Author Topic: Lady, In Waiting  (Read 2555 times)

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Offline Existentially Odd

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Lady, In Waiting
« on: December 13, 2008, 05:55:29 PM »
Lam stood in the front doorway of the Liari manor, waving happily at the artist who was practically skipping down the path and out the front gate.  His two assistants circled him, looking slightly dazed and just as happy.  Considering the generous bag of gold the artist had just taken possession of, it was no surprise the man was quite ecstatic, but he had worked very hard for his reward.  Her arm lowered when he left the property, coming to rest upon her enormous, rounded belly, rubbing it in a familiar manner as she stepped back and closed the front door.

With a sigh, Lady Liari then looked down at the floor around her feet and marvelled at the stacks of framed paintings there.  All six of them featured the same subject matter - her wedding to Kysis, four moons before - but they were all different sizes and only two showed just the two of them.  The artist had been invited to the wedding and had sketched the whole thing, so that afterwards the newlyweds could visit his studio and pick out the sketches they liked the best, to have them turned into proper, full-colour paintings.

Of course, they\'d also posed in his studio - in their wedding outfits - for three days after they were married, just so that a very formal portrait of them could be completed faster than all the others and sent to Kreos for Kysis\' parents.  Whether they liked the gift or not had yet to be confirmed; it had been sent off with a letter from both Lam and Kysis talking about the day and her pregnancy almost two moons after the actual wedding.  Lam didn\'t expect a reply to arrive for another two moons - at about the same time her baby would, according to the physician she\'d seen.

That day couldn\'t come soon enough for Lam, and not just because she was excited to see whether they\'d have a Pandora or a Gwilym to raise.  Whichever sex was contained in her belly, it kicked like a mule - generally in the middle of the night when she was trying to sleep - and had the uncanny knack of wedging itself as high under her ribs as it could go.  The heartburn was unbearable, her meals necessarily small (and frequent) and her trips to the outhouse constant, even though the pressure on her bladder was basically baby, not fullness.  As joyous as it was having a life that was her and Kysis growing inside her, the discomfort level only increased as the baby\'s girth did and she was keen to have it finished with.

The child was in none of the paintings, of course.  Lam\'s wedding dress had boasted a high waist and long, elegant folds of skirt that had trailed for a metre or so behind her when she\'d walked, but they hadn\'t been necessary to conceal anything, she hadn\'t begun to show until a few weeks after the wedding.  She inspected the paintings now, lips curling into a fond smile as she gazed upon the painted images of she and Kysis sharing their first kiss before Adora\'s altar, flanked by Susannah and Ryanna on Lam\'s side, and Rico and Freddy on Kysis\'.

It had taken quite a lot of discussing before the wedding to decide who would attend them; Lam\'s choices were Susannah and Freddy, of course, but there was no way she could ask such a man to be her bridesmaid, so Kysis had bitten the bullet and asked for her.  Ryanna was asked as a favour to both Kysis and Freddy (for the Captain rather liked the young redhead and Lam sensed that there was something brewing between the two of them, judging by teh way they\'d looked at each other over the celebration feast at the reception) and Rico... well, Lam had had to harangue Kysis into asking him (though she suspected he really did want his retainer as his best man).

The ceremony had contained a mix of Greek traditions as well as those bestowed by Adora, the guests had been fairly few in number but the day had stretched into a very festive and fabulous night.  Her favourite painting was a small one, only the size of her chest, that was just she and Kysis standing beneath a garlanded arch outside the Sanctuary, the setting sun behind them bathing them in multitudes of pink and orange while they stared adoringly into one another\'s eyes.  Off to the side, she remembered that her Uncle Donald had just announced them as Lord and Lady Liari for the first time and so they\'d shared that look of triumph, wonder and bliss.

The day hadn\'t gone without its hitches, of course.  Not long after that beautiful moment, the applause had died down and her father had emerged from the shadows, drunk and hurling abuse at Lam for being a murderer who didn\'t have the decency to worship the God that took her mother from him - because of her - and telling all assembled how she was a disappointment and a traitor.

Thankfully, her uncle had intervened and bustled her father home; he hadn\'t arrived at the reception on time, but Lam had been extremely grateful for what he did anyway; she\'d begged her father to attend her wedding and give her away, but he\'d refused when he\'d found out the ceremony wouldn\'t be held under Talon\'s watchful eye.  Hannah had cited the same reasons for not attending, yet her very noble, Talon-worshipping husband had found time to come and sit in the Sanctuary for the ceremony and even give Kysis and she a wedding present.  Who the well-dressed man that accompanied him was she didn\'t know for sure, and she didn\'t ask, but she was glad they\'d come, even if they didn\'t make it to the reception (because Hannah would\'ve noticed him missing that long, he\'d laughed).  Her Uncle Donald had given her away and he was more father to her han the biological stain that constantly abused her was, anyway.

