Private Tales Where the Heart Is

Discussion in 'The Chronicles' started by Skuld Zajac, Apr 12, 2019.

  1. Skuld Zajac

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    Skuld Zajac Former Templar

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    Skuld had taken her leave once the fortress had been cleared, at least she hoped it had been cleared. It was hard to truly know until every nook and cranny had been gone over with tremendous scrutiny in a place so large. She had bid her company farewell, only a few of them failing to keep emotions out of their farewells as their former commander took her leave. Her horse was unhappy with the extra provisions she had been given, but every night she made sure to brush and groom as best she could to make up for it.

    A week's travel from her family's estate, Cecil and Cecily found her. Her twin cousins were quick to accompany her, the sheer joy of seeing her plainly upon their faces as they assailed her with questions. Least of all about the rumors of her attending the McArthur funeral some time back.

    She admitted to being there, and both seemed pleased with themselves. Questions began flowing about why she had returned and what of her duty to the Templars. She informed them of her retiring from the order, but withheld any definitive reason for coming home.

    At least she tried to until one night they caught sight of the McArthur crest she wore. The wide and knowing smiles were all the more she needed to see to understand well enough that they had figured out why she had returned.

    The teasing commenced the next morning, and for the next few days until they came into Zajac lands. Cecil fired a bolt of magic into the air, which exploded harmlessly in a shower of bright gold and silver sparks just within eyesight of the house. It announced their presence well as a myriad of people slowly exited the place.

    Halfway up the road, a whooping voice could be heard.

    “What did you two drag home?” her uncle, their father called.

    “Found a stray. Thought we'd bring it home and give it a bath an food.” Cecily shot back with a cheery tone. Laughter came from several of the forms, the tall blonde woman among them was not one of them however.

    Her mother, tall as Skuld was stood quietly, eyes never leaving her daughter's face as she came within arms reach. Awkward silence followed for a short time, her father easing around his wife and hugging his daughter.

    “It's good to see you girl. How long will you be staying?” Barrick asked solemnly. She had never stayed long in the past, only enough to rest a night and restock when she drifted through. A small smile appeared when Skuld spoke in return.

    “I had hoped to put the horse away, but I don't imagine a meal is ready for my return home. So a trip to town is likely in order.” She quietly replied. Her mother's face went blank and her father's changed to astonishment.

    “Re-return!?” Barrick sputtered, glancing back to his wife before clutching Skuld's hands tightly. “You aren't joking, are you!?”

    She shook her head and the silence broke suddenly after they all looked to one another briefly. Joyous noise ensued and her mother seemed confused, her expression falling between disbelief and anger.

    “Let's get to town then! This is reason to celebrate!” Barrick announced as he took the from Skuld the horse and walked toward the gate. The rest fell away to fetch their own things as she and her mother remained. Barrick looked back, stopping a moment and calling to his wife in what sounded like a plea.

    “Sasha-”

    “I need a moment, please. Alone. With my daughter.” She spoke carefully. The words carrying held back tears as he nodded and walked on without another word. Sasha's eyes went to the ground, hand covering her mouth as she seemed to struggle. Skuld was quiet, watching her mother intently. The two stood silently for what felt like ages before her mother looked up finally.

    Her eyes were tear bright as she spoke.

    “You are well and truly home then? You aren't leaving at the call of your order to go fight some terrible thing again? I don't want to welcome you home only to have you-” Her mother began to speak in anger as tears streamed, her words cut short as Skuld stepped forward and hugged her tight.

    “No mother, I'm home.” She said quietly as the woman began crying, clutching her tightly. Silence hung in the air around them, only broken by her gentle crying as her father came into view with a weak smile, three horses in tow. She patted her mother's shoulder, the woman taking only a moment to wipe her eyes before turning to her husband. Her eyes were red, and her smile wobbled a bit as he smiled more, his own eyes red as well.

    Seven in total left the house, all on horseback as they rode into town mid morning. They bantered back and forth the entire way, promises of stories and sparring abound as they dismounted and left their horses in the stable. Skuld was dressed down compared to her usual attire. The light gambeson left her arms exposed, and the riding boots she wore paired well with her trousers.

