Only Fools Complain
Back with My Wives
Both my wives were using pins to hold sections of cloth together that I could recognize as being a future dress. They both smiled and spoke pleasant words at seeing me. Honestly, I could not help but show pleasure in seeing them. I however stood in the doorway while letting it be known that I had not yet finished my business.
“Aden. Honestly, I need Tamesa, but she is your property, so come.”
My mature wife replied, “She is our property, my lord.”
Hoping that I showed how much I really did not care, I said, “I wasn’t going to refuse you anyway, but Mersidda you can join us if you desire.” Gaining all three ladies in the hallway with me, I gave the command, “Take me to the room that Aden shared with her previous husband.”
Tamesa hesitated, and when I looked to her she stammered, “Are… are… are you certain, my… my lord?”
“Yes, Tamesa,” I replied. “You probably just convinced me of things, but let me see this line of thought worked through.”
Aden told her to go ahead. Considering that the two had the historic relationship, I did not let the act bother me. I simply stayed satisfied that things were going as desired, and moved ahead with my wives.
I could tell that we were moving into the section of the castle for the royal family as we passed a couple of guard posts. They did not challenge us. Turning into a spacious hallway, two guards however did move to us with one speaking.
“Major Berair, a footman came from the old apartment of Prince Therlik earlier claiming that he was working for you.”
“Yes, and I am now here to check on what was found. Both Aden and Tamesa are with me to hopefully notice things that I might not.” When the guards nodded, I added a question. “Why wasn’t this door locked?”
“It was, Major. The footman gained our notice when he unlocked it.”
I did not bother with asking how. Honestly, just the fact that it was locked told me enough. Doors inside a castle usually were not, as the servants needed the ability to move about and perform their duties. For the same reason, keys were usually available, so I did not bother with the question of how the soldier unlocked the door.
“I will want it locked back when we leave, but at the moment there are questions that I hope to have answered.”
Toward the topic of the door, once in the room Aden asked a question as Tamesa and Mersidda lit lamps. “Why would this apartment be locked, my lord?”
“Let me see if I can show you, and not just tell you.”
I went through a door into a very spacious chamber. The sounds of my feet echoed as I walked over to an armoire, the only piece of furniture in the grand room. I had the ladies work to keep the large wooden construction steady as I moved it away from a wall.
Aden did not show fear in seeing the hole in the wall, but noted things about the paneling as she concluded, “Probably an old escape tunnel, my lord. I guess the flayers used it.”
Tamesa spoke without me needing to encourage her. “Yes, my lady, as this is how I was abducted. I came here… for… personal reasons.”
Hoping to gain some of the information I desired, I blurted out, “You did not like your assignment.”
She looked to Aden and not to me as she returned, “The baron was intentionally not letting me serve you, my lady. I don’t know why. I came here to remember, and… cry.”
I was about to say something, but stopped upon hearing the door open. The ladies curtsied and I even did a small bow as the baron walked into the room. He paused to look over the situation before speaking.
“You found old escape tunnels, Berair. It only speaks to the prosperity of my land that they have been neglected and forgotten. The cavern once provided an alternate source of water during sieges, but time has had it carve quite a lot.”
I replied, “Our conclusion as well, Baron.”
“I will once again thank you for leading the fight to clear the flayers. If I had access to a quarry, I would begin the work to seal the way underground. If you think it is wise, I will station a couple of men in here.”
Attempting to be as diplomatic as possible, I slowly found the words to say. “Well, I would not neglect the presence of the cavern.”
“Of course not. Your duty however is to remove the shell.”
As much as I hated to, I had to reveal some of my own beliefs. “I’m sorry, Baron, but I am now worried about my own life. That shell is not coming down until I feel it is for the best, and at the moment that means the best for me.”
Tamesa gasped, but Aden stayed calm and her silence assuredly was the reason no more sound came from the servant. Mersidda however exclaimed a question. I ignored her, but kept my focus on the monarch. I could tell that he also did not want to say things, so sought the best response that would keep a calm.
“Berallid is coming back around. Open the shell, and I will see that he can teleport you and your acquisitions back to Thiminy.”
“Oh, no. The one that made this shell is stronger than Berallid. Thus, anything he can do the one that made this shell can do better. Now, I do trust my monarch – that’s it, isn’t it?” I really should not have spoken, but my mind was too quick in making a connection. “That is why you contacted King Terish. You were seeking someone powerful enough to put this person in his place.”
