July 1, 2013

In Which Jeda Has That Conversation

January 6, 1182

The weight of the crown was an undue annoyance, but Ietrin had insisted. At least he hadn't forced her into new gowns in his family colors. If he had, it might as well have been the end. Jeda's own family colors were the last shred of a separate identity that she had--that was official now.

Queen Jedaline of Naroni. By mere virtue of being married to King Ietrin of Naroni. Even if she was--on paper--the most powerful woman in the kingdom, it was only because she was locked up in this hellhole of a castle, trapped with him until that lucky day when one of them finally died. Better she'd been born a peasant.

And after all these years of hearing Roderick--God, she didn't think she'd miss Roderick!--rant about this horrible bitch of a woman when he'd had a little too much to drink, she could not in the slightest blame Geneva for leaving.

"It's not seemly for a queen to spend so much time alone."

Of course he was here. "What is it, Ietrin?"

"Do I need an excuse to check up on my reclusive wife every now and then?"

That would have made sense if they loved each other, or even if they liked each other. He either wanted to try for a son again, or to chastise her about some little thing that was apparently a big deal. She didn't want either, but God forbid she would have a say in the matter. "I'm sure you'll explain yourself in any case."

He grunted. There was little a queen could say to a king that wasn't too rude. Poor Laralita had proven that days prior. "Stand up."

Jeda stood. That bench had never been comfortable anyway. "Well?"

"Don't talk out of turn. And don't slouch either." As if he gave a damn about her back. "I just got out of conference with Lord Severin, and it seems that my father has legislated me into an inconvenient corner."

"How--?"

"Never mind how. It isn't your job to be concerned about legal minutiae." Then why had he brought it up? "You know what your job is, even if it is ten years later and you still haven't done it."

"Is this about you trying to get your bastard on the throne? Because honestly, if it gets you to leave me alone--"

"What did I tell you about talking out of turn?" He glared at her, then turned his eyes to the bed. Of course it was about his bastard, and sons in general. "Now, my sisters both love this certain book, and I heard Leara telling Raia about this one scene with a very wise king and his daughter-in-law. He needed her to give him a grandson, and it got to the point where he had to tell her that he'd give her a year to have a baby. Or, no--he was generous. He told her he'd give her a year to get pregnant."

And if Jeda still had a father-in-law, she wouldn't have been having this conversation. Or, no--this was Ietrin. "And if she didn't?"

"Oh, that's not fit for a lady's ears, and suffice to say I'll go comparatively easy on you." And if that was what he thought, than whatever this 'wise' king had threatened to do to his daughter-in-law must have been horrific indeed. "If you haven't at least missed a course by this time next year, you'll find that certain liberties will no longer be your privileges. No more books. No more friends. No more of your silly stitching projects. No more indulging the girls with foolish playtime nonsense. You will do what is expected of a queen, and you will do your duty to me, but until that duty actually pays off, you will not have the luxury of leisure time. Are we clear?"

NEXT CHAPTER:

8 comments:

Van said...

Long weekend is over. :(

Winter said...

WHAT!

Does the idiot think she's holding out on purpose? Or is he so up his own behind that he thinks she doesn't loathe him yet, that she wouldn't do anything to make him go away?

Poor Jeda. She's the most powerful lady on paper and the least powerful in actuality. Without risking someone's life or losing her babies, she doesn't have too many options... grr!

I hope your weekend was nice, at least :)

Van said...

Most powerful on paper and least powerful in actuality indeed. Ietrin has some serious delusions about how the human body works, and apparently kings don't have to listen to anyone else calling them out on their crap.

Jeda really doesn't have many options. If she didn't have the girls, she probably would have left years ago, but she does and she doesn't want to lose them. And she doesn't want her family getting in trouble on her behalf. With those limits in mind, she doesn't have many options at this point. :(

I did have a (mostly) nice weekend! I hope yours was great too. :)

Ann said...

