For Elise

“Who’s Daddy’s little angel?” Tom crooned, nose-to-nose with his perfect baby princess. “That’s right, you are!”

His mother, Lynn, Lynn’s mother — they all kept telling him that Elise was too little yet to respond to those kinds of games and blandishments. They kept telling him to wait a few weeks or a couple of months. They were all quite, quite wrong. Maybe Elise didn’t laugh or kick her feet or coo as a baby a bit older might have, but that was just because she was her mother’s daughter at heart. The expression in her fathomless blue-gray eyes said that she knew exactly what her father was saying — and that she approved.

“And not a word,” Tom growled from the side of his mouth, “from you. Understood?”

“I wasn’t saying anything,” replied Will.

“Damn right you weren’t.”

Tom kissed the baby’s forehead and smiled again at her. “Of course,” he mused, “give it six, seven months and you’ll be making just as much of an idiot of yourself, won’t you, now?”

“Perhaps,” Will shrugged, in the tone of a man who didn’t believe a word he was saying, but was humoring his slightly mad friend regardless.

Well, for once in his life, Tom was going to be smarter than Will, and the moment, six or seven months from now, when he got the chance to say I told you so would be one of the most hilarious of his life. He could hardly wait.

“Care to hold her?” asked Tom offhandedly. “Practice?”

If horror and panic ever fell in love and had a child — or fell in lust and had a child — that offspring might well have been the expression that found its way to Will’s face. Tom smirked. “Good,” he answered. “We just chased off the grandmothers and the aunts. Now it’s Daddy’s turn. Isn’t it, Princess?”

“You are going to spoil her rotten before she’s a month old.”

“Bah! She’s a Princess. They’re supposed to be spoiled rotten.” He held Elise high, high in the air, to see if she could react — she didn’t. But at least she didn’t spit up, either. That had been his reward the last time he had tried that.

“Tom, are you sure you should be …”

“She likes it!” Tom protested. But he brought the baby back to his shoulder, just to be safe. One finger traced circles on her back. He was amazed, now as he had been the first time he held her, just how soft and supple her skin was. He was also amazed at how whenever he spoke, her head turned to him. He had had no idea that babies could pick out a voice from a host of other sounds.

He’d had no idea about a lot of things before his mother had come out from the bedroom four days ago, tears in her eyes and a bundled baby in her arms. He’d thought he’d known panic as he paced for hours in the sitting room, listening to Lynn yell as he’d never heard her yell. He’d thought he had known relief when Lynn’s screaming had stopped and the squalling of a thoroughly annoyed newborn had begun.

And then his mother had said, “It’s a girl!” and he had panicked all over again.

He’d wanted a son. Well, of course he’d wanted a son, show him a Prince who didn’t want a son and Tom would show you a Prince who must have had a few of them already and was realizing he’d need a daughter or two to move over the marital chessboard. But what he’d wanted most was a healthy baby and, Lord knew, a healthy Lynn. They could wait for sons.

No, the reason why he panicked wasn’t because he was stupid enough to think that the birth of a daughter put the whole dynasty in jeopardy. He panicked because he had no idea how he’d hide his disappointment — however little it was — from Lynn. As the baby got bigger and Lynn’s time had grown nearer, he’d woken up several times to hear Lynn praying quietly, not for a safe delivery and a healthy baby, but for a son. So she wouldn’t “fail” him.

And if Tom gave Lynn the slightest indication that he was at put out by the birth of a little girl and not a boy, he would be failing her.

Yet even as he quailed and panicked, his mother put Elise into his arms. And the panic had melted away. Tom had thought, before his mother had handed Elise to him, that he knew all about love. He’d barely known a damn thing. All he knew in that moment was that he’d stand between this little girl and the Grim Reaper and all his demons. All he knew was that he might well have to, and the thought barely bothered him a bit.

She was only four days old, but Tom already knew he wouldn’t trade Elise for a kingdom full of sons.

