“Asha!” Maud exclaimed as she opened the door to the farmhouse to see the young girl standing there.
“Is Faulke home?” she asked nervously her stomach tied in knots. She should have come weeks ago but she’d always seemed to find an excuse and with the lords wedding they had indeed been plentiful. She had finally managed to make the Lords Mistress pregnant and for now at least her job was done and least it was done until it was time to do it again for his wife.
“Yes of course he is” Maud agreed, motioning for her to enter “And what sight you are. He has been like a bear with a sore head since you had your falling out”
“I’m sure he is” Asha nodded, grateful to be allowed in out of the cold. It was supposed to be spring now, but sometimes it still felt like winter had not yet given up its hold. Rubbing her numb fingers she managed a half smile “how is he?”
“Swings from moping to downright miserable” the old woman chuckled “Are you here to sort things out?”
“I would like too” Asha nodded, her stomach doing another flip. “Did… did he… tell yer why we fell out?”
Maud shook her head “No dear, I asked him of course but he didn’t really want to talk about it”
Asha breathed a sigh of relief, she felt ashamed for what had happened and she couldn’t bare the thought that people might know.
“Well he’s in his room” The stout woman said, pointing up the stairs towards his room, “Go and see if you can’t sort things out, I rather hope you can because if I have to look at his gloomy face again I’m somewhat inclined to slap it”
Asha managed a weak smile “I’ll do me best” she promised heading up the stairs. Reaching the top landing she knocked without conviction on Faulkes door.
“What?” came the replied.
“It’s Asha. We need to talk”
The door opened revealing an unhappy looking Faulke. “I thought I heard your voice” he said.
“Can I come in?” she asked, he didn’t reply but he did move out of the way letting her enter. Finding his stool she took a nervous seat. “I don’t want us to fight anymore”
“I never wanted us to fight to begin with” he retorted, “Asha you made me feel like a fool”
“Can’t we make up?”
He ignored the question, “You’ve taken your time coming?” he dared.
“I know, I was scared”
“Scared of what? That I wouldn’t forgive you… Asha you know how I feel about you”
“Forgive me? Why would yer need to forgive me? There where two people in that room” she decided, regretting the words almost as soon as the left her mouth but still she couldn’t help it “I didn’t force you”
“You tricked me” he replied his eye’s narrowing.
“I did not!” she replied, “I… we… where both there”
“You knew I wanted to wait, I told you as much a hundred times”
“I know” she responded feebly not liking to find herself on the losing end of any conversation. Her and her brother fought all of the time but each time they fought she’d win and she was not a girl used to apologising. “But I didn’t force ya… you did it willingly”
“Aye perhaps” he conceded, “That don’t change the fact that while I was thinkin of you, you where thinkin of damn spells… its always the magic with you Asha, I don’t even know why you agree to stay with him. He’s downright animal and you cower to him like a frightened rabbit”
“I’m a mage!” she retorted, “Magic is what we do!”
“Well it ain’t what I do” Faulke decided, “And it ain’t what no wife of mine will be doing”
“What does that mean?! If I marry you I have to give up magic?!”
“That’s the long and short of it… I ain’t been no second class man in my own home, skivvy to some mage who could do my days work in one twiddle of her fingers”
“Faulke that aint fair!” she growled, thoughts of apologising flying out of the window like birds released from a cage.
“It is fair!” he retorted, “I get to choose who I marry and I ain’t marrying no mage.. I want a wife, raise a couple of kids.. normal stuff, like normal men because unlike you I am just a man”
“But im not normal!” she argued, “And yer knew that when we started dating”
“Aye I did” he agreed “And I tried to deal with it, but truth is Asha I can’t compete and I can’t be anything but what I am. You however can choose… its not like you ain squanderin your power anyways… Months you’ve sat, doing what? Trying to give a bastard a baby who don’t rightly deserve one anyways. Asha sometimes I think you only stay there because it give ya purpose, you don’t even seem to realise that purpose is wrong”
“Faulke I didn’t want to fight” she replied suddenly bursting into tears. It wasn’t like her to cry but somehow she could seem to help herself.
“Then what did you want?” he asked sternly.
“I wanted to make up”
“So do I” he conceded, “But Asha im not joking, I can’t marry a mage”
“But…. That’s what I am”
“You don’t have to be” he reasoned, “Lar’s said to me once that the magic corrupts that it changes man and I’ve seen that he’s right with my own two eye’s. I can’t stand by and watch it change you.”
“So what just stop?! Give it up?”
“Ain that’s about the short of it, give it up so we stand a chance”
“Faulke … I can’t” she sobbed.
“Then we are done with talkin” he decided, moving back towards the door making his intention for her to leave very clear “Thanks fer visiting”
“but Faulke… im .. pregnant”
Suddenly the door that had started to open, closed with a sudden bang. She watched his face go from somewhat angry to confused. “How?” he dared.
“Yer know how!” she replied suddenly terrified as he didn’t look pleased with the news.
“No I mean… HOW?!” he replied “Gods way… or… yours?!” he asked the words seeming to carry a weight of importance.
“A little of both I guess” she conceded.
“So… yer really did trick me” he hissed accusingly.
“No I didn’t” she begged, “I didn’t mean ter”
“It don’t matter what you meant. It is what it is and now it’s only right to do the decent thing”
“What do you mean by that?”
“You’ll have to marry me” he reasoned.
“So what? Yer going to marry me out of obligation?!”
“Aye that’s the sum of it” he decided, looking at the floor. She could see he was hurt and angry, fighting his emotions so he didn’t explode “Unlike some I still have my honour. We can go and see yer priest tomorrow, make the arrangements”
“You can’t just marry me because of a baby, yer can scarcely stand to look at me”
“You listen here” he growled, “I’ll marry you because it’s the decent thing. Yer right I did what I did of my own willin and now it’s right to deal with the consequences…. Even if they were Witch crafted. I ain’t forgivin you but I will marry you, give the baby a chance of something decent”
“Well you might be willing to marry for a baby, but I am ain’t” she reasoned, straightening herself out and wiping the tears away roughly with the edge of her sleeve. Storming towards the door she found it blocked.
Shifting so he could lean against it more fully he stared at her his eye’s filled with hurt and anger.
“Move” she demanded her cheek’s stinging red.
“No… not until you agree to do the right thing”
“I’m not marrying yer to satisfy your decency”
“So instead you would have me dishonoured, you’d have me shamed in front of my family?”
“I don’t want that” she reasoned.
“No but if you don’t marry me now, everyone will know. They will know what we did and I’ll be judged for it”
“Not as much as they will judge me” she replied.
“Then let us put it right for both of us” he growled his anger not subsiding for a minute.
“It isn’t right to marry for this”
“So you’d rather dishonour us both?”
“At least it would be honest” she reasoned.
“Fine” he growled, “Well if you won’t marry me… Then I won’t acknowledge it. I ain’t letting you shame me Asha, besides figure my involvement in its existence is minimal… it was bore of witchcraft, let Witchcraft be its father”
“What do you mean by that?”
“I mean get out” he declared sternly.