Protests Unheard

Protests Unheard
Summary: Victricia has a few words with her handmaid, while the pair agree to disagree in regards to her upcoming nuptials.
Date: 18/08/2013
Related: Logs Involving Sammel and Victricia

Aug 18, 1329 — Brivey Keep — Victricia's Guest Room

“He’s going to make a good husband, don’t you think?” Vi’s voice carried warmth in it, the hopeful not of speculation to a future that hadn’t happened yet. The kind of naivety that those lost to youth may still possess, ignoring the dark as if it’d never been. The problem with that, was that it was not at all a sentiment that was shared with her handmaid.

Nina was a woman grown, pushing the bottom end of forty years with graying hair and a disposition that most days, aligned with that of Lady Victricia rather well, for all that on this they had to agree to disagree. The crows feet around her eyes, so often given unto laughter and smiles for the girl’s antics had these days become the prudish lines of brooding speculation while her mind stayed clouded with dark thoughts. What was she to do? Protesting might well ruin the girl’s future and the match, to the heir to a ducal was as good as it got, short of royalty and would see her set for the rest of her days as well as bringing honor to her family. But there was just something that she couldn’t quite shake…

“I suppose,” was in the end, all she ventured.

“You suppose,” Vi repeated, laughter in her voice as she rolled her eyes. “What is there to suppose, Nina? Do you not see the kindness with which he treats me? Have you not seen the lovely necklace that he gave me? Why, that sapphire is bigger than my thumb!” And glowing, Vi picked up the choker to show off, the gleaming jewel just perfect to fit to the hollow of her throat. “Wasn’t it just the sweetest thing?! He said he chose it to match my eyes.” Dreamy that voice, that tone; full of adoration.

It was dreamy, alright. Dreamy in the way that only the stupid can be and if Nina’s hands were rough when they set to working the Lady’s hair, then she didn’t apologize for it. Not even when Victricia yelped and frowned up at her, through the reflection of the mirror. Men didn’t give jewelry like that because they were kind, they gave it because they were sorry and guilty and putting something pretty on the face of it was supposed to make all the trouble they’d caused disappear. If she could see it, she didn’t understand how in seven hells, with a mind as clever as Vi possessed, she could be blind to it. “And since when are you one to be swayed by a pretty trinket?”

“Oh Nina, you knew, you always knew that the reason I wore no jewelry was so that when someone chose to give it, it would stand out all the more to the crowd. What’s the matter with you? You’ve been acting as if you’ve a bee in your bonnet for almost a week now.”

Almost a week now, that was how long it took for the bruises to disappear and a young girl to forget how she got them. To forget why. To be a fool. “I don’t have any problems.”

“No? And when you poured ale all up his sleeve? There was no problem then? When you were trying to mouth off to that healer, whatever were you talking to her abo—ow! Nina! You’re pulling and I swear to the Gods, you’re doing it on purpose!”

“Milady, I would never.” Except she had. “You’d tangles that need be dealt with. I’m sorry.” Nina’s sigh was weighted, heavy enough to make those blond ringlets dance when it ghosted across them. “I just, I wonder if you haven’t forgotten, is all? Do you not remember your protests?” Before her, the girl squirmed beneath the question, her eyes averted there in the mirror and so Nina took her silence as acceptance and continued. “Do you not remember your goals? It wasn’t the idea of a match that finally drove you from your books… What happened to you?”

“My protests were misplaced,” for all that the excuse was weak, as if Vi had a problem selling that particular line to herself.

“They were not so misplaced when you slept half a week on your stomach and couldn’t even sit astride a horse for tears.”

Absently, the girl reached up to touch on the heavy sapphire, running her thumb across the smooth surface, before her palm curled around it in a white knuckled grip. “You will watch your mouth, Nina. You will watch your mouth and you will remember that we do not speak of such things and that it was my poor luck that I fell.”

With glowering indignation, Victricia brought her eyes up to meet Nina’s in the mirror, hard as steel and in that moment, impossibly cruel and just as equally unforgiving. “It was and you know it. Besides, it’s none of your business. None at all. We are getting married today and I suggest that it would be for your best interest not to bring up such topics again or I can not be responsible for what should befall you.”

“But Vicky…,” the old handmaid began, choosing her words with care as she stared into the face of a woman who had the look of one possessed. What good would arguing the topic do? It was the Lady’s new husband who would be responsible for her pay and her livelihood. It wasn’t as if the wedding would suddenly be called off or that anything would change. But…it would help wouldn’t it? If the girl learned to be prepared? If she just remembered? If… “My apologies, milady. You are correct, as ever. I should not have forgotten my place. It won’t happen again.”

There was something sad in Nina’s tone though, as if she knew that her forgetting was the only thing that wouldn’t happen again, the rest? “I’m sure it’ll be a lovely ceremony.”

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License