07 - Jesse's Wedding - Chapter 7 - By: Rita Caywood
Webmistress's Drawing of a Sculpture.  Artist Unknown.
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Jesse's Wedding



Chapter 7


Stepping off the portal at Trevalga, Jesse Seanna and Tieg hurried towards the Earl's chambers. The door was closed and two armed guards were standing sentry. As they approached, the guards nodded and stood aside as they recognized Jesse and Seanna. Beyond the door, they heard a woman sobbing.

**Mother hasn't left his side since he became ill.** Seanna sent in a quick burst. Jesse nodded as he acknowledged what he had already guessed. He quietly opened the door and motioned to Tieg to follow him.

Eloise MacGregor turned as she heard the door opening. Relief flooded her worried features as she recognized Jesse. "Oh, thank the Lord, you have finally come. I was starting to think it may not be in time. He's finally resting now, but he nearly destroyed this chamber earlier tonight." she whispered as Jesse rushed over to her side.

Tieg moved to the other side of the bed and slipping into his healing trance, checked Gregory's overall condition. Almost instantaneously, Gregory started shaking and thrashing violently. Tieg barely had time to duck out of the way of the water pitcher that was suddenly flying towards his head. The pitcher crashed harmlessly on the floor beside him. Shaking his head in amazement, he turned to Eloise MacGregor and asked, "Has he been doing this ever since the fever started?"

Eloise, too numb to speak, just nodded her head. At this point, Jesse motioned the guards to get ready to pounce on Gregory. Seanna looked around the chamber to make sure there was nothing else that was likely to come crashing down on their heads.

"Are you ready to sedate him again?" Jesse asked Tieg. "Yes, might as well, since there is no way I can even try to check his overall condition, leave alone any bruises that might be responsible for this." Tieg responded, gesturing towards the still-thrashing Gregory with his hand.

"On the count of three, Henri, grab his legs. Joshua, I'm going to need you closer to the middle here, so you can get the arms. I'll try to steady his head so that Tieg can get his potion into him." Jesse instructed the guards as he watched Tieg mix up the concoction in a cup.

When Tieg nodded, Jesse and the guards pounced on Gregory as planned. Tieg quickly got the potion into Gregory and as the trashing subsided, he nonchalantly touched the Earl's forehead and set the block. As Jesse and the guards cautiously moved back from the bed, Tieg caught Jesse's eye and nodded. Then, he set about his task of diagnosing the probable causes for Gregory's condition.

His patient's overall condition, except for the high fever was excellent. Tieg couldn't find any debilitating diseases or old-age related conditions that would account for the involuntary mental activity, so he started meticulously examining Gregory's head and neck for any abnormalities. Just as he was about to give up in frustration, he noticed a small knot on the base of the neck, almost completely hidden by hair. As he gently probed the knot with his hand, he also quested it with his mind. In his mind's eye, he could see the blood pooled in that area from a small vessel that had burst. He quickly repaired the damage and as the blood flowed away from the area, he noticed a quieting in his patient that even the sleeping potion had not achieved.

"Ok, I think I've found the cause. It was a small vein that had burst. I've repaired the damage and he should be alright now. I'm going to restore his abilities now. The sleeping potion should wear off within the hour and we'll see how he is then." Tieg told the others as he casually touched Gregory's forehead again.

Jesse put his hand over his father's forehead and did a quick mental assessment of Gregory's mental condition. All seemed to be normal and the fever was also coming down quickly. He grinned and nodded to Seanna and his mother. "I think he'll be alright now, thanks to Tieg."

The next day, after ensuring his father was definitely on the path to a full recovery, Jesse went to find Tieg. He had a few questions about the small knot that he hadn't wanted to ask in front of his mother. He caught up with Tieg in the stables where he was watching Trevalga's resident healer helping with the delivery of a prized foal. Motioning for Tieg to follow him, Jesse drew him outside and without preamble, asked, "Tell me, do you know what could have caused that vein to burst and the knot to form?"

Shrugging his shoulders, Tieg answered, "Jesse, it could have been anything. From what Doms Queron and Rickart taught me, veins can burst because a person got very upset at someone or something, or maybe something hit him. Dom Queron says that sometimes it happens for no reason at all. But, don't worry, I've healed it and I didn't see any other injuries. In fact, your father is in remarkable health for a man his age."

Murmuring his thanks to Tieg, Jesse walked back to his father's chambers, deep in thought. Seeing his mother sitting besides a now-awake Gregory, he smiled as he addressed his father, "Well, now, sir, it's about time you came back to us. We were all getting very worried."

Glancing at his family gathered around his bed, Gregory laughed weakly. "Jesse, you of all people should know that no fever is going to take me. ‘Tis a battle that will take me from this life. Besides, I've still got to see you and Seanna married. I intend to ensure you've got a bride that can give you many strong heirs. And I think I've finally found a suitable bride for you." Unaware of Jesse's shocked look, Gregory continued, "she's Deryni, of course, and her father is a prince of the Forcinn States. He is a shrewd one, though. Took all of my negotiating skills to seal the deal. All in all, she'll be a suitable countess for Trevalga and a good wife for you."

Aware that Gregory was still recovering and an argument from him might result in a setback, Jesse nodded and numbly said, "Sir, you can tell me more tomorrow. Seanna, why don't we let Father rest for now. Mother, are you coming with us?"

As Eloise shook her head, Jesse ushered Seanna out of the room. As soon as they had gotten away far enough not to be overheard, Jesse stopped Seanna and demanded. "Now, tell me what in God's name has been going on here while I've been away? What was Father talking about?"

Seanna shook her head sadly. "Jesse, he's had this bee in his bonnet for a while now. I thought he'd given up on trying to find "suitable matches" for us. Mother and I tried to reason with him. I even accused him of trading me off as so much horseflesh, but he's been implacable. I'm sorry he sprung this on you." Then, changing her tone to gentle sisterly teasing, she inquired, "Besides, why are you so upset? Princess Sophia is very beautiful. Her fair hair and skin would be the perfect foil for you. You two would make a striking couple." Seeing Jesse's frown deepen, she added, "Unless, a certain red-haired, green eyed girl has been haunting your sleep?"

Jerking his head up, Jesse asked sharply, "Now what would make you think that? What red-haired girl?"

"No use hiding it from me, brother dearest, I saw the look in your eyes when you brought that girl, Tiarna, through the portal at the Haven. They went all soft and mushy when you looked at her. If it makes you feel any better, I'm sure she likes you too. You should have seen the look she gave us when you hugged me!" Seanna teased.

Jesse sighed. "Well, it's too soon to try to court Tiarna and too late to stop Father. What I need is a miracle. Maybe Princess Sophia doesn't want to get married?" he asked hopefully.

"Nope, brother dear, that's like asking the Custodes to suddenly welcome Deryni in their midst. Princess Sophia has seen a painting of you and she's eagerly awaiting her bridegroom." Seanna grimaced. "I didn't particularly care for her when she visited last month. She walked around here like she owned everything. I think she's a selfish, spoiled brat and she certainly won't make a good sister-in-law. Besides, I think she hates me."





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