Edana sits along the back wall of the kennels, watching as her son and a couple other children play and hold a couple of puppies.
Lanisen enters the kennel, shutting the door behind him quickly to keep any of the hounds from escaping into the busy outer ward. He stops short just inside the door, caught off his guard by the visitors.
Edana looks up and smiles kindly. “Hello.” She notices his hesitation by the door and frowns. “I–” She gets up and comes to the door. “I am sorry. Your name is Lanisen isn’t it?”
Lanisen straightens slightly, dipping his head to her. “Yes, ma’am. It’s, it’s Mistress Edana, right?”
Edana bows her head in kind. “Indeed.” She places her hands together a. “I was invited here by Danall. If we are in your way and you need us to leave, please let me know.”
Edana, after a moment, corrects herself. “We. We were invited here.”
Lanisen says hastily, “No, no, it’s–” His eyes slip past her to the children. “It’s fine, I’m not–” His eyes rest on Edana’s son briefly, assessing how he is playing with the hounds. “Long as, as nobody’s tail’s gettin’ pulled, it’s fine.”
Edana looks over her shoulder quickly and watches the children closely for a moment. “Kaie, you had better be kind to the puppies. Soft touches.” She comes to his side and shows both of the boys how to do it by demonstrating. After a few moments she looks back up to Lanisen from the ground. “Would you like to show them?”
Lanisen says, shifting sideways, “It’s, you got it under control, looks like.”
Edana puts the puppy back on the ground carefully next to Kaie who begins petting him once more. She looks up. “You work with the hounds here right?”
Lanisen says, “Yes, ma’am. Seven, seven years now, nearly.”
Edana smiles kindly. “That is very exciting.” She looks to Kaie and the other boy who are stroking the puppies gently and laughing as they deliver sweet licks to their young faces. “Will these be the King’s hounds?”
Lanisen’s eyes flit to the puppies. “Some of ’em, yeah.”
Edana nods. “Kaie, these may be the King’s hounds someday! Isn’t that something!” Kaie smiles to his mother and begins making faces at the puppies.
Lanisen manages a rather weak grin to confirm this. “Um, do you– can I… get you anything?”
Edana looks up and shakes her head. “We are fine. Thank you.” Kaie giggles and falls on his back, the puppy scrambling up to his face. Edana watches Kaie with a smile for a moment before looking back up to Lanisen. “Would you like to join us? Perhaps you could tell the children about your work?”
Lanisen crosses one arm in front of his middle and rubs the opposite elbow, then nods a little and moves toward the fireplace, perching on the hearth. He is near to the little group, but not too near.
Edana smiles and watches Lanisen move for a moment before looking back at the children. “Kaie. Please don’t roll around on the ground. You might hit one of the puppies or get dirty.” Kaie rolls around for a second more before listening and sitting up.
Lanisen grins slightly and looks down at his hands.
Edana chuckles quietly to herself as Kaie gets up holding the puppy. He brings it Lanisen and hands it to him. “Kaie he might not want to hold the puppy.”
Lanisen says, reaching out to accept the puppy, “It’s all right, I don’t mind.” He settles the puppy on his knees, and adds, “Thank you, Kaie.”
Kaie bunches up his cheeks in a joyful smile. “You are welcome.” He then returns to his mother’s side. Edana puts her hand on Kaie
Edana asks, “When were these puppies born?”
Lanisen says, looking down at the puppy on his knee, “About, they’re… three weeks, now?”
Edana nods and picks up the other puppy. “Aren’t you the cutest little thing.” She taps it lightly on the nose and holds it close to her chest. “I won’t let my husband get a hound. They make a mess…” She looks down at the pup and then to Lanisen. “But these little ones are attempting to persuade me.”
Edana puts the puppy on the ground.
Lanisen says, slightly defensive, “They don’t, not if you watch ’em.” The kennel is quite clean.
Edana looks to Lanisen, noting his tone, and then back around at the kennel. “Yes. It is quite clean in here.” She goes quiet, watching the boys play.
Lanisen pushes the heel of his hand against his right shoulder absently.
Edana smiles as the boys start playing with each other instead of the puppy. Edana gets up. “Boys, I think we should go outside if we are not going to play with the puppy anymore. Come on.” Kaie and the other boy stand up, still laughing. “Can you thank Mr. Lanisen?” Kaie nods and goes to Lanisen. “Thank you Mr. Lanisen for the puppies.” He turns around and runs to his mother who also extends her thanks. “Thank you for letting us have some time with them.”
Lanisen looks rather bewildered, but he shifts the puppy against his chest before he gets to his feet. “Not, no trouble,” he answers. “Afternoon, mistress.”
Edana bows her head politely and ushers the boys out the door, following behind before popping her head back in. “I might allow a dog after all.” She smiles and goes back into the outer ward.
Lanisen lets out a little breath of laughter and looks down at the puppy.