1856-05-25: Birthdays and Babies
Birthdays and Babies
Summary: It is Antonia's first birthday after the birth of her son Etienne, and she enjoys it in the company of the little one, her younger sister Amara t'Tremaine and her husband Prince Silvio. The constellation leads to interesting questions, such as where babies come from, and what activivies to engage in while Amara is visiting.
Date: May 25th, 1856
Related: None.
Players:
Antonia  Amara  Silvio  

A prince was born, a little longer than a month ago, at Aveyron Palace. A son to the younger son of King Maris, Silvio; a son to the prince’s wife Antonia. The childbirth had not been easy, and Antonia needed some rest in the first weeks to recover from the exhausting experience. Little Etienne is a healthy boy though, a baby thriving wonderfully, and for now left in the main care of the young mother. Today is Antonia’s nineteenth birthday, and she has decided to spend it in the Castle Gardens with only members of her own family - and royals of course - welcome to drop by. She wears a dress of fine quality, fitting rather loosely about her form that may not have regained the slender figure it had before her pregnancy. Her dark blonde hair has been worked into a braid, to keep it from getting in the way, when the tiny fingers of her baby son threaten to tear at it occasionally. A baby son she holds on her arm presently, her grey eyes lingering with affection on little Etienne.

“Is he not cute?”, she inquires, in an aside to her little sister, who is currently visiting, Lady Amara t’Tremaine, a young girl of nine years. Antonia’s eyes lift from the baby to linger on Amara, and she offers her a warm smile. “I am so glad you could come, sister.” Her gaze shifts back to Etienne. “Do you want to hold him for a moment?”

Amara was so happy and excited to visit her sister Antonia, who is the Princess now! The young girl chose to wear the best dress she has. It's a pink silk decorated with darker ornaments of flowers. However, Amara is all shy and nervous now. She keeps her hands clasped behind her back and nips on the fabric of the dress. This golden haired kid stares at the baby in Antonia's arms with admiration, and shifts from one feet to another, "Me?" soft quiet voice trembles, "Hold it? What… what if I will… break it?" She chews on her lip and leans a bit closer. A huge smile curls her lips up, baring white teeth, "It's so cute. It's so adorable. But it's so little and weak. Why the Prince is so little and weak? Shouldn't he be firm and strong, and bigger?" Amara raises her widely opened eyes full of curiosity at older sister.

They are standing in an area of the gardens a little further down, where some well kept bushes offer a bit of protection from curious looks. Not far away a table has been prepared beneath a canopy to offer shome shade against the rays of the Mai sun, with some refreshments - plates with food and flagons of wine and water. Comfortable seats have been brought, and a few servants hover about to wait on the nobles if required.

Antonia notices the astonished look of her little sister and she smiles, obviously amused. “I believe you can hold Etienne for a moment,” she says. “He may look tiny to you, yet he will grow, so I have been assured.” Grey eyes glint with motherly confidence, when the older sister adds: “He will grow to be strong. A fighter. A knight.” Her gaze growing pensive then. A moment of contemplation of her own chances perhaps that did not come to be.

“Here,” Antonia says as she extends her arms to hand Etienne over to Amara, assisting her to get the baby comfortably settled on the young t’Tremaine lady’s arm, if allowed.

It may be the trick of the sun, or it may be the happiness of a young girl, but her face looks showered in glitters, when she extends her arms to take a tiny nephew into her embrace, "He will be a great Prince. I will love him so much! And we will play together so much, when he will grow up! Oh, I will show him deers, rabbits, squirrels in our forest!" She bounces slightly, a bit too excited, but then stands up still, like a warrior in the line. That means she is ready to take the baby.

A quick glance is given to Antonia, when she mentions that her child will be a fighter and Amara smiles shyly, before whispering "Or maybe he will be a healer? Maybe he will have hands, which will make an ill soul shine brightly again. Or maybe he will be a builder and will build a wonderful world to all of us! Or maybe Etienne will be invited to serve to the One! Who will you be, my dearest nephew? Who will you be?" Amara finishes softly, taking the child carefully into her arms. However, then a surprise hits the girl, "Oh! You do look tiny, but you are heavy." She chuckles and presses him to her chest with a lot of love and care.

Amara leans a bit and pecks baby's nose, "I love you…" She whispers.

