September 4, 2013

In Which Lettie Should Be Surprised

October 9, 1182

It had seemed like a good idea at the time.

Yesterday had been a well-deserved happy day for Lettie's marital family. In the morning, her father-in-law had returned from his brief Carvallon pilgrimage, just in time for Searle's stepsister's wedding that afternoon. It had been nice enough for an outdoor ceremony, on a hill where Esela and her twin had often played as children, with a meadow nearby for the subsequent dance and feast. It had also been Lettie and Searle's anniversary, and Searle had forgotten, but that was fine because Lettie had too.

And more than once that evening, Lettie could have sworn she'd caught Jadin sizing her up, smiling at her, even winking once. It happened frequently enough that she'd feared Searle had noticed--but if he had, he'd shrugged it off on account of... well, Jadin.

But then today, Jadin had stopped by with a shawl Lettie had apparently forgotten--one she'd asked Searle to watch, figured--while Searle happened to be out with Lonriad and Cuthron. An offer of a biscuit and a cup of water hadn't seemed totally inappropriate, so she'd made it and they'd got to talking. He'd mentioned that Xeta had bought new bedding. Lettie had been thinking about new bedding herself, so she'd made her inquiries, and Jadin told her he'd always liked her and Searle's bedding just fine. She'd figured he was just being nice, so she'd asked for a second opinion, and he'd let himself be led into the bedroom. He'd flopped back onto the mattress and deemed the whole ensemble a pinnacle of comfort; not sure she agreed, Lettie did the same.

And then this happened.

"Jadin..." she moaned as his tongue left her mouth, replaced by a much firmer extrusion against her leg. Yes, this was fun. Yes, it had been a while. But... "Jadin..."

"Yes, that's it." His nose brushed her jawbone as he burrowed into her neck, pursed lips an intermittent presence on her skin. "Say my name..."

Yes. Yes, this had to stop. "Jadin, slow down."

Not having any experience with men of Jadin's reputation, she wasn't sure if she'd expected him to heed her so easily. But, to his credit and her surprise, he raised his head, and then the rest of him, even the erection poking at her thigh. "You all right?"

"Yes, I'm fine. And it's not as if I'm not enjoying this, but..." She gnawed on her tongue, not to the same pleasuring effect when Jadin had done the same. Things hadn't been going well in her marriage--they hadn't been going well in quite a while--but surely this couldn't help? "But Searle..."

Jadin blinked. Lettie wondered if he wanted to ask the same thing that part of her was asking herself. But didn't Searle do the same thing? Often and frequently? And leave you to clean up the mess when it didn't work out? Isn't that why everything is so horribly fucked up now? The damage is done. Why shouldn't you enjoy yourself?

But he didn't. He might have been a womanizer but perhaps, at heart, he was still a gentleman. "All right. If you don't feel comfortable, then we won't do this."

"Thank you." Was that sufficient? Was it really that easy? Unless that night with Sparron and Camaline counted, Lettie had never strayed before. Was there a proper etiquette for aborted affairs? "And... sorry, I suppose."

"Don't apologize. There are two of us here, after all--and everyone is entitled to second thoughts." His chin tipped upright, eyes shut. It wasn't impossible, maybe, that he was having thirds. "And I don't want to hurt my baby brother either."

"I know you don't."

"And this would hurt him, even if he does kind of deserve it." Jadin pulled his arm out from behind Lettie's back and slumped back against the headboard. "And even if... ah, never mind."

"If what?" He shook his head. In keeping with the last several months, Lettie wasn't satisfied. "Never mind what?"

"Do you really want to know?"

She nodded. "Would I have asked if I didn't?"

"Well..." Jadin swallowed. Lettie frowned; it wasn't like her brother-in-law to be nervous. "Searle was kind of feeling bad about the lack of... you know, so he... kind of asked me to do this."

Of course he had. Because he thought that was the problem. "I really should be surprised, shouldn't I?"

"Probably." But like he'd proven before, Jadin seemed to understand.



Van said...

I'm surprised this got up before midnight. I've been crazy behind on everything this week. :S

Van said...

Also (so she says a million years later), I'm going to be running a small contest soon, so in order to remind people of my "main" blog that hasn't been updated in forever (even though the contest will be pimped over here as well), I've added a new poll for the first time in forever.

Mimus said...

Why doesn't surprise me that more? -.-'
Searle seriously needs a reality check. Not everyone is okay with having sex with someone that isn't their partner. All well and good if he doesn't mind his wife having other lovers, but would it have been soo hard to ask her if she wants that?
And here I was wondering a while back why I can't stand Searle...
Well, that scene doesn't explains my dislike, but it gives it another reason. <.<

Van said...

I think Searle means well, but yeah, his approach is pretty misguided. Telling Lettie that he'd be okay with her taking other lovers while he takes some time to recover is one thing, but sending his brother over to seduce her is quite another. It's a good thing that Jadin can take no for an answer.

