View Full Version : Wrap Up Warm, Mace/Rhaelle , (10/10, morning)
11-17-2010, 11:55 AM
Things were getting very close to being finished. As much as he could, Mace had tried to think of every eventuality, every need, every tiny detail of running a house, the farms, the defense of even a small holding such as Yronhold. He knew he could trust Boris. He knew he could rely on Walden. But still . . .
He rubbed his jaw thoughtfully, looking over a list that had been penned the night before, all of the items now neatly crossed off – Walden’s work not his. Mace wasn’t a list kind of guy. The damndest part was not knowing how long he would be away. Travel alone back and forth to Orqua was at least two months. And the message sent via raven from Vadra had been cryptic in that respect. Chris Mallory’s rise to province lord had come as a complete surprise, a welcome one to be sure. His summons to Mace had been another very welcome surprise. But it left Mace, and his household, up in the air as to what exactly to prepare for. Shoving the list aside, Mace rose quickly. He had done what he could, and now he wouldn’t worry about it. If he had learned anything over the course of running his family seat for almost twenty years, it was that worry was the worst way to waste time.
That being said, his mind was already turning to Rhaelle, and the preparations for her needs during their long journey. Although he never framed it in his own mind this way, the extent to which he worried about his sister rose to the point of an obsession. For very good reason. He had no intention of losing her, and her state of being seemed to make that goal an extremely elusive one at times. He had tormented himself over the decision of whether to take her with him to Orqua or not. On the one hand, her health was so iffy, and travel in October could go any way, from hot to freezing, dry to wet. On the other hand, he couldn’t envision leaving her behind, not for months. Mace had long ago decided that he and he alone was responsible for making sure she was taken care of. Even with Walden and Boris, he couldn’t trust them, or anyone, with her care.
A few short minutes found him pushing open the door to her chamber, to be greeted by the sight of several chests, some open and half full, some closed and bound already. His sister’s maid bobbed him a curtsy, and Mace nodded absently, before turning his eyes to Rhaelle.
“How’s it going, sweetheart?” he asked in a tone few who had ever not seen him around his sister could have believed to be coming from Mace Yronwood’s mouth.
11-17-2010, 06:21 PM
Rhaelle had finally sat down, collapsing into a chair as she looked around at the mess packing had made of her room. They were summoned to Orqua but it was October and she'd never been to court- even just the one in Orqua- and she didn't have any idea whether the dresses she was taking were acceptable, and more importantly October was such funny weather she didn't even know whether to take summer or winter dresses, so she was taking a few of both and hoping that worked...
She barely heard the door open and if it hadn't been for her maid curtseying, and then her brother's familiar steps she might have stayed lost in her thoughts entirely, but she managed to not be entirely daydreaming as she turned to smile at Mace. "I hate packing," she said with a faint laugh. Rhaelle rose to her feet, and smoothed out her skirts uselessly- they were wrinkled and streaked with dust from where she had been kneeling by one trunk or another. She looked at Mace's expression and stepped closer to him to take his hand. "You look like you're having no end of fun too. Is there anything I can do to help?"
Even if he wouldn't let her, she wanted to ask. She was already exhausted anyway- she hadn't been sleeping well, though the physician said it was only worry over the trip and the most he'd suggested was taking a little extra of the sleeping draughts. There were days she thought the man had stuffing for brains, because it wasn't as if she hadn't tried that already. Rhaelle stifled a yawn and ran a hand through her hair as she gestured around the room. "This should be done in another hour or so... I can't wait to see Orqua." Rhaelle's smile was sunnier than it had been. "Thank you for letting me go with you, Mace... I know I'll slow your trip a bit."
11-19-2010, 11:28 PM
Mace took the hand that she offered, watching her closely, always on the look out for the signs, expecting them and then never knowing whether to feel relieved or not at what he saw in her face, in her eyes. He smiled, leaning down to kiss her forehead. “No darling, I think between Boris and Walden and myself, we’ve gone over the entire estate with a fine comb, twice. We’re good. I think we’ve done what we can to provide for whatever the gods want to throw at us – but, it’s very sweet of you to offer.” He squeezed her hand gently. They both knew she was barely in shape to supervise her own packing, let alone contribute to the rest of the household needs. But still, this was Rhaelle – sweet, giving, always thinking of him, trying in her own way to put his needs first. That should have made Mace feel a bit guilty, but it didn’t. It only confirmed in his mind what he already knew, how much they needed each other.
