Author Topic: Lasting Legacies: an RKC story- Chap. 1.8 10/16/19  (Read 3113 times)

Offline Shewolf13

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Announcement for November
« Reply #25 on: October 21, 2018, 04:34:13 PM »
Announcement: Ok, again, apologies for the update and it being quite a bit shorter and not as focused as it should be. Now, November is coming up which means NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which takes up my entire November. I will be attempting to write at least 50k words of a novel during this time as well as run events for my region so not a huge amount of time for Sims, though I will be getting Get Famous and I will test that out first before booting up my RKC.  Plus, there's the whole Python upgrade, so not sure how it will affect MCCC which is imperative for my RKC. Because of all those factors, this will be on hiatus until after November.  I may get some build interludes up, but I'm not sure.  Will all depend on time.

Don't worry, they will return! And I do apologize. I was hoping to get through one whole rotation before November, but unfortunately, my time was just a bit chaotic. Keep an eye on this space anyway because I will try to have some other things up at some point during November.

Offline MarianT

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Re: Lasting Legacies: an RKC Story 1.5 10/21/18 and Announcement
« Reply #26 on: October 21, 2018, 05:18:16 PM »
Announcement: Ok, again, apologies for the update and it being quite a bit shorter and not as focused as it should be. Now, November is coming up which means NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which takes up my entire November. I will be attempting to write at least 50k words of a novel during this time as well as run events for my region so not a huge amount of time for Sims, though I will be getting Get Famous and I will test that out first before booting up my RKC.  Plus, there's the whole Python upgrade, so not sure how it will affect MCCC which is imperative for my RKC. Because of all those factors, this will be on hiatus until after November.  I may get some build interludes up, but I'm not sure.  Will all depend on time.

Don't worry, they will return! And I do apologize. I was hoping to get through one whole rotation before November, but unfortunately, my time was just a bit chaotic. Keep an eye on this space anyway because I will try to have some other things up at some point during November.

Good luck with NaNoWriMo! I did that a couple of years ago. Won't be doing it this year, though, because of too much Sims stuff, lol. Your readers will wait for you.
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Offline oshizu

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Re: Lasting Legacies: an RKC Story 1.5 10/21/18 and Announcement
« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2018, 07:08:23 PM »
Makayla and Randall are awfully cute together.
Good look with NaNoWriMo, both for yourself and for your region!

Offline wa-wa-world

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Re: Lasting Legacies: an RKC Story 1.5 10/21/18 and Announcement
« Reply #28 on: October 21, 2018, 08:44:58 PM »
Woah good luck with Nanowrimo Shewolf! Hope you enjoy doing it lol
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Offline BallerinaHippo

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Re: Lasting Legacies: an RKC Story 1.5 10/21/18 and Announcement
« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2018, 10:53:08 AM »
Have fun writing!  I'll be all caught up by the time you get back and ready to more about your kingdom.   :D

Offline Shewolf13

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Re: Lasting Legacies: an RKC Story 1.5 10/21/18 and Announcement
« Reply #30 on: December 08, 2018, 12:26:06 PM »
Good luck with NaNoWriMo! I did that a couple of years ago. Won't be doing it this year, though, because of too much Sims stuff, lol. Your readers will wait for you.

Thanks so much!  It went well-ish XD Lot of stuff going on, but I did hit the 50k.

Makayla and Randall are awfully cute together.
Good look with NaNoWriMo, both for yourself and for your region!

Aren't they?  I never had any intention of them getting together, but when I went in to play the Abbey, they were already at good friend level XD and it got me to thinking.  So I let them tell me what they wanted lol  And thanks.  Now that November is done, i can get back to my sims.

Woah good luck with Nanowrimo Shewolf! Hope you enjoy doing it lol

Thanks!  I do, mostly, though this year was a bit rough, but got through it.  Thanks for reading!

Have fun writing!  I'll be all caught up by the time you get back and ready to more about your kingdom.   :D

Thank you!  It was a bit of a slog at certain points (mostly just due to lack of focus this year), but I made it ^^ I should be getting back to it soon.

Stay tuned for an announcement and a call for some assistance ^^

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Progress Update and a Call for Assistance!
« Reply #31 on: December 08, 2018, 12:41:27 PM »
Progress Update

So, I made it through November and NaNo!  I aim to be getting back to sims.  Actually, I've been trying to deal with the bit of a curve ball that the update for Get Famous through me, namely that because of age settings, etc, everyone in the world aged up at the same time... which was not ideal, so had to go through and reset ages for those I didn't want to age up, etc.  Now, I'm just catching up with all the age ups, should be done with that soon.

Call for Assistance

Alright, now.  Because of the rules of the RKC, there isn't a lot of interaction for the readers, at least as far choosing heirs, etc.  I have two things in regards to that: the readers can't choose the heirs, but as we get closer, I will most likely hold a vote for choosing the heir's spouses, at least so far as there are choices at any given point.  But that's for later.

In a more immediate sense, I would like to put the call out for Sims!  My goal is to have ten families I am playing in this file. With Prima Dominus empty, I only have 9 families.  So, I thought I'd open it up to you, the readers.  If anyone has a sim they want to appear as a major player in the story, or who wants to make one, DM me a screenshot and any details you wish.  It can be one sim, two sims, a family, etc. I already have an idea for how they will become a noble, so if you want them to be a "merchant" or "peasant", that would be fantastic. If I get a plethora of them, I will put up the top three for a vote! Thanks for reading!




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Offline Shewolf13

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1.6: Grief Never Really Fades
« Reply #32 on: December 23, 2018, 01:54:52 AM »
1.6: Grief Never Really Fades

Kaylyn stared blankly down at the page for a moment, lost in thoughts that didn't involve quadratic equations or what the author of Of Mice and Sims meant by a certain passage.  She sighed softly and shook her head, focusing back on the page of her math homework.

1.6 #1.jpg

She enjoyed school.  She could think about other things for a few hours a day before coming home and having to worry about things a teenager shouldn't have to.  She also had a project to work on for her science class, though she didn't have a lot of time for that.

1.6 #2.jpg

While working on it, she kept a close eye on her watch. She had to get to the restaurant.  Before heading out, she peeked into her parents- her father's bedroom.  The light was off, but she could hear the soft snoring sound he made when he'd been drinking.  She had to hold in another sigh.  At least he was sleeping it off now, rather than at the bar, mixing another drink for himself.

1.6 #3.jpg

She eased away, letting the door close softly so she didn't wake him.  She changed quickly and headed out.  The Ebony and Ivory Inn had been in the family for generations. 

