Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors, a weekly Sunday hop where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. This week’s snippet comes right after last week’s, as the Dowager Empress tries to get 17-year-old Aleksey to reconsider going to the Sorbonne instead of officially taking the throne and marrying on his upcoming 18th birthday. She’s brushed off his concerns about not wanting to repeat history, and has laid some of the blame for his father’s downfall on his mother.
She ended her lecture by accusing the late Tsaritsa of entrusting her only son’s precarious health to the hands of a pervert, a statement which doesn’t go unchallenged. Grand Duke Mikhail then speaks up on behalf of his nephew instead of siding with his mother in the matter.
Grand Duke Mikhail, far left, in Georgia (the country) in 1896, at age 17 or 18, with his mother, the Dowager Empress; his little sister, Grand Duchess Olga; and his consumptive brother, Grand Duke Georgiy
“He was never a pervert with me, whatever he might’ve done in his personal life. Mama adored me, and never would’ve given my care over to anyone she even remotely suspected was immoral. But to get back to your main question, no, I’m not entertaining thoughts of marriage.”
“Why do you want him to get married so soon?” Mikhaíl asked. “Alyosha knows more than anyone that his life may be short, but he shouldn’t be rushed into marriage and fatherhood as soon as he turns eighteen. What man is mature enough for marriage at that age? Having a romance isn’t the same as a real marriage, to say nothing of being responsible for running a vast empire. I wouldn’t have been ready to be Regent at just eighteen either.”