February 7, 2015

In Which Lonriad Has a Good Feeling

May 13, 1189

Lonriad recalled his own childhood clearly enough to know that proximity in age was no guarantee that any two kids would get along, but animosity had been an unnecessary worry when it came to his Alina and her cousin Viridis. They'd seen each other often enough at school and family functions, but they'd had their own groups of friends and a lack of time alone had prevented them from bonding. Now that Lonriad was courting--he could scarcely believe it, courting!--Viridis's adoptive mother, however, the girls had forged a tight bond over a number of play dates, and had grown inseparable even among their other friends according to their Aunt Vera.

And what a relief it was. Alina was very much her mother's daughter, was a born leader with little patience, and Lonriad feared that many of her current friends would come to dismiss her as 'bossy'. Viridis, however, was always perfectly content to go along with whatever hi-jinx Alina had dreamed up. She wasn't a complete doormat, but she was easy-going and gentle, and any opposition she raised was more along the lines of persuasion than conflict. As far as friendships went, it was a match made in heaven.

So it was that Lonriad had begun to wonder if that was the case with him and Morgan. Surely it was far too early to say anything definitive, but he'd decided the minute he'd begun to feel he might attempt to find love after Asalaye that his most important measure of suitability would be his children. Alina liked Morgan nearly as much as she liked Viridis, so that made for one vote of approval. Honora, much shyer than her older sister, had been more cautious--but after a few meetings she'd opened up with some rare conversation, to the point where Lonriad could relax a little about the thought of her starting school next year. That was two.

He hadn't needed to worry about Sevvie. Sevvie got along with everyone. And besides, Sevvie had made the point to tell Lonriad before his second outing with Morgan that he'd fully accept any woman who could make his father happy. So that made for three. But it had to be unanimous.

And while he wasn't worried about Adonis disliking any woman he courted... well, there was always the worry that other people would take issue with Adonis.

"Morgan, can I have a kitten?" It was only the second thing Honora had said that afternoon apart from a quiet 'hello'. She wasn't usually so direct. Lonriad would take that as a good sign.

Morgan smiled. "I believe that would be up to your papa, sweetie."

"He says they make him sneeze."

"Oh." The smile went to a grimace as she locked eyes with Lonriad. Morgan, he new for a fact, was quite fond of cats. Had she been the lady of the house, she would have been quite pleased to gift her stepdaughter with a kitten, and even more pleased to be able to play with it herself. But she wasn't the lady of the house, and that left her between overstepping the boundaries of Honora's surviving parent and disappointing Honora herself. "Hmm."

"Maybe if you kept it in your room," Lonriad offered as a compromise. "And as long as I didn't have to take care of it."

"I'd take care of it, Papa!"

"I do believe she would," Morgan agreed with a wink. "Her siblings could help too."

Lonriad sighed--defeated, but not entirely unhappy. "I'll consider it."


"What are you so happy about, squirt?"

Damn it. Lonriad looked over to corridor and swallowed.

He'd come to accept the fact that whenever possible, his second son would choose one of his cousins' hand-me-down dresses over his own tunics. Adonis was overall a well-adjusted child, friendly and enthusiastic and clever enough, and Lonriad had conceded long ago that there were far worse things he could have been doing than wearing girls' clothing.

That said: he'd wanted to mention this to Morgan before Morgan ever saw Adonis in a dress. If Morgan objected, then, well... she'd never be the lady of his house, no matter how much it pained him personally. But if she did object, he'd rather she not do so to Adonis's face.

Adonis, bless his heart, didn't think anything of it. "Hello, Morgan!"

Nervous, Lonriad glanced over at Morgan's face. If he saw any trace of disgust or ridicule, then he'd have to do something before his son got hurt.

But Morgan greeted him with a friendly grin, as if a ten-year-old boy in a dress was a thing so ordinary it bordered on the mundane. "Hello, Adonis. I hope you've been well?"

"Very! Our cook has been teaching me how to make pastries."

"Oooh! I love pastries!" Morgan bounced in delight at the mere thought. Lonriad would have to commission an extra dessert for tonight. "What have you made so far?"

"Nothing on my own yet. But I might get to make a pie next weekend."

"What kind of pie?"


"That sounds delicious. You'll have to save me a slice."

"You should come over the day I make it!" Giddy, Adonis turned his grinning head to Lonriad. "Can she, Papa?"

Well. She could now. "Of course."

"Excellent! Maybe Viridis and Alina could gather some wildflowers for a centerpiece? I'd rather my first pie be served on a table worthy of the occasion."

"Maybe your Aunt Vera will allow us to bring some from her garden."

"Yes, please ask her!"

As the details continued to bounce between the two of them, Lonriad winked at his youngest daughter. "You know, Honora... I think I have a good feeling about this."