Gah, poor Jeda! That she has to put up with this crap! That bastard's death can't come soon enough for me! (I mean, the real bastard, not poor innocent Kaldar.)*waves Queen Dea flag*

I really wonder how anyone can be this deluded. I mean, sure she's not getting pregnant just to spite you. Though if I were her, at this point if I could do that I totally would! Or you know, find a lover with the right looks... would serve Ietrin right if his longawaited heir was actually the son of another man. XD

Van said...

If it helps, I have been playing the planned Ietrin death scene over and over in my head pretty much since they got married. Sadly, it's still several years off, but I hope it will be satisfying.

Jeda gets full credit for not killing Ietrin in his sleep yet (though if she did--I wouldn't blame).

Ietrin either doesn't get that it takes two people to make a baby, or he's actively telling himself it's all on Jeda (knowing his ego, likely the latter). We here with at least a basic knowledge of human reproduction know that Jeda's lack of pregnancy is not out of spite, but yeah, if that was possible, it's not like Ietrin hasn't earned it.

Joseph said...

Loving the CofA reference there! :p

But seriously, I can't say this enough. What a dick!

Poor poor Jeda! Can she not go back to her father? Seem to remember a scene before the royal wedding where Octavius promised her she could hide out at his.

Yeah looking at your comment above, I'm guessing it's actually Ietrin and not Jeda causing the baby problems. Maybe a low sperm count or something like that? Then again Jeda hasn't slept with another man so it's hard to tell.

morgaine2005 said...

*jawdrop* And now I know how you all felt when Vortigern pulled that shit on poor Viviette ...

My blood pressure spikes every time I re-read this post. That bastard! That utter and complete bastard!!! (And we're going to have to come up with a new word for describing Kaldar, because we can't be calling him and his father the same thing!) UGH!!

Jeda ... I love her dearly, but she needs to fight back! There has to be something she can do. Charity projects to make her beloved to the people -- a "visit" to her father with the children that results in her not coming back -- at the very least, TELL SOMEBODY what Ietrin just pulled. Octavius will not stand for this! Severin will not stand for this! Lorn will not stand for this!

If all three of them are against Ietrin, he can't possibly win.

And Jeda can also stop doing what Ietrin says. Has anybody ever flatly disobeyed him and told him where he could stick it? She can start by taking that crown off if she doesn't want to wear it. It's her head and she can decide what goes on it.

And if all else fails ... well, she can always put the crown to good use. By taking it off and beating Ietrin senseless with it.

(Oh, and you owe me a PM about Fred, Van -- but let me just say here and now, if it involves him killing Ietrin, you have my permission!!!)

Van said...

Joseph: Heh... I kind of had to put that in.

Jeda does have a standing offer from Octavius to come back home any time she wants, but... I don't think Jeda is willing to do that for more than a weekend or so, for fear of what Ietrin might do to her family. He can't physically hurt them (openly), but he can still make life difficult for them. Octavius and Sparron would gladly suffer through it for Jeda, but Jeda wouldn't want them to.

Now that Jeda has had her appointment with Arydath, and Ellona (who had just as many kids with Ietrin in the same amount of time) has gotten pregnant with her gay husband's baby with almost no effort, I think it's safe to assume that it's Ietrin's problem. Jeda's never slept with another man, but Ietrin has slept with other women and as far as we know, only Jeda and Ellona have ever conceived at all.

Morgaine: Ye-ep. :S

Maybe we can just start referring to Kaldar as Casimiro's son?

The worst part about Jeda's situation situation is that I don't think anyone really knows just how bad it is. I mean, they know it's bad, but as far as we've seen, Octavius and everyone else just seem to think that Ietrin mainly ignores Jeda and the girls, plus sulks around about not having a boy but not any more than any other annoying Medieval husband in need of an heir.

Like I said to Joseph, I doubt Jeda has been telling too many people just how bad it really is. But you're right--if she told enough people, I'm sure they'd pool enough money for Fred to retire early if he comes back and takes out Ietrin.

Ietrin getting beaten senseless with a crown would be poetic justice indeed.

Sadly, it does not involve killing Ietrin. But if it helps, I promise that Jeda will outlive Ietrin, and not just by a little bit.