Sucat spent most of the night sleeping. He was very tired. Jyll kept trying to have sex with him but he kept putting her off. He had plenty of time for that but for now his mind needed sleep so that he could think properly. He told Jyll that he was honoring her by allowing her to just sleep with him. He told her how much he appreciated all of her help and work and that he wished she was the one he could have married. He told her many pretty lies that did not matter to him but they made her happy and satisfied. He allowed her to hold him as he fell asleep.
By morning he was very well rested. He was anxious to be up and out of bed even before the sun shone through his windows. He did not normally rise so early but he had gotten some ideas while sleeping and he wanted to put his plans into action before anyone was up to notice what he might be about. He told Jyll to stay abed and enjoy the luxury of sleeping late in his feather bed. He told her he would send a woman up with food for her to break her fast. She smiled sweetly at him, no longer mad at his previous slight.
Sucat dressed quickly and went downstairs. He went into the kitchens where the household was awake and already working. He told the cook to send food up to Jyll in his bed chamber. She paused briefly but then moved to obey. He took some bread fresh from the oven and went out back. He went to the stables and found his father’s youngest son who did not even know yet that he and Sucat were brothers. He gave the boy a piece of his bread and sent him on an errand. Sucat sat on a bale of hay to wait, munching on his bread. It was not long before the boy was back with an answering message.
Sucat gave the boy the crest he had left. The boy ran off to eat it alone. Fresh bread was something the poor hid from each other. It would be a long time before the boy would get more.
Sucat went out of the barn and towards the field where he would meet his personal assassin. He never saw the man until he was right on top of him, literally. The man was lying in the tall grass looking up at the sky. He did not get up when Sucat came near him. Sucat stood with his back to the hall. If anyone looked in his direction it would look like Sucat was surveying his property.
The assassin asked Sucat who he wanted killed and how. Sucat told him he needed his father-in-law killed before he left to go back home and it needed to look like an accident and it had to happen in front of plenty of witnesses. Sucat did not care how it was done as long as it was not done in front of Sucat so Sucat could not be blamed. They agreed on a price which was very high but soon Sucat would have plenty of gold. The assassin was another person Sucat would need to eventually get rid of.
He went back to his hall to break his morning fast with the rest of the men. He made sure there was plenty of ale and wine on the table. His father-in-law, the Margrave, drank heavily. Sucat steered the conversation towards hunting, one of his father-in-laws favorite things, almost as popular as wenching. The Margrave announced his intention to go hunting after the morning meal. With as much as the Margrave was drinking he might just fall from his horse and break his neck without anyone’s help.
The men called for their horses and their bows and arrows. Sucat said he needed to stay behind because he felt sure that Captain Kennard would be returning soon with Hyd and Ranee. The Margrave said he felt Sucat was competent to handle it all. He nearly fell getting on his horse. The party rode out of the yard, singing bawdy songs.
When they were gone, Sucat called for a messenger to go out in the woods along the path he had traveled to find the cave and get a report on Captain Kennard’s progress. The man went off in a hurry to do Sucat’s bidding. It would be several hours before the messenger returned with news.
In the meantime, Sucat would go visit his mother. She lived in a house at the back of his property. Despite how much he hated his mother he could not get rid of her. Sucat walked behind his hall and over to his mother’s house. It was a stone building with two floors. She had two women who were in Sucat’s employ that kept watch over Elisabett, Sucat’s mother. They were under strict orders from Sucat to never let Elisabett escape.
Elisabett had the pox and it made her crazy. At first Sucat had believed that his father had given it to her but Franck did not have the pox. His mother had gotten it from some other man. He suspected that she had gotten it from the Grand Duke. Sucat hated his mother for being a whore and he kept her as healthy as possible so that she could suffer as long as possible. He liked watching her drool on herself. He liked watching her pull her hair out. He liked watching her try to hump her furniture.
She had never tried to protect Sucat from his father. There were even times when she directed Franck’s wrath towards his son so that Franck would leave Elisabett alone. There were times when Elisabett beat Sucat herself. She liked to spank his bare ass with her hand. She would pull his leggings down, lay him over her knees and paddle him with her open palm.
Sucat entered his mother’s house which was kept dark because the light bothered her eyes. He kept the front door open to let in the light. As he stood there, his mother moved up to him, her hair tangled and wild. Her chemise hung loosely on her body, the neck line low and falling off of one shoulder. She did not recognize him. She thought he was a man coming to visit her. One of her women arrived in time to pull her off of her son. She moved Elisabett back to sit on a chair. Sucat stood in the doorway watching his mother across the room. She babbled incoherently. Her keeper handed her a cup which Elisabett threw on the floor. The woman slapped Elisabett. Sucat smiled. This was what he had come to see. He enjoyed watching the low born women slapping his mother or pinching her when she misbehaved. They learned a long time ago that they could hurt Elisabett and Sucat would not mind, especially if they did he so he could watch or so he could see the bruises. After watching his mother being abused for an hour he felt calmer and went back home leaving his mother to her fate.
When he got back to his hall, he sat in his chair watching the activity around him and waiting to see if any of his plans would come to fruition today. The afternoon moved slowly. He could not think of any thing else he should be doing right now. He needed to remain visible to everyone just in case.
The sun was moving steadily down towards the horizon and Sucat was beginning to give up hope. He got up and went out back to the outhouse. While in there he heard noise and commotion coming from the hall’s front yard. Something was going on but he took his time finishing up his business. Now that something was happening he was not in a hurry.
To make it look good though he went running when he heard someone yelling for him with panic in their voice. He ran around the corner of the hall and into the yard. There he found horses and men and women milling around in confusion. When someone noticed he had arrived they called him over to a body lying on the ground.
His father-in-law lay on the ground, blood coming out of his ears and nose and mouth. He was barely breathing. As much as he did not want to do it, Sucat ordered the Margrave to be brought into the hall. He had a pallet placed on a wide bench in front of a fire. He had to make the care of his father-in law look good. He could not believe that the man was not dead. Just his luck that he would now be responsible for the care of a sick and injured man. Sucat called for his doctor to be found and brought to the hall. While they were waiting for the doctor he had Jyll clean the man up. The Margrave groaned a few times but never opened his eyes. His breathing was shallow. He stopped breathing several times but started up again.
The doctor arrived and took over the Margrave’s care. He did what he could but there was not much that could be done. Blood kept flowing from his mouth.
“I believe he has bleeding inside that I will not be able to heal,” said the doctor. “The best that you can do is keep him calm and warm and hope for the best.”
The evening meal was quiet and subdued. Sucat, happy with his father-in-law’s injuries because he knew he could not last long, had to act sad and concerned. He talked about how much he liked the man and that he could not believe he would lose another father. The guests who had gone out on the hunt told Sucat that the day did not go well. The Margrave had too much to drink at the morning meal and it had given him a headache that seemed to distract him from what he was doing. He was trying to dismount his horse to go in the bushes when a boar broke through the bushes startling all other the horses. The Margrave’s foot got held up and he fell from his rearing horse falling onto a rock at an odd angle.
The men went off to their pallets early for the night. They all planned to leave in the morning. With the Margrave ill, no one would be reveling so there was no point in staying. Sucat was getting his way once again and his plans were coming together. He posted people to watch over the Margrave for the night. He told Jyll it would not look good for her to sleep with him this night with his father-in-law ill. He sent her off to her own pallet. She was disappointed but she saw his reasoning.
Sucat went to his bed happy with the way the day had gone. He slept well and peacefully. Before the sun rose one of his men came up to get him. The Margrave had died.