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Old 02-21-2016, 07:00 PM   #284
littlemanpoet
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Eodwine watched Saeryn come to the table. She looked tired. He had told her to come when she could. Maybe he should have said ‘come the first moment you can.’ Maybe that would have made a difference. She sat next to him, breathed a huge sigh, and with it let all manner of tightness release from her body. He was glad for her that such a move was all she needed. For his part, he felt the tightness in his head, in his chest, and in his gut as well. She picked up a spoon and tried her soup.

“How is the soup?”

“Oh,” Saeryn said, at first. She had not taken any notice. She looked down at it. “Alright, I guess,” she said. “Come spring, there will be fresh herbs to put in. I hope you enjoyed yours, though,” she said, looking up and giving a small smile “At least it is something hot.”

Maybe there would be fresh herbs this spring, if the rains would stop. If? It seemed that it had rained for weeks without let up, and it was beginning to seem uncanny.

“You have been very busy since I asked you to come sit with me.” Eodwine leaned on the table, staring at nothing across the hall, and said no more. He did not know quite how to say what was in his thought.

“Yes,” Saeryn said, resuming her meal. “There were many folk to be fed.” She chose not to speak of her quarrel. It seemed useless to pull him into this trouble.

Eodwine, he said to himself, out with it. “You need to stay above the challenges and quarrels.”

So he had noticed it anyway. She did not look up from her bowl and took another bite before responding. “How am I supposed to run the household if I stay above the challenges, then?” she asked finally.

“You run the household by staying above the challenges. Never make the challenges battles of will. You have all the advantage of your place. You’ll be fine. These kinds of things are needed to refine the gold. It’s not why I asked you to come to me, though. Of course not, since I asked you before that happened.” He let out an involuntary huff of an ironic chuckle.
“Here I am advising you. I wanted to tell you how I feel very much ill suited to Eorldom.”

Saeryn looked up sharply. “Why?” she asked. “Others, including the king, have found you suited for it. Why do you feel otherwise?”

He shrugged. “Who can put why to feelings? It’s a mood. It will pass.” He knew that he was reassuring her but he did not think that it was worth pursuing; he did not think to ask himself why not.



Saeryn forced herself to give pause and wait before answering. She looked at him in silence, thinking that if it was a mood, and if he knew it would pass, why let it trouble him? As a woman, she had learned to ignore passing feelings and carry on. Clearly, her first response would be of no aid to him. She tried to think of something more useful.

“It is certain things have been hard here of late, Eodwine, but it is not due to your lack of leadership. Nothing that has happened is your fault.”

He smiled half heartedly. “I have not been doing my best. So it goes. I think I am being hard on myself after a difficult day.” He stretched. “I think that I do not need so much talk as time with my wife. I am tired. If you have more to do, of course go do it, but I think I am ready to turn in. Please do not linger about your tasks too long.” He placed a hand on her shoulder and gently rubbed a knotted muscle he found there.

The temptation came suddenly to Saeryn to abandon all of her duties and go with her husband this moment. Rowenna would take the slack without a word, she thought. She smiled and then dismissed the thought. She dipped her head and let it rest just a moment on Eodwine’s shoulder.

“I’ll be there as soon as I can,” she promised.
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