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New Fiction: The Lost Heir Saga. Book One: The Heir Exiled Chap 2 - Show us your world through the view of your word.

namfleDec. 23rd, 2012 10:42 pm New Fiction: The Lost Heir Saga. Book One: The Heir Exiled Chap 2

Alright, Medieval sports fans, here is the second chapter of The Heir Exiled, rough draft. Comments are encouraged and welcomed.

To repeat, this is a work of fiction, taking place in a fantasy setting of my own creation. What you see here is a rough draft after only slight editing for punctuation and spelling issues. The final, finished product may look very different.

Chapter one is here, in case you missed it.

And now...



THE LOST HEIR SAGA
BOOK ONE: THE HEIR EXILED
by V Peter Collins

PART I: Havencliff Keep

CHAPTER 2 - Music and Diplomacy


The sun had fallen some in the western sky and was throwing a warm, fiery glow about the land, interrupted occasionally by a passing cloud. In his room, high up in the royal tower where the King and his family lived, Callan stood before himself, still, hands moving mindlessly at the loose fasteners of the blouse he had just slipped into. His mind had traveled from the present, where he was dressing himself for the official dinner he was to attend, to the recent and not-so-recent, lingering past.

He remembered being excited when, as a young boy, his father first informed him of his impending instruction in the martial ways. He had dreamed of leading the Havencliff into great battles and conquering enemies, as his grandfather, King Durst, had. Callan had grown up listening to, and learning, the songs that proclaimed the many victories and adventures his ancestor relived through in his quest to establish a secure Keep to maintain watch over the nearby farms and fishing villages.

The very first class, however, shattered young Callan’s ideals. There were no lessons towards winning glorious battles, instead there were drills of footwork, hand-eye coordination, and dexterity. And there was the cruel gaze of Garunth. He punished Callan’s every slight and infraction of the rules with those mind-numbing drills and unparalleled harshness. Early in his training, Callan had heard a conversation between King Jardinne and Master Garunth in which the doting father made his Master of Arms swear to give the Prince no special treatment. More than a decade later, Callan is convinced Garunth never intended to heed his oath; the Prince imagined his father meant for Garunth to give Callan no easy time of it, but Garunth chose to push the Prince’s progress against a much higher standard than any of the other students.

Callan’s mind snapped to the present; he had managed to dress himself in the manner of a toddler; his fasteners were utterly mismatched, making his formal blouse look more like it belonged on a jester. He shook his head, then managed a chuckle.

“It’s good that I’ve yet to go before I’m king,” he said softly to himself.

Just as he completed repairs to his dress, he heard a fuss spill into the hall outside his door. Two voices were immediately recognizable; the first was Miss Sterns, the one person in all the land that his father would entrust his children to. Miss Sterns was not a replacement for the mother Callan lost during the birth of sister, but she was, as far as he was concerned, the best possible substitute the king could have found.

The second voice was Tilly’s, and Callan smiled to himself. The commotion he heard was the same sort of commotion that would occur prior to every formal engagement he and Tilly had to attend. His sister loathed, with volcanic passion, the garments she was forced to wear for those events, and fought the dressing process at every step. Every time, the friction and tension in Tilly’s dressing room would built until it overflowed into the hall, as it was doing now, and would not end until Tilly dragged the entire event into his room in search of a sympathetic ear.

Callan, feeling a bit mischievous, slapped his belt on hastily, then sprang across the carpet thrown over his stone floor to his open bed. Hanging from a fixture above his bed was his lute, which hardly gathered dust. He jumped onto his bed, landed on his knees, caught the bottom of the lute as he sprung back up, and twisted to dismount into a sitting position on the edge of his bed. He quickly assumed his playing posture and plucked out a quick scale; the strings were still in tune from the previous night’s worth of practice.

