(Just wanted to say sorry about the long wait… I know it's been forever but if you'll like me to contuie please review and tell me too… I know this is not very long but I'll write more as soon as I can)
Thanks to my Beta Icestar4621 for correcting this chapter
Chapter 5: Knighthood and Truths
Keladry of Mindelan watched as her daughter Evelyn of Mindelan kneeled in front of the King to be knighted. The proud mother could feel the tears that threatened to fall at the sight; she couldn't even explain how proud she was of her daughter at that moment. Smiling, she looked to her best friend and Eve's Knight-Master, Sir Nealan of Queenscove and gave him a small smile.
"I can't believe Eve is already knighted… it seems like yesterday she was just a Page," she whispered fondly, looking back toward her daughter as she turned to face the Court. There were less people than had been present for the male knights. "News of the kings new decree has traveled fast… people are starting to hate Lady Knights already… Even the ones who have sided with us for years," Kel whispered sadly to Neal. "I went to the training fields and saw the four male squires rebuilding the new stables. It's rumored that's their only punishment."
Neal took a deep breath, watching as Eve walked toward them so they could present her with her new shield. They had both chipped in and had it especially made from Raven Armory with the Mindelan crest. A gray owl with its wings stretched out on a blue field rimmed with cream. The only difference between the male knights and the females was the shield's border, which had two formed rings around it; the outer blue while the inner was cream. Like her mother and all Lady Knights before her, with the exception of Lady Knight Alanna, she had a distaff border.
Both Kel and Neal smiled as they placed the shield on her arm, "I'm so proud of you Eve," Kel told her, placing a small kiss on her daughter's forehead.
"Now it's time to go look nice for the people," Neal said, stepping away, gently grabbing Kel's arm as he went. "Time to let her go enjoy this… at least there's no war like there was when we were knighted… she won't have to go straight into the field. She's free to do as she wishes."
"I know," Kel said, looking up at Neal. "I'm going to tell her," she whispered suddenly to him.
Neal looked at her, "Tell her wh…" he stopped, "Tell her about her father," he whispered back in surprise, facing her completely now.
"She was right earlier Neal… she has a right to know," Kel told him, looking toward Eve. "I just hope she won't hate me."
Neal gave her a tight hug. "She won't hate you," he whispered gently.
Kel watched as her daughter danced with Neal's second son, Markus of Queenscove, a soldier of Third Company. "They seem to like one another," said a voice behind her and she spun to see the man she had tried to avoid for nearly eighteen years, Eve's father.
"They were raised together… he's only two years older," Kel said, glancing back toward the two. "Funny you would notice," she said slowly.
"Kel… what would you have me do?" he asked, whispering. "But this isn't a good place to talk about this," he murmured, looking around anxiously. "Come with me," he said and when Kel hesitated he added a quiet, "Please." Kel sighed, following him out of the room and onto the terrace. The man stopped, spinning around to look at her. "I've tried to get to know the girl," he said, but Kel interrupted him.
"Her name is Evelyn in case you've forgotten 'Sir', not Girl," Kel snapped. "And you should know she is very intelligent and brave… but when it comes to talking to you…" she stopped, looking away. "Do you know how many times she's asked about you… today even," Kel asked, looking back toward him.
"She's very curious, is she?" he asked, amused. "Definitely got that from you."
He chuckled and Kel glared at him. "I'm telling her about you," she said and smirked when he stopped laughing, his eyes wide. "Don't think that's very funny, do you?" she said, patting him on the shoulder and walking back into the castle.
The man grabbed her arm, "No… it's too dangerous," he whispered, not letting her go.
"For you maybe… but you know what she told me earlier… she said she had the right to know and she does," Kel said, glaring at him and when he didn't let go she said, "I don't expect you to do anything, and I'll make sure she knows that… now let me go."
"I'm not thinking of myself Kel… I'm thinking about the two of you… especially Evelyn…" His hand tightened around her arm, "You know I'm right."
"Perhaps, but this is my choice, not yours. You can't tell me what to do!" Kel snapped, yanking her arm away from him.
"I have a say too Kel. Even though I haven't played an active roll in her life doesn't mean I don't get a say… I agreed to her going for her shield didn't I?" he said furiously.
"I would have let her with or without your permission… you don't even know the first thing about her," Kel told him angrily.
"I know plenty of things about her," he said defensively.
