Tyves 2, 1015
Everything that could be done, had been done.
Ella had drunk nothing but yarrow tea since the moment her mother arrived. When the Pelleses had run out of yarrow, Rhoslyn had been sent to Ash Thatcher’s tree house to beg some off him. And when Ella began to sweat more drinking Ash’s tea, Kata had kicked herself and swore up and down that she should have gotten Ash’s from the first. Ash’s was the best.
But it hadn’t helped.
Clatan 27, 1015
“Glenna, I can’t be thankin’ ye enough fer doin’ this.” Kata hugged the younger woman. “Rhoslyn needs as much help as she get get ter learn –”
“Hey!” protested Rhoslyn.
“Shush, ye, I didn’t mean it like that.” Kata pulled away from Glenna, rolling her eyes. “What I meant was, Rhoslyn needs ter practice lookin’ things over on as many women as possible. But ye’d be amazed how few women –”
“Are comfortable with lettin’ a thirteen-year-old stick their fingers up their … ye know?” asked Glenna, laughing a little. But there was no hiding her nerves.
Clatan 23, 1015
“Now that’s better,” said Mark as he put the last log into the stove and shut the door.
It was unbelievable. They weren’t even four months into fall yet. As far as Mark was concerned, that meant this was still time for apple picking, and cider drinking, and raking leaf piles for the kids to jump in — all activities practiced when the temperature was reasonable. But today they had woken up to a bone-chilling cold that froze the water in the horses’ troughs and made going out and about impossible if you weren’t bundled up to the point where you could barely move. It just wasn’t fair.
But … Mark stepped back and let the warmth from the stove wash over him. That was the weather for you. Just when you thought you had a handle on it, it went and changed on you. In a few weeks, they’d probably be fanning themselves and searching for cold drinks as summer decided it wanted to make a comeback.
And in the meantime, he had work to do.
Clatan 18, 1015
“And here we are, mein Prince! Takemizu!”
“Yes, my lord?”
“I know for a fact that you’ve never been here before.” Kay turned to Walter with a raised eyebrow. “So … where do you get off acting like the tour guide?”
Clatan 14, 1015
Another day, another … what?
Some might say another copper. Some might say another task accomplished, another check to mark on the great list of life. Some might even point to all the things they had enjoyed, all the little bright spots that shone like stars in a darkened sky.
Delyth was not one of those people.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day …
Clatan 9, 1015
“There’s my chubby little lad,” said Simon as he bent to pick up the baby. “Good mornin’, Andre. Did ye sleep well, m’lad?” He hesitated. “Well — other than those parts when ye were wailin’ fer yer dinner.”
Roma yawned as she got the knife out to begin to chop the peppers and shred the cheese for their morning omelets. Having a newborn in the house somehow never got any easier, even though this was the third time she’d done it. Maybe it was because only one party in the equation ever had any experience in the matter. Roma might think she knew what she was doing — but the baby never did.
And not for the first time, Roma was glad that she worked evenings and nights, not during the daytime. There never were enough hours in the day to get anything done — that was a constant. But during the day, she could let the washing slide or hurry through the mending to catch a quick catnap when Andre and Jemmy were down for their naps.
And … as much as she hated it … maybe there was something to be said for the odd hours Simon kept, too.
Clatan 4, 1015
Of course Freddy would be here first.
Rob managed a small smile as he crossed the worn flagstones that made up the floor of the Dragon’s Teeth. He wished he could be in a more cheerful mood tonight. He was having a guys’ night out, wasn’t he? Far from being annoyed or put out by that, Dannie had practically chase him out the door with a broom, hadn’t she? Business was going well, the children were happy and healthy, Elena was blessedly between teeth at the moment.
But he could never manage to be as happy as he ought to have been at their impromptu fraternity reunions. Not because of the men who came without fail. But because of the one man who couldn’t come any more.