This thick, wooden, ornate door burst open on well oiled hinges. As expected, Tilly spilled in, the bodice of her yellow and white dress half-undone, and the train held haphazardly in her arms. Her dark hair was pinned up elegantly on one side, and wildly flailing on the other. Behind her was the round and greying Miss Stern, in her usual sky-blue straight dress covered by a well worn apron.

“Your Highness!” she fussed. In her hands were a comb, brush, and ties meant to be installed into Tilly’s hair. Behind Miss Stern was the dress-maker and her team of trainees, all foiled from their duty by Tilly’s tantrum and mad dash.

“Brother!” exclaimed the young Princess. “Tell them, please, that I look like a bloated river-lily being hung from a tree by its roots!”

Callan was immediately amused. It was almost as if his sister had a script; her complaint was always with the dress or her hair, and on particularly trying days, both.

“Rudeness and ingratitude are not becoming of the King’s daughter,” Callan replied with a smirk. The desired effect was achieved with overflow; Tilly slid to a halt on the ornate carpet, her eyes now wide and lips set in a face that captured the essence of distilled indignant rage. Callan forced the belly-laugh he felt within him down and allowed himself but a sly smirk. He played a few chords on his lute lightly as the Dress Team, as he thought of them, entered and took up positions behind his sister. “Madam Wundahl spent a great deal of time designing your dress, dear sister. The very least you could do is be gracious in her presence and save your griping for when she is not in earshot.” He punctuated his lightly-delivered admonishment with the short, rising melody of a popular children’s song.

Tilly’s ire dropped noticeably. She looked to Madam Wundahl, who was sewing a bit of ornamental lace onto the train, then back at her brother.

“I am not ungrateful for the dress, Callan,” she clarified. Then, to the thin, serious-face dressmaker, “and I apologize to you, Madam Wundahl. I do appreciate that you make my dresses. I only wish you would speak with me when you made your designs.”

“I simply do what the King commands,” was Wundahl’s curt reply. Callan thought that to be on the short list of responses on the short list of what not to say. He switched to an up-tempo piece to lighten the mood as he watched his sister’s anger return in full.

“I am most certain my father does not command you to make me look like a laughing stock!” The power of Tilly’s retort was reduced by the fact that Wundahl’s assistants, two simply dressed girls about Callan’s age, were tugging arhythmically on Tilly’s bodice, causing the Princess to convulse comically. Miss Stern, working on the unkempt side of Tilly’s hair, dared to allow herself a smile because, Callan surmised, she knew Tilly could not see her face. The Prince’s amusement grew. He could tell, however, that his sister was about to mount another bout of resistance. He quickly shifted his fingers into a different song, one of his own creation.

“Till, lend an ear?” And he played the opening to what was a classically styled ballad, with a heroic melody backed by strong chords. “I’ve been working on something of my own.”

The ploy worked. The siblings enjoyed singing together when they could, and they had both recently complained that their time together seemed to be ever diminishing. Tilly calmed as the four women around her continued to assemble her visage.

“Play it,” she said with true interest.

“I call it ‘The Ballad of Jason Swift’,” he introduced. The first verse came around a moment later, and with a breath, he began to sing.

From the east he came, o’er the sea so old,
As the Gods had done, as we are all told.
Through our towns, he walked the lands
Twelve songs ‘pon his lips, five strings ‘neath his hand,

Two songs full of glee, two for the sad,
Two for the lonely, two were quite mad,
Two for the minds on liquid release,
And two for the souls what breath in peace.


Tilly stared for a moment at her brother before her face burst into a joyful smile. Miss Stern looked to the Prince with surprise, a smile on her face as well.

“That was quite good, Master Callan,” she comment. The two assistant dress makers smiled and nodded.

“Play the last verse again,” said Tilly. As Callan played through the chords just prior to the requested verse, Tilly took in a breath and adjusted her posture, still quivering from the adjustments being made to her dress. Callan began singing the lyrics, and she joined in, vocalizing near the upper end of her range, harmonizing on the last half of each lyric.

