Waiting for the Sun
Moiraine remembered the first time she had felt his heartbeat against her chest. Slow, steady, and strong. In his arms, the world felt right; everything in its place, and she safe. They had met when she was fifteen, he seventeen, and in no time at all he had swept her off her feet. If not for her father, she would have married him within that first year. As it turned out, the wedding took place ten years after they meet, five after her father's death.
The first three years were bittersweet. She loved Cormanes with all her heart, but living on his grandmother's estates was horrid. The crone was constantly pinching Moiraine, telling her to "grow some meat back there". Or even worse, asking improper questions about the young couple's bedroom situation. She made no secret of her wish to see Moiraine fat with child. Eventually, she got used to the questions and pinches, but it didn't make life easier. She wanted to bear children for Cormanes, yet, it seemed the Pattern was against them.
Which is why when the local Reader deemed her sickness to be the result of pregnancy, she was as overjoyed as the crone. Cormanes seemed pleased, if restrained. It was then that he suggested they move into one of his House's newly built manors in South Cairhien.
Moiraine was filled with joy as they made their move into this new abode. As she grew with child, she felt she might burst with happiness. Cormanes spoiled her as best he could...he was a busy man now, Lord of a small estate. Moiraine didn't mind, she knew he loved her.
Raidon was born on an abnormally hot autumn day. When they placed him in Cormanes arms, the man's eyes filled with tears.
Kissing her softly he said, "He looks like his mother. His beautiful mother."
The next five years would pass at a dizzying pace. Raidon grew into a horse lover, and was constantly running up and down the manor's halls. Cormanes was often in town on business of some sort, leaving Moiraine to handle the estate's affairs. Life left little time for them as a couple.
On her thirtieth naming day, Cormanes took her on a midnight ride through the nearby woods. They rode in silence, until they reached a clearing with a small hill.
"Here, this is the place."
Moiraine followed his lead and dismounted. "How did you know about it? I don't recall these woods being good for hunting."
Pulling her down next to him he said, "I was looking for a place to take you."
It was like she was fifteen all over again. His kiss started out soft, then gradually grew more forceful. He slipped his hand underneath her skirts, resting it on her inner thigh. At first, she couldn't figure out why she craved him so much. Until she remembered it had been a good two years since they had last made love. When his fingers brushed against her lower lips, she felt she'd go insane from want.
"Make love to me."
Little did they realize, that night would lead to their second child. This time they were blessed with a daughter, Jadyn.
"She favors you so much, you wouldn't even know I was her mother."
Cormanes flashed that smile of his. "It's to make up for Raidon, my wife."
My wife? Why would he call me that? It seemed foolish that she would nick pick at such a trivial thing, but there was a time when she was his love, his heart, his soul. Now she was simply a wife.
The crone had come down to see her great-granddaughter. There was no more pinching, thankfully. Instead, she received the occasional "You did well, girl" and a pat on the head.
One night, after nursing Jadyn, Moiraine found herself unable to get to sleep. Cormanes wasn't in bed, as usual. Normally she would lie in bed until sleep came or the baby cried, but this time she decided to try and find him.
"...no, boy. She's a good woman. Given you son and daughter."
"Yes I know, but..."
The conversation stopped suddenly when Moiraine entered the foyer. "Did I interrupt?"
"No. Grandmother and I were just talking about things going on in town. But what are you doing up? You should be resting." He smiled. He was always smiling.
"Yes, girl, that babe will keep you busy soon enough. Best to rest while you can."
Try as she might, Moiraine got no further in her quest for answers. Every time she opened her mouth to protest, one of them would jump in. They talked her all the way back to the bedchamber.
"Now, my wife, sleep well." He kissed her on the forehead before departing with his grandmother.
After the birth of their daughter, Cormanes seemed to lose interest in family life. Moiraine found herself acting as father and mother, in addition to Lady of the estate. Those two years were hard, leaving Moiraine feeling older than her thirty two years. The appearance of an Aes Sedai, Cadsuane Melaidhrin, didn't help matters. Apparently, the crone was a wilder like Moiraine-she had tried to keep that hidden. All of which made Jadyn of great interest to the Tower.
The stress was getting to be too much. An absent husband, rambunctious children, an Aes Sedai watching her... She felt like imploding.
It all came to head not long after Cadsuane Sedai's arrival. The manor was unusually quiet, ableit with the squeals of the children. Raidon had taken off his small clothes and was running through the halls as naked as the day he was born. Moiraine had no choice but to chase after him, as he wound himself towards some apartments near the rear. She was grateful they were empty. Even more grateful when he selected a room to enter. But when her son opened the door, his cheerful shouts stopped as if they had never been. Shifting Jadyn to her other hip, Moiraine followed.
Cormanes was sitting in the bed, staring at Raidon with wide eyes. The blonde wench was all but falling as she tried to cover herself.
If not for the children, Moiraine would have killed them both then and there.