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The Value of Family

Writers: Heather
Date Posted: 15th November 2020

Characters: Zathris, Benamil
Description: Benamil asks Zathris' help covering up Saedriel's murder.
Location: Amber Hills Hold
Date: month 2, day 2 of Turn 10
Notes: Mentioned: Nazli, Benani, Arion, Karhal
Follows "Keeping things Hush Hush"


After all of the words and hard feelings that had been exchanged between himself and his brother-in-law, over the Arion situation, Benamil found himself hesitating outside of Lord Zathris's office door. Here was yet again another scandal involving one of the people that he loved. **And I thought life was hectic as a bachelor.**

His thoughts went back to Nazli and how terrified she must have been down in the cellar. The way Arion had described it, Saedriel was most certainly dead, and the killer was most certainly his wife. Was it self-defense? Benamil didn't think it could be anything else. Nazli didn't have a mean bone in her entire body.

Still, the death of the woman who had been blackmailing him, at the hands of his wife and secret lover, was the sort of controversy that Benamil couldn't allow, nor Zathris, since it was an extension of his family.

As he was mulling over what to say, and how to say it, the door to Zathris's office suddenly swung open.

"Benamil?" Zathris was surprised to find his brother-in-law standing before him. "What are you doing here? I heard congratulations were in order. A daughter, I believe?" The Lord Holder, who had been on his way home to Benani, stepped back to allow Benamil into his office.

"Yes, a girl," Benamil said, although he sounded a bit dazed as he walked in and sat down. "We are calling her Zinali. We figured there were enough 'B's in the family as it was."

Zathris chuckled a little. "You're not wrong there. B's and R's a plenty. I'm happy for you, man. Having a little girl is..." he thought of his own sweet Nimiliee, "precious. They'll wrap you around their finger before you can blink."

Benamil smiled a little, thinking that was very true. He already was willing to do anything to ensure his daughter's happiness.

"How did Nazli fare through the delivery?" Zathris asked, having attended all of his children's births and understanding the strain it could put on the mother.

"Oh, she was a champion, truly." Benamil said, although his smile was beginning to falter. "It was actually Nazli that I was hoping to talk to you about."

Zathris arched an eyeberow. "Oh?" He hoped his brother-in-law wasn't going to try and weasel his way out of the marriage now that an heir was had. He knew Benamil's feelings for the vintner but appearances had to be kept. This was a Hold, after all, not a Weyr.

"Saedriel cornered Nazli in the cellar before she went into labor." Benamil said, spilling out the truth.

"Saedriel?" Zathris's brow furrowed before the name clicked in his mind. "She dared show her face here again?"

"More than that, she was threatening Nazli, with a knife apparently. Arion heard screaming and when he arrived he found Nazli on the floor in labor and Saedriel on the floor in a pool of her own blood."

Zathris's eyes widened. "Nazli... killed her?"

Benamil licked his lips. "That's my understanding. Arion hid the body until we could decide a better course of action."

The Lord Holder bowed his head, eyes noticing every detail on the slick stone of his office floor as he thought through the consequences of Nazli's actions. "Clearly," he finally said, looking up, "it was self-defense. All the same, we don't want anyone asking _why_ Saedriel would have been accosting Nazli." That answer would lead to Arion and Benamil's illicit relationship. "I will contact Karhal and the body will be disposed of and we will never mention it again."

"Can the Guard Captain be trusted?" Benamil asked, worried.

Zathris thought back to the night that Karhal had captured Benani's assailant. "Yes, Karhal can be trusted. I will see to it, personally." The Lord Holder stood. He would have to be late to dinner... again. "You go back to your wife and daughter. Go and celebrate and be the proud papa the Hold expects you to be."

Benamil stood, sticking his hand out to his brother-in-law. "Thank you, Zathris. I know I haven't made your life easy."

The Lord Holder clasped his hand firmly. "What is family for?"

Last updated on the November 23rd 2020

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