hiding out

Castle Anvard

Lanisen’s satchel is leaning up against a stall belonging to a big gray gelding, packed full and tied shut.

Peridan enters the stable, looking still worn. He makes his way to Adair’s stall immediately. “Hey buddy.”

Lanisen is nowhere to be seen, but a slight sound of movement can be heard from the gelding’s stall. Could be the horse.

Peridan pats Adair for a moment before the stallion begins to nose the man. Peridan chuckles faintly, “The whole world can fall down and yet you still want your carrots, hmm?” He turns to go get a brush. However, he is not pay attention and knocks the hanging satchel to the ground with a thump.

The satchel falls open, and a few travelling accouterments can be seen inside: clean, warm clothing, matches and a tinderbox, candles, rope. A jar of some sort of ointment rolls out onto the ground.

Peridan mutters and begins to pick up the items and put them into the satchel. He hmms as he sees the various traveling things and looks up to see who is the owner of the satchel. Not seeing anyone around, he peers into the stall.

Lanisen is sitting hunched on an overturned crate in a back corner of the gelding’s large stall, his elbows on his knees, holding a bridle in his hands. He is mostly hidden by Maestro’s bulk, but his eyes flick up to Peridan when he looks in.

Peridan takes a moment to register who is in the stall. He clears his throat, “Ah, hello Lanisen. Sorry, I did not mean to bother you.”

Lanisen gets to his feet, moving sluggishly, and steps out from behind Maestro, trailing his fingers along the horse’s side as he goes to let him know where he is. He lowers his head and bows. “‘S all right, sir.”

Peridan looks down at the satchel, “Yours, I presume?”

Lanisen says, “Yes, sir.”

Peridan places it on the hook, “Going somewhere?”

Lanisen’s eyes follow the motion, and he darts a glance back at Peridan. He doesn’t answer.

Peridan lets out a breath, before leaning against the stall door, “I think she needs you.”

Lanisen tenses and goes quite still, not looking at Peridan.

Peridan continues, “But she is a criminal and needs to face justice.”

Lanisen cringes minutely. He crosses one arm over his stomach and takes an unsteady breath.

Peridan assesses the man, “Do you know what happened?”

Lanisen doesn’t answer for a moment. “Yes.”

Peridan dips his head, “We just want justice and protection for her.”

Lanisen says nothing.

Peridan looks at the satchel, “It might be best to remain here for when she comes back.”

Lanisen takes another breath and says after a small pause, “I understand, sir.”

Peridan says, “I know that I am probably the last person you want to discuss this with but I am on your side, Lanisen.”

Lanisen swallows, a shudder passing along the line of his shoulders. He nods, not looking at Peridan.

Peridan pushes himself off the stall door. He turns and returns to Adair.

Lanisen looks down at the bridle still in his hands.

Peridan enters the stall and begins to brush.

Lanisen sits down again on the crate and drops the bridle into his lap. He folds over, lowers his head, and laces his hands behind the nape of his neck.

Peridan is still in the stall, focusing on his horse. The various grooms work around the stables. One pauses by Adair’s stall, “Do you need something, sir?” The man smiles and shakes his head, “No thank you.”

Lanisen just keeps quiet and out of sight, hidden by Maestro’s body and the height of the stall door.

Peridan continues his grooming. The horse stomps a hoof, “Yes, I know. You want out. I want out too. But we must be patient.”

Lanisen strokes Maestro’s broad nose and tickles absently under his chin when the horse whuffles and bunts at him.

Peridan pats Adair and exits the stall. He goes over to a groom and speaking quietly to him. The man then disappears into a side room.

Lanisen doesn’t leave the stall.

The man returns and hands Peridan two carrots and two apples. Peridan moves to Maestro’s stall. “Lanisen.”

Lanisen raises his head, wary.

Peridan tosses the apple for him to catch. He waits for him to catch it before tossing the carrot.

Lanisen lurches to catch it, managing to hang onto it with the very tips of his fingers. He misses the carrot and stares at it where it has landed in some consternation.

Peridan frowns, “Sorry.”

Lanisen says, almost at the same time, “I’m sorry.”

Peridan looks up at the horse, “I did not know if your horse liked Apples or Carrots.”

Lanisen bends to pick up the carrot and straightens, rubbing his shoulder under his collarbone. He hesitates before saying, “He’ll eat about anything, sir.”

Peridan grins faintly, “Then he and Adair would probably be great friends.”

Lanisen’s eyes shift past Peridan to the horse across the aisle. “I expect so, sir.”

Peridan looks behind at Adair, fondly. “I have raised Adair from a foal to the stallion he is today.”

Lanisen nods. He shifts as Maestro bumps at him again, interested in the carrot, and opens his palm so the gelding can take it. In the poor light he looks pale and sick.

Peridan frowns as he takes on the man’s condition. He lets out a faint sigh before returning to Adair and giving him the carrot.

Lanisen watches him walk away. He lets Maestro have the apple as well, and the crunching is the only sound coming from the stall.

Adair munches happily on the apple and carrots. Suddenly Cyrian nickers and Peridan laughs, “I apologize, Cyrian. I will tell Lady Avery of your request.”

Lanisen wipes his hands and opens the stall door. He slips out and takes his satchel, latching the stall behind him, and begins for the door to the pasture.

Peridan glances back and watches the man leave. He does not follow.

Lanisen slips out into the gray daylight.


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