    Her twin cousins had just finished telling a story about how one job they had been hired for turned out to be nothing more than young boys harassing a farmer. They had done this by dressing up as scarecrows, and the boys had all but wet themselves when the pair had been cornered as the group laughed, Skuld laughing the loudest at the thought of them coming upon the lads with sword and magic at the ready.

    Keiran MacArthur
     
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  2. Keiran MacArthur

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    "And are you sure you aren't going to visit their estate? I can point you int he direction." Weis teased Keiran as they walked beside each other, hoping to get a rouse from the MacArthur. He was rewarded with a playful shove.

    "Sure... I show up and say what exactly... Good tidings, my name is Keiran and I fancy your daughter?" He replied with a chuckle. "Get on... You should be on your way back... Tis a long ride you have ahead of you."

    "Get on he says... As if I am in any rush to report back to Eddard... The man runs us harder then they did in the garrison I will have you know... I am treating this every bit of the holiday it is..." Weis said as he rubbed his aching shoulders.

    "Funny... I don't recall any other Highlanders complaining.. I suppose we are the better men, low lander." Keiran said with a smirk.

    "You take that back! We both know that in a battle I'd... Land at least one hit on you?" Weis admitted and the pair laughed together.

    "Plans on returning home soon?" Weis question as the pair came to a slow stop in the middle of the busy street.

    "Home you say... You know when mother requested that you lot be allowed to stay with us, I didn't picture you calling it home so quickly." Keiran said pointing out how quick Weis seemed to transition.

    "Ever heard of the saying home is where the heart is? And oh there are so many hearts in Edenham." Weis had a flare for dramatics.

    "Mind yourself... Those are fine Highlander hearts you speak of." Keiran corrected his dear friend.

    "Yet you fancy a Zajac." And they had arrived full circle it seemed. "You know... Rumors of you two may have already reached this far north."

    For the last two nights, Keiran had toured the land of one Skuld Zajac thanks to an assignment his uncle had entrusted him with. The affair with the issues in the coast had come to an end and all that had been left was to deliver his findings to his uncles courier. The information itself had been sensitive and his uncle believed it better for Keiran to hand over his findings outside the city itself. The man had been at this craft for longer then Keiran and he was not about to question him or his reasoning.. Yet at least. It was pure coincidence that the meeting spot that had been chosen belonged to a particular family.


    What wasn't coincidence was the fact that the meeting was set to take place tomorrow yet Keiran had arrived days before hand. Perhaps he did hope to chance a encounter with someone in particular, though as far as he knew a certain Templar was not in this area currently. Still hopes were high though.

    Meeting with Weis, Keiran gleamed as much information on his home back in Edenham, eager to see what had transpired in his absence but more importantly, his friend would be tasked with traveling with a copy of his findings. He thought it best that perhaps his uncle was not the only one with a written copy of what had transpired it seemed. The pair had met in town and did nothing more then enjoy the inns ale and food, appearing to be noting more then to be two sellswords. Both went great lengths to conceal their identity, meaning neither had any markings suggesting their loyalty to the Highland clan. Plain tan colored gambeson and chain mail coupled with their swords marked them as fighters and nothing more.

    "I shall return in fortnight... Unless my uncle has other designs... If so I will send word... Travel safe brother... And no more talk of rumors... We fancy each other so it's truth at this point." Keiran said and the two clasped hands.

    Keiran stood there watching one of his dearest friends part ways when a particular family made their way down the road behind him. What a coincidence.
     
  3. Skuld Zajac

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    Through squinted eyes, and hearty laughter, she saw two figures ahead. One of which began to walk away as the whole family came closer. The familiar stance of the man had her taking stock of him, a sword at his side and a plain gambeson with chain for added protection. Not terribly uncommon for Vel Anir, and especially so with the family that began to pass him by. The cousins were first to pass him, Cecily turning in time, meaning to speak to her father and instead able to watch as Skuld passed him by. Her face turned as they passed to examine his as she came to a dead stop in the middle of the street.

    Cecily snickered as Cecil turned as well, Skuld's mouth agape at the sight of Keiran. The tell tale necklace of his clan's marking beneath the gambeson as she turned to him completely. Sasha nearly plowed through her daughter, now a fixture in the road instead of a moving part of it.