Antonia cannot help but smile at Amara's enthusiasm. "You will show him squirrels and deer?", she echoes, shaking her head in amusement. Her grey eyes shift from her sister's face to Etienne's and that smile grows. "He will be a fighter," she repeats, convinced of her words. "Is he too heavy for you? We could sit down, you'll find it easier to hold him when you are seated." Her hand moves to Amara's arm, guiding her over to the comfortable chairs. Little Etienne meanwhile just blinks, his tiny arms moving a bit, as a soft gurgling sound of approval leaves his throat, when he receives that kiss to his nose.

Amara just follows Antonia's lead. The girl can't turn her look away from Etienne. He is just too adorable. After all, the time will come, when he will grow up and maybe he will become a fighter for sure. Then he will stop being all adorable. His hands will be stained in blood. Amara sighs, when her gaze slides from the baby's nose to its hands. She carefully takes a seat, stumbling just a little bit for stepping on a bit too long skirt of her pink dress. However, she does not lose the baby nor she brings any possible harm to him.

Once seated, Amara leans closer to the boy again and rubs the tip of her nose to his, "Don't listen for your mother. You don't have to fight, if you don't want. Of course, people will frown upon you like my father does, when he sees me. Though, you will know, that you help our hearts beat instead of stopping them. There is always a way to avoid fight."

The girl raises her one hand up a bit and cuddles her tiniest finger to the boy's hand. "Sister, will I have a baby one day too?"

It is much to nice a day for such a spring day to be spent inside or on tedious tasks about paperwork or any such thing. The outside calls and Silvio must answer. He of course knew of the visit to his wife of her sister and while kept busy at her arrival now seeks to remedy this it took little asking within the castle to be pointed in the correct direction. The prince finds the pair from a distance and makes his approach in no great deal of hury until closer he ends up beside his wife an arm reached around her waist and leans over for a most quick kiss. “Antonia, I have freed myself from the castle for the day.” He speaks with a smile looking quickly though to the other. “You must be Lady Amara, I have heard many good things about you.” He gives a quite proper bow. “Silvio l’Valdan.” He says simply of himself, and looks down to his young son fondly smiling.

Antonia’s hand moves swiftly to assist Amara when that slight stumble occurs, steadying her at the arm. “I am sure none of us will be a disappointment, neither to our father, Amara, nor to the royal family.”, she states matter-of-factly. Her features softening then when she observes how gently her little sister handles the child. That question, however, makes that frown return, even if in a slightly fainter version. “Possibly,” she remarks, allowing her grey eyes to drift over the garden, her tone thoughtful. “We all have to marry at some point, or so it seems, for the benefit of our House of t’Tremaine…”

She pauses, her voice trailing off, as she raises her hand to shield it from the rays of the sun. Grey eyes widen ever-so-slightly, before her lips curl into a smile, spotting her husband, Prince Silvio l’Valdan. She leans into him, returning that brief kiss with fondness glinting in her gaze, her own arm wrapping about him in return of his embrace. “SIlvio! What a pleasant surprise, and the best birthday present I could ask for,” Antonia smiles. “You’ve met Amara of course, at our wedding, but that was about a year ago, and she has grown since then, hasn’t she?” Untangling herself from Silvio’s arm she steps back to where Amara sits with Etienne on her arm. “Such a big girl you’ve become, Amara. And see, how well she handles Etienne? He is all quiet and content on her arm.” Antonia takes the infant from the nine-year-old Amara, not really being able to be separated from her beloved son for much longer. “Thank you, sister. We all are glad you could come.” Along with the Baroness t’Tremaine, probably, who is at the moment busy elsewhere in the castle.

Amara sighs, "Possibly is not yes." She cradles the little boy, humming a soft melody. After all, the young girl loves not just to draw and paint, but singing is a way to express her feelings too.

Just before arrival of the Prince, nine years old lady raises her look to the older sister and quietly asks, not willing that even the baby would hear her words, "Am I too weak? Am I too weak to have a baby? Father keeps telling, that I am too weak for everything, what is important."

However, the question is quickly forgotten. Amara's eyes go wide and her cheeks blush a little bit. She whispers quietly for herself, "The Prince. The Prince is coming. A lovely and kind husband of my sister. The Prince. Because my sister is the Princess…" She bounces slightly in her seat. It's just continuation of the cradle for a baby.

"Your highness," Amara bows to the man and looks at Antonia. Just to make sure if she used a proper address. Then her emerald look finds the man again, "I am so sorry for not giving a proper curtsy and not standing up. Your son is a bit heavy. But that is good. He will be a strong boy. Very adorable boy."

