Impending Message and Plan
Pifer hurried along the hallway just after the morning meal, the
unopened scroll clutched lightly in his hand. He knew, from the seal,
the golden wax with sheafs of grain embossed deeply within, who it was
from. But unlike before, it was not addressed to Headwoman, but to the
Lord Holder himself. He ached to open it and read it, but didn't dare,
not after the last time. Perhaps the Lord Holder would inform him of
it's contents. Finding the office door open, Pifer glanced in, and
cleared his throat. "My Lord? A message for you."
Bryvin held out his hand without looking directly at the younger man.
Pifer wasn't completely out of the wher burrow with him but he was
getting there. Once the scroll was in his hand. He smiled at the seal
and peeled it open.
The message was written in bold script:
"Greetings and Salutations, Lord Holder Bryvin of Sunstone Sea Hold,
I am writing to inform you of my upcoming nuptials to your Headwoman,
Yriadha. As you are most likely aware, she has graciously consented to
be my bride and mother of any future children that she will bear me.
She had I have a long history and should have been wed when we were
young, but alas, it did not turn out to be so. I am now able to care
for her and give her the position and status she so highly deserves
but has not attained. I will also be taking into my care and adopting
the poor fatherless child she cares for. Though he will not be my
heir, as my sons are all healthy, as my adopted son, he will want for
little, and receive training which will befit his new status, and
which he would not ever achieve with his current situation. This I
have promised Yriadha, and so shall I do so as a wedding gift for her.
I am requesting lodging at Sunstone Sea Hold for no more than a week.
I believe you and Yriadha have a pleasant working relationship, of
which I am proud. She seems to have done well as a Headwoman and is
fiercely loyal to her Hold and her Lord as she should be, so I am
hopeful that her new home will gain such loyalty. I am also hopeful
that you would so kindly officiate our wedding. It will be a small,
private affair, but I am planning to surprise her with a grand
reception upon our arrival at Golden Waves Hold. I will have all
documentation prepared by my Harper for both the marriage and the
adoption, so all will be ready for your signature. I do not ask for
anything further of you except your blessing on the union and the
With this message, I am also sending parcels which contain a suitable
gown and gifts, which will be delivered directly to my future wife. I
believe that her former husband left her with little in material
wealth, so I will be providing all that is necessary for our wedding
and travel. As you are her Lord and she falls under your protection
as an unwed woman, before the marriage takes place, I must also
discuss with you her father's last will and testament, of which she is
a major benefactor.
I hope to meet with you soon and may our two holds, large and small,
continue their valued friendship.
My highest regards,
Holder Stenlis of Golden Waves Hold
Bryvin's jaw clenched and whatever reservations he might have had,
there weren't many, were gone. Whatever Yriadha wanted to do with the
man, he would allow. His desire to crumple and throw the document was
almost overwhelming, but only almost. He pasted a patently false smile
on his face and handed the document back to Pifer. "Please send
Yriadha to me at once," he said.
Pifer took back the scroll. "Of course, my Lord." He poked his head
out of the office and called for a drudge to request the Headwoman.
"Would you like me to draft your reply?"
In the mood he was in, there was not a single civil thing he could say
on a document so he nodded to Pifer. "Please do."
Pifer gave a suitable smile, secretly thrilled that he would both be
able to read the letter and give the news to his wife. "I will do so.
Shall it be a positive or negative reply, my Lord?"
The soft rap on the doorframe announced Yriadha's arrival. Pale, and
with faint shadows under her eyes, she still stood with every bit of
dignity and rigid posture that she had always affected. Glancing at
Pifer with barely veiled distaste, she turned to Bryvin. She took in
the clenched jaw, the tight expression, and secretly worried that he
had discovered more about her activities in the past two days than she
had wanted. Observant, however, she saw the scroll in Pifer's hand
and her back stiffened further. "You asked for me, my Lord?"
