October 28, 2013

In Which Aldhein Takes His Time

August 27, 1183

"The duke isn't here?"

Normally Aldhein was the one saying those words in this study, normally as a statement rather than a question. But today that was Aydelle, and ever since she'd enrolled the girls in the school she'd been here from dawn to dusk for the overtime wages, so she'd had plenty of time to hear that the duke was out at Tetran and the duchess was calling on Lady Rona. She'd only asked as a formality.

And what to make of that. Unless she wanted to talk--and Aydelle never wanted to talk--there was only one reason why she'd be seeking out Aldhein, and that... hadn't really been a reason for a while. There had been one instance two months prior, when she'd been in need of comforting and he'd happened to be around, but apart from that, any relapses had been few and far between in the past several years.

And if this was to be one of them... "Um. The duke's study? Is that such a good idea?"

"I don't want sex." But she closed the door anyway.

Aldhein abandoned the desk and stepped around it to meet her in the center of the room. Was it the money, maybe? He could afford to help her out, but he wouldn't have guessed she'd been willing to ask... "Aydelle--"

"I'm pregnant."

"Oh." The money would have been an easier conversation. But perhaps she just trusted him as a confidante? She did have a lot of lovers. Any one of them could have been...

Actually, what were the odds that it was his? She could have had a whole other baby since the time before the last. "Um... how far along?"

"Arydath said about two months?"

Shit. Of course she had. "How many...?"

"That was kind of a low point for me. There was just you and one other at the time, and... well, I know it isn't hers."

...Shit. "I see." And what the hell was he going to tell Alsina? "Look, Aydelle..."

"Oh, you don't have to be involved if you don't want to." That was what she thought he'd worry about? Wasn't there another seven months to worry about that? "I don't expect your time, or your money--"

"Aydelle, I'll give you the money. You work long hours, and your husband left you nothing, and the girls will be starting school." And so will the new one, eventually. "The money doesn't matter. It's the time I'll have to think about." That, and a little more. What oh what oh what was he going to tell Alsina? Never mind his children.

"Then take all the time you need to decide."

"All right." He'd certainly need it. "Um... this might be an awkward question, but do you know if there's any easy way to break this to my wife?"

NEXT CHAPTER:

5 comments:

Van said...

Afternoon? What?

Anyway, voting for the university name is still open through the end of the month. Possibly a day or two longer, since some upcoming real life crap may or may not push my already destabilized emotions over the edge this week and I may need to take a day or two off.

Ekho said...

Eeeek I wonder whose going to take the baby, I mean, maybe Aldhein's wife will be open to negotiation? :S As long as they keep the baby somehow, whether it stays with Aydelle or not, I'm sure both parents will look after it somehow.

Van said...

I'm thinking at this point, there's no reason why the baby wouldn't live with Aydelle, and Aldhein is bound to meet the kid eventually either way. He just needs to decide whether or not he wants to be "Dad" or just some friend of Mom's who might look somewhat familiar--and since it will have an impact on Alsina's life, he does have to keep her in the know, even though she'll likely be pissed off and/or hurt.

morgaine2005 said...

Aldhein ... *facepalm* At least when you got into this sort of jam with Eilyssa there wasn't any other woman in the picture to get hurt ... and keeping Roderick from getting hurt was Geneva's responsibility, not yours.

Although I guess he wins points for instantly being willing to support the baby financially and for taking Aydelle at her word when she says it's his. I mean, given her sexual history, anybody with a misogynistic streak or from a heavily misogynistic culture could be ... maybe not forgiven, but understood if he doubted the baby was his. But Aldhein at least is believing her, and willing to help.

Poor Alsina, though ... does she even know about Aldhein's, uh, extracurricular activities? And if she doesn't ...

Poor woman. Poor baby. Poor everybody.

And I hope life starts getting better for you soon, Van. :)

Van said...

Yeah, Aldhein could have learned from his mistakes a bit there (not that he'd ever think of Eilyssa as a mistake). And no, he wasn't breaking any promises to anyone back then, unlike now. :S

But yeah, I don't think Aydelle was expecting the offer of financial backing, or even that he'd believe her when she said she was the only man she was sleeping with at the time. So he does get points for that, even if he loses them with the whole cheating on his wife thing.

I can't imagine that Aldhein tells Alsina when he sleeps with other women, which... should be his first clue that maybe he shouldn't be sleeping with other women. Alsina may suspect that Aldhein isn't entirely faithful to her--I get the sense that she feels she doesn't "satisfy" him--and she may even justify it in her mind with "men sleep around" or some other crap... but I think if she got concrete proof of Aldhein fooling around, or an outright admission from him, she'd still be shocked.

Thanks. I got out of the thing that I was really dreading, but that was mainly the result of my breaking down and admitting that I couldn't deal with it right now, which of course pissed some people off and resulted in a whole new set of problems. I honestly do not expect to see a light at the end of the tunnel any time soon.