Story of the Day: A Cook's Envy

I have seen many guys do this. Do not; you will not have sex for a week if you do.

A Cook's Envy 
Martje's stand-in
   The children were gathered and brought to their table in the kitchen while adults convened about the large table near the window. Aiden, Adaoire and Sheamas populated one corner of the room, enjoying their soft leather chairs and relishing in what they would consider to be an excellent sit after so long a day; Jaicobh and Shayne sat together near the ovens to garner some of the heat from the furnace; the commander stood at the range with the Den Asaan lurking beside her, supervising her meal preparation; Hathanta was sitting with the four children and keeping them tolerable quiet with lessons from the Ghaan Khunda no Haanta; Calleen and Mrs Cuineill were sitting in the far corner near the entrance to the yeoman’s quarter, whispering and gossiping the various news to be conveyed from Tyferrim to Diras; Tomas and Aghneis were speaking quietly with Mhardhosa and Kassin while Triskillien and Dealenna were fussing over the twins on the bench beside the scullery; and Martje was enjoying her time away from the sweltering , sitting at the end of the table with a cup of tea to warm her hands. Everyone was waiting for the sessions at court to be over so that Alasdair and Carrigh could join them but a message from Alasdair soon came, conveying that everyone may begin due to delays in the specific trial. There was a general aw of disheartened expectation shared by the party except on the commander’s part; she turned her face to the side to smirk in private suspecting the true reason for the delay had to do with a certain commander that certain commander’s wife.
                When the pitiable buzz for the king and queen’s absence had done, Rautu was the first to attack his mate with inquiries as to whether was she were making was finished. He received a no, which only culled the attention of the other famished men in the room.
                “Sure what’s that you’re makin’, girl?” asked Adaoire.
                “Lucentian fish cakes,” she replied, noting the instant ravening looks on all the men in the room. “Very unexciting, I assure you.”
                But as a woman at the stove preparing something to eat was the most intriguing object in the world to a hungry farmer, Aiden, Adaoire and Jaicobh stood from their places and were giving ready assistance to outfit the table with the requisite utensils. Others asked if they could be availed, but their entreaties were all done away by Shayne, who insisted that he perform his duty in doling everyone his portion. The commander laughed and shook her head but accepted his polite eagerness and permitted him to serve everyone himself.
                “Got some for me there, Bou?” said Shayne in an innocent tone, peering over her shoulder to observe the last of the cakes still sizzling in the pan.
                “Of course,” she simpered, handing him his portion. “I must warn you, however: these are meant to be healthy and therefore cannot be considered palatable to hale Tyferrim men.” She laughed as she watched the men inhale their portions and reckoned that no one had heard her, or they had at least pretended not to do so. She went to take some of what she made whereupon looking down she discovered that any supper she had left for herself was being devoured by her mate. “They are less healthy when eating ten of them, Iimon Ghaala,” she said, raising a brow at Rautu.
                The giant finished his ten cakes within seconds and then took a moment to stare at his mate. “And?” was his rejoinder to her accusation.
                “Aye, girl,” Calleen laughed. “Men don’t care if it’s healthy or not. They only care if it’s good.”
                “These are good, kin,” said Sheamas, nibbling at the crispy edges of his cake.
                The men of the room followed in their praise of their meal, giving their highest approbation in an uproar of hardy accolades, but where their thoughts on the meal had accorded the commander some joy, it had afforded some pains to Martje. Never had she received such general commendations for anything she had prepared, excepting the generous compliments from Alasdair, and though he was the king of Frewyn, giving him much in the ways of merit and credibility, he was only one man. A woman who could please one or two men by way of his stomach was laudable. But one who could please them all was unexceptionable, and the more the joined families extolled the commander, the more Martje was inclined to brood in a quiet loathing.
                “How did you make these, Bou?” asked Shayne, remarking the remainder of his meal with humble fascination.
                “The cakes are simply ground pike fried a tar sauce.”
                “Mar, can you make these?”
                Question was innocently meant as a compliment to the commander, but what was a compliment to one woman whose profession it was to fight wars and train soldiers could only be the greatest affront to one whose profession it was to cook. The commander covered her eyes in indignation and Martje glared at her husband in billowing rage for being slighted before the entire family.
                “What?” Shayne cried, looking ingenuously about him at all the discomfited stares in the room. “I’m only askin’.”
                “Shayne, askin’ your wife to make another woman’s meal is just as terrible as being unfaithful,” Jaicobh laughed.
                Shayne looked at Martje and observed her tapered eyes secretly scathing him. “I was just askin’,” he assured her, but she would not attend; she would only turn aside and stare into the training yard to avoid having to regard Shayne’s remorseful countenance. He attempted to assuage the unintended insult with soft coos and promises of a more pleasurable apology, but nothing would do for her and Shayne was forced to leave the matter aside.  
                “Even we know not to ask that,” Aiden muttered audibly.
                “Aye, and we’re the terrible ones in the family,” said Adaoire.
                This could only be smoothed away with more cake that was good for the large party and applying to Martje to perform the office of baker made her happy again. It was all vanity and pride for the king’s cook, and as she was chosen by Alasdair to be the provider of the most prominent of Frewyn. She must have her way to be contended at all. She declared that she would make a cheesecake, as it took little time to make and it was his majesty’s favourite, and though her proposal was met with groans from some and grumbles form the Den Asaan, she took solace in knowing that Alasdair would enjoy it regardless of other’s claims to the contrary.   


  1. Uh-oh! Poor Shayne! He's probably thinking that women should come with instruction manuals. Handed out right when you hit manhood.


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