08.04.3013: Sisterly Advice
Summary: Reena and Anabethe have a heart-to-heart about young Mikhail, and betrothals.
Date: 04 August 2013
Related: None.
Anabethe Reena 

Drawing Room — Blackspyre, Volkan
Tucked high amidst the residential floors of the Blackspyre, this little room is set aside for meetings that do not require the use of the Great Hall. There are a half dozen tall, wing-backed leather chairs scattered around the room, clustered here and there around small side-tables. One wall bears a preserved drake's head, one of the largest ever killed, while the others are decorated with paintings, scenes from the First and Second System War. Several hand-held holoprojectors rest unobtrusively on tables around the room, allowing for the reading of books, watching of movies, or showing of presentations.
04 August 3013

Anabethe took a day off from studying and logistics, but now she's home again, and that means there's even more for her to study. At least this bit can be done on a tablet, studying maneuvers and tactics from old battles. She's settled in at one of the more comfortable chairs in the drawing room, brows furrowed seriously as she reads.

Reena steps into the drawing room with the intent of pulling a few digital books related to her project. She stops when she sees her sister. "Beth," she greets with a small smile. "Anything I should know about Kadmus and any of my relatives?" A light jab at the Nitrim-Devon fiasco. She's wearing a simple flowing dress, light and summery in gold tones, with her feet bare and her hair down.

"Ellion's apparently an ass," Anabethe says without looking up from her tablet, tapping the screen a few times before she sets it aside. "Seriously. He showed up earlier, told me how we were all fuck ups and how he wanted to get into politics, then stormed off when I tried to tell him that wasn't exactly the case. With plenty of insults to go around." There's a pause as she parses the rest of the statement, then laughs. "Though hey, I don't know anything about him and Kadmus."

Reena snorts softly and moves to one of the holoprojectors to begin skimming through book titles. "Ellion has been away from his family too long. He's losing what made him Khourni." She glances over at her. "What politics would he get into? He's not a civilian. He can't be a senator. And he's accomplished nothing worthy of putting him on the Crown council." She shrugs.

"Right? And then he was all pissed about it." Anabethe shakes her head, shrugging. "No idea what that was all about. He stormed out without explaining anything. And we all know I'm not exactly the most emotionally perceptive person around. So." She leans back in her chair, reaching up to pull her ponytail over her shoulder. "How've you been? Less dramatic than Nitrim and Victor, I hope?"

"Not for lack of my trying," Reena notes with a smirk. "I couldn't even get him to yell at me. But he is trying, I think, to get to know me. He helped me plant potato cuttings for my charity effort," she admits. "I still don't know what to make of him, Beth. I'm worried that this marriage is going to be as cold as Niveus. I worked hard all these years to make sure I would appeal to a husband, that he'd put me first and I would interest him fully. I don't think that's the case with the Volen. But I'll do what I can."

"I'm not sure you're supposed to start with yelling at each other," Anabethe points out with a flicker of a smile. "Unless that's what you're into, in which case, I'm sure you'll figure something out. Maybe he's just trying to be polite? I mean, c'mon, Reena. If he doesn't find you appealing, then the whole playboy act's been a cover for liking men."

"He just seems to be utterly lacking in passion. That's what is frustrating me," Reena sighs softly. "It'll get better. I have to believe that. Otherwise I'll go crazy."

"I refuse to believe that the playboy of Mare Marus is utterly lacking in passion," Anabethe snorts softly. "He probably just doesn't want to weird you out or something. And I also have complete confidence that you can inspire plenty of passion, Reena," she adds with a flicker of a smile.

"I didn't realize he was a playboy. He seems too polite for that. I'm guessing he's wisely kept it to citizens? I think he was courting Elodie Iah for a bit but that's over now he insists," Reena says quietly. "He keeps assuring me I'm attractive and such, but he hasn't even tried to so much as hug me, or hold my hand."

"Hey, all I know is he's got a reputation," Anabethe shrugs in regards to Kadmus' partners. "But gods, you'd think the people arranging marriages would stop and think a little more about them before they go setting them up," she adds with a heavy sigh and a roll of her eyes. "And maybe he doesn't want to be too forward or something. I dunno, Reena, it's really not my speciality."

"I'm guessing he has no experience with Khourni women," Reena quips. "I am taking him to the baths tomorrow. Maybe that will shock him out of walking on eggshells around me." She looks at her sister thoughtfully. "Have you found someone to train Mikey yet?" she asks.

"I've had a couple possibilities," Anabethe says, grimacing. "Was thinking Flint until things went south there. Jarek's offered. And Ellinor would take good care of him, too. Why, did you have someone in mind?" she asks with an arch of her brow, curious. "I mean, he's going to have to. I know that. I just…want to make sure it's with someone who won't throw him in before he's ready, you know?"

"It depends on how you want him trained. They're all fine Knights, it's more their personal views you need to decide between. Flint would have been a good choice but do you want your son steeped in the worship of the Crone and such? Jay knows our ways well enough, but again, very religious. And with what our little brother told us" Reena trails off. No need to mention out loud how dangerous close adherence to the Chantry may be right now. "Ellinor is a newlywed, and squiring your son to a Sauveur is going to raise even more whispers about our taking over." She grimaces. "What about Thalo or Victor?" she asks.

"Vic's good, but he doesn't have the command experience I need my son to pick up," Anabethe shakes her head. "And he's about to be a newlywed, too. Thalo might do. At least I know he'd take care of him without protecting him too much. But squiring Mikhail's going to be a political thing as much as anything else, and Thalo…just isn't, you know?" She rests her head against the back of the chair, thinking. "It's complicated. Why do you ask, though? Did you have something in mind?"

