Tanya spent the better part of the afternoon tending to the animals and crops, occasionally checking up on her guests when the moment arose. She even helped show Cora how to clean the dishes, finding the moment oddly comforting and chuckling at Coras attempts, well intended as they were. She felt herself relax as she dried her hands off before the sounds of trumpeting could be heard. Tanya froze at that, her face showing a mess of emotions before turning to look at the girls. Without so much as a word, she motioned the girls to follow her, not a word spoken of her actions.
“In here, quick please. Just .. give me a bit of time, okay?” Tanya requested of the sisters, shooing them into a previously locked room, not daring to look in herself. Tanya gave the young girls a pleading look to remain silent, closing the door on them as the sounds of the oncoming carriage came to a stop. Tanya placed her hands on the doorframe for a moment before pushing herself off, a deep breath filling her frame as she moved to the entrance to greet her guest. With an affixed smile, she moved towards the entrance, smiling at the robed man who was walking up the path.
“May the light shine down, my love.” Tanya greeted her husband, placing the palm of her hand against her hand and bowed, a greeting of love between the two. He returned the gesture, his bow short and born of formality rather than emotion. Tanya remained silent as he moved in and gently placed his arms around her. She could smell the long road across his body, the scent of sun drenched grass and baked dirt coating his robe.
“Tanya my dear, it is good to see you well. I am only here for a short visit, as I must prepare for the ceremonies tomorrow.” He spoke, his voice distant as he moved into the house, looking around. He could see the mislaid books and drying dishes, his presence one of familiarity and command while inspecting the place. Tanya followed after, a measured pace just behind him as he traversed the house.
“I do wish that you would allow me to bring in a maid. It seems the pregnancy has tired you out.” He mentioned, turning again to look upon her. She smiled at him, though the words stung her chest. Again, his worry only came about for the child, not of her own personal health or happiness.
“I promise you that I am fine my dear, I had just been enjoying the day. The chores are not a hassle, and you know the clerics say work is best for early pregnancies.” Tanya brushed off his concerns, feeling that she was having to defend herself for just wanting to live normally.
“No, this time I must insist. I shall find someone suitable to come over, we have the spare room for them to use.” He spoke, ignoring the soft gasp that escaped her lips. Her eyes flitted across the closed door, knowing the room that lay beyond and the implications of another living in that room.
“I will make sure someone will help renovate the room to be more fitting for a live-in maid, until the pregnancy has passed. I do this --”
“No, I promise I don’t need anyone else living with me, nor do we need to change that room.” Tanya spoke, a shudder in her voice as she fought back tears.
“Tanya, Celest will be graduating tomorrow and joining the Clerics. She has no need for such a childish room.” Her husband spoke, bringing her to a stop. Tanya stared at the man, feeling tears well in her eyes again. There was no love in that name, and knowing just how long it had been since hearing that was like a dagger to her gut. Even worse, she hadn’t even known that her own daughter was graduating tomorrow at the ceremony, having received very little word from her.
“She, our daughter, is graduating tomorrow. When is the ceremony, I must prepare.” Tanya spoke, already planning out what she needed to do to prepare for the next day, and how to politely excuse herself from her guests to attend.
“Relax Tanya, there is no need to attend. I do not wish to cause you undo stress, so I insist that you remain here for the time being.” He spoke, holding up his hand to cease her worry and action. She stalled, her mind locking in place as she looked to him. Was he being serious? Denying her the chance to see her own daughter graduate and join the proud clerics, a daughter she hasn’t seen since she had left for school. This .. this was no longer her husband, but someone else, a cold calculating man that only thought of the betterment of others. She held back tears, balling her right fist behind her back, enough to feel her nails bite deep into flesh.
“I … yes my love. I shall remain here, as you wish. I am glad you came to visit, but I request your leave so that I may rest, as today has been long and strenuous.” Tanya spoke, giving the customary bow with one hand across her stomach, common of all her people. He nodded in agreement and followed her to their room, pausing to grab his needed materials for the next day, bidding her a well rest before leaving, letting a cold silence flow through the house. It was a few moment longer before her voice could be heard, strained through the effort of holding in her sadness.
“You.. can come out now.”