It was Callan’s turn to smile when they were done. He thought her choice of harmonies were perfect, and he deeply enjoyed the sound their voices created together.

“What more, Cal?” implored Tilly, bouncing excitedly on her toes. Her brother shrugged sheepishly.

“I’ve worked out the melodies and chords, but not yet all the verses.” He smiled again and returned his instrument. “I’m glad you like it, though.”

“Thank you, Master Callan,” said Madam Wundahl; Tilly had remained still long enough for the dress to be properly applied and her hair properly set, thanks the distraction Callan had willfully provided. The Prince bowed with a showman’s flourish. Wundahl’s assistants giggled.

“Now if you’ll excuse me, ladies, I’ve to finish dressing as well.” Callan lifted his bare feet and wiggled his toes for emphasis. Tilly suddenly gasped, then turned a reproachful look on her brother as the women and teenaged girls filed out.

“You fooled me,” she said, hands flying to her hips.

“Never, sister. I have your best interest at heart, always.”

“So you say.” She spun on her heals and moved to exit.

“You did enjoy the song, yes?”

“Maybe,” she said coyly. She politely closed the door behind her. A moment later, Callan could hear her singing his song as she made her way down the hall. He laughed as he reached for his boots, stored on a custom-made stand near his wardrobe.

***

From the anti-chamber to the main dining hall, Prince Callan could already tell the night was going to be a lively one. The room, jus t a hair over five paces square in size, separated the hall from the Havencliff Keep Castle’s main kitchen. The cacophony of odors washing out of the kitchen made Callan’s mouth water and stomach churn as he came down the royal staircase that emptied into the anti-chamber. To the left, the large and well-staffed kitchen, currently a hive of activity. To the right, past curtains as old as the castle itself, Callan could hear his father laughing with the visiting nobles. Before and around him stood the tables and shelving used to stage food just prior to serving; currently waiting were stacks of dishes and silverware, all of which had been crafted by the people of Havencliff Village.

Callan dropped off the second to last step with a light hop and stuck his head into the kitchen. The smell was overpoweringly wonderful. Fowl, soups, meat, breads… he closed his eyes and inhaled deeply.

“Out!” barked Miss Ayen, the normally sweet-as-honey head of the kitchen staff. She, as the rest of her staff, was wearing white jackets and head coverings, although hers had bright red stripes, signifying her rank, as it were. She had a large bowl in one hand and was whipping something within.

Callan, startled, quickly recovered and stabbed into the bowl with liquid speed. Ayen released her whisk, slapped his hand then retook the whisk, moving equally as fast. Grinning, Callan turned to the hall and inserted his finger into his mouth to retrieve his prize; cake batter, unfinished yet delicious enough to create life-long cravings.

At the curtain, Callan carefully stuck his head through the far side and caught the attention of Master Ian, an upright, fit version of his brother Kuord, Master of Magic. Master Ian was the long time chief of the Keep’s staff, and a friend to the family for an even greater amount of time. Dressed sharply in his jacket and knickers sporting the king’s and Keep’s colors of blue and red, Ian knew his duty. He politely departed the group he had been administrating and moved to the Prince at a speed that belied his six decades of life. As he took his position beside the curtain, the Prince slipped back inside and adjusted his clothing once more. Atop his blouse, he had donned a long vest of blue crushed velvet highlighted with red piping and stitching, and bearing the crest of Havencliff Keep: a sword crossed with a sheath of wheat, over a shield of blue and red.

“Lords and Ladies, Masters and Misses,” called Ian with slow, deliberate enunciation and a voice that could be heard through a raging storm if needed, “I present the young lord, Prince Callan.”

Callan stepped through the curtain and gave a slight wave and a pleasant smile, as his father had taught him to do many years prior. Before him was a vast room, two thirds the width of the castle and wide enough to hold the entire staff at once. The tables were set to fourteen places, while the remaining tables lay at an adjacent wall for the minstrels and performers. Large candles set on the walls and in the overhead chandeliers provided a warm glow by which to see.

