Story for the Day: A Retreat
I cannot wait to have a cottage. There is nothing like sitting around the fire and doing nothing.
Once Kai Linaa's letter of decided approbation was procured, though not requisite as she had so vehemently stated in the contents of the note, Sheamas and Margilesse accepted the commander's and Hathanta's offer of watching Little Jaicobh in favour of a much needed escape from the capital. They had not been alone for one day together since their return to Frewyn, and though they delighted in the bustle and unquietness that a happy child and surrounding family could afford, they were eager to abscond and revel in merely being in one another's private company. Though the cottage was visited by many on various occasions, they were assured their peace by everyone's declarations of not traveling to Sethshire without given due warning. The twins might endeavour to lark about and contrive to ruin a small measure of their privacy, but this was nothing where protracted equanimity was concerned. They were overworked, they were weary, and though Frewyn's thriving was an excellent sign of Alasdair's reign, their pockets might well be full but their spirits were diminished. it was a happy diminishment, however. They were by no means low; they could not be with their business one of the most celebrated in the Diras marketplace, but their success cost them some of their tranquility. Sorefooted and fatigued, Sheamas and Margilesse entered the cottage ready to do nothing but sit before the fire and relish their newfound serenity. They had enough relief to feel in lighting the fire and gleaning its tender warmth, but here was more regale when Sheamas sat in the leather chair before the hearth, pulled his wife atop him, draped one of the sheepskins over their joined forms, and slept. All of their matters of business, family, and financial consequence had at last overtaken them, and now they had only to glory in their achievement and nap on one another.
Straddling her husband and bobbing up and down on his stomach as he snored, Margilesse submitted to the joys and fatigues of motherhood. She adored her son with all the doting affection a mother's love could furnish, but in her state of half wakefulness, she owned that she was glad to be alone with her beloved husband and might have been considered her being deserving of their joyous solitude. Though pregnancy had its pains, motherhood was all pleasures, and while Hathanta had done well to secure her son's education and wellbeing during the day, she was often too tired in the evenings to lavish her son with the attention she was desirous of granting. She felt a maternal wanting on her side, a pang of compunction of perhaps being inattentive, but this was all foolish conjecture, the suppositions of a loving heart with a remorseful mind. She had no grandparents for her son to inherit, no friends to whom Sheamas could attach himself; she has been accepted into his family as little more than an orphan, another casualty made by a war begun by her ancestors. These reflections cost her some feelings of remorse, and when those had done with her, she surrendered to all the delectation and gratitude that being Sheamas' wife and the mother of his child could warrant. Her devotion, her exultation resonated in a warm glow, and she thus resigned herself to sleep considering that though she declared herself undeserving of such unexceptionable connections and unmitigated joy, she would brook so much blessing and do her utmost to express her boundless appreciation by some means of grand design. She had done so little for them when they had done everything for her: they had scrupled to save her from a vindictive family, grant her a new home, and provide her with the tenderness and accepting natures she had ever hoped to discover. Her mind flickered in and out of sleep, half deliberating and fretting and half gratified, but all her musings were soon silenced when her husband's large hand suddenly shadowed her features and his fingers began curling her golden hair.