3: Protection From More Than Radicals

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It was only about a week before the vultures swooped down. Suddenly Biana wasn't the tragically widowed mourner, and was now instead the sloppy, pregnant princess with no husband who spent her days moping, and being a terrible mother to her baby as a result. The nobles followed her almost everywhere she went, flocking her like prey, and they were hungry. They separated her from Sophie at any chance, and created a barrier too far for Dex to cross to get to her since by the decree of the nobles' bodyguards, he couldn't get within two feet of them unless it was an emergency. Dex tested this rule once before, and earned a loud shriek, a hard slap, and a whole lot of angry nobles and guards. It was a sweet gesture on his part, but Biana promised that she would be okay if he followed behind or lead in front with the other guards, even if it meant he couldn't hear all of the things the nobles were saying.

Biana didn't really know if Dex would try to save her from their nasty taunts, since she wasn't being harmed physically, so she wasn't sure if she should bring it up when they were out of noble company. In any case, it wasn't his job to protect her from verbal threats of pettiness, he was there to deal with real problems, and Biana just had to tough it out. Before Tam's death, he would always be at her side, so they could brave the storm of laser wit together, but now Biana was on her own, protecting their baby as best she could.

Tam's absence was apparent to her every day, and it was as if there was a gaping hole in her life that couldn't be filled. His seat at the dining room table, empty. His armchair in the parlor, empty. His desk in his study, empty. His bed, empty. His place at her side, empty. Now it seemed that she could only find him in their shared memories and her heart, but Biana longed for a tangible reminder.

Lady Linh took most of Tam's things with her back to the family estate, but left Fitz, Keefe, Phillip, and Biana the few things requested to be left to them in Tam's will. Tam left Fitz his favorite cloak and the Song family sword and shield for him to hand down to Phillip when the young boy was ready. Tam left Keefe his bow, quiver, and arrows, since the two often went shooting together as boys. Tam left Phillip his crown, title, stuffed rabbit from when he was a child, his favorite books from over the course of his life, anything Phillip would want of his in the future, and, most heartbreakingly, the Song family ring after Biana remarried, so sure that she would one day, so that he could give it to a partner when he was older. In the section of Tam's will concerning Biana, it did not request for Biana to remarry, but part of it did request that Biana live her life and be happy, even if that meant remarrying. This side note most definitely made Biana cry on more than one occasion, even more than the requests that she take possession of all of his journals and family crest brooch, a symbol of her still belonging to the Song family.

Biana spent her free time pouring over Tam's old journals, reading every entry, even the ones that were dull, and loving every word. The first one was from when he was ten years old, the last one was the one he was writing in before he died, and there was a journal for every year in between. Biana had already read them all, crying at the parts where he wrote about her and Phillip, and was reading them for a second time when she realized that she herself did not have a will, and if something were to happen to her, what would happen to Phillip? After this realization, Biana quickly drew out a quill, ink pot, and parchment, and began to write out her will.

Phillip, if he was still a child when she passed, would most definitely go to Fitz. He'd spent many years looking after her, and she knew that she could trust him to raise her son right. However, if something were to happen to Fitz, she wrote, that Phillip would be left in the care of Lady Linh, and if something happened to Lady Linh, Biana's parents were next in line, and after them, Keefe, after him, Sophie, after her, Amartia, and after Amartia, Dex. These were all people Biana knew she could trust to take care of her son just in case, and even though she didn't know Dex very well, she trusted that he would go to any length to protect Phillip, because he, a man who'd raised a set of triplets from age one, would understand the need to keep a child safe. Biana, after much thought, had decided to put Sophie in front of Amartia on the list because even though she'd known Amartia longer, Amartia had no experience with children, and Sophie did.

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