I’m excited about today’s music post because the piece actually belongs to a scene that I just wrote the other day! And because of my total lack of participation on this blog (for good reason. I’m getting a lot of work done!), I’ll share it with you. 🙂
By the time he entered the room, ribbons, bows, and wrappings littered the floor. Wentworth had said he bought gifts for both him and Luke. He failed to mention showering Luke with gifts. Everywhere Aiden looked there were female accessories and trinkets. Boots, stockings, hats, gloves, a red cloak lined with the fur of an arctic fox, a diamond brooch, and an array of soaps and perfumes all scattered across the settee she had abandoned as she opted for a seat on the floor.
“This is a bit unnecessary,” Aiden announced as he stepped over a pile of curled ribbon, “I much prefer to travel lightly.”
“You’re just a killjoy,” said Wentworth, handing his partner a gift wrapped in black paper.
Aiden turned the package in his hands a few times, uncomfortable with the anticipation displayed in the two seated on the floor.With a shrug he released the box of its packaging and upon reveal, shook his head, laughing.
“I thought I might save us some time,” Wentworth mused.
“Thanks,” Aiden replied, admiring the box, containing exactly two hundred bullets specifically designed for his pistols, “I do hate making the trip to stock up.”
“It’s my turn!” Luke exclaimed, pulling out the gift she had purchased for him. Aiden raised a brow and Wentworth pointed to his new emerald stickpin, showing it off proudly.
She stood, and with two hands and a hopeful smile, presented Aiden with his present, wrapped carefully in the exact shade of red that matched her gown and the inside of his collar (he was wearing that coat today, she noticed). He took it from her gently, never removing his gaze from hers, the image of her sleeping on the floor burned into his memory.
Nodding, he opened it, and when he pulled the riding gloves out from the paper, his breath caught and he nearly felt his heart stop.
That was what his father had deemed him. A child with a stutter could be silenced, but a boy who feared horses could not learn to ride and would be of no use to him at all. He would never inherit the dukedom if he didn’t learn his place.
Gabrielle was screaming. He could hear her voice through the thick wood doors that was their father’s study. She yelled and pulled fits, demanding the man be less cruel, but in the end, the truth was that she was not his mother and held no power over his upbringing.
Sinking against the wall, seven year old Aiden sighed and frowned at the carpet. He shouldn’t be alive. Everyone would be much happier if he hadn’t ever been born.
“They’re having it out again, are they?”
Aiden looked up to see the elegant structure of his brother-in-law looking curiously at the doors.
“What’s he on about this time? Surely he knows by now that your speech is nothing to be frowned upon.”
Micah St. Lawrence, the only man (save Fletcher) to ever look upon Aiden as a human being and a respectable member of society, frowned at this. “Horses? Have you let them go?”
When Aiden shook his head, his black hair falling over his eyes, Micah sighed. “I see. You are still fearful of them.”
The boy looked up at him, hurt reflecting in his eyes, and frustration visible on the lines of his brow. With a gentle smile, Micah crouched down to his level and with a smile, withdrew a pair of riding gloves. They were camel in colour, to match all of his earthy, yet bright attire.
“Do you see these?” he asked, not expecting a response from Aiden. He had learned to keep his questions rhetorical for the most part. “These just arrived today from the glover. There was a bit of an accident at the tannery, in which a wizard spilled a pot of magic dust over all the leather.”
Aiden perked up, his eyes becoming curious and filled with wonder. Did wizards exist? He had never seen one.
“The dust, so I was told, was meant to ease fear. The tanner intended to use it on the saddles, to keep horses from becoming too skittish, but alas, it fell all over the wrong leather.”
He took one of Aiden’s small hands and slid one of the oversized gloves onto it. “I will teach you to ride, and with these, I promise you will not be afraid.
“Let Gabrielle and your father have words. We shall visit the stables and pat my horse.”
With both hands lost inside of his new gloves, Aiden nodded and, walking closely beside the man he wished so dearly to be his father, anticipated proving himself worthy of inheritance.
“Do you like them, Mr. Finnegan?”
Aiden blinked, returning to the present and looking down at his gift. The backs had been embossed with his initials, just as his saddle was.
“You’re a busy man,” Luke went on, “and I noticed that you haven’t taken the time to purchase yourself new gloves, as badly as you need them.”
Wentworth chimed in then. “Perhaps you would like to take Miss Avery for a ride down the lane.”
Still off balance, Aiden merely hummed in agreement. “Of course,” he said, “I’ll be right down.”
He left the room, dazed, and when he stumbled slowly into his chambers, he rested his back against the door. He took a few breaths to calm himself, clutching the new gloves with white knuckles.
When his thoughts returned to him, he reached over to his wardrobe and pulled out the gloves he had worn for over twenty years. It was with these gloves that he had found his confidence and learned to ride. There had been no wizard, he learned that later on and Micah was even better a man than he was given credit for. He had faith in Aiden when no one did. He shared Gabrielle’s pride in him, and saw past his handicaps, knowing that beneath the stuttering and the fearful fits, he was still just a boy who needed love and tenderness like any other.
Steeling his nerves, Aiden brought the gloves over to the corner and, pulling out one of the miniatures, placed the image of Micah inside of them. It was time to move on.
“I won’t forget you,” he whispered, a promise more to himself than anyone.
Fletcher watched from the doorway, and when Aiden turned, he nodded in silent approval.
The Book of Luke completion progress: 42%
The Noble Project completion progress: 10%