“You don’t think you need to be here,” I said to Sev at midday today, surprise speaking for me.
He glanced up from his papers. I was standing in the kitchen, cutting up dried mushrooms that had been soaking all morning in broth. I had been watching him ever since the children ran outside to play.
“No. You seem to have things well in hand, lady wife.”
Heiye runs our errands and has Sev’s instructions on warning signs to look out for. Pen and Pang are at least nominally content to take in the lessons I assign them and play ducklings to Heiye’s mother duck when I am busy. The purse from Dri has lessened my concerns about our material needs.
“So, then, why are you home?”
“To see my wife and children.”
“Is it a pleasant sight?”
“I could not wish for any other.”
“How long before you go on your way? I will trip over your legs less often.”
“I have not decided.”
“Is there a problem?”
“Not at all.” I hesitated, then, and almost spoke of worries. The oil in my pan began to smoke, and I had to add the ginger. “It is my very great pleasure, whenever I see you.”
“I told you I’d be back in a few weeks. I had to return.”
“So you did, and so I appreciate. Still, beloved, why are you here, if not for necessity? Surely this is a time of necessity.”
“It’s a time of waiting, really. My choices were to think of the larger scheme with your little friend hovering at my shoulder suspiciously or find someplace I could think in peace.”
The children had spent most of the morning fighting each other or with me and their father on one point or another. It was a fair question.
“Relatively, anyway. Hmm. You know, I think this is the most alone we’ve been in years? Always with servants and lackeys and lords about and around us.”
“Well, there has been my bedchamber.”
“With your maid in the next room? Come, Mizuki, you know of what I speak.”
“I’m cooking, my lord husband. It is not something that can be interrupted on your whim, though you know I live for them.”
“You always do claim that I am whimsical. I don’t see it, myself. I see… in any case, that is hardly what I meant. I meant speech.”
“Oh. My mistake.”
He laughed again.
A good deal else happened today, and I had time to think. I find myself without the energy to write everything of note, so I shall simply record that I love my husband’s laugh.