A Woman’s Love and Courage

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A Woman’s Love and Courage  Empty A Woman’s Love and Courage

Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:49 pm

In Brandt’s arms Laenaya felt safe and secure. She and Brandt comforted one another through the night before they both fell asleep. Laenaya’s dreams this time were full of fear as she relieved over and over what had happened with those men. She hated knowing that they were deserters. Her father never really spoke about what was happening with the war to her, but she felt that when they returned home that she would really talk to him about everything. This was her home and she wanted to know what was happening within it.

Laenaya shifted and stirred and when she opened her eyes she realized the sun was already up. They had both overslept. They are a quick breakfast and Laenaya deconstructed the camp and put out the fire. She readied the horses and then helped Brandt into his horse before mounting her own. She was anxious to get to her sister’s house and hoped that she and Deshane wouldn’t mind them showing up unannounced. They rode as quickly as Brandt was comfortable with and several times she had to step her horse close to his in order to help him remain in his saddle.

Thankfully, by late afternoon they came over a small hill and she could see the house in the distance. As they got closer she spotted Deshane our chopping firewood. Deshane looked up and over at them suspiciously at first until he realized who it was.

“I apologize for us showing up unannounced but Mother sent us to check on you and Calene. We were attacked yesterday and Brandt has been injured.”

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Post by Conleth on Mon Apr 01, 2019 2:49 pm

Over the years Deshane had killed a score of men and women, bandits, deserters and the like since he and Calene had come to live near the Mering Stream just inside the Firien wood. Deshane had long, black hair down to his shoulder blades and dark eyes and skin with just a hint of a beard on his face like Calene liked it. Not the most handsome man by comparison but tall, with a lean musculature of long days on his feet either hunting or making repairs or improvements on their home. Even though he was out chopping wood his bow and quiver were always easy to hand should a bear or mountain cat come to close. There were bandits too at times and other folk who only wished to trade with them or who were just passing by.

The house had a dark green tiled roof and it was made out of both wood and stone. It now had a second level and an addition in the back with lots of windows. Deshane had made Calane that room so she could enjoy the light of the sun as it rose each morning. He had also made a cellar of sorts that stayed just under 45 degrees. Cold enough to keep meat and other things from spoiling right away. There was a fenced in penn that held 7 goats in varying sizes and colors and chickens scratched at the ground here and there about the yard.

Deshane heard them far before he saw them. Horses made alot of noise after all and Deshane was always wary of such sounds and smells. He called out to them in warning but then ran up to them when he realized who they were. Deshane bowed to them then shouldered his bow as he saw how bad Gulbrandt was off. The ride had exhausted him and his face had gone from pale to almost gray. As Deshane came up beside his horse Gulbrandt lost his balance and fell toward him. Deshane stopped his fall and took him up into his arms.

“Think nothing of it Princess Laenaya, your sister will be pleased to see you,” he said as he carried Gulbrandt who passed out as soon as he saw Laenaya was safe. “Calene...get the kettle on and get out the medicine chest!” Deshane shouted toward the house. “Be at ease my lady,” he said when he saw her concerned face looking at Brandt. “We’ll have a look at him,” He said confidently as Calane stepped up to the door. She opened it when she saw them and Deshane stepped in and moved to the back bedroom. There he laid Brandt out on the bed then took a better look at him. Being out so far from a city or village, Deshane and Calene had become quite good at foraging what they needed from the forest, herbs and the like, and healing themselves.

As they came in Calene’s eye lit up when she saw Laenaya. “Laenaya!” She said excitedly but her mirth was cut short by Deshane’s grim expression. She could see that Laenaya intended to go in to help Deshane but she put a hand on her wrist. “No Laenaya, Brandt will be alright, let Deshane tend him,” She said.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:27 pm

Laenaya wished her heart could be filled with joy at the thought of seeing her sister again after so long, but instead it was filled with worry for her husband. He had progressively gotten worse as the day wore on and even though she had asked him several times if he needed to rest he had always told her no. It was true that they needed to reach her sister and brother-in-law's house before nightfall, but she didn't want to do it at the expense of Brandt's health. She was thankful to see Deshane, although her heart filled will worry when she saw her husband collapse into his arms.

Laenaya followed Deshane into the house with the intention of following him into the bedroom, but she was stopped by her sister. Laenaya's worry and exhaustion was evident in her eyes and she began to tell her sister what had occurred during their journey. Her own bruises were dark and tender to the touch, but she was far more concerned about her husband.

