About the Children
It took a few days for Asaile to really accept the fact that she was
now a Lady Holder. Though she'd been trained for just this position,
acclimating to it was a far different prospect. She had her own maids
and staff and her small office was still mostly empty as she decided
what to do with it; Yriadha still did most of the duties associated
with her position and to be quite honest, Asaile was still intimidated
by the woman. Besides, she figured, if the Headwoman knew the job, why
upset the order that already worked?
A little uncertain as to what to do, Asaile decided to fall back on
what she knew. Slipping down to the nursery with one of her maids, she
decided it would be better to get to know Lord Bryvin's children. She
was to be their mother and perhaps it would be better, since they were
so young, that they grew accustomed to her regular presence. Opening
the door, she heard soft singing and looked up. "Oh, hello."
Suynie paused from where she had been rocking Xelbry and glanced up at
the presence in the nursery. Usually, the only visits she received
during the day were the occasional ones from Lord Bryvin. He was a
busy man but Suynie did think that he truly loved his children. There
was always a light in his eyes when he was around them.
"Lady Asaile," she curtsied, Xelbry tucked against her breasts asleep.
"Please come in. Xelbry is just going down for a nap and the small
lord," she nodded her head toward Brylex, "is building a tower."
Asaile stepped in and forward to look down at the little girl,
sleeping so sweetly. "She's so lovely. I can't wait to have my own."
She placed her hand on her belly with a measure of hope. "They're such
sweet children, though I think the little Lord is definitely going to
be quite the man when he grows up. He tussles often with his friends
in the creche." She gestured to a chair. "Do you mind company? It's
Suynie, isn't it?"
"Of course, milady, please sit." Suynie stood and deposited Xelbry
into the wooden cradle at the foot of Suynie's chair. It was built so
that the foster mother could rock it back and forth with her foot
while she did other things, such as mending the children's clothing,
or some times reading to them. "Children are a treasure," she said,
agreeing with the young woman's statement, although she doubted that
Asaile truly realized how demanding they could be. That was something
you had to learn from experience.
"Yes. I spent a great deal of time in the creche at my hold. My
sister," Asaile smiled gently, "she has the mind of a child and I
helped care for her. I love children though. I love how their minds
work and how they get so much joy out of little things." She looked
over at Brylex. "He looks so like my Lord."
"Yes, he is Lord Bryvin in miniature. I think the little Lady looks
more like her mother," Suynie said truthfully, although it was not
something that she said in front of Bryvin.
Asaile didn't like thinking about Bryvin's previous wife. She'd only
heard rumors about her, that she'd been beautiful, but that she'd
gone mad and had to be locked away. Her heart ached for Bryvin and how
difficult that must have been for him. She wondered if he still
grieved over it. "Hopefully, she'll see me as her new mother as she
gets older. " Her eyes were kind as she looked over at the cradle.
"She's always seemed a sweet baby when I've seen her before. " Asaile
then turned. "Would you like some refreshments? I can send for some.
I'd like to get to know you since I'll be here often. "
"Refreshments would be lovely," Suynie agreed, thinking something
along the same lines as the Lady. In her capacity as the children's
foster mother, Suynie had to interact often with the Lord's family,
and it was helpful when they weren't complete strangers.
After asking her maid to request refreshments, Asaile settled a
little more in her chair. "Have you been here long? With the children?
In my Hold," she corrected herself, "my former Hold, my mother did
most of the rearing, but we were left with a lady in our nursery when
she was busy. Of course, Crimson Cliff is much smaller than Sunstone,
but I do hope that I'll be able to spend plenty of time with the
children I will bear. "
"I have actually only been with the children a few months," Suynie
confessed. "I was married to a seacrafter, he went missing at sea when
the tsunami hit, and after that, well, I needed a way to provide for
my family. I have a son, Lucyien, he's about seven. I interviewed with
the Headwoman for this position, it was just after the last Lady left
and the children needed a mother's attention." Suynie's warm gaze went
to Brylex and Xelbry. "I have become attached to them quickly, but
being a mother myself, I understand your desire to spend as much time
with your children as possible. I suppose I will help in whatever
capacity you decide is best, milady."
"Oh, I'm so very sorry for the loss of your husband." Asaile's face
showed genuine sympathy for the other woman. "I'm very glad that you
were able to get a position here. Children will always need a
mother's attention, even if it's not their own. I wouldn't want to
part them from you, not if there's been affection shared and bonds
made, especially so young. I would also like to grow close to them and
perhaps one day, they'll see me as their mother."
