April 16, 2016

In Which Ashe Guesses the Quality of Gossip

November 18, 1199

"You look beautiful." Ashe stepped back from his oldest daughter's arms and smiled. He would have known Yvanette anywhere, but he didn't quite fathom how that tiny baby he'd once held with a new father's clumsy grasp and the radiant young bride in front of him were the same person. Had it really been so long since Yvanette had been little? How much had he missed every time he'd blinked?

"Thank you, Father." Yvanette smoothed down the white velvet of her skirt--probably not the most atypical gesture of a young woman on her wedding day, wanting to look her best, but there was something in the tension of her wrist that struck him. "I'm still not sure about the blue trim, to be honest."

"Well, that's your call--but it does bring out your eyes."

"I suppose. Too late to change it now, anyway."

Hmm. It was--but she sounded almost... bitter? Ashe frowned. Cold feet usually weren't much to be concerned about, at least he'd gathered from what quasi-outsiders like him could glean from social spheres like Rona's family's, but the manner about his daughter wasn't nervous or panicked; it was resigned, frustrated, equal parts dread and the need to get a unpleasant task over with. He'd thought she'd cared for Sevvie. He'd seen how he was with her, the way she looked at him.

Had he been wrong?

"Yvanette, if you're having second thoughts--"

She shook her head. "I... I don't know. Maybe I care too much about Sevvie to tie him down."

"Oh." He could understand that--sort of. He'd been in that position with Rona once. But, back then, Rona hadn't known her own position. There wasn't a garden pest on Lonriad's castle grounds that didn't know Sevvie's. "I think anyone who knows Sevvie would be quick to tell you that he's spent the past few years thinking of little else than life with you."

"Is that fair, though? You know I can't add much to his life--not in the ways he's bound to want in the long run."

"If it isn't, then I still don't think you have any more claim to the fairness of life than Sevvie does." Ashe sighed. If Yvanette couldn't give Sevvie the life he deserved, then that was because Ashe couldn't have done the same for Yvanette. She didn't fully know that; perhaps she and her siblings deserved to, but neither he nor Rona knew what to tell them. "But I wouldn't equate being normal with being happy. Most normal people in the world probably bore themselves to misery."

Yvanette bit her lip--probably just because she didn't want to argue with him mere minutes before he walked her down the aisle. "Maybe."

"Don't worry about Sevvie. He loves you to pieces, and he doesn't have a resentful bone in his body." He pulled his daughter into another hug, having to remind himself just in time to be mindful of her hair. "And if it doesn't work out, you know you'll always have a home with your mother and me, or with any of your siblings if we're gone. It would be only a matter of time in this kingdom before the public had something better to gossip about than a knight's divorce, after all."



Van said...

I wish my house would clean itself.

Ann said...

I feel you. I got this paper I wish would write itself. *sigh*

Van said...

Obligations are the worst. :S