This scene is taken from Cloth of Grace, prior to Leonie and Perry's second wedding, as they go through wedding preparations with Paster Thomas.
The difficult bit was our names. We spent an evening with Pastor Thomas trying to work out what to say. He looked at us, puzzled, when Perry brought the subject up.
“Aren’t you of House Deep River?” he asked. “That’s what your brothers were when they were handfasted. And House St Peter for you, Leonie?”
Perry shook his head. “It’s rather more complicated than that," he said. “I was born to House Deep River, but I think of St Peter’s as home. My father is from House Davis and as his eldest son, I can claim that inheritance too, which the others can’t.”
I looked at Perry in astonishment. “I didn’t know that.” I don’t suppose I’ll ever get to the end of the things he’s forgotten to tell me.
He looked back at me, remorsefully. “Sorry,” he said. “I only just remembered that and I’d quite like to acknowledge it because he never put pressure on me about it.” Now he looked back at Pastor Thomas. “And I’m an heir to House Tennant and Lord Neville has been so reasonable about that, I’d like to acknowledge that, too. And I don’t want anyone to feel slighted or ignored or upset by it all.”
That was one of Perry’s problems; always trying not to disappoint his parents or Lord Neville, even when their requirements conflicted.
Pastor Thomas thought for a moment. “Hmm. Bit of a tangle that, isn’t it?” He stood up and started pacing up and down as he thought, his normal nervousness in Perry’s presence disappearing. “How about . . ? No, that won’t work. Or . . ? No, not that.” He turned back towards us. “How about this?”
We liked his suggestion and, with a little tweaking, we agreed on that for Perry. Then Pastor Thomas looked at me. “Are you just as complicated?” he asked, “Or simply Leonie of House St Peter?”
I didn’t quite know what to say so I glanced at Perry, who nodded encouragingly. “Go on,” he said. “Say what you’d like and we’ll see what we can work out.”
Taking courage from him, I came out with it. “I want to be from House St Peter and the Traders. And I want to use all my names, now I know them – Leonie Helena Augusta. Only, is that stupid? Or dangerous?”
“It won’t be dangerous, not here,” Perry said, certainly. “And it’s no more obvious than wearing your bracelet” – his eyes went towards that – “but there will be those who work out what it means. Are you alright with that?”
Pastor Thomas looked blank – clearly not one of those ones who would work it out – so Perry explained.
“Ah,” Thomas said. “Do you want to acknowledge Lindum and Chisholm, too?”
I shook my head. “I’m not ready for that. Just my mother and my aunt, by using my names.”
He nodded at that, and then I explained how caravans are always known by the name of their current Headwoman. So my caravan was now Caravan Katila, even though it had been Caravan Katya when I’d been with it.
This scene takes place during Strand of Faith, on the Saturday before Easter Sunday
On Saturday morning, Aidan found himself sitting between Andrew and James for breakfast. He felt something was a little off kilter, out of place and it took him several minutes to work out what it was. Normally, when eating within the secluded area, the monks simply sat at the long refectory tables in the order in which they arrived. Prospero was nowhere near Andrew which was so unusual as to be remarkable.
Aidan glanced around the room, beginning to think that Prospero wasn’t even present for the meal. Then he spotted him sitting in a place which suggested that Prospero had been one of the last to arrive which in itself was unlikely. Come to think of it, he hadn’t seen Prospero at the service prior to breakfast either though perhaps he just hadn’t noticed him. The meal was taken in silence which gave Aidan no opportunity to quiz Andrew but Andrew seemed to be showing no signs of concern or worry. Aidan remained puzzled as the morning progressed. The monks and nuns were not all in the same place throughout the retreat; it was entirely possible that Prospero was in a different room, just unusual that he wasn’t in the same place as Andrew.
His puzzlement increased when Prospero was not in place promptly before the next service. Now he had an opportunity to whisper to Andrew. “Where’s Prospero? Is something up?”
Andrew just shrugged. “You know Prospero. He’s often late.”
“Yeah, but he was late for breakfast too, and I didn’t see him at the first service.”
Andrew gave him a curious look. “I think he may have been called to an emergency last night. They happen, even over Easter.”
Well, that made sense and could explain everything. And, even if he was protecting Prospero in some way, Andrew would only tell the truth. But why was Aidan still getting the feeling there was more to it than that? Then Prospero slid into place beside him, with his trademark easy grin, the one that acknowledged he was all but late and knew he would be forgiven, and the service started.