Far Horizons: Tales of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror. Issue #13 April 2015 - Page 176

Ethan had the answer. “We find somewhere quiet and talk. There is much to discuss.” The newly introduced brothers nodded and followed him out of the church into the city. It was clean, prosperous and well organized. Some of Reginald’s friends came up and he introduced them to Brian and Ethan. “It’s an honor to meet you both. Reginald, might we join you while you talk with them? We may be able to help you figure some things out.” Reginald didn’t get a chance to answer as his ‘aunt’ swooped down on him and started berating him for being an ungrateful lout by making Alexandra reschedule the wedding. She kept smacking him with her folded fan and Brian deftly caught it before she could smack him again. “Beg pardon madam, but would you please be so kind as to stop hitting my brother with your fan?” She went to retort then stopped in her tracks. She looked between Brian and Reginald several times then sniffed loudly and turned so Brian couldn’t see her or Reginald as she berated him. Brian pinched the bridge of his nose and Ethan stepped in. “Madam, I assure you this was an unanticipated situation. Reginald had no control over events leading up to what happened that resulted in the wedding being rescheduled for next week. Please don’t blame him for something he couldn’t do anything about.” She turned to Ethan with a fire in her eyes ready to blast him and met a steely gaze she’d seen numerous times in several different courts. She knew the difference between father and son, of course. Earl’s hair was much shorter and paler than Ethan’s and he had a slimmer build than his only begotten son. She was angry but she knew better than to be rude to someone who’d assisted her husband’s liege lord in times of war and strife. “My apologies, young lord Driscoll, I merely wanted to see Reginald married and happy.” She turned her attention back to Reginald and Brian. “I am sorry I was angry with you, Reginald... And may I ask who this is standing beside you?” Brian bowed slightly. “My name is Brian Fairchild madam, and I am Reginald’s brother.” She blinked rapidly then opened her fan and waved it in front of her face. “I wasn’t aware you had a brother, Reginald.” Her sister and brother-in-law had raised Reginald and she’d overheard them telling him about his real family in Driscoll territory. Reginald spoke gently. “Beloved Aunt Margaret, that is a lie. You were there numerous times when they were telling me where I came from.” Margaret looked at Reginald and spoke with her usual quiet dignity. “I thought they were being foolish and filling your head with lies. Even when they showed me letters from Marshlight village in a man’s handwriting I found it hard to believe.” Brian broke in. “My father wrote them?” “They were signed by a man named Tucker.” “That’s my father. They always called him Tucker because they never knew his real name.” Margaret looked at Brian and asked the one question nobody in Marshlight ever did. “What is his real name?” Reginald looked at Brian, who answered almost immediately. “His name is Thomas William Fairchild.” A passing merchant