August 10, 2016

In Which Lettie Shares a Distaste for Idle Chitchat

December 19, 1201

"So--mind telling me what brings you here today, cousin? Because I can't say I had much reason to expect you."

Lettie watched as Abrich's nervous grin twitched. She didn't think Xeta's brother had anything against her, nor did she have anything against him--hell, once he'd finally grown up and gotten over his hopeless pining for Riona, pretty much any time she'd thought of him had been to compare him favorably to Searle. But, the fact was that she didn't think of him much, nor did she think he wasted spare thoughts on her. They were cousins, and they were cordial, but that was it.

Abrich's fingers fidgeted against the arm of the bench. "It might have been stupid of me to hope you'd let me warm myself up with small talk."

"Indeed, I've never been one for it." Lettie smirked. In truth, she doubted Abrich cared for idle chitchat either, but his distaste had sprouted from a different source. She had a lightning-fast tongue led by a brain that sent forth its thoughts unfiltered, and obligatory pleasantries didn't suit that. Abrich, though, was a man of few words. If he wished to speak, there had to be reason. "Spit it out."

"All right. Um... I've been thinking." What of, he must have been at a loss as to the phrasing. Lettie snorted. "I should hope most people have."

"Yes, well--I don't know, maybe this is a stupid idea. I'd understand if you said no." He pulled back his left hand and let it fall to his side, palm upright with an awkward turn of the wrist. "I thought I'd ask you if you'd be willing to marry me."

"Hmm. Well, to your credit, that's a much more diplomatic approach than that of the last man who proposed to me." One of his eyes squinted somewhat; for now, she'd let him go on thinking she meant Searle, even if an arranged marriage ought to have been diplomatic by definition. "I didn't know you were looking to remarry."

"I wasn't, really--but it would be nice if my children could have a mother again, especially Mia. And I thought that maybe Sparron..."

"Could use a father?" She tossed back her hair with a small laugh. Some would have seen--or meant--offense with that mention. Abrich, however, wasn't much capable of intentional offense, and Lettie wouldn't take it if there were other options. "Well, only if said father is of optimal quality. But, to be fair, I've heard nothing said against your parenting."

"That's... good?" He would make that sound like he needed an answer. But, now that the subject had been breached, he at least had the sense to realize what little his insecurities brought to his position. "But, I also kind of thought... well, Severin's back in this house now, and it's only a matter of time before he marries and has his own children, and this house might feel a little small and a little loud. And, I don't know about you, but I miss having someone around my own age to talk to."

"Old age loves company, is that it?" It was a good point, though. A house could be full of people, but with a lack of common ground, the crowd did little for the loneliness. She loved her children, her grandchildren, her future grandchildren--but, there were a few things that didn't mean much to other generations.

If Tarien Andronei had brought that up way back when, the circumstances of Sparron's conception might have been rather different. Or maybe not. Would have been nice, though. "I'll think about it."



Van said...

All of the headaches. :(

S.B. said...

Well this surprised me. It's as if he suddenly got the idea after visiting Xeta and decided to drop by and try it out. I like both of them. Uncertain how they'd get along but the personalities don't clash at any rate.

Van said...

It did kind of come out-of-the-blue. A lot of Naronians/Dovians are in the "second marriage for the sake of convenience/companionship" stage of life right now, apparently.

If nothing else... yeah, they wouldn't butt heads. Abrich has grown up, but he could still benefit from Lettie's assertiveness and agency. Meanwhile, it would be nice for Lettie to have someone who doesn't try to step on her toes, but isn't Searle or Tarien levels of needy either.