December 27, 2013

In Which Aldhein Takes a Cue

March 26, 1184

"So... thanks for helping out today."

It was insufficient gratitude and Aldhein knew it. He'd be going all out with Alsina's birthday present, and her Christmas present, and every random present he could get her between. And then the same all next year, and the year after. He still wasn't sure if that would be enough.

What sort of wonderful soul was so willing to swallow her own bruised feelings and help out with another woman's delivery of her husband's bastard? Especially when she herself was unlikely to conceive again and not pleased about that fact?

But Alsina just flashed a small smile. She was still angry with him--probably would be for a while--but she might as well have said it was the least she could have done. How? "Well... Aydelle and the baby needed the help, didn't they? I may be angry with Aydelle, but I don't want her hurt or dead.

"And little Cenric didn't conceive himself. It would be unreasonable to hold any of this against him, even if I'm not as comfortable with him as I'd like to be one day." As she'd like to be. What in God's name had Aldhein done to deserve this woman? More likely that he didn't. "I mean... he's the closest thing I'll ever have to another child, isn't he?"

"What about grandchildren?"

"Grandchildren are different. You love them and love them and love them, but at the end of the day, you still have to hand them back to their parents."

And she would have known that from watching Aldhein with his grandchildren from Eilyssa. But weren't they practically her grandchildren too? She was the closest they had to a grandmother now--and even though she wasn't much older than their mother, she'd never failed them there. If she really wanted to be a second mother to Aldhein's new little son, she'd do it, and she'd do it well. Alsina didn't do family halfway. That was a cue Aldhein had to take.

"Is there anything I can do to make this up to you?"

"Mmm... just avoid getting in trouble from now on, all right? I'll forgive you eventually." That was sooner than he'd been expecting. God damn. "Nora got me in touch with Lord Severin's stepmother. She went through a similar thing, and she's given me some good advice. Once I heal up a bit more, I hope I'll be able to make the most of it."

"I know you will." He slung his arm around her shoulder and gently tugged her toward him. He wouldn't have blamed her if she pulled away, but she didn't. Guilty though he was, he felt better than he had in months.

"You've already been better about this than any of us could have hoped for. Aydelle and Cenric won't forget that. I know I won't."

NEXT CHAPTER:

5 comments:

Van said...

So... 2013 is almost over.

Can't say I'm sad about that.

Ekho said...

Naw, Cenric is a sweet name. I knew that Alsina would step up for the baby, and who knows, maybe she'll develop a fondness for him and he to her?
As for Aldhein, I think I'd be doing the same and showering her with gifts also, but Alsina is right - all she really needs now is time.

Van said...

Eehee... he's named Cenric because I'm not a big fan of Aydelle's father's name (Fardred... though, if she has another son, which she might--I don't need Aydelle to have another baby, but I don't need her to not have one either--he'll probably get that name). I'm thinking Cenric was maybe an uncle or grandfather? There will be an explanation when there needs to be one.

A fondness between Alsina and Cenric would not be the strangest thing that ever happened in this story. ;)

Yeah, the main thing at this point is time. Though hell yeah, he'd better give her presents. ;)

Penelope said...

Awwwwwww!

Van said...

:)