Have Some Sympathy, and Some Taste

Osgary 16, 1014

“Well, if your sweetheart is dark-haired and dark-eyed, sir, I’d suggest going with the red,” said Rosette. “A bold red on a dark-haired, dark-eyed woman is always very striking. I can assure you that every eye in the room will be going to her — in a good way.”

Rosette folded her hands before her and waited, smiling patiently. She could have said more — she could have brought up how a red would match the guard’s uniform, making the two of them an exceptionally well-matched couple when they went out together. Or she might have suggested pairing the red with a bit of green. She knew that Katie would have said something like that if Katie had the sole charge of this sale. But Rosette was not Katie, and Rosette found it best not to lay it on too thick.

“But …” the guard began.

Oh, drat.

“Yes, sir?” Rosette asked, smiling as firmly as she could manage.

“She don’t like colors that are bold and rich. She likes lighter ones.”

“Pastels?” asked Rosette, her stomach starting to sink.

“Aye! That’s the word!”

Why didn’t you tell me this? Rosette wondered. And more importantly — why had the guard been looking at the fabrics dyed in the boldest, richest colors she had? If his sweetheart liked pastels …

Then again, Rosette had been in business less than a year, and she had already learned that expecting logic and sense out of customers was expecting far too much. So she took a deep breath, plastered that smile back on her face, and tried to come up with some suggestions.

The shop door opened, the little bell Rosette had installed tinkling merrily. Rosette looked up automatically.

She gasped. “Mordred!”

And there he was. She hadn’t been expecting him today — certainly not during her normal business hours! He usually stayed away on purpose then, saying he understood that she needed to work.

But he was here now, and he was grinning at her. The only thing Rosette didn’t understand was why the guard was staring at Mordred, his Adam’s apple bobbing up and down and his mouth opening and closing. Mordred only cast him half a glance before striding to Rosette.

He didn’t even say hello before catching her in his arms, sweeping her off her feet, and kissing her soundly.

When he finally let her up — perhaps a good five seconds after Rosette’s feet started to scrabble at the floor, just when she found she couldn’t breathe — he was grinning. “Good afternoon, lovely. How are you today?”

“Well — well!” Rosette panted. “My goodness!” she laughed. “You — you seem in a good mood.”

“And why should I not be?” asked Mordred. He caught her hand in his and brought it up to his lips for a quick kiss. “The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and I am in the company of the most beautiful woman in Albion. Tell me, Rosette, if that does not make me smile, what would?”

Well, when he put it like that … Rosette only smiled and shook her head, knowing from long experience that protesting that her beauty was nothing much to write home about would only prompt shocked repetitions of the compliment. “I’m happy you’re happy, then. Is there anything I can get you? Something to eat, something to drink?”

“Just a few moments of your time, my dear,” replied Mordred.

“Oh … certainly!” After all, it wouldn’t do to tell Mordred she had to work — not when he still paid for the majority of her upkeep. Not when he had done so much for her. “Katie — can you handle things for a few moments?”

Katie only nodded at Rosette. She rarely spoke on the rare occasions that she and Mordred crossed paths, and she could barely bring herself to look at him. Rosette would not have pegged Katie as a shy one — but Katie was only thirteen, and Mordred was a handsome, dashing man, and a duke to boot. What thirteen-year-old girl wouldn’t be shy around him?

“Come on,” Rosette said, taking Mordred by the hand and leading him into the back, the part of the house where she and the children actually lived.

He didn’t even wait for the door to close before he pounced on her again.

At least this time, though he pinned her arms to her sides and held her with a tightness that was just shy of painful, he didn’t put her off-balance. At least he let her go before she thought she might start to see stars. And at least when he did so, he was smiling, and the door — mercifully — had managed to shut.

Rosette laughed as she tried to catch her breath. The difficulty made the laugh sound forced and perhaps a little fake. “Goodness — you truly are in a good mood!”

“And why should I be otherwise?” Mordred asked, tucking his fingers under her chin and grinning at her.

