June 30, 2015

In Which Zareth's Weight Is Lifted

September 30, 1192

"How did it go?" Zareth kissed his wife and waited for her answer. There was only so much a man could tell about how a birth had gone by looking at one of the women who'd been present, but he knew the most important thing by Mona's easy, relaxed manner: Anna had survived, and so had her baby.

"Very well. Each of Anna's babies seems to be more cooperative than the last."

"So everyone's happy and healthy."

"Oh, yes. Well, except for Ava." Mona smirked. She had a soft spot for Anna and Adrius's older daughter, Zareth figured in no small part because Ava couldn't have been far off from Mona herself at that age. "She wanted another little sister--not a stupid baby brother."

Brother? "A boy, then?"

"Yes. She'll get over it eventually; Lord knew I was having fun bossing around Farilon and Conant well before Lily ever came along, and she still has Dera. And you, my love--" She tapped him on the nose, one of those reassuring gestures that would have bothered him greatly from anyone else. "--don't have to worry about your brother any more."

"Seems I don't." What a relief. He had no more desire to be earl than his brother had to keep him as his heir, but no amount of talking sense had persuaded Lander of that. Now, with Adrius's second son in the world, that would no longer be an issue. "Welcome to the world, future earl. What's the boy's name?"

"Larsen. Anna's taken to calling him Lari."

"Prince Larsen, Earl of Hargrath." A name practically made for the title. "Funny how such a tiny person can lift so great a weight from my existence."

"I knew you'd be pleased." Mona wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled herself toward him. Their daughters were in the next room--but it wouldn't be the strangest thing in the world to ask the nanny to take them for a walk at this time of day. "So... now that we're in the clear, shall we try to make a little boy of our own?"



Van said...

Day off tomorrow. Yay.

Ann said...

My baby boy! *flails happily*
Lari... ^^ thank you! Makes me feel involved for real!

I'm glad everyone is healthy and happy.
Even Ava will be in the long run, I'm sure. ^^ And Dera gets to keep the undivided attention of her big sis.
It's a shame that Zareth doesn't want to be earl, I'm sure he'd be a good one. But since he really doesn't want to be it's very good that now he won't be forced into it! So he and Mona can go right to celebratory secks and cousin-making. XD

Van said...

Your shortened names are so good that I just hadta hadta use them in-story. :D

Yeah, Ava will get over it, as most big siblings tend to do. If anything, she might like having a little brother to boss around. But for now, I guess it's good(ish) news for Dera.

Zareth would make a decent earl precisely because he doesn't want to be one. But, who knows? Maybe Lari will make a good one and will want to be one. ;)

Ren said...

Awwwwh, I love seeing these two happy, even if that means not seeing Zareth as an Earl; with parents like Anna and Adrius I'm sure little Lari will grow up to be a fine one in any case!

Van said...

I have no doubt that Anna and Adrius will teach Lari everything he needs to know. ;)

Zareth and Mona do deserve the break, even if they would be good rulers (er, well, Zareth would be--though Mona has grown up a lot since her early days in Carvallon).

Winter said...

Ava will be over the disappointment and telling Lari what to do in no time!

I'm glad Zareth has the earldom off his back, since it meant so much to him to avoid it. He's not a man who asks a lot in life. If he wants to be out of the direct line of succession, he deserves it. Mona will likely be happier for it, too. She's in a good place for her personality - not high enough to have to act like a princess but not so low as to offend the blood royal.

Van said...

Probably! XD

It's true, Zareth doesn't need too much to keep himself content. It was a struggle for him to get what he has, but it's enough for him now.

Mona does seem to be in her Goldilocks position as the wife of a high-ranking knight. No one really asks much of her, but she doesn't have to go without the luxuries she's grown used to.

S.B. said...

It's rare to see someone finding happiness by turning away from what must seem a wonderful advancement. Zareth and Mona are obviously happy with what they have - and hopefully that includes some baby making of their own!

Van said...

Zareth and Mona are, for the most part, happy to live a complete-yet-quiet existence. Making more babies certainly isn't out of the question. ;)