View Full Version : what have we here? - 1/14 morning - Blanche, Ariana
01-08-2011, 06:08 AM
Blanche sat sipping her tea and looking over letters from Gyllene. The sun slanting through the windows told her it was still morning. She had not slept well and wondered if she should try to take a nap later. Almost four months in if she wasn’t mistaken. Her stomach was beginning to show now, though the higher waisted gowns hid it as yet. Another couple months and it was not going to be a matter of hiding it but just of trying not to look like a beached whale. How many times was this? Ten? She’d lost count.
A maid entered and curtsied. “Lady Ariana to see you, Lady Campbell.”
“Show her in. And bring a fresh pot of tea. This one’s almost cold.”
“And some of those candied orange peels... and those biscuits- the orange and lavender ones.”
I hate being pregnant. Blanche flicked open her fan and waited for Ariana to be shown in.
01-09-2011, 04:47 AM
She probably shouldn't be so nervous. But then, she couldn't imagine that this was going to be much fun. Ariana had rolled over in her bed once the morning sun had breached the gap between her curtains, and tried to fall back asleep. Sleep was only short-lived though, because a maid knocked on her door. "Lady Ariana, Lady Campbell wishes to see you."
Feeling severely sleep deprived, she had only split seconds in which to prepare herself. Though her maids helped her with the dressing and the hair, they could not help her with her exhaustion, nor with the bruise on her face. Ten minutes passed and Ariana was being ushered into her aunts' room. Ariana genuflected automatically and then stood up. "Good morning, Aunt Blanche," she said.
01-09-2011, 04:59 AM
Blanche looked over Ariana in the way buyers might review a horse they were considering. The bruise on the girl's face looked atrocious. She'd have to send her maid round with some with hazel and aloe, or there'd be even worse gossip than there already was. How hard had Donovan hit her anyway? The boy really had let his temper get the better of him.
"Good morning, Ariana. Have a seat, the maid's bringing more tea. How did you sleep last night?"
01-09-2011, 05:08 AM
Ariana did not have to be asked twice to take a seat. She tried to sit down gracefully and ladylike, but ended up half-collapsing in the chair. She smiled at the mention of tea and surveyed her aunt carefully. She looked tired. Just about as tired as Ariana felt. But no one really wanted to hear the truth, even if they asked.
Oh, thank you for asking, Aunt. My sleep was perfectly dreadful. I could not sleep on the side as I am used to, I felt as though I've spent the night sleeping on the frozen ground. I am sure that the rings under my eyes serve as an example of my exhaustion. If you haven't noticed, I'd gladly point them out to you. If you don't mind, I would much rather go back to bed.
Instead, Ariana shrugged and said, "I've had better nights, thank you."
01-09-2011, 05:13 AM
Blanche eyed Ariana skeptically. "Mm, so I imagine, after the misadventure you had." She sat back in her chair. "That is what I want to talk to you about. Why did you take off from your chaperones? These things usually have some idiot boy at their root, but I suspect that was not the case this time." At least not blatantly, though from the way Evelyn was acting, one did have to wonder...
01-09-2011, 05:22 AM
Ariana had been prepared for that question. Or at least, she had known that it would come, but not really put together an answer for it yet. Neither Donovan nor Victor had questioned her and Evelyn motives for it. They had not cared why they had done it, simply that they had. "I really do not know. I've never done something quite like it before," she said, staring at her hands folded in her lap.
"I know that I have behaved... troublesome in the past, but nothing quite like this. I do not know what came over me. I felt... caged." She bit her lip. It still did not make sense in her head. "It all made so much sense then."
01-09-2011, 05:58 AM
"It usually does," Blanche said wryly. She waved her fan idly and sighed. "It was Evelyn's idea... oh, don't protest. I've already spoken with her. You have been troublesome in the past, but this time I don't think the fault's entirely yours. However, in the future, if Evelyn suggests something so questionable, you are not to just go along. Do you understand, Ariana?" Blanche's eyes held Ariana's.
