October 26, 2014

In Which Jeda Cannot Trade Dreams

September 13, 1187

This had been a bad idea.

The note had come the previous. It had tumbled out of the folds of one of Jeda's freshly laundered dresses, placed there by someone who knew she preferred to put them away herself. The writer expressed his condolences for the death of her brother, then told her he was at an inn by the outskirts, and that he'd like to see her the next night if she could make it. He'd signed that note 'Redfreid Radfrar'.

An obvious anagram. Freddard Farrier.

It had been stupid to come. A year ago, Jeda wouldn't have risked it. But she'd been in a hazy grey limbo since Sparron had died, the only swirling lights in the fog her three daughters, and Ietrin's continued ignorance of the fact that she had three daughters. A visit from a friend--even a friend she was foolish to trust--wasn't something she could pass up. So she'd feigned ill and had the trusted nurse sleep in Hollie's nursery. She'd stolen some old clothes from her maid and sneaked out using one of the old routes Mona had made such use of. She'd hired a horse at a public stable and made straight for the inn, not speaking with anyone until she reached it.

She'd given the anagram name to the innkeeper and he'd pointed her to the room. Fred hadn't been there.

But he arrived shortly after she did. "I didn't think you'd come."

"I shouldn't have." A social call to a contract killer. If she ever told anyone about this, they'd think she'd gone the way of her mother. "Why are you here? Is it safe, you coming back to Naroni?"

"I have a job in Dovia. You'll know the details soon enough, but I must ask that you tell no one." He shut the door behind him. The precaution was a formality. If she hadn't said a word about Roderick, whose presence in the land of the living had been to her benefit, why should she mention his involvement in the death of some mark a country away? "I had to pass through Naroni, and I wanted to see you. I couldn't risk coming to the castle, but I--"

"I know. And I hate that castle anyway. I'm glad to be out of it." A smile--she got a smile out of him. It was rare she could say that about a man who wasn't her father or one of her brothers. And it was a lovely smile, but a sad one. He was happy to give her the excuse to leave, grim to know that she'd have to return. "How did you slip the note in, though? Do you have friends in the laundry?"

"I can't name names. If we ever come to live in a better time, when I no longer do what I do and you're rid of Ietrin forever, I'll tell you everything." Oh, what a beautiful time that would be. "How are you? How are the girls? I hear you have a son now?"

Jeda shivered. He would have heard she had a son. Just how much did she trust him, really? She did know his secret...

"Things have been... difficult since Sparron died."

"Of course. My apologies."

"It's fine. It's not as if you can do anything about that." Though, for a moment--for all the lives he'd taken--she thought he'd bring Sparron back to her if he could. No, not thought. Knew. Maybe she did trust him. "Fred, I have to confess something. No one must ever learn of it."

He nodded, slow and gentle, much like the old pony on which she'd learned to ride. That old pony had never let her fall. "Jeda..."

"My son--Fred, I don't have a son. I had another daughter, but I couldn't tell my husband. I couldn't take it any more." Silence. She felt his eyes, but she didn't dare meet them. She didn't wish to see his shock. "I had to lie to him, for both of our sakes. I know it's a huge risk, and that I've probably ruined Hollie's life, but..."

"But you had to." His warm, calloused finger met her eye, taking a tear with it as they parted. "She'll understand when she's older."

Jeda swallowed. Her poor baby. She looked so much like Gennie had at that age. Gennie would have hated to be a boy. "I hope you're right."

"Maybe we should run away. You and me and the girls." He sighed, knowing full well the impossibility of such a thing. "We could go to England. Greece. Turkey. Somewhere Ietrin can't reach us."

For the first time in months, she let herself smile. "That would be a dream."

A pity that they lived in a nightmare.



Van said...

I'm really liking that braid on Jeda.

Mimus said...

True. This hairstyle is somewhat hit or miss, but it doesn't look bad on Jeda.

But phew, the whole time I was expecting someone *cough*Ietrin*cough* jumping out of the shadows and getting her into trouble.
And I really don't like the preview picture there, given the chapter before.

Van said...

I downloaded it with Rona's daughter Aspen in mind, plus a general need for more braids and it's soooo soft-looking. Then I needed a "commoner" hairstyle for Jeda in this post, and lo and behold! It worked so well.

Luckily(?!) for Jeda and Fred, Ietrin has no interest in checking in on how his sick wife is doing. He won't know she left.

Yeah, it's not looking to be a pleasant post...

Winter said...

When I saw the preview photo, I hoped it was Jeda but thought that was wishful thinking! :D

I wish they could run off to Turkey and escape Ietrin. But then, that would complicate any plans for Queen Dea, so best they stay. I think everything will work out all right for the royal ladies. Jeda can be the Queen Mother and have Fred too.

That braid is gorgeous, and I really like it on Jeda. It's a nice mix between feminine and practical, and after years of being forced to wear a crown and play the queen, an easy braid suits Jeda. I like Fred's hair too ;)

Van said...

Yay for disguises? XD

It would indeed complicate plans for Queen Dea. If Jeda ran out, sadly, I don't think Ietrin would feel any more obligation to her daughters than would be politically necessary. But who knows. Maybe Jeda can be Queen Mother one day while honeymooning with Fred in Turkey.

I've been sticking this braid on a few Sims since I downloaded it. ;) It does suit Jeda's personal needs, practical yet pretty and--most importantly for her--free. That ponytail also works well for a travel hair for Fred.

(I've been totally abusing your latest hair dump! I just aged up Raia's daughter Lonria to toddler; she's wearing Nerissa's hair, which is much too long for a seven-month-old but I just can't bring myself to care.)

buggygirl4 said...

I just started reading a few weeks ago, and I love it! I won't get to this part of the story for a long, long, LONG time, but I wanted to ask you something. I was checking out your other stories, and I noticed that "In Verona" was locked.

Can I have the password please? I've always loved reading what people did with the MAXIS Sims, and it looks really interesting!

buggygirl4 said...

Oops! I mixed up the name! I meant "In Fair Veronaville."

Van said...

Hi! Welcome! :)

Glad you're enjoying the story so far. As for "In Fair Veronaville"... well, I actually discontinued it some time ago, and when I looked back a few months later, I realized there was a lot of stuff in it that could be seriously triggering, and it hadn't been handled particularly well in the writing. It's been several years since I worked on it, and I've grown a lot as a person between then and now, so I ended up locking the blog because it seemed like the responsible thing to do. I realize that might be a controversial answer, but I do feel pretty strongly about it.

So... sorry about that. I have considered doing other things with some of the premades and that might happen eventually, but I can't promise any time soon.

(Meanwhile, if you like premade stories, I would advise checking out Winter's "In Verona". It's much better than "In Fair Veronaville" ever was.)