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Pen Your Pride

Chapter Eleven : Maybe This Will Be Easy - Part 1

Eleanor was glad that Gayle had been able to find her dress, but that was just about the only thing that she was glad about.  Phillip had woken up, and sent her at least 10 messages.  She had only read three before she stopped reading.  They all said the same thing, that he would be delighted to spend the whole day with her so she wouldn’t be bored with the other two men.  What a pretentious… ass!  The man was full of himself, to be certain, and she was ready to just be done with him… if she could be.

Now, rushing down to the stable, she had far too much on her mind, and wasn’t looking where she was going.  Colliding with another figure, she took a few steps back to steady herself, and saw it was her mother.  Before she could even speak, the Queen had grasped her arm and was pulling her the way that she had come from.  They had stepped into one of the many rooms of the Queen, and with a small flick of her wrist, Eleanor’s mother dismissed all the servants within.

Eleanor walked towards the window and looked out it, down onto the training yard below.  Once the room was empty, she was the first to speak. “Mother, I am already late as it is to meet with Alexander.  If it is not too important, can it wait until later, perhaps?”

Her mother said nothing, and Eleanor turned to face the woman, and was greeted with a glare.  The Queen stared at her, anger written in her face and eyes, and Eleanor looked at her in shock.  What had she done that her mother was so mad, she wouldn’t even speak.

“What is it, mother?  Why do you look so angry?”  For a brief second, Eleanor wondered if her mother had heard about her moment with Brandon the night before.

“He insulted you, in front of the whole court, after getting himself drunk.”  With those few words, Eleanor knew who her mother was talking about.  Before she could speak up and clarify that it was hardly the whole court, her mother spoke again.  “I don’t care what sort of benefits he brings, if your father was able, he would strip him of title and rank and throw him out.”

Eleanor sighed and plopped down into the window seat beside her.  “Mother, if father was still in charge, then we would not be at our current predicament.  That being said, things cannot be helped.  I need at least his support.  And, if I don’t marry him, then who will I marry?  The man that is too obsessed with his sword to know any law?  Or the man too obsessed with his books to acknowledge people?”

The Queen was silent for a moment, so Eleanor continued.  “Face it, mother.  If I didn’t have this horrid law to follow, everyone would agree that I remain unmarried until someone more suitable became available.  Or, not marry at all.”

Isabelle’s eyebrow raised at the last statement, and thoughts of Brandon rushed into Eleanor’s mind again.  If she wasn’t going to marry the three before her, she knew who she wanted to marry…

“Even still, Eleanor,” the words brought her from her thoughts, “you will be seen as weak.  At least someone defended your honor, but it should have been you that stood up and reprimanded him, not a foreign Lord.”

Eleanor rose from her seat and walked to her mother, hard lines now etched across her face.  She was to become Queen.  Her mother was Queen by marriage.  She would not be reprimanded by the woman for doing the best she could.

“I am going to suggest you choose your next words wisely, Mother.”  The title came off in a bite.  “I have already stated that Phillip will know his place before he leaves here, and I intend to stand by that promise.  The only person that seems to think I am weak is you.  Now, return to father’s bedside.  Your time with him is short enough.”

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