August 16, 2013

In Which Ceira's Planning Is Perfect

August 13, 1182

"Ceira, you can tell me all the lies you want, but I'm never going to believe that having me for supper at your in-laws' place was Thetis's idea." Clearly, Esela didn't know Thetis very well, as Thetis absolutely would have suggested that Ceira's twin come and eat with them some time. She was right, though; in this instance, it was all Ceira. "Regardless, I suppose I have to thank you, because Eleara has gotten it into her head that I need to be set up again. So, thank you, for getting me out of yet another awkward meeting with an idiot who makes me want to tear my breasts off just so I'd have something to throw at him."

Thetis might have blushed at something like that, but at least Florian would get a kick out of Esela. And so would, hopefully, someone else. "You're welcome, sister. Though believe me--the idea was all Thetis's."

And it must have been so difficult for the brutally honest Podrag not to spill the beans! But he sat by her side, silent like he'd never been in his life, nodding along. He'd get his reward and more when they got home, she'd decided. Maybe they'd even conceive that baby they'd started talking about.

"Of course it was." Esela clicked her tongue. She may not have known Thetis, but she may have known Ceira all too well--twins and all. No matter. "Though you needn't lie to me. I suppose you have the right to pity me if you wish--though I should hope not for some perceived loneliness, but instead for the constant stream of pigs that everyone I know insists on parading in front of me."

"You'll meet the right one some day." Maybe sooner than you think.

"I suppose it's not impossible that I will. I just wish that, if people must set me up, they would at least make a reasonable guess as to my idea of 'right' every once in a while." Esela sighed. And to be fair... yes, many of her suitors had not been the most tolerable of men. But surely she was not yet at the point where those fools tarred the male species as a whole? She was only seventeen, after all.

Then again, she was... seventeen. "I can talk to everyone who keeps setting you up, if you like."

Her sister snorted. "Well, can't have everyone thinking I'm bitter, can we?"

A fine-legged, broad-chested figure made his entrance from the stairs. Ceira smirked. Just in time. He'd go for the door, no doubt wanting to get a little more work done in the orchard, but even Hamrick wasn't unstoppable. "Oh, if they have any brains at all, they'll understand. There's nothing much worse than a dreadful suitor, isn't there? Especially when it's dreadful suitor after dreadful suitor after dreadful suitor..."

That brought her brother-in-law to a halt. Perfect.

"And those after the dozen before!"

And now he was looking. Good boy, Hamrick. "And you're hardly the only one, I'm sure. I mean, Podrag and I were very lucky, finding each other so easily; I'm sure there are plenty out there who can relate to your tales of courtship woes."

"I'll say," Hamrick sniffed, prompting little more than a glance from Esela. Had she perhaps caught on? Surely there would have been a glare... "You know, just last week, my meddlesome little sister had the gall to introduce me to some humorless, mind-numbingly dull woman she works with at Sir Ashe's castle. I spent the entire evening wishing for an earthquake to liven things up. I suppose my sister thought all I'd care about were looks."

"Isn't that how it always is?" Esela agreed as Hamrick joined her on the couch--not that Ceira had left him with much of a choice for seating. "Here, have this attractive person. He's so handsome that you won't care about the sheer lack of anything behind his pretty face!"

"Or the fact that she's an awful person! Why would you set me up with someone actually smiled while kicking puppies?"

"Or who openly believes that the only reason a woman should leave the kitchen is if she plans on pleasuring him in the bedroom?"

"Or who thinks that liars ought to be stoned, but perverts? Oh, how can they be held accountable when the cleavage was right there?"

"Don't even get me started." Esela's face contorted into a mock-apelike look, arms flexing in frustrated exaggeration as she spat in a lowered, thuggish voice, "'Oh, I'm a man! I do whatever my penis tells me to do; it's not my fault that my brain doesn't work at all!'. Yes, it is. And don't piss on all the men who aren't like that. Excuse me for wanting to hope that there's at least one man out there with the decency to keep his urges under control."

"Or 'Oh, I'm a woman! That's why I can't carry on an intelligent conversation; I only like silly sewing circle gossip!'." And there was Hamrick with the shrill falsetto and half-imagined hair flip. Excellent. "Speak for yourself! I'm depressed enough without people trying to convince me that every woman I'm ever going to meet is pretty much a talking rock."

"Thank you! Half of my suitors seem to wish I was a talking rock!"

And so the shared grievances had formed a bond. Almost time to start browsing dress fabrics.

"Your suitors should court my suitors. The less offensive half can get exactly what they want, and the more offensive half can get exactly what they deserve. Your kitchen bastard and my puppy-kicking witch?"

Esela chuckled--a first for the evening, but hopefully not the last. "What did the world do to deserve their offspring?"

"They can perish together in some not-so-tragic accident before they can reproduce."

No--not a last. And had Hamrick just grinned as Esela's famous snort got the better of her? "A not-so-tragic accident! Wouldn't that be perfect?"

Perfect. Now that it was almost time to speak again, Ceira fought to keep a straight face. Not quite as perfect as this, Esela. "So, would you two like to sit together at supper?"



Van said...

It's been brought to my attention that OpenID and Blogger seem to be having a couple's spat. I tested this using my LiveJournal account through OpenID, and sure enough, all I got were error messages. I don't know if it's specific to this blog or if it's Blogger-wide, but it seems to be beyond my power to fix in either case.

Anonymous and Name/URL commenting are enabled on this blog. Doesn't make the OpenID thing any less of a stupid issue. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Ann said...

Yay for successful matchmaking! XD Would that we could get rid of all idiots before they reproduced! The world would be a much nicer place. ^^

Van said...

Wow, that was quick! XD

The widespread epidemic of backward-thinking sort of spits in the face of natural selection, doesn't it? :S

But yeah, I think Ceira accomplished what she set out to do here. ;)

Morgaine said...

Name/URL commenting ... Why did it take me so long to put that together?

Anyway! Oh, this was fascinating. While Podrag seems to be all Thetis, Hamrick has some Florian in him! Woot!

I am already preparing invitations for the wedding. This ought to be a match made in Naroni-heaven!

Also, if Ceira ever needs some extra cash, she could consider setting up a matchmaking business. Just sayin'.

Van said...

Ceira could absolutely make a good living as a matchmaker! She's a great reader of people, and she enjoys meddling. It's perfect. :)

So far, yep, I think Podrag has taken after his mom for the most part, possibly consciously (he loves his dad, but he finds him exasperating). Hamrick, maybe not so much. ;)

As for the wedding, I would advise watching that "Recent Events" textbox. ;)