    "Keiran?" Skuld blinked as his face came into view, before a crash happened with her mother, and her father did his best to keep both women upright. Barrick held onto his wife, an arm around her waist as Skuld was sent forward towards the man. Her fathers hand had intended to keep them apart, and instead ended up throwing her forward.

    Cecily and Cecil both watched in horror as the entire thing happened in split seconds. Their own parents were helpless to assist, doing little more than making small noises of distress as both reached out to try and catch the former templar.
     
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  4. Keiran MacArthur

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    "Skuld?!" Came his instant response upon hearing her.

    The MacArthur had watched his friend walk off and was keenly aware of the group passing him however it wasn't until he heard her voice that he did really take notice. He looked to her with a mask of confusion worn upon his face that faded quickly as a smile played across his lips. "Skuld!" He said once more once his eyes fell upon her face.

    For a moment there was no one else, just her standing there before him and they were reunited once more. A moment that passed as quickly as it begun as her entourage crashed into each other and she was pushed forward. Keiran quickly took her in his arms, mistaking the moment for her going in to embrace him. Of course as he pulled her in, it would dawn on Keiran to look to her party and as he scanned each other their faces did it begin to sink in who her traveling companions where.

    "Oh.. oh heavens." He released her stepped aside and offered a polite bow. "M'lords and Ladies."

    Of course if Skuld was here in her families lands it only made sense for her to be traveling with them. What a dunce he proved to be at this moment.
     
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  5. Skuld Zajac

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    Barrick, Cecil, and Cecily had all the view they needed to see Skuld and Keiran interact. And the way he hugged, more than caught her did not go unnoticed as well. When the man released her and promptly stepped aside with a bow, Barrick held his wife for a moment longer while Sasha righted herself. The uncle and aunt passed glances up and down the street while Sasha took a gander at the man that had caused her daughter to stop.

    Eyes narrowed, and the name jarred her memory. Keiran MacArthur, the lapdog of the Banick's. The former war-maiden stared at the man, her husband finally letting her go as she fixed her attire.

    "You grace us, Lord MacArthur, with your presence. Strange of you to be this way on a whim, or perhaps you had heard of my daughters return already?" Sasha tried to tease, her tone however lacked the sarcastic tone that would tell the man she was joking. Barrick laughed at her words however and addressed Keiran instead.

    "My wife is teasing, Lord MacArthur. But you seem to be on business so-" The man nodded to Skuld and cleared his throat.

    "I'm sure Lord MacArthur wouldn't mind joining us." Cecil half mumbled, Cecily covered her mouth with a hand and turned away from the group. The twin's parents coughed harshly, Barrick and Sasha blinking a moment and looking to each other as Skuld looked to Keiran.

    "Are you to busy to take a break?" Skuld asked quietly, half leaning from where she stood beside him while watching her parent's.
     
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  6. Keiran MacArthur

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    "I... Can take a break... I wish not to intrude however." He smiled, more so out of respect and the fact he hadn't a clue how to handle this moment.

    The honest truth, he'd wanted nothing more then to be in her company and knowing now that she was here, perhaps he could day to steal a moment of her time. But she was out with her family and he was acutely aware of how awkwardly he was handling this moment. "I am far yes... I hope it is not a problem my visiting your lands unannounced... I wished not to trouble you m'lord I was originally planning to simply pass through but found myself held up." He offered his explanation as was only right.
     
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  7. Skuld Zajac

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    Sasha looked to Barrik, who looked to Skuld for an answer. To give her credit, she didn't squirm under her father's inquisitive scrutiny.

    "You wouldn't be intruding. We are actually going to get something to eat. Come with us." Skuld nodded down the way towards their destination.

    Sasha nodded as he explained his presence, and she waved away the concern. "We aren't so hung up on people passing through our land, it is just a surprise to see you. I hope your business is pleasant at least."

    Cecil nudged to Cecily as the two of them watched the interaction, eyes trained on Skuld and Keiran rather than their elders. The twins were a decade younger than Skuld, and yet to go much farther than Alliria in their mercenary work. Skuld eyed them both, neither one meeting her eyes.

    "We would not mind your company since it seems, well, you have a vested interest in her." Sasha tried to say politely, again, her tone failing to convey the teasing in her tone. Barrick laughed, giving Keiran a smile and trying to make it plain that his wife was teasing.
     
