Loc sees Cassandra and then spots the box. Immediately he heads for it.
Deonyc also enters the tavern, putting his quiver down in a corner with his satchel .
Cassandra spies the movement and whirls around, smacking her broom against Loc’s chest. “Where you going, mister?” Upon seeing who it is, she sighs, “Oh, it’s you.”
Loc stops and looks down at the broom, then up at her. “Yeah.” There is a faint twitch at the corners of his mouth.
Lanisen passes through the door, closing it behind him. He casts a quick glance around the relatively busy tavern and makes his way straight to the counter. He doesn’t sit, but asks Fischer quietly for what he needs.
Deonyc walks over to Loc, then noticing the daughter of Eve. ‘Good day you two.’
Cassandra eyes Loc, “She is sleeping. Keep it quiet.” She then turns when addressed, “Hello there. What can I get you?” The apron that she is wearing suggests that she works here.
Loc snorts and says, minor annoyance in his voice, “Wasn’t plannin’ on makin’ a fuss. And I know how ta care fer her. Did it three days before droppin’ her off here.” He lifts his chin slightly. He does, however, keep his voice on the quieter side. He nods to Deonyc and then makes his way toward the box.
Lanisen waits at the counter while Fischer puts something together for him. Two men sitting at the counter on either side of where he stands are having a loud, cheerful conversation, but he keeps his head down and doesn’t engage.
Deonyc says to the daughter of Eve, “Nothing right now, thank you.”
Cassandra nods to the son of Adam, “Just let me know if you need anything.” Due to the high volume, she doesn’t see Lanisen, instead turning her attention back to the box and Loc. “She is a real crowd pleaser.”
Loc kneels beside the box and fishes through the bundle, peeking into it. He grins and says, “I bet.” He gently scoops it up, keeping it close to his chest.
Lanisen accepts a sandwich from Fischer, handing over a couple of coppers to cover the cost, and steps away from the counter. Here he catches sight of Loc and Cassandra, and stops.
Loc carefully stands, adjusting the bundle. It emits a soft squeak. Loc, unaware of Lanisen and Cassandra’s proximity, focuses on the bundle. “Well, hey there sleepy head. Good tosee you too. Did you miss me?”
Deonyc stands aside.
Cassandra snorts, “Does anyone ever miss you?” She takes a step closer, peering over his shoulder, “She has been fed already.”
Loc frowns a little at her question and says quietly, “No.–Unless you count some of the miners. It’s kinda a nice feeling.” He pulls back the blanket and the kit pokes her head out. He smiles and stroking the top of her head. “Good. I’ll feed her again before I turn in for the night.”
Lanisen watches them for a minute without any particular expression, then turns away with a sigh. He makes his way back to the door with his sandwich.
Deonyc asks carefully “Who’s child is it?”
Cassandra rolls her eyes at Loc, turning back to her sweeping. Her eyes catch the back of Lanisen and she stops, her eyes concerned. She makes her way towards the door, trying to catch him before he leaves, “Lanisen!”
Loc looks at Deonyc, blinking. “Child? What child?” His body tenses when Cassandra calls out her brother’s name.
Deonyc says, “Oh”
Loc holds Marina so Deonyc can see her more clearly. “She’s a kit.” Marina begins to lightly chew on one of Loc’s fingers.
Lanisen pauses and steps to the side as somebody else enters, his head bowed a little so he doesn’t have to look them in the face. When his name is called, he turns, but seems oddly reluctant. “Hey, Cass.”
Cassandra reaches him at the door, taking in Lanisen’s face with a frown.
Deonyc turns to Loc. “Don’t lose this one. I’d rather not shoot it next winter.”
Loc looks rather horrified by the comment. He manages a “I didn’t have intentions of losing her…”
Lanisen says after a small, awkward pause, gesturing vaguely with the sandwich, “Needed some food, ‘s all, nothin’ in the room.” His face is tired and drawn, and he avoids her eyes.
Deonyc looks at the kit, quite interested now.
Loc keeps the kit close but pulls a little more of the blanket back so Marina’s more visible. She’s a beautiful scarlet kit with white patches around the eyes and a white under belly reaching up through the throat.
Deonyc looks on, amazed. “She’s beautiful. Cant say I have seen that many kits either though..”
Cassandra frowns looking like she is about to speak to Lanisen, when she whips around facing the hunter, “Don’t you dare hurt Marina.”
Deonyc raises his hands in defence, “Wasn’t planning to.”
Loc says, “I haven’t seen many up close either. And she is pretty, ain’t she? ‘specially the eyes.”
Lanisen’s eyes shift to the little kit, and to Loc. He looks away.
Deonyc asks, “They are. Where did you find her?”
Loc turns a steady gaze to Lanisen for the first time. He nods and offers, “Lanisen.” Before looking back to Deonyc. “I found her in the wood, near the end of a hunt.”
Cassandra eyes the men before turning back to Lanisen. She whispers to him.
Cassandra mumbles “You doing okay?”, to Lanisen.
Cassandra mumbles “… doing …”, to Lanisen.
Lanisen responds in the same low voice, still not quite looking at her.
Lanisen mumbles “Yeah, sorry. I’m fine.”, to Cassandra.
