“The twin God has chosen you,” was the words that had left the old priestess’ mouth as she stepped closer. Lady Nest’s eyes had gone wide when the old woman had made a slow motion to her enlarged front. “Uncommon,” had the old woman added, “their souls seem to be singing the same note”.
Twins. Melkin had asked the question, but Llinos had only given him a brief look as if he was stating the obvious.
“Anyone should be able to see that. She’s big as a cow. No, the things that I see though are far more interesting…”
The event however strange it had been, it hadn’t been the only one during their visit to Tisbury, far from it. Melkin did not pay much attention to it then, but during their visit both he, lady Nest and the children seemed to have been absorbed by the happiness that had lingered in Tisbury. It was a loving, open and heart warming feeling that grew by the hour. Melkin had looked at his own family and felt how his affection to them had grown as he watched them, as if his heart grew larger.
Whatever the atmosphere had been, Melkin still felt it now as he cradled one of the newborns in his arms. Lady Nest had indeed bore him twins, identical daughters with golden hair and blue eyes. Standing, Melkin felt the same loving affection that had followed him home from Tisbury. He leaned down and kissed his wife on the forehead.
“Not one of all the lords in Hillfort has a wife who has given them what you have given me today,” he had said as he kissed lady Nest’s forehead. “My lovely wife,” he met her gaze and almost didn’t feel any effect from the curse that normally gave him headaches from looking women directly in their eyes. “You have made me proud, and you have made me remember”, Melkin said and sat down beside her”.
And she had made him proud. Melkin had not been able to shake the ominous feeling about her pregnancy that he first had felt at Tisbury, and he was more than a little relieved that the twins’ birth had gone well.
“… made you remember?” Nest’s voice was silent and slightly confused.
Melkin smiled and looked down at the girl that he held. “Being the fifth son of my father, I happened to have two older brothers that also were identical twins. My sister has told me that they always were up to trouble, and that father suspected them as soon as something went missing or was broken here at Hindon. Ennis was the older one, the one who should have inherited Hindon after my father if he hadn’t disappeared during the Night of Long knives. Camlin, died a year earlier. He was stabbed by a knight when he himself was but a boy”.
Melkin sighed and stroked the sleeping babe’s cheek in his arms.
“I do not remember them”, he said and was surprised by the sadness in his own voice as he uttered the words. “I was too young when they died, but I’ve thought many times that they probably were more suited to be lords of a manor than I ever was. They seemed to have been quite brave even as children, and strong”.
“Strong, my lord?”
“I have always wondered what happened to Ennis,” Melkin continued giving his wife a short smile. “I always thought that he had escaped the Saxons somehow, or maybe I just liked to think that when Cadry was better at everything, and I needed a relative or a brother to be better than Cadry”. Melkin laughed and shook his head before becoming serious again. “I think that he might actually be alive, or that is what the loathly lady told me four years ago”.
Looking up he recognised his wife was almost falling asleep. He reached out and took her hand.
“I’m sorry, you need sleep and I only talk keeping you awake". He kissed her again on the forehead.
“Do you want to name them after your brothers?”
The question was unexpected, and Melkin blinked a couple of times before nodding ever so slightly. “I would,” he said finally. “I would like that”.
Nest had closed her eyes, but a faint smile was lingering on her lips, and Melkin realised how seldom he saw her smile.
“Ennys and Camlinne,” she said, “I like that too”.
Melkin left her sleeping in peace. Thinking about the new names Melkin went out to inform his chaplain, Doged, that he could stop hiding in the chapel and come back inside.