This is my first Pellinor fic, so please be nice. Its set after Cadvan and Maerad's wedding, and it's about the natural progression of events for married couples. Something I was thinking about while re- reading the Riddle in bed the other day.
Fear, it had been following me around for days, and was spreading through me as if it was bitter form of cancer. Spreading and multiplying and taking control. It was hard to keep up the façade in front of my students and admirers, and harder still to keep it up in front of those I loved and who loved me. I walked over to the mirror in the bathroom and peered into it. A pale almost wraith like appearance, long black hair and the pale skin, that gave the appearance of either being ill or dead. It was getting worse the longer I kept it to myself. Now that I was alone my eyes were wide with fear. My friends had started to notice. I could hear them whispering about me before I walked into a room, anxious conversations when I was not around. I knew they were only doing this because they cared but still.
It was because of the people I loved that I was trying to act like I usually would. I was so frightened of a certain loved one's reaction that I was trying so hard to hide my fear, and pretend that everything was ok. He'd never given any indication of wanting this, I know we were married but even though I knew that this wasn't in his plans. I knew him only too well, he wouldn't want this responsibility. Even though we had ceased travelling, I could feel the tension radiating off of him sometimes. The standing still grated on him, like it had done in the early days of our relationship in Innail. Maybe we'd divorce, could we do that? I didn't know enough about Bards and marriage than I should do. And now the nameless one was vanquished, I was learning all I could. But this had never come up.
I stumbled out of the bathroom, and down the corridor, hoping and praying that I wouldn't meet any of our students and threw myself into, our bedroom. Our room was beautiful; our home was beautiful just as I had always dreamed my home would be like. I looked around the room, savouring its beauty and breathing it in while I could. If Cadvan and I divorced, or whatever I could lose this, he might ask me to leave. Even though we were married I still didn't have a clue how he would react to this. And what was worse he was due home soon, our lessons had finished for today. I heard a dull rumble of thunder, it was going to be a big storm, I went to sit on the bed and stared out of the window, the trees were starting to bend with the force of the wind that was starting to pick up. I wished fervently that Cadvan would not venture out in this storm and would be forced to wait until the storm had passed, and so I had time to think about what I was going to say.
On cue, I heard the front door opening. "Maerad, are you home? Where are you?" and I froze instantly. I heard him opening doors and I knew he was peering in rooms to check if I was there. Finally he decided that if I was anywhere I would be upstairs, and I heard his footsteps on the stairs. I hoped that if I didn't say anything and kept very quiet he would go downstairs and I could pretend that I was asleep or out. He was outside the door now and I didn't have anywhere to hide.
The door of our bedroom opened and Cadvan stepped in. He was silhouetted momentarily in the doorway a great, black evil looking shadow menacing and dark, the roll of thunder that followed a moment later broke the spell and he shook himself as if waking from a dream.
"By the light that is some storm!" Cadvan walked over where I was sitting on the edge of the bed, and kissed me. I didn't respond; I was too scared of what was going to happen when I broke the news. He looked confused; I always responded to his kisses, he knew I loved him too much. The fear had clawed its way up my throat. I couldn't look at him, I couldn't. He had known something was wrong for days.
Cadvan placed a finger under my chin and tilted my head up so he could look into my eyes. He had really beautiful eyes, the cut right into my soul. There was nothing but love and adoration in those gorgeous eyes. I was going to lose him soon. I felt tears welling up in my eyes, a pricking feeling like tiny needles were being pushed into the back of my eyes. A single tear ran down my cheek.
I tried to blink them away, before Cadvan saw but I couldn't get rid of the tear on my cheek before he had seen it: I had to be strong for this particular conversation.
"What is wrong my dear? You never cry without a good reason," he leant in and kissed the tear away from cheeks. I couldn't keep the tears from flowing then, out they flowed, the treacherous drops of moisture.
He took me in his arms and cradled me against his chest, stroking my hair. He wouldn't be this sweet when I told him my news; I have had Cadvan's fury directed at me once before years ago now when I had killed Ilar of Desor and I never wanted to experience it again.
"Maerad, I cannot help you unless you tell me what is wrong, you have been acting strange for days, it's upsetting to watch my love, I would like to help you but I need to know first. Please tell me my dear"
I turned away from him and stared out of the window. It was as black as midnight outside but it was only around 3 o clock in the afternoon. To avoid looking at Cadvan who was searching my face for the cause of my tears I glanced round the richly decorated room, filled with momentos of our travels; of our life together. It was a room I'd always wanted as I said before but what made it complete was the man I shared it with. A love I had always wanted.
I would not be asked to leave my own room, or have everyone know that Cadvan of Lirigon had left me. If this didn't turn out how I hoped it would, but how I expected. I would leave of my accord and support my child on my own, maybe I would go to Turbansk; at least I would be with Hem. The child would have a father figure, even though its own father might not want anything to do with it.
This gloomy train of thought didn't help my mood and just increased my anger, what was I thinking? Cadvan would never want a child, so why was I lying to myself. Better to get this over with than prolong the agony. I had made my decision in an instant. I wiggled out of Cadvan's embrace and marched across the room and grabbed my pack from the top of the wardrobe. I glanced back at Cadvan's face; it was a blank mask of shock. He soon recovered.
"What are you doing? Where are you going?" he demanded, he strode over to me and grabbed my pack from my hands and held it out of reach. He was much taller and stronger than me and he knew that, I would have to tell him what was going on. That just increased my anger and sorrow. The man, who was going to ask me to leave or leave me and go off on his own, was standing there demanding answers. Now I was incensed.
