[ORP] Ettinford: A Tale by the Sea

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Thea
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Re: [ORP] Ettinford: A Tale by the Sea

Post by Thea »

Thea's offer to end the marriage caused a visceral response from her wife. Aileigh shook her head quickly, insisting she wanted to continue their arrangement. There was a moment where a quizzical expression crossed Thea’s face before it returned to its impassive state, yet she did not question Aileigh's words.

"I have no reason to end things on my end."

Her words were matter-of-fact, but they hopefully reassured Aileigh. She paused to readjust her positioning on the bed before continuing.

"If the child is ours and Andrzej has no public involvement, there would be no reason to say publicly that they are mine. It can be assumed. No one would know whether or not your mother helped us have more children. You could, perhaps, speak to her about the matter if you want to be certain. The real question is whether or not Andrzej will accept your decision. If he were to not accept it, then he could stir trouble. I am not saying he would but it would be a possibility."

Thea watched as Aileigh sunk back into the pillows on her bed. She offered Aileigh her hand, an unusual gesture from a woman who rarely showed open fondness or affection.

"Life is messy."
Dorathea "Thea" Sanchari Winterbourne| Baroness of Latona | The Red Wolf
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Cousin of the Winterbournes | Mother of Zevander, Corabel, Elodie, Lenora, Ezra, Imogen & Inez | Wife of Aileigh
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Aileigh
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Re: [ORP] Ettinford: A Tale by the Sea

Post by Aileigh »

There was a feeling of relief when Thea verbalized the desire to stay in the marriage. (Or at least the desire not to end it.) She truly did not know what she would do if her partner decided otherwise. She supposed she could return to Bravia, forget her Fenian duties and life, and move on. The thought was brief and disbanded before Thea’s next statement.

She had a point. Technically, they didn’t have to say anything so long as they didn’t contradict it. Assumption would continue to work in their favour - although some may naturally doubt the desire for more children when they already had four young ones. Life was short, she could argue. Again, she imagined the only major hurdle would be the King, should he decide to say something about the situation.

Still, she felt anxious as she laid in the bed, conversing the topic of the stress. When Thea offered her hand, it was a clear sign of how well they had gotten to know each other. Not only did Thea recognize that Aileigh responded well to comfort, she was willing to provide it, potentially at her own discomfort. The damphyr accepted her wife’s hand and closed her eyes with a steadying breath. She gave the hand a grateful squeeze before reopening her eyes with a decision.

“I will tell him tomorrow. We will let the public assume the parentage is you, just as we’ve done with Lenora and me. I know Andrzej well… I think he won’t cause any waves. He wouldn’t do anything to hurt me or any of the children. I think he’d sacrifice is happiness for mine if he ever had to.”

She felt truth in the words she spoke, but she felt guilty for them. He was too understanding at times, it felt - all for her sake. Was she making him unhappy in the process?

Life really was messy.
Aileigh Mae Maraah Sanchari Winterbourne | Seer of BDR | Viscountess of Ettinford
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Wife to Thea | Mother of Zevander, Corabel, Elodie, Lenora, Ezra, Imogen, Inez
Daughter of Aishe & Akos
| Matriarch Sanchari [.]
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Aileigh
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Re: [ORP] Ettinford: A Tale by the Sea

Post by Aileigh »

The trip to the Highlands to visit its viscountess went well. Cordelia was happy and well off in her placement seeing over the wild Highlands. Rhozin seemed equally happy in their new home and little Winter was growing like a blackberry bush. (That’s Highlander humour.) After a week, the Sanchari Winterbourne house returned to their home in Ettinford. It was a tiring two day trip with four children under the age of three. The trip there seemed to go by much faster than the return home and when the estate came into view, Aileigh sighed in relief.

