Castle Anvard

Lanisen is not immediately visible in the kennels. What is visible is a wall of haybales stacked nearly to the ceiling, encircling the area around the hearth but for a narrow doorway, which is covered with a blanket. The main room is cooler than usual, probably due to the heat trapped and concentrated behind the bales.

Reina slips through the door of the kennels, closing it quickly behind her and running a hand through the thick fall of her hair. “Heya boy,” she murmurs to a hound padding up for attention. Easing a step or two further into the building, she lifts her eyebrows at the sight of the hay bales. “Erm… did someone rob the stables or something?” Creeping toward the blanket-covered doorway, the young now teenager crouches down, lifting two fingers to pull aside the blanket just far enough to peer in with one large blue eye.

Lanisen is sitting inside the firelit space, half a dozen large hounds sharing the warmth with him. It is quite warm, and he’s sitting cross-legged and barefoot with his coat off, a letter unfolded in his hand. He watches the doorway half-warily, as do the hounds.

“Lanisen?” Reina murmurs quietly as if surprised to find him here. The blanket curtain is drawn back a little further as the young girl peers in at him, brows furrowed in confusion. “You cut your hair,” is her next comment. Her own has grown rather long, spilling to the small of her back now. The elusive little gardener has been just that for months, with no real explanation, avoiding most everyone when she’s not working, remaining in her quarters alone. She seems perfectly content, however, no sign of emotional distress as she looks in upon the quiet man, just curiosity.

Lanisen looks up at her from under his fringe, folding the letter in his hand and tucking it away. “Megren, Meg cut it,” he answers.

Reina shifts her position, easing a knee onto the floor while the other leg remains in its crouched position. “It looks good,” she allows before falling silent, letting it stretch between them as blue eyes cast about the little shelter. “You know hay is fairly flamable, right?”

Lanisen lifts his eyebrows, glancing at the careful space between the hearth and the nearest haybale or blanket. “I’m aware,” he answers.

Reina lifts a hand, brushing a fingertip along the edge of the nearest hay bale. “Good. Burnt hair wouldn’t do much for that cut,” she deadpans. Then, “How have you been? It’s been quite some time. Are you better from… you know. Your ordeal?”

Lanisen moistens his lips. “You mean the trip to Narnia?” he asks lightly.

Reina rolls her shoulders back in a shrug. “Is that where you ended up?” she queries. “I don’t remember. I wasn’t really a part of it all. Everything went to dirt in a neatly bound parcel, but I don’t recall much of it save chaos and fear. Then I got sick, then I was just working and… didn’tpay much mind to what wasn’t my business.” Another pause, and she’s shifting again, leaning her head against the edge of the makeshift doorway. “But I hope you’re better.”

Lanisen says, perhaps deliberately misunderstanding, “Yes, we’ve just got back, mm, a month ago now. Maybe a little less.”

Reina lowers her brows, eyes narrowing over at Lanisen before she heaves a weary sigh, dipping him a nod. “You’ve not changed much,” she murmurs, almost gently before letting the curtain fall back into place and rising to her feet. “Be well, Lanny,” she calls quietly before her light footfalls move for the door.


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