As much as he might like to say, 'rip his tongue out and stuff it down
his throat,' he refrained. "Let's be positive," he said with a
dismissing wave and waited for Pifer to close the door. "A letter from
Stenlis," he said to Yriadha. "He's sent gifts and the date of his
Her expression cooled immediately. "I received the package he sent.
It was delivered only a few moments ago to my quarters." It had
contained a gown, shoes and a headdress and jewelry. Had she been
truly open to the suit, she may have appreciated it, but had been
tempted to throw it all in her fire, fine items or not. "I had not
expected him to reply so quickly."
"I expect not," he said. The rush in itself either spoke of desire or
haste for some other reason. His eyes softened. "Please have a seat
Yriadha," He indicated the most comfortable seat in the room.
She was unused to seeing such a softness in his eyes, especially
directed at her. It surprised her, but also tugged deeply at some
inner part of her that she preferred not to think of or examine. So
she sat in the offered chair, appreciating the cushioning and the
comfort. "Thank you. Is there something more, my Lord?"
"Stenlis said something about an inheritance. Not any detail but just
that there was one."
She frowned immediately, sitting back in the chair. " That makes no
sense. I have no inheritance that I am aware of. My older brother is
my father's the sole heir and always has been. I doubt that he would
ever part with any of it." Her lips lifted grimly. "My husband drank
away what my father had provided with my marriage and I was never
allowed more than that." Her eyebrows furrowed even more deeply. "I
don't see how Stenlis would even have a knowledge of my brother's
holdings, much less any right to them through me. "
"Then we'll need to find out about the inheritance won't we?" He
raised his brow. "I'd imagine there is a condition in your father's
will that any inheritance be controlled by your husband. It's a fairly
normal provision," he added speaking with his Steward's knowledge.
"Would you like to be in the room when I talk to Stenlis about it?"
"If I were in the will, yes. But, I am telling you that my brother has
always been his sole heir. My father was very traditional. Perhaps
Stenlis is mistaken or expects that my father left me with something
else. Perhaps he still believes that he'd get what Demeltor received
as a dowry. My father was very wealthy, but I don't have any of what
he left me anymore." She exhaled, then nodded. "I would indeed. He may
object, but I would like to know what he is talking about." She
sighed, and her tension relaxed a bit, her rigidity fading as she
rubbed at her eyes. The strain was beginning to show around her eyes
and the starkness of her cheekbones.
"Yriadha," Bryvin said softly. "You will never want for anything here.
No matter what your father's provisions were. What we must find out is
why he believes there is an inheritance and what it might be. Do you
think he'd tell me if you are here with him?"
"I know that. You pay me quite well." She laid her hands in her lap
and thought about his question for a moment. "Stenlis
is...traditional. It may be that he won't discuss details with me
present, even if it involves me. He's more than likely wanting to
assure you that I'll be well cared for." She gave a soft snort of
"I'm not talking about pay Yriadha. You bore me a son. You and he will
never want for funds again. You only need ask." Perhaps his values
were a bit different from those of more traditional men but he was
responsible and had the marks, so there was no question in his mind.
But then he smiled as he had an idea. He lifted a brow. "You could
hide under the desk and he'd never know you were there." His eyes
twinkled at the thought.
Her brows twitched upwards. She had never once considered asking him
for any additional funds, even for Yavin. She had learned early in her
marriage about the necessity of frugality. That Bryvin had offered was
a surprise, though she did doubt that she would take him up on it
unless absolutely necessary. "If I have a need, I will ask." She
conceded softly. "Thank you, my Lord." She then took a breath,
watching his face as he continued.
What he suggested next startled her enough for her to show it, but
there was finally a look of wry amusement on her face. "Hide under the
desk?" The corners of her lips rose. "And what exactly shall I be
doing while I listen, my Lord?" The thought of servicing Bryvin as she
so often had done, while Stenlis was there with no realization made
her smile widen with an almost vicious satisfaction.
"I thought you might like that idea," he grinned. Though no humor
reached his eyes.
Last updated on the May 2nd 2019