He could feel himself getting choked up at the thought, and rather than burst into stupid sentimental tears in front of his best friend — who wouldn’t have a prayer of understanding for six or seven months — he noisily kissed Elise’s belly, hoping he’d hear her squeal and laugh.

“Er …” Will murmured.

Tom looked sidelong at him, one eyebrow raised. “Do you have something to say?”

“You sure you’re … allowed to do that?”

“She likes it,” Tom repeated. He gave her another loud kiss and brought her back to her shoulder. After all, it really couldn’t hurt to be too careful.

“How’s Lynn doing?” Will asked, nodding his head to the bedroom.

“She’s doing beautifully. Morgan and Widow Thatcher were here both here this morning. They say there are no problems. And that the delivery …” Tom glanced sidelong at Will. “But surely Jess told you about that?”

“Jess said I didn’t want to know.”


“She looked like she didn’t particularly relish knowing.”

“Hmm.” Tom heaved a mental shrug. It was probably different for a woman, especially one who in six or seven months was going to be doing the same thing. But Jessie was a witch herself, and Morgan would be at her delivery too. Everything would be fine.

… Well, everything had damn well better be fine, or you and I, oh Lord, will have to have a little chat.

He brought Elise back up and nuzzled her belly.

“Is she resting?” Will asked. Tom raised his eyebrow and cocked his head to one side. “Lynn, I mean. I thought I ought to pay my respects …”

“Oh! Her father’s with her now. We can see her after he goes.”

Will glanced at the shut door, then smirked. “Don’t care to be in the same room with him?”

“He might want to hold the baby,” Tom laughed, though in truth … in truth Bors, too, had been in the room when Alison had come out with Elise, and Tom had thought he heard a rather familiar sigh when the baby’s sex was announced.

“Ah! Well, all is explained,” Will chuckled.

“Damn right it is,” Tom murmured, rubbing Elise’s back again. He thought he heard her sigh and nuzzle against him. That’s right, you know Daddy, you love Daddy …

“Er,” Will murmured. “Tom?”


“She’s sucking on your doublet.”

“She –” Tom pulled Elise away and glanced at his shoulder. “Oh, you silly goose! Why didn’t you tell Daddy you were hungry? Daddy would get food for you … ‘scuse me,” he added, sidling past Will. “Be back in a moment.”

“Lynn’s feeding her herself?” Will asked, startled.

“Aye — well, Lynn didn’t want to give her over to the wet nurse at first, and Morgan said that Lynn feeding the baby herself might be healthier for both of them in the long run, and so that was the end of that,” Tom shrugged. Truly, he only had the least idea of any of it because he’d been in the room at the time, holding Lynn as she held the baby and thinking himself the happiest man alive. Otherwise … well, whatever Lynn wanted was fine with him. It wasn’t as if he had the least idea what was best.

With the pleasant memory of holding his two best girls in his arms — and the pleasant anticipation of repeating the sensation, perhaps immediately — he opened the door the bedchamber.

And froze.

For the scene that lay before his eyes could hardly be called pleasant at all.

“Now, Gwendolyn,” Bors was continuing — how long had he been going on in this vein while Tom laughed out there with Will as if nothing was wrong — “I know you tried to do what was right and best. But you know very well that this won’t do. Your husband is a Prince, your father-in-law is the King. They need sons, and they don’t have time to waste. The sooner you’re with child again, the sooner you can provide one. So no nonsense, now, about feeding the baby yourself. That’s what a wet nurse is for.”

Lynn wasn’t saying anything. If she’d been trying to protest, however feebly, maybe Tom would not have done what he did next. If Lynn had been protesting, that would have meant that she wasn’t utterly defeated. That would have meant that the scolding couldn’t possibly be as bad as Tom had imagined. There still might have been hope.

But as things were, the only thing that kept Tom from balling his fists and lunging for his father-in-law was Elise, still hungry in his arms.

Without a word, he turned on his heel and marched to the sitting room.

“Tom? Is something–”

“Hold the baby.”

