July 14, 2016

In Which Renata Is More Annoyed than Offended

July 13, 1201

"All right, I get that you don't like me," Renata snarled as Lady Odette waited in self-righteous fury for her to bow to the juvenile request. "But your son asked me to marry him. I agreed to marry him. Your husband's will stated explicitly that Arkon find his own wife. You have no right to tell me to take back my answer."

"I have every right! I am his mother. I am widow to the previous Lord Beretrin, and cousin to the King of France, and my son shares both my pedigree and his father's. Arkon can--and should--marry much higher than the unwanted orphan daughter of a disgraced knight."

Renata rolled her eyes. It always, always came down to rank and connections with Lady Odette. She doubted the woman wiped her ass without conscious deliberation of how a cousin of the King of France ought to do so. "If pedigree is the issue, I'll remind you that my paternal grandmother was both Countess of Bandera and Queen of Naroni--and that my mother was sister to your own late husband."

"That changes nothing! Your sinful father took his own life, and you were deemed unworthy of even his trivial attention. If your own father cast you off, why should you be worthy of my son?"

Because your son is a hell of a lot better a man than my father ever was? Because even Uncle Searle--who loved my father best--believes that my father was wrong? Not that Lady Odette would accept any of those answers. "Your son is Lord Beretrin, is he not? Don't presume to know what's best for Lord Beretrin better than Lord Beretrin himself does."

The woman gasped, spiteful eyes those of a vengeful beast. "Are you mocking me?"

At least that was proof of some sense of reality. "Is it that obvious?"

"Why you horrid, impertinent little--"

Whatever Lady was about to call her--there was no shortage of possibilities, Renata was sure of it--she didn't get a chance to say it before the door swung open and her aunt stepped into the study. Renata bit her tongue in relief. Nobody was better suited to dealing with people like Lady Odette than Aunt Ren: princess, countess, and having none of it.

"Might I ask what's going on in here?"

"Ah, your highness." Lady Odette bade Aunt Ren a quick curtsy, then glared back at Renata. "I was just expressing to this girl how inappropriate her betrothal to my son is."

Aunt Ren crossed her arms over her chest. "'This girl' being my niece?"

"Well, your husband's niece. But surely, your highness, you must admit--"

"That 'this girl' is practically a daughter to me and I see no reason why a mere lord should seek to do any better than someone I love as my own?"

"Your highness, surely--"

"Surely you wouldn't presume to doubt the judgment of a princess." To that, Lady Odette had no reply. "My niece will make her personal decisions as she sees fit, and so will your son. Now, I must request that you leave my castle."

"Your highness!"

"Leave--before I call for the hounds."

Lady Odette shot on last glare Renata's way, then turned back to Aunt Ren. If that sour expression lingered as she turned around, that would not be forgotten by the recipient. "This isn't over."

"It had better be," Aunt Ren warned as Lady Odette stormed passed her. Once the furious tread had faded, Aunt Ren shook her head. "Dreadful woman. I'm sorry you had to put up with that."

Renata shrugged. "I'll survive. She's so ridiculous that it's difficult to feel more offended than annoyed."

"Regardless, if you find you can't stand living under the same roof as her, don't hesitate to tell your uncle and me." Her aunt stepped forward and pulled her into a hug, arms still so strong and loving even though Renata was now the taller of the two. "If there's any dirt on her that will force her to run back to her cousin in France, you know your uncle will find it."

"Tempting! But, Arkon had no more say in who his mother was than I did about my father." For the sake of their own children, at least, they had two solid examples of what sort of parents not to be.

And some examples of how best to be as well. "Though, for the record, I would have picked you and Uncle Searle in a heartbeat."



Van said...

I wonder how well Odette and Danthia Sadiel know each other. Luckily for everyone else, I doubt they're likely to buddy up.

Ann said...

For all I care they can buddy up all they like. In a deep dark hole, where they can no longer bother anyone else. Jeez, why must there be people like this?

But I'm kind of glad you have such characters around. They make excellent targets. ^^

Van said...

Alas, there do need to be some less-than-likable characters around every now and then, if only so the readers can rage against somebody. :)

S.B. said...

awww, too bad Renata didn't get the chance to sic the hounds on Odette. What a ridiculous monster. She's the sort you really enjoy watching prance around with toilet paper stuck to her shoe.

Van said...

It's not impossible that the hounds have been pre-sicced in prep for Odette's next visit. :S

Haha! Oh, here's the that happening with whatever the hell they use for toilet paper in Naroni (somehow I don't see myself working a canon explanation into the post, but I'm assuming leaves or something; too lazy to actually do the research). Preferably at the king's birthday or some crazy big event like that. Or at Renata's wedding, as a present. XD