Well … there was always his brother-in-law to consider. It hadn’t been so long since poor Sir Lamorak was found. Rosette tried not to shiver and definitely did not plumbbob herself. She always sought not to do those kinds of gestures around Mordred, at least, not when they weren’t a result of something that had passed in the conversation. Mordred tended to dismiss those gestures as silly superstition, and he generally liked to ask what it was that was bothering her. It was only concern on his part, but … well …

It was just easier to avoid the conversation.

So Rosette answered, “I don’t know — there probably isn’t a reason.” She laughed. This was definitely forced. “Do you want to … go upstairs?”

“Well, if you’re wanting to go upstairs, I certainly shan’t complain … however, since I think our bedroom is directly above the shop …”

“Oh my!” Rosette’s cheeks started to burn. She knew that this shop was supposed to be a move up for her in terms of respectability and stature, but thinking of that … she’d never felt so dirty, so sinful before. Lovemaking in the middle of the afternoon … when she had a shop full of customers directly below, who would hear every last sigh and moan … somehow it felt more taboo than merely having an affair with a married man, a nobleman, living in sin with him and bearing his children.

“So that is out, then,” Mordred replied. His thumb stroked Rosette’s cheek. “But cheer up, my dear — as soon as the customers are gone, why, then we shall have all the fun we please.”

“The children may be home by then,” Rosette couldn’t help but point out.

“Surely they can play with their toys for a half-an-hour or so while Mama and Papa get some alone time?” Mordred winked.

At least he said half-an-hour. Some men might have said “fifteen minutes,” or an even cruder “five.” But Mordred was never quick with his lovemaking, or at least, he was never quick when he was in a good mood. In a very good mood — and if the children were all asleep, or at school — this could take hours.

Unfortunately, the children were due home rather sooner than that.

“However …” Mordred went on; Rosette’s ears perked up. “I fear I have a favor to ask you, concerning the children, that you will perhaps not be so eager to grant me.”

Rosette blinked. “Huh?”

“Shall we sit?” he asked, gesturing to the bench.

“Oh … of course.” Rosette kicked herself for not having suggested that herself. But Mordred had paid for the bench, had he not, all those years ago? If there was anyone who came to her home who had the right to suggest they sit, surely it was Mordred.

So they sat. And Mordred turned to Rosette and said in his most wheedling voice, “So … you see, Rosette — I should very much like to borrow the children this coming Saturday.”

“Oh!” Rosette laughed. “You think that will upset me? Of course you can take them out. They’ll love having a treat.”

“Er … I don’t doubt that, Rosette, but … I was not intending to take them out.”

Rosette blinked, turning her head to one side. “You … weren’t.” She could start to guess where this might be going. She tried not to.

“No–I was hoping to bring them to Lothian. To my home.”

Rosette swallowed. That in and of itself was no cause for alarm — they had gone there dozens of times. They usually had a grand time playing there, especially with Agravaine. “Oh …”

“My other children will be there.”

That would be the catch.

“Oh, Mordred –” Rosette caught her lip between her teeth. “Are you sure that’s wise?”

“Wise? Rosette — it’s necessary.”

Was it? Was it really? It was not quite a year since Mordred had last tried to forcibly bring his children together. That attempt had been best termed a disaster. The boys had been fine, but Aimée had been all-but-rejected by her sister, and it was only Lady Garnet’s quick thinking that had saved the day. Besides, bringing her children to Lady Dindrane’s home … the idea had been a terrible one at the face of it, and if Mordred hadn’t brought it up to the children at the same time he brought it up to her, making sure to tell the children about the cake and the cookies and how their brothers and sister would just love to see them, Rosette would have …

Well, she certainly would have protested a great deal more than she had.

Now, however, the children were not here. “Is it? Mordred, you told the boys to stay away from your other sons — don’t you remember?”

Mordred shook his head. He wasn’t about to deny saying that, was he?

He didn’t. “I did say that, Rosette — but that was a different time.”

