The Grief of a Lover
Mary Casimira d'Arkent murders the Duke of Adria with a sedanite soldier in-tow.
12th of The First Seed, Year 53 of the Second Age.
The scratches of a pen on paper rang out in the cramped office space within Mary’s estate at Redenford, the former Lady-Governor scribbling on a small piece of parchment. The lady wrote a letter to a lover, “Peu d'amour.”, she wrote, a somber expression pressing upon her countenance as she continued to scribe the short letter before sending it off by the shaky hand of one of her few servants.
She held respect for those above her, the Countess of Renzfeld had aided her in her ascension and was a dear friend to the Dame whilst she was around. However, her counterpart had hoped for an even closer friendship than his wife with the d’Arkent woman, inviting her into private quarters and drawing himself close to her. The, then Majordomo’s, mind raced with the possibilities, the fears, the consequences of such a risky gamble.
Even with the risk and the underlying uncertainty, it wasn’t what she could receive from this unlikely suitor, it was a love that she lacked with her absent husband. Passion overruled, showing her that a new path could be paved for her with the man that she adored, rather than in a loveless union. “Oh William, how precious you are. . .”
The product of her love, a child, a bastard. Even with the fear still lingering within her, the motherly love he had for this child was beyond that of any other type of love - one that was everlasting. She cared for William as she would any of her other children, but there was one more mountain she had to climb - A life with her lover.
“Don’t you love me? If you loved me you would be with your son, William, and I.”
Betrayal could be a motivator or a depressor. In this case, Mary had built her way again to a fantasy life she wished to live, only to fall back down again. A union never to be brought about due to an arrangement - a deal that was set up with the lover’s cousin.
Mary’s mind could only flutter back to where she was before, with her estranged husband and children. Luck was not in her favor, and she was left with William, alone once more. She had a significant reminder of what she did, with a look at her bastard, and the solemn that came along with the feeling of loneliness.
This won’t be the end.
She hadn’t flinched when the news was given to her of her removal from her position as Governess. A betrayal of the worst kind, by one that she had least expected it from. A need for change in the court, she was told, as she was placed in a position that forced her retirement. Her eyes settled upon the woman in question; the Duchess of Adria, Princess Charlotte. The face of Mary Othaman did not falter as the words twisted like a serrated knife into her stomach; a face of nothing but unrelenting face would be all that the women gathered before her could see. Her throat constrained, yet with a deep breath and a subsequent elongated exhale, sne maintained the propriety that she had lectured hundreds of lady courtiers on over the past decades.
Yet an emptiness spread throughout her, as all she had known had been ripped from her. It was as if her life had turned to sand in her hands, and the small sediment rapidly slipped through her fingers. She could not grasp it, she could not attempt to collect every piece of the granular material even if all her might had been placed within the endeavor.
As her mind began to numb, she looked out at those who were gathered in the hall. Lady Anna, Lady Laurene Basrid, the Baroness of Woldzmir, Lord Joseph Alexander, and others were all in their respective places. The Baroness Moliana had spoken her part on the lack of competency from the current leaders of the court, more or less, which came as a faint echo in Mary’s comprehension as her mind continued to plummet down the rabbit hole. She had seen a clear disagreement on the matter of the Baroness’s words from the de Savoie.
What words came from her mouth in defense of herself and her position - her prior position - were words that she could not recall saying. Everything had turned inward as the walls began to rise. When her consciousness connected to the reality of the situation before her, as it continued on, a child pestered her again and again and again. The tide of fury, betrayal, distress, and this nothingness overwhelmed her, whilst some an unnatural presence engulfed her, led to the rise of her hand and the swift strike across Joseph Alexander’s cheek. When she withdrew her hand, she could see the imprint of it in red.
The meeting was adjourned shortly thereafter, and Mary drifted out of the room with nothing but fury in her emptied state.
“My whole life… Mother, I’ve done you wrong.” Mary’s unrest with being displaced from her livelihood was settling, as changes were made and she was no longer a part of them. Her head spiraled, a feeling of losing control, all extending out of her grasp as she desperately tried to reach for them. Everything was foggy. “I’m still Governess, I am. I wouldn’t fail my mother, she wouldn’t allow it.” Though, she was welcomed with distasteful looks when entering the palace, a Governess once was, but no longer. Perplexion was like a fog that settled on Mary’s mind, unwilling to lift from her and disperse to give clearer days. Mary continued to do her work as if she was governess, unsure of what had happened or why her office was now locked, and yet she had no key. There was one thing that still sang in her mind like a Canonist choir. . .
If I can’t have it, then no one shall.
Tears came down her face, an amalgam of rage and melancholy that screamed in her head. It was time to return to her Redenford home, a place where Mary spent most of her time away, writing and doing work. Yet she had none of that this time - no work, no one to console her in such a time. With the tears becoming harsher, her breathing followed in a raggedy pattern. The carriage was a bumpy ride, tossing her about, making it harder to breathe. . .
Breathe, Mary, Breathe. . .
She won, didn’t she Mary?
Mary, he still loves you and William.
You’re despicable, Mary.
We don’t need a Governess, Mary.
I know about William, Mary.
