldier who had just been caught dozing at his post. Nora always said that Falidor was afraid of women; from what Had could tell, it seemed that Raia scared him even more than most. Not that he really blamed the man, of course--Raia could certainly be scary at times.

"I'm sorry, Raia, Had," Falidor apologized hastily, "I... I don't know. I'm just tired, I guess."

Raia shrugged. "You could ask my father if you could leave, you know, or I could ask for you if you want. I'm sure he'd understand."

Falidor shook his head. "Thank you, but I'd rather not be a bother. Besides, I have a job to do, you know."

"Well, maybe you should get on that, then."

The voice belonged to Falidor's brother Ceidrid, who had just entered from the front room, that Evaleith girl at his heels--much to Had's personal chagrin. He realized that it had been months since he had overheard his mother chasing her off, but it still felt like only hours ago. The guilt was still there, as well as the betrayal. He wanted to talk to someone about it, but... well, who was there? None of his friends would have understood, and he didn't want his little sisters to know what he had heard, and obviously both of his parents were out of the question...

The steward groaned. "Shut up, Ceidrid!"

"I'm just saying you should probably get yourself to the front room," his brother teased. "I mean, we're pretty harmless, but who knows who might sneak in next?"

Falidor glared at him. "Well... whatever. Why are you here?"

"Actually, Jothein sent me over. You see..."

It seemed to Had that Evaleith's gaze held far more power than any words streaming from Ceidrid's mouth. Why was she looking at him? Was she combing his face for traces of her own? His mother's--their mother's?

Or maybe... was it possible that she knew he had overheard? No--he had simply walked past the door, and she had been too preoccupied to notice. She didn't know.

And yet, those eyes continued to prod him like a deluge of arrows. Had's muscles stiffened; with each passing second, his guilt seemed just a little heavier. He could not carry such a burden alone for much longer.

Jogged by a sudden realization, Had turned on his heel and faced her, dagger-like eyes and all. "Evaleith?"

The girl frowned--his sister frowned. "Yes?"

Oh, what to say? Was he even helping, or was he just going to hurt her even more? Had inhaled, then blurted out the two simplest words that came to mind.

"I know."

NEXT CHAPTER:

18 comments:

Dinuriel said...

Oh, the half-assery! Sorry all--expect much mediocrity (yep, even moreso than usual) in this first week or so of me pulling myself out of holiday mode.

Anyway, the good news: we are nearing the end of all this Evaleith/Honora drama. The bad news: almost immediately after that gets sort of resolved, somebody is going to kick the bucket. It's not a MAIN character (who ARE my main characters? I can never tell!), but it is someone I would have really liked to have done more with. Of course, when I saw the random death dates, I did have to grudgingly admit that I didn't really have any plans for this character other than the standard background routine of typical family life. Still, I'm rather pissed :(

On a lighter note, Monday is discussion day, and as always, you are all more than welcome to participate :)

Aaaaand I'm back at school. Classes resume in approximately nine hours. Lame :(

Gayl said...

And a happy belated birthday to you!!

I want to pinch Had's little cheeks he is so adorable. And I think his father is right; they should give it another year at least...for the younger children's sake (uh huh)

*worries over who dies next chapter*

Dinuriel said...

Thanks Gayl :)

He is pretty cute, isn't he? He grows up to be quite good-looking too.

Eheheh... nobody dies next chapter. I'm talking maybe... five, six, seven chapters from now? But yeah, still waaaaaay too soon :(

Penelope said...

Heh. Uhh. Hmm. I wonder who it could be. Not a main character but something that we don't want to see die. I hope it's Octavius.

Did Ceidrid just grow up to adult? He's sort of weirdly attractive.

Dinuriel said...

Heheheheh... I figured you'd be hoping it was Octavius :P Looking at his stats, however, he does seem to be in main character territory, based on the fact that he's in the top ten for both appearances and POVs, so sorry, Pen. Better luck next time :P

Ceidrid is still a teen, but he will be an adult as soon as September rolls around in Naroni, so on a whim I gave him a new hair. I do think it suits him better than his old one.

Phoenix said...

Oh Had!! You poor kiddo! That has GOT to be a heavy secret! It sucks man! Maybe those two will become closer!:)

And who's going to die? Who's going to die? Why do you torture me Van!? Especially when it's so many chapters away! LOL!

Here's hoping this semester goes well for ya!:)

Dinuriel said...

Who knows? Maybe Had and Evaleith will develop a really close sibling bond at some point :)

I can't really say who's going to die, other than that you'll probably be able to guess at the very beginning of the post :(

Thanks Phoenix :)

Em said...

Happy belated birthday, Van! I've been trying to comment on this chapter for AGES, but my Internet's a bloody bitch. :(

Anyway, much love for Raia + Falidor, as usual. And Raia will be turning into a teen soon, won't she? Oh, I can't wait for Falidor's reaction. Though Raia doesn't seem to hold him in a very high regard for now; but I suppose maybe she takes him for granted?

And my heart's breaking for Had. It's true that children are always the ones who suffer the most for their parents' troubles, though. Hopefully he and Evaleith will warm up to each other.

I hope no one I like is dying soon. Though I'm with Pen on this one. I really wouldn't mind if it was Octavius. Oh wait, it's not his wife, is it?

Dinuriel said...

Thanks Em :)

I'll be aging Raia up to teen in October of 1165, but she'll only be ten, so any Railidor shippers will have to wait a few more years before it's not totally creepy for Falidor to start seeing her in a different light O_O

Raia likes Falidor, but she kind of treats him like her slave sometimes. Since Falidor is universally whipped, he just goes along with it :P

I really do hope that Had and Evaleith can get closer. While his other sisters are hurting too, they're too young for him to feel comfortable discussing his troubles with :(

I don't think there's been so much demand for a character's death since Norwan. Maybe that's why Octavius has seemingly dropped off the face of the planet since the whole thing with Medea and Holladrin. He's keeping a low profile :P

I'll assure you right now that it's not Holladrin. The death has to do with the whole thing with the forest dwellers, and Holladrin, as a currently pregnant baroness, would probably not be in a position to be randomly passing through a forest at this time. Besides, there's been enough build-up with her periodic illness that it might be borderline anticlimactic to kill her off any other way :P

eclectictsunami said...

Aw, I don't want Octavius to die! (And not only for Holladrin's sake, although that is part of my motivation, I admit.)

Yeah, poor Had. He's a sweet little guy!

*Gets on team Railador*

Dinuriel said...

I don't want him to die either, Cassie. I'm not done with him and Holladrin just yet :P

I think Had is what his dad might have been had he grown up under more privileged circumstances. I really love this kid to bits :)

Hmmm, I never would have thought Team Railidor would have become so popular, especially six or seven years before it could even possibly happen. Perhaps it is destiny :P

Penelope said...

NOOO! I'm team nekkid kid!

Gayl said...

Ooh Pen! Me too! Raia and Nekkid Boy!!!

Dinuriel said...

What's this? My first love triangle actually worth arguing over? I think I may faint.

Anonymous said...

hehehe I wasn't aware that this was an established triangle!

-Pen

Dinuriel said...

Neither was I O_o

Penelope said...

Van, you make me lol.

Dinuriel said...

Glad I could be of service :)

I actually posted a poll about this on my LJ. I will provide linkage when the next post goes up in a few hours.