They all promptly went to bed upon arriving home, the excitement of the past week leaving everyone weary. The following morning, Aileigh woke to a bout of nausea and sat with a pot in bed for the early morning hours. Thus far, sickness had been minimal, but she thought maybe the stress of the trip prompted an upset stomach. When she felt stable enough to leave the bedroom, she headed to her wife’s room. Dressed in her nightgown with a bowl of crackers, she knocked on the door. It was near noon now, which meant Thea ought to be awake by now, even if she had yet to leave the bedroom. They had very different sleep schedules, with Thea often sleeping late and Aileigh up to care for their children - or in the case of today, deal with morning sickness.

In the wee hours of the morning, she had confirmed something she had suspected. Her situation just got more complicated. Now she had to share the news with her (thus far) understanding and supportive partner.
Aileigh Mae Maraah Sanchari Winterbourne | Seer of BDR | Viscountess of Ettinford
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Wife to Thea | Mother of Zevander, Corabel, Elodie, Lenora, Ezra, Imogen, Inez
Daughter of Aishe & Akos
| Matriarch Sanchari [.]
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Thea
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Re: [ORP] Ettinford: A Tale by the Sea

Post by Thea »

The family trip to the Highlands had been exhausting. It was nice to catch up with Cordelia but she hoped that next time she might be able to do so solo. She supposed this was the reality of her life now. Even if she did manage to visit on her own, Cora and Rhozin also had little Winter who was more than a handful just on her own.

When they returned to Ettinford, Thea spent a lot of her time alone and hidden away from her wife and children. This was her way of recuperating from the stress of the trip, or so that was how she presented it. In reality, she was avoiding Aileigh and Andrzej. She had found herself increasingly frustrated by her wife's lover's attendance and she did not fully understand why. It was not as if his presence was new to Thea.

About a week after their return Aileigh sought Thea in her room. The room for Thea was significantly separate from Aileigh and the children for a few reasons. It was better and less stressful for the wives to keep their lives in the bedroom private. Thea felt that now more than ever with the recent revelation of her wife's pregnancy.

She was still in bed laying on her backside with the blankets and sheets kicked off of her and strewn over the side of the bed onto the floor. The gentle knock of Aileigh's fist on the door preempted the door swinging open to the semi-dark room. The window dressings were still drawn closed so only a few slivers of light had permeated the space. Thea had been fully awake prior to Aileigh's arrival, she had just not bothered to get up out of bed. Some days were not meant for being productive.

"Good morning. It is still morning, right?"

Thea greeted the arrival as she pushed herself up into a sitting position on the bed.
Dorathea "Thea" Sanchari Winterbourne| Baroness of Latona | The Red Wolf
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Cousin of the Winterbournes | Mother of Zevander, Corabel, Elodie, Lenora, Ezra, Imogen & Inez | Wife of Aileigh
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Aileigh
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Re: [ORP] Ettinford: A Tale by the Sea

Post by Aileigh »

Aileigh found Thea in bed, which was not surprising to her. She smiled, crawling into bed too so they didn’t have to talk across the room. “Good morning. I think it’s still morning. I’m not sure. I’ve been resting. The morning sickness is starting to kick my butt.”

Her honesty was accompanied by a furrowed brow of disdain. She popped a cracker into her mouth and chewed thoughtfully before speaking again. A swarm of nerves swirled in her stomach - or maybe it was just the morning sickness.

“There’s been an… interesting development.” She shifted, a look of certainty in her bright eyes. “It’s not one baby. There’s two heart beats. I can hear them clearly now, when I focus on it.

…. I am kind of freaking out. Two more kids? I thought one more would be overwhelming enough.”


Her voice was raw with emotion. She was beginning to feel the hormones and her emotions seemed to be a bit more unstable than usual. Weird emotions surfacing at odd times had her questioning herself. In this moment however, there was no question of her stress.

