March 13, 2016

In Which Ricky Allows for a Healthy Dose of Skepticism

January 7, 1199

"So Aunt Mona's maid has been Queen of Carvallon this whole time?" Whether or not it was the appropriate response for a future duke and the nephew of the woman who was apparently not the queen, Ricky couldn't fight the laugh and made no effort to do so. "All right, the world can be as shocked as it wants to be, but I can't pretend that's not at least a little bit funny."

His father obliged him with a slight smile. He wasn't as unorthodox as Lord Severin was, nor was he as loyal to Dea as Kaldar was, or as opposed to his late father-in-law as the baron was. If any of the Lords of Naroni were to have a problem with the whole scheme, it would have certainly been him--and perhaps he might have had a problem with it, had it reached his ears when it had been a newly-hatched conspiracy. But now, it seemed he'd deemed it pointless to fight against. "After all this time, yes, I suppose it can be now."

"Though, Grandfather Roderick must be tossing in his grave."

"Perhaps, but a man can change his perspective over much more trivial things than death. Stubborn as your grandfather was, I should hope the afterlife would provide at least some opportunity for reflection on such things. He may have already known, and come to peace with it long ago." Despite the grin, his father's tone was skeptical of his own words--but his brows twitched briefly upright, as if to say he knew he was no less prone to error than anyone else. "It seems that your Grandmother Laralita did learn of it before she went, and she took the news more calmly than anyone could have expected of her."

"Huh." Ricky pursed his lips as he nodded. After his grandfather's death, his step-grandmother's letters had progressed in a pattern of growth he hadn't quite expected of someone so famously materialistic and self-involved. "Sad as it is to say... I think widowhood actually did Grandmother Laralita a world of good, at least once she got past the worst of her grief."

"I believe it did. My father told me once that women are usually better off without a man holding them back--but a man had better have a woman if he hopes to make anything of himself. Going purely by myself and your mother, I'd say that's quite true." His father smirked. "And speaking of such things, I still intend to let you choose your own bride, but I won't pretend that I didn't think you'd have picked one years ago now. Twenty-six is well past the age an heir ought to be married."

"Don't you start on that! It seems I have this conversation with Mother every month." His mother was planning on having Aunt Mona and her family for a banquet the night after next, and Ricky had no doubt that half her motive in hosting them was to set him up with his oldest cousin. "But if it makes you feel any better, I do believe I've chosen someone. It's just a matter of figuring out how best to approach her with it."

"Hmm. I suppose that's a relief." But his father arched one brow, opting to take the declaration with a grain of salt. At this stage, maybe a healthy dose of skepticism wasn't unfounded--but Ricky didn't much want to think about that right now. "But don't waste any time in figuring it out, all right? Lord knows I want to live to see my firstborn's firstborn."

"I'll take all the time I feel we both need. I do want her to have some say in it, you know--not just 'marry me, or I'll have your family make you'." Not that he thought her family would. "Besides, you've seen your secondborn's firstborn, at least."

"I have, and I love her. But forgive your mother and me for wanting a grandchild who lives in the same country."



Van said...

At this point, I'm thinking Neva is the better bet for producing Lorn and Leara's first geographically-convenient grandchild. But at least Ricky has someone in mind now? :P

Winter said...

Oh, I'm feeling better about my gut feeling for Ricky's future wife. That lady would be of an age to push grandchildren from Ricky a little further down the road.

I do love Lorn and his 'what passes for traditional in Naroni' traditionalism. The scheme isn't sitting quite right with him, and yet, "eh, screw it, I can't do anything about it. Add it to the list: demi-god cannibals, magic sex ponds, flying anvils..."

Van said...

There aren't too many class-appropriate single ladies of Ricky's own age group to choose from right now, so it's not impossible that he'll need to wait a few years for someone a bit younger to grow up. ;)

Meanwhile, Neva and Prior are set to be married in December, so yeah, Lorn's next grandchild will probably be... um, actually, I think Celina rolled up a pregnancy for some time this year. But his third grandchild will probably be Neva's, not Ricky's.

Above all else, Lorn is a realist these days. He's not happy about this development, but he has to live with it and he knows to pick his battles. I think his main concern will be how Leara's taking it, since Mona is her sister--but, if Ricky suspects Leara of wanting to set him up with Lara, then Leara's probably in "hopeless romantic mode" rather than "proud princess mode" over the whole thing. Plus, I think Leara's always tended to admire boldness in other women, even if that boldness directs them to do things that she herself wouldn't want to do; there's a reason she's been friends with Raia for so long, and she thinks more highly of Camaline than she's likely to ever let on.