Benani smiled as Zelanka and Nazli came through her door. "Good
morning," she nodded.
"Good morning, my lady. How are you this morning?" Zelanka greeted
with a smile. She was carrying a tray with tea pot and something to
eat with it.
"I am very well Zelanka, Thank you. And how is Nazli," she smiled her question.
"Just a bit overwhelmed," Nazli said honestly.
"I'm sure," Benani smiled. "But it's going to get worse before it gets
better," she said. "Zelanka, there are a couple of things we'll need
your particular help with. You know that suite in the back corner
nearest the beast pens? I thought that would be good for Benamil and
Nazli after they're married. What do you think?"
"It's a very nice set of rooms," Zelanka agreed, "if you don't mind
the view to the beast pens," she continued. She lowered the tray to
the table and sat down. She was bit wary of this sudden marriage,
knowing Nazli's history. "Are you alright with that, Nazli? I know
Benamil won't mind, since he has shorter distance to his beloved
"Yes," she said with a small nod. "That will be fine." She'd lived in
a ladies dormitory on the highest level with the other single women.
She felt safe amidst all the other young women who served in the
laundry and the kitchens.
"Good to hear," Zelanka said.
Seeing the concern in Zelanka's eyes Nazli couldn't help trying to
reassure her of her decision to marry Benamil. "He makes me feel safe
Zelanka," she looked directly into the older woman's eyes with clear
sincerity. "Like your Petriv, he's kind and solid."
Benani's eyebrows twitched a bit. She'd had only ever guessed about
Zelanka's husband but if what she thought were true, it was possible
for Benamil to keep his secret, live at the hold and have a full life.
"Yes," she agreed. "He's a good man."
"Well, he always was a good boy. I never had to rap his fingers with a
lardle. Worst he ever did was drag some mud in," Zelanka said. She had
not _know_ that about Benamil but she (and Petriv) had their
suspicions. She felt much better knowing Nazli would enter her facade
marriage with open eyes, unlike she had.
"He did?" Nazli chuckled. "I'll have to keep my eyes open then. But I
think we'll be comfortable in that room."
"I'm sure. Let me know if you need some furniture or changes made to
the layout," Zelanka said.
"Well," she looked back and forth feeling just a little bit out of her
depth. Both of the other women were far above her in station. Even
though they were treating her as one of the family she wasn't yet
comfortable in the roll. "Perhaps we can set up two of the bedrooms
with the larger beds? In case he wishes to sleep separately?" It was
almost a scandalous suggestion for someone who wasn't the Lord or Lady
of the Hold. Even though she knew Lord Zathris rarely slept separately
from Lady Benani, it happened on occasion. "I think Benamil might like
the bigger room on the corner."
Benani nodded. "Yes, it is closer to that entrance and he could leave
for his crafting without disturbing you."
"Yes," Nazli smiled timidly. "I like that room toward the back with
the little balcony if you think its appropriate."
"It's a lovely room," Zelanka said approvingly. She herself had slept
in separate bedroom from her husband for decades, so she found the
arrangement perfectly normal. Those who asked about her bedroom
arrangement, she simply answered: Petriv snores. It wasn't even a lie,
her husband did snore.
"Well then," Benani smiled. "I believe we have a plan of action. Thank
you Zelanka. Was there anything else?"
"The Wedding arrangements, but we can get back to those some later
time," Zelanka said with a glance towards Nazli. She seemed
"I believe my brother simply wanted to fold it into the other weddings
at the end of the Gather so as not to make an additional fuss. My
niece Faldrimme has offered a dress I believe will fit Nazli without
much alteration other than the length. It's that red one she wore for
Turn Over last Turn. Do you remember it?"
"Oh, yes, it's a lovely dress," Zelanka replied. If it was the one she
remembered, it was flattering without being too revealing.
"And I will loan my ruby necklace and earrings," Benani smiled. "Have
you given any thought to how you wish to wear your hair?"
Nazli was overwhelmed with the thought of the finery and blinked back
tears. "No," she whispered.
"Well then," Benani reached out to pat her hand. "I know this is a bit
stressful, why don't you go lay down and take a nap?" She watched as
the younger woman nodded and left the room. She turned back to
Zelanka, "I know it will be hard for her to accept but she will need a
new wardrobe and an assigned maid."
"Oh, yes, it's a big change and quite a leap from her previous
position. She probably hasn't realized, but she will be Lady Nazli
after the wedding," Zelanka agreed. "She deserves it, couldn't happen
to a better person." She had a thoughful pause and then glanced her
Lady Holder. "People will expect babies from her," she warned.
"Yes I know," Benani closed her eyes for a moment. "We'll just have to
play that by ear and hope. Benamil and Nazli will have to work it out
for themselves I think. We can only give them whatever support we
can." She reached out to the older woman and squeezed her hand.
"Thank you Zelanka," she said with a heart full of gratitude. "I don't
think anyone else would understand. We must keep this secret from
everyone for as long as we can."
"Yes, Benani, we must," Zelanka replied, forgotting the My Lady now
that there was just two of them.
"And now I have to figure out how I'm going to tell Zathris," she sighed.
"Good luck with that," Zelanka smiled.
Last updated on the February 1st 2018