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Keeping Promises

Writers: Heather
Date Posted: 3rd October 2021

Characters: H'riv, Gyllie
Description: H’riv reminds Uuketh why Gyllie isn’t allowed in their weyr.
Location: Barrier Lake Weyrhold
Date: month 9, day 21 of Turn 10
Notes: References events from “BLW: The Other Man”

Thayde’s advice from earlier still rang in H’riv’s mind as Uuketh landed on their ledge back at Barrier Lake. Sighing as he slid down his dragon’s flank and landed on the floor with a thud, he walked into the darkened weyr.

}:You are moody again. Should I call the red headed one?:{ Uuketh formed images of Gyllie.

**No. I told you, she’s not welcome here anymore.**

}:Why was that again?:{

**She’s married.**

Uuketh pondered that word and its significance for a moment. }:Does that make a difference? Greens have different mates all the time, but I still like spending time with them.:{

**It’s not the same thing, Uuk. It doesn’t work that way all the time with humans.**

}:Why not? The Red One makes you feel good.:{

Why not? H’riv shared his memories of that night with Uuketh once more….


“Feck!” Kick. “Feck!” Kick. “Feck!”

Out of glow baskets to kick, H’riv stood in his weyr, chest heaving as he panted angrily. He let the darkness soak in around him. The irony of it, technician by trade, specializing in electricity, and yet here he stood in the dark. He could have light with the flip of a switch, but he liked the homey glow of glow baskets.

}:You okay in there?:{ Uuketh asked, the sounds of his gigantic body moving around in his couch accompanying the question.

“No,” he bit out. His mind kept replaying the moment when Gyllie’s husband, **HUSBAND!**, walked through the door of her weyr. He thought back to all of those times he’d tried professing his love to Gyllie only to have her tell him that he had promised not to fall in love with her. No wonder she had not wanted to hear avowals of love, she was already in love with someone else.

**Why not just be up front about it?” he wondered.

}: Good news,:{ Uuketh said, ignorant of his rider’s carefully kept thoughts, }:The Red One is here to see you.:{

H’riv whirled around, the question on his lips dying as he saw a familiar silhouette standing in the doorway between Uuketh’s couch and the weyr. The moonlight outside provided just enough light to see her outline.

“What are you doing in the dark?” her sultry voice questioned, as if nothing was wrong.

He was not in the mood for her coy games. “Get out, Gyllie.”

“Easy,” she soothed, not at all intimidated by the growl in the brownrider’s voice. She knew he was as gentle as a lamb. “I just wanted to come and explain a few things. I am not asking for your forgiveness, I just thought you might want some answers.”

Opposing factions warred within H’riv. On one hand he wanted to lash out and hurt her as she had hurt him, and on the other, he did want to know what she had to say for herself and her deceit.

“Fine. Go on.”

“Can I sit?” she asked.

H’riv nodded, and then realized she couldn’t see him in the dark. “Yes.” He watched the silhouette disappear from the doorway, and then heard her settle on his couch.

Keeping his distance, H’riv took a chair from his table.

“Can we turn on some lights so we can see one another?” she asked with a touch of hesitation.

“No,” he said flatly. “This is enough.”

Gyllie curled her hands over her knees, sitting ramrod straight on the edge of the couch cushion. “As you wish.” She licked her lips, finding it hard now that she was here to tell H’riv what she had never told the other men in her past.

“I had a twin sister, growing up, her name was Eyllian -“

“What does this have to do with -“

“Just listen, okay? I’m going somewhere, I promise.”

H’riv snapped his mouth shut.

“Anyway, her name was Eyllian. We were identical to look at, same red hair, same blue eyes, a dimple in our cheeks when we laugh…. But that is about where our similarities end. Eyllian was the epitome of what parents dream of in a daughter… elegant, refined, well-mannered, and obedient. I was… I am the opposite of those things, as I’m sure you have noticed. I never wanted to be those things but Eyllian found pleasure in them.

“When she was sixteen, Eyllian caught the attention of a distinguished Master Harper, someone whose career was really noteworthy at the Hold. When she came home and said he wanted to marry her I was disgusted - imagine, marrying a man twenty Turns your senior when you are sixteen!” Gyllie barked out a mirthless laugh.