"And do you understand what sort of fright you both gave your brothers? Donovan would have torn this city apart down to the bricks if they hadn't found you."
01-09-2011, 07:02 AM
Ariana opened her mouth in order to defend Evelyn's role in the matter, but stopped short when Blanche said that she had already spoken to Evelyn. Oh... The truth was that yes, she had just gone along with what Evelyn suggested, although originally the idea to escape their chaperones had been Ariana's. Everything else was Evelyn's idea. She felt idle and stupid for having just gone along with it. "Yes, aunt," she spoke reluctantly.
She would have laughed, if that did not seem impudent. Nevertheless she shook her head. "Donovan does not care about me. It's his own reputation he treasures. I'm of no worth to him," she said, the bitter words escaping her before she could hold her tongue. She looked away, ashamed of her own boldness now.
01-09-2011, 05:41 PM
Blanche actually set her fan down and turned an irritated look in Ariana's direction. "If it was about his reputation he'd have killed the gypsies and you with them. Or beaten you bloody and sent you to the temples. There are a number of ways to handle such mischief, Ariana. If he truly did not care about you he would simply not have bothered to look for you, and said you'd been stolen. You would have been despoiled, robbed and dead before the sun came up."
Blanche shook her head at the girl. "You think because he struck you instead of embracing you it means he was only angry. He's a Castell, Ariana, and lord of his house. What you did was an insult to him- he cannot have you thinking you can run off like that again whenever the fancy strikes you. He cannot admit weakness. None of us in House Castell have that luxury. It does not mean for one instant he does not care about you." She paused. "Do you have any idea what would have happened if they'd found you and Evelyn hurt, or worse, dead?"
01-10-2011, 12:24 PM
Ariana bit her lip, frustrated at nothing having curbed her thoughts in time. While Blanche's words made sense in every logical manner possible, her feelings were too deep-set for them to convince her. She did not say so, just nodding resolutely at her aunt's words.
"That's not what I meant..." she muttered, more to herself. "He was right to hit me," she admitted. But what about all of those times before? When had he ever acknowledged her or shown even a trace of affection. She felt as though she were a disgrace whenever she was around him. At Blanche's words, she looked up, startled. "No." It was the only truthful answer.
01-11-2011, 02:13 AM
Blanche looked at Ariana with a trace of disappointment. The girl didn’t know anything of what was coming- not like Evelyn- but they couldn't risk another outburst like this last one. "I thought you might not." She sighed. "If anything happened to you, they'd have torn this city to shreds. It would have been more than gypsies that died, and your brother would be a mess. You mean the world to Donovan, Ariana. He’s hurt after that debacle in October, and I know he’s been hard on you- he doesn’t know how to manage a girl your age and he’s got many responsibilities lately. They weigh on him, though he doesn’t show that either.”
Her crystal eyes were not angry but their expression wasn’t gentle either. “You aren’t a child anymore, Ariana and until he weds, it is your duty to see to the running of his household now. He needs you, but he’ll never ask for help, and he may never say he loves you... that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.”
01-14-2011, 06:00 PM
Yes, the debacle in October. What a nice way to put it. It had hit the family hard, such a disgrace. Ariana had been outraged and deeply sorry for her brother. She was not oblivious to his feelings after all and he had seemed quite in love - and that stupid, Strom whore had abused it.
Ariana looked at her hands, folded in her lap. Her duty, her duty, her duty. It had been her duty to sit by her dying father's bedside, to entertain him while in his delusions he mistook her for Donovan. Her duty to make sure that her brother's did not tear at each others' throats afterwards, when Don returned.
Her duty to be the darling sister, the perfect, polite, proud Castell. Her duty to be sweet on the outside, while on the inside she felt as though she were dying. Her duty to speak when spoken to and to wed the man her brother picked and to remain caged forever. Because it was her duty.
She wanted to look away, to mask the bitterness that betrayed her in her eyes. Is this my whole life? "I will be more responsible from now on, Aunt." She chose to ignore the fact that Blanche said that Donovan loved her. Maybe he did. Like an artist loved his statue. "I've always been there for him."
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