Tag Archives: memories

Mondays are for Music: Track 08

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.

Useless.

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.”

“H-h-hors-horses.”

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%


Mondays are for Music: Track 07

One thing that is important to know about Aiden is that he lives on Memory Lane. He is fueled by thoughts of his past, even though he swears up and down that he is unaffected by events prior to the present. But that is because he is a liar. He spends most, if not all of his time alone thinking on the years that have gone by, how they could have gone differently, and why they caused him to be what he is.

So today, I’ll give you a little bit of memory music and, since I haven’t in a while, a little scene to go with. I don’t have an exact place for this moment yet, but it will find its way.

A Message for the Queen (Remembering Marietta) from the film 300.

It reminded him of her. Of course it did. Everything reminded him of her. Aiden pushed his fingers into his hair and stared out into the night. It was cold outside and there was a steady breeze up on the roof that brought a chill to his bones, but still he sat there almost unmoving.

It had been ten years to the day tonight. Had he been a better man he would have been married for ten years tonight. He would have had a son. He’d be six.

Aiden had no desire for children and it was easy to say he didn’t even like them, but like every man, he had pride, and a part of upholding said pride is to bear a son. Children weren’t children for long (he certainly wasn’t) so for the short while that he had to deal with the screaming brat didn’t seem too bad in comparison to the glory that his son would carry on in his name.

Marietta wouldn’t have made a good mother. She wasn’t loving or tender towards children. She didn’t have any desire to destroy her perfect figure or to soil her hands with the dirty work of caring for a baby, but that was what nurses and governesses were for.

That would be it. One child. One son. Their life would have forever consisted of glittering balls, silks, feasts, flashing lights and the whirling, dizzying lifestyle of those most fortunate. He would have provided all of that for her. If there were anything that she ever felt a need for, she would have it. She was his sun, his center, his hope. She had been the only person that ever showed how much she truly cared, that she was honest and good to him, for him, that she was his forever, that she’d never leave like the others had.

But she lied.

So here he was, ten years later on the rooftop of a hidden house, still wondering why. He had it all. He did it all. Why would she leave him? It had been an entire decade and still he wanted to know. He couldn’t live without knowing. Not knowing is what had driven him to become what he was. Aiden Finnegan, The Black Duke. The Black Duke wasn’t a duke at all, but a man who once had the entire world at his disposal. Now he was left with nothing of his own. Now everything came with strings.

He remembered her face. He remembered the way she smiled at him and the way her bottom lip pulled down when she was worried. He remembered seeing her angry. There was something about her when she was angry that he found himself unable to resist. Marietta didn’t have hurricane like fits or large sweeping rants. She was quiet and icy, malicious and cruel. If ever there were a woman who used her position to gain advantage over her enemies, it was Marietta Grace.

But even as similar to Aiden as she was, that wasn’t the reason he loved her. Aiden loved Marietta because in his lowest of lows, she had been there to pick him up, to hold him and whisper her ever gentle, ‘I won’t leave you.’: the mantra that he clung to.

Even as a child she had understood him. She knew to tread delicately around his sour being and never did she consider speaking out of line. She sat before him, stitching lace or practicing her handwriting while she listened to him. Sometimes he wouldn’t say anything at all and neither would she. Simply being in the same room as her gave him peace of mind.

Marietta never challenged him. Aiden’s word was absolute and she knew it. She never whined, complained of even pouted unless the soft change in facial expression was carried out with intent to seduce him. She knew her place (naked, beneath him) and never thought to test it.

As a younger man, Aiden had been cocky. He wasn’t stupid. but he had been too self absorbed in his misery, and confident in his power to realize that there were bigger things going on than his fame and fortune.

Poor bastard. 😦