December 21, 2016

In Which Celina Is Grateful

March 27, 1203

"I take it this isn't a social call."

Dani did, in fact, take it right. A mere four days before graduation and Celina ought to have been packing her things, having a few last drinks with her remaining friends and housemates, calling on relations she was unlikely to see again before she left for Dovia on the first of April. True, Dani's husband was Celina's first cousin, but he lived on campus as a faculty member and he taught in her field of study and she therefore saw him often enough--and she knew for a fact that he would be holed up in the philosophy department's office all day, finishing up all the freshman through junior grades he'd put aside to focus on the more urgent work of near-graduates.

Dani, however, had time off at present--which meant that Celina could safely seek her out without Severin ever having to know she'd been there.

"You know that I'm leaving after graduation, right?"

"With your betrothed in Dovia? I'd figured as much."

"Right." Celina sighed. In the interests of brevity, she'd take Dani's lack of need for explanation as a blessing. "I want you to keep an eye on Farr for me. And... Nanalie."

Dani sniffed. "This after you insisted that Nanalie was Oswald's."

"Legally, she is. And for Nearina's sake, it's easier if it's left at that. Besides, she could really be Oswald's, for all we know." And yet... well, even if Nanalie was Oswald's--and she did hope she was!--Celina did owe Nearina some consideration. Even if Nearina didn't know it. "I think I'd just sleep easier if I had some reassurance that she was all right. With Farr, at least Aydelle can write to me too, but you're the only one who knows about Nanalie."

"And it's better for everyone involved if it stays that way."


"Hmm. I don't dislike Nearina, but we're not friends. It would be odd if I started calling on her all of a sudden. But, I'll see what I can do." In Dani's mind, Celina guessed that the connecting social lines were drawing themselves already. Dani was married to Severin, Severin's brother was Arkon, Arkon was married to Honora, Honora was Nearina's sister. That, and there were parties. Many, many parties. A throwaway conversation could lead to something more. "But if you make any more messes up in Dovia, you do realize I can't help you out there--nor would I care to if I could."

"I know. And I've... changed things." Any further children Celina had, she'd sworn when she'd processed Nearina's pregnancy, would be Marsden's. She couldn't limit herself to him entirely--it would have been a waste of her gift--but he'd be her only heterosexual relationship. She'd keep to women as a woman, and to men as a man. No more accidents. No more mistakes.

"Good." Dani slid the nail of her thumb across her index finger. An impatient tick of hers. This conversation had no further purpose to serve. "Congratulations on graduating, and on your impending nuptials. Best of luck in Dovia."

"Thank you." And Celina did mean it. She was grateful.

But the graduation and the nuptials were the least of it.


1 comment:

Van said...

Next post is just supposed to be filler, but I ended up with more pictures than I have in quiiiite some time. Figures.