Deciding she had better do something with the six paintings other than just leave them in the entranceway - two of them were almost as tall as she was, the first detailed every person present at the wedding, posed outside the Sanctuary for the artist\'s sketch, and the second showed the candlelit outdoor feasting area where they\'d held their reception, the bridal party at the top of the frame eating and laughing happily.  It made her smile looking at Freddy\'s dear grin; she\'d been so relieved and grateful that he\'d agreed to not only come to the wedding, but be part of it.  If anything, the complete removal of the possibility they\'d ever be a couple again had only made them closer friends (not just because he was her only way of finding out what was going on with Prince Mayhew and his lovely French bride).

"A little help from someone, please!" she called into the grand house, figuring someone would be around to assist her carrying the beautiful artworks into the manor so that they could find places to hang them (she already had a good idea where they\'d go).  It was only after she bravely - or stupidly, really - picked up the two largest frames that she recalled that she was likely alone in the house.  Still, she took a few steps through the open doorway into the dining room, determined to get the surprisingly-heavy pictures at least to a leaning position against the table.

Of course, her baby decided that that exact moment was the one it should choose to give her kidney a swift whallop.  She cried out involuntarily and staggered, which caused one of the paintings in her vice-like grip to shift.  It slipped out of her left hand entirely and dropped at an angle - she stuck her foot out so that it landed on her soft shoe instead of the hard floor, not wanting the frame to be jarred.  That was the point at which she realised how bloody heavy these paintings really were, because she didn\'t get her whole foot out in time and it mostly landed on her toes.  She cried out again - which quickly became a shriek as the painting she\'d dropped (the one farthest from her body) began to swing outward.

Any second now, it would swing out of the pinched control of her right hand and more than likely crash onto one of the dining chairs before her, which would go straight through the canvas itself and completely ruin the beautiful artwork.  Kysis was at the shop, she was pretty sure, and Matthew was at the market searching for some cinnamon for the baby... her only hope was that Rico was still around or that one of the guards was about to pass through - and that either of them had responded to her first call for help, because she was seconds away from losing her grip... and the painting she\'d only just taken possession of.

Offline Kysis

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Re: Lady, In Waiting
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2008, 01:59:39 PM »
It had been a busy while, considering his new preoccupation with Matthew and then the wedding, the new hand hired to help at the shop (an Oberon native, no less), not to mention all of the usual work.  Though at first the question of whether he would help in the wedding had been painful.  Rico, despite his current fascination with Matthew (and his body), had still be on the brink of tears until Kysis had hugged him and told him that if it was still too fresh, he didn\'t have to.

That had resolved everything.

With that, Rico had agreed not only to be the best man, but to also provide for music.  He had sung a few songs in his native Greek, happy songs about love and marriage, as well as a few similarly themed songs in English, which he had done a great deal of research to learn properly.

The wedding had been like a lifting of a thousand pounds of weight and strain lifting off his shoulders and chest.  Rico felt free for some reason, and after that, had actually dove headlong into this relationship with Matthew.  It was no longer difficult to be in the Liari Manor, or to spar with Kysis, which he had started doing again.  Though he had not been around Lam much, the few exchanges they had went by without much event.

He was straightening up the sparring room when he heard the yell for help.  It was the lady of the house, and Rico paused for a moment before putting down what he was doing, turning to go for the stairs.  Kysis would absolutely have his head if he didn\'t help the much larger than previously ex-captain.  She was blowing up like some festive balloon.  Rico had no idea why anyone would want to do that, put up with it, any of that.  He\'d only heard horror stories about child birth and pregnancy in general; Rico was very glad that he could do neither.

Quickly, he wound his way down the stairs, seeing the ex-captain and quite a few massive paintings.  They had arrived?  He was interested to see them.  Before any of them were hung, he wanted to see if Alia would have approved of the artistry, as she was fond of drawing herself.  If only she had lived to seen the wedding, she would have enjoyed it so much...

Sighing, that exhalation of air quickly turned into a frightened gasp, Rico hopping into a sprint.  He managed, by some feat of luck, or help of the Fates, to catch the falling painting before any more harm could come to it.  Breathing a sigh of relief, he gave her a narrow eyed look, voice a breathy hiss. "You should have waited!"

Now that he thought about it, Kysis would probably have his head anyway, just for not stopping Lam from engaging in any heavy labor while so blown up with their baby.
Μεταξύ λάμψη και τρέλα


Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Lady, In Waiting
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2008, 11:12:58 PM »
"I had it!  It\'s Kysis\' fault!  I had perfect control until his child decided to kick me," Lam justified indignantly, hobbling the remaining distance into the dining room and setting the painting she was still carrying gently down so that it was leaning securely against the table.

