October 23, 2015

In Which Dea Is Promised a Picnic

April 11, 1195

Dea settled onto her bed for an afternoon respite, though she probably would have taken the time to catch up on some paperwork if Willott hadn't told her that her husband had returned. Her father had of course been the worst example of how to act in a marriage she'd ever known, but her grandfather--for all he'd had his failings as a monarch--had maintained a happy, well-nourished relationship with her step-grandmother throughout their time together.

Dea had not yet been married long enough to balance being a good queen and a good spouse--if such a balance were even possible. "I'm sorry I haven't seen you all day."

"It's quite all right, lass. I don't know any more about balancing a budget than the average fool, but I understand that it has to be done."

"Like any other royal duty." Dea sighed. "You know, you're always welcome to sit on my meetings with the lords if you like."

"Good to hear you trust me, but I'd be worse than useless there, I'm afraid--and honestly, not all that interested, though I mean that in the most flattering way possible." Henry winked, though she couldn't quite claim to feel all the flattery he'd meant. Even with her limited free time, she'd come to learn that her new husband took an unstructured, heart-driven approach to life, more in keeping with that of a bard or mummer than a prince consort--and nothing like Dea's own focused and managerial methods. She thought him a fine man, a kind man, a handsome man... and she was a queen! And not a bad one! Surely she deserved a fine man, a kind man, a handsome man?

And yet, some nagging part of her couldn't help but dread his preference for someone more spontaneous, more affectionate. Someone like Gennie or Ella.

"I mean to say: I'm glad you enjoy the queenly necessities, and the kingdom ought to be thankful for it, and I'm willing to support you in any way possible. But I'd rather take that supporting role for myself and leave the real work for you--both for the people's sake, and yours and mine."

"I suppose that's the most flattering way of saying it."

"Give it time, lass. I'll find a more flattering way to flatter you yet." He edged himself toward the center of the bed and laced his arm around her shoulders. "Don't worry yourself about keeping me occupied; I'm a grown man and can entertain myself. I actually got in quite a long ride today, just enjoying the first nice spring day here. Found myself sitting by a pretty little riverbank for a good hour or so, just me and the horse and the lute."

"I didn't know you played the lute."

"There's a lot we don't yet know about each other, but we're both young, healthy people; no reason why we shouldn't have plenty of time to learn more." He kissed her cheek, his lips the first of this 'first nice spring day' she'd seen in her primarily indoor week. "Next time you have a free morning, let me know. I think you'd like this spot I found."

She suspected she would--and, with most of her time spent inside the castle, surely some exploration of her own kingdom couldn't have been the worst idea. "Perhaps we could pack a lunch. It's been years since I last had a picnic."

"Is that so?"

Dea nodded. A sunset smile on his mouth, Henry nestled his forehead to hers. "Well, then let me promise you it won't be years between this one and the next."



Van said...

Weekend! And not soon enough.

Winter said...

Gee, I think Henry and Pan would be pals! :D

Henry and Dea are already cracking my top list of Naroni couples. He's the perfect consort for Dea - he has enough common sense to contribute if necessary but he's not big on personal political ambitions. He'll prove to be a great personal match for her, too. He's low stress and a fine excuse to relax and get some personal time.

(And is that the statue Alina re-gifted to Laralita after the bedroom redecorating fiasco?)

Van said...

Quite possibly! The similar taste in colors is the least of what they have in common. :)

(And despite one being interested in politics and the other not really caring beyond spiting her awful parents, I don't think Dea and Miranda are the least similar of characters either, though I don't know if they'd get along as well as Pan and Henry.)

Dea and Henry are exactly what each other needs, for all Dea may be worrying now that she might not be right for him. Henry is laid-back and understanding and supportive without wanting to usurp, and I think he'll do well to remind Dea that she's not just the queen--she's also herself. And Henry is a bit head-in-the-cloudsy and maybe lives too much in his own imagination, so Dea will be a good anchor for him in the real world.

Haha, yep! XD And neither Ietrin nor Dea has bothered to redecorate said royal bedchamber. At least it's a little less overwhelming in such a huge room.