Vignette: Doubts

When: Month 11, 204 AT
Where: Isolwyn’s Weyr, Fort Weyr
What: Isolwyn questions if what she’s doing is the right thing.

Slipping off her shoes, Isolwyn reached for the blanket she’d cast across the back of the couch and wrapped it around her shoulders before turning from her own quarters and to Eosyth’s wallow, where the young queen lay curled in a neat oval, wings and limbs tucked close.

<< You have doubts, >> was neither statement nor question, Eosyth’s voice soft and glimmering with pale pastel facets.

…I thought I might be free. But I’m not, am I? I’ll always have to keep my guard up, waiting for the next person who wants something from me or wants their way. Isolwyn tucked herself close to her queen’s chest, relaxing into the warm security of her encircling forearms. I will never know if someone loves me, and here I am tying myself to—

<< You enjoy being with him. You find him to be an admirable opponent. You want him. How is that any worse than what you were willing to do, if not for me? You would have married a fool and endured his touch, borne his children… >>

It’s worse because if I fall in love with him and feel for him as you do for Daeserath, I could spend the next decades of my life pining after someone who is right next to me, has fathered my children, and still only thinks I’m worth… fucking… and keeping content for the sake of power.

That was the problem staring her in the face. It almost made her want a foreign bronze to catch Eosyth and attempt to avoid the situation altogether, however viable an option it certainly was not. And the worst of it was that she’d already started being honest with him. What if she slowly unravelled and C’aol spent his days laughing about and mocking her while some subservient little caverns woman submitted to everything he wanted and giggled inanely at every comment he made about her? What if her children, of the most ancient Blood, ended up with half-siblings born to nobodies who tried to leverage their connection with them when she was gone? His Silverfield daughter was an heiress and would need nothing from her or her children. It was beneath her to look at other women and see them as less than her, but Blood was Blood, and no matter how she wanted to see all of her own sex as equal, the truth was that society did not and she could not afford to.

<< …If it worries you, perhaps you should keep matters strictly business. My… feelings for Daeserath need not keep you at his rider’s side. I do not expect you to make sacrifices for my choices. >>

…It’s not a sacrifice.

But it could become one. C’aol was the best choice for the future of Fort, just as Daeserath would be the best mate for Eosyth, both for her lifemate’s happiness and the potential for her offspring. If the new Fortian line was as strong as Eosyth and Daeserath, Fort would only grow in power and finally break free of its decades of bitter, manipulative Weyrwomen pinned under the thumb of their Weyrleaders. Capable wingleaders and better weyrlingmasters. Surely a life with no affection or quiet moments was worth that. She would never have wanted or expected it from whatever idiot she would have ended up married to… So why did the prospect hurt now?

<< You feel for him. >>

I don’t. I don’t feel that way. He’s right – this isn’t some romance novel. I like going to bed with him and I didn’t ever expect to enjoy sleeping with anyone and that’s all it is. That’s all it ever has to be.

<< I feel safe with Daeserath, >> Eosyth felt the need to interject.

I don’t need to feel safe! Especially not with the man who is the biggest threat to me and will probably end up using my feelings against me!

<< You said you did not have feelings. >>

Isolwyn tugged her blanket more tightly around her and let her silence do the talking for her.

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