With a hasty exhale of relief, she then straightened, stretching her back and rubbing her protruding stomach - until she found the spot where a soft little knee was bulging out and started prodding at it with her fingertips, attempting to encourage the child to not lean on vital organs that it insisted on tenderising first.

"If I\'d known I was going to be kicked at that precise moment, I would have done them one at a time, believe me," she insisted, leaning her left hand on the back of a dining chair and peering towards her injured foot.  It was no use, of course, a very large baby belly blocked her view, so she shifted to get her balance more properly and lifted the foot (slipped out of its shoe) instead.  It was already bruising, which brought about another sigh and a deeper scowl.

"This child is trouble and it\'s not even out, yet!" she grumbled, right hand returning to rubbing and poking as she looked at Rico.  Her expression looked suddenly startled.  "Oh!  Rico!  Thank you, by the way!  I\'m sorry, I should\'ve said that sooner but, well," she made an apologetic face, accompanied by a vaguely waving hand to indicate that everything happening around them had prevented her from keeping her head and following correct protocol.

"Do you think you could help me with the rest of the paintings?" she asked far more politely, figuring such an offer would both avoid further baby-related mishaps and be seen as a peace-making gesture and apology for not being more thankful more quickly.  "I know where I want a couple of them hung but the others... I could use some advice, if you\'re free?" she shrugged appealingly.

Offline Kysis

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Re: Lady, In Waiting
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2009, 01:22:08 AM »
Rico could not help but roll his eyes as the excuses began to fly, especially as they were aimed at Kysis, who was not even present.  Though he partially hoped it was her moodiness, the rest of him wished it was no, so that terrible shift from high to low and back again would just stop.  It felt like walking across eggshells, trying to be sure not one of them would crack, and it wasn’t pleasurable.

It was interesting, to just listen to her, the arguments she was making, the way they were spiraling downward until she did not seem to be huffing about what Kysis did to her at all.  As far as Rico understood, it had been a decision made by two, not one, so it was more than a little frustrating for Rico to hear again, Lam blaming Kysis.

Sighing, Rico repositioned his hold on the painting, letting his blue gaze roam around the room, the walls which looked a touch barren, before looking back down at the paintings.  They were nice… Rico looked up sharply, a chuckle leaving his suddenly smiling lips as he heard about trouble.  Of course the child was trouble!  You put two trouble makers together and you get an angel?  Hardly!

“I’m…” really wanting to get back home to a far more friendly face… and hands “…available right now.  Point me in the right direction, and I shall carry.” Rico lifted the painting he was holding, as though to demonstrate, though that really wasn’t necessary.

He would accept the thanks when he had actually done something to earn them.
Μεταξύ λάμψη και τρέλα


Lord Kysis Liari (Ένας πεσμένος ήρωας.),
Fenwick Baldor (Song, wine, and a bit of trouble),
Calista Liari (Θραύσματα Ομορφιά)

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: Lady, In Waiting
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2009, 11:33:40 AM »
Taking a deep breath, Lam settled herself and resolved to focus on the task ahead.  "Excellent!" she announced and set about getting everything organised before Kysis returned home.  Despite her bluff, she really wanted to impress her husband, she\'d just been undone by acting too hastily.  With Rico\'s help, that would change.

The pair wandered through the rooms where she knew she wanted certain paintings to go first, and then she discussed with the native Greek where he thought the rest should go.  At first, he seemed reluctant to say overly much but when she acted on his thoughts immediately - because she agreed with him - he relaxed.  It wasn\'t that he became overly chatty, of course, but he contributed willingly when she asked him a question and complied readily when she needed help with hammer and nails.

When the last picture was hanged in her bedroom - the small one of she and Kysis looking wondrously at one another in front of the sunset - they both stood back to admire it.  Lam\'s hands rested upon her belly as she smiled wistfully at the picture, remembering (and, unintentionally glowing as she did).  It didn\'t occur to her that Rico might have a problem with being in the bedroom she and Kysis shared, so when he turned and walked out, she followed.

"Thank you so much for your help, Rico.  I couldn\'t have done it without you," she told him sincerely, slowing as she negotiated the stairs a little more carefully than she\'d used to.  Not being able to see the steps descending in front of her (without leaning dramatically to the side) was a disconcerting thing.  "Was Matthew out at the markets?  He\'ll be coming back here to have lunch with us won\'t he?" she called, aware that Rico\'s unimpeded gait was quickly widening the distance between them.

Unbeknownst to her, Matthew had been at the markets but he\'d delivered the Manor\'s food (leaving it on the kitchen table when he couldn\'t quickly find Rico) and had headed back to the townehouse to deliver his and Rico\'s supplies.  He would come back to the manor, but it wouldn\'t be for another half hour or so.