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  8. Keiran MacArthur

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    Was it that obvious? Was it the hug that gave him away? The way he said her name? Weis had made mention of rumors but he couldn't be telling the truth? Then he heard her father's laugh and saw that they were teasing him... To a degree. Keiran managed to lose the wide eye look, for the most part and mustered a small smile.

    "Thank you... If it isn't any trouble.. I would very much enjoy joining you today."

    And now he had a nice reminder that not to long before, Skuld had to endure such a similar interaction with his own family. It was only fair now that the shoe was on the other foot. "Apologies for my lack of finery... Traveling alone and do not wish to draw to much attention to myself." He went on to explain his drab appearance.
     
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  9. Skuld Zajac

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    Skuld gave a small look to her entourage, her mother and father leaving it to her while the rest didn't seem to mind at all. The twins gave her a smile, already well informed it seemed about the pair. A shrug came from Skuld as she turned to Keiran.

    "It would not be any trouble." She offered, extending a hand to him. Her mother's eye narrowed a moment as Barrik grinned. The real reason for her retiring began to dawn on the pair, and they weren't entirely sure what to make of it just yet.

    The twins father piped up at his last comment, picking at his own clothes.

    "You are in good company then. Skuld surprised all of us, else we would have changed our sparring gear for something better." All of them seemed to be in some state of arming gear, the twins being the only ones with casual clothing on.
     
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  10. Keiran MacArthur

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    There was no hesitation on his part as he took the offered hand and gave it a faint squeeze before stepping up beside her, arm looped onto her own. He was aware of the looks they gave him, curious as to his intentions and well, they were pure and in no need of hiding. His feelings for her would not be contained to just the MacArthur lands after all it seemed.

    "I am discovering she has a way with that... Surprising people I mean... I must admit... I did hope she would turn up here while pulling one of those surprise visits." Keiran said ending with a cheeky grin. Though his face had the usual amount of scruff Skuld may have come to find as normal for him, his hair had grown noticeably longer and he was in need of a cut. Time away on the road prevented him from seeing to that it seemed. It had a way of making his hair appear lighter and those green eyes did stand out more, so perhaps he'd keep it, depending on what she thought of course.
     
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  11. Skuld Zajac

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    Skuld was not shy to her parents, a smile and look that dared them to say something on her features as Sasha looked over the pair. Barrik looked over them also, eyes darting back and forth between daughter and wife as he gave Keiran a grin.

    "She is full of surprises like her mother. Takes a lot after her too, so don't be cowed." The man offered as he danced out of arms reach of his wife. She had done little more than turn her head as he moved, but the wry smile was enough.

    "I know where you sleep darling."

    "Oh aye. Especially since I have to wrestle covers from you every night."
    Barrik teased her as he moved further out of reach, Sasha taking a full step towards him.

    "Ease up you bear. Might scare off the only prospect of grand children." The twins father chuckled. She rounded on him, the white marks similar to her daughter's.

    "Alright. We don't need a street brawl first thing when I get back. I don't want to carry you all home."
    Skuld huffed, beginning to lead the way toward the tavern. Her mother grumbled as her father could not help but laugh to himself.
     
  12. Keiran MacArthur

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    Thankfully Keiran found himself in good company which eased the tension from the moment. he even found himself laughing lightly at her parents, her father appearing to be ever so playful. Still chuckling, Keiran would lean closer to Skuld and speak in a low soft voice. "Good to know I'm the only prospect... No need for competition."

    Though it was premature, Keiran was already picturing a banquet between their families and he could see a lot of laughing shared between the two... And perhaps alot of wine, judging how both of them had no issues downing their fair share.
     
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  13. Skuld Zajac

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    "No one else caught my eye." Skuld gave him a measured look, but a small smile gave away her amusement. Indeed, there was no competition from others. Most everyone else did not look at the Zajac daughter and see a woman, but a warrior. That fact alone tended to slim down prospective offers. There was her status as a templar also, which removed the rest.

    Not that the thought had ever been a particular bother for her until recently. Even her parents had dropped the conversation of her settling down the last few times she had been able to visit. Her mother still looked them both over however, her father grinning as he made idle chatter with the other man.

