Story for the Day: Conjugal Felicity
I love seeing two older people still professing their love for one another, Jaicobh and Calleen especially.
He accepted her fond osculations and gave her haunches a loving tap as he passed through the kitchen into his bedroom. As Calleen was busy about the supper, he would sit and write his letters now under the guise of making out his usual letters to Tessiegh . He should have peace enough for the next hour, and after making his addresses and writing the directions, he wrote the same letter to various farms along Frewyn’s eastern coast, taking care to add every detail of Beryn’s history.
“Supper’s on the table, Jaicobh,” was the call to remove him from his task.
“Aye, darlin’. In a minute.”
He glanced over the letters, and hoping that he did not leave anything out, quickly signed them, folded them, sealed them, and placed them into his chest pocket. He stood from his desk and went to the kitchen, where Calleen was just setting the roasted veal on the table. He remarked the glorious roast, dressed with fresh rosemary, savoury, and thyme, and heard his own stomach rumbling unmercifully when he observed the buttered and boiled arugula at the counter. “You’re bein’ cruel to me, darlin’,” he lamented.
Calleen raised a brow. “Oh, aye?” she said, having little idea how the making of dinner could be considered a unkindness by any means.
“Aye. Makin’ somethin’ so good and then expectin’ me to mind my manners while I’m eatin’.”
She fleered and rolled her eyes, blushing as she placed the vegetables aside and came toward his open arms.
He kissed his exquisite wife, praised her efforts, and gave her a doting look. “If you cooked worse, I’d eat slower.”
“Sure, you don’t deserve that kind of mercy, Jaicobh,” she said, half smiling.
“No, I don’t, nor does any man who’s got such as girl as you.”
A crude gesture, a quirk of his thick brows, a terrible grin, and Calleen was laughing. They may have been all but past the age of immaturity, but beyond the age of romantic endeavours they certainly were not. To tease her was to incite her, and the deepening blush of her cheek tingeing her complexion was confirmation of his success. She tittered to herself and shook her head, but the playful slap on his large shoulder conveyed an interest sincerer than one she would openly express. He sat at the table as Calleen hastened back to the counter, each of them relishing wondrous notions and feeling much younger than their appearances would betray.
“You want me to take those to the Scoaliegh the morra while you’re out in the oat fields?” said Calleen as she brought the boiled arugula to the table.
Jaicobh paused and looked down to see the corners of his letters peeking out from his chest pocket. “No need, darlin’,” he said, with perfect calmness, taking up the large knife and slicing the veal.
“What’s all that about, then?” she said, with mild interest as she began doling the vegetables. “Never seen you write so many at once.”
Jaicobh shrugged and made an indifferent pout. “Just somethin’ I’m doin’ for Shirse,” he said, placing a slice of veal onto her plate. “Nothin’ urgent. Hand me that cup and I’ll pour you some of this blackberry cordial.”
And as dinner progressed, the letters were forgotten, and Jaicobh’s errand safe. They were too much rapt in the enjoyment of one another’s company to discuss correspondences and business, Jaicobh full of praise for so excellent a meal, Calleen in infinities of exultation over eating it together- and the miracle of Jaicobh’s doing so with decorum regardless of its unexceptionable taste ever an amusement to her. Their small home, the blue farmhouse at the edge of western Tyfferim, was all for simple pleasure and genial conversation and was now become a place of conjugal felicity and cheerful serenity.