The refreshments arrived and Asaile waited as Weltine served both of
them with quick efficiency. She sipped her cup of tea and smiled with
pleasure before continuing. "It will, of course, be up to my Lord,
but I would like you to stay on as long as you like. I may need your
help. I've cared for children, but have never been a mother. "
Suynie relaxed a little at hearing her job wasn't being taken away
from her, at least not yet. She hadn't been sure what the younger
woman would want, but would have understood if she had wanted the task
of raising the children on her own. "Well, I would be happy to help in
whatever way you allow, milady. I always wanted more children but my
husband and I were never fortunate enough for that to happen."
"Well, I shall know in a few sevendays if I will need more of your
help soon. I'm hoping I will, but of course, I can't know for
certain. Not yet." Her brow knit. "But all the same, as my mother
says, it doesn't make sense to stop a redfruit cart that's on a
smooth road. If Hold matters run smoothly, why should I change them?
It would upset my Lord, I think." She offered Suynie a small bisuit.
"But, perhaps, when your load is lightened as the children require
less care, you might find a husband to provide you with your wish. "
"A husband?" Suynie couldn't help the bit scoff in her tone as she
took the offered biscuit. "I am already past thirty, milady. I doubt I
shall find a husband again."
"Oh, you mustn't think that. I know women who've had children quite
late in life, even when they were almost fifty turns. I could help, if
you like. I'd be happy to. Perhaps there is such a man in the Hold and
you've yet to find him! You've been very busy."
"Oh," Suynie blushed a little, reaching a hand up to touch her hair.
"That's very kind of you, milady, but I believe so many of our men in
the Hold would prefer someone younger, perhaps someone who wasn't
married before and doesn't come with a child of her own."
Asaile waved her hand. "Pssh. We'll find someone for you. I'm sure my
Lord might even know of a good match. I will ask him." So newly and
happily married, Asaile couldn't bear to think of anyone who would not
be as happy as she. "You've helped him and taken care of his children.
How could he not help you?"
Suynie wasn't sure that Lord Bryvin could give a tunnelsnake's arse
over whether she was married or not, but her Lady was being so kind
that she didn't want to bring a damper on the moment. "I should be
happy for whatever assistance you give, milady. You certainly managed
to capture the Lord's eye."
Asaile's cheeks flushed as she looked down. "I care for my Lord very
much and he's a good, honest, gentle man. I'm sure that once I speak
to him, he'll be able to provide some sort of assistance, or at least
allow me to do what I can for you." She sipped her tea, then nibbled
on a biscuit. "Tell me, are the children happy? Do they have any needs
that perhaps haven't been met?"
Suynie studied the blush, marveling that it was still intact after a
wedding night. “I can’t think of anything that the children need.
Monetarily they are provided whatever they want and then I make sure
that their wardrobes remain full, I read to them, and we play games
together and sing. That might change as they age, of course.”
"Good. Has little Brylex started learning his letters or numbers yet?
I started around his age and I should like to help him. "
The foster mother smiled proudly. “Yes, he can count up to twenty and
say all his letters. He has been working on writing his name. The ‘y’
is sometimes tricky for him and he writes it backwards, but otherwise,
he has the gist of it.”
"Very good!" Asaile gave a light clap of her hands in a hint of
excitement. "My mother always said that early learning was best so
that Harpers wouldn't have to start too fresh. "Xelbry's of course too
young for that sort of thing, but Brylex will have a good start on his
lessons. I taught my sister how to read, but she was never able to go
beyond picture books no matter how hard I tried."
“Brylex is quite smart, I wouldn’t be surprised if he is ahead of his
peers when he starts harper classes.” Suynie said as her eyes
fluttered down to Xelbry. “This little lady is still working on the
word Dada and we’ve been practicing walking, although she hasn’t
gotten the hang of it on her own yet. She crawls better than a
Asaile beamed at the thought that Bryvin's son and daughter were doing
so well. She was proud for them, even though they weren't her own.
"I'm very glad to hear that. She should start walking on her own too,
then things will get very busy, don't you think? I know my brother's
youngest started walking, then it seemed like he was running the very
next day and he drove his mother to distraction." She giggled at the
thought. "Oh, I look forward to seeing that. But you'll have my help,
"I look forward to it, Lady Asaile." Suynie smiled kindly.
Last updated on the December 2nd 2020