An empty clothes trunk slammed onto Elisif's bed, flinging open as the young Jarl began to toss various things in it. She had received word that the Moot was meeting soon and she knew she would have to travel to Windhelm whether or not she supported Ulfric. It was a 'darned if you do darned if you don't' type situation. Attending the meeting would be bad because everyone knows what happened with Ulfric and Torygg and therefore knows that there is no way she would support her husband's murderer. Not attending the meeting would also be bad because it would appear she was rebelling. She had come to the conclusion that she would attend and simply be the last to vote, because all the other newly appointed Jarls support Ulfric and she would be outnumbered. Her vote would be meaningless.
She put an article of clothing in the trunk, but then curled slightly forward, gripping her stomach with a slight wince.
"My lady!" One of her servants exclaimed, rushing over to tend to her, "Are you alright? You mustn't work too hard."
The woman placed a kind hand on Elisif's shoulder, "Shall I call the nurse?"
"No," Elisifi replied, "No, I'm okay. I simply put a little too much strain on myself..."
Elisif took a deep breath and returned to an upright position as the brief pain subsided. She was relieved it had stopped. The last thing she wanted was to lose this child. With a smile, she looked to the servant, "I suppose I have servants for a reason... if you would be so kind as to finish this for me,"
"Oh yes! Of course!" The spirited young lady took over, gathering Elisif's things that she would need for the trip.
Elisif sat down, looking at her lap. She wondered how long she would be able to say she even had a lap. The thought made her chuckle on the inside and she wore a soft smile. Her daydream was interrupted, though, when Falk entered the room.
"My Jarl," he stepped over to her, "Are you sure you won't send me in your stead? I can say you have fallen ill."
"No," she replied, "It would raise suspicion and make me look even worse than I already do. I can't appear weak when they all expect me to be."
Falk sighed, knowing that there was nothing he could do to change her mind, "Then I'll take care of things here while you are away."
"Yes, thank you," Elisif nodded and stood up, "I think I'll go for a little walk around the palace courtyard. The trees are starting to bloom even through all of this cold weather. I suppose the trees saw they had a brief moment to shine as the snow started to melt and decided to take advantage of that." She laughed, knowing it was ridiculous. But, she felt a strange sense of calm and happiness on this day, for whatever reason.
"Shall I escort you or have an attendant go with you?" Falk asked, markedly worried.
"Don't worry about me. There are guards stationed at the entrances of the courtyard," She opened her door and stepped out into the hallway, headed towards the throne area and then down the stairs to the main entrance. The light was filtering in through the windows in a hopeful and energizing way that made Elisif smile.
"Well, you are quite radiant today, my lady," Bryling, one of Elisif's thanes, commented as she walked past, "You have an otherworldly glow about you today."
"You have my thanks. It's simply the pleasant weather," Elisif covered her mouth as she giggled quietly, "I'm going for a walk around the courtyard. Please let me know if anyone needs me."
"Yes, my Jarl," Bryling nodded, going up the stairs while Elisif went outside.
"Aaah..." Elisif took a deep breath of fresh air, smelling her favorite flower in bloom: lavender.
As she walked the cobblestone pathway, she wondered where her new 'associate' was. It had been about two days and she had heard nothing from the man called Wraith. Of course, she knew he must have a lot of work to do, but she felt a small amount of worry. Trying to relax, she picked a small sprig of lavender and sat on a stone bench under the overhang of the roof, enjoying the springlike weather.