Septembris 25, 373: “For the love of the Lord, save me.”

May 10th, 2017

Septembris 25, 373

The Cathedral of Saint Francis, Vavard City
Addressed to Father Agnolo dul Decapua

Dearest Brother,

For the love of the Lord… please save me. I hardly know where to turn in this sprawling city that is the capital. People whisper such hateful things about those from our home duchy, but I must say that the men here are far more forward than any men I ever did meet in Vavard.

Though I dare not put names to paper, I must confess that since my arrival within Lithmore City four months ago, I have had no less than five gentlemen make some sort of advance toward me – some mention of marriage or courtship or a suit. That is not even counting the others who have simply made attempts at mere flirtation.

One even tried to kiss me. Letta was so distraught.

As was I.

There are days where I feel as though I cannot even draw a proper breath for fear I will attract another pair of eyes. You always had so many girls flitting about you, dearest brother. I hardly know how you could stand it, to be a lone flame crowded by so many moths.

I find myself, more and more, longing for the safety a husband would bring, but I would so hate to admit defeat to Papa. The year for our agreement is not yet finished and I have not yet established myself within the city as a merchant of repute.

But with each passing day, I am reminded more and more of the dangers of being an unmarried woman in a strange land, far from the protection of my brothers and father.

I would have your words of advice, Agnolo. You were always far better versed in such matters than I.

Your Ever Devoted Sister,
Caterina dul Decapua

 

Octobris 15, 373

The Vavardi Trade Offices, Lithmore City
Addressed to Miss Caterina dul Decapua

Poor, Sweet Cat,

I hope you will forgive a brother for laughing at his little sister’s distress, but I did laugh.

Quite thoroughly.

You have never been a fool, little Cat. Surely, you realized there would be some interest. You are young, pretty, and have a dowry fit for a princess. I’m rather surprised you’ve only been approached by five men in such a large place as Lithmore City.

And, the truth? The only reason why you never had to deal with the advances of forward Vavardi men while you were with us in Capua is because Father kept you under such a strong lock and key. Had you been raised as I was raised, you would have no doubt had some little, plucky lordling pushing you up against a wall at one of the dul Terani balls, trying to coax you into having his bastard.

And then I would have had to run him through and then where would we be?

Blood stains are such a pain. They never do properly come out.

I mean… I have six bastards myself. And that’s only the ones I know about. (Though I still do not think Benito is mine. He doesn’t look a thing like me). So, let those uptight Lithmorrans speak ill of us. They have their own dark secrets, their own bastards hiding in their closets. The only difference is that I claim my children… well, most of them, anyway… even though their mothers are greedy, little wenches…

But I digress. These are not matters for my sweet sister.

You want my advice? Write to Father and tell him that you tire of being a maiden and then pick yourself a prize stallion and be done with it. There is no shame in it. Mother may goad you, but Mother is a whore. You know it’s best to ignore anything that woman says. And surely you can continue to establish yourself and ply your trade as a married woman.

You have my love and my support. But I would entreat you to pick a husband who will be kind to you, sweet sister. I would not hesitate to slit him from navel to nose if he so much as spoke an ill word against you.

Lord bless you.

Do burn this letter.

Your Bemused Yet Doting Brother,
-A


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