December 17, 2014

In Which Arkon Is Left

August 18, 1188

Arkon's father would be back home by the end of the month, though his grandparents would insist on visiting daily. His mother would be in her new house before that. It would make for a cleaner break, she said, and his grandparents had agreed. His father had been told as well, and he too thought it was for the best, for all it may have stung him.

Severin had been the first to make the decision, a mere day after their mother had gathered them together and briefed them on the situation. He was going with their mother. He'd had his mind made up from the start, Arkon was sure of it, but their mother had insisted they take at least a day to consider. Alina had struggled a little longer and a little harder, but in the end, she too decided she was going.

That left Rennie and Arkon, the older two. Their father couldn't be left alone and they both saw that. Their mother had taken care of him long enough, and neither of the younger two could be expected to do so alone. Despite their mother's urging that they each decide on their, to put their own well-being first, Rennie and Arkon had talked it over. Neither had wanted to throw the other in front of the carriage, but in the end...

Well, there had only ever been one solution and they both knew it. "Mother, I'm going to stay here with Father."

Rennie would have stayed had he not been willing. She loved their father as much as any of them, but she just wasn't the nurturing type. She would have lost patience long before he recovered.

"You're sure?" His mother had asked the younger two that as well, so it wasn't because he hadn't chosen her. If anything, she'd be relieved that someone had chosen their father. But what tougher decision was there, choosing one loved one over another?

"Yes. I'm his heir." Knights' castles and lands were technically owned by the shire lords, but so long as the knight did nothing to strip himself of his knighthood--and Arkon's father, being his lord's own son, likely wouldn't--his lands and responsibilities would pass to his heir. "It's my responsibility to keep things running while he gets back on his feet. You've had to do that long enough."

"It's not your responsibility." It was, but he got her point. It shouldn't have been. "Just be sure to take care of yourself, all right? Your father's well-being doesn't trump your own."

"I know."

"And your siblings and I will visit, and you're welcome to visit us whenever you want."

"I know."

"And all of you have every right to change your mind if you wish, as many times as you like."

"I know." But like so much else, it was only a formality. "But I won't need it."


1 comment:

Van said...

More Arkons. :S