The attendees were milling about the table, broken into small groups. Master Garunth and his brown-skinned, foreign born wife, Mistress Myir, stood together near King Jardinne. Garunth and Callan pointedly avoided eye contact, but Myir’s ever endearing warmth of heart brought sincerity to the Prince’s smile. Callan immediately recognized Glory’s parents, standing near one end of the table and conversing with Samjin’s parents. Callan spied Samjin himself standing nearby, looking completely unaffected despite wearing stiff, stifling formal wear in his house colors of brown, blue and white. There were other Lords and Ladies that Callan did not immediately recognize, and he assumed them to be from the northern villages. Lastly, he spied his father, who was neither the tallest nor the shortest person at the table, having a jocular conversation with his sister and a young Miss he had not seen before.

Per protocol, Master Ian lead Prince Callan to each group, beginning at the foot of the table.

“I believe you are already acquainted with Lord Samkol and Lady Kenen of High Castle, in East View,” he introduced. Samjin’s laid back manner was quite evidently sourced from both his parents, who seemed quite relaxed despite their appearance of having been stuffed into their rich, beautifully ornate formal garments. Respectfully, Callan bowed to the Lord and Lady as they were introduced. “…and Master Samjin,” continued Ian. Breaking formal protocol, the friends locked hands on each other’s forearms with warmth and vigor, a smile on Callan’s face and a smirk on Samjin’s. Everyone watched the informal display of friendship.

Beside them was one of the Ladies unfamiliar to Callan.

“May I present Madam Shelia, of Ridgeriver,” introduced Ian. Callan took in the woman quickly, something else his father had taught him. She was aged and well composed; her dress and shawl were elegant and simply ornate, mixing the colors of a mid-day sun and those of early summer’s grass, but they were not new. Her hair was expertly styled and tucked, and was a much lighter color than anyone else’s in the room, save for the King, streaked with silver. She smiled perfunctorily, drawing attention to the delicate lines at her eyes and the corners of her mouth. She offered her hand, adorned with one ring sporting what Callan guessed was her family crest, and one with a single, mid-sized jewel. Callan took it as has he bowed and lightly kissed her fingers.

“It is a genuine pleasure to make your acquaintance,” said the Prince. “I have been wishing to visit your Ridgeriver Town since the moment I had learned of it.”

She cocked her head slightly to one side, and her smiled widened a touch, a twinkle flashing briefly in her eyes.

“Have you now?” she returned. “Why would that be?”

“Out of curiosity, mostly,” he returned as he released her hand and clasped his own behind his back. He looked her in the eyes as he spoke. “I heard the flowers that grow near the riverbed are not to be found anywhere else in the land, and the fish pulled from the river are colorful and tasty.”

She laughed politely but genuinely. “That they are, young Prince. I believe you and your father will be welcome to visit at any time.” Callan wanted to jump for joy at her words; he really was curious and wanted to visit the town, but at a distance that required four days to traverse, there simply wasn’t a reason to gather the necessary resources for the trip until King Jardinne thought to create some sort of trade connection. Additionally, her sincere invitation was a strong indicator that she would agree to a trade agreement, which would eventually mean the reach of Havencliff Kingdom would spread.

Containing himself, Prince Callan said, “That is most gracious of you, Madam Shelia. I hope we can earn your best hospitality this evening.” He politely excused himself and followed Ian to the next couple. Callan assumed, correctly, that they were from the other town in the north that his father was trying to establish a relationship with.

“May I present Lady Quohy and Lorg Pohg of Brightwood,” Ian introduced. As he did the others, Callan took in the couple quickly. They were both easily the youngest adults in the room; Callan guessed that if they had any children at all, they would be too young for the lengthy travel it would have taken to come to the castle from Brightwood. They wore clothing that was earthy in colors, simple in construction, humble in material, but regal in design. They both wore head coverings that completely obscured their hair. Callan bowed to each in turn; they nodded with amusement in response.