Will’s eyes went wide. “Tom, I don’t think –”

“Sir William, I am your Prince and will someday be your King, so when I tell you to hold the baby, you will hold. The. Baby.” And without another word he pushed Elise into Will’s arms. Will stared at the baby and froze.

At another time, Tom might have laughed at the absurdity that was Will’s expression. Maybe later, when he had calmed down, he would laugh. Now, he turned again on his heel and marched back into the bedroom.

He couldn’t even manage a smile for Lynn, who was staring glassy-eyed into space, not even crying. A polite greeting for Bors was obviously out of the question. “Sir Bors.”

“Your highness! I was just saying to Gwendolyn –”

“A word with you.”

“Now, hold just a moment, I think you might want to –”


Bors gaped at him. Some part of Tom’s mind that wasn’t contemplating murder calmly took note of the expression and filed it away for further pondering. Perhaps there were results that could be gained from throwing a royal tantrum every now and then.

The rest of him simply turned around and marched out of the room, trusting that Bors would scuttle in his wake.

He did.

Tom forced his temper to keep on an even keel until they were out of the sitting room with the door safely shut behind them. He prayed that Will would have the sense to close the bedroom door, too. Lynn didn’t need to hear this.

His temper only lasted, however, until that moment. One hand closed the door — the other grabbed Bors’s collar.

“Your high–”

Slam! Fine dust exploded from the plaster as Sir Bors’s body went flying into it. “You will not speak to my wife like that!”

“Your highness, I don’t under–”

You don’t understand?” It wall Tom could do to stop himself from shoving Bors into the wall again. But somebody would surely be angry if they had to repair the plaster. “You seem to have forgotten that I have a name, and yet you don’t understand?”

“My –”

“I am your Crown Prince!” Tom shouted, slamming his fist into the wall. “She is your Crown Princess! You are our subject, and you will not speak to her like that!”

“But, my liege –”

“But nothing!”

“I was only trying to h-help …”

Tom froze.

“Help?” he snarled. “You were trying to help?”

Bors’s eyes were rather terrifyingly wide as he nodded.

“Help Lynn the way you helped her mother, eh?” Tom spat.

“My lord! I do not like what–”

“Shut up! You speak when I give you permission, and not a second before — you understand that?” Bors stared at him with mouth agape. Tom banged one of the wooden beams on the wall. “Do you understand?”

Sir Bors gulped and nodded.

“Good,” Tom spat. “Now, I am going to make some things very, very clear. You think you were trying to help. Fine. But you don’t help. You practically drove Lynn’s mother mad. Do you understand that? It’s been over a year — do you have the least idea of what you did to her?”

“I — I –” Bors gasped. “They say — sometimes — after having a child — women can get –”

“Not like that!” Tom yelled. “Lady Claire is a strong woman! She only broke like that after over twenty years of your abuse!”

“I never laid a hand on her!” Bors gasped.

Did I give you permission to speak?” Tom roared. Bors yelped but managed to shake his head. “Damn right I didn’t. Now, now that you know exactly what you did, let me tell you some things that you will — if you have the least idea of what is good for you — refrain from doing in the future. I may not be able to stop you from abusing Lady Claire or your other daughters, but you will never say another word about duty, or her role, or sons to her again. Do you understand?”

“My lord!”

Do you understand?”

“Yes, yes, I understand!”

“Good. Because if you don’t … if you breathe one word like that to Lynn or even around Lynn, ever again — you will never get within fifty yards of Elise or any other of my children while I live and breathe. Do you understand?”

“My lord! You wouldn’t — you wouldn’t take away my grandchildren!”

“I will do whatever I have to to protect my children! Wright damn it! I’m going to spend the rest of my life trying to fix the damage you caused to Lynn! I am not going to stand by and let you do the same thing to her daughters!”

“But –”

“No buts! You will either behave yourself, or you will not be allowed near my children! And that is final!”

Bors stared up at him, lip trembling, meek as a child. “I … I never meant any harm …”

I don’t care! You’ve caused too much of it!”

He sagged against the wall. “I never … I thought …”

Tom stepped back. “Get out.”