“I haven’t told him yet. Though, I suspect the stress of the situation will be one-sided. I think he’ll be quite happy.”
Aileigh Mae Maraah Sanchari Winterbourne | Seer of BDR | Viscountess of Ettinford
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Wife to Thea | Mother of Zevander, Corabel, Elodie, Lenora, Ezra, Imogen, Inez
Daughter of Aishe & Akos
| Matriarch Sanchari [.]
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Thea
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Re: [ORP] Ettinford: A Tale by the Sea

Post by Thea »

Thea nodded her head as Aileigh mentioned her morning sickness. With Zevander she had the most terrible morning sickness that was definitely not confined to the morning hours. She was sick practically all day every day for months. It had gotten so bad that by her third trimester, she had grown substantially in her midsection while the rest of her body looked like a hollow, gaunt former version of herself. Eventually, the doctors prescribed her medicines and elixirs which helped ebb the constant nausea. During her pregnancy with Lenora things had been more manageable, but the memories of her first pregnancy still haunted her. She could definitely sympathize with her wife's struggle.

The two were now both sitting in the bed together in the dim light of Thea's room. Aileigh's bright blue eyes were practically iridescent in the gloom as they met her own stormy gray eyes. The words that would come next she was not prepared for. Nor was she prepared for her own internal reaction. It was hard to put words to it. There was annoyance and jealousy plus some deeper negative emotions she could not fully grasp. There was also sympathy and compassion for her wife who was clearly struggling and anxious.

"It is a lot and it is overwhelming, yes, but it is also out of our hands. The deed is done. We have already established that you would not terminate this pregnancy."

Thea did not comment on how Andrzej may or may not feel about the matter. In the end, he was not going to be primarily raising the children. That would fall on Aileigh and to a lesser extent, Thea and the nannies.

"You are an excellent mother. I have no doubt that you will do well with these children just as you have done well with all of our children. We can always hire more nannies for extra hands."
Dorathea "Thea" Sanchari Winterbourne| Baroness of Latona | The Red Wolf
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Cousin of the Winterbournes | Mother of Zevander, Corabel, Elodie, Lenora, Ezra, Imogen & Inez | Wife of Aileigh
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Aileigh
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Re: [ORP] Ettinford: A Tale by the Sea

Post by Aileigh »

There it was. The strange, out of place emotions. It distracted her momentarily, causing another crease in her brow as she stared off past her partner. Why was she feeling so strange lately? She was anxious and stressed, but she wasn’t unhappy necessarily. She wasn’t annoyed. She was not unfamiliar with mood swings pregnancy could stir up, but this felt different to her. She just couldn’t place her finger on it.

Thea’s warm words brought her attention back to the conversation. A small smile lit up her face and she eased into the pillows. The words were true, if her opinion counted. She thought she did a good job at being a mother. She was attentive and caring, doting and affectionate. She taught them what she could given their young ages and enjoyed the process of watching them explore the world. She spent every day, hours a day, with her little ones, despite the use of nannies. Unlike her younger siblings, she did not grow up with any. She grew up under the careful and watchful eye of Aishe, who spent every waking moment being a mother, especially back then before she became Kralisi and queen. Her mother’s dedication made her Aileigh’s role model.

Sighing softly, the damphyr looked down at her stomach. She placed a gently hand on her abdomen, listening to the flutters emitting from her womb. They were quiet and difficult to hear, especially past their breathing and own heartbeats. Yet, it offered a slight sense of comfort to hear the strong beats.

“Will you love them like your own?” She asked, meeting her wife’s eyes. Love was a strong word, but she knew Thea understood it what she meant by using it. A mother was connected to their children. Thea wasn’t very maternal, but she still cared. Aileigh saw it and watched as those feelings grew. Not being maternal didn’t mean she didn’t love them, at least according to the hopeless romantic. “They are bastards, but you won’t treat them any differently, will you?
Aileigh Mae Maraah Sanchari Winterbourne | Seer of BDR | Viscountess of Ettinford
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Wife to Thea | Mother of Zevander, Corabel, Elodie, Lenora, Ezra, Imogen, Inez
Daughter of Aishe & Akos
| Matriarch Sanchari [.]
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Thea
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Re: [ORP] Ettinford: A Tale by the Sea

Post by Thea »

Thea could be a very blunt person and her words here reflected that. She could see that her initial words had left Aileigh feeling unsettled but this seemed to fade when Thea praised her. Her words were genuine as she had no reason to lie. Aileigh excelled in all areas of motherhood. Thea was pretty sure that her wife would be outstanding with anything she put her mind to as Aileigh had such a determined spirit.

