Hivera grew up and was a bit of a tomboy.
However, that wasn’t enough for Winter. A girl was still a girl. Now that his parents were gone, Winter figured he had nothing to lose by trying for a son. Elle did indeed soon get pregnant.
She was worried, as her pregnancy became obvious. What would happen? It was against the rule to have more than two children…
Winter reassured her. “Don’t worry. My father was just scaremongering. I’ve asked around. They will just fine us – a substantial amount, of course, but that’s all.”
Word got to the castle. Garcia gave the queen the news.
Valenzuela was worried about taking Elle away from her family and the effects it would have.
Garcia told his daughter not to worry and assured her that it would be taken care of.
He met with the gaoler at the new keep.
“Is everything ready? The woman is in advanced pregnancy.”
“It’s all set, sire.”
“Good. Get it done, then let me know.”
And so it was, that when the children were being schooled and Winter was out working, Elle was alone outside when two men came and seized her.
She was whisked away, blindfolded. When she was released she found herself in a dark cell. She had no idea where she was. Some food was left for her but it provided little warmth or nutrition in such a cold environment.
When the girls got home they found their mother gone. Primavera did the sensible thing and contacted an adult to stay with them until their father got home.
When he did get home, Winter looked everywhere for Elle, then realised they must have taken her away. He hadn’t seen this coming at all.
What had he done?
The girls asked where their mother was. He couldn’t tell them. He made some excuse about Elle visiting distant family. Primavera looked doubtful.
He also had to cook for them, something he hadn’t done much of at all in his life.
How long would Elle be gone? Would they keep her indefinitely? He was more confused than angry.