“Get –”

“Get out!” Tom shoved him away from the wall. “And don’t even think about coming back until you can behave yourself!”

Bors stared at him, his legs shaking, mouth opening and closing like a fish’s. He looked over his shoulder at the shut door to the sitting room. Was that — longing?

He cast one last glance at Tom, then scuttled down the stairs.

Tom sagged against the wall to catch his breath.

Had he just …?

“Oh, fuck,” he muttered to himself. There would be hell to pay for this as soon as his father found out.

But for now …

With a trembling hand he forced the door open and stumbled inside.

And he snorted. “You got used to that quick enough.”

Will looked up with a half-smile. “Hey.”

“Hey. How much of that did you hear?”

“All of it.”

“Oh, bloody –”

“You did the right thing, Tom.”

“Would you have done that?”

Will shrugged. “If my blood had been up as much as yours was, I wouldn’t have been able to reason with him as you did.”

“I reasoned with him?”

“More than I would have, if my blood had been up as much as yours was.”

Tom snorted. “You willing to tell my fa–”

He stopped.

He heard something.

It was sniffling — the sniffling of someone very young trying desperately not to cry. But it wasn’t Elise.

Ashen-faced, Tom glanced at the door to the bedroom. “You don’t think she …?”

“Go to her.”

“But Elise –”

“I’ve got the baby,” Will replied. “You take care of your wife.”

“Aye,” Tom sighed. “Aye …” And right now, mate …

You’ve got the easier job by half.


17 thoughts on “For Elise

  1. YAY! Yes! GO TOM! *happy dance* I’m glad I saw the day!

    That was completely and totally awesome of Tommy. It more than made up for the slight disappointment that he felt at the very first. Lynn didn’t need that. And someone needed to tell Bors that way too much.

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I hope that Bors shapes up a bit after this. I mean sad as it is I wouldn’t want his grandkids to not know him. If nothing else they need horror stories to tell younger cousins and siblings after he dies, hopefully soon.

    And I loved that Tommy actually slammed him into the wall and yelled at him. Also that he teased Will. But see Bors should be very happy that things didn’t quite work out how he wanted them to (With Will and Lynn together.) cause Will’d have probably skewered him. Grabbed the sword from the nearest suit of armor and stuck it straight up Bor’s ass!

    And if he ever says anything like he did to Lynn to Leona, sore from the birth or not, she’d probably do the same thing to him.

    It was kind of interesting to see Tommy order Will around though. And I’m glad Will got used to Elise. Yay. Royal baby! Can’t wait. 😀 Sqweee!

    • I thought you might like this. 😉

      We shall see whether or not Bors shapes up after getting his behind so thoroughly handed to him. I think, though, that he has enough of a brain … or some semblance thereof … in him to refrain from saying anything like that to Lynn from now on. Or at least for the near future.

      As for the slamming into the wall … Bors definitely hit Tommy’s Berserk Button, what can I say? But this comeuppance was way overdue. As for not getting what he wanted (with Will and Lynn) … yeah, you’re right, it’s a good thing for Bors that he didn’t. However, I don’t think Bors would ever realize that. He might not even understand that though Will’s fuse is twice as long, the explosion when it runs out is four times as big. Will also would not cool down as quickly as Tommy did.

      Leona might not stick a sword up Bors’s ass, but she’d definitely get out of bed and slug him unless somebody held her back.

      Tee hee, Tommy’s not afraid to exercise royal prerogative when he feels he needs it! … Which obviously isn’t too often. And I can’t wait to see the trouble Elise gets into, either! This is going to be fun. 😉

      Thanks, Andavri!

  2. And the baby boom of Albion begins! I had a feeling this one was a girl 🙂

    And awww, Tommy is so sweet with her! I hope seeing him with Elise will be both uplifting and therapeutic for Lynn (and possibly Claire and her other daughters too?).

    Bors had that one coming. It was great to see Tommy chewing him out. Now hopefully he smartens up after this, or at least as much as someone who lacks two brain cells to rub together can smarten up.