What?”

“Lord Pellinore was still alive,” Mordred shrugged. “He would have … made things difficult. But now … no more.”

“But — but that doesn’t make it any less …” She couldn’t say rude, or insulting. “Fraught!”

“For the children? No, I will admit that much — although you know we’re already halfway there. Nimue and the boys–”

“With — with all due respect, Mordred, Nimue and the boys are the least of the–the–issue!” Rosette interrupted. “It’s — it’s how the boys will get along with the boys that I worry about.” And, too, how Nimue would get along with Aimée. Was she a terrible mother to want to keep her baby from getting hurt again? She’d told Aimée to stay away from Nimue at school, trying to avoid another episode.

“That is true,” Mordred agreed. “And that is why I want to bring them together. And I want it to be someplace safe for all of them — my home. They all have a right, more or less, to that home, Rosette. Perhaps I was wrong to force the issue at Lady Dindrane’s house. But all of my children are welcome at my home at any time, and I want that to be clear to all of them.”

Rosette should have rejoiced to hear that. It should have meant that her children were protected, now and forever. Instead, it made her heart sink. Why?

Because Lady Dindrane won’t like it, whispered the voice of … conscience, perhaps? But why should she care about what Lady Dindrane would like?

She’s still a noblewoman, pointed out the voice of pragmatism. A duchess, the aunt of an earl. She could make things difficult … and she has the rest of the nobility on her side …

Why was she relieved when she realized that? Rosette did not examine that question. Instead, she tried to give voice to her concerns. “Mordred — I — I can’t help but worry. You — we both know that Lady Dindrane will be angry when she finds this out. And — and while I know you can take care of yourself,” she stumbled on as his face grew blacker and blacker, “and I know you’ll do everything you can for the children — I don’t want to court the anger of a woman like that more than necessary. I know that this will sound so silly to you, Mordred, but … but I’m afraid.”

There. Those were the magic words. She could say much of what was on her mind, if she made it clear that fear was the reason why she said it. And most of the time, it was even true to say so.

And as she watched, the stormclouds on Mordred’s face blew away, replaced by glorious sunshine. “Ah, Rosie, my darling …” He wrapped an arm around her shoulder and kissed her cheek. “Do you think I would let anything happen to you? To the children?”

“Mordred …” Rosette shifted. “You’re not a woman …”

“I should hope not,” Mordred murmured. “That would make things between you and I very difficult, my love.”

Rosette obligingly chuckled. “I know, but — well — a woman scorned –”

Please don’t feed me that tired cliché about ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.'” Mordred removed his arm and rolled his eyes.

“I wasn’t going to say that,” Rosette answered honestly. “What I was going to say is that angry women have a great deal of subtle ways to cause pain — ways that you might not understand to guard against. And maybe you don’t think they’d be very serious. But … I’d like to avoid them if I could. And at the end of the day …”

Rosette shifted — squirmed, really — and couldn’t bring herself to look Mordred in the eye. “She’s still your wife …”

Mordred did not ask her what she meant by that. Instead, he scowled. “She is indeed.”

“Mordred — I don’t mean to upset you –”

“I know you don’t, Rosie.” Mordred patted her knee, and for a moment he smiled and he was the same boy she’d fallen in love with all those years ago. “That is not what I meant. What I mean is — thanks to the Church’s obstinacy, she is still my wife. And she is happy enough to avail herself of the privileges of that position, while carrying out none of the duties. Until now, I have … well, I may as well be frank. Lady Dindrane held the whip hand, in the fact that she had the protection of her father and brother, and that she had public opinion on her side. However, now she no longer has that protection. And she will be made to see that she cannot claim the privileges of being my wife without shouldering some of the duties.”