“But that is what Eyllian wanted. She was ecstatic, and so were my parents. They had never dreamed of such a good connection for one of us. And they knew they would never convince someone of such rank to marry me. Not disobedient little Gyllian who climbed trees and kissed boys behind the barn.”

Gyllie licked her lips. “So they married and things were perfect for them. I was happy to have my sister out of the house so her perfect behavior wasn’t there to be measured against me all the time.”

H’riv heard Gyllie sniffle and he imagined that her eyes were glassy with tears.

“We went our separate ways for several Turns. I had a… a reputation around the Hold and … it wasn’t good. I am sure that doesn’t surprise you now. Everyone around Amber Hills knew that good ole Gyllian liked to spread her legs and she would never find a husband to keep.” She snorted. “Bunch of prudes. I never wanted a husband.”

“So then how did you get one?” H’riv asked, hoping to hurry this tall tale along. Did she really expect him to believe all of this?

“I was about… twenty-four I think, when word came that Eyllian was pregnant. I went to visit with her, to celebrate with her, because I knew that she had been trying for Turns, ever since she married, to have a baby with her husband. While I was there she made me promise… vow… that if anything should ever happen to her I should take care of her baby and her husband.”

Something hot landed on Gyllie’s hand, a tear. Reaching up, she swiped the other tears off her cheeks.

“I laughed but promised because I thought she was just being silly and over dramatic. Then, three months later Eyllian died in childbirth. The baby was still born. And then I remembered the promise that I had made.”

“Are you about to tell me that the man down there, the one in your weyr, your husband, was married to your twin sister and that because of some promise you made to a dead woman, you married him?” H’riv scoffed.

Gyllie winced at the cutting words. “You have siblings, H’riv. Have you ever made them difficult promises that were hard to keep but you did it anyway, because you loved them and that’s what family does?”

H’riv stared into the darkness, his gut starting to twist a little. Was she really telling the truth? He thought back to the plethora of promises and favors that he’d taken care of for his siblings over the years… Thayde, Thayrisa, Aydramine, Thavyos, and Ayvid.

“Anyway, I just thought you should know, that’s why I married Dysmin.” The sound of clothing ruffling as she adjusted her coat caught H’riv’s attention, and then her silhouette was back at the doorway.

The brownrider stood and crossed the room to the threshold where moonlight filtered in weakly.

“That doesn’t explain how you slept with me all this time and lied to me.”

Gyllie half turned to look back at him.

H’riv’s insides froze up when he saw her blackened eyes and the busted lip. He didn’t have to ask where they came from.

“I thought you knew that part. I slept with you because I love you, H’riv. I love who I got to be when I was with you. I didn’t tell you about Dysmin because that would make you culpable when he found out, and I knew that he would eventually find out.”

“I don’t understand.” H’riv shoved a hand into his hair. “This is the Weyr, you don’t have to stay with him. Leave him. The Weyrleaders would flip if they knew he did that to you.” He reached out to touch her face gently but she took a step back.

“Weren’t you listening to my story, H’riv? I made a promise.”

His brow furrowed. “Do you really think your sister would want you to stay in a marriage where her husband hits you?”

Gyllie reached up and touched her busted lip, wincing as she did so. “Eyllian would say that I had brought this on myself. Dysmin never laid a finger on me until… “


“Until he started finding other men in our bed.” Gyllie’s mouth twisted a little. “I’m ‘Good Ole Gyllian’ from the Hold, remember? The one who likes to spread her legs. Not all gossip is false and some habits die hard.”

H’riv’s jaw clenched. “So you are just going to stay with him?”

A sadness came into her eyes. “Yes, I promised her and him, till death do us part. I might be a liar, and a horrible wife, but I always keep my promises.”

**End Flashback**

H’riv had not spoken to Gyllie since that night and when he did see her around the Weyr he gave her a wide berth. She had not tried to catch his eye or talk to him since.

}: Oh, right.:{ Uuketh said, having been thoroughly reminded.

Last updated on the February 11th 2022

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