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Author Topic: Forgiveness - Chapter 4  (Read 3687 times)

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Offline Alkari

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Forgiveness - Chapter 4
« on: November 09, 2011, 02:02:06 am »
FORGIVENESS

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  2 Corinthians 5:17

Previous chapter: http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php?topic=702.msg4067#msg4067

CHAPTER 4  

Rhemuth castle, evening, 30 July 1128


I take my leave after the formal court session as soon as it is polite to do so, and slip away outside to the gardens.   So Oksana is Duchess of Laas.  I suppose it was necessary for Kelson to bestow that honour on her as the final sweetener for Noelie’s betrothal to Rory, but I can’t help feeling that most mothers would have been more than satisfied if one of their daughters were to marry a Haldane Prince, without expecting further honours for themselves.   But then Oksana has always been ambitious.  True, she has been very pleasant and sociable since the Ramsays’ arrival here in Rhemuth, but even so I’m glad that Nigel had the great good sense to marry Meraude and not her.  

At least Rory is easy-going: I have a feeling that he’ll need that composure now he’s marrying into the Ramsay family.  Noelie would certainly have been an excellent political match for Kelson, but I much prefer to have dear Sivorn as my son’s future mother in law.  Perhaps I will see a little more of her and Savile in future, as I’m sure they’ll want to visit any grandchildren here and in Meara.

It’s peaceful out here in the soft light of a summer evening, as though this morning’s service of dedication has somehow cast an aura over the earth.   I settle onto the carved stone seat in the rose arbor, still faintly warm from the afternoon sun, and breathe in the scents of rose and lavender and jasmine.   There is no breeze, yet a single rose petal drifts down and lands at my feet.  

I stare at it, deep gold in the centre fading to soft cream with a hint of pink on the edge.  A similar petal had fallen onto the altar today from one of the garlands as I knelt to receive Communion in the St Camber Chapel.  Communion received from a Deryni bishop, in a chapel dedicated to a Deryni saint.  

O Lord, grant strength and wisdom to wield all these gifts only as Thy will wouldst have me serve ...

Deryni powers as gifts to be used in the service of God, and under His guidance.  The beauty and simplicity of the service had touched something within me, something for which I could find no name or word, yet it had somehow unlocked deep corners of my heart that had long seemed frozen.  

Ecce Agnus Dei, ecce qui tollit peccata mundi.   Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him who takes away the sins of the world.

I had blinked back tears as I watched members of the small congregation go forward in their twos and threes:  Meraude and Saer, followed by dear Nigel shepherding Eirian and Conalline.  Then it had been my turn, my feet taking me to the simple altar as though He was guiding me, there to kneel with Father Ambros and Sister Cecile on either side.

Bishop Duncan McLain.  Another whom I have hated and wronged, have hated for daring to presume that he, as a Deryni, could enter Holy Orders and serve God.   If he was surprised to see me kneel before him, he gave no sign.  

Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi ...

I’d dared to look up at him.  His face was serene, his blue eyes kind as he murmured the words of blessing and I received the sacrament.   The rose petal fell as Lord Dhugal withdrew the paten, and the Bishop had smiled slightly.  

“Welcome Jehana.  Peace be with you.”  I’d felt the faint brush of his mind as I rose to my feet, with Father Ambros supporting my elbow and guiding me back to my place.  I remembered little of the remaining service, only a feeling of wondrous joy as we shared in His glory.

Later I’d found myself outside in the gardens, talking to Sivorn and Savile and watching the younger children as they darted between groups of adults, laughing and calling out to each other.   I did not see Nigel’s acceptance of little Albin, though a joyfully tearful Meraude had told me about it later.  Had that too been God’s work and a sign of His blessing on this special day?

It’s almost dark now.  I draw my shawl around me and lean back against the stone, listening to the faint tinkle of water from an unseen fountain.  In the distance a horse whinnies, answered by another; several dogs bark, men’s voices call out and a heavy door thuds shut.  The sounds of a castle settling down for the night.  Lights from lamps and candles glow in windows, shadows move behind curtains and with a swoop of darkly silent wings, an owl glides away from the southern tower in search of dinner.

I should go back inside, to get some sleep before tomorrow’s double weddings and all the celebrations, but this quiet evening has cast its own spell and my limbs refuse to move.  My eyes close.  Unbidden, my mind wanders back over the years, to the night before my own wedding and my youthful hopes and dreams.  There is a figure there, a dashing black-haired young man with grey eyes and a neat beard.  He smiles at me, the chiselled features softening.   Brion.   Brion, my love.   How much more could we have had together had I not been so blind, so obstinate.