Penelope said...

Wait-- Why would this have hurt Searle if he had asked Jadin to do it in the first place? And what kind of game is Searle playing here when Lettie already has two kids by another man (also at Searle's behest)? And why in the heck would Jadin tell Lettie about what Searle asked him to do? That's awkward because:

1) It indicates that Searle has been talking to Jadin about his sex life with his wife.
2) Way to make Lettie feel attractive, Jadin!
3) If that sort of a request wasn't such a par for the course with Searle, that could have had serious repercussions for Lettie's relationship with Searle and with Jadin.

And most of all eww... The idea of the brother-in-law is eww. I mean, I know they aren't siblings by blood but I have a brother-in-law and the idea of that is equally disgusting to the idea of my actual brother. It is don't!

If I were her, I would have packed up my kids and moved back in with my family a long time ago.

Van said...

Good question! I think Jadin might have figured after the fact that Searle hadn't really thought this through--like he thought he was okay with it, but that might not have really been the case. It does seem like the sort of thing Jadin would think Searle would do.

As for why Jadin told her... well, Jadin has always been pretty upfront. And I think Lettie is someone who ultimately values honesty over sensitivity.

Heheh. I don't have a brother-in-law, but yeah, I could see how that would be an ick factor for... probably most people. But I guess if Lettie can get past Searle's ex-lover, brother-in-law might not be an issue.

Penelope said...

Yeah, if they had gone through with it and Searle had gotten hurt, he would have had no one to blame but himself. lol I just remembered that mini-story in Don Quioxte where a man asked his best friend to seduce his wife in order to prove his wife's virtue and fidelity (or lack thereof). There again, that guy had no one to blame but himself when everything went horribly, horribly wrong.

It would seem to me at this point that Lettie and Searle are no longer in love, if they ever were. I mean, if Searle feels bad about Lettie not getting any then shouldn't he be making more of an effort to seduce her himself?!? It's like saying, "I feel bad that you're dying of thirst but no, I do not feel bad enough to let you drink from my faucet."

Van said...

*makes mental note to read Don Quixote*

Yeah, I don't know if Searle and Lettie were ever really in love, though they both wanted to be and might have even thought they were at some point. Thinking back to their earlier interactions, before everything went to shit, they sort of seem to have more of an older sister/little brother dynamic than a lovers dynamic. And now they have all this history, and I wonder if maybe they've developed a sort of sexual aversion to one another. It does seem very strange to picture the two of them together now. :S

Penelope said...

Oh yeah! I think you'd like it. Don Quixote is hilarious. I highly recommend the Edith Grossman translation. :)

Van said...

I'll check it out next time I'm at the library. :)

Anonymous said...

... Are we sure Searle is still on the wagon? Because this was a spectacularly bad idea, even for Searle. If he was drunk when he suggested it, it might be a bit more forgivable.

I mean, first of all, there's the "brother-in-law -- ew!" factor. There's the fact that he's putting Jadin in an incredibly awkward spot. There's also the fact that, you know, if he's ok with Lettie taking lovers, he could tell her that. And I'm sure Lettie could find somebody more to her taste.

Somebody who doesn't have that ridiculous mustache, for starters. ;) I'd forgotten just how lol-worthy it is.

But on the plus side ... yay for Hamrick and Esela? I'm sure Florian will appreciate his new daughter-in-law!

(And wow, that was fast on their parts!)

Van said...

Good question. He's been on the wagon as far as we've seen, but who knows what he's doing when he's not present in a post. This certainly seems like a drunk idea. :S

Now that you mention it, I wonder what Lettie's taste really is. I mean, she didn't pick Searle. I guess we'll see who (if anyone) she goes after if Searle actually goes about this the smart way and tells her that he's fine with her taking lovers.

Yeah, that moustache is ridiculous. Jadin's lucky that he's apparently a smooth talker.

Hamrick and Esela didn't waste any time! I guess hatred of the dating scene is one motivating factor for a whirlwind wedding. But yes, I imagine Florian and Esela will either get along very well, or the house will become a battlefield.

Penelope said...

*blinks* Wait, you mean Florian has the ability to get along with people? People who aren't Thetis? hehehe

And oh I loled at the mustache comment, Morganna! I forgot that I had a similar revelation while reading this chapter. Looking at the first and second images, I half expected to see his face with no mustache. Then the reveal happened, resulting in some thoughts of, "Really, Lettie? Really?" hehehehehe

Van said...


Yeah, that moustache is really something else...

Kayla nunes said...

When a man from the 12th century is more progressive than men from our current century. Oh Jadin, you womanizing fool <3

Also this reminds me of a few posts back when Morgan showed up with Viridis and Sev & Nora just assumed the babe was Jadin's, and then proceeded to take her in. <3 ugh I just love the Kemorins so much lol

Van said...

Quite the streak of genetic brilliance, that family! For the most part, at least.