Hard pass
Sun Aug 5, 2018 23:36

Nolan snorted at the unnecessary explanation. Yeah, Nolan wouldn’t be surprised if everyone from Professor Boot to the first-years knew that Connor and Claudia were “quite close.” But then Connor said something Nolan didn’t know. How had no one told him about Connor and Claudia dating in the two and a half years he’d been at RMI? Actually now that he thought about it, Heather might have mentioned something to that effect, but Heather was the sort who’d gossip about whose roof was leaking at the sight of the first raincloud, so Nolan took news from her with a lick’s worth of salt. Apparently she got a point for accuracy.

Connor couldn’t imagine that now? Why not? Maybe it was some kind of weird British propriety thing. Where Nolan was from, courting before a formal arrangement was finalized wasn’t uncommon. This usually happened in the presence of chaperones or at balls or other events with supervision (although that often didn’t stop couples from sneaking off to find somewhere less carefully observed. Nolan and Conrad Axwell had once run interference to give Rufus Epsworth and Caroline Dudley a few minutes of privacy in the Sargents’ courtyard), or through letters. Courting usually led to betrothal announcements, but some couples decided not to advance the relationship and simply moved on to other people.

It made sense. If you were going to buy a horse, you took it for a test fly and made sure you got along with it before signing the check, even if personality wasn’t your biggest priority. Same with engagements: both the guy and the girl should make they could tolerate each other (or at least know what they were in for) before putting it in writing. Again, that wasn’t always the highest priority—Nolan had never been much informed of the political side of society, but he knew plenty of marriages were arranged for assets or connections, not affection—but at best, if you couldn’t stand your wife or husband you’d be miserable with the person you had to spend most of your time with, and at worst, they might try to bump you off or something.

Nolan didn’t know which category of marriage his parents fell into. Sylvanus being the third in line for inheritance when he’d married Marilla (despite owning a lot of property in his own right) and the Cavanaughs being larger and better-connected than the Ramseys made Nolan guess that status and connections weren’t the main reasons they’d gotten hitched. As far as he could tell, his parents liked each other plenty, so it didn’t make a difference what the answer was.

He shrugged. “I dunno. Don’t see why anyone’d object to an informal thing as long as you’re appropriate about it.” RMI was lacking for chaperones, but he doubted Connor would be a cad, especially about anything involving Claudia. “It’s not unheard of my family’s circles. Gives you a chance to figure out whether a betrothal is a good idea. Unless you mean you wouldn’t be interested in a formal arrangement with Claudia?” he asked, the possibility dawning. Nolan’s intentions in courting Alena were honorable, but maybe Connor had no such intentions toward Claudia. Supposing they were quite close enough that Connor considered her more a sister than a prospect, he might not want an entanglement like that with her.

  • Have some hand sanitizer just in case - Connor, Wed Aug 1 13:54
    There was a pleasant silence, during which both Nolan and Connor focused on their breakfast. One reason that Connor liked Nolan was that he was not the sort of person with whom silence was awkward.... more
    • Hard pass - Nolan, Sun Aug 5 23:36
Click here to receive daily updates