And then the face changes, melting into an older one.  The eyes become green and sightless, the black hair recedes and vanishes, the beard is replaced by a clean-shaven chin with a faint ink smudge on one side.  

Barrett.  I swallow, my fingers twisting absently at my wedding ring.  It is firmer on my finger now, no longer held to my wrist by a fine piece of silken cord   Could I ever replace it with another?

Hastily I shove that thought away, but it refuses to be banished and nudges once more into my consciousness.  My feelings for Barrett are ... what?  Has he become more than my teacher?  Am I beginning to love him?   Are these just the imaginings of a lonely woman?  Does he – could he – love me?

He’s old enough to be your father! a little voice whispers mockingly.  He’s an old man, a Deryni scholar.  You’re a queen.  What could you possibly want with him?

 A queen.  Yes, I am that.  A dowager queen.   But my son will marry next week and there will be a new Queen in Rhemuth, a younger, brighter queen who loves him and will bring life and gaiety to the royal court as I once did.  

Where then is my place?  

I think of the quiet cloisters at Shannis Meer, of the simple cell-like room which I occupied, of the sisters’ soft singing and the dark grey of the chapel walls.  I remember the prayers, the days of penitence, the way the skin across my knees had toughened and hardened from hours of kneeling as I wrestled with my conscience.

But I am no longer that woman.   Perhaps I do not yet know fully who I am, but I know that I have started down a new path of understanding.  And that my guide is an old blind man who can See better than I can.

Oh dear Barrett, is there a future for us?  We have each lost much, but is there perhaps something we can yet find together?  I would so love to show you St Camber’s Chapel.   Have you even seen St Hilary’s?   Perhaps one day I can  ....

“My lady?  Your majesty, are you out here?”   Sister Cecile, come to look for me.  I have missed Vespers.

“I am here, Sister.”  

A smile replaces the anxiety on her dear, kind face as she rounds the corner and sees me, and I rise to take her outstretched hands.

“I know, Sister – it’s getting late.   I came out for some fresh air after court this evening.  Thank you for worrying.”    I straighten my gown and take her arm, and together we make our way back.


_______________________


Next chapter: http://www.rhemuthcastle.com/index.php?topic=776.0
« Last Edit: November 12, 2011, 06:23:47 pm by Alkari »

Offline Jerusha

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Re: Forgiveness - Chapter 4
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2011, 09:00:46 am »
Yea for another "Forgiveness" chapter!   :D

Interesting musings of Jehana in the garden.  And the very thought of Oksana as a mother-in-law for Kelson - yikes!  That could have driven Jehana right back to Shannis Meer.
From ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggity beasties and things that go bump in the night...good Lord deliver us!

 -- Old English Litany

Offline Alkari

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Re: Forgiveness - Chapter 4
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2011, 09:03:28 am »
Yea for another "Forgiveness" chapter!   :D   

Thanks.  Consider it a slightly belated birthday present!   

Offline Evie

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Re: Forgiveness - Chapter 4
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2011, 09:09:06 am »
Squee!  Another chapter at long last!   ;D
* Evie sighs dreamily over the Duncan scenes....    ;)

And maybe Oksana ought to be grateful that her daughter married easy-going Rory instead of Kelson.  Imagine Kelson's reaction the first (and doubtless last) time he ever witnesses her pitching crockery in a fit of temper!  Then again, Rory is also a Haldane, so his easy-going nature probably has some strong "Do Not Cross" limits as well that, once discovered, could prove to be a major surprise to his mother-in-law.   ;D
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline Alkari

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Re: Forgiveness - Chapter 4
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2011, 09:57:25 am »
Hopefully, while Noelie may be "spirited" like her mother, she hasn't inherited her penchant for crockery throwing :D   And I suspect that if Oksana ever tries to really boss her son in law, it will be her one and only attempt.   


Offline AnnieUK

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Re: Forgiveness - Chapter 4
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2011, 11:21:50 am »
Yay!  About time LOL!

Cracking chapter.  I liked her realisation that she had feelings for Barrett.

And yes, I suspect that even Rory could develop a will of steel when needed - he'll have a good dash of his father in him, I dare say.