    • This one was going to be a girl whether she wanted to be or not. (However, the game cooperated and I got a girl on the first try. Woot!) Subsequent babies will be as the game decides, I promise.

      Er — subsequent Tommy-Lynn babies, that is. I has Plans for other folks. 😉

      Tommy’s in love, no other word for it. 🙂 As for how that will make Lynn feel … well, we’ll see as the next round progresses. Claire, however, will probably feel straight-up relief and comfort. Lynn’s sisters may be too busy wrestling the baby away from Tommy to particularly care how he’s treating her.

      *gigglesnort* Indeed, indeed, Bors is rather light of brain. We’ll see how well the whole pondering thing works for him in an upcoming post. 😉

      Thanks, Van!

  3. YES!!! Oh, finally he gets what he deserves! I’m so glad that Tommy was the one to dress him down, too. I understand that he had a moment of slight disappointment- he’s only human, and a royal male, besides- but the fact that he pushed it aside for the love of his wife and newborn daughter is what makes him a good man. Bors is… well, not as good. He’s not bad, but he’s taken a man’s drive for an heir and spare too far. He’s abusive, as Tom said, and I think his finally realizing that will help him to grow past it. Or he won’t and he’ll never see his grandkids again. *sigh*

    Also, EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE babies!!! And yes, I know entirely how Jess feels- birth is seriously scary looking!!

    • No, no, no, he hasn’t gotten what he deserves yet! He needs a woman to chew him out! And not Morgan, either, whose word he can dismiss as being that of a witch … or even Claire, whose word he can dismiss as coming from a woman who is not well. He needs to hear it from one of his daughters before I’ll say he’s gotten what he deserves.

      … Which isn’t to say that he didn’t richly deserve this, and then some. 😉

      Fortunately or unfortunately Bors will never be cut off from all of his grandkids. He’ll be living in the same house with Elyan’s kids. And if Clarice and Freddy get married … Freddy’s not the sort of guy to order his father-in-law out of his children’s lives unless Bors does something to put the kids in physical danger. And even Bors is not that bad.

      Yes, eeeeeeee babies! This is only the beginning! 😉

      Thanks, Naomi!

  4. … I am quite astonished no one ever told Bors that in terms of which kind of baby you have, it’s all in the hands of Wright. (Okay, MOSTLY in the hands of Wright. In biological reality, all kinds of things factor into it, and yes, chromosomal sex is determined by which sperm gets to the egg, but also in times of stress, a) female embryos are more likely to survive and b) any male ones that aren’t miscarried tend to make for surprisingly hardy boys, as males tend to have more health issues in infancy and early childhood than females.) I am also a little surprised he’d have the temerity to offer breastfeeding advice to his daughter. Sir, that is a feminine issue and nobody wants to hear their father talking about their breasts, however indirectly!

    I have this hope Lyn is bright enough to tell Tommy that Morgan said it would be better for her and Elise and Morgan knows more about medicine (and motherhood!) than Bors, so she was just… avoiding making a fuss and was going to carry out her original plan anyway. Because one good way to deal with that kind of lecture is just “Mm-hm. Yes. Of course. I understand. Yes. Indeed. That makes sense. I’ll definitely ask my doctor about that,” until they go away. It’s not a way that lets the person doing the LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT WHAT YOU NEED lecture know that they’re overstepping their bounds, but… you know, after labor? “Yes, father. Yes, father. Yes, father,” is probably a LOT easier on Lyn than trying to get a real word in edgewise. She can probably “Yes, father,” in her sleep.

    • Damn right on “nobody wants to hear their father talk about their breasts.” *shudders*

      Bors’s line of thinking insofar as the sex of babies is concerned is thus:

      1) It is the duty of all women to give their husbands sons.
      2) Good women do their duty.
      3) Ergo, if a woman does not give her husband sons, she is not a good woman. Even if she appears to be doing nothing wrong, she must be doing something, because why else would the Lord Wright deny her that blessing?
      4) If a woman gives her husband a daughter, to show proper penitence she should try to give him a son as soon as possible — so nothing that works as a contraceptive for her!