"How do you deal with these bandits living all the way out here alone?"

This was the first time Laenaya had been to her sister's home and she wished the visit could be under better circumstances. "I will worry about you now living out here with them as a constant threat."

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Post by Conleth on Mon Apr 01, 2019 5:52 pm

As Calene took a closer look at her sister she winced and approached her. She lightly touched the bruise son her neck and winced again. “I have a salve for this, come, there is naught but waiting now. Deshane was once a Ranger, he knows what he is about with herbs,” Calene said though and the movement gave her time to think about her answers. She led Laenaya to a small parlor and there was a kettle steaming on a swing hook near the fire. She set about filling cups that were on the small table nearby and noticed Laenaya was still standing. “Sit Laenaya, and take your ease,” She said in a soothing voice and replaced the kettle on the hook.

“Deshane has taught me how to use a bow and a sword...to a degree. And we remain always vigilant to intruders...goats are as good as any watchdog,” She said as she put a pinch of tea into each cup. “Do you take honey? Its fresh,” She said and took some for herself. After she made the tea she brought Laenaya’s to her. Calene was dressed in a floral dress and wore a white apron. Her hair had a reddish hue to it and it was done up into an intricate braid that rested over her left shoulder. She sat down in the chair near Laenaya and blew on her steaming tea.

“Over the years I’d say we’ve kill oh...a score of bandits in all. Though some were likely deserters...the gondorian livery is difficult to miss,” she said and took a sip from her cup. “We’ve buried them all across the river in a glade there,” She added as if she were speaking about the weather and then she looked at Laenaya’s face. “So you were attacked...did you leave any alive?” She asked as if that was not a certainty.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:15 pm

Laenaya had not seen her sister in many years and was surprised by how mature Calene looked now. She had still been rather young when she married Deshane, but now she was a mother to a six year old and lived out here away from the rest of the family. She had grown up quite a bit, though that mischievous twinkle remained in her eyes. Calene had been the only one out of their family to be born with anything but brown hair. It was believed her hair color came from Conleth's side of the family, though no one could be sure. However, it caused her to stand out among the rest of her sisters and brother. Laenaya thought her hair was beautiful and was rather envious of it.

She took a seat at the small table in the parlor while Calene made some tea. Laenaya's nerves were still rather frayed after everything that had happened and she gratefully accepted the steaming cup of tea. The honey gave it a light sweetness and floral armor and flavor. She took a sip and tried to relax, though she kept glancing in the direction of where she knew her husband was. Although she knew he was in good hands with Deshane, she still worried.

"No, we left none alive. Brandt killed one and then was injured and I killed the other two after they tried to...violate me. They were deserters and I think that more than anything else shook me up the most. I wasn't just fighting for me though...but for my unborn baby."

Laenaya quickly realized what she had said and she looked over at her sister. "Oh Calene...I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to tell you that...I'm so sorry for everything that you have gone through. I can't imagine how terrible it must have all been."

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Post by Conleth on Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:30 pm

Calene had been hardened to the world. Living out here and surviving was proof of that. But she did have a weakness...a chink in her armor. From the moment she married Deshane she had wanted to fill their home with children. After they had Kaled all she had were a series of brutal miscarriages so it was doubtful that she even wanted to even try anymore. At least openly...for Deshane’s sake. But inwardly it was more important to her than life itself. She looked at Laenaya and wondered if she could impart the news she had been holding back from her husband. Each time she had said she was pregnant it was as if he were on top of the entire world. And each time she miscarried it took days and even weeks for him to be himself again. She hated putting him through that but not saying anything was making her...crazy.

“And everything is alright...there?” She asked and her eyes flickered down to her middle and up again. When Laenaya said that it was Calene sighed in relief and smiled. “Well…” She said and looked out toward the hall briefly then back to her sister. “Can you keep a secret?” She asked in a whisper. Her cheeks were blooming with color right then and she smiled. “I’m pregnant to,” She said. “But Im not telling Deshane...right away,” She said quickly and stole another glance at the hall

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:51 pm

Laenaya couldn't imagine the pain that Calene and Deshane had been through after all the miscarriages her sister had been through. She knew that the last miscarriage had been extremely difficult on her body. She knew her sister wanted to have more children, but at least they had Kaled and that was more than some couples had. Laenaya knew she needed to remind herself everyday of how lucky she truly was...she and her entire family.

