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Old 11-19-2015, 06:26 PM   #203
littlemanpoet
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
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Leof and Cerwyn at court

Having slipped in at the last moment as they had, the number on Léof's stone was quite high - they would be near or at the end. He was glad of it; he'd thought it would give him time to plan out what he meant to say. As it turned out, his thoughts seemed to run in muddled circles. He spoke so rarely of his life before; he wondered if Eodwine even knew he had a sister. How to explain - and how much?

Cerwyn was oblivious to her brother's turmoil. At first she was interested in the proceedings, but she quickly realized that the Eorl's court was the most boring possible event she could have arrived in time for. Even the kidnapper's story, which she thought might have been perfectly thrilling if he'd told it the right way, had been too flat and factual. Just as she was thinking it could go on no longer, Lord Eodwine called yet another number and Léof stood up.

"We are next," he said and gestured for Cerwyn to stand with him.

"Wait, what?" she hissed at him, but he just gave her a look and guided her forward.

"Lord Eodwine, this is my sister Cerwyn," he said. "She has... just arrived. I've not spoken to her long yet, but I wanted to ask if there might be a place for her here, if she wishes it."

Eodwine's brow rose, but with a smile said, "I greet you, Cerwyn." He paused. It seemed that Léof was unsure whether she wished to stay or not. "Did you come here, hoping to stay, or was there another reason?"

"I came to find Léof," Cerwyn said. "I thought he might come home with me. I did not know he would not want to."

Léof held his tongue. The less said, the better, it seemed to him, but he could not now tell Cerwyn what not to say without raising more questions.

Eodwine glanced at Léof, who's expression was as middling as he could make it. Eodwine could tell that he was ill at ease, stepping from foot to foot like a horse in the stall wanting to run in the fields. "Is Léof needed at home?"

It briefly occurred to Cerwyn to lie, that maybe then the Eorl would insist Léof go home with her. But no - too many ways for such a scheme to go wrong. "No," she said. "Just missed."

Eodwine smiled, and his heart went out to the girl. He leaned over the table and folded his hands, meeting her eyes. "I think it is too soon for you to bond yourself to Scarburg, surely not for a year or more. You are welcome to stay as a guest as long as you wish, and should you choose to bond yourself here, we can speak of that later. I am sure a place can be found for you. Is there anything else you wish to say?"

"Thank you," said Cerwyn, but Léof interjected.

"One other thing," he said, suddenly remembering. "Maybe I should have brought this up sooner. It seems that Cerwyn... neglected to tell anyone where she was headed. I think the roads will be impassable for several days, but perhaps it could be arranged to send word to our father when the caravan leaves? Or, if she prefers, to be accompanied home?"

Eodwine nodded. "Once the roads can be used again, we can arrange either to send word or see Cerwyn home safely."

“Thank you, lord,” said Léof, and they returned to their seats.
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