I'm running amuck with no Beta, so constructive criticism is welcomed. Spanish Translation is google so don't kill me.

Thorfinn leans against the door jam watching his girls and pups play in the courtyard just three steps away. The sun makes their skin glow as they laugh, their nanny, Olall sits at the edge of the grass underneath the lemon tree she is so fond of. Her hands aren't idle as she mends some old clothing that will be donated to the Wizardry Orphanage of Espana.

Three months of quiet was what the Rowles had since the 'discovery' of the ever so dedicated, faithful, beautiful, loving wife, Suren, was tragically found on the wrong side of the country in an Opium den.

The story unfolds both her father and Thorfinn received weekly notes of her traveling, visiting family in the south of France. Her mother makes the right amount of protest of Suren's of leaving the children for such a long time. But of course, she was 'entitled to a little space to moran her inability to have more children'. By the fourth-week appearances faltered. The great Aunt Noémie of Maltese, Suran went on about in a 14-inch letter, died a year before their wedding. Sigh, oh heaven, something must afoot blah, blah.

It only took a month to track her. Somehow her movements were leaked to the press.

Inconsiderate paparazzi.

Anyone with a brain knows Opium is a highly regulated drug. Seldom used in this modern time due to the addictive qualities still some archaic healers peddle the drug. Pity Healer Rosenda Vicenc, a long time friend and confidant of Suran committed suicide in her grief of overdosed.

Leaving behind whispered lingering questions.

How close were they?

Was this in an attempt to break away from traditional roles?

What of their poor husbands?

The questions became more mocking and scandalous as time wore on.

Thorfinn was genuinely shocked when cornered by the upstanding pillars of society at the funeral.

Seriously it was an original twist. He nearly bit off his tongue from keeping it all in. As her body was burned in the traditional rites, he was in tears. Murmurs of condolences and apologies were given as he kept a handkerchief close.

That night after putting his little loves to bed and kissed his mother goodnight, steadily and so quietly closed the door to his chambers then howled into his pillows. He hasn't had a good chuckle like that in years.

"Se acaba tu hora de la mañana y descenderán los buitres. Sea sabio y elija el más mortífero a favor de su familia. Patrón."(1)

Thorfinn not taking his eyes off the girls he tilts his head, giving Olall permission to say more.

"Confíe en la elección de sus hijos." (2)

Olall was not a stupid woman, simple, a bit weathered yes but not stupid. This petit orphan of unknown blood status or family ties built a solid honorable reputation no upper-crust family would disparage. At least not to their own reputation's peril. Good help is so often hard to find. She is considered a force of nature many families would want to guard their children into adolescence.

He murmurs "¿Por qué debería tenerlo en cuenta?"(3)

"Los niños siempre ven el meollo del asunto. Los adultos a menudo racionalizan y descartan lo que tienen frente a ellos."(4)

Thorfinn sighs in irritation and defeat, " ¿Qué tan pronto espera la intrusión?'(5)

Eydis runs to her placing a flower on her lap, Tyra isn't far behind Olall praises their thoughtfulness then shoos them to play. Her smooth voice soothes his nerves, "Llegó una invitación de los toledanos. Es el almuerzo del domingo los niños son bienvenidos." (6)


Sedately Hermione reviews the books for the clinic, the noise of the activities of the house fades to the background. Her mother-in-law is bullying the males of the family into going to today's luncheon.

None of the unattached males older than 10 want to go.

Then one of the few males in the Manor that can avoid the party, Tío Meto strolls in, "They're smart."

This was one of the few rooms and people he liked in this family. It figures she wasn't of blood. Looking around the room, it still surprises him how she was able to take the old corner ruins of a stone hórreo, which was apart of the old servant's quarters into a working library and study. The high ceilings and matching stone and wood, work seamlessly into the main corridor connecting the living area to the main house.

Absentmindedly she hums, "They know it's a meat market. But you know Abuela Mencía, she wants to flaunt her wealth in strong boys."

Opening the cigar box on her desk, he pulls a cigarillo, "Yet you're going."

Hermione looks up with a twinkle in her eyes, "Occupational hazard. It would help secure more donations to the Orphanage and its been three years. You know how traditional she is, this is her way of making sure we are happy and secure."

Meto face pinches but agrees, Abuela is of the very old traditional mindset everyone must be married and have children. The more the better to secure family lines and security.

"Has she made any hints on suitable men."

"Yes, three. A German ex-pat, Quintin Van Stone, he has holdings in the Barton Publishing house, cousin Vilar and Healer Gregory Savatier."

Opening a drawer she hands him their dossiers. Then proceeds to complete her original task.

Dramatically he sighs, "Why couldn't I have had another son?"

Taken aback Hermione looks up in curiosity, teasingly he murmurs, "Then we have a better chance in keeping you in the family."

Hermione chokes then giggles. "Tio, we both know I'm not going anywhere. I fear my husband will be absorbed into this family instead of me being absorbed into theirs."

Tapping the folders to his nose, "Damn straight. Now let me see what was found and give you a nonbiased opinion."

Hermione snorts as she spells the ink to dry and proceeds to lock them away in the wall safe.

Just before leaving she drops a kiss atop of his head.

Quickly she walks to the main receiving room to familiar chaos. Seven boys and three girls in various stages of dress all being inspected by the Matriarch Abuela Mencía.

She is a short stout woman with steel gray hair, deep brown eyes, and a honeyed complexion. In long practiced movements, her hands conduct the children move to her symphony. It seems the color is purple all wear it somewhere in their attire.

Her cultured voice fills the room, "Now hear me children, we represent the Icaza one of the oldest families. Our blood and magic are in these lands before the time of the Berbers."

Joaquin stands towards the end of the group, the third shortest and youngest of the group. Smirking Hermione winks then crosses her eyes.

All children giggled as she began to straighten their clothes and her little one's case impossible curls.

"All right, anyone has to go to the bathroom?"

All shook their heads as Abuela Mencia began to end her usual speech.

Tio Armando swaggers in with his wife Bianca. "So don't embarrass us or you will have to stay with Abuela and learn our history from 600 AD."

"Mando, don't make me box your ears!"

Quickly Armando swings his mother into his arms and kisses for forgiveness.

All used to chaos their Tio brings, Bianca takes the youngest of the girls, Sancha and the oldest boy Cosme. Soon all leave the manor for the first of many luncheons of the Spanish Enclave.

1 - Your time of morning is up and the vultures will descend. Be wise and choose the deadliest in favor of your family. Boss.

2 - Trust your children's choice

3 – Why should I take it into account?

4 - Children always see to the heart of the matter. Adults too often rationalize and discount what is in front of them.

5 – How soon do you expect the intrusion?

6 - An invitation from the Toledano's came. It is a luncheon for Sunday, children are welcome.