Offline Elkhound

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Re: Forgiveness - Chapter 4
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2011, 12:56:42 pm »
Hopefully, while Noelie may be "spirited" like her mother, she hasn't inherited her penchant for crockery throwing :D   And I suspect that if Oksana ever tries to really boss her son in law, it will be her one and only attempt.   

And wouldn't one like to be a fly on the wall for THAT scene?

Offline Rahere

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Re: Forgiveness - Chapter 4
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2011, 05:40:47 pm »
I knew there was a reason for the term toss-pot!

Offline derynifanatic64

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Re: Forgiveness - Chapter 4
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2011, 07:54:48 pm »
Yes Jehana, you are falling in love with Barrett.  You will also marry him and bless him with a child.  So sayeth the Codex.
We will never forget the events of 9-11!!  USA!! USA!!

Offline derynifanatic64

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Re: Forgiveness - Chapter 4
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2011, 07:57:22 pm »
Of course, any mention of our good old friend Duncan will turn our Evie's knees into butter.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2011, 03:24:47 am by derynifanatic64 »
We will never forget the events of 9-11!!  USA!! USA!!

Offline Evie

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Re: Forgiveness - Chapter 4
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2011, 09:20:09 am »
Of course, any mention of our good old friend Duncan will turn our Evie's knees into butter.

It's those eyes.  And that smile.  And that occasionally wicked sense of humor that he shows off now and again.   ;)

* Evie thinks back to the scene where Duncan and Alaric are gently teasing Kelson, and Duncan jokingly suggests that maybe Kelson should take a mistress like Conall has, since Conall's been uncharacteristically good-humored after all his mysterious outings.  Kelson would have known immediately that it was a jest, of course--Duncan is not merely a priest, he's also the King's Confessor!--but I chortle every time I imagine what Kelson's expression must have been like at that moment, not to mention the amused glint in Alaric's eyes, since he'd certainly have picked up on all the nuances behind the actual joke as well.  The joke wouldn't have been nearly as funny coming from anyone else.

*dreamy sigh*  <3  <3  <3

On a more story-related note, I have to wonder how spoiled and cossetted Barrett's and Jehana's little girl might end up being someday...a doting father's only daughter that he probably never thought he'd get the chance to have (at least not by legitimate means), not to mention another child at long last for Jehana, who lost a daughter years earlier and no doubt still mourns the loss and still has the occasional moments of wondering "what if Kelson's baby sister had lived?  Might things have been different somehow?  Would having more children have kept me and Brion closer together despite our differences, or would we still have drifted apart?"  Not saying that either parent would dote on the new baby to the point of ruining her utterly, but I'm pretty sure that's one little girl who will never have to wonder if her parents really wanted her or not!

And since the Codex ends in 1130, it's certainly possible that they might have another child or two--perhaps even an heir for Barrett--after that.  Not likely they'd end up with a horde of kids, since Jehana's nearing the end of her childbearing years, even if Barrett remains healthy and capable of producing more, but I wouldn't completely rule out at least one more child for them, especially if they should decide to actively pursue the matter rather than leaving it simply up to chance.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2011, 09:21:45 am by Evie »
"In necessariis unitas, in non-necessariis libertas, in utrisque caritas."

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Offline Alkari

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Re: Forgiveness - Chapter 4
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2011, 01:06:08 pm »
Well, Barrett is 78 when he marries Jehana, so I am not sure how many more children they would end up having  ;)   One more was certainly  'possible' of course, but 78 was a good age for anyone in those days, even a Deryni scholar, and as you say, Jehana herself is now 40 years old.  I have often wondered how Kelson feels about having a half sister who is the same age as his own daughters!  I'm sure he's glad that his mother was able to fall in love and marry again - but I bet he never thought she'd have another child  :D




Offline derynifanatic64

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Re: Forgiveness - Chapter 4
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2011, 06:31:31 pm »
Don't forget that Tony Randall became a 1st time father at 77 and a 2nd child a year later with his 2nd wife who was 50 years his junior. 
We will never forget the events of 9-11!!  USA!! USA!!

Offline Shiral

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Re: Forgiveness - Chapter 4
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2011, 07:03:44 pm »
Yea for another "Forgiveness" chapter!   :D

Interesting musings of Jehana in the garden.  And the very thought of Oksana as a mother-in-law for Kelson - yikes!  That could have driven Jehana right back to Shannis Meer.

Not to mention Kelson himself! (Okay, so it's a convent...)

More! More!

Melissa.
You can have a sound mind in a healthy body--Or you can be a nanonovelist!

 

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