Lanisen mumbles “… sorry. … fine.”, to Cassandra.
Deonyc says to Loc, “You found her before the winter?”
Loc shakes his head, “No. Near the end of last week.” He keeps Cassandra and Lanisen in the corner of his vision.
Cassandra grabs his arm, pulling him to a quiet part of the bar. “Sit sit.” Her tone sounds like she isn’t going to take no for an answer.
Deonyc says, “Ah I was wondering, it finally is spring I guess. I can’t hunt much though.”
Lanisen protests anyway. “No… no, I’m not– I’m just gonna go back to the inn, I’m not– please, I don’t feel great right now.”
Loc nods to Deonyc.
Loc says, “Our wood has pretty plentiful game.”
Deonyc says plainly “Its spring. You don’t hunt in spring if you plan on hunting before winter.”
Cassandra gives him a mixed look of concern and annoyance. “Shall I go get Freya? She can take a look at you.”
Loc frowns a little. “We’ve never really had any problems of hunting in winter before.”
Lanisen says, “No! I just–” He glances again around the crowded tavern.
Cassandra gives him a look. “Fine.” She turns away, moving her way down the counter.
Deonyc says, “The chance of killing parent animals is too high for my liking. I’ll hunt a few deer and bears occasionally, still if you’re not careful this happens.” He points at the kit. “And plainly normally you don’t find the abandoned kits.”
Loc scowls at Deoync, “Normally I don’t hunt foxes. But I wasn’t gonna leave her once I realized what happened.” He holds the kit a little closer, letting it continue to chew on his finger. “And we don’t need all the bear and boar we got round here.”
Lanisen stands where he is for a moment, lost. He looks down at the sandwich in his hand and turns to leave the tavern.
Cassandra continues to rub the counter though she looks up at her departing brother sadly.
Deonyc says, “I wouldn’t leave any kits lying around either. And, well, in fall… foxes are good game in fall. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t disagree with you.”
Loc says, trying to keep his voice level, “It was a mistake. Those happen.”
Lanisen slips out into the evening.
The wood plank walls of the inn room are neatly whitewashed, and the floor
between the door and bed is covered in a tidy rug. The low bed is wide
enough for two people to sleep comfortably, if need be. Opposite the door
there is a window with a low table, upon which is a bowl, and a pitcher of
A single door leads out into the hallway.
There is a light tapping on the door.
After a pause, Lanisen opens the door. The room behind him is dark, lit only by the little evening light still coming through the window, and the sandwich he got from Fischer is sitting half-eaten on the little table. The blankets on a trundle mattress on the floor across the room from the bed are rumpled.
Cassandra is standing at the door, a walnut muffin in her hands. “Can I come in?” She doesn’t wait for him to invite her in as she pushes past him into the dark room. “Lion, Lanny, how can you see in here?”
Lanisen looks rather startled, but he steps back automatically to let her pass. “Figured you were Colin,” he says after an awkward pause. “What’re you…”
Cassandra fumbles around until she finds a candle and lights it. “There we go.” She looks around for a plate, “I brought you a muffin.”
Lanisen says, “A– oh. Thank you.” He looks at the candle, then back at Cassandra uncertainly. His feet are bare, and his hair is out of its usual ponytail, a little mussed. He looks, actually, like he was in bed despite the earliness of the hour, though he clearly didn’t fall asleep in the last fifteen minutes.
Cassandra stands in the middle of the room, assessing him. “I don’t know what is going on but I’m worried about you.”
Lanisen shifts guiltily, looking at the floor. “‘M sorry,” he says. “I didn’t mean to worry you. I’m okay.”
Cassandra’s eyes narrow, “Well, you know what, You do.” She sighs, rubbing her temples, “Like it or not, you have come back into my life and that means that I get to worry and care for you.”
Lanisen says, “I’m fine, I’m really fine. There’s nothin’… don’t worry. Please.”
Cassandra says, “Oh stop it, Lanisen. ”
Lanisen takes a quick breath, not looking up. “Please don’t be angry.”
Cassandra shakes her head, “I’m not…I just…” Her voice trials off for a moment. Finally, “What I am trying to say is that you can try to push me away but you won’t succeed. Because…you are one of the only ones who has ever cared about me or anything I do. Believe it or not,” Her voice trembles a bit, “you will always be my big brother who I want to impress. So yes, I’ll worry and be concerned and,” Here her voice goes hard, “And I don’t care what Dad says but I /will/ go to Anvard with you and leave this family for good.”
Lanisen listens, darting a quick glance at her that is wondering and disbelieving, but he shakes his head in denial once she stops. “I’m not, I’m /swear/ I’m not tryin’ to– to push you away. I’m just– it’s okay, or–or it will be, and it’s not… please. I’m sorry.”
Cassandra hugs him, “I know.” She turns, “Don’t forget to eat your muffin.” With that, she exits the room.
Lanisen looks half startled and half relieved. He looks at the muffin and the half sandwich on the table and sighs, then breaks off a small piece of the muffin half-heartedly to eat. He returns to the trundle bed and sits down on the low mattress, then curls up on his side under the blankets, facing the wall.