July 16, 2013

In Which Renata's Wonderings Are Confirmed

March 8, 1182

The baby's little eyes had barely flickered when Renata lifted her from the basket. This was her tenth child. It was about damn time she'd birthed one who slept through her first night without a fuss. "Morning, sweetie."

Her daughter's tiny lips were moist against her shoulder, but no suckling motion came. She'd been fed just before the two of them had retired, and it seemed she was not quite hungry yet. For that, Renata could not complain either. "There's my good girl."

Good girl indeed. Perhaps it had been predictable with nine children before, but this birth had been the easiest by far. The baby had waited for the midwife as politely as an imminent birth could, but once the woman had arrived, she'd wasted no time in meeting the world, crying just boldly enough to assure everyone of her well-being, but quickly quieting to a soft cooing sound.

And in these first minutes of their shared morning, the baby's easy existence continued. Renata couldn't even smell any indication of a soiled diaper. "That's my really good girl."

"She's awake, then?" Octavius pulled himself out of the chair by the fireplace and joined the pair of them by the basket, fond eyes on the new arrival. She didn't look much like any of Renata's other children when they'd been first born, but Octavius had sworn she was the spitting image of his beloved, ill-fated Pandora.

"Yes, but she doesn't want to be any trouble, it seems." And that was fine. An early bout of colic aside, Lettie had been an agreeable baby as well; Renata had just had to remember to check her needs without the prompt of a cry. "You know, it's funny. When I left Naroni, we were teasing Searle about how neither of us would ever have to put up with a newborn again, and he's been teasing me back ever since he learned. I can't wait to tell him she's the least fussy infant I've ever seen." Searle, she had never forgotten, had been the precise opposite.

"And his latest was a nightmare, or so Valira told me." They shared a smirk. Once again, Renata had to thank whatever angel had put in the request for such a calm reunion.

"So... does she have a name yet?" he asked as he leaned forward, a silly grin on his face for the infant's benefit.

"Uh... well, I named my last daughter for one of my late sisters, so I was thinking maybe Cladelia? I know it's more of a grown woman's name, but she'll be a grown woman some day." And hopefully, she'd be a grown woman a lot longer than she was a child.

"True. Plus we could always find a way to shorten it in the meantime."

Delia? No, that was taken by some other Cladelia--not that Renata could ever remember whose nickname was whose. Claddie, for her poor departed daughter-in-law? No, it didn't feel right, using that name on anyone else.

"Hello, Cladelia." Octavius kissed the baby on the forehead, then nuzzled his nose against whatever she had of one. "Cladelia. Cli-Clia-Cladelia."

Thank God for baby talk. "I like that--Clia."

"Clia it is, then." If it stuck, a grown woman could probably pull that off as well. "Renata, can I ask you something?"

"As long as you're not asking for another baby." Clia, she figured as she lowered her back into the basket, was no doubt the last her body would allow anyway. "But in all seriousness, yes, you may."

"Thank you." He took her by the hands and led her a few paces away from Clia's bedside. Did he not want to trouble the little girl? As if she would understand him anyway.

Then again, maybe he just wanted some semblance of privacy. "Look, I've been thinking about what you said last night--you know, about our arrangement not accounting for a baby?"

She nodded. She had said something like that, supposing she could indeed remember clearly the moments before the labor. "All right..."

"And I was wondering... well, maybe once you and Clia can travel, if you wouldn't be averse to coming back to Naroni with me?"

She'd wondered if it might have been that. "I don't know. I know you have enough to deal with at home without a baby around."

"Yes, but unless the change leaves you be for a few more years yet, she'll probably be my last child. I know it's impractical, and rather selfish of me, but I'd like to be a part of her life, and not just a fleeting one."

It wasn't selfish, but of course he would say that. The one lucky star that was Holladrin aside, Octavius was not used to getting what he wanted. "No, that's understandable..."

"If you'd prefer not to leave, I won't continue to pester you." She trusted he wouldn't--even if a glance toward Clia's basket suggested it would be a struggle not to do so. "But if there's any chance you might be willing, I'd appreciate it if you would at least think about it."

Think about it. She was comfortable here; she had children here, and grandchildren, siblings, friends. Then again, the same could be said of Naroni. And perhaps she was stepping on Odette's toes somewhat, still taking on many of the responsibilities of lady here. And perhaps Octavius might have needed a baroness.

She was comfortable here. But perhaps she wouldn't be any less than that there as well? "I'll think about it."

NEXT CHAPTER:

14 comments:

Van said...