    "How is it you two came to meet? The two of you come out of some gallant fight the only survivors...or maybe she-" Cecily asked, turning around to face the pair after racing ahead of Skuld and Keiran. Sue had stopped her question, frowning at her cousin before continuing, nodding to Keiran as she spoke. "Or maybe you were hurt and she nursed you back to health?"

    It seemed her intent was not to lead, but rather to walk backwards and throw questions. Cecil did not turn around however, acting as a guide for his sister. Skuld frowned for a brief moment, realizing why she had cut herself short.

    "I get hurt too. I'm not invincible."
    She protested. Cecily simply stared at her.
     
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  14. Keiran MacArthur

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    "No one else better had." He said offering her a weary glance as he teased her. "Watch this he then said with a mischievous grin."

    "We fought a cave troll together.. Well Skuld did... I was to scared to lift my sword." Keiran said with as much of a plain face as possible. He failed to keep his face straight however and soon allowed a chuckle to slip past his lips. "It was not a meeting any bard would sing ballads over in terms of valor or honor... Just two souls enjoying a camp fire food and drink on a lonely hill.... Though the company was amazing. We found we had much in common I suppose..." He shared their simple story of how they met and the night they shared exchanging stories and plainly just enjoying each other's company.
     
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  15. Skuld Zajac

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    The amused smile he received was short lived as he decided to spin his own tale, albeit a brief one that had Cecily looking at him intently. Skuld resisted the urge to shake her head in disbelief as he tried to feed her curiosity. When the real story came out however, the girl seemed dissatisfied with it at first. Cecil gave her a glance full of mischief.

    "Kept each other plenty warm on a cold night?" Cecily teased, Skuld tensing as she reached an arm out toward her. The girl flitted back a step with a wide grin.

    "We shared stories and then went to our own tents you little scamp." Skuld hissed. Cecily frowned again, looking to her twin for a split second as she looked back to the pair.

    "Travels the land, comes back with stories of near death and terrific battles. Fights undead and other things that go bump in the night, but gives up the order for a MacArthur. Did you put a spell on my dear cousin?" She grinned at Keiran. Barrik even chuckled at the words, her mother giving only the slightest smile as she watched.

    The older woman was stoic, her face not betraying the calm peace that she felt as she watched her daughter hold herself with Keiran.

    "Perhaps a calm heart is what it takes dear neice to bring a warrior home." Barrik offered as he patted Sasha's hand. Both twins, and their parents turned to the man.

    "You, calm? The only calm about you is a food stupor." Sasha's brother teased Barrik, earning him a mock expression of insult. Hand to the chest and mouth agape as though truly hurt by the words.

    "Where do you think little stick in the mud gets it from?" Skuld's father sent the teasing barb her direction. Both mother and daughter did little more than sigh at the comment. It was plainly obvious who she took after, and everyone looking at him shifted their gaze to Sasha.

    "Have you put him through the paces yet?" Cecil threw back to Skuld, the tavern slowly beginning to come into sight. An eyeroll was the immediate reply as she drew in a sharp breath.

    "I don't think it's necessary-"

    "She hasn't!" Cecily beamed.

    "I call it!" Barrik bellowed.

    "Damn you!" the twin's mother hissed. The three triangles beneath her eyes were a completely different set of colors. Two green and flanked by a single blue. Cecily's were one blue, followed by a green and a white. Cecil's were two blues and a single white, while Skulds father's actually had a fourth triangle. A blue, white, green, and red.

    He was the only one in the whole company to bear four marks, all of which were a different color. All of them seemed eager for the task, even Sasha gave her husband a side glance at his quickness.
     
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  16. Keiran MacArthur

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    "I think it was the thick Highlander accent which won her over, we are a charming bunch... But... What are these paces you speak of?" Keiran was curious, wondering what the excited bunch had planned for him.

    He would look to Skuld, narrowing his eyes just slightly as if to ask her with out words, should I be worried? He didn't think so, as he didn't believe her family would put him in harms way. Still he was realizing that winning her hand would not be as simple as saying he cared for her. Perhaps he had to show his worth to fit in with the Zajac bunch.
     
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  17. Skuld Zajac

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    Skuld looked beside herself, but it was hard to tell if it was frustration or something else as she looked to Keiran with an apologetic look. She hadn't even thought to warn him the last time they had spoke, and it seemed fortune did not favor them with escaping it.