      I … don’t quite think Lynn was bright enough to just go, “Mmmm-hmm, hmm-hmm, mmm-hmm.” She’s just given birth, so her hormones are all over the place, and she’s going to be emotional at the least little thing. Plus, she’s abnormally sensitive to that kind of criticism, that she’s failing in her duty, even at the best of times. Bors made her that way.

      Of course, now that Bors has come out officially against breast-feeding, Tommy’s going to be all for it. Morgan’s going to be just as much for it as well. Part of the reason why she recommended it was because of the contraceptive effect … not that anybody’s going to tell Bors that. Or, frankly, Lynn, for that matter.

      Thanks Hat, thanks everybody! 😀

      • #4 makes me sigh and headshake, just because it’s SO ill-informed. The reason breastfeeding works as a mild contraceptive is because it’s a signal to the body to focus its energy on maintaining the offspring you have, rather than preparing for the offspring you could have. It’s perfectly possible for a mother with a relatively slow metabolism or one with access to plenty of healthy food at all times to end up pregnant while nursing. It’s perfectly possible to keep on nursing through to almost the end of a pregnancy (where a) it starts to get a little risky, as nipple stimulation can induce labor and b) the nursing infant may lose interest as the milk changes from the tasty fatty sweet stuff baby has been used to back into the antibody-laden colostrum the impending newborn will need).

        Which, okay, is probably a little advanced for your basic Medieval chauvanist, but yeesh there is a measure of “Are you a doctor? Are you a midwife? Then STFU and let the experts give instructions.”

        (I’ll let other people go on about Bors being a jerkass for telling Lynn she’d kinda failed and needs to provide a son, especially since other folk are better at it than I am. I’m still a bit stuck on the gross impropriety of telling your grown, married daughter what to do with her boobs AND the dumbassery of telling her not to breastfeed when you’re actually pulling information out of your ass. I’ll sooner forgive ‘misinformed’ than ‘making this shit up as I go along’ when it comes to giving health advice.)

        • All of which means that Lynn could very well end up pregnant again while breastfeeding, since she certainly has access to healthy food. I haven’t thought too much about the Albionese diet — well, it’s probably meat-heavy, like well-off medieval European diets were — but as the wife of the heir to the throne, she certainly isn’t starving, and if she wants something to eat, she can probably get it.

          Hmm … I think for Bors, it’s a combination of “misinformed” and “pulling stuff out of my ass.” Certainly he’s not going to know all the details you just laid out. But he would have picked up that women who are breastfeeding have less chance of conceiving. Which is fine if you just had a son and want to get him off to a good start. But a daughter? Give her to the wet nurse, you have more important work to be doing.

          It’s improper and dumb and cruel, but … it’s Bors. *shrugs*

          • Yeah, it’s a fuel issue– it’s not that a nursing mother can’t get pregnant, she totally can, it’s that until a pregnancy is a good ways along, the mother’s body won’t jeopardize its health for the unborn baby’s sake. If Mom is only just getting enough food to nurse her existing baby, she might get pregnant, but she’s not likely to stay pregnant long enough to know it ever happened. If keeping well-fed isn’t a problem for her, once she starts ovulating again, well, hey. Pregnant happens. (It’s like how nuns were often considered extra holy because they tended not to have periods like regular, secular women. No, they didn’t have periods because their diets were so restricted that they lost the body fat necessary for menstruation. … Or because they were peri- or post-menopausal. Your body wants you to survive before it wants your offspring to survive.)

            It almost doesn’t seem intentionally cruel. I don’t think Bors intended to hurt Lynn– or Elise– I think he might actually have been trying to tell her to get back up on that horse and try, try, again, just in the dumbest, most condescending, least palatable way possible. Because he’s Bors, a boor and a nitwit.