Okay, so this is probably a really dumb idea, but... well, I've got a lot of CC that I need that isn't out there yet, more than I can make for myself and much that someone else could do better. So, since I know I have some talented CC creators who read this, I was maybe wondering if I could commission some work in exchange for... er, story-related favors?

Nothing that would compromise the plot too much, of course--mainly demographic-type things. For example:

-Choose one woman to get pregnant next calendar year
-Choose one woman whose next baby will be twins
-Matchmaking suggestions
-Take five years off of one character's lifespan and give them to another
-Etc.

(Of course, it goes without saying that if any propositions interfere with my plans, I will mention it and give you the chance to give a new one.)

Joseph said...

And if anyone takes five years off Isidro and his amazing torso, I will kill you.

*smiles sweetly*

Van said...

I don't know if Isidro would be at risk for that. XD

Joseph said...

I'm not taking any chances :p

morgaine2005 said...

What do you need done, Van? You know I can't mesh, but if it's in my skillset, I'll be happy to help!

I'd also gladly take the chance to shorten Ietrin's life by five years ... >:-D

(If I add those years to Isidro and his amazing torso, Joseph, can I stay on the good list? ;) )

Anyway! This was an awfully sweet post. For all that Octavius and Renata's match is rather unconventional, they seem to gel really well together. And Tetranshire can definitely use a baroness!!

Plus Clia is adorable, and I really hope she takes after Pandora in more than just newborn-looks. But not too much. Let her be her own person too. :)

Orilon said...

I just learned how to recolor so all I can do is very basic recolors of clothing.

I agree with taking 5 years off Ietrin's life and giving it to Isidro or taking 5 years of Ietrin's life and giving it to Jeda.

Joseph said...

*adds Morgaine to awesome list of awesomeness*

Van said...

Oh yay, good response! Thanks, guys. :)

Sadly(?), though... Ietrin has just enough lifespan for me to finish up with my plans for him (even random number generators aren't fans, apparently :P), so I'm going to have to take Ietrin off the table for plot purposes. If you need jerks, though, Domingo is quite disposable, and while I have plans for Elarys, she does have more years left than she needs.

Likewise, I don't think anyone has to worry about Isidro's lifespan at this point. He's set to outlive Severin, and I'm still thinking the story will end with Severin's death, so as long as no one's taking years off of Izzy's life, he should be good.

Morgaine: Thanks! I actually have a project that would suit your skills quite well, I think (and I don't need it finished until 1184, so there's plenty of time). I'll PM you about it later (I'm being bad right now... half of my company thinks I'm with the other half and vice versa XD).

They certainly weren't a love match, but they could very well become one. They do get along, and they compliment each other well. And hell yeah, Tetran needs a baroness. :P

I haven't peeked at Clia past babyhood, but Octavius's features generally run pretty dominant, so I'm sure she'll look at least somewhat like Pandora, and she might be somewhat like her too. But no, I don't think they'll be identical (at least, personality-wise; who knows what the game threw at me looks-wise) by any stretch. ;)

Orilon: I think I have a job for you too that might be good practice. ;) Do you have an account at the Keep? If so, I will PM you about it. If not, let me know and I can just reply here.

For all I can't really subtract much from Ietrin's lifespan, it would be great poetic justice if Jeda got his extra years. :D

Joseph: XD XD XD

Orilon said...

I signed up for an account at the Keep but I'm waiting for administrator approval.

Van said...

Sounds good! The mods are usually on top of things, and they're not likely to reject anyone who hasn't famously wreaked havoc in another community, so you should be okay. And I log in often enough that I should catch your window of time as the newest member, so expect a PM from me within the next 24 hours. ;)

Anonymous said...

...and don't forget that Santa has midsummer gifts for you.

~Santa

Van said...

I'm getting spoiled! I think I'm going to have make more stuff for people to make up for it. :D

Thanks, Santa et al. :D

Ann said...

Welcome, Clia! May your life be filled with beneficial drama only!
And yay! That does sound like there's a good chance for a relocation where Renata is concerned! *does bunny dance* I think she and Octavius will do very well together! I wish them both so much happiness!


I think that sounds like a great idea, Van! And you know, if there's something I can do I'd be happy to help, story-favors or no! Just tell me what you need done.

Pity that Ietrin is unavailable for life-shortening though. I could just see him ending up in the negative considering how 'popular' he is with us readers. XD

Van said...

Yay for beneficial drama? XD

Renata moving would not be the strangest thing to ever happen in this story, so it's certainly possible. Them being happy wouldn't be a stretch either.

Thanks! You've made me content in the past, too, so if there's anything you want to campaign for, let me know. :)

King Ietrin: Died X years before his coronation. XD