1.6 #4.jpg

There had always been a Durant to run it. Her father had been working there since he had been a child.  He had met her mother there.  She'd been a waitress.  Though he had been the owner's son, their romance had been celebrated.  Their marriage hadn't changed her love for the place.  But her death had changed a lot for Chase, and for Kaylyn. It had been several years since Marina had passed from the illness that had ravaged her body, but the pain was still as fresh as if it had been yesterday.  For her father, especially.

Kaylyn couldn't help but remember her mother's laugh as she climbed the stairs toward the front door. That was the thing she could remember the most.  No matter what, her mother had always found something to laugh about.

"Miss Kaylyn!"

She turned and smiled at their chef.  Hajar El Majbouri had been their chef for a number of years.  "Haji!  Coming back in from break?"

"Yes ma'am."  The two walked in together.

1.6 #5.jpg

The night was already busy.  Their staff had been with them for years and had worked with her mother. They could run things on their own and had been doing so on and off for some time.  But Kaylyn thought it important that she or her father be there as often as possible. With him in this state, it was more often than not up to her.

She didn't mind. In fact, she loved interacting with their customers. Folks from all around came to the Ebony and Ivory to sample the food and the atmosphere, including some of the Elven nobles! Lord Elest had been there more than once, in fact.

1.6 #6.jpg

Kaylyn had had several chats with him.  He was the brother of Lord Alinar Firetamer, a powerful noble in Winding Willow.  And he had married the heir of another noble family, the Earthstalkers. For a noble, he was fairly approachable and she enjoyed it when his wife joined him. The two were very different.  He was suave and smooth.  Solana was adventurous, more down to earth than her husband.

1.6 #7.jpg

Watching them at their table made Kaylyn sigh dreamily. She knew that arranged marriages were often then norm for the nobility. For that matter, arranged marriages were still used in other families as well, even now. It was amazing to see the affection and love between Elest and Solana. Even though her mother's death had been so hard on her father, the thought of loving someone enough, of another loving her enough, to feel as if a part of you was missing was something that she desperately wanted.

Her reverie was interrupted by a new batch of customers. She straightened up and smiled at them.  It was time to get back to work!

*****

"Morning, sweetie."

Kaylyn looked at her father as he grabbed some leftovers for breakfast.  She was looking for signs that he had started drinking.  It looked like today may be a good day.  She could only hope it stayed that way.  She made sure she wore a smile.  "Morning, papa."

1.6 #8.jpg

"Ready for school?"

"Mhm."

"Are you ok, baby?  You seem tired."

Kaylyn started.  "Oh, I'm fine.  Was busy last night, that's all."

He looked down.  "Sorry, I should have been there.  You shouldn't have to be working on a school night."

"I don't mind, papa.  Really.  I love being at the inn."

"Still. I'll be there tonight, so you won't have to be there so late."

Her smile widened.  "That's great, papa!"  She looked at the time and stood up.  Her father stood up with her.  Impulsively, she threw her arms around his neck.  "I'll see you tonight!"

*****

The Ebony and Ivory was busy once again.  Customers milled at the hostess station, waiting for a seat.

1.6 #9.jpg

Kaylyn was so happy to see her father really engaging.  It had been a while since he had done that.  And he hadn't had a drink all day.  Were things changing for the better? 

Chase smiled at his daughter.  "Looks like you could use a break.  Go on. I'll keep on eye on things for a while."

She nodded and went to the upstairs apartment they kept on the second floor. She grabbed a bite to eat and splashed some water on her face.  She came back downstairs and then stopped in her tracks. Tears stung her eyes.  Her father was at the bar, mixing a drink.

1.6 #10.jpg

She waited a moment, hoping it was for a customer, though the drinks were usually prepared by the servers.  She bit her lip when she saw him walking around with the glass in his hand.  Holding in a cry, she watched him take a sip from it.  She ran back upstairs, sinking onto the couch.  With her head in her hand, all she could do was weep.

1.6 #11.jpg

*****

"Hey sweetie."  There was a cursory knock on the partially closed door of her bedroom as her father poked his head in.

Kaylyn made a noncommittal noise.  Chase took it for a greeting and opened the door.  He sat on the edge of her bed, his brow furrowed as he looked at her.

"Something wrong, Kay?"

She said nothing for a long moment as her lip curled.  "'Something wrong'? No, of course not. What could possibly be wrong?"

1.6 #12.jpg

Her father blinked.  "Sweetie?"

"I'm only watching my father drink himself to death!" she shouted as she stood up, tears glittering in her eyes.  She ran out of her room, leaving her father sitting on the edge of her bed, stunned.

*****

Chase stayed at home all day, brooding.  He kept looking at the bar, desperate for a drink. But his daughter's words kept echoing back at him. He was waiting for Kaylyn to get home.  After her outburst, she'd avoided him entirely and had snuck out to go to school.

He'd stayed out on the back patio, thinking deeply. The sound of the door opening and closing drew his attention.  He didn't go into the house, unsure what he'd say.

It didn't take long for Kaylyn to come out to the backyard.  She said nothing to her father, simply sitting on the sofa next to him and pulling out her homework. Chase could only look down at the ground.

1.6 #13.jpg

There was tense silence for a long moment before Chase stood up, clearing his throat.  He stood in front of his daughter as she kept working on her homework.

1.6 #14.jpg

"Kaylyn, there-there's nothing I can say, no apologie I can make.  I thought a lot about what you said. I've been drinking too much.  Which is bad enough.  But I realized that, worse than the drinking, I've put far too much on your shoulders.  You're in high school.  You should be having fun, going out with friends, driving the boys crazy.  I-I can't promise that things will go perfectly from now on.  But- I want to try.  I want you to enjoy being a kid again.  And I want to be a good father to you."

She looked up from the pages of her book, her face streaked with silent tears as they fell down her cheeks.  "Daddy," she whispered, jumping up.  He pulled her to him in a crushing embrace.  She clung on and his guilt sky-rocketed.

"I'm sorry, baby.  I-I'm going to try, for you."

*****

"Good evening!  I hope you're enjoying your meal."  Chase smiled down at the two people sitting at the table.  Kaylyn was helping clean up but she'd been watching her father.  She'd been watching him for days, in fact, since he'd promised to stop drinking.  So far, he had.  A part of her was afraid to hope.  After all, there were some days, even weeks where he hadn't touched a drink. But so far, he was keeping his promise.

