October 21, 2015

In Which Lettie Invokes the Principle

March 4, 1195

"Sorry about that." Lettie shut the privy door behind her, quickly enough to stop the vomit scent from wafting into the sitting room. Damn that Tarien.

If her brother had heard her heaving, he didn't comment. "It's fine--not as if I didn't see you yesterday. Anyway, Camaline sends her apologies about not being able to make it today, but she also told me to ask you if you'd be there for her labor."

That would come up. Lettie pursed her lips. "When is she due, again?"

"The end of next month. Should be an fun time to be born, with the excitement of the queen's marriage still so fresh in the kingdom." Not that Conant remembered the world at the time of his own birth any more than Lettie did, but... well, he was a man. If Lettie had learned a single thing since her breasts had developed, it was that men regarded their brains as extraneous organs. Why hadn't she made more of a point to keep that in mind? "She thinks it'll be a girl. If that's the case, we plan to name her Ramona, for our triplet."

"That's nice." But there was one name she now couldn't use if hers was a girl. She could hardly name it for anyone from Tarien's line.

"It is. But, back to yesterday's wedding, I think it speaks volumes of our queen that she sought a match out for herself only after she'd settled into her role, and that she took him in as a guest for a time so she could get to know him. A good ruler can't marry on an impulse, no matter what the doubters were saying of her lack of husband when she first took the throne. Not everyone can hold out long enough to know what they actually want in a spouse." Conant sighed--a man who'd spent every waking hour contemplating Camaline since their father had first suggested her when they were ten. At least his own children wouldn't have to worry about arranged marriages. "Your friend Tarien, for example. Did you know that he got married a fourth time?"

Lettie's gut lurched--and not from the nausea.


"Yes, Abrich mentioned it in his last letter. Apparently it was private and rushed and out of the blue, just near the end of January."

And he'd been here the end of December. A month after she'd shot him down, and he'd already roped in some other poor woman. "Who did he marry?"

"Maeja Ingolfsdottir--Uncle Marsden's widow. A bit of a scandal, given the relationship by marriage, which was probably why word didn't breach Dovia sooner; no one wanted to talk about it. But she's actually younger than Tarien."

Yes, that was the problem. Age. "I see."

"You sound a little bitter, sis." Conant frowned, torso forward. "You didn't, uh... have a thing for him, did you?"

"For Tarien?" Lettie snorted. "Don't be absurd.

"It's the principle of the thing."


1 comment:

Van said...

Today is this story's seventh birthday!

Thanks for bearing with me this long, all. :)