March 25, 2016

In Which Prior Sees Something More in the Pattern

March 30, 1199

"Finally got them down for their nap?" Prior asked as Xeta returned to Geneva's room. He'd been tasked with watching the oldest of his younger half-sisters (for all he had zero interest in knowing exactly how the girls had come to be) while Xeta put the twins down for their nap. Turned out, that had been quite the lengthy process.

He didn't mind too much, though. He'd be married before the year was up; he'd be well served, getting used to entertaining children again.

"'Finally' is right. Every time I think one of them is finally drifting off, the other one has to start crying and wake her." Xeta sighed. "For your sake, I hope all of yours come one at a time."

"Twins do seem to run in my family, though," Prior mused as he pulled himself to his feet; it was a small castle, and Geneva would prefer it if her mother sat beside her.

"That's true. There's your father and your aunt, and--" Xeta stopped. Prior couldn't blame her; it was a large family to keep track of.

"My aunt's daughters? Her first two with Fred."

"Ah, yes. Thank you." Her smile was a little large for a simple reminder, but Xeta did have a bit of a strange streak to her. "Neva's family isn't drowning in twins, though, so maybe you'll get lucky."

"Maybe. But whatever size batches they come in, I don't know if I feel right about putting Neva through too many pregnancies if she isn't eager for them herself. I know we'll need at least one, but I'm not going to envy her those nine months." Though, some women did seem to have easier pregnancies than others--and if it ran in families, then it was a lucky thing Neva's mother and sister hadn't struggled so far as he was aware. Still. "It just... seems like such a rougher process than it should be. I suppose my mother is lucky, really--having only had to go through it once."

Xeta frowned. "Once?"

Eh? Xeta had carried both Geneva and the twins--she seemed to actually enjoy being pregnant, and she was a little younger. "Um, yes. Me."

"Oh! Oh, yes of course." There was something odd about her blush, something in the pattern of the swell, the wideness it gave her eyes. Something a little more than embarrassment. "Ah, sorry, I just... you've always been so grown up, I sort of forget that you were a child. And your mother! She's so unchanging and ageless."

"Right." Nice try, Aunt Xeta. But what was she covering up? His mother would have told him if she'd had another child. She might not have been the most conventionally maternal of women, but surely she wouldn't have let any child of hers go unacknowledged? Or at least, without proper care?

"A silly slip, though--and not just for the obvious reasons." Xeta smiled again--too widely, too brightly. "You look more like your father every day."



Van said...

Commence the Weekend of Chocolate! :)

Ekho said...


Van said...