1.6 #15.jpg

She had to smile.  He was so good with the customers.  He always had been.  He did truly care a great deal about the Ebony and Ivory.  After her mother's death, he had lost some of the joy from it.  Maybe it was starting to come back.  She could only hope so.  Maybe it and she would be enough to help bring it back.  Only time would tell.

*****

Author's note: Due to the new patches and what not for Get Famous, there were a lot of aging up, a lot of deaths due to aging up, some marriages and some births.  Due to the sheer number, it would take forever to do my little newspaper articles.  So if anyone is curious about it all, check out The Other Kingdoms.  If you're interested in more details and the family trees, there is also the blog which has all that stuff as well.

Offline Shewolf13

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Re: Lasting Legacies: an RKC story NEW! 1.6 12/23/18
« Reply #33 on: January 30, 2019, 11:57:06 AM »
Update:

Hey guys, just a heads up.  I haven't forgotten this.  But I am in a bit of a slump.  One of the things I love about Carls is the interaction with readers and I know things have been quiet, so I'm struggling a bit.  I'll get over it.  But just wanted to let you know that I haven't forgotten.  I did start playing with the Rosas, since they are the next up.  We'll see how it goes.  Story-wise, hope everyone is still enjoying things.

Offline BallerinaHippo

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Re: Lasting Legacies: an RKC story Update 1/30/19
« Reply #34 on: February 23, 2019, 05:41:10 PM »
Just popping in to say hello, and I hope everything is going well with the Rosas (and all your other families).  Sorry you got hit with the aging bug when Get Famous came out.  That must have really wreaked havoc in your game.

Offline sdhoey

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Re: Lasting Legacies: an RKC story Update 1/30/19
« Reply #35 on: August 26, 2019, 02:58:56 PM »
Welcome back Shewolf13

Offline Shewolf13

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Re: Lasting Legacies: an RKC story Update 1/30/19
« Reply #36 on: August 26, 2019, 04:30:58 PM »
@sdhoey

Thanks! I've been around a bit, but mostly have only had time to lurk. Hoping to come back more steady now, if not a lot, at least more consistently.

Offline Shewolf13

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Mini Update!
« Reply #37 on: September 04, 2019, 03:15:00 PM »
So, I have been hard at work (amidst some more chaos in my life) getting my game updated and trying to get things squared away. Since the last time I played my RKC, we've had two new worlds appear, and now we're going to have "two" more. One of the things I did was create a map of how things fit together. I tried using Gimp and other means, but I am no illustrator/graphic designer, so I ended up using inkarnate.com to put one together. Hopefully, you get the gist of what I was trying to do XD

Simdom.jpg

I also have new shots of each world. I've downloaded some new builds for them all.

Bay of a Thousand Waves (Brindleton Bay)

Bay of a Thousand Waves.jpg

Del Sol Valley

Del Sol Valley.jpg

Forgotten Hollow

Forgotten Hollow.jpg

Granite Falls

Granite Falls.jpg

Magnolia Promenade

Magnolia Promenade.jpg

Newcrest

Newcrest.jpg

Oasis Springs

Oasis Springs.jpg

San Myshuno

San Myshuno.jpg

Selvadorada

Selvadorado.jpg

StrangerVille

StrangerVille.jpg

Sulani

Sulani.jpg

Windenburg

Windenburg.jpg

Winding Willow (Willow Creek)

Winding Willow.jpg

That being said, because one of the updates made it so all aliens appear in the map screens as their disguised selves (which I don't have in this play file), I have to find a new way to do the quick snapshots of the alien families at least. And that's proving more problematic, so I might redo the Other Kingdoms post (if anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears!). I have stuff to add there anyway with the new worlds and all that.

I hope to finish up the Rosas' week shortly and get an update up before I leave for Colorado on the 10th. Time is a bit precious at the moment, since I am going to be working straight through to make up for the hours I will not be here.

Sorry this update isn't bigger

Offline oshizu

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Re: Lasting Legacies: an RKC story- World Mini Update 9/4/19
« Reply #38 on: September 04, 2019, 03:33:10 PM »
What an amazingly complex and gorgeous world map!
I also enjoyed the glimpse at each of your RKC neighborhoods to see their current state of "medievaelization." Yes, I realize that's not a word, but you know what I mean....
The building process and world set-up seem utterly time-consuming, Wolfie.
You must enjoy those aspects of an RKC as much as you like playing your sims within your world-building. <3

Offline Heart Foam

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Re: Lasting Legacies: an RKC story- World Mini Update 9/4/19
« Reply #39 on: September 04, 2019, 03:53:58 PM »
Those are some amazing worlds. Oh. My. Hat. Hey, I just plop down some Maxis made lots and call it done. That ship in Sulani?! Your map is beautiful. It's all exceptional.

I worry that you habitually apologize for stuff that's not worth feeling pressured about. :) Write the Rosas' week, sure, but not if it feels like a chore.
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Offline Shewolf13

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Re: Lasting Legacies: an RKC story- World Mini Update 9/4/19
« Reply #40 on: September 04, 2019, 09:17:49 PM »
What an amazingly complex and gorgeous world map!
I also enjoyed the glimpse at each of your RKC neighborhoods to see their current state of "medievaelization." Yes, I realize that's not a word, but you know what I mean....
The building process and world set-up seem utterly time-consuming, Wolfie.
You must enjoy those aspects of an RKC as much as you like playing your sims within your world-building. <3

@oshizu
 
Thank you ^^ Inkarnate.com is amazing and has a lot of great tools that make things pretty easy. Considering the fact that I can't use photo editing or illustrating software, it's great for someone like me. That can totally be a word now lol

I do enjoy the set up. I find I have an easier time with playing and with the story if the background stuff is in place. It also helps keep some inconsistencies from popping up... or should XD That's the fiction writer in me, I think. And honestly, when I write my novels, I do a ton of world-building and other planning before I ever start writing.

Those are some amazing worlds. Oh. My. Hat. Hey, I just plop down some Maxis made lots and call it done. That ship in Sulani?! Your map is beautiful. It's all exceptional.

I worry that you habitually apologize for stuff that's not worth feeling pressured about. :) Write the Rosas' week, sure, but not if it feels like a chore.

@Heart Foam

Thank you so much! And yeah, I do have a habit of apologizing XD I think it comes from the fact that I have a habit of abandoning Sims' stories. I love playing the Sims, but I do go in cycles and when it comes to writing stories for them, I feel guilty for doing that. I am looking forward to playing the Rosas and writing their part, I just also like to have things lined up first, if that makes sense.