“A pleasure to put a face to the name,” said Lorg Pohg. His voice was high-pitched and gravelly, like a fellow who enjoyed far too much wine. Callan could see the tinting on the man’s cheek that suggested he’d already had his fill of the stuff.

“I thought you would be older,” noted the Lady. The sloppy grin on her lips suggested she enjoyed the same goblets as her husband. Callan raised his eyebrows in surprise.

“I was unaware the legend of my age had spread beyond the immediate influence of Havencliff,” quipped Callan. The Lady seemed ready to reply, but the Lord waved her off.

“Apologies, Prince,” he said in her stead. “She means taller, not older.”

The Prince could not believe the conversation he was having. “To be any taller would be to spite the wishes of the Gods,” he returned. To his relief, the Lord and Lady laughed – perhaps a bit too loudly for the function. “If you’ll please excuse me, I must…”

“But of course,” said the Lady. She blinked, one eye staying closed a bit longer than the other. “I do hope you enjoy our meat.”

Callan had already stepped towards Glory’s parents, the next group. Lady Quohy’s remark caused him to pause in his tracks. It was not unusual to bring gifts when visiting a foreign land’s rulers. Meat, however, was quite atypical.

“You brought spiced meat for this dinner?” Callan implored, his curiosity overcoming his sense of decorum. Behind him, the conversations had stopped and all attentions were on him and the Lords of Brightwood.

“Not spiced,” returned Pohg. “Fresh.”

Callan tried to keep the disbelief from his expression and tone. “How did you manage to keep the meat fresh? You’ve had five days to travel from your home to mine.”

Lady Quohy laughed again, softly this time. “We’ve a mage that has discovered that extreme cold, deadly to living flesh, preserves fresh chops better than all the spice in the world.”

“And you fully trust this mage?”

“He is my cousin,” answered Lord Pohg, leaning in and with his voice low. He seemed somewhat annoyed with the question. Callan swore in his mind; this conversation was turning into a test of his diplomacy skills, and he suddenly felt as if he was going to fail.

“Lord Pohg, I meant no insult, to be sure,” and the Prince spread his hands in a gesture of apology. “In Rotherford and East View, and our own Havencliff Village, those that practice magic are given a wide berth, with a few notable exceptions. It warms my heart to know there are cultures near to ours that are more accepting of those arts.”

“I see,” replied Quohy, her jocularity gone. Callan desperately wanted to escape this increasingly uncomfortable conversation.

“I look forward to sampling your dinner offering, then.” He bowed again. “My Lord, my Lady, if you can excuse me, I must meet the remainder of our guests.”

With that, Callan slipped from their troublesome eyes and turned to face the parents of his other best friend.

“I believe you have already made the acquaintance of the Lady and Lord from Rotherford Village,” introduced Ian. With familiarity came some relief. Lord Victor, a tall man with broad shoulders, dropped one of his thick hands onto Callan’s shoulder as Lady Faith pressed her right cheek lightly to Callan’s. The Prince had to look up at them both, for they each stood nearly a full head above him.

“Lady Faith, Lord Victor. A pleasure to see you both,” the Prince said to them. “I trust our staff hasn’t mistreated you?”

“It’s been deplorable here,” returned Lord Victor, slapping his expanded belly. He wore fine silks, as did his wife, and amusement upon his face. “I fear I will catch my death from an overabundance of kindness.”

“Ian, be sure the Lady and Lord here receive the worst our staff can muster for their final day with us,” answered Callan, his expression serious save for the smile in his eyes.

“You shall leave in absolute misery,” returned Ian. Lady Faith tittered politely behind a hand while Lord Victor chuckled silently, his great bulk quivering. The prince scanned the room again.

