September 3, 2014

In Which Cladelia Aspires to Keep

February 2, 1187

"What did Brother Cenhelm have to say?" Cladelia asked as she cleared the last step. She hadn't been sure whether or not to expect Arkon after his meeting--she knew he had something to read for his Rhetoric and Composition class--but she'd just finished some research of her own when Pandora had knocked to inform her of his arrival. The floor masked the words and identities of the voices below, but not their actual presence, and she hadn't heard much of an exchange between the two; considering that Pandora was Arkon's aunt, and that the pair of them typically took to lengthy greetings, he must have had something urgent to discuss.

"I'm such an ass."

Cladelia frowned. Perhaps she came from a place of bias, being his betrothed and all, but she'd never observed particularly... ass-like behavior from Arkon, much to the relief of everyone who'd ever met his father. Then again, she wasn't so naive as to think him a saint. "I doubt Brother Cenhelm said that to your face."

"No. He just made me realize it." Sighing, Arkon pat down on the empty side of the bench. Cladelia took the hint and made her way over. "A while back, I... I paid my sister a visit."

"You never told me that."

"No. I told myself I didn't want to burden you with it. But really, I think I just knew deep down that my behavior was shameful." He slumped over, defeated--though by what, she couldn't quite put her finger on. Something, possibly, to do with his father. "Brother Cenhelm caught me up on some of what I've missed in class, and I needed to hear a lot of it. If only I'd heard it before I dropped in on Rina. It may be a tough life no matter what, but it's still Rina's life--and I tried to take control of it, for my own selfish purposes. I told myself it was for her own good, but it wasn't." He shook his head. "I'm no better than my father, using God to get what he wants."

"Don't say that." Cladelia reached for his hand and squeezed, perhaps a little harder than intended. Her father may have picked Arkon for her, but she'd learned to want to marry him. Had he been at all like his father, that wouldn't have been the case. "Never say that."

"It's true, though. At least where Rina's concerned."

"No. You didn't make her walk to another country when she'd barely recovered from a near-death illness." The details of that, luckily for Rina's sake, where not widely known. But Felron had not made himself popular with the other lords, to the say the least. Her father said that King Oswald and the Earl of Bandera spent most council meetings with their scrutinizing eyes on the man--and often stayed behind to talk amongst themselves, glaring at Felron on his way out. "And for the other thing, you've realized you were wrong--something your father could never do."

Again, Arkon sighed, but a little differently. Maybe a little hopefully. "No, he never could."

"And you will apologize to her, won't you?"

He nodded. "When I find the words, yes."

"Then you're nothing like your father." Cladelia inched over to the middle of the couch and rested her head on his shoulder. She earned an arm around her for her troubles. "Let's keep things that way, all right?"

A gentle thumb spun a lock of her hair about itself, then let it fall to the neckline of her gown. "Wouldn't have it any other way."



Van said...

I'm so not good at this morning thing.

Ann said...

Oooooh, now doesn't this bode well for Arkon! I agree, he's nothing like his father. Not when after that interview with Bother Cenhelm the first words out of his mouth are "I'm such an ass". Though I would change that to "I've BEEN such an ass" since he realized it and isn't happy with being like that.
In any case, good news! Yay! I hope he finds the right words soon, though I think Rina really doesn't care so much about the right words.

As for the morning thing: Join the club. ^^ I'm dreading monday. No more sleeping in and staying up late for at least a month. How will I surive??
Take it as read: I hear ya. ~~)

Van said...

Arkon is as prone to mistake-making as the next fellow, but no, he's definitely not his father. The ability to learn and modify behavior skipped Felron entirely. :S

Yeah, I went back and forth about the tense of that sentence. I ended up going with the present just because it's a fresh wound at this point.

Rina will probably take any acknowledgment of fault there, the sooner the better--wording more or less irrelevant as long as the point gets across. And the sooner the better. So here's hoping Arkon hurries up.

Yeah, I'm just happy I get most of my Fridays off, but four days a week getting up at 6 AM... :S I predict much caffeine consumption.

Hope your new term goes well, though! :)

Penelope said...

Arkon *has* been an ass, but he has been so much worse than that. Too scared of his father to defend his sister under such extreme circumstances? I have no sympathy for him.

Van said...

For sure. He was in the wrong, and he has to apologize.