Offline reggikko

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Re: Lasting Legacies: an RKC story- World Mini Update 9/4/19
« Reply #41 on: September 09, 2019, 03:58:53 PM »
Wow, this is so detailed and involved. I haven't read everything yet, but I can tell that you've invested a lot of time into this project. Maybe I've missed something, but I'm a little confused. It seems like you started with three families to determine who would be royalty and then this story picks up from there? I ask because it seems like these families start off "in progress. I'm sorry if I'm being dense!

The other thing I am wondering about is the era. Some families seem more Medieval, while others have a more modern look. Is this difference in look somehow indicative of their class?

If there is a place where you've already explained these things, please feel free to point me in that direction rather than typing out a long response here. I'll bet you are excited for Realm of Magic!

Offline Shewolf13

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Re: Lasting Legacies: an RKC story- World Mini Update 9/4/19
« Reply #42 on: September 16, 2019, 01:32:14 AM »
Wow, this is so detailed and involved. I haven't read everything yet, but I can tell that you've invested a lot of time into this project. Maybe I've missed something, but I'm a little confused. It seems like you started with three families to determine who would be royalty and then this story picks up from there? I ask because it seems like these families start off "in progress. I'm sorry if I'm being dense!

The other thing I am wondering about is the era. Some families seem more Medieval, while others have a more modern look. Is this difference in look somehow indicative of their class?

If there is a place where you've already explained these things, please feel free to point me in that direction rather than typing out a long response here. I'll bet you are excited for Realm of Magic!

@reggikko

I'm slightly insane XD For some reason, the big projects with lots of planning really get me going. The more paperwork, the better. And yes, that is exactly correct. The first part (the One to Rule Them All Challenge story To Prevent a Way can be found here.

As to era, it's more a fantasy-esque setting rather than straight medieval. I'm a fantasy nut hehehe and thought it would be fun to explain the presence of more modern things, as well as science alongside things like magic.

And boy, am I ever excited for RoM! hahahaha, been waiting ages. Won't get a chance to play with it until after the 22nd, though, sadly.

Anyway, if you have any more questions, just PM me or ask them here ^^

Offline Shewolf13

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Chapter 1.7: Give and Take
« Reply #43 on: September 26, 2019, 11:07:17 PM »
Chapter 1.7: Give and Take

Last Episode:

When last we saw the Rosas, Adrian admitted to all the nobles of the kingdom that he knew he was the son of Marcus Bulwark. Since Blakely Doran won the contest, he pledged himself to his new King, swearing himself and his family to serve them faithfully. He feels he can best serve the kingdom in the role he is in, as a diplomat.

The family lives in Rosa Manor, located on Optimist's Outlook in Newcrest. The household consists of:

  • Lady Ferina Rosa- the matriarch of the family; she was to wed the heir to the throne, but her brother was furious and challenged the prince to a duel. Both he and the Prince were killed. She didn't realize she was pregnant until later. She kept her son's parentage a secret after marrying a family friend.
  • Lord Adrian Rosa- the head of the family, and an important man in the kingdom. He is a diplomat and serves as the face of the kingdom. He is happy to serve Newcrest and its new King and Queen.
  • Lady Marisa Rosa- Adrian's wife; she is the sister of Lord Donovan Xavier of Windenburg.
  • Lady Jayda Rosa- Adrian and Marisa's first born and heir. She's a toddler with the Angelic trait.
  • Lord Quinn Rosa- Adrian and Marisa's second born child. He is a baby.
  • Daichi Tanaka- the family's butler, he has served them for years. He is also Lady Ferina's lover. The two formed a relationship that took some time to come to light. The family supports them wholeheartedly.

*****

Adrian nodded Meredith as she smiled at him, motioning him into the castle entrance. "M'lord, the King will be right with you. Why don't you go make yourself comfortable in the library?"

"Thank you, Meredith. I will." Adrian's expression was thoughtful. Times were always changing. Who knew that better than he? It seemed every time he turned around, something else was different. It wasn't a bad thing, for the most part, really. Change often meant growth. Still, it wasn't always comfortable. He settled himself into one of the armchairs in the library, lost in his reverie.

After all, hadn't he just watched his mother get married again? He fully supported her relationship with Daichi. He was a good man and he adored Ferina, that wasn't in any doubt. Still, her marriage to a butler would certainly draw attention and it was what had taken Daichi so long to propose. He hadn't had any intention of doing so, in fact. Except Adrian- and even more so Marisa- had told him to do it. Life was too short to hesitate and Ferina wasn't a young woman anymore. So Daichi had finally asked her and the two had a private ceremony, only themselves with Adrian and Marisa as witnesses.

Adrian smiled softly to himself. He had never seen his mother look so radiant.

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It was good to see her happy. Daichi treated her like a queen. She deserved to be happy. She had put her own needs last for far too long, to his way of thinking.

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"Lord Rosa- Adrian!"

Adrian was brought out of his thoughts abruptly; he started and then grinned ruefully at his King. He began to rise, but Blakely waved it off. "Please, not necessary. Stay seated. Thank you for coming." The King took the chair opposite Adrian and sat on the edge of the seat.  "Thank you for meeting me today. I know it's been rather busy for you. Was just your boy's birthday, wasn't it?"

Adrian nodded. "Yes, your highness. Quinn's getting big already. Hard to believe."

"Aye. Time flies, doesn't it?"

"Yes, yes it does. Seems like just yesterday he was born. Now he's toddling along by himself!"

Blakely laughed. "How are he and Jayda getting along?"

Adrian's grin was wide as he pulled out a picture. "Oh, they like to get themselves into trouble a bit, but I'm a lucky man. Look at these two." He held out the photograph to Blakely, every inch the proud papa. The evidence of how close his children were was in the photo.

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"You are indeed a lucky man. Those two are going to be heartbreakers soon enough, aren't they?"

Adrian grimaced. "I'm trying not to think about that. They are already growing up too fast. It'll be Jayda's birthday soon enough."

Blakely laughed. "Aye, I know that feeling. Zach's getting up there too and Rhys will be running around before I know it." He shook his head. "Anyway, apologies. I know you must want to get back home."

The two men settled in. Adrian crossed his ankles and waited for his King to speak once more.

Blakely sat with his elbows restig on the arms of the chair and steepled his hands in front of his face. "As you know, both Strangerville and Sulani have opened their borders. There have even been some overtures, the possibility of treaties and trade agreements."

"Yes, I had heard about this. Beatrice was gathering more information, the last I knew."

"Aye. Based on her information, I will be meeting with the Chief of Sulani in a month's time. However, she is concerned about Strangerville. There are rumors and stories about strange things happening. She is still collecting data, but what she's found so far is concerning."