She shyly lowers her look to the baby and sways for a few moments. "Am…" she tries to say something and she remembers her first question, "I was just asking for my sister, what one must do in order to have a baby. I want a baby too. But he or she would never grow into a fighter. My baby would grow into a very friendly person and he or she would tame all the animals in the forest!" Her eyes widen and excitement dances in her eyes.

But then the baby is taken. Amara doesn't want to give it away, but she does. The second her hands become free, the girl jumps on her feet and offers that missing curtsy from before. Her cheeks are brightly red from the compliments made by her sister. So, she just stands with lowered head in front of the adults. She sways slightly, "Soooo, how one gets a baby?"

—-

“It was indeed, my time has flown indeed and weddings aren’t the best place for first meetings.” The Prince says with a chuckle. He smiles to his wife “I have still yet to give you your present my love, hopefully it will be acceptable.” He comments on this though looks down as he’s spoken to. “Though yes you have indeed grown.” Silvio answers truthfuly. “It is quite alright he is indeed a sturdy child, this is a good thing and we are not at court after all.” The Prince says to Amara not really one to hold to formalities unless they need be observed. He smiles and will bow once more to the curtsy, but he indeed hears the question and looks to his wife shifting foot to foot a moment in thought.. “Ah, indeed a common question that what were we to answer?” he looks over to his wife a moment yeah sorry he’ll pay for this later but tag.. your it!

"How shall I know what the future brings?", Antonia counters to Amara's remark. "You will be married at some point, yes. But if the marriage will be blessed with children… Only the One can answer that." The expression in her eyes is soft though, the smile friendly and perhaps a touch amused at her very young sister's eagerness to become pregnant. "You have still plenty of time for that, Amara. Grow up first, and then the rest will fall in place when the time comes…"

To Amara's inquiring glance after offering the address to Silvio Antonia inclines her head. "It's alright, sister. I am sure Silvio understands - and will not stress formalities. After all, you are his sister-in-law." She holds Etienne on her arm, listening to her sisters eager questions, that make her lower her gaze for a moment, a clearly amused smirk curling her lips.

"Oh?", Antonia shoots Silvio a glance when he announces a present, that amiable look she gives him turning into a glare when he leaves it to her to answer that question! A faint rosiness conquers Antonia's cheeks, but she is not shying away from it. Certainly not!

"Umm… right. You need a man for that, dearest.", she explains towards Amara. "It is… usually, when you get married… but sometimes it even happens between unmarried people… but that is too much of a fuss really, and a child being born from such union is called a bastard." She clears her throat. "Two people lay down together, they kiss and… do other things. Nice things… confusing things. When you're old enough you'll understand. Sometimes this is blessed by the One with… the woman becoming pregnant from it."

Amara stares at the Prince quite intently as if hoping to hear the answer from him. Her eyes are wide and full of that childish curiosity. She blinks just a few times. The girl parts her lips as if to encourage the Prince to give his own opinion about babies. However, the man looks at his wife, looking for help and a young beauty looks up at her sister too.

She blinks, listening for not very clear explanation from her sister. Amara chews on her bottom lip, sways slowly. Soon she starts to hum some kind of a very well known song for children. Though, she does that really quietly not to disturb Antonia.

To be honest, she is not too much interested into all the strange "laying down with a man" thing. However, she does make a note for herself, "If I kiss a man, I might become pregnant, if the One will bless that kiss. Though, I must grow older first. So, no kissing a man, before I will be older. I promise, sister, I will be proper and I won't have any bastards. The first man I will ever kiss will be my husband!"

Then her smile grows wider, "Birthday! I have a present for you too. It's in my room still. I will bring it to you later. It's a huge painting. I made it myself!" Pride echoes in Amara's voice, but that is soon changed by that common curiosity. She looks at the Prince, "What is your gift to my sister, brother-in-law?" The girl quickly peeks at Antonia again, just to make sure if she is allowed to call the Prince brother-in-law.

—-

“Yes enjoy the time as it happens, no need for rushing for matches and marriage and all.” Silvio will say in agreement the one indeed he looks to his wife and their child they are blessed indeed in this moment. “Also no indeed we are all relaxing and enjoying this day.” He speaks of formalities. The look going from amiable to glare with his passing the question of gets an apologetic glance from him though he listens to the explanation. “Indeed, hm Lady Amara, what plans do you have for your visit perhaps if there are not set ones we can think up some fun things to do?” he says in trying to break away from the topic for both their sakes. He smiles though “That is a lovely gift indeed I bet its wonderfully done.” He says to Amara and nods about the rest indeed. “Hm, actually it’s a secret for now.” He says about his own present for his wife

Antonia watches Amara when she gives her that rather vague lecture, which she feels is detailed enough for a young girl of her sister's age. She cannot help but chuckle though when she hears Amara's conclusion. "Oh no, stupid. Not from the kissing, you won't get with child from that. It is what may happen after that… but well, when it happens you'll know what I am talking about. Besides, there is Mother." Leaving the matter at that, when Etienne draws her attention, the little one giving some less content sounds that might hint at some displeasure.

