February 6, 2014

In Which Riona Contemplates the Logical End

August 11, 1184

Riona doubted she'd heard more than four words out of her twin since the funeral. Xetrica had always been the quiet one, especially after she'd married Felron, but the past while had been silent even by her standards.

She couldn't say she blamed her. Her father-in-law, the most reliable buffer against her husband, prey to an apoplexy and now dead after his months-long suffering. Her daughter--her only daughter--practically expelled from the family. And if Riona knew anything about Felron, she'd eat her shoe if his newfound countship hadn't gone to his head.

But Felron wasn't her concern. Not her immediate one, anyway. "Mother said to tell you that her invitation is still open."

Not surprisingly, Xetrica shook her head. "Felron wouldn't allow it."

Of course he wouldn't. Not for the first time, Riona regretted not talking to her mother about Xetrica's future when she'd had the chance, back when they were girls. Their father hadn't been the worst sort of man, but he'd still been... well, a man. He'd assumed that he was doing his daughters a favor by finding them husbands. Ever the obedient daughter, Xetrica wouldn't have dreamed of telling him otherwise, but she'd confided in Riona more than once that she would have preferred joining a convent--she'd always been the most pious of them, after all. At the time, Riona had thought it better to allow Xetrica to approach their parents herself, but that had never happened. And sure, their father might have taken it as pre-wedding jitters, but their mother would have listened...

Now, after all these years of Felron, Riona had to wonder if her sister was still on decent terms with God.

"Mother will fight him, and so will Nearina. Marsden and I will join in too."

"No, none of you should have to."

"Of course we shouldn't have to--but that's because Felron shouldn't be such an ass in the first place." What sort of man kept his wife from her own mother? Not to mention, her daughter. "Look, if you want to spend some time away without leaving the country, you're also welcome to--"


It was the same answer every time. And every time she heard it--no matter how happy she was with Marsden--that old guilty ember flared within Riona's heart. She had been the one to pick between the two prospective husbands, and she'd done so selfishly. A gentle soul like Marsden would have been the husband her sister needed, if she had to have a husband at all. The logical end to Riona and Felron would have been one of them strangling the other in their sleep, but she might have done the world a service if she'd been the one to act first. "Xee..."

Her sister sighed. Before Felron, that would have been a rarity. "I can't leave.

"Leaving would only make things worse."



Van said...

These two looked more or less identical as toddlers and children (except for the eyes), but once they hit teen, Riona started looking exactly like Renata and Xetrica, exactly like Girl Arkon.

Ann said...

Okay, Felron you are now officially on the anvil delivery list! *fumes*
Where is a carrier dragon when you need him?

Also: Sevrina! Yay! <3

Ekho said...

So this is Rina's mother and aunt?
I was thinking, if Felron had any love for his daughter he could have easily hidden her situation, and maybe Rina could have lived an-almost-normal life.
But my impression of him is someone who would do exactly what he did - someone cruel and patronizing, someone so egotistical and full of self-indulging pride. Someone who sees his children (and others for that matter) as tools for his use. I think he would fit in at court in Marlowe >.<
Maybe Rina is the only one who could convince her mother to go away for awhile - I think Riona should send her a letter or something.

Van said...

Ann: The anvil dragon is enjoying his hundred-year nap, unfortunately. But if he were awake, I can't imagine he would be pleased with Felron...

September will be a big month for both Severin and Rina. I will say that. ;)

Ekho: Yep. Xetrica is her mother, Riona is her aunt.

Felron would absolutely fit in at the court of Marlowe! He values his children only in the sense that they are proof of his status and virility, and only if they toe the line and act as he believes they should, and this would go doubly so for his daughter than it does for his sons. And if one of them behaves in ways unsanctioned by him, then they're no longer "worthy" of being called his children, the self-serving prick.

Rina might be able to inspire something in her mother, but I think she's a little angry with Xetrica right now because Xetrica didn't stand up for her. That said, that's not Xetrica's fault; given how long she's been in this marriage, clearly she's found that the best way to ensure her own physical well-being is to avoid pissing off Felron, and standing up for Rina would have pissed him off royally. :S

Penelope said...

How many other children do Riona and Felron have? I know Rina was the only girl. Are the others still quite little? I imagine that Riona was probably so young when she married that she couldn't have imagined what it would mean for her sister, or what guilt she would have to live with. If only their parents had known better when they found themselves intent on having Felron for a son-in-law. :\ Of course, their mother never liked him but hindsight is 20/20.

Penelope said...

*I mean Xetrica was so young.

Van said...

Rina is the second child, and yep, the only girl. Xetrica and Felron have an older son, Arkon, as well as two younger sons, Nythran and Tertius.

Riona and Xetrica were both married at seventeen; their father waited that long because Marsden is younger. So, they were young according to today's standards, but there have been women in Naroni and Dovia who married younger. But seventeen is still young enough to not fully realize such things.

Hindsight is indeed 20/20. Plus foresight was never old Arkon's strong suit.