Rosette felt the blood drain from her face. “Mordred … what are you …”

“Don’t look so frightened, Rosie!” Mordred reassured her. “What I mean is — she thinks that, though she chooses to live apart from me, though she by her own free will refuses to take up the proper duties of a duchess and chatelaine, she is still owed the same respect and consideration that a woman who stays by her husband and is his helpmeet and companion is owed. She is not. I assure you, if Lady Dindrane were still a resident of my home, I would never dream of bringing your children and my children together there. I would not so expose her to ridicule. But now that she has exposed me to ridicule by quitting my house and calling me, essentially, a beast and a brute before the whole kingdom?” Mordred shook his head. “No. She forfeited the right to object to who comes into my home the moment she quit it.”

Rosette swallowed. She was treading dangerous ground here, but this needed to be said. “But …”

Mordred stared at her, as if he could not believe that another “but” had been forthcoming.

“They’re still her children, Mordred,” Rosette murmured. “She certainly has the right to –”

“No.”

Rosette stopped, startled.

“They are my children,” Mordred continued. “And while I live, my word on their upbringing and discipline is final. Again — had Lady Dindrane not abdicated her duties as my wife, I would not be forced to take this line. She would have her fair say and, indeed, more than that. We would be a team. But, Rosette … you don’t understand. She poisons the minds of my children against me. And she poisons them against you, too — and what is even more unforgivable, she poisons them against our children! Whatever men can say about us, Rosie, surely they must agree that our children are innocents in all this. Lady Dindrane is hurting all of my children through her selfishness and intransigence, and as their father, I must do my best to stop it.”

Rosette leaned back. She still didn’t like this. Not one bit. But … what could she say?

She sighed. “How … how long do you want them on Saturday?”

“Not so very long. Only for a few hours. I think it would be best to acclimate all of the children to each other in small doses.”

Rosette nodded. “But … I still want our boys to stay away from your boys in school. And … I’d like Aimée to stay away from Nimue, too.” Before Mordred could protest in Aimée’s case, Rosette added, “I don’t want her to get hurt.”

He couldn’t argue with that. And he didn’t.

Besides, the time for arguments had ceased — as was proven by a sudden violent ringing of the shop bell. “Mama!” came a familiar voice. “We’re home!”

Rosette plastered that smile back on her face — she couldn’t show the children she was upset — and called to the front. “Children! I’m back here! And I have,” she winked at Mordred, “a surprise for you!”

There was nothing that got her children running faster than the news of a surprise did. And when they piled into the parlor, their reactions did not disappoint.

“PAPA!”

They piled onto him like a litter of squirmy puppies, each seeking a kiss or a hug or a caress. And when they asked if he was going to stay for dinner, he said yes. And when they asked if he was going to stay the whole evening, he said yes. And when they asked if he was going to stay long enough to tuck them into bed that night, he said yes. And when Aimée asked if he would dance with her, he said yes.

To say that the children were overjoyed would be an understatement. Rosette leaned back, letting Mordred have his moment, knowing that when dinner came, or some other quiet moment, he would tell them all about the marvelous treat he had planned for them this weekend, about all the fun they would have, about how their brothers and their sister would be so happy to see them.

And they would believe him, and they would be overjoyed again.

Rosette just prayed it would last.

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9 thoughts on “Have Some Sympathy, and Some Taste

  1. Oh boy. Mordred, you are out of your bloody mind. I mean the whole thing with Pellinore and with Lamorak proved that. But what is he trying to do? Make everybody hate him? Including his own children that he’s already on perilous ground with.

    And Dindrane poisoning the kids against him? Hello! *knocks on Mordred’s hard head* Why the hell does she need to do that when you do such a bang up job of that all on your own.

    Those kids are kids. They’re not puppets. They’re not toys. They’re people with their own opinions and ideas and values and you’re… Ooooh

    All I can hope is that Mordred gets himself killed quickly before he damages everybody even further. I am so glad that Dindrane has come to a bit of an agreement with Margery. I think she’ll need the shoulder after this.

    But Rosette, honey, I’ll bet you every last cent I’ve got that the reason Katie doesn’t look at Mordred isn’t because he’s handsome and dashing and a duke, it’s because he scares the piss out of her. He is a crazy fucker with an Oedipal streak two miles wide who has been killing off his inlaws. She probably knows bad news when she sees it, she lived with Finley for a lot of years.