            • Well, no, it’s not intentionally cruel. Bors is a lot of things, but mostly he doesn’t aim to hurt people for the sake of hurting them. But he will say things that are hurtful, because he either doesn’t get that they could be hurtful, or because he thinks they need to be said and the momentary pain of saying the thing is better than the longer-lasting pain of letting whatever it was go unchecked.

              He’s no Morgause — he’s just … not particularly bright and certainly not at all sensitive.

              And if he’d get his head out of his butt, he’d realize that he didn’t need to be telling Lynn to get up on that horse and try again. Lynn’s not an idiot, she gets that she needs to have a son! And moreover, Lynn loves kids! She would be getting back up on that horse as soon as it was healthy and feasible to do so even if Elise was an Edward. She definitely wants more than one.

              Bors just … doesn’t get it.

  5. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! I get home from holiday and there is not one, but two posts from Albion 😀 and then I read it and first it’s all cute and then Bors comes in in and I think he’s going to ruin it and then Tommy goes all badass on him and it’s awesome! I really, really enjoyed that 😀 And using royal perogative in this situation was perfectly fine, since it was probably the only way to get Bors to listen to him (aside from ramming a sword through him) and yay there’s a baby and it’s a girl and I love her name 😀 I am slightly hyper but this post just made my day. Plus there’s another one to read 😀 I’m going to read the comments of this one first though… more to read 🙂

    Emma x

    • Well, I’m glad I made your homecoming pleasant! :mrgreen:

      You’re right — for once Bors did not entirely ruin whatever post he was in! I think this is some kind of record. 😯 And I agree that Tommy putting on his Invisible Prince Hat was the only way he was going to get Bors to see sense. There are few things Bors will respond to, but pulling rank is one of them.

      Now, we shall see whether it gets through his thick skull that — gasp! — Lynn actually has a higher rank than he does. 😉

      Thanks Emma! 🙂

  6. When my kids were in preschool there was a monthly meeting of the parents where we would learn about some parenting subject. Thus the advantage of signing up for the preschool at the community college. Someone at one of those meetings told me a little story that reminds me of this chapter.

    One of the kids had been told something. I’m not sure exactly what. Probably something like be respectful, or courteous, or generous. The preschooler responded in a most grievious tone, “I want to, but I don’t know what that is!”

    Now isn’t that Bor all over this chapter? Clearly he had no idea he could be abusive without physical harm. So then he must be wondering, “what did I do?” I doubt he even knows how he could have driven his wife mad. He must be so confused. And here he was doing the prince a favor and likely feeling very good about his kindness….and he is slammed against a wall for it and told if he ever does anything like that ever again he will never see his grandkids again. I feel sorry for him for this one reason – he is like that little kid. Hopefully someone will explain it to him, and hopefully he will believe it. And if that confusion clears even a little, guilt is sure to rise throught it….and regret. And the guy has no idea what to do instead. For all the right things he now views as masculine weakness or improper. His world is turning upside down. Despite all this I’m glad Tom really let him have it. He deserved it. He is just lucky he didn’t receive worse before now.

    Tom is a true prince charming. Who wouldn’t want a guy to defend you like that? And that my friends is how a true prince charming rescues a damsel in distress.

    • You’re right that Bors is feeling very confused right now. He was not expecting Tommy’s reaction at all, even more so because in his mind, Tommy is still the teenager who was chasing after his daughter. It hasn’t quite hit him that Tommy is a full adult, and one who will take Bors on.

      Tommy did try to put this as much as possible into terms Bors would understand; namely, he pulled the rank card. (Rank is one of the few things that Bors DOES get.) It’s only once he started going that he dropped words like “abuse” and accused Bors of having driven Claire mad. That’s what’s going to be the food for thought for Bors for a long, long time to come.

      And as for the grandkids … I think Tommy is mainly doing that for the kids’ sake, not out of anger. He never wants to see Elise as sad as Lynn, and he sees the most direct way of accomplishing that to be keeping the things that make Lynn sad away from Elise.

      But even though Tommy has his moments, he really was Lynn’s white knight here. 🙂

      Thanks, Chicklet!

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