Adrian frowned, thinking. "What has she found?"

"There are rumors of some kind of an illness taking hold. What kind of illness, no one seems to know. There haven't been any casualties reported that we've been able to dig up."

"Still, that is concerning." Adrian gestured with his hands. "I take it you'd like me to visit there?"

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"Yes. While the rumors of this illness are concerning, I can't, in good conscience, ignore a kingdom that may need our help. I would feel better sending someone in to take stock. If you see anything that concerns you, please, report it immediately. If there is anything that we can do to help, see if you can find that out as well."

"Of course, sire. I will send a missive to them tonight and work out travel details."

"I knew I could count on you, Adrian. Thank you."

The two men stood and shook hands. "I'm happy to do my duty. I will do what I can to assess the situation in Strangerville and then get back to you."

Adrian was escorted out of the castle by Meredith. He was quiet on the way home. It wasn't until he strode through the door of Rosa Manor that he relaxed, smiling softly. There was nothing like coming home.

"Da!" Adrian looked down the hallway and saw Quinn. His son grinned up at him, his big bright eyes sparkling. "Hey, there's my boy!"

"Papa, fly! Papa, fly!"

"You wanna fly, huh? Like a bird?"

"Bir', bir'!"

Adrian laughed as he hefted his boy up onto his hip and carried him down the hall to the ballroom where there was more room. Quinn often got a bit over-enthusiastic.

The laughter of his son rang out around them as he hoisted Quinn up into the air, calling for more and more.

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The sounds of her son and husband brought Marisa into the ballroom. Adrian's smile widened as he was greeted by his wife with a kiss on the cheek.

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"Your meeting went well?" she asked him, holding his hands in hers.

"Yes. It's as we suspected. The King would like me to pay a visit to Strangerville. He and the Queen will be meeting with those in Sulani. He wants me to see what I can find out about the rumors we keep hearing of Strangerville."

"I'm glad he trusts you with something so important. When do you leave?"

"As soon as I get a reply. I've sent a messenger to the Roswells. From what I understand, they are the oldest family there. "

Her hand rubbed up and down his arm. "It sounds like your best bet. You'll be careful." 

It wasn't a question; he still answered. "Of course. I'm only going to find out some information."

"Mm, see that's all you do." The two held hands as they walked down the hall. Adrian leaned close to whisper in his wife's ear. Whatever he said made her giggle and eyes light up.

****

"Gamma, story!"

Ferina beamed down at her granddaughter. "What story would you like to hear tonight, my little one?"

"Da princess in the tower!"

"Ah, the Trapped Princess it is, then, my sweet." Ferina opened the cute picture book about the Princess who lived in a tower. There was a Prince in there as well, though he was a bit late to save the Princess as she was done with waiting and saved herself! Jayda loved that story.

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As she read, Ferina watched as Jayda's eyes grew heavy. But before she could close the book, Jayda was looking up at her grandmother with a serious expression. "Gamma?"

"Yes, sweetie?"

"Is papa there yet?"

Ferina pursed her lips, her gaze traveling upward for a moment. "I imagine he is, sweetie. It doesn't take long to travel. He'll be back before you know it."

Jayda nodded seriously. "Ok, Gamma." She settled back and then cuddled down into her covers, closing her eyes. She was asleep in moments.

Ferina sighed quietly. To be young again. Her thoughts traveled to her son, who should have arrived in Strangerville a few hours ago.

****

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Adrian stepped out of the car, shielding his eyes from the sun. He wasn't sure what he had expected, but it wasn't what he was seeing. There was a certain charm about the desert landscape, he had to admit. Still, something in the air seemed- off. Perhaps it was only his imagination, getting the better of him.

He leaned in and tipped his driver before he sauntered into what appeared to be the center of town. Hm, the reply from the Roswell's had said they would have someone meet him here. But he didn't see anyone.

"Lord Rosa?" He turned around at the voice. A young woman in a uniform stood behind him.

He extended a hand toward her. "Yes, I'm Lord Rosa."

"Colonel Aberwith. Ted Roswell told me to meet you today. We're glad to have you." Her grip was a strong one. "If you need anything, all you have to do is ask."

"Thank you. I had my bags taken to where I will be staying."

"Good, good. I think you'll find the accomodations more than adequate."

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"I'm sure they'll do nicely." He smiled disarmingly. "I was hoping to meet with Mr. Roswell soon, if possible."

"I will see if that can be arranged. He's often a busy man."

"Of course, of course." As he stood there with a smile plastered on his face, Adrian's alarm bells were ringing. Though the Colonel seemed sincere, her body language was tense and she rarely met his gaze. He was about to chalk it up to simply being unused to visitors when he caught a glimpse of the person behind that was walking jerkily behind the Colonel.

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*****

"Alright, alright. Adrian?" King Blakely looked around at the gathering of people in the great hall of the castle. His gaze rested on Adrian. "You called this emergency meeting as soon as you got back from Strangerville. Share your findings here, with everyone."

Adrian stood up to address his fellow aristocrats. He pulled in a deep breath. "As you know, I went to Strangerville to see if I could glean any information about the rumors we kept hearing. We're no strangers to illnesses here and the King sent me to see if we could be of assistance in any way or at least substantiate any of the information we had."

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He paused, picking his words carefully. "I have already told the King what I have found, but I wanted everyone to know." He began to lay some photographs down. "I was only there for three days, but it is my opinion that they are hiding something. Something serious." The first photo was of the woman he had first seen in the town center. There was a gasp from Lady Beatrice even as her husband picked up the photograph, frowning.

"Were you able to ascertain what the cause of- this is? Or even- what is this?" Gunner asked.

"The representative I spoke with was extremely close-mouthed about everything. Even asking direct questions got little in the way of answers. Then there were the outright lies." Adrian shook his head in disgust.

Beatrice was holding another photograph. "Adrian? What can you tell me about this?"

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"Not as much as I would like to," Adrian answered. "I do know when I asked about these plants- they were scattered about town- the Colonel became very defensive. I was lucky to get this picture." He shook his head and held up his hands. "Something is wrong in that town. I can't explain what it is, can't give you the kind of information we were hoping to get. What's more, they either won't admit anything is wrong or don't think anything is wrong."

As the discussion continued, King Darian sat back, thinking. Strangerville's borders had been closed for all of his reign and for a good portion of his father's as well. He had always thought it was because they were simply an insular people. But now, he wasn't so sure.

