(Disclaimer: These scenes are not fully edited. They may make reference to events that no longer happened. These are for your viewing pleasure. Though most all happened in the background of the actual book.Such ‘real’ scenes will be noted as such.)
“Come,” Margorim said to his children. “We will need to get our rest; we will be hard at work from dawn until dusk for the next two months. We should start with a good long rest and a refreshing few hours off.”
“Here, here,” Roxorim said eagerly. Arylana laughed.
After that day of rest they were right at it. Their father wasn’t joking about working from dawn until dusk. It was endless work, all morning working with the inexperienced, and often undisciplined, recruits and their evenings attending meetings and negotiations from different villages, people pleading for help and other commanders and officers of the army.
During these times Arylana thought she might have caught the general’s eyes on her, but when she looked he looked deeply intent on whatever he was working on. It was very odd. It made Arylana nervous. At last she spoke this unease aloud to Roxorim at a late dinner.
He laughed at her. “You still don’t realize it do you.” He said, feeling the wrap on the end of the poker he was holding.
“Realized what?” Arylana snapped.
“He’s like Michael.” Roxorim said.
Arylana blushed. Michael was a boy who’d once had a crush on Arylana, during the year she’d spent in the village. He’d been her first love and Arylana almost wished she could forget how the whole thing started and ended. The middle was a good memory, but anything else was worth forgetting.
“You don’t mean,” Arylana said.
“I do,” Roxorim said, taking a bite out of the wrap on the end of his stick. He spoke through his mouthful, “He likes you.” Roxorim swallowed. “Who could blame him? After you beat up that villager.” Roxorim smiled. “You know if a man doesn’t mind a woman who is as dangerous as a naked sword, you’re just the choice. In fact, some men like women who are like a drawn sword.” He took another bite of his wrap. “And trust me, Mercutio is one of them.”
Arylana felt her face going red. “No, no,” she said.
“Ah, yes, yes.” Roxorim said, swallowing. “He’s even asked me if you were seeing anyone.”
“He didn’t.” Arylana gasped.
“Yes he did.” Roxorim said. “He of course pretended he was only wondering, but I could tell.”
Then Arylana became suspicious. “You mean he hasn’t openly told you he likes me.” Arylana said.
Roxorim gave Arylana a look. “Come on,” he said, “We’re guys; we don’t talk like that, most of all to the girl’s brother. Only thing worse than that would be saying it to her father and that’s suicide by mad man.”
“You’re making it up.” Arylana said, “In your head you want him to like me.”
“You really think I’d do that?” Roxorim asked.
“Yes,” Arylana said, “I think you would. You’ve never even thought of marriage yourself, because you’re so busy keeping me safe from any man who comes to close.”
“You know that’s right.” Roxorim said proudly, taking a ruff bite out of his supper.
Arylana narrowed her eyes at him. “So now you’ve found one you like, you are hoping he’ll fall in love with me and marry me, so you can stop worrying.”
“Well as much as that sounds like a good idea and not that I wouldn’t do that, but I’m not.”
“Yes you are, you just think you aren’t.” Arylana said, “You’re tricking yourself as much as me.”
“Suit yourself,” Roxorim said, swallowing his huge bite. “Be a spinster your whole life.”
Arylana hit his arm hard. “Ow!” Roxorim said.
“What is going on?” their father’s voice boomed over to them.
“Roxorim’s just being an idiot.” Arylana said, glaring at her brother.
“That sounds normal.” Margorim sighed, sitting down next to his son and picking up one of the uncooked wraps and putting it on a stick.
As he put it over the fire he looked at his children. “Progress?” he asked.
“Being made,” Arylana said, feeling her own wrap.
“Look what that little one did to my arm.” Roxorim said, showing them a deep bite mark on his arm. “I told him to use whatever weapon he thought was his best and he bit me. The nurse tried to wrap it.”
“That’s a good bite.” Margorim said.
“Good thing it’s not full moon you might be howling if it was.” Arylana said, smirking at Roxorim.
Roxorim made an “a-ah” face at his sister mockingly. Their father ignored the comment.
They were quiet for a moment, allowing their food to cook or be eaten. At last Roxorim sighed and leaned back to look up at the stars. “What do you think Cedrick is up to right now?” he asked.
“Sleeping,” Arylana said, “And I bet he’ll be asleep until nine. He never got up in the morning.” She lay down to look up at the constellations.
Their father joined them. “Who knows what he’s doing.” He sighed. “By now he’s read every book in the house, six times, I’m sure.”
“What would you have done to keep yourself busy if you were still at home?” Roxorim asked Arylana.
Arylana smiled. “I’d be exploring the forest.” Arylana said, “Then I’d make a book of all the helpful herbs in them and try to make new elixirs for healing and the like.”
“Do you think that’s what Cedrick is doing?” Roxorim asked.
Arylana laughed, “He’d eat his shoes before he do that.” Arylana said, “At least, not on his own idea. I bet he’s either hitting his head against the wall or he’s just sleeping the time away.”
They all went quiet again. “I wish he was here.” Roxorim sighed. “He’d be good for a laugh about now.”
“Only because you made fun of him.” Arylana said, giving her brother a look.
“Oh yeah, I forgot about that.” He grinned.
“As long as he’s safe, I don’t care what he’s up to.” Margorim sighed.
Arylana and Roxorim looked at him. The sincerity in his voice surprised them. They looked at each other.
“Even if he’s doing magic?” Arylana tested.
Margorim sighed. “Well no, but I’d prefer him safe and hidden, doing magic that being in danger.”
Arylana made a face and looked at Roxorim. He returned the look.
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