Atia looked out from the mullioned bedroom window before her, gazing down onto the pretty cobbled streets and neat houses of Rurikton. Though from Krytan lineage herself, the architecture of the district had always calmed her husbands blood and she had been happy to move there when they were wed. She had to admit, it looked beautiful even now, overcast and drenched in rain.
Turning from what little light was let through the window Lady Atia Habberon glided towards the bedside table and lit a candle. Just one, for now. Night would take its time in smothering the city and even through the rain clouds the sun still let in some light. Looking towards the crib in the corner of the room, Atia found herself wondering when her newborn son would wake.
That same crib had protected all of her five children in their infancy. Markus, Dayton, Reordin, Thea…
“No” She silently scolded herself. “Not yet. Too soon…”
Atia distracted herself by smoothing out the creases in her skirt, the dark black sills laced with gold still heavy on her skin. Her Lord Husband had begged her a thousand times to remove her mourning clothes. “Not yet, my Lord. It’s too soon. It is the proper form. We bury our hope in place of her corpse.”
From the corner of the room her newborn son began to mewl, piercing through the sound of the raindrops pounding against the stonework and tiles. It was a sound Atia knew would all too soon be replaced by his hungry wailing. She gathered her thoughts and settled them on her boy, their one ray of light in their darkest of hours. He had woken early this time. Too soon, perhaps.
As she slipped her garment gently from her shoulders and prepared to feed her child, Atia comforted herself with the same mantra she repeated every day. It was like a charm to her, a protective amulet that kept thoughts of her daughters fate away, and she repeated it once again as she stared into the innocent face of her infant son.
“I tried, daughter. With that act, I freed you.”