"This Chantry thing just has me worried. I've spent a lot of time with Mikhail, I just want him to be safe and trained well," Reena admits. She's likely been the one doing his administrative and etiquette lessons all these years. "I'd say Ana but, again, about to be married. Damn. Everyone is about to be married, Beth." She scrubs at her face. "I suppose it'd be thought inproper for you to take your own son as a squire?"

"I could, but…I think it'd be better for him if it was someone else," Anabethe says slowly. "I mean, I've done a crappy enough job being his Mom. I don't think it would help things to add being his knight, too." She pushes up from her chair, moving to claim a beer from the mini fridge. "He needs to be able to focus on his training, not get all confused about how he's supposed to be relating to his mother."

"True. Jarek may be the best bet then. He is religious, but he's our vassal and he has a lot of experience. Squiring to a Knight Lieutenant is prestigious," Reena notes. "I'd worry too much if he was off in Landings I think." She frowns.

"Well, and Ellinor and Niko are both good knights, but they're also front line fighters," Anabethe adds. "They want to rush in and fight, and that's all well and good when you're your own knight, but it's not what I want my son being dragged into. I want someone a little more level-headed for him."

"If you let Jay know that, I think he'd be sure to adhere to it. Same with Thalo. And I trust those two to keep Mikey in the Khournas vein. Plus he'd be closer to home and his Auntie Reena could visit for his etiquette lessons." And escape her underwater kingdom if it doesn't sit well with her in the deep blue of Mare Maris.

"Of course, it sounds like Jarek's angling for a wedding too," Anabethe says ruefully. "Maybe Thalo's the best bet," she sighs after a moment. "He's the steadiest person I know, the most reliable, the least likely to let anything happen to Mikhail. He's got command experience. The only thing he doesn't have is family connections, and my knight didn't have those either. I turned out okay."

"And I hate to say it but putting him in Thalo's care might also keep him off of the radar of any enemies, external or internal," Reena says solemnly. "The right training, but a lower profile Knight. Plus, if anyone can keep Mikey from harm, all bets from me would go on Thalo."

"I'm inclined to agree," Anabethe nods, summoning up a small smile. "Thanks. It's been bugging me for a while, but it's hard to really pin it down on my own. And it's time for him to get squired and get trained." She reaches up to rub a hand at her brow, letting out a slow breath. "Thanks, by the way. For the tutoring sessions."

"You're welcome. It's my pleasure really, he's a good kid, Beth. He's smart and curious and respectful," Reena says softly. "I hope that when I have kids, I'll be that fortunate. I was going to start him on piano too, just to broaden his skills. Everyone should be able to play or sing a little bit."

"So far he only seems to have gotten the good things from his dad," Bethe smiles crookedly. "Smart like Nic. But he hasn't gotten too cocky yet." She falls silent for a moment, sobering. "I haven't really been there for him the way I should have," she admits quietly. "Kind of- I mean. Things went south when he was little, and I've been so busy trying to get my living in, trying to prepare for this war, that I haven't really been there for him."

"Maybe it's time to start, Beth? He loves you, you're his mom no matter what. But he's reaching that age where he's going to start really realizing that his missed out on you. Another good reason to keep him close to home as a squire." Reena moves over to hug her sister. "You talk like there's no way to make up for lost time. There's always a way."

Anabethe hugs her sister in return, sighing. "Yeah, well. I guess I kind of…Kind of feel like he's got a right to resent it. To resent me. I haven't been there. And how do I make up for that? How do I even…" She grimaces, setting her cheek to Reena's shoulder. "I'm a bad mom, Reena. You, I'm sure, will be better."

"At least you're not making excuses for it, Beth. So do something about it?" Reena suggests gently. " Mikey isn't lost to you, not even remotely. And you're young, you married young, you had Mikhail young. You deserve time to relive your youth, but surely you can find a little time for the kid? I think he'd be thrilled, especially if you told him how proud you are that he's going to be a squire."

"He's got to be-" Anabethe pauses, tugging on her ponytail. "I just don't want to screw him up, you know? He's too important to screw up. It's easier to just try to keep him safe. But you're right, I should spend more time with him. Maybe take him on a hunting trip before he gets squired off."

"I think he'd like that. Or maybe bring him climbing if we ever reschedule that trip. We should go on a camping trip. Bring Devon and Kadmus and such, show them the Crescent that way, and get some bonding time in with Mikhail." Reena smiles. Whatever disagreements they've had prior, have clearly been set aside.

"I like that plan, actually," Anabethe muses. "You and Kadmus, Devon and Victor. Having Mikahil along should keep any of you from getting into too many fights, I think," she teases gently. "He'll get to spend some time with family. We'll all have a chance to get out. I like it."

Reena smiles. "Wonderful. Can you set it up? As in can you tell them we're doing it? They'll listen to you. With me they'll just choke on their laughter at the idea of me going camping." She chuckles.

"Well, I'll admit, it's a little funny," Anabethe teases, smile quirking despite herself. "You're not really much of one for the rough life. I'm not sure Kadmus is either, but that should just make it more fun," she grins.

"He's a naval officer. I'm sure he's used to roughing it on a long space excursion. And don't underestimate me. I've actually walked the streets of the down below here, and in Khar-Mordune. Why do you think I decided to start this charity project?" Reena quips. She kisses her sister's cheek. "I should get to bed. I have a few letters to send out early tomorrow to some nobles I plan to shake down for their help with the Notice Project." She grins.

"Hey, speaking of that," Anabethe says, tipping her cheek to the kiss. "Let me know if you need anything for that, okay? It's a good project, I'd like to help out however I can."

"I'll need someone to help train a handful of the residents in each tower to work as security and emergency response, right up your alley," Reena notes. She winks, and then she slips out to her apartments.

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