“Not to be dismissive, but I thought your daughter would have already arrived,” he noted. Lady Faith laughed politely again, and her gaze went over Callan’s shoulder, to where the King and Princess were standing with the unknown Mistress. Tilly immediately burst into a gleeful laugh. King Jardinne, his dark formal dinner robe swaying with his steps, took a place behind his son and placed his hands upon the Prince’s shoulders. Beneath the thick, white beard and mustache he wore, he was smiling brightly. Callan felt abashed; clearly, there was a joke that he was not in on.

He studied the Mistress. She was wearing silk, in reds, lavenders, and pinks, in a style that seemed to match Lady Faith’s own blue and green gown. The young Mistress’ hair was dark, glistening and pinned up, and her blue eyes and red lips seemed to jump right off her young, beautiful face.

Callan inhaled sharply in joyful surprise. She was Glory.

The Prince spent a long moment with his mouth working, but no intelligible words would pass his lips. She closed the short distance between them and extended her hand. It was all she could do to keep from exploding with laughter. After another moment of useless lip-flapping, Prince Callan took her hand lightly and kissed the one ring upon it.

“My lady,” he said breathlessly.

“Are you certain?” she asked beneath her breath. The Prince made a sound that was part laugh, part sigh.

The dinner bell in the kitchen rang. Master Ian clapped his hands twice, drawing everyone’s attention.

“Ladies, Lords, Mistresses and Masters, if you would be kind enough to take your seats, we may begin serving the first course,” he announced. He made a nod and gesture towards the camp of minstrels a few paces behind the main table. String and percussion instruments suddenly appeared, a band quickly formed, and music began filling the hall. Quietly and orderly, King Jardinne’s guests found their places and took them readily.



The dinner was going quite well. As Callan assumed it would be, the food was zestful and filling. He sampled the meat from Brightwood, excellent cuts of goat, expertly cooked by Mistress Ayen herself, and could find no indication of it being more than a few hours old.

The Prince sat at his father’s left, directly across from Master Garunth and within easy sight of Glory and her parents. There was jovial conversation and much laughter as the dinner courses were brought out and devoured. Callan spent much of the time stealing coy glances with Glory and avoid eye contact with the Master of Arms. Late in the dinner, as the main course was disappearing, Callan realized his father saw what was occurring between the prince and the warrior, and he gave them both a reproachful glare.

“I would meet with you upstairs later,” the King said to both boy and man; they readily agreed.

Not long after, as the servants filed into the hall to clear the dishes in preparation of desert, the sharp, ringing voice of Master Vehal, chief minstrel and Callan’s teacher of all musical matters, cut through the banter, drawing attention to himself.

“As the meal is drawing to a close,” he began, switching out his own lute for a long, wooden flute, “It has occurred to me that some of you have not yet experienced one of the greatest treasures we have within these castle walls.”

“Oh, no,” Callan said to himself. He reflexively began to breath deeply.

“I’m not singing in front of everyone,” Tilly whispered into his left ear.

“What is the use of you, then?” gave back Callan, cutting the sharpness of his words with a kiss to her forehead.

“You have, at your table, one of the finest sets of fingers to ever flutter across the strings,” continued Vehal. He was a handsome gentleman, thin but not gaunt, greying at the temples. One of his drummers handed him a lute and he half walked, half danced his way to Prince Callan’s seat. “If you would, dear Prince Callan, this night would not be complete without your voice raised in song.”

The families from Rotherford and High Castle whooped and slapped the table. King Jardinne and Princess Tilly clapped. Even Mistress Myir was delicately ringing her wine goblet with a utensil. The Lord and Lady from Brightwood and Madam Shelia were curiously amused. Only Garunth chose to not partake in the merriment.

“If it’s all the same to you,” began Callan playfully, “I would much rather not this evening.”

Lord Victor and Samjin booed loudly, and both families began to slap the table in earnest. Callan rose from his seat, winked at Glory, then lifted his hands in an appeal for silence.