The baron displayed no shame as he replied, “Yes, Berair, that is why we contacted King Terish. The problem is that he knew the guy. The two attend the magical gatherings at Strakia and have a friendship. He however suggested you. He said that you were dedicated, imaginative, and had a sword that would work to your benefit.”
I pondered what I heard. I believe the baron simply waited for a response. It took a short period of time, but I did speak.
“You really don’t know the full story, do you?”
“Honestly, I’m not certain that there is a full story. I believe this is a situation resulting from a number of circumstances just coming together to my unfortunate favor.”
“Because of your sons.”
He glared at me. His eyes then shot to Aden before coming back to focus on me. My wives were definitely worth looking at, but I could look at them at my convenience. I kept my eyes locked on the baron.
“As you said, I don’t know the full story. I just know the situation that I am in. Whatever you are doing, I have to admit that it is showing some results. I will thus allow you to continue.”
It was a concession on his part, so I made one of my own. “Baron, you gave me two wives – two fabulous ladies. I have to honor you for that. However, they came with their own pasts, which includes their families. I would like to visit. If I flee back to Thiminy, such will not be possible. I thus am working to resolve this situation and hopefully leave your land, and possibly the surrounding lands, in peace.”
His whole form slumped as the tension that had been powering it left. “I can actually understand that, Berair. Okay, you have my blessing. Listen, if you want to talk to me, come on. Not much is happening at supper, so start joining me at my table. At least I haven’t heard your stories before.”
I had nothing against it, but I left the decision to another. “Aden?”
She replied, “My husband is working hard at his assignment, so I prefer allowing my lord the evenings to rest. However, I would be working against the plans of my husband to not try and soothe any hard feelings between us. Maybe in a night or two, Baron.”
“Okay, Aden. I will let my wife know that I made the offer.” The monarch then turned his gaze back on me. “Berair, definitely not the man I expected. I would be at fault not to give you support. Keep at whatever it is you are doing.”
The baron and those who followed him left. I held my place. After the door to the apartment shut, Aden moved to assure that he had left before speaking.
“I am glad to have been here for that conversation, my lord. I probably would not have applied the weight to your words properly otherwise.”
Mersidda finally felt able to ask one of her questions, although pressed her body against mine as she did so. “Why is someone trying to kill you?”
I answered, “Because I am married to Aden.”
Aden said, “You cannot prove that, my lord.”
“Sorry, but that is why I brought you and Tamesa here. My intent was to prove that. Tamesa was taken, because it was supposed to be you that returned to this room. Tamesa should not have come in here, but in your room. This was Therlik’s bedroom.”
“However much our relationship soured, my lord, I no more refused Therlik than I refuse you. I spent a lot of time in this room. I however never came on my own.”
Tamesa said, “That is true. I was just walking through the bare apartment, my lord. I did not specifically come to this room.”
I worked to support my position by asking, “But they did not hurt you, did they?”
“No, my lord. I was lowered very carefully, and originally treated very well. Then a commotion happened, and I was put to work.”
Aden sighed, then said, “I would not think that just the fact I gave my previous lord sons would be that great of an asset.”
I replied, “I don’t fully understand the situation either, but I feel that my life will be at risk once someone realizes that I am now your husband. I thus am playing this situation a lot more carefully than I had been.”
“I did not finish my book, my lord, and Mersidda still has a lot of work to do on her dress. Come back with us, and let us again give you a peaceful time to think.”
My young wife had stayed close to me, and I felt her hug as she seconded those words. Just to give my ladies some peace, I moved to trade affection with each. Once I again had both clinging to me, I said the words that bothered me.
“I thank you both, and plan on taking you up on your offer. However, I am less assured about my next steps, so my presence might not be as relaxed.”
Aden said, “You have two wives, my lord. While there is joy in your presence, we can be used to simply allow a release of energy. However we can surely work to help you in other ways.”
Mersidda agreed, although her tone of voice indicated that she did not fully understand. Honestly, I cannot say that I understood, but I accepted that Aden had learned skills in her previous marriage that I would appreciate. I just nodded in agreement, then escorted my ladies back to our apartment.
Berair has to again deal with his wives.