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Old 05-04-2008, 02:27 PM   #80
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Location: The Edge of Faerie
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Eodwine took his time walking back to the tents. Saeryn was back. Why? Had she been with the queen in Edoras, or elsewhere? If she had been with the queen, why had she not sent notice of any kind in two months, unless she had wanted to have nothing more to do with them? But here she was. Did she return for him? He was not sure what to think, and was not in the least certain whether he dared or cared to hope. The irony was not lost on him that just this morning he had as good as told Rowenna that he would consider her for a wife if she became more of what he wanted in one. And now here was Saeryn, to whom he had virtually proposed; and she had refused. He liked to tell himself that it had been a matter of timing, that she might change her mind some day, but he had never been sure he could believe it.


"Hm? What?"

It was Erbrand. "I said, had anyone seen the prowler before this day?"

"Oh! I am sorry. I was lost in thought. Falco, the hobbit, saw tracks yesterday, but that was the first sign of prowlers. Please excuse me, Erbrand, it seems there is a newcomer to greet."

"Aye, lord."

Eodwine picked up his pace and Erbrand fell behind, but continued to follow him, even as the distance between them grew. The man was probably curious about the maiden with the noble bearing. It was understandable. Who would not be?

There was Rowenna, having stopped in her kitchen duties; she was walking toward Saeryn as well. Eodwine wondered what that might mean, if anything.


Rowenna was still full of smiles and the flush of hope from Eodwine's word to her when she heard of the newcomer. None had spoken to her about this maiden before now, but many of the others seemed to know her. 'Saeryn of the Folde,' they called her. Rowenna had asked Kara quickly about her and had been told that she was of noble birth and had fled from her brother who sought to tame her, and had become hostess of Eodwine's house for a time until she had left, for reasons Kara did not say.

Well, Rowenna decided that she could stand to learn a thing or two from someone of noble birth if she was going to become the wife of an eorl some day, and it would not hurt to make a new friend. She wanted to make a good impression on this Saeryn before anyone else could say anything to dim Saeryn's view of her. She was especially interested in this Saeryn, as someone who refused to be tamed; that gave them something in common, it seemed to her, something on which to build a friendship. A stray thought leapt into her mind that this young woman might be a rival for the eorl's affections, but she banished the thought from her mind in her newfound hope for a friend.

Léof had handed her horse off to another, and was coming toward her. Rowenna passed him by without a word. She could see that the little girl Léoðern had already greeted her and was talking at a gallop while she paid the girl attention but glanced over her head as if looking for someone. Rowenna walked up to them as gaily as she knew how.

"Hello, Saeryn of the Folde, I am Rowenna. Welcome!"

In the moment of silence before Saeryn answered, Rowenna noticed that she was very pretty, and the mizbite of a thought came buzzing back into her head that here was a rival; Rowenna ignored it and gave Saeryn her best smile.


Eodwine saw that Rowenna had hurried out from the baker and walked right by Léof, and had stopped in front of Saeryn. He frowned. What was this? What was the girl up to? He slowed his pace. Léof came near.

"What news, Léof?"

"Saeryn has returned. She asked for water. I am getting it."

Eodwine nodded. Normally that would be something Rowenna would have seen to right away, but she had not waited to be asked. Strange. What was she up to? Would it be best to interrupt their greeting, or to wait until it was done? Right there and then Eodwine decided that he preferred to greet Saeryn with a crowd of others around. So he stopped and waited about fifteen paces from them, and Erbrand stopped by him. Others were coming and halted also, creating a half circle into which it was obvious that Saeryn would be welcomed. Eodwine folded his arms and waited, keeping a smile on his face.

Last edited by littlemanpoet; 05-04-2008 at 02:36 PM.
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