June 20, 2014

In Which Lonriad Isn't Stopped

March 11, 1186

"How are you feeling?"

Concerned, yet calm and casual. Rudolphus, up until the last few days, had been similarly composed. Denial, Lonriad had concluded; his older sons were in denial. His three younger children, having seen peers lose parents and realizing their own were so much older, were well aware that he was halfway past the velvet curtain--too aware, perhaps.

But as the parents of his older sons' friends had perished, Lonriad and Viridis and Laveria had all lived on. Death was for other people's parents. Had Laveria not gone so suddenly, Severin still would have been shocked. His mother had, as far as his mortal mind was concerned, lived long enough to live forever. His father had lived even longer.

And for all Lonriad would have loved a little more time, one day, Severin would understand that nearly eighty-five years was more than many got. "Last few weeks? Not so great. Last eight decades? Well, I've made my mistakes, but at least I got the time to correct them."


"Sit with me."

Severin had never much liked to do as he was told, but he did so anyway. He probably did have a better grasp of reality than his older brother did, having lost his mother. Still a shock after all these years, though.

"At this point, you probably thought I'd never die."

His son stared over at the wall. Might've been tough to look at him. "I've made a point not to think about it."

"Flattering. Not practical--" He coughed. He pretended not to see Severin flinching. "--but flattering. I trust your kids are well? And their kids?"

"Barring any developments since I've left."

"Good. I've told your brother to make a donation in my name to Raia's university." He wouldn't live to see the first of his descendents attend, but this would be the next best thing. "Make sure it gets put to good use. Since those kids will be putting off marriage a few years, maybe something for the inevitable pent-up urges: correspondence classes for students in trouble, maybe, or childcare or... you know, emergency mixtures. Something that will get the monks' knickers in a twist."

"The Duke of Luperia Center for Reproductive Options. It would ruffle a few feathers."

"Damn right it would. Besides, I've spent a good nine tenths of my life making the ladies' pleasure a priority; I'm not about to let something as mundane and commonplace as death--" Another cough. And a couple more. "--stop me there."

"Interesting phrasing. But yes, I think such services would be helpful." Severin smiled, taking the opportunity to glance him over. Probably looking for any hint of recovery, the poor kid. "Perhaps you'll be up and about for the opening ceremonies."

"I'll have a splendid view from the next plane, I'm sure." And hopefully that view would include Nora's cleavage. A naughty thought, but he'd take that as a perk of dying.


"Oh, don't you worry that you came here for nothing. I was promised smoked bacon for breakfast tomorrow, so damned if I go before then." Never mind the woman who'd be bringing that bacon--still just as beautiful as the day they'd wed. She'd been so much more than he deserved. Maybe in some other life, he'd get a chance to make it up to her. "Besides, if your stepmother is amiable to the idea, I'm hoping for one last roll in the sack."



Van said...

I think I approached this one from too many angles at once. :S

I'll confess to prolonging Old Lonriad's random lifespan a couple of times now. But it got to the point where, no matter how reluctant I was, it was just time to let him go. But I'm sure he'll live on in spirit, and in at least a handful of his horny descendants.

Penelope said...

Eh, I think Lonriad might be in a little bit of denial here himself. This might be the last time he ever sees Severin, and he wants to talk about birth control and screwing the missus? He is lucky though to have reached 85 and still be so lucid. Aww, Lonriad will be missed. :(

Van said...

Quite possibly. Then again, I doubt profound death bed speeches are really Lonriad's style.

He did get to live a good long life, especially considering the times. He will be missed, though. :(