    She probably doesn’t want anything to do with Mordred, at all. In the slightest. Get your bloody head out of the sand.

    • Make everybody hate him? Oh no. Mordred wouldn’t do that. He just wants to make sure that everybody loves him exactly as they ought to love him. Unfortunately Mordred’s idea of how much people ought to love him does not square very well with their ideas, or with, you know, reality.

      She wouldn’t need to — but Mordred doesn’t see that. If he was able to see how many of his problems were caused by his own behavior and no one else’s … he probably wouldn’t have so many problems.

      As for Katie — we’ll see what she’s thinking next round. (Hey, I’m almost through Osgary, next round is coming up faster and faster!) But growing up with Finley probably has given Katie the ability to spot trouble coming at fifty paces.

      And yes, Rosette needs to get a clue. We’ll see if and when that happens.

      Thanks, Andavri!

  2. Mordred is full of shit and it’s sad just how brainwashed Rosette is. Mordred never had any intentions of being “a team” with Dindrane. She was always supposed to stand by his side and obey as he did whatever he wants, and I suppose that that’s husband-wife “teamwork” in Bors-logic, but the rest of Mordred’s contemporaries would be quick to call him on that, especially if they have an insight into the relationship. And Dindrane has never said a damn thing against Rosette to Mordred, and she’s never said a damn thing against the children ever. She doesn’t like Rosette, and maybe she doesn’t like the kids all that much either, but Dindrane is a clever, logical woman who knows very well that the kids didn’t choose their parents and doesn’t begrudge them for their own existence.

    And this meeting is a horrible idea and I hope it blows up in Mordred’s smug, everything-I-touch-turns-to-gold-and-no-one-will-ever-bring-me-down face. Maybe in her rage, Nimue will awaken magically and set the lying douche on fire. Or maybe one of his preferred children will notice that their half-siblings are treated so differently and will call their father out on it (because no chance in hell he’d listen to a child of mere Dindrane). Or maybe not, but I can dream.

    And Rosette, this probably isn’t what you want to hear, but given that Katie seems to be a reasonably good reader of people… I’m pretty sure that her aversion to Mordred has nothing to do with how “handsome” and “dashing” he is (though, given the times, his being a duke is probably at least part of it).

    Gah, that guy makes me want to throw things. I’m very much looking forward to his well-earned, poetically fitting end, but if he were to die anticlimactically tomorrow, I wouldn’t complain.

    • Eh, Mordred’s not quite as extreme when it comes to Bors when it comes to views of husband-wife teamwork. He did expect to be the leader, the boss in the relationship. But he also knew that Dindrane had more valuable contributions to bring to the table than just what’s between her legs. In a more perfect world, he thinks that Dindrane could have made a great Duchess of Lothian, using her intelligence to help him scheme his way to the top.

      The trouble with that picture, of course, is Dindrane herself. The problem with her intelligence is that she uses it to see straight through Mordred. Even if Morgause had been hit by a satellite the day after their wedding, even if there wasn’t a Rosette, Dindrane and Mordred would have been headed for trouble no matter what.

      This meeting is a horrible idea, but since I don’t plan on writing it up, I think things went fairly well … or at least as well as could be expected. Nimue ran off with the twins, Gawaine (and possibly Agravaine) felt sorry for Aimée being left by herself and let her play with them. So Mordred saw what he wanted to see — his kids from his different relationships playing together and getting along, or close enough. He didn’t think to dig below the surface and see that nothing had really changed in the dynamic.

      I hope that when Mordred meets his end, you won’t complain. 😉 And it won’t be because it’s anticlimactic.

