First little tidbit for you! Just a short scene from chapter four of Maid of Iron and told in Constantine's point of view. You remember him, right? This chapter was one of my favorites, and made me realize just how much Jane Austen has served as an influence.
Well, lovers quarrel, I thought as I trudged back to Rosarian. I had decided to try again tomorrow, not because of the weather that had turned foul—it was pouring out enough rain to make another Lake of St. Francis—but because she probably wouldn’t even come to the door if I knocked again.
We all gathered in the library after supper. Father was reading an old epic, Mother was working on her embroidery, and I was staring into the fire with Brennan snoring quietly at my feet.
“Now, son, what have I told you about brooding?”
I looked up. Father was ignoring his epic and watching me as intently as I had been watching the flames. “Did you go back to the smith’s today?” he asked.
“Yes, I did,” I answered. “He said he would take the commission.”
“That’s more like it,” he said. “But that’s not what’s on your mind. What are you thinking about?”
“Anna,” I said dully.
“Ah, your lass,” he replied.
Mother looked up interestedly. “What lass?”
“She’s not my lass,” I corrected. “But I’m trying to change that.”
“Our boy’s in love, Winifred,” Father told her.
“Why wasn’t I informed?” she asked.
Father waved his hand carelessly. “Oh, you know young people,” he said airily. “They like to keep their secrets, at least for a while. Then the problem is getting them to talk about anything else.”
“I actually do have a problem,” I confessed. “We’ve had an argument, and I’m trying to get back in her good graces, but nothing’s worked.”
“And how many times have you tried to talk to her?” Father asked.
“Twice!” he exclaimed. “You try twice and say nothing’s worked! Oh, son, you really should have studied battle strategy!”
“It had occurred to me,” I muttered.
Mother shook her head dismissively. “You men,” she said. “This isn’t warfare, it’s courtship.”
“They seemed the same to me,” Father told her with a smile.
“Really, Darius,” she chastised. “Constantine, try flowers. Young girls adore flowers.”
“Flowers, eh?” I asked. I settled back into my chair and buried myself in my thoughts once more.
And now back to work we go!