September 20, 2015

In Which Melria Encounters an Acquaintance

July 25, 1194

"Melria!" Sir Searle--mostly a mere acquaintance, what with her late stepfather's ties to his family and her late stepsister's marriage to his brother--probably wouldn't have greeted her with such enthusiasm had he not heard how poorly she'd been. Though King Ietrin had treated her as well as she supposed someone like him could possibly treat another person, he had made no effort to endear himself to the point where she would mourn him, and though Queen Medea had maintained her living allowance, her ties to the former king had done nothing to quell her isolation. Not many wanted much to do with a former mistress after all.

But she would have been able to live with all of that had it not been for the death of her daughter.


Riala Wythleit, of all people, had become her most steadfast friend after all of it. Her son Falidor had been Ivy's suitor, and Riala herself had enough of a reputation that befriending a former mistress meant nothing--never mind that Melria and her husband had once been an item in their youth. Cord, as a result, was more than a little awkward around her, but Riala wouldn't put up with any protest.

Searle, come to think of it, probably got much of his news of her from Riala these days. Riala was stepdaughter to his eldest sister. "Sir Searle. I trust you are well?"

"No need to bother with the 'sir'--but yes, I've been well enough, thank you." She noticed that he didn't mention his eldest daughter's betrothal--probably because he knew full well that her own hadn't had the chance to become betrothed. "What brings you to Veldorashire? Stopping by on someone?"

"Yes, actually. First Had and Winter, and then my in-laws." All people who would help her, who'd offered her money and lodging and sanctuary--but why couldn't she take it?

Because she'd already taken enough from all of them.

"Ah, good. I saw Had's brother Congren last week; I trust Had was more pleasant?" In spite of herself, Melria managed a small grin. She'd learned from Nanalie some time back that Had had tried to strong-arm Congren into asking for her hand--but it was hardly a secret that Congren had less than no interest in marriage. For that, Melria could only be relieved. "Oh, yes. Seems that Congren got all the insufferable genes in that family."

"He said that Had wanted to set the two of you up, but he'd have none of it. Between you and me, I believe you dodged quite an arrow there."

"I agree--though, between you and me, it would be nice to marry again while I'm still young enough to possibly have more children, even if it's only for the sake of convenience." She had always wanted more, but Nedrir had died before they could make a little sibling for Ivy, and of course Ietrin hadn't managed to impregnate her. Of course... "Not that it's likely to happen, at this point."

Searle, apparently sensitive to her gloom, shook his head. "I don't think you ought to count it out just yet."

NEXT CHAPTER:

7 comments:

Van said...

Apparently Chrome's only spelling suggestion for "Nedrir" is "Dexedrine". Not even kind of close, Chrome. XD

mimusofbellingar said...

Oh, if only you knew what kind of "corrections" Word sometimes gives me with names. Even ones that are perfectly normal in both german and english! KathErina, for example. KathArina, it accepts, though. The same with Cecilie and Cecilia. The first it rejects, the second it accepts.
And don't even get me started on Google and WordPress trying to write certain words in capitals.

I'm a bit ... not nervous, but uncertain about those two. Searle's track record with wives - if it goes in the direction I suspect - is not exactly ... good.

Van said...

Haha! XD Yeah, corrections can be pretty ridiculous.

Searle is historically very not good at marriage. Granted, maybe he could be a better husband without Sparron around, even if it's only a marriage of convenience.

Orilon said...

I'm always complaining about Words "corrections", especially the one that happened while I was still working at the court ordered substance abuse treatment agency I worked at years ago. On one particular intake assessment write up I was doing Word wanted to change CCCs to cocks (CCCs is slang for Coricidin HBP Cough & Cold, some use large amounts to get high). I'm glad I caught the change before I sent the report to the client's probation officer, I didn't want to sent a report to the probation officer that the client started to use cocks at age 15.


I see I'm not the only one getting a vibe that Searle may try to marry Melria. Given his past history I'm concerned about how that will turn out, although part of me wonders what kind of husband he would be without Sparron around.

Van said...

Ah, Word! So dirty minded. XD

The lack of Sparron may be a good factor in any future Searle marriages. But, will it be enough? :S

Winter said...

I totally didn't see this one coming, but it could work. Melria is a very practical woman, not unused to entering into relationships of convenience. Searle might do better with a woman who doesn't want more than he can give. (Not that Lettie was love-starved for Searle in the end, but she had expectations that he couldn't come close to meeting at the time.) Sparron may have been Searle's great love & obsession, but I think Searle would have screwed things up with Lettie in the end regardless.

Van said...

It's true that someone like Melria might be ideal for Searle if he can't have Sparron. He's the sort who needs kind of a "care-taker spouse", and that role is fairly compatible with Melria's personality and life goals, especially if Searle can support her financially and maybe give her a few children.

Lettie was and is sympathetic toward Searle, and she did try for a long time, but being someone's emotional crutch is just not something she's cut out for.