Thursday, April 26, 2012

Day One-Ninety-Four: The Grand Project

Today was… humbling, diary. For the first time, I saw my wife looking sad.

I stumbled home after a loooooong shift of wandering around the castle, ignoring the cockroach cupboard, and found Libby… not home. At, like, four in the morning. That's damned irregular. Libby likes her sleep.

Before when she did stuff like this, I got nervous 'cause I figured she was cavorting with another man or something. Yes, truly and honestly, I figured that might be the case. I mean, if she's snuggled with ME, even as a werewolf, then isn't it possible she could snuggle with someone ELSE? Behind my back? I dunno who she'd do that with, since Libby seems to hate damn near everyone, but there you go. Call me an insecure little twit, I probably deserve it.

This was different, though. I thought she might be in trouble, 'cause extra-marital snuggling or not, Libby ends her day in her bed. Period. Doing anything else is not an option for my wife, not if she has anything to say 'bout it. So I decided to go lookin' for her and make sure she was okay.

Turns out she was. She wasn't snuggling with someone else. She was done studying - and had gotten down to work.

I found Libby at her carpenter's bench in the west bailey. She had a big pile of metal that she'd snagged from gods' know where, and she was tinkering with a couple pieces in a way I did not at all understand. Looked like she was makin' some kinda contraption.

I called to her from a distance, not wanting to get beaten, and she actually waved me over. Looked annoyed, but she didn't hit me, so that's progress. She told me she wouldn't be home for a while, 'cause she was busy doin' something. Wanted to be finished by Friday. Wouldn't tell me what it was, but she DID tell me why she was workin' so hard making the thing:

"Daena's my friend, Dragomir. I know YOU never see it, but I go out 'n visit her all the time. Been pals ever since we met. She helped me through a lot, 'specially when you were… y'know… gone. Didn't think you were comin' back. I owe her, 'n I'm gonna come through by gettin' her out of that damn field."

Which I thought was quite touching. I'd honestly never known that they were THAT close of friends. Guess my wife is willing to go the distance for the ones she loves.

(Not sure if dragging me across the east bailey, attached to her leg, counts as 'love' and 'distance'. Sure FELT like a hell of a distance.)

"But," she continued, "I don't know if what I've got planned is gonna hurt her. Or whatever. So… y'know… I'm… kinda…"


"No! Apprehensive was the word! Apprehensive!"

Then she hit me, and she didn't look sad anymore. I knew better, though. She was damn scared. And, I think, a little upset, 'cause she figured freeing Queen Daena would prevent Libby from ever seeing her friend again. Aristocratic elitism and all that.

After all my paranoia the last couple weeks, I felt bad. I really did. So I offered to help her, if she wanted - and though Libby turned me down at first, she eventually got this little spark in her eye.

"You know a lotta people 'round the castle, right?"

"Yeah. 'course I do. Why?"

"Could you round up a bunch of 'em for later today? I need, like, forty or so. For a favour. A big favour."

"Uh…" I did a mental count of the people I knew. "I don't know if I know THAT many. Not that many who don't… like… hate me."

"Ask the ones who hate you anyway," she said. "Say it's for Queen Daena. And it's a surprise for the king. That'll get anybody on board."

We chatted a bit longer, but Libby still wouldn't say why she needed all these people. All she did was tell me to get 'em together for five o'clock - and to let 'em all know to bring a shovel.

So I did. After a quick nap and checking in at my post, I went around to everyone I knew - 'cept the guards, I figured I'd wait until lunch to ask them, so I wouldn't look like a slacker - and looked for volunteers. Kinda sucked that I couldn't give 'em any details…

… but they signed on anyway! Hell, they were all happy to help! Turns out most of 'em like Libby as much as they do Daena, which is a BIG surprise to me, 'cause my wife is such a douche! Must be a gruff-exterior-hides-a-heart-of-gold type thing. Even Captain Cedric agreed to help, 'cause of the whole boxing match thing, though he warned me that he'd turn me inside-out if helping was a waste of his time.

Which is a possibility. It's 5:30 now, and we're all sittin' around Queen Daena's tree, waiting for Libby to show up. No sign of her yet, and Daena's right curious 'bout why we've all come out to visit after work. Happy to see us, sure, but curious. None of us can

Wait. Wait. What… what the HELL is THAT…?

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