“All right, if you insist, I shall try not to disappoint.” Vehal passed the lute he carried into the Prince’s hands. Callan made a show of looking at the instrument as if he’d never seen one before. He shook it. “It appears to be defective,” he said, addressing Master Vehal but loud enough for all to hear. A wave of laughter passed over the table.

“Pretend it’s a young girl’s fine hair!” called Lord Pohg, his words slurring. Callan dramatically smelled the length of the strings, producing another wave of laughter. “With your fingers!” suggested Pohg, “like a girl’s course hair!” There were gasps and peals of laughter, the loudest from Mistress Myir. Glory and Shelia blushed, and Quohy slapped her husband soundly on the shoulder. Callan realized that the folk from Brightwood could cause a scene that would embarrass everyone if they were to continue, and decided to cut short his playfulness. He slipped the instrument’s strap around his neck and let fly a chord flurry that filled and echoed around the room. The dinner guests erupted into cheers once more. Callan mouthed the title of a song to Vehal, who relayed the message to the rest of his band. The Prince dove into the instrumental introduction of the song. The rest of the band, lead by Vehal, added accompaniment a few bars later, and after one round of a three-chord progression, Callan added lyrics, and his voice. It was an upbeat piece, known throughout Havencliff and the surrounding towns; by the first repetition of the chorus, Callan had coerced quite a few people to sing along.

As the servants brought desert out, Callan took requests from the Brightwood and Ridgeriver folk, playing and dancing around the table, giving each person a brief, personal concert. He played with flair, danced with pleasure, and sang with joy. There was a great, happy noise when he ended his brief concert, as everyone either clapped, stomped or banged the table in applause.



After desert, the younger folk at the table took to the large open space in the room and danced to the music. Callan ritually asked Glory, in full view of her parents, for a dance. She accepted with a smile. In moments, they were alone within the small group, swaying to the music, comfortably close.

“I cannot believe you did not recognize me,” she said softly, partway into their second song together. Her tone was full of jest, but Callan had difficulty with it.

“I have never before seen you done up for formality,” he said apologetically. “I feel most terrible for my error.”

“Can we talk about it later?” Her question made him smile. He embraced her tightly.
“I shall be tardy. Father wishes a meeting.”

“With Garunth?” He nodded.

“How did you…?”

“I saw the way the King looked to you both.” She pulled away from him, just enough to look into his eyes. “I shall wait, if you say for certain you will come.”

He smiled and nodded. “For certain,” he whispered, his breath gone again. He became lost in her eyes, and would have frozen in place if she had not placed her head upon his shoulders. They ended the evening that way, swaying to the music in each other’s arms, merging in spirit with the music and each other.

***


On to Chapter 3 -->

That's the end of Chapter 2. Any comments will be treated as from a beta reader, and will be sincerely appreciated.

3 comments - Leave a commentPrevious Entry Share Next Entry

Comments:

From:hybrid_xisha
Date:December 28th, 2012 10:33 am (UTC)
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Callan's quite the perceptive young lad, isn't he? With a few little snafus, his diplomatic training seems to have sunk in quite well.

As to Tilly, I loved seeing how different she was from her brother, while still very obviously part of a family team with him.
From:namfle
Date:December 28th, 2012 12:25 pm (UTC)
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^_^

Their dad is a pretty good teacher - or at least, that's part of what I'm trying to get across. I hope you're digging this so far!

-elf-
From:clarionj
Date:January 7th, 2013 03:17 am (UTC)
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I just read the first scene here and hope to continue, but had to say I love the song. Do you imagine a tune with your lyrics? They work so well. Also, I like how you create analogies that suit the time (the lily comparison with her dress). That's something I enjoy watching writers of historic (other times/worlds) fiction do. The visuals of Callan on the bed, getting the lute, watching his sister were all vivid and lively. Enjoying seeing him in this different setting now too.

I'll write again as I get to read more...