Aileigh made herself comfortable on the bed as Thea continued to watch her. She looked at ease laying on the bed despite rarely even visiting this room. It was as if it was a natural fit with the two of them here together. Thea's stomach churned at the thought. She felt unsettled.

The tone of the conversation shifted again. This time her partner began fretting whether or not Thea would care for the children as she did the others. It seemed an odd thing to worry about given their arrangement, but perhaps Aileigh had sensed some of Thea's tumultuous emotions.

"Both Elodie and Lenora are bastards by the same definition. Why should I feel any differently toward these two? Besides, children are innocent. They have no say in how they are brought into this world. I have no reason to treat them any differently than any of the other children. The only reason these children would end up being treated differently would be if Andrzej would attempt to claim them or be involved in their lives as their father. That would separate them from the others but I have no control over that."
Dorathea "Thea" Sanchari Winterbourne| Baroness of Latona | The Red Wolf
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Cousin of the Winterbournes | Mother of Zevander, Corabel, Elodie, Lenora, Ezra, Imogen & Inez | Wife of Aileigh
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Aileigh
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Re: [ORP] Ettinford: A Tale by the Sea

Post by Aileigh »

Thea’s words rung true. Children were innocent. She wished the whole world believed that, instead of putting a parent’s sins on their poor child. She did not expect a different answer from Thea, but she felt more at ease hearing the words.

Still, Aileigh felt an uneasiness that she was having a hard time shaking. She stared at Thea for a moment in silence, before speaking again:

“What if I want him involved? Behind close doors, that is. Family is something we cherish and I’m happy to be giving him one of his own. It only seems fair he gets to have some role in their lives.”

She found herself holding her breath, eyes fixated on her partner.
Aileigh Mae Maraah Sanchari Winterbourne | Seer of BDR | Viscountess of Ettinford
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Wife to Thea | Mother of Zevander, Corabel, Elodie, Lenora, Ezra, Imogen, Inez
Daughter of Aishe & Akos
| Matriarch Sanchari [.]
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Thea
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Re: [ORP] Ettinford: A Tale by the Sea

Post by Thea »

The question prompted a physical reaction in Thea. Her body stiffened. Her breathing momentarily halted. A few ago she might have had an outburst at this point, back in her reactive teen years.

This was where the wives' circumstances differed greatly. Thea did not maintain a relationship with Lenora's father, but Aileigh cared for and even loved the father of the unborn twins. Andrzej was very much a part of her life and by extension the whole family's life. This made things more complicated. A flash of anger flared inside of Thea but this time it was accompanied by jealousy. She could not place why these emotions were surfacing beside the fact that Andrzej was posing a direct threat to her marriage and the life she had with Aileigh.

Thea exhaled sharply and tried to relax some of the tensed muscles in her neck and shoulders. She looked at her wife again, the apprehension on her face.

"I cannot stop you if that is what you want… but I also cannot promise you that it would not cause issues down the line. These two would know they are not my children. They would be different from their siblings. I can see potential problems with this dynamic. Then again, I am not the seer. Maybe you should just figure this all out and get back to me."

The words were harsher than she intended. She was struggling to contain the bitterness and frustration. Thea did not even have time to consider where these feelings were coming from and merely chalked it up to the fact that it posed a threat to her.
Dorathea "Thea" Sanchari Winterbourne| Baroness of Latona | The Red Wolf
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Cousin of the Winterbournes | Mother of Zevander, Corabel, Elodie, Lenora, Ezra, Imogen & Inez | Wife of Aileigh
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