A scream resounded through the fields near Redenford, and with her burning ire came an echo of aggression. Mary had nothing, she had lost everything to her. Her hands grasp on the skeleton of the carriage, grasping at it and rattling it in a tantrum of her screaming, the driver of the carriage trying to calm the horses in the midst of the fright. . .
Mary awoke in her bed, grasping at the sheets and looking around. Her hand met with the curtain as she pulled away the cloth to look outside. The rolling hills hid the sun, the sky turned into a watercolor of pinks and oranges. It was sunset.
As the sun went down, she felt as if her dreams followed, all washing away into an overlapping darkness. Some nights were cloudy with no sight of stars, but this night the stars twinkled and she watched from her bed as the night sky dazzled, and the thought of her dearest companion came to mind.
Flick - Whoosh!
Mary lit a candle and got her quill and ink ready, a piece of parchment laid flat on her desk – blank. She sat there, looking at the stars, the moon now beaming with a mixture of the emotions she felt. She wondered if her lost companion was looking at the moon as well, thinking of her.
This is when Mary made the letter. She wrote many drafts, versions, the intrusive thoughts of denial and hurt filling her mind. The stars and the moon could only offer as much hope as a fantasy, but nothing was realistic.
Be realistic, Mary, and you’ll gain all that you desire.
Day began to break and a patient courier waited at her door for the letter. Mary sent off the letter to the father of her bastard, and for a moment her eyes wandered to the rising sun. A new day, but her mind was the same. A moment of regret followed the courier, but Mary quickly washed this away.
In trots the man, the former Lady-Governor sitting on the couch as she’d waited for him for some time now. The woman invited him in with a grin, nodding slowly as he took the seat across from her. As his aging body settled into the seat the woman’s countenance changed in a single instant, distress building within her as the emotional space between them was made physical by the current seating arrangement.
Why are we different than we used to be?
Is all she could conjure up, the sadness fueled rage building up within her still as she made an attempt to maintain a good face in front of a guest of such a high station.
I love you.
She spoke softly now, her eyes pleading with him as she made her move to sit next to him. She was met with a cold reaction, the man moving closer to the door and away from her. Little did he know he was pushed into a corner, like a sloppy king put into check, the woman opposite him the queen he underestimated.
In barged a man dressed in armour, a crossbow pointed straight at the man as he still moved away from his newly proclaimed ‘friend’. Rather than killing the king in check, he was only knocked out, falling to the ground in an instant as the armoured man made his escape. With this sign of weakness from the fallen king the lady lunged across, a dagger produced from her pocket as she knelt to her weakened king’s side.
You chose wrong.
She spoke softly, whispering to him as she pulled her head to rest upon his chest. Her arms wrapping around the unconscious man in a final embrace before the dagger was raised, plummeting into the king’s chest. The game was lost, checkmate, and the king had died.
The Dame had then been pulled away from the scene of her lost love, weeping and sobbing as she was tugged off by red-uniformed men. She pleaded with them to let her go, despite her gruesome killing of the king she once loved, she wished to see him still.
She was removed from her own palace, little effort or fight put up as she was taken out into the courtyard and moved into the Bastion. She was pushed down
One uniformed man, however, caught her eye: her one and only son, Jon Aleksandr. Who was previously a sign of the husband she never loved, was now seen as her saving grace, showing mercy to the mother he had learned to love. Hell had undone her, and by the blade did she commit herself deeper into its depths. But even a beloved son cannot thwart the crime of murder.
Upon greeting her beloved mother - for what seemed to be the final time - the male’s countenance filled with a harrowing sense of sorrow. An array of warm liquid began to form in the corners of Jon’s eyes and proceeding to stream down the side of his porcelain cheek. He unambiguously approached Mary and drew her towards him with the d’Arkent, the hollowed woman’s eyes staring into what seemed to be the very depths of his soul. He began to whisper something into her ear, Jon’s tone laced with a vigorous sense of rushed importance.
“I want to be mad at vy but I simply cannot. I am just confused, and I won’t ever understand why vy did what vy did but… I will always know there was a good woman there unlike the people around me. I love vy mamej… This will be our final dravo.”
Mary felt the sudden rush of hopelessness, the surging tide of overwhelmingness beginning to sink her countenance. This marked the final moments she would ever spend with her son. Mary’s shaking voice mustered out her very final words to Jon.
“When the time comes to make the right decisions, son. It has to be done.”
Jon began to edge further away from his mother then, terminating the pair's embarace. A tumultuous sob escaped from the depths within the male as he pivoted upon his heel, turning towards the exit of the room. Jon Aleksandr offered Mary one last look. Though this one was divergent. It was a look of sheer horror, the boy haunted by his own mother’s actions.
The last to lay eyes on the live body of Mary Casimira was among the first within her memory: Joseph d’Azor, whose eyes were of honey atop the wound that was the day. He spoke sugar into her being, waterfalls marking a river down her cheeks and unto the ground that convalesce into stone as as he escorted her- men following like dogs to a lead -into a deep underground cavern. Each trickle was reminiscent of the blood, the guts, the pain of her revenge, and yet Joseph’s light kept her from succumbing to the nightmare.
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.