April 4, 2016

In Which Abrich Consults the Only Source

June 26, 1199

"Aww, she's lovely," Abrich's sister-in-law mused as she bowed down to meet little Mia. "She looks just like you."

Most seemed to be of that same opinion. His poor girl. "I should hope she resembles her mother more when she's older."

"She might or might not, but she does have her mother's name; I think that says more than a random assortment of features ever could." It was quite possibly the first time Abrich had ever heard the phrase 'random assortment of features' applied to an infant. But, Renata could be... odd. And she was enough of a homebody that Abrich hadn't had too many occasions to get used to her, usually leaving it to Meraleene to visit her in Dovia while Abrich stayed behind. She'd only come now because King Oswald had sent her husband on some errand or another in Naroni.

And even then, she probably wouldn't have tagged along had she not felt duty-bound to call on her late twin's children.

"I mean... you can choose the name. You can't choose what their faces will look like, otherwise half of our relations wouldn't have those same boring grey eyes--and I would have hoped my parents would have opted to give me my mother's red hair."

"I don't see a problem with blond," Abrich muttered, more out of guilt for wasting a good chunk of his marriage lusting after a redhead than any genuine compliment to Renata.

"Easy for you to say, what with that auburn mane of yours. But some people do wear blond well." Renata sighed. "Meraleene certainly did, even if she always felt the need to keep it bound in that braid. She thought her hair too wild, you know--thought it made her look unkempt. Not that she ever looked unkempt a day in our lives, but I suppose some people have impossible standards."

"Mmm." Standards, or preference. Abrich wondered how often Renata's own maid had to remind her in the mornings not to go about her day in her nightgown. How reserved Meraleene and this unfiltered, chaotic woman could have been twins...

But they were. And--given what Meraleene had sometimes said about twins--perhaps the disorganized mind of Renata Tamrion was the only source of the answer he needed. "Can I asked you something?"

"I believe you just did." Renata flashed a smirk at Mia, then returned her eyes to him with a tilt of the head. "What is it?"

"Was Meraleene happy? Before she went, I mean--her last few years."

"You mean after you pulled your head out of your ass."

Abrich blinked. Perhaps Renata was more aware than he gave her credit for. "I don't know if I would have phrased it exactly like that, but yes."

"Well, perhaps you ought to phrase it like that, because the 'after' is key there--because in order to be an 'after', there must first be a 'before'. Things change. People change. She did, you did, whatever the hell it was that kept you apart did. I think even Mia understands that concept, what with the way she keeps fighting that swaddling."

He wouldn't ask what that had to do with anything.

He doubted he'd understand the answer anyway. "Yes, I think she was happy. I'll tell you that she was more forgiving than I when it came to how damn long it took you to make her so, but she was happy by the end--and if the end isn't what counts, then I don't know why we all care to stick around for too long."

NEXT CHAPTER:

3 comments:

Van said...

Aaaaand I'm behind on picture-taking again. Figures.

Ann said...

Don't beat yourself up about that, please. :) It'll be fine.

Van said...

XD