January 15, 2016

In Which Searle Argues the Existence of Preparedness

September 7, 1197

"I think you should marry King Oswald."

Searle smiled as that prompted a raised brow from his mother. He had no idea whether or not she was open to such outright opinions on the matter, but she'd been sitting in silence for a while now, stewing in the gloom of his condition. The premature mourning did neither of them any good. "What makes you say that?"

"The knowledge that you would be Queen of Dovia, but that not much else would have to change in your life." She would, in keeping with Oswald's original proposal, remain in Naroni--where Cladelia and their children would no doubt need her once Searle was gone. "Naroni's more than an offshoot of Dovia now, and the two countries will need a link to keep their shared heritage intact without compromising either's sovereignty. And not many people know and love either land better than you do."

"I will take that as the compliment it is, but there's no sense in pretending that the marriage wouldn't change things for me personally." His mother frowned, folding her hands in her lap. "I grew up with Oswald, and he's very dear to me, but a development like a marriage--even in name only--can create tension between friends. I wouldn't want to risk hurting Oswald even if there wasn't the chance that both kingdoms could suffer for it."

"I don't think they will, though. Oswald's been married twice, and the second was more or less for the sake of two sets of half-orphans having two parents again; he knows what it is to marry someone you'd prefer and who'd prefer you as a friend."

"Perhaps." His mother dug one finger into a lace on the other sleeve. She wasn't the restless type, or even the type to fidget idly with her clothing, but between a dying son and an unusual marriage proposal, she wasn't without excuse for the odd behavior. "I was very lucky with my two marriages. I loved both your father and my first husband deeply, to the point where I'd hesitate to call either of them the love of my life; at my age, and with the love I'd have, I suppose no amount of political reasoning could have prepared me for the prospect of a third."

"How much is anyone ever prepared for anything, really?" Another sharp pang in his gut backed Searle's point to his own self. Even if he'd been sickly as a child--which he hadn't--he sure as hell wouldn't have been prepared to die at twenty-nine. "It's been a long time since Dovia had a queen; if you're to be their next, then they couldn't hope for any better."

"I appreciate that." His mother had always been good for a warm, loving look, and she didn't fail to pay him yet another. But, when a person had a lot on their mind, it could be hard to smile. "Rest assured that I'll keep thinking about it."


1 comment:

Van said...

Blah. What a week. :S