July 8, 2015

In Which Xeta Will Think About It

January 17, 1193

"Mmmm... what time is it?"

"Not quite sunrise, it looks like," Xeta muttered, head nudged just enough to see the barely-there light from Camaline's bedroom window. Tetran was the better place for the two of them to meet, without any current residents who could fairly be called children and fewer people overall besides. Xeta had called after the dinner hour and been offered a room for the night; she'd sneak back to it before morning.

"Good. I wanted to ask you something."

"I'm listening."

"All right. You see, now that Prior's older, I've decided it might be time for me to leave Tetran Keep." Camaline ran a toe up Xeta's lower leg. Her skin made the luxurious bedding an old sack in comparison. "My father-in-law has given me a decent-sized cottage about ten minutes' walk from here. Prior has to stay here as the heir, but that's close enough that I'll see him more days than not."

"That's good." Never mind that if Camaline had her own house... well, Xeta wouldn't have to sneak back to the guest bedroom before the servants woke.

"Yes, but..." A sheepish smile on her face, Camaline reached across the bed and met Xeta's fingers. "...the house is a little big for just one person."

"Ah. Well, I suppose there will always be the staff--oh." Xeta's face warmed. How had she not gotten that? "You want me to come with you?"

"Well... I'd like you to think about it, at least. Your children would be welcome too, of course. Issa will be my maid and housekeeper, and you know she knows. Since Penna knows too, we could make her the second member of our staff. I don't think anyone would think too much of it--two friends, both widows, living together."

"No, probably not." It was a not-unheard-of practice among the commoners, two widows combining their households for financial practicality. Surely two noblewomen could get away with it as well, for companionship reasons. "I'll have to talk to my father-in-law, and maybe my children as well."

"Do they know?"

Best she could against the mattress, Xeta shook her head. Her sister knew, following an ill-timed barge into Camaline's office--and bizarrely, Rona found the whole thing normal to the point of almost mundane--but her children did not. "How did you tell Prior?"

"He guessed."

"Mmm. I don't think any of mine are that intuitive." She shuffled to the center of the mattress and met Camaline in the middle. It may have been something to think about, but it made a pretty daydream for now. "I'll find a way to tell them. Then, I'll happily think about it."

NEXT CHAPTER:

3 comments:

Van said...

How did 1193 get here so fast?

mimusofbellingar said...

Huh, still can't believe that I guessed correctly with those two. xD
But they're cute together.

Van said...

There were a few hints. ;)

They are quite cute.