Earth day

I spent this morning in accounting for all the various expenses and incomes we have unexpectedly had over the past few weeks. The silver is the most pressing, totalling almost half of what Heiye cost me, with almost all of it gone already. There is still enough for a placing of four, or even eight, but I cannot hold any dinner parties unless and until the thief is found or Sev recieves yet another bonus.

I am hopeful about the one course, but fearful for the other. Sev came in halfway through the morning and threw down onto my desk a heavy medal of bronze, carved in relief with the waterfall of valor.

“You probably want this one too,” he said to me, and turned to go.

I stood, and I embraced him from behind, and held him while he shook. I took him to bed, and closed the door, and held him and stroked his hair throughout the morning and through the time when I would have had luncheon.

Ceremonies are hard for him, and I know that. I was harsh yesterday, still jealous of the princess and worried about Pang. I shouldn’t have been so snippy over breakfast. It certainly isn’t his fault if a princess takes a fancy to him. He’s young, handsome, gallant and vibrant as few men are.

I could write forever on the virtues of my husband (or his vices). For now, I shall continue my account. After a while, his shaking ceased and he was quiet. He fell asleep, and I tucked the blankets in around him. I am sure he has not been sleeping well at all. He almost never does.

I met with Cook next, and she fed me egg pastries and made me drink cups of tea. She is a motherly woman, and I suppose I looked somewhat strained. I certainly tried to hide it, but perhaps she knows me too well. She’s been with the family a long time, from Sev’s family retainers, not mine own. But Sev and I knew each other since our betrothal, so she was something of a mother to me in her way, when I was but eleven and newly come to the household.

I asked her in all seriousness if the thief was one of her girls and the others were protecting her, and she didn’t know and I believe her. I don’t know who outside the kitchen staff it could be, except perhaps Heiye. Him being a thief is too much to contemplate. I could never resell him, and I could not make an honest servant out of a thief. The thefts only started after he came home with me, however. I don’t know. It is worrisome, to say the least. He serves at table well, he is quiet and graceful and his hair is a dark stubble now that it has begun to grow out. Pen ignores him, Pang adores him as far as I can tell, Sev has yet to notice him, and Cook considers him a second son.

I told the twin’s calligraphy tutor that if Pang progresses, he will get a bonus. I don’t know where I will find the money, but it must be done. The tutor took this with a sniff, which is about typical of him. Then this evening Pen and I went over the account books I had given her together, and I think she derived some good enjoyment of it. Sev, who recovered himself in time to join us all for dinner, took Pang off to play soldiers yet again. My two irrepressable boys.

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