September 23, 2014

In Which Camaline Is Out of Place

March 14, 1187

"My apologies again for my brother." If Octavius hadn't just lost his son--if Camaline herself hadn't just lost her best friend--she wouldn't have said it. She held no responsibility for Ietrin's behavior. Ietrin himself ought to have apologized.

But Ietrin never did any such thing, and today of all days, Octavius would need apologies where they were due.

"I'm just relieved he finally left. Fourteen may require a more substantial reward, but regardless, tell Dea she can have her pick of the pantries when you see her next."

"If you don't get to her first." But he couldn't have called her to his study just to tell her that. Nor had he apparently wished to discuss Ietrin's content--and after all these years of living in the same castle, they'd never once called upon each other for idle chitchat. "I doubt that's why you wanted to speak with me."

"Indeed, it is not." Her father-in-law--was he her father-in-law, still?--crossed his arms. His eyes, earlier brimming on the threat of a blink, had run dry. "I know we've had our differences, but I want you to know that you will always have a home here if you choose it. I have no intention of casting out the mother of my grandson, even if my son isn't here to hold us together."

Grateful though she was, she was not surprised. Her father-in-law was a better man than some. "Thank you."

"You should also know that Sparron designated a portion of his inheritance for you, and that I will honor this. I'll keep the money in the accounts for now, but if you ever want to withdraw some of it, all you have to do is ask. It will all be released to you in the event of my death, or if you choose to leave my household sooner for whatever reason."

"He didn't need to do that." She was a princess, after all. Her brother might have been an ass, but he would not have had it said that the king's own sister was a penniless beggar.

"He did. Good people make a point to look out for their families, and hell have no mercy on the fool who tells me that my son was not a good man." He brushed a stray hair off his shoulder, then returned his hand to his elbow in a swift slide. "I do believe he cared for you, though perhaps not in the way any of us might have hoped."

"We were best friends. We were not in love, but it was a love nonetheless and I shall continue to cherish it."

"It eases me to hear it." His body and voice disagreed. But she'd overheard him and Renata speaking the night before, and she thought they had been right. Sparron's life had been far too short, but at least, when he'd gone, it had still been his. Perhaps a short life was better than a long one owned by illness, and perhaps--if nothing else--they could take comfort in that.

"Camaline, can I ask you--?"

But he cut himself off with a shake of his head. "Never mind. I'd rather not know."

If he'd been about to ask what she'd thought he might, then it wasn't her place to answer anyway.



Van said...

I miss sleep.

Winter said...

I was hoping this would be the conversation! Camaline and Octavius never seemed like best buddies, but they're definitely of a type who could sort out a mature arrangement that is considerate of everyone. And a continued relationship, whether it's at Tetran or not, will be good for Prior. He doesn't need any more fracturing in his family right now.

And kudos to Camaline for wanting to respect Sparron's decision on what to reveal to his father. The Sparron that met Vera was a lot less anxious, but if there is anything he might still worry about, 'disappointing' his father would be it.

Van said...

On their own, Camaline and Octavius never would have gravitated to each other, but they both love Sparron and they both love Prior, so that's what matters to them at the moment. And while they've never been buddy-buddy, you're right, they do react maturely to one another. Aside from that, Octavius isn't about to toss anyone out on their ass, especially if he plans on keeping their child in his household (Prior has to keep official residence at Tetran now that he's the heir, though if Camaline did decide to move out, some sort of joint arrangement could be made). Even if Camaline does leave eventually, she'll still see Octavius and his family from time to time.

Camaline, being in a similar situation herself, has always been very respectful of his privacy and who he discloses his secrets to (and vice versa). I think Octavius is steadfast enough in his love for Sparron that it wouldn't have mattered much at this point, but if Sparron wanted to take his personal life to the grave, Camaline won't stop that.

Penelope said...

It surprises me that Octavius never really noticed what sort of relationship Camaline and Sparron had. Maybe he didn't want to notice for fear of what he would notice.

Ag, I just keep tearing up!

Van said...

He probably had some inkling, but you're right; he probably didn't want to think too much about it.