Laenaya was surprised to hear that Calene was pregnant again. She feared what another miscarriage might do to her physically and emotionally. She didn't really know what to say. She reached out and took her hand and gave it a loving squeeze. "I will pray that this pregnancy will bring you joy instead of sadness."

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Post by Conleth on Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:58 pm

Calene smiled at Laenaya and squeezed her hand back. “Momma!?” A young voice chimed from the hall. “In here Kaled,” Calene answered and Kaled came into the parlor rubbing the sleep from his eyes. “Come here boy and meet your aunt Laenaya,” She said and Kaled came fully into the room. He looked at Laenaya but appeared shy about speaking to her. He stepped up to Calene and she picked him up and put him on her lap. Kaled had brown, reddish hair like his mother and her eyes as well though he was darker complected like his father. “When supper momma?” Kaled asked and Calene smiled down at him. “Not for a bit yet Kaled, i’ll make you a little something in a bit,” She said and set the  boy down. “Go play,” She said and Kaled ran from the room.

“Thank  you sister, I’m trying to take it easy,” She said honestly. “Its difficult though, there’s always so much to do,” Calene said and then her expression changed. “How is mother? I have been debating on going to see her…” She said.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:09 pm

Laenaya suddenly heard a young boy's voice and she smiled when she looked over and saw her nephew Kaled. She couldn't believe how big he had gotten. He was a perfect mixture of his parents and was showing every indication that he was going to be quite handsome when he was older. She imagined that it must be rather lonely for him out here without any other children to play with.

She watched him run off outside and then picked up her tea up and took another sip. "Mother is...doing alright. She has lost some of her strength because of the poisoning, but considering that the poison should have killed her she is very lucky to be alive. Father has been very attentive to her and when he isn't with his Generals he is with her. She came so close to dying. I've never seen father as distraught as he was that night." She paused and then looked at Calene. "I know Mother and Father would love to see you. Why haven't you been to visit?"

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Post by Conleth on Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:18 pm

Calene almost choked on her tea as she had taken a sip shen Laenaya asked her question. She cleared her throat as she put the cup down. Oddly her cheeks were now flushed as well. ‘Well...Deshane won’t allow it. He cites multiple reasons, not the least of which has to do with assassins. Its one thing for a bandit to find this place but an assassin with a purpose?” She said but then leaned in toward her. “Even so we’ve argued about this quite a bit recently and he still refuses it,” She said as if her wishes were not as important as his.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:23 pm

Laenaya was visibly surprised by Calene's answer. She knew what Deshane did was out of love for Calene, after all they did meet because she had been kidnapped, but this seemed a little extreme for him. She hated Calene being kept out here away from her family, whom she had always been close with.

"Well, the assassin was killed by Kressara in Rohan. Apparently the assassin had been targeting Aunt Lindariel but failed to poison her. Unfortunately, several other people died in the process of Kressara finding her, but she did. I will talk to Deshane. You shouldn't be kept here and not allowed to see your family."

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Post by Conleth on Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:33 pm

Calene’s eyebrows rose as she heard what Laenaya said and a smile crept over her face. Just then there was movement in the hall and Calene tried to moderate her expression as she stood up. Deshane was there and stepped into the parlor. He had a wet, white cloth and was wiping off his hands. He gave Calene a glance then turned toward Laenaya.

“Well, there was an infection but I understand you had no real choice. If you stayed there he would have died. As it is now the ride here had nearly killed him but I think he will survive,” He said plainly. Clearly that was certainly some good news but his reaction had not changed much. As if he was not in a good mood at all.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:40 pm

Laenaya looked over at Deshane as he walked down the hallway and into the parlor. She stood up as well and was anxious to hear what he had to say about Brandt. She had done the best he could with the injury he received and they could not have stayed there. She was glad to know that he would recover and wished to see him.

"May I see him now?"

When Deshane indicated that it was alright for her to see him she walked down the hallway to the room. Calene watched her go and then looked at her husband. "Laenaya said there were three of them. They all appeared to be deserters. She killed two out of the three herself."

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Post by Conleth on Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:04 pm

Deshane continued to look down the hall where Laenaya went and he had a grim look in his eyes. “They are lucky to be alive,” he said then turned to face his wife. “It is war that is causing this. It takes two sides for peace to work and now they are reaping what they have sowed,” Deshane said as he look Calene over. “Did you have a good visit with your sister? It’s not like your family doesn’t know where you are,” He said plainly. And it was clear what he meant as well.