    "Oh nothing too serious. And since you keep the Banick Lion company, you should be fair for the first part of it." Barrik chuckled. Skuld seemed very much done with the topic, her eyes shutting tightly for a brief moment as her father spoke. Sasha shook her head, unable to shake her own smile as she spoke.

    "You gave my father a run for his money if memory serves." She smirked, Barrik rubbing his hands together at the mention of it.

    "Oh I did. Old man Zajac didn't stand a fair chance though. I was still fairly young then, and he was a might bit older." He chimed as he seemed to ponder something.
     
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  18. Keiran MacArthur

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    It seemed there was a challenge afoot, at least that was what he gathered from the back and forth. Catching the look she offered him, Keiran shot her a wink accompanied with a little smirk and a hand squeeze. The holy trinity of reassurance offered to show her he would be fine.

    "In which case I suppose I'm blessed to not have worn my fancy clothes." He added into the conversation, not one to shy away. In his time spent in service, many a day was spent fighting boredom with gambling and challenges. This couldn't be any worse then that, right?
     
  19. Skuld Zajac

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    "Blessed indeed. Though stripping down isn't frowned upon." Barrik chuckled. A small cough from Sasha drew his attention however as she nodded toward Skuld.

    "We'll have to limit how much she has. She's always been a lightweight, and embarrassing at that." Sasha teased her daughter, getting a pointed look from Skuld.

    "I don't embarass myself." Skuld hissed. All of her family members stared at her. "Then let's eat before we get any further with that. An empty stomach doesn't make it easy."

    The group finally came upon the inn they had been destined for, Barrik glancing to Keiran before talking.

    "I'll be with you all in a minute. Gotta get something and I'll be right back." The rest of them shook their head, and Skuld pulled Keiran inside to avoid questions.

    "It's a silly family thing we do. Have you played chubby bunny before?" Skuld whispered to him as they waited a moment for a table to be cleaned up.
     
  20. Keiran MacArthur

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    Keiran's head never stopped moving, switching from one family member to the next before he was suddenly pulled away by Skuld, caught off balanced and forced to stumble about on one foot until he finally caught his balance. His eyes were locked upon her own carrying an amused glint to silently question her as to what was going on.. And then she told him.. And he was still ever so confused.

    "Chubby... Bunny... Are we going on a hunt?" He said with a tilt of his head as the question was posed and he stood there, the model example for innocence it would seem.
     
  21. Skuld Zajac

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    "Not a hunt, no. Usually it's a game were kids fill their mouths with food and say silly phrases. We...took it and made it our own." Skuld informed him quickly as her mother came in with them. Sasha watched her a moment, her face telling plainly that she had caught what her daughter was saying.

    "It would be fair to warn you, we play with fruit soaked in grain alcohol. Very quick games when my husband is the lead."
    Sasha chuckled. She shook her head as the rest of the family filtered in, missing only Barrik as they were taken to a table and orders placed.

    "So, Lord MacArthur. The Banick's running you ragged for them or are they pretty easy to get along for?" Cecil asked, waiting for his drink to arrive.
     
  22. Keiran MacArthur

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    Keiran MacArthur Well-Known Member

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    Oh drinking.. he could do drinking. But it was grain alcohol... Which meant in a few hours Keiran would be done for. As long as Skuld was close by, he imagined he would be well however. Looking to her, he managed a smile in acknowledge of the promise of a fast game. One could only hope it was fast.

    Filing in with the rest of her family, he found himself a seat, sure to pull out Skuld's chair and such. She may be a warrior but she was also his lady. Taking his seat beside her, he reached for her hand once more, taking it under the table and away from prying eyes. Of course he knew the party at hand were not daft and would sure to spy even the most subtle of movements.

    Looking to Cecil, he could only nod at first before formulating the right words. "Ambitious family... I have no shortage of leg work keeping me busy."
     
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  23. Skuld Zajac

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    Skuld Zajac Former Templar

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    Cecil nodded, happy with his reply. Sasha only cast a brief glance to Keiran as he pulled out her daughter's seat, giving Skuld a smirking smile as she sat herself down. They assorted themselves and began to look between Sasha and Skuld. They had questions gleaming in their eyes, but none dared to ask yet.

    Skuld took his hand as well, giving a soft squeeze before addressing her mother.