A while later, Blakely stood up and addressed his nobles and his Queen. "Based on these findings and on their apparent lack of forthcoming, I have no choice. The borders between Newcrest and Strangerville will remain closed. Further, there is to be a quarantine for any that travel to or from there. We still can't know just what it is that is happening there. The weather changing has been difficult enough and our citizens are still reeling from that. I will not turn away those that may need help, but neither will I expose our citizens to anymore danger than I have to."

No one argued. Adrian sat back. It was no less than he had expected. There was little choice when those in Strangerville refused to cooperate. For now, it was all they could do.

****

"Thank you, Daichi. I'll take care of that. Almost done with the cake." Marisa continued to mix up the batter she had in the bowl as Daichi checked the dish in the oven.

"Of course, m'lady. Hard to believe it's Jayda's birthday already."

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"Tell me about it! Can't believe my baby will be going to school soon. Doesn't seem possible." She wiped the back of her flour-covered hand over her forehead. "Then again, my brother's kids are going into high school and his youngest is in middle school." She glanced up at the clock. "And they'll start arriving any minute now!"

Before too long, the front doors opened to admit friends and family. Quinn found his older cousin River quite fascinating and kept following him around, babbling excitedly.

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Their star of the hour wasn't sure what to think of her cousin Eva. Though she enjoyed the attention everyone was giving her.

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Then it was time for cake. Adrian had the honor of holding her up to the candles. She blew them out so quick, it had been impossible to get a picture of her doing it!

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She refused to pose for pictures until she was properly outfitted and attired to her own satisfaction.

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She certainly favors her father in coloring, except for her eyes. She inherited her mother's eye color. Her brother, on the other hand, inherited most of his coloring and looks from his mother.

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****

Darian looked down at the picture that Adrian showed him. "Can't believe how big she's gotten. Or your littlest, Adrian. They are beautiful children."

Adrian and his uncle were at the Ebony and Ivory Inn, having a meal.

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"Thank you. I think so too." Adrian's eyes sparkled.

"I'm sorry I missed her party."

"Think nothing of it. We understand. How are you feeling?"

"Better. Much better. Since you came back with your report, Blakely and I have spent a lot of time in meetings. He's doing well, but he requests my council when I can give it."

"As he should." Adrian paused as the waiter came with their food. He took a sip of his wine, nodding approval. "Your experience would be invaluable to him. To all of us, uncle."

Darian shrugged. "I won't be here forever, my boy." One corner of the old King's mouth turned up into a self-deprecating grin. "But I'm happy to give my council." He raised his glass. "I am proud of you, all of you. The way each of you has stepped up lets me know that when the Matriarch calls me to her, I can go knowing that Newcrest will be well taken care of."

Adrian was silent for a long moment, swirling his wine in the glass. "I was going to say bite your tongue. But I'm old enough to know that everyone's time will come. Still, I hope that it will be a long time before we have to worry about governing without your Council, uncle."

Darian laughed. "Hear hear!" He took a sip of his own wine.

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"How's your mother? I was happy to hear about her marriage."

Adrian smiled. "She and Daichi are very happy together." His smile faded. "I hope you weren't offended because you weren't invited to the wedding. Mother told me that she just wanted me and Marisa there."

"Oh no, of course not. I understand." He looked off to the side, his gaze distant. "I can't imagine it has been easy for her. I wish she had been able to confide in me all those years ago."

"Uncle," Adrian's voice was soft, "I think my mother didn't want to add to your burden. I know she felt for you when your Amelia died."

"I know I was mired in grief. But I would have helped her."

"She knows that. Uncle, you have nothing to be sorry for. She did what she thought she had to. That's all any of us can do."

"Ha!" Darian winked at his nephew. "When did you get so wise?"

"I wouldn't call it wise," Adrian returned with a wicked grin, "just an observation."

The two laughed as they finished up their meal. "Tell your mother, and that lovely wife of yours that we'll all have to get together again. I very much enjoyed the last time I came over."

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"Of course. You'll have to come for dinner again one of these nights. Perhaps once things settle down a little."

"I'd like that." The two men stood from their table and walked out of the Inn. They said their good byes and then went their separate ways.

Adrian had decided to walk to the inn. It was close to the Manor and it was a nice night. By the time he and his uncle had concluded their dinner, it was dark out. That was ok. The air held a chill to it, but it wasn't too bad yet. The weather had been fairly mild, at least so far. He knew it wouldn't last forever, though.

By the time that he walked through the front door of the manor, it was fairly late. As he proceeded to head toward the stairs, he heard soft voices coming from the front parlor. He looked in briefly and saw his mother and Daichi on the sofa. "That feels wonderful, Ichi, thank you."

"Always, my dear."

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Adrian smiled softly as he wandered up the steps to change. He looked in on his sleeping children and found his wife already in bed as well. Not quite ready for sleep yet and remembering his conversation with his uncle, he padded back downstairs to the kitchen.

He grabbed a cup of green tea and stood there in the kitchen, contemplating life for a moment. If anyone had predicted any of this when he had first been told of the contest for the throne, he would have thought they were crazy. It was strange the turns that life so often took.

"Thinking deep thoughts, son?"

He looked up at his mother as she came into the kitchen, smiling softly.

"I suppose so. Just thinking about life. It's been pretty good to me. And I have you to thank for that, mother."

"Oh Adrian. I'm your mother. It's my job. I'm just glad that things worked out."

"Me too."

The two stood in companionable silence for a moment. "Did you enjoy dinner with your uncle?"

"I did." He reached up into the cupboard to grab a glass for some water.  "I told him we had to have him over for dinner soon."

"That's a splendid idea. We should have a party. What do you think?"

He had to grin. His mother loved her parties. "I think that would be a great idea, mother. Marisa would enjoy cooking for everyone, I think. What should she serve?"

When there was no answer, he turned and looked over his shoulder at her. "Mother?"

Ferina swayed on her feet, all the color drained from her face. "A-adrian," she whispered as she pitched forward onto the floor.

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"Mother?  MOTHER!"

****

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Watcher's Note: And thus, our first loss in our families. It was a tough one for me. Especially since it was the last thing that happened on Adrian's week. I will have a little memorial photo in the Memorium section.

Offline oshizu

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Re: Lasting Legacies: an RKC story- Chap. 1.7 9/26/19
« Reply #44 on: September 28, 2019, 01:34:04 AM »
The children are very beautiful. Jayda indeed resembles her father a lot.
As happy as I felt about Adrian's wedding, I feel so bad about Lady Ferina.

She waits so long to find her own happiness, only to pass away soon after finally going public about her relationship with Daichi.
Please tell me they had been enjoying a secret affair since Adrian's youth! Hah!