Gulbrandt was on the bed stripped naked though the blankets were drawn up to his waist and his bandages had been redone. There was some seepage through the one that she could see but it appeared to be only blood and not yellow or green with infection. His color looked pale but it was better than it had been.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:10 pm

Calene picked up the tea cups and began to wash them in the sink. She didn't want to start an argument with Deshane with her sister in the house and so she simply nodded. "Yes, it was a nice visit. Laenaya told me that apparently Kressara found and killed the assassin in Rohan."

Laenaya knew that Brandt was lucky to be alive. He was strong though and she knew he would come through this. If she hadn't come, as he had originally intended, she didn't want to imagine how differently things might have ended. She picked up one of his hands and looked at him before she began to sing softly to him a song she knew he loved.

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Post by Conleth on Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:17 pm

Gulbrandt was still more or less unconscious but Laenaya felt his hand squeeze hers out of relfex to her song.

Deshane looked at Calene with an intense expression and piercing eyes. “You know that doesn’t matter. What happened to them on the road is proof of that Calene. Your safety, yours and Kaleds are my responsibility. Mine, no one elses and I trust no one else in that regard. The moment we let our guard down and set down our bows is the moment we invite death,” He said grimly though his words were well practiced as if he had said the same many times before

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:23 pm

Calene knew she needed to choose her words carefully. Deshane was protecting her and Kaled out of love and she didn't want him to think she didn't care about that. She slowly turned and looked at him. Her expression was soft and her eyes looked into his. "But there will always be dangers Deshane. No matter where we are there is always the possibility that something will happen. Even to us here in our own home. My mother can't travel...you know that and I haven't seen my parents in several years. I don't want to live my life in fear of the unknown. Please...come with me back home. Despite your rocky start with my father he does care about you and I know he would enjoy your company and Kaled hasn't met his cousins yet."

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Post by Conleth on Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:36 pm

Deshane sighed and placed his hand upon Calene’s shoulder. He gently lifted up her chin and looked deeply into her eyes. “We do not live our lives in fear. But a score of men and women died by our hands while we have just been trying to live our lives here,” He said in words that rolled off his tongue like honey. He leaned in and kissed her lips softly. “Our arrival will be noted as well as our departure,” he said. “Am I and Kaled not enough my love?” he asked but it was clear he was manipulating the situation as he was want to do when she spoke about leaving their home.

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:44 pm

Calene loved Deshane deeply. She had loved him since he rescued her all those years ago. She had shared many happy memories with him and she felt she would do anything for him, but on this matter she decided she wasn't going to give in again. She pulled back and sighed. "I love you both very much Deshane and you know that, but I'm going home to see my family and I'm taking Kaled with me. You can come with us, or you can stay here, but we're going with Laenaya and Brandt once he is well enough to travel again." She did not speak these words angrily, but she spoke them plainly and with a finality to them that would tell Deshane her mind was not going to be changed.

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Post by Conleth on Mon Apr 01, 2019 8:52 pm

Deshane pulled back when she began to speak and his demeanor darkened with each word she spoke. He wanted to say more to her but it would all likely come out as hot venom if he did. Proof that she had angered him and he wordlessly walked away from her opened the front door and slammed it behind him as he walked away toward the goat pens.

Laenaya came quickly back from where Gulbrandt was resting and stepped up to Calene. “Is...everything alright Calene? I’m sorry for not messaging you before we came but mother wanted us to check up on you as soon as possible,” She said

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Post by XslvrstarX on Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:00 pm

Calene sighed as she watched her husband angrily walk out of the house. She flinched slightly at the sound of the slamming door, but she wasn't going to budge on this. Their entire marriage she had always given into what he wanted...starting with moving out to this house shortly after giving birth to Kaled, but she wanted to see her family and she was going to.

She looked over at her sister as she walked quickly into the parlor. She realized that she must have heard Deshane leave the house in anger. "Everything's fine Laenaya. It has nothing to do with you and Gulbrandt. I just told him that I was planning to take Kaled and travel back to the city with you and Brandt after he is better. I've been away far too long. Deshane...he just worries about me. I mean, I can't really blame him. After all we did meet because he was rescuing me from kidnappers."

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