      Thanks, Van! 🙂

  3. Damn, damn, damn, damn. I was riding high on the “Mordred needs to die RIGHT NOW” bandwagon, and now this! Mordred still needs to pay for his crimes, and I hope it’s as awful and painful as possible in all senses of the word. His kids with Dindrane would be better off without him in the long run. Losing a father is a terrible thing, but usually the father in question isn’t, well, Mordred.

    His kids with Rosette, though… they’re so alone in the world, along with their mother. They have friends and school, sure, but not the sort of support system that Dindrane and her children have. There’s no history of Mordred being a jackass to them, of having to rely on other people to love them. Rosette would mourn him something fierce, and who does that leave for the little ones, really? They don’t know him the way most other people do. He’s a surprisingly good father to them in the ways that matter to kids.

    If Mordred gets his comeuppance, Rosette and her kids will be his final victims. He didn’t have to do anything to earn ultimate retribution. That was his choice. Setting Rosette up in a shop doesn’t make up for that. He owes them so much more than bread on the table, and he may well have screwed them out of it with his own agenda. Jerkass.

    • You know, I’ve been thinking about Mordred and his relationship with his kids, especially considering Van’s last Naroni update and a comment that Morgaine made in the comments. It’s gotten me thinking about bad fathers.

      Mordred is a narcissist in the classic, malignant even, psychological sense of the word. And nobody really comes out of an emotional relationship with a narcissist as a better, healthier, stronger person. What he’s doing to these kids really isn’t any healthier or better than what he’s doing to Nimue and Gawaine (we’ve never really seen him with Gareth. But if he holds true to a pattern, which I’m sure he does, people like Mordred love their scripts, he’s not any better. Except in that Gareth has always been somewhat out of Mordred’s reach.)

      Relationships with people who have the narcissistic tendencies that Mordred displays are terribly one-sided. His love and emotions are fickle and directed at the people that will reflect the most love and affection back at him. There is always and will always be an element of what Mordred gets out of any relationship that holds far more sway with Mordred than what the other person gets out of the relationship.

      Mordred uses these kids more than he loves them. I know Hat has commented that this is his perfect family, the one that he can love because there are no expectations on them the way there is with his legitimate children. But there in lies a bit of a fallacy. Mordred doesn’t love these kids any more than he loves anyone or anything else. The only person or thing that Mordred loves, in truth, is himself.

      He can’t love them. Because he can’t put them and what’s best for them before what he wants for himself. Even though there is light-years of difference between how he treats Rosette, the twins, and Aimee vs. how he treats Dindrane, Nimue, Gawaine and Gareth, he still treats himself better. When he was planning his revenge, he made sure to give Rosette the little shop so she could take care of herself and the children, but you’re right that he owes them more than that, still he didn’t let that sway him from his revenge. And I would say that the reason he didn’t is because he sees what he’s doing as best.

      But it’s only “best” for him. He’s destabilizing all of his children for his own selfish desires and he doesn’t care. And that is one of the things in all my years of therapy that I have been warned to look out for in any relationship. Someone who says the right things, but when it comes down to the actual actions the clearest course is always “Look out for Numero Uno.”

      It’s not that he doesn’t know that this can all go badly, again it’s he just doesn’t give a shit whether it will. He’s become cocky and truly believes that he is above the law, above reproach. Nobody can touch Mordred because Mordred has deemed it so.

      What he’s got with his illegitimate children and Rosette is a different script. But at the end of the day it’s still a script, it’s still “I say this, you say that.”. It’s just not the same one that he uses with his legitimate children and Dindrane. And you can see it, here, in how acts with Rosette. He’s walking right over her concerns, desires, and wants as a mother, just like he walks over Dindrane’s concerns, wants, and desires as a mother.

      Rosette doesn’t want them pawn’s in Mordred’s game, she loves them. He doesn’t care. How his children think about him is more important to him than how his children think and feel about anything else. He doesn’t care if they hate each other, as long as they love him. He doesn’t care how uncomfortable he makes them as long as they love him.