Oh, Adrian and Strangerville! I'd guessed Blakely would go there because of his military background.
Now that he's king, though, I guess he can't run off to fight every dragon anymore....

It's good to be reading your story again! :)

Offline Shewolf13

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Re: Lasting Legacies: an RKC story- Chap. 1.7 9/26/19
« Reply #45 on: October 16, 2019, 12:07:00 AM »
The children are very beautiful. Jayda indeed resembles her father a lot.
As happy as I felt about Adrian's wedding, I feel so bad about Lady Ferina.

She waits so long to find her own happiness, only to pass away soon after finally going public about her relationship with Daichi.
Please tell me they had been enjoying a secret affair since Adrian's youth! Hah!

Oh, Adrian and Strangerville! I'd guessed Blakely would go there because of his military background.
Now that he's king, though, I guess he can't run off to fight every dragon anymore....

It's good to be reading your story again! :)

@oshizu

I can't wait to see what Jayda looks like when she's a teen. She's already gorgeous and her brother is such a cutie!

I know! I was so sad. See, I don't have the same ability to keep track of days and all that like you do (when I get to playing, I just lose all track XD), so I end up rolling the elder age (because of how I have MCCC set up as far as aging for the rest of the world) and then I set it and sort of forget it. Well, I knew it would be soon, ya know? But was hoping I'd get another week or at least it wouldn't happen until their next week. Sadly, it happened just before it was time to switch, so I couldn't even switch until afterwards. Adrian even tried to plead but it failed :(

lol Sure, I could see that. Though Daichi is a proper butler (and also quite handsome; did you see his makeover?) I could see them having at least a flirtation for many years.

Yeah, Blakely can't go galavanting off like he used to now that he's King. He delegates, even when it chafes a bit. But he knows which of his people to send.

Glad you are enjoying it. I'm happy to be back with it. I've got some plans in the works, plans I hope the readers will enjoy, though the plans won't come to fruition for a little while yet.

Anyway, next update coming up!

Offline Shewolf13

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Chapter 1.8: Living Off the Land
« Reply #46 on: October 16, 2019, 12:14:44 AM »
Chapter 1.8: Living Off the Land

Brynlee Hansome breathed in the morning air, the ripe scent of turned earth a heady aroma to her. She smiled sweetly as she knelt down, digging her hands into the soil. There was nothing like planting and coaxing the land to bring forth its bounty.

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She also quite enjoyed this time in the morning, just as the sun was beginning its rise over the horizon. There was a sense of peace and quiet. All was right in the world at that very moment. After watering each of the freshly planted mounds, she stood up and surveyed her work. With a nod of satisfaction, she turned to head back into the house. She imagined her father and husband would be up soon.

She eased open the back door, used to moving quietly. She enjoyed the time just before the sun came up so she could see to the garden. Oh, her father and husband always helped out, too, but she had come to think of it as her time. That and she enjoyed making food for everyone.

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As she set the platter down, the bedroom door opened. "Morning, my treasure." Her husband wrapped his arms around her waist from behind and kissed her cheek.

She leaned back against him. "Morning."

He looked at the plate. "You made breakfast again, huh?"

"Mhm. Dig in. Dad will likely be up and around soon, too."

Enzo nodded as he sat down. Brynlee joined him.

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"How was dad feeling last night?" she asked, looking down at the table.

Enzo rubbed a hand on the back of his neck. "He seems ok, but you know how he is. I'm trying to make sure he doesn't over-do."

"I know, I know. He just- I worry about his pride. He never tells us when something is wrong." She'd stopped eating, her hands resting on the table.

Enzo lay his hand over hers. "That's why we keep an eye on him." He gave her hand a squeeze.

She brought her gaze up to his, one corner of her mouth going up into a grin. "Yeah. Not that he'd thank us for it. But I will thank you. You're good with him. You know how to talk to him. Every time I tell him something, he gets that stubborn look on his face."

"You are his little girl, Bryn," Enzo pointed out. "He loves you and he doesn't want to feel useless."

"Oh I know that! And he could never be useless!  Never!"

"It's a lot easier to say than to believe." Enzo's voice was soft.

Brynlee's breath caught as she forced tears back. "I know. I just- I can't lose him too, Enzo. I-I know it'll happen, but I'm not ready. And after that scare not long ago-"

He rubbed his thumb over the back of her hand. "Oh baby, we'll never be ready. We just have to do what we can to make sure he doesn't over-do it again."

"You're right. I know you are. Thank you, Enzo."

They leaned toward one another to kiss lightly.  As they did, the door behind them opened and Drew walked out, his left leg stiff and dragging behind him slightly. "Morning, dad."

"Morning sir." Enzo vacated his seat so Drew could take it.

The older man grunted as he sat down. He was never quite coherent in the morning. Still, he smiled at his daughter as she set a plate in front of him and Enzo took the other seat.

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"You two done talkin' about me?" Drew asked after a couple mouthfuls.

"Dad-"

"Oh hush, girl. I know you two." Drew shifted in his chair, rubbing at his leg. "There's gotta be better things fer two young'uns to talk about than an old man like me." His serious expression gave way to a craggy smile. "Like grandchildren. I'm not gettin' any younger ya know!"

"Dad!" Brynlee's scolding was spoiled by the fact that she couldn't contain a laugh.

Enzo winked at his wife. "We keep trying, sir. Practice makes perfect."

Drew threw his head back. "Good lad!" He visibly braced himself as he stood up, the movement stiff from his bad leg. But once he was up, he stood tall. "Why don't I see what I can fish us up for supper tonight, huh?"

"That's a great idea, dad! I can make some fried fish."

Enzo cleared off the table as Drew and Brynlee discussed the best way to prepare fish. Then he and Brynlee watched Drew head out of the house. Enzo knew it was hard for Brynlee to see as Drew sometimes struggled to walk. He had to lead her away to keep her from watching him go all the way to the pond. He understood her worry, but they had to give Drew space. Plus, Enzo could always keep a half an eye on him since the pond was only a bit across the road.

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Water sloshed in the metal tub as Brynlee drug the wet clothes over the washboard. Her back ached a bit today and she reached up to brush the back of her soapy hand over her forehead.

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The weather was beginning to heat up. Though the announcements had gone out ages ago, it was still hard to fathom the changing of seasons. Luckily, their good King had given them the means to build a shelter to keep their plants protected as much as possible. Still, this was the first time they were really beginning to feel it.

With a sigh, she stood up, giving herself a shake. Chores were proving to be just that today. Still, it had to be done. She reached into the washtub and grabbed the wet clothes so she could hang them on the line.

