I’m whipping up this WiP it up, because, as usual I’m rushing and running out of time.
Nadia, my young medieval maiden, has plenty of time to contemplate her forthcoming marriage to Baron Arnaud, a widower twice her age. She’s much more interested in finding out about Edgar from her servant.
Exploring the extensive castle became Nadia’s preoccupation when not dining with her betrothed or passing the time sewing in her chambers with Sara for company. While Arnaud deemed the only suitable topic of conversation to be about his role as liege lord, Sara presented Nadia with gossip.
“My lord has posted a guard on the cellar, in case anyone should be stupid and decide to pilfer the ale or wine,” she informed Nadia as they jointly worked on the tapestry, which was strung on a frame between them
“There will be much drunkenness on the wedding night.” Nadia anticipated she might be in luck—the baron might still pass out drunk before taking her to bed.
Sara giggled. “To be sure, mistress. But not all will drown themselves in wine and beer.”
“Who will spare themselves when it is freely given?”
“Why, that handsome pilgrim, who roams about the castle.”
Nadia’s needle paused mid-stitch. “Pilgrim. The young man? Edgar?”
“Aye, him, mistress.” Sara sniggered again. “Down in the kitchens, they’re laying wages to see who will tempt him out of his pious life first.”
“Sara,” Nadia exclaimed. “Leave him alone. He’s probably never lain with a woman.”
“I doubt that.” Sara stabbed at the linen.
“Why?” Nadia gave up on her stitching. For some inextricable reason her fingers were shaking. Many times, over the last few days, she’d seen Edgar about the castle. She’d find herself staring at him and if he returned the gaze, she felt the heat of a blush and the pounding of her heartbeats. He’d bowed slightly, then hurried on his way. She wished she was to marry a man as fine looking as Edgar the pilgrim and not Arnaud with his grey tipped hairs.
“Why?” she repeated.
Sara shrugged. “Just… the way he acts.”
“Not exactly evidence is it, Sara? More the imaginings of a young maid with too much time to spare.”
Sara’s cheeks glowed, turning crimson in a blink of an eye. “Possibly, mistress.”
“I suggest you spend some of that time in prayer before you sleep tonight.” Nadia picked up her needle and continued in silence. She was cross with herself. There was little point in dwelling on the habits of other men. Her future was decided.
Or is it?
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