"Give me that back, I need to get packing" the tears were threatening again, but not only tears if sorrow but anger and hurt. I realise now that I being ridiculous, but at the time I was so sad and angry with the unfairness of it all I couldn't think straight.
"What do you need to pack for? We're not going to visit Saliman, Hekibel and Hem for another month?" he was still holding my pack above my head but it was now lower.
"It's not we, it's just me". Cadvan looked stunned and puzzled, about why it wasn't "we" going on this trip. I'd always travelled with Cadvan, we were married after all and he used to be my teacher. My first friend and my husband: I owed him an explanation, why I was going alone.
"No, don't be ridiculous, if you are going anywhere then I am coming too. Maerad you are not trekking out alone. Not still with minions of the dark lurking. Who knows what they would do to you if they caught you? I know that you are a powerful Bard, but you are also my wife. And no husband should let his wife travel alone no matter what. Besides I love you, and don't want to be parted from you." The words cut through me like a knife, I couldn't leave him without a word, and even though I was angry about the whole situation I loved him too much to do that.
I stopped trying to reach my pack and stood still. Tears fighting to escape again, why do they always flow at the times you need to be strong? "when you know why I need to leave, you won't want me to stay, that's the point. That is why I'm going." I stared at the floor again: it was safer than looking into his eyes. But I heard his voice change; it cracked with the emotions running through him.
"Maerad, Maerad why are you saying these things? After all the things we have been through and all the times I have almost lost you, why would I leave you now? We need to talk about this." I chanced a look at his face
He grabbed my hands and dragged me to our bed and sat down pulling me down with him. The grip on my hands was like a vice. I couldn't pull away even if I wanted to. But I didn't, he was gazing at me searching my face again, adoration written across his features. I couldn't just leave him without a word of where I was going. I knew he loved me too much or at least for now. We had to talk about this properly and if he threw me out I wouldn't beg him to take me back. I would leave with dignity. My head would be held high.
"If I tell you why I have to go, will you let me go without any fuss, make an excuse up or something? If you ask me to leave, at least hide the fact from our friends. I want to leave with my dignity still intact" His hands tightened on mine; almost cutting the blood of to my hands.
"Why would you be leaving without me? But tell me whatever it is, please Maerad otherwise I will go mad. "I raised my eyes to look with his. His eyes glistened with unshed tears. Gorgeous blue sapphires that sparkled in his face, I looked into his eyes as he spoke this time.
"Maerad, whatever it is, however bad the situation, I will never ask you to leave. Don't you dare tell me I will want you to go anywhere without me. Now tell me what is wrong, Maerad" his voice was soft but with hint of steel in his tone. I finally stopped looking at our hands that were still clasped. I slowly dragged my gaze back to his face. It was so hard to look at it him, the face I loved more than anyone else.
"Cadvan, I'm with child," I studied his face watching his reaction.
"With child…" Cadvan's voice trailed off. He started to grin. I was stunned, why was he smiling, I was still sure that the anger would follow. He pulled me up from the bed. I looked down at the floor again; he was going to throw me out of the room. I felt his hands around my waist. Cadvan had picked me up and spun me round. He had the biggest smile on his face, he was so happy. Why was he happy? He finally put me down, and wrapped his arms around me again and squeezed tightly.
"Oh Maerad, that's wonderful news, you clever, beautiful fabulous woman" I felt him kiss the top of my head. "How long have you known about this?" he kissed me again and again. He tipped my head up with a finger underneath my chin and planted a passionate kiss on my lips.
I was stunned of course, at the time I was convinced he was going to leave me. I was convinced that he was going leave me and he had span me round and kept kissing me.
"Then you are not angry with me?" I asked, I couldn't keep the shock out of my voice and Cadvan noticed and he frowned slightly.
"Why would I been angry with you my dear? Why would I be angry at all I am going to become a father?" he planted another kiss on my lips and caressed my cheek. He smiled at me again.
"It was something Silvia said, that I can't see Cadvan having a child. I overheard her and Malgorn and I was already with child at the time, I was planning to tell you, but after that I kept delaying it. I couldn't delay it anymore, because I noticed I was beginning to show." Unconsciously my hand had moved to my stomach and now rested there, cradling the unborn baby. I wanted to be the mother for my child that I had for such a short time and the mother that Silvia had become for me.
"Was that the night before, the Lirigon meet?" Cadvan asked the light of realisation illuminating his features.
"Yes it was why?" now I was confused how did he know. No one had seen me; I was eavesdropping and had hurried away after I had heard Silvia speak.
"Because I know you were eavesdropping" Cadvan smiled at me and kissed me again. "We were jesting that night, my sweet. If you had stayed a second longer you would have heard the laughter and my declaration that I would love children now and especially with my beautiful wife," he tapped my nose gently. "And you have kept this wonderful news to yourself, worrying that I was angry with you, when it is the opposite is true, I couldn't have been happier. Maerad, you ought to have told me, I am your husband after all. And all that stress cannot be good for the baby." He placed his hand over mine on my abdomen.
"It doesn't matter, I just didn't think you would want the responsibility of a child and some gossip that I have heard through the years, and being married to you gives me some sort of insight" I grinned at Cadvan who smile outshone all the fires, candles and mage lights in the school.
"Maerad, you know not to listen to gossip, however it doesn't matter, come Maerad we are going to celebrate the wonderful news" he grabbed my hand and as we walked together I knew everything would be alright.
Please review, thank you for reading, much appreciated