Grimme paced in his chambers, furious, but how much at which woman, he could not say, which was even more maddening. If Grimme knew only one thing about his favorite mistress, it was that she would do anything in her power to destroy Brìghde in Grimme’s eyes. Unfortunately for Emelisse, Brìghde didn’t care about what Grimme thought; she was not interested in a petty scrap but if Emelisse provoked her enough, Brìghde would simply break Emelisse over her knee like a dry twig. Read more
To Brìghde’s surprise, Emelisse was sitting in the chair next to the empty lord’s chair. Sir John, standing behind his chair next to Grimme’s, looked entirely furious. The rest of the hall stood behind their chairs, silent, waiting.
Emelisse gave her a victorious, challenging look. Brìghde took a deep breath and, shaking her head at the prospect of a long war with her husband’s favorite mistress, glided to the head table. “Get up,” she said quietly, but firmly.
“This is my chair,” Emelisse growled low, glaring at Brìghde from under her brows. “I am the mother of his two oldest sons and have been at his side for eleven years.”
“And I am the countess,” Brìghde said matter-of-factly. “Get up.”
“No, you little bitch,” she hissed. “Just try to get me out of this chair.” Read more
“Thank you, Grimme,” she said, smiling up at him.
Grimme returned his little wife’s smile as they stood in the outer bailey at sunrise whilst a company of knights and foot soldiers disguised themselves as villeins moving from town to town looking for a lord to serve. “You’re welcome,” he said warmly, happy that at least one woman in his household was not furious with him.
It had been a week since he had promised Brìghde that he would send for her things and her dog. In that week, he had had to confront each of his women privately.
Ardith was angry that Grimme had introduced someone to the household her lover wanted to fuck. “How was I supposed to know that would happen?” he asked. She gave him a stony glare. He should’ve known.
Maebh was angry that he would not let her have Brìghde since he wasn’t fucking her, nor would he acquiesce to allowing her to warm Brìghde up for him to fuck. And— Read more
It took Brìghde and William a full sennight to complete the inventory of the paramours’ chambers, and Brìghde threw herself into it wholeheartedly not because she wanted to paw through Grimme’s mistresses’ things, but because she had to do something other than attempt to drink herself into a stupor to keep from remembering his brutal rejection of her, and then the fact that he had spoken so vulgarly of her behind her back to his mistresses. All of them.
She felt completely and utterly betrayed, and what had she done? Kept it to herself instead of punching him in the face. Read more
Over the next few days, Brìghde was able to establish somewhat of a custom: Arise just after lauds, go to her morning prayer and confession, ride Troy harum-scarum through all of Kyneward with or without Grimme and Helen, arrive in time for breakfast, get about her inventory, have supper, then exercise a mare. She and Enyo got along famously, as she did with all the other mares but Helen. Helen would still not allow Brìghde alone in her stall with her, but would take the treats she was offered and suffer being petted and told what a good lassie she was.
Brìghde explained to Sir John and William about the circumstance between the mistresses and the merchants. She explained the arrangements she had made for a fresh calculation. She explained that she was now going to take an inventory of the mistress’s chambers. And that once everything was reconciled on the Kyneward books, she would meet with the merchants and reconcile with them.
Sir John gaped at her. “He said yes?”
“Aye.” Read more