    "Do we still have guest rooms at the house that are open? I don't want to let him leave when dad is leading. All of us will be blessed to make it back to our rooms." She asked bluntly. Cecil and Cecily both snickered as her mother frowned.

    "Unless you count the parlor as a bedroom I'm afraid not. I-" Sasha was cut off as Cecily cut in.

    "Sorry, we've got them all full up." She chimed, receiving a look from her own father. Sasha mulled for a moment, her gaze falling on Keiran for a moment longer.

    "I'll take the parlor then." Skuld offered as she returned the gaze. Something along the lines of amusement filled her mother's eyes.

    "Don't trust yourself cousin?" Cecily chided her. A small blush appeared as she rounded on her cousin, her mother's hand coming up before she could form words and effectively silencing her.

    "Skuld." A singular word, tone carrying authority as she stopped a bickering before it started.
     
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  24. Keiran MacArthur

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    Keiran MacArthur Well-Known Member

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    The quick back and forth had his head turning which each sentence spoken as Skuld asked to put him up then the news of no vacancy filtered in. By the end, Skuld had seemingly offered to place him in her own room and take the parlor. Of course with the witty jab by Cecil, Keiran could see Skuld about to fire off when her mother interjected.

    It was then Keiran finally saw his own opportunity to speak up. "I thank you for the offer dear, but I have a room at the inn just around the way. I would hate to put you out for my sake... Besides you've just arrived, you deserve a moment to relax in your own bed... besides I've discovered this trick that if I stuff enough hay on one side, it helps balances out how crooked the mattress is and i don't go sliding off in the middle of the night." He short her a wink and added a little grin at the end to show he was joking.
     
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  25. Skuld Zajac

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    Skuld Zajac Former Templar

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    Skuld looked for a split second like a child once more to her mother, that frown of her daughters reminiscent of times passed as she turned to face her mother with an unspoken apology. Sasha looked to Keiran as he spoke, and Skuld gave him a small laugh.

    She spied the twins smiling like a cat that ate the canary at his word choice as she turned to look at him. The frown deepened a little as he spoke of his own room and finally figuring out how to be comfortable on the arranged hay.

    "You aren't putting me out my dear. More likely to sleep on the floor of my room before I sleep on the bed. I don't think the soft feel of it will allow me to sleep." Skuld shot back to him. Her words held a joking tone, but she knew well enough it would take her some time before she decided to wrestle with the comforts of home once more.

    "We would not want to chance you getting lost after the game. Trust one that has gone against her bull headed father far too many times and lost." Sasha explained quietly, the smile she wore was barely visible.

    Her brother nodded on agreement, shortly after shaking his head in defeat. "For how little he drinks, he can put it away for that little game." He muttered, watching as their food and drink arrived.

    "Besides, the bed is large enough for my horse and I with room to spare." Skuld informed him before releasing his hand and clapping her hands together while looking over her meal. A steak with vegetables, and an ale to finish it off, similar to everyone else's with slight variances here and there of portions.

    Sasha slid a plate to the empty seat beside her, before tucking into her meal. Barrik had yet to return, but what was keeping him remained yet a mystery that none of them were disclosing.

    "Besides Lord MacArthur, you will get to enjoy watching us spar in the morning while being woefully hungover." Cecil offered before taking a bite of his potatoes and smiling to Skuld. "Have to see if our beloved badger still has it in her."

    Skuld was mid bite with a small cut of steak as her own smile appeared, the piece waving toward him a moment before pointing to Keiran. "Afraid I've only gotten better. You might see if Keiran wouldn't be too much of a challenge for you ya' skunk." Skuld decided to wrangle him into the fun, now content to smirk at her cousin who now looked over the man a little more seriously.

    "I'm not about to go up against him until you've got his ring on your finger. That medallion doesn't count." Cecil fired back waving his finger where he figured the necklace would be while Sasha began giving her daughter a questioning look. Skuld's lips thinned under the scrutiny, tugging at the leather loop that held his crest until it was in the open. The sigh could have been interpreted as annoyed if it weren't for the grin her mother had, along with the quick glance between Keiran and Skuld before returning to her meal with a nod.

    The relief in Skuld was evident as her hand returned below the table and gave his leg a squeeze.
     

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