And Sisterhood

For @daHob’s offline prompt.

This is in the Tír na Cali Setting, which has a landing page here (and on LJ), with characters I have not used before. It comes rather soon after Brothers and Brotherhood (LJ).

“Cotswald told me I’d find you here.”

Caleb glanced up from his book, refusing to jump, refusing to look nervous. Marianne was not the enemy. Next to him, Cye was having less of an easy time of it. “We weren’t hiding.”

“Clearly not well enough.” She sat down near them. “You weren’t at dinner. The Lady Mother noticed.”

“I wasn’t hungry.”

“That works for you, does it?” She pulled a couple rolls out of her pocket. “I know Cye’s mom will make sure you don’t starve, but you have to leave the library for that.”

“I like the library.” He took the offered rolls anyway, and passed one to Cye. “Thanks, Mare.”

“Hey, I like to look out for you, when I can.” She pulled three cookies out of her pocket and shared them around. “She’s on a rampage, you know.”

What was new? “Cotswald was looking for Simeon.”

“He wasn’t at dinner either. Probably why she noticed you weren’t there.”

Caleb winced. It was one thing to be invisible, another thing to have your nose rubbed in it. “Does this have something to do with Baroness Jacoba’s younger daughter?”

“That squinty half-wit? For everyone’s sake, I hope not.” She filled her mouth with cookie for a few minutes, and they all sat in passably companionable silence.

“Me, too,” Cye offered shyly after a moment. “Your ladyship.”

“You, too, wha… oh, Jacoba’s daughter? Why’s that?”

“She beats her slaves. Not all of them, I mean, but her companion.” Unspoken, because they all knew it: if she beat her slaves, would she beat her husband’s slaves? Would she beat her husband?

Marianne looked grim for a moment. “Thank you for that information, Cye,” she said gently. “I’ll lean on our Lady Mother, if she is talking to Baroness Jacoba about something other than land rights.”

“Thanks, Mare,” Caleb murmured quietly. It would probably be Simeon and not him, if it was anyone, but still…

She smiled crookedly at him. “I owe you two, for what you did with Michel ó Gwydion at that dance last month. And besides,” she added, when both of them flinched at the memory, “you’re my kid brother, Caleb. And you’re his, Cye. I have to look out for you two.”

This entry was originally posted at You can comment here or there.

11 thoughts on “And Sisterhood

  1. Yay for older sisters! Elder sisters? Sisters or more prominent age? Um… I’ll stop before I did any deeper. 🙂 (Hey, younger brothers have to tease a bit, it’s in the Younger Brother Union bylaws) And a good example of why it’s good to have a line of communications with the servants. They hear more than you think.

    • people are manipulable. She’ll figure out why it’s economically unwise to marry off one of her brothers to this particular Lady.

      • Yep, hit from multiple angles. A reason why it’s financially unwise, or at least less advantageous than other options. Find a reason for mother to dislike Jacoba (but play that one subtle). Give Simeon a kick in the back side and acting in a way that has mother happier so she won’t want to push him off on someone else to get him out of her hair. Hmm. Actually I guess we don’t know whether Simeon’s actually all that bad or simply under lots of parental scrutiny as the eldest and presumably most eligible son to marry off…

  2. Yes, avoid allegiances with that one at all costs. I am quite sure she will figure out some good reason. Again, glad to see siblings looking out for each other.

  3. Coming back to this with a question. Caleb and Simeon are the Lady’s sons, by different fathers. Cye is Caleb’s half-brother, but is a slave presumably because his mother was? Why is Marianne’s position different? Or are she and Simeon full siblings? I thought from the previous segment that they were half-siblings.

      • From the previous segment: Both Caleb’s brothers were half-brothers. Simeon shared a mother with Caleb and a father with their sister Marianne. Caleb, on the other hand, shared a father with Cye, whose mother was the head cook. At the time, I’d concluded that meant Marianne and Caleb had no parents in common, but it could mean she and Simeon are full siblings? (I don’t think you’ve named any of their fathers in any of the segments I’ve read.)

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