Only Fools Complain
Chapter Fifteen
Time with Mersidda

Mersidda and I again spent some time together that night. I was actually expecting a conversation. From stories I had heard about women, and listening to my sisters talk, there was a line of thought that I somehow knew would erupt. It came after sharing some kissing and petting by the glow of the shell. As we spoke of needing to return to bed, Mersidda asked the question I expected.

“Berair, which of us will you favor should we both ask something of you.”

As I said, I was ready. “Whichever of you makes the more reasonable request. I would hope that would be both of you.”


“No ‘buts,’ Mersidda. You’re my wife. If you have something for me, even it is just a kiss or a funny story, you have every right to come to me. Same with Aden. If you and Aden want to fight with each other, fine, but not around me. If Aden wants to come to me, she can come to me. If you want me, you can have me. You have to be gentle around me, and that even means gentle with each other. I am too big, Mersidda. You don’t want to fight with me, even to get me to make decisions between you and Aden.”

It was hard to watch her face in the limited light, but I tried as she asked, “Well, you took Aden with you today.”

I again interrupted. “Because she knew the military. If I could have done it alone, I would have.”

She rushed out her question. “Can I go with you tomorrow?”

“Yes, no. You can go with me to the wall. Climb the wall and watch from there. Aden did not go with me into the passage, and you cannot go with me to the shell.”

“Okay, Berair.”

I grabbed her head and pulled it to me as I said, “A wife is a wonderful thing, and I have two. I also don’t have two sisters, or two best friends, but two completely different ladies. Be who you are, Mersidda, and allow Aden to be who she is. I am working with both of you, and you can work with each other.”

“But I want you, Berair.”

“You have me, Mersidda. Aden has me. Neither of you have to fight for me. If you want me, you got me, and the same goes for Aden.”

As she stood, she asked, “Berair, if we had courted properly, would you have chosen me?”

“Probably not. You are younger than I would prefer, and I cannot say that we would have found a common ground. These late night discussions have helped me relate to you.”

“How about Aden?”

“Probably not. She is older than I would prefer, and I doubt that I would have chosen someone with her past.” I picked up my little wife as I added, “But I have both of you, and I accept that you are my wives. I also am finding both of you to be wonderful ladies. I am going to keep you both. You better learn to live with and love Aden, Mersidda, because she is a part of your family just like I am.”

Those words satisfied my young wife. I again woke up with Aden latched onto one arm and Mersidda snuggled up to the other side of me. Hoping that this day would go satisfactory, I rose to set things in motion.

Aden accepted that Mersidda would go with me today. My more mature lady said that she could use the day to check her clothes and probably have Tamesa work with her hair. It did not bother me whether the words were true or not, but I accepted that today I would have the company of my younger wife.

Heading down to the front doors, I heard, “Major Berair, what are you doing ordering my troops around?”

The man was not as tall as me, and carried weight that was not muscle. The way he moved however told me that he considered himself of importance. If Mersidda had not whispered a fact to me, I would have made the assumption anyway.

“Baron Norvaum, I would presume. It is good to finally meet you. About your question, you authorized the uniform, so I assumed the authority of the rank that went with it.”

We met at the foot of the stairs, although no handshake occurred. “Oh, yes. You were unconscious when I authorized your matrimony. You know that you could have refused them upon waking and learning of the deed.”

“I assumed it was a gift, and to refuse would have looked bad. Honestly, though, I am most pleased.”

The features on his face displayed disbelief, which I felt were also evident in his words. “I see that you are with Mersidda. Where is Aden?”

“Back in the apartment. She went with me yesterday.”

His eyes darted around, which had me suspect that he intended to speak on something else, but decided against it. Honestly, I could not fault a man that thought before he spoke. I thus respectfully held my place while waiting for him to speak.

“My military reported that you had success.”

“Which I hope to build upon today. I plan on going through the shell.”

“Oh?” The baron made that exclamation with cheer. “So you think you can solve our problem?”

“I warned my wives to wait on me, as I felt my solution would not be so simple.”

“And Aden argued with you.”

That comment took me by surprise, which was probably evident in my retort, “No. Why would she argue with me?”

“She always argued with her last husband, my second son.”

“Considering the way he died, she probably had cause.”

I could see in the man’s eyes that he did not like me, but before he could speak I heard an advisor step up and whisper, “Aden argued before you on behalf of this man.”

“Yes, she did,” the baron whispered back before changing his tone back to speaking to me. “Okay, Major, considering your success so far, I guess that you can continue.”

“Thank you, Baron. And once again, it is nice to finally meet you.”

I did a slight bow, as the man deserved some respect for his office. Something in his manner disturbed me, but I did not consider it a pressing problem. He did a slight wave to me, actually wished me luck, so I left feeling that he did deserve some good feelings from me.

I assume that Mersidda curtsied to the man, I did not really register that, but I know that she broke for a moment as I felt her hand rest on my arm in the proper manner. That had me think of Aden, who would almost hug my upper arm, which was not the proper position. She was however a princess, so had been properly trained. Something was disturbing me, but again I did not consider it a pressing problem. I smiled at Mersidda, then had us continue along our way.

Even though only having gone through town on two occasions, everyone seemed really pleased to see me. The people knew me. They however kept asking Mersidda if she was all right. I thought that strange, and after being asked on another occasion, and her speaking very highly of me, I caught the following suggestion.

“Then you should hold your lord’s arm tighter, Mersidda. It will let us know that your relationship is more than polite.”

A man working with the lady that spoke, probably her husband, saw my expression and interpreted properly. “We know that you are not Prince Therlik, Major Berair, but we also do not fully know you. Thus, we still worry about Princess Aden.”

I replied, “There is no dishonor in that. I keep telling her that my family will love her, and I find myself assured of my words by the love shown by the people around her.”

The lady said, “You do not deserve her, Major Berair, but we are finding ourselves glad that you have her. No offense to Mersidda, but do not let her young form block your view of Princess Aden.”

“They are both dear ladies, and Mersidda is short. It is thus this lady often fearing being hidden by Aden, but I make certain that even my little wife gains a large portion of my love.”

My young wife hugged me telling the people it was hard to kiss me. I did not mind the display, but bent over as she went to her tip-toes to gain the moment of affection. The people wished us the best, told Mersidda to hold my arm a little tighter, then after a few more kind words we parted.

I escorted my wife up the levee and pointed where I planned on being. Honestly, I had some things I wanted to check, and the extra height gave me an advantage in being able to better see the area in front of the shell. I guess that my pause with my little wife caused others to think I felt a problem needed solving. I actually felt bad for not thinking of a chair for Mersidda, and gave the soldier that brought it my thanks. While I had my little wife sit in the chair, I knelt beside her to show her what I saw.

“While I know oozes move along the shell, they really have not cut any ground from near it. I thus am hoping to just rush the shell, cut it, and step through. If it goes that well, we could be on our way home by tonight.”

While Mersidda was usually a very cheerful girl, she made a more reasonable reply. “Why don’t you think it will go that way?”

“Because that is the fool’s method of solving a problem. Whoever set this up went to a lot of trouble. Also, there has been plenty of time for a number of fools to have done what I did. They are not around to talk to however, and I would be a fool not to try it.”

“What do you think will happen?”

“You will get to watch me fight more oozes. We can then go back to apartment and talk about other, hopefully less foolish, solutions.”

Now I saw Mersidda act as her usual young, spirited self. She turned to hug and kiss me while wishing me the best. I told her that I would return to her, then rose thinking to do things in the battle to entertain my young wife.

Mersidda is really not the one entertained.