      In Mordred’s world, there are two types of people, those who can be trusted to reflect back at him (Rosette, the twins, Aimee) and those who won’t follow the script (Garnet, Dindrane.) the former will be used to turn those who aren’t yet proven to be the latter, and the latter must be punished and cut out of his life so as not to upset the balance that he’s worked so hard to establish.

      So while I feel bad that they’ll lose a father when Mordred gets put down like a mad dog, which is the only way, I think, at this point that he can be, it’s probably better, all around, that he’s out of their lives. The script dies with him and better that that happens when they’re still young enough they don’t have to adopt the same scripts.

      I said at the very beginning of this comment that it was, in part, spawned by something that Morgaine had said on Naroni. She said that she thought that Celina’s “no” (that she would never forgive Haldred) was harsh. Yes, it is. But him saying I’m sorry doesn’t fix it. It doesn’t give her back her self-worth and it doesn’t fix all the damage that she did to herself because she didn’t have any.

      … I… I know how that feels…

    • If and when Mordred goes, he’s going to leave a mess on all fronts. Like you said, Winter, Dindrane and her kids will be better off without him. And I think, to a certain extent, they know this. Maybe not Gareth, because he’s still very young, but Gawaine and Nimue might subconsciously get it. Losing Mordred will probably come as a shock, and they may grieve a bit, but at the end of the day, they’ll probably be subconsciously relieved that they don’t have to deal with him any more. And even if relief isn’t part of their feelings, before long, they’ll be a hell of a lot happier with him permanently gone from their lives than they ever were with him in their lives.

      However, Rosette and her kids … I think you’re right, Andavri, and that a relationship with a narcissist does not tend to end well for anybody. (Mordred’s certainly done a number on Rosette’s psyche.) But unfortunately, I think Mordred has had plenty of time to cause damage to these kids already. He’s worked so hard to present the image of a perfect, loving father to them that they believe it. So far, they’ve been sticking to the script because they don’t know any differently. They don’t even know there’s a script.

      And I think that might be what hurts them most if/when Mordred gets a karmic end. If he just runs his broom into a tree and dies, then Rosette and her kids can mourn him as the lover and husband they thought they knew. Nobody will tell them differently. But if he gets what’s coming to him in every sense of the word … it’s highly probable that everything, or a lot of, what Mordred did will come out. They’ll be shocked not only by his death, but by what everybody is saying about him. If they publicly try to mourn him, they’ll be shunned instead of sympathized with.

      And if any of Mordred’s illegitimate kids have anything close to his capacity of self-delusion — there could be trouble in the next generation. And worse, in a sense, they wouldn’t be deluding themselves. They never saw the evil side of Mordred, or if they did see it, Mordred twisted things to make them think he was being good. What society would be asking them to do, when they thought of their father, was to believe what everybody else said about Mordred — not to believe what their own eyes and ears told them.

      It would almost, I think, be better for Mordred’s kids with Rosette if he lasted long enough for them to begin to see what he was really like. That way, if/when he gets what’s coming to him, it won’t come as so much of a shock, and they’d have a truer image of their father.

      As it is … of course it’s going to be the poor kids who suffer most, no matter what happens. Poor things. I think you’re right, Winter, they could be his final victims.

      Thanks, Winter; thanks, Andavri!

  4. The sad thing about the “poisons the kids’s minds against the other parent” thing is that it’s so close to reality for a lot of divorced families. Actually, aside from knowing that Mordred murdered Pellinore and Lamorak, his actions aren’t that crazy. My mother STILL feels like my father and his mother poisoned my mind against her and I routinely hear my in-laws bad mouth each other as well. Luckily the fact that both me and my husband come from that environment has ensured that we won’t ever do that to our son. We pretty much refuse to give up on each other too, so in a world where divorce is so easy we are one of the few rare couples who actually believe in forever. But all that aside, Mordred is still an idiot and I can see nothing but disaster to come of this. Poor Aimee is likely to be seriously hurt by the rejection…oh I do hope her brothers can talk sense into Nimue. But them being so young…I don’t see it happening anytime soon. 😦

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