July 31, 2014

In Which Laralita Is Received Unconventionally

November 17, 1186

"That... wasn't quite the reception I expected," Farilon admitted, voicing Laralita's thoughts to the letter. "Did we catch them off-guard? I thought that was why Ren made you write to Devidra: so she could make the necessary preparations."

"We did make good time. Perhaps they're running behind somewhat." But from what Laralita knew, Devidra's household--even if it wasn't truly Devidra's household anymore--was a tightly-run ship. Unless perhaps Ramona had taken up most of those responsibilities, in which case... well, she couldn't have expected too much, unless Ramona had proven to have the same knack for delegation as Laralita herself. "Odd that the steward would lead us through a side entrance, though."

"He might be new. Doesn't Devidra have a habit of firing stewards before she even breaks them in?"

"Yes, but even if it's his first day on the job, he ought to know where the front door is." And he had managed to find the king's study without difficulty! "He must have been instructed to bring us here, though I'm unsure why Adrius would want a word before we see your sister."

"Maybe she's unwell? She is in the family way, isn't she?"

"Yes, but it's still odd that he'd prefer to greet us here rather than--"

The argument went unfinished as the door opened and the steward stepped in, followed by a handsome young man who could have only been King Adrius--what with the velvet tunic and the startling eyes and the leather strap across his forehead. Regal, but quietly so, not pompous and obnoxious like her stepson. Mona no doubt found him a welcome change.

"Queen Laralita. Prince Farilon." Adrius bowed, for all he had to have been well aware that Laralita was no longer a queen. "I hope I'm not interrupting anything."

He, doing the interrupting? In his own study? "Of course not, your majesty." She stood and curtsied in turn, her son bowing alongside her. "An honor to make your acquaintance."

"Likewise--but do make yourselves comfortable." As if to lead by example, Adrius sat down at his desk. Laralita and Farilon took the cue and returned the bench, leaving only the steward on his feet.

"You see... we have rather a lot to discuss."

Did they? She might have considered that an explanation for her presence in the study had she thought it at all possible. They'd never corresponded, only ever acknowledging one another through Mona's letters, and she no longer held a shred of political influence in Naroni or Dovia. What could he have possibly wanted to say to her that was so important that it couldn't wait until she'd seen her daughter and grandchildren?

"With all due respect, your majesty, I can't think of anything urgent we two must discuss."

"Oh, it won't just be we two." With that, Adrius looked to the steward--who surely had even less cause for serious discussion. What on earth was going on? "Uncle, maybe it's better if you explain."


"I suppose." After a quick swallow, the not-steward stepped forth to Laralita's seat. "Your majesty, we apologize for the deception, and this really is your daughter's story to explain, but I hope you'll understand why you have to hear this before you can see her."


"Look, your daughter was very young when she was sent here, and she hadn't had a chance to figure out what she really wanted..."



Van said...

In case it was too vague, Mona herself is not pregnant; it's Anna who's "in the family way" (due in March). ;)

As for why this update is so much earlier than my usual posting time, here's the thing: I'm going to be out of town Saturday and Sunday because my grandparents are moving into a new apartment and there's going to be a moving/Grandma's belated birthday party on Saturday. I'll be staying at my grandparents' new place, and given that they've never owned a computer... yeah, I'm thinking the chances of them having internet are slim to none. There may be some public wi-fi in the building, or perhaps some "generous" neighbors, but I'm not going to count on it.

So, instead of posting on Saturday, I'm going to try to post tomorrow, though I can't guarantee for sure that it will happen. If not, though, I'll be home late afternoon/early evening on Sunday, and should be able to post that night.

Ekho said...

Yeah I was wondering about that. Everyone in Naroni would hear updates about 'Mona' who is in fact Anna...
Hopefully Laralita takes this well :S Either way I'm glad they're being honest - without jeopardizing any agreement/bond between the kingdoms.

Have fun with your grandparents! Maybe it will be nice to have a break from technology - just for a day or two though haha

Van said...

Yep. As far as Naroni is concerned, Mona has two children and a third on the way. :S

Laralita has grown up since Roderick died, so hopefully she can at least keep any negative feelings to herself and focus on how much better this worked out for her daughter (and keep the secret safe for the sake of international harmony). That said, I'm sure Mona is bracing herself for otherwise and I don't blame her at all.

Thanks! I'll probably take my technology with me, but I don't know if I'll get much chance to use it. XD

Ann said...

Kind of an ominous beginning, isn't it? I really hope Laralita will take it well, or as well as may be. A least she knows by now that rank isn't everything. Given that she seems quite content with her new life, with her garden and all... well, she won't run off to tell Ietrin, that's for sure I think.

Van said...

To be fair, I think Zareth could make Santa Claus sound ominous. XD

Laralita... yeah, she's gained some perspective. I doubt she'll be happy about it, but she may acknowledge that Mona had other priorities and deal with it like an adult. And yep--I don't think Laralita has any interest in allying herself with Ietrin over anything. He lost any chance of her cooperation when he threw her and her kids out.