June 6, 2014

In Which Nora Calls It a Beginning

December 26, 1185

Following Maesflein's execution, autumn had passed quietly for Nora, the only remarkable event being the reveal of Alsina's miracle pregnancy (which, technically... that would have been a summer instance). This hadn't bothered her. In truth, since she'd watched that man breathe his last--since she'd tried and failed to keep poor Ilvina comfortable in her last hours--since she'd driven that knife into that monster's scrotum--she'd had enough to want to call it a year.

The only complaint Nora had about the autumn of 1185 was that it had happened at all. She'd spent those months feeling morose and exhausted and done with the world, wanting little more than to curl up in bed and sleep until winter. She'd wondered more than once if menopause had sneaked up on her, but each month had so far proven her wrong. Regardless, she felt she'd aged more since September than she had in the decade prior. She'd told herself it must have been Raia's birthday--she was old enough to have a thirty-year-old stepdaughter!--but that couldn't have been it. More likely... she'd just had enough for one year.

But the year was almost over now. Christmas had come, and--judging by what little moonlight she perceived in her half-slumber--now it had gone. They'd had the family over. Some had stayed the night, some hadn't. They'd see them all again for New Year's at Celina and Ovrean's. Then again for her birthday, when she'd no doubt feel younger than she did now.


She stirred. It wasn't Severin's voice, but it was a man's, and not a stranger's--even if she couldn't place it. She may have imagined it. That foggy purgatory between dreaming and wakefulness was not devoid of delusion. "Mmm?"

"Nora!" A hand fell to her shoulder; she flinched, realizing too late that it couldn't have been Maesflein. "Sorry..."

Indeed, Maesflein wouldn't have apologized. Nora lifted her eyelids as Atlas held the earth. "...Isidro?"

Her stepson-in-law, scar prominent even in the night. With Riona close to term, the pair of them had opted to keep their family off the road for the night. If she could guess at the one thing he'd wake her for, then that had been the right choice. "Is Riona having the baby?"


Of course she was. "Who's with her now?"

"Just Alya. But I sent Lyssa to get Xeta and CeeCee to get Raia."

Xeta and Raia would do--especially if the young girls were intent on seeing the birth, which was no doubt the case of they were up. Assuming all went well, at any rate. Nora sat up and nudged Severin awake--just in case. "How does she feel?"

"Not any different from the others, if that's what you're asking. Should I send for Arydath anyway?"

"Arydath?" Severin pried his head from the pillow and groaned. "What the--?"

"Riona's having the baby." He'd probably guessed as much, but it didn't hurt to be clear in the hazy hours. "No, I think it should be fine. If things get out of hand, Aerina's much closer anyway."

"I'll trust your judgment there." Isidro offered her a hand and helped her to her feet; in the drowsiness of the hour, it was a fight to find the floor. "I'm sorry to end your year like this."

Nora shook her head. "It's fine. Let's call it a beginning."



Van said...

In light of recent childbirth deaths, and in case the not-obviously-miserable preview isn't enough, I'll assure everyone right now that both Riona and the baby are doing just fine.

Also, I wonder if it ever occurred to any of the Maxis animators that their Sims have a more natural getting-out-of-bed pose when someone is standing in their way than they do when that part of the floor is clear. I don't know about you, but the covers don't magically droop down my body as I push myself to a slight incline and more or less slide out of bed...

Rachael said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Penelope said...

*sigh of relief* I am so glad that it was just Riona giving birth. As soon as I saw Izzy standing there, I could have sworn that something had gone horribly wrong. What a dour fellow to wake-up to. lol And hasn't he ever heard of knocking?

Van said...

Izzy is usually a pretty grim messenger, so it's a bit disorienting that he's not bringing definite-awful news. XD

Heh. Except when I was in university, when I had a lock on my bedroom door, everyone who's woken me up has done so by coming in and nudging me, though in my case, knocking isn't sufficient (though an alarm will do the trick assuming it is a blaring horrible sound; switch it to radio mode and I'm just going to sleep well into the afternoon).