August 26, 2017

In Which Eliana Credits Men in Books

September 14, 1204

A lifetime of leers and ogling did not permit Eliana much comfort when turning her back on a man, their greedy eyes capitalizing on the chance to do as their fingers longed, that prickly feeling on her skin timed to the point where she half-believed it the physical consequence of stares. Dalston, however, was not prone to the same drooling dog-smells-meat hunger of other men that had plagued her since puberty. He did comment on her beauty, of course--often enough to be almost annoying--but never as he might have had she not even been in the room, always to her and not to the other men around him, and not as often as he tried to talk to her about practically anything else. Over a year of marriage later, and she still wasn't sure just what to do with that.

Obviously, she liked it... but it was still so odd. And of course some paranoid part of her had to muse about what he had to gain from luring her in with a false sense of security.

"You know? I think you and my sister will miss each other once she heads off to Dovia, even if neither of you would ever admit it."

A false sense of security, painted by conversation of his sister of all things! Not a topic brought up often by a man whose immediate concern was the stiffness of his cock.

Eliana bit her lip. It was just as unfair of her to paint Dalston with the actions of other men as it was of said other men to mentally undress her without so much as asking her name. She wanted to trust him. He hadn't given her any reason not to trust him. And yet...

Well, maybe conversation of his sister of all things wasn't the worst way to distract herself from her own unfounded suspicions. That was big news, after all. "I doubt it. Princesses have better things to do than to miss their sisters-in-law, even the ones they can actually stand to be around."

"I don't know; the job description of a princess always sounded rather light on duties to me."

"This from a man who thinks all I do working at the library is read."

From the bed, Dalston chuckled. "Well, I've lived with you long enough to know that's what you'd like your job to be."

"Perhaps," she admitted as she abandoned the fire and eased herself back into bed, "but I owe it to all the books I've loved over the years to see that more people read them." Men in books, after all, didn't know or care what she looked like, and had always made more use of her mind than her breasts or her ass or old wives' tales about violet eyes meaning wanton desires.

"If you say so. But I daresay my sister's favorite thing about university so far has been the library, and I have to wonder if you have anything to do with that."

"Not a thing. I see Camaline no more often than any other student there, and I don't believe she's approached me in there once."

"Of course she hasn't. She doesn't want to impose on your being family, so she compensates by keeping her distance. It's her attempt at being respectful."

Dalston's whole damn family was respectful. How such a thing couldn't be too good to be true was beyond her.

"Good night, Dalston."


August 9, 2017

In Which Laralita Addresses the Oddness

August 1, 1204

"So... you're about an hour away from being my stepmother."

And it hadn't been so long ago that Laralita would have thought that the last thing she'd ever have cause to say of her dear cousin and friend. Actually having said it did nothing to alleviate the strangeness of it all.

"That does look to be the case, doesn't it?" Holladrin grimaced as she fished a curl out of the woven back of Aunt Ren's bedroom sofa. Her dress was a beacon of pure white in Bandera Keep's otherwise dark master bedroom, and Laralita had spent the past several minutes struggling to look at away. "You and Roderick aren't bothered by it, are you?"

Laralita shook her head. It certainly didn't bother her to see her father happier than he'd ever been, nor did it bother her to think that she and her favorite cousin would be living under the same roof until she headed to Naroni for schooling. In a way, she was quite happy.

Or she would be, once she got over the oddness of it all.

"It... it's just strange. But I'll get over it, and I'll make sure Roderick does too. We love you, and obviously we love father, so we'll adjust."

"That's a relief to hear." Holladrin rose to her feet, and stretched her shoulders backward, eyes shut in welcome calm. "I'd been worrying about it, honestly, but I wasn't sure how best to bring it up. Regardless of the answer, though, I'm sorry I never cleared the air before the wedding day."

"It's fine," Laralita assured her as she too stood--what with the likely looming hug and all. "Just promise me one thing."

"For my stepdaughter? Anything."

Laralita indulged the voicing of 'stepdaughter' with a smirk, but it didn't last long. Her request was one that demanded deadly seriousness and a face to match it.

"Never talk to me about sex with my father. Ever."

Holladrin blinked, clearly not having expected to hear quite that. But, she didn't waste much time in nodding. "Fair enough. I'll just talk to you about sex with other men, then."

"Thank God." That settled, Laralita leaned in for that looming hug, not-so-looming now upon the act of the hug itself. "Congratulations, stepmother."