Such distraction can only be of short duration when birthday presents are mentioned, and Antonia l'Valdan regards both her little sister and her husband with curious anticipation. "I am eager to see what gifts you have brought for me, but this can certainly wait." Her grey eyes shift to Amara and she smiles. "I believe we will go into town once, visit the market. No further plans have been made, until now, dear Silvio."

"Aaaah…." Amara drawls, when she gets a more clear explanation. The young girl frowns, "Still, I won't kiss a man for a very looooong time… It does sound not very clean!" She chuckles and brings a hand to clean her lips.

When the talk about all the possible activities starts, Amara clasps her hands in front of herself and sighs, "I wish I could meet some people of my age. These days the only friend I have is my handmaiden. Good friends of the childhood may become even better friends later and a very good allies, when the time will come," it's a mixture of a young girl's intelligence and something what she heard from adults. "Are there people of my age?"

She smiles and adds, "I would like to go to town, sister. Maybe we could visit the poor ones? I would like to bring something for them," what a kind girl she is, "And maybe we could go for a walk in the forest? I wish to see how animals look in here! We could sneak on a deer and just watch how he eats."


The Prince chuckles and leans to kiss his wife once more. “It isn’t all bad, but yes waiting for that will do nicely.” He comments to the girls words on the topic, Silvio must think a bit further on the next part. “My sister Aliza, is near enough your age I can see if she would be interested in joining either us three or if you’d prefer to go without me you two. There are others your age around I imagine not sure at the castle or the town which.” The young man listens further to the questions about the poor and gives his wife an intrigued look one to be a noble for the people as it were. “I will divert to your sister for such answers of what can be done, though it sounds like an interesting day to me.

Antonia looks amused, still she will nod to Amara's decision to avoid any kisses. "Perhaps that is the wiser choice…But mayhaps you'll think differently when you reach a certain age…", she remarks, her lips curling beneath Silvio's next demonstration of a kiss falling silent then, when her sister inquires about peers-in-age and the l'Valdan prince replies about his younger sisters. "I believe that is a good idea, Amara," Antonia smiles, rocking little Etienne a little bit as to buy a little more time, but the little prince seems to get increasingly fidgety. The idea of visiting the poor will draw a less enthused reaction from the l'Valdan princess, as is obvious from the slight frown forming on her forehead. The expression smoothens a little when Amara mentions her wish to see the forest. "Oh well. I believe such could be arranged, with a proper retinue of hunters and guards…" This obviously the option that is more to Antonia's taste.

Everything is great and good for as long as she hears the word “hunters”. Then Amara’s smile drops down. “I will be good without seeing a forest…” What a sacrifice! She even is proper enough not to indulge into the reasons of the change of her wishes, “Maybe I should see the young princess first… That’s all.”

Silvio will motion for one of his attendants and ask him to find his sister. “Thank you.” He says to the man who moves off quickly. “Well if she’s to be found she will. I think she will be done with lessons by now.” The Prince says looking to each though he wonders about the change in mind for the forest. “The marketplace can be fun as well with all the vendors and the like there’s always something to do with music or a performance and the like.”

If Antonia notices that slightly dampened enthusiam on her sister when she mentions hunters, it does not show. "The forest is nice, I assure you," she insists with a fine smile. "We shouldn't go unguarded though. And I doubt we can take a Princess with us without the required retinue." She herself requires such a retinue as well of course, given her status, bt the glance Antonia gives Amara, with that slight touch of weariness to it suggests she suspects the sudden reluctance to be a sudden whim of a nine-year-old. "And yes. Perhaps you should see Princess Aliza. You can play together here, on the castle grounds. Or… that trip to the market, Silvio mentioned." Grey eyes shift to linger on the prince, a warm smile curling her lips - but then a pair of small rather impatient arms are waved before her, accompanied by a wail. "Hmm. Little Etienne is hungry," the Princess states, in a friendly purr towards her little baby. "If you will excuse us for a moment…? I'll be right back. After all… you said something of birthday presents?" Time to get them, her glance may suggest as she rises, little Etienne on her arm and walks towards the pavilion at the back.

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