She yawned, and Mace let her speak, but then turned to the maid, saying curtly, “You’ll have to finish this. She’s too tired to do more.” He tugged on his sister’s hand and led her to her bed, scooping her up like a doll and laying her on it. “You need to rest.” He said firmly, sitting beside her. “The women can finish. If you forget something, I’ll have it made new for you once we reach Orqua.” He smiled again, speaking more gently. “I’m glad you’re pleased. You know I couldn’t leave you for such a long time. You know that, don’t you, Rhaelle?” He was pulling the covers up over her, his hand laying on hers. His fingers went to her pale face briefly. “The journey won’t be easy, sweetheart, but we’ll be OK. I’ll make sure of that.”
Once again his eyes searched her face, a small crease on his brow the only sign of the fears that pricked at his brain, rarely giving him a moment’s peace when it came to his unceasing thoughts about his so very precious little sister.
11-20-2010, 12:59 AM
"Of course..." Rhaelle gasped as he picked her up, but it was a familiar gesture, one that seemed to go all the way back to her earliest memories. Mace was always carrying her, like she had her dolls when she was younger. "Mace, you shouldn't do that. You'll hurt yourself," she said as he settled her onto the bed, her eyes searching his face as if she was already waiting for him to yell in pain. She smiled anyway at his offer to have whatever it might be made up again. He probably couldn't describe a single one of her dresses anyway.
She smiled as he pulled the covers over her, another memory that just echoed through her head a thousand times, each one with a younger Mace and a smaller self. She was lucky she knew- parents rarely took much time for a girl, but brothers didn't have such restrictions. The physicians had told her she owed her life to her brother- if it wasn't for his attention she might have perished when she was little. Rhaelle moved her hand under his to slip her fingers through his. He was rough and calloused from the sword and reigns, and all the other demands of being a knight, but she held his hand tight anyway.
"I know, but... Thank you for not leaving me anyway." Her eyes met his and she smiled as he touched her face. "The journey will be lovely... We haven't ever gotten to travel together. Will we stay at inns, or will we set up camp sometimes? Your pavilions are all so pretty, I always wondered what it would be like sleeping in them." Rhaelle blinked sleepily and looked up at him with a trace of confusion. "You aren't worried about the trip are you?"
11-22-2010, 02:32 PM
Mace chuckled at her concern. “You weigh about as much as a wet kitten.” He said. “The day I can’t pick you up as easily as I can my own arm, is the day they’ll be planting me in the ground.” As she squeezed his hand he returned the pressure, but much more gently. Despite all the ways Mace Yronwood could be strong, rough, violent – to the point of brutality – towards Rhaelle he took extreme care never to let her see that side of him, if at all possible. He wanted her always to consider him her protector, the one she could rely on to see that she was taken care of. He needed her to believe that.
Her words of thanks shot bolts through his heart. No, there really was no way that he could leave her here. No way indeed. But, she wasn’t to know that.
“I’ll be the proudest brother in Svavel, to have the loveliest sister to show off. I’m glad for you to come with me.” That was quite the understatement. “But I think the inns will be few and far between. I’m sure you’ll get quite tired of sleeping under canvas.” She blinked and Mace, who had devoted a lifetime to watching her every move, expression, emotion and reaction knew immediately that she was ready for sleep. “It will be fine, though. We can pretend we are gypsies, wandering the world and looking for adventure.” Would he ever see her as anything other than the child she still seemed to be? Mace smiled. “And no, no worries, darling. Go to sleep and I’ll wake you for dinner. And tomorrow – we will be on our way.”
He leaned and kissed her cheek. “Sleep well, Rhaelle.” Then he rose and turned to the servant, saying quietly but brusquely. “Let her sleep for now. Go find some other task. You can finish this later when she’s at supper.”
11-23-2010, 02:29 AM
Rhaelle's smile was one of pure excitement. "I can't wait to be a gypsy with you... I won't get tired of it. You'd be king of the gypsies..." The last dose of medicine was dragging at her head, making it hard to think and speak both. "Tomorrow..."
"I love you." It was barely a whisper as the darkness pulled her under. Supper would be good, but tents... In her head there were bright pavilions with silken banners flying in a warm breeze that spoke of spices and herbs, and somewhere the coppery echo of blood.
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