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"I said I'd do that, love."

Her head swiveled to the side as Enzo came out the back door. "I beat you to it," she told him, dredging up a smile.

Instead of returning it, he frowned. "Come inside, baby." He waited for her to go in first and was close behind her. Then he took her hand and turned her gently around to face him.

He put his hand to her cheek. "Oh sweetie, you're burning up!"

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Her mouth pulled into a grimace. "It's true I haven't been feeling well."

"Bed. Now."

Brynlee furrowed her brow. "Enzo-"

"No. Bed." There was no give in his voice. "Bryn, you have a habit of looking after everyone else except for yourself. That's my job now. So- bed!"

Feeling a sulk coming on, Brynlee put her nose up in the air. "Fine then. I'll just lay down for a little while. Should be right as rain afterward."

"We'll see."

He kept a sharp eye on his wife as she went into their room, closing the door harder than necessary. He grinned to himself. She would be a little cross with him for a while, but as long as she slept, he'd take it. She could never stay mad for too long, anyway.

He went back outside to see to the rest of the laundry.

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He moved onto the fields, checking on their progress. It was mostly his wife's domain, but he helped out where he could. He didn't have her touch with plants, it was true. But he could at least water or weed.

He finished up outside and went back in, making sure to be as quiet as possible. He found his father-in-law sitting at the little card table. "Care for a couple hands?" Drew asked.

"Sure, why not." Enzo took a seat as Drew dealt out some cards.

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"Where's me girl?"

"I had her lay down. She's feeling a bit under the weather."

Drew frowned, then nodded sharply. "Good. Girl's too stubborn by half. Glad to see she listens to you."

Enzo's mouth drew up into a smirk and he arched a brow at his father-in-law. "Gee, wouldn't be because she takes after her father, now, would it?"

Drew stopped, glaring at Enzo. But it quickly turned into a chuckle. "Aye, mayhap, she does at that. Though her mother was much the same. Ophelia was the sweetest woman I ever knew, but when she dug her heels in, there was no budging her."

"It's why we love them." Enzo was cautious. It was rare for Drew to mention Brynlee's mother. He knew Ophelia had succombed to a fever years ago. It was still painful for those that had loved and lost her.

"Aye. Well, at least she's layin' down. Got any threes?"

"Go fish!"

Drew grumbled under his breath. The two men continued their game, muted laughter and a few creative curses punctuating the fun.



Drew sucked in a breath, feeling that too familiar tightness in his chest. It happened too much of late. Even something as simple as hanging the laundry on the line winded him!

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He finished, pulling in another deep breath, though it resulted in a hacking cough. He had to look around quickly. If Brynlee heard him, he knew he was in for it. His little girl had a way of looking at him, her big eyes full of worry, that never failed to make him feel guilty. It was worse now. She had been reluctant to let him even do this much. But she hadn't had a choice. He had to smile at that. He was old and he knew the Matriarch would come calling before long. At least he'd get to meet his grandchild before then.

Brynlee had been feeling poorly for days. But it had finally dawned on her why. She'd been so excited to tell him. The joy on her face had been something to see. He had to admit that it had brought out a smile on his own face, too.

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Of course, she had told Enzo first. The lad had been beside himself with joy.

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Every time he saw the two of them together, Drew swore he found Enzo making baby talk to Brynlee's belly.

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"Hewwo lil one. Are you bein' good to yer mama?"

It always made Brynlee laugh. Drew had to admit, he had been unsure about Enzo, at first. A drifter, an orphan. A man without a family. But Drew couldn't deny how he looked at Brynlee. And he couldn't deny how good he was with her. He adored the ground she walked on and would do anything for her. Including putting up with a crotchety old man like himself. As a son-in-law, Drew could have done far worse.

"Ach, lad. Are ya done talkin' like a fool? That loo isn't gonna fix itself, ya know." Drew winked at Brynlee even as Enzo flashed a smug grin in his direction.

"I'm on it."

He was definitely handy around the house. He had a way with his hands that Drew had never quite been able to cultivate.

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Drew rubbed absently at his bad hip. Then he headed inside. He should rest, before his daughter told him to. It had to be that stubborn streak that always put his back up when she told him to go lay down. Or maybe it was pride. Then again, what was a man without his pride? He closed his eyes and drifted off thinking about pride.

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Drew wasn't the only one that needed naps. As time went on and she became more and more heavily pregnant, Brynlee found that napping was the only way she could make it through the day.

"There's no shame in it, ya know," Enzo told her for the probably the thousandth time.

"No, I suppose not. I just wish I could see my feet again. I feel as big as a house!" Brynlee complained.

Enzo laughed. "Oh hush now." He brushed the backs of his fingers over her cheek.

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"You're beautiful and it's almost time. The time will come and you'll say no, not ready!" He kissed her cheek.

She laughed. "You're probably right."



He was right indeed. Brynlee was woken from one of her naps by a sharp pain. When she realized that it wasn't simply pregnancy pains, she cried out, "No! I'm not ready!"

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But life waits for no one. Ready or not, Jace Aaron Hansome was born with a sharp wail to announce his presence.

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Enzo, upon hearing the cry, came back inside. Both he and Drew had waited outside, in a panic. But now, he saw the little figure in the bassinet and he went immediately to his wife and pulled her into his arms to kiss her soundly. Then he gently began to message her shoulders, wanting nothing more than to pamper her.

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As a family, the three adults looked down into the bassinet at the tiny life there. He yawned gently and was already asleep.

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Brynlee leaned against Enzo, sighing softly, her heart near to bursting. Enzo wrapped his arms around her, resting his chin on the top of her head. Drew put a hand on Enzo's arm and kissed his daughter's cheek. "He's a beauty, my girl."

"Yes he is," she agreed. "He truly is."



While work never ended on the farm, little Jace was very much the center of attention. It was also a great way to keep his grandfather out of too much trouble. Drew was quite taken with the dear boy.

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The three adults often took turns with him. While his mama was out doing the wash or taking care of the plants, Enzo or Drew would take care of Jace.

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But always at night, it was mama's time with him. Brynlee couldn't help but smiling at him as she lifted him up after a diaper change. The sweet smell of his soft skin as she nuzzled her cheek against his. "That's mama's boy," she whispered. "Mama loves her little boy."

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After feeding him, she'd kiss his little forehead and then lay him back down, watching him sleep for a few moments before going to join her husband in bed. She'd fall asleep in her husband's arms, more content than she could ever remember being. Even the fear of the changing seasons couldn't touch her now.

 

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