Meet the Moms
Ariana's servant comes out to her in the garden one sunny late-summer
day. She looks horribly confused. "M'Lady, I'm so sorry to interrupt
you, but there are some...ladies here to see you." She looked to struggle
over the proper word, and ladies doesn't seem to be quite the right one,
from the look on her face.
Ariana looks somewhat curious. "I see. Show them to the sitting
room, then. I'll be in momentarily." She takes the time to wash off her
hands and remove her apron, then goes inside to see her guests.
She hears them long before she sees them. She hears babies fussing
and playing, and their mothers' voices as well.
She falters and closes her eyes for a moment, then composes herself
and enters the room.
Four women stand, then curtsey. All of them appear to be in their
teens, like averaging 16... All have babes in their arms and all look a
The babies or the women? :)
Ariana motions them to sit and takes a seat herself, focusing her gaze
on the women. "I am Ariana. You wished to speak to me?"
One of the women, the chosen speaker, clears her throat. "These here
babes are your grandchildren, mum, and since your good-for-nothin' son, if
you'll pardon me saying so, refuses to acknowledge or care for 'em, we've
had no choice but to come 'ere and speak with you." There is much
righteous indignation in her voice, and when she is finished speaking, the
other women nod their consent to what she has said.
Ariana looks stunned for a moment. "All of your children are
They all nod, and some voice, their consent. "'e knows 'ow to have a
good time, 'e does, but now it's time to pay the piper. These are babes,
for the Unicorn's sake, and babes of the Royal line!" one, a buxom blond,
Ariana shakes her head. "What did he say when you told him of his
"He suggested I get rid of it!" one says, horrified, clutching her
babe to her breast. Another chimes in, "That's just because you were the
last what told him, all of the rest of us had been to him first. I know
'e was kinder to me, mum."
Ariana looks completely horrified as well. "He did, did he?" There
is a bit of steel in her tone. "I shall speak to him later. Rest
assured, I am grateful that you did not listen to him." She hesitates.
"May I take a look at them?"
"Of course!" they say in unison. Then they look embarrassed. "'e,
we've made all of these awful demands on this nice lady, and we haven't
even introduced ourselves. Can you forgive us, M'Lady? I'm Abigail,
Abby, if you like, and this is my boy Adrian." Ariana is shown a robust
little boy with her eyes.
"And I'm Jolie, and this is little Jasper."
"Winifred, and Tristan."
"Nicole, and Nigel." Each come and introduce themselves and let
Ariana hold the baby, if she likes. All have features of her line.
Ariana wants to hold all of them, of course. She coos at each of
them, and checks their health via her shapeshifting, while she's at it.
And their genetics. Not that she doesn't believe they are Grayson's, of
course, but you never know. She's being non-obvious about it, since she
wouldn't want to offend the mothers. She gives them back reluctantly, her
eyes a bit watery. "I am sorry that my son has been so rude to you.
Whatever you need, you may have for them."
They are quite definitely Grayson's. All of them. "Thank you,
M'Lady," they all say. And then Winifred speaks. "We know he can only
save one of our honors, but we'd like him to pick one of us, and be sure
that the rest of the babes are declared legally his and looked after
financially. That's all we want, really."
Nicole adds, "And he's not all bad, M'Lady. He just tried to do it
all himself, without nobody finding out. But that wouldn't be good for
his children in the long run. We don't want their birthrights denied
them. That's all."
"I understand completely. And their birthright will be acknowledged.
I would have been rather upset with him if he'd never told me I had
grandchildren somewhere." She pauses. "As for the other matter, you
understand that I cannot force him to marry. Even if I did, I'm not sure
it would be good for whoever he chose. He'd be bound to resent them, and
he might not ever love them."
They nod, but look quite heartbroken.
"I will at least talk to him about it, though. If he should say no,
is there any other means of regaining your honor? Or at least improving
"The only way to is a marriage, and he can't marry all of us. Better
we be trollops than our innocent babes be bastards."
"It's not fair!" Nicole says. "We'll have to live with what we've
done and the consequences forever. He, being a man, gets to walk away
without even a slap on the wrist. I was drunk, for pity's sake. I
wouldn't have gone to bed with him if I'd been sober!" She starts to cry,
and the baby begins to wail.
Ariana hugs her as best she can around the baby. "It's what happens
in a world where men make all of the rules. Someday, I hope to change
that. But none of you are trollops just because you had sex, and I won't
let you think of yourselves that way."
"How can we not, when everyone else will? Grayson will get patted on
the back for his conquests, while no man will ever marry us." A few of
the other girls are sniffling now too.
Ariana says firmly, "I don't think of you that way, for one thing."
She pauses for a moment. "I realize this is an awkward question to ask,
but do any of you have any family?"
"None that will have us, now. At least not openly, or not at all.
Nicole's been completely disowned."
Ariana looks appalled. "That's ridiculous. What kind of parents
would..." She bites her tongue with an effort. "Then that settles it.
You can all stay here. There's certainly room enough."
They look shocked. "Oh M'Lady, we couldn't impose on you that way!
All we were really looking for is some sort of stipend so we could put a
roof over our heads! Moving in with ya, that's really too much."
Ariana smiles slightly. "It wouldn't be an imposition, really. What
better way for me to see my grandchildren? Besides, it will be much
harder for Grayson to ignore your existence if you are here." There is a
bit of a mischievous look on her face as she says this.
They all look amongst each other. "Only if you swear we'll not be a
burden. It would be a joy to raise them as brothers."
"It would be a joy to me, as well. I swear."
This is the first time she's seen them smile. They truly look
Ariana gets the girls settled in, each with their own rooms, then she
spends some time with each learning about their histories and getting to
All text on this page is © 1998-1999 by Kris Fazzari and Wendi Strang-Frost.
Last modified on February 25, 1999 by Kris Fazzari.