November 8, 2015

In Which Rennie Can Relate

November 20, 1195

"Awww! I didn't think you could be any cuter than you were the last time I saw you, but you've somehow managed!" Riala cooed to Melria's baby. It was not uncommon knowledge that Riala had been Melria's fierce defender and best friend since the death of the king, and her dropping in unannounced on any given day would not be unexpected, but Rennie suspected that her presence here on this particular day had been Sev's work. Riala was Sev's doting big sister who could deny him nothing, and if Sev's betrothed was dreading meeting her half-sister for the first time, and if Riala's warm presence could act as a buffer and a distraction for the stepmother... well, then Sev wouldn't be shy about asking.

Sev himself hadn't been able to come, which Rennie didn't much mind. Sev's presence might have alerted her father and stepmother to Rennie's unease, if they were dense enough that they hadn't noticed it before. She hadn't been able to shake Ella, though.

But Ella's presence, like Riala's, would at least be beneficial. Ella had been a half-sibling all her life and was well-versed in that etiquette. It would have been nice to have her in the delivery room while her mother labored with Sparron only a month and a half prior, but her mother had insisted on keeping her aids to a minimum: Rennie and Alina, their grandmother, and Aunt Raia.

Sparron was an easier presence in the world than Avine, though. For all Lettie knew that there must have been some man involved, it wasn't hard to convince herself that Sparron was entirely of her mother. Her mother, who'd always been steadfast and supportive and loving. Avine was half her distant father, and half the unanticipated stepmother she barely knew and didn't really have much need for.

An unfair judgement to pass on a baby who couldn't help her parentage and might as well grow up to be more than their sum.

But, who the hell could help how they felt about shit like this.

"I'm so glad she got Searle's eyes. They're so pretty, aren't they?"

Rennie rustled in her seat, though Ella was quick to calm her with a pat on the arm. Her father's eyes had eluded the rest of them. Arkon and Alina both had their mother's eyes, while Severin had Grandmother Renata's. Rennie got her own from Great-Grandfather Lonriad. That deeper blue couldn't have been bothered with any of them.

"They are--though there's nothing wrong with a lighter blue." Riala's note, Rennie was positive, had been for her benefit. She wasn't in the mood to appreciate it much.

"Or brown," added Ella. A brown-eyed baby of Melria's could have been anyone's, after all--not that Rennie felt any better about that.

"They might change, anyway." It was a weak attempt at saving her own ass from some danger she couldn't identify and wasn't even sure existed. Where was she even going with the comment? All she wanted was to leave. "I mean... babies' eyes can be kind of fickle sometimes, can't they?"

Ella--sweet, eager Ella, so keen and yet so powerless to keep up Rennie's spirits--nodded with vigor. "Oh, true! My brother Isidro's took a while to settle, I think."

Riala offered a slight shrug. She had the benefit of having raised four children from infancy--and, more likely than not, had been warned about Rennie's reluctance. But, she was also Melria's friend. She was stuck in the middle.

Rennie could relate.

"I guess we'll see."

NEXT CHAPTER:

3 comments:

Van said...

Bah. Sundays.

empireofmeliora said...

What do you have against sundays? ô.ó

I suppose my families can consider themselves lucky that there's relatively Little awkwardness with stepparents.
Though there was an incident in the Pas-family where one of Flavian's sons tried to woo his stepmother. But it's not like this here.

Van said...

Mainly the gnawing knowledge at the back of the mind that the next day is Monday.

Heh, yeah. Rennie and her siblings are in the unique-for-the-times situation of having to deal with a stepparent in the context of a divorce. Doesn't help that, from what they know, Searle was the one more at-fault in the breakup as well.

Yeaaaaah I don't think any of the siblings are about to make any moves on Melria. XD Rennie and Alina both like men, Arkon has his eye on someone else, and Severin isn't ready for any serious romantic situations yet.