Jessica picked the anchovies out of her niçoise and placed them carefully into a cloth napkin. Later, she’d feed them to the cats. She tucked the napkin in the folds of her dress and looked around the great table. much had changed in their dinnertime tradition. Mother often took her meals in her study where, according to Kaia, she was working on some devilish battle plans that would surely annihilate the Kyrii this time. With her father dead, Morteaux rest his soul, Jessica had no choice but to believe Kaia. At the dinner table tonight, it was merely Kaia, her husband Richard, and of course Jessica. this had been the trend for several night now, since the latest battalion of knights had returned to the front and their leaders no longer sat among them. It seemed a shame to use such a grand table for so few people, but Jessica couldn’t shake the urgency of tradition from her daily routine. And, apparently, neither could her sister.

Across the table, Kaia was talking fervently at Richard about the moon cycles and how they affected her libido. Kaia wanted a baby more than anything. She had consulted shamans and psychics and seers on the matter – all in secret, of course, but Jessica noticed her sister sneaking out nights. More than just a baby, though, Kaia wanted a little girl, to carry on the family tradition. Jessica moved her fork around in the salad, pushing olives to one side of the silver bowl and stabbing at one of the floppy tomatoes. Kaia was too young to worry about an heir. Barely twenty-four, and not even yet Queen, she and Richard had plenty of time to conceive a child.

“What do you think, Jessica?” Kaia’s voice broke through her thoughts.

Jessica looked up at her sister to see the big blue eyes staring at her, almost pleading. Jessica bit her bottom lip and half-wished that she had been paying attention to the conversation, instead of griping about her sister;s obsession. She stabbed one of the tomatoes in her niçoise with her fork and picked it up, trying to look contemplative. “I agree with you, Kaia.”

Kaia smiled, her blonde hair shining under the chandelier light. “See Richard, I told you my sister would understand. We need aphrodisiacs to assure that you will bed me during the full moon and I will conceive.”

Jessica rolled her eyes almost in unison with Richard. Jessica knew better than to disagree with Kaia. Even if the girl was wrong beyond wrong, arguing with her was like fighting with a brick wall: it hurt more than it helped. She watched Richard as he nodded while Kaia jabbed on and on. Jessica laughed silently when she realized that Richard was picking out his anchovies, too, just as she had earlier. Jessica half wondered if he was going to feed them to the cats as well. He seemed equally as unimpressed with the salad as Jessica felt. Kaia had the rights to call for the next course, and she hadn’t even touched hers yet. Jessica bit into the garlic-washed tomato and chewed it slowly. It was going to be a long meal.

.

Word: Niçoise. || Time: 15 minutes. || Character: Jessica fa Laure.

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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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