"Really, like what?" she asked and after a moment of him not saying anything she asked, "What's her favorite color? What's her greatest fear? What was the first word she ever said?"
When he still didn't say anything she took a deep breath and said, "Dom knows more about her then you do… he's acted like her father more then you have!" Kel watched as he walked over to a nearby bench and sat down heavily. "Look I know you want to know her," she said after a moment. "You can't though… besides, she only wants to know who you are, that's all."
"Alright," the man said, "But… but let me be there," he pleaded.
"Do you really think that's a good idea?" Kel asked, sitting next to him.
"She'll have questions, and besides… maybe I could learn more about her," he said softly.
"She doesn't think very highly of you at the moment… none of us do," Kel said, looking away.
"I know, but I stand by my decision," he said, getting to his feet. "Later tonight… I'll meet you in the gardens… in an hour."
Kel nodded, watching him walk away, surprised when he stopped and turned around, seeming to hesitate briefly. "What was her first word?" he asked after a moment.
Kel smiled, "Meathead… or more like Mehead but we knew what she meant… you can thank Dom for that," she said, affection in her voice as she remembered.
The man smiled before turning once more and walking away and Kel sighed. "Roald," she called out and he stopped, looking back at her. "She's not going to like you… not after the Decree," she told him.
"I know," was all he said, before walking away. 'This is going to be fun,' Kel thought to herself sarcastically as she walked back in to find her daughter still dancing with Markus. She smiled when she saw them laughing.
Nearly an hour later Kel walked toward her daughter who was now talking to her friend Lexa. "Eve," she called once she was right behind her. "Mind if I steal you away for awhile?" she asked, and Eve nodded her acceptance, hugging Lexa and walking with her mother out of the room.
"I was thinking about what you said earlier," Kel said a minute later when the two of them were alone in the gardens. "And you're right… so if you still want to know I'll tell you who your father is," she said softly, stopping and looking her daughter in the eyes."
"Really?" Eve gasped and at her mother's nod she smiled. "Will I meet him?" she asked.
Kel hesitated, "You already know him Eve," she said finally.
Eve frowned, "I do?" she questioned slowly. "Is it Uncle Dom?" she asked, a faint glimmer of hope in her eyes.
Kel give her a small smile before answering, "If it were that simple I would have told you long ago… not that Dom wouldn't have been glad to be your father… he is rather attached to you," she rambled nervously.
"Then who is it?" Eve asked. "Lexa and I always thought it was Uncle Dom," she said. "We look alike, okay not at all, but we acted alike and so I thought he was my father."
Kel smiled, "You do act like your father… a little…" she said, not looking at her daughter. "He'll be here in a minute," she said, looking behind Eve and spotting Roald as he stepped into view. "Just don't hate me," Kel said slowly, feeling the desperation inside as Roald drew closer.
Eve felt someone had walked up behind her and she knew by the expression on her mother's face that it was her father. She turned slowly but nothing could have prepared her for the person she saw standing there…
"You…" Eve said slowly, turning back toward her mother, "Him…"
"Eve, I know you didn't expect," Kel started, but was cut off by Roald.
"We're sorry," he said, walking closer to his daughter. "If we had told you or if the wrong people had found out that you were my daughter they could have used you against me… only a handful of people know."
Eve stared in shook, "You're serious," she gasped, looking between the two of them.
"Let us explain," Kel said, stepping forward, but Eve stumbled away. "Eve!" Kel said desperately.
"No!" Eve yelled, her voice shaking as she glared at them both. "You've lied to me my whole life," she accused, turning to Kel. "And you," she added, pointing furiously to Roald. "You only care about yourself… use me against you… you would probably like that… get rid of me and be done with it… like Lady Knights all together… just so you wouldn't have to deal with me anymore!"
"That's not true," Roald said loudly. "I would have loved to raise you as my daughter… there are things you need to understand before…"
"No, I think I understand enough!" Eve said angrily, storming away.
"Eve," Kel shouted, following after her but Roald grabbed her arm.
"Let her go… she needs time… we can explain later," he told her.
"She hates me," Kel whispered and Roald hugged her. "She is right about one thing though," Kel said suddenly, as Roald rubbed circles in her back.
"And what would that be?" he asked gently.
"Lady Knights… you are trying to get rid of us," she said, pulling away. "I'm going to find Neal… he'll know what to do," she murmured before leaving Roald standing there.
'I had too,' were the king's only thoughts as he watched Kel walk away.
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